Who We Are

Thuy Tran

Acting CEO

Thuy Tran is the Acting CEO for Accelerate Okanagan. Thuy has been working in the tech industry for over 10 years, and has been supporting the growth of the tech community for the last 6 years through her work at AO. Prior to her role as Acting CEO, Thuy was the Programs Director, leading program design and development and was directly responsible for the delivery of AO’s mentorship programs, supporting founders start and scale their companies. Thuy also spearheaded the development of OKGN Angel Summit, a program designed to help bridge the gap between investors and companies.

Thuy Tran was born in Vietnam and immigrated to Canada in the late 80s and has since called the Okanagan home. She graduated from the Centre for Arts and Technology, then went on to then worked with one of Canada’s leading medical technology companies, QHR Technologies. Besides her passion for supporting entrepreneurs, she is also passionate about running her own photography business, living an active lifestyle and spending quality time with her family and two young sons.
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Brea Lake

CEO (On Leave)

Brea Lake is the CEO for Accelerate Okanagan. She has been supporting the growth of the Okanagan tech community for over five years. She spends her days nurturing relationships with community partners and building connections between industry players and educational institutions.

Lake graduated from Okanagan College with a degree in Business, but it was her hands-on experience managing a summer day camp program that gave her a taste for the startup life – it also taught her the importance of playing nice in the sandbox. Lake spent time working with Disney’s Club Penguin, where she was responsible for curriculum development, customer service training and policy documentation.

When she’s not at work, you can find her relaxing on the lake, enjoying the Okanagan’s live music scene, or supporting the YMCA and Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Okanagan as a board member.
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D’arcy Schaerer

Finance Manager

D’arcy Schaerer is our Finance Manager. A highly motivated self-starter with strong analytical, communication and interpersonal skills, D’arcy has worked with diverse groups of people throughout her career. Her experience in project coordination, supervision, and office management with the likes of seismic jug hounds, archaeologists, palaeontologists, railcar buffs and condo consultants gives her all the skills she needs to work with this diverse group of techies.

When she’s not teching the halls, D’arcy like to do pottery and considers her life to be fun, funky, and functional.
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Jenna Stasuk

Program Manager

Jenna is the Programs Manager for Accelerate Okanagan. Through her role, Jenna oversees the development, implementation and enhancement of Accelerate Okanagan’s entrepreneurship programs—making sure that there is the right mix of mentorship, expertise, and resources to support leaders throughout their journey.

Jenna moved to the Okanagan to obtain a Business Management degree from the University of British Columbia. She has since called the Okanagan home and enjoys wake surfing, hiking or skiing. When she’s not out adventuring, Jenna enjoys a touch of the farm life with her chickens and three cats in Lake Country.
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Alex Goodhew

Community Manager

Alex is our Community Manager. In this role, she works to connect and collaborate with people interested in and involved with innovation and entrepreneurship in the Okanagan. She focuses on developing and nurturing relationships with community partners, helping to build industry connections.

Alex grew up in the South Okanagan but lived in Vancouver while attending UBC. She returned to the Okanagan to work in higher education and eventually found her way into the vibrant innovation sector. Alex gets her signature energy by surrounding herself with people and helping others. She loves the Okanagan for its full 4 seasons and enjoys skiing, playing volleyball, being outdoors with her pups, and a good patio session.
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Sara Scott

Brand & Communications Manager

Sara is our Brand Manager. Before joining the AO Team, Sara spent over five years working in Guest Experience with Disney Interactive while balancing her passion for event management in her spare time.

Born and raised in Kelowna, she is an excellent tour guide for the Okanagan. In addition to being an avid gardener, Sara enjoys jewelry making, camping and spending time at her family’s apple orchard.
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Harrison Crerar

Brand Strategist

Pursuing a passion for writing, Harrison has built a strong foundation as a content creator in his position as the Brand and Communications Strategist for Accelerate Okanagan and as a freelance copywriter.

Hailing from Oakville, Ontario, Harrison has been calling Kelowna home since 2008. In that time, he has received a degree in creative writing from UBCO and worked with organizations such as the Daily Courier and the Walt Disney Company. What he appreciates about his work is having the opportunity to tell stories and celebrate captivating individuals, driven businesses and supportive communities.
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Alanna Haggard

Startup Program Lead

Alanna Haggard is the Startup Program Lead at Accelerate Okanagan. In her role, Alanna supports early-stage Startups and entrepreneurs by facilitating our Venture Acceleration Program and connecting with the community—sharing resources and offering them the support they need to grow.

Alanna was born and raised in the Central Okanagan and graduated from Okanagan College in 2019 with a Diploma in Communications, Culture, and Journalism. Her desire to do impactful work,and her passion for helping others succeed, led her to find a home at Accelerate Okanagan. When she’s not at work, you’ll find her enjoying the best the Okanagan has to offer: camping, kayaking, hiking with her fur-son, and visiting the local wineries.
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Jessica Wicks

Community Lead, North Okanagan

Jessica is our North Okanagan Community Lead. She strives to surround herself with innovators, and is passionate about helping entrepreneurs create tech-enabled solutions that allow them to rethink the future of their industries.

Prior to joining Team AO, Jessica worked full-time as a marketing specialist in post-secondary education and tourism, as well as across a range of industries as an independent consultant. Jessica holds a Bachelors of Applied Arts in Visual Communications and a Graduate Certificate in Corporate Communications Management.

When she’s not at the office, you’ll find her frequenting local coffee shops, enjoying a great book, or exploring the beautiful Okanagan outdoors with her son.
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Eryca Stirling

Visual Communication Coordinator

Eryca Stirling is the Visual Communications Coordinator at Accelerate Okanagan. She helps to provide AO’s signature look and feel through her graphic design and photography expertise. Eryca is also responsible for our social media channels and works closely with the brand team to share the latest in #OKGNtech news. If you or your team have something to share, Eryca is your go to girl.

When Eryca is “offline” you’ll find her 4x4ing in Myra Canyon, snowboarding at Big White or coordinating a photoshoot.
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Malusi Mabaleka

Community Coordinator

Malusi is our Community Coordinator. He loves connecting with people and helping them believe and achieve their dreams. Before joining the Accelerate Okanagan team, he spent the last 10 years touring and building a music business that allowed him the opportunity to perform and share laughs all across our beautiful country. He believes success is rooted in authentic relationships and celebrating the small wins.

Having lived all over the country he’s excited to be so close to water and nature in Kelowna. When he’s not in the office you’ll find him outside exploring the world and supporting art with a pint or glass of wine never too far out of reach.
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