Candidates for Chamber Board 2021/2022

Thirteen Director positions are open that will be filled in the election period February 16 - March 1, 2021. Voting will be conducted by the Chamber with an e-ballot being sent to each member (the contact we have in our member profile).  

There are sixteen candidates, of whom seven are incumbents (currently sitting as Directors) and these incumbents along with four (4) new applicants are being recommended as a slate and will be identified on the e-ballot sent to members.  Members can vote for whomever they choose and can vote for up to thirteen (13) Directors.

The following individuals are officially nominated for a one-year term on the Board of Directors as per the By-Laws of the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce.  Their responses from their Candidate Profiles are available as you scroll down the page and appears as submitted by each candidate and has not been edited and/or altered by the Chamber. 

  1. Betts, Annika – Sandhill Winery
  2. Bobyn, Patrick, Pusher Mitchell LLP
  3. Boelcke, Ellen – KCR Kelowna Community Resources
  4. Cannan, Ron – Interior Savings Credit Union
  5. Carson-Piva, Treena – Real Property Management
  6. Daigle, Mike - MNP
  7. Dow, Aaron – Farris LLP
  8. Gelinas, Gary – ValleyFirst Credit Union
  9. Gratz, Derek – UBC Okanagan
  10. Harvey, Maryse- MH2 Consulting
  11. Humeny, Erin – Scotiabank
  12. Kautz, Darren – FH&P Lawyers LLP
  13. Keenan, Dennis – Rogers for Business
  14. Parke, Stewart – Parke Pacific Projects
  15. Warrender, Marina - KPMG
  16. Wills, Chris – Venture Commercial Realty

All table offices have been re-elected by acclamation. Jeffrey Robinson returns as President and Chair of the Board while Dan Price is back as Vice-President and Pamela Pearson returns as Secretary. Nikki Csek will serve another year on the Board as Past President

Information from Nomination Form

Betts, Annika - Incumbent (Recommended)

On Premise Territory Manager, Sandhill Winery 

1.  Why do you want to be a board member with the Kelowna Chamber? I’m interested in continuing as a board member for the Kelowna Chamber, as I feel I’ve just scratched the surface in my involvement. Year one was about gaining a better understanding of what the Chamber offers. My hope for a second year on the board will be to expand on that knowledge, and continue being a representative for the restaurant/winery/tourism sector by utilizing my experience in that industry. 

2.  Please detail your experience in the areas of Leadership, Communication, Community Involvement, and Business Planning (finance, strategic and long-term planning.) In my current role, strong communication is key. I work with restaurants throughout the Okanagan, which is an ever changing industry (especially throughout COVID!). My job is to support my accounts the best I can, which means actively listening to their needs, but also being proactive and trying to anticipate what they may be looking for next. In my previous role as Estate Manager, business planning was a large part of my position as I oversaw Retail operations – this included managing and creating budgets, advertising, and bringing in new business. Before that role, working as a Retail & Experience Manager allowed me to lead a team to create the best experience for guests visiting the winery. I’m currently a board member for Tourism Kelowna and The Okanagan Wine Festival Society. 

3.  Have you volunteered with the Kelowna of Chamber of Commerce before? Yes, I have completed one term as a Board Member.

 

Bobyn, Patrick

Lawyer, Pushor Mitchell LLP

1.  Why do you want to be a board member with the Kelowna Chamber? The Chamber is an integral part of the Kelowna business community. I feel the skills and experience that I can offer greatly align with the Chamber’s mission of providing its members with leadership, advocacy and services of value. Having been born and raised in Kelowna I have witnessed the City’s growth first-hand and would welcome the opportunity to contribute to our City’s continued development and success by being a member of the Chamber’s Board of Directors.

2.  Please detail your experience in the areas of Leadership, Communication, Community Involvement, and Business Planning (finance, strategic and long-term planning.) I have worked as a lawyer in Kelowna for 4 and a half years with Pushor Mitchell LLP (a long-standing member of the Chamber). I practice primarily in the areas of corporate/commercial and real estate law and have experience advising clients and businesses in a variety of sectors such as retail, construction, technology, tourism and industrial. I also have experience advising many non-profits (both large and small) in governance and business-related decisions.

