Top 40: David Kemp
Contributed - 10:04 am - People in Business

Photo: Contributed

Okanagan Edge and 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 eighth year the chamber has conducted a “Top 40” showcase. Honourees will be featured throughout the year on Okanagan Edge.


After finishing law school at UBC Vancouver in 2015, David Kemp returned to Kelowna to build his career. He very quickly realized that he wanted to be a real estate and business lawyer, helping people build what was important to them: buying, selling and running businesses, and buying, selling and managing real estate.

As a third generation Kelownian, it was very important to Kemp to get involved as well, so he also made a point of getting involved all over Kelowna—in JCI Kelowna (Kelowna Jaycees), the rugby community, Festivals Kelowna and Downtown Kelowna Association. Kemp was fortunate enough to be able to start and run the JCI Kelowna farm project, which operates a quarter acre of land and grows food for local charities, and he is currently helping to create a new development model for entry-level housing through the YeYe Housing Society.

Since returning to Kelowna in 2016, he has served in the following roles:
• Director of external events, JCI Kelowna
• Director of Social, JCI Kelowna
• Vice-president, JCI Kelowna
• Director, Festivals Kelowna
• Director, Downtown Kelowna Association
• Director, Rotary Club of Kelowna Foundation
• Director, Yeye Housing Society
• Director, Okanagan Society of Independent Filmmakers
• Co-chair, Okanagan Young Lawyers Chapter, Canadian Bar Association
• Chair, JCI Kelowna Farm Project at Helen’s Acres
• Member, Rotary Club of Kelowna

The majority of those roles are self-explanatory; Kemp says that his service with JCI Kelowna has been extremely rewarding, as he helped lead a group of young active citizens deepen their involvement in the Kelowna community. Through education, training, fundraising, competitions and social events, they aim to create a generation of leaders in the community.

The Yeye Housing Society also has been extremely rewarding. Led by Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick and featuring top figures in the construction and development community, the society aims to create entry-level housing far below market value due to a development structure they are currently developing, with the goal of inspiring more developers to follow their lead in order to create more accessible housing options.

Kemp holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations from UBC Okanagan and a law degree from UBC in Vancouver.

SD22 gets new assistant super
Jon Manchester - 8:53 am - People in Business

Photo: Contributed

The Vernon School District has a new assistant superintendent.

Katherine Oviatt says she is “humbled and grateful” to join the SD22 leadership team and is “looking forward to learning and growing together in this new and exciting adventure.”

For the past seven years, Oviatt has served as superintendent of learning for Horizon School Division in Humboldt, Sask., supporting 43 schools and 6,300 students across a geographically large district.

She is a mother of five, grandmother to 12 and has had a rich career, from early learning to high school. She has been a vice-principal and principal, and has also taught pre-service teachers as a sessional instructor for the University of Lethbridge.

Her work in early learning, classroom instruction, and Indigenous education has earned provincial recognition.

An assistant superintendent is responsible for general supervision of the learning agenda, implementation of approved programs, and for evaluation of staff and programs.

“This position has been on the board’s radar for several years now,” SD22 board chair Gen Acton said in a press release. “Strong and sufficient leadership is essential if we are to implement our new strategic plan successfully. With a growing school district, the timing is right.”

Top 40: Candice Loring
Contributed - May 12, 2022 - People in Business

Photo: Contributed

Okanagan Edge and 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 eighth year the chamber has conducted a “Top 40” showcase. Honourees will be featured throughout the year on Okanagan Edge.


Candice Loring spent three years working in the financial industry supporting local businesses as an account manager of small business banking at TD Canada Trust. This is where her passion for supporting entrepreneurship began.

Loring is now the director of business development and Indigenous community engagement for Mitacs in partnership with UBC Okanagan. In her role she has supported advancing the innovation ecosystem in the Okanagan. She also sits on the Entrepreneurship at UBC Okanagan advisory board. In her role at Mitacs she has supported hundreds of local organizations through collaborative innovation projects.

