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Allison Rzen
Shelina Esmail

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Great Northern Way Trust
Executive Director

Great Northern Way (GNW) Trust is jointly owned by the University of British Columbia (UBC), Simon Fraser University (SFU), British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) and Emily Carr University of Art + Design (ECUAD) and has two primary responsibilities: the operation of the Centre for Digital Media, which offers a Master of Digital Media graduate degree, jointly operated and accredited by all four partners; and the revitalization, management and oversight of real estate development projects. The vision for GNW Trust is to establish the site as a vibrant urban campus community of creators, entrepreneurs and educators. This transformed property will include public spaces, university-oriented live-work residences, artist studios and work spaces for industry professionals. The site will be a hub for collaboration and innovation between creative sector industries and academia.

Reporting to the Board, the Executive Director is responsible for the overall leadership of the Trust. He or she will work closely with the four Partner institutions, industry and community partners to ensure that GNW Trust is achieving its Shareholders’ vision. The Executive Director will oversee management of GNW Trust’s four inter-related business areas, including property management, development of the remaining land, and management of the Trust and the Centre for Digital Media (CDM). He or she will work closely with the CDM’s Program Director to ensure all the program’s needs are met from a business and operations perspective. The Executive Director will seek opportunities to poise the GNW campus as a hub for collaboration and innovation, bringing business, investors and educators together to further grow Vancouver and BC’s reputation as a world-leader in digital and interactive media and the creative sector.

As the ideal candidate, you are an effective leader with a track record of success developing and implementing sophisticated strategies, programs and resources to build capacity within an organization. You have a demonstrated commitment to innovation, excellence in a related sector and possess strong relationship building and interpersonal skills. You bring an appreciation for – and ideally experience in – the post-secondary sector, along with the solid business background to manage GNW Trust’s real estate holdings and facilities. Your business development sensibilities allow you to think strategically about strategies and partnerships that will take an organization to the next level. Your outstanding relationship skills mean you can work effectively and productively with government, a Board of Directors, sub Committees, academic and business leaders, and you are able to balance conflicting priorities while moving initiatives forward. Your background is ideally augmented by a graduate degree in business administration, computer science, or a related field.

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