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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended April 23, 2000
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Sent on Mormon-News: 27Apr00

Summarized by Rosemary Pollock

Two Years Before Games, Governor's Point Man for Olympics Preparations Quits
Salt Lake Tribune 20Apr00 B2
By Linda Fantin: Salt Lake Tribune

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- With only two years before the opening of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, LDS Church member John Fowler, State Olympics coordinator, unexpectedly left the Olympic committee to become the chief financial officer of a private company headquartered in Florida. Fowler said it wasn't the only opportunity he had received since Gov. Mike Leavitt appointed him in September of 1977.

"With those previous opportunities I candidly felt there was still a significant amount of work to be done to get the state and SLOC ready for the Olympics," Fowler said. "But with the progress that has been made by the organizing committee and with the success of this past legislative session....I feel like we are at a point where I am not leaving anyone or anything in a lurch, that I can walk away and look back with a lot of satisfaction and appreciation for my contribution."

Gov. Mike Leavitt has complete respect for the decision that Fowler made, according to spokeswoman, Vicki Varela. "Like many people in Utah, John's putting kids through college and is highly marketable, so for the governor to try to talk him out of it would have been to talk him out of things that were clearly in his best financial interest," Varela said.

SLOC spokswoman, Caroline Shaw said, "We wish John well in his new adventure and thank him for all of his contributions." House Speaker Nolan Karras, will head a search committee with the possibility of the governor reviewing and revamping the job.

"I came into this with absolutely no experience in dealing with the Legislature and the federal government. I really believe they need someone with those kind of skills, more than I ever could bring to the table," Fowler said. Fowler is the second official to quit this month. Shelley Tomas, SLOC's senior vice president of communications, stepped down on April 5.

Fowler previously worked for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He is an accountant by profession and spent two years helping to manage church operations in Britain, Ireland, Scandinavia and Iceland. Prior to that he served in the Quorum of the Seventy in the church's northern Utah region.


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