Renee Merrifield founded Kelowna’s Troika Developments as a start-up in the late 1990s and grew it into a Western Canadian group of companies, encompassing land, real estate development, construction, service and consulting.
With her passion for community benefit, Renee has tirelessly contributed to philanthropic endeavours and is currently the chair of the Breakfast Club of Canada.
She also serves on various private company boards including First West Credit Union, the First West Foundation and the Junior Achievement BC Board, and sits on the external advisory committee for University of British Columbia Okanagan.
She previously served on the Westbank First Nation Economic Development Commission, the Interior Health Authority board and the Premier’s Women’s Economic Council.
Renee has been named to Women’s Executive Network’s ‘Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada’ from 2017-2019.
She holds two master’s degrees, including a MBA from the University of Liverpool.
Renee is happily engaged to Carlos Alentejano and together they have a blended family of five adult children.
What is the most important issue in your riding?
Kelowna Mission is such a diverse riding, it’s impossible to choose just one! But as I have spoken to people at the doors and on the phone, we are united around COVID.
There are concerns that COVID has changed everything and our economy may not survive the impact of this pandemic.
Our community wants advocacy, and wants strong, rational representation in how bring back our economy. Whether it is the teacher in a classroom who wants to protect and teach children; a tradesperson who wants to provide for their family; a senior that wants to have a vibrant retirement; a restaurateur that wants to survive – we all need a plan for our economic survival and success.
What have you done to benefit your community in the past?
I have been passionately serving my community for the past 24 years. You can’t ask someone to do something that you aren’t prepared to do yourself.
Water conservation. Affordable housing. Urban Development Institute. Homeless initiatives. Regional District Economic Development Commission. Westbank First Nation Development Commission. Okanagan Sustainability Leadership Council. University of British Columbia advisory council. BC Cancer advisory council. Breakfast Club of Canada. Just to name a few.
What will you do to represent your community in Victoria?
I plan to be a strong voice and tireless advocate in Victoria. I’ve always had a strong work ethic. That’s how I’ve had success in business, and that work ethic and determination is what I will bring to public service.