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, Jonathan Michaels
  • Culture and Events – Chair, Pam Smith
  • Clean and Safe  – Chair, Grant Olson

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


Executive

Kathy

Kathy Whitcher (Urban Development Institute)
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, where currently she is President.

Dan Sawchuk (Robbins Parking) Treasurer

 

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
Teri

Teri Hustins (Oscar & Libby’s Gift Store, Kaboodles Toy Store)
VICE-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.  Early this year, 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.”

Pam Smith (Yalla Restaurant) Secretary

 

Pam

Members

Indu

Indu Brar (Fairmont Empress)

 

Indu is a global luxury brand hotelier, she has held senior posts in the United States and Canadian city centre and resort markets. An avid community supporter who fosters a customer-centric culture, positive Owner Relations, and developing and leading high performing teams.

“Great urban communities are built from a collective and collaborative understanding of downtown business needs. This starts with a passion, builds with thoughtful advocacy and succeeds when we find balance for all stakeholders. With the need to embody retail and corporate business, residential and transient consumers, DVBA is the sage voice of the businesses; addressing challenges and managing ever-changing priorities. Fairmont Empress has been a vital part of our city’s centre for 111 years. Our success comes from cultivating and showcasing local culture, and being supported by an organization like DVBA that stays focused on a healthy business economy.”

Tyler

Tyler Dolan (Colliers International)

 

As Managing Director, Tyler is responsible for the execution of Colliers business strategy on Vancouver Island. Tyler has and has been active in the commercial real estate industry since 2001, and spent the majority of his career in both real estate and commercial finance with major financial institutions. Tyler’s priorities include business development, employee engagement, professional development, recruiting, financial management and performance, market identity, and public relations.

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.

Adrienne

Adrienne Lockstead (The Bay Centre)

 

Adrienne is a strategic marketing and communications professional at the Bay Centre which attracts over 6.5 million visitors annually. Born and raised in Victoria, Adrienne brings over 15 years of marketing, communications, and events experience and her passion for a vibrant downtown to the Board and the marketing committee – ten of which have been at the Bay Centre. “I have lived here most of my life and love that I continue to discover new experiences in our urban destination that is experiencing an incredible resurgence. It is such an exciting time for collaboration and growth.” Adrienne joined the DVBA Marketing Committee in 2014 and joined the Board in 2018.

“The downtown core has been my urban playground my entire life. I have been fortunate enough to be working in an incredibly collaborative community in the downtown core as Marketing Director at the Bay Centre for the past ten years. As part of this collaboration, I have worked with the DVBA since 2009 to share strategies while supporting each other to align downtown in the marketplace as the “must experience” destination in the region.”

Jonathan Michaels (Geeks on the Beach)

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.

 

Jonathon

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.

 

Nima
Charlayne

Councillor Charlayne Thornton-Joe (City of Victoria, ex-officio)