Tracey Read

Board President


Tracey Read is a retired arts and heritage manager whose career in Calgary included a variety of positions including being general manager of Pleiades and Vertigo Theatres, and Community Partnerships, Heritage, Government Relations and Centennial manager at the Calgary Stampede. Since relocating to Kelowna in 2013 she has become a volunteer at Arion Therapeutic Farm, the Sindi Ahluwalia Hawkins Centre for the Southern Interior and the Central Okanagan Heritage Society as well as being a member of the Okanagan Symphony Society board of directors.

Suzanne Tining

Vice President


Suzanne is a retired federal Deputy Minister, having served as a public sector executive for 30+ years in a variety of Departments including Veterans Affairs, Indian and Northern Affairs, Privy Council Office, Canada Information Office, Canada Economic Development Agency and Transport. She is a graduate of the Corporate Directors Program at the Rotman’s School of business and of the Governor General’s Canadian Studies. She was awarded the Queen’s Jubilee Medal and was a member of the Top 100 Canada’s most powerful women. She has served as a member of the Board of the Canadian Cancer Society and of the Indian River Music Festival in PEI before moving to Penticton in 2013. She is currently a member of the Penticton/Okanagan Rotary Club, is vice-president of the Penticton Golden Dragons, and a member of the Alysen Place Strata.

Ginette WIlliams

Board Secretary


Prior to retiring in 2005, Ginette was a lawyer in the Department of Justice Canada for 29 years. Her roles included Deputy Chief Legislative Counsel, Counsel responsible for all federal regulatory matters, Senior General Counsel as head of the legal office responsible for the Department of Environment, and Senior General Advisor for the Federal Centre for Workplace Conflict Management. She has also served in the public and private sectors as President, Association of Legislative Counsel in Canada; Chair of the City of Kanata Arts Advisory Committee; Vice Chair, Kanata Civic Art Gallery; President, Edgewood Strata Council, Village of Gallagher’s Canyon. Currently Vice President of the Gallagher’s Canyon Property Owners Association and member of Edgewood Strata Council.

Roger Tilstra

Board Treasurer


Roger has worked as a Financial Advisor since 1996. In 2013, he started a new venture as an independent advisor/broker with Tilstra Financial, after having spent 17 years with Freedom 55. His past board experiences include eight years with Kelowna Minor Baseball (president and director) and Kelowna Waldorf School for three years as Treasurer. Roger has lived most of his life in the Okanagan, graduating from Penticton High School.

Anne-Marie Kanester

Board Member (Vernon)


Anne-Marie retired in 2009 after a long and successful career teaching in British Columbia. Throughout her career, she took on leadership roles in professional development, curriculum development, and mentoring new teachers. As an amateur clarinetist she has been playing in the Vernon Community Band since 2002 in addition to 8 years as an adult player with the Youth Symphony of the Okanagan (now the Okanagan Symphony Youth Orchestra). Anne-Marie has been on the executive of the Vernon Community Band since 2012 and currently a Board member of Okanagan Symphony Society since 2013. She is fluently bilingual in French and English and passionate about travel, music, and languages.

Howard Soon

Board Member (Kelowna)


Howard Soon, BSc’74 – Master Winemaker, Sandhill Single Vineyard Wine  @SandhillWines

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 Mantioba. 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

Jan Finlay

Board Member (Penticton)


Originally from New Zealand, Jan has been a resident of Canada since the late 60s. With her husband and family she had the opportunity to live and teach in Vancouver, Toronto and Regina. Jan retired from the Regina Public School Board in 2005 after a very satisfying career as a teacher and school administrator working in community schools, developing curriculum and helping mentor new teachers and administrators. Jan and her husband moved to the Okanagan in 2005 and lived for 10 years in Naramata. Jan now lives in Penticton. She likes to keep active with tennis, dragon boating, singing in the Naramata Choir, ukulele, volunteering at Soupateria and travelling.

Leighton McCarthy

Board Member (Penticton)


Since 2013 Leighton has been semi-retired from his career as a planning consultant in Calgary where he was involved with the institutional sector in Canada on a national basis. He served on the Habitat for Humanity Board for six years and on the Board of the Garrison Curling Club for three years prior to moving to Penticton. Currently he is the president of the condo association of a property he owns in Calgary. Leighton is the chair of the OSO’s fund raising events committee in Penticton.

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