Straight From DeHart – Feb. 6, 2019

First Choice Haircutters has recognized partners Ross Jeffries and John Naismith as the 2018 First Choice Haircutters Franchisee of the Year. With the opening of their newest salon in Mission Park Shopping Centre on January 7th, they now own and operate a total of 13 First Choice Haircutter salons in the Okanagan, Thompson and Cariboo Regions, including four in Kelowna (Plaza 33, Capri, Mission Park and West Kelowna). First Choice Haircutters has over 350 locations in Canada and is a division of Regis Corporation. [email protected].

Well-known coffee gal, Shelley Zuccato of Mom’s Grind Coffee House and formerly Second Cup Coffee is closing her business in Spall Plaza on February 26th. Shelley will be staying home with her husband because of his on-going medical circumstances.

Rob Belanger, sleep consultant at Mattress Mattress at 2714 Hwy. 97N in Kelowna has been promoted to store manager of Mattress Mattress in Vernon at 3107 48th Avenue as of February 15th.

Panago Pizza at 590 Hwy. 33 in the Willow Park Shopping Centre has an entire new look after a complete renovation. Owned and operated by Raj and Babita Ahuja, the pizza shop was closed for the past few weeks for the renovation and has now reopened. The 1,300 square foot Panago franchise has been owned by the Ahuja’s for the past 11 years and offers delivery and take-out. Along with the large selection of menu pizzas, you can create your own pizza by picking a crust, selecting the sauce, choosing the cheese and adding your favorite toppings. They also offer multi-grain crusts, gluten free and vegan pizzas. To go along with your pizza, they offer fresh salads, wings and bites, breads, desserts, dips and shakers. Open 7 days a week. Call 310-0001 or online at

<who>Photo Credit: Contributed</who>Panago Pizza

Valley First Credit Union and First West have a new president. Former president, Susan Ewanick is now the chief member officer at Valley’s parent company, First West Credit Union. Vice president Paulo Araujo, who has been with the company for 20 years is the new president of Valley First with their head office based in Penticton. Valley First Credit Union has 16 branches and 11 insurance offices in the Thompson Okanagan.

Lots happening at Pushor Mitchell Lawyers LLP. Clarke Burnett has been appointed as a managing partner. With 27 years’ experience in the practice of law, Clarke practices in the field of criminal and commercial litigation. Eric Ledding has been appointed to Provincial Council of BC Branch of Canadian Bar Association. Eric is a litigation partner at Pushor Mitchell. Brian Stephenson has assumed the role of director of business development and will continue and maintain his legal practice focused primarily on real estate and commercial matters. Lawyer Andrea East is now a director of the Greater Westside Board of Trade and is a member of its policy and advocacy committee.  Pushor Mitchell Lawyers LLP is located at 301-1665 Ellis Street.

Justin Amis has moved his successful vehicle fleet operations business from Jeep/Ram to Audi of Kelowna. This is the next part of the expansion plans for the local Audi store moving to its new location in the Finns Road Automall (across from new Porsche dealership). Justin comes from a family involvement in the luxury car business following his father Scott Amis, who has now retired from the auto business. [email protected]

Mina Moon Photography & Design is a new company started by Mina Aiur. Mina specializes in portraiture; fashion, pin-up, boudoir, themed, fantasy, maternity, babies, family, children, groups and especially animals. Mina started photography in high school and then worked for different portrait studios, along with working with a sports photographer, where she travelled around B.C. to schools. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from UCBO and also does product photography and photo retouching.

<who>Photo Credit: Contributed</who>Mina Aiur - Mina Moon Photography

CEO of Accelerate Okanagan Technology Association, Raghwa Gopal will take the reins as president and CEO of Provincial Crown Agency Innovate BC in Vancouver effective February 15th. He will be relocating to Vancouver.

The Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission has a 2019 advisory board. The executive are Lynn Heinrich, Chair; David McDougall, Past Chair; Brad Klassen, Vice-Chair; Mike CheckleyAlex GreerTerry EdwardsRaghwa Gopal and Aura Rose. New to the board is Scott Butler (Highstreet Ventures). Sharon Hughes-Geekie (Bayshore Home Health), Keith Inman(Pushor Mitchel LLP) and Dr. Douglas Kingsford (IHA). Directors representing Industry Sectors are Jeremy Burgess, James Calissi, Peter Jeffrey, Chris Lapointe, Janice Larson, Karen Olson,and Michael Zuk.

