DeHart: Local financial company rebrands and expands

Well-known Okanagan based financial company I. A. Pacific Life Kelowna has recently expanded and rebranded.

Wealthlink Financial Services staff includes (from left) marketing assistant Kate Bower

Wealthlink Financial Services staff includes (from left) marketing assistant Kate Bower

This week’s column

is dedicated to Derek

Winston who passed away March 9 in Vernon hospice. Derek was the fire officer/crew chief at the Kelowna airport for many years until his retirement. He was very proud of the fact that he never battled a fire in all his years at the airport. Condolences to his family and many

Okanagan British Car Club friends.



Well-known Okanagan based financial company I. A. Pacific Life Kelowna has recently expanded and rebranded.

The management team of Terry Wardrop, Gary Wardrop and Mike Mervyn along with the marketing assistant staff will now operate as Wealthlink Financial Services. With the rebranding, Wealthlink will now offer expanded financial services, including all national insurance carriers. Through their network of financial advisors, the rebranded firm  provide a vast array of financial products and services such as estate planning, asset management and preservation, corporate financial planning, segregated funds, life, disability and critical illness insurance, RRSPs and employee benefit plans. Randall Fell, vice-president of sales for Industrial Alliance Pacific Insurance, commented recently that the organization headed up by Terry Wardrop represents one of the most respected, successful and well-run managing general agencies in Canada. Call 250-762-2421;

How time does fly! Today’s column celebrates my 13th year with the Capital News. Thanks to all of you, our readers, friends, colleagues and clients for supporting the newspaper, this column and me. Your loyalty and continued encouragement have made our success. Thanks for all the leads, faxes, e-mails, phone calls, stops on the street, (and in airplanes) and visits to the Ramada Hotel (where I hang my hat). Keep them coming. I appreciate everything, especially all of you taking me into your confidence each week. I certainly could not have made this great milestone without your help.

Congrats to Cst. Cheryl McKinnon, a Kelowna RCMP liaison officer for schools, on being the recipient of the prestigious  B.C. Principals and Vice Principals Partnership Award, which  recognizes those people who provide outstanding support to the education system. She will receive the award at a ceremony in Vancouver on May 13.

John Dunford, manager of forestry and sustainability of Tolko Industries, has been named professional forester of the year by the Association of B.C. Forest Professionals for his long career in forestry environmentalism. He is also chairman of the Canadian Sustainable Forest Management User Group and a founding director of the Program for the Endorsement of Certification Canada.

Award winning golf professional Sean Richardson, formerly with Predator Ridge, has joined Urban Links and The Golf Centre, 2650 Benvoulin Rd., coaching professional golfers and also working with players of all ages and ability levels. Richardson was awarded the PGA of B.C. Teacher of the Year award in 2010. In 2005, the National Post named him to the list of top 50 golf instructors in Canada. Call 250-762-4653 or 250-769-0339.

Little Shop of Treasures Décor for Home and Body has opened at 11B-565 Bernard Ave. (beside Café Soleil). Owned by Athena Markusson, this unique urban outfitter-style shop offers a variety of products from World Fair Trade suppliers, including a very diverse inventory of wood, silver, nickel free and semi-precious stone jewelry, natural gems, and wood and rock home décor. Other accessories include craft and art items from local and international artists, incense, perfumes, candles, body products, beaded items, leatherwork, mosaic glass, metal wall art, mango wood boxes, pictures frames, Indian wood/ceramic curios, oriental dishes and sculptures. Call 250-763-1113.

99.9 SUN FM brought home two prestigious awards at the recent Canadian Music and Broadcast Industry Awards in Toronto. Congrats to Mark Burley, named Program Director of the Year in the small market category, and for SUN FM winning Station of the Year again in the small market category.

The Mission is exploding with new businesses…

Venus Eye Boutique has opened at 560 West Ave. (across from Tutt Optometry). Owned by award winning designer Mike Christiansen and his wife Brandi of Edmonton, the shop is beautifully displayed with revolutionary eyewear designs. The eyewear boutique’s new plastic frame collection revolves around strongly shaped square and rectangular frames for those who are not afraid to be bold. This year’s style is all about lively and bright colours like tangerine, lemon and citrus. The Christiansens’ exclusive eyewear is sold in 3,300 locations across Canada. The shop is fun, modern and bright. Along with adult eyewear, Venus is known for their children and petite collection having won 28 awards in this category. The shop also offers a full line of limited edition sunglasses. All the unique designs are comfy and “perfectly fit the human face.” Lise Bowman is the licensed optician/contact lens fitter offering personal attention to every client. Call 250-763-1351;

