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Greater Victoria Harbour Authority

“Paul Servos began his time with GVHA as Manager of Business Development, then General Manager and finally CEO. Paul’s gifts and abilities were just what our fledging organization needed at the time. His focus on building a team and financial sustainability set the stage for the GVHA of today.”

Don Prittie

Board Member 2002 – 2010  Chair of Board  2007 – 2010

At the time Paul Servos joined the Harbour Authority it was losing over 1/2 million dollars annually on less than $2.0 million of revenues, and management was in turmoil. Only five years later (2011) revenue grew to over $6 million with a $1.0 million surplus. Economic impact of the GVHA’s activity today is estimated to exceed $200 million annually.

Growth occurred in all lines of business including cruise tourism, property management, and pleasure vessel marinas. Investments were made in infrastructure such as expanded wharfs, a marine fuel station, port property beatification/pocket parks, and deep sea terminal pier extension. A balanced scorecard business plan was established, a risk management strategy implemented, and a facility life cycle plan drafted. Other organization development initiatives included a human resources handbook, improved internal system including financial accountability, and a maintenance program that has eliminated occupiers liability incidents.

Such improvements do not emerge without conflict. Driving for market rents and fees disturbed those accustomed to long experienced low federal rates and subsidies. And the rapid growth and revitalization of the port facilites brought out the sustainability activists.

A First Nations Na’ Tsa’ mant Unity Wall Mural was initiated and will eventually be the longest original hand painted art piece in the world, at almost one kilometer in length.

Ogden Point Terminal is the busiest cruise tourism port-of-call in Canada. The marinas are full, the gardens manicured, and stakeholder confidence is growing. The Authority is a respected thought leader in the industry, among stakeholders, and in the community.


Vern Burkhardt, Chair of the Swiftsure International Yacht Race and Past Commodore of the Royal Victoria Yacht Club 

I have benefited from Paul Servos’ leadership skills while he was the General Manager of the Royal Victoria Yacht Club and again when he provided the publicity and promotions service for the Swiftsure International Yacht race in 2011.

As he clearly demonstrated, Paul excels at developing vision and strategies for an organization, clearly communicating these future directions, and building consensus among diverse stakeholder groups. But he doesn’t only excel at strategic planning. As Paul demonstrated over and over again, he consistently exceeds expectations in managing and implementing major projects. For example, he led the needs analysis, supplier selection, and implementation of a comprehensive club management system for our yacht club. He implemented major capital projects from the planning stage through to completion of construction. Plus he provided excellent leadership to our employees, and maintained excellent relationships with over 1,000 members.

As our head of publicity and promotions for Swiftsure Paul developed a communications plan, developed excellent relationships with the media, and led our public relations during this prestigious event.


Royal Victoria Yacht Club

Paul Servos as Club Manager of the Royal Victoria Yacht Club had an impact following his appointment in 2000. An article published in Yacht Club and Marina Life, January 2004, as an insert to Canadian Yachting Magazine describes this:

Can you imagine that this place (Royal Victoria Yacht Club) was 24 months from insolvency only three years ago. The grim news must have been stunning at the time. The Commodore and the Board of Directors were told that their current financial situation of the Royal Victoria Yacht Club, founded in 1892 would be insolvent within 24 months.

In spite of the impressive history thought, three years ago, the business realities the club faced were inescapable. From our discussions with the Commodore and Paul Servos, Club Manager, nothing had gone seriously wrong; it was that things weren’t quite right. “Everything is different now…”.

Today the club has a waiting list and every slip is taken. The grounds are perfectly manicured. The trophy case is impressive and there are many groups within the club that are active 365 days a year. What’s more impressive, it was the membership that turned the club around and there was no single thing that did it, just a long list of well-founded best practices that now make the Royal Victoria Yacht Club and enviable success and a great place to belong.

…that success was driven by a couple of founding principles. Paul Servos laughed with mild embarrassment when he said, “We were guided a bit by three Bs – Boats, Beer and Brotherhood!” We all laughed at the comment, but it really amounts to addressing the fundamentals.

…perhaps most important is maintaining the club’s facilities without onerous costs. It’s a matter of always being vigilant, thinking ahead and staying ahead. Not an easy task. But as Art Mountain (Commodore) said as we left “if it was easy to do it would not be interesting”.


Harold Aune, Vice President, Co-founder

“Paul was instrumental in assisting our company in 2012 to successfully bid on a RFP for a new location for our manufacturing facility. He guided us through the complex submission and negotiation process. His coaching resulted in significant savings and the opportunity for new revenue streams. Paul has a no nonsense approach derived from his extensive management experience.”