2018 Top 40 Under 40

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Professional Cook Program The CNC Professional Cook program taught me all the basics of French cuisine and professional cooking which, ultimately was the catalyst to my career. One of the best aspects of the program was the instructors. They have care and passion for the students, and work to keep everyone inspired while supporting students to help move their careers forward.

~ Garett Blundell, CNC Professional Cook graduate Chef de Cuisine Tableau Bar Bistro

Hashtag us! #myCNC


Contents 04 04 05 06 09

Message from Mayor Lyn Hall Message from the Prince George Chamber President Corey Naphtali Where are they now? Chamber Benefits Top 40 Under 40

09 Rich Abney 10 Leila Soila Abubakar 11 Rebecca Asquith 11 Mark Barnes 12 Tim Bennett 13 Ross Birchall 13 Sonja Blom 14 Chris Buse 15 Will Cadell 15 Renee Conway 16 Arctica Cunningham 16 Kiel Giddens 17 Heather Gloster 17 Warren Grafton 18 Jason Hamborg 19 Laura Heagy 19 Kristopher Henderson 22 Furqana Khan 22 Cory Klein 23 Sunny Kullar 23 Camille MacDonald 24 Hillary Morgan 25 Shelly Niemi 25 Janna Olynick 26 Lakeysha O’Neill 27 Emily Parsons 27 Janine Phillips 28 Lauren Phillips 29 Jennifer Pighin 29 Cori Ramsay 30 Nigel Rimmer 31 Ryan Samis 31 Kyle Sampson 32 Jas Sandhu 33 Sagar Saxena 33 Richard & Sarah Schleich 34 Haylee Seiter 34 Shobha Sharma 35 Jennifer Wilczek 35 Yang (Miley) Yang 36


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from Prince George City Council On behalf of the City Council, congratulations to the finalists in the Chamber of Commerce’s biannual “Top 40 under 40” nomination process. This fourth edition of the “Top 40 under 40” publication continues the celebration of Prince George’s bright, highly skilled young professionals and entrepreneurs. Our city has established a reputation for being open to business where young people can grow professionally while establishing an affordable and fulfilling lifestyle. University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) and the College of New Caledonia (CNC) continue to be two of the key reasons that we have such a strong complement of talented young individuals in our city. These two highly rated schools draw students from across Canada and around the world while also providing a competitive choice for our own local students. Many graduates of these institutions are choosing to stay in Prince George to begin their careers, and often we hear from young people who have left to pursue school or work in other places and are choosing to return to our city because of the unparalleled opportunities and lifestyle that are available to them here. Having a vibrant community of young people in our city is vital to our stability and growth into the future. It is a delight to see young people flourishing in their lives and contributing to the greater good of our community. Congratulations, again, to each of the “Top 40 under 40” finalists. Lyn Hall, Mayor City of Prince George


from Prince George Chamber On Behalf of the Prince George Chamber of Commerce, I am excited to congratulate the leaders and community builders included in this fantastic publication. There were many nominations received for this biannual publication and I would like to thank all of the nominees for their contributions to the success of our community. It is amazing to read about some of the achievements included in the biographies here and all that they have accomplished to date. I can only imagine the great things to come. Leadership is exhibited by a combination of competencies, commitment and character and the individuals here have demonstrated these qualities in spades. I am excited to be a business leader in Prince George and look forward to the years to come. I congratulate all of our entrepreneurs young and old and thank you for all that you do. Corey Naphtali, President Prince George Chamber of Commerce


Where are they Before we introduce you to this year’s Top 40 Under 40, we take a look back at some of our past Top 40 finalists to find out where they are now, what further successes they’ve had and what comes next.

Jennifer Brandle-McCall |



2013 Top 40

Owner, JBM Communications Jennifer Brandle-McCall has seen big changes over the past 5 years. Since we last saw Jennifer in the 2013 Top 40 Under 40 publication, she has expanded her family and moved to the Okanagan. In the fall of 2014, Jennifer and her family grew by one when they welcomed a little boy into the home. “We lovingly call him our ‘bonus baby’ and we are enjoying everything that comes with having a boy: dump trucks, train sets, sticks and more sticks,” Brandle-McCall notes. After taking a short break from her business following the birth of her son, Jennifer immersed herself back in the Prince George business community with a variety of work contracts such as the PG Chamber and College of New Caledonia. She also continued her role as Director with the Prince George Airport Authority Board. Always one to apply her passion for communications with her volunteer work, Brandle-McCall has assisted the PG Alpine Ski Club and the Hart Community Association with their communications and social media tasks. Jennifer’s passion and commitment to her community made the family’s decision to leave Prince George a difficult one. After eleven years in Prince George, Jennifer’s family made the big decision to move to Vernon where new business opportunities and adventures existed. “PG will always have a special place in my heart and I will forever be one of the city’s biggest champions,” Jennifer states. Now settled in to Lavington, a small rural community just outside of Vernon, Brandle-McCall is staying true to her Prince George heart and building relationships through community involvement.

Adele Schlick |

2013 Top 40

Commercial Account Manager, RBC In the four years since Adele Schlick was listed as a Top 40 professional, much has changed both personally and professionally, but one constant remains: her commitment to Prince George and the community we live in. In 2013 Adele received her CPHR designation adding to her already impressive professional repertoire. Along with her mentorship commitments with Futurpreneur, Schlick continues to utilize her skills, maintain her connections, and support within the business community. Over the past 5 years, Adele has gotten engaged, married and started a family. Those personal milestones triggered a shift in her priorities. “Family is number one and everything falls in behind that priority,” Adele iterates, a changing work–life balance necessitated a shift in both her work habits and expectations of herself. In April of 2016, Schlick moved into the role of Commercial Account Manager with RBC, managing a portfolio focusing on healthcare professionals and the public sector, which in turn reduced the amount of travel associated with her work. Her position with RBC has not only been a great fit personally, the corporate culture and work environment satisfy Schlick’s balance between home life and work life. So what does Adele foresee on the horizon in the next four years? The answer is always unknown, but whatever happens will happen in Prince George; “this is our home… moving is not an option, all our family is here,” Schlick is settled into a new home in the city with a large yard to comfortably raise her family.

Joel McKay |

2014 Top 40

CEO, Northern Development Initiative Trust Significant professional achievements have been added to Joel McKay’s resume since he was profiled as one of our 2014 Top 40 Under 40 finalists. In 2015, he was selected to attend the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference, and, in 2016, he returned to his alma mater Kwantlen Polytechnic University where he was honoured with a Distinguished Alumni Award. In October 2016, McKay moved into the role of Chief Executive Officer of Northern Development Initiative Trust. Although the learning curve was steep, Joel notes that he “was extremely fortunate to inherit an organization that had strong leadership, good systems, governance, a track record of results and a great team.” With this solid framework in place, Joel and his team have been enjoying an exciting year at NDIT, “we welcomed new members to our team, found ways to work with communities to improve the delivery of some of our hallmark programs and forged new partnerships. Earlier this year, we continued our partnership with the Province of British Columbia on the delivery of a $20 million second phase of the Connecting BC program to expand high speed Internet access throughout rural and remote British Columbia. As well, we signed a new partnership with Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada to expand our successful internship program to include First Nations communities for the first time,” Joel shares. Professional achievements are not the only notable milestones McKay has enjoyed – he is now the proud father of two daughters. Like any new parent, his two children keep him more than busy, but Joel volunteered his time this past spring and summer to help organize the B.C. tour portion of the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference. Joel maintains a deep commitment to Prince George and Northern B.C. communities, as well as the people who have supported him over the last five years.






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Top 40 under 40 Rich Abney | 31 University of Northern BC Sports Information Director “This list is to profile and celebrate the providing statistics and player best and brightest our amazing city has information to the news media and to offer,” said one supporter. “Rich Abney public. However, Rich’s duties reach far is just that. I think you all agree. I read beyond the basics. He utilizes video the piece on him from two years ago, but and social media to build the brand of since then, he has changed his career both the university and and again has made an the Timberwolves, and immediate impact.” since his appointment, Recently, Rich traffic to UNBC social won yet another Rich Abney, a graduate of media channels have award from the the Broadcast Journalism increased exponentially. Radio Television program at the British Rich’s commitment to Digital News Columbia Institute of local sport and wellness Association in the Technology, spent much of world of Broadcast spreads far beyond those his early career working responsibilities. He Journalism. for CKPG. Recently, Rich volunteered with the won yet another award Special Olympics of PG, starting as a from the Radio Television Digital News coach, but later expanded to include Association in the world of Broadcast profiling the incredible athletes in our Journalism, in addition to recognition town that may otherwise be unnoticed. already received, including three Rich considers himself lucky enough to consecutive “Favorite TV Personality” be the one to share these stories. and “Favorite PG Personality” awards from the Prince George Citizen. In 2016, “There are many incredible young people after three years in front of the camera, in this city,” said one supporter. “I know Rich left CKPG and joined UNBC as that to be a fact. If you aren’t following the Sports Information Director (SID). the UNBC Timberwolves on social In fitting breaking news fashion, his media, you should. They are producing departure was covered by the very news more quality content than all the other program he worked for . teams in town, combined. That is Rich, giving others a platform. Using his skills As Sports Information Director, Rich acts as a liaison for UNBC Timberwolves, and his time and his heart.”


Leila Soila Abubakar | 31


Assistant Front End Manager / Costco Wholesale Executive Director / CNC Students Union “Leila Abubakar is a dynamic, As Executive Director of the CNCSU, extraordinary young woman and a true Leila has been the driving force in role model for many international and the post-secondary community, domestic students in our community,” responsible for the establishment of said one supporter. Leila moved to the first CNCSU satellite office in a Prince George in 2010 at regional campus. Leila a young age, leaving her has taken a leadership [Leila] was family behind in Kenya, role in campus determined to and embracing a new government for over succeed in her dream eight years, standing life in Canada. She was of pursuing higher determined to succeed up for women’s and in her dream of pursuing education in Canada especially international and did so as both higher education in student rights on a CNC and UNBC Canada and did so as campus. graduate. both a CNC and UNBC Throughout all of graduate. She eventually that, Laila maintains took the mantle as the a second job as Front executive director of CNC’s student Manager at Costco, where she not union (CNCSU), becoming a fearless only welcomes customers but plays advocate for her colleagues by an instrumental role through her representing their voices on the CNC presence and advocacy in assisting Board of Governors. In 2014, due to other students of diversity gain her engagement with student life and employment. Leila approaches her the Prince George community, Leila leadership and professionalism with was one of two students in Canada intelligence, warm compassion, a to be nominated and later receive winning attitude and incomparable the Elizabeth Paterson International energy and drive. She often speaks at Student Leadership Award. women’s empowerment events such In 2017, Leila was nominated as one as “Inspiring Women Among Us” and of the Unsung Heroes of the North. Black History Month.


