Ward Chapin

Chief Information Officer

For an optimist, Ward Chapin spends a lot of time these days thinking about what can go wrong. It’s not surprising: as VANOC’s Chief Information Officer, he is leading the team that will implement and manage all the technology and systems critical for staging the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

Chapin’s scope of responsibility is as diverse as the technology and the systems he oversees, spanning day-to-day office requirements for 1,200 staff to systems that manage the accreditation, communication, security and transportation functions for all Games’ participants. The coordination of timing and scoring systems for all competitive events is another of his key areas, as is working with broadcasters to meet their technical requirements. In addition, Chapin and his team are liaising closely with immigration and security officials to ensure a foolproof interface between their respective information systems. 

Referring to the project as a “huge coordination and team effort,” Chapin stresses that while the main priority is to guarantee that everything works, the challenge is to anticipate what won’t. A number of test events are planned to give his team experience with unsuspected surprises.

A longtime executive with HSBC Bank, Chapin built a progressive career with the financial services company in Canada and abroad. Prior to joining VANOC, he was responsible for Information Technology Operations for the HSBC Investment Bank in London, England. He also spent more than three years in Paris as director of IT Operations, assisting with the integration of HSBC’s acquisition of CCF Bank, a federation of 11 banks. During his tenure with HSBC Bank Canada, Chapin served as Vice President, Technical and Corporate Services, and also held various IT-related roles in information systems auditing, systems development and IT operations.

Chapin began his career in audit while at Montreal Trust, moving on to operational and information systems positions for CitiBank, Toronto Dominion Bank and Bank of BC. As one of the first experts in automated teller machines, he quickly became a popular figure on the North American IT speakers’ circuit.

After several years in Europe, Chapin is pleased to be back home and considers his opportunity to work for Canada’s Games a privilege. He also hopes that, through technology, one of the many legacies of the 2010 Winter Games will be improved accessibility for people with a disability.

Raised in Montreal, where he learned to speak French, Chapin graduated from McGill University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Industrial Relations. He and his wife now live in Vancouver.

When he’s not imagining possible technical glitches, Chapin can likely be found pursuing his passion for sports in the stands, on the golf course, or on a ski hill. Enthusiastic travelers, he and his wife are committed to one day visiting Budapest and Venice, the last two places on their top 20 list of travel destinations.


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