Penticton Chamber of Commerce unveils latest Top 40 winners

Chamber recognizes Top 40

The Penticton & Wine Country Chamber of Commerce and Kettle Valley Memorial are rolling out profiles on this year's Top 40 award recipients. Read about the winners every Friday morning.

It's Friday again, meaning another chance to showcase the Pentictonites chosen to be recognized for their phenomenal skills, talent, and contributions as local leaders.

The selection committee has completed their work evaluating each of the Top 40’s list of nominees. Two recipients will be named every week – a recipient that is under 40, and one who is 40 or older, until all 40 recipients have been revealed.

Kettle Valley Memorial and the Penticton & Wine Country Chamber of Commerce said that the nominees were independently scored by multiple judges on a number of criteria including their vision and leadership, innovations, achievements, positive influence, commitment to social responsibility and their involvement with the community.

Top 40 Under 40 Award recipient: Jamie Lloyd-Smith

Jamie Lloyd-Smith has harboured a deep curiosity about global injustices for as long as she can remember, however, it was a visit to New York City at the age of 17 where she witnessed first-hand terrible poverty and homelessness intertwined with social exclusion in one of the world’s largest and wealthiest cities.

The experience ignited in her a fervor for justice that would lead to her spending many years in the non-profit sector before joining the City of Penticton as its Social Development Specialist.

Jamie’s quiet but strong impact in our community has been undeniable, and Kettle Valley Memorial along with the Penticton Chamber of Commerce are thrilled to announce Jamie Lloyd-Smith as a Top 40 Honouree.

Since its formation in 2020, Jamie’s department has seen a significant number of achievements including bringing in 200 new childcare spaces, investing in youth safety, supporting food security initiatives with community partners, and contributing to public safety through prevention and education rather than relying solely on enforcement.

Jamie also led the creation of Penticton’s first ever Social Development Framework, which solidified the responsibilities and commitments of the City in promoting a better quality of life for all community members in the areas of housing, homelessness, child care, supports for people who use substances, mental health, and food security.

One of Jamie’s key approaches to overcoming complex community challenges has been to use the lens of “nothing about us without us,” meaning that gathering and listening to the feedback from those with lived and living experiences as well as those who work with vulnerable populations is now core to her department’s process.

A recent example was when Jamie engaged with Penticton’s minority voices and those community members who have experienced racism to help draft an anti-harassment bylaw. While that may seem like an obvious approach, policies and laws are still all-too-often written without any prior consultation with those it was meant to impact.

Even though she is one of the youngest managers at City Hall, what makes Jamie such an effective leader is the compassion and authenticity she brings to her work.

Her openness, ability to look beyond her own beliefs, and making decisions from a place of consensus rather than competitive positioning have already led to so many positive outcomes for the community, it is a pleasure to recognize one of the key leaders behind those outcomes as a Top 40 recipient.

Top 40 Over 40 Award recipient: Tracy Van Raes

Dedicating herself to her community through volunteerism, work, and elected office, the Penticton & Wine Country Chamber of Commerce and presenting sponsor Kettle Valley Memorial are excited to recognize Tracy Van Raes as a Top 40 recipient.

Tracy grew up in Summerland before moving to Penticton, and joined the team at Total Restoration Services in 2014. Hard to believe but back then, Team Total only consisted of 5 employees and a 1- bay warehouse. Fast forward to today and you’ll see over 40 full-time staff working on a large piece of property within Penticton’s industrial district.

As the Manager of Marketing and Community Relations, Tracy employed an innovative marketing strategy focused on community impact, which redefined Total Restoration Services’ approach to advertising. Instead of traditional methods, Tracy allocated the company’s advertising budget to support local non-profits resulting in strong community relationships, but also significantly increased the company’s donations with $50,000 contributed to community sponsorships and thousands of volunteer hours from Team Total in 2023.

In addition to her professional achievements, Tracy serves as a School District 67 Trustee, a role she was elected to in 2018 and now holds for a second term. She is a vocal advocate for student success and is able to make decisions at the Board of Education table and guide many of the decisions that are made in schools in regards to marginalized students and food programs. In fact, Tracy’s biggest passion in life is addressing food insecurity, particularly with children.

One of the biggest impacts Tracy has had in combatting youth hunger is becoming the Chair of the Rotary Club of Penticton’s Starfish Pack Program. Over the past 6 years, Tracy has grown the program from 10 backpacks of weekend food support in one school to 110 backpacks in 13 schools through community education, relationship building, and fundraising.

She is also on the Feeding Futures Fund working group for the School District, and has developed strong relationships with the other local organizations providing food to children as they often work together to achieve success instead of working in silos and focusing on individual goals.

Tracy’s efforts have garnered numerous awards for Team Total including Community Support Excellence, Workplace Culture Excellence, and Business of the Year.

Personally, she has received accolades including Community Volunteer of the Year, is a Paul Harris Fellow, and can now add Top 40 to her long list of achievements and community contributions.

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