Desmond Devnich.

Desmond Devnich.

Desmond Devnich: Smiles are free from Des

Chilliwack's Desmond Devnich, 21, as featured in The Chilliwack Progress Forty Under 40.

For BIA coordinator Desmond Devnich, 21, the best thing about his hometown of Chilliwack is the people.

“You can travel around to other cities, but I think we’re about the friendliest.”

It’s fitting because he embodies the friendly personality and warmth of a devoted people person.

The dynamo has been meeting and greeting folks for the Downtown Chilliwack BIA since July 2011, coordinating Party in the Park, Village Classic, Christmas in the City, and the GETMOR rewards program.

He’s working on his communications degree at University of the Fraser Valley, where he was also Student Life events coordinator for the Chilliwack campus.

“I believe that every one of us is richly blessed with talents and resources that can be used to better the lives of others.”

He’s refreshingly not naive about it.

“Look I know I’m not saving lives here. I work with non-profits, and every day I make people smile.”

Last year he earned an “outstanding service award” from UFV presented by UFV president Mark Evered.

He knows Chilliwackians take their community service to heart.

“That’s Chilliwack for you,” he says. “It’s our background and our faith.”

His positive outlook is catching. With a communication background, he was quick to get on Facebook and Twitter to help the BIA to get the word out to help folks get more involved in their own community.

“I love its history, and not just historic downtown Chilliwack, but all of it.”

He sits on the Chilliwack and District Agricultural Board and appreciates the agricultural roots of the community.

“It’s the basis of our economy and our lifestyle as the city in the country.”

He’s also president-elect for the Chilliwack Fraser Rotaract Club, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Chilliwack-Fraser, and Relay for Life Committee co-chair for the Canadian Cancer Society in Chilliwack.

Not enough?  He plans to support events for the Chilliwack Hospice Society, Chilliwack Community Services, and Chilliwack Hospital and Health Care Foundation.

But he doesn’t do any of it for the glory.

“I’m an action taker,” he says. “I also get excited about things when others are excited. When I can find and connect with others who are passionate about the same things I am, it can only build from there.”