Cariboo Regional District Area vice-chair John Massier and chair Margo Wagner. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

CRD chair Margo Wagner is first female chair of NDIT

Cariboo Regional District chair Margo Wagner is the first female chair of the Northern Development Initiative Trust (NDIT).

Wagner was acclaimed chair of the NDIT board of directors during the Trust’s annual general meeting April 24 in Prince George.

For the first time since the inception of the Trust, the board has a female chair and an all-female executive committee, according to a press release from NDIT.

Wagner has served on the NDIT board since 2016 and on the Cariboo/Chilcotin Lillooet Regional Advisory Committee since 2012.

She has been the Cariboo Regional District (CRD) Electoral Area H Director since 2011 and the CRD chair since 2017. Wagner served as the vice chair of the Cariboo-Chilcotin Regional Hospital District from 2012 to 2015 and as chair from 2015 to 2017. She has been the chair of the South Cariboo Rural Caucus for the past four years and served as the CRD’s Finance Committee Chair for two years.

Director Wagner is the Safety Officer and a first responder instructor for Forest Grove Volunteer Fire Department and a retired registered nurse.

She is the former president of Canim Lake Community Club and current chair of the Canim Lake Citizens on Patrol.

“I am pleased and honoured to have been elected chair of the Northern Development Board of Directors,” Wagner said in the press release. “I am deeply committed to the economic success of all communities in Northern and Central BC and look forward to working with our esteemed directors to achieve that success.”

Lori Ackerman was acclaimed by the board as the new vice-chair and has been a member of Northern Development’s board for nearly 11 years. She has also served on the Northeast Regional Advisory Committee since 2008. Ackerman is a resident of the Peace Region and has lived in the area since 1980, mostly in the City of Fort St. John, where she has served as mayor since 2011.

Carol Leclerc is the newly-acclaimed director at large on the Trust board, having been appointed to the board in January of 2019. Leclerc was first elected as Mayor of Terrace in 2014 and served as a Terrace City Councillor from 2002-2011.

Wendy Benyk was acclaimed by the board as the finance committee chair for a second term and has been a provincially appointed member of Northern Development’s board for five years. Since 2004, Benyk has been the chief executive officer of Lakes District Maintenance Ltd., a highway road and bridge maintenance company. Previously, Benyk was a senior audit manager at KPMG and BDO Dunwoody.

Bev Playfair, mayor of Fort St. James, and Gary Foster, mayor of the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality, were both acclaimed as members of the board’s Finance Committee. Playfair and Foster were appointed to the board in January of 2019.

Tom Hoffman and Gerald Wesley have stepped down from the board.

“I want to congratulate Chair Wagner on her election as Chair of the Trust’s Board of Directors and as the first female to sit at the head of the director’s table,” said Joel McKay, CEO of NDIT. “I admire Chair Wagner’s commitment to the people and causes that impact the north and look forward to working together with her and the rest of our executive team. I would also like to thank Gerald Wesley and Tom Hoffman for their service and dedication, not only to the Trust, but to the communities and residents of northern B.C.”

NDIT works with communities, First Nations, local government and businesses to build a strong North by investing in economic development in central and northern B.C.

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