The Downtown Vernon Association held its 2020 Annual General Meeting on May 27, 2020, with members
approving the 2019 Annual Report and the Audited Financial Statements and electing the 2020 Board of
“The DVA is pleased to announce that Tegan Carruthers of BDO Canada and Keelan Murtagh of SQM
Group have been re-elected for their second terms on the Board, and I am pleased to welcome a new
Director this year, James Fradley of The Med. On behalf of the Board, I sincerely thank outgoing
volunteer Directors including Umang Patel, Alysia Lor-Knill, Selena Stearns, and Andrew Fradley. Their
time and efforts are very much appreciated by the DVA Board, staff, and our members,” says Shanna
Rowney, interim Chair.
Adds Rowney, “The DVA’s volunteer Board of Directors are an excellent representation of the downtown
Vernon business community and we are eager to continue to work collaboratively with staff and
members in continuing to improve the downtown business environment. Each Director brings unique and
valuable skills and expertise to their roles in directing the work of the Association and in representing
their industries and community.”
2019 was a busy year for downtown Vernon with record-breaking public attendance at over 19 events
hosted by the DVA to encourage people to enjoy downtown’s unique offerings and beautiful setting. The
year also included replacement of all the DVA’s street banners down Highway 97 and along 30th Avenue,
a successful pilot program with the City of Vernon to improve bicycle infrastructure in the core,
welcoming 37 new businesses to the BIAs, a popular #downtownproud social media campaign, and the
distribution of hundreds of signs to assist property owners and law enforcement regarding trespassing,
among other initiatives.
“Due to the challenges from the on-going global pandemic and based on the feedback from our
members, the DVA’s focus for the remainder of 2020 will be promoting our downtown business
community. The DVA wants to remind everyone that our downtown community remains inviting,
friendly, and respectful, and that our businesses are safe, open, ready, and grateful to be considered
the heart of this incredibly supportive City. Our downtown businesses have demonstrated resiliency with
creativity, ingenuity, collaboration, and the ability to quickly adapt to impacts beyond their control.
The DVA cannot express enough gratitude for those businesses and their employees that were able to
remain safely open during the uncertain days of the covid-19 crisis. Whether considered “essential” or
not, many business owners and managers had to make difficult decisions that no business plan could
have predicted. It is an honour to work alongside and serve Vernon’s downtown business community as
their strength and fortitude is inspiring,” adds Susan Lehman, Executive Director.