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
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.