Destination BC is off the ground and ramping up for its official launch in April.
The much-anticipated names of the nine Destination BC board members were revealed last week.
The overseers of B.C.'s new tourism marketing organization include former Whistler resident Al Raine, Whistler Blackcomb lawyer Susan Tamiko Doi and Chief Gibby Jacob of the Squamish Nation.
Andrea Shaw, a former VANOC vice- president, has been named as the chair of the board.
"I'm really clear on what we as a board have to do," said Shaw, who worked with the Vancouver Olympic organizing committee. "That project changed my life. The most powerful lesson I learned in those ten years was the power of a clear vision. The key to our success in my mind...is to ensure we build a bold, solid vision for the organization."
Along with that, Shaw said a culture of teamwork is required to set the organization up for success.
The board members were introduced on Thursday, Jan. 31 by Pat Bell, B.C.'s minister of jobs, tourism and skills training.
He said the board met for the first time last week and he's expecting the board to get right to work looking for a Chief Executive Officer to manage the day-to-day work of the organization. In an interview this week Bell said he's comfortable with the board taking a few months to find the right person for the job, if time is required.
"This is probably one of the most important positions in the organization and having the right person selected will really chart the course well into the future," said Bell.
Bell is anticipating that whomever the board selects as CEO the government will accept.
He added that he expects the new CEO and the Destination BC staff to work closely with the Canadian Tourism Council, but he doesn't expect B.C.'s new tourism organization to lobby for more federal tourism spending. Bell said that's his job and the responsibility of other elected officials. With the federal government cutting tourism spending from $105.9 million to $62 million in the last four years, Bell said he's confident the CTC will spend its funding wisely.
Tourism Whistler president and CEO Barrett Fisher said she was pleased with the makeup of the board. According to Fisher, the board members have a clear understanding of the tourism industry.
She noted that while there are strong Whistler connections to the board she feels it is important for the board to advocate for the whole industry across the entire province.
"Andrea Shaw comes from a non-tourism background but she is a friend of the tourism industry," said Fisher as an example.
The head of TW said the board is well represented with a broad range of skills and experiences.
"I'm confident that it's a senior, big-picture board made up of bright individuals who will do the right thing for our industry," said Fisher.
Joining Shaw, Jacob, Tamiko Doi and Raine on the board are Gordon Fitzpatrick from the wine industry, Wendy Lisogar-Cocchia of the hotel industry, London Drugs CFO Laird Miller, Loring Phinney of Bell and Robert Pratt, the president of Coast Hotels and Resorts.