Who We Are

VIEA President and CEO

Julie Sperber
250-668-5389 / Email Julie

A successful entrepreneur and community economic development leader, Julie is an innovative thinker and can see pieces of a puzzle fitting together to grow opportunity through partnership. As a key community connector her leadership is sought out for initiatives and projects for the island.

Julie has worked internationally in the hospitality industry and has held management roles in the non-profit, manufacturing and hospitality sectors. Her most recent position was the Executive Director of the Gabriola Chamber of Commerce where served for more than four years Her contributions there have provided entrepreneurs and community organizations to grow their capacity, through guiding successful funding, skills training and investment opportunities.

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.

In 2015, Julie transitioned to working for non-profit organizations with a focus on economic development, which combined her management and entrepreneurial experience with her passion for contributing positive impacts to her community. Julie has always been an active member in the communities she has lived and has been a volunteer and board member for numerous organizations over the past 20 years.



Executive Assistant

Diana Jolly
250-240-9450 / Email Diana

As a born and raised Vancouver Islander Diana is passionate about her role supporting Vancouver Island Economic Alliance and its initiatives. 

Prior to working at VIEA, Diana worked for 15 years at the Career Centre, a WorkBC Centre as a the Employer Services Coordinator and with the Provincial Government in various administrative roles.


The Vancouver Island Economic Alliance (VIEA) was founded in 2006 and remains committed to economic prosperity across Vancouver Island. Our nimble team and board of directors believe strongly in our Vision, Mission, Values, and key Statements.

Our Vision

A diverse, sustainable, self-reliant economy for Vancouver Island and the Rural Islands.

Our Mission

We lead creation of economic opportunities and improve prospects for a vital Island economy.

Our Values

  • Collaboration: We inform, connect, and unite leaders to solve problems and pursue opportunities.
  • Inclusion: We promote and celebrate equity, diversity, and inclusion so that all Island residents can access economic opportunities and prosperity, regardless of where they live, their gender, race, or ability.
  • Resiliency: We nurture ideas, supporting actions, and lasting solutions for economic stability and vibrancy.
  • Integration: We recognize that a vital Island economy is interdependent with, and inseparable from, healthy communities and a thriving environment.
  • Engagement: We build trusting relationships to drive meaningful dialogue and facilitate positive change.
  • Reconciliation: We are committed to working in a good way with Indigenous communities to pursue strategic economic opportunities and partnerships that benefit everyone.

Key Statements

  • VIEA supports a balanced economy that is resilient, diverse, evolving, competitive, integrated, inclusive, equitable, urban and rural, wealth retentive, and export rich.
  • VIEA supports vibrant, efficient, wasteless, regenerative use of natural resources, broad use of circular economic principles, disciplined, conservationist land use management.
  • VIEA supports goods production capacity with coordinated supply chains sufficient to sustain the Island region population in case of emergency.
  • VIEA supports development of a stronger ecosystem through advocacy and collaboration to address upstream challenges that prevent innovation from getting to market and contributing to the vitality of our economy.


Board of Directors

VIEA’s Board of Directors is comprised of a cross-section of public and private representatives, drawn from across Vancouver Island, who provide a wealth of business, community, and local government experience.

Katie Bishop, Chair Self-employed Victoria
Dr. Nicole Vaugeois, Chair-Elect VIU Nanaimo
Joel Thompson, Treasurer Redline Management Services Inc. Cowichan
Shannon Baikie, Director North Island Employment Foundations Society Campbell River
Janet Bonaguro, Director ThinkSpace Performance Inc. Cumberland
Kristi Fairholm Mader, Director Scale Collaborative Victoria
Francis Frank, Tla-o-qui-aht , Director BC Treaty Commission Tofino
Dirk Heydemann, Director HA Cyan Creative Inc. & HA Photography Nanaimo
Peter McKenzie, Director Cermaq Canada Nanaimo
Brad McRae, Director Western Forest Products Campbell River
Julie Scurr, Director Coast Salish Insurance Duncan
Angela Smith, Director Creative Exposure Inc. Port Hardy
Andrea Thomas, Manager, Engagement, Content, & Cruise Development Nanaimo Port Authority Nanaimo
Gary Wilson, Ka:'yu:'k't'h'/Che:k'tles7et'h' , Director Tiičma Enterprises/Management Services LP, Nanaimo
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