Sunshine Coast Tourism 2017-2018 Board of Directors

Martin Prestage – President  |  Up the Creek Backpacker’s Lodge

Martin Prestage, owner of Up The Creek Backpacker’s Lodge in Roberts Creek, is a long time traveller and adventurer. Born in London, England, Martin spent 15 years as a Chartered Building Surveyor, before realising there was another world out there beyond supervising the construction site.

Between 1990 and 1996 Martin took two long trips on the same bicycle, between the UK and Australia, and then from Calgary to Costa Rica, covering over 55,000km. 

During the second trip on North American soil, Vancouver’s beauty held promise of future dreams, and in 1999 soon became his new home. After a slow start, LIFECycle was formed, a multi-faceted bike education, repair and adventure company. Today, the business is Vancouver’s leading specialist in bicycle safety training for Elementary school children.

Along with then 4 year old son Coulter, the family moved to the Sunshine Coast in 2004, and seized an opening in the Backpacker market. Up The Creek opened its doors on June 5th, one month after taking possession! Those first customers literally helped build their own beds.

In between running two businesses, helping steer Sunshine Coast Tourism and parenting, Martin sits on the board of Transportation Choices (one of the two founding directors), advocating for cyclists and public transit users along the Coast.  

Jack Barr – VP | Powell River Town Centre Ltd., Western Mortgage Development Corp.

Jack is a Vancouver businessman who has been in the Real Estate industry for over 35 years and whose interests include Vancouver, Washington State as well as Powell River. Having a strong community commitment, Jack’s volunteer board activities include past experience as president of the Powell River Chamber of Commerce as well as his current role as Vice President of the Sunshine Coast Tourism. Other volunteer positions include Fundraising Chairman of the B.C. Learning Centres for Children with Dyslexia in addition to President of the Vancouver Masonic Centre Association, which is currently developing a 150 unit affordable rental housing tower in the heart of Vancouver. His affinity for the Sunshine Coast comes from a lifetime enjoying the environs of Pender Harbour as his family has had roots there for close to a century.

Leah MacNeil – Secretary  |  Harbour Air

Leah MacNeil moved to the Sunshine Coast 12 years ago to immerse herself in the beauty and nature of our unique area. Leah recently stepped into the role of secretary with the Sunshine Coast Tourism Board after a year on as a Member at Large. She is also currently the Chair of the board at the Halfmoon Bay Childcare Centre and was a member at large prior to that. She has worked for Harbour Air in Sechelt for over 10 years, with nearly 9 years of those as the Base Manager. At such a small base her responsibilities are well rounded with HR, Daily Operations, Marketing and Sales, Hiring, and quality face time with our customers as an agent. Leah brings Emotional Intelligence, intrinsic core ethical values and managing experience to the table.

Celia Robben – Treasurer, Past President  |  Arcturus Retreat B&B

Celia currently serves as Past President and Treasurer. She and her husband, Stan, own and operate Arcturus Retreat B&B in Langdale. After travelling in multiple countries and staying in countless B&B’s, they moved to the Sunshine Coast to welcome guests from around the world. Celia has been involved in helping the Coast’s tourism industry grow and thrive since 2006. She is an avid hiker and has volunteered with the Sunshine Coast Trails Society and Dakota Ridge. Celia currently volunteers on the board of Sunshine Coast Regional Economic Development Organization.

Jamie Mani |  Alpha Adventures

In addition to co-owning and operating Alpha Adventures for over 19 years, Jamie is an Outdoor Education / PE specialist teacher in the Sunshine Coast School District. For over 5 years he taught in the TREK outdoor education program (Vancouver School Board) and has instructed outdoor pursuits courses for Simon Fraser University. He has a vast array of experience instructing children, adolescents, and adults. He has taught outdoor / environmental education through a number of programs in the lower mainland and Squamish. Having operated business locations on both the upper and lower Sunshine Coast, Jamie loves sharing year round adventures with tourists and locals alike.

John Hermsen  |  Footprint Nature Explorations

Theressa Logan | Sunshine Coast Air

Theressa graduated with Distinction in the Marketing Management and Communications program at BCIT. She moved to the Sunshine Coast in 2008 to find community and connect with nature. She currently is the Executive Director at the Sechelt Chamber of Commerce and Director of Marketing for the local floatplane business Sunshine Coast Air. “I am lucky to call the Sunshine Coast my home, this is a magical place with an amazing community feel.”

Christine Hollmann  | Founder, Director of Operations, Terracentric Coastal Adventures Ltd.

Christine is an outstanding adventure leader and educator who has worked in international youth development and adventure tourism as facilitator, guide, tours and programs director and manager since the mid 90’s. Christine is a creative and resourceful program planner with talents in building unique outdoor and adventure learning environments for people from all walks of life. Her adventure based workshops for students in alternate school settings have earned her a solid reputation as a leader in out-of-the box learning.

With a BA in Psychology and a B. Ed /Teacher Certification along with industry certifications, Christine was lucky enough to grow up in Powell River. Her early adventures were outdoors with her family, whether in the garden, taking extended boat trips, searching for chanterelles, camping or hiking. Today she gets outside with her family on a regular basis, doing much of the same things she did as a child.

Linda Williams  |  Coast Cultural Alliance

Linda has always realized the experiential and economic value of tourism on the Sunshine Coast and never misses a chance to “show it off”. She has been involved in the Arts and Cultural sector since 1995 when she moved here permanently from Vancouver. Her continuing experience with the non-profit society, Coast Cultural Alliance has given her the opportunity to work with people, governments and businesses from Langdale to Lund and provides an insight to the “Big Picture” overview of Arts, Culture and Heritage on the Coast.

She is one of the organizers of the Sunshine Coast Art Crawl, the Gibsons Landing Jazz festival plus many other events throughout the coast and realizes the enriched cultural and economic value they bring as a destination for tourism, local businesses and participating artists in our creative community. She has been involved with the Sunshine Coast Tourism board and the former Vancouver Coast and Moutains board since the late 90’s.

Should you wish to contact the Board, please email president@sunshinecoastcanada.com.