Accelerate Okanagan has appointed a new CEO.
Pilar Portela will assume responsibilities on Sept. 16, according to the local technology-focused not-for-profit which helps tech start-up companies get off the ground.
Portela replaces Jeff Keen, who stepped down to pursue an opportunity with a startup technology company.
Pilar is a relative newcomer to the Okanagan after leaving SBM Site Services in Sacramento, California as its director of software development.
“It is a tremendous honour to be offered the position of CEO for Accelerate Okanagan,” she said.
“As the new CEO, I am committed to doing whatever it takes to help local startups flourish.”
She said the Accelerate Okanagan team will continue to encourage the creation and innovation of local technology businesses.
“I am dedicated to increasing collaboration between national and international tech hubs, which in turn help local startups flourish.
The organization’s goals will continue on the current growth path, while fostering the community’s entrepreneurial climate, teach people how to be successful entrepreneurs and support companies in Accelerate Okanagan’s programs, she added.
Portela’s experience is varied, having worked all over the Americas and she brings 20 years of expert management and executive experience to the team.
She has an MA in project management and has studied law and international trade.
The new CEO is also described as a “master leader” who brings planning and organization to a new level.
“She has an innate ability to align and bring focus into every situation. Her global knowledge of business development and her problem resolution skills fit perfectly with Accelerate Okanagan’s mission to increase the number of tech companies that start and grow in the Okanagan,” said the organization in a news release.