SilverStar hires sales maven
Okanagan Edge Staff - Sep 12 - Biz Releases

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SilverStar Mountain Resort has hired a new sales and marketing director from one of the top ski resorts in the world.

Ian Jenkins, who works as the international sales and marketing director at Vail Resorts in Colorado, is now in charge of the same department at SilverStar. His first day on the job will be next Wednesday.

Jenkins has also worked in sales and marketing at Whistler/Blackcomb, so he is more than familiar with the Canadian market.

True Leaf appoints chair
Okanagan Edge Staff - Aug 15 - Biz Releases

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Vernon’s True Leaf Medicine International has appointed the founding chair of its veterinary advisory board.

Dr. Katherine Kramer, DVM, has been practising veterinary medicine for 16 years and is currently the medical director at the VCA-Canada Vancouver Animal Wellness Hospital.

Dr. Kramer is considered a pioneer in the field of medicinal cannabis for pets. She has been a vocal advocate for the research and therapeutic use of cannabis for animals.

Her role at True Leaf will be to recruit veterinarians from around the world as the company develops legal and safe medicinal cannabis products for pets.

Interior Health names CEO
Jon Manchester - Aug 07 - Biz Releases

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Interior Health has announced its new CEO.

Susan Brown will step into the role effective Oct. 29.

Following Chris Mazurkewich’s announcement earlier this year of his intention to retire at the end of October, IH conducted an extensive search and found Brown already within the organization.

“With an in-depth knowledge of Interior Health and a deeply rooted commitment to patient- and family-centred care, Ms. Brown has the experience and broad skill set required to lead the health authority in its efforts to improve patient care in communities across the Interior,” Health Minister Adrian Dix said in a press release.

Brown has been a senior executive at IH since 2011, when she accepted the role of vice-president of tertiary services. Within eight months, her position expanded to leadership of all acute services, and in 2015 she became IH’s vice-president and chief operating officer, hospitals and communities.

She has worked with staff and physician teams across IH, leading clinical services at its 22 hospitals and in communities across the region.

Before coming to IH, she was executive director of Fraser Health’s medicine program, as well as having oversight over health-care operations at Peace Arch Hospital and in White Rock. She is a certified health executive and holds a master of health studies and a bachelor of science in nursing, and has worked for more than 30 years in health care in Canada and in the United Kingdom.

“Susan has the strategic insight and knowledge of health care that we need in our next CEO. She has led significant initiatives to make team-based care more available to patients, which contributes to improved health outcomes across IH. What really made an impression on our board as we proceeded through the executive search, is her strong commitment to relationships with patients, families, staff and physicians, volunteers, local and regional leaders, foundations and auxiliaries, and of course our many system partners,” board chair Dr. Doug Cochrane said.

Baker now a winemaker
Okanagan Edge Staff - Aug 01 - Biz Releases

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Ross Baker is the new winemaker at West Kelowna’s Quails’ Gate Winery.

Baker, a Kelowna native, joined the company’s winemaking team in 2013 and learned under Nikki Callaway to prepare for the role.

“Ross has been part of the Quails’ Gate family for many years,” CEO Tony Stewart said in a press release, “and with his intimate knowledge of our vineyards and wine styles is the perfect candidate to maintain the consistency and quality of our wines.”

Stewart earned a bachelor of science degree in win at University of British Columbia Okanagan, and he has worked in New Zealand and at Red Rooster and Kettle Valley wineries in B.C.

Quails’ Gate also announced that Kailee Frasch, who started at the winery two years ago, is its new oenologist.

Free pap clinic on tap
Okanagan Edge Staff - Jul 25 - Get Involved

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Dr. Glenn Benoit wants to make sure women who don’t have a care card or a medical services coverage plan can still get a pap smear.

Dr. Benoit, who works out of Kelowna Regional Fertility Centre, will be conducting a free walk-in pap clinic at his office next Wednesday, Aug. 1, from 3 to 6 p.m.

“Pap smears save lives,” Dr. Benoit said in a press release. “This is a simple test that can help prevent cervical cancer. The pap test detects cell changes on your cervix that, if left untreated for several years, could eventually turn into cervical cancer.

“When changes in cervical cells are found early, they can often be treated effectively before they become dangerous. Regular pap testing can reduce cervical cancer deaths by 70 per cent.”

All women between the ages of 25 to 69 are welcome, and those interested in attending can book an appointment by calling 250-861-6818 or by simply walking into the office, which is located at 1630 Pandosy St.

“We would like to do our first pap clinic in the late afternoon and into the evening to assist those women that can not leave work, school or other commitments during the day for a doctor’s appointment,” KRFC office manager and nurse co-ordinator Angie Mace said in a press release. “Pap tests are so very important to stay on top of and can truly save lives if caught early.”

More information can be found on the KRFC website.

