Columbia Valley movers and shakers

We applaud the dedicated supporters of sustainable living and productive life in B.C.’s Columbia Valley

Theresa Wood is the community events co-ordinator in the District of Invermere.

Theresa Wood is the community events co-ordinator in the District of Invermere. — Photo courtesy Theresa Wood

These are some of the people who deserve extra recognition and applause for the positive difference they’re making in southeastern B.C.’s Columbia Valley. Through both paid and unpaid work, they are supporting their home community and inspiring the rest of us to do the same.

Theresa Wood has been co-ordinating community events for the District of Invermere since August 2013. Invermere Coffee Fest, Valley Appreciation Days, summertime Monday Movies in the Mountains and Thursday Beach Parties are just some of the events that Wood helps to co-ordinate. As a private contractor she also helps with the Windermere Scarecrow Festival and Fall Fair. She appreciates support from many volunteers who help with the production of these events, which attract visitors, raise funds and create social opportunities for everyone.

Laurie Klassen is secretary of the board of directors of the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce. As executive director of Columbia Valley Community Foundation, she is doing some great work including spearheading an initiative called Vital Signs, a community development and support initiative that you will be hearing more about.

Roberta Hall chairs the board of the Columbia Valley Community Foundation and is a director on the Kootenay Savings Credit Union board. For nine years she was a school trustee for School District No. 6, and she is involved in the Vital Signs program, a community development and support initiative.

Pat Cope is executive director of Family Dynamix, which delivers about 20 client-centred programs from Canal Flats to Spillimacheen, providing service for families, employment seekers, housing seekers and victims of violence. Cope is a board member and secretary of the Food Bank, she actively supports veterans through the Royal Canadian Legion, and until recently she was on the board of Imagine Invermere. She is also an ex officio member of coalitions supporting many groups in the Columbia Valley.

Steve Paccagnan, president and CEO of Panorama Mountain Resort, believes in the special qualities of the Columbia Valley. He is one of the leaders in an initiative to market the valley as a whole as both a tourism destination and a place to live and work. Under his leadership at Panorama, the resort employs 120 full-time local residents and almost 400 seasonal workers. The resort also provides work for many local trades and service people.

Pascal Van Dijk is the president and CEO of Fairmont Hot Springs Resort. He’s working to reduce the resort’s carbon footprint through a conversion to geothermal power, and he’s co-chair of a committee spearheading a regional collaboration to market the Columbia Valley as a whole.

Bill Swan and Alison Candy have made a career focused on community development and sustainable living. Owners of Osprey Communications and Greenman Sustainable Solutions, they are founding members of Wings Over the Rockies, initiated the Columbia Valley Greenways Trail Alliance and Bighorn in Our Backyard, and are leaders with  Groundswell Network Society. Swan is working on a regional composting program and, through Solar Now, installing solar energy on prominent public buildings in Vancouver. Though no longer involved, he co-founded Adventure Canada.

Wendy Booth, Area F director, represents the communities of Fairmont, Windermere and Panorama, and the rural areas in between. She oversees budgeting and provision of services like fire departments, water and sewer services, recycling, land use and many more. She’s on the boards of the RDEK and Columbia Basin Trust, she’s second vice-president of the Union of British Columbia Municipalities and she attends meetings of many committees and associations to stay informed about their needs and find ways to support them.

Wendy Booth, Area F director in southeastern B.C., oversees provision of many services in the area encompassing Fairmont Hot Springs, Windermere and Panorama Mountain Resort.

Wendy Booth, Area F director in southeastern B.C., oversees provision of many services in the area encompassing Fairmont Hot Springs, Windermere and Panorama Mountain Resort. — Marie Milner photo

Marie Milner

Marie Milner is a writer and photographer for Kootenay Business magazine and several other publications. She appreciates the inspiration that she gets during her interviews and hopes to share that inspiration with you. View all of Marie Milner’s articles

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