Top 40 Under Forty is presented by the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO.
These are 40 people in our community who are doing BIG things. They are thriving in business, entrepreneurship, arts, athletics or are striving to make our city and region a better place to live and work.
Have a look at our frequently asked questions!
2017-2018 Top 40 Under Forty
Trevor Brown is the Executive Director of 5th on 5th Youth Services where he works to enhance the services offered to our community.
Over 13 years, Trevor has worked with with youth across Alberta focusing on bullying and suicide prevention, and engaging the youth voice in municipal and regional governance.
Trevor ran a consultant company called Operation Humanity for seven years travelling across Alberta providing presentations, workshops and events for youth. He worked collaboratively setting up youth panels in multiple regional Children Services Authorities and the City of Lethbridge Youth Advisory Council. In 2007, he was a part of the original team that established Lethbridge’s Canadian Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination.
Originally, Trevor was interested in a career in dentistry and received a four-year scholarship. During this time, he experienced a number of difficult situations that significantly impacted him and lead him to realize that it wasn’t his true career path. He took a break from university to travel and find a new direction. He has since reenrolled at the University of Lethbridge to finish his BSc, which will be complete in December 2017.
Trevor has travelled to over 20 countries across four continents. Since he was 19 years old, he created employment opportunities for himself and others by securing funding for youth initiatives, including bullying and suicide prevention.
In 2015, with two friends, Trevor co-founded Pogo Bros Inc. providing entertainment activities for our community such as Oktoberfest.
Trevor’s entire career has focused on supporting positive growth in people and the greater community. He has participated on community committees and coalitions, such as CMARD, SHIA, CSART, and Safe2Party; facilitated local youth panels SYNAP and YAC; and engaging in service groups such as Rotary Clubs of Lethbridge.
For his dedication to the youth of our community and improving our community as a whole, The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Trevor Brown as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty!
Mike Prociw is the Market Analyst at Economic Development Lethbridge. Simply stated, Mike analyzes economic data and extracts trends and insights which are used to highlight the strengths Lethbridge has to offer. By drawing attention to these attributes, his work strives to make Lethbridge a premiere destination for investors to do business. Above all else, Mike enjoys analyzing economic indicators and looking for hidden insights. On a monthly basis he scrutinizes a broad range of metrics including labour force figures, building permit statistics, housing starts and prices and crop and livestock prices, in an effort to understand the factors that shape the local economy. He agglomerates this information and then disseminates it as efficiently as possible. Mike explores a diverse range of topics on a daily basis using technical publications, current events and statistical data sets. Drawing on this knowledge, he is able to connect local issues to provincial, national, and global trends. A strong advocate for health and wellness, Mike participates in a wide-variety of physical activities including tennis, squash, swimming, and curling.
Mike grew up in a small town just outside Waterloo, Ontario. He attended Wilfred Laurier University where he earned a double degree in Political Science & Geography. In his fourth year, Mike took a class on public opinion which combined elements of data analysis and psychology. His enjoyment of this class propelled him to complete a Masters Degree with a specialization in this field. Upon completion of his degree, Mike worked for a Market Research firm in Waterloo for a year before relocating to Lethbridge in 2013 to serve as Market Analyst for Economic Development Lethbridge. He enjoys his job and takes pride in the knowledge that the figures he analyzes can be used by a diverse section of stakeholders to catalyze local investment. Did we mention that he is currently working on achieving his Project Management Designation?
While at Economic Development Lethbridge, Mike has worked on a wide assortment of projects pertinent to the local economy. He served as the lead Project Manager on the Commercial & Industrial Development study, a land allocation report that provides a broad vision to guide development in Lethbridge over the next 20 years. Prior to this, Mike was the Project Manager of the Trade Area study, which quantified the size and geographic location of the Lethbridge Trade Area. Relocating to Lethbridge was a major milestone as Mike left his familiar Ontario background, family and many friends, to open a new chapter in the West. Lethbridge and Southern Alberta proved to be a great fit for him as the loves the community spirit that reverberates here.
Since arriving in Lethbridge, Mike has become involved in a number of community endeavors. He has been part of the Urban Spirits Rotary Club since 2014 and has been part of the board for the past two years as chair of the special projects committee. In his role, he has helped shape the club’s volunteer activities and engagements and provided organizational support for the 2017 Masquerade Ball. Arts & culture are very important to Mike and he has become acquainted with a number of individuals with similar passions. Since 2015 he has been part of the Lethbridge Jazz Society board of directors, where he has assisted in the organization of the annual jazz festival as a logistics coordinator and member of the artist selection committee. Mike also serves on the Lethbridge Tennis Club board of directors in an effort to promote participation in his favorite sport at the local level. For the past two years, he has been part of the Chamber of Commerce, serving on both the Municipal Direction and Natural Resource committees. Upon moving to Lethbridge, Mike joined the ‘Definitely Not Plato’ book club and participates in monthly meetings through the auspices of the regional library.
For his dedication to the economic, social, and artistic health of our community, The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Mike Prociw as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty!
