By Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce CEO Catherine Holt
It’s a new year, which means new leadership for the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce.
John Wilson, a prominent business person and community supporter, takes on the role of Board Chair in 2020. He’s the latest in a long line of Chamber leaders that goes back all the way to 1863.
It’s a huge job, but we’re tremendously fortunate to have John guiding the ship. As owner and CEO of Wilson’s Group of Companies, John’s businesses help create the fabric of our community.
If you’ve taken a shuttle to the airport, a bus to the ferry or attended a HarbourCats, Peninsula Panthers or Victoria Grizzlies game, you’ve experienced one of John’s companies.
Everything John does is devoted to his community. It’s reflected in his approach to business. He’s always quick to remind us that “family is life, and work is income.” It’s an approach that works because it resonates with his staff, his customers and everyone he comes in contact with. To have someone like that serving as chair of The Chamber’s Board of Directors is a blessing for our organization and for the 1,400 members we represent.
Joining John as the board’s executive members are: Vice-Chair Kris Wirk, Partner, Dusanj and Wirk; Past Chair Dan Dagg, President and CEO of Hothouse Marketing; Secretary Christina Clarke, CEO, Songhees Development Corp; and Treasurer Moira Hauk, Regional Manager South Island, Coastal Community Credit Union.
Other changes to our Board for 2020 include the addition of Judith Ethier, Chief Administrative Officer, Greater Victoria Harbour Authority; Tom Plumb, President and CEO, Kinetic Construction; and Rose Arsenault, Branch Manager, Agilus Work Solutions
And returning to the board are directors Ian Batey, Owner and Principal, IPB Consulting; Carmen Charette, Vice President External Relations, University of Victoria; Pedro Marquez, Vice President of Global Advancement and Business Development, Royal Roads University; Capt. (N) Sam Sader, Base Commander, CFB Esquimalt; and Paul van Koll, Senior Manager, KPMG.
Brianna Green, Marketing Specialist with Wilson’s Group, gets a seat at the table as a non-voting member as she is the new chair of the Prodigy Group, a Chamber committee.
As CEO of The Chamber, I also am part of the Board of Directors.
We have an ambitious plan for 2020, and with the experience and expertise on our board, I’m excited about taking on the many challenges facing our community. Finding and keeping workers continues to be the No. 1 priority for employers, and The Chamber has called for accessible housing, transportation and child care that will allow more workers to afford to live in our region. We also will continue to advocate for safe communities. We need adequately resourced policing and enforcement of rules that maintain social cohesion, because we must feel safe at home and at work.
You can learn more about the Chamber’s 2020 advocacy priorities at victorichamber.ca. And make sure to join us at one of our many mixers, mingles and business leaders luncheons, where we tackle the big issues facing our region.