Brian Walters

Top 40 Over 40 Presented by BDO: Brian Walters

Kelowna Chamber of Commerce hosts Top 40 Over 40 program

The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce is once again launching its ‘Top 40 Over 40 presented by BDO’, to celebrate individuals in the community over the age of 40.

These are people who showcase as mentors, champions and role models and who encourage and foster the future leaders of the community.

The Kelowna Chamber is highlighting new honourees between February and July 2021. Each year the program alternates between Over 40 and Under 40 Honourees. This is the sixth year of the program as 2021 marks an “Over 40” year.

Brian Walters’ dad operated a successful plumbing and heating business in Radville, Sask., until he fell ill.

He sold the business but his health eventually recovered to where he could return to his trade. That’s when he decided working as a plumber in Kelowna would be much better than in Saskatchewan.

After graduating high school at KSS, Brian was hired by a neighbour who was the superintendent at Crown Zellerbach plywood plant on Ellis Street.

Meanwhile, his dad started his own business again in 1978 called Ace Plumbing, which he bought from a friend for $1. Brian became his apprentice in 1979.

Work was slow initially so the company did anything and everything to keep busy, including pounding sand point wells by hand on Benvoulin Road.

He was nearing retirement and decided he would sell the business and work for someone else.

Brian and his wife Corallee decided to buy the Ace Plumbing business from his dad which they did in 1985.

At time of making that decision, the economy started to take off and Brian marketed his business services using his dad’s policy of always looking after the customers.

He soon had almost a dozen plumbers and apprentices working with him.

Ace was doing the refurbishing of the Eldorado Hotel when he was rear-ended in a traffic accident on Pandosy Street.

The seat of the truck broke and his back was severely injured, not allowing him to work on the job.

So, he went into the office and developed plans on how to do more quality work and train great employees without him being on site to guide them.

Keeping quality control and maintaining a profit were challenging, he says, in that he had no business education. They struggled through attending the “School of Hard Knocks” and have grown to serve Kelowna and area operating three Divisions: Residential/Commercial Service;

New Housing; and Commercial Construction. They now have 90 employees and 55 trucks on the road. And, they are in the process of building a 26,000 square foot facility on Pier Mac Way in the Airport Industrial area.

Brian, as part of Ace, has found time for volunteerism along the way, including:

Co-ran the Okanagan Mechanical Association for 10 years Supported Inn from the Cold Supporters of Rotary Club of Kelowna Supporters of Okanagan Hospice Supporters for Arion Therapeutic Farm Supporters of OC Coyotes Basketball teams Supporters of Kelowna Rockets Triple A Girls Hockey Team Supporters of Kelowna Sun Devils Baseball Team Supporters of Okanagan Firestorm Cheerleaders Past supporters of multiple other school and team sport events and charities

He’s a graduate of Kelowna Senior Secondary, 1977, Red Seal: Journeyman Plumber and Gas Fitter, 1982

Graduate of multiple courses” School of Hard Knocks” Continuing Education Ace has been named Kelowna’s “Best Plumbing Company” several years running They are a Carrier Factory Authorized Dealer for 25 years and have attained the “President’s Award” for the last two years. Members in good standing of SICA (Southern Interior Construction association) Members in good standing of TECA (Thermal Environmental Comfort Association) Members in good standing of Fortis Trade Ally COR Certified by WorkSafe BC.

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