The DSBIA is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of local business people and property owners. Board members formulate and oversee implementation of policies consistent with the purpose of the Downtown Surrey BIA.
Brad Howard is a Senior Development Manager with PCI Developments LP; one of City Centre’s largest property developers. He has worked in various capacities in the local real estate industry for over 20 years and, most recently, has been overseeing the development of King George Hub; a multi-phase transit-oriented development currently under construction at the corner of Fraser Highway and King George Boulevard. Brad has been involved with the Downtown Surrey BIA for about 4 years, is a member of the City of Surrey’s Advisory Design Panel and has developed close ties to City Centre through attendance at various community events and working groups. Outside of work, Brad devotes time to his 3 young children and volunteers with local sports leagues in capacities as both coach and a director of his local Little League.
Bill Rempel (Co-Chair Economic Development Committee)
Vice President & General Manager, Blackwood Partners Management Corp., Central City
After receiving his CGA designation in 1988, Bill has spent over 25 years building a phenomenal real estate portfolio. Upon completion of his BOMI Canada RPA and Queens University leadership education, Rempel joined the Downtown Surrey’s Central City in 2010. Committed to sustainability and ‘green’ business buildings, Bill implemented innovative strategies at Central City in social media, reduced hydro consumption, and state-of-the-art security technology and safety practices. His numerous business and community-related board positions include: President of the Downtown Vancouver BIA, Burnaby Board of Trade President, International Council of Shopping Centres (ICSC) provincial chair, BC Shopping Centre Association Treasurer/Director, and RCMP Advisory Council. Bill is currently on the Executive of the Light Rail Links Committee.
To honour his community contributions, he has been awarded the Certified General Accountants Community Service Award for British Columbia and named Business Person of the Year by the Surrey Board of Trade. Deeply committed to community and his family, he has been a local resident for over 30 years. Bill looks forward to continuing to be part of the process during a very exciting period in Surrey’s development
Charan Sethi (Director)
Founder & President, Tien Sher Group of Companies
Charan Sethi laid the foundations of his highly successful development career during twenty-two years as one of Metro Vancouver’s top realtors.
Since emigrating from England in 1978, this visionary former machinist, turned real estate development entrepreneur, heads his large-scale land development venture throughout Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island creating varied commercial properties and over 1,800 residential units. He has received worldwide recognition and industry awards for innovating new housing models for shifting buyer needs. These models introduced 299 sq.ft. ‘micro-suite’ condos for transit-oriented downtown markets, demographically inclusive communities of luxury townhomes with one-bedroom starters plus British Columbia’s first six-storey wood-frame condominium building.
Sethi has large land holdings in City Centre. He owns “Quattro” block community as well as over four acres on the “Flamingo” block to develop additional three towers with residential and commercial space generating new jobs in the Heritage Whalley District – Gateway to the New City Centre. Sethi also has a deep commitment to his new community, contributing to many community events, projects and fundraisers, such as Movie under the Stars, Surrey Christmas Bureau and the Quattro Street Fair.
“The City is so receptive to new ideas and development and is working closely with us to build the downtown area and create a brand new neighbourhood that benefits everybody.”
President of the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association
The community welcomes Chris Gardner, who has previously served as the City of Surrey’s manager of investment and intergovernmental relations. Chris is a strong proponent for our board as he is a business development professional. Additionally, Chris has a Juris Doctor Degree (JD) focused in Law from The University of British Columbia. Chris is President of the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association, which has been the leading voice of the construction industry in B.C. for over 40 years and represents the interests of over 3,000 members and clients across B.C. Skilled in Analytical Skills, Government Relations, Team Building and Marketing, Chris Gardner will be an asset to the DSBIA.
David Pel CGA (Treasurer)
Owner, David Pel & Company Inc.
Lauded as the top one percent of CGA graduates in Canada in 1983, David Pel opened his thriving City Centre accounting practice, David Pel & Company, in 1991. David joined the Whalley BIA in 2001 in the second wave of foundation members and has always believed that real change in City Centre can only be affected by commercial development.
