A familiar face in the Delta business community is changing roles.
Jill McKnight, the current president of the Ladner Business Association (LBA) has been named executive director of the Delta Chamber of Commerce.
She assumes the role following the departure of Garry Shearer who is the Conservative Party candidate for Delta in the upcoming federal election.
McKnight will assume the role on Oct. 4.
“I’m very excited. It is an incredible opportunity,” she said. “I really like the fact that it aligns with something I’m so passionate about in terms of helping businesses in Delta succeed.”
McKnight is a longtime Delta resident, seasoned business owner and community leader.
“For the last five years as LBA president and on the board since 2012, that has opened up a tremendous opportunity to work alongside many businesses in this community,” she said. “One of the things I came to realize is that I really enjoy the work and coming through COVID and seeing the successes of businesses come through that and be supportive during some challenging times, it was very gratifying for me to see others succeed. I kind of felt there was more that I wanted to do and be involved in a bigger way, so when I was approached with this opportunity, I really wanted to learn more about the position and see how I could impact more on a greater scale.”
McKnight said she previously announced to the LBA that she would be stepping down this year.
“This was something that was going to happen regardless and the AGM for the LBA is in November,” she said. “Obviously the timeline has been moved up. Our board will be meeting soon to decide what will happen until the AGM in November. In the meantime I will wrap things up and transition us through to the AGM.”
McKnight said her involvement with the LBA has been a tremendous gift.
“What I have learned, how I have grown and the relationships I have built…it is incredible,” she said. “It’s fortunate that I’m still in the community and those relationships remain because the people I have gotten to work with are the greatest gift.”
As for her business – South Coast Casuals, she said she and her family will continue to own and operate it.
“It means that some of the activities that I would do during the work day will be at nights or on the weekend,” she said. “This is possible because we have an incredible team at South Coast Casuals.”
Chamber board chair Rick Gibbs said he is thrilled to welcome McKnight to the team.
“A fantastic person with a great resume in the community…she was exactly what we were looking for,” said Gibbs. “We really wanted someone that is part of the fabric of Delta and has a strong resume in the community. We have been talking with Jill and it wasn’t something we could announce yet publically, but the election came down fast, so we had a plan in place and then that changed.“As everything unfolded over the last week, she had time to let her employees know and timed that with our Chamber team. We have a number of initiatives in the works and Jill brings a great bridge to these initiatives. She has great ideas. The City of Delta is very pleased as well. It’s important we have a very collaborative spirit with all our organizations and community partners and Jill is the right person to continue to move us forward.”