I am currently a board member of the Central Okanagan Community Food Bank and have previous experience volunteering with Kelowna Minor Hockey Association as a coach. Recently I was the General Manager of the Okanagan Rockets of the BC Major Midget Hockey League. I am also a board member with the Kelowna Memorial Cup 2020 Society and was a member of the 2020 Memorial Cup Host Committee. I also participate in the Okanagan Young Professionals Collective and have recently signed on as a Chamber Ambassador with the Chamber of Commerce.

3.  Have you volunteered with the Kelowna of Chamber of Commerce before? No, although I have routinely attended Chamber events.

 

Boelcke, Ellen - Incumbent (Recommended)

Executive Director, Kelowna Community Resources 

1.  Why do you want to be a board member with the Kelowna Chamber? KCR is a Social Service Agency operating in the downtown core with over 50 employees. The opportunities for the agency are many should we be granted a seat at the Board of the Kelowna Chamber. 

Firstly, we would have the opportunity for networking and connecting with local businesses and professionals. KCR wants to be viewed as engaged and taking initiative, staying current with changes in the environment. It is in KCR's strategic plan to increase our profile. Though the people we serve are well aware of us, the community at large has limited knowledge of the breadth and depth of our services. KCR would receive increased exposure by holding a seat at the Board level. 

Further, as a key agency offering Employment services for those unemployed, it is vital we connect with businesses and employers to truly understand their need. 

As the lead agency for Newcomers in the Central Okanagan we also want to be a voice for diversity in business and in our community. 

On the other side, it may be of interest to the Kelowna Chamber to have representation from the non-profit sector. I hope to add to the discussions as I am community minded and well-connected with other social service agencies in Kelowna and area. 

2.  Please detail your experience in the areas of Leadership, Communication, Community Involvement, and Business Planning (finance, strategic and long-term planning.) Leadership: I have been the lead of non-profit societies for over 20 years. Presently, as Executive Director of KCR, I have 60 employees and 35+ contractors. I have presented about Leadership at various venues and conferences. I present annually at Okanagan College in their 3rd year business program and have been asked to present at UBCO to their 4th year Business students this semester. Over the years, I have developed a strong philosophy on leadership best practices and demonstrate this daily in my role at KCR. 

Communication: As a good leader one must possess strong verbal communication skills. As part of my job, I must write many reports and proposals for funding requests, requiring strong written communication skills. In my leadership role, I also am asked to represent the organization in the media. An area I continue to learn in is social media - a skill I am building. 

Community Involvement: As represented below in question #3, my job demands that I am well connected in the Kelowna community. Beyond KCR, I am an active volunteer with several organizations including cycling (X-Elle), Dog Therapy (St. John's Ambulance), event coordination (CARE Canada), and others. 

Business Planning: This is an essential skill as an Executive Director. Each year, with the support of the Board of Directors, I complete a Business Plan including a strategic plan for each department and one for the overarching agency. The Strategic plans including detailed action plans with measureable results. Financial planning skills include annual projected budgets and monthly detailed balance and income statements. KCR is a $4M agency operating 28 programs within the 4 departments. We receive funds from 16 different sources - each funder having strict guidelines and reporting structures.· Further, we operate three Social Enterprises within KCR. This creates a complex financial structure from which to serve those families and individuals most in need in our community. 

3.  Have you volunteered with the Kelowna of Chamber of Commerce before? I have had the honour to serve on the board of the Kelowna Chamber for the past year. As well, I am an active member on both the Policy Committee and the Membership Committee. As a result of COVID it has been a challenging year and it has been my privilege to advocate on behalf of all businesses in the City of Kelowna. Much work remains to be done as we hope this pandemic is coming to an end in 2021, though it’s effects will be felt for several more years.

