The Kelly Blunden Spirit of Service Award was created in 2015 following the sudden death of the respected municipal IT leader from Whistler for whom it is named. Kelly was a dedicated leader to the Whistler IT Team, a solid and steadfast contributor to MISA BC, and a devoted Whistler community member. Kelly was well known, well respected, and well loved by all who knew him.
This award is open for nominations annually for individual service to MISA BC and to the wider community that exemplifies the spirit of working “in service” with humour and humanity and thus making a difference to MISA BC, to its members, and to the wider community.
Kelly Blunden exemplified that spirit of service, and working beyond the call with humour and humanity, in both his professional and community life. His warmth and caring came through in his handshake, his smile, and his humour. Easy to be with and a pleasure to work with, those connected to him considered it a privilege to have shared some time with him.
Kelly’s contribution of service is outlined below. Please consider your colleagues and nominate a member who deserves to be celebrated! This award is open to all MISA BC members – Regular, Associate, Affiliate and Honorary. Submit your nominations in confidence to email@example.com before August 19, 2016.
Kelly was the IT Manager at the Resort Municipality of Whistler since 1994. He was responsible for the migration from their WANG mainframe environment to client/server infrastructure. He developed the cutting edge software that was used in ski resort operations, stepped up to the technical challenge when Whistler and Blackcomb merged in 1998, and in 1999 lead Whistler to become the second organization in the world to implement Windows Terminal Server.
In 2010 Whistler hosted the Winter Olympics and Kelly’s involvement was substantial. He developed the technical requirements for Canada House, RCMP/Secret Service, various media houses and the Athlete’s village. He also negotiated several agreements with Olympic sponsors. One of the greatest Olympic legacies is the vital dark fibre network infrastructure he implemented that runs all through Whistler Village. Kelly represented Municipal IT, not just on the national but on the world stage and made us proud.
During Kelly’s tenure at Whistler, he hosted and organized the 2013 MISA BC Fall Conference attended by hundreds of delegates from BC and MISA chapters across the country. Despite the massive responsibility and workload that comes with being a conference chairperson, Kelly handled it all stride in his calm and competent way. With Kelly, you were not just a delegate, not just a vendor, not just a volunteer, you were family.
Kelly was all about team building, bringing like-minded people together to pursue a goal, but he was humble and preferred to work quietly in the background. During the 2013 conference he avoided the limelight that the conference chair usually occupies, deferring instead to an avatar to represent him on stage when required, and to one of his talented staff members as MC. He was an Oilers fan but invited one of the most respected Vancouver Canucks, Trevor Linden, to be a keynote speaker at the conference. That humbleness, humour and openness were part of why people were so drawn to Kelly and why he was successful as a leader.
In addition to his exemplary professional work for his municipality and for MISA BC, Kelly was a leader, mentor, volunteer, instructor, coach and friend.
He was a Level 4 ski instructor and a Level 3 (World Cup Circuit qualified) racing coach and brought that drive and enthusiasm to everything he did. He was a prominent member of the Whistler Cycling Club, a tireless long time minor hockey coach, instrumental in building the Whistler Old Timers Hockey League as a board member and a player. He was well known to the local ski community and volunteered whenever asked to assist with technology – building a community website or fixing a friend’s computer.
In 1996 Kelly spearheaded the effort to bring in teams from all over the world to compete in the Eco-Challenge, a multi-day expedition adventure race. That BC competition, which aired on the Discovery Channel, won an Emmy Award.
Kelly was definitely a pillar of the community.