The Columbia Valley is sitting pretty with three high profile representatives on the Columbia Basin Trust’s 12-member board.

Jumbo Glacier Resort mayor Greg Deck has taken over the reins as CBT’s new board chair, replacing outgoing chair Garry Merkel. Deck, the first mayor of Radium Hot Springs who served for 18 years, has been on the board since CBT’s inception in 1995, serving as vice-chair from 2008 to the end of 2012.

He was also a Regional District of East Kootenay director for that period, ending with six years as chair. He continues to sit as a director of Columbia Power Corporation, a director of Columbia Basin Broadband Corporation and a director of the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s BC Board. He and his wife Meaghan have operated a tourism business in Radium since 1980.

“Greg helped found CBT and throughout the years has provided expert guidance and leadership to CBT, as well as to other local governments and organizations,” Merkel said in a release. Merkel, a Kimberley resident, was instrumental in the formation of CBT, first as part of the committee that negotiated with the Province of BC for the establishment of CBT, and then as a founding member of CBT’s Board. He served as Vice-Chair from 1995 to 2006, then Chair from 2006 to 2012.

President and CEO of Panorama Mountain Village Rick Jensen, who actually resides in Cranbrook, joins CBT’s board as its newest member. For the past 15 years, he has been the Board Chair of New Dawn Developments Ltd. — a large construction development company in the East Kootenay — and is also a director of New Dawn Restorations Ltd. and the President of the Canadian Institute of Excellence Inc., an educational company that delivers management training, personal development and creative thinking skill development. In addition, he was Mayor of Cranbrook from 1983 to 1990 and for seven years served as a director of the Regional District of East Kootenay.

Regional District of East Kootenay Area F director Wendy Booth of Fairmont Hot Springs  will continue her work as a CBT board member, along with Denise Birdstone (Ktunaxa Nation Council), Kim Deane (Rossland), Gord DeRosa (Trail), Cindy Gallinger (Elkford), Am Naqvi (Nelson), Andru McCracken (Valemount), Paul Peterson (Burton) and David Raven (Revelstoke).

All directors are appointed by the provincial government and must be residents of the Basin. The board meets six times a year in communities around the Basin. For more information, and to read highlights and minutes from board meetings, visit www.cbt.org/board.