 

Cannan, Ron - Incumbent (Recommended)

Business Relationship Manager, Interior Savings Credit Union

1.  Why do you want to be a board member with the Kelowna Chamber? It has been an honour to serve for the past 3 years as Board Director, Vice President and Chair of the Policy Committee. Like to continue policy development and advocacy role as I know there is more yet to be done. As a small business owner/consultant/former politican who has served on various Boards, well aware of the many daily challenges that entrepreneurs are facing. I have the time and experience to help the Chamber navigate the machinery of government in order to develop effective policies that will support you; our members. As a free enterpriser with a social conscience, I believe that the Chambers needs to work together with all levels of governments, First Nations & community partners to ensure that Kelowna’s economy continues to grow without more bureaucracy & huge tax increases while balancing the needs and support for agricultural, arts/cultural, environmental & social programs . Support creative partnerships for income appropriate supportive housing plus addictions & mental health treatment. Team player! Consensus Builder! Common Sense!

2.  Please detail your experience in the areas of Leadership, Communication, Community Involvement, and Business Planning (finance, strategic and long-term planning.)

  •  Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country from Jan/06 to Oct/15 
  • Kelowna City Councillor from 1996-2005 - Served on numerous local and Federal committees including Federal Cabinet subcommittee on Government Operations which prepared policies for federal budget. 
  •  Served on the Federal Finance, International Trade, Veterans Affairs, Fisheries and various other committees.
  •  Vice Chair of Canada-US Relations. 
  •  Co-Chair of Canada-Taiwan
  •  Executive Member of Canada-Italy
  •  Business Relationship Manager – Interior Savings Credit Union 
  •  ICD.D (Institute of Corporate Directors) Board Advisory Director 
  •  Impact Tomorrow Foundation Board Director 
  •  Mountain Boy Minerals (TSX.V:MTB) Previous Board Director
  •  Land Title Survey Authority.

3.  Have you volunteered with the Kelowna of Chamber of Commerce before? It has been an honour to serve for the past two years as Board Director, Vice President and Chair of the Policy Committee.

 

Carson-Piva, Treena - (Recommended)

Manager of Operations, Real Property Management

1.  Why do you want to be a board member with the Kelowna Chamber? Having been born and raised in Saskatchewan, I have always subscribed to the rural way of life: work hard, be honest, and get involved. For 25 years and through a wide variety of entrepreneurial career experiences, I have consistently been an active member of my community whether by volunteering, or professional positions that focus on strategic community planning and involvement. 

Three years ago my husband and I relocated our family to Kelowna with the sole purpose of launching our business in Kelowna. We did our research, and strategically chose Kelowna. We were convinced Kelowna was a perfect balance of big city savvy and small town connection, making it an ideal environment for us to personally and professional thrive. As a small business owner, I am keenly aware of the challenges, frustrations, achievements, and celebrations involved in running a business - particularly in the demographic of Kelowna. I want to be a part of, and contribute to, the evolution of a thriving business community. Serving on the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce would be an ideal venue for me to exercise this combination of perspective, experience, ambition and intention. 

2.  Please detail your experience in the areas of Leadership, Communication, Community Involvement, and Business Planning (finance, strategic and long-term planning.) For over two decades, my volunteer and professional career has awarded me a wide range of opportunities to develop my leadership tendencies and strategic skill sets. I have had significant experience with strategic planning, policy development, and coordinating projects that involve complex levels of organization, communications, and compliance. My experience as an Executive Director for profit and not-for-profit organizations have given me experience in budget preparation, human resource management, long term strategic planning, finance and budgeting, and process development. As an entrepreneur, I have exercised each of these skill sets and experiences, all which has translated into being a successful business owner and a committed community volunteer. 

3.  Have you volunteered with the Kelowna of Chamber of Commerce before? No, but I am looking forward to the opportunity! 

 

Daigle, Mike - Incumbent (Recommended)

Manager, MNP

1.  Why do you want to be a board member with the Kelowna Chamber? To continue to have an opportunity to connect with the business community in Kelowna and to use my skillset and experience to be able to contribute to the Kelowna Chamber.

2.  Please detail your experience in the areas of Leadership, Communication, Community Involvement, and Business Planning (finance, strategic and long-term planning.) I am a manager at MNP and have a CPA designation. I have held positions both in public accounting and industry working in both finance and strategic capacities. In industry I have worked with large organizations and held management positions with small businesses as well.

