Summit speakers revealed
Okanagan Edge Staff - Jan 20, 2020 - People in Business

Photos: Contributed
Sherman, left, and Stephens will speak at the BC Hospitality Summit in Kelowna in April.

The BC Hospitality Summit has announced its keynote speaker for the event, which will be held in Kelowna in early April.

Graham Sherman, who owns Tool Shed Brewing, and Doug Stephens, the Retail Prophet founder, will both share their knowledge during the two-day event, which is slated for April 6 and 7 at the Delta Grand Okanagan hotel.

Sherman will deliver a speech called ‘Why Collaboration Beats Competition” when growing a business, while Stephens will share his insights on the latest retail trends within the hospitality industry, and how demographic and technological shifts can affect customer bases.

The convention will close on Tuesday night with the BC Hospitality Awards reception and gala dinner.

Firefighter back on job
Wayne Moore - Jan 14, 2020 - People in Business

File photo: Nicholas Johansen

More than two years after he was injured during a catastrophic blaze, Kelowna firefighter Chris Zimmermann is back on the job.

Zimmermann suffered second-degree burns on his legs, back, ear and hands while fighting a blaze at the Water’s Edge construction site on July 8, 2017. He spent more than a week in hospital, and more than two years recuperating and rehabilitating.

During Monday’s council meeting, Coun. Mohini Singh told her colleagues Zimmermann completed all of his tests and recently returned to work.

Zimmermann was one of dozens of firefighters sent to fight the blaze that destroyed the partially built condo building. A construction worker had been applying decking material with a torch when the flames got away from him and ran up the side of the building.

Zimmermann led a crew of firefighters into the structure after an initial attack from the outside. But conditions changed dramatically, dropping heavy smoke onto them.

Searching for a way out, he explored a stairwell and saw smoke below him, being sucked farther down.

As he prepared to put out a mayday call, an explosion struck, Zimmermann recalled several months later.

“I went up flying into the air, and I think I hit the roof as I went up, and it drove me back down on the stairs,” he said. “I kind of thought I was finished at that point.

“Everything just went orange at that point, everything was on fire, my gear was on fire, and I just got up and hauled as fast as I could.”

With the help of crews on the ground, the four men were safely rescued from the building just moments before it collapsed.

Big win for Mosaic owner
Laura Brookes - Jan 12, 2020 - People in Business

Photo: Contributed

Local business owner Michael Neill has been announced as the 2019 recipient of the Gray Campbell Distinguished Service Award.

Neill, owner of Mosaic Books and founder of TBM Bookmanager, will be honoured with the provincial award at an industry reception on Feb. 13.

The Gray Campbell Distinguished Service Award is presented annually by the Association of Book Publishers of B.C. to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the book publishing industry in the province.

Neill has operated Mosaic Books, the Okanagan’s largest independent bookstore, since 1995, along with wife Michele and children Trevor and Alicia.

More than 30 years ago, the second-generation bookseller also founded Bookmanager, a point-of-sale provider that gathers sales data from more than 70 independent bookstores in B.C.

“Michael’s background as a bookseller has enabled him to create strong and personal relationships with booksellers and publishers, and create software that adapts to the changing environment of publishing and bookselling,” the association said in a press release.

“Bookmanager has also helped foster an atmosphere of community and collaboration through its popular Bookmanager Academy conferences, which have been open not only to the company’s client bookstores, but to publishers and sales reps as well.”

Top 40: Alexandra Deliyannides
Kirk Penton - Jan 08, 2020 - People in Business

Photo: Contributed

Okanagan Edge and the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce partnered in 2019 to showcase some of the region’s most exciting entrepreneurs through the “Top 40 Over 40” program.

Sponsored by BDO, the “Top 40 Over 40” recognizes high-achieving professionals in our community and showcases their accomplishments. It marked the fifth year the chamber has conducted a “Top 40” showcase. Honourees have been featured throughout the last 12 months on Okanagan Edge.

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Alexandra Deliyannides didn’t take the normal path to becoming a doctor.

She started out at Alberta College, where she studied art and design with a specialty in jewelry and metalsmithing, and then she received an honours degree in psychology from the University of Calgary.

It was then back to Edmonton for her doctor of medicine degree, which included a residency in rural family medicine. She ultimately ended up in Kelowna in 2009, and she now has a family practice called Centuria Medical Clinic.

Deliyannides goes above and beyond just treating her patients, however. She gives back to her community in a variety of ways to help the vulnerable. She was on the provincial government’s mental health review board, and she has also worked with victims of extreme trauma as a member of Interior Health’s sexual assault response team. Her latest endeavour is as assessor and provider of medical assistance in dying, helping those in the final stages of life.

She also does what she can to teach the next generation of doctors. She became a clinical instructor for the University of British Columbia in 2012 and works with students to assess and to treat patients. Deliyannides also conducts suturing seminars and evaluates students during their clinical evaluations.

