The strength of The Chamber is our members and the people that run these outstanding businesses. For Fall 2016, The Chamber featured:
If you would like to be featured in a Chamber Member Snapshot please send us an email or give us a call at 250-383-7191.
Darlene Hollstein, The Bay Centre – 20 Vic Management Inc.
Name: Darlene Hollstein
Position: General Manager
Organization: The Bay Centre – 20 Vic Management Inc.
Number of Employees: 8 full-time and 2 part-time and 50 contract staff
Member since: 1990
The Bay Centre is located in the centre of Victoria's shopping and business district, and has a mix of over 90 street front and interior shops—it’s no wonder why over 7 million guests visit The Bay Centre annually.
What is the best perk of your job? Working in a shopping centre! Need I say more?
What’s your favourite thing about your job? The overall diversity of what I am exposed to in a day. Most people don’t even realize there is an administration office behind a shopping centre. It is like operating a small city every day.
What’s your favourite Chamber event? The Business Awards as it highlights and rewards so many dynamic businesses and owners we have in the region and it is a great networking event.
Business lunch or after work drinks? Anyone that knows me knows I prefer to work out at lunch. I always have time for a quick cocktail after work though.
Best team-building moment or program you’ve ever experienced? There are so many, but one that my team talks about most was serving breakfast at Our Place Society. It was a great opportunity to work together and connect with those members of our community that are less fortunate while witnessing the amazing work the staff do within the kitchen and facility on a day to day basis.
What is the one thing no one understands or knows about your business? That I don’t have all of the keys to the stores nor can I go in after hours and shop when I want.
What are you passionate about? I am a knowledge seeker and I seek to stay abreast of trends. I enjoy staying fit and being healthy. I love the industry I am in as it allows me to be entrepreneurial and look for new ways of doing business and finding new businesses and experiences that would appeal to our consumer. I also enjoy volunteering and giving back and contributing to our community whether it is through social or business programs.
Favourite place on Vancouver Island? Honestly is there a bad place on Vancouver Island? It took me two full years before the honeymoon period wore off when we first moved here. I was so struck by the beauty of our region and mostly the fact that we rarely get snow.
What do you think is the most important life lesson for someone to learn? The value of hard work and committing to bettering oneself in work and play and of course giving back to your community. I have found that any volunteering I have committed to is extremely fulfilling.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received? To spend time doing what you are passionate about. Life is just too short.
If you had a superpower what would it be? Not needing to sleep. You can get a lot more out of the day if that didn’t get in the way.
Favourite social media for work/personal? Twitter and Facebook for business, Instagram to keep up with friends and family and Snapchat to see what my kids are up to.
Mike Murphy, 10 Acres Bistro | Commons | Kitchen | Farm
Name: Mike Murphy
Position: Food Purveyor
Organization: 10 Acres Bistro | Commons | Kitchen | Farm
Member since: 2003
The 10 Acres Group is made up of three leading restaurants in downtown Victoria including 10 Acres Bistro, The Commons and The Kitchen (formerly known as Pescatores). Much of the sustainable, organic harvest served at each of our restaurants comes straight from our 10 Acre Farm in North Saanich.
What is your favourite thing about your job? That everyone can relate to my business through eating, drinking and entertaining. Ironically that can also be the most irritating thing!
Business lunch or after work drinks? I encourage both!
How is your business environmentally sustainable? We adhere to many environmentally sustainable practises both at our restaurants and at our farm. Among them, we compost everything we possibly can from each of our restaurants and in turn use it to nurture our crops, ultimately providing the freshest organic produce available to our customers.
What is your company's greatest strength? The quality of young people our farm and kitchen attract who are passionate about the farm to table and slow cooking movement. Just other day 8 of our cooks were at the farm learning how to butcher pigs ... and we sampled chevre the farmers produced from our recently acquired goat herd!
What is the one thing no one understands or knows about your business? Understanding that my own business success relies in big part, on the success of other restaurants and shops. Downtown businesses in general thrive—making it a popular destination for both the locals and tourists—when we are all doing a great job.
What was your first job? Morning newspaper delivery boy for the Daily Colonist.
What is one job you could never do? Wedding Coordinator.
What has been my best life lesson? My first restaurant job was when I was in high school and more or less thought I managed it. I felt I was indispensable, so imagine my shock when in a fit of pique I quit—fully expecting the restaurant to close—I saw that business carried on as usual! Apparently not absolutely indispensable!
Where can we find you on the weekend? Happily doing my crosswords.
What is your favourite event or festival in Greater Victoria? Symphony Splash.
Where do you like to eat in Greater Victoria? Over the last several years the quality of food options—be it charcuterie shops, bakeries, restaurants, niche eateries and bars—has improved so much it's hard to pick just one!
Brian Henry, Ocean River Sports and Adventures
Name: Brian Henry
Organization: Ocean River Sports and Adventures
Number of Employees: 30-50 (seasonally changes)
Member since: 2010
Ocean River is a premier specialty kayak store in Victoria with over 30 years in business. Ocean River includes an outstanding retail store, kayaking school, tours, rentals and a boat storage facility all right on the Gorge Waterway.
What’s your favourite thing about your job? I love changing people’s lives by helping get them outdoors and be active. It’s so rewarding to listen to a person and help them find what they want and also direct them to find what they need.
What is the best perk of your job? Meeting amazing people who keep inspiring me to continue to get out there myself.
What is the best part about doing business in Greater Victoria? The community. The supportive and collaborative business community in Victoria is a great group to be a part of. There are so many wonderful and inspiring local businesses and it is our honour to be a part of such a supportive group.
What’s your favourite thing about your job or company? The staff and the customers. My staff is the biggest asset to me because without them the store and the adventure centre would not be as successful as it is.
How is your business environmentally sustainable? We work hard to be environmentally friendly. We no longer carry bags or any bottled water and are looking into going as paperless as possible. Our biggest environmentally friendly initiative, however, is in educating youth and the paddling community. By getting people out on the water we can grow a community of advocates towards the preservation of the wonderful area we call home.
What was your first job? I worked for my father’s trucking company.
Favourite place on Vancouver Island? Kyuquot Sound.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received? “If you ask a question listen to the answer”.
Where can we find you on the weekend? On Saturna Island. I love paddling and exploring the area and right now I am building a house there.
What’s your favourite event or festival in Greater Victoria? The wooden boat festival—I just love old boats, actually I love all boats and anything that floats really.
What’s your favourite mode of transportation to get around town? My Nissan Leaf, it is electric.