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Meet the new president of the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce

Maryse Harvey is ready, willing and able to take over as the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce's new president for the 2024-25 term.

She served as vice-president in 2023-24 to prepare for the chamber's top volunteer position.

"Over the next year, our focus will be on further strengthening our collective voice to secure the outcomes that our local businesses need in these challenging yet promising times," said Harvey, who has her own strategic planning and executive coaching firm called MH2 Advisory Service.

</who>Maryse Harvey, left, of MH2 Advisory Service is the incoming president of the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce. Dan Price of SunLife Global Investments is the outgoing president.

Kelowna's problems and strengths have been well-documented over the past year.

The challenges include unaffordable housing, high cost of living, homelessness, labour shortage and crime and safety.

The opportunities include capitalizing on the city's already desirable status as a prime place to live, work, play and invest, diverse and vibrant economy and regional growth centre.

"Working collaboratively with like-minded organizations and in a spirit of inclusion will further enhance our success," said Harvey.

"This approach, underpinned by sound and modern governance practices, will be the key driver of our board over the coming year."

The like-minded organizations the president-elect is talking about include the City of Kelowna, Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission, Downtown Kelowna Association, Uptown Rutland Business Association, UBC Okanagan and Okanagan College.

Over the past year, the chamber president started to be called the chamber chair, as in chair of the board of directors.

So, technically, Harvey is chair-elect.

</who>Vice-chair-elect Derek Gratz of UBC Okanagan will become chair for 2024-25.

We already know who will be chair for 2024-25 because there's a move-up system for the position.

The current vice-chair-elect -- Derek Gratz, UBC Okanagan's industry liaison -- will take the top spot next year.

The new board for 2024-25 will officially be sworn in at the chamber's annual general meeting next month.

It will be:

- Chair: Maryse Harvey, MH2 Advisory Services

- Vice-chair: Derek Gratz, UBC Okanagan

- Past-chair: Dan Price, SunLife Global Investmentw

- Secretary: Patrick Bobyn, Pushor Mitchell Lawyers

- Chris Wills, Venture Commercial Realty

- Marina Warrender, KPMG

- Curtis Tarapaski, Cairo Developments

- Carmen Rempel, Kelowna Gospel Mission

- Paula Quinn, KF Aerospace Centre for Excellence

- Treena Piva, Real Property Management

- Amarjit Lalli, TS Lalli Holdings (Subway franchises)

- Ryan Malcolm, Emil Anderson Group

- Laurel Hogg, Rush Ihas Hardwick Lawyers

- Sarang Gokhale, Mission Group

- Dobrila Braunstein, Sandhill Winery

</who>Three new directors are joining the chamber board for 2024-25 -- from left, Ryan Malcolm of Emil Anderson Group, Dobrila Braunstein from Sandhill Winery and Laurel Hogg of Rush Ihas Harwick Lawyers.

After the annual general meeting, the new board will appoint four advisors to join the board from the City of Kelowna, Okanagan College, Westbank First Nation and Okanagan College Business Students Association.

"I also would like to thank our outgoing chair, Dan Price, for leading us for the past year, including through the development of our new strategic plan," said Harvey.

"We are pleased Dan will stay on the board as an ex-officio member this year. I would also like to offer our gratitude to those directors who are stepping down. You were important contributors to our success in 2023."

Those that stepped down are Daniel Winer from the Central Okanagan branch of the Canadian Home Builders' Association, Annika Betts from Sandhill Winery, Daniel Bussiere of Benewealth Strategies and Aaron Dow of Lawson Lundell Lawyers.

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