Downtown Williams Lake BIA’s new executive director comes with a background in finances and volunteering.
Originally from Cranbrook, Sherry Yonkman moved to Williams Lake with her husband Mike and their children Amanda and David in February 2008.
“We lived in Barriere when the forest fire went through and the Tolko mill burned down,” she said. “They moved my husband out to The Pas, Manitoba and we were there for four years and then they moved him here. We’ve followed his job around.”
Leading up to taking the executive director position, Yonkman did bookkeeping for several non-profits through a co-op for eight years, followed by being finance manager for Canadian Mental Health Association Cariboo Chilcotin Branch.
The position is 20 hours a week, and additionally she does the bookkeeping for the Williams Lake Stampede Association.
As their children were involved with either hockey, soccer, wrestling, archery, fencing or band, she and Mike have also volunteered.
When asked why she applied she said she has always been a big believer that people need to shop local and support their community.
“I don’t have all the experience, but between the volunteering and finance background I think I can learn it all so they decided to give me a try.”
Busy with Art Walk 2021 she has been working on getting information out to artists and businesses and has been going around in person to introduce herself.
Downtown BIA will be hiring a part-time events co-ordinator because the previous one moved away.
“We had our first board meeting with Sherry on Thursday, March 25 and are excited to have her on board,” said BIA chair Ryan Brink. “She’s got some good experience with different non-profits in the past.”
Brink said the board is looking for a few new members.
“We have a solid board right now and will be doing some really great director training in May so it would be nice if we had some new board members by then,” he added. “We did a strategic plan a few years ago and are continuing to execute changes to improve the downtown business core.”
Yonkman replaced Jordan Davis, who left the BIA in to work for Williams Lake First Nation as the health director.
Former executive director Stefanie Hendrickson stepped in as the interim executive director before Yonkman was hired and will stay on for a bit to help her with the transition.