The 2018 Marilyn Pomfret Alumni Award Winner: George Mapson

Join us Saturday April 7th, 2018 at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver as we recognize George Mapson at this year’s Intramurals Student Staff and Alumni Spring Recognition Banquet. Please note registration has closed.

George Mapson                
In 1970, after the realization set in that George would not make the Thunderbirds basketball or football teams (vertically and size challenged) he set his goals even higher…UBC Intramural leadership.
In September, 1970, after a grueling interview with Nestor Korchinsky, George was acclaimed (only candidate) the Publicity Director for the Men’s Intramural program. Highly motivated by the $50 per year honorarium (12% of 1970 tuition fees!) George’s career with intramurals and his passion to organize and lead was fueled for life.
Under Nestor’s mentorship…and dearth of other candidates, George “rapidly advanced” to Director of the Men’s program for the next two years. During the early 70’s intramurals and campus recreation funding came from the School of Physical Education and the AMS. Realizing the paucity of funding available, George sought two sources of increased funding…sponsorship from breweries and increased budgets from the School of Physical Education and the AMS. Beer sales soared. Funding leaped. Intramural participation grew beyond expectations. His goal of growing the intramural brand and securing funds to build the best Intramural program west of Alma Street….and then the world, was off to a good start. The Arts 20 Race was revived. Super Leagues were created. Off campus events like inner tubing down the Chilliwack River were experimented with. To ensure adequate funding continued George simultaneously held three campus positions in 1973: president of the Physical Education Undergraduate Society; AMS Treasurer, and Director of Intramurals. While grades suffered immeasurably, lifelong skills were being honed and increased funding was achieved.
Pursuing his dream of being a lifetime student, George of course pursued graduate studies. His first year in graduate studies was a dismal venture, due to his first priority still being campus recreation and student politics. Fortunately in September, 1974, George was recruited to further grow his campus leadership skills as the first Athletic and Recreation Director at Malaspina College (now Vancouver Island University). The going was tough in the formative years for college athletics, but the goal of building a foundation was achieved. During this period he found the time to complete his Masters in Education (Higher Education) in 1979, commuting from Nanaimo to UBC, and then later went on leave to the University of Victoria for the Master’s in Education coop program at the University of Victoria.

In 1981, with his career focus now shifted to University governance…and an opportunity to continue being a lifetime student, his toolbox was boosted by being accepted to the Ph.D program in Higher Education at the University of Arizona. After one year, realizing that the lofty goal of becoming a university president was not the ticket to early retirement, he left to form his own business, Trainingworks, focused on building leadership and talent management in the private sector.
In 1991, George and his wife, Heather, moved from Vancouver to Philadelphia to join one of his clients in Human Resources at their global headquarters in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1995 he became the Vice President of Human Resources for a Swedish company with 45,000 employees in their international operations. He retired in 2007 as the Vice President of Human Resources for their global mergers and acquisitions division after working in Mexico City for two years. Retirement lasted a weekend and he was invited to join a large Canadian consumer products company to turn around their Memphis Tennessee operation. In 2010 retirement was finally realized.
In 2014 George and Heather relocated from Philadelphia to Kelowna, BC. Rather than spending 90% of his time on planes circling the planet and in airport lounges, he now enjoys hiking, biking, kayaking and curling. Like Jack Pomfret, he enjoys “senior men’s curling.” His curling goal is to be competitive like Jack as his game “matures.”
In July, 2017 George and Heather’s condominium completely was destroyed by fire. They lost everything including George’s coveted UBC Intramurals Arts 20 T shirts from the early 70’s and Day of the Long Boat, and Storm the Wall T shirts and coveted Intramural desk pen set that Nestor gifted to all Intramural directors for service recognition. As president of the Strata Council his new full time volunteer passion is ensuring that 65 families are well cared for and their homes are ready for them in the fall of 2019.

While George’s career and his work took him to all parts of the globe, he has always held UBC very close to him…in his heart. Two energizers shaped his values and work ethics. Nestor Korchinsky, for his all- consuming love for UBC and his lifelong dedication to the Intramural and Recreation Program and Joanie Webster (Pilcher) who relentlessly shaped and energized intramurals into the force and model it is today. During his almost 50 year association with UBC Intramurals and Recreation he is proud of where intramurals came from. Public relations…pens, posters and loudspeaker on the roof of a VW bug. Computer technology…the IBM mainframe card reader in the basement of the Engineering building. Lean management…all four student leaders running the program. Learning… by jumping in. Palatial offices…cubby hole under the War Memorial Gym bleachers. Today, he is immensely proud of where Intramurals is today…nothing short of a world class model of how one entity like Intramurals and Campus Recreation can truly shape a university culture and be life changing for student leaders and participants.
Throughout the last 50 years one constant remains. The University’s support and the relentless and energetic pursuit of all full time staff and student leaders to continuously improving Intramurals and Campus Recreation and “making every day better” for UBC students, faculty, staff and alumni.
Tuum Est
For more information and to nominate someone for the 2019 The Marilyn Pomfret Alumni Award, please click here for more info.
For more information and to get involved in the Alumni Council, click here.