The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce has announced the next five recipients to be recognized under the KPMG Top 20 under 40 Vernon. The five were selected at random and include two doctors, a couple of business owners, and the current president of the local chapter of JCI (Junior Chamber International). The five recipients announced are:
- Mark Zaino – VP Finance & Partner, Westwood Electric
- Sue Solymosi – Mortgage Broker & Licensed Assistant, White House Mortgages
- Dr. Laura McPherson, B.Sc., D.C. – Chiropractor & Co-owner, Bluebird Sport & Spine
- Dr. Karl Langer, MD FRCS – General Surgeon, Vernon Jubilee Hospital
- Mellissa Dobernigg – Business Owner, The BX Press Cidery & Orchard
“These young professionals were selected from close to 80 nominations and a number of them were nominated more than once,” said Dan Rogers, chamber general manager. “These recipients are actively influencing the health and well being of the area and we are pleased to work with our partners in recognizing their contributions.”
Zaino is currently part-owner of Westwood Electric but previously held staff accountant and senior staff accountant positions with KPMG Kamloops and BDO Kelowna. One of his passions as a kid, and to this day is basketball. He played for some very good Fulton teams and went on to play college basketball in Kamloops. He now gives back to the sport and community by coaching high school and Steve Nash Youth Basketball. Zaino also spent nearly three years as a volunteer firefighter.
Solymosi works hard as a mortgage broker and licensed assistant to Deb White at White House Mortgages, as well as in all the volunteer work she does because she loves this great community. In addition to working full time, Solymosi is currently the 2015 Chapter President of JCI Vernon and a zumba instructor at Soul Studio. Solymosi also participated in this year’s Dancing with the Vernon Stars along with her husband and played a big role in helping raise much needed funds for Hospice House.
McPherson is a fully licensed Doctor of Chiropractic. She completed her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology at the University of Alberta prior to graduating with clinical honors from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in Toronto. She enjoys working with people of all ages, but has taken special interest in sports and pre and postnatal care. Since opening Bluebird Sport & Spine in September 2013, McPherson and her business partner have been involved in many of the DVA and GVCC events, as well as volunteering their services at events.
Langer is a local surgeon in Vernon. He loves his work, and is constantly reminded by his patients of the true strength of the human spirit and the joy of life. He has been part of the community for over two years, having moved from Saskatoon, with his young family, following the completion of his training at the University of Saskatchewan. Family is his passion but Langer has been active as a volunteer for many years including helping encourage young medical students.
Dobernigg, for the last three years, has poured everything into bringing cidery to life – building it literally from the ground up, determinedly learning how to make craft cider from apples grown on her third-generation orchard. Raising three young children while starting the cidery has been challenging, but she wouldn’t change a thing. The cidery supports the community through various initiatives, such as giving half the proceeds from their tastings directly to local non-profits.
The top 20 under 40 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.
The first round of five recipients were: Elise Allan, lawyer/partner, Nixon Wenger LLP, Justin Jackson, owner/founder, Nerd North Inc. & Startup Vernon, Linsey Johannson, owner/partner, Postill Nixon Earthworks, On Ouchs, entrepreneur and business owner, Rice Box & Social Lead Marketing.