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What is the Prosperity Partnership?

The South Island Prosperity Partnership (SIPP) is an alliance of over 70 public and private-sector partners in Greater Victoria, including 11 local governments, nine First Nations, three post-secondary institutions, nine industry associations and nonprofits, and more than 30 major employers. SIPP works to bolster our region’s economic and social prosperity. This will happen by catalyzing the creation of high-quality, household-sustaining jobs, so that more families can afford to live, work and build a life here.

Our Vision

We envision Greater Victoria as a globally fluent and resilient metropolitan city and region, full of potential and open to transformation. We are a fusion of cultures and geographies, rooted in the traditional lands of the Coast Salish peoples and connected to the rest of Canada, the Pacific Northwest and Asia-Pacific. Our region collectively takes bold steps to nurture a more innovative, diversified, inclusive and sustainable economy.

  • Grow household incomes, enabling families to live here comfortably

  • Engage First Nations in self-directed economic development initiatives

  • Increase the amount of provincial, federal and private funding locally invested

  • Build momentum for more economic development projects

Dallas Gislason – Interim CEO

Dallas has played instrumental roles in many industry-leading economic development projects in Canada, the USA, and overseas over the past 15 years. He has served on a number of boards, including Business Retention and Expansion International, the International Council on National Youth Policy, Junior Achievement of Saskatchewan and the Greater Victoria Placemaking Network. He currently sits on the advisory board of the Camosun Technology Access Centre.

Dallas is the youngest ever recipient of the Premier of Saskatchewan’s Award of Excellence in Leadership. Prior to SIPP, Dallas was the Economic Development Officer for the Greater Victoria Development Agency, the precursor of the SIPP model here in BC’s Capital Region.

Jason Goldsworthy – Executive Director, Centre for Ocean Applied Sustainable Technologies (COAST)

Jason Goldsworthy, P.Eng. joined COAST, an initiative of SIPP, as Executive Director in April, 2023.

With over 20 years of international experience in managing engineering businesses and projects, Jason brings leadership, technical and commercial aptitude to the team. His experience spans multiple industries including renewable energy, urban development, environmental consulting, mining, and commercial and infrastructure construction.

He has worked with large multinational corporations as well as being involved in several startups. He has acted on several corporate boards in both Canada and Australia.

Jason holds a PHD in Engineering from the University of Adelaide, Australia, and is a member of the Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia.

Christina Clarke – Executive Director, Indigenous Prosperity Centre

Christina Clarke is Executive Director of the Indigenous Prosperity Centre, an initiative of SIPP and not-for-profit committed to the self-directed economic vision of First Nations and Indigenous Peoples throughout Southern Vancouver Island.

Before joining the IPC, Christina spent 27 years with the Songhees Nation, serving as Senior Finance Manager, Executive Director and finally as inaugural CEO of the Songhees Development Corporation, overseeing three companies and partnerships in Tourism & Hospitality, Property Holdings, Cannabis Retail and Marine Industry. A graduate of the University of Victoria (UVic), Christina honours her NunatuKavut (Inuit-European) ancestry through her Mother and is proud of her first generation Irish Canadian Father. She looks forward to facilitating the economic goals of First Nations and Indigenous people as co-creators of an inclusive economy.

Christina is a board member of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce and a former board member of the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority and South Island Prosperity Partnership. In 2022, she was appointed to UVic’s Board of Governors.

Kerry Slavens – Director of PR & Engagement

As editor-in-chief of Douglas magazine from 2011 to 2020, Kerry has played a key role in telling South Vancouver Island’s stories of innovation and entrepreneurship and shaping the vibrant business narrative of this region. Kerry was also editor-in-chief of YAM, a lifestyle magazine, and Spruce, a home and renovation media brand.

