Board of Directors

Board Bios

 

Tania Bennett

Tania grew up in Salmon Arm and has fond memories of completing Okanagan College university transfer courses there in 1990 prior to eventually completing her degree in Victoria. Tania has lived in beautiful Kelowna with her family for the past 13 years.

Tania has been in the career development sector for the past 18 years and has worked for over 13 years for WCG International, where she is the Vice President of Operations for Western Canada, developing and leading successful employment programs that have improved the lives of thousands of people. 

In addition, Tania had the privilege of leading a career development networking and professional development association where she spearheaded the development of employer forums to educate career practitioners on hiring needs. An experienced presenter, Tania has spoken at the National Consultation on Career Development (NATCON), and she is a certified Myers Briggs Type Indicator practitioner.

Tania received a Bachelor of Arts (Hon.) in Political Science from the University of Victoria after transferring from Okanagan College. She also has a Diploma in Journalism from Grant MacEwan Community College in Edmonton. 

Gordon Ficke

Born in Penticton and raised in Westbank, Gordon worked at various jobs and travelled extensively after graduating high school in 1970 from George Pringle Secondary School. After returning from a year abroad, Gordon decided to pursue a new career in electronics and enrolled in the Electro-Technology program at Okanagan College. Upon graduation in 1978, Gordon was hired at Pitney-Bowes as a service e technician but since has changed career paths and owns and operates a nursery with his wife, Trish. Gordon has three daughters, all of whom have attended Okanagan College ’s predecessor, OUC.

Gordon has been involved with the Alumni Association for more than 10 years. He has served two terms as President, one term as the Chair of the Distinguished Alumni Award committee and is always willing to lend a hand volunteering at events. We’re lucky to have such a dedicated alumnus on our team!

Kara Kazimer (née Berg)

Graduating from Okanagan University College, Kara earned her Bachelor of Business Administration Degree with distinction in 1999. During her studies Kara gained extensive practical experience through opportunities to work in conjunction with the local business community and all levels of government agencies, and was awarded the Student Award of Excellence for her year-long baccalaureate project competed through her degree. In addition to her BBA, she has also earned Diplomas in Marketing and Accounting and several market research, business development and quality management certificates. Kara is also currently a matriculated MBA candidate through the Edinburgh School of Business (Heriot-Watt University). 

hrough her career experience, Kara has performed substantial research in areas such as international and regional community capacity building initiatives, entrepreneurship, SME development and business planning, sustainable development programs and business and government relations. Kara is also heavily involved in business support and development activities and has extensive experience in business plan and entrerpreurship development domestically and internationally. Facilitation and training experience includes a variety of business planning elements including a myriad of entrepreneurship topics for youth and women in the Russian Federation and Indonesia. Kara was also instrumental in creating curriculum employers and youth workshops to assist them in understanding generational differences and best practices in multi-generational workplaces, a project that garnered the Minister’s Award of Excellence through the Community Futures of British Columbia. 

Kara is married to OC alumnus, Jason Kazimer and they have two children, Alexander (2004) and Chelsea (2008). 

Kara is the President of the Board and dedicated to keeping graduates connected to their alma mater and fostering the pride and fulfilment of being a graduate from Okanagan College and Okanagan University College. 

Kara is now a Program Administrator for Continuing Studies at Okanagan College. Through her new position, she will be playing a key role for coninuing studies byhelping with program development and the delevery of the many different contract opportunities.

Nick Moffatt

Nick was born and raised in Kelowna. While completing OUC’s business administration diploma program in 2000, he joined MacKay LLP Chartered Accountants as a co-op student. Through the distance education program offered by the college, Nick was able to become a full-time employee at MacKay while completing his Bachelor of Business Administration degree, which he received in January 2008. In March 2009, he obtained his Chartered Accountant designation. Nick continues to work for Mackay as a senior manager, providing audit and assurance services to a wide range of clients.

When he’s not at the office, Nick enjoys playing soccer year-round. You also might find him on the golf course in the summer or at a Rocket’s game with his wife, Jenn, during the winter. Nick became a father in 2012 and he enjoys spending time with his family.

Debbie Smith

Born in Kelowna and raised in Cranbrook, BC, Debbie chose to move back to Kelowna and enter the academic world. She began her post secondary education by completing the Fine Arts diploma program in 1993 at OUC while living life on the Kelowna campus. Debbie continued her education in graphic design and later graduated with honours in Marketing and Business in 2001.

Debbie started her career working with the grocery chain Thrifty Foods on Vancouver Island as the Advertising Assistant, and continued her career path by working in the print industry in a variety of capacities. Established in graphic design and marketing, Debbie credits past instructors at OUC with initiating the creative spark within her.In the past, Debbie has won the OUC Fine Arts poster competition, been interviewed locally for a fine arts prospective, opened her home to a Japanese exchange student, traveled through Europe and been included in a local commercial promoting the United Way Drive Thru Breakfast campaign – a cause she has been involved in annually.

Debbie is an enthusiastic movie watcher, avid walker and can be caught on a daily basis trying to keep up with her young son. Debbie is looking forward to contributing to the Alumni Board and giving back to her alma mater.

Staff Bios

Katerina Hay (née Tsakumis)

Katerina Hay has been working in the higher education industry since 2001 where she started her post-secondary career in Alberta. In 2004, Kat joined the Alumni & Development office at Okanagan University College where she helped transition the Alumni Association from OUC to Okanagan College. In her role at Okanagan College, she coordinates all alumni communications, events and engagement activities and is always looking for innovative projects to introduce to Okanagan College students and alumni.

In addition to working full time, Kat completed her Business Honours degree in 2012 and is currently pursuing a Master's of Science in Higher Education. When not working, studying, or volunteering in her community, Kat is a married mother of two beautiful little girls who keep her very, very busy.

Jill Buehler (née Konduc)

Jill is the Advancement & Alumni assistant. She is responsible for acting as the board secretary for the Okanagan College Alumni Association. Jill also works in the areas of Alumni Relations and Fund Development with focuses on communications, event coordination and annual appeal.

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