Creating a safe and unique space to enhance health, wellness in our community.
Nina Zetchus, given name Pulemiya, was born and raised in Chilliwack. Her indigenous background is from Sts'ailes, mother Bonnie Olsen (Pulem Qen), grandfather Ed Leon Jr., and great-grandfather Ed Leon Sr. (Pulem) from where her name is derived.
Nina is the owner of Luna Float, Chilliwack's first float therapy wellness centre located on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish people, in Garrison Crossing. Prior to that, Nina graduated from the University of the Fraser Valley with a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration and while working at a local credit union for just over 10 years. She sits on both the Sto:lo Business Association Board and Sto:lo Community Futures Lending committee.
Nina is grateful for her amazing partner, Wayne, who she happily married September 2018.
Born and raised in Chilliwack, British Columbia, Dean has been fishing British Columbia’s lakes and rivers for over 45 years. Dean started his Sportfishing company in 1988 and has been dedicated to the preservation of the White Sturgeon and Wild Salmon ever since. Dean is heavily involved in the fishing community and is the President of the Fraser Valley Salmon Society, co-chair of the Peacemakers and the Technical and Community working groups for the Recovery of White Sturgeon. Dean actively shares his passion and works with youth teaching them to fish, respect the importance of conservation and to clean and keep our waterways free of debris. Dean is very connected to the river in Sto:lo territory and all the people who share it. Dean loves to share days on the rivers with new guests and friends sharing his knowledge about the river, all our fish species and how much it means to the Indigenous people. Ensuring that this resource is here for us to share with our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren for many generations is the key to feeling fulfilled.
“The Journey never ends when you share the passion”
Dean Werk <")))><
I am Sandra Bonner-Pederson, my grandparents were Chief John and Nellie Hall, from the Tzeachten First Nation. My parents George and Helen (Hall) Bonner, raised my seven brothers and myself in Chilliwack BC. I am the Owner/Operator of Bear Image Productions (BIP), a video production company established in 2002 located on the Tzeachten First Nation. I started in the Television industry in 1989 as a volunteer host for a First Nation program entitled: “Rebirth of a Nation.” I wanted to learn how to help behind the scenes of this program, so I collected the prerequisites over a 2 year period necessary to enrol at BCIT in the 2 year Television Broadcasting Diploma Program . I graduated from BCIT at the top of my class in 1994, and worked first at ITV in Edmonton as a Writer/Producer in Promotions and then carried this same title over to Super-channel/Family Channel.
I really enjoyed working in Edmonton, but my roots were in Chilliwack BC. After I had my daughter, I decided it was time to move home. I returned to Chilliwack and worked as a part time shooter and editor for Shaw Cable. We have produced a variety of videos for the First Nation in this area, and across Canada. Please visit our website to view some samples of our work: www.bearimage.ca. There is a TV icon that will take you right into BIP’s you tube channel were you can become a subscriber. I love my job, and I love being a strong voice for our First Nation People.
Mary-Ann brings a vast knowledge of business with her. She’s the owner of multiple businesses over the years, and continues to operate several. She decided to venture into the towing business in order to help her son Douglas the founder grow A.J. Towing into the business it is today. Mary-Ann enjoys exploring with her husband while traveling in their motorhome.
She enjoys volunteering and has worked with Chilliwack Community Services for at least 15 years, as the community Debt Counselor.
Member at Large
I grew up in Deroche and married into Sts’ailes (Denise Leon) 45 years ago. We have a son and daughter and grand children aged 27, 22, 20 and 11.
My main career was with DFO and I managed Sockeye culture programs in the upper Pitt River, Inch Creek Hatchery and Cultus Lake and assisted with others around the province at Kitwanga, Henderson Lake and Comox and retired in 2010. For the past 9 years Denny and I have managed the Sasquatch Crossing Eco Lodge, a Sts’ailes owned business.
