OC honours business leader
Okanagan Edge Staff - May 23, 2019 - People in Business

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Dr. Heather Banham is this year’s recipient of Okanagan College’s Distinguished Service Award.

Dr. Banham retired from her role as dean of the Okanagan College School of Business in 2017 and will put a neat bow on her career with the honour.

“Under Heather’s leadership, business programming was expanded on our Vernon and Penticton campuses, providing more access for students in the region,” Okanagan College president Jim Hamilton said in a press release. “She worked to continue to develop the Okanagan School of Business national reputation and distinguished herself as a vital member of the accounting community.

“Heather is incredibly deserving of the Distinguished Service Award.”

Other roles Dr. Banham performed at the college during her 24-year career were professor, department chair, associate dean and then dean of the business school, which grew in size under her watch.

“I sincerely appreciate this recognition from Okanagan College,” Banham said. “It was really a privilege to work at the School of Business during those years and to be part of the team that was so committed to building strong programs and creating opportunities for students to gain the skills, knowledge and experience to be successful.”

Dr. Banham will receive her award during the college’s spring convocation ceremony on June 1. She will address the graduating business students during the commencement.

UBCO names golf coach
Okanagan Edge Staff - May 22, 2019 - People in Business

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Clay Stothers is the new head coach of the UBC Okanagan Heat men’s and women’s golf teams.

The Okanagan Golf Club’s director of instruction is taking over for Cass Hritzuk, who stepped down to focus on his music career.

“This is a dream opportunity for myself and my family,” Stothers said in a press release. “I am excited to join the Heat family and build a program that has an impact on the community. For the past eight years, my focus has been on junior development in the Okanagan. As the new coach it’s going to be an amazing opportunity to help the team members grow as university athletes.”

Stothers is familiar with the Heat golfers, because their home course is Okanagan Golf Club, which will host the inaugural Canada West championship this fall. Stothers was named the PGA of BC’s teacher of the year in 2014, and he also captured the organization’s community leadership award in 2016.

Stothers will be taking the Heat women’s team to the Golf Canada University and College Championship in Ontario next week.

Vipers hire new boss
Darren Handschuh - May 07, 2019 - People in Business

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The Vernon Vipers have a new bench boss.

Mark Ferner’s term as the Snakes’ head coach and GM has ended with the organization hiring Jason McKee to take his place.

“We are excited to welcome Jason, along with his wife Care-Ann and daughters Brianna and Brynn to the Vipers,” executive vice-president Todd Miller said in a press release. “It is an exciting time for the Vipers organization and the addition of Jason McKee’s passion, leadership skills and winning tradition completely align with our vision for the future.”

The Vipers have extended an offer to Ferner to stay with the organization in an alternate role.

Spring camp starts for the Vipers this weekend, and the organization is finalizing hockey schools and fall camps.

Kamloops chamber hires ED
Okanagan Edge Staff - May 07, 2019 - People in Business

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Kamloops Chamber of Commerce has found its new executive director.

Acacia Pangilinan, who was previously the chamber’s programs and events manager, has been appointed to the position by the board of directors and started in her new role on Monday.

Pangilinan previously worked in Member of Parliament Cathy McLeod’s office, and she was also a student president of Enactus Thompson Rivers. In 2015 she was recognized as Enactus Canada’s HSBC Woman Leader of Tomorrow.

“Acacia has demonstrated a strong passion and clear vision for the chamber since she started working here,” Chamber president Joshua Knaak said in a press release. “She demonstrated her ability to grow and learn in her time as interim director. We are excited to work with Acacia and our business community in the coming years.”

She has also served on the Kamloops Community YMCA-YWCA and TELUS Thompson Okanagan Community boards of directors. She is the current chair of the business advisory board for Enactus Thompson Rivers University.

The Kamloops chamber hired John Perks to replace Deb McLellend as its executive director in March but reversed its decision three days later over controversial Facebook posts he made. Pangilinan had been serving as the organization’s interim executive director.

New president at True Leaf
Okanagan Edge Staff - May 07, 2019 - People in Business

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Darcy Bamford has resigned as president of True Leaf Pet Inc. but will remain as CEO and as a director.

As a result, Kevin Cole has been named the company’s new president. Cole previously served as the marketing vice-president of Mars Petcare Canada, of the world’s leading food manufacturers and the world’s largest pet food company. Before that he was an executive with GlaxoSmithKline.

“Our ability to successfully recruit top talent from the largest pet food company in the world is a testament to True Leaf’s vision to become a global leader in the cannabis-for-pets space,” Bomford said in a press release. “Kevin’s proven track record of growing top pet brands will be key to our continued strong growth.

“With Kevin at the helm of our pet business, we’re confident in True Leaf’s ability to become a household name in the pet industry like Whiskas and Temptations.”

Vernon-based True Leaf produces, markets and distributes hemp-based supplements for pets to 3,500 stores worldwide, and Cole will be put in charge of bringing a legally compliant CBD product for pets to market.

“As an animal lover, a pet parent and longtime pet care executive, I’m committed to finding new opportunities to improve the way we care for our four-legged family members,” Cole said. “I believe plant-based nutrition and specifically cannabis for pets will shape the future of pet care.

“This is why I joined True Leaf, because it is, and will continue to be, the most trusted cannabis-for-pets brand. In this emerging sector, consumer and retailer trust is a key ingredient to explosive growth. True Leaf has set the groundwork with its line of safe, legal and effective hemp-based products for pets. I’m excited to work with the team and lead the category transformation.”

