From luxury hotels and wineries to one of the Thompson Okanagan’s signature golf resorts, Ingrid Dilschneider has worked with some of Western Canada’s best known tourism products.
Dilschneider’s 35 years of hospitality experience has included positions in marketing, communications, special events and operations. She’s probably best known for her eight-year tenure as the Director of Business Development at Predator Ridge, one of Canada’s top golf communities. The Vernon-based development is home to two championship golf courses, a luxury resort, and more than 700 year-round homes.
In the summer of 2017, after a seven month sabbatical, Dilschneider began a new chapter in her life, launching her own marketing and special events company where she specializes in affordable marketing services for small businesses.
“I enjoyed a lot about my career at Predator Ridge: working with an amazing team and a great boss, being part of creating a product and a culture that works, making an impact in the community, and connecting with the industry through various boards and councils. I also enjoyed the travel, perks, benefits and good pay,” she says.
Although satisfying, the job was also demanding, involving long hours, responsibility for a team of 80 people, and a two-hour daily commute from her home in Kelowna.
“Tourism is not a Monday-to-Friday, nine-to-five job – it has a 24-hour clock. That can be challenging,” she observes.
Dilschneider’s latest business venture provides the work-life balance she was looking for, as well as a chance to give back to the community.
“I wanted to be able to spend more time with my husband. In addition, it was time for me to give back to my community; my community has supported me throughout the years, and now I want to support it,” she says.
After decades working in tourism, Dilschneider has some sage advice for other baby boomers interested in joining the industry.
First, employers are open to hiring boomers, says Dilschneider: “I feel strongly that companies are specifically targeting this group of individuals, thanks to the experience and reliability they bring to the workplace. Typically, boomers know what it takes to get results and make things work. They are not afraid of hard work and offer relevant skills that can be tailored to new careers.”
Understandably, some people may be uncertain about making a big life change.
Dilschneider’s advice? “Embrace it. You’re starting a new career for a reason, and that reason will become apparent a few weeks or months in. The satisfaction you will draw from it will invigorate you and give you a passion that you either forgot about or didn’t know you had.”