DeHart: Retiring Sears employee to switch from retail to travel

After 36 years at Sears, well-known associate store manager Nick Austin is retiring Jan. 31.

After 36 years at Sears, well-known associate store manager Nick Austin is retiring Jan. 31.

He started his career with Sears in Burnaby, but has been in the Kelowna store for 35 years, initially in the camera, stationery and men’s outer wear departments. Nick is retiring from the retail industry, but not retiring from business. He will be joining the team at Expedia Cruise Ship Centers in Cooper Centre, helping customers to book their travel vacations. Call 250-860-3682.

Const. Steve Holmes has left the RCMP media relations officer position after three years to return to active duty with traffic services. Const. Kris Clark is the new media relations officer for the local RCMP.

The office of Dr. Larry Hancock, located in the Lakeview Plaza for the past 35 years, is moving at the end of the month to new premises at 2145 Louie Dr., the Oasis Medical Clinic beside London Drugs in West Kelowna. Dr. Hancock’s new phone number is 250-768-7856. Donna Campbell, who has been the office manager for over 32 years, is also retiring Jan. 30. When I asked Donna what she was going to do now, she responded: “I have a list a mile long, tons of projects and am just going to start by prioritizing.” Good luck Donna!

Congratulations to Kelowna lawyer Jim Herperger on his Queen’s Counsel appointment. This designation is an honour conferred on members of the legal profession to recognize exceptional merit and contribution. Successful candidates demonstrate professional integrity and good character and must be members of the B.C. bar for at least five years.

Shelley Gilmore is the new executive director of Crossroads Treatment Center Society. For the past six years she has run Gilmore HR Strategies & Solutions, providing human resources and business consulting services. Call 250-860-4001;

Congrats to Corey Cook, an Okanagan College business administration program student, who is the 2011 recipient of the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce Gerry Fredrick Memorial Award, which comes with a $500 bursary. The Feb. 3 chamber luncheon will feature the State of the City address from Mayor Walter Gray.

The Uptown Rutland Business Association has a new board of directors for 2012. The board will consist of Dan Van Norman, Holly Shoes (president); Crystal Maltesen, Benson Lawyers LLP (1st vice president); Susan Rayner, Interior Savings Credit Union (2nd vice president); Leora Rupert, My Neighbourhood Restaurant (treasurer); Nicholas Aubin, Nicholas Aubin Notary Public (past president); and directors are Len Cardiff (TD Canada Trust), Al Kirschner (Black Mountain Irrigation), Vik Bains (TD Canada Trust), Joe Iafrancesco and Aron Meier (Valleyview Funeral Home). Retiring directors are Mary-Ann Graham, Maggie’s Café and Dave Willoughby, Old Town Market. Former director Dave Donaldson, of Kendall Property Management, sadly passed away suddenly in December. Deborah Guthrie is the executive director of the association. Call 250-470-8236.

There’s a new limousine service in town. Accent Limousine is owned by Roy Stein Sports, and uses a beautiful, black, 13-passenger, 31-foot long, 2005 Ford Excursion limo which was previously owned by the governor of Georgia in Eastern Europe. It’s one of the longest limos in the city and has every feature imaginable. You can book it on-line or call 250-215-2262.

It was a busy 2011 for Secure-Rite Mobile Storage. In order to keep up with the every-growing demand, company president Lucas Griffin hired David Tyler last year. Tyler speaks three languages and among his other duties, manages the social media components of the company. Secure-Rite launched its fourth location in Calgary last year, which grew significantly in 2011. The company also continues to expand its portfolio of modified container products, which now include portable offices, housing, laboratories (for scientists and people in the field), mini-storage units, fuel storage, and many other custom storage solutions. Call 250-860-3955;

Chartered accountant and certified business broker Steve Burns has launched a new business, Carrera Business Brokers Inc., which is an affiliate of Global Business Brokers International. Burns helps clients obtain the best possible price and terms for their business, offering services to both buyers and sellers. For sellers, he provides a courtesy valuation of your business, ensures complete confidentiality and markets the business through over 100 of his high profile websites. For purchasers, he can help you determine the type of business best suited for you and then targets business owners confidentially on your behalf to sell their business to you. So, if you or someone you know would like to or needs to sell their business or wants to purchase a business call 250-763-4716 or email

Congratulations to Magnus Aaserud and Marina Broeer, of KPMG LLP, on successfully completing their final exam to achieve their professional chartered accountant designations. And congratulations to Sandra Spielmann and Todd Myles, of MNP LLP, on successfully completing the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants uniform evaluation for 2011.

