Shawna McCrea is the branch manager of the new Valley First Credit Union which opened Monday at the corner of Highway 33 and Rutland Road.
McCrea has been in the financial industry for many years, leaving the TD Bank three years ago to join Valley First after 21 years with that institution. The new branch has 11 retail staff and seven insurance staff, led by insurance services manager Brett Innis. Valley First are also very community minded with their fundraising efforts. Feed The Valley is an innovative community partnership aimed at tackling hunger in the Okanagan, Similkameen and Thompson regions. Designed to raise food, funds and awareness for local food banks, Feed The Valley was developed as a corporate citizenship program at Valley First. Since its official launch during national hunger awareness month in March 2010, the program has raised over $464,000 and more than 39,000 pounds of food for food banks in our communities. For more info visit www.feedthevalley.com. The branch is open Monday to Saturday, open late on Thursdays until 8 p.m. Jocelynn Wells is the Valley First regional manager for the Central Okanagan, based out of Kelowna.
Hailing from Texas, Terrance Duncan, who grew up in Kelowna and left when he was 25, is back home and has started a mobile catering business called ‘Ol’ School Texas BBQ Bus. His catering service offers Big Tex (half-pound brisket burger) and Lil Smokie (grilled smokie with sautéed onions). He smokes his brisket for 20 hours—that’s how they do it in Texas! The mobile unit is a renovated school bus with the capapity to feed up to 120 people in about 20 minutes. Duncan is focusing on catering and special events, available seven days a week. He was formerly a coastguard captain in St. Thomas (U.S. Virgin Islands) and has since retired. Call 250-301-9485. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or check out his website www.olschooltexasbbqbus.ca.
The popular hot spot Hotel Eldorado in the Mission recently completed bar renovations that have upped the classic cool factor on what was already a Kelowna landmark. Hotel general manager Brad Sieben says the renovations included new colours, tabletops and the addition of booth seating. The 36-foot long oak bar, which was custom made for the hotel in 1989, has been refinished and the wood theme has been continued along the back bar, where new custom oak woodwork has been built and installed by Costello Custom Woodwork. A small room on the south side of the bar has been transformed into a cozy lounge with a 14-foot leather coach, wingback chairs and eight-foot floor to ceiling windows overlooking the lake. The hotel has 53 guest rooms, including six luxury suites with fireplaces, jetted body spray showers and jetted tubs overlooking the lake. Contact the hotel at 250-763-7500; www.hoteleldoradokelowna.com.
Ester Simmons Foot is the new owner/operator/pharmacist of Prescription Health Studio, 540 West Ave., in Kelowna. It’s a new integrated pharmacy that focuses on alternative and complementary therapies and will be providing medical-grade vitamins and supplements. Open Monday to Saturday. 778-478-1303, www.prescriptionhealthstudio.com.
For the third consecutive year, Konica Minolta has won The Buyers Laboratory Product Line of the Year Award. This is determined in their respective categories based on the cumulative results of models tested in BLI’s rigorous two-month laboratory evaluation, including assessing reliability, image quality, ease of use, productivity and a range of other criteria. TOPS, located at 104-1905 Baron Rd. in Kelowna, a locally owned and operated company for more than 32 years, provides digital copiers solutions, telecom solutions and IT managed services. Konica Minolta is one of the manufacturers that the TOPS digital copier division represents. Wade McManus is the sales manager for TOPS. Call 250-979-6708.
Birthdays of the week: Marietta Lightbody (March 13); Rob Willms (March 8); Karen Shoranick (March 9); Ryan Coome, Ramada Hotel (March 10); Karen Christiansen, (March 10); Helen Hut (March 12); Tracy Larsen, Kelowna Golf and Country Club (March 12); Lise Sinclair (March 13).