Deliyannides also volunteered her time to non-profit group Little Warriors between 2010 and 2015, presenting hundreds of adults, both parents and child care providers, with seminars in prevention of childhood sexual abuse.

Top 40: Linda Bauer
Kirk Penton - Jan 06, 2020 - People in Business

Photo: Contributed

If you want to put your finger on the pulse of the community, becoming a senior constituency assistant to the local Member of Parliament is a good way to go about it.

That’s the role that Linda Bauer has filled since 2006, representing the Kelowna-Lake Country MP at community events, government announcements and ceremonies both with the MP and when they are not available.

“I have had the privilege of supporting constituents, their families and businesses on behalf of their federally elected MP,” Bauer says. She has also enjoyed “having had the great honour of welcoming prime ministers, cabinet ministers and caucus members when they visit the beautiful Okanagan Valley.”

Bauer ended up in her role through a variety of educational and work experience. She took computer programming, business and government courses at Northern Alberta Institute of Technology and at the University of Alberta, and worked as a medical office assistant and for a family business before moving to Kelowna.

In her 13 years as a senior constituency assistant, Bauer has helped the people of Kelowna-Lake Country navigate their way through myriad government issues, from agriculture to immigration to veterans affairs.

She has also served as an advocate for people and organizations in the community, often serving as a last resort for people who could not find their way through the system.

Top 40: Myron Campbell
Kirk Penton - Jan 03, 2020 - People in Business

Photo: Contributed

Okanagan Edge and the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce partnered in 2019 to showcase some of the region’s most exciting entrepreneurs through the “Top 40 Over 40” program.

Sponsored by BDO, the “Top 40 Over 40” recognizes high-achieving professionals in our community and showcases their accomplishments. It marked the fifth year the chamber has conducted a “Top 40” showcase. Honourees have been featured throughout the last 12 months on Okanagan Edge.

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Myron Campbell spent the first part of his career only creating award-winning content.

Now he’s added to his repertoire, giving back to the industry by mentoring young people who are looking to make their way in the creative world.

Campbell is an educator, media artist and designer in Kelowna, working at UBCO Okanagan as a faculty member in charge of digital media in the creative studies department.

That does not mean he has stopped showing off his talent, however. Campbell collaborated with the Kelowna Art Gallery on the inaugural Canada Day painting event in 2016, and he has worked with BNA Brewing, Cannery Brewing, and several non-profit organizations and community events. He has also led teams on large-scale projects, most notably large interactive installations during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Campbell, who also worked with the Trailer Park Boys in Halifax, has spent the last few years helping his students showcase their work in a variety of ways. There have been 30 parties in collaboration with several community partners, including the Kelowna Art Gallery, Kelowna Museums, Downtown Kelowna, Cool Arts Society and the Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art.

Top 40: Michelle Hewitt
Kirk Penton - Jan 03, 2020 - People in Business

Photo: Contributed

Okanagan Edge and the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce partnered in 2019 to showcase some of the region’s most exciting entrepreneurs through the “Top 40 Over 40” program.

Sponsored by BDO, the “Top 40 Over 40” recognizes high-achieving professionals in our community and showcases their accomplishments. It marked the fifth year the chamber has conducted a “Top 40” showcase. Honourees have been featured throughout the last 12 months on Okanagan Edge.

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Multiple sclerosis didn’t slow down Michelle Hewitt.

In fact, it looks like it sped her up.

Even though she became confined to a wheelchair a decade ago and has to spend most of her day in bed, Hewitt has been a driving force for disabled rights in the Central Okanagan.

Hewitt has created, or worked for or with the MS Society, the City of Kelowna and the Central Okanagan Disability Coalition, which disseminates information to all members of the local community through a quarterly newsletter. She has served as chapter chair, walk chair and volunteer lead of the government relations community for the MS Society’s B.C. and Yukon division.

Hewitt is also a board member of Disability Alliance BC, a founding member of the City of Kelowna’s Accessible Transit Working Group, the founder of the Central Okanagan Disability Coalition and a member of the Patient Engagement in Research committee with Interior Health.

She does it all to improve the lives of those with disabilities, accomplishing that through advocating for improved care, improved transportation and ensuring that the voice of disabled people is heard.

Hewitt, who used to serve as Oyama Traditional School principal and Kelowna Secondary School vice-principal, holds two master’s degrees, and in 2018 was awarded the MS Society of Canada B.C. and Yukon division’s volunteer impact in advocacy and awareness award.

Top 40: Rob Ewanuk
Kirk Penton - Jan 03, 2020 - People in Business

Photo: Contributed

Okanagan Edge and the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce partnered in 2019 to showcase some of the region’s most exciting entrepreneurs through the “Top 40 Over 40” program.

