“Humbling and intimidating” are the words Greg Evtushevski used to describe the top honours his Kelowna sports store, Chevy’s Source for Sports, received recently at this year’s Bauer World Sports Expo in Orlando Fla.
“To be selected as the top store by Bauer, one of the world’s leading sports icons, from all other sports retailers across the country, is an achievement that still hasn’t quite sunk in,” said Evtushevski.
The Expo, held annually by Bauer, previews new product launching for the upcoming year and draws attendance from around the world with retailers coming from as far away as Germany, Russia, Sweden, the United States and Canada.
In addition to workshops and product demos, Bauer celebrates industry leaders with an exclusive awards banquet, honouring sports stores representing the highest standards of sales performance, progressive leadership, community involvement and the overall customer in-store experience.
This year, it was Chevy’s Source for Sports singled out as the best of the best.
“This is something that you just never imagine winning,” said Evtushevski.
“We’re talking about beating out every other sports store in the country.
“It’s the biggest thing that’s ever happened to our store and I think it may be the biggest major acknowledgment ever awarded to a sports store in the Okanagan.”
Evtushevski was apologetic when asked about the official acceptance picture sent to him from Bauer.
“It’s embarrassing. I honestly never dreamed we’d be accepting Bauer’s top honours at a world renowned event like Bauer World, so I didn’t bother dressing up for it. Then they announced us as the winner, and there I am stepping up to accept the award in shorts and sandals. I had no speech, nothing. I was dumbstruck…A moment I’ll never forget.”
New restaurant coming
One restaurant closes down and another takes its place—in Kelowna, that common restaurant scenario will see Spaghetti Factory open a new restaurant in the building vacated by Kelsey’s.
The Harvey Avenue location, across from the Capri Hotel, is now being renovated for a mid-Febrrary 2012 opening.
Ken Lobson, senior vice-president of the Spaghetti Factory restaurant chain, said Kelowna has been on the company’s new location list for some time.
“We’ve been looking for a couple of years, waiting for the right opportunity to come up,” Lobson said.
“It’s a competitive market but we like the location that came available to us…and the response we’ve had since the sign went up on the building has been overwhelming.”
An organization of retired B.C. college and institute faculty is making a big difference for the next generation of Okanagan College students.
The College and Institute Retirees Association of B.C. has given the Okanagan College Foundation a $14,800 endowment to start a new award —the Tony Williams Memorial Scholarship.
“Tony Williams retired from teaching sociology at OC in 1999, having been made an honourary lifetime member of the Okanagan University College Faculty Association, now the Okanagan College Faculty Association. He founded CIRA-BC in 2001 as a province-wide independent voice for retired faculty, and remained its president until his sudden death in 2003.
“By establishing an endowment, CIRA is honouring the memory of a dedicated and visionary Okanagan College employee and leader in our association, while ensuring the success of future generations of learners,” said CIRA president Ashley Dermer.
“He was an exceptional man—both in leadership and in mentorship,” added Kathy Butler, executive director of Okanagan College Foundation.
The CIRA award marks the second time the former sociology professor’s leadership skills have been recognized.
Faculty, who remembered Williams as a strong advocate who stood up for human rights and principles, decided to create a bursary in his name.
“He saw it as his role to go in there and fight the battles that needed to be fought,” said retired Okanagan College English professor Michael Griffin, who knew Williams and worked alongside him in CIRA’s early days.
“Tony pushed his students to investigate, to ask questions. That was his nature.”
Butler said the endowment will result in an annual scholarship of about $500 that will help students enrolled in a university studies program.
New OC IT director
Laura Eagen is looking forward to landing in the Okanagan to take over her new job as the Okanagan College director of information technology services.
Egan has previously worked in Ireland, Newfoundland and Ottawa over the course of the last three decades, and brings with her extensive experience in a number of different scenarios. Most recently, she has been chief information officer for Newfoundland Liquor and head of strategic development for the Bank of Ireland before that.
Eagen will replace retiring IT director Dave Harris, who wraps his career with Okanagan College in December after almost 25 years as an employee.
Food bank donation
Few people expect to have their vehicle break down while on vacation, but that’s exactly what happened to Vancouver resident Kenny Chung.
“Mr. Chung was in town visiting and, facing major repairs, he decided to trade in his older model Jeep and buy a new vehicle,” said Jeff Gilbert, Kelowna Chrysler dealership general manager.
“He mentioned that he was a Vancouver Food Bank volunteer and asked that we donate proceeds from the trade in to the Kelowna food bank. He wanted to turn his misfortune into something good. We were so impressed by his generosity that we decided to match his $1,000 donation.”
“We can’t thank Mr. Chung and the Kelowna Chrysler team enough,” said Vonnie Lavers, Kelowna Community Food Bank executive director.
“Two thousand dollars will go a long way to feeding local families this Christmas. With our three times purchasing power, every dollar donated purchases three dollars in food from our local vendor partners.”
Kelly Pengilly is a relatively new entrepreneur in Kelowna with a new business called Funvelopes, which she says is about team building and having fun at work during staff parties and other events.
“I have an amazing Christmas party package that I’m currently promoting for staff parties. It’s based on the 12 days of Christmas and it will be the best Christmas party ever,” Pengilly said.
“Essentially, teams have to scavenge items and take photos and complete challenges to gain points all based on Christmas themes. It’s going to be a great alternative for businesses, rather than the standard dinner parties.”
For more information about Funvelopes, check out the website www.funvelopes.ca or call 250-317 7726.
Gienow Windows & Doors opens a new 14,200 sq. ft. store at 876 McCurdy Pl., located just off Highway 97 in Marshall Park.
Gienow Windows & Doors has been operating in the Okanagan since 1994, most recently out of a location on Spall Road.
The new McCurdy Place location is about three times larger, enabling a much improved customer experience.
The new facility will serve as a hub for the entire Thompson-Okanagan region, and reflects Gienow’s long term commitment to the area.