Unisus principal announced
Colin Dacre - Jan 14 - Biz Releases

Photo: Contributed

The Unisus private school in Summerland has announced its new senior principal.

Tosca Killoran comes to the institution with experience at baccalaureate schools in Europe and Asia.

“Killoran is also an author, a publisher and a frequent presenter and keynote speaker,” the school’s announcement stated.

She will start full-time at the school in July. She is currently completing her doctorate in education at East Carolina University. Her doctorate focuses on “supporting the creation of equitable, networked innovation communities within international schools.”

“From meeting Ms. Killoran, I am confident that she will work effectively with all our global-minded, outstanding Unisus team,” recruitment advisor Gary Little said.

King joins wine festival
Okanagan Edge Staff - Jan 07 - People in Business

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 The BC Wine Cider & Spirits Festival has announced Marjorie King as its judging manager.

King has spent the last 22 years in the industry, and in 2000 received the Founders Award by the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society. She has formed long-standing relationships with honourable judges, sommeliers and industry influencers, and without her expertise and relationships B.C. judging competitions would not be what they are today.

“We are so thrilled to not only announce that Marjorie will continue working with our team but actually be granted the privilege to do so,” BC Wine Cider & Spirits Festival founder and general manager Katherine Bramall said in a press release. “Marjorie has developed and executed the province’s most credible judging competitions, including the Best of Varietal, BC Wine Awards and British Columbia Lieutenant Governors Wine Awards.

“We are honoured to be able to say that she will be exclusively working with our team moving forward.”

Fleck joins Vernon museum
Okanagan Edge Staff - Jan 03 - People in Business

Photo: Contributed

The Greater Vernon Museum and Archives has hired Steve Fleck as its new education and outreach co-ordinator.

And Fleck would like to know what area residents feel about history, culture and community at an upcoming event.

The GVMA will be hosting an open meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 15, at 7 p.m. Its headquarters are located at 3009 32nd Ave. in downtown Vernon. The main reason for the get-together will be to discuss the organization’s new education and culture committee.

If you can’t make it to the open meeting, Fleck invites you to send your thoughts via e-mail to [email protected]

Filmmakers get new boss
Okanagan Edge Staff - Jan 03 - People in Business

Photo: Contributed

The Okaganan Society of Independent Filmmaking has hired its first executive director.

Matt Stewart has taken the reins of the non-profit group that was founded in 2003. Stewart has had a variety of jobs over the years, mostly in the realm of public speaking and performance coaching.

Stewart will be in charge of creating a multi-year strategy for OSIF, all with the goal of empowering local filmmakers, supporting the valley’s storytellers and connecting the film community.

OSIF will be hosting a series of networking events, the first of which will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 16, at 6 p.m. It will be held in the studio of The Film Factory, which is located at 1126 Richter St. in Kelowna.

You can register for the event here.

Local nurse honoured
Nicholas Johansen - Dec 28 - People in Business

Photo: Contributed

A Kelowna nurse who helps some of the community’s most marginalized has been recognized for her work.

Brenda Epp was awarded an Excellence in Nursing Practice award by the Nurses and Nurse Practitioners of BC in Vancouver last week.

Epp, program manager for a 12-bed withdrawal management unit operated by The Bridge Youth & Family Services Society, leads more than 20 staff, providing full-time care for drug-addicted patients undergoing withdrawal.

“Compassionate, skilled, professional and curious, Brenda sets the standard for her unit,” says John Yarschenko of The Bridge.

“Steadfast in her unwavering and unconditional positive regard for her patients, she confers dignity and respect to the most marginalized and vulnerable individuals in the region.”

Through her work, Epp has provided community naloxone training, helped establish a youth withdrawal management unit and lead the development of a program that provides nursing care to residents of Kelowna’s homeless shelters.

“I would like to thank The Bridge Youth & Family Services who have given me the opportunity to combine my values with my nursing practise and allow me to be a part of a dynamic, compassionate, and creative organization and the board of directors of NNPBC for acknowledging the good work that is being done in our communities,” Epp said during her acceptance speech.

Gaffney joins Pushor Mitchell
Okanagan Edge Staff - Dec 21 - Okanagan Biz

Photo: Kirk Penton

Photo: Contributed

Patrick Gaffney has joined Kelowna’s Pushor Mitchell law firm.

Gaffney will serve as associate counsel at the firm after working as a family law practitioner in Newmarket, Ont.

