Board of Directors
The Board of Directors focuses on policy and program development, oversees the management of Tourism Richmond, monitors organizational performance, and ensures that the mandate of the organization is carried out.
Eda Koot, Chair
A career hotelier, Eda has built her hospitality career with Delta Hotels along with several years with Fairmont. Originally from Calgary, Eda moved to BC 12 years ago working with Delta in Victoria, Whistler, Sun Peaks and Burnaby prior to accepting the role here in Richmond at the then, Delta Vancouver Airport Hotel. Transitioning the property to the independently operated Pacific Gateway Hotel was an incredible experience that has her now even more committed to the community and future of tourism in Richmond. Eda contributed to both Sun Peaks and Burnaby as Director on their respective tourism boards and currently sits on the board of go2HR which also supports our industry both locally and provincially.
Wayne Duzita, Vice Chair
In his 45 year career, Wayne Duzita has held a variety of positions within many business sectors prior to joining Aeroterm as Associate Vice President Western Region. Wayne continues to be an active volunteer in the Richmond community currently serving as Chair of the Richmond Christmas Fund, Board member of the Richmond Olympic Oval, and Co-Chair for Trinity Western University Richmond Advisory Council. In the past he was Chair of Canuck Place Children's Foundation, Co-Chair of the 2010 Richmond Olympic Oval Steering Advisory Committee and Chair of the YVR Business Forum.
Yannick Simovich, Treasurer and Chair, Finance Committee
Yannick Simovich's management career spans over 30 years in a variety of progressive roles within the hotel industry. While he currently holds the position of General Manager at the Vancouver Airport Marriott Hotel, his most recent roles have included Director of Operations at the JW Marriott in Las Vegas, Director of Operations and Director of Food & Beverage at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel as well as several years at The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. Yannick, who has a passion for food and wine, received his hospitality education in France and Switzerland.
Russell is the Manager, Air Service Development at the Vancouver Airport Authority. Russell has over 14 years of experience in the aviation and technology sectors. Prior to joining the airport, Russell spent the better part of his career with the Oneworld Airline Alliance in a range of marketing, product strategy and technology roles spread across Vancouver and New York. Russell is also a graduate of Simon Fraser University's Beedie School of Business Executive MBA programme.
Joe is the General Manager of Planning and Development for the City of Richmond. Joe has 30 years of experience in City Planning in Australia and Canada and has worked in both the private and public sectors. Joe has been with the City of Richmond since 1998. During his time with the City of Richmond, Joe has been responsible for the preparation of many Area Plans, Strategies and the 2041 Official Community Plan. His current portfolio includes responsibility for Human Resources, Long Range Community Planning, Development Approvals/Building Permits and Transportation Planning.
Prior to his recent appointment as General Manager of the Hilton Vancouver Airport in Richmond, Gary Collinge's career has taken him across Western Canada. Most recently, he was General Manager at the Hampton Inn & Suites and the Georgian Court Hotel in Vancouver. Throughout his professional career, Gary has been active in the tourism industry contributing to the efforts supporting the bid for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games and the Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre expansion taskforce. He has served three terms as a Board member and on various committees and taskforces with Tourism Vancouver, been the chair of the Vancouver Hotel Association, served as a Director of the Business Improvement Association in Victoria and with the BC Hotel Association. Born in Manchester, England, Gary grew up in Toronto before heading west to attend the University of Victoria.
Patrick is currently the General Manager at Fairmont Vancouver Airport, in charge of overall operations, performance and the strategic direction of this award winning property. Prior to this position, he was the Hotel Manager at the Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii. Patrick began his hospitality career 20 years ago with Canadian Pacific Hotels, which then became Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. He has held progressive positions with Fairmont in various locations in Canada, Africa and the United States. Patrick also had the opportunity to serve on a number of task forces and transition teams at Fairmont properties in San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Scottsdale, Saudi Arabia, Bermuda and South Africa. Patrick also sits on the board of the Richmond Hotel Association.
Now retired after 35 years of service, Andy Hobbs was a highly decorated member of the Vancouver Police Department (VPD). In his role on the VPD's Executive, he worked with community groups, stakeholders, other police agencies and government to strengthen public safety. His last role was as the Superintendent commanding North Command, which includes all operations and personnel working in the northern half of the City of Vancouver. With the VPD, he enjoyed many assignments including Operations, Planning and Research, Mounted Unit, Detective Office, Recruiting, Internal Investigations, and the Traffic Section among others. He was also VPD's Public Order Group Gold Commander responsible for police response to large protests and events. As a Richmond volunteer, Andy has served in a variety of roles including coaching, officiating, fundraising, special events and on boards such as the Richmond Community Foundation and was twice elected twice to the Richmond Board of Education. In 2011, he was inducted into the Order of Merit of the Police Forces by the Governor General of Canada and in 2013, he received the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal. Andy holds a degree in political science from UBC. Born and raised in Richmond, he and his wife and their three adult children live in Steveston.
Harald Kurtzke is a European-trained Hotelier who holds a Diamond CHA. This Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA®) award is the one of the most prestigious certifications available to a hospitality executive. Currently Harald is Regional Director and General Manager for Executive Hotels, and also manages the Executive Airport Plaza Hotel and Conference Centre, Richmond. Harald has held positions as Senior VP, Managing Director, Executive VP and General Manager in resort, full service, limited service, boutique and casinos properties.
His past positions include: Okanagan Tourism Board (Director); Skål Vancouver (Member); Rotary International, Islington Club (President). He enjoys working with independent and branded properties including: Executive Hotels; IHG; Sheraton; Carlson; Wyndham.
Serena is the General Manager, Community Services for the City of Richmond. Serena’s portfolio includes oversight of Arts, Culture and Heritage Services, Community Social Development, Parks Services and Recreation Services. During her 13+ years with the City, she has lead the development of a number of major strategies including the Community Wellness Strategy and the Major Facilities Implementation Plan and has built strong community relationships. Serena has an MBA from the University of Oregon’s Warsaw School of Sports Business. She lives in Richmond with her husband and two active children.
Robert Thurlow joined McArthurGlen Group as General Manager for McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Vancouver Airport in 2015. Robert joined McArthurGlen from Calvin Klein, where he was Country Manager responsible for the brand's launch in the Canadian market in 2011, and its expansion across Canada.
Prior to joining Calvin Klein, Robert was US CEO and Board Member of Molton Brown. His responsibilities at the globally renowned London bath, body & beauty brand included leading its multi-channel sales' activities across Europe, North America and Asia. After studying in his native Toronto, London, and Ithaca, New York, Robert started his career at Gap, where, as Operations Manager, he was responsible for store openings across Canada, including Vancouver, and the UK.