The Downtown Nanaimo Business Improvement Association’s Board of Directors is responsible for the governance of the DNBIA. Elected by its membership, the Board, on behalf of its membership, oversees DNBIA staff, sets the policies of the organization, approves the annual budget, and takes positions on political questions of the day. DNBIA Board meetings are held on the third Wednesday of each month.
DNBIA Board of Directors
John Cooper, President
John Cooper works as a Real Estate Consultant for RE/MAX of Nanaimo & resides in Nanaimo with his wife and 2 daughters. John also owns property in Downtown Nanaimo & is passionately committed to re-defining downtown Nanaimo in the hearts and minds of those in our city and also in the province, pushing Nanaimo into the forefront of livable cities in Canada. John also has an extensive background in business administration, strategic management, marketing, branding & lifestyle marketing.
Shawna McPhillips, Vice President
Coastal Community Credit Union
Shawna McPhillips, born and raised in Nanaimo, started her professional career with a local mortgage company in 1992. After several years experience, Shawna became a mortgage broker, gaining invaluable knowledge in finance, real estate, and business development. Shawna joined the Coastal Community Credit Union team after being a member herself since childhood.
Like the company she works for, Shawna is very dedicated to her community. She continues to facilitate many successful branch fundraisers as well as corporate community initiatives. Shawna’s previous Board experience (2008-2011) includes Treasurer for the Chemainus BC BIA and Vice President of the Chemainus Monetary Foundation (as well as co-founder of Vancouver Island’s first real Community Currency, the Chemainus Dollar – a unique economic development initiative, sill being traded as legal tender in Chemainus).
Shawna is married with four children and prides herself on setting a good example for her “volunteers in training” by including them in as many opportunities to make a difference in the community they live in.
Judy Stephan, Secretary
Nanaimo and Voyager Magazine
Judy Stephan was born in South Africa and lived there until immigrating to Canada at the beginning of 2009. Judy has a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in English and Psychology and holds a higher diploma in Education. In South Africa Judy was a High School English teacher for 23 years, specializing in the teaching of English literature to Grade 12 students. She was the head of the English Department of 2 exclusive private colleges during the last 7 years of teaching and was a recognized expert on the teaching of film and assisting second language students, as well as a Cluster Leader within the Provincial Education Department.
Since Judy’s arrival in Nanaimo and purchase of Nanaimo Magazine, she has joined many community networking organizations, namely Oceanside Rotary (Vice President 2011-2012); Malaspina Toastmasters (Public Relations 2011-2012), Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce (Ambassador since 2010). Judy has her finger of the pulse of the Downtown, and actively serves to promote downtown businesses within her magazine. Judy is married with 3 children.
Greg was born and raised in Powell River, BC. He moved to Nanaimo after graduating from high school to attend Vancouver Island University. He graduated from VIU in 2010 with a Bachelor of Business Administration, major in accounting, and went on to article with MNP Chartered Accountants. Greg obtained his CAA designation in March 2013 and is presently working for MNP. Greg currently sits on the DNBIA Board as Treasurer and is the only CAA running for DNBIA Board election.
Esplanade Tax Service
Blake has owned and operated businesses in Nanaimo since 1971. He is the owner of Esplanade Tax Services downtown, specializing in the preparation of Personal and Corporate tax returns. He and his wife Lois (owner of Ragtime) are also long time downtown residents who are actively involved in many community organizations. In addition to having served as both a Treasurer and Secretary of the DNBIA Board of Directors, Blake currently sits on the Nanaimo Community Bingo Association, the Nanaimo Child Development Centre, the Columbian Centre Society, and the Nanaimo Foodshare Society. Blake, the father of three grown children and three grandchildren, can be seen downtown nearly every day walking with his wife and his poodle, Teddy.
Leslie Sutton is a Marketing Consultant in Nanaimo whose portfolio includes downtown businesses including Community Futures Central Island and is a current member of the DNBIA Marketing Committee. She has an extensive background in marketing, management, branding, social media and business, and holds a degree in Bachelor of Business Administration-management and marketing concentration. Leslie has lived in Nanaimo for 23 years and is passionate about what the downtown core has to offer.
The Mortgage Centre
My name is Caroline Roach and I am a Mortgage Broker with The Mortgage Centre, Fitzwilliam Mortgage. I am proud to say that I live, work, and play in Downtown Nanaimo. I grew up on Gabriola Island and received my education at NDSS, after which I attended VIU where I obtained a BBA degree. Simultaneously, I took the Mortgage Brokers Licensing Course through UBC’s Sauder School of Business. Before beginning my career as a Mortgage Broker, I worked at two downtown businesses, London Drugs and The Mortgage Centre, Essex and Kent.
I live in the downtown area with my husband and six year old son. I have volunteered my time to the DNBIA to help on event days, and am currently serving the second year of a two year term on the Board of Directors for the VIU Alumni Association. I am also very active on the Parent Advisory Committee at my son’s school, Bayview Elementary. I absolutely love our downtown and would welcome the opportunity to continue to work towards its improvement.
I have worked downtown for 34 years. My wife Jean and I have owned Bastion Jewelers for 30 years. We have seen a lot of changes from vibrant to quiet and now the new interest in downtown. I do not thing there is anything more important that keeping downtown a clean and safe environment for all to enjoy. I am a past Board member of the DNBIA and current Chair of the Safety and Security Committee. I am also Co-chair of the Safer Nanaimo Advisory Committee. Other committees I am on include Bar Watch and the Graffiti Task Force among others. Good things happen when neighbours help neighbours.
Rebecca has been a volunteer and strong supporter of Downtown Nanaimo since returning to the City in 2008. She was the first Chair of the Planning, Design, and Development Committee, helped build the team, and remains a member. Rebecca is a long-time member of the Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce and serves on the Educations Committee; she also serves as a member of the Inspire Nanaimo Team.
Rebecca has an extensive background in community development and has held leadership and Board positions in the not for profit and social enterprise sector for over 25 years. She worked in the Justice System both at a Provincial and local level for more than 15 of those years, developing and implementing community based programs. Rebecca was a skilled crisis intervention practitioner, responding to victims of crime and critical incidents. She also served as an RCMP Auxiliary Constable for 15 years.
Rebecca is the founder of MakerSpace Nanaimo, an incubator for project development and a place to tinker using shared space, tools, knowledge, and curiosity.