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Latest News


Sept. 29, 2015


VERNON - The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce is excited to announce the first five recipients to be recognized under the KPMG Top 20 Under 40 Vernon. The five are all in their thirties and were selected at random among the top twenty and include:

  • Elise Allan – Lawyer/partner at Nixon Wenger LLP.
  • Justin Jackson – Owner/founder of Nerd North Inc. & founder of Startup Vernon.
  • Linsey Johannsen - Owner/partner of Postill Nixon Earthworks.
  • On Ouch – Entrepreneur and business owner (Rice Box & Social Lead Marketing).
  • Brett VanderHoek - Corporate services supervisor at Tolko.

“Our young business leaders are paving the way for the future success of our community,” says Dave Adams, managing partner at KPMG Vernon. “We congratulate each recipient and look forward to the next fifteen recipients being announced over the next month.”

These young business professionals were selected from close to eighty nominations. They are actively influencing the growth, prosperity and quality of life in the Greater Vernon Area. Five recipients will be announced each Tuesday for the next few weeks with the top 20 all being recognized at a community celebration event to be held on Thursday, October 22nd at Okanagan College.

“After completing this year’s selection process, I couldn’t be more optimistic about the future of the Greater Vernon area,” says Tracy Cobb-Reeves, Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce president. “We are thrilled with the great response to this new and important initiative and the panel of judges had a very difficult time getting the recipient list down to just twenty.”

For more info on the recipients visit:


Dan Rogers, General Manager

P: 250-545-0771  E:">

Wednesday, 23 September 2015 15:09


Written by Dan Proulx Published in Press Releases


Sept. 23, 2015


Vernon – Tracy Cobb-Reeves is the new president of the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce following the Chamber’s Annual General Meeting.  Cobb-Reeves is the director of communications at Kal Tire and previously served as vice-president of the Chamber.  She was elected at the AGM which was held Wednesday September 23 and takes over from Jaron Chasca of Alternatives Funeral & Cremation Services who remains with the Board as past-president. 

“We have a lot to look forward to as the organization continues to implement the Board’s three-year strategic plan that was tabled last year,” stated Cobb-Reeves. “We were pleased to add more than 80 new members over the past year and continue to focus on adding value to our members and increasing our advocacy efforts on their behalf.”

The other table officers elected were Dauna Kennedy Grant (executive director, Vernon Public Art Gallery) who takes over as vice president and Markus Schrott (Partner at BDO Canada LLP) who remains in the secretary-treasurer role after being re-elected.  Directors at large for 2015-2016 include Phil Dyck (Okanagan Real Estate Investments), Adrienne Harris (Portico Property Services), Marlene Higgins (Kal Tire), Geordie McLennan (Western Financial Group), Graham Matthews (Nixon Wenger), Pam Owen (Vantage One), Rob Tedham (RBC Dominion Securities) and Diana Wilson (Kal Tire).

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Tracy Cobb-Reeves, President                                                  

T: 250.541.3707">


Dan Rogers, General Manager

T : 250.545.0771">


SEPTEMBER 15, 2015


VERNON - Instead of hosting their own all-candidates forum the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce has decided instead to partner with JCI Vernon (Junior Chamber International) in staging their All Candidates Forum on Friday September 25th at Okanagan College (Vernon Campus).


“In light of the significant number of forums being scheduled which our members and the public can attend, we did not want to duplicate the work of others while adding more logistical challenges for the candidates during what is an extremely busy campaign,” says Dan Rogers, GVCC general manager.


The Vernon Chamber will be encouraging its members to attend the JCI hosted forum on Friday September 25th starting at 6pm.


In addition the Greater Vernon Chamber will be asking each candidate to complete a short written questionnaire that will be posted on the GVCC website ( for chamber members and the public to review at their leisure. This questionnaire will deal primarily with the economy and trade.





Dan Rogers, General Manager

Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce

T 250.545.0771 E:">


AUGUST 18, 2015


The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce (GVCC) has teamed up with KPMG LLP to bring the KPMG Top 20 Under 40 to Vernon.  The initiative was officially launched today as the Vernon Chamber began the search for young professionals under the age of 40 years of age who are making their mark through business success and community involvement.


“Vernon is fortunate to have many young, skilled, and knowledgeable professionals who are becoming our next generation of leaders and change-makers,” says David Adams, managing partner with KPMG’s office in Vernon. “KPMG is proud to sponsor the Greater Vernon Top 20 Under 40, and to recognize individuals who are making a positive impact in Vernon.”


Starting September 22, 2015 recipients will be announced over the course of four weeks and will be featured on the KPMG Top 20 Under 40 website. The recipients will also be honoured at a special recognition event on Thursday, October 22, 2015 during Small Business Week.


“This initiative wouldn’t have been possible without the support and encouragement of KPMG and for that we are grateful,” says Jaron Chasca, GVCC president. “We believe that by recognizing some of the talented young entrepreneurs that it will encourage other young professionals to invest and strengthen in our community.”


If you know a resident of the Greater Vernon area who is excelling in their career, passionate about the community, helping to raise the profile of the Greater Vernon area, and will be under the age of 40 as of December 31, 2015, then they are a perfect candidate for the KPMG Top 20 Under 40.  


