Richard Benfield

vice-president of marketingWhistler ResortAssociation,Whistler, B.C.We asked:Q. Are you a believer in marketing by science or intuition?A. 'Combination.'Q. Was there a significant turning point in your career?A. 'Career change from planner-hydrologist into marketer.'Q. What is your favorite marketing campaign (not including campaigns...

vice-president of marketing

Whistler Resort


Whistler, B.C.

We asked:

Q. Are you a believer in marketing by science or intuition?

A. ‘Combination.’

Q. Was there a significant turning point in your career?

A. ‘Career change from planner-hydrologist into marketer.’

Q. What is your favorite marketing campaign (not including campaigns with which you have been involved)?

A. ‘Super Natural British Columbia, by BC Tourism.’

Q. What do you do in your spare time?

A. ‘Read, ski, tennis, run, play with my two children.’

Q. What is the most recent book you have read?

A. ‘Barbarians at the Gate, by Bryan Burrough and John Helgar.’

Q. What book influenced you the most?

A. ‘The Day the Universe Changed, by James Burke.’

Q. What do you love most about the marketing business?

A. ‘The constant surprises in what works and what does not and the way the process causing this is so dynamic.’

- Helped create Alberta Tourism’s $1-million Dinoventure program in which a dinosaur exhibit was sent to Japan in 1990

- Co-ordinated Whistler Resort’s 1992 summer marketing campaign, which generated a 10% increase in business over the previous year

Richard Benfield got his start in marketing as a destination area co-ordinator for Travel Alberta between 1979-81.

Before that, Benfield spent two years as a regional planner for the city of Edmonton and, earlier, two years as a hydrologist with Alberta Energy and Natural Resources.

In 1981, Travel Alberta appointed him manager of adventure products marketing. He held the post for two years until the ministry named him manager of general touring and trade marketing.

Benfield left the Alberta government in 1977 to join Pacific Western Transportation, becoming the privately-owned motor coach company’s director of marketing.

In 1991, he opened a Calgary marketing consultancy, Practical Marketing, servicing the tourism market.

That same year, the Banff/Lake Louise Chamber of Commerce appointed him executive director, responsible for all the resort’s tourism development and promotion strategies.

In 1991, Benfield joined Whistler Resort Association, assuming his current position as vice-president of marketing.’For whatever destination he’s working, he’s the kind of guy who goes after the job and gets it done.’

‘He’s aggressive on the golf course, but he’s not that good. He really wants to hit the ball, but he doesn’t know where it’s going.’

Next issue: Lee Andrews, group product manager, soups, Campbell Soup.