The Team

Charles Gauthier, MCP

President & CEO

Outdoor enthusiast. Guitarist. Loves road trips and cities.

Charles holds a Masters of City Planning from the University of Manitoba and has been steering the DVBIA with vision and a commitment to the future of downtown Vancouver since 1992. He’s been the recipient of Business In Vancouver’s prestigious ‘40 Under 40 Achievement Award,’ and the Downtown Vancouver Association’s President’s Award, in addition to other accolades. He has served on numerous boards during his career including the Business Improvement Areas of BC, the BC chapter of the Canadian Society of Association Executives, the International Downtown Association and the Vancouver New Year’s Eve Celebration Society. As a result of his long tenure at the DVBIA, his extensive professional network and his track record of accomplishments, he is sought out by media, government and colleagues to provide a perspective on downtown issues. He speaks at a number of international conferences per year to share his wealth of BIA experience, paying it forward to the next generation of urban leaders. Foremost, he lobbies all three levels of government on behalf of the collective interests of DVBIA members and downtown. He enjoys the outdoors almost as much as he does cities, and loves tapping into his creativity by playing the guitar and singing his favourite songs of his youth—The Beatles, Steve Miller Band, The Eagles and so many more . He has hiked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, the Grand Canyon from the north rim to the south rim, and Canada’s famous West Coast Trail; sailed the Galapagos Islands; and completed a number of road trips including a cross-country trip to the Maritimes, Route 66 and the Alaska Highway.

604-685-7811 x203 | charles@dtvan.ca

Jane Talbot, CPHR

Vice President

Mountain climber. Animal lover. Philanthropist.

Jane is responsible for keeping the day-to-day operations of the DVBIA running smoothly. She sees opportunity and possibility everywhere she looks, and is an essential element of what makes the Association such an organized, well-oiled machine. She joins the DVBIA from the world of philanthropy, having held senior roles at the BC SPCA and the Positive Living Society, and is passionate about making the world a better place— for humans and their furry friends alike. Jane holds a Masters of Arts degree in International Relations from Webster University and a Certificate in Executive Leadership from Cornell University. From Kilimanjaro to Vancouver’s more modest peaks, she has scaled her fair share of mountains, but also thoroughly enjoys logging a few hours on the couch with a great book.

604-685-7811 x202 | jane@dtvan.ca

Keyanna Russell

Administrative and HR Assistant

Boardgame enthusiast. World adventurer. Lover of everything chocolate.

Keyanna is responsible for everything administrative in the office and helps coordinate the operations of HR within the organization. She pursued a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology and French at Mount Allison University and soon after discovered her passion for Human Resources at Camosun College when completing her Post-Degree Diploma in HR Management and Leadership. In her spare time, you can find her hiking, drinking wine with her family and friends, or curling up with a good book.

604-685-7811 x200 | keyanna@dtvan.ca

Heather McKenzie-Beck

Senior Manager, Marketing & Communications

Wordsmith. Happy hour aficonado.

Heather looks after the DVBIA’s diverse range of communications initiatives. From social media to thought leadership to strategic planning, she strives to ensure that the great work of the association is shared with Vancouverites in a meaningful way. Heather has a Master of Arts in Communications and experience in a wide range of industries, including financial services, education advocacy, non-profit communications, and agency-based PR work. She has lived in Vancouver for over twenty years and considers it her personal mission to sample each and every happy hour menu that downtown Vancouver has to offer. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it.

604-685-7811 x204 | heather@dtvan.ca

Joshua Davidson

Communications and Graphic Design Lead

Booklover. Explorer. Music Enthusiast

Joshua assists Heather with DVBIA’s communications alongside providing digital and design support to the wider team. Joshua studied Literature at Lincoln University and has recently moved to Vancouver from London, England where he worked in Internal Communications. When not in the office, Joshua is usually seeking the ultimate outdoor adventure, be it hiking, skiing, snowshoeing or simply exploring the city.

604-685-7811 x213 | joshua@dtvan.ca

Nikola Fischerova

Membership Engagement and Events Lead

World Traveller. Yogi.

