Wes Regan is the City of Vancouver's Social Planner responsible for Community Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Initiatives and the Director of Simon Fraser University's Community Economic Development Programs. Wes has worked in sustainable community economic development, communications, and community engagement since 2009, and up until September of 2015 he was the Executive Director of the Hastings Crossing Business Improvement Association, Canada's first Social Innovation BIA. He holds undergraduate degrees in geography and urban geography from Langara College and Simon Fraser University respectively, and continued on at SFU to successfully write and defend a graduate thesis in the Master of Urban Studies Program. His thesis examined the relationship between urban densification through mixed-use development and retail programming diversity in neighbourhood shopping areas along Vancouver's Main Street. Wes is also a Graduate of the Centre for Sustainable Community Economic Development at SFU where he went on to be an instructor and eventually Program Director.
His thoughts on urban affairs, economic development, public policy and Canadian politics have appeared in the National Observer and Vancouver Observer, the Georgia Straight, the Province and other publications. He has provided commentary and analysis on radio and televised news broadcasts and speaks regularly in the U.S. and Canada on these issues.
Passionate about environmental and urban sustainability he is a founding Director of the Vancouver Urban Farming Society and has experience serving on the executive and advisory boards of several other advocacy organizations including Conversations for Responsible Economic Development (CRED BC), LOCO BC (Past Chair), the SFU Urban Studies Graduate Student Society, and the BC Partners for Social Impact, a Provincial policy think tank examining ways to support and enable social innovation in communities and regions in British Columbia.
The SFU CED program was incredibly stimulating. The exercises took me out of my comfort zone on numerous occasions and this is a good thing! I feel great after accomplishing something new. The trainers are wonderful. This program is at the cutting edge of new ways of looking at the world and how we move our communities forward.
Sharon Anderchek, Business Loans Advisor, Community Futures Sunshine Coast