Junior Achievement manager

Jason Ranchoux, 40, Interior B.C. manager for Junior Achievement, is the 28th nominee for the Kelowna Top Forty Under 40 program to be profiled in this newspaper. Nominations are being accepted at topforty@kelownachamber.org until the end of the month. A special eventhonouring all 40 nominees will be held later this spring.

Jason Ranchoux was nominated for Top Forty Under 40 by his wife.

“She’s my biggest fan,” said Ranchoux with a laugh.

“She too knows the importance of students of all ages connecting with business people in the classroom.

Ranchoux’s wife, Jody, is a Grade 2 teacher at Heritage Christian School.

Ranchoux is the Interior B.C. manager for Junior Achievement, the non-profit organization that places business people in classrooms to share work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy tips.

The programs are for Grades 5 through 12, so Jody Ranchoux’s Grade 2 students don’t see Junior Achievement mentors, but she still appreciates the merits of the program.

Ranchoux is the first Top Forty Under 40 nominee who’s technically not under age 40.

He turned the big 4-0 on March 12, but was nominated before his birthday.

“Schools are great at teaching the basics of math, science, English and social studies,” said Ranchoux.

“But some of the tools to succeed in life are best taught by a business person who can share hindsight and examples from the real world.”

As well, many of the skills Junior Achievement advocates, such as financial literacy, how to handle credit cards, fill out a job application, write a resume and understand a mortgage, aren’t part of regular school curriculum.

“Basically, we just want to plant a seed in students to think about their goals for education, career and life,” said Ranchoux.

Ranchoux loves working in the non-profit sector, helping kids and the community and having a flexible work schedule and arrangement.

“I work from home,” said Rancoux.

“And now that I do, I don’t think I could ever go back to working 9 to 5 in an office.”

After working at Source Office Furniture and Bridge Youth & Family Services, Ranchoux was offered the job at Junior Achievement three years ago.

“It was an easy jump,” he said.

“I love it. And you know what they say: If you do what you love, you’ll never work another day in your life.”

Ranchoux has been a member of Junior Chamber International for eight years.

His ties to that group and Junior Achievement are generational.

His late grandfather, Ken Wood, was also a member of Junior Chamber and was one of the first Junior Achievement mentors to go into classrooms in Vancouver in the late-1950s.

“He worked for Canadian Pacific Air and right throught the 1980 he’d hear from former students about their successes,” said Ranchoux.

Ranchoux also helped find mentors for Rutland Secondary School’s team that entered the Dragons’ Den-style entrepreneurship competition.

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