Our Family & Team
The Peninsula’s staff is just one of the many reasons why the Peninsula is Vancouver Island’s premier retirement community. Our warm, well-trained staff are available 24 hours a day to assist with whatever is necessary to make your retirement experience as carefree and enjoyable as possible.
The Peninsula Retirement Community is family owned, family run and to the many staff who work there, it feels like family! Many of our staff have been with us for years, some from the day we opened!
Denise Tidman, Executive Director
Denise Tidman carries on her family’s tradition of excellence as our Executive Director. Born and raised on the Peninsula, Denise started out in real estate but when Norgarden opened 18 years ago, she came home to the family business. She started in the marketing department at Norgarden and at the same time went to back to school and obtained a Diploma in Health Care Administration. After a year, Denise became the Executive Director of Norgarden Estates and oversees all aspects of our two buildings. Denise brings a special quality to her leadership, and in doing so has created a community of inclusion and openheartedness for both staff and residents that separates our communities from any other.
Denise spent 6 years on the board of BC Senior Living Association which developed the Seal of Approval standards which governs self-selecting retirement communities across BC.
In her early 20’s she rode professionally with a Sales and Training Barn and it is still a passion of hers, but now she does it for pure enjoyment. Denise is married to an amazing husband and has a wonderful daughter. They live on the Saanich Peninsula on a hobby farm.
Leslie Whittaker, Assistant Manager
Leslie has had a number of very interesting positions before she came to Norgarden Estates. The “youngest” member of the team, she has been with Norgarden Estates for about 2 years.
Working at Norgarden Estates was like coming home for Leslie. “The culture here is so different than any other place I have worked, it is quite simply amazing.” Leslie loves coming to work each day, interacting with both our Residents and our team. Leslie brings a wonderful depth of knowledge having owned her own nurse care business that helped many of our residents over the years. This enables her to understand the emotional and physical needs of our residents and ensure that these needs are met on a daily basis.
Miriam Gaunt, Food and Beverage Manager
My passion for food, wine and customer service are what drew me to my career in Food Services, when, as a university student over 30 years ago, I worked summer sessions for CP Hotels at Jasper Park Lodge in Alberta and The Algonquin Hotel in New Brunswick. Since then I have gained experience in almost every aspect of Food and Beverage Management in local properties such as the Laurel Point Inn, Millos, Chef Roger’s and The Princess Mary Restaurant.
It was my desire to work with seniors that drew me to Norgarden Estates and The Peninsula, where I have had the privilege of serving as the Food and Beverage manager for the past 10 years. How the time has flown! 41 It is a joy to work with a wonderful team of enthusiastic and kind hearted individuals to provide top quality food and service to our residents in such a beautiful setting. There is a special warmth in our communities here that I look forward to coming into and contributing to each and every day!
Kathleen Harapnuk, Activities Coordinator
12 years ago when Kathleen’s own father was in a retirement community, she marveled at all the activities available to him and thought that being an Activities Coordinator would be very rewarding. She knew Denise Tidman and one day when she was talking to Denise she mentioned that very thing. As it happens the Tidman’s had just opened The Peninsula and the current Activities Coordinator was about to retire. Kathleen was hired and quickly grew into the job, learning so much about what our residents need and want.
Kathleen has quite an artistic flair and loves creating not only new activities, but using her artistic talents to decorate (Christmas is a winter wonder land at The Peninsula for example) and design all manner of things. She loves coming to work each day and thinks of it as having 139 grandparents. She loves to make their dreams of an activity they would like to do come true.
Kathleen has been married 30 years and has two amazing kids, one who used to work for us and one who has been with us for 3 years now.
Shawn Heywood, Executive Chef
Shawn stated his culinary career in 1992 and received his Red Seal Endorsement in 1999. His partner at the time worked in the kitchen at Peninsula and often told him what a great place it was to work. Shawn quit his job and came to The Peninsula in 2002 and is now Head Chef. He loves coming to work each day When asked “What keeps me here?” “Working with fresh ingredients, creating all our meals from scratch, working for a reliable and well respected family (the Tidman’s) and keeping residents happy with the quality of our food”.
Shawn has an adorable son who keeps him busy when he isn’t fishing, swimming, playing a variety of sports or working on classic muscle cars.
Wilf Krahé, Maintenance Manager
Wilf was born in Cologne Germany where he worked in many professions, and ultimately became an architect. In 1988 Wilf married the love of his life, who gave birth to two lovely children. In 1996 The family emigrated to Canada. One year later Norgarden was opened and in December of 1997 Wilf was hired as the Maintenance worker and later promoted to Maintenance Manager. He is responsible for running both The Peninsula and Norgarden buildings (and his architectural skills were put to good use during the construction of The Peninsula), and attending to requests made by residents. Wilf is our longest serving staff member and an integral part of our culture of quality and service. He enjoys spending time with his family, and loves being in nature, whether it is hiking, kayaking or just exploring Victoria and the Island. For Wilf, this is the best place to live!
Patty Martin, Housekeeping Manager
Patty has been with Norgarden Estates for over 12 years. She started with us at Norgarden, and had been working in both buildings since the day The Peninsula opened. Patty was looking for a change and applied for many jobs (and had offers from all of them!) but knew Norgarden was the place she was meant to work. Patty has extremely high standards and is responsible for the above average cleanliness of our buildings and our resident’s suites.
Patty has lived in Sidney for 30 years “I feel grateful to live and work in my community, I love what we have to offer, the little things we do for our residents and how we always go the extra mile.” “I love the vibe and I enjoy sharing what I learn everyday”.
My personal quote that I love; “it’s a new day in paradise, always changing and evolving, for the best.”
Patty loves cooking, drawing, music, and photography, and has been adopted by two rescue cats.
Patsy Stoddart, Office Manager
Patsy spent 35 years running all aspects of several very busy dental offices as a Dental Coordinator/ Office Manager. She retired for a very short period of time before deciding she wanted to return to the workforce. She came to Norgarden Estates 7 years ago and brought her wealth of experience with her.
Patsy was a founding member of Island Singers. She spent 10 years with this troupe before she went on to becoming a founding member of Spot on Theatre. They produced full-on dinner theatre plays which were musical/comedies. To this day she frequently bursts into song and cracks us up with her wicked sense of humour. Patsy is the mother of 4 lovely children and the delighted grandmother to 5!
Patsy loves entertaining (especially good food paired with an equally good wine) and is known for her dinner parties of renown. To say Patsy is a very busy woman is an understatement and she brings that energy and enthusiasm to work each day!
Otis Henry Hayden
Otis, our resident dog is a 6 year old miniature schnauzer who loves to come to work with his “humom” Denise. He loves the attention he gets from both residents and staff, though does tend to get jealous when other dogs come for a visit! He is a laid back little guy who loves to be adored and showered with love and treats. He is a world champion snuggler and loves a good belly rub. Otis is an integral part of our culture and is part of our activities program as the “head dog” of our Doggy Visits program.
At The Peninsula, you can leave the details to us.
Working at Norgarden is like working with one big family.
We are very much taken care of as staff at Norgarden Estates. In turn, we are able to enjoy our time at work and give our all to the residents, which is the main reason we are here. To create the best living experience possible for the seniors.