Recognizing our community champions


Recognizing our community champions

Last month, Tolko celebrated Ross Stafford and Candy Pariseau as the two winners of our 2023 Community Citizen Award. This week, we wanted to shine a spotlight and celebrate four more community champions who are doing Tolko proud by giving back to communities where we live and work.

Dezarae McNeil, Divisional Accountant at High Level
Dezarae is on the board of directors for both the Northern Lights Regional Humane Society (as Vice President) and the High Level Soccer Association. Along with fundraising activities for these organizations, she also fosters animals in her home for the Humane Society, volunteers as a peer support weekly zoom co-host for a young widow(er) group, coaches youth soccer and volunteers to decorate smile cookies for Tim Hortons. Dezarae often helps with school fundraisers and can be seen lending a hand at Tolko-sponsored events like the Indigenous Day barbecue.

Michelle Bouwmeester, Maintenance Supervisor at High Level
Michelle has been a Scout leader for several years and has helped out the volunteer fire department during their annual Fire Department Ball by offering to watch the fire fighters’ children for the evening. She has also helped out her fellow Tolko employees by watching several homes (and dogs) while their owners were on vacation. Michelle volunteers at work for events like Tolko pancake day and even helped prepare a Thanksgiving dinner this year for the weekend crew.

Brett VanderHoek, Director, People & Services at Vernon Office
Brett’s community volunteering experience has included a great deal of work with the BC SPCA as well as fundraising for Easter Seals, Canadian Blood Services, Run for the Cure and the Okanagan Boys and Girls Club. Brett has volunteered for Starfish Pack and Habitat for Humanity, and he created a bursary with his family last year to send seven kids to summer camp. As a mentor and advisor, he has served as a Director on the Okanagan College Program Advisory Committee, a Board member on the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce and a North Okanagan Advisory Committee member with the Chartered Professionals in Human Resources of British Columbia and Yukon.

Dana Mattson, Woodlands Assistant at Southern Interior Woodlands
Dana is a member of the Southern Interior Woodlands branding committee, and she has helped to steer the charitable contribution of the division to those most in need in the local community. Dana is also an outstanding member of the social club committee and has not only helped with fundraising but taken key leadership roles in social events. Through Dana’s actions, Woodlands has funded educational programming at Kingfisher Interpretive Center, provided Christmas hampers to two local families and provided social club events such as company barbecues, luncheons and monthly birthday celebrations.