Former BC Ferries CEO joins Greater Victoria Harbour Authority board of directors

Former BC Ferries CEO joins Greater Victoria Harbour Authority board of directors
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Mark Collins previously served as the BC Ferries CEO from 2017 to 2022, when his contract was terminated early.

The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority has announced its new board of directors and one of the three new members is the former CEO of BC Ferries.

Mark Collins served as BC Ferries’ CEO from 2017 until his contract was terminated by the company in July 2022.

READ MORE FROM JULY 2022: BC Ferries CEO Mark Collins fired, interim CEO appointed

At the time, BC Ferries cited the challenges the company was faced as the reason for ending the contract.

“Like many organizations, BC Ferries has faced recent staffing shortages, service interruptions and COVID-related challenges. There are no quick fixes to these systemic challenges but as a board, we believe it is time for renewal, fresh ideas and a renewed commitment to the highest standards of customer service, safety and affordability,” said BC Ferry Service Board chair Joy MacPhail in July 2022.

At the Annual General Meeting in August, MacPhail said the move was the company going in a “people-centred” direction.

“The board considered going forward wanting a fresh start with a people-centred culture that takes into account all of our employee’s safety in the corporation, passengers, communities that we serve, and we made a decision to begin a search for a new CEO,” MacPhail said in August. “In the meantime, there is a board yesterday established a robust and professional search to select the company’s permanent CEO and that will start immediately.”

READ MORE FROM AUGUST 2022: Desire for ‘people-centred culture’ cited as reason for BC Ferries CEO ousting

The change in leadership came as the ferry company was working to address crew shortages on ferries, which resulted in delays and cancellations on various routes.

WATCH FROM JUNE 2022: Rob Shaw: BC Ferries CEO urges patience as corporation struggles with post-pandemic crew shortages

The challenges with crew shortages, delays and cancellations has continued since Collins’ departure.

Now, Collins is being brought on by the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority as an independent director on its board of directors.

Don Krusel is another new board member serving as an independent director, and Victoria Councillor Susan Kim will also sit on the board.

The three replace outgoing board members, Gordon Safarik and Starr McMichael, who were independent directors, and then-Councillor Marianne Alto.

Township of Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins, Mark Mawhinney with the Victoria Esquimalt Harbour Society and Susan Brice serving the Capital Regional District will serve consecutive terms on the board.

“I am pleased to welcome back Barb, Mark and Susan. A special thank you to our outgoing board members for their time, commitment and dedicated service to GVHA,” said Christine Willow, chair of the Board of Directors.

“This is an important time for GVHA as we prepare to welcome a new CEO in the coming months. During this time, the Board of Directors will provide continuity to GVHA operations as we transition our leadership and remain focused on sustainable growth that benefits the Region.”

READ MORE FROM JUNE 2022: Greater Victoria Harbour Authority CEO Ian Robertson to retire next year

The GVHA board elects members to represent eight member agencies: Esquimalt Nation, Songhees Nation, Capital Regional District, City of Victoria, Township of Esquimalt, Destination Greater Victoria, The Chamber and the Victoria Esquimalt Harbour Society.

The full list of the board of directors are:

  • Chair, Christine Willow (The Chamber)
  • Vice Chair, Mark Mawhinney (Victoria Esquimalt Harbour Society)
  • Treasurer, Doug Crowder (Independent Director)
  • Chief Rob Thomas (Esquimalt Nation)
  • Florence Dick (Songhees Nation)
  • Councillor Susan Brice (Capital Regional District)
  • Councillor Susan Kim (City of Victoria)
  • Mayor Barb Desjardins (Township of Esquimalt)
  • Geoff Dickson (Destination Greater Victoria)
  • Ryan Burles (Victoria Esquimalt Harbour Society)
  • Margaret Lucas (Independent Director)
  • Don Krusel (Independent Director)
  • Mark Collins (Independent Director)
  • Dave Cowen, Past Chair
Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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