Up Close With Kisar Dhillon

Current job: Ecstatic co-founder of the new start-up, Burntown Fitness in east Vancouver.

Proudest professional moment: When my second business that I started here in the PNW, The Art of Personal Training in Portland, Ore., reached the five-year mark. I still own that business

First job: My first job was working at Sea World in San Diego. I was 15 and couldn’t even drive to work, but it was a job. I was the ticket taker for people coming into the park: I tore their ticket, stamped their hands and took away all their fun booze they tried to sneak in. I don’t think they liked a 15-year old kid taking away their tasty beverages, but it was part of the job. What was even funnier, my co-workers took all that booze home!

Fun fact: When I was 25 my buddies and I decided to start a salsa company based on how awesome tasting my friend’s salsa was one day. Less than a year later we were in 100 stores with no business experience, just that we loved eating our own product. It was called Zia Caliente Salsa and our company was called Southwest Salsa Factory. Such a cool name! What was even cooler was that we were living in El Paso, Texas, at the time. El Paso and Salsa, what a great combo. But, as the typical saying goes, you don’t know what you have until its gone, but it was the best business schooling I could have ever received.

Favorite spot on a Saturday night: One of my favorite spots on a Saturday night is having dinner with my wife at Frontier Public House right here in Vancouver.

Favorite Movie: I have three favorite movies: Coming to America, Tombstone and Young Guns. Yes, I am sucker for Western movies, but I don’t think I would look great in a cowboy hat and boots.

Music of choice: I love all of the hair metal bands from the 1980s (who knew). Probably because my hair was not as cool as theirs and they played awesome guitars.

Favorite place to eat: In Vancouver, Frontier Public House; in Camas, Nuestra Mesa; and in Portland, Ore., Renata.

Motto/Inspirational quote: My father told me this when I was younger: “What is most important in life is that you are a good citizen and have integrity.”



Joanna Yorke is the managing editor of the Vancouver Business Journal. She has worked in the journalism field since 2010 after graduating from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University in Pullman. Yorke worked at The Reflector Newspaper in Battle Ground for six years and then worked at and helped start ClarkCountyToday.com.