As director of business operations and marketing at Mount Washington Resort, Don Sharpe spends most of his days at the base of the Vancouver Island ski hill.
It only makes sense then, that his favourite sport is … slo-pitch?
“I love playing baseball… softball.. slo-pitch. I love playing slo-pitch and we have a great team, full of great people. I also really enjoy playing volleyball. For me, I’m more interested in team sports than individual ones like skiing. I like the social aspect of the team sport. being around a great bunch of people.”
Don has been at Mount Washington for 16 years. He came from Calgary, where he worked at the Calgary Zoo for five years.
“We moved here specifically for the job,” said Don, who came to the Valley with his wife, Chantal, and their three children – Douglas, Cassie and Darcy. “I came here for the job interview and my wife came with me, because if we were going to move here, she had to see it. It wasn’t much of an ‘if’. As we were driving up the road for the interview, we both said ‘oh yeah, we’re moving here.’ It’s so amazing here. It really doesn’t feel like part of Canada. It seems so exotic.”
All three kids two took full advantage of dad working on a ski hill in one capacity or another.
Douglas, their oldest, lives and works in Beijing.
“His favourite sport is downhill mountain biking so in China he actually builds bike trails and works on the terrain parks.”
The other are world-class athletes in winter sports.. Cassie is a World Cup halfpipe skier, while Darcy competes in World Cup snowboard events (slopestyle and big air).
“When Darcy was four years old he had 65 days on the ski hill, so he had that passion at the early age. We always wondered if we hadn’t come here, what would the children be doing today, because their lives are all related to being on the mountain.”
Don credits Chantal for supplying the athletic genes.
“My wife is very athletic. She is a runner and she loves to hike and walk the trails. But their genes far surpass either of ours. They definitely have some natural abilities.”
Don has been heavily involved in many organizations within the Comox Valley. He was president of the Chamber of Commerce in 2006. He has served on the economic development board and the Comox Valley Community Foundation board. He was on the North Island College board of governors for six years and is currently the vice-chair for the Vancouver Island Mountain Sports Society, which he co-founded.
“I have tried to give back to the community as much as I can. It’s a personal thing for me.”