He has also worked for the Ontario Office of the Children’s Lawyer and as a staff lawyer for Legal Services of B.C.

Gaffney will also practise family law at Pushor Mitchell.

New Global Okanagan boss
Okanagan Edge Staff - Dec 21 - People in Business

Photo: Contributed

Global Okanagan has a new station manager and news director.

Paul Larsen, who has been in the media business since the age of 16 in Fort St. John, B.C., will take over on Jan. 8.

Larsen spent the last 12 years running his own company, Clear Sky Radio, which grew to five stations and brought in multiple Radio Television Digital News Association awards for its news coverage. He sold Clear Sky to Vista Radio this week.

Larsen and lived and worked in Kelowna for the last six years, including serving as a consultant for Okanagan Oldies 103.9.

Journey Home boss named
Okanagan Edge Staff - Dec 13 - Biz Releases

File photo: Jennifer Zeilinski

Gaelene Askeland has been named executive director of the Journey Home Society.

Askeland has more than seven years of experience leading non-profit organizations that focus on social justice issues. Journey Home is Kelowna’s strategy to combat homelessness.

“I am thrilled to join the Journey Home Society and look forward to implementing the strategy to address homelessness in our community,” Askeland said in a press release. “We have an amazing opportunity to pull the community together and find creative solutions to challenges that our whole country is facing. We have a significant task ahead of us, but the strategy is in place and the time is right to get it done.”

Askeland will report to the Journey Home Society board of directors. She will work on preventative measures to divert people at risk of losing their home into community-based prevention supports, developing an integrated and coordinated system that will ensure that those who are living without homes or who are at risk of losing their home will have access to the supports they need when they need them, and eliminating chronic and episodic homelessness by 2024.

Journey Home is still looking for board members and will be accepting applications until 11:59 p.m. on Saturday.

Wise move at Black Hills
Okanagan Edge Staff - Dec 06 - Biz Releases

Photo: Contributed

Ross Wise is the new head winemaker at Oliver’s Black Hills Estate Winery.

The New Zealand native holds a bachelor of viticulture and an advanced diploma in wine science from Australia’s Charles Sturt University. Wise has worked in his native New Zealand and in Ontario before coming to B.C. to work at Phantom Creek Estate.

“We are thrilled to have Ross join us at Black Hills,” chief wine evangelist Glenn Fawcett said in a press release. “We conducted a wide-ranging international search for our new winemaker that resulted in several outstanding candidates, and Ross stood out for us.”

Wise will begin in his new role on Jan. 7.

“I’m really looking forward to joining the Black Hills team in January,” Wise said. “This is a great opportunity to be part of the next chapter of one of the Okanagan’s most recognized and respected wineries. The ability to focus on making premium red wines such as Nota Bene is a big draw for me.”

Fat Cat hires co-directors
Okanagan Edge Staff - Nov 12 - People in Business

Photos: Contributed
Erin Scott, left, and Karma Lacoff

The Interior Savings Fat Cat Children’s Festival has added a pair of co-directors.

Erin Scott and Karma Lacoff have been hired as the event’s new artistic and executive directors. The Fat Cat Children’s Festival will take place on June 7 and 8, 2019, at Waterfront Park.

Scott has a master of fine arts degree in performance and writing from UBCO, and she is an active participant in the Kelowna performing arts community.

Lacoff, who has plenty of experience in large- and small-scale event planning and music curating, is well-connected in the Canadian music industry. Lacoff works with Creative Okanagan, and has collaborated in the past with BreakOut West, Baptist Housing and Okanagan College.

“I am so excited to have Erin and Karma on board as co-directors!” Fat Cat president Teresa May said in a press release. “We had received many great applicants for this position, but we could not have chosen a greater match as co-directors of our festival as we move towards another decade of providing our community with a high calibre events of creative fun and enriching experience for the whole family to participate and enjoy in.

“These two talented ladies have some incredible ideas that will take this festival to the next level. Our board of directors welcome them with our open hearts and minds.”

Scott and Lacoff will be hosting a community outreach forum on Thursday, Nov. 29, at Okanagan coLab in downtown Kelowna. The event, which will be sponsored by Domino’s Pizza, begins with the food at 5:45 p.m. and follows with questions, discussions and brainstorming about the festival from 6:15 to 7:15 p.m.

Kids, parents, early childhood educators, teachers and anyone interested in the festival’s future are welcome to attend. More information can be found on the festival’s Facebook page.


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