Nominees can be entrepreneurs, executives, managers, or professionals in public, private, or not-for-profit sectors.  To nominate someone visit:  Nominations will be accepted until Friday September 4th





Dan Rogers, General Manager

P: 250-545-0771


Monday, 20 July 2015 09:35


Written by Dan Proulx Published in Press Releases

NEWS RELEASE                                                                            

JULY 17, 2015


VERNON – Increasing the amount of U.S. tourists coming to the Okanagan was a key issue that was discussed during a Round Table on Tourism held in Vernon on Friday.  Over a dozen representatives from the tourism sector in the region joined the Chair of the Parliamentary Tourism Caucus in a discussion on the challenges and opportunities facing the industry.   MP Blake Richards was in Vernon to share the federal government’s strategic plan for tourism and also to listen to the concerns of industry reps.  

The Alberta MP noted that there has been renewed interest in the Tourism Caucus on Parliament Hill as representatives from all parties realize how important tourism is to the country’s economy. 

Richards has been meeting with tourism operators looking at ways to grow the industry whether it's through special events, sporting events or festivals and he added that there are great opportunities with Canada's 150th anniversary celebrations coming up.

Attendees raised concerns about the need to help promote small communities globally as there are limited resources they can tap into.   Meanwhile, while some operators have recently seen an increase in visitors from the U.S., many believe more can be done to promote tourism south of the border.  Richards agreed and stated that is why the recent federal budget saw an increased investment in promoting Canada in the U.S. market.

MLA Eric Foster also attended the forum and reminded attendees that tourism remains a key component of the BC Job`s Plan.  Representatives from the City of Vernon, Tourism Vernon, along with a number of tourism operators and hoteliers attended the round-table discussion that was hosted by the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce.



Dan Rogers, General Manager

Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce    T:  250.545.0771   E:">           

Friday, 03 July 2015 10:00


Written by Dan Proulx Published in Press Releases

NEWS RELEASE                                                                              

JULY 3, 2015


VERNON - The North Okanagan may be a hotly contested riding in the up-coming federal election if the attention it is getting from top ranking federal politicians is any indication.  The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that it will be hosting a luncheon with the Justice Minister and Attorney General of Canada, the Honourable Peter McKay on Wednesday July 8th.  The theme of Mr. MacKay’s speech is “a successful budget, a secure Canada” and is part of the Chamber’s public speaker series. It follows on the heels of a visit by veteran Liberal MP Ralph Goodale.

“Mr. MacKay’s visit to Vernon highlights a very busy July for us,” says Dan Rogers, GVCC general manager. “We will also be getting a critical update on the economic outlook for Canada by Warren Jestin, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist with Scotiabank.”  The Chamber’s speaker series aims to raise awareness of the issues impacting economic development in the North Okanagan and beyond.

The Peter MacKay luncheon is slated for the Best Western Vernon Lodge next Wednesday while Jestin will be in the city for a breakfast briefing on July 15th.   More information including registration is available through the Chamber’s website under events listing.




Peter MacKay was first elected to Parliament in 1997 and re-elected in five consecutive elections (2000, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2011).  In July 2013, Mr. MacKay was appointed Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada. Previously, he was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs in February 2006 and Minister of National Defence in August 2007.  Before entering politics, Mr. MacKay had a private law practice in New Glasgow, specializing in criminal and family law. In 1993, he accepted an appointment as Crown Attorney for the Central Region of Nova Scotia. He prosecuted cases at all levels, including youth and provincial courts as well as the Supreme Court of Canada. After graduating from Acadia University, Mr. MacKay went on to study law at Dalhousie University. He was called to the Nova Scotia Bar in June 1991.


Dan Rogers, General Manager

Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce    T:  250.545.0771   E:">           


May 25, 2015

Vernon – The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce’s call for legislative changes to enable the Province to take a more active role in regional governance reviews has received support from delegates attending the BC Chamber AGM in Prince George. The issue stems from the challenges that arise when you have two growing municipalities that are adjacent to each other or adjacent to electoral areas. GVCC’s members have continually raised concern about the region’s convoluted governance structure and its impact on economic growth.

“Provincial legislation is quite limiting in allowing for the exploration of different governance models that could achieve positive results for business in streamlining regulatory and development processes among neighbouring local government jurisdictions, says Matt Davidson, chair of GVCC’s policy advisory committee. “We appreciate that there are pros and cons related to different governance models but those can’t be examined if there is unwillingness by local governments to explore those ideas or if there is a lack of financial resources from the Province to undertake such reviews.”

The GVCC policy resolution calls for changes that would enable the Province to initiate a study even if only one jurisdiction is interested in exploring the business case for changes in regional governance.

“The GVCC is pleased to have received the support from our peers from across the province,” said Jaron Chasca, GVCC president. “Our Chamber is committed to creating a more business-friendly region and we think this policy will help achieve that outcome.”
GVCC is also partnering with the Kelowna Chamber in tabling a policy that calls for greater investment in digital media as a means to grow the economy. GVCC is represented at the AGM by President Jaron Chasca, Vice President Tracy Cobb Reeves and General Manager Dan Rogers. The event runs through to May 27. The BC Chamber of Commerce AGM and Conference is the largest annual business policy-building forum in the province. This year, over 40 policies have been put forward and will be voted on at the AGM policy sessions.


