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Dec 30, 2023

TIABC Voice of Tourism Newsletter – December 22, 2023


Twenty years ago, Michael J. Fox, renowned for his role as Alex P. Keaton on the 1980’s series Family Ties, as well as playing the lead character, Marty McFly, in the Back to the Future movies, published his first book called ‘Lucky Man’. In his memoir, Fox describes his response to being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease at the pinnacle of his career and making a conscious choice to embrace gratefulness instead of self-pity despite being dealt such a bad hand at age 30.

As you may know, the Burnaby raised actor has made it his life’s mission to find a cure for Parkinson’s and is highly regarded for his work. He’s also universally admired for his incredible optimism and appreciation in the face of adversity. His strength, character and values are an inspiration to people from all walks of life. Fox sets a great example by being thankful for something…no matter how large or small…each and every day.

As we celebrate the holiday season and look forward to the new year, it is in the Michael J. Fox spirit of gratefulness that our staff and Board Chair share in the writing of this last CEO message of 2023.

Special Projects Manager Deb Kulchiski – “As I reflect on the past 12 months, I’m so appreciative of the opportunities I’ve had this year to connect with our valuable members at one of our industry events, via Zoom, by phone or email. Engaging with you has been critical in helping me better understand your needs and ensure your expectations as a member are met. . I look forward to continuing to communicate with you and am excited by what we will achieve together in 2024.”

Social Media Coordinator Pria Flanagan – “I’m grateful for everyone who engaged with TIABC’s social media channels and website over the past year. It’s rewarding to see both current and new followers who are interested in learning and staying up to date with TIABC and the tourism industry. I enjoy providing valuable insights into the tourism industry and look forward to the year ahead.”

Finance, Contracts, Technology Associate Fiona Wray – “I am very grateful for the ongoing support of our valued partners for their significant contribution to our major programs – Destination BC, Destination Vancouver, Destination Greater Victoria, TIAC, Tourism Richmond, Fortis BC, Air Canada, Indigenous Tourism BC, Northern BC Tourism Association, Tourism Prince George, and others. All have been vital in allowing TIABC to continue its work in advocating for the tourism sector in British Columbia. Thank you!”

Board Chair JJ Belanger – “I would like to acknowledge and thank our volunteer Board of Directors and committee members for their hard work and dedication towards our organization and industry. I’m very much looking forward to working with you in 2024. Also, none of our work would be possible without the great team at TIABC – Walt, Deb, Fiona & Pria are always punching way above their weight class to advocate for all of us.”

CEO Walt Judas – “I’d like to express my deep appreciation for TIABC’s many sector and DMO members who have been terrific partners on multiple advocacy files, as have my provincial, territorial and national association colleagues. I also wish to recognize the many journalists and reporters in BC for drawing public attention to myriad tourism issues. And last but not least, I am grateful for Minister Popham, her cabinet colleagues, and the many bureaucrats within various ministries (including at the federal level), particularly Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport, for their dedication, cooperation and willingness to address our industry’s concerns.”

Taking a page from Michael J. Fox’s book, we enter 2024 with optimism and a positive outlook knowing that our industry is strong, resilient and united no matter what obstacles we might face.

As the clock winds down on a year of highs and lows, we wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Thank you so much for your support.

Walt Judas,


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