Gary Runka Named 2014 Land Champion

Gary Runka hiking in Mackenzie Valley

Gary Runka hiked the beautiful Mackenzie Valley in 2009.

G. Gary Runka, 2014 Land ChampionThe Real Estate Foundation of BC is pleased to announce that Gary Runka is this year's Land Champion award recipient. The award will be presented posthumously; Mr. Runka passed away suddenly in July 2013.

The Land Champion is honoured for outstanding work in sustainable land use in BC. Mr. Runka's career spanned five decades, and his work with public, private and non-profit sector groups facilitated informed land use planning and natural resource management decisions across the province.

Gary Runka leading a consultation processThe scope of his work, and his personal and professional influence are extensive. He was the first manager of the BC Land Commission, forerunner of the Agricultural Land Commission, and directed multi-stakeholder processes to create land and resource management plans for BC regions.

After his government career, Mr. Runka led nearly 700 projects through his company, GG Runka Land Sense Ltd. Those who knew him said he had an extraordinary "people sense," and an approach that was characterized by respect, fairness, knowledge, humour and an unswerving commitment to solid land use planning principles.

Gary Runka with forage crop“Mr. Runka's impact on land use in BC is immense. He was effective as a public servant, consultant, volunteer, teacher and mentor, not only because of his vast professional knowledge, but also because of his ability to bring people together to cooperate on complex land and natural resource management issues. We are proud to name Gary Runka the 2014 Land Champion,” said Jack Wong, Real Estate Foundation CEO.

The Land Champion award will be presented at the Foundation's Land Awards Gala on October 17, 2014 along with awards for private, public and non-profit sector initiatives that demonstrate leadership, innovation and collaboration in sustainable land use in British Columbia.