Our Board


Help North Okanagan Businesses Reach Their Potential

Are you looking for opportunities to give back to the business community and help others benefit from your experience?

Since 1984, Community Futures North Okanagan volunteers have been helping businesses grow and important economic development projects move forward.

Over the years, many community-minded individuals have shared their time and expertise as members of:

  • Board of Directors
  • Loans Committee
  • Self-employment Panel

We’re fortunate to have representation from across the region and across gender, age and background. Our volunteers bring experience in community engagement, business development, leadership, finance, law and human resources.

Together, we’re building a vibrant business community

Volunteers are the backbone of the Community Futures organization and make a meaningful contribution to the region.

CFNO Committee members and Board Directors are ideally distributed throughout the North Okanagan region and represent the diversity of the area in terms of geographic representation, gender, age and ethnicity. CFNO seeks individuals with skills related but not limited to:

  • Community engagement
  • Business and workforce development
  • Financial/legal expertise
  • Human resources

Volunteer With Us

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer on one of our Committees or on the Board of Directors please complete the CFNO Volunteer Application Form. The Board Resource Committee will review applications of all interested candidates in compliance with Personal Information Protection Act, and make recommendations for appointments.

Board of Directors

Community Futures North Okanagan is governed by the Board of Directors operating in accordance with the provisions of the BC Society Act.

The Board’s membership consists of persons who represent our region’s cultural, employment and business community, and are interested in seeing local economic development reach its potential.

SAMANTHA SYMONS – Chairperson

Samantha has lived in Vernon since the summer of 2002. Samantha graduated with her Bachelor of Social Work in 2011 at the University of British Columbia Okanagan and currently works at a local non-profit organization as a Child and Family Counsellor. Samantha is a lifelong learner and will begin her Masters of Business Administration in November 2021.

Samantha enjoys spending time with her family as well as weight lifting, gardening and exploring the Okanagan.

MICHAEL TINDALL – Vice-Chairperson

Michael is a retired media executive with experience in labour relations, finance, marketing and human relations.  Since his retirement, he describes himself as a professional community volunteer with past service on a broad cross section of over 30 not-for-profit boards as well as a half dozen private and public company boards.

He is currently Vice-Chair of Community Futures North Okanagan, serving on the Governance and Loans Committees as well as serving as a director of Community Futures British Columbia.  Michael is presently chairing the campaign committee to raise funds for the Sunflower Daycare Facility, part of the new student housing under construction on the Vernon Okanagan College Campus.

BRYNNA HAMBLY

Brynna is an employment lawyer who practices in Vernon, BC and across the province. Brynna has always had a keen interest in employment issues and has enjoyed practising in employment law since the beginning of her law career. Brynna currently practices at an employment law firm with a primary focus on employee-side employment law advising on a variety of issues. She has represented clients in various levels of court in Alberta and British Columbia.

Brynna is proud to be on the board of CF North Okanagan (since 2022). She was previously a member at large for the Turning Points Collaborative Society in Vernon from 2018 to 2022. Brynna was recognized in 2018 by the Vernon Chamber of Commerce as one of the “Top 20 Under 40” for promising young business people in the community, is a former member of the Junior Chambers International (Vernon chapter), and Vernon Women in Business and is a current member of the Canadian Bar Association. When she lived in Calgary, she actively volunteered with organizations who provide legal advice and services for low-income and marginalized people.

TIM BIEBER

Tim is an accomplished serial entrepreneur who has successfully launched and mentored multiple tech startups to successful exits. He has also held executive C-level positions in both public and private companies within the technology industry launching or working with companies ranging in size from 10 to 1,500 employees.

Tim’s extensive experience in sales includes working with some of the world’s largest companies such as IBM, Google/YouTube, CBS Interactive, and BBTV, selling various products and services including enterprise software solutions, digital media, SaaS, VR/AR entertainment and green-tech solutions across a wide range of industries. Tim’s entrepreneurial mindset, creative thinking, strategic planning, and execution skills are integral to his success, and he applies these skills to any organization he assists.

