Dear Industry Colleagues,
After much consideration, I have decided to embark on a new journey – retirement. My last day at Destination BC is June 18.
I have spent 26 years at our exceptional organization, joining when we were Tourism BC and a division of the Ministry of Small Business, Tourism and Culture. Prior to that I spent 17 great years working for Scott Paper Limited, where my career progressed and, most importantly, I met my wife, Paula. Close to the time I was leaving Scott Paper, I was introduced to Rod Harris, then Assistant Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Small Business, Tourism, and Culture.
Rod painted an enticing picture of the future he envisioned, and also suggested marketing BC to the world would be much more exciting than marketing bathroom tissue and paper towels. So, I took the plunge and joined Tourism BC – then a division of the Ministry – in October 1995 as a Senior Business Manager. Although there were some challenges along the way, it’s a decision I have never regretted!
In 1997, when Tourism BC became a Crown corporation, and Rod became President and CEO, I was promoted to Vice President of Marketing. In 2009, when Tourism BC was absorbed back into government as a division of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, I was appointed Assistant Deputy Minister of Consumer Marketing and then, in 2011, Assistant Deputy Minister for the Tourism Division. After Destination BC was re-established as a new Crown corporation in 2013, I was named Vice President of Destination Management – a position I have held to this day.
Throughout my 26-year tenure, I have seen several shifts in the tourism landscape. When I first started, tourism’s revenue hovered in the range of $7 billion and the industry barely registered as an economic driver; just before the global pandemic arrived in March 2020, revenue had reached $20 billion, and tourism is projected to be one of the most significant drivers of post-pandemic recovery.
I’ve seen Destination BC evolve and grow as much as the industry itself. I’m honoured to be part of an incredible team who, over the years, have built Destination BC into the values-based organization it is today – a place where staff are encouraged to be curious, innovative and courageous, and where colleagues celebrate each other’s successes, learn from mistakes and, through it all, remain unwaveringly supportive of each other and their industry partners.
When writing this letter, I was asked to share career highlights that have stood out for me. These highlights would not have been possible if it weren’t for the innovative, motivated, caring and knowledgeable team I’ve had the privilege to work with. My role has been to support them, provide advice when needed, and get out of the way to let them work their magic.
As you might expect, after 26 years I have had the opportunity to be part of, or contribute to, some amazing programs, award-winning and revenue-generating campaigns, and word-class events…even in the process and management of significant change, both organizational and personal.
So, here are a few highlights:
The past 26 years have been the best of my career, and I owe it all to the people I’ve worked with in our organization, in government, and in our industry. It has been a genuine pleasure getting to know all of you, and while I look to my retirement with excitement, I will miss my tourism family.
Paula and I have a long list of adventures and activities to pursue after my retirement, including travel, golf, tennis, cooking and winemaking classes, volunteering, and just doing our best to enjoy what life brings. I hope these adventures will inspire new stories to add to the collection I have amassed over the past 26 years.
Thank you all for your dedication, support and friendship. I wish you the best, and look forward to watching our industry recover, flourish and sustainably grow, and add to the quality of life of all British Columbians.
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