Looking internally, chatting with the new police chief

Welcome to the sixth edition of the Nelson Business Association’s (NBA) column. Each column gives an overview of recent NBA activities, events and initiatives, as well as member and speaker profiles.

Marc Brillon (left) and Lara Ellenwood with their son Dominic. The couple are co-owners of Ellenwood Homes.

Welcome to the sixth edition of the Nelson Business Association’s (NBA) column. Each column gives an overview of recent NBA activities, events and initiatives, as well as member and speaker profiles.


The NBA consists of business owners, the self-employed and those otherwise involved or interested in the business community. Weekly meetings are held on Thursdays from 8 to 9 a.m. in the Emporium Room or the Library Lounge of the Hume Hotel. At the round-table discussions, members talk about the issues and activities concerning their own businesses as well as topics related to the NBA. Business issues, collaborative business ideas as well as new ventures for the NBA are also discussed. The format is loose and informal.

The NBA warmly welcomes and encourages new members. Membership is free and a donation is collected at each meeting. For more on the NBA visit nelsonbusinessassociation.ca.


Assessing which direction to take: Every couple of years the NBA evaluates and assess which direction to take in the future. The discussion resurfaced recently. Up for discussion was whether the NBA should remain primarily a breakfast meeting type of organization that is focussed on networking, or be more of an action oriented group that, for example, takes issues to city council and sponsors numerous events. Given that the Chamber of Commerce already fills some of those roles, and that most business people don’t have an abundance of spare time, it was decided to stay with the current networking format.


Member: Marc Brillon and Lara Ellenwood

What they do: Co-owners, Ellenwood Homes

How long: “We are in our fourth year of operation. I have been in the industry for 12 years, Lara for 18.”

Duties involved in running this business: “I spend approximately half my time on site working and coordinating with site supervisors, carpenters and subtrades. We both work together at creating estimates, proposals, and doing actual design (both interior design and some building design). Lara also coordinates marketing and networking events. We both spend a considerable amount of time reading trade journals, magazines and blogs on building and design. We also take courses and workshops as part of our professional accreditations and to learn about new products, techniques and designs.”

Business approach/philosophy: “To build, renovate and design exceptional homes, with transparency, and integrity. We tailor to client’s needs through a combination of interior design and experience. Our homes are energy efficient, healthy and completed with attention to detail.”

Life is best when… “people listen and get what others are saying, then create a solution or plan of action through synergy and understanding.”


Speaker: Wayne Holland, Nelson City Police Chief

Wayne Holland, who assumed role of Nelson’s Police Chief after the retirement of Dan Maluta, was on hand at a recent NBA meeting to give insights into his policing philosophies and an overview of policing in Nelson.

“I am approachable,” Holland said. “I will get back to you if you do have any issues.”

Holland has now been in Nelson for five months after spending the last twenty-nine years in Vancouver.

“Big city, small city, the issues are the same,” he said. “It’s just the scope of the problem.”

The Nelson City Police are comprised of 17 sworn officers, four seconded (contracted with other areas) officers, eleven reserve volunteers, four full-time dispatchers, two backup dispatchers, one administrator and two and a half by-law officers, for a total of forty-eight personnel.

Holland said that while he has heard that the Shambhala Music Festival can be a real stressor on the community the week before the festival, he is very pleased with how cooperative the festival is in trying to mitigate any negative impacts it may have.

“I’m really impressed with Shambhala,” Holland said. “You folks [Holland was addressing Mike Brewer, Shambhala Site Logistics Coordinator and regular NBA attendee] have been very responsive.”

Holland also mentioned that crime in Nelson is down 11 per cent from last year.

“You have a safe city now,” he said.

Elliot Robins a realtor with Coldwell Banker, Rosling Real Estate and member of the NBA. His column is featured in the Star from time to time. For more information visit nelsonbusinessassoication.ca.



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