Fraser new OC foundation chair
Okanagan Edge Staff - Jul 17, 2019 - People in Business

Photo: Contributed
Gladys Fraser

Gladys Fraser is the new chair of the Okanagan College Foundation.

Fraser joined the board of directors four years ago, but she has been involved with the college for more than three decades, first as someone who hired graduates, then as a professor  and ultimately a board member.

“I’m delighted to be named chair of the foundation board, as I believe in the work the college is doing for students and our economy,” Fraser said in a press release. “The college creates great opportunities for people to get a world-class education and not have to travel outside of the valley.”

Fraser will be in a leadership position during the early stages of fundraising for a new Health Sciences Centre on the Kelowna campus.

Current board directors Kimberly Gilhooly (Vernon) and Alan Sanderson (Kelowna) were elected vice-chairs.

Fraser takes over from Sharron Simpson, who served as chair since 2017.

Millard leads FP board
Okanagan Edge Staff - Jun 28, 2019 - People in Business

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Kelowna’s Brett Millard is FP Canada’s new board chair.

Millard, who will take over for Calgary’s Dan Busi, has been on the FP Canada board since 2014. He most recently served as the vice-chair of the organization, whose primary role is to certify financial planners in Canada.

“This is an exciting time for the profession,” Millard said in a press release. “I’m honoured to be given the opportunity to pick up where Dan left off as chair, and I look forward to working with Cary List, president and CEO of FP Canada, in continuing to lead the advancement of professional financial planning in Canada.”

Millard works in Kelowna as IG Wealth Management’s Okanagan regional director.

Montreal’s Martin Dupras will serve as Millard’s vice-chair.

CO Foundation heads East
Okanagan Edge Staff - Jun 27, 2019 - People in Business

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The Central Okanagan Foundation has a new executive director.

Laurence East has been appointed the group’s new leader. He will take over from Bruce Davies, who is retiring after seven years at the helm.

“We are delighted to have Laurence joining our dedicated team at COF,” board chair Brian Sanders said in a press release. “After an extensive search, we are very fortunate to have recruited someone of Laurence’s capabilities and close connections to our community.”

East moved to the Okanagan from England in 2003, and he eventually founded Metro Community in Kelowna, where he has worked with the city’s vulnerable population. He also spent time in the non-profit sector in England and in Central America.

“This is a new chapter for both myself and the organization,” East said. “The COF has an incredible legacy, and my hope is to help lead it into ever greater things as we strive to ensure that our community is a more generous, just and equitable place to live.”

True Leaf hires Petco star
Okanagan Edge Staff - Jun 19, 2019 - People in Business

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True Leaf Brands has hired Allen Fujimoto as True Leaf Pet’s senior vice-president of operations.

Fujimoto has more than 25 years of experience leading complex business transformations for global, billion-dollar companies. He most recently served as transformation vice-president for Petco, where he is credited with improving profitability through assortment and supplier optimization.

Fujimoto’s primary role at True Leaf Pet, whose home is in Vernon, will be to design, to implement and to optimize the company’s supply chain network and processes as the company expands its product offerings.

“Allen has deep retail, pet, industrial, and consumer goods industry experience with an impressive track record improving supply chain efficiencies that accelerate business growth,” True Leaf founder and CEO Darcy Bomford said in a press release.

“We are confident his vast process improvement and analytics expertise will be invaluable as True Leaf continues to grow globally, including our further expansion into Europe and Asia.”

Houle goes home to Oliver
Okanagan Edge Staff - Jun 18, 2019 - People in Business

Photo: LinkedIn

Randy Houle has been hired as Oliver’s director of development services, which is a newly created position.

Houle will oversee a small department assuming responsibility for the long-term planning, current planning, building inspection, bylaw enforcement, subdivision and community development for the town.

Houle is an Oliver native who has a master’s degree in planning from the University of Waterloo. He spent the last three years as a planner with the City of Penticton. Before that he worked for the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen where he, among other duties, led the mosquito control program.