Kerry has focused her career on developing clear and compelling communications across multiple mediums. After graduating from UVic’s Department of Writing, she worked at newspapers and magazines throughout B.C. before co-founding Artemis PR + Design, a communications agency. She is a frequent guest speaker on business and media topics and recently co-hosted “Conversations in Crisis” on CHEK TV, interviewing business owners during the pandemic.

Kieran Buggy – Director of Operations

Kieran utilizes his strong interpersonal skills from years of experience in the tourism and hotel industry. He recently completed his Bachelor of Business Management, co-majoring in Tourism and Marketing and has a passion for destination management and the growth of our region. Kieran has substantial experience working with local governments and a keen interest in business development. He applies his skills to SIPP’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) strategies attracting new organizations to Greater Victoria as well as managing a number of our local projects and the overall running of SIPP operations. After a decade of living in Canada, Australian-born Kieran continues to enjoy his free time playing sports and exploring the great outdoors on foot, mountain bike, surfboard or snowboard and relishing the amazing lifestyle the South Island has to offer.

Ben Wagg – Digital Marketing and Communications Specialist

Ben joined SIPP as a Digital Marketing and Communications Specialist. He’s a UVic grad who’s worked for a variety of organizations including BCI and Island Health. These experiences helped him hone his passion for delivering meaningful stories to the public about healthcare and economic development. In this new role at SIPP, he’s excited to continue this passion and use a data driven approach to develop Greater Victoria’s economic story.

Tarrin Sam – Communications Specialist, Indigenous Prosperity Centre

Tarrin Sam is a proud member of the Lekwungen First Nation, hailing from the Sam family, and is studying for her Bachelor of Business Administration – Marketing at Camosun College. She joins IPC from her previous position as Communications Coordinator for the Songhees Nation, where she gained invaluable experience in communications, media, and Indigenous engagement. Tarrin is committed to creating meaningful and lasting change in the region and eager to help the Indigenous Prosperity Centre reach its goals and make a positive impact in the communities it serves.

Isiah Desjarlais – Research Coordinator, Indigenous Prosperity Centre

Hailing from the Tsartlip First Nations in the W̱SÁNEĆ territories, Isiah grew up close to his mother, grandparents, and uncles. Isiah spent his initial years of post-secondary studies at Camosun College focusing on Marketing, and saw a new opportunity at the Royal Roads University in the Innovation and Sustainability program. A revolutionary program setting a new standard in Business education with a project based curriculum, Isiah worked diligently to complete his undergraduate Bachelor of Business Administration degree. He gained hands-on experience with diverse projects and teams that has led him to his new position with the Indigenous Prosperity Centre as the Research Coordinator. He is well-versed in developing research strategies that align with stakeholders’ needs and goals and his experience working with cross-functional teams demonstrates a collaborative mindset and an ability to lead and mentor small teams.

Isiah has great intrinsic motivation in working with the Indigenous Prosperity Centre and he is excited about the opportunity to contribute to current and new research initiatives that will empower Indigenous economic growth. He is enthusiastic about the opportunity to join the Indigenous Prosperity Centre’s mission and contribute to the positive impact it strives to make.

Kalen Lumgair – Marketing and Communications Officer, COAST

Kalen is a graduate of BCIT’s Marketing Management program, and channels her passion for marketing and communications into their current role as Marketing and Communications Officer at COAST. With several years of experience, she employs her expertise in marketing, social media, and writing to advance ocean health and sustainability.

Amanda Wilson – Manager, Events & Sponsorship

Amanda’s varied career encompasses journalism, public relations, advertising and sponsorship sales and event management. Most notably, she’s worked with Harbourfront Centre in Toronto, marketing numerous events for the non-profit arts organization, for CTV Vancouver Island in various roles including events and sponsorship manager, creative producer, on-air host and advertising sales and for South Island Prosperity Partnership, providing event management, sponsorship coordination and communication support

Our Board

Frank Bourree – Chair
Principal and Owner, Bourree + Associates

Frank is a Fellow of the Canadian Certified Management Consultants Institute. Until retirement in January 2020, Frank was CEO and owner of Chemistry Consulting Group, which operated nine offices in B.C. with 130 staff. Chemistry and its subsidiary GT Hiring Solutions provided business and human resource services and won BC Business magazine’s “Best Companies to Work For” for five consecutive years.

