Downtown Redevelopment Authority
The purpose of the Downtown Redevelopment Authority is to provide an independent legal entity under State law and City Ordinance (Chapter 2.73 VMC) to plan, design, finance, acquire, construct, equip, own, maintain, operate, repair, remodel, expand and promote of the Vancouver Convention Center and Hotel Project, consistent with redevelopment plans for the Esther Short Redevelopment Area adopted by the City.
The DRA serves as a citizen advisory body to the City Council, and Board Members work in a voluntary capacity. Members of the Board serve four-year terms which may be extended. Applicants are not required to live within the City limits.
The City Council established the DRA as a special purpose governmental entity in 1997 under RCW 35.21.730-757 with a seven-member Board of Directors appointed by the Council. The DRA Board approves budgets of and provides oversight and guidance to the Hotel and Convention Center project, which is managed by Hilton Corporation.
Candidates with broad business experience are encouraged to apply. Ideal candidates will have experience in property management, project financing, financial management, and contracts. Additionally, experience in the lodging and restaurant fields would be helpful.
The DRA has no employees. The City’s Chief Financial Officer serves as the Executive Director of the Authority, with financial, administrative, and legal support provided by City staff.
The DRA employs an asset management firm specializing in lodging, restaurant, and convention facilities to monitor the ongoing operations of the Hotel/Convention Center and advise the DRA Board on operational, financial, and budget issues.
The DRA owns the Hotel/Convention Center facility. The land upon which the facility is located is leased by the DRA from the Vancouver Public Facilities District, which owns the property.
Meeting Time: Monthly, on the third Thursday of designated months. Meetings begin at 11:00 a.m.
Jan Robertson is the COO and a principal of Norris, Beggs & Simpson Companies, LLC, a diversified commercial real estate services firm serving as the holding company for four wholly owned operating subsidiaries: Norris, Beggs & Simpson Financial Services, Morrison Street Capital, and NBS Real Estate Consulting, and The REFF Group. Jan has been with NBS since 1981, and is directly responsible for the day to day operations of the NBS companies and supervises the administrative functions of the companies. She became the firm’s first female partner in 1993, CFO in 2005 and CEO in 2011. When the company reorganized in 2015, she subsequently negotiated the sale of their brokerage and property management divisions before stepping into her current position.
She is a past president of the local chapter of NAIOP and a member since 2002, as well as being a member of both BOMA and the Commercial Association of Brokers. She joined the Portland Downtown Clean & Safe Board in 2011 and serves on the PSU Center for Real Estate Advisory Board. She is a current member of the International Women’s Forum and the Bizwomen Coalition.
Jan is an advocate for the arts and arts in education both locally and nationally, including leadership roles in Young Audiences. Jan served on the local chapter’s board of directors for 20 years, and on the national board since 2000, chairing numerous committees. Jan is a founding member of the Right Brain Initiative and serves on the RACC Education Committee and Resource Council. In 2016 Portland State University’s Center for Women’s Leadership honored her with their Lifetime Achievement Award. Jan was recognized by the Commercial Association of Realtors-Oregon/SW Washington as Humanitarian of the Year in 2004, she received the Daily Journal of Commerce Newsmaker of the Year Award in 2012, and the Portland Business Journal’s Orchid Award in 2008 for her business and civic contributions, and she was awarded a Multnomah County Volunteer Award in 2009.
Kathleen Kee CFP® is a long-time Vancouver resident and is Senior Wealth Advisor for Buckingham Strategic Wealth. She has spent her career working with high net worth clients, focused on helping them achieve their financial objectives by providing solutions to complex financial situations.
She earned a B.S. at Oregon State University, and an MBA at Washington State University. She is also a member of the Portland Business Alliance Board and a Legacy Health Systems Investment Committee member. Kathleen brings to the board expertise in wealth growth and management, and business negotiations.
Dyann Bernatz, MBA, CPM, CCIM is a lifelong Clark County resident and has over 27 years in the commercial and corporate real estate industry providing high-performing outcomes within first occupier and investor environments. Portfolios include sophisticated, complex facilities, several with LEED Platinum certification with significant sustainability, energy, workplace experience and transformation initiatives within the healthcare and real estate industry. She is currently the Director of Real Estate at Portland General Electric and President of World Trade Center Portland.
Dyann earned a B.A. at Washington State University, and MBA at Eastern Washington University. She is a Certified Property Manager (CPM) as designated by the Institute of Real Estate Management and Certified Commercial Investment Manager (CCIM) via the CCIM Institute. She is also a member of the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) Board of Directors and board member at Downtown Portland Clean & Safe.
Tom Donovan is Director of Finance for Wilbur-Ellis Company, managing business and financial planning for Wilbur-Ellis Nutrition, in addition to supporting mergers and acquisitions, forecasting and financial analysis.
Prior to joining Wilbur-Ellis, Tom spent four years as finance manager for Clark County and nine years as finance manager and project office manager for Fiserv, a banking software and services provider.
Tom is a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) and holds a master’s degree in business administration from Portland State University and a bachelor’s degree from Montana State University-Bozeman.
Deborah Ewing joined Fuller Group in January of 1998. Deborah is responsible for marketing of retail and office properties for sale or lease in Southwest Washington.
Prior to joining Fuller Group, Deborah began her career in property management and development and was a Vice President at Norris, Beggs & Simpson for 13 years. In addition, she has been responsible for land and investment sales of commercial properties for over 25 years.
Deborah attended Portland State University and is a current or past member of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce and has served as present and past Board of Director for Columbia River Redevelopment Association, Downtown Vancouver Redevelopment Authority, City Center Redevelopment Authority and Public Facilities District, YWCA, Evergreen School District Advisory, Shared Leadership Board, Boundary Review Committee, National Association of Realtors and Executive Board Director with the Commercial Association of Brokers – Portland/Vancouver.
Marc Fazio is the Chief Financial Officer for the Bill Naito Company. The Bill Naito Company owns and manages over 1.3 million square feet of commercial real estate, primarily in Portland, Oregon. In addition to his financial responsibilities, Marc leads the company’s initiatives in historic preservation, energy sustainability and portfolio asset management and strategies. Marc is a Counselor of Real Estate (CRE) and a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) having worked in public and private practice for nearly 30 years, including 15 years at the Bill Naito Company. Marc has been a board member of the Downtown Redevelopment Authority (DRA) and City Center Redevelopment Authority (CCRA) since 2010.
Brad Hutton has 43 years in the hotel industry starting with Red Lion Hotels. He was Vice President of Operations and was part of the merger integration team combining Red Lion and DoubleTree Hotels. Brad continued as Vice President of operations during the acquisition of Red Lion/DoubleTree by Promus Hotels which was the parent company of Embassy Suites, Homewood Suites and Hampton Inns.
Brad also continued on as Vice President of operations for the seven western states when Hilton acquired Promus hotels. Brad was responsible for operations of the owned and managed portfolio which included Hilton, DoubleTree, Embassy Suites, Waldorf Astoria and Hilton Grand Vacation Resorts in Las Vegas. Brad retired from Hilton Worldwide in 2015.