Mayor & Council Biographies

Meet your Mayor & Council

Tom Zelenik, Mayor

Headshot of Mayor Tom Zelenik. There is a man with a collared shirt, tie and jacket smiling.

Acclaimed Mayor 2022
Elected Mayor 2018
Acclaimed Councillor 2014
First elected to Council 2011

Committee Activities include:

  • Alternate Director Regional District Central Kootenay (RDCK)
  • Director RDCK Joint Resource Recovery Committee
  • Director RDCK West Resource Recovery Committee
  • Rural Affairs Committee (RAC) Meetings
  • CBT Community Initiatives & Affected Areas Program Committee
  • Alternate village council representative of NACFOR
  • Board member of the Nakusp & Area Youth Society
  • Alternate Village Council Representative to the Nakusp Senior Association BR71:
  • Alternate Village Council Representative West Boundary Regional Health District
  • Alternate Village Council Representative Nakusp & Area Development Board

Presently, Tom volunteers with the Nakusp Volunteer Fire Department, Road Rescue, and Search & Rescue and President of the Society for Nakusp Community Events. Previously a volunteer with minor hockey, baseball, and soccer, serving in various capacities such as coach, referee, and board member while raising his four children in these sports, along with many other activities.

Tom was born and raised in Nakusp on a small farm where he, his wife, and family still reside.  He has been operating as a business owner/supervisor since 1992 in the private sector, along with 50 years of experience in forestry, sawmilling, farming, construction, and consulting.

His focus is to bring new ideas to the community and find effective ways to create a more economically resilient community. One way is to focus on our assets and strengths, emphasizing what the community does have that will continually improve our community’s life and sustainability.

Aidan McLaren-Caux - Councillor

Headshot of Councillor Aidan McLaren-Caux. There is a man smiling wearing a plaid shit and a grey jacket.

Aidan has lived in Nakusp since 2010, after having grown up mainly in Ontario and having lived in several provinces throughout his youth.  An avid outdoorsman, he enjoys hiking, paddling, backcountry camping, hunting, downhill and cross-country skiing, and traveling throughout the province and country. There have been a few different chapters in Aidan’s professional career, including 15 years in hospitality management with a designation as a certified sommelier with distinction, owning a small fine woodworking business, licensed property management, and economic development and consulting work with local non-profits.

He is raising his twin daughters in Nakusp, currently in the fifth grade, and could not think of a better place to do it.  Aidan has been active in several aspects of village life during his time in Nakusp, including chairing the Nakusp Child Care Society for three years, chairing the Nakusp and Area Community Trails Society, being a director for both the Nakusp and Area Development Board and the Nakusp and District Chamber of Commerce; five years on the Parent Advisory Council for the Nakusp Elementary School; four years as secretary on the board of directors for the Nakusp and Area Community Forest as well as liaison to village council and three years chairing the board meetings and several committees; two years as the chair of the Investment Ready Nakusp Committee; a director on the board of the Summit Lake Ski & Snowboard Area; the founding president of the West Kootenay Boundary Community Investment Co-op; and, the president of and a certified coach for the Summit Lake Racers Nancy Greene ski program. 

In his free time, Aidan enjoys running with his dog, Thuya, a rescue German Shepherd/Husky cross, tending to his brood of urban chickens, building furniture and carving canoe paddles, learning other languages (French, Spanish, German, and Portuguese so far), practicing and performing guitar and vocals, and spending quality time with his family and friends.
Politics and governance have always been a passion of his, growing up around and even working on Parliament Hill in Ottawa as a young man.  This is Aidan’s second term on Nakusp Village Council, and he is excited about the opportunities that lay ahead for this community and how he can continue to positively impact the lives of the residents of Nakusp.

Mason Hough – Councillor

I, Mason Hough (pronounced, Huff) was elected to office for my first term as Councilor in November 2022.

In 2017, I moved to Nakusp along with my wife, Lacey, three school-age children, and mother and father-in-law.  Throughout the years, I’ve spent a great deal of time in Nakusp, connected by family with deep roots in the Village.  I have an extensive civil construction background, starting with being a heavy equipment operator, then owner/operator, and eventually owning my own excavating company. After working for over a decade in the oil & gas sector, I sought work closer to home and currently work as the Operations Manager for an indigenous-owned resource management company.

In the winter, we spend a lot of time at the ski hill, of which I head the Projects Committee for the Nakusp Ski Club Board.  If we’re not on the hill, you can find us on our homemade ice rink or ice fishing on Summit Lake. In summer, you can find us on the beach, on the diamond, on the soccer pitch, on the golf course, or building dirt bike jumps in the yard.  We also enjoy camping and fishing and hope to discover much more of the Kootenay outdoors for years to come.

My hope is that my contributions on council will ensure our community continues to thrive and our families are supported in the best possible way.

Dolly [Dawn] Edwards – Councillor

Headshot of Councillor Dolly (Dawn) Edwards. There is a woman with grey hair and glasses smiling.

My name is Dawn Edwards, but most people call me Dolly.  I was elected as a Nakusp Village Councillor for my first term of office in November 2022.  Originally hailing from a small town in Alberta, my husband Dale and I fell in love with Nakusp the very first time we visited and spent a few years looking for a home here.  We literally had NO plans to ever move until Nakusp got its hooks into us.  We bought in November 2018 and moved here full-time in October 2020.  I have been a self-employed bookkeeper since about 2004 and I was lucky enough to be able to move my business here, and now I have a great office on Broadway.

 I’m blessed that my youngest son, daughter in law and 2 of my grandsons live here as well, so we get to see them all the time.  We are very involved in the kids sports, spending lots of time at soccer and hockey.  I’m grateful for the wonderful coaches and volunteers we have in this community.  I have joined the Chamber of Commerce as a Director and am also the Treasurer for Arrow Lakes Search & Rescue.

Some of my goals for my term on council are to preserve the special nature of this extraordinary little Village we call home and to contribute towards Nakusp being a place where families not only want to raise their kids but a place where our kids have the opportunity to stay and live should they so choose.  I have met a lot of wonderful people since I moved here and am blessed to call many of them friends, and I look forward to meeting many more.

Tina Knooihuizen – Councillor

Headshot of Councillor TIna Knooihuizen. There is a woman smiling with black hair wearing a black and white dress.

Tina Knooihuizen (Ken – OY – Zen) was elected to office in November of 2022; this is my first term as Councilor. I, along with my husband Terry and two of our four children, moved to Nakusp in November 2021. Our two adult children remain in Lake Country, where we previously resided.  I have a long history in volunteerism for community-based and non-profit organizations. In the short time I have resided in Nakusp, I have taken an active role in the Village as President of the Nakusp and District Chamber of Commerce and presently also volunteer on the Nakusp and Area Development Board and the Society for Nakusp Community Events.

Outside the Village office, I am a professional artist and photographer and have career experience in interior design, event planning, and teaching fine art education to students of all ages and ability levels.