3.  Have you volunteered with the Kelowna of Chamber of Commerce before? Yes, I have spent the last year sitting on the board, and chairing the finance committee. I also sat on the member care committee and executive. 

 

Dow, Aaron - Incumbent (Recommended)

Partner, Farris LLP 

1. Why do you want to be a board member with the Kelowna Chamber? The Chamber is the voice of the business community in Kelowna, which is currently experiencing unprecedented challenges as a result of Covid. This environment presents unique challenges and opportunities, and the decisions the Chamber makes today will have a long lasting effect on the future of our City. I would love to continue to be a part of that process and I think I offer a particular skill set that will be helpful to the Chamber in assessing and dealing with those challenges and opportunities as they arise. I also believe that volunteering (whether it is for non-profit or industry organizations) is an important part of being a member of any community, and I have appreciated the opportunity to volunteer as a Board member of the Chamber.

2. Please detail your experience in the areas of Leadership, Communication, Community Involvement, and Business Planning (finance, strategic and long-term planning). I have worked as a business lawyer in Kelowna for 14 years, and have been a Partner at Farris (one of the largest regional firms in BC) for the past 6 years. Through my work, I have had extensive experience in all aspects of business and business planning, from assisting clients with starting up and structuring new business ventures, to assisting clients in navigating through business expansion and day-to-day business matters, to representing clients in selling their business or transitioning their family business to the next generation. I also act for financial institutions and private lenders and have extensive experience in structuring and implementing business financing arrangements.

Since I first moved to Kelowna in 2006, I have always tried to be involved in volunteering, whether for non-profit organizations such as Ballet Kelowna, Launch Financial Education Society, 100 Heroes That Give a Damn, or industry organizations such as the Okanagan Science and Technology Council (now Accelerate Okanagan) and I have held leadership positions in all of those organizations.

3. Have you volunteered with the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce before? I have been honoured to volunteer as a member of the Chamber Board of Directors this past year. I have also been a regular attendee (in person or virtually, as the case may be) at Chamber events such as the lunch and after hours events, Business Excellence Awards and Chamber Golf Tournament.

 

Gelinas, Gary

Director Wealth Management, Valley First Credit Union

1.  Why do you want to be a board member with the Kelowna Chamber? Since moving to the Okanagan in 2000, and becoming a community minded business owner, my goal has always been to give back to the community that has provided so much to me and my family. I want to create sustainability growth for businesses and help the community thrive as well provide leadership when working with government, businesses and local agencies for the betterment of all citizens.

2.  Please detail your experience in the areas of Leadership, Communication, Community Involvement, and Business Planning (finance, strategic and long-term planning.) My experience and strengths include a strong financial acumen, 30 years within the wealth/investment business, an entrepreneur since the mid 1990’s, active local business owner, involved in launching 10 start-up businesses in Canada and USA, numerous years of experience in board and executive board work, marketing, business development, leadership and working with various local levels of government. I have been in strategic leadership throughout my career and as a consultant to business owners and communities.

3.  Have you volunteered with the Kelowna of Chamber of Commerce before? No, although through my time leading CIBC Wealth Division and with the Warriors we participated in the Kelowna Chamber and are members in good standing.

 

Gratz, Derek - Incumbent (Recommended)

Assoc. Director University Industry Liaison Office, UBC Okanagan

1. Why do you want to be a board member with the Kelowna Chamber? In my role with UBC, and for much of my career, I facilitate community and industry research collaborations as a direct part of my role as Associate Director of the University Industry Liaison Office. As the Okanagan entreprenrurial and business community grows, I feel increased connectivity with academic partners can provide value to Chamber members and help build a strong and diversifying local economy.

I bring a passion for innovation, for community development, and an understanding of both the technology and early stage venture community, as well as the arts (design, visual arts, and theatre) and a drive to volunteer and contribute to the growth of my community.

I have extensive experience across Canada in business operations and commercialization, entrepreneurship training, and in technology and research business development. I feel my experience in both the public and private sectors, and successes connecting and supporting new innovative ventures, can be of value to the Chamber and its member community -- and that Kelowna is currently at a key point of growth in sectors in which my experience is relevant.

