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Peachland trustee connected with voters

Lisa Guderyan credits door knocking initiative for success at polls
Lisa Guderyan is the new Peachland/Okanagan West trustee elected to the Central Okanagan Board of Education. (Contributed)

For Lisa Guderyan, serving as an elected Central Okanagan school trustee has become something of a family tradition.

Her mom, Joyce Brinkerhoff, was elected as a Kelowna trustee in 2011, serving a three-year term, and was one of four candidates seeking to fill the seat vacated by the passing of Rolli Cacchioni in a 2021 by-election, which was won by current trustee Wayne Broughton.

Guderyan said she played down that family link in her campaign, wanting instead to run on her own platform.

“I wanted to be my own unique person as a candidate,” Guderyan said.

And it apparently worked, as Guderyan topped the Peachland/Okanagan West trustee race with 940 votes to finish ahead of Gordon Wiebe (808) and Karrie Fehr (296).

Guderyan said she had mixed emotions about winning because it was her first campaign while one of her opponents, Wiebe, had previous experience.

“Part of me did not expect to be able to beat someone like Gordon who had much more experience at this than I did,” she said.

“But as the election went on, I started to become more and more confident I could win because of the feedback I was getting from voters.”

Guderyan said what helped make up for her lack of experience was door knocking, as she estimates she and her volunteers knocked on more than 1,000 doors enabling an interaction with potential voters on a personal level.

“Peachland in particular is a bit more of a traditional community so I think a lot of people appreciated a bit more of the human touch, not to hear about someone on social media but to hear it from the candidate in person,” she said.

“Door knocking still works…it can be an effective way to connect with people.”

She was also overwhelmed by how people remembered her from her experience as a nurse in the community.

“Patients I had not seen in years said to me, ‘I saw your name as a candidate and I will support you.’ I really appreciate the support I did get, not only from those people I knew but others who did the research and liked what they read about me and what I had to say.”

Guderyan also acknowledged she is “stepping into big shoes to fill” in replacing Moyra Baxter, who retired from politics after representing the Peachland seat on the school board for 26 years.

“I’m well aware of how really involved in the community she has been, and I recognize and respect her legacy. I hope to continue to be a strong voice for the community as she has been.”

Guderyan said she ran on a platform of collaboration, transparency and parent advocacy with her focus being to do what is best for students in the school system.

“Now the real work starts,” she said.

READ MORE: Candidate faces Capital News questions

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Barry Gerding

About the Author: Barry Gerding

Senior regional reporter for Black Press Media in the Okanagan. I have been a journalist in the B.C. community newspaper field for 37 years...
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