Congratulations to the Top 40 Under 40 Finalists


Rebecca Asquith | 36


Vice President of Operations West Coast Hospitality Group Rebecca Asquith shows no signs of Western Pizza, Cimo Mediterranean slowing down. Despite her history Grill, North 54 and Hummus Brothers. in hospitality, she started her career Additionally, Rebecca oversees office focused on Engineering. She had been operations, providing accounting, working in that field for five years payroll, marketing, sales, and support before shifting to Small for various companies. Business Development, The most “It’s important to give eventually upgrading rewarding aspect back and connect with her education with a of her career your community,” Rebecca Master of Business has been the says. She has had the Administration from the mentorship and opportunity to work with an University of Northern development of amazing team of talented British Columbia the management and driven people at West in 2016. By then, team. Coast Hospitality. The most Rebecca had been in the rewarding aspect of her hospitality industry for over ten years, including holding the career has been the mentorship and position of General Manager for the development of the management team. Treasure Cove Hotel. She has also been the fundraising Chair for Northern BC Friends of Currently the Vice President of Children, a board member of British Operations of one of the largest Columbia Hotel Society & Tourism hospitality companies in Northern BC, Prince George, and was also the the West Coast Hospitality Group, Board Chair for the Tourism Prince Rebecca oversees hotel operations in George Society. “I am proud of the Prince Rupert and Prince George for development the TPGS has achieved Prestige Hotels - a community gaming in tourism, sport & event hosting as center in Prince Rupert, and several well improving the attractiveness and restaurants in the Prince George area including: Don Cherry’s Sports Grill, perception of Prince George.”


Mark Barnes | 33 Director, Office Research University of Northern BC Mark Barnes is a 4th generation appointed to the Director of Research at Northern BC resident, born and raised UNBC, where he further supports their in Prince George. His academic and research enterprise. Mark’s leadership professional accomplishments, coupled competence has been recognized, being with his service to the community, make elected to the UNBC Board of Governors him a perfect fit for this list. The first as the Staff Representative. member of his family to “Mark has truly come full attend a post-secondary His academic circle,” said one supporter, institution, Mark “he played leadership roles and professional completed a Bachelor of accomplishments, within the University as Science in Biochemistry a student and is now a coupled with his and Molecular Biology as member of UNBC’s senior service to the well as a Master of Science leadership team with a community, make in Biochemistry at UNBC - which he finished in two him a perfect fit for sincere commitment to contribute to the on-going years, having published this list. success and advancement 25 scientific journal of UNBC.” articles during that time. Two days after successfully defending his Master’s Over the years, Mark has also remained thesis, Mark joined the BC Cancer committed to giving back to his Agency Centre for the North (BCCA-CN) community. He has been a Canadian in a leadership position and progressed Cancer Society (CCS) Health Promotion to the Interim Centre Manager in just Ambassador since 2008 where he eleven months. advocates for healthy living. He has also served as a Relay for Life Planning Following his time at the BCCA-CN, Committee Member and Relay for Mark joined UNBC as the Partnership Life Team Mentor. In 2014, Mark was and Innovation Officer. After thirteen recognized for his service when he months, Mark was appointed to the received the CCS Community Impact Assistant Director of Research where Volunteer Certificate of Achievement he worked to implement, support, and Award. Mark regularly volunteers with guide the Strategic Research Plan, Vision the Royal Canadian Legion and Central and Mission at UNBC. Following a year as the Assistant Director, Mark was Interior Science Exhibition.

UNBC Graduate


Tim Bennett | 31


Executive Director / Big Brothers Big Sisters Board Chair / School District No. 57 Tim Bennett has been the Executive Tim helped the organization recover Director of Big Brothers & Big Sisters to a position where not only has their for four years, is a board chair at budget nearly doubled, but are now School District 57, and administrator serving a record number of youth. for Hell Yeah Prince George. Tim With all of that, Tim has continued places high importance to make time to be a I love the work volunteer administrator on the impacts training I do and could not for Hell Yeah Prince and mentorship can have imagine raising a on society. Additionally, family elsewhere,” George, a position Tim Tim is President of has held for six years, says Tim. “I just the Northern Interior want to help where helping guide the social needed. Branch of the BC School media page through a Trustee Association and rebrand and strategic a committee member planning. on the BCSTA Election Advisory Tim volunteers with various nonTaskforce. profits such as Nechako Community “I love the work I do and could not Theatrics, Prince George Theatre imagine raising a family elsewhere,” Workshop, and Huble Homestead, says Tim. “I just want to help where providing help with governance, staff, needed.” and board development, as well as policy development. Following some challenging years, Tim did impressive work rebuilding the On top of his many commitments to profile of Big Brothers & Big Sisters. these various causes, Tim also finds As the fundraising coordinator and time to coach T-ball and is a dedicated program manager for seven years, family man.


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THe Prince GeorGe ciTizen - 2017

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rince George health providers say the provincial government’s plan to provide free universal coverage of a medical abortion will improve access to reproductive health services in remote areas of northern B.C. The B.C. Ministry of Health announced on Tuesday that, as of Jan. 15, Mifegymiso will be covered under MSP at no cost. The drug is an alternative to surgical abortion and has been listed by the World Health Organization as “essential medicine.” Mifegymiso has been covered by PharmaCare since July 11, 2017, but the out-ofpocket cost for individuals without PharmaCare is currently approximately $300. The drug can be prescribed by a doctor prior to nine weeks into the pregnancy, but patients must first undergo an ultrasound to ensure that the pregnancy is not ectopic, meaning outside the uterus. Women’s health advocates have applauded the | 2017 | Explore THE NORTH | 1by the B.C. Ministry of Health, which they decision say offers access to the “gold standard” for safe medical termination of pregnancies. The province will now join Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in offering universal access to Mifegymiso. According to Heather Smith, a family doctor who specializes in women’s reproductive health, reducing the cost of the drug will require fewer trips to Prince George or Vancouver for patients and will improve access to health services for women in rural communities in the north.

Since the drug was approved by Health Canada in 2015, restrictions on its use have slowly been vanishing. “If you live in Fort St. James, you could go to Vanderhoof and get the ultrasound done,” Smith said. “I could do a telephone consult and have the patient pick up the medication at the pharmacy close to them rather than having to travel to Prince George.” Since the drug was approved by Health Canada in 2015, restrictions on its use have slowly been vanishing. Prior to November of 2017, Health Canada required that Mifegymiso be taken in the presence of a doctor, and that it be administered no later than seven weeks into the pregnancy. Smith said that Health Canada regulations were changed on Nov. 7 to allow pharmacists to sell the medication to individuals with a prescription and


2017 Prince George Dining Guide



Guest of honour Victoria Gutfriend celebrated her 101st birthday on Wednesday afternoon at Laurier Manor. See today’s Citizen Extra for Kathy Nadalin’s feature on Gutfriend. Alice Sigurdson has spent more than 30 years volunteering in the community.

Citizen photo by brent braaten

China to have stakeVariety in Site C contract appeals to this volunteer Nelson BENNETT Business in Vancouver

Chinese investors stand to profit from the Site C dam project, thanks to a takeover of a Canadian company that leads a consortium tapped by BC Hydro as the preferred bidder on the dam’s spillway and generating station contract. With a 30-per-cent share, Aecon Group Inc. leads the consortium that BC Hydro announced on Dec. 21 would be the preferred bidder for the spillway and generating station contract, which is expected to be worth at least $1.2 billion. Other partners in the consortium include Dragados Canada, Inc. (27.5 per cent), Flatiron Constructors Canada Ltd. (27.5 per cent), and EBC Inc. (15 per cent), according to an Aecon news release. One day after BC Hydro announced

billion, which is how much the contract of Aecon’s shareholders approving the was estimated to be worth in a report by takeover. The friendly takeover is still Deloitte been unintentionally subject to a review under the Invest- Citizen Hart Community Centre about five years Christine HINZMANN staff that had released duringago. the BCUC’s of needs doing durment Canada Act. She doesreview whatever chinzmann@pgcitizen.ca the Site C dam. ing their major events, Aecon has experience working on The contract the tickets, spillway has not hydro-electric dams in B.C. hen In 2014, it taking workthe crowds rush into the for formally awarded yet.check BC Hydro was one of the partners thatKelly wonRoad the Craftbeen ing the coat and Fair year after Hart year, people areitlooking said still mustclearing come totables. termsThen with the contract to modernize the John comes–back in the for treasures seasonbiddershe preferred – AFDE before a final hydro-electric dam in Campbell River of the morning to gather the and probably never give ais awarded. contract in 2014. leftovers and thought to who makes the magic Thehappen AFDE Partnership wasdeliver one of four Following a review by the BC Utilities them St.competition Vincent’s. behindwhich the scenes. bidders shortlisted into the Commission (BCUC), deter“It’s taken a while to AliceisSigurdson been for the the key spillway orcontract. Others were mined the Site C dam not likely has to be make the Kelly Road ganizer of the ever-popular event for the Bechtel Canada Co., Peace River Hydro completed on time or on budget, the Craft Fair popular but 31 years. She volunteersPartners for the Hart 2 and Peter Kiewit InfrastrucNDP governmentlast decided to complete now I betcha there’s Community Association St. Vincent Co. the project nonetheless. Cancelling it andture 1,000 people who walk de Paul Society, too. During peak construction, the spillwould have meant covering $4 billion through those doors Sigurdson’s volunteerism is all about way and generating contract in sunk costs, termination fees and site on thestation Saturday of theis community connections. Sigurdson volexpected toSigurdson, 1,600 people, remediation, with nothing to show for fair,”up said unteers at the Hart Community Centreto employ according to BCabout Hydro. it. the event that that donates the leftover food from their perSothe NDP’s commitment to reThe project’s new estimated is takes place Nov. 25 many events tocost St. Vincent deAs Paul quire project labour agreements on all now $10.7 billion – more $2 bil-on Second and 26. ciety Dropthan In Centre Avenue, theinremaining on Site C, BC Hydro lion over the lastwhich budget of $8.3meals billion. Vendors come from provides to those need in work



