VRCID chief selected for downtown fellowship programme

VRCID chief selected for downtown fellowship programme

VRCID chief operations officer, Derek Bock, in Voortrekker Road.

Chief Operations Officer of the Voortrekker Road Corridor Improvement District (VRCID) in Cape Town, Derek Bock, has been selected by the International Downtown Association (IDA) for its 2018 Emerging Leaders Fellowship programme taking place in New York City in June.

Bock is one of 30 industry professionals who have been handpicked for this opportunity, together with senior staff members hail from two countries and 21 provinces or states, including Calgary (Alberta), Honolulu, New York City, Anchorage, Sioux Falls, Sacramento, Houston and Denver.

The IDA is an organisation for urban place professionals who are shaping and activating dynamic city centre districts. Members are downtown champions who bring urban centres to life, bridging the gap between the public and private sectors. It represents an industry of more than 2 500 place management organisations, employing 100 000 people throughout North America and growing rapidly around the world. Founded in 1954, IDA is a resource centre for ideas and innovative best practices in urban place management.

“Alumni of the IDA Emerging Leaders Fellowship programme are fast becoming sought-after leaders for the future of city building worldwide,” says David Downey, IDA president and chief executive.

“In just two years, the IDA programme has resulted in at least 20% of its graduates receiving promotions and significant pay increases, including one fellow who became chief executive of his organisation.

“The success of our fellowship programme, launched in 2016, underscores how critical this training is to our growing industry. This is the only programme of its kind created specifically for urban place management professionals. IDA is looking to further illustrate the importance of our industry by elevating leaders with the necessary skills to champion inclusive city building.”

The Emerging Leader Fellowship is a week-long experiential programme bringing together a cohort of IDA professionals from within the urban district management industry. The fellows learn essential leadership and place management skills and gain practical tools in the areas of place-based economic development, the live-work-play experience, and public-private partnerships.

Professionals from several business improvement district organisations across the city provide technical in-the-field training. The event takes place at various locations throughout Manhattan with field visits provided by several local BID leaders.

Hardus Zevenster, chairman of the VRCID Board of Directors, says that Bock has been involved with City Improvement Districts in Cape Town since 2002 and this is just reward for his efforts.

The programme takes place from June 17 to 22 featuring intensive instruction delivered by IDA partners at Baruch College, City University of New York, Times Square Alliance and Coro New York Leadership Center.

“One of the reasons I applied for the programme is that one is never too old to learn,” says Bock. “This is a great opportunity to learn best practice from other cities in the US and Canada. It also gives me the opportunity to tell them what we do at the VRCID. Bellville and Parow need not stand back for anyone.”

“The International Downtown Association is looking to build the future of our industry, and these accomplished executives are the rising stars of our profession,” says Downey. “With this programme, we’re educating and inspiring the next generation of leaders.”

Visit www.downtown.org.