Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation has hired a new chief executive officer.
John Hankins, 51, who currently operates John Hankins International Consulting Service in Okotoks, Alta., will replace former NEDC CEO Sasha Angus, who resigned in July to move with his family to Victoria.
Hankins, originally from Somerset, England, has run his consulting business since leaving his position in Calgary in 2012 where he devised, planned and led business missions to countries that included Australia, China, United Kingdom and the U.S., according to his biography on his company website. His consulting firm services companies looking to open new domestic and overseas markets.
Hankins, who was selected by an independent recruiting firm and takes over as NEDC CEO in the first week of January, describes Nanaimo as an “up-and-coming city with so much potential … that’s very much poised for future growth.”
Hankins has a daughter attending University of Victoria and will move to Nanaimo with his wife in the new year. He said he wants to become familiar with the work work already undertaken by the NEDC board and ongoing files and determine the board’s initial priorities before trying to integrate some of his own ideas.
“Anytime you start a new role it’s getting to meet people, getting to understand the climate and how people work in that environment and fitting in,” Hankins said.
Nanaimo mayor Bill McKay said Hankins had already made contact with him Tuesday morning to introduce himself and to arrange to meet McKay and the rest of city council.
“What I did reply to him was that he’s been left with a very competent staff and a good solid foundation upon which he can build … the foundation’s been poured and now it’s time for him to build the building,” McKay said.
Andre Sullivan, NEDC board chairman, said Hankins brings a blend of economic development and private-sector experience to the position that the NEDC was looking for.
“He knows what it’s like to be a businessman and he knows how to help them … but mainly it’s doing the little things right. Making sure that we create the right ecosystem for businesses to thrive is the crux of this job,” Sullivan said.
Annual salary for the NEDC CEO position is $130,000.