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Election 2014: Growth and Investment

October 17, 2014

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The Chamber is asking all candidates a series of business related questions so you have the information you need to make an informed voting choice.  Questions and answers will be posted here twice a week.  Check back regularly and follow the Chamber on Facebook for notification of new posts.

Question 2: List 3 specific steps (and their desired results) that you would take to encourage growth and investment in Summerland.

Candidates for Council

Martin (Marty) Van AlphenMartin-(Marty)-Van-Alphen

I believe:

We need to aggressively promote and advertise our Bentley Road Industrial area as it’s great to have the industrial land available but the rest of British Columbia and the world needs to know.

To encourage growth we need to have the appropriate land zoning in place to offer multiple housing options including market entry homes for young families.

To encourage investment I will continue to take every opportunity to meet with any and all potential investors new or currently in Summerland as I have done numerous times in the past.

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Erin TrainerErin-Trainer

  1. I would support the Summerland Chamber with its ongoing initiatives to promote Summerland as a tourism destination and a place for investment. I would offer to be a liaison between council, businesses and the chamber.
  1. I would continue to move forward with infrastructure upgrades and projects. I would also help identify future projects, and start planning how we’re going to pay for them.

Summerland needs good infrastructure in order to facilitate growth and investment. For example, we need to upgrade our water treatment systems to better manage resources for current and future agricultural businesses.

Roads, sewer systems and recreational facilities cost millions of dollars, but are vital for a prosperous and healthy community.

  1. Finally, a small but free initiative: I would help organize a community-wide clean-up. This brings people together and keeps Summerland looking attractive. (I have organized four clean-ups in Trout Creek with excellent results!)

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Mark SmedMarkSmed

Agri-tourism provides a large number of jobs to Summerland. We have wineries and other agricultural producers.   We need to build upon this base and support new and existing businesses.  We need to identify target markets and sell ‘Summerland’ as a brand. A catchy logo would be the umbrella that local businesses can rally under, for instance.  By promoting our brand, we market every business.

I would like to see the costs associated with improved bus service to and from Penticton. By improving transportation we now draw shoppers from Penticton. In addition, many seniors and young families can choose to live here while still having the ability to reach Penticton easily.

Finally, we need to provide better access and more opportunities to live an active lifestyle.  I have talked to families and seniors who leave town to visit other communities in the Okanagan to bird watch, hike and bicycle.

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Ken Rodockerken-rodocker

Its easy to say more housing, fill our empty store fronts, bring in Industry. However the reality of it is we need to unite and rejuvenate. Utilize whats already here to create an economically sound community.

Invite our wineries , our produce growers and our arts community downtown to celebrate Summerland and watch it grow and prosper with our support.

Its not a three step program , we need to focus our resourses and I can not stress this enough , unite and rejuvenate our community.

My mom used to say , dont invite company over unless your house is clean.

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Janet PeakeJanet-Peake

Response not available at publication time.

 

 

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Daniel Papadopoulos

Encourage growth growth through business and light industry. Then there will be more jobs in the community, and more money to be spent locally. And a desired result would be to see more traffic downtown after 18:00.

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Denise MacDonalddenise-macdonald

  • Experienced/concerned with down-loading costs of government regulations and Acts coming out of senior government. Summerland needs a council questioning the cost/benefits of new regulations.   The Multi Material Recycling Program is a good example.  Ensure costs/benefits remain sustainable or consider alternate model.
  • Establishing businesses: Put out a welcoming mat for newcomers. Ensure staff communicates clear ground rules regarding permits, taxation and zoning, establish/implement time lines. Longterm growth: Explore opportunities for creative zoning in the ALR land excluded years ago (Summerland Hills Golf Resort and area).  Consider zoning for Agri-Industrial Park.  Enable added value type ventures which would encourage innovation, sustainability, economic growth and financial resilience for the municipality and Penticton Indian Band (if supportive).   Phased development approach, building on success, as economic trends permit.
  • Existing businesses: fill gaps of service, streamlining and perhaps sharing senior municipal staff positions with Penticton/RDOS staff which could result in reduced taxes for businesses.

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Doug HolmesDoug-Holmes

  1. Ensure the infrastructure is in place to encourage investment and growth – upgrade roads, utilities, recreational and cultural assets, etc. Companies are attracted to and benefit from efficient public works and services, good schools, healthcare, parks, leisure facilities, cultural activities, public safety, housing, and overall quality of life.
  1. Develop a Cultural Strategy to help create a more vibrant and prosperous community. Cultural activity turns communities into places of interest, and that social impact leads to an economic impact. The connection is well documented – investment in culture is essentially an economic development strategy.
  1. Come up with a community identity for Summerland by brainstorming with stakeholders and engaging the public. We need to establish what sets us apart, what’s our unique selling proposition. Then, working with the Chamber, target market that identity through psychographic segmentation rather than waste money on expensive blanket marketing campaigns.

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Bruce HallquistBruce-Hallquist

Encourage redevelopment and new development in the downtown and lakeside  areas, making for a more sustainable community.

Encourage new industrial development in our newly zoned industrial park on Bentley Rd. creating some new jobs and tax revenue in our community.