“It is an honour to support our community with this health care initiative that Dr. Benoit is providing,” Dr. Benoit’s colleague, Dr. Kathy Wise, said in the release. “Please take advantage of this opportunity to do a simple test that has a great impact on your health. Did you know that you may only need to do your pap smear every three years if you have a normal result? You are the best advocate for your own body and for cancer prevention, so please come and see us if you need a pap smear.”

Karlsen all about seniors
Okanagan Edge Staff - Jul 13 - People in Business

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Janine Karlsen is the new owner of the Home Instead Senior Care office in the Okanagan.

Karlsen comes to Kelowna from the Vancouver office, where she spent the last two years as the co-owner. She is replacing outgoing owner Don Henke.

Karlsen is a registered nurse with a master’s degree in counselling, and she is an outspoken advocate for seniors’ issues. Her areas of expertise include social isolation, Alzheimer’s and how technology can keep family members informed about seniors.

Gopal added to task force
Trevor Nichols - Jul 10 - Biz Releases

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Kelowna’s Raghwa Gopal has been named to a new B.C. government task force.

Gopal, who is Accelerate Okanagan’s chief executive officer, is one of 14 members of the Emerging Economy Task Force, whose goal is to ensure those in B.C. will benefit from innovation and technology advances.

“The task force will gather input from industry leaders to assess and determine the changing nature of business and the economy in the years ahead, and recommend how our government can best anticipate change,” Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology Bruce Ralston said in a press release.

The task force is holding its first meeting today at MineSense Technologies in Vancouver, and it will provide an interim report to the minister this fall.

Gopal, who is a certified business and executive coach, has been starting, growing and selling businesses for 30 years. He is recognized as a technology innovator and sits on several business and non-profit boards.

The government is anticipating 917,000 job openings in the province by 2027, including 11 per cent in the trades and nine per cent in science and technology.

OC prof leads AI research
Okanagan Edge Staff - Jun 29 - Biz Releases

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An Okanagan College professor is calling for more research into machine learning processes that are the basis for autonomous systems like self-driving cars.

Dr. Youry Khmelevsky, a computer science professor, teamed with a pair of French colleagues to author and present a research paper at an international conference held recently by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. The paper called for the need to take research and tool development for deep learning (DL), which makes facial and voice recognition possible, to a new level to prevent hacking or mistakes.

“Safety of DL systems is a serious requirement for real-life systems, and the research community is addressing this need with mathematically sound but low-level methods of high computational complexity,” the research trio wrote.

“It sounds very abstract, but it isn’t,” Dr. Khmelelvsky said in a press release. “It’s here today whether it’s in your car or a device that recognizes your voice and commands.”

Dr. Khmelelvsky and his team don’t have the answers to prevent hacks yet, but they plan on producing research proposals in an effort to fulfil their call for action.

“Safe AI is an important research topic attracting more and more attention worldwide,” said Dr. Gaetan Hains, one of the paper’s authors. “Dr. Khmelevsky brings software engineering expertise to complement my team’s know-how in software correctness techniques. We expect to produce new knowledge and basic techniques to support this new trend in the industry.”

Martyn cleft palate hero
Okanagan Edge Staff - Jun 26 - Biz Releases

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Kelowna’s Lynda Martyn on Monday was recognized as her region’s Health Care Hero at the B.C. Health Care Awards in Vancouver.

Martyn, who is an early childhood speech-language pathologist for Interior Health, received a Gold Apple for her work in ensuring that children across the interior have the best possible care for cleft lip and cleft palate.

Martyn organizes four cleft palate clinics a year, bringing together a plastic surgeon, pediatric dentist, ENT doctor, audiologist, dental hygienist, orthodontist and pediatrician to consult with families of children with cleft lip and cleft palate.

Martyn has been co-ordinating cleft palate clinics for the past 22 years, allowing hundreds of interior children to be treated without having to travel to Vancouver.

The annual B.C. Health Care Awards celebrate individuals and teams who go the extra mile while also rewarding innovation and best practice.

Time to go outside, kids
Okanagan Edge Staff - Jun 25 - Biz Releases

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An Okanagan College researcher has done the work and would like to see more teachers take their kids outside.

Dr. Beverlie Dietze, who is the college’s director of learning and applied research, recently published her second textbook about children’s outdoor play theories, which encourage early childhood educators to get youngsters outside. Outdoor & Nature Play Early Childhood Education was co-authored by Dietze and Dianne Kashin, and published through Pearson Canada.

“The outdoor play movement is building momentum in Canada,” Dietze said in a press release. “In order for that momentum to continue, we need to offer more educators new knowledge, examples and practices that make outdoor play principles accessible and place them in a Canadian context.”

The book includes photos of outdoor play workshops Dietze has hosted at Okanagan parks and nature areas.

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