Currently the Finance Committee chair, he has served on the board since its inception in 2003, functioning as Treasurer, Vice President, Finance Committee Member, and Membership Community liaison person. David also serves his community on the SFU Advisory Board and as Treasurer of Classis and the Ministry of Seafarers for over 12 years.
“I got involved to be a part of social change here. I saw that joining the BIA was an opportunity to affect that change – to encourage business to move here instead of away from. I think the BIA has done great work.”
As the General Manager of the Civic Hotel, Franklin plays a vital role in creating a more connected Surrey. Through the Civic Hotel, Franklin helps bridge the gap among community members. The hotel serves as a site for people to mingle with each other and with businesses by providing facilities and hosting events. The organization also provides employment opportunities for those who live near the Surrey area. An experienced hotelier, Franklin has held General Manager positions for seven years. He earned a Bachelors Degree in Hotel Management and a Certified Hospitality Administrator designation. However, it was his “passion, perseverance, commitment and willingness to learn and grow” that carved the path to where he is today.
Jag is a Regional Manager with Vancity’s Community Business and Real Estate Division. His experience in working with a local financial cooperative has given him a unique perspective of the role a financial institutions can play in supporting our local communities.
In addition to his 22 years of banking experience, Jag is a board member with a local not for profit organization. The Phoenix Society is rooted in Surrey and is within the BIA’s catchment.
Given his background and connections to the Surrey community, Jag is fully aware of the opportunities and the challenges in Downtown Surrey. He is thrilled to be part of the BIA and keen to play a role in the development of the City Centre.
James Stewart (Past Chair)
Partner at Hamilton Duncan Armstrong + Stewart Law Corporation
For over 36 years, James Stewart has been an integral part of the transformation and evolution of a city he has served, lived in, and loved.
He started his legal career in 1980 in a small office located on 108th Avenue at King George. Now he is the senior partner with the City Centre business and litigation firm of Hamilton Duncan Armstrong + Stewart Law Corporation. He specializes in land development, business law, real estate, wills and estates. His expertise in residential and commercial real estate development business operations, often from land acquisition and development through to sale, has placed him at the leading edge of numerous local and regional projects.
His law firm was a founding business member of the BIA. He served on the board for several years as a director and vice president. He also served three years as president and is the current past president.
Stewart’s commitment to service won him the 2010 Surrey Community Leader of the Year award, honouring his contributions to furthering business, education, sustainability and wellness. Such contributions and involvement in the past have included: member of the City of Surrey Environmental and Sustainability Advisory Committee, Legal Chair – 2012 BC Summer Games, Chair -Surrey Board of Trade, Chair – Centre for Child Development and member of the Board of the Abbotsford Airport Authority. He is currently a member of the Board of Governors of SFU, Chair of the SFU Surrey Community Advisory Council, and a member of the Board of the Health Tech Innovation Foundation.
“This is a very unique and exciting time in Surrey’s evolution. Surrey is a great place to be and the huge influx of families and businesses and flourishing diverse communities proves that. I feel that it is important for everyone contribute what they can to create an interesting, well-thought-out, sustainable community; to be part of its vision, leadership and sense of possibility.”
Joanne Curry (Director)
Simon Fraser University Vice-President, External Relations
Joanne has spent the last two decades championing the connection between universities and its communities. She has served DSBIA members as a Board Director since 2005 and has sat on the Government Relations committee and chaired the Communications and Nomination committees. Joanne’s efforts have resulted in numerous beneficial relationships and projects to support the community and allow the University to use its resources for community betterment. For her efforts in community engagement, Joanne was awarded an Honorary Degree by Kwantlen Polytechnic University and the Business Women of the Year in the professional category by the Surrey Board of Trade.
Joanne is Vice-President, External Relations for SFU. Joanne joined SFU in 1993 and held the position of Director of University of Industry Liaison as well as Executive Director of a national research centre of excellence in online learning. From 2002 to 2013, she was the founding Executive Director at SFU Surrey campus which grew from 200 students to over 7,000 students during her tenure. Prior to joining SFU, Joanne held positions in the banking, consulting, and biotechnology sectors.