Continue to streamline the red tape at city hall in all departments, to make it easier for business’s to set up and do business in Summerland.

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Robert HackingRobert-Hacking

There are three significant areas of improvement we must address to enable success for all Summerland residents:

  1. Increase the availability of Market-entry housing options to provide much needed housing stock for young families and small business employees. Young families are consumers, but our production line workers and entrepreneurs need affordable housing options as well.  This will improve the core population, the demographic mix, and the customer and tax base of Summerland.
  1. A healthy range of housing options will position us to encourage relocation and investment of commercial interests to Summerland. With a notable increase in population growth and residential development, key projects such as Wharton St. and Bentley Rd Industrial Park become much more appealing to external investors.
  1. Analyze our commercial tax structure for fairness. Our business community shoulders a disproportionate share of the tax burden, are we getting comparable value for our tax dollars?

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Joel GreggJoel-Gregg

According to Statistics Canada, between 1996 – 2011 (most recent census) we experienced a population growth rate of 6%.   Over that same period, Peachland, Oliver, and Osoyoos experienced growth rates ranging from 13-21%.  I believe growth to be integral to our collective future prosperity, and I’d like to see us target a 10% growth rate over the next four years.

  1. Ensure development land has been properly identified and allocated to achieve this goal.
  2. As I did with the corner of Kelly Ave and Jubilee Rd, other unsightly properties around town and our lake shore must be developed. This will serve to enhance our tourism industry, generate employment, and further beautify our community.
  3. Investigate an agritourism plan and initiate if non-existent, or add support if present.  With our vineyards, orchards, Research Centre, etc. we have a great opportunity to be a fantastic agritourism destination.

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Marty Fisher

Response not available by publication time.

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John DornJohn-Dorn

  1. I would support a Mayor’s Task Force to pursue ideas for economic development and growth in Summerland. Nobody has a “magic wand”, and by engaging all segments of the community, an on-going task force will report multiple creative action plans to spur the local economy.
  2. During the financial downturn the position of an Economic Development Officer was eliminated. Signs indicate that businesses are gaining confidence and investing again especially in neighbouring provinces. I believe it is an opportune time to re-instate that position either on a volunteer or performance based contract basis.
  3. The best way to stimulate our economy is to attract new citizens that will bring their own jobs. They are best enticed here as tourists. Summerland should partner with the Thompson-Okanagan Tourist Association to draw “prospects” to the valley. We should also budget to send representatives to trade shows and other events in Alberta to promote our unique lifestyle.

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Erin CarlsonErin-Carlson

In order to move forward we must recognize what we have and how we can build upon it. Tourism, our town core and agriculture are pillars of our economy.

1) We have awesome mountain biking, agri-tourism, botanical gardens, farmers market, beaches, unique shops, hikes, etc. Fresh ideas and advertising work, and we should keep forging ahead with the strong start we’ve got.

2) In town, let’s start with the Wharton St. property (in stages) to enable people to move and live downtown. Let’s talk about serious incentives for downtown building owners to rent out their space at an affordable rate. We should artfully enhance downtown so that people ‘stop and look around’.

3) I would encourage interested parties to put suitable land into production, while we retain our valuable flat land near town. It’s a great time to be a farmer, so let’s encourage and enable farming.

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Toni BootToni-Boot

  1. Set aside funding for an economic development officer. We need an experienced and educated EDO on staff whose primary mandate is to lead a collaborative group in creating an Economic Development Plan. We need a Plan before we can implement one!
  1. Insist the Mayor delegate a Councillor as support person, sounding board, collaborator, advisor, etc. to the EDO. This person is the liaison between the EDO and Council-at-Large. We need to let Staff (and Committees) present well-researched, unbiased material upon which policy can be implemented and action taken!
  1. Make it easier for folks to do business in or invest in Summerland.

This requires changes in policy – something Council is elected to put in place!

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Richard Barkwill

Response not available by publication time.

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Candidates for Mayor

Peter WatermanPeter-Waterman

Step one:

I would bring back a proposal submitted by T.O.T.A. to market Summerland to the rest of Canada and the world. This proposal received unanimous approval by Council in February of 2012. This was to be a pilot project with Summerland. This project would have put Summerland in the forefront of many tourist’s travel plans, with a boost in tourism dollars.

Step two:

Our recovery and growth will come from our considerable local resources. I believe that we have tremendous capacity to work together with many good ideas. I am proposing a “Mayor’s Task Force” to bring all our business players together. I believe our business, retail, development, winery, B&B, and agri-business can come up with answers.

Step Three:

There are some aspects of the proposed OCP that I agree with. We need to examine what might be useful. But we need to have a plan that we can stick with. We must create certainty for our development community. They need to be confident that investments they make are not wasted. The result will be investment with confidence as the overall economy improves.

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Orv RobsonOrv-Robson

Present Council made a concerted effort to improve our industrial base. This resulted in the Bentley Road Industrial Park, which is open and ready for development. Marketing is happening through the property owners. The Chamber of Commerce and the District of Summerland are ready to assist in the development.

