The University of British Columbia Appoints New Vice President, Human Resources

The University of British Columbia, a global centre for research and teaching, consistently ranked among the 40 best universities in the world and the second largest university in Canada, has appointed Barbara Meens Thistle to the critically important position of Vice President, Human Resources.

With more than 62,000 students from 160 countries on two major campuses and 15,000 faculty and staff plus 300,000 alumni, UBC has an annual operating budget of $2.5 billion with more than $580 million in annual research income making it one of the top global post-secondary institutions.

Barbara Meens Thistle brings a quarter century of senior leadership experience—including at some of B.C.’s largest public sector organizations—to UBC as the new Vice President, Human Resources.

“Barbara will be a valuable addition to our executive team and I have full confidence she will be able to build on the excellent progress made by Lisa Castle, former vice-president of human resources, to make UBC a rewarding and fulfilling place to work,” said UBC President Santa J. Ono.

Meens Thistle currently holds the position of Vice President, Central Services at the Insurance Corporation of BC (ICBC) where she has responsibility for a diverse portfolio including all aspects of Human Resources. She also has extensive experience as a senior leader in the energy sector, including at Emera Inc., Nova Scotia Power, and Westcoast Energy. Together with past roles at B.C. public sector organizations including ICBC, the Provincial Health Services Authority, Powerex, and BC Hydro, Meens Thistle brings a wealth of experience in the areas of strategic planning, change management, operational excellence, procurement, health and wellness, and safety.

“I’m thrilled to accept this new challenge to lead human resources programs and services at UBC, one of the province’s top employers,” said Barbara Meens Thistle. “UBC has one of the largest workforces in British Columbia and I look forward to continuing efforts to making the university an inspiring place to work that also supports faculty and staff wellbeing, resilience and commitment.”

Meens Thistle is a long-time champion of equity, diversity and inclusion. Throughout her career, she has worked collaboratively with senior leaders and employees to create and implement relevant, aspirational and comprehensive diversity and inclusion strategies.

In 2016, Meens Thistle was voted HR Professional of the Year by the BC and Yukon chapter of the Chartered Professionals in Human Resources and is a Certified Professional in Human Resources and a Fellow in the Canadian Board Diversity Council. Meens Thistle is also an active volunteer in her community as a board director with OceanWise (Vancouver Aquarium) and with Big Sisters of BC, Lower Mainland.

UBC has consistently been recognized as one of BC’s Top Employers, as well as one of Canada’s greenest employers, best diversity employers, and top employers for young people. Additionally, people in Metro Vancouver have named the university a Dream Employer for several consecutive years.

PFM Executive Search led an international recruitment process with UBC President, Santa Ono as the Chair of the Search Committee. Our firm is a recognized leader in working within the post-secondary sector, identifying and recruiting top leaders who enhance the stature of institutions. PFM is know for facilitating inclusive search processes for client groups in the higher education sector.

PFM Executive Search Recruits Senior UK Leader to CEO Role at Providence Health Care in Vancouver

After a thorough national and international search, Providence Health Care has selected Fiona Dalton as its next President & Chief Executive Officer.

With 23 years’ experience in the health care field, Ms. Dalton has deep experience in leading complex and varied health organizations. From 2013 to present, she has been the Chief Executive Officer of University Hospital Southampton NHS (National Health Service) Foundation Trust in the UK – a renowned academic health sciences centre with 10,000 employees and an annual budget of over £680 million (approx. $1.2 billion Cdn).

In making the formal announcement, Chair of Providence Health Care, Eric Harris said during her tenure Ms. Dalton has led and overseen numerous strategic transformation and improvement initiatives, including:

  • the development and launch of a new values-based organizational vision;
  • being nationally recognized for improving quality and safety;
  • improving hospital performance and patient outcomes;
  • enhancing research performance and leading the successful application with the University of Southampton to become one of the national Biomedical Research Centres and supporting the new Southampton Centre for Cancer Immunology (£25 million or about $43 million Cdn);
  • leading successful staff health and well-being strategies;
  • focusing on quality improvement, innovation and digital services (being recognised nationally through the award of the Global Digital Exemplar (£10 million or $17 million Cdn) monies for our informatics programme); and
  • delivering a successful capital program, improving and expanding her organization’s facilities for patient care, research and education, with academic, commercial and charitable partners.

