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Friday, 19 December 2014 11:30


Written by Dan Proulx Published in Press Releases

NEWS RELEASE Dec. 17, 2014

VERNON – The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce (GVCC) welcomes the B.C. Government’s decision to approve Site C.
“B.C.’s economy has been built on reliable, low-cost power and while this was a difficult decision it is a significant one that will result in clean and renewable power for generations,” says Jaron Chasca, GVCC president. “By committing to building Site C, the government is investing in continued access to the energy we need to take B.C. forward.”
The project will produce enough to power 450,000 homes a year while having a relatively small reservoir footprint that will generate that power. Greenhouse gas emissions will also be lower than other energy options.
The B.C. Chamber of Commerce has long noted that reliable, low-cost power has long been a major competitive advantage for B.C. as a business jurisdiction.
“Reliable, affordable power allows our businesses to compete nationally and globally and to create jobs right here in B.C.” says John Winter, president and CEO of the BC Chamber. “It’s a key factor in our province’s economic success.”
“Site C is the largest investment decision our province will make in a generation. But let’s be clear: Today’s decision was the right decision for our economy and our future,” Winter added.
The BC Chamber’s province-wide membership has recognized the need for aggressive action on both the supply and demand side of the province’s energy mix. As part of this, BC Chamber members have long backed Site C as a strategic investment in reliable, publicly-owned energy infrastructure.

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Jaron Chasca, GVCC President                              Dan Rogers, GVCC General Manager
C 250-550-9859 E                 T 250-545-0771 E
John Winter, President & CEO                                Jenny MacPhee, Communications Officer
C 604.376.3577 E              C 604.366.4990 E

Tuesday, 02 December 2014 09:59


Written by Dan Proulx Published in Press Releases


Dec. 1, 2014


Vernon - The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce has bolstered its board by adding Diana Wilson of Kal Tire, effective immediately.  Diana has a wealth of professional experience in helping businesses improve value through technology and process improvements. She has also been busy on the community side, acting as President and Chair of the Vernon Paddling Centre for the past two years.

“I believe we have a lot to look forward to in growing the organization,” says Wilson who added, “I’ve been impressed by the work of the chamber and look forward to helping advocate on behalf of our members and local businesses to ensure the North Okanagan maintains a strong economic foundation.” 

Prior to joining Kal Tire in 2007 as Director of Solution Delivery, Diana was a Director at Sierra Systems for 10 years where she provided consulting services and managed business and system initiatives for private sector and government organizations.  The Vernon Senior Secondary grad fills one of two spots that remained open on the board since the AGM earlier this year.

“Her business experience combined with her community work, made her a great fit for the Board,” says Jaron Chasca, GVCC President. “As part of our three year strategic plan we have been strengthening our board to shape an organization that can better serve our members and add value to the business community and Diana will be an immense help that effort.”

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BACKGROUND – Diana Wilson (Bio)

Diana is the Director, Solution Delivery at Kal Tire and has over 25 years of experience delivering business value through technology and process improvement projects.  Diana was raised in Vernon and graduated from Vernon Senior Secondary before receiving her Diploma in Computer Information Systems in Kelowna in 1985.  Diana enjoys many of the recreational opportunities that Vernon has to offer and can be found kayaking, biking or skiing throughout the year.  Diana brings to the chamber board her commitment to implementing solutions that support business and her passion for Vernon and all it has to offer.



Jaron Chasca, GVCC President 2014-2015                                                              Diana Wilson, GVCC Director at Large

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Nov. 28, 2014

Vernon The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce (GVCC) is joining the national campaign sponsored by the Yellow Pages to encourage consumers to think local while being inundated with Black Friday advertising.    The Yellow Pages started the movement a year ago and went national this year to recognize November 29th as “Shop the neighbourhood” day.  The date was strategically selected between Black Friday and Cyber Monday to counter cross border shopping and internet purchases.

“The campaign is meant to reinforce the benefits to the local economy by shopping in your neighbourhood rather than purchasing something online from another region or country,” says GVCC President Jaron Chasca.  “We are pleased to be joining our members in reminding people of the additional economic benefits that accrue when you shop locally.”

The Chamber’s efforts will include promotion of the event through social media and other communication channels.   The Chamber is also teaming up with the Downtown Vernon Association (DVA) on Friday morning to recognize shoppers who are spending their money locally.

