DeHart: Flightcraft CEO stepping aside to take on new challenges

Tracy Medve takes on the role of the new president for Kelowna Flightcraft.

After 43 years at the helm, Barry Lapointe, owner, president and CEO of Kelowna Flightcraft, is stepping aside from his day-to-day duties of running the company.

Those duties will be turned over to Tracy Medve, the new president for Kelowna Flightcraft, who will be responsible for the management and oversight of the Flightcraft operations. Lapointe will remain active as the CEO and chairman of the board for the Flightcraft Group of Companies, but will be changing his focus to longer term strategy and a number of other products and ventures underway. Medve has held a number of progressive senior management positions in organizations such as NorCanair, Time Air, Canadian Partner, Canadian Regional Airlines, Regional 1 and most recently as president of Canadian North until she retired last December. Prior to joining Canadian North, Medve was co-founder of C.T. Aero Projects, a Calgary-based consultancy focused on air transport resource management with clients around the world. She has served on many boards and was an adjudicator with the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada.

After 37 years in the accounting profession and a distinguished career, Arnie Schneider, of Schneider Sample Ohlmann, 100-1449 St. Paul St., has retired. Over the years, Schneider has had a very loyal clientele, many of them having become his close friends. When I asked what he was going to do in retirement, his wife Anne answered, “Learn how to operate a vacuum.” I guess that says it all! Incidentally its Arnie’s birthday on May 13. What a great birthday present (not the vacuum). As a friend of the Schneiders for many years, I wish them all the best in retirement.

AFD Petroleum has purchased the assets and operations of Lakeland Oil in Kelowna, 350 Carion Rd., owned and operated by Ross Gilley and partner Kevin Timm. Lakeland has been a thriving business and community supporter in the Okanagan for many years. Gilley, the senior partner at Lakeland will be staying on as a consultant through the transition phase, while Timm will remain in charge of the business as the area manager for the Okanagan. As well, all the other team members will stay on in their current roles. AFD will be adding a new sales team to the operation and will also be introducing their proprietary brand of (AWARD) lubricants.

The Health Shack has just opened at 135-1855 Kirschner Rd. in Kelowna (the former location for Abby’s Tea House). Owned and operated by Jamie Beyer, who recently relocated from Finland, this trendy shop carries the top brand of Flora and Natural Factors products. The Health Shack also has an organic coffee bar, a chill-out room and patio seating, which is shared with Komatsu Japanese Market right next door. The store has a unique soft ambiance where you can relax with an organic almond latte.

Luanne Chore, formerly with Grant Thornton and Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), has joined the leadership team of Southern Interior Development Initiative Trust (SIDIT) as a senior portfolio manager. She is responsible for assisting SIDIT in reaching the next performance level, building on the solid foundation and momentum achieved by the SIDIT team under chief executive officer Luby Pow’s leadership. Call Luanne at 250-938-0767;

Debbie Hicks is the new general manager of the Kelowna Yacht Club, working under contract until the end of this year. Hicks was president of the Southern Interior Construction Association for 22 years and was also on the construction committee for the new yacht club building.

Big changes are underway at Dr. Specs Optical in Orchard Plaza (by Save-On-Foods). New owner Dean Thomas invites you to come in and check out the new frame selections, such as Mizyake, Nat & Coco and Soho Tech which have all just arrived. Lanctot brands, Rebel Nomad and Lightec will be arriving next week. Dr. Sunil Parekh is now accepting new patients as well as returning clients with little or no wait times for comprehensive eye exams. Call 250-861-5458.

Lingos or Logos Custom Imprints has moved to a new location, 7B-1404 Hunter Crt. in Kelowna.  Owned by Wendy Aitken, the business plans to celebrate the location move with a fun Mother’s Day promotion by putting mom’s favourite saying on a pillow or her favourite picture on a T-shirt. They can print, in vibrant colour, almost any image onto fabric from a photograph, illustration, digital image or clip-art. Call 250-864-6253 or submit your image online at

Absolute Wi-Fi Solutions, a Kelowna based Wi-Fi Internet provider, is quickly becoming one of Western Canada’s fastest growing Wi-Fi providers for the hospitality industry. After buying OK Wireless Internet in May of 2011, Absolute Wi-Fi invested in the latest technology and has hired professional technical staff to complement its ownership team. Owner Kathy Schmidt, not a newbie to the industry, has built a strong team and has grown the business from Tofino to Winnipeg, including Canada’s largest RV resort, Holiday Park Resort. Schmidt’s passion for customer service excellence is clearly the basis for her success. Call 1-877-575-1575 or visit

Voting is now open for Best of Kelowna 2013. There are 78 categories in this year’s inaugural events, with probably some of “you” in the running for Best of Kelowna. My sister, Re/Max Kelowna realtor Tracy Nyboe, has been nominated in the Best of Realtor category. Would appreciate your support for her. She is a great real estate agent (I might be a little bias) and many, many years my junior in age (ha)! Go to

Linda and Fred Way have opened Hillside Hideaway B&B, located in the Hall Road subdivision in Southeast Kelowna. Linda is retired after 25 years with Okanagan College and Fred has been with School District 23 at Mount Boucherie as a drama teacher for the past 25 years as well. Their bed and breakfast offers a one bedroom suite with pool and hot tub. Take a look at or call 250-861-6055.