Because it’s grown over time, Sigurdson has not only relied on who she calls her backbone, Alyce Bonnar and Fred Glendenning, but called in the troops and partnered with the Kelly Road Dry Grad committee. “We just didn’t have enough bodies to help us so the Dry Grad students and their parents have helped for over 25 years,” said Sigurdson. “As you know, every year it’s a bunch of new grads and every year they work well.” To make it worth while for the Dry Grad committee, they are

pant and as her daughter grew out of it, she continued to volunteer for a total of 15 years. As if she’s not busy enough, Sigurdson has also maintained a licensed daycare for the last 24 years. Her volunteerism continues to come full circle when she sees children from her daycare come help with the craft fair through the Dry Grad committee. This year, she sees four students she had in her daycare. Sigurdson enjoys supporting the community during their major events and volunteered her time at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in 2000 and at the Canada Winter Games in 2015. “I couldn’t volunteer until the evenings so I would go in and they’d tell me where they needed me, and I would move from job to job and I really enjoyed that because I wasn’t stuck to one thing,” said


t’s taken a while to make the Kelly Road Craft Fair popular but now I betcha there’s 1,000 people who walk through those doors on the Saturday of the

Ross Birchall | 28


Managing Partner & Consultant Wellesley Consulting Group (WCG) The owner of Kask has a vision, an In addition to all of the above activities, artistic eye, and it shows beautifully Ross is the owner of the Wellesley in the décor, the magnificent solid Consulting Group, a boutique wood tables, the reclaimed railroad consulting firm specializing in business track under the bar, and the rustic and economic development, strategic but generous beige and sales planning, material lighting. The food design, marketing, public Relationshipmatches that attention relations, and project building and to quality. As a craft management for a variety client care while beer tasting room and of private and public-sector managing outcomes clients. Although located in test kitchen located in and expectations the heart of downtown downtown Prince George, with a variety Prince George, Kask Wellesley’s reach extends of individual has quickly become much farther. personalities and one of the top trending working styles are Before his current success, dining spots in town, all Ross attended UNBC two of Ross’s key thanks to the courage and worked in a variety of strengths. of its owner. sectors including industry, That owner is Ross hospitality, and non-profit. Birchall, a remarkable young man He is also a registered lobbyist in that accomplished more in his 20s the Province of BC. Relationshipthan most. Ross has been a proud building and client care while managing Rotarian from ten years of age, serving outcomes and expectations with a as president for the 2016-2017 year. variety of individual personalities and He is also the chair of the Business working styles are two of Ross’s key Development Task Force and the strengths. This has led to exponential board director with the Downtown revenue growth in several private Prince George Business Improvement sector companies and volunteer Association. organizations under his leadership.

Sonja Blom | 38 Supervisor – Car 60 Unit Royal Canadian Mounted Police Sonja Blom’s career has focused on with various organizations in town, helping people with emotional and including the UNBC Medical Program mental health issues. Through her (regarding domestic abuse to raise sincere compassion for these health awareness and provide insight on challenges, Sonja leads the RCMP’s addressing violence). In 2015, Car response in dealing with mental 60 won a Healthier You Award, and health issues - with Sonja was invited to a commitment to speak at the Union of BC As part of her educating others about Municipalities. She also outreach, Cpl. Blom coping and living with oversees operations of speaks about mental these challenges. Her health with various the detachment’s new involvement extends to Integrated Domestic organizations in her personal time, when Violence Unit. town. she volunteers in order In addition to her role to raise awareness for with Car 60, Cpl. Blom provides backup mental health. media relations for the Prince George Sonja is a graduate of Thompson Rivers RCMP detachment, participating in Red University with a Bachelor of Science Surge activities on behalf of the RCMP in Chemistry. For the past nine years, at various events in the community. She Sonja has been a member of the RCMP, is also a resource to the RCMP peerserving the Prince George community, to-peer program, providing support with a recent promotion to Corporal. and guidance for RCMP members that She helped establish, and currently are facing challenges because of their oversees Car 60, the mental health and service. domestic violence unit - a partnership between Northern Health and the Sonja, originally from 100 Mile House, Prince George RCMP detachment. resides in Prince George with her husband and two daughters. While her Recently, Cpl. Blom worked with work and volunteer time is essential Kamloops and Kelowna to establish to her, she actively engages in her a similar program within those daughter’s education and extracommunities. As part of her outreach, Cpl. Blom speaks about mental health curricular activities.



Chris Buse | 33 Postdoctoral Fellow and Project Lead Cumulative Impacts Research Consortium, University of Northern BC Despite moving from Toronto to from various sources, and is part of a Prince George only two years prior, national research team that received Chris Buse has quickly become a a $2 million award from the Canadian Prince George mainstay. A researcher Institutes of Health Research to and public health advocate, Chris establish an Environment, Community, received his Ph.D. from the University and Health Observatory. of Toronto, where Chris has grown the he conducted some CIRC into a vibrant While he is of Canada’s first deeply committed to training environment, climate change and the region in which supporting employees health vulnerability and students in receiving he lives, Chris also assessments. He mentorship in strives to make life in applied later accepted the community engagement responsibility to lead Prince George better and research. While he a new research and for everyone. is deeply committed to community engagement the region in which he initiative at UNBC. lives, Chris also strives Over the past two years, Chris to make life in Prince George better for has tended to the development of everyone. He sits on Prince George’s the Cumulative Impacts Research CANFOR public advisory group, co-led Consortium—a platform for the development of Prince George’s community dialogue and original first ever “Jane’s Walk” (a citizen-led research seeking to maximize the walking tour to engage residents in benefits of resource development conversations about their community), while mitigating harms to the and is a co-lead for the EcoHealth environment, communities, and human Knowledge to Action Research health. His research regularly receives Group—a research interest group media attention, resulting in numerous focused on environmental health scientific papers and presentations issues in Western Canada. As an active to diverse audiences. He secured advocate for northern BC in all aspects more than $750 000 of competitive of his work and life, Chris represents a research funding for natural, social, bright light for the present and future and health science research projects of Prince George.


Will Cadell | 39


CEO Sparkgeo Will Cadell is the principal and lead like Apple and Google. Will leads a consultant of Sparkgeo consulting, growing team of geospatial software building innovative and easy to experts and, together, they navigate use geospatial technology to help complex waters. Sparkgeo’s technology clients leverage and understand is not limited by vendors or by a geography, whether that’s with licensing philosophy, but mapping technology purely by what will serve or enabling customers the purpose in the best, I’ve loved to take advantage of building Sparkgeo,” or most pragmatic way. the geography around says Will, “and more Will loves talking about them. so I’ve loved building building and delivering the

next generation geospatial it from PG. Five seconds with Will technology solutions, and and one immediately is a preferred global speaker in that recognizes his indicative Gaelic field. origin. Back in Scotland, he worked in municipal and government science Will has additionally taken on a roles. After landing in Canada, significant amount of non-profit work, Will found himself in the resource and as a Google Earth Outreach sector, eventually leading him to the developer, he finds helping non-profits founding of Sparkgeo seven years to leverage Google Maps and Google ago. Sparkgeo began with just Will, Earth hugely rewarding. Locally, though eventually growing to nearly he is the board chair of Innovation twenty people across Canada, serving Central Society and was a huge part of some of the biggest brands on Earth. making the Hubspace a reality in our They’ve helped launch satellites, save community. rainforests, identify countries breaking economic sanctions, detect wildfires, “I’ve loved building Sparkgeo,” says Will, optimize forest contractors, and route “and more so I’ve loved building it from automated vehicles. PG. Canada and PG taught me that it Sparkgeo builds innovative technology products for Fortune 500 companies

was possible to start and run your own gig. For that, I will always be thankful.”

Renee Conway | 28 Owner Costumes For A Cause Two years ago, Renee and her wife become a therapy dog.” started a non-profit called Costumes Coming from Ontario, Renee has For A Cause with a mission to serve made Prince George her home, and Prince George and the surrounding continues to show her love for this communities. Built from the ground city. She has been involved with up, the two created an organization that has helped countless several local events people, spread hundreds Weekends through CFAC, as well as of smiles, raised are packed with through her passion for thousands of dollars, birthday parties, music. If you can’t find and visited many sick compensated only her in a costume putting and dying children as far by donations in smiles on people’s face, as Vancouver with their hopes of raising you’ll find her at an character costumes. funds for more open mic, the farmers There is no such thing birthday parties. market, or a cafe. Since as a day off, spending every waking moment CFAC’s founding, Renee and her answering emails, calls, and Facebook wife have been nominated for two messages. Weekends are packed with Chamber of Commerce Business birthday parties, compensated only Excellence Awards (in the community by donations in hopes of raising funds impact category) and have become for more birthday parties. All time a registered incorporated society. invested into CFAC is unpaid, and yet, Renee also owns a janitorial company it grows larger every day. and is currently in the works of taking “Renee has built a solid foundation for ownership of a food service company. a business that continues to expand,” She has always had a passion for says one supporter, “including to travel business, and a desire for doing it with to other communities, and spread no monetary help. Renee is one of the more happiness across Prince George. hardest working, caring, and giving There’s nothing CFAC can’t do, which also involves training a new puppy to people, one could ever meet.


Arctica Cunningham | 22


Executive Director Prince George Public Interest Research Group (PGPIRG) Arctica has embraced her role lifestyle herself. as President of the Northern Since May of 2017, she has been Undergraduate Student Society the Executive Director of the (NUGSS), an organized body Prince George Public Interest that represents all Group (PGPIRG), an undergraduate students Arctica leads by independent, nonat UNBC. Arctica has example, working profit society that risen to the top, inserting with others to help supports direct action them develop new herself into challenging and research on topics skills. situations without and issues in the public hesitation. interest with the goal Arctica is now a student representative of working towards global and local on the UNBC Board of Governors, has social and environmental justice. She been active on the debate team, and is entering her final year at UNBC, with continues to speak with confidence on a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental any issue. As the Chamber’s Carbon Studies and Political Science, and Intern in 2017, she embraced her a minor in Global Studies. She was role to professionally represent the elected to the Board of Directors for Chamber in helping local businesses the student union (NUGSS) twice and reduce their carbon footprints, currently serves as the undergraduate making recommendations for carbon student representative on the UNBC reductions and energy savings. Board of Governors. Arctica leads by Arctica took this position to heart and example, working with others to help is committed to living a low carbon them develop new skills.