Construction HR now available
Okanagan Edge Staff - Apr 29, 2019 - People in Business

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Construction companies in the southern Interior now have someone to help them address diversity and harassment issues on work sites.

The province’s newest builders code advisor, Diane Jolicoeur, was introduced to employers on Monday morning during a breakfast at Kelowna’s Okanagan College. The event, which was part of BC Construction Month activities, informed employers that they can turn to Jolicoeur for human resources issues.

It’s all being done in an effort to support workers on construction sites and improve retention numbers.

“As a partner in the Builders Code and a strong supporter of its goals to increase the retention of tradeswomen, and all apprentices, by eliminating hazing, harassment and bullying on B.C. work sites, the Southern Interior Construction Association is very pleased to introduce Diane to our membership,” SICA CEO Jason Henderson said in a press release. “Our employers in the southern Interior recognize that by setting a standard code of conduct for construction worksites, the Builders Code will help them increase safety and productivity at their sites.

“Attracting and retaining employees, especially tradeswomen, is a key issue throughout our region and industry, so it’s a definite benefit for our members to have access to a skilled HR professional that can help them develop and implement HR policies and address work-site issues before they escalate.”

Since more than 23,000 construction companies across the province have 20 or fewer employees, few have HR departments. Jolicoeur can provide assistance to those companies who don’t have an HR employee but need an issue settled. Jolicoeur is a Kelowna-based certified professional coach and consultant in career transition and displacement. She is also an advisor for Okanagan College’s Women in Trades Training program.

“I look forward to supporting construction employers in the southern Interior region to modernize the industry culture,” Jolicoeur said. “My philosophy is to empower people to come to their own decisions, and my approach is to provide expertise and advice without judgment.”

Jackman joins Okanagan College
Okanagan Edge Staff - Apr 24, 2019 - People in Business

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Helen Jackman is moving from the United Way to Okanagan College.

Jackman has been hired as the college’s new director of advancement and the Okanagan College Foundation’s executive director. She will be leaving her role as United Way Southern Interior BC executive director to start at the college on June 10.

“The college has a great reputation in terms of its service to the region, and I know that a major reason is the community support it has attracted to help build campuses, programs and student supports,” Jackman said in a press release. “I’m excited to be stepping into the fundraising role at this juncture as the college continues to grow.

“I’ve looked carefully at where I wanted to take my next career step. It had to be somewhere that I could devote myself to long-term and something that would allow me to contribute to building the region I’m calling home. Okanagan College offered that opportunity.”

Jackman moved to the Okanagan from the United Kingdom in 2017. Her last job in England was as CEO of the Macular Society, a medical research charity. Jackman recently joined the board of the Journey Home Society.

United Way Southern Interior BC will begin its search for Jackman’s replacement immediately.

Loewen new OMREB boss
Okanagan Edge Staff - Apr 18, 2019 - People in Business

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Kelowna’s Michael Loewen is the new president of the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board.

OMREB, which is the largest real estate board in the Interior, also swore in its new board of directors earlier this month during its 60th annual general meeting in Kelowna.

Loewen, who is a licensed Realtor in Kelowna, was elected to succeed Marv Beer, who will continue with the organization as past president.

“I’m honoured and tremendously excited to lead a talented, dedicated team charged with supporting the work of 1,300 local Realtors in the pursuit of professional excellence in service to real estate consumers,” Loewen said in a press release.

“Through leadership, professional development, technology and tools, OMREB helps our members protect and provide peace of mind to men and women transacting, for most, the biggest investment they will make in their lifetime.”

Kim Heizmann succeeds Loewen as vice-president, and the rest of the board of directors consists of Tina Cosman, Kim Davies, Dean Desrosiers, Don Gagnon, Brad Marsh, Jerry Redman, Karen Singbeil and Bob Wood.

Salmon Armanian wins HR award
Okanagan Edge Staff - Apr 03, 2019 - People in Business

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A Salmon Arm resident has been named the top human resources professional in B.C. and Yukon.

Sheri Hamilton, who works for Salmon Arm Savings and Credit Union, was named the Chartered Professionals in Human Resources of British Columbia and Yukon HR professional of the year at the organization’s annual convention in Vancouver on Wednesday morning.

Hamilton, who is the associate vice-president of HR with the credit union, has been working in the industry for more than 20 years. She also supports emerging HR professionals as chair of the Okanagan College Regional Advisory Committee and as a member of the Okanagan College Foundation’s board.

“How wonderful it is to see a long-standing, designated member as the recipient of this year’s HR professional of the year award,” CPHR BC & Yukon president and CEO Anthony Ariganello said in a press release. “Sheri not only manages complex people challenges at SASCU but is instrumental in also leading non-HR projects to success.”

Przybyl brings experience west
Okanagan Edge Staff - Apr 02, 2019 - People in Business

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Century 21 Assurance Ltd. has hired Shirley Przybyl as its new managing broker.

Przybyl has been in the real estate business for 26 years and comes to Kelowna from Winnipeg, where she served as managing broker for Century 21 Bachman and Associates for the last 11 years.

Przybyl is a past president of the Manitoba Real Estate Association and the Winnipeg Real Estate Board, and she was elected to the Manitoba Real Estate Association education chair in 2015. She implemented numerous enhancements to the province’s professional education and relicensing programs.

“I look forward to building upon the professional and community work of my predecessor, Myrna Park, and am fully committed to working in harmony with the local real estate boards and associations in B.C.,” Przybyl said in a press release.

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