Okanagan Edge and the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce are partnering to showcase some of the region’s most exciting entrepreneurs through the “Top 40 Under 40” program.
Sponsored by BDO, the “Top 40 Under 40” recognizes high-achieving professionals in our community and showcases their accomplishments. This marks the sixth year the chamber has conducted a “Top 40” showcase. Honourees will be featured throughout the year on Okanagan Edge.
Darren Kautz graduated from the University of Calgary with a law degree in 2007, where he then articled and practised law briefly in Alberta.
Kautz’s wife’s family is one of the early farming families in Rutland, and she encouraged him to look for employment in the Okanagan. Growing up in a family of ranchers in eastern Alberta, the move to B.C. was different, but the beauty and lifestyle that the Okanagan affords its residents was too hard to pass up. Kautz and his wife purchased an acreage in Oyama, which gave them the country lifestyle they wanted yet was close to the city.
Upon moving to the Okanagan, Kautz joined Nixon Wenger LLP in Vernon in September 2008 and worked as an associate until 2015. In 2016 he ventured out to become associate counsel in Kelowna to focus his practice and devote more time to his two sons and volunteering in their many activities. In 2020 Kautz made partner with one of the oldest law firms in the Okanagan, FH&P Lawyers LLP. His legal practice has always involved mentoring younger lawyers and being the lawyer who was willing to step up in difficult cases or circumstances.
Kautz’s goal has always been to try and build a positive experience for those he works with, volunteers with or coaches. He has been involved in sports, specifically coaching hockey and baseball, since 2005. Kautz has completed the first level of competitive baseball coaching and has his developmental hockey coaching certification. When Kautz moved to the Okanagan, he coached the Vernon AA bantam hockey team in 2008-09 and sat on the Greater Vernon Minor Hockey Association board for two more years.
When not coaching sports, Kautz spends his time volunteering all over the Okanagan to try and make his community the very best it can be. Kautz supports Ducks Unlimited, sat on the Brain Trust board from 2013 to 2018 and has been a director with Restorative Justice from 2009 to present. In 2013 he also assisted the provincial court guidelines board.
Kautz has his bachelor of arts in anthropology and his law degree, both from the University of Calgary. In his undergrad he received the Jason Lang Scholarship and was admitted to the First Nations Field Studies program. And in law school he took part in a semester abroad at U of C’s sister school in Copenhagen and received the Alberta Environmental Appeals Board Prize.
Kautz attributes some of his achievements to growing up on a ranch, which permitted him to grow as a person in many ways. Not only was he able to learn to ride horses and herd cattle, but he completed The Royal Conservatory piano education to Grade 6 and achieved his student pilot certificate in 1998.
Q&A with Darren Kautz
How are you currently approaching the current situation?
I am approaching the pandemic with optimism. I am optimistic that from the current struggles we will adapt new policies that will permit the business world to become stronger and better able to provide services in a fast and efficient fashion.
Where are you now? Are you still working at home or at work?
I am working from home 75% of the time and in the office the remaining time. Our law firm, FH&P Lawyers, has adapted technologies to permit remote access, and I am proud of our firm’s lawyers and staff in their utilization of the technology to provide the same great service to our clients from the office, home or wherever. Our firm has been assisting Kelowna, the Okanagan and B.C. for over 100 years, and the pandemic has brought about new, innovative ways for our law firm to assist our clients.
What is your favourite quote?
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.” — Winston Churchill
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