Okanagan Edge and the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce are partnering to showcase some of the region’s most exciting entrepreneurs through the “Top 40 Over 40” program.
Sponsored by BDO, the “Top 40 Over 40” recognizes high-achieving professionals in our community and showcases their accomplishments. This marks the fifth year the chamber has conducted a “Top 40” showcase. Honourees will be featured throughout the year on Okanagan Edge.
Today we recognize Ingrid Dilschneider, the travel trade and digital marketing specialist with Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association.
It should come as no surprise that Ingrid Dilschneider ended up in the hospitality business.
Both her mom and dad worked for airlines, and therefore trips were plentiful when she was a child. She distinctly remembers going to Denmark, where her father was born, and to Antigua, where she learned just how beautiful the tropics can be.
“That was when I knew I had to pursue that (career),” she said. “My sister ended up being a flight attendant, and I took the marketing route.”
Dilschneider, who currently serves as a travel trade and digital marketing specialist with Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association, has been named to Kelowna Chamber of Commerce’s Top 40 Over 40 list, presented by BDO.
“It’s a huge honour to be on that list,” Dilschneider said. “It was surprising. It’s nice to be recognized by your peers. I’m humbled at the same time.”
Dilschneider, who was born and raised in Montreal, started in the travel and marketing business working for Wardair, a private Canadian airline that was founded in 1952 but ceased operations in 1989. Dilschneider was based in Jamaica, where she handled passengers and their hotel accommodations.
Her heart took her to Calgary, where she continued to work in the hotel industry as a sales and marketing director, and it wasn’t long before she ended up in the Okanagan, where she was employed in the wine and golf industry. She worked at Predator Ridge for eight years before starting her own company, Matrix Marketing, two years ago and then joining TOTA last year.
“I love dealing with the international trade and trying to influence them to use our region,” Dilschneider said. “We’re seeing great strides, and it’s great to be part of the biosphere and the sustainable destination. Leading the charge with that has been a huge learning curve and a great experience.”
Her 35 years in the marketing industry has kept her busy enough, but Dilschneider always found the time to give some of her free time to organizations. She served as the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce vice-president, Vernon Tourism Council chair and as a director for the Tourism Association of BC.
She has also taken time to mentor 10 young professionals—and counting—who were just getting started in their marketing careers.
“I was always on boards or always chairing councils or always trying to expand my knowledge and expand my network,” Dilschneider said.
“It was just really important for me to contribute and to help in any way I can. And I’m still that way today.”
When she’s not knee deep in marketing, Dilschneider, who has eight tattoos—and counting—loves to play golf and go to car shows.
“I go to most of the shows,” she said. “I have a Camaro convertible that I treated myself to two years ago. It’s my baby. And my dog is my passion. Of course, sometimes my husband thinks the dog takes priority. We still travel quite a bit, so that’s nice, and I’m a huge yoga enthusiast, too. That also keeps me sane.”
The man who is leading the charge for sustainable tourism in the Thompson Okanagan now has a post that covers even more ground.
Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association president and CEO Glenn Mandziuk has been appointed to the Global Sustainable Tourism Council’s board of directors. He was voted in during the organization’s annual election.
The board is a very international group, as Mandziuk was elected to a three-year term along with tourism representatives from Utah, Greece, India, China and Spain. They will join 14 other returning board members, including chairman Luigi Cabrini.
“I am extremely honoured to have been elected to the board and to work closely with the GSTC, their members, and fellow directors in leading the future of sustainable tourism development,” Mandziuk said in a press release.
Habitat for Humanity Okanagan’s board of directors has found its new chief executive officer.
Andrea Manifold is now in charge of the non-profit housing organization, which is an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity Canada. Manifold has a master’s degree in business administration, with a specialization in administration and finance, and has a deep history in the construction and development industries.
“I’m excited to join this fantastic organization and be working alongside the very talented and dedicated staff members and volunteers” Manifold said in a press release. “Habitat has ambitious plans to bring more homes to the Okanagan, and I’m delighted to lead the team to realize our goals.”
Habitat for Humanity Okanagan believes the organization will flourish under Manifold’s guidance.
“Our senior leadership team has done a great job of stabilizing and supporting the organization over the last 18 months of unprecedented growth, preparing the foundation for our next step in strategic development and capacity building,” board chair Sharon Conway said. “With their excellent work and assistance, we are ready to add the next building block. This is the next step in our journey to build more homes.”
Penticton has announced its new top cop to replace outgoing superintendent Ted De Jager.
Inspector Brian Hunter, most recently the officer in charge of the Port Alberni RCMP, will be taking on the role of detachment commander for the Penticton South Okanagan Similkameen Regional RCMP.
“Inspector Hunter is a seasoned leader,” RCMP Southeast District chief superintendent Brad Haugli said.
“He has a vast experience in policing throughout this diverse province, and certainly understands the challenges and opportunities within the region. I am confident he is the right fit and will continue to focus on the initiatives that are important for our communities.”
Hunter’s 25-year career has featured appointments to multiple locations around B.C., including Shawnigan Lake, Telegraph Creek, Dease Lake, Salmon Arm and Williams Lake. His appointment to Penticton was announced by the RCMP national headquarters.
“Council is pleased a final decision has been made to fill this critical policing role,” Penticton mayor John Vassilaki said.
“We are confident that inspector Hunter’s experience will make him an approachable community leader who will listen to the concerns of our residents on matters concerning homelessness, drug use, mental illness and property crime, while his knowledge of community policing will ensure the laws of Canada are upheld.”