2. Please detail your experience in the areas of Leadership, Communication, Community Involvement, and Business Planning (finance, strategic and long-term planning). I have served as the CEO of the internationally recognized business catalyst, WestLink Innovation Network Ltd., which connected 34 Universities and Colleges in Western Canada, and was funded by over 100 industry and venture capital collaborators as well as 9 different federal and provincial agencies. At it’s peak during my tenure, WestLink had an annual operating budget of over $3M and employed 26 people – 6 core staff and 20 commercialization interns, based out of Calgary, Alberta. I continue to lead the University Industry Liaison Office program at the UBC Okanagan campus and have led similar functions / departments for Red Deer College and the University of Alberta. I have also been a successful product design and development consultant, and freelance industrial designer.

I have diverse experience in public and private organizations, and I serve / have served on numerous Boards of Directors and advisory committees, including:

  • The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) – Research Partnerships Program, as well as their College Community Innovation committee; Pacific Regional Advisory panel; Innovation Challenge Awards; NCE Expert Panel Review Committee; Young Innovators Awards - 2004 to present
  • Conference Board of Canada – Expert Roundtable on Commercialization (National) 2007-2009
  • Edmonton Fringe Festival – Fringe Theatre Adventures – Board of Directors 1996-2001 – including the Bus Barns Renovation and Building Committee – who led planning for $9M renovation of this key building in the Edmonton Whyte Avenue arts district in 2002.
  • Viatech – Community Innovation Catalyst panel – Edmonton 1996 to 2001
  • Imagine Edmonton - EDE working group – 1999-2001
  • The Manning Awards, Awards Selection Committee 2005-2007
  • Centre Stage Theatre – Calgary - Board of Directors, & Finance committee 2001 to 2010
  • Red Deer Challenge – Youth Entrepreneur Business Plan Competition – Lead Mentor 2008to 2010
  • Banff Centre – Banff New Media Institute, Accelerator Program 2005-2009• ACCT Canada – Alliance for Commercialization of Canadian Technology (National network of innovation and commercialization networks) – Founding Board and operations committees, 2005 to 2009
  • Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) – Patent and Intellectual Property training program – Advisory Committee 2009-10
  • New Vintage Theatre Society, Kelowna; Board of Directors 2012 to 2017; Chair Donations and Fundraising Committee to present
  • City of Kelowna, Economic Scorecard Committee – 2018-2019
  • Mentor, UBCO entrepreneurship@UBC Lean Launch Pad, and Mentor to Market programs 2018-19
  • Advisor and Board Director for numerous technology start up companies – I have facilitated the creation of 49 start-up companies commercializing innovations from the University of Alberta, University of Calgary, Red Deer College, and UBC Okanagan over my career.

3. Have you volunteered with the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce before? Yes, I have completed one term as a Board Member.

 

Harvey, Maryse - Incumbent (Recommended)

Owner, MH2 Advisory Services 

1.  Why do you want to be a board member with the Kelowna Chamber? I am keen to continue putting my extensive government relations, advocacy, and governance experience at the service of the Kelowna business community. I want to continue to contribute to the development and delivery of decisions that support optimal wealth creation in the region, as well as to help solve the issues that hinder its growth, particularly in the areas of aerospace and human resources. Most importantly, I want to work hard at developing and executing strategies to meet the goals of the Chamber’s Members.

The year 2020 has been challenging in many regards. I would be pleased to keep building on the efforts of the past twelve months to help our Members fully seize the opportunities that stem from the upcoming economic recovery. My motivation to continue my involvement on the KCC Board of Directors resides in my desire to honour and support the resilience and hard work of our Members.

2.  Please detail your experience in the areas of Leadership, Communication, Community Involvement, and Business Planning (finance, strategic and long-term planning.) Having spent more than 25 years in Ottawa working in and around the federal government, I have a thorough understanding of the decision-making process and of the crucial elements important to effective advocacy strategies. In addition to developing an excellent understanding of the dynamics that prevail within the industry, my experience as a Senior VP (and previously VP of Public Affairs) at the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC) includes extensive strategic communication development (branding and marketing), advocacy, business planning and development. In addition, the time I have spent in a Crown Corporation provided the opportunity to lead the development and execution of Government Relations strategies, and to further develop a wide network of collaborators within the Federal government. I currently own a small Advisory Services practice focused on aerospace governance and human resources.

