The concept of E-Comm

“The concept of E-Comm intrigued me from the beginning.”

E-Comm Board Chair Doug Campbell

E-Comm Board Chair Doug Campbell

A partner with professional services firm Ernst & Young LLP, Doug Campbell has more than 20 years’ experience in the consulting industry and was appointed as E-Comm’s Board Chair in June 2016.

When did you first learn about E-Comm?

Back in the early 1990s when the idea of consolidated emergency communications was first being discussed, I was part of a team of consultants that worked closely with Ken Dobell—the influential City Manager of the City of Vancouver. Ken was leading the charge in the development of a multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional radio system for our region that eventually led to the formation of E-Comm.

The whole concept of E-Comm intrigued me from the beginning, and the fact that 18 years later we have this organization that is so widely respected by the public safety industry for the value it provides to our province is incredible. I find the story of E-Comm and how we got here very inspiring.

As a former military engineer officer with the Canadian Armed Forces, I have always had an interest in public safety and a strong desire to help others and contribute to a higher calling—a shared purpose I see in the people who work at E-Comm. Whether it’s replacing the regional radio system, answering or dispatching emergency calls, conducting public education outreach, ensuring cost effectiveness and high value for our stakeholders or hiring staff to suit the unique nature of our business—everyone is working hard to help achieve the vision of the company; safer communities in B.C. through communication excellence.

What are some highlights for you so far?

The first time I visited the communication centre what struck me the most was how seamless staff made everything look. It was on one of the very busy annual fireworks festival nights in Vancouver, and I was impressed at how well all of the different roles worked together to support each other and ensure callers got the help they needed. Things started to get really busy for the team after the fireworks ended and hundreds of thousands of people began making their way home, but whether it was a minor incident or a serious situation staff kept calm and dealt with everything in a very comfortable and professional manner.

What have you learned about E-Comm (and public safety) that you didn’t know before?

Back in my army days we used to talk a lot about the value of an “all arms” approach; combining different resources in order to achieve maximum results. I see the staff here at E-Comm as part of an emergency services “all arms” team. Their daily contribution to public safety is tremendously valued by our partners and stakeholders. 

E-Comm Board Chair Doug Campbell with E-Comm staff

What are some of your goals for your first term as Board Chair? 

A top priority for me in the first half of 2017 has been overseeing the recruitment of E-Comm’s new CEO, following David Guscott’s retirement announcement. The Board of Directors has begun the search for David’s successor and we appreciate the lengthy notice period he gave us to allow for a smooth transition. An executive search firm has been engaged to conduct a national search, and l know we will recruit a great new CEO who will help to navigate the challenges and opportunities in front of us.

“I have always had an interest in public safety and a strong desire to help others and contribute to a higher calling—a shared purpose I see in the people who work at E-Comm.”

E-Comm Board Chair Doug Campbell

The Next Generation Radio Program and replacement of the regional radio system is going to be a top priority for the year as agencies start to transition to the new system. In talking to our emergency-service partners I know everyone is keen to start the implementation process and I want to be able to do whatever I can to help facilitate the success of this significant project.

We also know that a major area of focus for the Board in 2017 is going to be strategic planning and the evolution of Vision 2020 and its strategies around employee engagement, organizational effectiveness, leadership, service excellence and expansion. I’m the type of person who likes to dream big, so I’m definitely excited about participating in the development of E-Comm’s next roadmap and looking at future possibilities for the company. Because the organization is shaped by the needs of our stakeholders, as Board Chair my job is to help advance E-Comm and our leadership role in public safety. Throughout 2017 I plan to meet with stakeholders to better understand their needs and ensure everyone is aligned with where the service needs to go.