Our History

Incorporated in 2010 the LCIC was created to take action on economic development needs and opportunities in our communities. We’ve tackled many different topics in our 14 years like workforce and business retention. We’ve received several awards for our work and we continue to be highly innovative in meeting the needs of the communities and businesses in our region!

What drives our work?

Purpose: To make progress to meet local needs for the well-being of residents of the Lower Columbia and the success of local businesses.


  • Remove barriers to economic growth
  • Identify and promote opportunities for investment
  • Support existing industry to grow be resilient

Our Approach

At the LCIC, we’re not afraid to tackle the big stuff. We dream big about what our region can be and we are looking at the big picture to see where our economy is being held up. This means that we’re often working with Partners in the economic development field here in Trail and around the Kootenays. We know that by working together, the whole Kootenay region benefits and we can be more effective at addressing complex problems. For example, there are transportation challenges across the Kootenays and we are working with partners to make transportation easier both here in the Lower Columbia and around the Kootenays. Want to know more about our big ideas? Check out our Projects!

What is economic development?

Economic development can cover many different activities. At the LCIC we work in two areas of the field. The first area is called “investment readiness” and this means that we are making the area able to support new businesses. For example, a new business will need enough employees so we work on activities that will increase the skilled labour population. The second area is “investment attraction” which means we’re promoting the area as a place for new businesses to start. This means marketing it outside our region as well as helping local entrepreneurs get started. Curious to learn more? Read about our Services. Looking for business support services? Check out our Resources page.

Meet Our Team

Rebecca Richards Director of the LCIC

Rebecca Richards

Director – LCIC

Rebecca grew up in Castlegar and is very happy to have returned to the West Kootenays after spending time away at university. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and in Economics from the University of Calgary, and a Master of Arts in Political Studies from Queen’s University. At the LCIC, Rebecca manages the day-to-day operations, but her real work is focused on “investment readiness”. Investment readiness means figuring out where gaps or problems exist in the regional economy and working to fix them so that the business environment is ready for investment! She’s thrilled to be able to contribute to the well-being of the communities here and put her education to good use.

Jacomien van Tonder Director of Metal Tech Alley

Jacomien van Tonder

Director – Metal Tech Alley

Jacomien is the Director for Metal Tech Alley, a successful regional marketing strategy from the Lower Columbia Initiatives Corporation based in Trail BC. After 7 years running the Metal Tech Alley program, the LCIC is considered a leader in economic development best practices for circular economy in a small rural area. The considerable success of Metal Tech Alley rests on embracing industry of all sectors and supporting innovation for companies that are engaging in circular practices and doughnut economics.
Jacomien was born in South Africa and emigrated to Canada 15 years ago. She has a Baccalaureus Procurationis degree and practiced as a lawyer and CEO of a Top 500 South African Company. Since moving to Canada, she has branched out her career to include Economic Development and Project Management.

Jessica Lindon Administrator

Jessica Lindon

Administration – LCIC

Jessica wears many hats at the LCIC – book keeper, administrator and social media manager. She attended Selkirk College for Business Administration and is passionate about using her skills to make a difference in her community. She grew up in the Kootenays and spent some time in the Lower Mainland but is glad to have put down roots and be raising her son here in the natural beauty of our region. She enjoys the variation in her work at the LCIC, from spreadsheet formulas to writing the monthly newsletter. Joining the LCIC has taught her a lot about rural economic development and the difference it makes in the community.

Meet Our Board

Our board holds years of extensive business and operational experience as well as innovative perspective. They are invested in our region because they work here and have raised their families here. The mountain lifestyle has a lot to offer and they appreciate the kindness and sense of community they’ve found in the South Kootenays. The region holds many opportunities and the board is passionate about cultivating those opportunities into economic growth and sustainability while improving the quality of life for all those who call the region home.

Chris Legler

CEO and Founder – Axios


Thompson Hickey

General Manager – Teck Trail Operations 

Board Director

Dino Dorazio

Owner – Canadian Tire

Board Director

Dan Ashman

CEO – President & Dealer Principal

Board Director

Brent Anhel

Founder and CEO – TenFourOptics

Board Chairman

Pete Stamper

CEO – KC Recycling

Board Director

Don Thompson

President and General Manager – RED Mountain Resort

Board Director

Dave Diplock

Owner – Bear Environmental Limited

Board Director

Michele Cherot


Board Director

Our Location

We serve Area A, Area B, Rossland, Warfield, Trail, Montrose and Fruitvale.

You can find our office in downtown Trail at 1499 Bay Avenue, across from the library.

Map of Trail, BC with an arrow pointing to the location of the Lower Columbia Initiatives Corporation on the map
Thank you to all our stakeholders for your ongoing support!