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Donahue rides momentum
Okanagan Edge Staff - 4:29 pm - Biz Releases

Photo: Contributed
The Donahue family.

Kelowna entrepreneur Tanya Donahue is a finalist for a prestigious national business award, and she’s hoping her time in the spotlight will help a country going through hard times.

Donahue is the founder and CEO of Mango + Moose, which describes itself as a socially conscious fashion and lifestyle brand offering handmade artisan goods from developing nations to the Canadian marketplace. One of those developing nations is Haiti, which experienced violent demonstrations last week over the country’s crippling inflation rate. Donahue and her family have also spent time living in Haiti, and they still own and operate a business there.

“In light of the recent uprisings in Haiti, this would be a good time to share positive things that people can do to be involved,” Donahue said in a press release.

Donahue is a finalist for one of five Mompreneur Award: excellence, startup, merit, momentum and distinction. The Mompreneurs association supports, educates, and empowers moms and other females in business.

Donahue is one of five finalists for the momentum honour, which is for women who are making a difference in the community both locally and globally.

The winners in all categories will be announced during the National Mompreneurs Conference on Saturday, March 2, in Toronto.

More top 20 under 40
Okanagan Edge Staff - 2:34 pm - Biz Releases

Photos: Contributed
(L to R): Allen, Arding, Code, Monahan and Squair.

The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce and KPMG have announced another batch of young superstars.

The chamber, along with the accounting firm, is conducting its “Top 20 Under 40,” and on Tuesday it announced the third group of five recipients.

More than 60 nominations were received, and the latest five to make the list are: Andrew Allen (musician/director); Cara Arding (Pickleball Depot owner); Laura Code (Ministry of Agriculture regional agrologist); Alexa Monahan (Nature’s Fare Markets marketing director); Brett Squair (Davison Pringle associate lawyer).

The final five members of the top 20 will be revealed next week, and they will all be honoured at a special recognition event on Tuesday, March 12, at Okanagan Spirits.

Andrew Allen (musician/director): He has scored five Canadian top-10 hits, including Loving You Tonight in 2010, which has put him on tour with acts like Bruno Mars, One Republic, Andy Grammer, The Script, Train, Joshua Radin and The Barenaked Ladies after signing with EPIC records. Allen has also written with Meghan Trainor, Rachel Platten, Carly Rae Jepsen and Tyler Shaw.

Cara Arding (Pickleball Depot owner): She has been involved in a wide variety of businesses since moving to Vernon in 2004, and the Pickleball Depot took off in 2014 after her father ran it for two years as a e-commerce business. He started selling pickleball paddles out of his trunk in 2012, and Arding used her business savvy to turn it into a more stable venture two years later.

Laura Code (Ministry of Agriculture regional agrologist): She enjoyed animals and agriculture while growing up on Vancouver Island, and she studied agriculture in university. Her first job brought her to Vernon in 2006, and her dedication to the industry has led to her receiving her professional designation with the B.C. Institute of Agrologists.

Alexa Monahan (Nature’s Fare Markets marketing director): She has spent her professional career in the natural health industry and is passionate about everything local, sustainable and organic. The long-time resident is also working on becoming a yoga instructor and is currently in the midst of completing her 200-hour yoga teacher training course.

Brett Squair (Davison Pringle associate lawyer): Born and raised in the Okanagan, he was called to the bar in 2017 and practises in the areas of business law, real estate, and estate planning. He was previously the vice-president of the Vernon and District Immigrant Services Society, and a member of Junior Chambers International. He is also a member of Kalamalka Rotary and the B.C. Cattlemen’s Association, and a director of the North Okanagan Livestock Association and SKY Volleyball Club.

Reality TV in Vernon
Okanagan Edge Staff - 12:31 pm - Biz Releases

Photo: Contributed

Real estate is always a popular topic in the Okanagan, so Visland Media is branching out and taking its popular reality TV show to Vernon.

The production company is looking for homeowners and Realtors in Vernon to appear on Seller’s Market, a reality television show on which real estate agents compete to win a listing. The Kelowna version of Seller’s Market that is set to begin filming soon.

“Right now we are looking for homeowners in the Vernon area who are looking to sell their home in the next six to nine months,” Seller’s Market executive producer Alex Miller said in a press release. “The show features properties ranging from entry level condos to multi-million dollar mansions.

