• Vernon's Top 20 Over 40 recognized

    VERNONThe Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce and KPMG Canada have officially recognized the Top 20 Over 20 for 2020.
    The 20 recipients were announced in the spring, but because of the pandemic, they were just recently presented with their plaque and a bottle of wine from O’Rourke’s Peak Cellars.

    “It’s a great honour to acknowledge these outstanding individuals and their contributions to the North Okanagan as role models, mentors and community builders,” said Krystin Kempton, Greater Vernon Chamber president.

    “We are excited and proud to recognize this year’s Top 20 over 40 winners.  These individuals continue to make enormous impacts in their business and in our community,” said Murray Smith, a partner with KPMG Vernon.

    The Top 20 Over 40 are:

    • Kristi Bieber is the owner and operator of 30 Minute Hit Vernon. She has won two franchise awards for leadership and she has been involved with the Sunshine Festival and runs free self-defense classes for secondary school girls.
    • Carla Dahlen is the owner/broker of Coldwell Banker Four Seasons Real Estate. Within the community, Carla has been involved with the downtown Vernon business improvement area, Vernon Women In Business, Toastmasters and the Breakfast for the Homeless.
    • Stacey Davidson is founder and CEO of Virtual Job Search Coach and a sought-after career coach, job search strategist, recruiter and HR consultant. Beyond work, Stacey has been active with the Okanagan Science Centre and the Allan Brooks Nature Centre.
    • Teresa Durning is constituency assistant for MP Mel Arnold and previously operated tourism services in Vernon. In terms of the community, she has been involved with the Schubert Centre, Adopt A Stream, Winter Carnival and Silver Star Rotary.
    • Barrita Durward is a chocolatier and owner of Cotton's Chocolates. Beyond her business, Barrita is active in the community, including with the Sweet Smiles Society, which she founded to provide the basic necessities of life in Mexico.
    • Heath Fletcher is a partner and creative director with Sproing Creative. He is very active in the community and supports a number of organizations like the Kalamalka Rotary Dream Auction, the North Okanagan Hospice Society and the Schubert Centre.
    • Kari Gares owns her own brokerage firm under the Verico Financial Group. Beyond her professional duties, Gares is in her first term as a Vernon city councillor and she has been active with the Vernon and District Land Trust and the North Okanagan Minor Lacrosse Association. 
    • Ian Hawes is a partner with Davidson Lawyers, with a focus on estate administration, real estate and contract law. In terms of the community, he has been involved with the Greater Vernon Ringette Association, the Greater Vernon Museum and the Greater Vernon Chamber.
    • Kim Heizmann is a real estate agent with Century 21 Executives Realty, and she has a trading license and a broker's license. As part of the community, Heizmann has been involved with RCMP Victim Services, Vernon Winter Carnival and the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board.
    • Leigha Horsfield is general manager of Community Futures North Okanagan, which delivers business and employment services. She has also been involved with the Vernon Estate Planning Council, Vernon Women in Business and District of Coldstream committees.  
    • Clint Houlbrook is a youth and family counsellor with the North Okanagan Youth and Family Services Society, and Vernon School District, where he engages with at-risk students. He is also involved with the Salvation Army food bank and the Vernon Alliance youth group.
    • Tanya Laing Gahr is the indigenous initiatives manager at FortisBC. Within the community, Laing Gahr is involved with the Archway Society for Domestic Peace and Powerhouse Theatre. She has also supported theatre programs at local secondary schools.
    • Carmen Larsen is a family physician, site director for the Southern Medical Program and medical officer for the Vernon Cadet Training Camp. She is also active with the Kalamalka Rotary Club and the Starfish Pack Program.
    • Brad Marsh is the broker owner of Remax Vernon and he has received numerous honours from Remax. He is involved in the Community Foundation of the North Okanagan, Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board and the Vernon Judo Club.
    • Mike Nolan is principal and senior specialist, water supply and treatment, at Kerr Wood Leidal Associates. Nolan is involved with the Okanagan Basin Water Board, Okanagan Landing Community Association, the Community Foundation and Men's Shed Vernon. 
    • Charlene Smart is a designated accountant and president of Smart and Associates. She is very active in the community, including with Vernon Women In Business, Community Futures, NexusBC, Archway Society for Domestic Peace and the Vernon CPA Coffee Club.
    • Bill Tarr is owner of Tarr and Sons Janitorial Services. He has been active in the community, including with Vernon Minor Football, Road Home Dog and Cat Rescue, Kinsmen Club of Vernon, the Greater Vernon Athletic Park Sport User Group and North Okanagan Minor Lacrosse.
    • Veronica Ukrainetz is the principal of Ukrainetz Workplace Law Group, which she established in 2007. In terms of the community, she has supported the Archway Society for Domestic Peace, Upper Room Mission, Okanagan Boys and Girls Club and First Nations organizations. 
    • Deb White is a mortgage broker and owner of White House Mortgages DLC, and she has won several top service awards from lenders. Beyond her career, White has supported a number of causes and was involved with Vernon Winter Carnival for many years.
    • Josh Winquist is the director of public relations for Turning Points Collaborative, a communicator and journalist. Through professional and volunteer activities, Josh tells the stories of individuals, and particularly those who are marginalized, as a way of creating awareness.
    Each recipient was nominated from within the community and they were selected based on business success and community involvement. The Top 20 Over 40 was also sponsored by the Regional District of North Okanagan and Castanet.
    Dan Proulx, General Manager   
    Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce
    P: 250-545-0771              E: manager@vernonchamber.ca