Inga Ten Broeck – Office Manager
Author, Host, Producer and former World Champion Whitewater Kayaker, Ken Whiting is the founder and President of Heliconia.
Having spent a large portion of his life traveling the world, pursuing adventure and his dreams, there’s nothing Ken enjoys more than inspiring others to do the same. After producing his first video 23 years ago, Ken discovered it was the ideal medium for doing this, and he’s never looked back.
Ken launched Heliconia in the small, outdoors community of Beachburg, Ontario, where he could work and play to his hearts content. 22 years later, Heliconia still grows strong in Beachburg, along with Ken’s wife Nicole and their 8-year old daughter Chelsea.
Brendan MarkPartner/Sales & Marketing Director
Former World Champion Squirt Boater, Brendan Mark is both a Partner and Director of Sales and Marketing.
After a long history as a professional whitewater kayaker, Kelsey Thompson, turned his attention elsewhere. Years of pursuing outdoor experiences while searching for uniqueness in some of nature’s most remote locations lead to a passion for Adventure Filmmaking.
Kelsey has worked on projects for National Geographic, NBC Sports, NBC’s Universal Sports, and Outside Television. He has produced and directed his own web series, completed several feature length documentaries, and is constantly working on short films. He hopes to continue producing films that encourage people to enjoy the outdoors and make environmentally conscious decisions. Kelsey is also principal videographer to North America’s only paddlesport TV series–Facing Waves.
Amy LuscombeProduction Manager
Inspired by her coworkers’ biographies to come across as funny, positive and perfectly suited to her job, Amy is just that.
Stefanie Manton-WardSales and Partnership Manager
Stefanie joined the Heliconia team in March 2015. After over a decade successfully working in the print media industry, life presented her the opportunity to try her luck at something new, inspiring the transition into the world of television and digital.
Self admittedly being Heliconia’s ‘least athletic employee’, she has no prior experience in paddle sports of any shape or form, however holds a true passion for boating and the outdoors. Having grown up on the beautiful waters of Georgian Bay, Ontario, her love for exploring quaint and hidden places on the bay has transitioned nicely in her role when seeking out destinations to feature in Heliconia’s adventure travel series.
On a professional level, Stefanie’s greatest accomplishment to date is becoming the benchmark employee for her division in one of Canada’s largest print and digital companies. She holds a passion for partnerships and strongly believes that you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. She is a true, positive optimist through and through.
If you’re a tourism board or destination representative interested in working with Heliconia, Stefanie is your go-to!
Sierra StinsonSocial Media Manager
Sierra is the youngest member of the Heliconia team and therefore a perfect fit as our Social Media Manager, as she is ‘down with the hip lingo’.
Sierra’s love for all things outdoors led her to Lakehead University’s Outdoor Recreation program, before going on to pursue various positions in the outdoor industry, first at a rafting company on the Ottawa River, where she learned to guide rafts, playboat and live in a van down by the river. Her passion for living and playing in the Ottawa Valley in order to paddle has led to writing freelance for Rapid Magazine, schlepping kayaks for an outfitter and even brewing beer at the nearby Whitewater Brewing Company before landing at Heliconia.
Keith DoucetteVideo Editor
Keith studied Television Broadcasting and Digital Cinematography at Canadore College.
He served as producer on “The Modern Housewife’s Guide to Murder”, First Assistant Director on “O’Getche Tahk” and directed the short documentary, “Latititude”
Other credits include the feature film “Algonquin”, and television shows “Amazing Race Canada” and “Rich Bride, Poor Bride.”
Keith likes following cats on Instagram and eating pizza.
After attaining his Bachelors degree in film at Brock University, Alex Heaslip graduated Humber College’s Film and Television program in 2007. At Humber College he was the program’s nominee for the prestigious Ontario Premiere’s Award for excellence as well as the winner of the Toronto International Film Festival’s student showcase for writing, directing, and editing his short film The Bumblebee Man.
Since then, Alex has gained 10 plus years of experience working professionally as a producer, videographer, and editor for a wide range of clients including Canadian Tire, Sport Chek, Microsoft, Tim Horton’s, IBM, Eli Lilly, Under Armour, Ontario’s Ministry of Education, World Nomads, and Bruce Power among many others.
His work has taken him across Canada, the US, and Australia. From the board rooms of many leaders of industry, to interviews with Astronaut Chris Hadfield, to plummeting from 12,000 feet from an airplane (and even filming inside the vault of a Nuclear Reactor!) Alex has contributed to a wide range of productions for both television and the web.
But, his passion for the outdoors and the opportunity to tell the stories of extraordinary wilderness adventures is why he joined Heliconia’s exciting and innovative production team.
Sam graduated from Humber College’s Film & TV Production program in 2007, admittedly having learned nothing about television. Over the next ten years, he honed his storytelling craft working as an award-winning video producer/editor for many of the Greater Toronto Area’s top companies. Formerly an adventure travel video producer, Sam then spent a number of years working in corporate and web video before circling back to where his career began—television.
A self professed “jack-of-all-trades”, Sam takes pride in every aspect of content creation from concept to delivery. He is often found in the editing suite with a bucket of coffee and a selection of deli meats from a nearby bakery. Generally, these things do not work well together.
Lauren McIllfaterickCommunications Manager
Lauren McIllfaterick, Heliconia’s Communications Manager and newest employee, joined the team in February 2019.
A natural born communicator with a passion for words and keen eye for detail, Lauren was Communications Coordinator for the Ottawa Valley Tourist Association before joining Heliconia. As such she brings with her over 10 years of experience in the tourism industry where she fostered partnerships with hundreds of tourism businesses and organizations. Prior to that, Lauren honed her communications skills at the University of British Columbia where she was a contributor to the UBC undergraduate journal of Canadian Studies.
Lauren grew up in Ottawa, Ontario and spent many-a-summers camping and paddling throughout the province. She currently lives in Beachburg, Ontario with her partner, their two young children and their not-so-young goldendoodle. She couldn’t be happier about having joined the Heliconia team.