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Business leader—entrepreneur takes over island economic alliance

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NANAIMO, B.C.—A new President and CEO is taking over at The Vancouver Island Economic Alliance (VIEA) who brings a background as an entrepreneur and economic leader.  Julie Sperber will begin her new job on August 1, 2022.   

Board chair Shannon Baikie says, “As an experienced leader, 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,” 

Sperber comes to the job from the Gabriola Chamber of Commerce, where she has served for more than four years.  She says, “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.  She 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. 

She 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. 

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