“This is the first year that we have been involved in this promotion,” says Dan Rogers, Chamber General Manager. “Our efforts have been pretty modest but it will allow us to gage interest and build a larger shop local program for next year.”

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The benefits of shopping locally are well illustrated in a promotional video that one of our members (The Rice Box, owned and operated by Mr. On Ouches) put together that reinforces what happens when goods and services are purchased locally.  It creates jobs, helps put food on the table for our neighbours and ultimately builds a stronger community. (



Jaron Chasca, GVCC President 2014-2015                              Dan Rogers, GVCC General Manager

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Nov 6, 2014

Vernon – The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce (GVCC) recently provided the candidates for Mayor and Council at the City of Vernon with a short questionnaire to gage their views on business development and government efficiency.  One of the questions asked if the candidate supported making a request to the Province to fund and undertake a study to determine the potential benefits of improved governance in the North Okanagan. The response was near unanimous support for such a request.

``Our members have long supported a move towards amalgamation as a means to streamline local government and make the region`s many local governments more efficient in responding to the opportunities for economic development, says GVCC General Manager Dan Rogers. ``We’re pleased to see the overwhelming majority candidates in Vernon are willing to keep an open mind on the topic and we hope other jurisdictions will follow suit.”

The chamber believes a provincially funded study would determine if there are benefits to local taxpayers from amalgamation or alternative governance models, so the air can be cleared once and for all.

In an effort to provide greater access to information about the candidates running for Vernon City Council, the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce has established a candidate’s summary page on its website (  The site has introductory videos from most of the candidates as well as their answers to the chamber’s business related questionnaire.   

“We know not everyone can come out to a public forum so by making this detailed information available online, we are helping our members and the public at large, become better informed about those running for public office,” says Rogers.  “More importantly we hope the increased profile will encourage a greater turnout for the upcoming municipal election.”


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Dan Rogers, General Manager                                                 

Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce                                

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Friday, 07 November 2014 13:47


Written by Dan Proulx Published in Press Releases

Oct. 22, 2014


Vernon - The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with the Social Planning Council for the North Okanagan have launched a new website aimed at assisting new immigrants who have moved to the North Okanagan.    Entitled “”, the website has been designed to be a resource for both employers and for new immigrants and their families.   Although designed for new immigrants, the website is also a useful tool for anyone interested in knowing more about Vernon.

“We were pleased to be able to work closely with a number of community partners to develop this valuable resource,” says GVCC President Jaron Chasca. “The site will not only promote Vernon but also provide valuable information to immigrants thinking about coming to the North Okanagan.”

The website is based on a Live, Work, & Play theme and features a promotional video that have been translated into a variety of languages including Punjabi, Chinese, Spanish and English.   The information on the site is also available in many more languages.

Printed packages have also been developed and will be made available at no charge to employers to assist in their recruitment efforts. Window decals have also been developed and will be circulated to businesses that can put them on their front door to show that they welcome new immigrants.  Banners have already been installed at strategic locations to show that Vernon is a Welcoming Community.

“The website and material were designed as part of Welcoming Communities Vernon to be a resource for employers of new immigrants,” says Annette Sharkey, Executive Director of the Social Planning Council. “It’s recognized that immigrants provide important cultural diversity to local communities as well as skills, investment and entrepreneurial expertise.”

The chamber will be distributing packages to their members while also making them available through various agencies around the city.    The project was funded by the Province of British Columbia.


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Dan Rogers, General Manager                                                 

Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce                                

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Annette Sharkey, Executive Director

Social Planning Council North Okanagan

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Friday, 03 October 2014 13:52


Written by Dan Proulx Published in Latest News


Sept. 26, 2014

Vernon - Jaron Chasca is the new president of the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce. Chasca is the director and manager at Alternatives Funeral & Cremation Services in Vernon and Armstrong. He was elected at the Chamber Annual General Meeting held this morning and takes over from Adrian Johnson of KPMG who remains with the Board as past-president.

“I believe we have a lot to look forward to in growing this organization and helping the business community grow and prosper,” says Chasca. “We have a strong membership base, a dedicated board and committed staff. Those three elements position us well to improve our efforts around advocacy, to add more benefits to our members to help improve their bottom line and to hold exceptional events that set the stage for networking and business development.”

