Crystal Gem: Joel Chester

Mar 30, 2022 | Crystal Gem of the Month

Featured this month is Joel Chester.

Work Related

How long have you been with us at Sparkling Hill?
I have been with Sparkling Hill 2 years and three months

Why did you choose to work at Sparkling Hill Resort?
The chance to work at such an iconic resort. Even after two years I am still amazed every time I step in the building.

What past education, experiences or career paths have lead you to your current position?
I have been in the Restaurant industry for over 18 years, I have worked my way up in the industry and have really tried to learn as much as I can about it. Working at such restaurants as Joey Tomatoes, Earls, and now Sparkling Hill. I am still growing and learning new things everyday.

What has been the most memorable experience or opportunity you’ve had since working for a Health & Wellness Resort?
One of the most memorable experiences I have had here was taking part in the “Be the Best You Program.” A program I was invited to participate in and really changed my life for the healthier.

How are you continuing education or working toward professional goals?
I work closely with our F&B service team as we learn a lot from Guest feedback. I strive to work in sync with our culinary team to evolve together as the industry changes. I watch what our region is doing and how the trends shift and translate to fine dining.

Life in General

Tell us about your background. Where are you originally from?
I was born in Merritt and lived there until I was 12 years old. My father who is in the RCMP was transferred to Alert bay so we were stationed up north, for two years. Then moved to Vernon finally where I finished school and really fell in love with the area. The lakes, the skiing, the amazing weather, Vernon was the place I really called home. Which is why after I left Vernon and moved to Calgary, and Fort McMurray, I really found myself wanting to come back to the community I called home.

What are you passionate about? What motivates you?
One thing I am very passionate about is my family. Growing up, I have always been extremely close to my siblings and parents. My parents and my siblings have taught me so much, and they have given me the best life. One day I hope to emulate the way my family raised me while I raise a family of my own.

What do you enjoy doing most during your free time? What are you favorite hobbies?
My favorite hobbies are, riding my motorcycle, shooting pistols and rifles at the gun range, swimming and skiing. I would have to say the one I enjoy the most is driving my motorcycle both on the race track and on the street on my free time.

What do you think is the best thing about living in the Okanagan?
The best thing about living in the Okanagan is many things, I can’t narrow it down to one. With the beautiful lakes and mountains, the amazing weather, and all the outdoor things to do. The Okanagan is literally a paradise, I truly feel lucky to live here.

What is your favorite food?
Homemade lasagna

Where in the world have you travelled to? What took you there?
I have been vacationing to a lot of different destinations in the United States, Mexico, Cuba, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and all through Canada. Recently I went on an amazing trip driving exotic cars through Germany, Switzerland, and Italy, and back. Unbelievable cars, amazing friends, and beautiful countries really made that a memorable trip.

Which destination would you most like to visit and why?
I really want to travel to New Zealand, for the sheer beauty and culture.

If you could have any superpower what would it be?
Reading people’s minds

Who has been your hero? Someone that you look up to in life?
My father has been my hero in my life. Being a Police officer in the RCMP, I have always looked up to the man he was and aspired to be like him.

How do you incorporate Health and Wellness into your life?
I try to make time for myself to enjoy the blessings of life. I practice healthy eating and activity with the knowledge I gained through our weeklong wellness retreat and I love to laugh. Putting smiles on people’s faces can sometimes be exactly what we need most.