A woman who lent her voice to a battle for control of the boat basin in 2013 has a city council appointment to the Nanaimo Port Authority board of directors.
Michelle Corfield, one of 13 applicants for the position, got the nod from city council earlier this month.
Corfield, who has a doctorate in management and organizational leadership, is founder and CEO of Corfield and Associates Consulting and operates seafood harvesting company Hyistuup Harvesting.
Corfield is also chairwoman of the Ucluelet First Nation legislative council, executive-in-residence for an executive business program at Simon Fraser University and serves on the board of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of B.C.
Corfield said she will look for ways to attract business and revenue to the boat basin marina and the rest of the harbour.
Revenue losses and repairs for deteriorating wharves lead to a proposal from Pacific Northwest Marine Group in 2013 to lease the marina for 30 years in return for $9 million in marina upgrades.
Corfield became spokeswoman for a coalition of concerned citizens, which included commercial fishermen, Protection Island residents, Snuneymuxw First Nation and others, that argued against the lease, citing fears that under private operation, the marina might restrict access to users in the community. Pacific Northwest Marine Group ultimately dropped the lease proposal.
“The city, as a whole, is interested in economic development in a good way, not necessarily at all costs, so how do we create that opportunity that exists for all parties?” Corfield asked.
Nanaimo Mayor Bill McKay said he knew of Corfield through the boat basin controversy.
“She’s got a very diverse portfolio,” McKay said. “She’s local … she’s got links to the fishing industry and she’s really, really smart.”
Corfield’s three-year appointment starts July 1.
“It should be an exciting appointment, I’m sure,” Corfield said. “I think the City of Nanaimo deserves a fair representation on the board and I think the interest of the city needs to be put forward and we have to work in collaboration.”