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Tech champ is Kelowna's 2022 'business leader of the year'

She oversees the Okanagan's biggest economic engine -- high tech with $2.5 billion a year punch.

She's a champion of the industry, a community builder, a mentor and an innovator.

She's Brea Lake, CEO of Accelerate Okanagan, and Kelowna's 2022 'business leader of the year.'

</who>Brea Lake, CEO of Accelerate Okanagan, has been named Kelowna 2022 'business leader of the year.'

Annually, the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce names a 'business leader of the year' 10 days before its Business Excellence Awards as a way to hype the event.

Lake will be honoured at the awards gala Nov. 23 at the Delta Grand hotel along with the winners in 16 categories that will be revealed that night.

For last-minute tickets to the awards gala check out https://www.kelownachamber.org/events-programs/business-excellence-awards/.

"There could be no better representative our of 2022 Business Excellence Awards than Brea," said chamber president Pamela Pearson.

"Brea personifies all the best in how to weather the economic challenges faced by the tech world over the past several years as well as managing the day-to-day operation of her team while implementing strategic initiatives."

Accelerate Okanagan provides entrepreneurial programs, investment initiatives and social and networking events for tech leaders and companies in the Valley.

As mentioned, the tech sector is the Okanagan's largest economic powerhouse with an estimated 930 companies, 15,000 workers contributing $2.5 billion annually to the economy.

While typical 15% a year tech growth has slowed post-pandemic, local businesses continue to hire and expand.

Tech is bigger than Kelowna's other top-five economic engines of construction-real estate, wholesale-retail-trade, tourism and agriculture-wine.

"I'd like to thank the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce for not just recognizing me, but for celebrating all the businesses nominated," said Lake.

"Bringing the community together through the Business Excellence Awards strengthens our connection and reminds us of all the good work happening here locally."

Lake is a graduate of Okanagan College's bachelor of business administration program.

She received the Young Alumni Award in 2018.

She is now a director of the Okanagan College Foundation, is on the board of the YMCA Southern Interior and on the advisory board of the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission.

Lake started her career in curriculum development and global training at Kelowna-based Disney Interactive Studios.

She joined Accelerate Okanagan as a community manager focused on supporting tech entrepreneurs before being promoted to director of operations and eventually CEO.




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