Okanagan College regional dean Heather Schneider is the chair of the 2013 Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission board.
"Certainly Kelowna suffered a little the past few years with the recession and the aftermath," said Heather Schneider, the Central Okanagan regional dean of Okanagan College.
"But because of this region's focus on small business and support from Okanagan College and UBC Okanagan, we were able to maintain some growth. And we will do well in the future too."
In fact, things could go so well in some sectors that there might be labour shortages later this year.
"We have many good news stories to tell. Tourism is up and unemployment is down," said Schneider.
"But in certain trades and skills areas, we have shortages. That's why the commission will continue to advocate skills development and immigration to support the work force and community."
Schneider wants to see the commission continue to push important programs launched last year - agri-tourism development combining two of the community's most important industries - and Biz Walk, the survey blitz that takes the pulse of the business sector and determines what local government can do more of to support commerce.
The commission will also continue its base work of helping companies already here grow, and attracting new businesses to bolster the regional economy.
Schneider joined the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission board as the college representative shortly after she took a job at the school as regional dean.
For the past year and a half, she's been on the executive.
Taking over this week as chair means for the second year in a row the commission has a woman in the top post.
Renee Wasylyk of Troika Developments was chair last year.
Chair: Heather Schneider of Okanagan College
Vice-chair: Paul Maarchalk of Solomon Resources
Tony Lewis, Vibrant Vines Winery
Dustin Sargent, Davara Enterprises
Domenic Vinci, Interior Savings Credit Union
Jim Paterson, City of Kelowna
Soni Riediger, Team Fritz Clay Roof Tiles
Derek Lownsbrough, Vineyard Networks
Murray Ramsden, executive consultant
Raghwa Gopal, Sa Avaani Skin Care
Cam McAlpine, PR Media
Paul Ouimet, InterVistas Consulting
Andrew Gaucher, G Group
Ken Bessason, Royal LePage
Martine Hickman, Business Development Bank of Canada
Roger Sugden, UBC Okanagan
Marek Buryska, Westbank & District Chamber of Commerce
Karen Hawes, Kelowna Chamber of Commerce
Patty Hanson, Central Okanagan Regional District
Ryan Roycroft, District of Lake Country