Sharron Simpson

Sharron Simpson named new president of Okanagan College Foundation

“The college does a superb job in providing education that truly transforms lives of individuals.”

The Okanagan College Foundation has announced that Sharron Simpson is taking on the role of president and board chair as the foundation raises funds for four capital projects on three campuses.

Simpson, who joined the foundation board in 2013, sees the college as an integral part of keeping communities in the valley connected and hopes to foster those relationships in her new role.

“The college does a superb job in providing education that truly transforms the lives of the individuals in our communities,” says Simpson. “It’s hard to think of anything better than helping students open the doors to opportunity through the support of the foundation and our donors.”

Simpson, a former Kelowna city councillor, was born in Kelowna and worked as a social worker for several years before becoming a stockbroker and financial advisor. She has been an active community leader in a volunteer capacity for many years, working with the Kelowna Rotary Club and the British Columbia Historical Federation.

“Sharron is a very seasoned, skilled board member with a strong vision for the direction of the foundation,” says Kathy Butler, executive director of the Okanagan College Foundation. “It is an especially exciting time to be involved with the foundation. We have four capital campaigns running concurrently, plus the growing need to support student scholarships and bursaries.”

Simpson succeeds Alf Kempf, who served as president since 2013, and as a board director since 2011. Kempf and directors Bev Busson and Lynda Wilson have retired after a combined 24 years of service.

Butler says the board is very grateful to those retiring for the active roles they took in cultivating and stewarding donors, and the powerful connections they developed between the Foundation and community.

The Okanagan College Foundation board is welcoming three new directors with the addition of Colin Edstrom, Susan Ewanick and Tom Styffe.

An associate lawyer at Pushor Mitchell LLP, Edstrom was born in Kelowna and attended Okanagan University College before going on to complete law school at the University of Victoria.

Ewanick is president of Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union, one of Canada’s leading credit unions, and has served as board chair of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, on the Board of Governors for Vancouver Community College, and was recently appointed to the Canadian Cancer Society Board of Directors.

Styffe has an extensive background in project management of residential, commercial and institutional construction. He has long been connected to the college, serving first as a member and then chair of the Okanagan College Board of Governors (2010-2015.)

Edstrom, Ewanick and Styffe join current board directors Anne Clarke, Roy Daykin, Connie Denesiuk, Gladys Fraser, Raghwa Gopal, Keith Grayston, Jim Hamilton, Mary Ellen Heidt, Rob Phare, Allan Sanderson and Kimberly White-Gilhooly.

More information about the Foundation’s current board, mission, and projects is available at www.okanagancollegefoundation.ca.