Destination Osoyoos excited about future growth after organization’s recent annual general meeting
The new managing director of Destination Osoyoos says she’s enjoying her new job and is looking forward to not only promoting this town as a premier tourist destination, but also taking on the challenge of expanding economic development opportunities within the town.
Gail Scott, who was hired two months ago to take over as the new managing director, said there’s a great deal of enthusiasm about the organization by the board of directors following the recent annual general meeting.
“It has been a very busy couple of months, especially jumping in when Destination Osoyoos was given the responsibility of organizing the Desert Live Music Festival,” she said. “It has been very busy, but very productive and I’m really looking forward to meeting with the various stakeholders and setting forth a detailed strategic plan in early September.
“We have a strong board of directors in place who are excited about Destination Osoyoos taking over the economic development component through our deal with the town, so it’s an exciting time for our organization.”
At the recent AGM, Don Brogan, the general manager of the Walnut Beach Resort, agreed to return for a second year as president of Destination Osoyoos’ board of directors.
Rob Rausch, owner of Wakepilot Wakeboarding, will also return as vice-chair and Paul Scanlon will return as treasurer.
Joining them will be directors Mike Campol, the general manager of Spirit Ridge Vineyard Resort and Spa; Richard Cooper, the owner of Heat Stroke Cycle; Len McLean, co-owner of H.W. McLean Construction Ltd.; Joanne Muirhead, owner of JoJo’s Café; Lee Sapach, general manager of Osoyoos Golf Course; Vince Virk, manager of the Osoyoos Holiday Inn and newly elected president of the Osoyoos Hotel and Motel Association; and Carol Youngberg, a local real estate agent and broker.
Chris Bower, who recently accepted a job as executive director of Tourism Penticton after working 15 years in business development with the Osoyoos Indian Band, will remain a community partner for the next three months. Other community partners include Mark Pendergraft, the chair of the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen board of directors and town councillor Michael Ryan.
Brogan told the board during the AGM that he’s excited to have Scott on board and that she and veteran marketing co-ordinator Brianne Hearle make a dynamic leadership team with Destination Osoyoos.
“The board needed to create a new position to manage the organization,” said Brogan. “Our mandate was to market our destination and provide tourism services.
“We created a new job description and were about to begin the recruitment process when the concept of amalgamating Destination Marketing and Economic Development services in our Resort Municipality was tabled by the organizations funding partners and executive board members.
“All agreed that the two services should be working in concert with each other and a new job description and organizational structure had to be designed. This took time to accomplish and have all stakeholders come to agreement. The board struck a recruitment committee that included our mayor and we were able to secure our new Managing Director, Gail Scott nine or so months since the removal of the Executive Director’s position.”
During this entire process, Hearle, stepped up and rose to the occasion in helping the volunteer board manage the organization effectively, efficiently and in his opinion, successfully, said Brogan.
“With Brianne’s help, the board restructured the organization, got our financial reporting structured and correctly organized so that it can be easily read and understood and facilitate proper decision making and a knowledge of exactly where we are at any given time to create and drive the organization’s marketing plan showing measurable success, he said.
“The board’s directive to become a financially and operationally transparent organization is now a reality and I am proud to publish our plans and financial statements for all to see and question.
“We now have our house in order and our mandate of Destination Marketing, Tourism Services and Economic Development is in the hands of two incredibly talented, smart and capable individuals that will work well with our new board and structure and understand our community needs and wants for marketing and economic development.”