Business improvement association for Downtown Vancouver appoints new CEO

May 11 2023, 6:46 pm

The major business improvement association (BIA) that oversees Vancouver’s Central Business District has a new head.

Jane Talbot was named today as the new president and CEO of Downtown Van, previously formally known as the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association.

She has been with the BIA for more than five years, initially holding the position of Director of Operations and then Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Over the past six months, she has served as the organization’s interim CEO.

Talbot replaces Nolan Marshall II, who has been the Executive Director of Los Angeles’ South Park Business Improvement District since last November. She was chosen following a recruitment search that involved a national executive search firm.

“As interim CEO for the past six months, Jane has worked tirelessly to advance advocacy initiatives and government relations. Her ability to navigate complex issues and build strong relationships with stakeholders has been invaluable to our organization and the broader community,” said Downtown Van board chair Melissa Higgs in a statement.

“We are excited to see where her leadership will take us and look forward to continuing to work together to make downtown Vancouver a vibrant and prosperous community for all.”

For the 2023/2024 fiscal year, Downtown Van has a $6.5 million budget, with $1.7 million going towards its Downtown Ambassadors and street cleaning teams, $800,000 to public space and placemaking efforts, $600,000 to event sponsorships, and $1.7 million to its staff. The vast majority of its budget, more than $6.3 million, is funded by levies on businesses located within its jurisdiction.

This BIA now has a workforce of 38, including 16 office staff, eight Clean Team members, and 14 Safety Ambassadors.

“I am honoured to be chosen for this important position,” said Talbot. “Our organization has a long history of making Vancouver a better place to live, work, and play, and I am excited to continue that legacy. I look forward to working with the dedicated staff and Board to build on Downtown Van’s successes and tackle the challenges ahead.”

Downtown Van’s jurisdiction on the downtown peninsula spans about 200 city blocks. The downtown peninsula’s other BIAs, outside of the jurisdiction of Downtown Van, include the Robson Street Business Association, West End Business Improvement Association, Gastown Business Improvement Society, Yaletown Business Association, and Chinatown Business Improvement Association.

Last year, Downtown Van awarded Charles Gauthier, their former president and CEO, the organization’s “Lifetime Achievement Award” for dedicating 29 years of his career to the BIA. He retired in 2021.

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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