The go2HR® Board represents a cross-section of BC’s tourism industry including tourism operators, industry associations, and educational institutions from a variety of regional areas of the province. The board provides leadership to support go2HR’s mandate of assisting BC’s tourism industry with labour shortage and other HR issues.
Ian Powell – Chair
MANAGING DIRECTOR & GENERAL MANAGER, PAUL’S RESTAURANTS LTD.
& GENERAL MANAGER, INN AT LAUREL POINT
After obtaining a degree in Hotel Administration at the Birmingham College of Food in England, Ian immigrated to Canada in 1978 and spent the next 16 years in various senior level management positions for both CP Hotels and CN Hotels. In 1998, Ian was appointed as General Manager at the Fairmont Empress Hotel following four years as the General Manager at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. After a short stint in Bermuda with the Fairmont group, Ian returned to BC and is currently the Managing Director of Paul’s Restaurants Ltd. based in Victoria and also manages its flagship property, The Inn at Laurel Point. Ian has contributed countless hours to various industry and business associations and foundations. He was the Chair of the Tourism Industry HR Task Force study which set the foundation and strategy for the creation of go2. Ian was on the go2HR board from 2002-2004, and rejoined the Board in 2008 until current, serving as Chair and Past Chair.
Heidi Romich – Vice Chair
THE HEID OUT RESTAURANT AND BREWHOUSE
After owning and operating Heidi’s Restaurant in Cranbrook for over 13 years, Heidi expanded her business and renovated her facility to include both a restaurant and a brewhouse – The Heid Out Restaurant and Brewhouse. For the last eleven years, Heidi has also been an instructor for the Culinary Arts Program at the College of the Rockies. Heidi is Past Chair of the BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association. She completed an International Tourism Management Diploma in Austria and taught International Tourism in Malaysia. Heidi was on the go2HR Board of Directors from 2004-2006 and from 2012-2016.
J.J. Belanger – Past Chair
CRYSTAL COVE RESORT
J.J. is the General Manager of Crystal Cove Beach Resort in Tofino. Starting his career in the hospitality industry at a very young age, JJ has worked with a variety of companies such as Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, Intrawest, Rocky Mountaineer Vacations, Aquilini Investment Group and Golf BC. He has also managed various projects, including the creation or renovation of restaurants, pubs, lodging and camping locations, as well as assisting in the creation of a government-funded project that has become BC Select Lodging. J.J. has been on the Board of Directors for the BC Restaurant and Foodservice Association, the BC Hotel Association and the 2010 Winter Games bid hospitality committee, and is currently the VP of Lodging for the BC Lodging and Campgrounds Association.
Chief Operating Officer
Craig Blize is the Chief Operating Officer at Earls. He has been with the company since 1995 and has held a number of positions including overseeing Earls’ eight locations as a Regional Director. In his current role, Craig launched Earls’ Vision + Goals program and helped Earls win Glass door’s ‘Best Employer in Canada’ award twice. Craig has cultivated a foundation for professional development, supporting future leaders at Earls and beyond, by sharing the Earls experience and building opportunities in communities across North America.
NANCY O’S RESTAURANT
Eoin is the Co-Owner/Operator of Nancy O’s and Betulla Burning restaurants in Prince George. He is a graduate from the College of New Caledonia’s entrepreneurship program as well as the University of Northern BC’s Bachelor of Commerce program. After working in Prince George and abroad in the hospitality industry, Eoin opened Nancy O’s in 2009 and Betulla Burning in 2017. He volunteers as a board member with the Downtown Prince George Business Improvement Association and became their Board President in May 2015. Eoin has received numerous awards during his career including New Entrepreneur of the Year and Top 40 under 40. Nancy O’s Restaurant was recently aTop 10 nominee for Best Employer from Small Business BC. He has been on go2HR’s Board of Directors since 2016.
Jeff is a dynamic leader and communicator with extensive experience in government relations, strategic communications, and association management. As Executive Director of ABLE BC, Jeff advocates for BC’s multi-billion dollar private liquor industry, including liquor stores, neighbourhood pubs, bars, nightclubs, and hotels. Initially from New Brunswick, Jeff spent a decade working in Ottawa as senior staff to several Members of Parliament before moving to BC in 2014. He is currently the Chair of the Coalition of BC Businesses and Vice Chair of the BC Hospitality Foundation.
PACIFIC GATEWAY HOTEL
Eda is currently the General Manager at the Pacific Gateway Hotel at Vancouver Airport. Eda started her career with Delta Hotels; for over 20 years she has worked in both Alberta and BC in Calgary, Victoria, Whistler, Sun Peaks and the Lower Mainland. Having completed the diploma program at SAIT in Calgary followed by leadership courses at the University of Guelph, Eda recently completed her degree in Hospitality Management in the Executive Cohort at VCC. Her industry and community involvement has included various committees, serving as a Board member for Tourism Sun Peaks, a Director with the 2012 Burnaby Senior Games and Chair of Tourism Richmond. Eda has been on the go2HR Board since 2011 and has served as the Chair of the Finance Committee, Chair and Past Chair.
Director, Community & Government Relations
Sarah McCullough joined the senior team at Whistler Blackcomb as the Director of Government and Community Relations in September 2017. Sarah is a communications professional with more than two decades of experience in British Columbia’s energy sector. Most recently she served as Director of External Affairs and Communications for Spectra Energy’s Canadian Liquefied Natural Gas business, working with communities across Western Canada on infrastructure investment opportunities. Prior to assuming this role, Sarah served as Director of Government relations for Spectra Energy, responsible for leading the organization’s government Relations and Climate Change Functions. Sarah has significant experience in communications and stakeholder outreach, policy development, advocacy strategy and execution, and local and Indigenous supply chain inclusion.
DIRECTOR FOOD, WINE AND TOURISM
Jonathan is the Director for Food, Wine and Tourism, and Associate Dean at the Okanagan School of Business at Okanagan College. For the past 20 years, Jonathan has been active in tourism development and education, with particular interest in sustainability and program development. Prior to moving to the Okanagan, Jonathan was the Dean of the School of Hospitality and Business at Vancouver Community College, where he developed Canada’s first Indigenous Culinary program in conjunction with the Four Host First Nations during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Jonathan currently sits on the Board of the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society, and was previously on go2HR’s Board of Directors from 2006-2008 and 2016-2018.
Jacqueline Simpson – Finance Committee Chair
Director, Global Marketing Channels
Jacqueline has been employed with Destination BC since 2006, and currently holds the position of Director of Global Marketing Channels. She has extensive experience in marketing strategy and project management. Prior to DBC Jacqueline worked at Grouse Mountain Resorts in a variety of guest services, sales and marketing positions. She has an MBA from UBC and prior to joining the tourism industry she worked for several years in commercial property management.