The third round of KPMG’s Top 20 Under 40 Vernon recipients have been announced.
The five individuals, presented by the Greater Vernon Chamber are:
– Josh Brazier – Owner, TND Naturals & 13th Floor Entertainment
– Ryan Chambers – Vice President, DCT Chambers Trucking Ltd. (Chambers Group)
– Jacob Kuiken – Owner and President, Everton Ridge Homes Ltd.
– Sareena Nickoli – Owner and Purchasing & Marketing Manager, City Furniture Vernon
– Ricardo Smith – Owner and President, Sun Country Cycle Ltd.
“The Greater Vernon Chamber is pleased to work with our partners in recognizing these young business leaders and we look forward to their positive contribution to the community for years to come,” said Dan Rogers, general manager, Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce.
The 20 recipients will be officially recognized at a community celebration event to be held on Thursday, Oct. 22 at Okanagan College during Small Business Week in B.C.
Brazier has been involved in a number of business ventures including TNB Naturals, a garden-products wholesale business he started up with co-owner Travis Rypkema. Brazier was also involved in the launch of the Downtown Internet Lounge and is the man behind 13th Floor Entertainment, having arranged more than 50 music events. He also works as a Life Skills Worker for Canadian Mental Health Association (Aberdeen House) providing all aspects of support to clients. Aside from his career pursuits Brazier is also involved in the community helping out with numerous causes and fundraisers including the Teen Junction, Boys & Girls Club, and Upper Room Mission.
Chambers, born and raised in Vernon, is the Vice President of the Chambers Group; a collection of bulk commodity transportation companies such as DCT Chambers, LFL Chambers, Glen Transport and Western Midstream. Chambers is a husband to Missy, and is a proud father to Claire, (with a second child expected soon). He is passionate about his work at Chambers and the industries it serves. His goal is to continue to expand the company, without compromising the values, work ethic, and integrity that has driven its success. Privately, Chambers is looking forward to his life as a father, and is excited about becoming increasingly engaged in the various clubs and sports teams that his children become involved with.
Kuiken and his wife visited Vernon for the first time six years ago. Six weeks later they moved here and it’s where his life-long dream of starting and owning his own home building company was born. The Everton Ridge team that Kuiken leads has won industry awards and accolades through the Canadian Home Builders Association Central Okanagan’s Tommy Awards. The two previous employers that he worked for instilled a strong belief in giving back to the community, which Kuiken is instilling in his own company. Everton Ridge Homes gives back to the community through sports sponsorship, donations to non-profit organizations and promoting employee engagement in the community. Kuiken is currently the Chair of Maven Lane and during the spring he also coaches lacrosse and in the winter months he is division and team manager for GVMHA.
Nickoli joined the family business in 2001 and looks after the advertising and marketing, as well as the purchasing for City Furniture. This year Nickoli is being recognized by the Okanagan College Alumni Association for her contributions to the community as she is the 2015 recipient of the OCAA distinguished alumni award. She loves to support the community and has raised thousands of dollars in support of the VJH Foundation and Habitat for Humanity Vernon Chapter through Zumba fundraisers. She has also been previously involved with the Downtown Vernon Association as a board member and with Queen Silver Star as both judge and sponsor. Nickoli has also been a fitness instructor for the last 16 years, and teaching Zumba fitness is her passion which led her to opening Soul Studio.
Smith is a bike shop owner and businessman. His career in sports retail began in 1997 during his time in Calgary with Sport Mart, which taught him a lot about the operation of a sports repair shop and retail operations. His career path then led to the ski industry as guest experience manager at Mt. Baldy, in the South Okanagan. He then went away from the sporting world for a time as general manager of Shadow Alarms Ltd. in Vernon where he gained valuable experience in managing a small business before purchasing Sun Country Cycle in 2012. Since then, he’s led the business to substantial growth and he says much of the success can be attributed to Sun Country Cycle’s involvement “outside the four walls of the shop” in the community. Smith is an original board member of the Okanagan Rail Trail Initiative, which he is passionate about.