Loring is on the Indigenous Advisory Council for the Oceans Supercluster, the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Council Advisory Committee, and the Women in Leadership Foundation Indigenous Leadership Advisory Circle. She was adopted into the Eagle clan and given the name K’wiloo’km N’kwala, which means she is a resourceful, hard-working educator and N’kwala is after her sixth grandfather Grand Chief N’kwala.

She has moderated the Okanagan Water Forum for the past two years in an effort to create more awareness about water stewardship and ethics. She organized TD Trees Days for three consecutive years, planting more than 1,500 trees and berry bushes in partnership with Westbank First Nations. She also spent years volunteering for the Inn From the Cold shelter, cooking dinner for their clients. She volunteers at UBC Okanagan convocation, welcoming new alumni into the UBC alumni family. She is currently volunteering for the Women in Leadership Foundation as a mentor of women early in their careers looking to learn how to advance.

She has a bachelor of management degree with a minor in psychology from UBC Okanagan. And she is now pursuing an Indigenous business leadership executive master of business administration at SFU’s Beedie School of Business.

In 2021, CanadianSME business magazine named her as one of Canada’s most inspirational female entrepreneurs and business leaders. She was also named as UBC Okanagan woman of the year when she was a student in 2014.

Loring was recognized as one of TD Canada Trust’s top national performers and was part of the TD Champions. She is a Ch’nook Scholar in recognition of being one of western Canada’s top Indigenous business students.

Where is BC economy headed?
Okanagan Edge Staff - May 11, 2022 - People in Business

Photo: Contributed

The state of the B.C. economy and where the housing market is going will be the points of discussion next week at Kelowna Chamber of Commerce’s monthly speaking event.

Brendon Ogmundson, who is the chief economist for the BC Real Estate Association, will be the guest of honour during the Okanagan School of Business Speaker Series event. He will discuss the Bank of Canada’s rate tightening and how it might impact the Canadian and B.C. economy in the post-pandemic landscape.

Ogmundson has a master’s in economics from Simon Fraser University and is a Certified Financial Analyst charterholder.

The event will be held at Kelowna Ramada Hotel & Conference Centre next Wednesday, May 18, from noon to 1:30 p.m. Those wishing to attend must register before Thursday (May 12) at 4 p.m.

More information can be found here.

Top UBCO researchers honoured
Okanagan Edge Staff - May 09, 2022 - People in Business

Photos: Contributed
(Clockwise, from top left): Dr. Margaret Macintyre Latta, Rhyann McKay, Dr. Kyle Larson and Dr. Jennifer Davis.

The best of the UBC Okanagan researching business was honoured last week for its outstanding work.

Dr. Jennifer Davis, Dr. Kyle Larson, Dr. Margaret Macintyre Latta and Rhyann McKay were all all feted in their respective categories.

Dr. Davis won in the health division, Dr. Larson was honoured for natural sciences and engineering work, Dr. Macintyre Latta captured the social sciences and humanities award, and McKay, a doctoral student, was recognized as the student researcher of the year.

“The Researcher of the Year ceremony is one of my favourite events of the year,” UBCO vice-principal and associate vice-president of research and innovation Phil Barker said in a press release. “It is a distinct pleasure to acknowledge some of our star researchers and highlight their contributions.

“UBC Okanagan is one of the most rapidly expanding campuses in Canada, and we are attracting top-notch scholars and researchers who are leaders in their fields.”

Top 40: Kyla Magee
Contributed - May 09, 2022 - People in Business

Photo: Contributed

Okanagan Edge and 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 eighth year the chamber has conducted a “Top 40” showcase. Honourees will be featured throughout the year on Okanagan Edge.


Kyla Magee (nee Stewart) moved to Kelowna from Fort St. John immediately after high school to attend university. 

She made it her mission to build a network, life, career and family in the Okanagan Valley. It was a lofty goal; nevertheless, 12 years later she has done just that. She has an incredible network of friends and acquaintances, participates in a variety of recreational sports, and has built her family life here.