Joanne has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Manitoba, a Masters of Business Administration degree from SFU, and a Doctorate in Business (Higher Education) from the University of Bath in the UK.
With years of experience assisting local businesses attain their goals, we welcome Kathrin Matadeen to our board. Kathrin is the District Vice President for TD Commercial Banking. In her line of work, she leads a team of banking professionals who serve the unique needs of large and small local businesses by offering services to help business owners meet their financial goals. Before joining TD Bank, Kathrin completed a Bachelor of Business Administration in Economics and Business and a Master of Business Administration in Finance at Simon Fraser University. Kathrin’s experience with local businesses and background in economics brings an essential perspective to the board.
Now a cornerstone of City Centre, Larry Fisher and his family-owned and operated company The Lark Group have been developing, managing, and constructing urban projects throughout Surrey, the Lower Mainland, and as far as Quebec for over 40 years.
Originally focused on mobile home projects, their meteoric growth soon included industrial, commercial works, and joint ventures. With over 100 employees, $20 million annually in construction, and over a half-million sq ft of management property, they have further diversified into shopping centres, hockey rinks, and hotels. Their twelve-floor, 180,000 square foot professional tower in downtown Surrey houses their new head office and other companies as part of a power nucleus attracting significant businesses to downtown Surrey.
“We are very proud of being a catalyst for the southern end of the phenomenal Innovation Boulevard and look forward to moving forward with the BIA, and its board to bring the City to the next level. You don’t have to struggle to make positive changes here and Surrey is in an excellent position to draw business.”
Business Administration Manager, Urban Systems
Melanie Adamczewski is a Senior Administrator offering a solid understanding of municipal infrastructure projects. She demonstrates excellence in communication with all project stakeholders having gained valuable experience working as a Project Coordinator for nearly a decade. Melanie has a thorough understanding of client and contractor processes and is very comfortable working with contract documents and municipal asset programs. With a passion for education, Melanie has obtained multiple certificates and a diploma in Criminology, Contract Administration and Construction Operations. Melanie has played a key role in the development of a Project Delivery System, which integrates internal/external requirements of Quality Management, Health and Safety and Project Management into one streamlined system. The Project Delivery System aligned with the Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia (EGBC) Organizational Quality Management (OQM) program and resulted in obtaining a corporate OQM certification. In recent years, Melanie has assumed the role of Business Administration Manager of a local office (Urban Systems) of 25 consultants and support staff. In her current role, Melanie is a key contributor to the continued growth and evolution of the company through leadership, operational and organizational management.
Michael Nielsen (2nd Vice Chair/Chair Safety Committee)
Sprite Multimedia Systems – Owner / Manager
Mike opened Sprite Computer Systems in 1983 and setup the store in Whalley. It was the only store of its kind on this side of the river. “But I could see even back them that this community was experiencing phenomenal growth and this was the place to be. Beyond managing Sprite I was also very involved in our sales and service departments, always going that extra mile to support our customers and the surrounding community.”
Passionate about our community and always looking to get involved, Mike first joined the Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association in 2005. He has served on the board as a director for 8 years and also sat on the safety committee.
Mike is also passionate about the environment, and currently serves as a director with the Burns Bog Conservation Foundation. Their mandate now that the Bog has been preserved is to raise money for a Nature Centre. Mike is also the president of his 93 unit townhouse complex Strata where he has served on the board for 7 years.
“I would like to be a director on the Downtown Surrey BIA as I feel that it’s very important to have a voice in the community in which you work and or live. The association has made a real difference in the downtown core, and although much has been accomplished since its inception, we can all agree there is still much we can do. This has been my place of work for 33 years and I have a genuine interest in making this a successful and thriving area of Surrey.
