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News Release: Business Council appoints prominent business leader, Jonathan Whitworth, CEO of Seaspan ULC, as Chair for a two-year term

News Release

April 17 (Vancouver, BC) - The Business Council of British Columbia is pleased to announce the appointment of Jonathan Whitworth, Chief Executive Officer of Seaspan ULC, as the new Chair of the Business Council for a two-year term.  Mr. Whitworth replaces Hank Ketcham, Executive Chairman at West Fraser Timber who will become the immediate past chair of the Business Council.

“On behalf of the members and Board of the Business Council, I would like to thank Jonathan, a recognized leader in the province’s business community, for taking on this leadership role with our organization,” said Hank Ketcham, outgoing Chair of the Business Council of British Columbia.  “Seaspan is one of the largest employers in the region and Jonathan has a superb understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing the province’s collective prosperity.”

“I am honoured to have been appointed Chair of the Business Council of British Columbia,” Whitworth said during his first address as Chair. “This is an exciting time for our province and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with business, community, First Nations, environmental and governmental leaders to ensure we are developing, attracting and retaining talent to grow the economy and help create a brighter future for all British Columbians.”

Mr. Whitworth has been an active member of the Business Council’s Board of Governors and Executive Committee over the last number of years as a strong supporter and participant of the Council’s events, committees and policy work.  Seaspan’s relationship with the Council can be traced back to the Business Council’s first year in 1966, as Island Tug and Barge was a founding member of the Business Council.

“I look forward to collaborating with an exceptionally talented, diverse and engaged membership to continue unlocking the potential of BC’s businesses in key sectors across the economy, and meet the labour market demands of current and future generations,” added Whitworth.

 “The Business Council is focused on advancing policies and initiatives which enhance our province’s economic competitiveness,” said Greg D’Avignon, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Business Council.  “We are looking forward to working with Jonathan and our board members on these issues over the coming years.”

 “The Business Council would also like to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to Hank Ketcham for his leadership as Chair for the past two years,” said D’Avignon.  “Hank is recognized not only for his extensive experience as a leader of one of British Columbia’s major companies but also as a dedicated British Columbian who has been a driver of prosperity across local and international communities big and small.”

 The Business Council Board of Governors is comprised of 70 number of the province’s most prominent leaders in business.  The Board’s nominations committee put forward recommendations for Board and Chair appointments which were confirmed at the Business Council’s 48th Annual General Meeting, which took place on Thursday, April 17th.  For a full list of the incoming board, please visit 

The Business Council of British Columbia, now in its 48th year as the premier business organization in BC, is a non-partisan organization made up of 250 leading companies, post-secondary institutions and organizations from across BC’s diverse economy which supports hundreds of thousands of jobs across the province.  



Jonathan Whitworth
Chief Executive Officer, Seaspan ULC
Chair, Business Council of British Columbia

Jonathan Whitworth joined Seaspan in 2009 as Chief Executive Officer, bringing over 20 years of seagoing, shore side, strategic planning, management, and leadership experience to the organization.

After graduating from the Texas Maritime Academy, Jonathan sailed for six years as an officer aboard tankers and chemical carriers in the international market. He also still holds an unlimited chief mate’s license, and a 1600- ton captain’s license.

After completing his MBA at the University of North Texas, Jonathan came ashore and held a number of management positions at ExxonMobil and Teekay Shipping. He later became CEO of Maritrans Inc., the largest publicly held tug/barge and tanker operator in the US Jones Act trade. Maritrans was sold to Overseas Shipholding Group of New York, in 2006, and Jonathan was retained as President to continue the strategic plan created at Maritrans.

As CEO of Seaspan, Jonathan is primarily responsible for carrying out the strategic plans and policies as established by the Board of Directors. This includes developing and implementing high-level strategies, making major corporate decisions, managing the overall operations and resources of the company, and acting as the main point of communication between the board of directors and corporate operations.

About Seaspan

Seaspan is an association of Canadian companies primarily involved in coastal and deep sea transportation, bunkering, ship repair and shipbuilding services in Western North America. In addition to the marine transportation services offered directly through Seaspan, commercial ferry, shipyard and bunkering services are provided via affiliate companies: Marine Petrobulk, Seaspan Ferries, Vancouver Drydock, Vancouver Shipyards and Victoria Shipyards.

Over the coming years, Seaspan will be executing on their contract to build in excess of $8 billion in federal government non-combat vessels which will require one of the largest recruitment and training campaigns in the province.


Media Contact
Cheryl Maitland Muir
Business Council of British Columbia
604-696-6582 (direct)
604-812-5965 (cell)