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Board of Directors

President's Message

KEVIN MIERAUAbbotsford has experienced tremendous growth and change in the last decade. Its diverse business community of entrepreneurs, producers, builders, and proprietors are the economic backbone of our city. With our aim to help build and sustain a thriving business community, the Abbotsford Chamber seeks to develop genuine relationships with businesses – to truly understand their perspective and support their business needs. 

The Chamber’s mission is anchored by three pillars, also known as our ABC’s – Advocate, Benefit, Connect. Advocate: We are actively advocating on behalf of businesses by listening to their concerns and challenges and working with all levels of government to ensure they are aware of and responding to the obstacles and constraints they are facing. The Chamber’s respected voice amongst community leaders plays an active role with the City and we also advocate at the Provincial and Federal levels through the BC Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. 

Benefit: We have a variety of unique benefits for our members, such as group insurance, opportunities to promote your business, and education on a range of business and leadership topics. We also offer member-to-member savings. https://abbotsfordchamber.com/for-members/ 

Connect: We host stimulating events with expert speakers and community leaders along with our municipal, provincial and federal elected officials. We also host regular Business After Business events where we celebrate and learn about a local (host) business and socialize over some food and drink with other members. Our goal is to curate a fun and stimulating experience where you can interact with other businesses and learn from each other, while developing new relationships to expand your network. 

With many networking opportunities and services to support businesses, the Chamber embraces a culture of vibrant engagement and proactive advocacy. As your President, I would be honored to connect with you to better understand your unique business needs and introduce you into our thriving business network. 

- Kevin Mierau, President

 

MEET OUR BOARD MEMBERS

KEVIN MIERAU

Kevin Mierau

President

Mierau Contractors Ltd.

 

Kevin is the President of Mierau Contractors Ltd and continues the operations of the successful Abbotsford based company that his father Larry Mierau founded in 1970. Kevin graduated from Abbotsford Senior Secondary in 1993 then completed his Red Seal Certification in Carpentry in 1996 at the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV).

He is actively involved in the construction industry and serves on the Board of Directors at the BC Construction Safety Alliance and participates in several other association committees. He is looking forward to continuing his role as a Director of the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce and actively participating within the Abbotsford community.

PAUL PENNER

Paul Penner

Vice President
RE/MAX Truepeak Realty

Paul has a long history of customer service and leadership in the community. As a former owner of a successful retail business and as a Realtor for 30+ years he understands the importance of remaining competitive. Investment dollars are fluid and Abbotsford must be an attractive jurisdiction for investment and an attractive place to live.

Loyal clients and a reputation of getting things done have earned him recognition as the #1 commercial Realtor for 2019 and again in 2021 (FVREB based on dollar volume). His passion for the community has also led him to serve on various boards and he is a frequent real estate instructor throughout the province.

Having represented numerous families and business owners Paul knows the importance of balancing the needs of residents with the needs of commerce within our community.

SAM VARING

Sam Varing

Secretary & CYPE Chair
First West Credit Union

Sam Varing is Legal Counsel for First West Credit Union. She is deeply rooted in the Abbotsford community and aspires to help grow and develop a robust legal team for First West. Prior to joining First West, Sam was an associate lawyer with Baker Newby LLP, and managed a wide ranged business solicitor practice.

She is actively involved with the Abbotsford Chamber as the founding Chair of the Company of Young Professionals and Entrepreneurs and an appointed member of the Government Affairs Committee. While earning her Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of the Fraser Valley, Sam held a student membership with the Abbotsford Chamber. It was during this time that Sam realized the enormous potential and impact the Chamber has in the Abbotsford community.

On a more personal note, Sam was raised in a family of entrepreneurs. As such, she developed a strong belief that foundational business and entrepreneurial principles are essential for today’s youth. This led her to volunteer with Junior Achievement of British Columbia (JABC) to bring more volunteer-oriented and business-focused educational programs to Abbotsford schools.

KATIE YU

Katie Yu

Treasurer
RBC Royal Bank

 

In her current role as Vice President, Commercial Financial Services, Katie leads RBC Senior Commercial Markets in British Columbia region. By working collaboratively with Commercial and Personal Banking leaders as well as a robust network, Katie and her team of advisors build and execute a market strategy that supports large enterprises by delivering relevant advice, solutions and value beyond banking.

Prior to her current role, Katie led the Fraser Valley & Langley Commercial Banking Team and before that Commercial Mortgages in British Columbia to promote and deliver commercial real estate financing solutions as part of RBC’s national specialized solutions.

Katie has a passion for mentoring youth and supporting Canadian importers/exporters. She firmly believes community work is an essential and rewarding aspect of one’s life. A strong advocate for women entrepreneurs, Katie works closely with several partnerships including SheEO and Women of Influence. She has been a long-time Committee Member for Association of Women in Finance (“AWF”) in addition to her efforts in mentoring youth and graduate students through her affiliation to UBC Sauder School of Business. In 2019, Katie has had the privilege of working with BC Children’s Hospital as a Regional Champion representing RBC Commercial Banking for the 2019 fundraising campaign.

Katie holds a bachelor’s degree in applied sciences from Simon Fraser University and a master’s degree in business administration (“MBA”) from Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia, in addition to her Personal Financing Planner designation. In her spare time, Katie enjoys travel, a good book, and cooking for her family and friends.