The community welcomes Monica Vanderzalm as a new Director of the DSBIA board. Having spent most of her life in Surrey, she has developed close ties to the community and a vision to improve it. Monica hopes to transform Downtown Surrey into a place where businesses thrive. With a degree in Business Management, she spent the early parts of her career working in the real estate industry. Currently, she co-owns the South Surrey Art Knapp Garden Centre, a one-stop shop for plants and gardening tools. She is also a member of the Rotary Investment Club and manages a portfolio of self-owned real estate. Outside of her business pursuits, Monica is an avid ice dancer. She has two Canadian bronze medals and five West Divisional Championships under her belt. Her love for skating extends to the community. Monica has worked with the City to provide competitive ice skating programs for adults and holds a seat on the Ice Allocation Committee.
Passionate about contributing to the city’s growth and well-being, Perminder S. Tung is a new board member at the DSBIA. Perminder was born and raised in Surrey, he brings a strong background in board governance, and a commitment to community service as he serves on government bodies and non-profit organizations. He completed his Bachelor of Arts at Simon Fraser University, Bachelor of Laws at the University of Windsor and Juris Doctor, cum laude from the University of Detroit. Perminder cares deeply about helping at-risk youth and frequently speaks at community events and high schools to encourage young people to reach for the stars.
Randal Dhaliwal is a partner at Fasken Law Firm. Randal has been practicing corporate commercial law for over 19 years with a focus on secured lending, debt financings and real estate developments. He works with a variety of financial institutions, real estate developers and businesses.
Randal has a strong connection to the city of Surrey. He lives, works and volunteers within this vibrant community. Randal is a member of the Surrey Board of Trade, the Urban Development Institute, Pacific Region and the BC Wildlife Federation. He is a mentor to junior lawyers and staff.
Randal obtained his BBA from Simon Fraser University and his JD from Columbia University. He was called to the British Columbia Bar in 2004.
Robert Dominick (Past Chair)
Vice President, the WestStone Group of Companies; President & CEO, Lightyear Digital Theatre (Canada) Ltd.; President & CEO, Modusteel.
As Vice President of the WestStone Group, Robert is responsible for acquiring land and driving developments through their development permit stages. WestStone currently has over 4-million sqft of buildings under construction or under permit processing in 5 different developments within Surrey City Centre.
WestStone’s city centre West Village development, one block from City Hall, is a master-planned community comprised of high-rises, low-rises, townhomes and commercial/retail outlets all tastefully blended into an urban village setting. West Village will contain over 2,500 homes when completed.
WestStone’s Innovation Village, currently under a development permit application, will provide some 550,000 sqft of medical facilities and senior’s independent living adjacent to Surrey Memorial Hospital.
WestStone is catering to the demand for rental units and is building two developments that will provide 660 custom rental units in the city. One at Scott Road SkyTrain station and the other adjacent to Surrey Memorial Hospital.
Adjacent to Surrey Central Skytrain Station, on the old Stardust roller rink site, is WestStone’s “education mega-centre”. This 550,000 sqft development is a partnership with the global education company CIBT. The initial design includes a large amount of commercial space in the podium with college classrooms above, dorm rental units with a hotel component on the upper floors paired with amazing amenity spaces.
Robert joined the Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association as a Director in 2008 and served two terms as President from 2009-2010 and 2010-2011. Robert is the current chair of the Economic Development Committee.
“I have felt privileged to have served as a Director of the Downtown Surrey BIA for the past 10 years. In 2005, in my role as Vice President of the WestStone Group, we had a vision that one day Whalley would become a thriving centre of commerce south of the Fraser and, as such, we acquired land in what is now Surrey City Centre. I have a strong commitment to Downtown Surrey, to see it grow and see it prosper. I also have a strong commitment to caring for the community that we love to work and grow in. I am honoured to serve a further term as a Director and as Chair of the Economic Development Committee.”
Sonny Janda is a hard working community member with goals of seeing Surrey thrive and succeed. Sonny studied at Simon Fraser University where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics. His experience ranges from operational and financial management, to business development and holds the Executive Chairman position with Desert Gold Ventures Inc. and other board positions with Sierra Growth Corp. He concurrently directs a family owned business called the Janda Group, where they work to develop different types of real estate properties. Sonny is an accomplished businessman who will serve an essential role on our board of directors.