Out-going Kelowna mayor named chairman of ICBC

Walter Gray will take on his new role Nov. 30, his last day as Kelowna mayor.

We now know what Kelowna Mayor Walter Gray will do after he leaves office at the end of the month.

The B.C. government has announced the appointment of Gray as the new chairman for ICBC’s board of directors. He will begin his role as chair on Nov. 30, 2014.

Gray, who did not seek re-election as mayor, said he made his decision not to run months before being approached by Premier Chisty Clark and Transportation Minister Todd Stone about taking over as ICBC’s chairman. That discussion, he said, took place in September.

He said he did not seek the ICBC chairmanship and was surprised to be offered it. However, he eagerly accepted what he described as the “challenge.”

Gray served a total of 16 years in municipal politics, with numerous terms on council, both as a councillor and as mayor.

Before his time at city hall, he was the owner and operator of five radio stations in the Okanagan/Kootenay areas, including 96.3 FM Radio Station and Four Seasons Radio Ltd. He was a director of Sun Country Cablevision Ltd. which is based in Salmon Arm, Armstrong and Enderby as well as a director of FortisBC. He is a former director of BC Transit, Telefilm Canada, Hall and Gray Broadcasting and Sun Country Properties, and he is a past president of the BC Association of Broadcasters.

“This appointment as board chair is an incredible honour and I look forward to serving the citizens of B.C. in this capacity with the goal of keeping ICBC rates as low and as affordable as possible for all ICBC customers,” said Gray.

Active in his community, Gray was the founding director of the Kelowna Snowfest Committee, past president of the Okanagan Neurological Association, past president of the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce, past president of the Kelowna-Kasugai Sister City Association, past director of the Okanagan Film Commission, and a member of the Premier’s Task Force on Homelessness, Mental Illness and Addictions. He was recently the volunteer chair for a capital fundraiser to build a 24-suite hospice in Kelowna.

This is the first time that a board chairman of ICBC has been appointed from the Interior of B.C. Previous chairmen and women have come from Metro Vancouver.

“I am delighted with this new appointment. Walter Gray brings experience, knowledge and commitment, and I know he is excited to roll up his sleeves and start in his new role,” said Stone. “The chair of ICBC’s board of directors is an important and valuable role and I have every confidence that Walter Gray will do an excellent job serving ICBC and the citizens of B.C.”

Gray will take over from Jatinder Rai, who was appointed as interim chair of the board on Jan. 21, 2014. Rai will continue to serve until the Gray takes over.