Chris Lewis works for Tourism Kelowna

40 Under 40: Chris Lewis

The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce has launched its "40 Under Forty" for 2020

The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce has launched its “40 Under Forty” for 2020. The chamber is now calling for nominations.

This is the Kelowna chamber’s sixth year of searching for the city’s high achievers and bringing their stories to the public.

BDO Canada LLP will make up the independent panel of judges.

Chris has been working in the tourism and hospitality field for approximately 14 years, the last seven of which have been with Tourism Kelowna. Chris has helped lead Tourism Kelowna to achieve the Sustainable Tourism Gold Certification and a score of 70 per cent on the Rick Hansen Accessibility Certification program for the Kelowna Visitor Centre.

As tourism is one of the largest industries in the Okanagan Valley and the Province of British Columbia, the impact that this position has on the Central Okanagan can be seen in the recommendations and referrals that are made to local businesses by the team at the Visitor Centre, Airport Information Kiosk, and Mobile Servicing locations. After opening the visitor centre in downtown Kelowna in 2018, it has become a community hub for both Central Okanagan residents and visitors to the community.

While at UBCO, Chris was a resident advisor acting as a leader to student residents and later becoming a senior resident advisor to provide leadership for other advisors, here he had the opportunity of gaining a unique leadership experience, still using those skills today. In Chris’s current role as Director of Visitor Experience, he leads a team of 60+ volunteers and ten part time staff. Many of the part time staff and volunteers are students seeking to gain experience in tourism or their field of study.

Throughout Chris’s career he has had the privilege to support local non-profit or charitable organizations, both in his role and in a volunteer capacity.

Chris is currently serving on the Advisory Board as a Member of Influence with the Okanagan Young Professionals, which is an arm of the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission. His role is to help develop and promote events, connections and resources that assist in the attraction and retention of young professionals in the Central Okanagan.

As a volunteer of the Canadian Cancer Society for just over seven years, Chris has been involved in the planning and logistics for several local events. He is currently volunteering his time as President for Lake Country Community Policing, an organization he has been with since 2015 and is also an active volunteer with Emergency Support Services.

Chris has a Bachelor of Arts Degree majoring in Geography from the University of British Columbia, Okanagan. Chris is completing the Destinations International Certified Destination Management Executive (CDME) program, which is one of the highest education achievements available to Destination Organizations internationally.

In 2016 Chris was recognized as one of Destinations International’s 30 under 30. In 2017 he was one of the Southern Interior Region volunteers awarded with the Community Volunteer Leadership Award for the Canadian Cancer Society, and in January 2020 he was recognized for five years of volunteer service with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police E Division.

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