BY ROBERT BARRON, DAILY NEWS
OCTOBER 24, 2013
B.C. Premier Christy Clark will be the main speaker at the closing luncheon at the seventhannual Vancouver Island State of the Island Economic Summit on Oct. 30.
Clark is just one of many well-known speakers who will address a number of aspects of the Island’s economy at the two-day event on Oct. 29-30 and the Vancouver Island Conference Centre in Nanaimo and is expected to attract approximately 500 delegates. They include Ferio Pugliese, president of WestJet Encore, who is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the summit.
The WestJet Encore service began daily flights between Nanaimo and Calgary earlier this year and Pugliese is expected to talk about the airline company’s view of its future opportunities on Vancouver Island and of transportation trends in Western Canada.
Roger Brooks, one of the most recognized experts in the travel industry, will also be one of the main speakers at the event, as well as Emmy Award-winning producer Don Enright who will head a panel on the local film industry.
The latest addition to the summit is the entrepreneurs’ panel that will be held on Oct. 29 that will feature a number of high-profile business people, including Sybil Verch, the mentor of the business reality show The Hard Way, who will share their success stories with delegates and offer advice.
George Hanson is the president of the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance which hosting the annual summit.
He said it’s not unusual for the summit to attract high-profile speakers, pointing out that Clark and Mark Carney, the former governor of the Bank of Canada, spoke at the event last year.
“While the content and speakers at the summit usually change from year to year, the event is consistent in providing an annual overview of the economic state of Vancouver Island,” Hanson said.
“The summit is a grassroots means to allow business people, community leaders and members of professional organizations from across the Island to come together every year to try and determine what’s needed to see the Island’s economy grow in vital and sustainable ways.”
Hanson said that in many ways the agenda and programs of the VIEA are determined by the conversations and outcomes of the annual summit, including ongoing efforts to deal with the growing shortage of skilled-trade workers on the Island, succession planning to deal with the implications of business owners looking to retire in the near future and comprehensive planning to prepare for transportation problems on the Island that are expected over the next few decades.
Hanson said registration for the economic summit is continuing and anyone interested in attending can register by going to www.viea.ca and clicking on the summit’s window on the website.
If there are questions about registration, contact ProReg Registration Solutions by phone at 866-760-2005, or by e-mail, at viea@ProReg.ca.