3.  Have you volunteered with the Kelowna of Chamber of Commerce before? I sit on the Policy Advisory Committee since May 2019 and on the Governance Committee since March 2020.

 

Humeny, Erin

Branch Manager, Scotiabank Kelowna CBC and Main Branch

1.  Why do you want to be a board member with the Kelowna Chamber? Placing an active role in my community has always been part of my DNA. Having just moved into my role at the Scotiabank Kelowna Main branch in December 2020, it has quickly become clear that the Kelowna business market is fast-paced and ever-growing. With the expansion and growth of the downtown core, there will only be more businesses entering the Kelowna market. As I’m new to this location in a professional capacity, I want to get to know my community and help promote positive change and economic prosperity. I have been successful in helping small business clients in my work at Scotiabank and am passionate about seeing businesses thrive I have been able to see firsthand how important support and advocacy is to allow businesses to find success, as well as how valuable it is for businesses to have a network of other business associates to serve as a sounding board.

Within Scotiabank, I am the district lead for The Scotiabank Women Initiative, a program that is aimed at providing women-owned and women-led business with access to capital, mentorship, and education, all to promote women leaders in business. As part of our education pillar, we focus strongly on networking as a way to explore challenges of establishing a business and using the testimonials of others to help drive their peers. Seeing women in business come together to discuss issues and new approaches, and seeing the camaraderie and success this has led to has furthered my drive to be involved with businesses in the community, and I believe that the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce presents similar opportunities as the Scotiabank Women Initiative on a larger scale.

2.  Please detail your experience in the areas of Leadership, Communication, Community Involvement, and Business Planning (finance, strategic and long-term planning. Along with my work on The Scotiabank Women Initiative noted above, I have worked in branch management with Scotiabank for over four years, which has provided a very clear opportunity to lead and develop teams within my day-to-day work. I develop strategies on how our team can succeed in a number of metrics, all while coaching and developing my team members. As with any management role, there is an emphasis on planning in terms of budgeting, growing the business, and growing the team: In 2020, I led my team to achieve 141% of their growth plan, including a six month-old team member at 155% of plan, while being 10% under our annual budget.

My time at Scotiabank has also afforded me the opportunity to become involved in leadership positions in several organizations and groups within and connected to Scotiabank. For the past two years, I have been the district lead in partnering with the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, promoting employee engagement in raising funds to support the BCCHF as well as coordinating the logistics of such a campaign within the district, spawning from Abbotsford to Kamloops.

I am currently the Vice Chair of Scotiabank’s BC & Yukon region Gender Equality and LGBT+ employee resource group, which is aimed at promoting awareness within the bank, partnering with business lines outside of the bank to build knowledge, and striving toward diversity and inclusion within the bank’s day-to-day operations. Recent projects and initiatives include reworking hiring policies and wording to be more inclusive, championing the use of pronouns in a professional setting, and partnering with Out In Schools for an educational session available to all 2,000 employees in BC.

3.  Have you volunteered with the Kelowna of Chamber of Commerce before? I’ve not yet had the opportunity and am looking forward to becoming involved. I’m thrilled to be working directly in the downtown core of Kelowna and meeting new business owners daily. In my daily professional life, we strive to help businesses grow and achieve their goals, and the idea of taking that to a larger scale within the Kelowna community through the Chamber of Commerce is extremely inspiring.

We are also currently planning a partnership event with the Chamber for early March, where I will be hosting a session about The Scotiabank Women Initiative and the support we can provide to the community of women-owned, women-led businesses. For me, this upcoming partnership with the Chamber will only be the first of many as I am excited to develop more partnership and volunteer opportunities to become more directly involved in our community.

