Top 40 Under 40 2014

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Lauren Phillips

Title: President Company: OVERhang Education Center Ltd. Age: 32 No one likes to hang out in Prince George more than Lauren Phillips. She and husband Dean Price see this region as one of the world’s best playgrounds and they encapsulated that in the city’s newest recreation facility – a climbing gym and then some. OVERhang is a hardcore climber’s indoor oasis, a new climber’s vertical classroom, a kids’ fitness paradise, and a revamping of the Prince George Golf and Curling Club facility all in one complex. It has been open less than a year and already the enterprise has netted Phillips a nomination for Entrepreneur of the Year at the 2013 Business Excellence Awards. At the end of their first month, said Lauren, “I am pleased to report that we have had 1,374 climber visits and many are repeat customers, as we have sold 62 memberships, 23 10-punch passes, and 401 day passes. We have 96 belay tests. OVERhang has hosted 14 birthday parties, four school groups, and one randomly awesome hula-hooping event.”

It’s not all fun and games, either. Lauren and Dean together form a dynamic team involved heavily in the city’s Search and Rescue organization, and teaching ice rescue, avalanche awareness and swift-water safety courses, among other wilderness survival skills. Lauren is a professional forester as well. “OVERhang has directly created at least 14 new full-time equivalent jobs in our community, and supported a great many local businesses,” Lauren explained. “I intend to put PG on the map for adventure tourism, and create a hub where people can meet, take courses, buy safe gear, and be part of an exciting community. My husband and I have been working hard for over four years to do our homework and build a unique business model unlike any other.”

Jessica Quinn

Title: Regional Manager, Health Promotion and Community Engagement Company: Northern Health Age: 31 The health of local citizens and the health of the Prince George economy are the two driving passions of Jessica Quinn. For the past five years she has been one of the leading voices in the delivery of the Northern Health message, specializing in social media. “I take pride in the fact that my job focuses around creating better accessibility to health awareness, tips and advice for the general public,” Jessica said. “I initiated and executed the Northern Health social media strategy and have created many social media campaigns that have been very successful in engaging hundreds of northern BC residents to think more actively about their health and wellness. Other BC health authorities and organizations often approach me for advice and assistance with their social media strategies.” Other public relations professionals do as well. Jessica is one of the leaders of the local chapter

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of the Canadian Public Relations Society and volunteers her services for community causes, especially the Run For the Cure event for breast cancer. She branched into entrepreneurship about a year ago. “I started my own social media marketing consulting business as a way to both share my expertise and further develop my skills,” she said. “Social media is one of my passions and I hope to share my excitement for it with businesses in Prince George through consulting, workshops, etc.” She holds a Masters degree from Royal Roads University, but her undergrad is from UNBC, in the town she holds dear. “I am a huge advocate for Prince George and everything is has to offer, from food to outdoor recreation,” she said. And she writes about it constantly, as a blogger for Destination BC on the Hello BC website, where she extols the many assets of the local region.

Prince George Chamber of Commerce