Woman to Watch: Maxine DeHart

Being a self-described people person has helped Maxine DeHart flourish.

Maxine DeHart

Maxine DeHart isn’t afraid of taking on responsibilities.

In addition to working at the Ramada Inn as director of sales and marketing, DeHart also writes a weekly business column for the Kelowna Capital News and is a City of Kelowna councillor.  DeHart has been at the Ramada for the past 30 years after starting as a conference manager before creating and moving into the sales department, where her job is to sell the hotel and make sure the sleeping rooms and conference halls are all full.

DeHart originally worked for Scotiabank in Kelowna, a role that saw her take a job in Vancouver for 18 months before returning to the Kelowna branch. At that point she knew that if she wanted another promotion she would have to move, and as she didn’t want to leave Kelowna she jumped at the opportunity of working at the Ramada Inn when it was offered to her.

“It’s a very different type of job,” she explained. “People say once you’re in the hotel industry or tourism, but hotels specifically, you don’t want to leave it. To be in this industry you really have to like people, because all you do is meet with people all day.”

Being a self-described people person has helped DeHart flourish in the hotel industry. She loves working in sales as it allows her to meet an incredibly diverse spectrum of people who pass through the hotel; and of course it doesn’t hurt that she knows she wouldn’t enjoy sitting in a back room number crunching.

The business connections DeHart has gained through working in the hotel industry have helped her launch into other professions as well. Since 1998 she has been writing Straight from DeHart, a weekly business column for the Capital News. Although writing a column wasn’t something she originally thought she could do, Straight from DeHart has grown from an average of 500 words per column when it started to now consisting of an average of 2,000 words in every Wednesday edition.

DeHart’s expansion into other lines of work didn’t stop with her foray into media, as she is currently serving her second term as a Kelowna city councillor. DeHart noted she has always been interested in politics, so in 2011 she decided to run for city council. She has enjoyed her time on council, as evidenced by her decision to run for a second term, although she acknowledged it wasn’t quite what she originally expected.

“You never really know what it’s like until you’re there,” she laughed.  “People ask me if it’s exactly what I thought it would be, and I say, ‘No.’  In politics, whether it’s civic, provincial or federal, I don’t think you know until you’re there and you experience it. It’s very different, but it’s been really good and again it’s a people business.  Sort of everything I do is people-oriented. The column is all about people, the hotel is all about people I deal with and as a civic leader it’s all about people.”

In addition to holding three jobs, DeHart also spends a large portion of her time volunteering.  She currently sits on several boards, including the new Chartered Professional Accountants Board and the National RCMP Foundation Board, and has served on about 20 different boards as either a board member or board chair over the past 25 years. Serving on those boards is a way to not only give back and help her community, but again is another way to meet more people; something she always loves to do.

“It’s really great to get out there and meet people. I’m a fairly open person, so if I’m at an event I’ll usually pick a table and sit down with people I don’t know, as opposed to picking a table with people I do know. I think that’s important, because often when people go to events or functions if they see somebody they know they tend to go straight towards that person and I tend to go straight towards a person I don’t know and introduce myself. I think that’s what helped me to gain the number of people I know and the connections I have in town.”

And that’s what makes Maxine DeHart A Woman to Watch.

 

Just Posted

Kids, the great outdoors and technology

UBCO study says send your kids outside but let them take their electronic devices

Fundraising for Freedom House gets $10,000 boost

Plans for recovery program apartment building in Kelowna moving ahead

Rutland accident slows traffic

Kelowna - A two-vehicle accident has caused traffic to slow along Highway 33

Kelowna woman makes Top 100 power list

“We also need champions (both male and female) to help high-performing females rise more quickly…”

More Kelowna kids living in poverty

2017 BC Child Poverty Report Card paints a dismal picture of life in B.C.

Tattooing couple opens new shop in Lake Country

Cody and Fabiana Philpott opened NSI Tattoo in August

Curtis Sagmoen to appear in Vernon court

The man associated with an Silver Creek farm where human remains were found last month is set to appear in court

Vernon high school theatre reignites classic pirate tale

Seaton Secondary’s 27th Street Theatre Co. presents The Pirates of Penzance Dec. 5-9 and 12-16.

B.C. snow plow operator helps save elderly man

The 73-year-old man had fallen at his isolated home, and finally was able to call for help

Wildlife group challenges B.C.’s interpretation of law on destroying bears

Fur-Bearers are challenging a conservation officer’s decision to kill a bear cub near Dawson Creek

Penticton man fights to stay in Canada, keep life-saving health care

If Kris Reyes is denied permanent residency, the cost of his dialysis would run too high to keep up

Tourism numbers continue to climb in B.C.

The majority of international travellers to British Columbia are coming from Australia

Canadian screen stars want ‘action’ from industry meeting on sexual misconduct

‘Of course there’s been sexual harassment here. Absolutely. No question.’

VIDEO: Search for missing B.C. dog walker remains a ‘rescue effort’

Annette Poitras was last seen walking three dogs on Monday afternoon

Most Read