Karla Kozakevich, who is board chair of the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen, said she looks forward to working with the new arrival.
“Crime prevention is a foundation of our quality of life, and in the rural communities we need a commanding officer who understands what our citizens expect and is committed to engaging with us to discuss how we’re going to protect the rural lifestyle,” she said.
Hunter and his wife, Julie, are looking forward to a new life in Penticton, describing it as “an extremely vibrant” area to live and work.
“I am looking forward to connecting with our Penticton South Okanagan Similkameen RCMP team and community partners to continue a collaborative approach in reducing crime,” Hunter said.
The City of Merritt has added some responsibility to one of its top bureaucrats.
Will George will be taking on the new role of economic development, communications and tourism manager. The communications title is the new part of his job, as he previously served as economic development and tourism manager.
George will be responsible for helping the city to meet the increased communication objectives as identified by the city council’s new strategic plan.
Anthony Haddad has started in his new role as Summerland’s chief administrative officer.
He sat in on his first council meeting Monday evening, thanking the municipality for the “warm welcome” he’s received so far.
“Excited over the next few years for some healthy discussion with the team and community and looking forward to working with council, staff and the community,” he said during his first report.
Haddad takes over the position of Summerland’s top municipal employee from Linda Tynan, who resigned in May for personal reasons. The role was filled on an interim basis, until Haddad was hired, by former Kelowna CAO Ron Mattiussi.
Haddad leaves the City of Penticton, where he served as the director of development services, overseeing planning and economic development. Penticton has not announced his replacement yet.
This week’s Summerland council meeting was light, with council approving a two-lot subdivision on Cartwright Avenue and agreeing to sign a statement of solidarity for the United Nation’s #WithRefugees campaign.
The Okanagan Table has found its culinary education director.
RauDZ Creative Concepts Ltd. has hired chef Geoffrey Couper to fill the role for The Okanagan Table, which will be opening soon. The latest venture from Rod Butters and Audrey Surrao will give guests opportunities to enjoy food and its preparation through long table dinners, receptions, cooking and cocktail demonstrations, and special event catering.
Couper, who has lived in Kelowna for 15 years, has provided culinary inspiration to Mission Hill Family Estate Winery, CedarCreek Estate Winery, Blue Mountain Winery and Andrew Peller Ltd. He has also worked with Hilton International, Relais & Chateaux and Canadian Mountain Holidays. He has spent the past decade as the apprentice instructor for Okanagan College’s culinary arts department.
“The Okanagan Table is the perfect venue to show the delicious path from farm to fork and all the fun that can be had in between,” Couper said in a press release.
Couper, who has won international awards, was inducted into the Canadian Culinary Honor Society in 2016.
An Okanagan poet has captured a national award.
Erin Scott’s poem, Atrophy, has been named the winner of the 2019 John Lent Poetry and Prose Award. Kalamalka Press, which is based out of Okanagan College’s Vernon campus, published the work.
“There’s a gorgeous weight to Atrophy, and at the same it’s marked by such a sharp self-awareness—in this way all of its voices and sounds strike us as sweetly human,” judges Jake Kennedy, an OC instructor, and Vernon-based novelist and poet Laisha Rosnau said in a press release.
“The music of the manuscript is never forced or ironic, and the narrative of the poem itself has an undeniable urgency. We think this is beautiful work, and we’re thrilled to select it for the John Lent Poetry and Prose Award.”
Scott is a poet and performer living and working in the traditional and unceded territory of the Syilx-Okanagan people in Kelowna.
Lent was a founding member of Kalamalka Press and taught at Okanagan College for 26 years.
The Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board has hired its new CEO, who comes to the organization with B.C. ties.
George Greenwood comes to the Kelowna-based organization with an MBA from Dalhousie University, a bachelor of technology in management degree from BCIT. He is both a chartered professional accountant and a certified financial planner.
Greenwood spent the last four years as CEO of the TCU Financial Group in Saskatoon, according to his LinkedIn page, and five years before that as the CEO of Advance Savings Credit Union in Moncton. He held various operations and management positions with Vancouver City Savings Credit Union between 1997 and 2004.
“This is an exciting time for OMREB, and we are confident that George’s highly collaborative approach and strong focus on members will move us even further along the road to becoming a stronger, more effective organization,” OMREB president Michael Loewen said in a press release.
Greenwood will start in his new role on Sept. 3.
“I’m extremely excited to be joining the team at OMREB as we work together to continue adding value and benefits to our Realtor members,” Greenwood said. “I look forward to working with the board and the dedicated and hardworking staff at the OMREB office as we advocate and promote on behalf of the Realtor members throughout the region of Peachland to Revelstoke. It’s exciting to be returning to B.C. after 15 years away.”
The Kelowna Women’s Shelter is losing its executive director.
Karen Mason announced Monday that she is stepping down as the shelter’s boss to dedicate herself to the Supporting Survivors of Abuse and Brain Injury through Research (SOAR) project. The shelter has been working on the initiative with UBCO for the last three years.
“I remain passionate about supporting women fleeing abuse and working to end gender-based violence, and am excited to continue serving the shelter in a new way as the SOAR project, for which KWS will stay the key community partner, grows,” Mason said in a statement.
Mason has been with the shelter for seven years, the first five of which were as a volunteer. Her last official function will take place on Sept. 16 during the organization’s annual general meeting.