Board of Governors

The Board of Governors consists of the following representatives, in accordance with the College and Institute Act:

a) Eight or more persons appointed by the provincial government’s Lieutenant Governor in Council who shall  determine the length of their term and any renewals thereof;

b) One person on the faculty of the College and elected by the faculty members, who shall serve a three-year term and may be elected to further terms;

c) Two students elected by the students, who shall each serve a one-year term and may be elected to further terms;

d) One person who is part of the support staff and elected by the support staff, who shall serve a three-year term and may be elected to further terms;

e) The President; and

f) The Chair of Education Council

Members of the Board of Governors

Chris Derickson 3

Chair - 
Christopher Derickson has been involved in his community, Westbank First Nation (WFN), for the past 17 years working with youth, serving on boards and commissions, and as a Councillor. 

Chris is a partner in Alderhill Planning Inc., which works with government and First Nations communities developing community plans, community engagement strategies, strategic plans and legal research services. Chris recently assisted in drafting the second edition of the Comprehensive Community Planning Handbook for the British Columbia Region of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada. He is a regular speaker at conferences and workshops on the topic of First Nation community planning. 

Chris holds a degree in law from the University of British Columbia, and a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Political Science from the University of British Columbia Okanagan.  He is currently an MBA Candidate at the Beedie School of Business EMBA Program in Aboriginal and Business Leadership at Simon Fraser University.

Term: July 31, 2014 to December 31, 2019 (appointed) 

Vice Chair Gloria Morgan

Vice Chair - Gloria Morgan was a Chief of the Splatsin Indian Band from 2001 to 2005.  Her career achievements include being an RCMP officer, a criminal defence lawyer, and a Crown Prosecutor.  Gloria was the President of the Enderby and District Chamber of Commerce, a member of the RCMP's "E" Division Aboriginal Advisory Committee, and served on the board of the Provincial Community Co-ordination for Women's Safety. 

Gloria was appointed to the BC Patient Safety and Quality Council and has served on the BC Patient Care and Quality Review Board.  Recently, Gloria was the recipient of the Community Leader Awards - Community Builder Award 2016, North Okanagan.

Term: June 30, 2016 to July 31, 2018 (appointed)

 Contact Us

Board of Governors 
Phone: 250-862-5472
Linda Le Gallee  

Margaret Johnson


Alison Beaumont has worked at Okanagan College since 2008 in both the Registrar's Office and Student Services.  Her most recent role is as Student, Graduate & Co-op Employment Coordinator.  During this time,
she has had the opportunity to work with a wide range of departments and portfolios right across the College as well as the different campuses. 

Alison also shares her expertise and knowledge as a Photography Instructor through Continuing Studies at the Kelowna campus.

 August 1, 2015 to July 31, 2018 (elected) 

Connie Denesiuk
, former Chair, has a long history of community involvement in the South Okanagan region of British Columbia, including many years as school trustee and Board Chair in the Okanagan Skaha School District. 

She has also served as President of the B.C. School Trustees Association. 

Connie and her husband Bob have been partners in a construction business for more than 30 years. 

Term: March 6, 2012 to July 31, 2018 (appointed)


Riminder Gakhal is an associate lawyer at Davidson Pringle, in Vernon, B.C.  Before pursing her law degree, Riminder obtained her Bachelor of Commerce.  Riminder's practice focuses on providing individuals with legal advice and services in real estate law, and wills and estates.  She is also building a civil litigation practice, with emphasis in estate litigation.

Riminder also services as a President of Vernon and District Immigrant, Community and Services Society.  She also sits on a provincial board, the Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Services Agencies, as a board member and is a community member of Violence Against Women in Relationships.

July 31, 2016 to December 31, 2017 (awaiting re-appoint)


Charity Gerbrandt is the VP of Brand and User Experience for Carebook Technologies, a Montreal based company on a mission to give people the tools they need to take control of their health and the well being of their loved ones.  Prior to Carebook, she spent 10 years working for the Walt Disney Company, focusing on creative product development and team culture, while building the world's largest virtual world for children.  Charity currently lives in Kelowna, British Columbia, where she is completing her Executive MBA at Royal Roads University. 

Term: July 31, 2013 to July 31, 2019 (appointed) 


Jim Hamilton (ex officio) has been the President of Okanagan College since 2004. His professional association with the College dates back to 1980 when he arrived to teach English at the Vernon campus. Currently, he serves as Chair of the BC Council for International Education. He has also served as Chair of the Trades Training Consortium of British Columbia and Chair of BC Colleges. Additional posts include his position as Board member of the Asia Pacific Gateway Skills Table, member of the British Columbia Council for Admissions and Transfer, and Director of the Irving K. Barber British Columbia Scholarship Society. He holds a Master’s Degree in English Literature from Queen’s University.

Raffaello (Fei-er) Law is a second year business student, majoring in Business Management, at Okanagan College Kelowna campus.  He is currently an active member in both the Okanagan Business Student Association and Enactus.  Raffaello desires to create a big impact in the Okanagan College Community and feels that being a member of the Board of Governors is the perfect place to start.

Term: November 1, 2017 to October 31, 2018 (elected) 

Joe Maciel is a Chartered Accountant and the principle of Maciel & Company CAs.  His professional practice offers year-end accounting and corporate tax services to privately owned corporations as well as tax and estate planning services to individuals.

His other work experience includes working for Canada Revenue Agency audit division; Bombardier Capital wholesale finance division and instructor at Okanagan University College of Business.

Joe holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree with a Major in Finance from the University of British Columbia, as well as CA, CPA, CFP designations.  He is a past director of the Westbank Chamber of Commerce; former Rotarian; and treasurer/financial agent for a couple of provincial MLAs. 

Term: July 31, 2014 to July 31, 2018 (appointed) 

Robert McGowan is retired and resides in Kelowna, B.C. During his professional career he has served as Chief Financial Officer of two publicly-trades companies and is a former Board member and Audit Committee Chairman of a publicly-traded company in the software industry. he is a graduate of the University of Winnipeg with a B.Sc. degree in mathematics and is a Chartered Accountant (BC) and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Manitoba (FCA). Bob has served on the board of several not-for-profit organizations and is a former President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Manitoba.

 January 31, 2013 to July 31, 2019 (appointed)

Christopher Newitt 
(Education Council Chair) 

Chris attended Simon Fraser University before going on to pursue a Masters and PhD in Psychology at UBC. He started with Okanagan College in 2008 and took over as the department chair of Psychology in 2012. Chris is now in his second term as department chair. 

Chris is married and has a son and a daughter. He plays and coaches soccer, and this past summer, he travelled to Europe as a chaperone with his son’s soccer team.


Maia Reynard is in her first year of the Associate of Arts program at the Okanagan College Salmon Arm campus.  She believes that everyone should have the opportunity to have their voice heard as even the smallest voices can have the greatest impact.  Maia is pleased to be a member of the Board of Governors as she believes in an environment of open-mindedness and fertility of new ideas.

Term: November 1, 2017 to October 31, 2018 (elected) 


Laura Thurnheer is a Professor at the Okanagan School of Business at Okanagan College, where she specializes in the areas of Strategic Management, Human Resources Management and Tourism. She is a Past President of the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce and currently is a Director with the British Columbia Wine Authority. In addition, she is a Director of Kelowna Community Resources and the Central Okanagan United Way.

August 1, 2012 to July 31, 2018 (elected)