Pilar-Portela-to-lead-Accelerate-Okanagan-CEOAccelerate Okanagan has announced the appointment of Pilar Portela as the new CEO of the organization. She will assume responsibilities on September 16 and will succeed Jeff Keen, who has stepped down to pursue an opportunity with a startup technology company.

Portela is a relative newcomer to the Okanagan after leaving SBM Site Services in Sacramento, California as their Director of Software Development.

“It is a tremendous honour to be offered the position of CEO for Accelerate Okanagan,” says Portela. “As the new CEO, I am committed to doing whatever it takes to help local startups flourish. The Accelerate Okanagan team will continue to encourage the creation and innovation of local technology businesses. I am dedicated to increasing collaboration between national and international tech hubs, which in turn help local startups flourish.

“Our goals are to continue on the current growth path while fostering the community’s entrepreneurial climate, teaching people how to be successful entrepreneurs and supporting companies in our programs.”

Pilar has worked all over the Americas and brings 20 years of expert management and executive experience to the team. She has an MA in project management and has studied law and international trade.

Pilar is a master leader and brings planning and organization to a new level. She has an innate ability to align and bring focus into every situation. Her global knowledge of business development and her problem resolution skills fit perfectly with Accelerate Okanagan’s mission to increase the number of tech companies that start and grow in the Okanagan.

Pilar is an advocate of helping others do their jobs to the best of their ability and will do everything in her power to ensure they have the tools necessary to meet and exceed expectations. Decisive and fair, she sticks to her commitments and offers support through motivation, empowerment, and personal and professional development.

Accelerate Okanagan also announced their new Board of Directors following the Annual General Meeting on August 27, 2014.

Lane Merrifield – Investor/Entrepreneur
Steve Wandler – Co-Founder – FreshGrade
Blair Forrest – Partner – Pushor Mitchell LLP
Simone Brunton – CA, CBV – Grant Thornton
Rasool Rayani – Co-Founder – Metalogix Software
Pascale Audette – Senior Executive
Scot Speiser – VP, BC North, Interior & Yukon – BDC
Charity Gerbrandt – Director of Creative – Disney Interactive
Aidan Cole – Marketing Manager – Procera