Two well-known North Okanagan women head up Okanagan College’s board of governors.
Former Splatsin Chief Gloria Morgan has been elected chair following the resignation of Chris Derickson, who left the position as a consequence of his recent election as Chief of the Westbank First Nation.
Former Vernon councillor Juliette Cunningham was elected as vice-chair, replacing Morgan.
“I’m looking forward to serving in this role,” said Morgan, who has been an RCMP officer, a general practice lawyer as well as a Crown prosecutor. “With a new building and new programs about to come on stream, and work beginning on our next strategic plan, Okanagan College is at an exciting juncture.”
Morgan was Chief of the Splatsin Indian Band from 2001 to 2005. She is a former president of the Enderby and District Chamber of Commerce and was a member of the RCMP’s E Division Aboriginal Advisory Committee. She also served on the board of the Provincial Community Co-ordination for Women’s Safety.
An avid golfer, Morgan was the 2016 recipient of The Morning Star Community Leader Awards – Community Builder award for the North Okanagan. She has been on the college board since 2016.
Cunningham is a former vice-chair of the Regional District of the North Okanagan, and vice-chair of the Okanagan Basin Water Board. She is a business owner with an extensive history of working with non-profit boards such as the Women’s Centre, Junction Literacy, People Place, Museum and the Early Years Council.
Cunningham was also named Vernon’s 2016 Woman of the Year by Vernon Women in Business.
Derickson announced his resignation as board of governors’ chair on Tuesday and explained the position warrants more attention than he can offer given his responsibilities as Chief of one of Canada’s most progressive First Nations bands.
“I’ve learned much in my years serving on the college board, including what a vital role the college plays in the cultural and economic fabric of this region,” he said. “I look forward to building on the already-strong relations between OC and the Westbank First Nation.”