Nationally, she is one of the youngest female partners with MNP and is proud to have a career that she loves. Growing up in an entrepreneurial family, she knew early on that she was interested in understanding how different businesses worked and feeling the energy and passion that many small business owners radiate. Her work with MNP allows her to gain insight into a variety of industries, business owner mindsets and boardrooms that energize and challenge her daily. She works with numerous non-profit organizations as their auditor and advisor, supporting them in fulfilling their compliance obligations and thinking strategically about the direction of their organization.

While studying, she was able to build foundational leadership skills through working with the Management Student Association at UBC Okanagan’s campus, co-ordinating academic clubs and competitions for other students. Subsequent to that experience, she was invited to present on project management at the Canadian Association of Business Students’ Western Canadian Leadership Retreat in 2016.

Since joining MNP, she has championed numerous initiatives, including software implementation, team engagement, learning and development, and operational efficiency process improvements. On top of these roles, she has taken a key role in MNP’s performance coaching and mentoring, including supporting more than 25 local CPA candidates in their achievement of the Common Final Exam, which produced two honour role candidates, and mentoring more than 10 young professionals as they grow their career in the Okanagan. As a partner with the firm, she is entrusted on a regular basis to help make challenging decisions, facilitate difficult discussions, inspire others towards accomplishing a common goal for our firm and advise her clients in navigating their strategic and operational goals.

As a young professional, she has immense privilege and outstanding opportunities afforded to her by her career in accounting. She is passionate about creating the same experience for those professionals who will follow. She has been involved at the UBC Okanagan campus in mentoring and coaching students in their case competition skills and competing in the JDC West business case competition. She also was a vocal advocate for changes in the bachelor of management program to ensure that students were able to complete their required courses at UBC Okanagan’s campus, allowing them to become future CPAs and leaders in the community without needing to study in other communities. She has continued this involvement in the profession by teaching courses nationally to help students prepare for and succeed on the Common Final Exam, working with and leading the CPABC’s Okanagan chapter for almost six years and, more recently, sitting on the CPABC’s membership committee, supporting the board of directors in regulating their membership.

In 2013, she earned her bachelor of management, with honours, from UBC Okanagan. Her academic achievements during this time include an invitation to the Golden Key International Honour Society and a degree with honours. She continued on to complete her master’s in professional accounting at the University of Saskatchewan. Concurrently, she completed her practical experience with MNP and successfully wrote the Common Final Exam in 2015, resulting in receiving her chartered professional designation in 2016.

During her studies, she competed in JDC West, where she and her team finished in second place. In 2015, she was selected to speak on behalf of the graduating class for the Masters of Professional Accounting, representing some of the top graduate-level accounting students across Western Canada. While not awarded, she has been nominated for CPABC’s Early Achievement Award, which is a very prestigious award in the CPA profession.

This past year was a milestone year, as she celebrated her 30th birthday and within the same month was invited to join the partnership at MNP.

Fawcett retires from winery role
Glacier Media - May 09, 2022 - People in Business

Photo: Rob Kruyt

The man who grew Black Hills Estate Winery and introduced one of B.C.’s first ultra-premium wines has shifted into a retirement that will include some consulting work.

Glenn Fawcett is known in B.C.’s wine sector for his marketing savvy, which enabled him being able to drum up enough interest to sell thousands of cases of his winery’s pricy Nota Bene wine in less than an hour.

The Nota Bene, along with Osoyoos Larose’s Le Grand Vin and Mission Hill Estate Winery’s Oculus, were three of the first super-premium wines in the province. Nota Bene bottles sell for about $70.

Fawcett formed a limited partnership that bought the then-11-year-old Black Hills in 2007 for $11.3 million from two founding couples: Senka and Bob Tennant, and Susan and Peter McCarrell.

He had been marketing wine tours for the non-profit, wine-purchasing co-operative Opimian Society, which he called a “hobby business.” He listened to countless wine tourists who told him that they would love to own a winery but they thought it would take too much work and they did not want to lose their life savings if the venture flopped.

Bingo, he thought. Why not create a vehicle to allow hundreds of shareholders to buy Black Hills?