Ms. Dalton has a BA Honours in Human Sciences from Queen’s College, Oxford University, and received an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science by the University of Southampton in July 2017, in recognition of her work in Southampton. Some of Ms. Dalton’s previous roles have included serving as the Chief Operating Officer and Interim CEO of the Great Ormond Street Hospital NHS Foundation Trust from 2008 to 2013; Executive Director of Strategy and Business Development, at Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust from 2005 to 2008; and Divisional Director, Responsible for Surgery, Cancer, Critical Care, Neurosciences, Theatres & Anaesthetics, at Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust, 2000 to 2004.

Chair, Eric Harris went on to say “To the executive recruitment firm and certainly to the PHC Board members who had the privilege of meeting Ms. Dalton during the interview phase, it quickly became clear what an outstanding candidate we had the pleasure of considering. Ms. Dalton’s varied experience, sectoral knowledge, strategic acuity, respectful communication style, personable character and clarity of thinking were easily evident. What stood out even more was her emphasis on people, collaboration, organizational culture, personal and organizational values, and a strict commitment to performance excellence, with focus on staff/physician engagement and patient involvement”.

“I want to thank PFM Executive Search for all their hard work in making contact with over 300 people as part of their search and for helping the Board narrow down the candidates’ list” said Harris.

In accepting this important leadership role in Canadian health care, Ms. Dalton stated:

“It’s a great honour to be invited to lead Providence Health Care. I am delighted and excited to join an organisation with such a great reputation for values-driven, compassionate and innovative health care.”

PFM Executive Search is a recognized leader in Canada and is know for its ability to facilitate large and complex Selection Committees in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. Over 25-years PFM has recruited senior leaders from all over the world is known for its integrity and professionalism.

Anthony Everett – President & Chief Executive Officer for Tourism Vancouver Island

Following a national recruitment conducted by PFM Executive Search, the Board of Tourism Vancouver Island (TVI) has selected Anthony Everett as its new CEO, succeeding Dave Petryk, who has retired after 17 years of leading the regional tourism association.

Anthony is a passionate and long-term tourism advocate and professional, and has been involved in the tourism sector in British Columbia for the majority of his working career, starting in Victoria at Butchart Gardens in Visitor Services and then establishing Butchart Gardens’ Media Relations department. In 1999, he was recruited to Tourism Victoria to manage the Media Relations Department until 2003 when he joined the team at Tartan Public Relations as an Account Director. In 2006, Anthony moved away from Vancouver Island to lead the Northern British Columbia Tourism Association through 2015. In addition he was Chair the Board of Directors for the 2015 Prince George Canada Winter Games Host Society.

“After a robust executive search which produced great candidates, we’re excited to have Anthony join our organization,” said Ian MacPhee, Chair of Tourism Vancouver Island.  “With his collaborative relationship building, visionary leadership style, and experience in building innovative strategies, we anticipate a very smooth transition following Dave’s retirement.”

Anthony has earned significant achievements through his career and is the recipient of the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance (CSTA) Prestige Award 2016, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, and the 2015 Prince George Citizen of the Year.

“I am humbled and excited to join the fabulous team at Tourism Vancouver Island and build on my friend, Dave’s legacy,” said Everett. “I am thrilled to return to Vancouver Island where I began my career and collaborate with communities, businesses, and residents to bring world-wide recognition to our unique travel destination.”

Vancouver Island continues to be recognized as a premier vacation destination. In 2017, 2016, 2015 and 2014, Travel + Leisure magazine readers voted Vancouver Island as Number 1 Island in Canada, and has been among the top three islands since 2001. In 2016, Conde Nast Traveler magazine readers voted Vancouver Island as #6 Island in the World up from #7 in 2015.  From 2000-2008, Vancouver Island was rated as the Best Island in North America by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler. From 2011 to 2013 Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice awarded Vancouver Island as #1 Island in Canada, and continues to be ranked among the top three. This prestigious travel magazine has been conducting a Readers’ Choice award program since 1988.

PFM Executive Search was delighted to work with one of Canada’s most recognized regional tourism organization that is innovative in its approach to tourism and hospitality. Our firm has worked extensively in the tourism and destination marketing sector over the 25-year history of the firm. PFM Executive Search is known for its ability to work effectively with Boards and Selection Committees in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors and for its skill in recruiting talented senior leaders to executive positions.