Board of Directors
Integra Law Group
Josh practiced law in Ontario for over 25 years before relocating to Abbotsford in 2006. Josh is a solicitor at Integra Law Group in Abbotsford, practicing in the areas of wills and estates, real estate and business law.
Josh has been a presenter in local seminars providing information on estate issues. Josh is particularly interested in community development and corporate governance.
In addition to his involvement with the Chamber, Josh is also an active member of: Abbotsford Hospice Society (Donor Relations and Development Committee), Estate Planning Council of Abbotsford and Rotary Club of Abbotsford Sumas. Josh is also the immediate Past President of the Abbotsford & District Bar Association, past VP of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Fraser Valley, and a former member of the Human Research Ethics Board of UFV.
Linley Welwood, LLP
Mark Warkentin is a founding partner of Linley Welwood, and served as Managing Partner of Linley Welwood and its predecessor firm for nine years. His areas of practice include real estate transactions, real estate development, business transactions, financing, corporate, and commercial law. He holds a B.A. (magna cum laude) from the University of Saskatchewan (1988), and an LL.B. from the University of British Columbia Law School (1992). He has a diverse background in business law, criminal law, and civil litigation including seven years with one of BC's leading personal injury firms.
Mark has been involved for many years with the Canadian Bar Association, Abbotsford and District Bar Association, as a guest lecturer at Professional Legal Training Course, and as a presenter on legal topics at the Real Estate Investment Network (REIN). He currently is the Vice President of the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce. In 2014 he was appointed to the board of the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of British Columbia, where he chairs the Inquiry Committee and sits on the Finance Committee. In 2016 he was appointed to the Abbotsford Police Board.
He and his wife live in Abbotsford. They are the proud parents of two French immersion students, the oldest of whom is attending McGill University.
Brandon Kelley is a Chartered Professional Accountant and a Senior Manager with Manning Elliott in Abbotsford where he provides financial accounting, audit and tax services to private companies. He serves clients in a variety of industries, such as agriculture, manufacturing, and not-for-profits. Prior to joining Manning Elliott in 2016 Brandon was a senior manager at KPMG in Abbotsford.
Born and raised in Hope, he moved to Abbotsford in 2002. Brandon is an alumnus of UFV where he studied Business Administration and was an active member of the Business Administration Students Association serving as treasurer.
Re/Max Treeland Realty
Mark works full time as a professional Realtor. Prior to real estate, he worked as an Educator and School Principal. He is an active Rotarian and Past President of the Rotary Club of Abbotsford. Mark is also a member of the Chamber's Government & Industry Relations Committee.
He has lived in Abbotsford since 1993. His hobbies/interests include real estate, investments/finance, personal development and Pickleball.
Mt Lehman Cheese Company
Jason Grew up in Abbotsford on a local Goat Dairy farm and enjoyed attending 4H as a young person. Life on the farm carried to life as a Dairy Processor and Jason has been making handmade artisan cheese since 2003.
In 2013 Jason Decided to start an new adventure so together with his wife Dawn, founded Mt Lehman Cheese Co. and now makes local goat and water buffalo cheese.
In addition to being a cheesemaker Jason is also a father of two, and serves as Vice President on our local Strata council, as well as head audio technician for the worship committee at his local church.
Jason has also served as a board member for Fraser Valley Collage and Careers and volunteered for 10 years as a youth leader at Living Hope CRC.
Brookside Abbotsford - The Hershey Company
Brad is the Plant Manager of the Hershey production facility in Abbotsford, responsible for the manufacturing of the Brookside brand of chocolate confections. Brookside is a local success story operating in Abbotsford for over 60 years. In 2012 Brookside was acquired by The Hershey Company.
Prior to the Hershey acquisition, Brad was the Director of Operations and as a member of Brookside's executive team responsible for decision making and business strategy.
Earlier work experiences include 13 years in the processed egg industry with Michael Foods as Operations Manager responsible for their Canadian manufacturing locations. Brad spent three years in the Netherlands as the Managing Director of Inovatech Europe where he was responsible for the set up and operation of their Bio-Products Division.
Born and raised in Abbotsford, Brad returned to the City in 2009. He has worked in the food industry for 30 years. Throughout this time, he has gained a variety of knowledge and leadership experience by working in various positions and at different levels within operations.
Clearbrook Grain & Milling
Melinda Friesen is the General Manager of Nature's Pride Nutrition, a local vitamin premix business, and in addition, the Director of Communications and Marketing for the Friesen Group of Companies, which includes the companies' main poultry and livestock feed milling operation, Clearbrook Grain & Milling. Born and raised in Abbotsford, Melinda attended MEI for her high school education. After high school graduation and a brief traveling hiatus, she returned and began her career in studies at the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV). At the same time she also accepted a position to perform part-time receptionist duties at Clearbrook Grain & Milling. After one ear, the growth and demands of the companies personnel needs encouraged her to take on full-time hours and expand her role. She continued at UFV as a part-time student until 2006, when she graduated with her Bachelor of Business Administration, Marketing major, while earning a spot on the Dean's list of distinguished students. She was selected as the valedictorian to present the graduation address for the class of 2006.