For 12 years, Frank was a Partner and Tourism Consulting Director for Grant Thornton LLP Chartered Accountants and Management Consultants. He is Past Chair, Our Place Community Advisory Board; Past Chair, Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce; and Past President, Community Living Victoria Foundation. He is a Lifetime Member of Tourism Victoria, sits on the board of BC Youth Futures and is a Member of the Order of St John.

Dr. Susanne Thiessen – Board Director
Assistant Professor, Indigenous Community Development, University of Victoria

Susanne is currently an Assistant Professor in Indigenous Community Development in the School of Public Administration at the University of Victoria. Susanne has a Doctorate in Business Administration with a focus in organizational leadership. Her research examines First Nations cultural approaches to work and the relationships of administrative practice and policies to employee engagement for First Nations people. As an Indigenous scholar and researcher, her work privileges Indigenous knowledge in examining and framing research outcomes. She has a current designation as a Certified Professional in Human Resource Management.

Sonterra Ross – Board Director
Vice President, Operations, Beacon Community Services

Sonterra is a motivated Senior Financial and Executive who creates strategic internal and external alliances to effectively align with and lead key business/strategic initiatives. Sonterra builds and retains high performing teams by hiring, developing and mentoring skilled professionals. She sets a culture of openness and enquiry and will make the tough decisions. Sonterra brings loyalty, creativity and strategic orientation to the Board of Directors.

Peter Cowan – Board Director
Co-Founder, Board Member, Innovation Asset Collective
Founder & Principal Consultant, Northworks IP

Peter is an experienced executive leader, with a strong history of providing strategic leadership and advisory to executives and boards at the SME, Government, Venture Capital, and multinational levels. At the board level Peter sat as a board of advisor for SMEs, and is Board member and interim CEO of the non-profit IAC, an organization chosen to operate the $30M Government of Canada Patent Collective. Peter has technical, business, and legal education, including B.Eng, MBA (Entrepreneurship), LLM (Intellectual Property and Governance), and successfully operates a global consulting practice in Victoria.

Jennifer Vornbrock – Board Director
Executive Director, Community and Government Relations, University of Victoria

Jennifer Vornbrock is the Executive Director of Community and Government Relations at the University of Victoria. She works in the department which provides strategic direction and advice on all community and government relations for the university. Previously, she held the position of Vice President, Knowledge and Innovation at the Mental Health Commission of Canada. Prior to joining the Mental Health Commission in 2013, Jennifer worked for more than a decade at Vancouver Coastal Health in various operational and strategic roles. Jennifer holds a degree in political science from Simon Fraser University.

Kear Porttris — Board Director
Owner, Porttris Consulting Group

Kear is the owner of Porttris Consulting Group, which provides broad Indigenous relations and engagement support by bringing private industry and Indigenous communities together to seize economic opportunities. Kear built a strong practice through his experience as the Director of Indigenous Relations for QM Environmental, a national environmental and industrial services company, as well as by establishing Gwaii Engineering as Principal, Relationship Manager.

Kear is Métis/Chinese, born and raised in the Canadian Prairies. His family was very involved with both of these communities, and these connections remain important to him today. He is a graduate of the Civil Engineering Department at the University of Victoria and holds a Business Diploma from the Saskatchewan Polytech (previously known as SIAST), specializing in Human Resources.