The other table officers elected were Tracy Cobb-Reeves (director, communications at Kal Tire) who takes over as vice president and Markus Schrott (Partner at BDO Canada LLP) who assumes the secretary-treasurer role.   Directors at large for 2014-2015 include, Matthew Davidson (Valhalla Environmental Consulting Inc.), Ingrid Dilschneider (Predator Ridge), Dauna Kennedy Grant (Vernon Public Art Gallery), Adrienne Harris (Portico Property Services), Marlene Higgins (Kal Tire) , Andrew Powell (Nixon Wenger), Caroline Radics ( Investia Financial Services Inc.), and Rob Tedham (RBC Dominion Securities).

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Jaron Chasca, GVCC President 2014-2015                             

C 250-550-9859 E">                                

Adrian Johnson, GVCC Past President

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BACKGROUND – Jaron Chasca (Bio)

Jaron, a licensed second generation funeral director and active manager with Alternatives Funeral & Cremation Services™, has over twenty years experience in the funeral profession. He began his career as a Funeral Attendant in Calgary and then moved to Cranbrook to work in his family’s funeral home and complete his apprenticeship. After completing a two year apprenticeship, Jaron moved back to Calgary where he was the Sales Manager with the City of Calgary cemeteries for three years. During this time he also completed his Marketing and Entrepreneur diploma from Mount Royal College. Jaron re-joined the family business with Alternatives Funeral & Cremation Services™ in Vernon and Armstrong and brought with him his knowledge, experience and especially his passion for serving bereaved families to the Okanagan.


Sept. 25, 2014

Vernon - Local efforts to boost the City of Vernon’s status as a great place to do business have been recognized by the province. The City was one of the winners of the province’s 2014 Open for Business Award. Just nine communities in all of B.C. won the award this year, out of 162 municipalities in the province.

“This is great news for Vernon, and a tribute to the City’s efforts to create a business-friendly environment,” says Adrian Johnson, GVCC president. “The award, which carries a $10,000 grant to fund more business-friendly developments in the City, will boost Vernon’s reputation province-wide as a great place to do business.”

The BC Chamber of Commerce also commended the City of Vernon for its win.

“Vernon should be very proud of what it’s achieved here,” said John Winter, president and CEO of the BC Chamber of Commerce. “These awards recognize role model communities throughout the province that are taking tangible steps to build a better British Columbia.”

Johnson added that while it’s great to see the City recognized as a standout performer, there is still much that can be done to cut red tape and streamline development processes particularly in concert with other local governments in the region.

“We congratulate the City on its award,” says Johnson who also added, “The Chamber will continue to work with our members, the development community and with civic officials in the region to further enhance the entire area’s “open for business environment.”

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Adrian Johnson, GVCC President                                                             

Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce                                              

T 778-479-5959 E">                                        

John Winter, President & CEO

BC Chamber of Commerce

T 604.638.8110 E">


June 12, 2014

VERNON – The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce (GVCC) is calling on all levels of government to take a leadership role in advancing the concept of a rail to trail initiative along the Vernon-Kelowna CN spur line. At a recent Board meeting, GVCC unanimously passed a motion that requests the Federal, Provincial and Local Governments take the necessary steps required to ensure the route is preserved as a public trail.

“The closure of the railway harmed many businesses along the Vernon–Kelowna corridor. The best alternative for our economy is the creation of a regional trail,” says Adrian Johnson, GVCC president. “The clock is ticking. There is less than four months for government to act before CN simply divides up the property and sells it off bit by bit. That would ultimately see a great opportunity pass us by.”

“Our Chamber would like to see a collaborative effort to establish a trail that would create business opportunities throughout the region,” says Dan Rogers, GVCC general manager.

A recent economic impact study competed for the Okanagan Rail Trail Initiative indicated that the proposed trail would generate millions of dollars every year in additional tourism spending in the Okanagan.

“GVCC’s support demonstrates how important the potential trail is for the business community,” says Brad Clements of the Okanagan Rail Trail Initiative.

GVCC will be reaching out to other Chambers in the region to secure their support of this initiative and to prompt interested parties to come together to establish a long term plan for converting the rail line into a multi-use trail.

