Robert Lewis-Manning Appointed CEO of the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority

GVHA new CEO Robert Lewis-Manning - Feb 2023
Photo Supplied.

After an extensive national search to replace the outgoing CEO of the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GHVA), Ian Robertson, the board of directors of GHVA have found a successful candidate. Robert Lewis-Manning will begin his role effective March 22, 2023.

Lewis-Manning takes over the role from Ian Robertson, who served GVHA for almost eight years. During his tenure, Robertson completed various infrastructure development and expansion projects; and advocated for support of the region’s tourism industry during the COVID-19 pandemic, among other accomplishments. Robertson will retire after a decades-long career that included roles with the Tourism Industry Association of BC and Rocky Mountaineer.

The Board commenced its search for GVHA’s new CEO in June 2022, with executive search firm Boyden hired to identify suitable candidates. National in scope, the search prioritized candidates with expertise in categories encompassing leadership, Indigenous/stakeholder relations, financial and business acumen, and vision and strategy. Boyden’s shortlist included individuals from organizations, associations and authorities whose mandate, size and scope paralleled GVHA, with a focus on transportation, marine and tourism-oriented organizations.

After an extensive selection and interview process, the Board of Directors offered the role to Vancouver-based Lewis-Manning, former president and CEO of the Chamber of Shipping. Lewis-Manning has over 20 years of executive-level leadership experience in the global marine transportation sector and has established a reputation as an innovative thought leader committed to building diverse and high-performing teams.

During his time with the Chamber of Shipping, he was responsible for developing and implementing a new strategic direction, including expanding client base and revenue; prioritizing partnerships with First Nations communities, and facilitating substantial changes to vessel operations in Canadian waters. He also advocated and negotiated the first marine conservation agreement in Canada to protect endangered whales, securing the support of three federal departments.

“We are delighted to welcome Robert Lewis-Manning to the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority, and we look forward to working with him as we shift towards a new 10-year business and strategic plan,” said Christine Willow, Chair of the Board of Directors. “We met with many qualified candidates, though ultimately felt that Robert was the best person to continue serving our community while leading the organization into a sustainable and successful future.”

“I am thrilled to be joining the professional team at the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) as it embarks on defining its future strategic vision,” stated Robert Lewis-Manning. “I am looking forward to collaborating with the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations, business and community stakeholders, and local governments to steward GVHA’s cherished community and business assets in a responsible fashion.”