Northern Development board gains four new elected officials

February 19, 2015

Four new members have now taken their seats on the board of central and northern B.C.’s only economic development trust.

Four elected officials from across northern B.C. have officially joined Northern Development’s 13-member board of directors, filling vacancies created by the November municipal elections.
The new additions include:
• Luke Strimbold, Mayor, Village of Burns Lake (representing the Northwest region)
• Michael Racz, Electoral Area D Director, Skeena-Queen Charlotte Regional District (representing the Northwest region)
• Rob MacDougall, Mayor, District of Fort St. James (representing the Prince George region)
• Gerry Thiessen, Mayor, District of Vanderhoof (representing the Prince George region)

Their peers at the regional advisory committee level chose the board members through an election process. The Trust’s service area is divided into four regions (the Northwest, Northeast, Prince George and Cariboo-Chilcotin Lillooet). Each region has a regional advisory committee that is made up of elected officials that represent every municipality and regional district in that area. The regional advisory committees provide advice and support on the Trust’s grant and capacity building programs. Each of the new directors has previously served on a regional advisory committee, and Mayor Thiessen has previously served on the board.

The Trust’s 13-member board consists of eight elected officials (two from each region) and five provincial appointees. The Trust’s returning board members include:
• Evan Saugstad, Chair (provincial appointee)
• Gerald Wesley, Vice Chair (provincial appointee)
• Danny Schilds, Chair, finance committee (provincial appointee)
• Lori Ackerman, Mayor, City of Fort St. John (representing the Northeast region)
• Bill Streeper, Mayor, Northern Rockies Regional Municipality (representing the Northeast region)
• Wendy Benyk (provincial appointee)
• Mitch Campsall, Mayor, District of 100 Mile House (representing the Cariboo-Chilcotin Lillooet)
• Sally Watson, Electoral Area E Director, Thompson Nicola Regional District (representing the Cariboo-Chilcotin Lillooet region)
• Thomas Hoffman (provincial appointee)


“On behalf of the board, I’d like to extend a big welcome to both our new and returning Directors. The next four years promises to be an exciting time for central and northern B.C., and your collective decision making will help strengthen and diversify our region’s economy,” said Evan Saugstad, Chair, Northern Development.


Joel McKay
Director, Communications
Northern Development Initiative Trust