Robert Mittelman – Board Director

Acting Dean, School of Business Associate professor

Dr. Robert Mittelman is the acting dean of the Faculty of Management, an associate professor of social entrepreneurship and co-director of the School of Business. Mittelman co-led Royal Roads’ application to become a designated Ashoka U Changemaker Campus and now serves as an Ashoka U change leader. His research interests relate to social entrepreneurship, corporate social innovation and non-profit marketing. His recent work explores new theories of social entrepreneurship and social innovation. He is currently working on a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council project to examine the imagery and narratives used in the marketing of international humanitarian aid. Mittelman’s work has been published as part of non-profit studies as well as in various marketing, consumer behaviour and education journals.

Basma Majerbi – Board Director
Associate Professor, Gustavson School of Business, University of Victoria

Dr. Majerbi is an associate professor of finance at Gustavson School of Business, University of Victoria. Her research interests include international finance, sustainable and impact investing, and climate- related financial risks and opportunities. Her teaching integrates sustainable finance and impact investing topics into core finance course in the MBA in Sustainable Innovation and the Master of Global Business programs. She is a recipient of multiple awards including Research Excellence, Best MBA Professor of the Year, Innovation Award, Service Excellence Award, and IAB Community Engagement Award. At UVic, Basma is currently leading the development of the Vancouver Island Impact Investing Hub (VI3Hub), an integrated, multi-stakeholders, solutions-driven platform working to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon, inclusive and resilient economy by expanding access to impact capital through education, research and community engagement. Outside UVic, Basma acts as a Technical Advisor with the International Monetary Fund’s Institute for Capacity Development where she contributes to training of government officials in developing countries on topics related to financial development, financial inclusion, and other financial sector issues. She is a member the steering committee of the Canadian Sustainable Finance Network (CSFN), a member of the Research Advisory Council of the Institute for Sustainable Finance and is co-founder and co-chair of the International Workshop on Financial System Architecture and Stability (IWFSAS), an annual conference that focuses on topics related to sustainable finance.

Suzanne Bradbury – Board Director
Owner/Director, Fort Properties Ltd.

Suzanne Bradbury owns and runs Fort Properties with her sister Jayne. Fort Properties is a third- generation family business focused on property ownership, management, and development. Suzanne believes that the built environment can positively influence the economy, a city’s character, and individual lives for the better. Her commitment to promoting the health and well- being of our local communities has led her to chair the board for the Downtown Victoria Business Association, participate in the development of the Victoria 3.0 Economic Development plan, co-chair the real estate and construction committee for SIPP’s Rising Economy Taskforce, and serve as VP of the Esquimalt Chamber of Commerce.  She is passionate about the potential of Vancouver Island and is deeply inspired by the many talented people who contribute to the economic betterment of our region.

Terry Gunning – Board Director
Partner/Principle, E&Y

Terry’s career has focussed on supporting local, national and international public sector organizations, emphasizing a systems integration approach. Terry spent over 20 years in the British Columbia Public Service and the last 7 years in the private sector in leadership roles leading programs and teams through technology development and business transformation. Additionally, Terry works as an advisor to the United Nations Environmental Programme on data and technology transformation and the evolution to a digital economy. Terry has a double major in Resource Management and Environmental Science, a Masters in Project Management and several professional designations. Terry has and does sit on a variety of volunteer and advisory boards with a focus on mentoring, coaching, systems integration and corporate social responsibility.

Tony Payne – Board Director
Senior Vice President, Technology & Innovation, BCI

Tony is a seasoned Board Director as well as Business and Technology executive with experience in Information Technology, Audit, Finance and Business Operations in both the private and public sectors. Tony joined BCI in February 2020 as Senior Vice President of Technology and Innovation. Prior to joining BCI, Tony spent 20+ years leading and evolving technology departments and teams, and helping organizations evolve in their digital transformations. Tony has experience across multiple industries from financial services, engineering, hospitality, and gaming to investment management. Tony’s career spans technology, audit, and business operations with revenue and EBITDA oversight. Tony holds an ICD.D designation and is a Chartered Professional Accountant. He holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. Tony currently serves as a director on boards for both public and private companies and brings previous experience with other organizations in the roles of board chair as well as chair of governance and finance committees.