 

Kautz, Darren

Lawyer, FH&P Lawyers

1. Why do you want to be a board member with the Kelowna Chamber? As a partner with FH&P Lawyers, a firm with over 100 years of service in Kelowna, I want to make sure that Kelowna continues to be well represented at home and abroad. As a lawyer I believe I have a skillset that will assist the Kelowna Chamber.

2. Please detail your experience in the areas of Leadership, Communication, Community Involvement, and Business Planning (finance, strategic and long-term planning). I operated a local law firm from 2016 until March 2020 and then joined the partnership with FH&P Lawyers. In these roles I led and continue to lead a team of lawyers, staff, marketing and our position in the community. 

3. Have you volunteered with the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce before? No, however as a downtown business owner I have been involved in the Downtown Kelowna Association membership since 2016.

 

Keenan, Dennis - (Recommended)

Strategic Accounts Executive, Rogers for Business 

1.  Why do you want to be a board member with the Kelowna Chamber? I grew up in Kamloops, BC and left in 1985 for my first “sales” job in the City of Kelowna. I hitch-hiked the whole way and was the last applicant at 4pm... I got the job that night and led me to travel and live and work in Alaska, Puerto Rico and Hawaii as well as several Canadian provinces and US states learning the art of sales, always making sure to stop back in Kelowna which I new would be home again one day.

After 25 Years in Vancouver with Telus, GT/360 and Rogers, l was looking for an opportunity to help the BC Interior/Okanagan Valley harness the power of wireless and fibre technologies now and in the future and decided to move my family to Kelowna in 2017 with Rogers blessing and support for the Valley and my plans.

So far we (Rogers) have been able to provide financial support to ORL, Okanagan Boys and Girls Club, Kelowna Special Olympics, Okanagan Dream Rally and Accelerate Okanagan with hopefully more to follow in years to come. I want to be a part of the solution and feel being involved with KCC will help me be a part of that.

2.  Please detail your experience in the areas of Leadership, Communication, Community Involvement, and Business Planning (finance, strategic and long-term planning.)15 Years - Senior Account Manager for Rogers Corporate and Commercial Teams, led cross functional teams focused on successful outcomes for accounts such as Canucks, BC Hydro ,Fortis, and the BC Gov..

3 Years Solution Specialist for Rogers IOT/M2M, designed Digital Signage solution for BCLC and led various contractors and internal stakeholders...

Canucks Autism Network Surrey/Kelowna – Participate in events with Son, help sponsor some events thru Rogers and personally.

3.  Have you volunteered with the Kelowna of Chamber of Commerce before? No, this will be my first opportunity to get deeper involved with the community and help in areas my experiences allow. 

 

Parke, Stewart - (Recommended)

Owner/President, Parke Pacific Projects

1.  Why do you want to be a board member with the Kelowna Chamber? The Kelowna Chamber is such an influential part of the Okanagan community and provides many avenues and platforms for business connection and diverse service offerings. I'm interested in becoming a part of this strategic board and offering my expertise and ingenuity to the continued development of leadership, advocacy and services of value. I personally want to grow and develop my company, and the experience and business connections of the Kelowna Chamber board will assist me in accelerating this endeavor. I've always been someone who enjoys giving back to my community and this opportunity will allow me to give back in a way that provides mutual edification within the business community. My goal is to see the Kelowna Chamber continue succeeding as an Accredited Chamber of Commerce with Distinction, together with propelling the Chamber into this next decade to reach new heights and conquer new arenas. I'm a focused entrepreneur that enjoys having fun and celebrates strategic victories. Being a Kelowna Chamber member for the last few years has allowed me to enjoy the perks of membership and given me the drive to help continue and develop these perks for present and future members. To be surrounded by a group of like-minded individuals will allow for mutual inspiration and the ability to give back in an influential way.

