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.
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.
Teresa Ainey, Housekeeping Manager
Teresa Ainey Joined Norgarden Estates in 2008 and became our Housekeeping Manager in 2019
She is responsible for maintaining both the residents' suites and common areas of the building and does so with a sharp eye for detail and very high standards.
Candace Dodds, Food and Beverage Manager
Candaces’ journey in the food and beverage industry began before she left high school. She has a passion for culinary excellence which runs deep in her soul. She loves to “romance the food”; to make the entire experience of both the ambiance and the presentation exquisite. Candace comes to us most recently from the BC Legislature Dining Room. Before that she was the food and beverage manager at Executive House Hotel, Oak Bay’s Recreation Sport’s View Café and the Arbutus Ridge Golf and Country Club. In each Dining room, Candace has injected new life and character.
Linda Duivenvoorden, Accounts Manager
Linda grew up on a dairy farm in eastern Canada and moved to Alberta to pursue a career in business. After a decade of moving and building her career, she settled on an acreage in Alberta where she and her husband raised 3 children. Country life included all sorts of pets, large and small. Caring for animals seemed to be genetic and provided a wonderful life experience for her children.
Over the following years, Linda found her niche in business management and has worked for small to medium sized businesses. Her focus and passion were on improving the accuracy and the efficiencies of process and accounting.
Since moving to Vancouver Island in 2012, Linda continued to work for small owner operated businesses. She has now found her home at Norgarden, where she hopes to add value to the organization through the utilization of her business skills.
Linda enjoys living in beautiful ‘Sidney by the Sea’. Her desire for a balanced and healthy lifestyle remains her focus and she enjoys hiking and kayaking with her husband and their dog.
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!
Otis Henry Hayden, Champion Snuggler
Otis, our resident dog is a 8 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.
I came for the interview and I stayed for the culture. This is a very unique working environment and I love coming to work each day.
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.