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It’s not about how “anything he can do, she can do better,”
nor is it a battle of the sexes. It’s asking the question and taking the time
to see what needs to change in order to enable more and more women to take the
leap and rise into these positions.
The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce Women Leadership Network is
taking on this challenge with help of a research student at Okanagan
College. We are looking to develop that
helping hand and encouraging peer mentoring.
One of our initiatives, the Inspire Series, will be a
catalyst to foster this nurturing environment. Throughout the year we will be
hosting a circuit of events bringing women in leadership together in small, intimate
groups. We’ll hear from women who have inspiring lessons to share, the events
that shaped their lives, what they learned about themselves and being a leader.
Casual exchanges vary as we get to know each other beyond
our job titles. Before and during dinner, new acquaintances strike
conversations that are as diverse and varied as the professional women
attending. After our speaker, there is
an opportunity to ask questions and talk about women in leadership, the
challenges we face, and the remarkable journeys taking place all around us.
Who are the women in leadership that you look up to? We’ve
all had mentors, or those who have provided the leg up. What was it they did
that furthered you along, what is it about their leadership style that allowed for
the culture of growth? Every journey has variables, but its collaboration and
peer mentoring that will bring us together.
So, I pose you the question: what do you feel needs to
Recently the Past Presidents of the Kelowna Chamber got together over a nice hot breakfast at Deli-City to discuss the current initiatives of the Chamber, past accomplishments and milestones, and discussed our goals for the future. They had some great insight and advice, and reminisced about the community as it was, while they were Presidents of the Chamber.
Read on to meet some of the Kelowna Chamber's Past Presidents, learn of the highlights of their terms as presidents, and realize the changes they advocated for. You will likely recognize many of the names, as these individuals are still influential in our community, proving their leadership is not one-dimensional and that their title was well earned:
Nick Frost- President in 1983. One
highlight from Nick’s time was the relocation of the Chamber from a little
office building on the other side of the bridge to where we are now. The
position of Vice President was also created during this time. Walter Gray was
his Past President.
David McLean- President in 2005. The
University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus was being launched during this
time and the Chamber put in a lot of work to help make that happen. David said
that Ken Bessason was his Past President and was a great mentor.
James Patterson- President in 2008
which was also the 100th anniversary of the Kelowna Chamber. A few
highlights from James’ year were the opening of the bridge, passport office and
the removal of the Coquihalla tolls. Laura Thurnheer was his Past President.
Laura Thurnheer- President in 2007.
A highlight from Laura’s year was the passing of the second crossing. Kevin
Crookes was her Past President
Ken Bessason- President in 2004. Ken
was on the board for the Chamber for 6 years and was also on the BC Chamber
board for a couple of years. He is now selling real estate. His Past President
was Ken Ficocelli.
Steve Thompson- President in 1997
and is a current MLA. Steve said the Chamber was a great training ground and that strong advocacy is critical. He is pleased to continue representing the
community. Lorne Ettinger was his Past President.
Wes Shields- President in 2010. Wes
was successful in taking issues that were unpopular with the Canadian Chamber
but were very beneficial for our community, to the AGM and having them passed.
Norm LeCavalier was his Past President.
Lawrence Salloum- President in 1973. One of Lawrence’s main influences
during his time was having the Chamber play a major role in the development of
Catherine Comben- President in 1996.
Focused on partnerships during her time. She has recently been elected into
UBCO Senate. John Merritt was her Past President.
Lorraine McGrath- President in 2001.
Lorraine was particularly proud of the wine resolution that was passed
unanimously at the Canadian Chamber Annual General Meeting during her year. Todd
Sanderson and David Rush were her Past President’s and they worked on a 3 year
strategic plan. Lorraine also sat on the board for the Chamber.
President in 1988. A couple of highlights from Paul’s year included encouraging and forming better relationships with First Nations and the
agreement to build the Connector.
David Bond- Past President and current Partner at KPMG.
Curtis Darmohray- Current Chamber President and Partner at Pushor Mitchell. Curtis still has a busy 6 months remaining on his term as President.
Current CEO of the Chamber, Caroline Grover thanked all of the Chamber Board Presidents for their hard work and expressed that she couldn’t imagine what life would be like if all of their efforts and accomplishments weren’t in place today. Can you?
October already! WOW. Several of the staff,
Board and Ambassadors kicked off small business month by participating in the
Business Walk yesterday. Approximately 410 businesses were visited!
It was a great day to be out
visiting local businesses for the purpose of gathering information from owners
and managers about the general state of commerce, specific to their area of
Detailed results of the
Business Walk will be released by the COEDC.
If we didn't come knocking at
your door - we hope to catch you next year.
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