Accelerate Okanagan Board of Directors Announced

Accelerate Okanagan looks forward to working with the diverse backgrounds of our new board members.

At its annual general meeting in November, Accelerate Okanagan elected new members to the board of directors. Sitting board member, Blair Forrest, was elected as board chair; Scot Speiser as vice chair; and newly-elected Quinton Pullen as Treasurer. Sitting board members that are continuing their term are Aidan Cole, Lane Merrifield, and Steve Wandler.

The new board members bring diverse professional backgrounds and skills with each new member having passion for startup culture, technology, and growth of the Okanagan’s entrepreneurial spirit.

New Board Members:

Corie Griffiths, Director, Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission

Corie is a key resource for business retention and attraction initiatives, leading award winning projects such as Canada’s first Business Walks,the inaugural Okanagan Valley Economic Profile and Site Selection Toolkit. Originally from California, Corie emigrated to the Okanagan in 2002.

Karen Hawes, Senior Vice President of HR & Communications, Interior Savings Credit Union

Karen's 25-year career in the financial industry has ranged from administrative to lending, with a particular focus on small business. Her six years of local Chamber board experience includes two years as president of the Kelowna Chamber, the largest Chamber in the BC Interior.

Jeff Keen, Director, Wheelhouse Ventures

Jeff is a technology entrepreneur with a passion for startups, innovation and community building. His background in the technology industry spans over 25 years ranging from startup founder to senior executive in several high growth technology companies and not for profit organizations.

Tana Plewes, CEO, Discovery Centre for Entrepreneurship & Possibility

Tana brings 25 years of entrepreneurial and business experience to the AO board and is the Canadian master licensee for Michael E. Gerber’s "E-Myth" inspired entrepreneurial development programs.

Quinton Pullen, Senior Tax Manager, Grant Thornton LLP

Born and raised in Kelowna, Quinton specializes in providing tax planning to owner-managed businesses. He previously worked at Deloitte, specializing in international taxation, before returning to Kelowna in 2012. SInce his return to Kelowna, Quinton has been involved in  various community initiatives and has been a strong supporter of Accelerate Okanagan.

Heather Schneider, Central Okanagan Regional Dean, Okanagan College

Heather supports the delivery of campus programs, services and operations including the development of major capital construction projects for the campus such as the Trades Complex and the Centre for Learning. Heather is a Rotarian, sits on the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission’s Advisory Board, and is a member of several other volunteer boards.

Gordon Prokes, Founder, Infada Communications

Gordon was born and raised in Kelowna and is happy to lend his passion for technology and entrepreneurship to the growth of the community. With a vast engineering background, his focus has turned to business analysis and strategy.

Please click here to view full list of Board Members.

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