Lexaria adds veteran voice
Okanagan Edge Staff - Nov 05, 2019 - People in Business

Photo: Contributed

Kelowna’s Lexaria Bioscience has added an American venture capital company founder to its stable of mentors.

Lexaria has appointed Gregg Smith, who is the founder of Evolution VC Partners in New York, as a senior advisor for the company. Evolution VC is a “culture tech” venture investment firm with more than 90 portfolio companies.

“I am passionate about creating a smokeless future and recognize that the consumption methods of nicotine and cannabis will change,” Smith said in a press release. “Lexaria’s technology, DehydraTECH, will completely disrupt and improve the consumption and delivery of oral nicotine, CBD and cannabis.

“Lexaria’s recognition of the recent FDA recognition of certain oral delivery forms of nicotine as ‘less harmful’ to human health than combustible smoking will be a driving force of changing consumer preferences. I expect Lexaria’s technology to play a significant role in that future, and I am pleased to advise the management team at Lexaria in defining our leadership strategies.”

Smith spent 20 years on Wall Street as an investment banker focused on executing private equity placements with a strong focus on life sciences.

Lexaria markets drug delivery platforms that change the way active pharmaceutical ingredients enter the bloodstream, promoting healthier ingestion methods, lower overall dosing and higher effectiveness.

Firefighter granny going strong
Darren Handschuh - Oct 29, 2019 - People in Business

Photo: Contributed

Cindy Knight is probably not what most people envision a firefighter to be.

But when the time comes, the mother of three and grandmother grabs her gear and answers the call for help.

Knight has been with Lumby and District Fire Department for four years, and there is no where else she would rather be.

“I cannot imagine not being a firefighter,” Knight said. “I want people to know that people of all abilities, sizes and experience levels have something to contribute as a firefighter.”

In a paid-on-call hall like Lumby, every member has a day job, some of which can seem unrelated to the duties of a firefighter, but skills transfer over in surprising ways.

In her day job, Knight works as a cook at a care home and as a caterer on the side.

She’s found that her experience in busy kitchens translates well to the fire hall since she’s used to working on her feet for long hours and lifting heavy equipment.

For years Knight wondered if joining the department would be the right move for her. She knew she wanted to serve her community in some way, and when her daughter completed the junior firefighting program, she was nudged further towards applying.

“I mentioned to my family that I was thinking about applying, and without a second of hesitation, they said go for it. That encouragement helped me make up my mind, and now four years later, I cannot imagine not being here,” she said.

To Knight, having a solid work ethic and willingness to learn is more important than physical strength.

“There aren’t as many barriers as some people may think. Lots of people think they aren’t strong enough or don’t have enough stamina, but don’t underestimate yourself. Within our hall, there are a wide variety of strengths, and everyone brings something different to the team,” she said.

Fires do not make up most of the calls; motor vehicle accidents, medical aid, gas leaks and other events are common. And when they do respond to fires, the scope in skills needed is also diverse. On scene drivers, firefighters to run the hoses and pumps, and traffic control are all needed.

Knight’s advice to people considering joining the fire department is: “If you’ve been considering it, take it one step further and stop by the hall to learn more. It’s rewarding, and we have a supportive team here with a chief that cheers you on.”

The Lumby and District Fire Department is currently accepting applications for paid-on-call firefighters, and the department provides all of the necessary training. To apply at the Lumby and District Fire Department, visit the hall at 1769 Shuswap Ave., any Tuesday night between 7 and 9 p.m. or call 250-547-9516.

For people that live in Electoral Area C near or on Silver Star, the Silver Star Fire Department is also recruiting new members. Seasonal residents are welcome to apply.

To apply at the Silver Star Fire Department, drop by the Silver Star Fire Hall located at 9885 Silver Star Rd. on any Tuesday from 7 to 9 p.m. to apply or call 250-549-1556 for more information.

OC president extended
Okanagan Edge Staff - Oct 28, 2019 - People in Business

Photo: Contributed

Jim Hamilton will serve as Okanagan College president for the next 15 months, at which time he will retire.

OC board of governors chair Chris Derickson announced Monday that Hamilton, who is B.C.’s longest-serving post-secondary president, has agreed to an extension that will take him until Jan. 29, 2021.

The Vernon resident has been Okanagan College’s president since 2004.

“We’re very pleased Jim has agreed to continue in his role until early 2021,” Derickson said in a press release. “There are several strategic initiatives that will benefit from his considerable expertise and insight. The board also asked him to complete work on the college’s indigenization strategy and lead the development of a new strategic plan for the college.

“The college has prospered under his leadership, and we are grateful it will continue to do so.”

Hamilton first joined the institution, which was formerly known as Okanagan University College and UBC Okanagan, in 1980, when he began as an English professor.

The school became Okanagan College in 2005, and since then it has grown by more than 70 p er cent. The college reports it is the only B.C. college that has met or exceeded government enrolment targets every year for the past 14 years.

Fire prevention Burton’s focus
Okanagan Edge Staff - Oct 23, 2019 - People in Business

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The City of Armstrong has hired a full-time fire prevention officer.

Teagan Burton will assume the role for the Armstrong Spallumcheen Fire Department on Dec. 2.

Burton has been an active member of the city’s volunteer fire department since 2014.

The Armstrong Spallumcheen Fire Department consists of 40 highly trained, volunteer, on-call members. The members participate in weekly practices as well as numerous annual training workshops.

Stibbard top business leader
Okanagan Edge Staff - Oct 23, 2019 - People in Business

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JDS Group of Companies founder Jeff Stibbard has been named Kelowna’s business leader of the year for 2019.

The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce announced the news on Wednesday morning, honouring Stibbard for his “outstanding contribution to the business community” in the Central Okanagan and to Canadian business.

