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Mollie Bono will be named an honorary fellow of Okanagan College in June. (Photo submitted) A trio of community builders — all champions of different causes — are being recognized this year by Okanagan College with the institution’s highest commendation.

Mollie QuilQuil Sneena Bono, an advocate for Aboriginal peoples, Rick Thorpe, a dedicated public servant, and Patrick Waunch, a recognized construction leader, are to be named Honorary Fellows of Okanagan College in June.

“Each of these remarkable individuals has contributed significantly to our region, province and country,” notes Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. “They have done it in diverse ways and richly deserve the honor our College is bestowing on them.”

Bono, Okanagan/Similkameen, is a School District 22 trustee, a recipient of the Community Leadership Award (2017) in Vernon, and an active mentor for the Social Planning Council. She has served several terms as a Council Member for Okanagan Indian Band and has also served as a member of Okanagan College’s Vernon Campus Regional Advisory Council. Since her retirement, Mollie has been working with the Social Planning Council and other allies in Vernon to advance Reconciliation and Healing.

Waunch has been the chair of the British Columbia Construction Association, chair of the Southern Interior Construction Association, chair of the Trade Contractors Council for the Canadian Construction Association, is a recipient of the Canadian Construction Association Community Leader Award, and has a long association with Okanagan College (serving as chair of the Program Advisory Committee, helping fundraise for the new Trades Complex in Kelowna, and being an active donor to the College and other community organizations). His dedication to apprenticeship for trades led to the Southern Interior Construction Association establishing the Patrick Waunch Scholarship Award that provides $3,500 annually to a mechanical trades apprentice at Okanagan College.

Waunch is the President and CEO of Rambow Mechanical Ltd. He holds red seal tickets in plumbing and steam fitting, as well as tickets in first class gas fitting, hydro-pulse boilers and installation for ground source heating. He holds gold seal certification in project management and superintendent.

Thorpe was a member of the legislative assembly from 1996 to 2009, representing the Okanagan-Penticton and Okanagan Westside ridings and serving in cabinet for eight years and as a member of treasury board for nine years (five as deputy chair). Before his election, Thorpe held several executive positions in the brewing industry in Canada and internationally, and he was involved in repositioning the B.C. grape and wine industry and was a partner in a successful B.C. winery.

After retiring from the B.C. legislature, Thorpe served on a number of Boards of Directors, including the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, the Canadian Snowbirds Association, the Summerland Charity Shops Society (Penny Lane), Agur Lake Camp Society, and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of British Columbia and Yukon. He was on the Board of Management for the Canada Revenue Agency for six years, four as chair.

He is a chartered professional accountant and a certified management accountant. He has been awarded the fellow of Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada and the fellow of the Society of Management Accountants of Canada.

“Yasmin and I continue to watch the growth of Okanagan College, and over the past 22 years have witnessed first-hand what access to higher learning close to home means for our students here in the Okanagan,” says Thorpe. Yasmin was named an honorary fellow in 2012 for her role in promoting children’s literacy and literature and for her service to the Okanagan.

“I’m very proud to be associated with Okanagan College, an institution which is focused on playing a very important role for our students within the Okanagan and […]

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