External Community Advisory Council
Professor Deborah Buszard is Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal of UBC’s Okanagan campus. Before coming to UBC in 2012, Prof. Buszard was a professor and member of the College of Sustainability at Dalhousie University. Prior to joining Dalhousie in 2006, she was Professor of Plant Science at McGill University and she served as Dean of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and Associate Vice-Principal of the Macdonald Campus from 1996 to 2005. A plant scientist and strawberry breeder, Prof. Buszard is author of numerous refereed scientific and technical publications on agriculture, fruit physiology, breeding and management. Her current research interests include institutional innovation and sustainability.
Theresa Arsenault is a Partner at Pushor Mitchell LLP. In 2009, she was appointed as Queen’s Counsel (QC), an honorary title to recognize exceptional merit and contributions to the legal profession. Among her many community service endeavours, Theresa served on the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors from 1986-1989, was a founder (and chair) of Friends of Okanagan College, and served as Chair of the UBC Board of Governors and Vice Chair of the Okanagan University College Board of Governors. She is a UBC alumna (BA and Bachelor of Laws).
Nick Arkle is the Chief Forester of Gorman Bros. Lumber Ltd. He served as Co-Chair of the Okanagan Partnership Society, acting as a steward for forest industry interests. He has also served on the UBC Faculty of Forestry Advisory board. Nick is a UBC alumnus (Bachelor of Science in Forestry, 1984).
James Baker is the Mayor of Lake Country (re-elected in 2018) and serves as a Director on the Regional District of Central Okanagan Board. He spent approximately three decades as a professor of Anthropology at with Langara College and Okanagan College. In 2007, UBC’s Okanagan campus named him an Associate Professor Emeritus of Anthropology.
Colin Basran is the Mayor of Kelowna. He was elected in 2014 following one term on Kelowna City Council; he was re-elected as Mayor in 2018. Earlier he worked as a journalist at Global Okanagan and as a realtor. He is an alumnus of Okanagan University College.
Pat Bowen is a whole-plant physiologist and viticulture researcher at the Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre (PARC) in Summerland. An Associate of the UBC Wine Research Centre, Dr. Bowen’s research is on understanding vineyard ecology.
Laurel Douglas is CEO of the Women’s Enterprise Centre, which provides business loans, advisory services, resources, training and mentors to women business owners throughout BC. She was the founding Executive Director of the Science & Technology Council of the Okanagan (now Accelerate Okanagan). In 2017 she was named one of BC Business’ Most Influential Women.
James Eccott is a Director at Canterra Minerals Corp. and past President & CEO of Dia Met Minerals Ltd. He has sat on various corporate boards since he retired in 2001 including tenures as Vice Chairman of Sun-Rype Products Ltd. and Chairman of Northern Air Support. He is a UBC alumnus (BComm, 1955) and completed a six-year term on the UBC Board of Governors.
Amal Alhuwayshil is President of the UBC Students Union Okanagan (UBCSUO), a TEDx speaker, and a UBC Management student.
Gord Milsom is the Mayor of the West Kelowna. He was elected Mayor in 2018 and previously served on West Kelowna Council. His professional work was as a Certified Financial Planner.
Dick Fletcher is a partner in the Kelowna offices of Urban Systems Ltd. As co-chair of the Okanagan Partnership, Engineering Advisory Committee, he was instrumental in assuring that the newly formed Okanagan campus of UBC developed full-degree engineering programs.
Mal Griffin is the VP Human Resources for the Interior Health Authority. Prior to his appointment in 2016, he served as Interior Health’s VP and Chief Information Officer. Mal has experience in a variety of areas of health care including laboratory, pharmacy, biomedical engineering, staffing services, and clinical and business information management and technology.
Corie Griffiths is Manager of the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission. Corie joined COEDC as the Marketing and Research Assistant in 2006, moving to Business Development Officer in 2010, and taking on the lead role of Manager in 2015.
John Vassilaki is the Mayor of Penticton. He was elected Mayor in 2018 and previously served on Penticton Council.
Al Klar operates R&R Plastics Ltd., Klar Global Distribution Inc., and is part of the chain of Canopy West Truck Accessories. He also manages a family orchard in Keremeos. Al is a former President of the Summerland Chamber of Commerce and a Director for the Okanagan Partnership, South Okanagan.
Douglas Manning is a tech entrepreneur and co-founder of Bridges Transitions Inc. In 2006, he left his post as Bridges President in order to invest greater time as an Educational Consultant. In 2017 he was a nominee for the Kelowna Top Forty Over 40.
Lorraine McGrath is a consultant and past president of the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce. She co-founded the Okanagan Innovation Fund and has served on the Okanagan College School of Business’s Advisory Board. In 2007 she was awarded the Sarah Donalda Treadgold Memorial Award as Kelowna’s Woman of the Year.
Trace Medve is the President of Kelowna Flightcraft. Earlier she served as the President of Canadian North Airlines and has been involved in the aviation industry since 1985. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors at Fortis BC.
Victor Cumming is the Mayor of Vernon. He was elected Mayor in 2018. He is an economist and has worked as principal of a consulting firm.
Jason Neale is the past CEO of Accelerate Okanagan and founder of OmniGlobe Networks. His career spans wireless, software, security, telecommunications, cellular, satellite, networking, protocols, broadcasting and Internet. In 2009 he was honored at the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year.
Edna Terbasket is the Executive Director of the Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society, a non-profit organization working with and for First Nations people and the Okanagan community at-large. She also serves on School District #23’s Aboriginal Education Committee.
Renée Wasylyk is the CEO of Troika Group, a Western Canadian organization of development projects and construction companies including Troika Developments and CorWest Builders in Kelowna and TroiWest Builders in Edmonton. Renée was recognized in 2017 and 2018 as one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada by the Women’s Executive Network.