November 14, 2018
A student team from Okanagan College School of Business was crowned the winner of the regional Winning Pitch student case competition at the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association Summit today.
The Winning Pitch, organized and presented by go2HR, BC’s tourism human resource association, is a post-secondary student case competition. This year, student teams had to develop a new product or service that supports the development of accessible tourism opportunities in the Thompson Okanagan region.
For this year’s competition, student teams had to develop a new product or service that supports the development of accessible tourism opportunities in the Thompson Okanagan region.
Four teams from Thompson Rivers University and Okanagan College had 10 minutes each to present their high-level business concept to an industry judging panel, consisting of:
- Sonja Gaudet, Accessibility Specialist, Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association
- Joanne Muirhead, Owner/Operator, Jojo’s Café
- Diana Stirling, Owner, LocoLanding Adventure Park & ”the Peach” Ice Cream Shop
- Valeria Tait, General Manager & Winemaker, Bench 1775
The Okanagan College team, made up of students Bryan Cresswell, Celina Matte, Emily Pilon, and Zackery Plaxton, took home first place with their proposal of “AccessFest”.
“They hit the mark on something that we have been wanting to do in our region,” said judge Sonja Gaudet. Another judge, Diana Stirling, commented that the winning team’s “approach was innovative, the idea is applicable, and there are scalability opportunities.”
The winning team will represent the Thompson Okanagan region at the provincial finals, which will take place at the 2019 BC Tourism Industry Conference in Vancouver.
The other three competing teams consisted of:
- EAVR (Thompson Rivers University): Kaylee Butler, Kelsey Loura, Brianna Mueller
- Access 49: Peak to Pacific (Okanagan College): Brittany Hemmerling, Brett Loeppky, Jake Pushor, Nathan Ziebart
- MyTour (Thompson Rivers University): Yuyi Chen, Anna Dominique Delloro, Zuxing Wen
New this year was the involvement of local tourism employers to mentor student teams in preparation for their business concept and presentation:
- Sarah Ballantyne, Assistant General Manager, Comfort Suites Kelowna
- Terri Hadwin, Owner/Consultant, Intrinsic Destinations
- Ian Renton, General Manager, The Rise Golf Course
- Vivek Sharma, General Manager, Sun Peaks Grand Hotel & Conference Centre
To learn more about The Winning Pitch, click here.