Recent changes to the zoning of the downtown core, which allows more density have been implemented. Now property owners with applicable lot sizes can make application to sub-divide their property or construct Carriage Houses on appropriate size lots. I would continue to encourage these measures to increase density in our core.

Since 1996 to the census of 2011, we increased our population by 696. Over 15 years, that is less than .5% growth per year. B.C.’s average growth is 4% per year. Healthy growth is 1.5 to 2.0%. We have to increase our growth area; this is why the change to our OCP is so critical. I will work with the entire community to promote Healthy Growth which will result in a Healthy Community.

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David GregoryDavid-Gregory

  1. Downtown Densification as per the OCP: We need more people living downtown supporting businesses. Following my term as Mayor, there has not been one 4 storey building, not one 3 storey building……yet this Council had 3 publicly owned properties where they had total control over building size.  Council chose one storey buildings. We lost eleven parking stalls on Main Street for our customers. We need a little common sense.
  2. Improve Community Profile: Summerland needs honest, transparent, professional leadership, which includes serious monitoring of costs and services: important drivers for growth and investment. Some servicing costs are increasing unsustainably. Needs to be addressed.
  3. Treating Developers Fairly: Current council is holding developers to higher standards than the District of Summerland itself follows.  i.e. major connector road specifications & groundwater management.  Treating developers fairly encourages them and others to do more business in our town.

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Roch Fortinroch-fortin

  1. Health and wellness is the fastest growing industry in this country. Summerland has a dedicated group of health care providers as well as exceptional private and public facilities. Make Summerland a centre of excellence for research and treatment, i.e. dementia, diabetes by building on the foundations of our existing health care community.
  1. Agriculture is the backbone of Summerland and I will focus on an industry to support our farmers. Eco-agriculture tourism will promote land stewardship and strengthen the relationship between the community and the land. Such programs as Farm Stay and expanding our local farmers’ markets will attract locals and tourists alike.
  1. Become the community of festivals. I will hire on a contract basis an event coordinator to return past events and create new that will involve our colourful and diverse community. Partnering with the Chamber of Commerce would create a bridge between community, business and tourism.

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Christopher Boisvert-Gilman

Chris-Boisvert-Gilman

As Mayor I would spearhead:

  1. A Summerland Community Component Working Group;

Leaders from: Police, Business, Arts, Tourism, Agriculture, Developers, Youth and Seniors, will meet monthly (minimum) and brainstorm Summerland issues with a specific focus on growth and investment. If we are united on our approach we as a community will flourish.

  1. Policing: 2 am – 7 am = no police coverage; three police officers = prohibitive cost. Option #1: Hire second Bylaws/Peace Officer) Option #2: Hire Auxiliary policeman.

Randomly patrol the industrial areas and business downtown. Businesses like the Gold and Silver Exchange so they aren’t forced to leave due to repeated theft.

  1. “Reach out to Summerland Businesses Initiative” City Council must take a stronger position of support of all our local businesses including our agricultural business community. This means aggressively shopping/buying local more than Summerland has in the past. Lead by example!
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Election 2014: Leadership Skills

October 16, 2014

Election-2014

Summerland’s Mayor and Council manage a budget approaching 28 million/year.  Over the next four years they will deal with hundreds of separate and complex issues.  These issues often affect businesses differently than households.

This year the Chamber is asking all candidates a series of business related questions so you have the information you need to make an informed voting choice.  Questions and answers will be posted here twice a week.  Check back regularly and follow the Chamber on Facebook for notification of new posts.

Question 1. What important leadership skills would you bring to an elected position and how would these skills be applicable to the business community?

Candidates for Mayor

Christopher Boisvert-GilmanChris-Boisvert-Gilman

  • A “Unifier” – Summerland is fractured into seven groups – (Business, Arts, Tourism, Agriculture, Developers, Youth and Seniors) each is important. UNITED Summerland businesses will grow.
  • A “servant-style” of leader. Reaching out to the businesses as Mayor getting opinions, feedback and consulting means business will be heard. As Mayor one should get to each business quarterly. I will!
  • Lead by example: “Community Accountability Sessions” will be reintroduced – part of my managerial style. The community as a whole needs answers; when there are problems such as the downtown state of affairs; ALL must work/brainstorm for a solution.
  • Creative problem solving.
    Okanagan music business owner/operator; developed Business Plans 2012 – 2013; hired to chair/use Robert’s Rules of Order(Canadian Student Association – Kamloops); S.F.U. Chaplain; founder of Canadian Council for Family Rights and a provincial Chilliwack Community Component Working Group(six years); awarded/operated two federal contracts at the same time.

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Roch Fortinroch-fortin

During my career in the RCMP, I addressed major challenges requiring interaction with all levels of society, both private and public sector.  As Officer-in-Charge,  I assumed the leadership role of various detachments in the Acadian Peninsula and managed an operating budget of over two millions dollars.  This required due diligence and accountability to 21 municipalities.  In addition to my role as Officer-in-Charge, I was responsible for the planning and operation of major events throughout my career.

My experience as an effective mediator and innovator attained mutually agreeable solutions and earned me recognition at the national and community levels.  These achievements reflected a positive impact on the people of those communities.

