About Mel


Born Oliver, B.C.

Married with five children

Resident of Area P, TNRD



Bachelor of Arts in Journalism



Editor, reporter at newspapers in Prince George, Vernon, Kelowna and Kamloops

Journalism Instructor, TRU

Mayor of Kamloops/ Director, Thompson Nicola Regional District

Retired (publishes The Armchair Mayor News website)


Previous community involvement

Chair of Kamloops School Board, Cariboo College Board of Directors, Kamloops Art Gallery Board, International Wildlife Protection Association (President), Technology Kamloops (Chair);

Kamloops Heritage Commission, Thompson Nicola Film Commission (Chair), Kamloops Air Services Task Force, Kamloops Airport Society, Venture Kamloops, established Graffiti Task Force, established Task Force on the Sex Trade on prostitution, established and first chair of Kamloops-Tangalle Committee, traveled to Tangalle at own expense to sign friendship protocol;

Initiated McDonald Park Community Project, initiated, co-authored, negotiated and signed business agreement between Kamloops and Changping, China, led successful strategy to gain voter approval of $36.7-million sports-facility referendum, initiated City purchase and restoration of Old Cigar Factory heritage building;

Initiated successful campaign to create statue memorial to community efforts during 2003 wildfires, Director Kamloops Chamber of Commerce (member Policy Committee, Chair Pacific Gateway Task Force — International, member Business Awards Task Force, Business Issues Committee), Member, Advisory Committee for SHOP (Social and Health Opportunities for People in the Sex Trade) program


Other community activities, examples

  • Moderator, World Conference on Religions, Thompson Rivers University, (February 2007)
  • Moderator, Mayors Forum on the Arts, Kamloops Art Gallery (February 2007)
  • Moderator, CanSpell Regional Spelling Bee, TRU, March (2007-2012)
  • Co-chair, community Symposium On the Pine-beetle Epidemic (May 2007)
  • Moderator, Community Forum on the Sex Trade (October 2007)
  • Guest host, Jim Harrison Show, Radio NL (June 2008)
  • Guest commentator, CFJC-TV Election Night (Oct. 14, 2008)
  • Guest commentator, CHNL Civic Election Night (Nov. 15, 2008)
  • Moderator, Let’s Talk About Addictions Conference (Nov. 20, 2008)
  • speaker and panelist, Social Justice Conference (Feb. 27, 2009)
  • moderator, seniors’ symposium, Breaking Down the Barriers (March 16, 2009)
  • initiated, organized and hosted (via Kamloops Chamber of Commerce), public forum on Single Transferable Vote, 2010
  • initiated and organized public forum on plan for cogeneration plant, 2010
  • speaker, Kamloops Homelessness Action Plan conference, 2011
  • guest speaker, Kamloops Downtown Rotary Club, 2012
  • guest speaker, Probus Club of Kamloops, 2012
  • judge, Jack Webster Awards, 2013
  • host, Canadian Home Builders Assoc. (Central Interior) Keystone Awards Gala, 2012, 2013, 2014


Professional activities, examples

Retired daily newspaper editor; wrote thrice weekly Armchair Mayor newspaper column on civic politics and community issues; Mel Rothenburger Live, CFJC radio; did weekly commentary, ShawTV-10; chaired regional CanSpell spelling bee; member Glacier Editorial Excellence Committee; panel member, FOI conference, Vancouver; weekly CBC features Josh and the Armchair Mayor, Coffee with the Armchair Mayor and Armchair Mayor Reports, 2012-2014.


Awards, examples

Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, B.C. Heritage Award (for Old Cigar Factory restoration) Kamloops Heritage Commission Award (Old Cigar Factory, Rotary International Paul Harris Fellowship, B.C. Yukon Community Newspapers Association Eric Dunning Integrity Award, Jack Webster Foundation Bruce Hutchison Lifetime Achievement Award, Glacier Media President’s Award for Editorial Employee of the Year, Kamloops Chamber of Commerce President’s Award.



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