Kelowna Host Society Board of Directors
The Host Society focuses on creating a memorable Games experience not only for the members of the BC Senior Games Society, but also for the city in which they live. The planning for the Games takes approximately 2 years and will involve over 1,500 volunteers.
Dan Rogers (Protocol) is the current Executive Director with the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce. He joined the organization as its operational leader in 2017 after spending a number of years running the Vernon Chamber of Commerce. A lifelong volunteer, Dan spent thirty years in Prince George prior to coming to the Okanagan. While in Prince George he was the Bid Chair for that city’s successful effort to land the 2015 Canada Winter Games. Previous to that he Chaired the host committee for the 2007 RBC Royal Bank Cup National Junior Hockey Championship, Chaired the Prince George Trails Task Force, was Sport Chair (Soccer) at the Prince George 55+ BC Games, and he also served on the board for the Prince George Track and Field Club and the Northern Capital Sports Society.
David Graham (President) served as Kelowna’s Director of Recreation Parks and Culture and as Director of Strategic Initiatives until retiring in 2012. In those roles, he gained a thorough understanding of sport administration, local/ provincial sport organizations, management of sport facilities and multi-sport events. Through his time as CEO of YMCA’s in both Kelowna and Prince George, and many years serving on boards of directors with both Pacific Sport Okanagan and the Canadian Sport Institute-Pacific, David became passionate about developing best practices in governance in the not-for-profit, sport and charitable sectors. Degrees in physical education, psychology and a masters in organizational leadership provide an academic under-pinning. David lives by the Sport for Life philosophy and has engaged in many recreational and competitive sports for more than 50 years. He welcomes the opportunity to contribute to Kelowna’s success as a leading centre for sport and active living in Canada through the 55+ BC Games.
Don Backmeyer (Security/Transportation)served in numerous positions in the Recreation Department throughout his illustrious 27 year career with the City of Kelowna. He has extensive experience in outdoor and special events and chaired the City’s Outdoor Events Committee for over ten years. Additionally, Don organized the Terry Fox Run for 10 years and was a member of the organizing committees of both the 1991 BC Games for the Physically Disabled and the 2011 International Children’s Winter Games.
Hugh Gloster (Vice President) completed his term as Superintendent of Schools/CEO for the Central Okanagan School District (No. 23) on December 31, 2015. During his thirty-six (36) year career with the District, Hugh held a variety of leadership positions including Vice-Principal and Principal at the elementary, middle and secondary school levels. Since being Superintendent, Hugh has worked as an educational consultant in B.C. and as an Inspector of Offshore Schools for the Ministry of Education. His previous ‘games experience’ included volunteering for the BC Summer Games, the Memorial Cup, the World Junior Hockey Championships and being on the bid committee for the 2015 Canada Winter Games. Hugh has also been a coach and referee of high school rugby for many years.
Keith Grayston (Administration) has over 35 years of experience in the financial industry. He worked as a professional accountant with the City of Kelowna for 25 years, retiring in 2015 as the Director of Finance. Outside of the finance world , Keith has had a lifetime interest in almost all sports and is currently involved with golf, cycling, skiing and curling. The 55+ BC Games provides an exciting opportunity for Keith to combine his prior professional skill set with his sporting interests.
Lesley Driscoll (Sport) has been involved in the sport of Ringette for more than 7 years. From Team Manager to Assistant Coach to President of the Kelowna Ringette Association, she has held a variety of local and provincial volunteer positions during that time. Lesley has been involved in the planning and execution of numerous ringette events including the annual Sweetheart Tournament, Kelowna Ringette Summer Camps and the BC Ringette Provincial Championships. Prior to her involvement in Ringette, Lesley was a Convocation Member of the UBC Okanagan Senate and Fundraising Coordinator for Okanagan Montessori. Outside of her passion for ringette and her firm belief in Sport for Life, Lesley has a background in both Financial Planning and Government Relations.
Lesley Spiegel (Ceremonies), the founder of Synergy Events, is a multiple award winning event producer with over 30 years of experience in the industry, producing both large and small scale events for such notable clients as the Province of British Columbia, the City of Kelowna, Kelowna General Hospital Foundation and Tourism Kelowna. Lesley has had the pleasure of crafting the opening and closing ceremonies for the BC Summer Games in 2008 and the International Children’s Winter Games in 2011. Having been recognized by her peers with numerous awards, Lesley is delighted to be collaborating with this outstanding team of professionals. Committed to excellence, Lesley will take this concept from inception to completion with a bold, trusted and experienced approach.
Dr. Mark Fromberg (Medical) has a lifelong interest in competitive sport that has directed him through first a kinesiology degree and then a 30-year medical career. He recently retired, but has retained a passionate interest in preventive health, living well to 100, and potentially rebranding Kelowna as Canada’s healthiest community. He has been a long-time director of Canada’s largest open water swim event (Kelowna’s Across the Lake Swim) and has overseen its 5-fold growth in the last 10 years, winning recognition as one of the World’s Top 20 open water swim events, while it drown-proofs an entire generation of Central Okanagan kids with free swimming lessons. In the last 15 years, he has provided medical support and direction for multiple triathlons, including Ironman Canada, the Ironman Kona World Championships, and the Apple Triathlon.
Ron Forbes (Results & Registration) worked for the City of Kelowna for 35 years starting in the Recreation Department. As the Supervisor of Administration, Ron was instrumental in the installation, operating and maintenance of the computerized registration, membership and facility booking system. In addition to the Recreation Department, Ron also worked in the Civic Properties Department, Cultural Services Department before winding up his career with the City as Property Manager with the Real Estate Department. After a brief retirement, Ron was coaxed back into the workplace as a Property Manager with Westcorp and as a Players Assistant at the Okanagan Golf Course. He hopes to bring his many years of experience to ensure that the registration and results components of the BC 55+ Games in Kelowna run smoothly.
Tom Dyas (Protocol) has owned and operated TD Benefits for more than 30 years. He moved from Toronto to BC in 1986, and lived in the lower mainland before settling in the interior in 1996. Over the years, as his children have grown, Tom has been actively involved with Kelowna Minor Hockey and local soccer clubs, as well as serving on countless steering committees aimed at community development. Tom served as President of the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce and was awarded the President’s Award for Director of the Year. He enjoys being actively involved in the community and will serve as the Chairman of Kelowna’s bid committee for the 2020 Memorial Cup in addition to his role with the Kelowna 55+ BC Games.
Valaura Vedan (Promotions) moved to Kelowna in September 2011, from Drayton Valley, AB. She worked for a time in media and marketing, including Content Manager for WelcometoKelowna.com (Kelowna Now), Content Strategist for Csek Creative and Community Animator for Kelowna Culture Days, before launching her own marketing business, “By Jove Co”. Valaura is passionate about being involved in, and helping to build, community, and was recognized as one of the Okanagan’s most exciting young entrepreneurs in BDO’s “Top 40 Under 40” program. She has volunteered for the past six years as the photographer for Flower Power and more recently, as a member of the host committee for Breakout West.
Willy Kovacic (Friends of the Games) recently retired after 25 years in the property management business as the co-founder and president of Okanagan Strata Management. During that time, Willy served on several boards and committees in both public and industry based organizations including Festivals Kelowna, the Strata Property Agents of BC, and the Manufactured Home Owners of BC. Willy continues to be active in the sport of basketball and has participated in the last two World Masters Games in Torino, Italy and Auckland, New Zealand.