I’ve held an elected position since 2008 with the Fraser Valley Regional District as the Director for Area “G” which includes Hatzic Island, Dewdney, Nicomen Island, Deroche and portions of Leq’a:mel and I sit as chair of the FVRD Aboriginal Relations committee. I am honored to also sit on the Boards of the Sts’ailes Development Corporation and Sto:lo Community Futures.
I also volunteer as a Past District Governor with Lions Clubs International and the Sasquatch Lions Club, as Manager of the North Nicomen Diking District and have been a member of the Deroche and District Community Association since 1967. I previously sat on the boards of Indigenous Tourism BC and Lions Camp Horizon in Washington State and I hope my varied experience will assist the Sto:lo Business Association in a good way for the betterment of our growing membership.
Louis De Jaeger
Member at Large
Louis Maurice De Jaeger EMBA
Business entrepreneur, social activist, community advocate and President of the Chilliwack Metis Association, Louis De Jaeger is two-spirited and currently teaches as a Sessional Instructor at the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) in Chilliwack. Louis also serves on several boards including Stó:lō Community Futures, UFV Senate Committee on Indigenization and Chilliwack Healthier Community. Past boards include
Chilliwack Business Improvement Association and co-founder/past-President of the Stó:lō Business Association. With a hospitality career that spans 35 years, the former Restaurant Owner (Bravo Restaurant & Lounge) and 2015 Federal candidate for the Liberal Party of Canada completed his Master’s in Business and Aboriginal Leadership
EMBA at Simon Fraser University with a certification in Aboriginal Governance from the University of Arizona. Louis is a recipient of the RBC Entrepreneur Scholarship Award
for business and also holds a certification in Indigenous Historical Impact from the Stó:lō Service Agency and Expanding Skills in Economic Development from the BC Economic
Louis ancestral families are Sinclair and Norquay, with many Metis family ties to the Hudson’s Bay Fur Trade. His great-great-great Uncle was John Norquay, Manitoba’s first Metis Premier.
Accolades include: 2016 Al McCacken award for Business Volunteer of the Year for BC (Community Futures), 2015 Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce Aboriginal Business of
the Year, 2012 Outstanding Achievement for Aboriginal Business in BC, and 3-time winner Dining Excellence Award ~ Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce.
Louis speaks about creating an economic eco-system that drives community partnerships, supports entrepreneurial growth, and examines business based on one’s ‘worldview’ – profit vs prosperity in a changing business world.
Donna St. Louis
Member at Large
Donna St. Louis is a Business Services Officer with Tale’awtxw Aboriginal Capital Corporation (TACC) where she provides business support to Indigenous entrepreneurs in the Coast Salish Territories. Managing a diverse portfolio ranging from small home-based businesses to community owned corporations, Donna helps her clients with accessing financing for their business start ups, expansions and acquisitions.
Donna’s experience prior to working with TACC includes promoting and teaching financial literacy to high school students in West Africa, facilitating entrepreneurial development in Victoria and Indigenous community development in Vancouver’s inner city.
Born in Merritt, BC and of Nlaka’pamux ancestry, Donna was raised in Abbotsford. University took her to Victoria, where she met her husband where they stayed until eventually settling in the traditional Coast Salish Territories. When not at work, Donna enjoys spending time with her husband and two young boys cycling, hiking, skiing.
Member at Large
Ron's is excited to be a new Board Member with the SBA. As CEO for the Leq'a':mel Development Limited Partnership his objective is to contribute and build upon the vision and previous successes of the Board of Directors.
