Okanagan College honours social advocate

Annette Sharkey is the executive director of the Social Planning Council

Vernon's Annette Sharkey has been named an honorary fellow by Okanagan College.

Vernon's Annette Sharkey has been named an honorary fellow by Okanagan College.

A social advocate in Vernon is being recognized for her activities.

Annette Sharkey, executive director of the Social Planning Council, has been named an honourary fellow by Okanagan College.

We recognize her as honorary fellow for demonstrating excellence in her chosen fields and decades of service to the people of our region,” said Jim Hamilton, OC president.

According to OC, Sharkey was selected because she has provided leadership in the social services field since taking administration at the Social Planning Council in 2006.

Raised in Vernon, Sharkey attended classes at the Vernon campus of Okanagan College.

She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in political science and English from the University of B.C. but continues to be involved with the college, serving on the Vernon Regional Advisory Committee and partnering in several college initiatives, such as Patchwork Farms at the Kalamalka Garden.

Sharkey has worked in the not-for-profit sector since graduating from university in front-line roles with agencies such as the RCMP, women’s centre, and immigrant services.

“Her passion and commitment to inspire significant change led her into the social planning field and she is a proponent of Partners in Action, a consultative model of social planning,” states the college.

Sharkey has brought more than $6 million dollars in capital into the North Okanagan through the Partners in Action model.

As an honurary fellow, Sharkey will address the graduating class at the Vernon college campus June 23.

Other honourary fellows named this year are Kelowna chef Rod Butters, former Interior Health Authority chairperson Norm Embree and Kelowna lawyer Rick Pushor.

“Much like the college, they are diverse, unique and represent a wide range of interests and communities,” said Hamilton.