His limited partnership included 360 individuals who owned 456 units when Andrew Peller Limited bought Black Hills Estate Winery for $31 million in cash in 2017. That transaction happened simultaneously with Peller also buying Tinhorn Creek Vineyards and Grey Monk Estate Winery. While each of the deals was separate, Peller pinned the cost of buying all three of those wineries at $95 million.

As part of the transaction, Fawcett agreed to stay on as president for another two years. In 2019, he shifted to become the chief wine evangelist at Black Hills, while a new corporate structure took hold. He holds the honorary title of wine evangelist emeritus at Black Hills, which is not a paid position but enables him to attend some Nota Bene tastings and to be what he calls a “goodwill ambassador.”

Fawcett’s May 1 departure has enabled him to take on some consulting work for Stoneboat Vineyards, and the start-up Valley Commons, which is in the District Wine Village, which is a site in Oliver that houses 13 wineries.

He told Glacier Media that he and his wife, Kym, plan to do more travelling to wine regions around the world.

Fawcett is on a Destination British Columbia advisory committee, and said that he hopes to be involved in other organizations to help promote the Okanagan Valley.

“I love the wine industry and the Okanagan Valley, so I’m hoping I can do more of that in the future,” he said.

Skiing star joins FH&P
Okanagan Edge Staff - May 06, 2022 - People in Business

Photo: Contributed

There is a new face at FH&P Lawyers in downtown Kelowna.

Brett McClelland has joined the firm and will practise in areas like general litigation, insurance defence, strata disputes and estate affairs.

“I’m thrilled to join the team at FH&P, as I appreciate how the firm encourages and supports involvement in the local community, and of particular interest to myself, local sporting events and organizations,” McClelland said in a press release.

The Grande Prairie, Alta., native comes from a sporting background, as he was a freestyle skier who competed on the international stage.

He attended the University of Calgary, where he earned a bachelor of arts degree in ancient and medieval history, and then went to law school at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops.

“Adding Brett to our team will definitely benefit our clients,” managing partner Dylan Switzer said. “As a young associate he comes to us with terrific experience and a passion for helping people. Our partnership is thrilled to have him join our team.”

Top 40: Julien Gibon
Contributed - May 05, 2022 - People in Business

Photo: Contributed

Okanagan Edge and 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 eighth year the chamber has conducted a “Top 40” showcase. Honourees will be featured throughout the year on Okanagan Edge.


Julien Gibon describes himself as an immigrant who moved from France in 2011 with his wife and four-month-old son.

In Montreal he spent four years working at the best neurological centre in Canada, the Montreal Neurological Institute. He moved with his family to the Okanagan in January 2016 to work at UBCO as a lab manager in a laboratory of neuroscience. In 2019 he was promoted to assistant professor without review and started his research lab studying the neurobiology of memory.

Gibon has been teaching courses in neurobiology, clinical neuroscience and psychology to more than 850 students over the last four years. His lab is very active with undergraduate and graduate students. He received funding from The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada to study the impact of a genetic mutation on memory.

Gibon has been in a leadership position at UBCO since January 2016. First, as a lab manager, he was in charge of training all the students in the lab and making essential decisions about as many as 10 projects that were simultaneously on the go. He maintains an exceptional work environment in which students thrive and feel respected. Many students from his class want to volunteer in the lab and pursue further work because they know about his leadership style. He is open to discussion, cares about their success, and provides clear goals and expectations. From strength-based leadership, his top one is harmony, which he believes defines his leadership very well. He creates an exceptional environment for people to succeed. He is now leading his research lab with the same idea and still managing the previous lab. He mentors one undergraduate and six graduate students as well as a technician. He is recognized as a leader in neuroscience research at UBCO.

He volunteers in two main domains: At his kids’ school, L’anse-au-sable, with 310 students, and UBCO, with 12,000 persons working or studying. He was elected president of the parent advisory council in 2019, serving as a liaison between the parents and the school director. His role is also to promote the school, supervise and organize fundraising, and discuss and propose a plan for the school’s future. It collected, via grants and fundraising, more than $60,000 over the last four years and redistributed everything to the students via the purchase of books, time at the CNC Kelowna for skating, graduation ceremony and many other activities. L’Anse-au-sable is critical to the francophone community in Kelowna, and he is proud to serve the community as much as possible.