“We look forward to welcoming Randy to our organization and community,” Oliver chief administrative officer Cathy Cowan said in a press release. “The town has experienced recent development growth and interest, leading to the need to hire a director of development services.

“I am confident that Randy will effectively manage the challenges that presents along with the development services team.”

National status for trainer
John K. White - Jun 11, 2019 - People in Business

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Vernon Mayor Victor Cumming recognized aquatics manager Gary Lefebvre at the regular meeting on Monday for his achievement in becoming certified as a national trainer with the Lifesaving Society of Canada.

The mayor said he is one of 14 national certified trainers in Canada, and he is pleased to have such skill with the city team.

Lefebvre has been an aquatic professional for 25 years and has had experience working at nine aquatic facilities during that time.

He has been a national lifeguard instructor for 15 years and has a bachelor of science degree and B.C. teacher certification from the University of Victoria.

GTEC adds big name
Okanagan Edge Staff - Jun 10, 2019 - People in Business


A Kelowna-based cannabis producer has added the former CEO of Shoppers Drug Mart and of ALDO Group to its board of directors.

GTEC Holdings, which bills itself as a vertically integrated premium cannabis producers, has appointed Jurgen Schreiber to its board as of Monday. Schreiber is currently the CEO of Katz Group.

“The management team and board of directors at GTEC are extremely excited to have Jurgen join the organization,” GTEC founder and CEO Norton Singhavon said in a press release. “Jurgen’s operational experience and driving force behind large Canadian and international organizations will add significant value, guidance and leadership as we continue to execute on our plans to produce, market and distribute ultra-premium cannabis and its derivatives in Canada.”

Schreiber has also served as CEO of Rexall Health, and of Health and Beauty Europe.

“I am extremely delighted to join the Board of Directors of GTEC and work together with the management team to make this inspiring company even stronger,” Schreiber said. “The alignment with the vision and strategy made this decision easy. We want to build this company together, into a strong force for our customers and all our stakeholders.”

Alzheimer group adds Kapp
Okanagan Edge Staff - Jun 10, 2019 - People in Business

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The Alzheimer Society of B.C. has announced Magda Kapp as its development officer, which is a newly created role and will be based in Kelowna.

Kapp comes to the Alzheimer Society from BrainTrust Canada, where she worked as the director of prevention services and community engagement.

“Over 70 per cent of our funding support comes directly from donors in the community, which enables us to support people affected by dementia here in the Okanagan and across the province,” Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s director of resource development, Cathryn France, said in a press release.

“Magda’s passion for community building and her knowledge of brain health are invaluable tools in helping people understand the direct impact they can have in supporting people affected by dementia, and changing the future of the disease. We’re so pleased to welcome Magda into this important role.”

Kapp began in her role on Monday.

New Naramata Centre leader
Colin Dacre - Jun 04, 2019 - People in Business

Photo: Barb Gregg

There is a new woman steering the ship at the Naramata Centre.

Susan Smith started Monday as the centre’s managing director, taking over from Jim Simpson, who has filled in on an interim basis for the last four months.

Smith was previously the chief operating officer for Habitat for Humanity Canada, overseeing 55 offices across the country. Before moving to the Okanagan in November 2017, she also volunteered early on with the Canadian Women’s Foundation and helped found the Etobicoke Health Centre.

She now sits on the City of Penticton’s Arts, Creative and Cultural Innovations Committee.

Smith will be guiding the Naramata Centre through a period of transition, as the organization re-invents itself four years after reopening following a two-year closure.

The centre has offered a variety of programming on its 23-acre campus for more than 70 years. Visitors travel from across Western Canada to attend the centre in the summer, while spring and fall programs prove popular with Okanagan locals.

The centre is in the process of developing a master plan to help guide the development of some of the centre’s unused property. A planning consultant has been contracted to draft the plan, as it prepares to sell off some parts of its campus in a bid to attain long-term sustainability.

Public sessions on the master plan process are scheduled for June 27 at 7 p.m. and June 29 from 10 a.m. to noon at Columbia Hall.

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.

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