Travis Zentner is Business Manager, Funeral Director and Embalmer with Cornerstone Funeral Home.
Travis was born in Calgary but raised in Lethbridge from a very young age. Along with his older brother Chad, he grew up in the funeral industry with his parents, Ralph and the late, Faith Zentner, owners of Cornerstone Funeral Home Ltd.
As a member of a family who owned and operated a business, it was a natural progression for him, as a young man, to be seconded to duty in the family business on a regular basis. He washed vehicles, mowed lawns, did any building and yard cleaning and maintenance as required and as able. As he matured, he worked on the transfer team, ushered at on and off-site services, assisted at receptions, ran errands and drove funeral vehicles.
He started full time at Cornerstone after graduating high school in 2006 and earned his Funeral Directing and Embalming License from the Canadian College of Funeral Service in 2009.
For a time, he ventured off to work in the construction industry and gain experience in the world around him. In 2012, the calling was strong to return to the funeral profession and work alongside his family.
For the past few years, along with his demanding 24/7 roles as a Pre-Arrangement Counselor, Funeral Director and Embalmer, he has served as the Business Manager at Cornerstone. His responsibilities include managing legislated issues surrounding the Alberta Funeral Services Regulatory Board requirements for employers and employees as well as participation in the Alberta Funeral Services Association.
His enthusiasm and passionate leadership affects his colleagues in many positive ways and he is a great example of “service above self”. Many of Travis’ families have become life-long Cornerstone friends due to the relationships he forges with them.
Through quite unfortunate circumstances, Travis was involved in a workplace accident in September of 2011 while working on a local construction site. The event saw his co-worker severely injured in a deep trench that Travis was also working in and he, without hesitation, took action to save this man’s life.
At City Hall in October of 2013, Travis was awarded a Community Hero Award by the Lethbridge Fire and Emergency Services for “a selfless and heroic act taken under difficult and sometimes extraordinary circumstance”.
Travis is a dedicated husband and father to his wife and three children. In his spare time he coaches the soccer teams of both of his oldest children, hoping to encourage team building, self-confidence and promote life-long appreciation for active life-styles in young minds. Travis is also a strong community supporter as a member of the Knights of Columbus as well as serving on boards for Bridges of Hope and Wood’s Homes.
For his dedication to the service of families during some of their most trying times, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Travis Zentner as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty.
Jennifer McCarthy is the owner of Teacup Tiny Homes, a tiny home builder in Lethbridge specializing in functional design and residential construction.
In 2016, Jennifer incorporated Teacup Tiny Homes Ltd. and as the Sole Owner and Operator, joined a group of passionate people across North America that believe in living simpler lives, and creating more affordable housing options for the purpose of living life to the fullest.
Born and raised in Milk River, Jennifer enrolled in the Interior Design and Merchandising program at Lethbridge College when she was 18. She completed the first year and began her career with Milestone Homes for the next two-and-a-half years. After earning her diploma with honours, she went on to work with Avonlea Homes from 2005 until March 2017.
Jennifer’s time at Avonlea was filled with many experiences, as she worked from Interior Designer, to Head of Design and Production, and ultimately to Operations Manager. Jennifer is very proud to have climbed the corporate ladder at Avonlea Homes, especially as a female in the male-dominated construction industry.
The amount of knowledge that she gained, and her many experiences at Avonlea inspired Jennifer to forge ahead with her entrepreneurial spirit.
Jennifer has served our community through a number of community and professional organizations, including as a board member of both CHBA Lethbridge Region and the YWCA. She is a founding board member of the Tiny Home Alliance Canada, as they work toward NPO status.
Jennifer also instructs at Lethbridge College, teaching Professional Practice in Interior Design. She continues to support Lethbridge College students by taking on interior design practicum students at Teacup Tiny Homes.
For her entrepreneurial spirit, and for bringing attention to Lethbridge and our region through the Tiny Home movement, The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Jennifer McCarthy as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty.
Ryan WestersonRyan Westerson is the Legislative Services Assistant at the City of Lethbridge. In this capacity he aides the City Clerk in the provision of governance related services to Council and Administration in the City of Lethbridge. This includes work related to the annual municipal census and the 2017 municipal election.Whether supporting large scale community projects, or creating complex policy responses to government initiatives, Ryan's reliable worth ethic, and desire to constantly learn, have proven invaluable throughout his career.Ryan graduated from the University of Lethbridge in 2014 with a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science. In addition to this, Ryan is pursuing a Project Management Certificate through Mount Royal University as well as a National Advanced Certificate in Local Authorities Administration (NACLAA) at the University of Alberta.Upon graduation from University, Ryan was accepted into the Alberta Municipal Internship Program, a competitive internship focused on creating the next generation of municipal government leaders. This internship saw Ryan employed by the City of Brooks, where he was introduced to the intricacies of municipal governance.While an intern, Ryan was tasked with the management of several key projects and initiatives, including the successful transition of the Brooks Handibus Service back to Municipal Operations. Under the system Ryan implemented, this service saw a 200% increase in ridership in the first year.With the increased recognition of catastrophic events and the toll these instances have upon a community, Ryan has pursued additional education in Emergency Management, obtaining an Incident Command System (ICS) 300 level certification.While attending University, Ryan was appointed by Lethbridge City Council to serve on their Youth Advisory Council. In this capacity Ryan was tasked with creating dialogue between the youth of Lethbridge and City Council.This dialogue included leading the Youth Advisory Council in providing a voice against the proposed oil and gas exploration in West Lethbridge in 2014.Ryan believes in being an active member of the community in which you reside. Whether serving as a volunteer firefighter, to being the Chair of the Board of Directors at a local youth centre, to serving as a member of the board for a local sport council, coaching local athletes, and joining a local organizing committee for summer sporting events, Ryan's belief in contributing to his community is what guides his actions daily.For his dedication to making Lethbridge a better place to live, work and raise a family, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Ryan Westerson as one of Lethbridge's Top 40 Under Forty .
