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A prominent local businessman, a Montreal lawyer and the dean of a business school have been appointed by the federal government to serve on the board of directors of the Vancouver Olympic Games Organizing Committee (VANOC).

Named to the 20-member board are Peter Brown of Vancouver, Jacques Gauthier of Montreal, and Carol Stephenson of London, Ont.

Brown is the chairman and chief executive officer of the investment firm Canaccord Capital Corp. (TSX:CCI), and director for the Investment Industry Association of Canada. He also has experience in hosting international events having served as chair of the Expo '86 finance committee and vice-chairman of the Expo '86 Corp.

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Gauthier is a proponent of sustainable energy. He is a senior vice-president and chief operating officer at Kruger Inc., a private energy company that promotes environmental concerns and sustainable energy development.

Stephenson is the dean of the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario. She brings with her more than 30 years experience in the areas of financial management, strategic planning, marketing, operations, and technology development.

Brown said he faces a steep learning curve with VANOC but thinks hosting the Olympics will be even more important to B.C. than Expo '86.

"Winter sports are an important part of the fabric of every small town in B.C.," he said in a telephone interview.

"This is an opportunity to market what we have here all over the world."

Jack Poole, chairman of VANOC's board of directors, said the three bring the tools needed to oversee the Games.

"It looks like we are getting three individuals with tremendous depth of experience with major projects," he said. "I think they bring skill sets that are appropriate."

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The three appointees replace France Chretien-Desmarais, Peter Dhillon and Tony Tennessy, whose three-year terms end Nov. 14. They had all been appointed by the previous Liberal government.

The VANOC board of directors are nominated by the Canadian Olympic Committee (seven); federal government (three); B.C. provincial government (three); city of Vancouver (two); Resort Municipality of Whistler (two); Canadian Paralympic Committee (one); and a joint appointment by the Band Councils of the Lil'wat and Squamish Nations. The board then elects a chairman.

Poole said the other nominating groups have until Nov. 15 to make appointments, but doubts if there will be any other changes to the board.

"We have no advance notice that there is going to be any new appointments," he said.

Poole also expects the board to re-elect him as chairman.

"I've had no notice from anybody they are looking to make a change," he said.

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David Emerson, the minister for international trade who is also responsible for the Olympics, said the three federal appointees all bring experience to the board.

"The three new appointees have significant expertise in leading complex projects and will play a key role in providing the Vancouver Organizing committee with strategic and financial advice," Emerson said in a release. "I am delighted to welcome them to the 2010 team."

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