About

Accelerate Okanagan Team

Raghwa Gopal

Chief Executive Officer raghwa@accelerateokanagan.com

Raghwa is CEO of Accelerate Okanagan. He is a serial entrepreneur who was instrumental in starting, growing and selling numerous businesses over the last 30 years, the latest being Vadim Software.

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Raghwa Gopal

Raghwa Gopal is CEO of Accelerate Okanagan. He is a serial entrepreneur who was instrumental in starting, growing and selling numerous businesses over the last 30 years, the latest being Vadim Software.

Raghwa has been directly involved with and has extensive experience in of mergers and acquisitions. He currently sits on the boards of numerous businesses and not-for-profit organizations. He is a certified Business and Executive Coach and has been recognized as Entrepreneur of the Year and as a Technology Innovator.

Raghwa volunteers for Kelowna Rotary and Chamber of Commerce, loves playing golf and soccer, loves traveling to different parts of the world, and tries and hibernate in Fiji during winter months.

Brea Retzlaff

Operations Manager brea@accelerateokanagan.com

Brea is our Operations Manager. She supports the growing tech industry in the Okanagan by nurturing relationships with community partners and building industry academic connections.

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Brea Retzlaff

Brea Retzlaff is our Operations Manager. She supports the growing tech industry in the Okanagan by nurturing relationships with community partners and building industry academic connections. She graduated from Okanagan College with her Business Degree. Brea managed a Summer Day Camp program for three years, where she learned a lot about the startup environment and how to play nice in the sandbox. Her first taste of tech was when she interned with Disney’s Club Penguin, and instantly fell in love with the tech community.

When Brea isn’t out at one of our local tech events, you may find her out on the lake, doing mosaic art, or at any concert she can find.

D’arcy Schaerer

Financial and Administration Manager darcy@accelerateokanagan.com

D’arcy is our Financial and Administration Manager. A highly motivated self-starter with strong analytical, communication and interpersonal skills, D’arcy has worked with diverse groups of people throughout her career.

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D’arcy Schaerer

D’arcy Schaerer is our Financial and Administration Manager. A highly motivated self-starter with strong analytical, communication and interpersonal skills, D’arcy has worked with diverse groups of people throughout her career. Her experience in project coordination, supervision, and office management with the likes of seismic jug hounds, archaeologists, palaeontologists, railcar buffs and condo consultants gives her all the skills she needs to work with this diverse group of techies.

When she’s not teching the halls, D’arcy like to do pottery and considers her life to be fun, funky, and functional.

Andrew Greer

Programs Strategist andrew@accelerateokanagan.com

Andrew is our Programs Strategist. An experienced business development manager and community builder, Andrew has a Bachelor of Commerce from Dalhousie University and an MBA from the Royal Military College.

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Andrew Greer

Andrew Greer is Accelerate Okanagan’s Programs Strategist. An experienced business development manager and community builder, Andrew has a Bachelor of Commerce from Dalhousie University and an MBA from the Royal Military College. He cut his business teeth at Xerox working in sales and management, then transitioned to an analyst and business development role at Launch Lab, a tech incubator in Eastern Ontario. Now Andrew looks for ways to make our awesome programs even better!

When he’s not building the AO community, he’s out volunteering and enjoying all things athletic including kite surfing, sailing and team sports. He admits to being an amateur photographer, quiet conservationist, and a poor guitar player.

Thuy Tran

Program Manager thuy@accelerateokanagan.com

Thuy is our Program Manager. Thuy encourages and accelerates the growth of tech companies in the Okanagan by leading AO’s programs and engaging with current, past, and potential program participants.

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Thuy Tran

Thuy is our Program Manager. Thuy grew up in Kelowna and graduated from Centre for Arts and Technology with a Rich Media Diploma. For the past 10 years she has worked in the marketing industry, in graphic design and managing client accounts. During her agency days, Thuy was exposed to working with clients in the technology industry; she gravitated towards this sector as she saw growth of the tech industry in the Okanagan. Thuy continued her career in the tech sector working for one of Canada's leading technology company, QHR Technologies.

Thuy’s role as Program Manager is to encourage and accelerate the growth of the technology companies in the Okanagan by leading AO’s growth program and engaging with current, past, and potential program participants. She works with AO’s EiRs as well as CEO to develop, plan, organize, and execute new program activities. Outside of the office, you'll find her training for triathlons, marathons or jiu-jitsu. She is also a photography and motorcycle enthusiast. 

Jenna Stasuk

Program Coordinator jenna@accelerateokanagan.com

Jenna is our Program Coordinator. Jenna connects entrepreneurs to our support network and helps them navigate through our continuous acceleration programs.

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Jenna Stasuk

Jenna is our Program Coordinator. Jenna connects entrepreneurs to our support network and helps them navigate through our continuous acceleration programs.

Alex Reid

Community Manager alex@accelerateokanagan.com

Alex is our Community Manager. She develops and nurtures relationships with community partners and helps to build industry connections and opportunities for collaboration.

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Alex Reid

Alex is our Community Manager. After growing up in Penticton, Alex spent a year on exchange in France and then attended UBC Vancouver for both her Arts and Education degrees. Alex returned to Kelowna a few years ago and has since worked at UBC Okanagan as a Manager of Student Housing and with Lighthouse Labs as their Community Manager. Since her return to the Okanagan in 2014, she has found the tech sector to be a vibrant, accepting, and supportive community and quickly gravitated towards it.

Alex's role as the Community Manager is to connect and collaborate with people interested in technology and innovation. She develops and nurtures relationships with community partners and helps to build industry connections. Outside of the office, you'll find her playing volleyball, skiing, writing spoken word poetry and listening to country music.

Joanna Schlosser

Marketing Manager joanna@accelerateokanagan.com

Joanna is our Marketing Manager. Over the past decade, she has worked with multimillion dollar brands like luluelmon athletica and startups like Luvo Inc as a creative, digital, and editorial strategist.

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Joanna Schlosser

Joanna is our Marketing Manager. Over the past decade, she has worked with multimillion dollar brands like luluelmon athletica and startups like Luvo Inc as a creative, digital, and editorial strategist. Joanna is passionate about dynamic content and intuitive user experience that promotes brand presence both on and off line. Joanna also owns and operates a boutique winery in West Kelowna with her husband James making her our resident wine expert. 

Sara Scott

Events Coordinator sara@accelerateokanagan.com

Sara is our Events Coordinator. Before joining the AO Team, Sara spent over five years working in Guest Experience with Disney Interactive while balancing her passion for event management in her spare time.

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Sara Scott

Sara is our Events Coordinator. Before joining the AO Team, Sara spent over five years working in Guest Experience with Disney Interactive while balancing her passion for event management in her spare time.

Sara is exceptional in what she does because of her positive attitude and enthusiasm. Her areas of expertise are in facilities management, customer support, coordinating events and nailing first impressions.

Born and raised in Kelowna, she is an excellent tour guide for the Okanagan. In addition to being an avid gardener, Sara enjoys jewelry making, camping and spending time at her family's apple orchard.