At UBCO, Gibon volunteers to organize events promoting knowledge translation. He organizes conferences for students to present their research. He firmly believes that we need to better connect research to the public, and those events are crucial to achieving this goal.

Gibon earned a PhD in neurobiology and neuroscience from the University of Grenoble in France, and a certificate in management from UBCO. He received in 2021 five years of funding from The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

How to start feeling better
Contributed - May 04, 2022 - People in Business

Photo: Contributed

By Courtney Kafka

As a Bowen therapist I hear this a lot: Why do I feel like crap? Why am I in such pain? Why do I hurt so much?

I can’t give you a definitive answer, but I can point you in the right direction.

There are several reasons for you feeling like crap:

1. Your nervous system is overwhelmed with stress. We are tied to our phones, computers, the radio, the news, work and life. If you aren’t turning these stimulus off and finding a calming, grounding activity to do, the stress will just cause the same issues.

2. You don’t really sleep, and when you do it’s not very restful.

3. Your gut health isn’t very good, which means you crave sugar and carbs, which in turn makes you feel worse.

4. You are inflamed, which means puffiness, bloat and feeling like your clothes are too tight.

5. You have headaches every day, feel like yuck, and you just can’t seem to really breathe. When you do try to breathe deeply, things feel sticky. And why can’t you get rid of that darn cough?

Let’s start by exploring the headaches, the yuck and the having a hard time breathing and why you can’t seem to get rid of the darn cough. Your lungs work as a pump. You breathe in, and your lungs expand, drawing air into your body, into your blood stream and oxygenating your body. When you breathe out, your lungs contract to push the old air out of your lungs, along with any irritants, infection and mucus. Coughing expels irritants.

If you have asthma, that pump doesn’t work quite so well. If you are stressed constantly, then you aren’t breathing optimally anyway. If you aren’t breathing optimally, then you are not getting nearly enough oxygen into your lungs and body.

Now, your pump may not be working its best for a few reasons. Due to our stress we breathe more shallow, so our ribs don’t expand nearly as much as they should. But there could also be a physiological reason as to why you are not able to breathe as deeply.

The rib cage is the protection for your lungs, but that also means your lungs can only expand as much as your rib cage will allow. Your rib cage is made up of the bones of your ribs and then the intercostal spaces between those, which allow the ribs to move. Imagine if those spaces spasmed or got stuck. Your ribs will not be able to move nearly as well and you may or may not feel this change.

Now, your lymphatic system is tied in with your lungs and ribs as well as the rest of your body, so if your ribs can’t move as well it’s safe to say your lymphatic system, which is part of your immune system, is also not functioning properly.

Your lymphatic system is, of course, tied into your digestive system as well and so is your stress response, but that’s another subject for another day.

As you can see, there are so many factors tied into why you feel like crap. Is there one answer to fix everything? No. But there are a few things you can do to support your body and start feeling better.

First, find a Bowen therapist. Bowen therapy helps the body naturally shift from fight or flight to rest and digest, which will also calm the inflammation in your body. Also, Bowen therapy helps open up the ribs, calms down spasm and calms down any pain you may be feeling.

Once your lungs are back to working optimally, some calming stress reducing exercises are good to add into your life.

Box breathing is one, going for a walk, walking barefoot or reading a good book … basically a break from constant stimulus can help your poor nervous system a lot. Imagine how much better your sleep will be if you are feeling calmer.

Getting on a good gut health system, so the bloat and puffiness go down and your body’s inflammatory response can ease, will help immensely too. Let’s face it, 80% of your serotonin production—mood balance and happiness—is produced in your digestive system. Supporting gut health is very important.

Courtney Kafka is a certified Bowen therapist at GPS Fitness in Vernon

This column was submitted as part of BWB Wednesdays

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