Destination BC is pleased to welcome Bob Simpson and Brian Friesen to our Board of Directors.
Bob Simpson, B.A.; B.Sc., is an independent consultant specializing in the areas of government relations and community economic development. He served two terms as Mayor of the City of Quesnel (2014-2022) and led the community through a highly successful rebranding initiative and the development of a community transition strategy which included an increased emphasis on amenities investments and tourism marking and promotion.
He was elected MLA for Cariboo North for two terms (2005-2013), serving as Opposition Critic for Forestry in his first term and then Critic for Aboriginal relations during the first part of his second term. These two roles saw him travel the province extensively multiple times, meeting with community leaders and discussing economic development and transition strategies in many communities across BC. The vast majority of these deliberations involved thoughtful discussions about the role that tourism could and would play in the province’s future.
Prior to entering politics, Bob was the Corporate Manager for Organizational Effectiveness, Change Management, and Leadership Development for a large forest products company that had operations in BC and Alberta. He is an avid mountain biker, competitive road cyclist and triathlete, whitewater canoeist, ocean kayaker, and loves both downhill and cross-country skiing. His outdoor interests have seen him take advantage of BC’s major resorts, parks, and wilderness areas.
Brian Friesen is the Vice President, Trade Development & Real Estate, for the Prince Rupert Port Authority, the federal agency responsible for the overall planning, development and management of Canada’s third largest port. With a mandate to responsibly facilitate Canada’s trade at the Port of Prince Rupert, Brian leads a team that supports $60 billion in annual trade, $1.4 billion in economic activity in northern British Columbia and 3,700 direct jobs in port-related businesses.
Brian joined the Prince Rupert Port Authority in 2014. In his current role, he is responsible for business development, strategic planning, marketing, investment attraction and real property management.
In addition to developing the Port’s strong cargo business, Brian is also responsible for its cruise portfolio. Recently, Brian led his team in successfully negotiating a terminal operating agreement with one the world’s largest independent cruise port operators, Global Ports Holding. He and his team are focused on developing Prince Rupert into a leading port of call destination within the Alaska cruise theatre.
Brian grew up in Victoria and joined the Oak Bay Marine Group in 1999, holding various roles at sport-fishing lodges on the B.C. coast in Rivers Inlet, Haida Gwaii, Campbell River and Quadra Island before moving into corporate sales for the company. Brian then joined the Hotel Grand Pacific as the Director of Sales & Marketing and was involved in numerous community organizations including SportHost Victoria, the Victoria International Cycling Festival and Tourism Victoria’s destination marketing committee.
Brian holds a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University and an MBA from the University of Victoria. Brian lives in Prince Rupert, on the traditional territory of the Ts’msyen First Nation. He and his young family enjoy boating and camping adventures throughout northern BC.
The entire Destination BC team welcomes Bob and Brian and expresses gratitude for their support for our organization and BC’s tourism industry. Learn more about Destination BC’s Board of Directors here: https://www.destinationbc.ca/who-we-are/board-of-directors/
Subscribe to our newsletter