Accelerate Okanagan announces new CEO

Source: accelerateokanagan.com
Author: Joanna Schlosser

The Accelerate Okanagan (AO) Board is pleased to announce the appointment of Brea Lake as the new CEO for the organization. Lake, who has been the Acting CEO for the past 9 months, will assume the full-time position effective immediately. 

Lake has been supporting the growth of the Okanagan tech community for 5+ years through her work at AO. In her previous role as Director of Operations, she managed the team, ensured the successful implementation of entrepreneurial programs as well as strategic initiatives. Lake, an Okanagan College Alumni, has experience with local tech companies like Disney’s Interactive Studios where she was responsible for curriculum development, global training and policy documentation. 

She is currently an Advisory Board Member for the Canadian Digital Media Network, an Executive Committee Member for the Cascadia Venture Acceleration Network, Director for the Okanagan College Foundation, and an Executive Board Member on the YMCA Okanagan.

We had a some incredible candidates apply for this position but Brea stood out above the rest. We are fortunate to have someone with her vision, team leadership, and ability to build community lead our organization through this next stage of growth said Quinton Pullen, Board Chariman.

After an exhaustive search that involved over 120 candidates, the AO Board of Directors was unanimous in appointing Lake in her new leadership role. 

"There is no question that big things are happening in Okanagan tech," says Lake. “As a community, we’ve set some big goals and I am looking forward to leading our team and supporting the entire ecosystem in achieving them.” 

Here is a look at AO’s new 5 year forecast: In the next 5 years Okanagan Tech will have an economic impact of $5 Billion, a level 5 Techstars Community Score, and a membership of 5X. In order to make these goals a reality, Lake and her team, in consultation with community partners and OKGNtech players, have identified three main areas of focus they believe will help us get there. 

Engage the Willing—Through authentic relationship building, we engage the willing, mobilize the masses, and create a strong sense of belonging and a thriving community. 

Unlock the Capital —Through collaboration and network building, we unlock the capital needed to support founders & companies of all types and at every stage of growth.

Coach the Leaders—Through strong mentorship, we coach leaders who are inspired to drive innovation, propel the economy, and ultimately build successful anchor companies in our region. 

“OKGNtech is a community of gritty, innovative entrepreneurs with audacious goals,” says Founder of Strawhouse and AO Board Director, Jason Kryski. “This shift in leadership combined with the aggressive growth strategy will support in realizing the Okanagan as an international leader in innovation”

With over $2.7M in funding secured over the past six months for future growth and a strong team of community partners and supporters, AO is well positioned to support OKGNtech in achieving these goals. 

Read more about AO’s latest funding announcements and the new strategic plan

Learn more about the hiring process and meet the selection committee.

Meet the AO teammentors, and Board of Directors. Explore the OKGNtech community.