Kiel Giddens | 33 Regional Manager, Public Affairs TransCanada Pipelines Originally from Kamloops, Kiel won the “Gold Quill” award from the Giddens moved to Prince George International Association of Business in 2013. A UBC graduate with a Communicators. Kiel also represented Bachelor of Arts, Political Science TransCanada on the Premier’s LNG and Government, Labor Working Group, Kiel spent six years promoting the hiring of Kiel received in provincial politics, local and Aboriginal people the company’s including Chief of Staff highest employee on Liquid Natural Gas recognition award projects. roles to the Minister for designing and of Environment “Kiel is a young up and implementing a and Minister of comer with experience skills training and Transportation and education program in politics, business and Infrastructure. in Northern BC. non-profit,” said one Since 2014, Kiel has supporter. “He is a hard been employed with TransCanada, a worker and great to work with.” major international energy company He was once the vice president of developing and operating energy the Prince George-Valemount BC infrastructure in North America. A Liberal Riding Association, the CNC year later, Kiel received the company’s President’s Industry Council, and in highest employee recognition award 2015, appointed to the Prince George for designing and implementing Chamber Board. He has also been a skills training and education chair the Advocacy Committee for program in Northern BC. A year three years. Kiel has been a great later, he was part of TransCanada’s member by always participating and BC Community Relations Team that being connected to the Chamber.


Heather Gloster | 32


Youth Services Librarian Prince George Public Library Heather Gloster is the Acting Children’s school-wide goal. Heather is also a Librarian at the Prince George Public board member of the Prince George & Library and will resume her role District Community Arts Council. She as Teen Librarian in July. In 2015, engages Prince George youth through Heather won the British Columbia the Library’s Youth Advisory Board, Library Association’s Young Adult and the Queer Straight Alliance, and such Children’s Services award, creative programs as the a provincial honor that Job Chats for Teens, Mini Heather recognizes exceptional Fan-Con, Coding for Girls, is an excellent service in children’s or Nerf Tag and more. representative of Heather has developed a teen librarianship in British Columbia. She received the enthusiastic, robust suite of programs this award in part for her talented, and directed at the “double unique creative writing innovative young digits” age group (ages 10program at the Prince leaders in Prince 12). Heather is a regular George Youth Custody contributor to YAACING, George. Centre. This program a quarterly newsletter introduced incarcerated youth to for children and teen librarians in BC. the writing and editing process, Her articles highlight the unique and including writing rap, hip-hop and creative teen programs at the Prince slam poetry lyrics that the youths read George Public Library and help to put and performed. Heather not only Prince George on the map in the public provided reading material but a positive library world. Heather has also had connection to an outside public facility. some international student experience, Many children continue to connect with spending one term in Tecnologico Heather at the library following their de Monterrey and two terms in the release. Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Additionally, Heather created a program Mexico. She was also a Rotary Youth with Ron Brent Elementary in 2017, Exchange student to The Netherlands encouraging students to meet reading in 2003-2004. Heather is an excellent goals. Over 200 children visited the representative of the enthusiastic, library recently to celebrate their talented, and innovative young leaders accomplishment in achieving their in Prince George.

Warren Grafton | 30 Hydrogeologist / Partner Western Water Associates Ltd. Warren is a Professional governs these professional bodies Hydrogeologist, born, raised, within British Columbia. Through and educated in Prince George. NTES and APEGBC, Warren has He approached Western Water made the contacts and built the Associates with the idea of expanding connections necessary to grow a into the north and successful company, while presented a plan of also providing assistance Three days a how he could meet week he volunteers and leadership within his the needs of our community. at a local noncommunity. Three profit karate club, Beyond an active years later, Warren instilling in people is now part owner, of all ages the value professional life, Warren leads an equally busy conducting hydroof discipline and personal life. Three days geological work hard work. a week he volunteers at a throughout BC. local non-profit karate club, instilling in Warren builds strong relationships people of all ages the value of discipline with local businesses and has not limited his expertise to the local and hard work. Warren organizes community. Recognizing the need an annual tournament, fundraising for more engineers and geoscientists initiatives, and training clinics aimed at trained in the north to stay in the bringing sports to the north. Warren north, Warren became an active is currently an elite level athlete in member of the Northern Technology karate, holding 4th place in Canada and Engineering Society (NTES), which in his division. Recently he took on has made the previous need one of the task of Membership Director for their initiatives. Karate BC, governing karate across BC. In 2016, Warren joined the local Warren is the secretary for the air force reserve as a tow pilot for the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists (APEGBC), which air cadets.

UNBC Graduate


Jason Hamborg | 27


Co-Founder 6ix Sigma Productions In 2013, Jason Hamborg co-founded placements, 6ix Sigma opted to be 6ix Sigma - a video production dynamic, employing top-end digital company based in Prince George cameras and drones. specializing in professional, creative, “Jason is a recognized young leader and unique video production. Home that has already done so much to four passionate to champion our city videographers, 6ix Sigma and region,” said one has the capacity to write, Jason is supporter. Jason is direct, film, edit and a recognized even act in any video young leader quite the experienced production. that has already outdoorsman himself, done so much to with several 6ix Sigma Jason and his business champion our city YouTube videos featuring partner, Glenn King, and region. him racing his 2004 KTM had collaborated on 125SX motocross bike numerous film projects over the course of several at great speeds through years. It was in 2013, when Jason the wilderness commonly found was finishing his business degree at around the city. It’s incredible footage, UNBC, that he saw the opportunity revealing the potential of 6ix Sigma of 6ix Sigma. Recently, his team Productions. 6ix Sigma maintains an created Hidden Heroes, a full-length active role in the community, often Outdoor Adventure Sports film donating services to organizations following the stories of seven Prince that require them. This year, they George resident athletes. The movie completed work for The PG Relay for brought the community together Life, Big Brothers Big Sisters of PG, to witness what makes these seven and The PG Hospice House. Jason is individuals not only distinct but also a recognized young leader that has united. But where other production already done so much to champion our companies revert to talking heads and bland narrations over static camera city and region.

CNC UNBC Graduate


Laura Heagy | 38


Makeup Artist & Hair Stylist Laura Heagy – Special Occasion Stylist “Fierce and confident, Laura Heagy and certified makeup artist having attended the Blanche Macdonald has talent and determination School. streaming out of her every hair on her fiery redhead,” exclaimed one You’ll also find Laura teaching supporter. A hard-working mother Burlesque Fit at Judy Russell’s of two, Laura punches Dance Centre, as well the figurative clock at performing onstage, Laura’s primary as Employment Action, a dancing, singing, and focus remains the non-profit organization acting with many same, encouraging Judy Russell Presents endeavoring to women to find their productions. In all things improve employment confidence and opportunities for she does, Laura’s primary reminding them of focus remains the same, residents of Northern their strength. BC. Laura does encouraging women to everything from IT and find their confidence office management to and reminding them of spear-heading team building events their strength. She is a firm believer and project management, a Jill of all that women spend too much time trades. tearing each other down, and that it’s important to build each other back up. Laura is also the owner of her makeup

and hair styling company, Laura Heagy—Special Occasion Stylist, working closely with many local photographers in helping women to look and feel their best. Laura works closely with local photographer Emily Parsons to style hair, apply makeup and help create images that are utterly spectacular. Her work isn’t limited to photography, and is a well-known

“Laura works passionately to help others achieve and believe in themselves,” says one supporter. “Artists and volunteers like Laura are what make Prince George a better place.” Through her creative lens, Laura offers others an opportunity to look at things a little differently, bringing diversity and artistry to the community.

Kristopher Henderson | 31 Lawyer Heather Sadler Jenkins LLP Kristopher Henderson has been a While attending TRU Law, Kristopher lawyer with Heather Sadler Jenkins worked as a researcher for labor law LLP in Prince George since 2015, arbitrators Vince Ready, Chris Sullivan, quickly developing a reputation as and Corinn Bell. Kristopher graduated a go-to litigator in Prince George. with his Juris Doctor degree in 2014. Kristopher has experience in Before attending law commencing and school, Kristopher worked defending civil actions Kristopher as a constituency assistant in B.C. Supreme Court was selected to for Minister Shirley Bond, and Provincial Court represent the assisting and advocating for claims involving university as a for constituents with personal injury, debt delegate at the various administrative and collection, bankruptcy Harvard National legal issues and helping proceedings, builder’s Model United Nation charitable organizations liens, insurance claims, with publicity and Conference. and commercial disputes. In his fundraising events. He career, he has appeared in multiple also worked as a policy analyst and Supreme Court Chambers applications government policy researcher as and Provincial Court applications. part of British Columbia’s Legislative Kristopher has keen negotiation skills Internship Program. that he uses to get results for his Kristopher is very involved in his clients. community. He is a board member A Prince George native, Kristopher with the Prince George Railway and graduated from the UNBC in 2009 Forestry Museum, the secretary of with a Bachelor of Arts in Political the Prince George Bar Association, Science and Economics. During his and a member of the Prince George time, Kristopher was selected to Chamber of Commerce Advocacy represent the university as a delegate Committee. He has raised funds and at the Harvard National Model United participated in the Canadian Cancer Nation Conference. He also attended Society Relay for Life and the Heart law school as part of Thompson Rivers University’s inaugural law class. and Stroke Foundation Big Bike.

UNBC Graduate


Our alumni are saying great things...



of UNBC grads are managers within their organization.

of UNBC grads are satisfied with their job.



of UNBC grads are earning more than $60,000 per year.

of UNBC grads are satisfied with their UNBC experience.

81% of UNBC grads are working in fields related to their program.

98% of UNBC grads feel that their education is important for future opportunities.

