2016 TOTA Board Nominees

Tourism VernonTOTA Annual General Meeting & Tourism Summit
November 23-24, 2016 — Predator Ridge, Vernon

Election Runner screenshotElectronic Voting

Voting is by electronic ballot from ElectionRunner.com. If you are a voting TOTA stakeholder, you will receive an email from Glenn Mandziuk, TOTA (email: noreply@electionrunner.com) with the subject “Your Invitation to Vote in the Election: TOTA 2016 Board of Directors” (see screenshot). This ballot will give the voting instructions for TOTA (see below) and also how to cast your vote with ElectionRunner.

Voting Instructions

In an effort to broaden region-wide participation in the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA), the organization has moved to on-line voting for the seven (7) available positions on the TOTA Board of Directors. These positions will be for two year terms.

We thank you for taking the time to vote and providing your input through this process which plays a key role in the future of tourism in this region. In this regard, the voting instructions are as follows:

  • Each registered voting stakeholder in good standing will receive one electronic Ballot via email to the designated email address provided by the Stakeholder at the time of their formal registration with TOTA.
  • Each submitted electronic ballot will be anonymous.
  • Please choose UP TO seven (7) candidates from the ballot list
  • When making your selections for directors please review each of the biographies attached to the ballot and give consideration to:
    • Broad “geographical” representation of directors from all areas of the region
    • Strong “vertical” mix of directors representing various sectors, such as accommodations, ski, wine, golf, outdoor adventure, cultural & aboriginal tourism, festivals, etc.
  • Your electronic ballot access code will only be good for one vote
  • Ballots will be accepted between October 24, 2016 and ending November 8, 2016 at 4:30 PM.
  • Results will be announced during the Annual General Meeting Noebmer 23, 2016 at Predator Ridge Resort in Vernon

Board of Directors Nominees

(in alphabetical order)

Frank AntoineANTOINE, Frank (nominated by the TOTA Board of Directors)

Cultural Liaison & Sales, Quaaout Lodge & Talking Rock Golf (Chase)

Frank has been working at the Quaaout lodge for 9 seasons. He started as a golf professional and then moved into guest service department. He is currently working in the cultural and marketing departments. His passion for learning his native grassroots and sharing that with guests of the lodge have been a great start off his new position. Marketing has helped support his vision with the culture. He is currently working on expanding with other stakeholders of Aboriginal Tourism in BC.


Erik FisherFISHER, Erik (nominated by the TOTA Board of Directors)

General Manager, Monte Creek Ranch Winery (Monke Creek)

Erik James Fisher is the General Manager of Monte Creek Ranch Winery in the Thompson Okanagan. Erik oversees all aspects of the business including the development of the brand, positioning in the marketplace, production facility and visitor centre enjoyed by many thousands of people each year.Prior to Monte Creek Ranch Winery, Erik worked in Sales and Marketing for 6 years for the largest Canadian owned wine company, Andrew Peller Ltd. This tenure reached great heights including the development and launch of Wayne Gretzky Okanagan. Before Andrew Peller Ltd, Erik was a key member of the Sales and Marketing team for 4 years that launched Red Bull Energy Drink into Canada. This too was a rewarding and accomplished stint.

Erik currently stands as a Director on the BC Wine Institute Board as Chair of Marketing and as a Director on the Kamloops Winery Association. Previously, Erik also served as a Director on the Okanagan Wine Festival Board.

When Erik’s not at work his interests are relaxing with family, golf and dare I say cheering for the Philadelphia Eagles.


George HansonHANSON, George (nominated by the TOTA Board of Directors)

Owner, Seven Stones Winery (Cawston)

George lived in Yukon and worked in the telecommunications industry as a Human Resource Professional. In 1999 George moved from the north to start to build his dream of owning a vineyard and winery. Today George is the owner and winemaker at the beautiful Seven Stones Winery located in between Cawston and Osoyoos.

Previous Board experience has seen George serve as the Chair of Yukon Housing Corporation and also as the elected director for the Cawston area on the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen Board. George currently is a Director on the Okanagan Wine Festival Society and the founder of the Organic Farming Institute of British Columbia.


Kevin HowlettHOWLETT, Kevin (nominated by the TOTA Board of Directors)

Senior Vice President, Regional Markets and Government Relations, Air Canada

Kevin Howlett was appointed Senior Vice President, Regional Markets and Government Relations in May, 2016. In this role, Kevin has overall responsibility for the strategic direction of Air Canada’s regional operations and the relationship with current and future regional carriers operating on Air Canada’s behalf. Additionally, Kevin has oversight for all relationships between the airline and federal, provincial and municipal governments, and he also works to strengthen the airline’s North American regional business and community relationships. Based in Vancouver, BC, Kevin is Air Canada’s senior executive in western Canada.

Since 2013, Kevin held the role of Senior Vice President, Regional Markets. Previously, he had been Senior Vice President, Employee Relations, responsible for the human resource and labour relations functions at the airline, including strategic support to the business units, organizational alignment and strategy, talent management, recruitment programs, employee and occupational health services, employee development, and total rewards, including pensions and benefits. With more than 35 years of related experience in the airline industry, Kevin also had responsibility for liaising with all unions representing 85% of Air Canada’s workforce. Prior to joining Air Canada, he held the position of Vice President, Labour Relations with Jazz Aviation. In addition he held the title of Vice President, Labour Relations & Human Resources at Canadian Airlines International.