AMIR GOLBAZI

Amir is a Senior Product Marketing leader with a strong data-driven approach, with more than a decade of experience in the technology sector. He has assister global organizations in achieving successful product launches, market strategies, and processes to enhance business impact. Amir’s background spans both enterprise and B2C SaaS environments. He has held key roles in mission-driven organizations, excelling in automation, legal, and most recently, healthcare software.

Amir is committed to community engagement having served on the board of the Commerce Society at Toronto Metropolitan University. Having recently relocated to the Okanagan region, he proudly calls Vernon his new home and he is enthusiastic about contributing to and supporting his local community.

ALISON LUDDITT

Alison has been an entrepreneur and business owner in Vernon since 2010. Prior to buying The Room Collection, Vernon’s premier furniture and home decor store, Alison spent 15 years in London, UK as a Management and Leadership skills trainer in corporate, professional services and non-profit environments.

Since moving to Vernon, she has been a member of the Community Futures Business Exchange program and has mentored participants in their Enterprize Challenge. She has served on the board of directors for Vernon Women in Business as well as the Vernon Literacy Society / Boys and Girls Club when they were united.

Throughout her various careers, Alison has extensive experience in customer service, HR, strategy and been highly engaged in community. Her goal is to to utilize her skills to further the vibrancy of Vernon and area!

DEBORAH GRAYSTONE

Deborah is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) who has recently retired after a long career as a tax partner with a global accounting firm.  She has expertise in advising business owners, entrepreneurs, and professionals to help them grow and thrive in a complex business environment.  She has worked with businesses in a wide variety of industries, most notably real estate and construction, technology, and automotive, as well as clients with international operations and investments.

As an accomplished senior executive, she has a wealth of experience in dealing with human resources development, board governance, strategic planning and business succession.

Deborah has served on several non-profit boards and is proud to be a board member of Community Futures North Okanagan.

KARA KAZIMER

A Program Administrator with Okanagan College for the last decade, Kara has an extensive background in curriculum/program development for a myriad of new certificates and micro-credentials.  She is also responsible for sourcing and responding to funding calls that bring valuable industry and workforce development training opportunities to the Okanagan Region.

A graduate of the Bachelor of Business Administration from Okanagan University College, Kara previously worked at Community Futures for 13 years in the realm of community economic development, quality management, and entrepreneurship. Kara has also had the wonderful opportunity to travel abroad several times to the Russian Federation and Indonesia where she helped women and youth realize their entrepreneurial potential. She has long been an volunteer as President of the Okanagan College Alumni Association as well as the Secretary for the North Okanagan Youth Soccer Association.

MICHELE BLAIS

Michele worked in the community services/health sector in Vernon since 1989.  This has included coordination and leadership roles with Ministry of Advanced Education and Apprenticeship; Human Rights Committee; Boys and Girls Club; Family Resource Centre; Interior Health and the Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Use Collaborative.  She also worked as a Realtor in Vernon for six years supporting families in a different capacity and learning more about the housing business in the process.

During her time at the Boys and Girls Club, they were partners with Community Futures with the Bridges Program and Michele was actively involved in the program, interviewing and supporting participants as well as presenting workshops.

Another passion was writing a local community column from 1997 to 2017 with the Sun and Vernon Morning Star newspapers’.

Michele is now retired and continues to volunteer within the community and has been a board member since 2014.

ASA LISHMAN

Asa is a longtime resident of the Lumby area and has a love for the community with his wife and two children. Asa has working knowledge and experience of rural living and is a strong advocate for the people of Lumby and area. His work history includes being in the logging industry, local sawmills, oil & gas, and as a red seal carpenter with BC Hydro Construction Services Department in Vernon.

Asa understands the importance of giving back and enjoys volunteering to support the community. In the winter you will find him on the hockey bench coaching and in the warmer months enjoying the activities our area has to offer like hiking, fishing, camping, and golfing. Asa brings expertise and skills to the Board of Director with Community Futures North Okanagan to better enhance where we live and play.