...and so are our Continuing Studies students “Success is to be able to follow your dreams and design your life the way you want it. UNBC has given me the tools to choose a career that is both challenging and highly rewarding.” Christian González Becerra Manager, Local Education Agreements, First Nations Education Steering Committee Continuing Studies Masters Certificate in Project Management B. Comm with a Double Major in Finance and International Business and a minor in Economics from UNBC


Furqana Khan | 22


Event Planning Assistant University of Northern BC Furqana Khan is genuinely an Federation of Humanities and Social Sciences as a UNBC delegate on international individual. At only 22 the national student committee to years of age, Furqana exploited her participate at the annual general many travels to learn to read, write meeting. and comprehend not only English, but French, Arabic, Urdu, From taking Leadership and Hindi. She maintains as an elective during high Furqana is fluency in three. school to being the VP young, ” says one Regarding academics, supporter, “yet and of the Leadership club Furqana was recently during college as well I’m excited to see awarded the Canadian as the co-chair of the what great work Citizenship Celebration Youth in Philanthropy she will do in her Scholarship, not long Committee at the PGCF, lifetime and for this after earning a Bachelor Furqana held several community. of Social Work Degree leadership positions. from UNBC. Furqana completed several social work practicum “Furqana is young yet,” says one placements, learning about individual supporter, “and I’m excited to see what needs while working with clients great work she will do in her lifetime from a variety of backgrounds. She is and for this community.” or has been a volunteer for multiple Furqana is now registered with both agencies in town, including the Youth the British Columbia College of Social in Philanthropy Committee, the Workers and the British Columbia School of Social Work Committee at Association of Social Workers to UNBC, BC Cancer Agency, Canadian become an active registered social Cancer Society, University Hospital of worker. Furqana registered with Northern BC, 24 Hour Cancer Relay, the Conference of the Canadian 2015 Canada Games, and many more. Association for Social Work Education Furqana is an enthusiastic organizer and attended the Congress for the and leader in our community.

CNC UNBC Graduate

Cory Klein | 30 Chief Excellence Officer Klein Group Cory Klein is the exceptional young Association. At only 30 years of age, man, running RF Klein and Son’s—a Cory has been working in construction family run business incorporated for fifteen years and in management in Prince George since 1965—as a for seven. At R.F. Klein & Sons, he General Contractor. Klein & Sons leads the creation of two additional specializes in civil divisions to diversify and construction, servicing [Cory] has grow the business. At the all areas residential, done outstanding NRCA, he was lead for the work for this city commercial, and as well as brought merger of all Northern institutional. But it construction associations, us an amazing doesn’t stop there; Cory landscape supply as well as a principal also runs Island Cache company. organizer for the Heavy and Klein Crushing. He Metal Rocks program. also sits on the board of

the Northern Regional Construction Association (NRCA), the Railway and Forestry Museum, and the BC Construction Safety Alliance. Cory is part owner of Island Cache Stone Company and Sun-Ko Landscape Supply. Before that, he earned a diploma in Business Administration Management from CNC and a Bachelor’s Degree in Technology Construction Management from BCIT. He also has a Gold Seal designation from the Canadian Construction

“Cory is an amazing man for only being 30,” says one supporter. “He has done outstanding work for this city as well as brought us an amazing landscape supply company. Which is making this city much more beautiful.” Cory is committed to the construction sector in the north. He is generous, volunteering his time and effort in an industry he loves. He is a respectful and a trusted community leader, on top of being a dedicated family man.



Sunny Kullar | 29


Chief Financial Officer Brink Group of Companies Sunny Kullar is a proud graduate from - a manufacturing operation that UNBC. At the age of 29, he has already produces cedar fence panels as demonstrated a profound influence in well as a complementary wholesale the local, provincial, and international distribution arm. business landscape. As the Chief As the CFO of Brink Group, Sunny Financial Officer for the Brink Group is a driver of both the of Companies, Sunny and execution manages the finances, Sunny shares development of their corporate strategy. accounting and Brink’s vision His primary responsibility corporate strategy in supporting is to oversee the company’s for several large-scale local athletes financial position and companies, which and non-profit profitability. The most combined, employ over organizations. recent organizational 350 people. achievement led by Sunny While completing his was the acquisition of Vanderhoof Bachelor of Commerce, Sunny began Specialty Wood Products, making working his way up the corporate Brink the 13th largest forestry ladder at TD Canada Trust. In 2011, company by employment in B.C. In Sunny was acknowledged by TD as addition, Sunny led Brink Group’s one of twenty up-and-coming young acquisition of Boardwalk Properties, a leaders and future executives in BC. local real estate firm. Sunny continued his education and successfully passed the Common Sunny shares Brink’s vision in Final Examination in 2016, which is a supporting local athletes and nonrequirement to attain the Chartered profit organizations. Through the Brink Professional Accountant (CPA) Group, Sunny provides sponsorship designation. Sunny has over ten years to local athletes as well as sponsors of finance experience. several community events such as Boogie with Stars, Relay for Life, PG With a passion for entrepreneurship, Triathlon, Iron Ore Classic and Storm Sunny isn’t afraid of a busy schedule. He is the founder of two companies the Hill.

Camille MacDonald | 29 CEO Pop Media “Camille is truly a gift to her enormous growth and potential in the field of digital marketing, Camille profession,” says one supporter. “She leaped into entrepreneurship, is always courteous and puts everyone founding Pop Media, an online at ease that she interviews and works marketing, and video company. She with. Her ability to retain detailed has been highly successful in helping information is staggering, and her many local businesses creative genius brings grow their marketing, positive attention to any Camille is harnessing the power of her clients. Within dedicated to her of social media to help months of going solo, clients’ success, local businesses build Camille established an helping them relationships with their impressive client list that share their stories customers and attract continues to expand.” with the online new ones. Camille is A transplant from the dedicated to her clients’ community. lower mainland, Camille success, helping them has brought much to share their stories with the Prince George the online community. community in the few years she has Camille attends local charity events been here. A Simon Fraser University and supports many non-profits. In graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in 2017, Camille assumed the role of History, she continued her studies volunteer Communications Chair for at BCIT with an eventual diploma in the 2017 Festival of Trees, benefiting Broadcast and Online Journalism. Spirit of the North. She looks forward She spent the first four years of her to promoting this fantastic local event career honing her craft at CKPG as a to an even broader online audience. broadcaster and journalist, becoming She is also a volunteer with the PG an integral part of the team that Humane Society. In 2016 Camille earned the 2016 national Radio rode with Prince George’s “Wheelin’ Television Digital News Association Warriors” team. She strives for award for “Best Newscast”. excellence in whatever she does and Camille eventually followed her has found a way to use her talents to dreams of working for herself. Seeing make an impact in the city.


Hillary Morgan | 31


City Planner City of Prince George Hillary’s work with the City’s Advisory “Hillary tries to align the Official Committee on Accessibility has Community Plan with good policy advanced the City of Prince George’s development when reviewing new goal of creating an inclusive and projects and has a reputation for good equitable community for people of planning choices,” said one supporter. all ages and abilities. “She is a strong “She cycles a lot and is helping to believer in effective promote good alternative and thoughtful land transportation options. When given use planning, including When given a project a project she making sure that all she makes it her own and makes it her own citizens get to enjoy all achieves so much just by and achieves so spaces (e.g., promoting being thoughtful about much just by being her decision making the Age-Friendly plan thoughtful about and accessibility),” said and focusing on what one supporter. Her her decision making is possible and helping work with the City’s people do their best. She and focusing on Heritage Commission what is possible and has been so supportive has advanced the City’s helping people do of people with disabilities Heritage Register, which in our community to help their best. had not developed since make our city more user2007; this work received friendly to all. She’s a real a provincial award. asset, and I hope she stays at the City of PG for her whole career.” Hillary earned a Bachelor of Arts in Geography at UVIC in 2009. In 2013, Hillary works with staff at all levels she followed that up with a Masters and with all departments to create in Urban and Regional Planning at processes and projects that enhance Queen’s University in Ontario. She is accessibility, while also creating a staff a registered professional planner from culture that prioritizes accessibility the Canadian Institute of Planners and and inclusion. She also works to the Planning Institute of B.C. She has integrate accessible design into new been a practicing professional planner private development, an example of for nearly six years, half of that in this is the City’s Multi-Family Housing Prince George. Incentives Bylaw.

Find out how your business can benefit from Sponsorships with the Chamber. Contact: Todd Corrigall 250.562.2454 ceo@pgchamber.bc.ca


Shelly Niemi | 36


District Administrator Aboriginal Education School District No. 57 Shelly Niemi is humbled by just being 39% to 62%. I have presented at over nominated. “I am the first person fifty events locally, provincially, and from my family to ever attend postnationally.” secondary,” she admits. “I was the first Shelly is an advocate for implementing indigenous Valedictorian from the aboriginal curriculum in School of Education at She volunteers the school district and UNBC.” evenings within is also an advocate for Shelly received various the Aboriginal aboriginal youth. She is Community and academic awards the founder and organizer advocates locally and scholarships for of Stronger Nations—an for Aboriginal academic excellence. aboriginal-focused, notEducation. In 2012 she received for-profit organization, her Bachelor of Arts bringing together service in First Nations Studies at UNBC. providers from different fields to share In 2016, she earned the Masters of knowledge and perspective. Education valedictorian. Since then, Shelly has been pursuing her doctorate Shelly grew up in Prince George in Educational Leadership at Western and has a strong dedication to the University. community. She has been a foster parent for eight years, a WHL Billet “I have held the role of the District parent for six years, and an involved Administrator of Aboriginal Education member with youth sports. She within School District No.57,” Shelly volunteers evenings within the says. “During that time, I have been Aboriginal Community and advocates able to help move our Aboriginal student graduation rates forward from locally for Aboriginal Education.

