A bit about me.
father, skier, small-town mayor.
I was born in a small, rural northern B.C. community east of Prince George. My parents were back-to-the-land’ers and we spent several summers living in a wall tent on our wilderness property where they cleared land and built a log house. In the winters we rented a tiny house closer to “town” where I attended a two-room elementary school.
My dad was a logger most of my life — a buckerman who worked in logging camps all over northern B.C. My mom was an early childhood educator, gardener, food preserver, and later a professional counsellor for women who experienced domestic violence. Growing up, we didn’t have a lot of money, but our life was rich in many ways.
After high school, I moved to Victoria to go to university and eventually met my wife Michelle. We had our daughter Ella and decided our heart was in the mountains. I wanted my kids to have the rural upbringing I had grown up with. We moved north to the Bulkley Valley and our daughter Madeleine was born shortly thereafter.
In 2008 I ran to be a municipal councillor in the Village of Telkwa. My friend Rimas and I were both interested in community building and dared each other to run. We both won, and spent the next three years learning the ins and outs of local government, attending meetings in the old village office on the bank of the Bulkley River.
In 2011, my family and I moved to Smithers where my communications business was located. That fall, former mayor Jim Davidson called and asked if I’d be willing to run for mayor. After an exciting campaign in which the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline figured prominently, I became the youngest mayor in Smithers history. I was acclaimed in the 2014 elections and won a third term in 2018.
In addition to my mayoral role, I also own and run Bachrach Communications, a small consultancy that provides graphic design, web design and social media services to clients ranging from small businesses to First Nations.
Michelle’s and my two daughters are now 14 and 12. As a family, we enjoy skiing, canoeing, and pretending to garden (the weeds got the best of us last year). We also love bicycles and use them to get everywhere when the weather is decent. I enthusiastically play men’s rec league hockey, which is a load of fun even if I rarely touch the puck.
I hold an honours science degree in geography from the University of Victoria and a Certificate in Executive Leadership from Simon Fraser University. I’m an alumnus of the 2015 Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference and a recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Here are a few of the leadership roles I’ve taken on during my time in local government:
Director and Executive Committee Chair, Regional District of Bulkley Nechako
Director, Northwest Regional Hospital Board
Director, Northern Development Initiative Trust
Chair, Northern Development Initiatives Trust Northwest Regional Advisory Committee
Co-Chair, Partnering for Healthier Communities Committee
Founding member, BC Mayors’ Caucus steering committee
Current member, BC Climate Solutions and Clean Growth Advisory Council
President, Go By Bike BC
Past member of the UBCM Select Committee on Local Government Finance
Past director, Northern Medical Programs Trust
Other community volunteer service I have undertaken includes:
Past member, Bulkley Valley Credit Union Community Support Committee
Past member, Bulkley Valley Credit Union Credit Committee
Past Chair, Bulkley Valley Community Resources Board
Past member, Telkwa Community Initiatives Society
Organizer, Bike to Work Week
Organizer, BC Rivers Day
Organizer, Sky-Hi Outdoor Movie Night