Bruce OkabeDear Team Richmond,

The rumors are true: I’m retiring. I will be stepping down from my position as the chief executive officer of Tourism Richmond, effective May 15, 2018.

It’s been an honour and privilege to serve the community and I’ve had a wonderful and rewarding time here. I’ve discovered so many different aspects of Richmond during the past several months and while I was a resident of this city so many years ago, I will admit I didn’t know what the true heart of the city was until now.

I’d like to thank the board of directors for placing their trust in me to lead four key directives. They charged me with finding the right people for the organization, to launch a new destination brand, to set the organization on a new strategic direction and to reinvigorate the relationship we have with industry. And I’m pleased to say that we’ve delivered… a lot faster than anticipated.

Looking back on the past year, we’ve accomplished a lot:

2018-2020 Business and Marketing Plan – this document clearly outlines the strategies and priorities for Tourism Richmond over the next two years – and gives this organization a solid platform on which to succeed.

The New Destination Brand – Pacific. Authentic. Richmond, BC. This new brand is the culmination of what you told us in community workshops, surveys and Town Hall meetings and I think it’s a fitting description of who we are and more importantly, why we are. The new brand will form the underlying DNA of how we speak to tourists and businesses who wish to come to Richmond to visit or hold meetings here.

Our people – I’m so grateful of our hardworking and passionate team of ambassadors at Tourism Richmond, they were ones doing all the heavy lifting and executing against our strategy.

Industry Relationships – I am proud of our focus to ensure our industry has all the tools to be successful. From workshops to education to co op funding, our job is to make sure the Richmond tourism industry grows and prospers.

This was a true team effort, and I didn’t anticipate we would be at this juncture so quickly.

So, it’s with a mix of sadness and gratitude that I’m leaving Team Richmond but please always remember: Team Richmond is more than just one person. It’s you, your employees and peers, the team at Tourism Richmond, the City, the destination itself and so many others that truly makes up Team Richmond.

Thank you all for your kind support this past year.

Yours Truly,

Bruce Okabe
Tourism Richmond Team Member
Chief Executive Officer