KAMLOOPS — After nearly five years on the job, the North Shore Business Improvement Association’s Executive Director Steven Puhallo stepped down last October. After a two month search, the NSBIA announced Puhallo’s replacement, and this week, Jeremy Heighton stepped into his role as the new Executive Director of the organization, hoping to build upon what his predecessor accomplished.
In the cosy confines of the Wilson Street House, the new Executive Director of the North Shore Business Association is settling into his job.
“I’m a passionate believer in what the North Shore… [and] North Kamloops can be,” Heighton says. “I believe there’s incredible potential, amazing business here who have always been very community oriented. It’s just one of those things, that when it came up I went ‘I’ve gotta do it.’”
While it’s just his second day on the job, Heighton says he’s already looking forward to what the future holds for the North Shore community.
“At this point, all we’re looking at is ‘Yes, and…’ So yes, let’s take this community to the next level, and what does that look like for us,” Heighton explains. “I suspect that what you’ll find is that over the next 6-9 months you’re going to see some clear direction on where we want the North Shore to go.”
President of the North Shore BIA Board, Bryce Herman says it was Heighton’s breadth of experience that ultimately helped land him the job
“He’s got a great background with media and media relations,” Herman says. “He’s been involved with the military, he’s got a great background in IT.. what he was just doing was member relations with the chamber of commerce, and understanding our community and our municipality. And he lives on the North Shore.”
Heighton knows there are some challenges within the North Shore, many of which can be attributed to illicit drug use. He says organizations like the North Shore BIA can help by advocating for more services and better funding from governments.
“As much as we see the day-to-day issue… that is endemic of a bigger problem,” Heighton says. “What does the wraparound look like? That’s where we, as a community, need to go and advocate to the government.”
And despite those challenges, he’s hopeful and optimistic for the future of the city and the community of North Kamloops.
“There is so much coming, so much potential, so much momentum here,” Heighton says. “This is the time where we’re laying the foundation for our community 30 years from today, and what an amazing opportunity to be a part of that.”
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