Okanagan College Foundation

A rendering of the Recreation and Wellness Centre

Thrive Here

Recreation and Wellness Centre

All donations matched up to $500,000 with the Serwa Spirit Match

Cliff Serwa describes himself and his wife Lois as just ‘ordinary people with a fair bit of determination working to make things happen.’ That may be true, but the results and impact of their determination on the community, the province and beyond are far reaching and forever lasting. And now they are leading the way to a better future for students at Okanagan College (OC).

When approached to support the Thrive Here campaign to build a much-needed Recreation and Wellness Centre at the College’s Kelowna campus, not only did Cliff and Lois become honorary chairs, they also committed $500,000 towards the fundraising goal. Now, they’re inviting the community to help the project get underway by offering an incentive to match donations through the Serwa Spirit Match. Read more

Impact students, your way

There are many ways you can contribute to transforming lives and communities, from monthly giving to leaving a gift in your will.

Giving that lasts generations

Your impact

Get involved

Rob Lindstrand with TD Commercial Banking tours the new Health Sciences Centre with Okanagan College Foundation ED Helen Jackman
Book a tour

Contact us to take a tour of our new Health Sciences Centre or any of our four campuses. Email foundation@okanagan.bc.ca to book a tour.

Image of hands raised

We are looking for engaged community leaders to join our Board of Directors.  Learn more about the role and responsibilities here.  Send your resume to: foundation@okanagan.bc.ca

Impact stories

OC Foundation Events

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Foundation information

Supporting the transformative power of education

We inspire giving to transform lives and communities.  

We engage community to invest in Okanagan College’s campuses, learning spaces, equipment, and programs, and we create opportunities for donors to help students fulfill their potential through education.  

  • We build sustainable funds which support the success of today’s students and manage the growth of our endowment to safeguard that of future generations. 

  • We build trust and credibility with donors through sound financial management and good governance. We value transparency and integrity and adopt the Donor Bill of Rights. 

  • We support the College’s commitment to equality, diversity, inclusion, and social justice

  • We pledge to work with, learn from and listen to our Indigenous communities as we engage donors to help advance the College’s journey toward reconciliation. 

  • We engage community to support Okanagan College’s Inspire Plan – fund development responds to and advances the strategic priorities of the College and the regions it serves.  


Charitable Registration #86248 8194 RR0001

Okanagan College Foundation Board of Directors


  • Katie Newman, Chair
  • Sheri Hamilton, Vice-Chair (Finance)
  • Ginny Manning, Vice-Chair (Governance) 
  • Anne Marie Meehan, Vice-Chair (Community Engagement)
  • Connie Denesiuk, Past Chair
  • Helen Jackman, Executive Director
  • Sue Beaudry 
  • Kelly Chapman
  • Tim Draper
  • Dr. Neil Fassina
  • Mike Hooker
  • Brea Lake
  • Curtis Morcom, Treasurer
  • Katie Newman
  • Matt Nye
  • Ramesh Rikhi
  • Dale Safinuk, Chair, Okanagan College Board of Governors
  • Marieze Tarr 
  • Dr. Steve Tuck, President Emeritus
  • Dawn Douglas, Board Secretary

Gratitude Report 2022-2023

Click on the image below to view this year's Gratitude Report, which celebrates generosity, community and student success:


Image of Gratitude Report cover featuring Cliff and Lois Serwa.

Click here to read our 2020-2021 Gratitude Report

Audited financial statements for Okanagan College Foundation are available here. 

Employee giving

When you, as an Okanagan College employee give, it speaks volumes. This is because you have unique insight into precisely what's needed based on your close relationship to the College.

Meet our team

Helen Jackman

Executive Director
Office: Multi-Purpose Building 103A
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4775
OC Foundation - Helen Jackman

Helen joined Okanagan College as Director Advancement and Executive Director of the Okanagan College Foundation in 2019. She has over 25 years of experience in non-profit management and leadership, fundraising and partnership development gained in roles in the U.K. and Canada.

Helen has a BA in English Literature and Language from the University of Leeds, an MA from Birmingham City University, and executive education from London Business School. Prior to joining Okanagan College, Helen was Executive Director UWSIBC, Executive Director Programs National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts, and Chief Executive of the Macular Society.

When she’s not working with donors who are passionate about education, she’s hiking, skiing or watching her son play soccer.

Sasha Carter

Development Officer, Planned Giving
Office: E Building 107C
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-469-1594
Image of Sasha Carter

Sasha Carter joined the Okanagan College Foundation team in August 2021. With more than five years’ experience working in nonprofit planned giving and 17 years in the insurance industry, Sasha blends passion and financial acumen to support donors in planning their legacy. 

Sasha helps donors with identifying their passions and aligning them with projects at Okanagan College, whether that be for individual student supports and bursaries, estate planning or capital project and program enhancement.  There is never one size fits all. 

For Sasha, it is paramount that she understands how her donors would like to have their positive impact felt in the world.  By understanding the different methods of funding, whether it be through publicly-traded gifts of securities, a gift in a will or other charitable tools, Sasha helps donors maximize their philanthropy.

Sasha is a mom to two young boys, and is an avid competitive curler.  She has competed on the provincial, national and international stage; capturing the title of World Champion in both 1995 and 2007. 

Pamela Prentice

Development Officer
Office: Multi-Purpose Building 103B
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-864-6090
Pam Prentice in OC Centre for Learning Stairway

Pam Prentice joined the Okanagan College Foundation team in July 2023.

With over 15 years of experience in post-secondary and nonprofit fundraising in the Okanagan, Pam enjoys connecting community members with opportunities to make an impact through their philanthropy.