These skills have facilitated me in setting up two successful businesses in Summerland and earned me the Rising Star Award from the Summerland Chamber of Commerce in 2013.

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David GregoryDavid-Gregory

1.Getting Things Done: In the past, poor water quality hurt Summerland businesses. During my term as mayor we finally got a water treatment plant and expanded Thirsk Dam: on time and on budget. All major utility services were reviewed. This Council: six years waiting for water meters……maybe next year?

2.Marketing is Everything: Community Leaders must focus on making Summerland more appealing. As Mayor, more parkland, walking trails and lake trails than any other Council. I support attractive buildings; not concrete boxes. I have written many articles/books about Summerland.

3.Experience: Council must hire a new administrator. If Summerland can attract the right person, this will have a positive, long-term impact on Summerland and the business community. I have the experience. I have three terms on Council and two terms on the School Board. Actually, at the time, I wrote the “Hiring Policy” for our School District.

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Orv RobsonOrv-Robson

As a volunteer Director and Chairman of the Summerland Charity Society (Penny Lane) over the past 14 years, I was part of the team that took a concept for a business and developed it into an asset that had two fully paid for and successful businesses and buildings downtown Summerland, plus we put back $3 million dollars into our community.

I recognize what is needed to start up and achieve success in a small town.  I was able to contribute to this successful business by using my skills in the fields of decision-making, negotiation, good listening and media liaison.  I acquired marketing knowledge and I am very aware of the costs and challenges relevant to business.   As a Councillor over the past 3 years, I gained experience in the requirements necessary in the development of business particularly in the area of zoning, licensing, sign bylaws, taxations and variations.

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Peter WatermanPeter-Waterman

In my past professional life I worked with diverse groups running seminars, and large meetings where discussion and co-operation were key. Over the years I developed interpersonal skills that are critical to consensus building. Developing easy, trusting, friendly relationships has served me well in business and in a position of public trust as a Municipal Councillor.

The business community is diverse- small business retail, development, arts and culture entrepreneurs, larger industrial businesses, as well as the many faceted agri-businesses and tourism ventures that make up our economic fabric. My skill set and experience will be useful in bringing the players together. There are many highly skilled individuals and enterprises in the community that can contribute and move the community forward.

Candidates for Council

Toni BootToni-Boot

Looking over the past ten years as founder and sole proprietor of Grasslands Nursery, I credit my staff and my ability to lead with the success of the business. I find being honest, encouraging their input, and maintaining a confident, positive attitude are key in gaining and maintaining their trust, respect and commitment. I worked with each staff member individually to discover their particular strengths and was able to delegate tasks accordingly.

I believe we all enjoy the diversity and flexibility of my leadership skills at Grasslands Nursery and I see them as fully applicable to working with the business community – something I fully intend on doing should I be elected to serve Summerland as a councillor.

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Erin CarlsonErin-Carlson

I have been known to take charge of situations since elementary school. Upon graduation from SSS in 2006 I was awarded the Global Citizen and Leadership awards.  I stand up for what I believe in and encourage others to speak their minds as well. I respect a good debate and am confident and forthcoming with my opinions.

Our business community is full of creative, smart people who have big ambition in this town. I would seek out these people and encourage them to participate in decision making and vision making in order to promote growth and prosperity. I am not a professional in every field and will not pretend to know what is best for you. I will listen, learn and work with local businesses in order to help them gain the tools they need for success.

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John DornJohn-Dorn

As a seasoned business owner I continue to live through the many challenges that my fellow entrepreneurs contend with. I recognize that the business community is a key to prosperity in Summerland as it contributes a high proportion of taxes without consuming the equivalent in services. That is why I believe that business, especially its representative body “The Chamber” must be included in the District’s decisions every step of the way.

My experience has formed my leadership style. I know that when people feel their input has been heard and respectfully evaluated, they are accepting and supportive.

My life-long experience starting as an 18 year old Cub master, through to serving as President in Kinsmen, K40, Summerland Youth Centre Association and the Summerland Legion has taught me to successfully deal with ranges of issues and personalities. This experience has developed my leadership style, described as consensus seeking, along with foresight and vision will best meet the needs of Summerland.

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Joel GreggJoel-Gregg

I earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with an Accounting emphasis in 1995.  My experience includes 7 years of public accounting (2 with Deloitte in Sacramento), 3 years as controller for a home builder in Ontario, and most recently 9 years managing the Jubilee Dental Centre and Jubilee Fitness Club in Summerland.  I enjoy reading books on leadership from authors such as John Maxwell, Steven Covey, Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy, etc.

What I have learned from my experience and continuing education is that you can only lead if people are willing to be led by you.  Leaders must first earn the trust and respect of those they expect to lead.  Trust is gained by listening to others and demonstrating an understanding and empathy.  Until I’ve had the opportunity to earn your trust and respect, I hope my background and experience will afford me the benefit of your doubt.

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Marty Fisher

Response not available at publication time.

