Nick Geer, businessman and former head of ICBC, dies in California car crash

VANCOUVER — Prominent British Columbia business leader Nick Geer has been killed in a car crash in California.

A statement from his family says Geer and his wife Penny were on the way to their home in Loreto Bay, Mexico, when they were involved in a car accident on Jan. 22 near Sacramento.

Geer was 75 years old.

The family statement says his wife was seriously injured.

Geer was the CEO of the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia and is credited with turning a $250 million loss in 2001 into a profit of $389 million by 2004.

A chartered professional accountant, Geer was vice-president and managing director of the Jim Pattison Group of Companies from 1980 to 1999.

Geer was born in London, England, and his family says he “made his way to Vancouver” in 1967.

He served on the boards of the Vancouver Foundation, the Canadian Tax Foundation and Collingwood School, which he and Penny Geer helped found in North Vancouver.

“Starting a new school was true to our father’s philosophy,” his three children, Samantha Geer, Jill Tiffin and Noel Geer, said in the statement.

He started the Scholarship Foundation for Collingwood to give those who could not afford it a chance at a private education.

“Dad always said the easiest way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. He approached a problem not as a problem but as an opportunity and giving us the best education was an opportunity he would not miss. In everything he did, he strove to create a legacy through his work, his community and love for his country, family and friends.”

In 2003, he was awarded a Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for his work in the community.

He is survived by his wife of 49 years, his three children and their spouses, and four grandchildren.

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