Soy Asian Fusion Restaurant has opened at 101-2900 Pandosy St. (side of the new Ethan Allan building). Owned and operated by head chef Takeshi Ishizaka and his wife Tomo, the restaurant is Kelowna’s newest Asian fusion take-out restaurant with a Japanese-influenced healthy  menu. Chef Takeshi has arranged all the menu items. His culinary background is derived from professional experience in French, Italian, North American and modern Asian cuisines. The items for take-out are beautifully displayed in glass showcases with reasonable prices. Tomo was a delight, greeting me with a warm smile and taking pride in their friendly service. The Takeshis have an extensive variety of fresh a la carte items, lunch specials, pre-assorted boxes, made to order party trays and even desserts. Call 778-478-0458; email Open Monday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Brandy Wright has opened Beauty Elements  at 3A-605 KLO Rd. in the Mission Park Shopping Centre, a medi-spa and esthetics shop for skin care, body care and beauty. Having relocated from Alberta where Wright owned the same type of shop, Beauty Elements offers waxing, medi-facials, aromatic facials, Liftosome, Hydradermie, Hydradermie Lift, massage, hot stone massage, Thai herbal massage and hair removal for both men and women. Call 250-80-3295;

Chris Racette is the recipient of the Spirit of Kelowna Award for organizing the very successful SPCA fundraiser in memory of his dog and loyal companion, Douglas.

Rev. Andriy Werbowy, of Holy Dormition of the Mother of God Parish in Kelowna (Ukrainian Catholic Church, 1091 Coronation Avenue), has been appointed Eparchial Protosyncellus (Vicar General) of the Eparchy New Westminster.

George Cwiklewski, with Macdonald Realty, has been elected president of the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board for 2011-12, a former director for the past five years. Local board members are Brenda Moshansky, Coldwell Banker Horizon Realty (past president); John Adolf, Prudential  Properties; Francis Braam, Royal LePage; Kent Jorgenson, Re/Max Kelowna; Scott Mayne, Points West Realty; and Barrett Watson, Coldwell Banker Horizon Realty.

Michelle Rosser has joined Farris, Vaughn, Wills & Murphy LLP as an associate. She practices in civil litigation, including general real estate litigation and property deputes, landlord and tenant disputes, employment law, wills and estate litigation and debt collection on behalf of institutional lenders. Call 250-869-3878.

UBC microbiologist Melanie Jones has been named Researcher of the Year at UBC Okanagan. Her research focuses on the effect of various forestry practices on the diversity of ectomycorrhizl fungi on B.C. forests.

Carlos Teixeira, associate professor of geography at UBCO,  has been honoured with the Public Education through Media Award for outstanding service to the university and the community by actively and creatively sharing has research expertise with the news media.

Perkins Pancake Day  takes place on Monday, March 21, at Perkins Restaurant and Bakery in the Ramada Hotel, 2170 Harvey Ave. The public is invited to enjoy a free short stack of delicious buttermilk pancakes for a donation, which Perkins will in turn donate to three charities—the local United Way, Make A Wish Canada and Give Kids The World. It will be a fun, busy day as this will be your chance to have “the best pancakes ever” and help out the three charities. Sarah Foss is the general manager of Perkins. Call 250-717-1550.

There are still tickets available for the Okanagan Business Students Association’s 32nd annual Business Banquet  on March 24 at the Coast Capri Hotel. The keynote speakers of this high-profile event are Chris Emery and Larry Finnson, the Canadian marketing powerhouses behind the Clodhoppers Candy success story. I am delighted to be the honourary president of the OBSA. Mike Roberts will be the MC for the banquet. To attend contact president Greg Krasichynski at 250-575-4916 or 250-762-6091;

Ran across two people, who truly know the meaning of exceptional service. Thanks to both Janice Fisher, with Bentley in Orchard Park Mall, and Robert Nemrava, manager of Moores Clothing.

The Hospice Association is looking for gently used linen and china for its 7th annual Heirloom Linen and China Sale April 14 to 16 at St. Paul’s United Church. Donated items may be dropped off at the COHA office, 202-1456 St. Paul St.

Emmy Bouma will present her second annual art show with all new inspirational paintings at the French Cultural Center, 702 Bernard Ave., March 4 to 25, weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call 250-860-4074.

I won’t have a Straight From DeHart column for next week. See you all again in March 30 edition of Capital News.

Birthdays of the week: Happy 104th Dorothy Bowden (March 16); happy 80th Frank Singer (March 21) and wife Dilys Singer (also March 21); happy 70th Helen Burnell (March 25); happy 65th Dianne Nicholson, Lake Country (March 20); happy 70th Donna Horning (March 6); happy 50th Gary Benson, Benson Law LLP (March 19); Jim Ross (March 23); Hugh Cairns (March 28); Wendy Giammartino, (March 28); Liz Campbell (March 28); Mike Docherty (March 28); Don Jeffries (March 28).

Maxine DeHart is a Kelowna hotelier. Phone her at 250-979-4546, fax 250-860-3173, email


Kelowna Capital News