Community Papers

Woman of the Year nominees

Five local women, chosen for their contributions to the community, will be the star attractions at the upcoming Woman of the Year gala.

The gala and award presentation, which is organized by Vernon Women In Business, takes place Thursday at the Prestige Inn.

It honours the following individuals:

Beth Marks is a professional realtor with  Sutton Group Lakefront Realty since 2004. She has received many awards for both sales as well as integrity in business. She has been a member of the North Zone Realtor Board and writes a real estate blog, According to Beth, promoting excellence in the industry. Marks has volunteered with the Sutton Car Show and Shine as well as helping to collect clothes and blankets for the Warm and Fuzzy Shelter Collection.

Marks is an active member of Kalamalka Rotary, including being president in 2011. She has been a Paul Harris recipient, in honour of the Rotary founder, and spearheaded an international fundraiser to target family planning in the horn of Africa.

In 2013, she founded the Habitat Champs, and is currently the chairperson of a group of women fundraising for a lot purchase for Habitat for Humanity. She is also a current trustee with the Downtown Vernon Association.

Marks was widowed in her early 20s but remarried and later became a mother to one son, Julian. She also is mom to two furry kids, Magnum and Boo.

Coleen Noel received her licensed practical nurse training from Okanagan College in 1967 and has worked for more than 45 years in the health care field.

In 1978, Noel started working with the Vernon Jubilee Hospital, before transferring in 1998 to extended care at the Polson special unit to work with seniors who have Alzheimer’s and chronic brain disorders. She tried to retire, but came back to work part time as an activity worker.

Noel has been an integral part of the Queen Silver Star Excellence Program since 2002, and she is currently chairperson. Noel travels all over the province with the reigning royalty representing the City of Vernon and assisting with the B.C. Ambassador Program as chaperone. She has developed a bridging program with the city of Modesto, Calif. to further her girls’ growth.

In other volunteer capacities, Noel has fundraised for more than 40 years for various organizations like Mothers March, Heart and Stroke, Diabetes, Relay for Life, Run for the Cure and the Haugen Community Healthcare Society. For more than 20 years she was involved in multiple roles with the Armstrong Figure Skating Club and the Kinette Club. In a new role in 2012, she helped run the Active Start Program for four to six-year olds for Special Olympics.

Noel has been married for more than 45 years to Maurice and together they have raised three strong and independent daughters. She also enjoys being the grandmother to Justine and Nathan.

Joanne Kineshanko has lived most of her life in the North Okanagan.

Kineshanko and her husband Terry formed Kineshanko Logging in 1972. When Terry died, Kineshanko boldly took over as the sole owner/operator of the business. Professionally, Kineshanko was a 25-year member and a director for 10 years for the Canadian Women in Timber; member of the Interior Logging Association and member of Forest Renewal B.C. from 1994 -2002.

Kineshanko strived to better her community by serving 12 years in municipal government, including 10 years as mayor of Lumby, a director of the Regional District of North Okanagan and a member of the Lumby Community Health Council board for 14 years. She has been an active volunteer with the Whitevalley Community Resource Centre for 24 years and currently is co-chairing the Legacy Fund for the centre’s operation. Kineshanko was also a member of Okanagan Regional Library for eight years, serving two years as its chair.

Kineshanko was on the Vernon Jubilee Hospital board from 1990-2001 and has served 17 years as a director on the Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation board. Her most lasting legacy to the North Okanagan may be her role as co-chairperson of the Tower of Care fundraising campaign, which raised $7 million for equipment at the new Polson Tower at VJH.

Kineshanko was married to Terry for more than 35 years before he succumbed to a massive coronary in 2006. She is the mother of four and grandmother to 10. Her two sons, Jeff and Jon continue to work in the family business.

Margit Schratter started her university training as an engineer but switched courses to pursue her passion, teaching math. She enjoyed a 25 year career with the Vernon School District, teaching at W.L. Seaton Secondary School. She remains devoted to her students to this day, by helping in math preparation. After she retired from teaching, she began a whole new chapter in her life as a volunteer and avid traveller.

Locally, Schratter has volunteered with the Vernon Jubilee Hospital Auxiliary for more than 30,000 hours; at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre for more than 1,000 hours; at the Salvation Army food bank for more than 400 hours; with Friends of the Library for 15 years; the Vernon Film Society for 10 years; Mackie Lake House for 15 years; the One to One reading program for three years and Meals on Wheels for two years.

Internationally, Schratter has volunteered with Global Volunteers, with three-month stints in China, Spain and Peru, and with Sarel Canada, volunteering in Israel four times over nine months.

Schratter was married to Jack for 30 years before he was tragically killed in an accident. Schrattter has two boys, Edward and Michael and a new grandson, Jacob (Jack).

Patti Wood and her husband Jack own Spall Storage Centre in Armstrong; a U-haul company and a trucking company for which she does the book keeping. More recently, Wood has started a new business with Nucerity, becoming a team leader and mentor, and has been invited by the founders of Nucerity to be a part of the President’s Council for 2014. Wood has been involved in many organizations to support her children including lacrosse, which she helped start in the North Okanagan in the 1980s and 4-H through the 1990s. She helped organize Storage Warz in Armstrong over the last two years, raising more than $12,000 for the community. She has been involved with Mother’s Day cancer walks; Relay for Life; Smiles for Miles; Zumba in the Park and Big Brothers and Big Sisters.

Along with her husband, she has raised two children and she is a devoted grandmother of five.


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