The motivation to give is different for everyone, and it’s the stories behind the giving that Pam is most interested in learning. Whether it be support for students, a specific program of interest or a capital campaign, she guides the process of giving with care and respect for the donor’s wishes.

Pam is a strong believer in the value of post-secondary education and is inspired by the many areas of study available to prospective Okanagan College students. Passionate about student health and wellbeing, Pam understands the impact of having a healthy mind and body and how it drives academic and career success.

Living in Kelowna since 2003, Pam and her family feel privileged to enjoy the many outdoor activities that the beautiful Okanagan Valley presents.

Camille Jensen

Campaign Communications and Marketing Specialist
Office: Multi-Purpose Building 103
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 6409
OC Foundation - Camille Jensen

Camille is responsible for campaign communications planning, public and media relations, and the creation of website content and other key publications.

Prior to joining Okanagan College, Camille has worked in a number of diverse roles from media to business consulting to launching a tech platform.

Camille loves helping people tell their stories. She feels very lucky to share the inspiring stories of students and donors alike, demonstrating first-hand the transformative power of education.

Camille has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, Philosophy and Economics (PPE).

Debbie Walsh

Campaign Coordinator
Office: Multi-Purpose Building 103
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4785
Photo of Debbie Walsh

Deb serves as the Campaign Coordinator for Advancement - Okanagan College Foundation. Her primary focus is supporting capital campaigns. She is responsible for coordinating meetings for the Campaign Cabinet, organizing fundraising and community events, and supports the development of proposals and gifts.

Prior to joining the Advancement team, Deb was a teacher in Alberta and brings experience working with foundations and stakeholders to support initiatives that enhance communities. She is passionate about creating relationships that help build community and enhance the learning experience for students.

Dawn Douglas

Executive Assistant/Board Secretary
Office: Multi-Purpose Building 103C
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4774
OC Foundation - Dawn Douglas

An OUC alumna and 25+ year employee of Okanagan College, Dawn is the Executive Assistant to the Director of Advancement as well as Board Secretary for the Okanagan College Foundation. She administers the day-to-day operations of the department, manages the Director's schedule, and coordinates Okanagan College Foundation Board meetings and activities.

Dawn oversees the Annual Charity Golf Tournament in Kelowna, the 50/50 Staff Lottery program and other events through the year.

In 2020, Dawn was recognized by Okanagan College and her peers with the Career Achievement Award, highlighting her dedication to the College and passion for supporting students.

Samantha Blandon

Development Officer, Annual Giving
Office: E Building 107B
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4836
OC Foundation - Samantha Blandon

Samantha serves as the Campaign Coordinator for the Advancement department and Okanagan College Foundation. Her primary focus is supporting capital campaigns. She is responsible for coordinating meetings for the Campaign Cabinet, events and tours for donors and the community, and supporting the Director and Development Officers.

In 2019, Samantha was recognized by Okanagan College and her peers with a Service Excellence Award for consistently going beyond her regular duties and responsibilities to meet the needs of Okanagan College and contribute to our culture of service excellence.

Prior to joining the Advancement team in 2013, Samantha worked with local societies and non-profit organizations. Her primary responsibilities were to maintain and grow positive relations, and to creatively enhance the service experience.

Samantha earned her Bachelor of Business Administration (with Distinction), with a focus in Finance and Marketing, from Okanagan College in 2013. 

Stephen Atherton

Development Officer, Major Gifts
Office: E Building 107A
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 6789
Photo of Stephen Atherton

Stephen Atherton joined the Okanagan College Foundation in August 2023 as a Development Officer with a focus on the upcoming Food, Wine, and Tourism Centre planned for the Kelowna campus. 

Prior to joining Okanagan College, Stephen worked for more than 10 years with a number of non-profit organizations including Canuck Place Children’s Hospice, Easter Seals Foundation, and Canadian Cancer Society, as well as over 6 years experience in wine and tourism throughout the Okanagan.

Stephen recognizes the central role Okanagan College plays in transforming lives and building up our community.  He has seen first-hand the tremendous value and real-world skills that students gain from their time at OC and is thrilled to help donors connect to such a great cause.    

Born and raised in Kelowna, Stephen has deep roots in the community. In addition to being a foodie and wine connoisseur, Stephen stays active by playing competitive soccer, badminton and tennis, skiing at Big White, and sailing on Okanagan Lake.

Fiona Chan

Donations and Database Coordinator
Office: Multi-Purpose Building 103
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4351
Photo of Fiona Chan

Fiona Chan joined Okanagan College Foundation as the Donation and Database Coordinator in September 2023.  

Originally from Hong Kong, Fiona has 20 years' experience working in IT for the insurance industry with a focus on project management and systems analysis. Fiona is passionate about numbers and database management. 

Fiona also understands the student experience. She came to Okanagan College to study Business Administration in 2020 and graduated with Distinction in 2022. During her studies, Fiona received several academic scholarships, making her feel supported and recognized. She finds it meaningful to now work with the Okanagan College Foundation team and help more students fulfill their potential as they pursue their academic and career goals. 

Jacob Cinkant

Division Assistant
Office: Multi-Purpose Building 103
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4636
Jacob Cincant

Jacob Cinkant works as the Division Assistant for the Okanagan College Foundation with a key focus of service, organization and efficiency. 

A lifelong resident of the Okanagan Valley, Jacob studied computers systems at BCIT before attending UBCO and receiving a Bachelor of Management Degree in 2010. His first assignment at Okanagan College was in Human Resources in 2014. Since then, he has provided service across several College departments, including Finance, Continuing Studies and Trades.

Jacob provides a wide range of service to the Foundation team with a focus on maximizing the positive impact OC can have in peoples’ lives.

Help transform lives and communities