October 2019 – Making Waves

With a mission to inform, empower, celebrate and advocate for British Columbia's current and aspiring business leaders, BCBusiness go behind the headlines and bring readers face to face with the key issues and people driving business in B.C.

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E N T R E P R E N E U R O F T H E Y E A R 2 0 1 9 / B U S I N E S S T O B U S I N E S S 28 BCBUSINESS OCTOBER 2019 W I N N E R Geoff Chutter F O U N D E R , P R E S I D E N T A N D C E O , W H I T E W A T E R W E S T I N D U S T R I E S n Dubai's 40-degree desert heat sends thrill- seekers flocking to the Boomerango, a towering raft slide at the Aquaven- ture Waterpark that shoots riders screaming down a half-pipe and launches them almost vertically up the other side. The ride's creator, Richmond-based WhiteWater West Indus- tries, has been stretching human imagination to build attractions like this since 1981, when founder, president and CEO Geoff Chutter opened one of North America's first waterslide parks—the since-closed WhiteWater Waterslide and Recreation Complex in Penticton. That first summer, four separate groups approached Vancouver- born Chutter to help them design and build water- parks in their hometowns, too. "I recognized that an expert was someone who simply knew more than the person beside him," the UofT commerce grad and CPA recalls. "At 28, 29, I was the expert in the waterslide field." Chutter concluded that developing slide parks suited him better than managing lifeguards, and so he began what is now the world's leading P A C I F I C R E G I O N W I N N E R WHAT OTHER CAREER MIGHT YOU HAVE HAD? When you're in high school, some- times you take these tests on what you're good at and what voca- tion that leads to. I remember one came back sug- gesting I should be a funeral director, and it scared the day- lights out of me

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