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.

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Andrew Nakazawa, M.PL.

Placemaking Lead

Bike lover. Balcony Gardener

Andrew is responsible for enhancing the downtown public realm through creative placemaking projects and public space improvements. He collaborates with property owners and tenants to animate public spaces and applies a people-first approach to improving the downtown core. He also develops partnerships with public, private, and non-profit groups to reimage underutilized spaces and add life, art, colour, and opportunities for social interaction to downtown 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, development strategy, and public and stakeholder engagement. Andrew loves plants and everything green and enjoys growing whatever fits onto his narrow West End balcony.

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Barbara Fairbrother

Partnerships & Engagement Manager

Connector. Culture consumer.

Barbara knows what the left hand is doing and fills in the right hand.  Over the 10+ years at the DVBIA, she has worked hard to create an atmosphere of inclusive placemaking initiatives and strong relationships that continue to make downtown Vancouver a great place to hang-out.  Always looking for ways to test out something new, Barbara and the placemaking team often head into uncharted territory with creating vibrant public spaces like our Perches and More Awesome Now alleyways.  At a policy level, she is advocating for sustainable stewardship models around spaces like šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énḵ Square.  Barbara finds delight in exploring the weird and creative things people do in the urban landscape and often finds herself attending unconventional events or closely examining city benches.


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Dominic Long

Community Safety Manager

Football Fan. Country music aficionado.

Dominic focuses on ensuring that downtown is safe and welcoming, while also working on behalf of downtown property owners and businesses as an advocate for crime deterrence and prevention. His role includes analyzing crime trends and reports, which allow him to identify and pursue safety opportunities that positively impact the community. His background includes more than eight years of work in policing and private security. When he’s not cultivating relationships with community stakeholders, you can find Dominic at the gym or watching Everton Football Club.

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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)


Heather McKenzie-Beck

Communications & Events Manager

Wordsmith. Happy hour enthusiast.

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.

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James Anderson

Data Analyst & Visualization Specialist

News junkie. Data nerd. Sports enthusiast

James works with the communications department to collect, interpret and visualize data, highlighting Downtown Vancouver’s livability, economic development, sustainability, and public spaces. James received his Master of Human Kinetics from the University of Windsor where his research focused on the urban governance and socio-economic impacts of sports events in medium-sized cities. Prior to starting at the DVBIA, James worked in the sport sector, analyzing membership, performance and results data to inform the governance of a National Sport Federation. James truly 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.

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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.

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Joshua Davidson

Communications Coordinator

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.

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Kaicea Pitts

Placemaking Coordinator

Vibrant. Cat lover.

Kaicea helps make all of the DVBIA’s placemaking projects happen. She is the eyes on the street and feet on the ground, making sure each space is beautiful, lively and welcoming. Her insane planning skills shine through in organizing for our jam-packed Perch program. You will often find her in one of our Perches, Lot 19 working her magic amongst the buskers, games and activities she has prepared for the space. You may recognize her face from her time as a presenter on Shaw TV but these days her spare time is filled with exploring other amazing spaces in Vancouver and through her travels. She is a lover of art – both visual and musical!

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Nikola Fischerova

Membership Engagement & 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.

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