Janna Olynick | 25 Research Associate University of North BC Janna Olynick is an incredible example the BC Psychological Association Gold Medal Award. She has three academic of what UNBC has done for the journal publications and has authorship North. She came to UNBC in 2010 on thirteen published reports and to study Psychology and earned both ten conference presentations. undergrad and graduate degrees, in Additionally, Janna operates a research turn teaching the fundamentals of business. psychology to all new students. [Janna] has “My research (e.g., RRN2

project, Strengthening overcome some Janna holds a Master of incredible barriers Families Program, Science and a Bachelor POWERPLAY) involves to succeed and of Science in Psychology a high level of data and has four years of is giving back to and research acumen,” work experience in her community said Janna. “My goal related fields. She holds immeasurably the Tri-Council Policy through volunteer is to contribute to the cultivation of knowledge Statement (TCPS 2: work. and resources to CORE) ethics certificate strengthen northern and became a member and rural communities. From quality of the Golden Key Society during her research comes valid data, which Bachelors. promotes better decisions and “She’s made many conference prosperous/healthy communities.” presentations, and has had her name Janna was the Academic Vice published in dozens of papers,” said President of the PSYC Club, one supporter. “[Janna] has overcome organizing guest speakers and some incredible barriers to succeed growing the scholarship fund, as well and is giving back to her community as a representative for the Graduate immeasurably through volunteer Student Society. She also sat on the work.” Innovation and Development Common In 2015, Janna was awarded the Research Days Advisory Committee Canadian Chairs of Departments of and was invited to speak at the UNBC 2017 orientation. Psychology Award and in 2016, won

UNBC Graduate


Lakeysha O’Neill | 26


Web Design DUC – Digital Umbrella Creative If you visit Digital Umbrella Creative’s an important catalyst within the Prince website, you may end up spending a George startup and entrepreneurial few seconds playing with the rubber communities.” duck logo dominating the center of In the fall, DUC will be running the screen. Lakeysha O’Neill is a coworkshops to teach entrepreneurs founder of DUC and and administrators runs the web design basic design and web I am passionate side of the business, about tech education development skills so meaning she is most and about sharing that they can manage likely responsible for knowledge and their assets at a lower that duck. experience. cost. Lakeysha will Lakeysha earned a New also be facilitating and Media Communications co-organizing Startup and Design Diploma in 2013 from the Weekend PG 2017/Hacking Health. CNC. Since then, she has accumulated Lakeysha also designed and taught five years of design experience in both the Coding for Girls Course offered graphic and web design. by Two Rivers Gallery in partnership with Women’s Enterprise Centre “I am passionate about tech education at the Prince George Public Library. and about sharing knowledge and She encouraged young girls to get experience,” says Lakeysha. into STEM (science, technology, Lakeysha is impacting Prince George engineering, and mathematics), taught positively in numerous ways: through high school level math concepts her work as a web developer with through game making, and taught DUC, as a key part of Innovation valuable program design and problemCentral and the Hubspace, and as a solving skills. part-time instructor at CNC,” says one She also made a website with a giant supporter. “Further, she teaches youth coding programs for the library, and is rubber duck in the centre.



Emily Parsons | 30


Photographer Emily Jane Photography Emily Parsons is the owner and stories they tell provide value that lasts principal photographer at Emily a lifetime. Jane Photography. She started her Emily’s supporters can’t stop gushing photography company six years ago about her. “Emily Parsons is the in her parent’s basement. Since hardest working woman I’ve met and beginning on her own, Emily has it shows in everything evolved her business to she does,” says another. a team of collaborators Emily Parsons “Her business has been and like-minded artists one of the most talked is the hardest housed in a gorgeous working woman I’ve about businesses in Prince studio. George over the last met and it shows “Emily’s motto, ‘Change two years. Her images in everything she how one woman have created buzz with does. perceives herself, all different age groups. change an entire Residents and local community’ rings correct in everything businesses of Prince George are lining she does,” says one supporter. “Every up for a chance to collaborate with her.” woman who walks through her studio Emily supports many different causes doors walks out a more confident in the community in whatever way and powerful person. She specializes she can, whether it be offering up her in bringing out the inner beauty and services free of charge to an engaged sparkle that each woman has inside couple who lost everything in a fire, to of her.” donating portrait sessions to support From humble beginnings, Emily moved the local dance festival, to volunteering her small photography business her time and talent to Prince George (“Emily Parsons Photography”) in Equine and Animal Rescue. Dawson Creek to Prince George Emily is dedicated to helping other just five years ago. From there, her talented photographers reach new client list grew exponentially, and levels of success and work/life she became synonymous with fine satisfaction and encourages many wedding photography in Prince different types of artists with her George, rebranding as “Emily Jane Photography”. Her images and the mentoring programs.

Janine Phillips | 27 Owner Dragon Stone Mongolian Grill Dragon Stone has established itself inaugural fundraising event along as one of the premiere Asian-themed with raising funds for other charities restaurants in town. The success of including Relay for Life, the Child Dragon Stone is due to many factors, Development Centre, the Northern first and foremost being its owner, Lights Wildlife Society, the Barkerville Janine Phillips. Janine Heritage Fund, and graduated with honors Scouts Canada. She is also from UNBC’s Business amazing with But most people know Management program. customers and Janine as the owner of Afterwards, she worked can help solve any Dragon Stone Mongolian at Boston Pizza for eight problems they may Grill, years as a server and have. Community Resource “This ‘old soul’ is who we Manager, and finally as all call our complex ‘Fairy Godmother’ the General Manager. In that time, for how she goes beyond being a she involved herself in numerous good neighbor,” says the owner of community events, including becoming one of Dragon Stone’s neighboring a leader with Beaver Scouts Canada. businesses. “She keeps a watchful eye “She is hugely supportive of all her on our grounds, makes sure everything staff, treating them like family,” said is running smoothly, clean, orderly, and one supporter. “She is also amazing of the high standards of a new complex. with customers and can help solve By the time there’s an issue, Janine has any problems they may have.” Janine it covered.” is also on the board of directors At only 27 years old, Janine’s maturity of the North Cariboo Overland and outlook have placed her leaps and Adventures Association, promoting bounds ahead of the crowd, allowing outdoor adventure, education, and her to succeed in her business and environmental concerns. She is active in developing and organizing their personal endeavors.

UNBC Graduate


Lauren Phillips | 36


Owner OVERhang Education Centre Ltd. Nestled in a wing of the Prince she worked in the industrial sector, George Golf and Curling building followed by government, still practicing sits OVERhang Education Centre; forestry while advising her husband’s there you’ll find it’s shepherd, Lauren business, Nahanni Construction. She Phillips. Lauren is the co-owner, became a registered professional an outdoor safety professional and forester in 2006 and someone who loves instructed at UNBC in adventure, mentorship, Lauren 2014 and 2015. She was and facilitation. Her loves mentoring the founding director of company delivers courses others, taking the Throwdown Adventure and workshops in outdoor great joy from Festival Society, a director/ safety and adventure instructing signing officer for Tourism across BC and Alberta, adults and PG in 2017, and a past including avalanche youths. director for PG Search awareness (Avalanche & Rescue (PGSAR), the Safety Training-1), latter being an instructor, training swiftwater rescue, ice safety, ATV and officer, media representative, and was snowmobile operation, wilderness first recently selected for the Class D Fixed aid, and GPS use. The facility is also an Line helicopter rescue team. indoor climbing gym and fitness center that opened in October 2013. Lauren loves mentoring others, taking “Due to her leadership, it has been a great joy from instructing adults huge success,” one supporter claims. and youths. She’s passionate about “As the OVERhang owner and general gardening and feels the most at peace manager, Lauren manages over twenty when outdoors in the mountains, on employees and a number of contract a rock face, or paddling a river. “I’ve instructors. In her free time, Lauren finally been able to spend time enjoying is also a Team Leader, Instructor, and my own outdoor recreation again,” Searcher for PG Search and Rescue.” says Lauren, “as well as traveling, after five extremely taxing years launching Lauren earned a Bachelor of Science in Forestry at UBC in 2004. Later, OVERhang.”

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Jennifer Pighin | 35


Visual Artist & Sole Proprietor / ~Art from the Heart~ Art Teacher / School District No. 57 In 2005, Jennifer Pighin earned a art was the result of Jennifer winning Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Arts a nation-wide logo design contest at the Emily Carr Institute; creative run by the Canada Winter Games. In expression was not a spontaneous addition, Jennifer won the Regional Art career decision. In 2006, she received & Culture Award for Education. a Bachelor of Education at UBC, and In addition to raising her has been involved with two boys, Jen leads Khast’an the PG Community Arts Drummers, a non-profit Jen is an Council, Two Rivers traditional drumming group amazing artist, Gallery, the BC Teachers which donates all proceeds teacher, and Federation Aboriginal causes that help local Education Committee, leader, born and to elders as well as the Fire and the Prince George raised in Prince Pit and Haida House. Jen’s District Teachers George. lineage comes from the Association Professional Lheidli T’enneh people, and Development. She she works hard to keep the culture also took the position as a BCTF and traditions alive in the community School Union Representative Training through many avenues. This is only the Facilitator beginning of Jen’s accomplishments. “Jen is an amazing artist, teacher, She grew up with the odds stacked and leader, born and raised in Prince against her and has become a shining George,” says one supporter. “Jen is star and real leader in the city of Prince a highly skilled First Nations Artist George. and entrepreneur. Not only does she “As a mother of twins, I know how teach art at PGSS, her art was used important it is to foster the strengths when the Canada Winter Games came of everyone as well as provide to PG. She has taught at both CNC opportunities for developing individual and UNBC; she recently finished her identity,” says Jennifer. “This involves Master’s degree in Aboriginal Studies learning about oneself, others and and accepted the Pounamu Taonga how to both work as a team and Award.” independently to problem solve life’s The Pounamu Taonga Award was situations. I endeavor not to lead but awarded in 2017, and the featured inspire others to do their best.”


Cori Ramsay | 30 Communications Officer Integris Credit Union As a UNBC graduate, Cori is a Lending from Dalhousie. She is also a passionate advocate for a better member of the Institute of Corporate Prince George and the lives of all that Directors and holds a certificate from live here. She led the way in Integris the Rotman School of Business in notCredit Union becoming a living wage for-profit governance essentials. She employer (the first of has been in Marketing/ its kind in the north) She led the way Communications and has helped other in Integris Credit for four years and companies become Union becoming a cooperative banking for living wage employers living wage employer over seven years. as well. As the (the first of its Communications Officer Under her leadership, kind in the north) and has helped for Integris, Cori is the Integris Credit Union other companies writer behind some of and the City of Quesnel become living Integris’ award-winning became Living Wage wage employers media campaigns. certified, ensuring that as well. over 400 individuals “I care about the in Northern BC are environment and earning a Living Wage. She is also the recently helped Betulla Burning install their rooftop beehive which I maintain,” Chair of the Board at the Two Rivers says Cori. “I do this on my own time Gallery and has volunteered for over because it’s fun and I get to meet new five years with them. She also serves people. I love Prince George and want on the CFUR board as Treasurer. “I am to see our community flourish, so I do always volunteering and have helped what I can to help.” out the UNBC Apiary club, UNBC Theatre Club, Judy Russell Presents, Cori earned a Bachelor of Arts from UNBC, and later a certificate in Retail and the Canada Winter Games.”

