After more than a decade at Okanagan College, regional dean Donna Lomas is stepping down.
“My last workday is going to be Dec. 9,” said Lomas.
Lomas and her husband have had a wonderful time in the South Okanagan, she said, but now they are looking forward to moving to Vancouver Island. Victoria is where she grew up and still has family.
“I’ve had an amazing time here, I just love it,” said Lomas. “I am sad about it, but at the same time, it is time to move to another new challenge.”
Lomas said she is retiring, but will probably find herself working again, though not in the short term.
“I am definitely looking at taking some downtime and looking around, seeing what my next adventure will be. I am definitely retiring,” she said, adding that it is time to go home and see what is next.
“I can’t say enough good things about the job that she has done for us,” said Jim Hamilton, president of Okanagan College. “She is one of those go-to people in the organization. We are going miss her, there is no doubt about it.”
As regional dean, Lomas led the Penticton campus through years of change that saw the campus physically grow with the Centre of Excellence, double its student population and greatly increase the programming available.
“Donna has done a really fantastic job, building on a solid foundation there and taking it to the next level as part of the management team,” said Hamilton. “She would be the ﬁrst person to say it is not all her, but I think she has provided a level of leadership that is quite admirable.”
When it comes to picking out a favourite accomplishment, Lomas said it isn’t the obvious choices of the growth or the building of the Centre of Excellence.
“The best accomplishment, and it has been accomplished by all the people on campus, is that we collectively wanted to be more engaged in the community,” said Lomas. “That is really what I wanted to see happen when I came here.
“We have done lots of great things. But I wanted the community to say we are proud of our campus, we like that its here and we want to send our kids here.”
Hamilton said the job search for Lomas’ replacement is underway.
“We will never find a new Donna, she is unique,” said Hamilton. “I hope we will find somebody that continues that tradition of excellence that we saw with people like Allan Markin, and on an interim basis with Rob Huxtable, then with Donna. I think we have had some very strong people there over the years.”