To say Kerri Milton is a busy person would be an understatement, but it is a reality she handles with skill and aplomb.
Milton, executive director of the Downtown Penticton Association is this week’s nominee to the Top 40 under 40 club organized by the Penticton & Wine Country Chamber of Commerce.
“I was surprised, it’s so flattering,” said Milton of the recognition.
“I feel honoured that someone thought to nominate me.”
As executive director of the DPA since November 2012, Milton has had a busy year managing several projects.
Looking back, Milton points to the acceptance of the Downtown Revitalization Project as her most significant accomplishment so far, a task she inherited and one which occupied much of her time up to last August when the plan was accepted.
“It was a big process,” said Milton of the $1-million project.
“The city covers 75 per cent and the landowners cover 25 per cent.”
Milton also points to the recent win in the Benjamin Moore Main Street Matters program, where, based on votes, Penticton was selected as one of the winning communities. As a winner, a portion of downtown Penticton receives a makeover and Benjamin Moore provides the paint and other supplies to beautify building exteriors.
The new paint job is expected to be completed next spring.
Tyrion Miskell, a DPA board member, said she is impressed with what Milton has accomplished so far, as well as with where she wants to bring Penticton.
“I can’t say enough about Kerri,” Miskell said.
“I think she’s done a terrific job, she’s pretty fearless.”
Prior to stepping into the executive director position, Milton was a general manager with Landmark Cinemas of Canada.
Milton’s foray into the cinema business began in Saskatchewan in 2001, when she began as an assistant manager at a local theatre.
This Milton admitted, was what she considers her big break.
“I really enjoyed it and I learned a lot,” said Milton.
“It’s a unique industry, so the business side is different from anything else.”
After three years, Milton, born and raised in Victoria, headed back to B.C. where she took a position as general manager with Landmark Cinemas of Canada which saw her manage the Penmar Cinema Centre while overseeing the construction of the new Landmark 7 cinema complex in Penticton.
During that time, Milton earned an award from the National Association of Theatre Owners for top in-theatre marketing, which recognized her promotion of the movie Gunless at the Penmar which included a re-enactment of an old-west style bank heist and shootout.
Working in the movie theatre industry, said Milton, honed her skills to adapt to change.
“Everything changes very quickly,” said Milton.
“That translates very well into this job (DPA executive director) because there are never two days that are the same.”
Given the varied and quick pace of her job, Milton said being easy-going is an asset that allows her to roll with the punches.
“I’m pretty easy-going, so I can roll with whatever comes down the pipeline,” she said with a laugh.
“I’m a multi-tasker, which I think is super important to be able to maintain several projects that are all going simultaneously.”
Miskell agreed, and described Milton as having a well-rounded skill set, and a particularly helpful knack.
“She’s good at finding people for the task that needs to be done,” Miskell said.
Despite her full plate, Milton also spends time volunteering with several community organizations, such as the South Okanagan Montessori School Society, Irish Dance Society, Autism Society and Penticton and Area Cooperative Enterprises, to name just a few.
”I think it’s really important to give back. I think I’m really lucky. I’ve been given a lot of opportunities and I appreciate them,” she said.
“I think it’s really important to set an example for my kids as to what we can do.
“I like the idea of community and being part of something that is bigger.
“I think it’s important we all do it.”
An entrepreneur at heart, Milton also owns and publishes Okanagan Child.
“This is a hobby, on the side, the editing, the creating and the publishing of the magazine,” she said.
“Be open to anything because you never know when a really good business idea is going to be there.
Although working as executive director of the DPA, together with her volunteer work and running a magazine and tending to her brood of four children aged eight to 15, can often pull Milton in a multitude of different directions, there is one thing that keeps a smile on her face.
“I really enjoy working with people.
“Everyone has an interesting story and has a different take on life.
“I really like that part.
“You have to be open to hearing everything.”
“I love living here, it’s pretty great,” she said.
Penticton Top 40 under 40 is presented by Prospera Credit Union in partnership with the Penticton & Wine Country Chamber of Commerce and JCI Penticton, with support from Canadian Youth Business Foundation BC-Yukon”
Nominations should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line ‘Top 40 Nomination.’ Please include nominee’s contact info and a brief reason for nomination.