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Board of Directors

Board Bios


Kara Kazimer - President

(née Berg)

Kara Kazimer

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

Through 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 now a Program Administrator for Continuing Studies at Okanagan College. Through her new position, she will be playing a key role by helping with program development and the delivery of the many different contract opportunities.

Cory Nelmes - Vice president

Cory Nelmes was raised in the Fraser Valley and moved to the Okanagan in 2007. She finished high school in Summerland, BC in 2008 and began her studies at Okanagan College the following year. While attending the Associate of Arts program at the Penticton campus of Okanagan College, Cory was very active on campus. When she was not studying she spent her time as the Financial Director for the Okanagan College Students’ Union.   Cory’s proudest moment as an Okanagan College student was breaking ground for the Center of Excellence and all the work she accomplished alongside the Okanagan College Foundation during the fundraising campaign.  Cory joined the Alumni Board in 2013 and is looking forward to contributing  and connecting with other Okanagan College Alumni.

Currently Cory resides in Summerland, BC. She recently completed her Canadian Securities Course and works as an Investment Advisor Assistant at IPC Securities Corporation.  She has a passion for business and loves working in the Finance industry.  When Cory is not busy working or volunteering she can be found enjoying the outdoors, particularity the two lakes that surround her town and the sandy beaches they provide for relaxing.


Nick Moffatt - Secretary/Treasurer

Nick MoffattNick 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 partner, 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 Rockets game with his wife, Jenn, during the winter. Nick became a father in 2012 and he enjoys spending time with his family.





Sarah Comba

Sarah Comba Sarah is a 2007 graduate of the Business Administration Diploma program who currently works for the City of West Kelowna.   Even before she graduated, Sarah has been volunteering with the Alumni Association on the Pay It Forward (PIF) giving campaign.  For the last 10+ years, Sarah has returned to campus to champion this important project that canvasses the College and external communities for warm clothing, blankets, toiletries and other in-demand items for local homeless shelters and the Women's Shelter.  Without Sarah's leadership, the PIF would not have lasted more than a decade. 

In recognition of Sarah's dedication to the PIF project, Sarah was presented with the Young Alumni Award in 2016.  Shortly after the presentation, Sarah decided to increase her support of the Alumni Association and joined the OCAA board.  When not working or volunteering in her community, Sarah loves to spend time outdoors with her finance Chris and Better, their energetic boxer puppy. 

 


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 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 15 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.


Nick Melemenis

Nick has been a resident of Kelowna since 2007 when he accepted a management role at the Hotel Eldorado. He began his post-secondary education by attending SAIT’s Hotel Management Diploma in Calgary while working for Fairmont Hotels. In 2010, Nick graduated with his Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 2010 with emphasis on HR. During his studies at Okanagan College, Nick partook in the Study Abroad Program at Swinburne University in Australia. As a dedicated student, Nick participated in many volunteer activities at the College and was on the executive committee for the Okanagan Business Students Association.

Since graduation, Nick has developed his career in HR with many organizations, including Brewster Healthcare Group  and SunRype.  Currently, Nick is the Labour Relations Advisor for FortisBC.

Nick is an avid volunteer within the HR Community. He is involved with the BC HR Association (BCHRMA) and has sat on the Advisory Council since 2011. He has managed the Social Events Portfolio and held the Post-Secondary portfolio for Okanagan College and their HR Club. Nick has guest spoken on several occasions with the College as well as UBC-O and is near to completion of the BC Provincial Instructors Diploma.  In the past, he has provided HR guidance to organizations such as The Central Okanagan Foundation and the Rotary Centre for the Arts. Nick is looking forward to contributing to the Alumni, the Board, and Okanagan College.


Vincent Yew

Since graduating from Okanagan College's Bachelor of Business Administration program in 2007, Vincent has continued his education in various capacities.  He not only completed his Masters of Arts in Leadership from Royal Roads University and completed his Certified Coach, Speaker and Trainer certification through the John Maxwell program. Vince worked for almost a decade for the Interior Health Authority in an HR capacity.  Vince is is currently on contract working for the health authority in Grande Prairie, AB. 


Staff

Katerina Hay

(née Tsakumis)

Katerina Hay has been working in the higher education industry since 2001 when 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 appeals.  Kat is always looking for innovative projects and valuable services to introduce to Okanagan College students and alumni.

Kat is a life-long-learner.  While working full time, Kat completed her Business Honours degree in 2012 and a Masters of Science in Higher Education in 2016. When not working, studying, or volunteering in her community, Kat is a happily married mother of two beautiful daughters who keep her very, very busy.

 



Bobbie-Jo Koutsantonis
(née Willis)

Bobbie-Jo KoutsantonisBobbie-Jo is the Advancement & Alumni Assistant. She is responsible for providing administrative support to the Okanagan College Alumni Association Board of Directors, including overseeing social media and other engagement efforts with alumni. Bobbie-Jo also works in the areas of alumni relations with emphasis on communications, event coordination and annual appeal. 

She also provides key administrative support across a wide variety of initiatives, ensuring that donor, volunteer, award recipient and alumni records are carefully maintained. She has an extensive background in office administration and brings a sharp eye for detail and organization to the department.

Bobbie-Jo joined the Advancement and Alumni team in 2015, but has been a Kelowna resident since she was six years old. She is the proud mother of a daughter and a son, both of whom are very passionate about sports. When not cheering on her kids, Bobbie-Jo and her family enjoy cheering on the Kelowna Rockets!

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