President & CEO, Port Metro Vancouver
Age: 47 | 2014: #16 Port Metro Vancouver lies at the nexus of many of the forces that define this city: global opportunity vs. local responsibility; economic growth vs. environmental protection; federal oversight vs. municipal accountability—and Robin Silvester is the man on the spot. Overseeing the biggest, most active port in Canada—a complex organization that must deal with a plethora of unions and competing stakeholders—means there are always fires to put out (sometimes literally, as in March, when a chemical fire in a container on Burrard Inlet darkened the skies and prompted fears of toxicity). As the Lower Mainland continues to develop, the port needs more trade land to meet the growth mandated by the federal government and articulated in the Port 2050 plan Silvester introduced in 2010. That long-term vision repeatedly bumps up against the short-term priorities of politicians, municipalities, and corporations. Which is what makes Silvester’s job so challenging—and so important to the region’s future.
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