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Robert HackingRobert-Hacking

I have been operating a business in the downtown core for over 10 years; quality customer service is the key ingredient for doing great business in Summerland.  In my role as Councilor, I have provided key leadership on issues of importance to Summerland merchants.  Items such as; highway directional signage to attract in travelers, a sensible and fair Sign Bylaw that embraces the unique branding our merchants need to express, and have supported all efforts to reduce burdensome red tape and regulation at City Hall. Doing business in Summerland is a monumental challenge, we need to all push towards a common goal of our collective success.

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Bruce HallquistBruce-Hallquist

I bring over 40 years of leadership skills from within our community. Both in my private business life,27 years of retail and other interests as well as through participation in different community organizations, which included many iterations of the Summerland Chamber of Commerce.

Most recently I was involved, for 11 years, in a society which raised some $3M youth activities in our community, through the Penny Lane retail operation. I have also spent numerous years on your Councils and served on many different committees.

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Doug HolmesDoug-Holmes

I would bring critical thinking, strategic thinking, action planning, and adeptness in communication and marketing. Leadership skills are learned through experience over time and I’ve had a long career working with private and public sector organizations worldwide in management, consultancy and staff roles. I’ve worked in business development and marketing for Microsoft Corporation, I’ve been managing director of a small enterprise, I’ve served on the boards of non-profits. In all cases, I’ve been involved in strategic planning and, just as important, seeing those strategic ideas come to fruition. (It doesn’t matter how good your strategic plan is if you can’t implement it.) I’ve developed solid communication skills through my writing (books and journalism), public speaking, board meeting presentations, and by being a good listener. In any formal discussion, I strive to reach a win-win situation.

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Denise MacDonald:

  • can give ethical and effective  civic service.
  • Has understanding of the history of various community issues and the interrelationship between different sectors.
  • is a critical, creative and reflective thinker that is willing to question, discuss and evaluate the impact of various issues either through collaboration or consultation.  Many years experience working on various boards working alongside others to set and obtain goals.  Participated in  ‘Industry Strategy’ study for the tree fruit industry to  improve long term profitability to the sector.
  • has respect, appreciation, and understanding of the many diverse ideas of how communities grow and develop. Has the ability to relate to the business community and the social community.
  • has strong appreciation of the commitment needed and risk taken in any business venture.  Businesses need government to be consistent, efficient,  fair, transparent and pro-active when it comes to enabling businesses to operate efficiently.

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Daniel Papadopoulos

Important leadership skills I would bring to an elected position are:

  • Determination to finish a project and work through to reach goals.
  • Financially responsible, brainstorm ideas to prepare for the budgets.
  • The understanding of business and the ability to discuss it.

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Janet PeakeJanet-Peake

Response not available by publication time.

 

 

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Ken Rodockerken-rodocker

As a business owner and having managed businesses for the past 35 years, I have been a leader and have mentored many leaders. The most important leadership skill is communication. To run a town or a business it is imperative that you communicate properly and effectively, so that you can understand problems and outcomes.

With proper communication a leader is aware of the running of there  operation, such as moneys spent, jobs done to completion and satisfaction, all  inventories of assets and liabilities,  daily and monthly financials and human resources. All these things would apply in the running of a town as they do in business.

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Mark SmedMarkSmed

I have been involved in a number of organizations where I was able to provide leadership. Part of my job is to manage other technicians where I work.  A good leader should know his strengths and weaknesses.  A leader involves many people in the process and consultation with individuals who are knowledgeable is critical.

I will be entrusted with the authority of the people of Summerland, by being elected as a member of council.  In my role as a member of council, it will be critical to remember that I am a trusted servant of the community.

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Erin TrainerErin-Trainer

As an entrepreneur, I understand the importance of good leadership. As co-owner of ET2media (a video production & communications company), my clients rely on me to develop creative marketing strategies and material that help reach their organization’s goals.

As the manager of the Penticton Farmers’ Market, I also provide leadership in a variety of areas including planning, conflict resolution, and communication. I’ve learned how to collaborate with stakeholders and work within a budget.

In my previous career as a news writer and producer, I helped lead a team of journalists and technical staff each day to create a two-hour newscast. I developed skills to give constructive criticism and support.

I believe my ability to make informed decisions in a timely manner will be an important asset to the local business community. As a Summerland councillor, I look forward to contributing my leadership skills to the team!

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Martin (Marty) Van AlphenMartin-(Marty)-Van-Alphen

My family and I have lived in Summerland for the past twenty-six years and since settling here I have held the following community leadership positions:

  • Member of the Summerland Kinsmen Club
  • Director and President of the Summerland Chamber of Commerce
  • Member of the Apprenticeship Board of Okanagan University College
  • Chairman of the Summerland Economic Development Board
  • President of the Summerland Chamber of Economic Development and Tourism
  • Chairman of the I.C.B.C. CAR Shop for the South Okanagan
  • Member of the Summerland Advisory Planning Committee
  • Councilor for Municipality of Summerland

Having started-up, owned and operated a successful collision repair business for fifteen years and currently running a farming operation in Summerland, I believe that the most important skills that I bring to the Council table specifically for businesses both old and new are; enthusiastic support, knowledgeable advice, effective advocacy and old fashioned know-how.

