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Julie Sperber Appointed President and CEO of the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance

VIEA’s New Leader brings entrepreneurial and community economic development experience to the role

The Vancouver Island Economic Alliance (VIEA) Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Julie Sperber as the organization’s new President and CEO, effective August 1, 2022.

“As an experienced leader and community connector Julie brings passion, ability to leverage opportunities, and knowledge of Vancouver Island and how it works within the broader economy. Further, Julie’s ability to build relationships and identify collaborative partnerships benefiting regional business and economic diversification make her an excellent choice for President and CEO of VIEA. The Board looks forward to working with Julie and are confident that VIEA is in very good hands as we continue to work towards supporting a diversified and resilient Island economy well into the future,” said Shannon Baikie, VIEA Board Chair.

A successful entrepreneur and community economic development leader, Julie is presently Executive Director of the Gabriola Chamber of Commerce where she has served for more than four years. Her contributions there have provided entrepreneurs and community organizations to grow their capacity, through guiding successful funding, skills training and investment opportunities. She is an innovative thinker and can see pieces of a puzzle fitting together to grow opportunity through partnership. As a key community connector her leadership is sought out for initiatives and projects for the island.

“I am thrilled to be joining VIEA and am excited to build upon the organization’s success. I look forward to working with George and the VIEA Board of Directors during the transition period to build a plan that continues to support the regional economy for generations to come,” said Julie Sperber, Incoming VIEA President and CEO.

Julie has worked internationally in the hospitality industry and has held management roles in the non-profit, manufacturing and hospitality sectors. She has also been a studio-based artist and teacher, with a retail gallery and workshop both in Victoria and on Gabriola Island. She has established herself as a successful entrepreneur, having built three businesses as owner/operator, which have all had further success.

In 2015, Julie transitioned to working for non-profit organizations with a focus on economic development, which combined her management and entrepreneurial experience with her passion for contributing positive impacts to her community. Julie has always been an active member in the communities she has lived and has been a volunteer and board member for numerous organizations over the past 20 years.

As VIEA’s next leader, Julie brings a diverse skill set and work experience to the role. As a natural community connector, she is able engage diverse stakeholders to form collaborative partnerships for growth and development. She is passionate about supporting regional economies that reflect the unique values, strengths and challenges that exist in each place.

Julie will work closely with VIEA’s outgoing president, George Hanson, who will remain with the organization until at least December 2022 to facilitate a smooth transition of leadership, maintain momentum on key initiatives, and ensure a successful 16th annual State of the Island Economic Summit, to be held in person at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre in Nanaimo, October 26 and 27.

“I have had the pleasure of working with Julie over several years and she has the interpersonal skills and commitment to collaboration necessary to achieve positive outcomes in these transformative times. VIEA’s cadre of dedicated members and volunteers that help drive initiatives like the Economic Summit, Economic Report, FTZVI, Wood Industries Forum, and Island Good brand appreciate how fortunate Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands are to have this unique organization taking action to enhance the vitality of our economy. Julie is well-positioned to guide these actions into the future with pragmatism and imagination,” said George Hanson, Outgoing VIEA President and CEO.

For more information, contact Diana Jolly, Executive Assistant, VIEA