The Downtown Victoria Business Association is governed by a board composed of up to 12 private-sector directors, and one appointed non-voting member from the City of Victoria, who acts as our liaison.  As a business-led not-for-profit, it’s the Board of Directors who provide strategic direction and leadership to the DVBA. Our Executive Director, Jeff Bray, along with a small, specialized in-house team, manages the implementation of the DVBA’s marketing, promotions, events and community engagement, and business improvement goals.

OUR BOARD MEMBERS REPRESENT DOWNTOWN

As prescribed by our by-laws, each director of the Board is elected for a two-year period. To ensure we represent our downtown Victoria business stakeholders the Board is always composed of individuals who represent:

  • Small (premises less than 300 square metres) independent retailers
  • Large (premises more than 300 square metres) retailers
  • Hoteliers operating within the downtown precinct
  • Service providers
  • Restaurant/entertainment operators
  • Property owners or managers

PARTICIPATE AND SERVE ON OUR WORKING COMMITTEES

We have three working committees that include at least one Board member and other volunteers from the downtown Victoria business community.

These committees are:

  • Marketing – Chair, Stef Hartwig
  • Culture and Events – Chair to be chosen at next meeting
  • Clean and Safe  – Chair, Tyler Dolan

If you are interested in participating and serving on one of DVBA’s working committees, please reach out to Jeff@downtownvictoria.ca.


Executive

 

Teri

Teri Hustins (Oscar & Libby’s Gift Store, Kaboodles Toy Store)  PRESIDENT

 

With three stores (Oscar & Libby’s and Kaboodles Toystore) and close to 30 years retailing in Downtown Victoria, Teri sits on the DVBA Board as the retail representative.  In 2005, the first Oscar & Libby’s opened on Fort Street, followed by a second location in Market Square in 2008.  In 2018, Teri assumed the ownership of Kaboodles Toystore on Government Street. Teri is also an active volunteer and board member of the 9-10 Soup Kitchen. To recharge her batteries, Teri and her husband and business partner, retreat to their cabin on a remote island, to enjoy a quieter and less hectic lifestyle.

“Being on the DVBA Board provides me with the opportunity to actively participate in the process of creating and curating a healthy and vibrant downtown for all of us. As a small business owner, it’s easy to become isolated within your own business, participation on the Board strengthens the connections between different sectors of our business community so that at the end of the day, we all thrive.”

Dan Sawchuk (Robbins Parking) Vice-President

 

In addition to his 16 years as President of Robbins Parking on Vancouver Island, Dan also leads Platinum Parking in the US and NorTech Parking Systems in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He oversees combined revenues in excess of $100 million. Dan is responsible for the strategic direction of each of these companies, as well as their financial performance. Dan is driven to ensure that each of these businesses keeps pace with developments in technology and remains industry-leading in customer service. He keeps the companies focused on timely communication, attention-to-detail, and innovation.

Dan
Pam

Pam Smith (Grant Thornton) Treasurer

 

Jonathan Michaels (Geeks on the Beach) Secretary

Originally from New York City, Jonathan Michaels now makes his home in Chinatown, Victoria BC. Jonathan is the founder and “Internet Übernerd” at Geeks on the Beach – Web Agency, an award-scented digital design and online marketing agency with offices across Vancouver Island. Jonathan is a published author and has been twice-named “Entrepreneur of the Year”. Community-driven, Jonathan engages in various “Good Karma” projects and volunteers as a DVBA Board member where he chairs the Marketing Committee. Jonathan is fluent in sarcasm, trained in the art of full-contact bonsai, and cooks minute rice to al dente perfection in 48 seconds.

 

Jonathan
Kathy

Kathy Whitcher (Urban Development Institute)
Past-PRESIDENT

 

Kathy Whitcher brings over 25 years of experience in urban planning and development management. Born and raised in Vancouver, Kathy started her planning career with the City of Vancouver’s Planning Department in 1989.  Kathy currently works for the Urban Development Institute-Capital Region as Executive Director, where she is responsible for the direction, growth, and management of the organization and its members. Kathy’s undergraduate studies started at the University of Victoria and were completed at UBC where she received a degree in Urban Economic Geography.  Kathy also attended the UBC SCARP master’s program. Since 2014, Kathy has sat on the Board of the Downtown Victoria Business Association; she stepped down as president at the 2020 AGM.