Over the past 20 years, the benefits of her education, professional development and being involved in a family-owned and operated business have enabled her to pursue a variety of positions within the companies, such as sales, accounts receivable, human resources, events coordinator and marketing. Adventure seeking, travel lover, farm girl at heart and driven by opportunities to learn and grow personally and professionally, she is honoured to have the opportunity to be a part of the Directors team with the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce.
Dignity Memorial Funeral Homes
Sara has been in the funeral industry since 1997 when she began her apprenticeship with a small-town funeral home in Central Alberta. She has been serving grieving families in Abbotsford since 2000 and is the manager of Henderson's Dignity Memorial Funeral Home.
Sara also cares for the bereaved as a volunteer with Abbotsford Hospice Society. She facilitates children and teen grief groups at AHS with particular attention to helping families who struggle with how best to support their children through grief.
Sara is also a proud member of the Abbotsford Rotary Club and the Abbotsford Executive Association.
Sara is passionate about supporting the growth and development of business in Abbotsford. She is excited for the opportunity to work with the Chamber of Commerce to help Abbotsford continue to be a great community in which to live and work.
Stu is the Vice President of Operations for Cascade Aerospace. In this role, he is responsible for the overall operational delivery of services to Cascade's broad customer base. His focus is on developing individual and team performance throughout the organization by fostering sound leadership, accountability and focused customer engagement at all levels.
Prior to joining Cascade, Stu served for twenty-one years as an Aerospace Engineering Officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force, followed by 5 years with Bombardier Aerospace. He returned to Abbotsford in 2011 because it has always been home. He is committed to seeing the community flourish and stays involved. Stu has truly enjoyed being an active minor hockey coach with multiple teams and currently serves as a Director with the Abbotsford International Air Show.
Stu holds a Master of Science degree in Aviation Systems from the University of Tennessee, a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from Royal Roads and is a Flight Test Engineer graduate of the Empire Test Pilot's School. More importantly, he is a proud 1985 graduate from Abby Senior.
Dave is the owner and CEO of eight Fix Auto Collision shops with three in the Fraser Valley as well as Vernon and Salmon Arm and two locations in Alberta. Dave is also part owner of Super Self Storage in Abbotsford. With a serious entrepreneurial drive, he grew his business from humble beginnings - fixing cars in a chicken barn (complete with a paint booth) to the modern, state of the art, paint and auto body shops that he runs today.
He credits his hard working team of quality technicians, and managers whom he has engaged to follow, using his bottom line principle that "customers be treated as they would want to be treated themselves".
As a defending World Masters Water Ski Champion, Dave continues to make waves both in business and on the water. He believes that the empowerment of his managers to make their own decisions based on his principles, allows him the flexibility to follow his passion (waterskiing) and still be dialed in to the successful operations of his body shops.
Dave has called Abbotsford home for more than 40 years and is married to his lovely wife Jackie. They have two grown children.
The Reach Gallery Museum
Kelly is the Executive Director of the MSA Museum Society and is transitioning into the role of Community Cultural Programmer for The Reach Gallery Museum as the two organizations merge in the next few months.
Kelly is an outgoing, creative and forward thinking professional skilled in the engagement of private and public stakeholders and the development of community partnerships and initiatives. She has spent her entire professional career in the not for profit sector. Before coming to the Museum she enjoyed 12 years with the Abbotsford Hospice Society, six of these as Director of Operations.
On the home front, she has been married to her high school sweetheart for 35 years and has delighted in her most important role in life - that of raising three sons now aged 29, 25 and 21. Kelly is a proud new Nana, a lifelong volunteer and an active member of her community. She enjoys all outdoor activities including a daily walk with her four legged “kids”.
University of the Fraser Valley
Craig Toews is the Executive Director, Campus Planning & Resource Development at the University of the Fraser Valley, responsible for the planning and development of the University’s campuses and centres with a lead role in community liaison, partnerships, and resource development for the purpose of revenue generation.
Toew’s portfolio encompasses leading and supporting the sustainable development of UFV’s campuses, giving oversight to ancillary services and all major capital projects and property development. Toews serves on numerous committees including the Chilliwack Economic Partners Corporation (CEPCO) Board, Mission Economic Development Committee and many other external committees and working groups that focus on the social, cultural and economic development of the Fraser Valley.
With over 27 years at UFV, his collaborative leadership style has demonstrated his commitment to students, integrity and team work. A Computer Science background first brought him to UFV’s IT department where he led the implementation of computer and network infrastructure during the technology boom. After graduating with a post-graduate diploma in Management, he accepted a leadership role in Campus Planning and the opportunity to spearhead UFV’s largest capital expansion to-date. The $45 million new facility at the Canada Education Park (CEP) in Chilliwack won an international architecture award and the recently completed $17 million Student Union Building on the Abbotsford campus received a gold award from the Vancouver Regional Construction Association.
Kristin van Vloten
Kristin van Vloten is a ghostwriter, copywriter, and best-selling author. She founded Salvo Communications in 2014 to offer writing support to thought leaders who need to translate their vital insights into powerful content, including non-fiction books.
She cut her teeth in the nonprofit world as a blogger, event director, documentary facilitator, and executive assistant to the International President of HOPE International Development Agency. During her time with HOPE, she played a key role in multi-million dollar fundraising campaigns