Announcing our new Executive Director

Feb 17, 2021

Dear Alberta Whitewater Association (AWA) Club Executives and Members:

In December 2020, the AWA undertook an extensive search for a newly revised full time Executive Director role. Our recruitment process involvied shortlisting over 80 applicants to six candidates who met and exceeded baseline criteria from the role description. Our personnel committee conducted semi-finalist and finalist interview rounds to land on the best candidate for the role.  As of today, the AWA Board of Directors are pleased to announce that Michael Holroyd was the successful candidate for the newly revised, full time Executive Director role. Mike will transition to the full-time role March 1, 2021. The Board is excited to offer this senior leadership opportunity to a long-time member, contributor and connector.

Mike has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of the Fraser Valley and post-secondary diplomas in management and leadership. He has led Alberta Slalom Canoe Kayak since 2007 in a Head Coach and Sport Development Director role. He has been a member of the Canoe Kayak Canada board as athlete rep and was Treasurer of Waterwerks Kayak Club. Most recently Mike served as part time interim administrator of operations of the AWA since June 2020.

Mike started paddling in 1992 as a teen member of the University of Alberta Paddling Society (original UAPS) and later transitioned into competition with the Edmonton Whitewater Paddlers taking part in the 1993 Alberta Summer Games.  Ten years on the National Slalom Team between 1995 & 2007 left an indelible connection to paddling and the benefits that sport brings to society. While residing in BC for ten years, Mike always raced for Alberta and is loyal to his roots. No doubt you’ll see his two kids on the start line, racing for Alberta, in the years to come.

The Harvie Passage Slalom Course, Canoe Kayak Canada Whitewater Coaching stream and National Fitness Testing Index are examples of projects that were initiated and successfully completed by Mike. As a result of his coaching and leadership ability, over 20 Alberta athletes reached slalom National Teams in the last 14 years with many top national and international results. Mike has an intrinsic drive and vision to improve our sport landscape by bringing together opportunities across disciplines to best leverage funding and develop youth, recreational and high-performance  paddlers across Alberta . Most importantly Mike brings an inclusive, collaborative, highly relational approach to this important, strategic role.

The first priority for Mike in this new Executive director role will be reaching out to clubs, members, partners and funders to initiate and complete a comprehensive strategic planning process building on the 2020 August membership survey results. A key focus will include the foundational programs and projects that make up the AWA, along with facilities development. You can connect with Mike at:

Please join us in welcoming Mike to the Executive Director, AWA role.

Thank you,

AWA Board of Directors

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