Members

Richard Egli, Alacrity

Richard manages the strategic direction and operation of the Alacrity Foundation. He also works to advise multiple companies, contribute to investment decisions and works closely with portfolio companies to connect them to potential partners and investors. Over the past three years, Richard has led the effort behind the Alacrity Investor Readiness Program, which has brought more than $220M CAD of investment into the BC technology scene.

Richard has also spent 10 years involved in real estate development in various capacities: as a builder, project manager, and investor, across Western Canada and the United States. Beginning in 2005, he began managing a $40M+ budget for a 74 lot subdivision project in Kelowna, BC to successful completion. He continues pursuing real estate projects in Victoria by developing and providing unique workspaces to the growing local technology community.

Richard holds a B.Com in Entrepreneurship from Royal Roads University and an MBA from the University of Victoria with a specialization in real estate, venture capital, and finance.

Stef Hartwig (Hartwig Industries)

Bill Lewis (Magnolia Hotel)

SOPHIA PUGH (Scotiabank)

Sophia Pugh is an accomplished strategy and sales effectiveness professional who has led multiple teams in developing strong customer value propositions to drive strong business results. Sophia is Scotiabank’s District Vice President for Vancouver Island where she is responsible for both Retail and Small Business Banking.

 

Educated at McMaster University where she studied Mathematics, she employs strong analytical skills in managing her market, leveraging data drawn from both inside and outside the organization. Sophia has held a number progressive roles at Scotiabank in areas where she:

  • Led Data Management & Governance policy development and implementation
  • Led development in Data warehousing;
  • Implemented Enterprise-wide regulatory projects; and
  • Led Global sales force effectiveness teams.

Prior to joining the bank, she worked in aerospace and for major technology firms.

Nima

Nima Rohani (McConnan, Bion, O’ConnOr, and Peterson)

 

Nima was born and raised in Victoria and has a strong network of family and friends in the community. He attended the University of Victoria where he received his undergraduate degree in anthropology before venturing to Australia to gain his law degree at James Cook University.

Nima joined McConnan Bion O’Connor and Peterson in 2016 and began building his own solicitor practice. His primary legal interests are in real estate law and construction law, as he has had hands-on experience working with trades, engineers, and homeowners.

 

Mike Spence (The Drake Eatery and Herald Street Brew Works)

 

My wife, Lee and I have worked side-by-side since opening our first restaurant in 2002. We opened our first downtown venture, The Drake Eatery in 2014. We were both excited and nervous about how our concept would be received in an already thriving Food & Beverage market in Victoria. We were pleasantly surprised by the welcome and support we received from a number of the other small business operators within the downtown core. That sense of camaraderie inspires us to work diligently, not only for the success of our two businesses but for our fellow downtown business operators as well.

Mike Spence
co-owner/operator
The Drake Eatery (est. 2014)
517 Pandora Ave
‘Best Restaurant for Craft Beer in BC’ (Ratebeer.com Best of 2019)
and
Herald Street Brew Works (est. 2020)
506 Herald St.

JESSICA WALKER (MUNRO’S BOOKS)

 

Jessica Walker is the managing partner at Munro’s Books, the Victoria institution found on many lists of the world’s most beautiful bookstore. She has been a bookseller for 35 years, and Munro’s Books is a proud supporter of the Victoria literary arts community.

AnnA wray (Colliers international)

Anna Wray is an Associate Vice President with Colliers International in Victoria.  She’s worked in commercial real estate for nearly 16 years, with the last 9 here in Victoria.  While specializing in office and retail properties, Anna focuses most of her time on site selection for owner-users and tenants, leasing availabilities for landlords, and advising her clients on the acquisition and disposition of assets in Greater Victoria.

Councillor Geoff Young (City of Victoria)   Ex-Officio