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Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce

Adrian Johnson, GVCC President                                             

(T) 778-479-5959 (E)">                

Dan Rogers, GVCC General Manager

(T) 250-564-0771 (E)">

Okanagan Rail Trail Initiative

Brad Clements, Rail Trail Initiative

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Friday, 03 October 2014 10:52

B.C.’s Chambers pass policy supporting pipelines

Written by rylee Published in Latest News

B.C.’s Chambers pass policy supporting pipelines


Vancouver, May 28, 2014 – B.C.’s Chambers of Commerce have passed a policy calling on the provincial government to continue supporting pipeline projects, where they have met environmental review assessment conditions.

“B.C.’s commodities, including oil and gas, already support tens of thousands of jobs in B.C.,” said John Winter, president and CEO of the BC Chamber of Commerce. “We have an unprecedented opportunity to grow even more jobs in this sector through the development of new oil pipeline capacity.”

The policy highlights the critical need for B.C. pipeline infrastructure, both for B.C.’s economy and the Canadian economy. It specifically highlights what’s at stake with the Trans Mountain Expansion Project, which promises to boost B.C. GDP by at least $8.5 billion over its development plus the first 20 years of operation.

“Right now, Canada is losing up to $50 million a day due to inadequate pipeline infrastructure which is hindering our access to key markets such as the Asia Pacific,” Winter said. “In B.C., projects such as the Trans Mountain expansion promise huge gains for our economy. That’s why we’re asking government to keep supporting the responsible development of our pipeline industry.”

The policy, The Importance to the Economy of Expanded Oil Pipeline Infrastructure, calls on the provincial government to:

  • continue to support a responsible framework for resource development, including a world-class marine tanker safety regime with enhanced marine spill response capability, and a world-class terrestrial safety system;
  • provide greater clarity and specificity on B.C.’s provincial interest, commonly known as the “five conditions” in order to provide certainty, predictability and stability that encourage capital investment; and
  • engage Chambers and other organizations in project pipeline construction communities to maximize opportunities for local businesses during construction and operation of all major projects, including increased opportunities for First Nations participation.

“There’s a lot of fear mongering about pipelines in B.C. but we need to remember that pipelines are nothing new to our province, and in fact sustain many of our day-to-day activities,” Winter said. “Every day, we rely on our extensive pipeline network to heat and light our homes and businesses, and to power our transportation system.”

The BC Chamber of Commerce has long supported pipeline projects in B.C., provided that they meet environmental review assessment conditions. Last year, B.C.’s Chambers passed Supporting Canada’s Responsible Resource Development (2013), which highlights the economic benefits of the Northern Gateway pipeline project.

Chamber and business delegates from around B.C. passed this policy at the BC Chamber of Commerce Annual General Meeting & Conference, the province’s foremost business gathering, held this year in Richmond May 23-24. This unique grassroots policy-building forum brought together approximately 200 Chamber delegates from across B.C. to vote on new business/economic policies.

This year, delegates voted in 39 policies; adopted policies now become part of the BC Chamber’s advocacy agenda.

The BC Chamber of Commerce is the largest and most broadly-based business organization in the province. Representing more than 125 Chambers of Commerce and 36,000 businesses of every size, sector and region of the province, the BC Chamber of Commerce is “The Voice of Business in BC.”

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For further details, please contact:

John Winter

President & CEO
BC Chamber of Commerce

T 604.638.8110

C 604.376.3577


Jenny MacPhee

Communications Officer

BC Chamber of Commerce

T 604.638.8114

C 604.366.4990


Thursday, 10 July 2014 11:01

Chamber Hires Membership & Events Associate

Written by Dan Proulx Published in Press Releases


Dan Proulx grew up in Calgary and in 2009 moved to Vernon along with his wife Vicki who is originally from Armstrong.  Dan has been heavily involved in JCI Vernon since 2011 chairing many events and holding the position of Membership Director.  He was presented with JCI Canada’s National New Member of the Year Award and this year was fortunate to be elected President. He has also served for a year on the board of directors for the Funtastic Sports Society.

During his professional career, Dan has worked in a variety of occupations including most recently as a membership and insurance associate at BCAA in Vernon.  Previously he worked for a number of years at Investors Group where he gained valuable sales experience and expanded his customer service skills.   He’s excited about the opportunity to grow the Chamber’s already strong membership base while also enhancing the events and benefits GVCC provides to its members and the business community.

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