On the heels of the organization’s annual meeting last week, McQuade announced on Wednesday that he has resigned from his position, and will relocate to St. Simons Island, in coastal Georgia, in mid-January.
Part of a string of barrier islands off the southern coast known as the Golden Isles, the move offers McQuade and his family, wife Ania, and young sons Johnny and Jimmy, an opportunity to be within driving and short flight distance of family.
“A lot of people leave and come back to Telluride, but right now the call to be close to family is a pretty loud call,” said McQuade.
The move also affords McQuade the opportunity to continue his work in the tourism industry, albeit in a beachfront location, as the president and CEO of the Brunswick Golden Isles Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Located midway between Savannah and Jacksonville, Fla., the area has not been directly affected by the BP Deep Horizon oil spill, but, similar to Telluride, has been impacted by the lingering Great Recession.
“In some ways, more so,” McQuade explained. “The recession has hit a lot of the beach communities a little harder than the mountain communities.”
“They’re facing many of the same things…trying to figure out how to stay alive and rebound,” he said.
McQuade said he leaves the TTB proud of his accomplishments.
“I couldn’t have done it without help of community,” and “its willingness to unify and rally behind a common cause.”
He is also confident in the ability of the staff that remains behind.
“They are extremely professional and very capable of continuing the job that we started,” he said, adding that he has “complete faith that the organization will be fine.”
McQuade said that an interim director would assume his role while the organization conducts a search for his replacement, but did not identify that person.
“On a personal note we’ve made so many friends that are like family…” he reflected. “I leave sad but will also stay in touch and Telluride will always remain part of our lives.”