Dan Rogers                                                                  Jaron Chasca
General Manager                                                          President
P: 250.545-0771 C: 250-640-3798                                 C: 250-550-9859
E:                                     E


Monday, 11 May 2015 09:17


Written by Dan Proulx Published in Press Releases

NEWS RELEASE                                                                                                  

May 11, 2015


Vernon - The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce has bolstered its board by adding Geordie McLennan and Phil Dyck, effective immediately.  Geordie is the current branch manager with Western Financial Group while Phil Dyck owns a property management company.  

“I believe we have a lot to look forward to in growing the organization,” says McLennan who spent a number of years on the board for the Fort Nelson Chamber of Commerce. “I’ve been impressed by the work of the chamber both here in Vernon and across the province and I look forward to working with our members to ensure the North Okanagan has a strong economic foundation.”

GVCC president Jaron Chasca welcomed the two new faces at the board table. “Their professional experience combined with their community work, makes them a great addition to the board,” says Chasca.

As appointees to the board they will serve until the end of the current year but will be eligible to run again in the elections slated for the end of September as part of the chamber’s AGM.

In bringing on two new volunteers to the board, the chamber also bid farewell to past president Ingrid Dilschneider.  After many years on the chamber board, Dilschneider who is the current director for business development with Wesbild Okanagan has stepped down to concentrate on the ever growing business at Predator Ridge.


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Dan Rogers                                                                                   

General Manager                                                                        

P: 250.545-0771                                                                          



Jaron Chasca


C: 250-550-9859


NEWS RELEASE                                                                                                              

April 28, 2015

 VERNON – The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce (GVCC) is pleased with the result of the referendum in Lake Country that will allow the municipality to borrow funds to support the Rail to Trail Initiative.

“Our Chamber has long supported this initiative because of the regional economic development opportunities that it presents,” says Jaron Chasca, GVCC president.  “We appreciate that the citizens in Lake Country wanted a say in how their local representatives financed the acquisition but we are happy they will be moving forward.”

An economic impact study completed 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.


“The closure of the railway had a negative impact on businesses along the Vernon–Kelowna corridor and the Chamber believes the best alternative is the creation of a regional trail,” says Dan Rogers, GVCC general manager.  “Our Chamber would like to see continued collaboration in establishing a trail that would create business opportunities throughout the region.”

The Greater Vernon Chamber continues to call on all local governments in the region to engage the communities along the corridor as operating models are examined.  GVCC believes it is important that a solid foundation is put in place that considers the business investment and development opportunities arising from this initiative.

It is interesting to note that more people came out for the referendum than usually turn out during an actual municipal election which is an indication of how important citizens see this initiative. The result ultimately provides the municipality with the authority to borrow up to $2.6 million to purchase the rail corridor in the municipality.

- 30 -


Dan Rogers, GVCC General Manager                                                                                     

(T) 250.564.0771                                                                                                      



Jaron Chasca, GVCC President

(T) 250.558.0866">

Wednesday, 22 April 2015 10:15

BC Chamber applauds balanced federal budget

Written by Dan Proulx Published in Press Releases


 Vancouver, April 21, 2015 - The BC Chamber of Commerce congratulates the federal government on tabling a balanced budget during a time of on-going global economic uncertainty. This budget aligns fiscal prudence through controlled spending, with initiatives that support future economic growth.

"The BC Chamber applauds the federal government for achieving a balanced budget; this was certainly not an easy endeavour, with dropping oil-prices and on-going global economic uncertainty," said John Winter, president and CEO of the BC Chamber. "Canada is in an enviable position, being one of only a few nations to announce a balanced budget."

Winter also commends the budget's focus on funding for major infrastructure projects, including a commitment to provide dedicated funding through a Public Transit Fund. "Investing in infrastructure is imperative, especially transportation infrastructure. Transportation is a key driver of economic development for B.C. and Canada," Winter said. "We look forward to further details regarding the Federal government's plans, which we trust will help fund B.C. infrastructure projects, fueling economic growth."


Winter noted that there's a strong link between the investment in public infrastructure, such as roads, transit and utilities, and the productivity performance of all sectors of the Canadian economy.

"The success and competitiveness of Canadian business depends on modern and efficient infrastructure," he said. "Businesses recognize that investing in transit and transportation, alleviates congestion, gives employees commuting options, and opens up the roads for businesses to move their goods to market."

The BC Chamber also welcomed continued focus on the growth of the potential LNG sector by re-committing to the accelerated capital cost allowance on LNG liquefaction facilities as well as the expansion of the LNG export licence from 25 years to 40 years.



About the BC Chamber of Commerce


The BC Chamber 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."


Media Contacts


John Winter

President & CEO
BC Chamber of Commerce

C 604.376.3577



Carly Hunter

Manager, Communications 

BC Chamber of Commerce

T 604.638.8114


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