AGM & Summit Speakers
Global Sustainable Tourism Council
Randy Durband is the Chief Executive Officer of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), the UN-supported NGO that establishes and manages global baseline standards for sustainability in travel and tourism. The GSTC Criteria include guidelines for minimizing negative environmental, cultural, and social impacts while maximizing travel and tourism as a force for good. Mr. Durband is a frequent speaker on sustainable tourism and has served on many tourism boards and sustainable tourism awards judging panels.
Responsible Tourism Panel:
Paisley Notebook / Slow Food
Born and raised in Southampton, England, Aman Dosanj jumped over the pond in 2008. The former England U-16 and Arsenal Ladies soccer player opened Kelowna’s ‘Poppadoms’ in 2009. The vibrant farm-to-table Indian restaurant found synergy with the Okanagan – combining true-to-its-roots Indian flavours with the purity of the Okanagan’s terroir. Known for her tireless curiosity, endless experiments and collaborations across the Valley, the self-taught cook was named Western Living Magazine’s top 10 ‘Foodie of the Year’ 2015. The edible storyteller has returned from an 8-month around the world adventure showing how food connects us, and has been sharing Slow Food stories during pop up dinners across the Okanagan. Her ever-changing movable feast was listed as a top 3 ‘Remarkable Experience’ at the BC Tourism Industry Awards and ‘Culinary Tourism Experience’ category at the Canadian Tourism Awards in 2018.
Angela Nagy is the CEO of GreenStep Solutions, a company that has provided sustainability solutions for small and medium sized enterprises since 2008. She is a multi-disciplined consultant with an eighteen-year background in project management, business development, marketing and public relations, Angela has lived and traveled extensively throughout Europe, the US and Canada, working with all levels of business, non-profits and governments on a variety of sustainability related projects. She has been trained by former Vice President and Nobel Laureate, Al Gore, David Suzuki and IPCC scientists to deliver the Climate Reality Project. She is certified in Organizational GHG Accounting through the Greenhouse Gas Management Institute and as a Sustainability Practitioner through The Natural Step.
Watermark Beach Resort / Slow Travel / IJ Management Consulting
Ingrid Jarrett is the General Manager and Vice President of Business Development at Watermark Beach Resort and Principal for IJ Management Consulting. She has spent over two decades building solid partnerships and boosting tourism for the South Okanagan. Additionally, she serves on multiple boards across the BC tourism community, and acts as the Vice Chair of the Marketing Advisory Committee for Destination BC. Finally, she has played a vital role in growing slow food in the region, as she is the Convivium President for Slow Food Thompson Okanagan, as well as the Vice Chair of Slow Food Canada.
After sustaining a spinal cord injury twenty-one years ago from a horseback riding accident that left her paralyzed from the bra-line down, Sonja Gaudet was determined to continue her active lifestyle alongside her husband and kids. Using the “power of sport” as rehabilitation, she has since gone on to live a full and meaningful life as a mother, wife, athlete and motivational speaker.
She has recently retired from competition, and in January of this year, was presented with a Canadian stamp in her honour, bringing much needed awareness to the Paralympic Games and the abilities within everyone to overcoming challenges in their own lives. For thirteen years, she has had the privilege of competing for Canada around the world as a Paralympic athlete, winning three Paralympic Gold Medals and three World Championships in the sport of Wheelchair Curling.
Sonja has a keen interest in accessibility issues in her community and beyond, and she lends her knowledge and experience to creating recreational opportunities for people with mobility challenges. She is looking forward to the beginning of a new and exciting partnership between SCI BC and TOTA, promoting the AccessBC project and the concept of Universal Design within the tourism industry in the Thompson Okanagan Region.
For more than 17 years, Kevin Harper has been a trusted advisor to both government and industry – including Travel & Tourism, Events & Entertainment, IT and Commercial & Industrial Construction. With international experience in both Canada and Australia, Kevin’s vision for a connected world has driven innovation across numerous verticals and has led to many organizations surpassing their objectives for strategic growth, cost savings and operational efficiencies.
Now located in Vancouver as National Business Development Manager for TELUS Insights, Kevin has been helping develop a new market for ethical and privacy-focused big data analytics, using data science and robust network infrastructure to help drive data-centric strategy planning and cutting-edge digital transformation for organizations throughout Canada.