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Chamber and District Renew Service Agreement

September 11, 2014

The Summerland Chamber renewed its agreement with the District of Summerland this week to provide tourism and various economic development services to the community for the next five years.  Similar contracts have been in place since 2001.

However, in the past few years, the Chamber Board has worked to streamline our strategic plan so the services we deliver in each area remain consistent and relevant.

Generally the Chamber works in 3 key areas.  These are member services which we provide on behalf of our 700+ local business members, as well as tourism and economic development services which we provide on a fee-for-service basis to the District.

The Summerland model is a very cost effective one.  In neighboring communities, similar services are provided by multiple organizations with associated costs for staffing, etc. while the Summerland Chamber provides comprehensive services under one roof.

In the past few years the Chamber has created or enhanced all of our tourism and investment promotional tools.  This includes a library of visitor and investment videos, a new tourism website, revamped visitor guides and a comprehensive investment and relocation guide.  Visit the Chamber website at www.summerlandchamber.com if you have not yet seen these items.  The last upgrade will be the new Chamber website which will be launched before year end.

We’ve also emphasized expanded partnerships and mutually beneficial relationships with tourism and economic development branches throughout the South Okanagan.  We currently represent our community in more than nine separate initiatives and work with more than a dozen regional partners.

As the second largest community in the South Okanagan we need to be represented in these regional partnerships.  The Summerland Chamber of Commerce professionally fulfills this role and acts as a cohesive marketing arm for Summerland – promoting our community in person, via print and online as a place to visit and do business.

We look forward to continuing to serve all our stakeholders in the coming years.

We always appreciate your feedback.  Please contact me at president@summerlandchamber.com or Christine Petkau at manager@summerlandchamber.com.

Arlene Fenrich is President of the Summerland Chamber of Commerce.  All of the members of The Board of Directors serve as volunteers.

This article was also published in the Summerland Review, September 11, 2014

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Cycle Project Moving Forward

August 14, 2014

What a difference a year can make!

Fourteen months ago the Trail of the Okanagans bike path advocacy group was formed to promote the plan for a world-class regional biking network. With seed funding and the initial vision provided by the Summerland Rotary Club, the group quickly gained traction and tourism organizations, local businesses, politicians, regional economic development professionals, the RDOS and various government departments, as well as interested members of the public came on board to support this cause.

This long term vision builds on existing infrastructure to create a regional bike path will allow cyclists to travel from Osoyoos all the way to Sicamous on connected trails, many of which are already in place.  Two key gaps in the pathway are in Summerland – the stretches adjacent to Hwy 97 along Okanagan Lake between Lower Town and Illahie Beach and between Sun-Oka Park and Penticton.

The Trail of the Okanagans, working with the District of Summerland, achieved a major advocacy milestone in July, when the funding to close the first of these gaps was announced.  Our own MLA, Dan Ashton, who was instrumental in making this happen, along with Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, Todd Stone, and Mayor Janice Perrino, were in Summerland on July 3, to announce a contribution of $420,000 to be combined with an additional $80,000 from the District of Summerland to complete the pathway between Lower Town and Illahie Beach.  The Ministry of Transportation has already proposed design plans and work will commence in spring.

On July 3, Minister of Transportation Todd Stone, MLA Dan Ashton, and Summerland’s Mayor Janice Perrino, along with members of the Trails of the Okanagan Committee gathered for the announcement of a new one-kilometre section of lakeside trail that will connect lower town and Trout Creek.

On July 3, Minister of Transportation Todd Stone, MLA Dan Ashton, and Summerland’s Mayor Janice Perrino, along with members of the Trails of the Okanagan Committee, gathered for the announcement of a new one-kilometre section of lakeside trail that will connect lower town and Trout Creek.

Two complementary initiatives are also moving along.  Currently, utilizing a BC Healthy Communities grant we are working with Penticton to develop a survey that will identify the public’s bike habits as well as barriers to doing more biking and what you’d like to see improved.  This survey will be available shortly and will be posted on the District’s and the Chamber’s website and facebook pages.  Please make sure you are following these sites so you can participate.  We need your feedback.

Throughout the region our local Visitor Centres have daily requests for information about biking and hiking trails.  The RDOS has excellent mapping resources and we are working with our South Okanagan tourism partners to present these maps in a way that is the most user-friendly.  These resources will be available by autumn both in print and online.

: Regional committee members discuss new bike trail guides geared to visitors.   l-r, Colleen Pennington, EcDev officer for Penticton; John Powell, EcDev officer for Okanagan Falls; Raquel Miriam and Chris Bower from Tourism Penticton.

Regional committee members discuss new bike trail guides geared to visitors. l-r, Colleen Pennington, EcDev officer for Penticton; John Powell, EcDev officer for Okanagan Falls; Raquel Miriam and Chris Bower from Tourism Penticton.

Step by step, these initiatives are going forward and are being supported because of the tremendous opportunity to impact our regional economy.  The development of this world class resource will create new business opportunities and support many existing businesses by dramatically extending our tourism season.

We always appreciate your feedback.  Please contact me at manager@summerlandchamber.com or our Chamber President, Arlene Fenrich, at president@summerlandchamber.com.