Educated at the University of Prince Edward Island and at Dalhousie University, Kevin holds the CHRP (Certified Human Resource Professional) designation. He is on the Board of Directors for the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA), the BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre Foundation and the Human Resources Management Association. Kevin is also a member of ACELD International Advisory Council (Africa Canada 2013 Emerging Leaders Dialogue) and he holds the Institute of Corporate Directors designation (ICD.D) from the Beedie School of Business at Simon Fraser University.


Bryan PilbeamPILBEAM, Bryan (nominated by the TOTA Board of Directors)

Vice-President/General Manager, National Hospitality Group (Kamloops)

Bryan Pilbeam is the Vice-President and General Manager of the National Hospitality Group Inc., overseeing the newly renovated Hotel Five540Forty, The Thompson Hotel, Centrepoint and other business assets in Kamloops. Both hotels have undergone multi-million dollar renovations. The 540 was awarded the prestigious 5 Green Key Award for Environmental Excellence, from the Hotel Association of Canada. Hotel 540 has received numerous other awards and accolades since Bryan relocated to Kamloops in January 2011; including 5 years in a row of both Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor, and voted Best Hotel in Kamloops by locals.

Bryan sits on numerous industry boards and committees, including the Executive Committee/Board of Directors for BC Hotel Association. Bryan has served on the Board of TOTA since 2013, serving as Chair of TOTA for the past year. Bryan is looking forward to continuing to contribute to TOTA and representing the Thompson Okanagan Region.


Lindsay RainbirdRAINBIRD, Lindsay

Sales Manager, Hotel Zed and Accent Inns (Kelowna)

A dynamic, self-starter with over 20 year’s international experience across a wide spectrum of the tourism industry. Lindsay has worked with hotels, large and small tour operators, and cruise ships.

As the Sales Manager for HOTEL ZED and ACCENT INNS, key responsibilities include developing, executing and driving a strategic sales plan. Carrying out sales & marketing activities, building and maintaining a strong team whilst networking to achieve company’s goals, and ensuring targets are met.

Having been trained to look at many different aspects of tourism, Lindsay knows that sustainability means long term planning and management with experience and understanding of diverse cultures and environments is a fundamental part of tourism. She has furthered this understanding through both her personal and work travels.

Lindsay has had the opportunity to interact with very diverse populations and individuals of all ages. I have been trained and well exercised in handling human resources issues in creative and professional approach.

Raising two girls and perfecting a South African husband she is always up for a challenge.


Andy SchwaigerSCHWAIGER, Andy (nominated by the TOTA Board of Directors)

President, Kanata Adventure Specialists (Clearwater)

Visiting Wells Gray Country frequently as a tourist before immigrating from his native Austria in the mid ’90s, Andy became a big fan of the North Thompson Valley, which he’s still calling home today. Starting out as the operations manager for Kanata’s then newly created small group tour division, the MBA and trained business consultant quickly developed a passion for travel, adventure and the outdoors. In November 2000, Andy took over the business as its director and is leading it ever since. Andy has extensively traveled and is intimately familiar with the Thompson Okanagan region. Together with his wife and teenage twin daughters, he continues to explore the region at every opportunity. Andy engages in all outdoor activities imaginable, summer and winter. Always busy, on the road, or guiding hiking, canoeing, kayaking and skiing trips in the mountains and at the coast, this is the first board that the hands-on business owner is joining.

Andy feels that it’s important that the increasingly popular North Thompson has some representation in a region that is as vast and diversified as the Thompson Okanagan. He hopes that his inside knowledge and experience as a tour operator for more than 20 years are valuable assets in moving the region forward and improving its tourism sector. Having personally catered to hundreds of mainly European tourists for up to three weeks at a time, Andy has a deep understanding of that market’s driving forces, motivations and its expectations in a world-class destination. Andy is looking forward to serve on TOTA’s Board of Directors.


Steve TullochTULLOCH, Steven

Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Bluestar Tours (Kelowna)

With over 15-years in the travel and tourism industry, specifically within the motor coach charter business, Steven brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from a national and international level. Originally from the UK, Steven worked for a major European tour operator contracting ground transportation in Germany, Belgium and Britain, before relocating to Canada to head up sales for TRAXX Coachlines, AB, and go on to build a premium motor coach fleet.

In 2014, Steven joined Brewster Travel Canada as General Manager of Transportation and helped re-shape the structure of the business by introducing a new fleet, sightseeing product featuring onboard guides, and modernizing its airport shuttle program. Earlier this summer, Steven accepted the position of Vice President of Bluestar Charters in Kelowna; with a prime focus on sales and business development, Steven is helping build a modern, fresh bus operation that covers all of Western Canada.

Steven lives in Kelowna with his family.


Kathrin von Andrianvon ANDRIAN, Kathrin (nominated by the TOTA Board of Directors)

Owner and Operator, Myra Canyon Ranch, (Kelowna)

Kathrin holds a diploma from the University of Munich/Germany in Sports and physical education, specialization in medical rehabilitation and prevention and a degree as Sports Therapist from the Economic Academy/ Association for sports therapy in Cologne/Germany. She is a certified trainer for certain kind of sports and has over 20 years of experience with teaching groups of all ages, team building and personal development.

Kathrin moved with her family in 2012 from Germany directly to Kelowna. As a mother of 4 kids and a professional Sports Therapist she couldn’t resist the beauty of the Okanagan Valley and its outdoor possibilities.

Since then she owns and operates three businesses: Myra Canyon Ranch Resort, Kelowna Stables Trail Riding and Myra Canyon Adventure Park together with her husband Rolf and their 2 sons. Together they serve over 20,000 guests in the Myra Canyon area above Kelowna. Although relatively new to the tourism industry she will bring fresh ideas to the board and a special focus on outdoor activities.