(board member since 2017) George was born and raised in Kelowna, and has been extensively involved in sports in the past, coaching youth soccer and basketball, as well as being very involved in coaching, managing, and the executive with Kelowna Minor Hockey. More recently, George was President of Creative Okanagan, a non-profit organization which supports and assists in developing the creative community in the Central Okanagan. With his history of involvement and passion for music, along with his expertise as a financial advisor, George’s goal is to assist the OSO in expanding its demographic appeal, and help to raise awareness of the Okanagan Symphony in our valley.
(board member since 2017) Joel was born and raised in southern Ohio, then northern British Columbia, before moving to Vancouver, BC to attend law school. While working at large law firms in Vancouver, Prince George and Kelowna, Joel served the community extensively. His community involvement includes directorships with Prince George Yellowhead Rotary Club, Ducks Unlimited and the Cariboo Action Training Society (Camp Trapping) in Prince George, and, in the Okanagan, he has served on the board of the Kelowna General Hospital Foundation, Kelowna Capri Rotary Club and the Okanagan-Similkameen Film Commission. Joel is also an Honorary Lifetime Member of the Junior Chamber of Commerce.
(board member since 2017) Rose was born and raised in Prince Rupert BC, Canada’s rainiest city. She came to Kelowna in the summer of 2012 to pursue a post secondary education. She completed a Bachelor of Business Administration specializing in Accounting at the Okanagan College School of Business, then immediately entered the workforce with MNP LLP. During this time, she completed her CPA designation with the CPA Western School of Business. On her down time, she enjoys camping, baking and volunteering.
(board member since 2017) Annette has been an educator for over fifty years as a teacher, university professor and international consultant in China, Japan, Australia, Kosovo, Serbia, Montenegro, Israel, Chile, and East Africa. She is currently Associate Professor Emerita, Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia and Dean Emerita, Faculty of Education, University of Calgary. She has served as a volunteer for several community and professional organization locally, national and internationally. Her service have been recognized with numerous awards notably the Alberta Centennial Gold Medal and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal. As a member of the Board of Directors of the Okanagan Symphony she is committing to supporting its vision of bringing live orchestral music to the Okanagan community. She is delighted to have the opportunity to work with other volunteers who share this vision.
(Board member since 2016) Born in 1952, Howard Soon was raised amid the 1960’s culture of Vancouver’s quintessential neighbourhood, Kitsilano. He studied Biochemistry at the University of British Columbia and Business Administration at the University of Manitoba. After five years at Labatt Brewing Company, Soon moved to the Okanagan in 1980 to begin his winemaking career. In 1997, he was handed his most prestigious assignment - Sandhill. His collaborative relationships with our growers and non-interventionist approach have consistently led to award-winning, single vineyard wines. “At Sandhill we appreciate that great wine begins in the soil and on the vines, with grapes that have been nurtured to balanced ripeness,” says Soon. His determination to be at the leading edge of winemaking and working with the best grapes in the Okanagan have become fundamental to Sandhill’s exploratory Small Lots Program. “Small Lots is the best of the best,” says Soon. “Every year we experiment with new techniques or plant new varieties. We also look for those individual barrels that stand out from the rest. It provides a glimpse into our winemaking future.” Soon is one of a select group of certified wine educators in Canada and is a much sought-after speaker. He is an experienced judge of wine and has served on the panels of several major wine competitions in Canada and the U.S. In 1998, Soon received the Founder’s Award from the Okanagan Wine Festival, recognizing his contribution to British Columbia’s wine industry. In 2009, Sandhill was named “Winery of the Year” at the Canadian Wine Awards, by Wine Access. Under Howard Soon’s leadership, Sandhill was the first winery to ever receive the top three awards; Red Wine of the Year, White Wine of the Year and Winery of the Year. Soon was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the B.C. Restaurant and Food Services Association (BCRFA) in 2012. Most recently, Soon was recognized at the 2015 Vancouver International Wine Festival‘s Celebrating Excellence Awards with the highly coveted Spirited Industry Professional Award. Howard enjoys serving on the Faculty Advisory Board for Land and Food Systems at UBC and also on the Board of Directors of the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra, British Columbia’s third largest Symphony . A Pioneer in the British Columbia Wine Industry, Howard Soon was the first winemaker in British Columbia to:
- Receive a Gold Medal at the Chardonnay du Monde in France
- Release a series of single vineyard designated wines
- Produce a Super Tuscan blend - Sandhill Small Lots Three
- Receive Red Wine of the Year, White Wine of the Year and Winery of the Year, 2009 Canadian Wine Awards, Wine Access
(Board member since 2017) Bernice has recently retired from 36 years in the legal industry and has been involved as a musician all her life, studying and playing both the piano and the violin. She has performed in solo, combo and orchestral settings including private functions, churches, Night Owls Community Orchestra and the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra. She has a passion for great music and excellence in local performance She is recently married, has 2 fabulous grown children and is excited about this new chapter in her life.
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