White Rock BIA boss resigns

Executive director of local business group left post Thursday.

The White Rock BIA has announced executive director Douglas Smith has resigned.

The White Rock Business Improvement Association‘s executive director has resigned.

Douglas Smith stepped down from the position last Thursday, two years after he took over the job in July 2014.

A BIA newsletter issued Thursday offered no reasons for his departure, referring questions to the BIA office where “a board member will get back to you.”

Contacted by Peace Arch News Friday morning, BIA president Ernie Klassen declined comment, however, acknowledging only that there had been some “personal issues” between Smith and the board.

“He has resigned and I don’t have any comment beyond that – it’s up to Douglas to comment farther,” he said.

Reached by PAN, Smith said his decision stemmed from a board decision to change the governance model for the BIA a few months ago.

“I’ve not been able to reach a decision about how the board wanted to move forward,” he said.

“At this point, I’m not sure that I’m the man for the job. I don’t think that we’re going to come to a new contract agreement that would be suitable. The board wants to operate in a different fashion than before.” Smith added he believes the BIA may be moving toward contracting out promotional and special-event co-ordination work.

“I’m a pretty independent operator – I like to go for it,” Smith said.

“We’ll see if this if this is the right direction for them.”

He noted that his own event management company is active, and said he has many options to pursue.

“The timing is very good for me to point the arrow in a different direction,” he added, insisting that his parting from the BIA is “very amicable.”

“I’m sure that they can find somebody who will work better for them – I wish the organization the best of luck. I think I’ve left it in a very good state – we’ve accomplished a lot over the last two years.”

Thursday’s newsletter praised the time, passion, and energy Smith had devoted to managing and operating the BIA.

“He has been an advocate for stakeholders, developed promotional activities for businesses, and coordinated festivals and events that promote business activity in the four BIA districts,” it states.

“On behalf of the business community of White Rock, the board wishes to thank Douglas for his role as executive director.”

The BIA – mandated to strengthen economic vitality within the association’s geographic area – is funded by a special municipal levy on all city businesses, based on each business’ assessed property values, collected by the City of White Rock.

Smith had told PAN earlier this month, prior to the last weekend’s final performance in the BIA’s waterfront TD Concerts at the Pier series – which he spearheaded – that indications were good the series would return for a third year.

Asked if he still felt that way, he responded “absolutely.”

“We’ve been working on a lot of things that have got the community in a very good position for the future.”

Smith joined the association after serving as managing partner of Alliance West Sports & Entertainment, which created and produced events in the Lower Mainland.

Smith also previously served as economic development officer for the City of Parksville and was responsible for the organization of Surrey’s major annual events while serving as the city’s manager of filming and special events as well as organizing a successful series of concerts at New Westminster’s Quay.

 

 

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Hundreds of people gathered in White Rock last year to participate in the annual Remembrance Day ceremony – but due to COVID-19, the city’s ceremony this year will be online only. (File photo)
White Rock chooses ‘virtual’ Remembrance Day

Due to COVID-19 the Nov. 11 ceremony will be online only

Peace Portal Alliance Church, at the corner of King George Boulevard and 152 Street, is the extreme-weather shelter for South Surrey for the upcoming season. It is to have 14 mats available nightly for those experiencing homelessness, regardless of weather conditions. (Tracy Holmes photo)
14 beds planned for South Surrey extreme-weather shelter

Webinar tonight to field questions, share info on Peace Portal Alliance Church refuge

White Rock Whalers president Ronnie Paterson (inset photo) is hopeful the team and City of White Rock will be able to find a solution that will allow the Whalers and their PJHL opponents to use the dressing rooms at Centennial Arena. (Jody Harris photo)
Whalers waiting to hear on dressing-room availability as PJHL home-opener looms

White Rock team owner ‘confident’ hurdles can be overcome in talks with city

Fraser Health declared an outbreak of COVID-19 at Delta Hospital on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020. (Grace Kennedy photo)
Outbreak over at Delta Hospital

In all, 45 cases of COVID-19 were identified and seven patients died during the outbreak

The Sunshine Band Club video posted to Youtube.
VIDEO: Surrey youth band shines light on ‘COVID blues,’ raises money for hospital

Virtual concert from Sunshine Band Club, established last March

FILE – Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides the latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the province during a press conference in the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, October 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. shatters COVID-19 records with 817 weekend cases; masks now expected indoors

Three people have died over the past three reporting periods

Some of the characters in the League of Legends video game. (Photo: na.leagueoflegends.com)
E-sports trial at B.C. high schools to start with ‘League of Legends’ team game

For fall launch, Vancouver’s GameSeta company partners with BC School Sports

Graphic on promo material for Best Buy Canada’s Tech Wonderland event.
Drive-through ‘Tech Wonderland’ coming to PNE site a few weeks before Christmas

Best Buy Canada-backed ‘holiday’ event to raise money for charity

Aaliyah Rosa. File photo
Crown says murder of seven-year-old in Langley was planned, deliberate

The trial of KerryAnn Lewis began Monday in New Westminster

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. (B.C. government photo)
Unnamed school in Fraser Health region closed due to COVID-19

Closure announced by Dr. Bonnie Henry during daily briefing

RCMP have released more details regarding what led up to an arrest caught on video in Williams Lake Sunday, Oct. 26. (Facebook video screenshot)
Review launched after ‘high-risk, multi-jurisdictional’ chase, arrest in Williams Lake

RCMP launching a full review and code of conduct investigation

Most Read