Mr. Mozzarella Pizza, owned and operated by brothers Aaron and Andrew Schenk and Leon Wojciechowski, now has a third location in Glenmore across from the new Cooper’s store. The trio opened their first location on Lakeshore Road by the Sunshine Market and a second outlet in West Kelowna by Winners. A fourth location is also planned in the near future for Rutland.

Dan and Wanda Truong, owners of Mekong Restaurant Chinese Szechuan Cuisine, celebrate their 26th anniversary in business this month. Located at 1030 Harvey Ave., their business is again giving back to their customers by holding a contest with the prize being a trip for two to Victoria with two nights accommodation and airfare. Call 250-763-8000.

Had the pleasure of having lunch at The Chopped Leaf Restaurant, 243 Bernard Ave. in Kelowna, managed by Taylor Ryan with assistance manager Ashley MacGregor. If you have not tried it and would like to have a great healthy salad, it’s the place to go. I had the “Popeye” which is spinach, pecans, oranges, applies, feta and cranberries with fruit vinaigrette and it was fabulous. The Chopped Leaf also has Quesadillas, salad rolls, sandwiches and soups. You can have one of their chef designed salads and wraps or you can design your own from their extensive list of ingredients. It’s no trouble getting into the restaurant as the sidewalks are all complete in front of the Bernard Avenue construction zone. Call 778-484-5323.

M&M Meats will host its 25th annual Charity BBQ fundraiser for Crohn’s and Colitis research on Saturday, May 11, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Mission Park Shopping Centre and Harvey Avenue locations. Every penny raised goes to the charity. It’s only a $2 donation or you can purchase a coupon book for $5 (worth $50 of savings).

UBC Okanagan recently honoured several long-time employees. Congrats to 25 year honourees Michael Gesi (security services) and Daniel Kay (associate professor). 35 year honourees Michael Berger (media technician), Rose Cresswell (library services) and Maurice Williams (professor).

As the city representative and chair of the 38th annual 2012 Civic and Community Awards, I would like to congratulate all the award recipients and nominees of this year’s awards. It was a fantastic evening and everything went off without a hitch. Special thanks to the generous sponsors, including the Capital News, Astral Media, Beyond 50 Magazine, Castanet, Central Okanagan Foundation, FortisBC, Grant Thornton, Kelowna Community Resources, Mark of Distinction, Prospera Credit Union and YMCA of Okanagan. Big thanks to the long list of committee members, volunteers and city staff that made this year’s awards a huge success. I thank you all. Congratulations to pastor Tim Schroeder on receiving the Anita Tozer Memorial Award, presented to him by Anita’s son Allen and granddaughter Laura Tozer. Tim is going to say a couple of extra prayers for council and especially city councillor Gerry Zimmerman and myself for “fibbing” to him many times. It was the only way we could get him to the awards ceremonies.

On Saturday, May 18, bring three or more bags of clothing to the Clothesline Fill A Truck event and you will be entered in their exclusive draw to win a trip for two to London, England. Go to Save on Foods Orchard Plaza or Westbank Town Centre Mall, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. to make a drop off. For more info call Ed Laverock at 250-250-0683.

The winners of the regular hockey pool (of which I am a member) are as follows. Notice, I am not in the winner’s circle. Congrat’s to first place (McNasty’s Mob) Brent McKinnon; second place (Candy Mints) Candace Hudson; third place (White Lightning) Harvey Beselt; and consolation prize winner (Coquitlam Cougars) Debbie Howcroft. Good luck to all in the playoff pool. Special thanks to The Stone Eater (Jerome Schmidt) who is the pool administrator for all his work.

The Annual Trunk Sale, sponsored by the regional district, is May 25 at Okanagan College, from 8 a.m. until noon with set-up to begin at 7 a.m. It is perfect for residents who can’t easily held their own garage sale, because of either living in condos, apartments or simply have no yard. Deadline to pre-register for a free spot is May 23. Call 250-469-6250.

The Springvalley Elementary School PAC will hold the fourth annual Community Garage Sale and Flea Market on May 11 at 470 Ziprick Rd. Tables available by contacting

There will be one last perogy sale on Saturday, May 11, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Ukrainian Catholic church, 1091 Coronation Ave.

Birthdays of the week: Susan Johal, Kimmitt Wrzesniewski (May 8); Joanne Reiber (May 9); Felicia Mauro (May 10); Michael J. Ballingall, Big White (May 10); Claire Jantzen, (May 10); Kathy Schmidt, Absolute Wi-Fi Solutions (May 11); Lake Country Mayor James Baker, (May 12); Arnie Schneider (May 13); Ono Curatolo (May 13); Tina Van Dack (May 13); Melissa Bishop (May 13); Olivia Petrone (May 13); Carmelo Mauro (May 14); Domenico Maddalo (May 14); Erika O’Reilly, Rehab KGH (May 15);

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