UNBC Graduate


Nigel Rimmer | 32


Marketing and Promotions Manager West Coast Hospitality Group “Nigel, at just 32, is known and loved in Prince George, and I can’t think of anyone more deserving to be recognized for this award,” says one supporter.

to hop on board to support a cause, help out a friend, or do anything to make our community a better place. Prince George is lucky to have him!”

Nigel is currently a Nigel is currently He is always the member of the Board the Marketing and of Directors for first one to hop on Promotions Manager Northern BC Tourism, board to support for the West Coast a cause, help out a former president Group, covering all a friend, or do of Accommodations anything to make our Prince George, and social media and community a better promotions for North a team captain for place. 54, Cimo, Hummus the Relay for Life for Brothers, Prince Rupert eight years. However, what is most Chances, and Don Cherry’s in Prince uncharacteristic given the prior Rupert. Before this new position, paragraphs is Nigel’s co-founding Nigel was the General Manager at of Northern Lights Entertainment, the Treasure Cove Hotel in Prince organizing and hosting music festivals, George for five years, having worked arena shows, and other productions. up from bell boy to general manager. Nigel himself is a deejay. He is a graduate of the Business

Administration program at CNC.


“I can also tell you personally that Nigel is always willing to go above and beyond for anyone,” says one supporter. “He is always the first one

“I am a professional by day, but my passion is performing as a DJ,” Nigel says. “I’ve been booked to perform all over BC at ski resorts, music festivals, arenas, and nightclubs.”


Ryan Samis | 37


Vice President, Operations Geotech Drilling Services Ltd. Ryan Samis is the Vice President deserves to be recognized,” attests of Operations at Geotech Drilling Dustin Renaud, Geotech’s Human Services Ltd., despite starting as a Resources Manager. drill assistant in 2001. At that point, “I have expanded the exploration Geotech was just a few years old, which division of our company since 2008 began around a kitchen table in College (Exploration Division Heights the year Ryan Manager) from four drills to arrived from Alberta in Ryan is a our current fleet of twenty,” 1996. Ryan quickly rose passionate, says Ryan. “My expanded up the ranks, becoming ambitious and role currently manages all a driller, supervisor, and sectors of the business and determined successfully growing the international operations, leader exploration division of overseeing eight project the company from 2008 managers.” until he became manager of the entire department in 2011. He Further to his role at Geotech, Ryan then moved into a senior management also sits as the President of the role in 2015. Ryan has invested in Canadian Diamond Drilling Association his future with Geotech, becoming a and has been a member of the board of shareholder in 2012. directors with the CDDA since 2014, chairing the Technical Committee Ryan has orchestrated all aspects within the group. of Geotech’s most significant projects, including tendering, project “My career advancement has been preparation, purchasing, logistics/ largely tied to my return to Prince operations, human resources, invoicing, George,” Ryan adds. “I worked in our and client relations. He has worked Okanagan division for six years and on, oversaw and led drilling programs returned in 2009. Being based here throughout Western Canada, the at our corporate office has allowed Canadian Arctic, US, South America, my experience to grow exponentially, and more recently, West Africa. allowing me to sit in my current position with confidence. I have my “Ryan is a passionate, ambitious and determined leader who definitely peers and community to thank for that.”

CNC Kyle Sampson | 25 Manager of Northern BC Pacific Western Brewing Anyone can raise a pint to salute the achievements of Pacific Western Brewing, BC’s fiercely loyal, doggedly independent home-grown brewery, and there are many people credited with its success. One of those is Kyle Sampson.

2016 Prince George Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards. Kyle has used his experience and hands-on knowledge to advance his career in ways to offset the lack of degrees or diplomas.

“If an opportunity is I have seen “Kyle amplifies available, I step up how he manages his professional what being a young into a leadership role development, his entrepreneur is all about,” where my expertise businesses growth, and experience will be says one supporter. and his widespread utilized effectively,” says “In my experience of community working with him, Kyle. He gets involved in involvement. I have seen how he his community as often manages his professional as he can by offering development, his businesses growth, his expertise to several organizations and his widespread community including a director at the Chamber of involvement. Kyle is incredibly Commerce, a committee member at outgoing and is always looking to help Ness Lake Bible Camp, a committee better our community.” member of the Relay for Life, and a liaison officer for the ESS Emergency Kyle had worked in marketing, Evacuation Centre. event management/development, communications, and broadcasting for “My abilities and skills have given me a ten years in several different roles. He platform to strive and succeed within moved into a marketing management my career and volunteer networks. I role in early 2016. That same year, am driven to build and grow business, he was awarded the Hell Yeah Prince as well as better the community I live George Ambassador Award at the and work in.”


Jas Sandhu | 28


Financial Planner TD Wealth Financial Planning Jas Sandhu is a Financial Planner Chartered Investment Manager with TD Wealth Financial Planning in (CIM®) designation offered through Prince George, working with clients at the CSI, representing a specialization the College Heights and Pine Centre in portfolio management. locations. Jas has grown his business Jas is committed to through his passion for continuing education as Jas also the client experience a promise to his clients dedicates his time and financial planning to teaching financial to maintain the skills and advice based on the literacy at the Native knowledge needed to individual needs of Friendship Centre, a each client. Program—known as navigate today’s financial “Money Matters”— landscape. Jas has a diploma that TD facilitated in Outside of work, Jas in Accounting and partnership with the dedicates his time to Finance from the centre. teaching financial literacy College of New at the Native Friendship Caledonia and a Centre, a program—known as Money Bachelor of Commerce degree from Matters—that TD facilitated in the University of Northern British partnership with the centre. Jas and Columbia, with a double major in his wife participate annually in the finance and general business. Jas 24-hour Relay for Life as part of a holds the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL team established in honor of his father, PLANNER (CFP®) designation offered Nirmal Sandhu. In the past two years, by the Financial Planning Standards the team has raised over $17,000 Council, considered the gold standard through various fundraising initiatives of financial planning designations in Canada. As well, Jas holds his and private donations.

CNC UNBC Graduate






unbc.ca/conference | CONFERENCE & EVENT SERVICES | conference@unbc.ca



3333 University Way, Prince George BC


Sagar Saxena | 32


Community Engagement and Partnerships Officer School District No. 91 Sagar Saxena is the Community and political conditions. Through community-based health education, Engagement and Partnerships Officer awareness, and medical training, at School District 91. His role has Our Satya is committed to helping him connecting and building strategic women in India reclaim their voices partnerships between industry, and protect the health district, and community and livelihood of their organizations. Sagar Sagar has a children. They have moved to Canada nearly sharp wit and eye also done outreach to four years ago, selecting for connecting the women in need within Prince George as his new right people in the our region. Sagar’s hometown, and where he room (and region) community work includes has been residing since to make things serving on the board with his wife and fiveof Innovation Central happen. year-old son. Society and helping to “Sagar has a sharp wit make the Hubspace a and eye for connecting reality. Furthermore, he is a committee the right people in the room (and member of the PG Chamber of region) to make things happen,” says Commerce. one supporter. “He combines his Sagar expanded UNBC’s Office of international experience, optimism and Research portfolio to respond to the strategic action-oriented personality economic diversification and research to ensure that change making and needs of first nations, governments, economic development projects move industries, and communities within forward.” Northern BC. He initiated SD91’s Together with his wife, Shobha, they tangible partnership with five major run Our Satya, an organization calling university/colleges in BC within six on the global community to support months and spearheaded a $15 million women in positions of distress, potential biorefinery project for poverty, and clear socio-economic UNBC.

Richard & Sarah Schleich | 39/37 Co-Owners Hub City Volkswagen Richard and Sarah, co-owners of giving back to the community, through Hub-City Motors, have turned it into a both business and private philanthropy, family business, creating an outstanding donating to numerous charities corporate culture, while updating throughout the city including this past the franchise. Richard and Sarah are NYE’s record-breaking Boogie with The driven to expand the dealership beyond Stars event for the Spirit the needs of revenue, of the North Healthcare donating time and I lead by Foundation. costumes to Costumes for example, ” Richard a Cause as well as vehicles Richard and Sarah also says. “I’ve never to Hell Yeah Prince helped spearhead the first asked anyone to George and Vista Radio ever Heart for Hospice do anything that (the Fun Chaser). fundraiser, raising muchI haven’t already needed funds for the PG “It’s amazing what they done. Hospice Society. do on a low key, no parade through town way,” claims “I lead by example,” Richard says. “I’ve one supporter. never asked anyone to do anything that Sarah is the Cystic Fibrosis champion of I haven’t already done. I started from Prince George, organizing a fundraiser the ground up here and can perform that raised over $5,000 to help find a anyone’s duties. I typically always have cure. She doesn’t do it for recognition, the answer when asked, and if I don’t, I but rather the greater good. In the last make it a point to find out. I am straight few years, Sarah refocused her business and to the point, and blunt at times. But to help better impact the community, you will always know where I’m coming and in doing so raised a substantial from.” amount for multiple organizations and

charities within the city.


Richard is not only the General Manager at Hub City Volkswagen but also its Sales Manager and Dealer Principle. In addition to leading a strong team, Richard dedicates his time


“I’m passionate about self-growth,” says Sarah, “and love helping others and being a positive role model to those around me. I truly love this city and am consistently looking for positive ways to impact it.”

Haylee Seiter | 24


Communications Advisor Northern Health In 2016, as a new university business before graduating, for the Canadian graduate, Haylee’s proudest moment Cancer Society doing health promotion was landing her dream job with work. After university, she worked as a Northern Health. “Many of my past chief marketer for the Northern Lights achievements are tied to my university Estate Winery, and now experience,” she says, is the communications Since graduating, advisor for public and “winning first place Haylee has in marketing for population for Northern demonstrated JDC West, being my Health. her abilities as a class valedictorian, marketing prodigy in “She’s been a great Prince George, mixing and being awarded both her passions and example for other numerous students at the values. scholarships as an University,” says one undergrad student.” supporter, “and is bound for incredible Since graduating, Haylee has success in her field and beyond.” demonstrated her abilities as a Haylee is involved with the Wheelin marketing prodigy in Prince George, Warriors of the North—a cycling group mixing both her passions and values. raising money and participating in She completed an academic exchange the Ride to Conquer Cancer. “This in Paris and took many of her will be my 2nd year doing the ride,” marketing and international business says Haylee. “This year, I am also a courses there. In the summer of 2016, godparent (support and mentor) for she completed a French language the UNBC JDC West team. Along with program at Université Laval in Quebec the coaching and mentoring the team, I City. She volunteered her time, even act as a support to the team captains.”