Sponsored by BDO, the “Top 40 Over 40” recognizes high-achieving professionals in our community and showcases their accomplishments. It marked the fifth year the chamber has conducted a “Top 40” showcase. Honourees have been featured throughout the last year on Okanagan Edge.

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Rob Ewanuk likes to get Kelownians moving, and he puts his money where his mouth is as well.

Ewanuk moved to the Okanagan in 2012, and, after noticing a gap in the system while working at Kelowna General Hospital, he started New Leaf Physiotherapy, a mobile physiotherapy business that assesses and treats people at either their home or place of work.

He also created the Turning Over a New Leaf Fund, where he donates a portion of every client visit to the community. He has donated more than $5,000 to charities like the YMCA, Habitat for Humanity, Central Okanagan Food Bank and Foundry Kelowna.

Ewanuk earned a physiotherapy degree from the University of Alberta in 2003 and worked both in Alberta and in Nova Scotia before coming back west.

In addition to his charitable contributions, Ewanuk also donates his time to the community. He is on the Kelowna Running Club’s executive committee, and he is a coach for the organization’s The Next Step,’ which is a weekly workout at the Apple Bowl that allows runners of all abilities to participate to improve their strength, skills and endurance.

He has spent more than three years as a running coach for the Kelowna Sun Run clinic, and he has worked with the Hungry Half Marathon as well.

Ewanuk, who also has a chemistry degree, was a finalist for the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce’s social leadership award in 2018.

Top 40: Terry Armstrong
Kirk Penton - Jan 02, 2020 - People in Business

Photo: Contributed

Okanagan Edge and the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce partnered in 2019 to showcase some of the region’s most exciting entrepreneurs through the “Top 40 Over 40” program.

Sponsored by BDO, the “Top 40 Over 40” recognizes high-achieving professionals in our community and showcases their accomplishments. It marked the fifth year the chamber has conducted a “Top 40” showcase. Honourees have been featured throughout the last 12 months on Okanagan Edge.

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Terry Armstrong says “determination” and “stepping up at the right time” guided him to a long career in sales that continues to this day.

Armstrong is the sales and strategic partnerships vice-president for GSL Group, which includes Kelowna’s Prospera Place, Victoria’s Save On Foods Memorial Arena, the WHL’s Victoria Royals and Officepools.com—along with many other businesses and real estate developments throughout B.C.

It was a 32-year career in media, however, that planted Armstrong’s roots in the Okanagan, where he has given plenty of his time to a variety of causes to make the region a better place.

His first sales position was with Auto Trader in the Okanagan region, and from there he developed a 32-year career with the Okanagan Valley Newspaper Group. He worked for Westside Weekly as an advertising rep and then moved on to The Daily Courier, where he eventually became the Okanagan’s group publisher and vice-president.

Sports has always been a big part of Armstrong’s life, and he served as a coach for a variety of hockey, skiing and softball teams over the years. He recently completed a six-year term as a KGH Foundation director, he’s been a director on the Central Okanagan Community Food Bank board, and he is the sponsorship chair for the upcoming Memorial Cup.

Perhaps most notably, he spent several years as president of the Be An Angel Foundation, which is dedicated to helping the less fortunate in Kelowna and in the Okanagan. He was involved in the foundation’s inception in 2000, and it is still going strong today.

Top 40: Paul Nesbitt
Kirk Penton - Jan 02, 2020 - People in Business

Photo: Contributed

Okanagan Edge and the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce partnered this year to showcase some of the region’s most exciting entrepreneurs through the “Top 40 Over 40” program.

Sponsored by BDO, the “Top 40 Over 40” recognizes high-achieving professionals in our community and showcases their accomplishments. It marked the fifth year the chamber has conducted a “Top 40” showcase. Honourees have been featured throughout the year on Okanagan Edge.

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Paul Nesbitt has won more than 30 Okanagan Housing Awards of Excellence during his career as a luxury home designer.

When it came to being nominated for BDO’s Top 40 Over 40, however, there was one volunteer initiative on his part that was the primary focus.

Nesbitt created the Canadian Designated Driver Dads Inc., a volunteer organization that gets people home safely on Friday and Saturday nights if they’ve been drinking. The cost is a simple donation.

“Keeping guys focused on the bigger picture has been his ongoing mandate as a leader,” his nomination form read. “Helping volunteer dads to not look at the amount that someone donated as being a distraction to the fact that the dads helped them to stay alive and made sure no one else was affected by a bad decision to drive drunk. Nesbitt leads by encouragement, as most volunteers respond to praise.”

Nesbitt, who attended Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in Edmonton, was named the City of Kelowna’s “Man of the Year” in 2012, and he received the Diamond Jubilee Award from the Queen for community service that year as well.

He has been designing and building homes since 1994, capturing several provincial and national awards as a result of his work.

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