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Straight From DeHart - June 17, 2015

This week’s column is dedicated to long-time well-known businessman John Thomson who passed away at 81. I have known John since the mid ‘70’s, way back in his BC Tree Fruits days. John was a strong advocate of business, but more so, was a strong advocate of our city and community. Personal condolences to his family and many friends.

Huge thanks to everyone that voted for me in the Best of Kelowna 2015. What a wonderful surprise and very humbling to see my name in two winning categories. Visit

Cindy Finnigan owner/operator of Cakery Arts.

Cake artist Cindy Finnigan is the new owner/operator of Cakery Arts. The company was born out of Cindy’s passion to live as an artist, but who also loved baking. She is a self-taught baker, became a hobby baker and has now realized that her passion has turned into a business with the help of the Community Futures Program. Working out of an approved commercial kitchen, Cindy’s niche lies within sculpting, whether there are sculpted pieces added to or a completely sculpted cake. All her cakes taste like home baked as she uses single batch recipes made with fresh ingredients for all her creations. Cindy specializes in clients coming to her with a concept and then letting her have the creative freedom to create a fun, custom design with a wow appeal. Along with basic cakes, she creates specialty cakes for any occasion, including weddings, birthdays, showers, business events, or just about anything you would want a great cake for. The cakes do not have to be over the top in design, but they do need to be delicious every time. Call 250-864-7567 Check out

Long-time local businessman George Hakim has opened Scoops Ice Cream in West Kelowna at #103 – 2231 Louie Drive (by Rexall Drugs). Scoops is a Foothills Creamy hard ice cream outlet with a few tables inside and outside. I hear the salted caramel and chocolate is to die for. Open 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. daily.

Last week I wrote that Con Litz of L & O Jewellers retired. Both Cons’ brothers, Rudy and Todd Litz will continue on with the business as usual. Call 250-860-8928.

Robert Halpenny, CEO and president of Interior Health is resigning in the fall of 2015 to pursue other opportunities. He joined Interior Health as senior medical director in January, 2007 and was appointed president and CEO in January 2010.

Paul Marck, manager of media relations at UBCO is moving on. He is relocating to Vancouver Island and the University of Victoria. His colleagues Bud Mortenson and Patty Wellborn will be taking calls and requests. His new email is

Roman Moskal has started new company, Classic Okanagan Tours. He transports clients to wineries, golf courses, or just about anywhere you would like to go in a group or individually in the valley. Call 778-363-8687 or

Matthews Blow has joined the firm of Benson Law LLP Lawyers. Matthew is a trial lawyer with experience solving disputes for construction, contractors, small businesses and individuals dealing with conflict over the ownership or use of property. Call 250-491-0206 or

Chris Pollock and Shannon Forgues with Broken Ladder Cider

Broken Ladder is the first cider from the BC Tree Fruits Cider Company, located at 880 Vaughn Avenue. After nearly eight decades of growing world famous apples in the Valley, it was only a matter of time before they set out to craft an authentic cider made 100% from a secret blend of their own fresh crushed BC apples. Broken Ladder is a balance of six apple varieties blended to bring out the best of each, providing a superior taste. It is a dry cider with no added sugar, no concentrate, naturally carbonated, fresh pressed, no water added and no artificial flavours. It’s a cider true to the core. Chris Pollock is the marketing manager and Shannon Forgues the sales and orders agent of BC Tree Fruits Cider Co. Call 250-470-4254.

Peace Hills Trust Company has appointed Chief Robert Louie of WFM as Chairman of the Board. Chief Louie has served on the board for 19 years and is currently chairman of the audit committee and a member of the executive committee.

Recently I had the pleasure of trying Ritter Sport Chocolate, a product I had never seen or tasted. Terra International Foods, an importer and distributor from Delta BC is the distributor of the product. Ritter Sport Chocolate is a 100 year old German family owned business that is well known around the world. The “sport” in Ritter Sport refers to the fact that the bar of chocolate fit perfectly in a sport coat. I sampled the milk chocolate with praline and dark chocolate with marzipan, which was my favorite. Terra also distributes RJ’s licorice from New Zealand. It is black licorice with chocolate and raspberry licorice with chocolate, presented in a long round log form. Chocolate in the middle and licorice around the chocolate. Incredible, especially the raspberry. These products can be purchased at Urban Fare, Natures Fare, Choices, Nesters, IGA, Quality Greens, Illichmanns and the Mediterranean Market. Kyra Goetz is the territory manager for Terra International Food Inc. Call 250-718-1882 or

Gallery 97 is opening at 6026 Highway 97 S (South of Peachland passed Princeton Avenue) from June 1 to October 15 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily. Their mandate is to promote artists from the Okanagan and to provide a venue for discussion and appreciation of the works of the artists they represent. They believe in the importance of Art Councils and require all artists to be a member of a BC Arts Council in any BC region. Call Pat Huber a 250-979-0998 or

