VICTORIA—After an extensive national search, Triathlon Canada found its new chief executive officer in its own backyard of Victoria. Accomplished business leader, Kim Van Bruggen, will join Triathlon Canada November 1 where she will be counted on to lead a new era for the national sport organization.
Van Bruggen has been the president and chief executive officer of Acumen Communications Group for more than 17 years where she has grown the business into the leading public relations and engagement firm in Victoria. Van Bruggen has provided leadership and senior counsel to all levels of government, crown agencies, private and non-profit sectors through times of crisis, transition and transformation while at Acumen.
Starting her career as a journalist, Van Bruggen transitioned into the communications side of the media business when she began working on major sporting events including the Canada Games, Commonwealth Games and more recently the Vancouver-Whistler 2010 Bid, along with the Olympic Winter Games in her home province.
“Kim is a dynamic, passionate, decisive and pragmatic leader who is a proven performer in the world of business and sport,” said Les Pereira, president, Triathlon Canada. “She stands out on the basis of her unique mix of experiences, leadership qualities and profound understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing our sport.”
Working with a team of highly dedicated individuals at Triathlon Canada, Van Bruggen will be counted on to bring best business practices from the corporate world to rebuild a world-leading culture at Triathlon Canada.
“I know and understand the challenges Triathlon Canada has ahead, but I also know I have the energy, drive and skillset to make a positive contribution and build an organization of team, integrity and at its core, excellence,” said Van Bruggen. “In order to inspire excellence, we need to show organizational excellence. If we live by these core principles in all that we do, we will achieve our goals, and ultimately celebrate more medal-winning performances for Canada in all race disciplines.”
One of Van Bruggen’s main priorities will be on creating a sound organizational structure in an effort to deliver the tools and resources athletes, coaches and staff require to achieve their objectives.
“I firmly believe creating a solid foundation that makes way for us to continue to develop and grow will result in golden performances both on and off the field of play,” said Van Bruggen. “We need to work diligently as a team to maintain our existing relationships while finding innovative ways to bring new partners to the triathlon family who share our vision of helping all of our athletes – from elites to age groupers – to win on the international stage.”
Van Bruggen is no stranger to the sport herself, having competed in her first of many triathlons in Victoria more than 30 years ago, and has watched the sport evolve to what it is today. She has come full circle combining her love of the sport with her expertise as a skilled corporate executive and communicator.
“It is an absolute gift to have the opportunity to marry the passion from my personal and professional life in order to contribute and make a difference to a sport that I care deeply about,” added Van Bruggen. “I truly believe we have an incredible opportunity ahead of us to continue to build off the successes of our rich legacy in order to shape a brighter future for our next generation of elite athletes.”
Triathlon Canada is the governing body for triathlon in the country. Recognized as an Olympic medal sport since 2000 and Paralympic medal sport as of 2016, Triathlon Canada’s mandate is to promote, foster, organize and develop the sport of triathlon, and its related disciplines, in Canada.