Business

Okanagan tech industry gets new champion

Accelerate Okanagan announced the appointment of Pilar Portela as their new CEO.

She will assume responsibilities on Sept. 16, succeeding  Jeff Keen, who stepped down to pursue an opportunity with a startup technology company.

Pilar is a relative newcomer to the Okanagan after leaving SBM Site Services in Sacramento, California as their Director of Software Development.

“It is a tremendous honour to be offered the position of CEO for Accelerate Okanagan. As the new CEO, I am committed to doing whatever it takes to help local startups flourish,” said Portela.

“The Accelerate Okanagan team will continue to encourage the creation and innovation of local technology businesses. I am dedicated to increasing collaboration between national and international tech hubs, which in turn help local startups flourish.”

Accelerate Okanagan's ongoing goal is to continue on the current growth path while fostering the community’s entrepreneurial climate, teaching people how to be successful entrepreneurs and supporting companies in their programs.

Pilar has  20 years of expert management and executive experience garnered from stops across North America. She has an MA in project management and has studied law and international trade.

Her global knowledge of business development and her problem resolution skills fit perfectly with Accelerate Okanagan’s mission to increase the number of tech companies that start and grow in the Okanagan.

Accelerate Okanagan also announced their new Board of Directors following the Annual General Meeting on August 27, 2014.

Lane Merrifield – Investor/Entrepreneur
Steve Wandler – Co-Founder – FreshGrade
Blair Forrest – Partner – Pushor Mitchell LLP
Simone Brunton – CA, CBV – Grant Thornton

Rasool Rayani – Co-Founder – Metalogix Software
Pascale Audette – Senior Executive
Scot Speiser – VP, BC North, Interior & Yukon – BDC
Charity Gerbrandt – Director of Creative – Disney Interactive
Aidan Cole – Marketing Manager – Procera

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