In order to accurately reflect the activities of our members, strong leadership and guidance is provided by an 11-member volunteer Board of Directors who represent each aspect of the Sunshine Coast’s tourism industry. Based on Sunshine Coast Tourism’s mandate, the organization develops the strategies and plans to implement initiatives and achieve the desired results and targets. These diverse groups of professionals who step up every year to help drive our mandate are vital to our collective success, and we are grateful for the commitment and participation.

Executive

Jack Barr – President

Beach Gardens Resort, Powell River Town Centre Ltd. & Western Mortgage Development Corp.
Seat: Large Accommodation – North Coast

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 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.


Christine Hollmann – Vice President

Founder, Director of Operations, Terracentric Coastal Adventures Ltd.
Seat: Member at Large – North Coast

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.


Heather Newman – Treasurer

Pointhouse Suites on Sargeant Bay
Seat: Large Accommodation – South Coast

Heather is an ideas driven entrepreneur with long standing ties to the Sunshine Coast. Having lived in Powell River as a child, Heather & her husband chose Halfmoon Bay when they decided to return to the coast after a 28 year hiatus in Northern BC. With a combined degree in Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy, Heather utilized her rehabilitation background to make the leap to tourism and hospitality in 2003 with the opening of her first B&B in converted prairie grain silos. Heather is passionate about creating unique spaces where guests can connect with themselves, each other and nature in sustainable ways. She is proud that Pointhouse Suites has achieved a Gold Certification through Green Tourism Canada.

Heather’s experience with other volunteer policy boards includes stints as President and Treasurer of Canadian Parents for French BC/Yukon Branch, Treasurer and Vice President of BC Association of Child Development Centres,  and Secretary and current Director of Sargeant Bay Society.  As well she was a member of various ad hoc committees of BC Innkeepers Guild, SCBBCOA, and Northern BC Tourism.

She is looking forward to working towards a shared vision of success for the entire Sunshine Coast.


Theressa Logan – Secretary

Sunshine Coast Air
Seat: Recreation Sector

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.”


Directors

Gary Bearchell

Cabins on the Coast
Seat: Small Accommodations Sector

Having graduated from Simon Fraser University with a computer science degree, Gary lived and worked in Vancouver for nearly fifteen years. Realizing in 2012 that a significant lifestyle change was in order, he and his wife decided to convert their precious weekend getaway cabin in Tuwanek into their full time residence.

Being on the Sunshine Coast, having more free time, and being surrounded by many enterprising people encouraged them to try more creative ways to make a living. And so their decision to start renting the second cabin on their property became obvious. And just like so many other short term rental hosts when asked “why did you get into doing this?”, the answer is the same: they got into it for the money, but continue to do it because they love it!

Since then, that cabin has gone on to become Canada’s second most “wish-listed” property on Airbnb. Gary and his wife now also own and rent the two neighbouring properties alongside it. And the rest is history.

When not preparing cabins for guests’ visits, Gary does other various renovation projects on the side, as well as the odd throwback software development contract to save enough money to feed his travel habits


Geoff Gornall

Tapworks Brewing Company
Seat: Member at Large – South Coast

Geoff Gornall is co-founder of Tapworks Brewing Company. He earned his Bachelor of Commerce degree at the Gustavson School of Business at UVic while working a number of roles in the hospitality industry. Since then, he has worked in financial services and as a business analyst before starting Tapworks. ‘The Coast is such an incredible place and is the epitome of the West Coast lifestyle. It’s important to me to be a part of organizations like Sunshine Coast Tourism that help both preserve and share that with the world.’


John Hermsen

Footprint Kayak & Hike Explorations
Seat: Member at Large – North Coast

After a career as a Shift Captain with the City of Apeldoorn’s Fire Service in the Netherlands, John and
his spouse Christy moved to Powell River in 2006. Out of love for the Great Canadian Outdoors, Footprint was born. Focusing on guided day- and multi-day kayak tours in and around Desolation Sound,
it is our mission to inspire and educate our guests and to create awareness of the incredible natural- and cultural area we now call home. Besides operating Footprint, John is co-owner of Canada Jay Travel Ltd. A receptive tour operator / DMC with a focus on the western European FIT-markets, promoting ‘slow tourism’ and ‘off the beaten path’ destinations where local businesses should profit from their short-term visitors. If you don’t catch John at work, he’s probably out kayaking on his own. Which is still one of the most important reasons to live on the beautiful Sunshine Coast.


Shangxuan Ma

Gibsons Garden Hotel
Seat: Large Accommodation – South Coast

Shangxuan and her family started running a 19 room motel in Sechelt in 2009 and in 2010, took over the Gibsons Garden Inn – at the time it was a retirement home. It took 2 years to convert it into a 52 room hotel. In the past 5 years of running the Gibsons Garden Hotel, they’ve not only renovated the hotel rooms, increased the room numbers to 55 rooms, updated the equipment and facilities but also enhanced the service experience to their guests. With their passion of tourism, hospitality and ongoing improvements, the hotel has become one of the most popular hotels in the southern Sunshine Coast.


Jamie Mani

Alpha Adventures
Seat: Member at Large – South Coast

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.  


Chris Tait

Klahoose Wilderness Resort
Seat: Large Accommodation – North Coast

Chris’ tourism career started during the Canadian Diamond Rush on the shores of Great Slave Lake, NWT, working at floatplane bases with fishermen, bush pilots, and prospectors. He grew up working in a ‘travel’ family alongside his father in Yellowknife, where he developed and managed the first business in Canada to bring Japanese travelers to experience the Aurora Borealis. Chris is a graduate of Tourism Management at Capilano University.

Over the past 20+ years, Chris has worked in Vancouver with tour operators, luxury travel agents and consumers, connecting travelers to authentic experiences across Canada.

In his role with Klahoose Wilderness Resort (formerly Homfray Lodge) he strives to develop travel experiences that allow guests to re-connect on a deeper and more meaningful level. Whether this means joining a grizzly bear viewing tour with an Indigenous guide or a naturalist lead tour, its about allowing guests to venture into a place that is different from home, giving them space to reflect and connect with fellow guests. From Howe Sound to Desolation Sound, the Sunshine Coast is perfectly positioned to offer some of the best authentic and genuine experiences in the world.


Linda Williams

Coast Cultural Alliance
Seat: Arts, Culture, and Heritage Sector

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 Mountains board since the late 90’s.


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