Congratulations to sixteen chartered accountant (CA) students who graduated from the CA qualification program. They are now eligible for membership in ICABC this year. They are Dietrich Bauer and Colin Kirkpatrick (Crowe MacKay LLP); Thomas Butterworth, Dragica Saric and Michael Victoria Hayes, Michael Naito, Jessica Strycharek, Billy Thompson and Joshua Widmann Smith (BDO Canada LLP); Ryan Dolan, Jessica Grantham, Stephanie Light, Brett Matushewski and John McWhirter (MNP LLP); Victoria Hayes, Michael Naito, Jessica Strycharek, Billy Thompson and Joshua Widmann (Grant Thornton LLP) and Andrew Rebus (Tolko Industries).

Regency Missionwood Retirement Resort at 1975 Barnes Avenue is celebrating their 10th Anniversary. John Eakins is the Master Host at Missionwood. Call 250-860-9308.

Brenda Shuwere and Kevin Adams of Sierra West Homes.

Kevin Adams and Brenda Shuwere are partners in life and business owning Sierra West Homes & Construction Corp. They lived through a horrendous fire in Peachland that destroyed their show home, but thankfully their historical vineyard on Coldham Road was saved. Walking through a two year insurance process and rebuilding their home, they are now showcasing their new 47,000 square foot contemporary home nestled in the vineyard for private viewings. The Trepanier Creek fire not only changed their lives, it changed the way they now do business. The experience has taught them how important the home is to their clients. They will never look at a home in this same way as they did before the fire. The experience has made them better builders in a more personal and emotional sense. Their company has never been just about the bricks and mortar, but after 35 years in the construction business, the experience has changed them. They pride themselves in seeing the building process from their client’s eyes. Budget is always a critical aspect for all of their client's and they honour the value of their time and money. For a viewing of the luxury show home call Brenda at 250-215-6860.

The new 2015/16 executive of the Central Okanagan Retired Teachers’ Association was elected at the AGM on June 1. They are Rolli Cacchioni (President); Sig Ottenbreit (Past-President); Alf McLean (Vice-President); Val Larson (Secretary), Bob Hayes (Treasurer); Sandy Dore, (Social Concerns) and Willie Findlater (Membership). Members at Large are Jim Jenkins, Linda Keil, Jeanette Mergens, Hugh Parsons and John Pendrey. Linda Ben-Hamida (Sunshine)

Quest Martial Arts Academy, a Black Belt Academy, has relocated to #108 – 1634 Harvey Avenue (next to Wentworth Music) is celebrating with a grand re-opening on June 27th from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. There will be demos, a BBQ and a whole lot of fun. Under the ownership of 4th Dan Black Belt, Chris Rowe, Quest offers a full range of programs from Tae Kwondo, Yoga, self-defense, along with their new kid’s skillz program. From age 3 to 73, they build personal goals of physical fitness to personal safety, taught in a positive and family environment. Call 250-869-0111

In Canada, employment-specific mentoring for skilled newcomers has proven to be an effective tool in providing access to professional advice and networks that help lead to potential employment. In April, 2015, Kelowna Community Resources (KCR) announced its Employment Mentorship Program, funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. This program brings together professional newcomers (mentees) and established Canadian professionals (Mentors) in industry-specific mentoring. Mentors with varied backgrounds and experiences have been successfully matched with mentees from accounting, administration, banking and finance, just to name a few. Over the past months they have seen that with the support and guidance provided by their dedicated mentors, some of the mentees are now working in their chosen careers. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer mentor call Marriana Chen at 250-763-8008 (135)

The 2nd Annual Creative Aging Day is Friday, June 19th from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Enjoy free interactive exhibitions, performance and displays at the Rotary Centre for the Arts, The Kelowna Art Gallery and Arte Functional in the Factory. Celebrate the power of the arts to transform, engage and bring meaning in the second half of life. See 99 year old Audrey do the hula.

Birthdays of the week – Happy 75th Vern Burnell (June 19); Happy 50th Rick Thoss (June 18); David Fuller, Jaime Briggs, Tony French, Sheldon Paulger (June 17); Mayor Doug Findlater, Wayne Wilson (June 18); Retired RCMP Superintendent Bill MacKinnon, Gord Vizzutti, Jacqueline Brisebois (June 19); Rose Topham, Daniel O’Fee (June 20); Grant Stobbe, Gail Given ((June 21); Marlene Proctor, Berna Shoemaker (June 22); Doug Gossoo (June 23).

Maxine DeHart is a Kelowna City councilor and local hotelier. Phone her at 250-979-4546, 250-862-7662, fax 250-860-3173, E-mail and web-site (click on Good Stuff, columns and then Maxine DeHart)

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