“Anyone who is interested should get in touch with us regardless of the type of home they own.”

The show’s creator, Darryl Reuter, said doing a Vernon version of the show is a “no-brainer.”

“The area has so much to offer and we are really excited to share that with our audience,” Reuter said.

Anyone who is interested in appearing on the show should send an e-mail to [email protected]

Level Nite Club closing
Wayne Moore - 11:05 am - Biz Releases

Photo: Contributed

The traditional nightclub is slowly fading away in Kelowna.

Level Nite Club, which has been around for decades in one form or another, is closing its doors at the end of the month.

The club at 275 Leon Ave. has operated since the 1980s as the Silver Spur and Saddle Room, then Splashes, before rebranding to Level.

Management announced the closure on the club’s Facebook page, but hinted it isn’t permanent.

“The End of an Era as a new one begins. Level Night Club as we know it is saying goodbye,” the post stated.

As Level closes, Cheetahs Show Lounge is set to reopen just down the street. The club closed in 2015 and reopened as Cake Lounge. That club has also since closed.

The city has just three other nightclubs: Liquid Zoo, Saphire and the OK Corral.

Biz 1-on-1: Paul Blaha
Visland Media - 9:28 am - Columnists

Produced by Kelowna’s Visland Media, Biz 1-on-1 is an interview series that explores the lives of some of the most interesting business people in North America.

Host Randy Lennon sits down with CEOs and founders of a diverse selection of businesses, talking with them about their vision, passion, and experiences building and running their company.

The show covers a wide array of stories and although Lennon interviews business leaders from across the continent he puts a particular focus on people from the Okanagan Valley.

Originally broadcast on national television, Biz 1-on-1 has found a new home on Okanagan Edge, adapted for an online audience.

This week, Lennon sits down for a segment with Paul Blaha, CEO of startup company Archer Cleantech.

Penticton looks at parkade
Colin Dacre - 8:23 am - Biz Releases

Photo: Colin Dacre

Can downtown Penticton support a multi-level parkade?

City staff hope to answer that question this year with a $26,000 feasibility study proposed in this year’s budget due to go before council next week.

The city is hoping to determine if it would be advantageous to consolidate downtown parking in one location in an attempt to use the neighbourhood’s land more efficiently.

The city recently purchased the old Greyhound bus depot—prime downtown real estate—with plans to tear it down for parking space in the short term. It also holds and operates several other downtown parking lots on property ripe for development.

A 2017 study into downtown parking found that the close to 4,000 parking stalls in the area are just 45 per cent utilized, well short of the 70-80 per cent usually needed to warrant the construction of a parkade.

If approved by council, city staff say the parkade study would dig deeper into the financial feasibility of the idea.

A study last year into parking at the South Okanagan Events Centre rejected the need for a parkade there, but the city says the downtown core, which is used 365 days a year, is a very different situation.

Multi-level parkades can end up costing anywhere between $25,000 and $35,000 per stall to construct. The six-storey, 519-stall Memorial parkade in Kelowna opened in 2017 at a cost of $14.9 million.

TOTA a green leader
Okanagan Edge Staff - 7:28 am - Biz Releases

Photo: Contributed

The Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association continues to impress the world when it comes to its sustainability.

TOTA has been recognized as one of the top 100 sustainable destinations worldwide by Green Destinations. It is also a finalist in the Best of the Americas Awards. The winner will be announced in March at ITB Berlin, which is the world’s largest travel trade show.

“As always, I’m so proud of the tourism community-destination marketing organization leaders, industry stakeholders and partners in this region who continue to pursue forward thinking work to ensure the long term health of our visitor economy and the viability of the many natural and cultural assets that drive it,” TOTA CEO Glenn Mandziuk said in a release.

TOTA demonstrated and provided evidence about how it complied with the 100 globally recognized criteria of the Green Destinations Standard.

West Kelowna needs CAO
Wayne Moore - 6:17 am - Biz Releases

File photo: Wayne Moore

The search is underway in West Kelowna for a new top bureaucrat.

The city is looking for a new chief administrative officer after it was announced Tuesday that Jim Zaffino would not be continuing after his contract expires June 28.

Zaffino has been with the city almost since day one. He was hired as the city’s first chief financial officer in January 2008, weeks after Westside officially became a municipality.

