Lori Iannidinardo will lead the board at the Cowichan Valley Regional District for the final year before municipal elections on Oct. 15, 2022.
The CVRD’s director for Cowichan Bay since 2008 was elected as chair of the board for the next year by board members at a recent meeting.
North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring, one of the municipality’s directors on the board, and Sierra Acton, director for Shawnigan Lake, were also nominated for chair, accepted the nomination, but lost to Iannidinardo.
Past chairman Ian Morrison, the director for Cowichan Lake South/Skutz Falls, was also nominated but declined.
After their loss to Iannidinardo, Acton and Siebring were nominated for vice chair and Acton, who has been the director for Shawnigan lake since 2016 and has served before as vice-chair, was elected.
A new chair and vice-chair are chosen by the district’s board of directors each year of its electoral mandate.
In a speech to the board after she accepted her nomination, Iannidinardo said she has years of experience working with people at non-profit organizations, and cited her work with Cowichan Community Kitchen.
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“I’ve been watching, listening and participating [in the community] for many years and I feel I have the experience, time and commitment to really serve in the capacity of board chair,” she said.
“I have leadership skills, I am a good listener, and I have participated in the air-shed roundtable, Cowichan Watershed Board, the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities, the solid-waste committee, chaired the electoral areas services committee and many more. I’ve been in service to the community most of my life.”
Iannidinardo said the CVRD needs stability and its services supported.
“It’s going to be a difficult year but I believe we can pull it together,” she said.
“A good leader brings everyone along with them, and we need to work together.”
After Acton was elected as vice chair, she said she wondered if the board had any appetite for switching the chair position into two co-chair positions.
She said having two people co-chair the CVRD would make the role easier for them.
“I’d like to have this conversation at a later date if there is any interest in it,” Acton said to the board.