 

This article was published in the Summerland Review, August 14, 2014

Christine Petkau is the Manager of the Summerland Chamber of Commerce. 

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SUMMERLAND LAUNCHES TOURISM WEBSITE AND VIDEO

May 7, 2014

NEWS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Wednesday, May 7, 2014

SUMMERLAND LAUNCHES TOURISM WEBSITE AND VIDEO TO ATTRACT MORE VISITORS

Tourismsummerland

Summerland launched a bold new website and video today as the latest move in its rollout of a first-class tourism brand designed to market the wonders of the beautiful community to increasing numbers of visitors from around the world.

In partnership with the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) and with program support from Destination BC, the Summerland Chamber of Commerce began developing its new brand more than two years ago with a task force of more than 15 stakeholders representing all sectors of the local tourism industry.  This initiative was identified in the Tourism Plan completed in 2011 through the Community Tourism Foundations program.

It also partnered with other agencies and enlisted the talents of a number of local and regional resource people to develop a high-quality new brand using vibrant images and compelling text that aligns with some of the best new tourism marketing guidelines available.

The resulting brand, with the tag-line ‘Summerland – Take Your Time’, has been used in recent months for improved tourism marketing and the latest Visitor Guide, produced in partnership with Black Press.

The new brand, website and video make Summerland the latest community to align its tourism marketing with the Thompson Okanagan’s new Regional Tourism Strategy “Embracing Our Potential” and the Canadian Tourism Commission’s research-based ‘EQ’ (Explorer Quotient) marketing strategy.

Now, the Chamber has unveiled its new tourism website – at www.tourismsummerland.com – featuring an entertaining new tourism marketing video on its homepage.  Both products received support from Destination BC’s Community Tourism Opportunities program and the District of Summerland.

The website, produced by Tambellini Design Studio, includes information about Summerland’s many attractions and activities including its Okanagan Lake beaches, scenic hillside vineyards, orchards, mountains, restaurants, accommodations, stores, golfing, fishing, touring the wineries along ‘Bottleneck Drive’, visiting fruit stands, hiking, biking, visiting the Summerland Ornamental Gardens, and riding on the historic Kettle Valley Steam Railway.  The engaging text was authored by Summerland writer Denise Howie and active photos were shot by professional photographers Eric Simard, Kelly Funk and Darren Robinson – all designed to appeal to the types of travellers likely to want to visit Summerland.

The video, produced by local company ET2media, follows accomplished Summerland guitar player Kirk Dixon as he visits attractions throughout the community.

Tourism Video

Chamber Manager Christine Petkau says, “We hope the website and video will showcase the depth and breadth of all that we have available for visitors in Summerland.”

TOTA Community Development Specialist Simone Carlysle-Smith applauds Summerland’s alignment of its brand and website with the goals of the new Regional Tourism Strategy and the leading-edge principles of the EQ marketing program, which identifies and markets to potential visitors based on their social values and travel preferences.

“Summerland has shown how communities throughout the region can incorporate the regional strategy into their local initiatives, showcasing their uniqueness while demonstrating industry best practices,” Carlysle-Smith says.

TOTA President & CEO Glenn Mandziuk says, “This excellent development by Summerland demonstrates the power of partnerships – local destination marketing organizations working with local companies, stakeholders, writers, photographers, and with TOTA, Destination BC, and regional resource people, to create a strong, world-class tourism brand and marketing approach.”

Summerland Chamber President Arlene Fenrich says, “The Summerland Chamber of Commerce has been supported by TOTA for many years and has been actively working with TOTA on this rebranding project since the fall of 2012.  TOTA’s expertise in the tourism arena is substantial and they have brought this expertise to bear throughout the branding project and the variety of ways the new brand has been implemented in the past year.  Today we are delighted to be unveiling this pivotal piece of our tourism brand – a dedicated visitor website.  We believe this new website provides a striking showcase for all that we have to offer visitors to Summerland.  The Chamber Board also wishes to thank our own staff for their work on this project as well as the design team, the photographers, the videographers and the content writer for their dedication to the task, and the District of Summerland for their ongoing support for the project and recognition of tourism as a key economic driver in our community.”

- 30 –

PHOTO — Attending the May 7 launch of the new Summerland tourism website and video were, from left: Eric Thompson, ET2media; Connie Denesiuk, Director, Summerland Chamber of Commerce;  Summerland Councillor Robert Hacking; Summerland Mayor Janice Perrino; Summerland Councillor Bruce Hallquist; Ellen Walker-Matthews, TOTA Marketing Experiences Specialist; Ian McIntosh, Director of Development Services, District of Summerland; Glenn Mandziuk, TOTA President & CEO; Thor Clausen, Director, Summerland Chamber; Arlene Fenrich, President, Summerland Chamber; Stephanie Tambellini, Tambellini Design Studio; Christine Petkau, Manager, Summerland Chamber; Shannon Brilz, Summerland Visitor Centre Co-ordinator; Sophia Jackson, Summerland Chamber Membership Services; Christina Anabo, Marketing Specialist, Tambellini Design Studio; Writer Denise Howie; and Simone Carlysle-Smith, TOTA Community Development Specialist.