Stibbard was chosen by the independent judging panel that is determining this year’s Business Excellence Award winners.

“Jeff and his family have enriched our city, our province and our country to a mind-boggling degree,” Kelowna chamber president Nikki Csek said in a press release. “What he has done for the resource sector, and how he has ethically enriched communities both in Canada and around the world, is remarkable. We are so lucky to have him right here in Kelowna.”

Stibbard will receive the award at this year’s Business Excellence Awards gala, which will be held next Friday night, Nov. 1, at the Delta Hotels by Marriott Grand Okanagan Resort.

“JDS embodies values of professionalism, honesty, integrity and no harm to people, environment, assets and reputation,” Stibbard said. “These values are constantly demonstrated in the execution of our work. We deliver the highest commitment to cost, schedule and quality to our resource industry partners in some of the harshest (highest elevation, deepest, coldest, hottest, remotest, most humid, driest, and riskiest) locations on the planet with alacrity. We get it done.”

Vernon pro earns kudos
John Lawless - Oct 11, 2019 - People in Business

Photo: Contributed

The PGA of British Columbia has named six of its annual award recipients, and one of them is a Vernon pro.

Myles Johnson will be receiving the Community Leadership Bursary, which recognizes an extraordinary desire to make a difference in the lives of others, and giving back to the people that stop by the course.

Johnson is the pro of the par-56 Hillview Golf Course, and he maintains a successful youth program that includes spring lessons, summer tournaments and an overall fun atmosphere to help kids fall in love with the game.

He also leads other youth-related programs such as cost-saving trade-in initiatives, free instruction and no-entry-fee tournament play.

The bursary will go towards funding these campaigns, making sure they remain affordable for the youth in his community.

The award ceremony will take place on Oct. 16 at the River Rock Casino Resort in the Lower Mainland.

Local poet up for big award
Darren Handschuh - Oct 09, 2019 - People in Business

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Coldstream poet Laisha Rosnau has made the short list for a prestigious literary award.

The Shevchenko Foundation has announced Rosnau’s poetry collection, Our Familiar Hunger, has been shortlisted for the 2020 Kobzar Book Award.

The Kobzar Book Award is presented biennially to Canadian authors who explore the Ukrainian Canadian experience in their work, whether that be literary non-fiction, poetry, young readers literature, play, screenplay or musical.

In its exploration of the lives of Eastern European women, Our Familiar Hunger tests and confirms the will, struggle and fortitude of generations of women, both contemporary and historical.

The poems shift in time and place, moving from the Russian Revolution to Holodomor, the massive famine in Ukraine, to early Ukrainian immigration to Canada and later, prisoner camps across Canada during the First World War.

The collection explores different types of hunger and what it means to be hungry, whether that be literal hunger for sustenance, sexual hunger and desire, or hunger for love.

Rosnau is the author of The Sudden Weight of Snow, which received an honourable mention for the Amazon/Books in Canada First Novel Award.

Her first collection of poetry, Notes on Leaving, won the 2005 Acorn-Plantos People’s Poetry Award. Her second, Lousy Explorers, was a finalist for the Pat Lowther Award for best book of poetry by a Canadian woman.

Our Familiar Hunger was the winner of the 2019 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize.

Berg a jewel of a leader
Okanagan Edge Staff - Oct 04, 2019 - People in Business

Photo: Contributed

A Kelowna business owner has been elected president of a major Canadian jewelry association.

Kim Berg, who co-owns European Goldsmith Fine Jewellery, is the new president of the Canadian Jewellery Group Cooperative Association, which is the nation’s largest jewelry buying group and represents independent stores.

“The world is changing quickly and so is our industry,” Berg said. “As president, it is my role to help our members evolve with the times and stay ahead of changes in everything from fashion to marketing and security.”

The association has 97 retail members with 121 stores across the country. Berg has served on its board of directors for the past three years and is just the second woman to be elected president.

European Goldsmith Fine Jewellery opened at Orchard Park Shopping Centre in 1996, and it is now located on Pandosy Street.

OSS names new boss
Okanagan Edge Staff - Sep 30, 2019 - People in Business

Photo: Lynda Miller

The Okanagan Symphony Society has decided on its new executive director.

Geraldine Parent will start in the position on Nov. 4. She comes to the role with 25 years of experience in the arts, including administration and project management in diverse environments and at senior management levels.

She has been the Kelowna Community Theatre manager and Chamber Music Kelowna operations co-ordinator since returning to the Okanagan in 2017. Prior to that she spent 12 years in the Lower Mainland, serving as Arts Umbrella’s programming director the City of Burnaby’s arts services manager.

Parent moved to B.C. in 1996 to become the Penticton Art Gallery’s director and curator.

Kitts red hot on links
Okanagan Edge Staff - Sep 25, 2019 - People in Business

Photo: Contributed

One of Kelowna’s own golf professionals had a day to remember on the course Tuesday.

Mark Kitts, the club pro at Shadow Ridge Golf Club, won the 2019 Srixon/Cleveland Golf/XXIO PGA of BC Club Professional Championship, which was held Monday and Tuesday at Kelowna Golf and Country Club.

Kitts, who was playing in the tournament for the first time, fired rounds of 68 and 69 to capture the $2,700 first-prize cheque in the 47-player field. He won by a shot over Dave Zibrik, the head pro at Vancouver’s Point Grey Golf and Country Club.

“The key to my tournament was not making any bogeys through these two days,” Kitts said in a press release. “I started off with a birdie on the first and thought this was going to be an easy day but then had to wait 15 holes to make my second.”

Kitts also had a top-five finish at the 2019 PGA of BC Championship last month at Whistler Golf Club, which means he will represent the province at the PGA Head Professional Championship of Canada in early December at Arizona’s Wigwam Golf Resort.

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