White Rock BIA executive director Jennifer Brandon has resigned, effective April 20. (File photo)

Head of White Rock BIA resigns, citing ‘opportunity I could not turn down’

Jennifer Brandon to leave business organization April 20

White Rock Business Improvement Association’s executive director has resigned.

Jennifer Brandon made the announcement Monday afternoon; her resignation is effective April 20.

“I have so loved my time working within the White Rock business community. I was not seeking a position; I was offered an opportunity that, for the advancement of my career, I simply could not turn down,” Brandon states in a news release.

Brandon – who has been in her role for less than a year – told Peace Arch News she took a position as “marketing manager, lead generation” with Christianson & Company, an event and association management company in Vancouver.

“They reached out and I couldn’t say no,” she said.

The 41-year-old has been at the helm of the BIA for less than a year. She was announced as the new executive director last May 25. That announcement followed a quest to fill the role that began in August 2016, when former executive director Douglas Smith resigned after two years in the position.

Smith had taken over for Lyn Hellyar, who served for about a year.

Prior to Brandon’s hire, the executive director role was filled for two months by Alana Souter, then after Souter quit, by Russ Davies, who was executive director when the BIA formed in 2005.

Brandon – who said she plans to continue to live in White Rock – told PAN the high turnover is not the “scary story” that some may think.

“It really has all been kind of circumstantial, based on the people,” she said.

She described coming into the executive role last year as “challenging.”

“It was at a strange state, where the membership wasn’t necessarily as engaged as the board would like them to be,” she said. “It was great to… just get there and figure out what they need from us.”

Brandon said steps taken in her 10 months with the BIA have included a social-media campaign that told individual businesses’ stories; and, increased communication between the city and local businesses.

“I think they felt in the dark a lot,” Brandon said of BIA members.

In Monday’s news release, Ernie Klassen, president of the BIA’s board of directors, highlighted Brandon’s efforts to “reconnect our members.”

“We’re now in a position to continue moving forward,” he said.

“We’re very confident in our vision for the organization and know we are poised to move ahead without interruption to the services we provide our members,” Klassen states.

Asked what advice she has for the next executive director, Brandon said the role “really is about listening to the membership.”

The next three years will be particularly challenging for them, she added, pointing to ongoing and planned construction. People need to know that those businesses are still open and accessible, she said.

“It is going to be amazing, no doubt,” Brandon said of the end result of construction and revitalization efforts. “But in that interim, our businesses are going to suffer.”

Just Posted

White Rock breaks temperature record

B.C. city was the hottest in all of Canada

Former Surrey gymnast shining on rugby pitch for Bayside

An injury forced Brady Reeleder to switch sports, and now he’s thriving at his new endeavour

South Surrey church members ‘praying for accused mother… for the whole process’

Lisa Batstone’s second-degree murder trial continues this week in B.C. Supreme Court

City will ask Fraser Health to remove pay parking at SMH, Surrey councillor says

Surrey’s new council has already made parking free on neighbouring city streets

VIDEO: Health and Technology District breaks ground on new building

City Centre 3 is the third of eight planned buildings: Lark Group

Trudeau offers to help Pacific islands face climate change impact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with the leaders from the Pacific island nations on Saturday during the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea

‘Toxic’ chosen as the Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries

Other top contenders for 2018 include ‘gaslighting’ and ‘techlash’

RCMP bust illegal B.C. cannabis lab

Marijuana may be legal but altering it using chemicals violates the Cannabis Act

1 woman dead, man in hospital after ‘suspicious’ crash: police

Homicide investigators and Burnaby RCMP are investigating the fatal collision

Canada defeats Germany 29-10 in repechage, moves step closer to Rugby World Cup

Hong Kong needs a bonus-point win over Canada — scoring four or more tries — while denying the Canadians a bonus point

Avalanche Canada in desperate need of funding

The organization provides avalanche forecasting for an area larger than the United Kingdom

5 B.C. cities break temperature records

Parts of B.C. remain warm, at 10 C, while others feeling chilly

B.C. teacher’s Amazing Race takes students on Canada-wide adventure

Agassiz high school students say they had the experience of a life time

Don’t sign USMCA until LGBTQ language excised, U.S. lawmakers urge Trump

The trade agreement, forged after 13 months of tense negotiations between Canada and the U.S. is scheduled for Nov. 30

Most Read

l -->