Under 40 program launched

The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce has revealed the first five recipients in the KPMG Top 20 Under 40 Vernon.

The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce has revealed the first five recipients in the KPMG Top 20 Under 40 Vernon.

The five, who were selected at random among the top 20, include Elise Allan, a lawyer and partner at Nixon Wenger, Justin Jackson, owner of Nerd North and founder of Startup Vernon, Linsey Johannson, owner/partner of Postill Nixon Earthworks, On Ouchs, owner of Rice Box and Social Lead Marketing, and Brett VanderHoek, corporate services supervisor at Tolko Industries.

“Our young business leaders are paving the way for the future success of our community,” said Dave Adams, managing partner at KPMG Vernon.

“We congratulate each recipient and look forward to the next 15 recipients being announced over the next month.”

These business professionals were selected from close to 80 nominations.

Five recipients will be announced each Tuesday for the next few weeks, with the top 20 being recognized at a community event Oct. 22 at Okanagan College.

“After completing this year’s selection process, I couldn’t be more optimistic about the future of the Greater Vernon area,” said Tracy Cobb-Reeves, Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce president.

“We are thrilled with the great response to this new and important initiative and the panel of judges had a very difficult time getting the recipient list down to just 20.”

Allan was called to the B.C. Bar in 2007 and her practice areas at Nixon Wenger include business law, wills and estates and real estate. She is currently president of the Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation and her past community involvement includes the Vernon Community Music School, St. John Ambulance and the Downtown Vernon Association.

When Jackson arrived in Vernon in 2012, his biggest concern was that there wouldn’t be a tech community to connect with. In response, he founded Startup Vernon, a non-profit that connects local technology workers, encourages a remote work culture and encourages entrepreneurship.  He has represented Vernon on television, in magazine articles and on podcasts.

Born and raised locally, Johannson graduated from the University of Alberta in 2005 with a bachelor of science in pharmacology. After graduating, she chose to continue in the family business and is the fourth generation family owner of R.E Postill and Sons, a partner in Postill Nixon Earthworks. She supports a number of charitable causes and is a director with the People Place.

Born in Cambodia, Ouchs came to Canada as a refugee in 1989. He first worked at Rice Box as an employee and then bought the company 2006. He then launched Social Lead Marketing and Web Development in 2015. He hosts the Wokathon in support of the VJH Foundation and the Cambodia Support Group and was named 2008 young entrepreneur of the year by the chamber.

VanderHoek grew up on a family farm and has remained in the Okanagan throughout his academic and professional career.  His volunteer activities includes the SPCA, Easter Seals Camp Winfield, the Okanagan College business program advisory committee, the CIBC Run for the Cure and a panelist for the UBC business student mock interview program.

For more info on the recipients, visit www.20under40vernon.ca.