UNBC Graduate

Shobha Sharma | 30 Executive Director Central Interior Native Health Society “After her own traumatic birth As a captivating speaker with story, Shobha Sharma created Our contagious energy helping women Satya. Haunted by the fear and the globally, Shobha has made ripples uncertainty of childbirth, and yet through the community. Recently, grateful to recover with a healthy new her team ran their annual fundraiser baby, Shobha could only think of the to bring awareness of their global young women she had outreach. Proceeds went worked so intimately As a captivating to support the health and with in Rajasthan, India, wellness of these women speaker with women who live miles and their families. contagious energy away from medical helping women In 2017, Shobha became facilities, education, globally, Shobha the Executive Director and are themselves of PG’s Central Interior has made ripples unaware of interventions Native Health Society. through the necessary to assist in From 2007 to 2013, she community. complications arising led the We Charity and from pregnancy or Me to We as Country Director of India. childbirth. It was these women living Amongst her alumni at UBC, Shobha on the margins of society, discriminated was coined a ‘Freedom Fighter’ in against because of their cultural and UBC’s Trek Magazine. From 2003economic background, that Our Satya 2007, she built the Communications came into being to assist. team for Free the Children in Toronto. Shobha has a Bachelor of Arts from In 2016, she directed and co-produced the University of British Columbia a documentary entitled “Her Voice,” (UBC) with a focus on the effects of examining the cause of maternal and colonization on indigenous populations infant mortality in rural India. as well as a Master of Arts in Indigenous Her contributions to the field of Governance from the University of international development were Victoria. She is also a community documented and broadcasted on CBC development innovator with over ten in MTV’s “Jessi in India” and highlighted years of experience managing health in Parents Canada, “Canadians working and human service delivery and leading non-profit organizations. to end child poverty.”


Jennifer Wilczek | 35


Optometrist Parker Optometry Dr. Jennifer Wilczek was born and raised in the community, having been a board director for Integris Credit Union in Prince George. After graduating from since 2014 and, currently serves as the Duchess Park, she began her postsecretary of the executive committee secondary education at UNBC before and the governance/conduct review transferring to UBC to complete her committee. Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Sciences. She went on to “I love being an optometrist,” study Optometry at Pacific Jennifer says. “I enjoy I love being University in Forest Grove, seeing a variety of patients an optometrist,” Oregon. After graduating throughout the day from Jennifer says. “I with her doctorate in very young to seniors and enjoy seeing a Optometry, she returned doing routine eye exams variety of patients to complex medical issues. home to Prince George and joined the eye throughout the day I feel blessed that I was care team at Parker from very young to able to come back to work Optometry in 2010. in Prince George, near my seniors Although Dr. Wilczek friends and family. We have treats patients of all ages, a great community, and I am she is exceptionally talented in working excited to be a part of its future.” with children, including those who are Dr. Wilczek is passionate about sharing nervous about their first eye exam. Dr. her knowledge about eye care. She Wilczek ensures all patients get the best volunteers her time as a presenter at visual care to meet their daily needs. the Diabetic Walk and Talk to educate She is knowledgeable and comfortable the public on the importance of eye in discussing contact lenses, laser vision health and blood sugar control. She has correction as well as various diseases presented for CKPG health news on that affect the eyes, including diabetes, topics related to eye health. Additionally, glaucoma, cataracts, and macular Dr. Wilczek mentors undergraduate degeneration. students interested in pursuing a career in In 2011, Dr. Wilczek published a research optometry by giving them the opportunity paper featuring a NIKE product used to observe clinical practice and ask to measure visual performance skills in questions. Three such students have since athletes. Dr. Wilczek is very involved been admitted to optometry school.

Yang (Miley) Yang | 26 International Student Engagement Coordinator College Of New Caledonia (CNC) Miley Yang came to Canada from Miley has coordinated students on her Shanghai to study English Second team and they all attest to her inclusive, Language and University Transfer inspiring leadership. Additionally, Miley at Langara College in Vancouver, has participated in, or coordinated, but later decided to move to Prince Student Orientation, Turban Up George to be challenged culturally and Day, Summer Bash, and Canada Day linguistically at CNC. Celebrations. Miley has It also helps that Miley Miley was Chairperson coordinated is a seasoned traveler, for the Chinese Students students on her blogger, and emcee. and Scholars Association, team and they While at Langara, Miley a non-profit organization all attest to her volunteered with VOLT, by the Chinese inclusive, inspiring funded the college’s Leadership government focused on leadership. program. During her providing opportunities to time in this program, she assisted with Chinese students worldwide as well as orientation, the student BBQ, and encouraging pride in Chinese culture. other on-campus student events. Miley In May 2015, she was elected as the joined the Leadership Ambassadorship International Student’s Representative Program in the Fall of 2014 and with CNC’s Students’ Union, where she immediately engaged other students advocated for International students’ to make a difference both on campus rights on campus, ensuring theirs is a and in the community. Before officially global voice and presence. Since being joining the CNC Student Leadership elected, Miley has been responsible Ambassadorship Program, she for the administration of the Student coordinated and led the Chinese New Food Bank, Lockers, and distribution of Year Celebration in Prince George. She U-Pass’s. She recently graduated from volunteered off-campus at Theatre CNC with a Business Management Northwest, the Canada Winter Games, Diploma and is currently working at the Salvation Army (Christmas Kettle), College of New Caledonia in the role and with the Prince George Symphony of International Student Engagement Orchestra (tickets/ushering). Coordinator.





Partner messages BDC BDC believes in the talented young leaders of Prince George. In fact, we are delighted to recognize, once again, 40 exceptional individuals who are making outstanding contributions to our community every day. As the only Canadian bank dedicated exclusively to entrepreneurs, we know how much drive, determination and hard work it takes to succeed – especially at a young age. We are proud of everything you have accomplished and you should be too! Your passion and dedication contribute to Canada’s prosperity – so when you succeed, we all do. On behalf of BDC, congratulations to all of the remarkable young leaders of Prince George!

Sandra Rose Business Centre Manager, Prince George Business Centre Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)

City of Prince George The 40 people featured in this magazine are all outstanding examples of young leaders who exemplify hard work and dedication to their profession, volunteer work, and community. The City of Prince George is proud to once again partner with the Prince George Chamber of Commerce in recognizing the accomplishments of the Top 40 Under 40 finalists and is looking forward to seeing the difference they continue to make in our community. Watch for profiles of each Top 40 Under 40 member on moveupprincegeorge.ca and facebook.com/MoveUpPG – the City’s online portals for sharing the stories of the amazing people and opportunities in Prince George.


37 College of New Caledonia The interconnectivity of Prince George’s thriving community is astounding. I’m inspired to see numerous individuals featured who have taken their northern based education, either from CNC or UNBC, and applied it towards making a difference in our community. The Top 40 Under 40 list is reflective of the talent, creativity and drive of young Prince George leaders. The College of New Caledonia has been a true community college for Central British Columbia for almost 50 years. We are proud of all our alumni featured in this year’s list and look forward to seeing the contributions of our students make a difference in the community for years to come.

Henry Reiser President College of New Caledonia

Prince George Citizen Identifying future leaders is an essential part of the job for all employers and managers. For any business to continue to thrive, young talent must be identified, mentored and then encouraged to accept the responsibility of leadership. That doesn’t just apply to individual businesses but throughout the private and public sectors, as well as the community at large. The Prince George Chamber of Commerces annual Top 40 Under 40 identifies not just Prince George’s future business leaders but some current as well. Leadership doesn’t come with age, of course, but with willingness and effort. It is also an ongoing process, which is why all business leaders, regardless of where they are in their career, can still learn a thing or two from this year’s crop of Prince George’s Top 40 Under 40. Neil Godbout, Editor-In-Chief

UNBC At UNBC, our mission is to inspire leaders for tomorrow by influencing the world today. The 40 outstanding young leaders featured in this magazine, many of whom are UNBC alumni, researchers, students and staff members, embody that mission through their work and commitment to our community. As the only university in its category to finish in the top three in the Maclean’s rankings for 10 consecutive years and the only Canadian university of its size ranked in the prestigious Times Higher Education World University Rankings, UNBC offers a world-class education for the next generation of leaders in Northern British Columbia and beyond.


The bank of expanding your horizons

BDC is the only bank exclusively devoted to entrepreneurs. With our financing and advisory services, we’re with you every step of the way. Prince George Business Centre Sandra Rose, Manager 177 Victoria Street, Suite 150, Prince George, BC V2L 5R8 1-888-INFO-BDC Discover a different kind of bank at bdc.ca

1. Buying your dream home is a realistic goal. Similar homes in Prince George sell for a small fraction of prices in larger Canadian cities.

2. We’re central. It only takes a little over an hour to fly from the Prince George Airport to the Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, or Victoria Airports.

3. JOBS! We’re among the frontrunning cities in job creation. Where there’s economic growth, there’s opportunity. We have both. When you look at drivers of the provincial economy, look to Prince George.

4. Bring your sunglasses: we have 4 seasons with 1900 hours of sunshine per year. There are many opportunities to enjoy an active lifestyle 12 months per year.

5. We’re accessible. Our airport (YXS) has seen a 30% increase in passengers over the last decade. Last year alone over 462,000 travellers came to Prince George.


moveupprincegeorge.ca /MoveUpPG

6. You won’t spend your free time stuck in traffic. It’s a 15-minute drive to anywhere in Prince George, with great public transportation and bike lanes too!

7. We’re the region’s centre for healthcare. People come to Prince George for great healthcare and specialized physicians.

8. We have fun for the whole family. We have endless amenities, shopping, arts and entertainment for indoor and outdoor enthusiasts in Prince George.

9. We have top notch education facilities. Your kids can go from pre-school to PhD education and even become a doctor without having to leave Prince George.

10. We’re urban. We are a city of 74,000 people with a full range of urban amenities nestled amidst the natural beauty of the outdoors.

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