New North Shore BIA says no controversy in new hire.

The North Shore Business Improvement Association (NSBIA) denies any controversy surrounding the hiring of its new general manager.

Lyn Hellyar will assume the top job at the NSBIA on Friday, Feb. 1, replacing Peter Mutrie, who parted ways with the organization in November of last year, citing “shifting human dynamics.”

Hellyar, the former executive director of Vancouver’s West End Business Improvement Association, left that organization early last year.

According to reports in Xtra News, her departure was subject to legal discussions and left the organization’s next director with a “fair bit of cleanup” to do.

West End BIA board chairman John Nicholson told Xtra a governance review conducted after Hellyar’s departure found 42 places the organization could improve its strategic planning and management.

“Normally, you do a governance review, you have six or eight things you must change or review. We had 42,” he said.

Hellyar had reportedly also clashed with the gay community in the area, most notably in 2008 when the West End BIA took down rainbow flags in the Davie Village so it could promote a triathlon championship it was co-hosting.

NSBIA president Lynda Douglas said her organization’s hiring committee viewed Hellyar’s departure as a case of board priorities changing in Vancouver.

“There was no controversy or perceived controversy from the hiring committee’s point of view,” she said.

Douglas told KTW Hellyar’s references were all from past board members at the West End BIA, noting all were positive.

“I know there was a change of board and a change of presidency and it sounded like a change of direction,” she said.

Douglas said the NSBIA looked at five candidates to fill the general manage position and interviewed two.

Hellyar, who had helmed the West End BIA since its formation in 2007, got the job on enthusiasm and experience, Douglas said.

“I definitely look forward to bringing back that vibrant energy that the North Shore deserves,” Douglas said. “She understands how to work with diverse groups of people. It’s fabulous.”

Douglas said Hellyar was not available to speak to the media at this time.

The NSBIA will hold a meet-and-greet session with its new general manager on Tuesday, Feb. 12, from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., at the Holiday In, 675 Tranquille Rd., before its annual general meeting.


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