FOR INFORMATION CONTACT:

Glenn Mandziuk, TOTA        

250-860-5999  ext 216                                                   

ceo@totabc.com                                

Christine Petkau, Summerland C of C

250-494-2686

manager@summerlandchamber.com

Simone Carlysle-Smith, TOTA

250-860-5999 ex 214

community@totabc.com

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Sports Tourism on the Rise in Summerland

April 25, 2014

From hockey tournaments to cycling holidays, sports tourism can bring communities year-round economic benefits. In 2010, spending associated with the Canadian sport tourism industry was $3.6 billion and rising.

Sports tourism is certainly on the rise in Summerland, where creative event organizers are making the most of the community’s rolling landscape and quality tourism options, to design experiences that will draw those looking to combine a fitness challenge with a relaxing holiday.

Cycling

One project that is garnering support from both local government and tourism providers is The Trail of the Okanagans: a proposed lakeside cycling and walking path that would connect communities around the Okanagan. The vision of the Trail of the Okanagans is akin to the great cycling routes of Europe, which draw thousands of visitors annually. Those interested in learning more about the project can attend a free public information session in Penticton on April 26.

Tournaments

Even short events can have great economic impact, as participants flood to town and inevitably take advantage of local goods and services, from food and accommodation to downtown shopping excursions. Summerland’s long-running Action Festival continues to attract thousands of participants and spectators from around B.C., and over the winter Summerland Minor Hockey hosted several weekend tournaments, which brought hundreds of families to town.

Niche Markets

Last month, Summerland Council gave the green light for the expansion of the already popular Giant’s Head Freeride Longboard competition in August. Also known as “Ride the Giant,” the event is renowned as the oldest such competition in the world, and draws daring souls from around the world.

NEW: Giants Head Grind

Now a new event featuring Summerland’s iconic mountain has leapt onto the community’s calendar. May 17th will mark the inaugural Christopher Walker Memorial Giants Head Grind. Hundreds of people will run, walk and generally will themselves uphill for five kilometers (and 500 metres of elevation gain) from Peach Orchard Beach to the top of Giant’s Head Mountain.

Inspired by Vancouver’s Grouse Grind, organizers are betting on the innate human curiosity that bubbles to the surface in the face of extreme physical challenges. “I wonder if I could” turns into a race registration, and then there’s no turning back. It appears to be working; the race is capped at 300 participants this year and they are well on their way to that target.

Funds raised from The Giant’s Head Grind will go to the Summerland Rotary Club benefiting Colon Cancer Diagnostics and Research and the continued upkeep and improvement of the trail system in Giant’s Head Park.  Visit www.giantsheadgrind.com to learn more.

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Content is King

April 10, 2014

content

As published in the Summerland Review, April 10, 2014

One of the key areas where the Summerland Chamber of Commerce works is Tourism.  We market our community as a tourist destination in local markets, in key Canadian and US markets and internationally.

For some time we’ve been working on the new dedicated tourism website, tourismsummerland, which will launch in a few weeks.   And as part of the process of gathering photos and information from our tourism related businesses, we’ve been evaluating our social media and the role of content in this digital age.

We all know that social media is a great way to communicate.  Marketing professionals have described it as a channel, similar to other channels such as T.V. or print media.  Others say it is ‘the new telephone’, allowing us to open a direct line of communication with our audience.  In the case of a business this is our customers or prospects.

It’s important to remember that social media is not a fad; it’s here to stay.  A stat from 2010 showed that even four years ago US internet users were spending 3X the amount of time on their social media and blogs then they did on their email.  And what they are reading/viewing is content – all the photos and information that they can find about the topics that interest them.  So if social media is the new telephone, think of content as the new brochure.

The new dedicated tourism website will be the largest promotional tool the Chamber will use to market Summerland to visitors.  In order to help drive traffic to the website and further promote Summerland, we also manage several social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

Having so many different ‘telephone lines’ allows us to engage with a variety of social media users so they can find information about Summerland.  For example, the fastest growing demographic for Facebook is 45-54, and the fastest growing demographic on Twitter is 55-64. Both Instagram and Pinterest are dominated by younger users (18-35), and Pinterest is known for having a higher percentage of female users.  Our content (our brochure) needs to reach all of these people in the way they like best.

There are two ways to use social media: create your own content, or share someone else’s. We create a great deal of content here at the Chamber but we are always looking for more great content to share with our followers.   We follow the content generated by others in Summerland as we want to repost, retweet, and regram it.  This also drives traffic back to your website.

Remember, content can be a photo of your breakfast at a local café, a great blog post, or a tweet about an upcoming event.  The more shareable content we all create, the bigger the spotlight we can cast on our community.  If you are active on social media, please tag your photo or post with #visitsummerland to help us track and share your content.  If you want to learn more about social media, please call us and we’ll get you started.  After all, marketing our community is a shared effort.  We need your help!

Follow Tourism Summerland and help us follow you:

We always appreciate your feedback.  Please contact me at manager@summerlandchamber.com or our Chamber President, Arlene Fenrich, at president@summerlandchamber.com .

Christine Petkau is the Manager of the Summerland Chamber of Commerce. 

 

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