Local Government appointees from around the valley are Councillors Cara ReedRyan DonnFernanda AlexanderJayson Zilkie, Mike Kent and Mark Bartyik, Okanagan East Director. There are also twenty-one Ex-Officio Directors representing local government and partner organizations. Corie Griffiths is the Director.

The RDCO Emergency Support Services team is looking for volunteers in Lake Country and Peachland. By giving your talents and time, you can help your neighbours begin to recover following a local disaster. ESS provides short-term assistance to those who are forced to leave their homes because of fire, floods or other emergencies. Monthly meetings with speakers, training and exercises will keep you up to date with the skills needed to be an ESS volunteer. If you are interested, contact CatherineWilliams at 250-215-1789 or [email protected].

Anne Leistner of the CIBC in Lake Country is riding high these days. Anne is one of only two in B.C. and only one out of eight in Canada to be promoted to senior Financial Planner of Imperial Services. Anne is also the first and only person in that position in the Okanagan Valley for CIBC. She has been a financial advisor since 2006. [email protected]

<who>Photo Credit: Contributed</who>Anne Leistner - CIBC

It’s National Pizza Day on Saturday, February 9. Houston Pizza at #115 – 3610 Carrington Road, beside Winners in West Kelowna, is celebrating by hosting their grand opening from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Houston Pizza is a Regina based pizza restaurant with this, its first location in B.C. Nick Kodellas, Domenico Parisone and local Tyler Koloski are the owners/managing partners of the business. The first 100 people to come to the opening will receive a medallion which enables them to come back and receive a fresh 10 inch pizza. Open seven days a week Dine-in, take-out and delivery. Fully licensed.

Kelowna Old Time Fiddlers is hosting The 2nd Annual Sweetheart Dinner at Rutland Senior Activity Center on February 15th at 6:30 p.m. Tickets $20.00 from President Irene McAvena at 778-821-4095 or Carol Jenson at 250-448-1815.

The hilarious musical “The Three Little Pigs” will squeal with delight at the WorkRoom located at 100-2600 Enterprise Way. This performance for young audiences runs February 14th to 24th. You can meet the cast after the show in costume, get autographs and pictures and enjoy pre-show activities. Tickets are $22.00 for adults and $16.00 for children or a family pack (2 adults and 2 children – $64.00) at the Kelowna Tickets Box Office at 100-2600 Enterprise Way. Tickets can also be purchased online at or call 250-862-2867.

Local floral designer and Okanagan College Instructor Kathy Neufeld (Reid) is the exclusive representative for quality roses with the company Landeau. Landeau is now being offered in the valley and a favorite with floral celebrities and social media influencers. Landeau roses can be ordered only online with valley-wide delivery.  Kathy is excited to bring a much anticipated high-end product to our area. Originating from Vancouver, Landeau believes in simple sophistication and has been featured in Ella, Ok, Allure, Veranda and Bazaar Magazines. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, it might just be the gift you are looking for.

<who>Photo Credit: Contributed</who>Kathy Neufeld - Landeau

The Year of the Pig began February 5th and as usual Psychic Heather Zais has given us some insight into 2019. The pig represents feelings, passions, chivalrous behavior, decency, faith, prudence, honesty, indulgence and goodness of mankind. It is the last sign of the Chinese Zodiac, so it is time for closure and matters to conclude. Some surprises could have people saying “when pigs fly”. Piggy’s like to wallow in mud so there will also be a lot of mudslinging so get the facts before investing or signing anything. Pig headed behaviors will be confronted and dealt with one way or the other. In any case a lot of squealing will go on with scandals in the media. Pens will be strengthened with a tougher look at justice reform. Work hard and bring home the bacon in an honest and constructive way.

Birthdays of the week –Happy 106 Doris Drayton (Feb. 7); Happy 60th Karen Gee (Feb. 10); Happy 50th Nikki Csek (Feb. 12); Sergio Cunial (Feb. 7); Karen Erickson (Feb. 7); Nick Melemenis(Feb. 7); Shannon MacNamara (Feb. 8); Bernice Williams (Feb. 8); Christine Patton (Feb. 8); Tracy Gray (Feb. 8); Tony Holbrook (Feb. 8); Judie Barta (Feb. 9): Robin MacMillan (Feb. 9); Tim Light (Feb. 11); Jim Stuart, appliance guy (Feb. 11); Kasha Lanyon (Feb. 11); Deborah Fischer (Feb. 12).

Maxine DeHart is a Kelowna City Councillor and local hotelier. Phone her at 250-979-4546 or 250-862-7662; fax 250-860-3173, E-mail [email protected].