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Relocation of The National Office

Editor's Note: Editor's Note: Alan Neville is a co-founder of the NFB: AE and is currently a member of the NFB: AE's Board of Directors. Living in Kelowna, Alan took a major role in finding our new quarters and in overseeing the move. Good work, Alan and all!

As many of you who visited the old NFB: AE head office on Franklin Street will know, it was a rented apartment in a residential area and its layout was designed as living quarters. The office had a dining room, two bedrooms, a laundry room, a full bathroom, and a kitchen equipped with the usual appliances.

Following the February 1999 Annual General Meeting of the NFB: AE, the newly elected president, Bob Fenton, became aware of the situation described above and had the added concern that operating a business such as ours in a residential area might be in contravention of municipal bylaws.

Having had some experience in relocating offices and staff while in business, and being a resident of Kelowna, I was assigned the task of looking into alternatives to the Franklin Street office. The criteria set were that the new office would be:

a) Located in an area zoned for business.

b) Reasonably accessible to public transportation.

c)Capable of being laid out to meet all the current business operations of the head office with the possibility of expansion at some future date if this became necessary.

d) The total operating costs (i.e. rent, plus utilities, plus business telephone lines, etc.), be comparable to costs for operating the Franklin Street office.

e) Leased for a term of at least one year and preferably two years.

There were, of course, a number of other factors to be taken into account; such as the condition of the rented space, quality of the neighbourhood and the building in which our office would be located, suitable signage at the building entrance and outside the office itself, and the availability of parking.

After studying several listings and finally visiting the three best candidates with my wife Doreen, NFB: AE staff members: Kelly Boychuk and Ken Westlake, and Okanagan chapter president Denise Sanders, it was unanimously agreed that the office at 1455 Ellis Street, Suite 107 was the optimum choice. This recommendation and all the relevant information were submitted to the board of directors at our meeting of March 14, 1999 and approved. I was given the responsibility for conducting the negotiations and co-ordinating the move.

Although our lease officially commenced May 1, 1999, we were permitted to move in up to ten days earlier and we did so on April 24-25, reopening for business on Monday, April 27th.

I am pleased to tell you that due to careful and detailed planning and, in particular, to the dedicated work of Ken Westlake, Joyce Mainland, and my wife Doreen, the relocation occurred without a hitch. All the major criteria were met and we now have an office we can be truly proud of. When you are next in Kelowna please pop in for a visit, meet the staff, and see for yourself.