With numerous personal business successes, collaborative partnerships and strong networking skills his goal in business development is to create long term sustainable businesses, generate employment opportunities and generate career options for others. He has a passion for building business success stories through working with entrepreneurs, industry and community partners to build capacity and develop opportunities for the community. Having held long term senior management positions in the fields of Business Development,
Human Resources, Land Use Planning, Strategic Planning, Project Management, Manufacturing, Logistics, Occupational Health and Safety and Management / Directorship roles with medium and large scale manufacturing facilities in Canada and the United States with focus on brand and people development, Ron has lead large scale National initiatives, change management, recruitment and retention initiatives for Nestle Canada, Nestle Waters Canada, Perrier Group and others. Extensive experience writing business plans, lease
development, municipal governance, policy development, and labour relations and has held long term Director positions with The Fraser Valley Regional Library, Interlink Inter-Library Board of Vancouver and the Municipal Finance Authority of British Columbia and the Canadian Vocational Rehabilitation Association since 2008 and is affiliated with the Small Scale
Food Association and Community Futures Initiatives.
Chief Executive Officer
Leq'á:mel Development Limited Partnership
Member at Large
Bios coming soon!
Troy MacBeth Abromaitis
Member at Large
Troy MacBeth Abromaitis is the Director of Development at Bucci Developments. He has overseen 31 multi-family development projects totalling $1.2 billion and he oversees residential development projects including land acquisitions, rezoning, conceptual design, planning, unit design, approval processes, managing of consultants and liaison with government authorities to ensure a successful completion of these projects. His current portfolio of projects are in excess of $800 million and he is working on the tallest tower in the Fraser Valley area of British Columbia at 57 storeys.
He is also the first indigenous President of the Real Estate Institute of BC and currently sits on the Board of Directors for Built Green Canada and the Fraser Valley Home Builders’ Association. Troy is also the President-Elect of the Rotary Club of West Vancouver and on the Board of Directors for the Point Grey Community Association. Troy is also the first Indigenous professional to be recognized by Real Estate Professional Magazine as a Top 100 Real Estate sales professional in Canada for both 2017 and 2019.
Member at Large
I was born in Niagara Falls, Ontario. I have lived in the beautiful province of British Columbia since I was 5 years old. I lived in Abbotsford for over 20 years, with my amazing husband Tim Garofano. We have been married for too long, and yet not nearly long enough! Tim's indigineous background is proudly from the Xaxli'p band, located in Lillooet, British Columbia. Not only do Tim and I have five beautiful children in a blended family, but I have been blessed with seven grandchildren and I am a proud Nonna.
I moved to Chilliwack exactly six years ago, and I thoroughly enjoy the beauty and serenity in the landscape surrounding us. When I am not working as an entrepreneur through HMG Timber Sales, or as the co-owner of Say It With Cake, you will find me everywhere but indoors. I love travelling and offroading in my Jeep Rubicon, kayaking on the many rivers and lakes this province has to offer, or glamping in my motorhome on our most peaceful lands. I served two terms as Secretary on the EVHC board of directors. I am involved as a contributor for many local charity events, I have always firmly believed in giving back to my community, and the importance in supporting those around me in helping create a voice. I can not express to you how much I look forward to working with all the other members, and I truly hope to contribute in a meaningful way to the Sto:lo Business Association.
With over 20 years experience, Inukshuk Excavating Inc. provides professional excavation services for your residential, commercial and environmental projects. My business is built on our integrity, and I bring the highest quality of work and attention to detail to every contract, to build solid foundations with reputable businesses and partners. We are 100% Indigenous owned and controlled, and celebrate our culture.
As an Aboriginal business owner herself -Sprigs & Sparrows- Alena has insight to the needs of business owners. In addition to previously co-leading NatureKidsBC, taking part in various environmental sustainability projects, Alena is Métis and has served on the Chilliwack Métis Association board for seven years ; she has played a key role in events that highlight her Métis community.
Alena's ancestral lineage originated in the Swampy Cree Nation of northern Manitoba (mouth of the Hudson Bay), then eventually to the Red River Settlement.
She looks forward to serving the valued SBA Members within Stó:lō Territory by providing quality educational programs, events that will allow for the building of valuable relationships, and working above and beyond to ensure Indigenous entrepreneurs are receiving the the quality resources needed to be a successful contributor in the ever growing Indigenous economy.