Economic Development chief executive officer Dale Wheeldon (left) presented John Furlong with the 2011 EDABC President's Award.

Furlong’s leadership honoured with award

John Furlong was recognized for his leadership and contribution to the economic development in B.C.

Furlong, the chief executive officer of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, was presented with the Economic Development Association of B.C.’s President Award.

He received the award on Monday at the Coast Hotel and Convention Centre, site of the EDABC’s conference in Langley from June 5-7.

“I am honoured to receive this award,” Furlong said. “I was fortunate to be a leader of a project that had such an enormous capacity to make an impact.

“But I didn’t do it alone; I also need to acknowledge our team of 55,000 people who all made heroic contributions to bring us this success.”

Furlong added that the most important thing he learned is that the leader of any enterprise must create a vision that unites the entire team.

The Games were responsible for bringing more economic development to the province than any individual community could have ever done, said EDABC president Kevin Poole.

“His contributions have gone far beyond just hosting a successful sporting event,” Poole said.

“As leader of this once in a lifetime event, John Furlong was able to put the spotlight on British Columbia, attracting world-wide attention and countless economic development opportunities.”

Poole added that the exposure — media coverage across the world, gaining 3.8 billion television viewers and 275 million hits to — is “marketing that simply cannot be bought.”

The Games have also impacted local communities by creating 45,500 jobs, $2.3 billion in Real Domestic Product and $463 million in tourism spending.

“Mr.Furlong truly embodies what it takes to become a successful economic development leader,” Poole said.

“He recognizes that you can’t do it alone; you need to engage and inspire your team, stakeholders, and community members to help you reach for success.”