Charles Gauthier, MCP*
President & CEO
Charles Gauthier is a true Vanlover. He’s been steering the DVBIA with vision and a commitment to the future of downtown Vancouver for more than 20 years. He’s what you call a ‘lifer.’ While a humble sort, he’s been the recipient of Business In Vancouver's prestigious ‘40 Under 40 Achievement Award,’ and the Downtown Vancouver Association’s President’s Award, in addition to other accolades.
He shares his well-earned wisdom sitting on the board of directors of the BC chapter of the Canadian Society of Association Executives. He’s also a former executive of the International Downtown Association’s board of directors.
But he’s also a music fan and student of guitar. Charles’ favourite downtown Vancouver location is Tom Lee Music. That’s because it's the only musical instrument store in the Granville Entertainment District that’s all about music, dance, theatre and other forms of performing arts. It also has a wide selection of products, great staff, and it's a long-time supporter of downtown festivals like the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival, Latincouver, and Celtic Festival.
His best advice for DVBIA members wanting to get more engaged with the DVBIA or downtown is to set a goal to attend one networking event per week. And, don’t cluster around people you already know; make an effort to spend more time meeting new people.
*Master of City Planning
Maureen Healey, ABC*, CAE**
Maureen is the 2IC – a fancy acronym for being responsible for the day-to-day operations of the BIA. She also oversees its marketing and communications functions. She held a similar role with the Calgary Downtown Association before moving to Lotusland and joining the BIA in 2006. Under Maureen’s leadership, the DVBIA has recently won six international, national and local awards for its response to the 2011 Stanley Cup riot. We like winning!
She’s a keener volunteer sitting on the boards of the Canada West Region of the International Association of Business Communicators and the Business Improvement Areas of BC.
A fan of ‘centre ice’ during the 2010 Winter Olympics, Maureen’s favourite downtown location is Robson Square. Home to ballroom dancing on Friday evenings, Sunday Afternoon Salsa, pick-up lunch-time shinny games and free ice skating in the winter, it’s a hidden gem.
If you had just one hour in downtown, she’d recommend extending your time because one hour isn’t enough! Then just walk around. With one of the most pedestrian-friendly and inviting downtowns, you can walk from one end to the other in 30 minutes – unless you stop to shop or for coffee, of course.
*Accredited Business Communicator, **Certified Association Executive
Member Services Manager
Ivy is a renaissance woman. She is super creative, loves to cook (and eat!), travel, sews and is a real dog lover. Oh yeah, and she loves downtown, especially when a new store opens.
She is officially responsible for working with our Downtown Ambassadors to make sure our members are promoted to visitors and locals alike. She’s also the brains and brawn behind our website, our social media activities and member communications.
Ivy's advice on where to start? First off, everything happens downtown. There are food trucks selling creative dishes from Mogu's Japanese fusion burger to acclaimed Vij's Seared Cod with coconut mango curry. Pick any street. It's an embarrassment of riches for people watching - especially on Granville Street. You never know what you'll see when you are walking around - from Bare Naked Ladies busking on the street to an Ugly Sweater Flash Mob. It's great to be able to take in this city life.
Sponsorship & Events Lead
Barbara is a social butterfly. Which is perfect because in her role she leads the DVBIA in supporting dozens of festivals and events that activate – or want to activate – in downtown through the DVBIA’s robust sponsorship program. She’s also responsible for organizing the association’s free member Libations networking events and New Member Orientations. Barbara can often be found checking out the newest events or festivals in Vancouver in the name of research.
Her favourite location is a little-known Lot 19. It’s the small parkette located on Hastings West at Hornby St. that sits above EasyPark’s parkade. It’s is one of those downtown locations that reminds you that spaces don’t have to be grand in order to be exciting. One of her favourite downtown pastimes is watching how people use public space; how it impacts their personal behaviour, attitudes and interactions. Her second favourite pastime is programming that public space to change behaviour and bring new life and perspective to an underutilized area.
For Barbara, getting involved in downtown Vancouver is as simple as getting out of your usual habits and routines to try something different: a new restaurant, walk a different route to get to work, or get tickets to a show you wouldn’t usually see.
Jason recently joined the DVBIA as its Membership Coordinator responsible for keeping contact info with our 8,000+ members up to date – not a small feat. However, Jason has been involved with the BIA for more than ten years as a Downtown Ambassador, Supervisor of the Ambassadors and most recently supervising the Downtown Clean Team.
His favourite location downtown is the Escher building on Richards at Davie Streets. He picked it because when he first started working as an Ambassador, this was one of the first buildings that he noticed that really underlined the unique nature of the architecture in the downtown area. While it kind of blends in with the rest of the surroundings at first glance, on closer inspection you start noticing some very distinctive and creative details that make it stand out. It’s a very cool building. And Jason’s a cool customer.
Want to get more involved with the DVBIA? Jason says a good first step is to make sure you have registered yourself and your business, or checked that all your information is up to date and current. (A good ‘new guy’ answer!)
Rachelle started as a summer student in 2013 – and then just never left. As a student she started the Perch Program, which partners with private property owners to animate their otherwise dead plazas into thriving public spaces. She’s now our full-time Program Coordinator implementing our plans for the three retail districts: Granville, Alberni and West Hasting Streets. She is currently overseeing DVBIA’s new laneway project with HCMA Architecture + Design and the City of Vancouver. Look for the first laneway at Hastings and Granville this September – and maybe challenge Rachelle to a one-on-one basketball game.
She graduated in 2012 from Simon Fraser University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and spent seven months overseas as an ESL teacher in Weifang, Shandong, China. Needless to say, she loves to travel, especially when there’s music, dancing, and delicious food involved. She currently lives in the West End with her Fiddle Leaf tree.
If someone had just one hour downtown, she’d recommend visiting beautiful the art deco Marine Building and go to the viewing platform on the second floor. Then head to Bella Gelateria for the best gelato outside of Italy (get at least two flavors) and then meander along the seawall.