The Venture Kamloops Business Development Society was established in September 2004 as the economic development office for the City of Kamloops. It is governed by an eleven-member Board of Directors, which includes two City councillors, two City officials and Ex Officio Members. Members serve for a 5-year term and they are empowered to respond quickly to new opportunities which facilitate the undertaking of new initiatives and the attracting of financial involvement from other levels of government and/or the private sector.

A.J. (Tony) Ryan
President, P. Eng, BASc, MBA – Domtar Inc.

Tony is a graduate of Kamloops Secondary School, and has a Bachelor of Applied Science (Chemical Engineering) from UBC and a Masters in Business Administration from SFU. Tony has worked at a number of mills across Canada and returned to Kamloops in 1999 as an Operating Superintendent at Domtar Inc.’s pulp mill. He has held a variety of roles throughout his career within the Forest Products industry including; Operations, Health & Safety, Purchasing & Stores and Technical and Customer Services. He has also been active within local community organizations, including recent roles as Director for the Thompson Nicola Cariboo United Way, BIG Little Science Centre and the Kamloops Airport Authority Society.

Thomas E. Dickinson
Vice President, BSc, MSc, PhD—Thompson Rivers University

Tom Dickinson is a native of Toronto and a graduate of Queen’s University, the University of Calgary, and the University of Pennsylvania. He is a biologist with a specialization in ecology. Tom came to Kamloops in 1989 to be part of the growth of Thompson Rivers University. Over his career at Tom has taught and done academic research, and established a technology centre that connected the community to the university’s physical, human, and intellectual resources. Today he is the Dean of Science at TRU and remains active in the community on several Boards of Directors and Land-use Planning roundtables.

Margot Middleton
Past President, Middleton Petroleum Services Ltd.

Margot is the President of Middleton Petroleum Services Ltd. a contracting business which specializes in petroleum system installations, maintenance and electrical. She serves on the board of the Resource Training Organization, is Vice-President of the BC Petroleum Contractors Association, and was recently appointed to the Premier’s Women’s Economic Council to provide strategies to further women’s business opportunities in BC.

Dr. Richard Brownlee
Treasurer, Director, BSc, MSc, MD, FRCS – Neurosurgery

Richard moved to Kamloops in 1996 and has practiced as a neurosurgeon since then. He is a cofounder and President of the Welcome Back MRI and Pain Management Centre and a shareholder in the Kamloops Surgical Centre. Richard is a director for the Kamloops Brain Injury Association (KBIA), sits on other Boards and is a strong supporter of cooperation in business and education.

Peter Aylen
Director, Absorbent Products Ltd.

Peter is the controlling shareholder of Absorbent Products Ltd. Previous to this, Peter had much experience with major accounting firms in audit and insolvency as well as in a management consulting practice. He has worked in the Corporate Finance division with a major investment dealer and has been very active in the business community of Kamloops lending his skills and expertise to many Boards.

Lorianna Bennett
Partner, Paul & Company Lawyers

Lorianna co-owns Kamloops law firm Paul & Company. She has served on all levels of the Kamloops Bar Association, and has chaired hundreds of appeals for the BC Employment and Assistance Appeals Tribunal and is one of the original members and current panel chairs of the BC Health Professions Review Board. Lorianna is an active mother of three children, and in her spare time, teaches law at Thompson Rivers University.

John Zubak
Director, John Zubak Project Management & Consulting

John is an entrepreneur with over 20 years of small business development and ownership. He was also the founder of the Serta Sleep Centre chain in the Interior of British Columbia. His strengths include sales training, marketing, communication, and strategic planning. He is passionate about finding non-conventional solutions to business challenges. In the past few years John’s focus has been on helping private and public organizations implement ideas, and projects.

David Chyzowski
Kamloops Blazers, Director of Sales & Marketing

Dave was born in Edmonton, Alberta and moved to Kamloops in 1988 to play hockey for the Kamloops Blazers. He has played over 1000 professional games over an 18 year career in 23 different cities around the world that lead to his retirement in November of 2006. He was hired by the Kamloops Blazers in December 2006 and is the Director of Sales & Marketing. Dave enjoys time at the Shuswap in the summer and is extremely proud to call Kamloops home.

Ryan Liebe
Director, Triton Environmental Consultants Ltd.

Ryan is the President of Triton Environmental Consultants Ltd., a firm with offices across western Canada that helps industrial clients complete baseline environmental impact assessments, obtain permits for their projects, and meet their environmental commitments during the construction phase of their projects. Ryan is a Registered Professional Biologist, and has spent the last nine years growing and managing the business with a focus on building strong relationships with clients, partnering firms and First Nation communities. In addition to being a Director at Triton for over 12 years, Ryan has served as a director for the Rotary Club of Kamloops and Project X Theatre.

City Councillors

Arjun Singh
Deputy Mayor, City of Kamloops

Arjun was born and raised in Kamloops. His parents, Dr Gur and Mrs Manju Singh, immigrated to Canada from India in the 1960s. He previously served on council from 2005-2008. He has a MA in Professional Communication from Royal Roads University and a Certificate in Dialogue, Deliberation, and Public Engagement from Fielding Graduate University.

Denis Walsh
Councilor, City of Kamloops

Denis has lived in Kamloops since 1980 and has raised his family here. He is an active local business person involved in the MovieMart downtown and Crossroads Inn.

Denis has served as a director on the boards of the original North Shore Business Association and more recently, the Kamloops Film Society, Kamloops Central Business Improvement Association, and Kamloops Society for Community Living. He was an co-organizer of the Kamloops Speaker Series and Community Representative for Thompson Rivers University Faculty Association Human Rights Committee. Denis was awarded a Kamloops Community YMCA-YWCA Peacemaker Award in 2006.

His main areas of concern are economic stability, quality of life, improving community input and environmental stewardship. Denis believes benefit comes from working together with people of all points of view.

City Officials

David Trawin
CAO, City of Kamloops

David holds a B.A. degree in Geography and Economics and a Masters degree in Urban and Regional Planning. He joined the City of Kamloops in 2003 as the Director of Development and Engineering Services and was appointed as the City’s Chief Administrative Officer in 2012. His philosophy of collaboration has become well known over his time working with the building and business industries.

Tammy Robertson
External Relations Manager, City of Kamloops

Tammy Robertson, External Relations Manager with the City of Kamloops, has 20 years of experience in the private and public sector. She is currently responsible for the City’s marketing and public relations and the Kamloops Airport. Prior to joining the City in 2009, she enjoyed many roles in the tourism industry including Executive Director of Operations at Rocky Mountaineer Vacations, Tourism Manager at Venture Kamloops, and Marketing Coordinator at the Molson Indy Vancouver. She also worked for five years as an economic development practitioner in Northern British Columbia.

Ex Officio Members

Chief Rosanne Casimir
Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc