George Hanson to Retire as President and CEO of the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance

Call for application opens as Economic Alliance seeks new leader.
George Hanson has announced his decision to retire in 2022 as President & Chief Executive Officer of the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance (VIEA).


During George’s 11-year tenure, he was responsible for several notable achievements for VIEA, the only regional, non-government, non-profit, economic development organization of its kind in British Columbia. These include growing the annual ‘State of the Island’ Economic Summit to become the must-attend event for leaders across the Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands region, launching the annual ‘State of the Island’ Economic Report, establishing the successful Island Good product brand, facilitating the Island Wood Industries initiative, and achieving Foreign Trade Zone designation for the Vancouver Island region. His guidance and vision leading the organization has been instrumental in positioning VIEA as a key collaborator towards long-lasting regional economic development, diversification and resilience in the region.


“George’s work leading VIEA has been pivotal in helping build and cement strong partnerships across our region in creative, flexible and personalized ways for more than a decade,” says VIEA Board Chair Shannon Baikie. “We are grateful for all he has done for VIEA and for our region. He is leaving behind a lasting legacy within the organization and throughout the Island region.”


“The Island region is special and deserves our freshest and greatest ideas. I have welcomed the challenge to develop and manage initiatives and foster relationships towards a regional economy that is balanced, sustainable and overflowing with vitality,” says Hanson. “VIEA successes are largely attributable to a community of smart, capable, progressive volunteers with whom I have been privileged to work, including our board directors, members, committees, partners, Island Good licensees, contractors and sponsors.”


Hanson’s retirement offers the opportunity for a new leader to step into a position with tremendous prospects for enabling economic growth in the Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands economy. VIEA’s board of directors is initiating a search for a new President and CEO who is a visionary community builder and skilled communicator with deep relationships with First Nations, coastal communities, government, business, and education. Hanson will remain in place until a successor is hired and will work with the new President and CEO over a transition period.


“With new leadership providing fresh perspective and inspiration, VIEA will help lead the way as the region’s needs and opportunities rapidly evolve,” added Hanson. “The challenges are real. The opportunities are enormous. There is no time to waste.”


The posting opens on March 17, 2022.


For all inquiries on the position and application process, please contact Dan Hurley, Principal, Hurley Martin Group, at