FLASHBACK TO THE 2010 DIALOGUE IN NANAIMO: The story of Leadership Vancouver Island’s creation and sustenance is a story of leadership in action

Note to Reader:

Leadership Vancouver Island (LVI) was founded in 2005 in response a growing need for increased leadership capacity within Vancouver Island businesses, organization, and local government. This was done through the collaborative efforts of numerous community partners and volunteers.

Today, the LVI program is administered by the dedicated volunteer Board of Directors of the Leadership Society of Vancouver Island in collaboration with Community Futures Cowichan and numerous community partners.

In 2010, Leadership Vancouver Island partnered with Vancouver Island University (VIU), the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance, and the CAVI-Convening for Action on Vancouver Island program to host The Dialogue in Nanaimo at VIU.

The Leadership BC Program was originally launched in 2002, as an initiative of the BC Chamber of Commerce, at the provincial level for implementation within communities throughout BC.

Preparing Community Leaders

“Our mission is to seek out and cultivate potential and emerging leaders in the Central Vancouver Island region. Since 2005, our 10-month course has graduated close to 100 local women and men,” stated Patrick Ross, then the Chair, when LVI announced it would organize the Dialogue in Nanaimo in June 2010.

“The program goal is to prepare community leaders to take an active role in moving their communities forward by working with them to foster a better understanding of how the issues impacting their communities are interconnected and by forging stronger relationships among community and regional leaders.”

“Leadership Vancouver Island is developed by our community for our community. The program is open to anyone who is interested in leadership and community involvement and development. Program content considers issues and community awareness; personal leadership growth; and participation in a community program.”

Patrick Ross obtained his Doctorate in the Educational Leadership Program at Nova Southeastern University in 1997. His applied research focussed on developing and implementing school-wide behaviour management systems in BC schools. He is well-known throughout BC as a facilitator and workshop provider.

Build Innovative Communities

Kathy Bishop organized and facilitated the ‘Dialogue in Nanaimo’, held on June 11th 2010. “Communities that are able to establish a widely shared sense of purpose and excitement are in a stronger position to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship. This requires a bottom-up grassroots effort that engages a cross-section of community leaders and stakeholders,” added Kathy Bishop, LVI Curriculum Chair.

Kathy Bishop has worked internationally as a consultant in the areas of organizational development, facilitation and coaching. She is the published author of the book titled Vision! Passion! Powerful Action! She joined Royal Roads University in 2013, and is an associate professor in the School of Leadership Studies.

The Story of LVI

The story of Leadership Vancouver Island’s creation and sustenance is truly a story of leadership in action. If not for the hard work and dedication of numerous individuals, the program would not be what it is today.

Cori Lynn Germiquet

The original concept for the Leadership Vancouver Island (LVI) program was proposed by Cori Lynn Germiquet, past Executive Director for the Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce, and later President of the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance.

Inspired by what she’d learned at the Pacific Northwest Executives Conference in the United States in 2002, Cori was excited about the concept of developing a community leadership program in her home town. Such programs had existed in larger Canadian cities and in many smaller cities in the United States for some time; however, very few had been established in smaller Canadian cities and non-metropolitan regions.

Lacking the necessary resources to develop a community leadership program on their own, the Nanaimo Chamber approached the BC Chamber of Commerce for assistance. The BC Chamber was successful in obtaining funding from Community Futures, Terasen Gas (now FortisBC) and BC Hydro to develop a program.

Dr. Ken Hammer

In 2004, Dr. Ken Hammer was successful in his proposal to the BC Chamber to develop the Leadership Vancouver Island program. With his team, Dr. Hammer – then a professor at Malaspina University-College – proceeded to research existing programs in Canada, the United States, Australia and other locations around the world. Taking into account what he learned, Dr. Hammer developed focus groups in locations such as Kamloops, Quesnel, and Nanaimo. The curriculum was then reviewed and approved by a committee at the BC Chamber of Commerce.

In 2005, pilot projects for Leadership BC were launched in Kamloops, Quesnel and Nanaimo. It was followed in 2006 by a pilot launch in Ladysmith, championed by Ruth Malli, City Manager of the Town of Ladysmith.

Ruth Malli

Ruth Mali was instrumental in the foundation of a Leadership program in Ladysmith, which later became one of Leadership Vancouver Island’s founding partners. The leaderships programs in Nanaimo and Ladysmith were eventually amalgamated into Leadership Vancouver Island under a new entity: The Leadership Society of Vancouver Island.


In 2008, The Leadership Society of Vancouver Island approached Malaspina University-College (now Vancouver Island University) with the hopes that the college would deliver the program through their Centre for Continuing Studies. Thanks to the support of Malaspina’s staff, the program was approved.

Today, the LVI program in its entirety is worth six transferable elective credits towards any degree program at Vancouver Island University as LEAD 100 and LEAD 101.