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Oct 5, 2012



Date ArticleType
10/5/2012 Media Releases

Media Release
Oct. 3, 2012



KELOWNA, BC – The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that Nancy Cameron, President & CEO of Tourism Kelowna, is the recipient of the prestigious 2012 Business Leader of the Year award. This award is sponsored by Ian Stuart & Associates and recognizes Nancy’s leadership and outstanding contribution to the Kelowna business community.

The 2012 Business Leader of the Year Award will be presented to Ms. Cameron at the 25th Annual Business Excellence Awards on October 17th at the Delta Grand Okanagan Resort and Conference Centre. The 2012 Business Excellence Awards are presented by the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce along with Platinum Sponsors the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Farris, Vaughan, Wills & Murphy LLP. Recipients of awards in six other categories will also be honoured at the awards dinner. Seventeen finalists in each of these six categories were previously announced on September 7th.

It’s no secret that tourism is a life blood industry for Kelowna – the third largest private sector employer in Kelowna, in fact. One woman sees all the pieces of this puzzle and directs strategy around marketing the destination to droves of visitors and potential visitors in Kelowna’s key markets. Her marketing savvy and astute promotional sense has allowed Tourism Kelowna to harness momentum around Kelowna’s tourism attributes and to position the organization amongst Canada’s advisory circle in the Destination Marketing Association Canada. Her dynamism and vision have motivated tourism staff and operators, and so the Kelowna Chamber recognizes Nancy Cameron as Business Leader of the Year.

Nancy Cameron is the President and CEO of Tourism Kelowna and is responsible for its overall operation, and the implementation of strategic marketing, sales and service initiatives designed to increase tourist demand for Kelowna. As the first woman ever to receive this distinction since the Chamber introduced the Business Leader of the Year Award, Cameron is a woman of influence and a strategic force for Kelowna’s destination brand.

Cameron has evolved Kelowna’s Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) into one that is industry-driven and recognized as a model for mid-size Canadian DMOs. Her keen focus on growth is activated through a partnership approach with Kelowna’s 300+ tourism businesses. Among other milestone achievements for Kelowna, Cameron trail blazed the implementation of Kelowna’s 2% Additional Hotel Room Tax to provide sustainable, performance-driven funding for the marketing of our destination.

Cameron’s consumer-centric approach and organizational culture led to the mobilizing of Kelowna’s golf and wine industries, creating a central reservations system for Kelowna’s golf courses in GolfKelowna.com and a fierce case for Kelowna as Canada’s premier golf destination. On the wine front, her efforts united the local wine industry with the identification of 5 wine trails in the Kelowna area, refreshing the relevance of the Kelowna brand as the birthplace of BC’s wine industry and a must-visit destination for wine tourists. Her leadership also galvanized a Studio & Farm Tour brochure as a way to drive tourism to local agri and artisan businesses, later developing the Farm-to-Table aspect which includes restaurants who support local growers and producers.

She hails from Ontario and has a background in resort and recreation marketing. During her 20 plus years of involvement in the tourism and recreation industries she has held the position of President of Destination Marketing Association Canada, Chair of the BC Destination Marketing Organization Roundtable, and Board positions with the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association, The YMCA of the Central Okanagan and the Gryphon Professional Theatre in Barrie, Ontario. Cameron was also an instrumental part of the team responsible for securing the inaugural LA-Kelowna flight routes.

She and her family moved to Kelowna for the recreational lifestyle it affords and can often be found hiking the local trails, skiing, or enjoying lake activities. A tireless advocate, Cameron’s unwavering vision for the promotion of Kelowna’s destination brand in all its vibrancy keeps Tourism Kelowna on target for growing tourism demand and overnight stays in the Kelowna area.

The public is invited to come out to support Nancy and all of the 2012 award recipients and finalists on October 17th. Early bird tickets for the Business Excellence Awards dinner are $85 plus HST per person and can be purchased at online at www.kelownachamber.org in the event section.

The popular event is part of the annual Small Business Week® activities (October 14-20, 2012). For the past 33 years, Small Business Week® has paid tribute to Canadian entrepreneurs and created opportunities for them to share success stories and innovative ideas. Unprecedented synergy has resulted from the active participation of members of the Chambers of Commerce, and various national and local partners/sponsors in organizing events with BDC branches across the country – all dedicated to the growth and development of small and medium sized business.

The Business Excellence Finalists for 2012:
RISING STAR AWARD (in business less than 3 years) Crescendo Optic Signs & Marketing Inc. Rock House of Design Inc.
Sponsored by: FortisBC

SMALL BUSINESS AWARD (1-10 employees) Centralaire Ltd. Distinctly Kelowna Tours Leone Industries Inc.
Sponsored by: Prospera Credit Union

MID-SIZE BUSINESS AWARD (11-30 employees) Plan B Headquarters Vineyard Networks
Sponsored by: BDO Canada LLP

LARGE BUSINESS AWARD (31+ employees) Andres TV Sales & Service Ltd. JDS Energy & Mining Inc.
Sponsored by: MacKay LLP

COMMUNITY IMPACT AWARD OF THE YEAR Central Okanagan Crime Stoppers Society Crossroads Integrative Addiction Services Fresh Outlook Foundation Kelowna Community Food Bank
Sponsored by: Urban Systems Ltd.

YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR AWARD Joel Kutschera, Vital Waters Inc. Sam Shakura, Rock House of Design Inc. CJ Wilkins, Optic Signs & Marketing Inc. Sponsored by: Brent Eilers Real Estate

Nancy Cameron, President & CEO of Tourism Kelowna
Sponsored by: Ian Stuart & Associates

The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce acts as a single powerful voice for their 1200 members and their 25,000 plus employees to promote local business interests. The Chamber provides a cohesive business network for its members to expand their business contacts, value-added benefits, programs, and services aimed at improving the bottom line of Chamber members. Their mission is to foster a positive business environment by providing members with leadership, advocacy and services of value.

For more information call:
Dicky Dack
Operations Manager
Kelowna Chamber of Commerce