2.  Please detail your experience in the areas of Leadership, Communication, Community Involvement, and Business Planning (finance, strategic and long-term planning.) Throughout my career have always moved into a place of leadership and influence, culminating in my current endeavour of a successful commercial general contracting business headquartered in the heart of the Okanagan. My leadership experience has been learn as you go moving through challenging and rewarding experiences to develop my knowledge of leadership to my current company there have been many opportunities to use my leadership and communication experience to inspire and create a sense of loyal in my colleagues, staff, and clients. Community involvement has always been of importance to me. Events such as our Annual Parke Pacific Charity Golf tournament for the Parkinson's Society has been an educational and successful event to lead, plan and organize. I also sit on the Southern Interior Construction Association ISICA) board of directors I'm pleased to be able to give back to the construction industry of which nerve been a part since 1992. My company (Parke Pacific Projects) has also been part of volunteer community events within the regions we are working, to give back to those communities. I have also been leading and participating in goal setting, strategic planning, and financial forecasting with the development of my own company. Furthermore, I sat on the Executive Committee with SICA, together with being the chair of the Finance and Audit Committee.

3.  Have you volunteered with the Kelowna of Chamber of Commerce before? Parke Pacific is the presenting sponsor for the Chamber of Commerce annual golf tournament where we set up a tent and offer beverages and games. 

 

Warrender, Marina

Senior Manager, KPMG

1.  Why do you want to be a board member with the Kelowna Chamber? I moved to Kelowna over ten years ago and I have grown to love its natural beauty and entrepreneurial spirit. I have spent many years working with local businesses, and I am very impressed with how the business community continues to grow and create new opportunities. My husband was born and raised here, and we are now raising our two young children in Kelowna. I’d like to be a board member with the Kelowna Chamber to represent the interests of the local business community so that the next generation of Kelowna residents have exciting opportunities in the community and don’t have to move elsewhere to find meaningful work. To this end, I look forward to working together with the Kelowna Chamber and the different stakeholders it represents to help guide the city into the future by working collaboratively with its citizens, business owners and policy makers.

2.  Please detail your experience in the areas of Leadership, Communication, Community Involvement, and Business Planning (finance, strategic and long-term planning.) As a senior manager with KPMG I work with a broad array of clients including small local businesses, larger regional businesses, public sector and not for profit organizations. I oversee multiple teams, manage deadlines and deal with issues as they arise while helping our clients with their accounting and tax needs. To manage this varied workload strong leadership skills are essential. Being approachable, accessible and touching base with my teams helps ensure any issues are dealt with in a timely manner. This has become even more important during the COVID-19 pandemic as in person contact is limited. Effective communication is key to understanding expectations and responsibilities and it also helps to be self aware with an open ear for suggestions and improvements.

I regularly present and discuss audit findings with senior management and board of directors (or those charged with governance) in a professional and efficient manner. This often includes talking about sensitive matters that need to be addressed.

3.  Have you volunteered with the Kelowna of Chamber of Commerce before? No but I am excited to be part of this great organization in the future.

 

Wills, Chris -  (Recommended)

Director, Venture Commercial Realty 

1.  Why do you want to be a board member with the Kelowna Chamber? I want to contribute to my community. Learn from other business leaders and be part of forming policy to continue supporting our business community.

2.  Please detail your experience in the areas of Leadership, Communication, Community Involvement, and Business Planning (finance, strategic and long-term planning.) I am the founder and director/team leader of Venture Commercial, a commercial real estate firm within Venture Realty Corp. I am fortunate to recruit, train and lead a team of commercial real estate professionals dedicated to putting the client first and developing long term relationships. I have structured and currently operate my business platform as a Personal Real Estate Corporation (PREC), licensed under Venture Realty Corp. I have a strategic approach and business plan to grow my personal portfolio of clients, in addition to elevating the firms position in the community. One of the founding values of Venture Commercial is to ensure community involvement by giving back in various ways. Charitable, Time, Leadership, Etc. 

I am also the co-founder of 100 Men Give a Damn / 100 Heroes Who Give a Damn!!! My partner and I developed a meaningful way for our community to give back by initiating quarterly events where members of the community gave $100 to one of three local non-for-profits doing great work in our community. We enjoyed calling this a "non-organization". Over the 4+ years, we were able to assist in donating over $350,000 to our community, with little investment. All money earned went directly back to the local charities and their amazing causes. 

3.  Have you volunteered with the Kelowna of Chamber of Commerce before? No, however I look forward to the opportunity.