Kelowna Capital News

Okanagan College strengthens ties to local hospitality industry

Okanagan College is taking a major step forward in advancing its ties to the wine, culinary, tourism and hospitality industries with the appointment of Jonathan Rouse as director of wine, food and tourism at the college.

Rouse, who is currently a faculty member in the Okanagan School of Business, brings considerable experience to the role.

In January 2011, he was seconded from his teaching position to develop a vision and strategic direction for enhanced programming in wine, food and tourism at the college.

Prior to joining Okanagan College in 2010, Rouse spent four years as the dean of hospitality and business at Vancouver Community College.

“The opportunities, diversity and creativity we have within the college and the Okanagan Valley are so immense and there is such interest around our focus and commitment to building something unique right here in the valley,” said Rouse.

“I’m looking forward to working closely with my colleagues as well as partners in the community and industry to fully realize the strengths we have in our college and within our region.”

The position, which also includes a half-time role as associate dean of the Okanagan School of Business, will focus on further development of the college’s existing programming in wine and viticulture, culinary arts, tourism and hospitality.

“This is an exciting time for Okanagan College,” said president Jim Hamilton.

“Jonathan’s contribution to the college, both in an instructional capacity and through his research into enhancing our delivery of wine, food and tourism studies, has been extremely valuable.

“His appointment marks a turning point for the college in its investment in these programming areas and in the commitment to further serving the region and economy.”

Rouse is a member the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council board of directors, the B.C. Hospitality Foundation, and is a co-chair of the Association of Canadian Community Colleges Tourism Affinity Group. He is also a past board member for Tourism Vancouver. His new role at the college will begin in January 2013.

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