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May 4, 2017

Kelowna Chamber Names New Executive Director

Kelowna Chamber Names New Executive Director

Kelowna:  Tom Dyas, President of the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce today announced the Chamber has named a permanent Executive Director for the 1,350-member organization.  Dan Rogers is moving into the executive’s chair in early June, taking up a new challenge within what he calls “the Chamber Network.”

Rogers has been in charge of the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce since 2014, where he has overseen growth in membership; an active policy advocacy program; and an expansion of Chamber-partnered programs with members, and with other Chambers of Commerce in the valley and around the province.

The former broadcast journalist came to the Chamber after living and working in Prince George for upwards of 30 years. He spent three of those years as Mayor, and before that, as a four-term City Councillor.  His particular area of interest in Vernon has been centered on building innovative programs to support members and the business community while encouraging collaborative efforts between private and public sector organizations.

In the move to the Kelowna Chamber, Rogers plans to continue his active interest in policy, while taking on the broader responsibilities of managing a larger operational staff of nine; a larger membership; year-round multiple events, and working with what he defines as “one of Canada’s fastest-growing metropolitan areas, and a force to be reckoned with now, and in the future.”

The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce has been searching for a permanent Executive Director since January. Two high-producing Managers, Lorraine McGrath, a financial expert who also lectures in entrepreneurship at Okanagan College, and Ken Bessason, a 35-year bank manager turned Realtor, stepped into the chair for the Chamber. Both are Past Presidents of the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce. 

“Both our interim managers brought so much to our Chamber staff, to our board, and to our members,” said Tom Dyas, President of the Board of the Chamber, on announcing Rogers’s appointment.  “While our operational staff carried on with unstinting professionalism across their wide range of tasks, the interim managers emphasized stability and connection with the Board and wider business community. We’re extremely grateful to both of them for their generous contributions of time and effort.”

“Additionally,” said Dyas, “our Board of Directors amped up their volunteer time to pitch in throughout the last 12 months, assisting both in leadership, and in hard work on committees, especially in the HR area as the search committee’s work was underway, and accomplished. We thank each of them for their contribution.”

Rogers will work with the Board and the operational staff in his run-up to full-time in June, and looks forward to meeting Chamber members and business partners in Kelowna over the coming months. Outside work, Dan spends a fair bit of time with his family and occasionally pursues an athletic endeavour on the soccer pitch or on the golf course.   Dan and his family will begin the transition to Kelowna over the next few months.  His youngest daughter is already a member of the Okanagan Athletics Club in Kelowna, active with the track & field club’s pole vault program.

For more information, please contact:
Tom Dyas, President
Dan Rogers
Executive Director 
Kelowna Chamber of Commerce
June 2017