Kirstie Satchwell is a veteran of developing and optimizing online ad campaigns that can attribute digital ad spend to destination visitation with a predictable ROI. She is the Managing Director at War Room, a Community Volunteer at the SPCA, the Treasurer for the West Coast Soaring Club, and a mom of two adorable cats.
Environics / Symphony Tourism Services
Simone Carlysle-Smith is responsible for leading Symphony Tourism Services, a subsidiary of the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association. Contract services include digital and traditional marketing, tourism consulting, Route 97 Touring & Exploring Program and research services.
Jon Mamela joined Destination Canada in 2013 and he has been guiding the organization’s marketing transformation to become a global tourism leader through their integrated content marketing strategies and digital eco-systems to ring their partner’s cash registers.
He daily leads a dynamic and passionate team who are responsible for building Canada’s tourism brand driving international tourism visitation to the country.
Honourable Lisa Beare
Minister of Tourism, Arts & Culture
Prior to her election as MLA of May 9th, Lisa was elected as a Trustee for the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Board of Education (School District #42) in 2014. She has been a flight attendant with Air Transat for 20 years, and previously worked as a commercial pilot.
She has been a CUPE member since 1997 and was Vice-President of Local 4078 Air Transat Flight Attendants in Vancouver. She received a diploma in Local Government Management from the University of Victoria and is a member of the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Arts Council.
She has worked on a number of Boards including her current position as Vice-Chair of the Canadian Women Voters Congress. She has also been a member of the Board of Directors for Variety the Children’s Charity and past President of both Women in Aviation and The 99’s.
She is the proud mother of a beautiful 2-year-old daughter.
Marsha Walden is the President and Chief Executive Officer for Destination British Columbia. A life-long British Columbian, Marsha’s career spans corporate leadership roles in marketing, strategy, transformation, operations, communications and social responsibility. Marsha holds a Bachelor of Commerce from UBC and loves to travel in our extraordinary province.
BC’s tourism industry is on the cusp of enormous opportunity. As such, and under Marsha’s leadership, the team at Destination BC has set its sights on three important goals to ensure success:
- to make British Columbia the most highly recommended destination in North America by our visitors;
- to achieve the highest growth in overnight travel expenditures among all Canadian provinces; and,
- to build an exceptional team of collaborative, insight-driven, and results-focused people.
LoveHR / Cannabis in the Workplace
Shawnee’s mission has always been to build better businesses. Her area of expertise is the people side, including management and leadership skills, HR practices, and culture.
Delivering creative and practical HR solutions in hiring, compensation, training, performance management and culture, advising leaders and managers on people issues and skill development, and creating and implementing the strategies and programs to help clients achieve desired results have been driving Shawnee since she entered the Commerce Program at UBC with the knowledge that People, Culture and Business Results were where she would make a difference.
Shawnee founded LoveHR in 2008 bringing her 20-years of experience within entrepreneurial organizations. Since then, LoveHR has worked with more than 200 clients including family businesses, first nations, not-for-profit, start-ups, and small and medium sized businesses in a variety of industries (manufacturing, construction, real estate, tourism, hospitality, agriculture, technology, medical/ dental/ healthcare, education, retail, etc.)
As the owner of LoveHR, Shawnee consults, advises, delivers solutions, and is a speaker and group facilitator as well. She is known for creating simple solutions for complex challenges, moving businesses forward, and honest dialogue for owners and leaders.
Shawnee Love resides in West Kelowna, BC but works with clients across Canada due to her extensive understanding of Canadian rules and regulations for employers and employees.
Walt Judas joined the Tourism Industry Association of BC (TIABC) as CEO in May 2015. TIABC advocates for the interests of British Columbia’s $15+ billion tourism economy. His tourism experience includes 15+ years as Vice President, Marketing Communications, Member Services & Sport for Tourism Vancouver.
Walt chairs the annual B.C. Tourism Industry Conference, which takes place in Kelowna, March 7-9, 2018. He also serves on the Vancouver Sport Network’s Grant Review Committee, and as a Tourism Program Advisory Committee member for both Vancouver Community College and Capilano University.
Walt holds a Bachelor of Hospitality Management Degree from Vancouver Community College. He also earned a Diploma in Broadcast Journalism and a Management Certificate in Marketing Communications from the British Columbia Institute of Technology.