Zaffino spent six years as CFO before replacing Jason Johnson in the city’s top job in March 2014. He was expected to stay on the job for one year before retiring in 2015 but signed another four-year contract to remain on the job through June of this year.

“Jim Zaffino was instrumental in establishing the City of West Kelowna’s organizational structure and systems, literally from nothing,” Mayor Gord Milsom said.

“West Kelowna council is extremely grateful for his exemplary years of service and for employing, for our community’s benefit, the tremendous wealth of knowledge he has gained during his 40 years in local government. West Kelowna council wishes him all the best in the future.”

Zaffino will help the city transition to its new leadership through the end of June.

“I am very proud of the accomplishments this organization has achieved during my eleven years at the City of West Kelowna, including establishing the city’s first financial systems,” Zaffino said.

“I am thankful to have worked for West Kelowna council and alongside some of the best municipal employees I have ever met. The dedication and commitment West Kelowna staff bring every day continues to be tremendously gratifying.”

Family Day move hurts
Wayne Moore - 6:15 am - Biz Releases

Photo: Contributed

Big White Ski Resort had two of the busiest days in its history this weekend.

But it still wasn’t enough to bring a smile to the face of senior vice-president Michael J. Ballingall.

Ballingall says the Family Day long weekend saw the third and fourth busiest days in the mountain’s history. However, moving it to coincide with other holiday weekends across the country will actually cost the hill money.

And, he believes, it’s the same at other ski hills across the province.

“We are only one per cent up compared to this weekend last year, and last weekend we were 35 per cent down,” Ballingall said Monday.

“From the economics point of view, it really hurt all B.C. ski hills to move it, because you only have so many beds on the mountain. The disadvantage has been there just isn’t any room at the inn for people from B.C. who want to go to their local mountain.”

He says 54 per cent of people on the hill this weekend were from south of the border, where it’s the President’s Day weekend. Only 27 per cent were from B.C.

Last year, when the Family Day weekend was the second weekend in February, he says 84 per cent of people on the hill were from B.C.

This is the first year the holiday has been moved to coincide with holidays weekends in other parts of the country.

Ballingall says while he respects the argument the holiday is about people getting together, it’s just not true in the larger picture. He says the average person isn’t travelling in winter like they would during holiday weekends in the summer.

“The thing that resonates with us is, if the goal is to give B.C. the greatest advantage to get together with family, then the evidence will clearly show the second week is it.

“Even though people have the argument that my family came from Alberta or Ontario, in the greatest numbers, they didn’t. The greatest number is single families getting together with family that live in British Columbia, and they want to go somewhere.”

Ballingall says that message will be delivered loud and clear when the Thompson Okanagan Tourist Association meets this week. The chairman and CEO of Destination BC will be at that meeting.

“My big argument has always been if you want to give the average Joe Six-Pack a chance to play, then the second weekend is the one because it’s more affordable and there’s more space.

“The third weekend is the most expensive weekend of the year, and there’s not as much space.”

From the Ritz to Osoyoos
Colin Dacre - Feb 18 - Biz Releases

Photo: Contributed

The Spirit Ridge Resort in Osoyoos has announced it has hired a new executive chef, and he has quite the resume.

Murray McDonald comes to the resort from an executive chef post at the Ritz-Carlton in Toronto.

“We are absolutely thrilled to welcome an executive chef of Murray McDonald’s calibre to the Spirit Ridge team,” Spirit Ridge general manager Daniel Bibby said in a release. “Chef McDonald is extremely talented, and his style is a perfect fit with our resort and The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand.”

McDonald previously worked as the founding executive chef of the famed Fogo Island Inn in Newfoundland, which has received international accolades like the “World’s 50 Best” by Diners Club.

He has also served as executive chef of Cluny Bistro and Boulangerie in Toronto, executive sous chef of the Fairmont Pacific Rim, chef de cuisine of The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun and multiple leadership roles in kitchens in New Zealand.

“My culinary journey has taken me around the world and back again, cooking cuisines from many different countries and its people. Throughout the last six years of this journey, I’ve been on a spiritual quest looking into my roots as a Newfoundlander and my Indigenous roots in Labrador,” McDonald said.

“The journey of cooking, foraging, hunting and growing with what the land can provide for us, helps us further develop and promote Indigenous Culinary across Canada and beyond.”

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