New head for Accelerate Okanagan

Raghwa Gopal is appointed as the new CEO for the Kelowna high-tech development organization.

  • Feb. 13, 2016 4:00 p.m.

Proposed design for new Okanagan Centre for Innovation now under construction in downtown Kelowna.

The Accelerate Okanagan Technology Association has appointed Raghwa Gopal as the organization’s new chief executive officer.

Gopal  has been the acting CEO for the past two months, and will assume the full-time position effective immediately.

Gopal is no stranger to the Okanagan or the technology community. Having moved to Kelowna in the mid 1970s, he helped to build and grow Vadim Software, one of the regions first and most successful technology companies.

While operating Vadim for 28 years, Gopal was instrumental in growing the organization to be one of the largest suppliers of financial management software to Canadian municipalities leading to its eventual acquisition in 2001.

Since that time, Gopal has been extremely active in the community as an angel investor, the recipient of several business awards and been recognized for many volunteer efforts including director of the Okanagan College Foundation, the Rotary Club of Kelowna, the United Way and the Central Okanagan Development Commission

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“After an exhaustive search that involved over 120 candidates, we are extremely pleased to announce Raghwa Gopal as AO’s new CEO. Mr. Gopal was by far the best candidate measured against the core competencies established by our CEO Search Committee and we are very fortunate to have someone of his calibre to lead our organization through the next stage of growth,” said Blair Forrest, The Accelerate Okanagan board chair.

“He is a very well-known and respected person with an extensive history in our community who will bring many years of business acumen, industry expertise and knowledge to the role. Through his prior involvement as acting CEO and Executive in Residence, Raghwa is very familiar with our team, association members, programs, clients, partners, government funding organizations and objectives.

Gopal said it’s an immense honour to be offered the position of CEO for Accelerate Okanagan, “particularly because this is such an exciting time for the tech industry in the Okanagan and the province as a whole.”

Gopal added: “With the Okanagan Centre for Innovation (OCI) opening soon, the new BC Tech Fund, and new and innovative programs being offered by Accelerate Okanagan, I see tremendous opportunity for the growth of tech companies in the Okanagan.

“One of my primary goals will be to create an ecosystem of collaboration between different stakeholders – both here in the Okanagan and province wide – to provide bigger and better opportunities for local companies to grow and thrive. I’m looking forward to help further cultivate and nurture the burgeoning tech industry in the Okanagan.”

 

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