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.
What is the Prosperity Partnership?
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
Emilie de Rosenroll – Founding CEO
Emilie de Rosenroll is Group CEO of South Island Prosperity Partnership (SIPP), Greater Victoria’s economic development agency. SIPP’s branches include the Centre for Ocean Applied Sustainable Technologies (COAST), the Indigenous Prosperity Centre (IPC) and the Rising Economy Colab.
With 15+ years of experience in leadership positions, Emilie was the founding CEO of SIPP in 2016. She is tri-lingual and has worked in different sectors in cities in Canada, U.S., France and Mexico. Emilie is passionate about creating a resilient, innovative, sustainable and equitable — or RISE — economy. She is a director on the boards of InnovateBC (Crown Corp), the Victoria Hospital Foundation and COAST.
Emilie has received many awards, including the Business in Vancouver Forty Under 40 Award (2020) and Victoria Community Leadership’s Award for Belonging & Engagement (2022). She was also a Woman of Influence Western finalist for the 2022 RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards.
Dallas Gislason – Director of Economic Development
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.
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.
Mena Bhavsar – Events Manager
Mena Bhavsar is an events professional with more than eight years of experience in the meetings and events industry. After graduating from the Sport & Event Marketing program at George Brown College in Toronto, Mena started her career off on the supplier side at the Oakville Conference Centre. She switched to the planner side in 2018 with CPA Ontario where she found her true calling in meetings and conferences.
Her most recent role was Event Planner with Canada Health Infoway, a digital health organization, where she planned their annual conference, webinars and meetings.
Mena received her Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation in 2018 and continued her professional development in 2020, receiving her Digital Event Strategist (DES) certification.
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
Director, Finance and Administration, 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.
Geoff Wilmshurst – Board Director
Vice-President Partnerships, Camosun College
Geoff Wilmshurst is Vice-President Partnerships at Camosun College where he is responsible for International Education, Continuing Education, Contract Training, Ancillary Services Advancement, Alumni and external relations. In 1992, he joined World University Service of Canada (WUSC) in Ottawa in the China and refugee departments. He followed that with six years in New York as the Manager of Programs at AFS International where he helped develop the 18+ program portfolio. In 2008 Geoff joined Study Group, an international private educational pathway provider, as Director of Business Development for Canada.
Lindalee Brougham – Board Director
Lindalee Brougham, founder of LL Brougham Inc., is an accountant with over 32 years of service to both private and corporate clients. Currently a principal at Grant Thornton LLP, she’s worked with business start-ups and non-profit organizations, enabling her to develop expertise in owner-managed businesses, not-for-profits, investments, real estate development, and complex organizations. She has owned and invested in several companies, allowing her to understand the rewards and challenges of growing a business.
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
Senior Managing Partner, DXC Technology
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.