Elizabeth Model (Executive Director)
With a head for business and a heart for community, Elizabeth Model brings a commitment to excellence, integrity, and balance to Downtown Surrey’s dynamic Business Improvement Association. Drawing from a diverse background in business administration and development, she is a perfect complement to the Association’s exceptional Board of Directors.
“I’m very impressed with the Board and the community,” says Model. “When I saw the potential that Surrey has, that it’s the second largest municipality in BC and has a city centre, I knew it would be a great fit. Having owned several small businesses and run a multimillion dollar company along with economic and land development, I ‘get’ both small and big business. I really feel good about this position.”
The foundation of Model’s broad world view, creative vision, and business savvy was built while growing up in a close-knit, entrepreneurial family in BC’s interior and Vancouver. Following her commitment to positive change, she pursued a Pre-med Sciences degree in the U.S., but soon realized her true calling was in business and community development.
She realized her “knack” for creating, running, and selling small businesses and soon was taking on bolder challenges and taking advanced businesses courses. From the hotel/motel industry to career counseling/consulting, she moved into a key position with the Tri Cities Chamber of Commerce through the 1980s. She served this complex collaboration of three booming metropolitan centres in economic development, tourism, and community support and lobbying.
Before coming to Downtown Surrey, Model flourished as General Manager of assets for a very large land development company based in Delta. With a staff of 100, she ran a very successful marina/pub/golf course complex plus several residential/commercial high rises.
“I think that what makes business work is a strong community base,” says Model. “Any community I go to, I take on the opportunities and the challenges of that community. I become a stakeholder.”
Model maintains life-balance and clarity by competing in grueling Iron Man events all over the world, which she began at age 46. She believes that supported by an active lifestyle, “It’s the mental moxie that carries you through anything.”
“I’m excited to welcome Elizabeth as our new Executive Director,” says Bob Dominick, BIA board president. “She possesses the necessary skills, drive, vision and enthusiasm to take the Downtown Surrey BIA on to the next level as Surrey moves forward to become BC’s next Metro Centre.”
Bonnie Burnside (Manager Special Events, Communications)
Although Bonnie has worked with the DSBIA since September 2005, she has been a business operator and property owner in the DSBIA (Stardust Enterprises) since 1978. Bonnie began her association with the BIA as a member of the Marketing and Special Events Committee in September 2003. When Stardust closed in June 2005, Bonnie joined the DSBIA as coordinator. In addition to her work experience at Stardust in programming, human resources, public relations and marketing, Bonnie has pursued an ecletic mix of educational opportunities. At SFU, Bonnie earned a BA with a joint major in Sociology/Anthropology, Minor Psychology; Certificate in Family Studies; courses toward a Diploma in Social Policy Issues; and completed the coursework for a MA in Women’s Studies. At BCIT, she has taken courses in marketing, public relations, management and advertising. In her spare time, Bonnie is president of the Whalley Community Association; Vice President of BC Inline Hockey Association; Vice President-Operations of NIHA-Canada; Vice-chair of the Surrey Christmas Bureau; board member of BC Summer Games 2012 (Ceremonies), second vice preseident of the North Surrey Lions Club and continues to oversee the Stardust Kids on Wheels programs. Bonnie is a past board member of Surrey Association for Sustainable Communities and past board member of the Arts Council of Surrey. She was a member of the City of Surrey’s Environmental Advisory Committee for two years and was recently (2012) appointed to the Parks, Recreation and Sports Tourism Committee. She is also active with the City of Surrey’s Community Advisory Group and is assisting with the planning of the City of Surrey’s Community Summit in 2012.
Tracey Gravel (Administrative Assistant) – on Mat leave for 2012
Tracey Gravel began at the DSBIA in January 2006 as the administrative assistant. Her main responsibilities include the member calling program, and updating the business directory. Tracey is also a key member of the DSBIA Special Events team. Tracey worked for Stardust Skating Centers Ltd. from 1987-2005 as a session manager and administrator of the inline hockey program. In addition to working at Stardust, Tracey completed her E.C.E. credentials and worked at Oak Avenue Daycare for a number of years. Tracey continues to manage the Stardust Kids on Wheels inschool program. In her spare time, Tracey is the treasurer of BC Inline Hockey, the secretary of the Whalley Community Association and is involved in BC Summer Games – Ceremonies Directorate. Tracey will be on maternity leave for 2012.
Sheena Grant (Administrative Assistant)
Sheena is currently filling in for Tracey as our Administrative Assistant. She is a Co-op student from SFU. This is her final placement through Co-op and once finished, she will be awarded a BA in Communications.