Meet the Board: Alison Vandervelde, Community Development Officer, Frontenac County

Those who live in Frontenac County may be familiar with the name Alison Vandervelde – Alison is the Community Development Officer for Frontenac, so obviously tourism and the community is a passion for her.

Alison has served on the OHTO board of directors since 2020 and explained that in her role with the county, and in the municipal world in general, economic development and tourism were becoming more and more intertwined, so her position on the board made sense.

“I wanted to get involved for a couple of reasons, but the biggest one was the professional development side of it. It’s important for me to understand tourism trends and programs for our operators,” said Alison, adding “I knew I was going to learn a whole lot.”

For Alison, tourism is something she’s passionate about, beyond even her role with the county. In Frontenac, she explained that because of her workload tourism can end up being something that’s done on the side, but that the connection between economic development and tourism is becoming more and more clear to people.

Much of her work involves working directly with small tourism business owners, a group she calls “passionate people who really love this region….they are amazing ambassadors.”

A big push for Alison to join the board may have been the professional development aspect, but she was also surprised by how much she enjoyed it on a personal level. Working with a governance board is new to Alison, and learning how a governance board works has been an eye-opener and added to her understanding of that type of board management.

Being able to connect with other board members and join the conversation at the board table has been a positive.

“Being able to integrate the knowledge I’ve gained from the board level into my day-to-day work has been incredibly helpful,” said Alison.

Her advice for anyone sitting on the fence about whether or not to join the board is plain and simple; to reach out and ask questions about the time commitment and what’s involved and then, in the end, her recommendation is to “Just do it!”

Interested in being on OHTO’s Board of Directors?

Share your vision for the future! OHTO’s Board of Directors is looking for energetic, positive and collaborative strategic thinkers to contribute to the growth of tourism in the region by volunteering to serve as a Director of the Board. Opportunities to fill vacancies are available to our members and interested individuals able to commit to a three-year term are encouraged to click here for more information, or contact OHTO.

Submit your online application here.

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