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Dr. Khyati Shetty

Director
School of Business, UFV

 

With over 15 years of experience bridging academia and industry, Dr. Khyati Shetty is currently the Director of UFV's School of Business and former Dean at Curtin University, Perth & Dubai. As a Leadership Consultant, she has conducted 200+ workshops globally and worked with government bodies in Nigeria, Ghana, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Maldives, India and Dubai. Having served on several boards globally and locally, she was recognized for gender equity efforts by G-100 Global Women Leaders(Advisory Body to UN Women), and was appointed as Country Chair for Canada in the Higher Education sector in 2023.
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Kamna Suri

Director
Sandman Hotel Group

 

With an education in Hotel Management, Kamna worked at various levels In Hospitality in India, New Delhi for esteemed hotel chains such as the Shangri-La, Sheraton, and Hilton group of hotels. Originally from New Delhi, India, she immigrated to Canada in 2006 and settled in Abbotsford. Kamna started working with the Sandman Hotel Group in 2010. Currently working as a Regional Sales Manager, Kamna brings her 20 years of Sales experience to the organization. In her spare time, Kamna loves spending time with her 3-year-old daughter and her fur baby.
JOSH REYNOLDS

Josh Reynolds

Director
Illustrate Collective

 

Josh is the owner of Illustrate Collective, an agency specializing in digital design, strategic marketing, and political consulting. He also serves as the Assistant Nonprofit Leadership Director at Summit Pacific College, where he instructs courses on business administration, charity leadership, and strategic planning. He is passionate about the convergence of for-profit and non-profit work, and about helping raise emerging leaders in the charity sector.

Josh moved to Abbotsford in 2011 and lives here with his wife Laranda. He is actively involved in the community and serves on the boards for the Fraser Valley Child Development Centre, and the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in Non-Profit Leadership from Summit Pacific College, and an MBA from Trinity Western University.

RAVI SIDHU

Ravi Sidhu

Director
Fraser Valley Indo Canadian Business Association

Ravi is the founder and owner of RS Marketing Consulting and has been working in marketing and digital media for the last 10+ years. He is also currently the Community and Special Events Coordinator at the City of Abbotsford. Before starting his own venture Ravi was the Senior Regional Marketing Manager with TELUS for 6 years.

Ravi is also the President of the Fraser Valley Indo-Canadian Business Association and also sat on the Board of the Abbotsford Police Foundation. Along with volunteering his time with these boards Ravi also coaches Basketball at Rick Hansen Secondary.

Ravi is also the President of the Fraser Valley Indo-Canadian Business Association and also sat on the Board of the Abbotsford Police Foundation. Along with volunteering his time with these boards Ravi also coaches Basketball at Rick Hansen Secondary.

BRITTANY TUCKER

Brittany Tucker

Director
KPMG

 

 

Brittany has worked in KPMG’s audit practice for over 12 years. After starting her career in Vancouver, working primarily with large public companies, Brittany moved to Abbotsford where her focus has been non-profit organizations and family owned businesses. Brittany graduated from the University of Victoria with a Bachelor of Science in microbiology and then completed her diploma in accounting at the University of British Columbia. She obtained her CPA, CA designation in 2013.

In her spare time, Brittany enjoys travelling, baking, and spending time with her two young daughters.

LOREN TAVES

Loren Taves

Director
Taves Family Farms

 

 

Loren Taves in a 3rd generation farmer operating a 60+ acre farm operation in Abbotsford since 1991. Co-owner of DBA Taves Family Farms which consists of:

• Applebarn Pumpkin Farm (Destination orchard, pumpkin and berry farm tourist attraction)

• Taves Estate Cidery (Producer of fermented apple cide and juice.)

• Peppertree Farms Ltd. (Hydroponic Vegetable Greenhouse)

• South Gladwin Heights Farm Ltd. (Poultry Farm)

Loren is an active member of the community, supporting destination marketing efforts on the following boards:

• Board member of Tourism Abbotford

• Board member of The Fraser Valley Farm Direct Marketing Association

Steve Czeck

Steve Czeck

Owner & CEO, 
Empyrion Technologies Inc.

 

 

Steve is a seasoned business leader with 18 years of experience as the owner & operator at Empyrion Technologies Inc. With 35 years IT experience, Steve found himself as an accidental entrepreneur in 2005 when taking over a 2-man IT company. Empyrion Technologies has since grown to 28 employees and provides services to significant commercial entities throughout the Lower Mainland and beyond. Having served on the board of of his church for 10+ years and as Director for Mutual Fire Insurance of BC for 4 years, Steve is looking forward to bringing his excitement and extensive experience to the board of the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce.
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Lee Kitson

General Manager 
Marshall Aerospace Canada Inc.

 

 

Lee Kitson began his career with the Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group (Marshall ADG) in the UK in 1990 as a Design Office Technician apprentice. After completing his apprenticeship, Lee completed his Engineering Degree and realized Chartered Engineer (CEng) status with the Royal Aeronautical Society in London England. In 2007, Lee transferred to Marshall Canada, within the Aerospace Business, which provides Engineering and Tech Services to the Canadian and international markets. While employed by Marshall Canada, Lee has delivered a variety of roles and currently serves as General Manager for the Aerospace Business in Canada, based at the Abbotsford International Airport.
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