Our Board

Meet the Downtown Whitby BIA Board Members!

Champions of Downtown Whitby

The Downtown Whitby BIA Board of Management is comprised of eight volunteer board members that oversee the operations of the Downtown Whitby BIA.

Headshot of Whitby BIA board member Alison Galvan

Alison Galvan


Alison Galvan is the Co-owner of The Food and Art Café, or as it is affectionately known here in the Durham Region, The Fart Café.

In the summer of 2017 Alison and her family moved to Whitby to open up their dream business, a restaurant in which her husband, Noel, and son, James are artists in the kitchen, and Alison and her daughter, Phoebe, are the artists out front, with Alison’s fine art hanging on walls that Phoebe designed. Their restaurant has been a labour of love and while Alison and her family are the new kids on the block, they have jumped in with both feet, getting involved in the community hosting the Whitby Chamber’s bi-weekly Java Jolt meetings, joining various committees and stepping up as an active and engaged member of the Downtown Whitby BIA.

“I believe that our success is a function not only of our own individual businesses hard work and dedication to excellence, but also that of our wonderful neighbours and fellow business owners. When the tide comes in, together we are all washed up the beach, and I am excited to be a part of a community with such incredible potential, supportive fellowship, and products and services that we can all be proud of. Here’s to our mutual success!”

Headshot of Whitby BIA board member Heather Bulman

Heather Bulman

Vice Chair

Heather Bulman is the Marketing & Communications Manager at the Whitby Chamber of Commerce (WCC). In this role, she has seen firsthand the power of community and its direct effect on economic development.

Although initially hired at the WCC to manage events, she was quickly tasked with establishing a Marketing & Communications Department within the organization. Since its creation, the department has rebuilt every communication vehicle from the ground up, ensuring that each message is true to the WCC’s values and aligned with its strategic priorities. In addition, she is responsible for the planning and execution of all WCC events, including the Regional Chair Luncheon, the annual Connect Women conference, and the Peter Perry & Business Achievement Awards gala.

A proud Durham College grad, Heather served on college’s Alumni Association Board of Directors and chaired its Marketing Committee. After graduating with honours from the Advanced Public Relations Program Heather began her career in the college’s Communications + Marketing department where she was responsible for media relations, content creation and social media.

Headshot of Whitby BIA board member James Hobbs

James Hobbs

Treasurer and Secretary

James is no stranger to Downtown Whitby, starting out as a bus boy at the Tap and Tankard to now owning it, James sees the potential that Downtown Whitby has!  James chairs the Downtown Whitby BIA Finance and Communications Committee.  In 2017 James presented the idea of hosting a beer fest in Downtown Whitby and in September 2018 that idea became a reality ! His famous line is “The BIA is here to do cool things….so let’s do it !”

Call for Nominations for Directors to the Board of Management
Headshot of Whitby BIA board member Bobby McBride

Bobby McBride

Board Member

Bobby is a third generation Whitby resident. He spent his childhood in arenas playing for the Whitby Wildcats and Whitby Warriors. Today, he is an Associate Investment Advisor with The Gawne Group of TD Wealth Private Investment Advice. Bobby loves the Town of Whitby and is active within the community he grew up in. In addition to being a board member with Whitby Downtown BIA he is a board member with Durham Community Foundation, and the Chair of the Canadian Association of Credit Counselling Services. He is also a proud member of the Rotary Club of Whitby Sunrise, Whitby Chamber of Commerce, Durham Mountain Biking Association, Whitby Brass Band, and a patron of Station Gallery.

In his opinion there is no better place in the world than Whitby, Ontario.

Headshot of Whitby BIA board member Steve Merson

Steve Merson

Board Member

Steve has been working for DIT in Whitby since 2016, helping to digitalize Durham. Whitby is our corporate home and as a small business it’s important to us that the business community is strong and well represented on the internet, using cutting edge technology to ensure that  the online experience is a solid one. The potential in Whitby for business growth is everywhere, it’s an exciting time to be here.

Illustrated skyline with Downtown Whitby written underneath

Lorena Purchase

Board Member

Bio coming soon
Headshot of Whitby BIA board member John Sautner

John Sautner

Board Member

I have been in Banking for over 30 years as a branch manager in and around Durham. The absolute best part of my job is getting to know people. Since coming to Whitby 3 years ago I have had the chance to meet some great people. I love the vibrant downtown core and the good folks who run their businesses around me. I have been part of community groups and organizations in the past and look forward to focusing on the business community here in Whitby and building a fabulous Downtown.

Headshot of Whitby BIA board member Joann Drumm

Councillor JoAnne Drumm

Mayor’s Designate

Elected in 2018, JoAnne Drumm is serving her first term as Councillor of Centre Ward (3).

Graduated from Centennial College in Early Childhood Education and studied Library Information Services at Mohawk College.  Prior to the election, she had a career in library services and early childhood education as a Children’s programmer at the Whitby Public Library.

JoAnne is the Mayor’s designate on the Road Watch Committee, Whitby Yacht Club Board and the Downtown Whitby BIA Board of Management.

Community service is a way of life for JoAnne having served as past president and Board member of the Rotary Club of Whitby Sunrise and sat on the Board of Directors for the Whitby Courthouse Theatre for 5 years.  JoAnne is also the proud recipient of the Solicitor General’s Award for Crime Prevention.

JoAnne is a lifelong Whitby resident and brings a fresh new voice to Whitby Council.

Headshot of Whitby BIA board member Karey Large

Karey Large

Executive Director

While still working in the corporate world in 2005, Karey dabbled in cake decorating and baking and found her true passion. Karey started making cakes on the side out of her designated kitchen space in her home. In 2011, Karey, a 40 year long time Whitby resident opened her first retail location in historic downtown Whitby. 2015 saw the expansion of the bakery to its new location where it currently resides on Dundas St in Whitby.

In 2015, Kake Kreations won the  Parents Choice Award for Best Cakes in Durham Region and in 2016 Karey travelled to Los Angeles after receiving an invitation from Food Network as the lone Canadian to be invited to appear on Cake Wars, where she was awarded 1st runner up.

2016 also saw Kake Kreations win best business in Whitby from the Whitby Chamber of Commerce. Karey has had the opportunity to travel all over North America to compete in sugar Art shows and has a many accolades on her wall to attest to her skills.

Karey is intricately involved in the downtown Whitby community as an active member of the Chamber of Commerce, sitting on the Membership Committee, Connect Women, Peter Perry Awards Committee and is an Ambassador for the Chamber. Karey also sat on the Downtown Whitby BIA formation committee and now holds the position of Executive Director

Illustrated skyline with Downtown Whitby written underneath

Maddie Riley

Communications and Events Coordinator

Bio coming soon

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