Heather Banham, dean of business administration and commercial aviation at Okanagan College, has been elected to the board of governors for 2012 for the Certified General Accountants Association of B.C.  She will represent the Thompson/Okanagan region and will also chair the discipline committee. The CGA-BC represents nearly 15,000 CGAs and students.

A very good friend and little greeter to about 500 customers and friends of the Hair Saloon, owned by Rhonda Rea, has passed away. “Buddy” or “Mr. Buddy” as Rhonda’s partner Larry Schatz called him, will be dearly missed by all. Buddy, a shiatsu/cross, was an integral part of the Hair Saloon. He never barked or whined and gave everyone some joy before their hair cut. Initially, Buddy was found in their parking lot in 2000 and when his owners did not want to take him back, he was adopted by Rhonda and Larry. Buddy was a great friend of customers Shig Tahara (his babysitter) and Bill Schmidt who took Buddy for rides in his pickup before his appointment. This delightful little greeter will forever be remembered. Call 250-763-4009.

Had the opportunity to enjoy fish and chips at C-Lovers in Dilworth Centre, 335-2339 Highway 97 North, owned and operated by Nick and Kim Koutavas. I tried the cod and chips. They were fabulous; not at all greasy with a delicious light batter on the cod, hand-cut chips and a good size portion. If you are a heartier eater, C-Lovers offers all-you-can-eat fish and chips, all day, every day, as well as halibut, haddock, salmon, prawns, chicken and oysters and my favourite add-on “mushy peas.” The restaurant was lined up at the door, a good sign, so get there early and look for the several different family pack deals. Dine-in or take-out. Call 250-717-0203.

The Social Enterprise Dragons event is March 8. This event helps social enterprises by awarding financial support or in-kind consulting services for a defined and critical business challenge or opportunity. You can watch the finalists pitch their service to the Dragons and watch the judges make their allocation decisions. For more info and tickets go to

This video is worth seeing. It’s truly amazing. Take a few minutes and go to CBC’s program Land and Sea at It’s about several Kelowna women who reached out to Newfoundland residents after Hurricane Igor hit their remote communities in 2010. The plight of the people touched the following women of the Rutland Seniors Centre quilting club. They worked tirelessly and created eleven quilts which they mailed to residents in Newfoundland. The women involved were Patti Monkhouse (instigated the project and donated all the fabric), Lise Sinclair, Murial Goldman, Nancy Goodman, Jen Woolman, Ann Alfano, Doreen Chrin, Hannah Hamilton and Margaret Bachelder. As you will see in the video, the recipients of the quilts were surprised, amazed and very thankful.

January is Crime Stoppers Month. Since inception, the Central Okanagan Crime Stoppers, which is a non-profit society and relies on support from their sponsors and donations from the public, has recorded the following statistics since inception in 1987: 18,729 (tips received); 2,320 (arrests); $253,648 (rewards approved); $68,023,256 (drugs seized) and $3,522,737 (property recovered).

Birthdays of the week: Happy 50th to my sister, Tracy Nyboe, Re/Max Kelowna (today, Jan. 19); happy 80th Becky Wilson (Larson) (Jan. 15); Melonie Dodaro, Top Dog Social Media (Jan. 19); Jack Gwartney, La-Z-Boy Furniture (Jan. 20); David Russell (Jan. 21); Curtis Pannell, Tom Harris Cellular (Jan. 22); Rita Kashiw (Jan. 23); Ed Kashiw (Jan. 24); Morris Kerr (Jan. 23); Ron Wahoski (Jan. 24); Sharon Shepherd (Jan. 25); Bob Taylor (Jan. 25); Bill Sinclair (Jan. 26).

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


Kelowna Capital News