Dear Team Richmond,
When Bruce Okabe joined us as our new CEO just under a year ago, he was given a clear mandate: chart a course for the next phase of Tourism Richmond’s evolution and unlock new opportunities to grow visitation and tourism revenues. We knew he and his team had a big task ahead of them and the board knew he was the right leader.
We just didn’t expect him to achieve so much so quickly.
While it does come as a surprise to us, we’re happy for Bruce and his family. Bruce’s departure is a direct result of a personal opportunity which affords him the means to pursue his interests and spend time with family.
And so, it’s with a mix of great sadness and much gratitude that the board of directors announces Bruce Okabe’s retirement as CEO of Tourism Richmond, effective May 15, 2018. Bruce and his team have accomplished an enormous amount during his tenure as CEO, from launching a new destination brand, to setting the organization in a new strategic direction.
We are grateful to Bruce for his leadership and for the accomplishments of the entire team this past year. We are fortunate to have a new brand story to tell, a three-year strategic plan, renewed relationships in the Community as well as stronger internal capacity, allowing us to confidently move forward with the strategic plan.
The Governance Committee has engaged the services of Boyden Executive Search to find the new CEO of Tourism Richmond. Bruce’s extended notice allows us to ensure a continuity of service to stakeholders like yourselves, as well as continuing forward on the momentum we’ve built.
In the meantime, we’ve got a few words for Bruce from our board members below:
Bruce has been instrumental in transforming not only the Tourism Richmond team; but the brand itself. His tenacity, vision and positivity helped to move the organisation forward, reaching new heights. It has been a pleasure working with Bruce; he and the team came to board meetings well-prepared, professional and receptive. I wish him all the best in his retirement. He will be missed.
General Manager, McArthurGlen Designer Outlet
When we were interviewing Bruce I was very impressed and knew from his responses that our time together wouldn't be forever. I said to him that I prefer "excellence for a short time vs mediocrity for a life time." Little did I know he would test my theory. Even though it was a short time, Bruce set the organisation on a new path of "excellence." His foot print will be his legacy and guiding force for the next several years. We wish you well and good health.
Associate Vice President, Western Region, Aeroterm
I feel the Tourism Richmond organization has been very fortunate to have been guided by Bruce for the past year. His insight, passion and pure drive has driven the organization to new heights. Along with a dynamic and dedicated team of professionals, Bruce has positioned the organization in a very positive place to reach new heights now and in the future. I wish him nothing but the best in his retirement. Tourism Richmond rocks!
General Manager, Radisson Hotel Vancouver Airport
Bruce is an energy surge and a marketing wizard. Tourism Richmond has been lucky to have him, even if only for a brief period. His impact will be lasting and the City will enjoy the economic echo of his marketing savvy.
Chief Operating Officer, Richmond Olympic Oval
We’d like to thank Bruce again for his expertise and leadership during the past year and we look forward to reaping the fruits of all his hard work. Thank you, Bruce!