Nikola provides executive support to the President and CEO and is responsible for ensuring the smooth running of the DVBIA office. She provides event coordination support for DVBIA events, and in one way or another, her work supports every other organizational function. Nikola has refined her diverse skillset over five years of experience working in private sector and not-for-profit organizations, and her background provides DVBIA and its members with a mix of skills in administration, project coordination and business operations. When not keeping everyone in the office organized and on track, Niki enjoys exploring the world, travelling to countries where she hasn’t been before and meeting interesting people from different cultures.

604-685-7811 x201 | nikola@dtvan.ca

Sofia Laratta

Digital Marketing Coordinator

Spin Instructor. Music Lover. Fashionista.

Sofia takes care of the DVBIA’s social media channels and provides support to Joshua and Heather with communications, events, and marketing initiatives. Sofia moved from Calgary, Alberta to Vancouver in 2015 to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Tourism Management from Capilano University. While working in Vancouver’s tourism industry, Sofia gained an enormous love and passion for the city and all that it has to offer. In her spare time, you’ll catch Sofia at a concert, taking “pics for the gram,” or curating a playlist for her next spin class.

604-685-7811 | sofia@dtvan.ca

Andrew Nakazawa, M.PL.

Placemaking and Public Spaces Manager

Bike lover. Balcony Gardener

Andrew manages the DVBIA’s placemaking and public space portfolio and is responsible for overall program vision and direction, long-range planning, and strategic partnerships. With a people-first approach to improving the downtown core, he and his placemaking team collaborate with property owners, member businesses, and local makers and creators to enhance underutilized spaces, streets, laneways, and plazas. Andrew comes to the DVBIA with a Master of Urban and Regional Planning from Queen’s University and has over seven years’ experience in urban planning and design, commercial development strategy, and public and stakeholder engagement. Andrew loves plants and everything green and enjoys growing whatever fits onto his narrow West End balcony.

604-685-7811 x205 | andrew@dtvan.ca

Clare Warner

Placemaking and Public Spaces Coordinator

Animal lover. Tea drinker.

Clare graduated with a BSc. in Geology from University College Cork, Ireland before moving to Canada in 2015. Coming from the telecommunications and recycling industries, Clare has specialized in administration, sales and CRM for businesses large and small, and finds enjoyment in helping people and organizations become successful.

604.685.7811×212 | clare@dtvan.ca 

Winki Tam

Placemaking and Public Spaces Lead

Culture seeker. Friend to cats & dogs. Karaoke Enthusiast.


Winki works in the Placemaking Team to program arts, music, and cultural activities in downtown Vancouver. Her mission is to make Vancouver the world’s best rainy city to play and live in.

She has recently returned home to Vancouver after 2 years abroad working in Amsterdam and travelling in Europe. With a background in events and project management, Winki has organized fundraising events across 30 cities in B.C. and design projects across 3 countries (Mauritius, The Netherlands, U.K.).

Winki is continually seeking introductions to talented, local creators and groups. Artists, musicians, and event producers – say hello at winki@dtvan.ca!

Her karaoke song: Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart

604.685.7811×210 | winki@dtvan.ca 

Gavin Duffus, MPL*

Economic Development Manager

Urbanist. Concert Goer.

Gavin wants businesses in Vancouver to thrive. To this end, he helps ensure that downtown Vancouver is an attractive and affordable place to set up shop. Gavin fosters synergistic commercial opportunities through outreach and networking. Trained as an urban planner, Gavin enjoys collaborating with stakeholders and policy makers to improve civic regulations. When not recruiting new business ventures, Gavin can be found jogging the seawall or hosting a theme party. (*Master of Planning)

604-685-7811 x211gavin@dtvan.ca

James Anderson

Research and Data Analyst

News junkie. Data nerd. Sports enthusiast

James works with the communications department to collect, visualize and interpret data, highlighting Downtown’s livability, economy, and public spaces. James received his Master of Human Kinetics from the University of Windsor where his research focused on the socio-economic impacts of sports events. Prior to starting at the DVBIA, James worked in the sport sector, analyzing membership and performance data to inform the governance of a National Sport Federation. James loves Vancouver. When he is not crunching numbers, he can be found wandering Stanley Park, sailing in English Bay or planning his next travel adventure.

604-685-7811 x214 | james@dtvan.ca