Lauren Hart is the founder of Lauren Hart Yoga, and Hawk + Harvest Market, an artisan market showcasing local artists, creators and designers.
At the age of 19, a switch flipped in Lauren’s mind that took her off of the conventional path, and onto her own path. She discovered yoga, the first thing that made her feel truly at home within herself
Lauren traveled to 3 different continents to become a teacher and came home inspired to offer something truly raw and different to the community. She has completed three yoga certifications which makes her an Experienced 500hr Certified Instructor. These programs have taken her to Thailand, Los Angeles, and Nicaragua where she lived for roughly two months each while being educated.
She started her own yoga business, Lauren Hart Yoga, at age 20, because she didn't see the proper channel in the city to share what she wanted to share. No matter where Lauren worked, she was always thinking of ways it could be better, more effective and more authentic. That feeling inspired her to pave her own path and see if she could create something better.
Alongside teaching yoga, Lauren has a line of jewelry and relics that she sells online and at markets called HVRTSPVCE (heart space), and she curates an artisan market four times per year called Hawk + Harvest.
The independence of being her own boss made Lauren into a creative and original teacher, her own graphic/web designer, marketer, book-keeper, etc. as she had to be resourceful to kickstart her career. Lauren has grown to starting her own Jewelry business, planning creative events, curating Hawk + Harvest market, and eventually being the official Events/Marketing Coordinator for Coulee Brewing Company.
Lauren is proud to use her businesses to also showcase other very deserving young artists, teachers, and musicians. She wants her followers and supporters to see how cool our community is. She wants to ignite the spark in others to create and be exactly who they want to be.
Lauren engages people through yoga to not only do something great for their physical health, but to also dig into the mental practice which usually breaks down walls and barriers that make us feel separate. She loves using creative and unconventional venues for her classes – including the brew room at Coulee Brew Co., Helen Schuler's Living Roof and CASA Dance Studio – to not only break people out of their comfort zones, but inspire them to adventure here at home.
For her self-made success, passion for showcasing our city and its artists, and dedication to improving her followers’ health and overall wellbeing, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Lauren Hart as one of Lethbridge Top 40 Under Forty.
Dmitri and Anali Reizvikh
Dmitri and Anali Reizvikh created True North Slings, a line of high quality linen baby carriers made by Canadian moms. Dmitri serves as Operations Manager and CFO, while Anali serves as CEO and Marketing Director.
When Anali and Dmitri found out their family of two was to become a family of three, Anali began her search for the best baby carrier. After some research it was clear that while linen ring slings were highly recommended, they were hard to come by in Canada. After a lengthy and expensive experience ordering a ring sling from abroad, Anali knew that there must be a better way. And just as Anali and Dim welcomed their son Alex into the world, True North Slings was born.
Dmitri and Anali put a strong effort into creating mutually beneficial partnership with a focus on being environmentally conscience and giving back whenever they are able.
They hire local moms who work from home as seamstresses. They are passionate about recycling everything they can from the workshop, while also working with three other small Canadian shops that use True North Slings remnants to make baby bonnets, soft soled baby shoes and baby bows. Not only has this partnership eliminated textile waste from their shop, but it has also been a great way to cross-promote three other Canadian small businesses.
While there are other babywearing companies in North America, there are very few that offer products ethically made in Canada from materials largely sourced from other Canadian businesses.
Dmitri is a University of Lethbridge alumnus with a B.Sc. in Computer Science and has also worked with the University in the neuroscience department developing research software.
After graduating from UofL he pursued a career in IT Project Management and has held the Project Management Professional designation for the past seven years, working with Dell Technologies as a Sr. Advisor.
Anali and Dmitri have always had an entrepreneurial spirit and it wasn’t until their son was born that they knew what their first combined venture would be. Babywearing has a special spot in their lives. It was essential to them during the first couple of years with their son Alex. It got them through rough spots and having experienced the benefits first hand, they knew it was something they wanted to provide to other parents in Canada.
In 2009, Anali and Dmitri made the decision to move to Toronto to further their careers. Anali focused on dance and worked as a ballet teacher at several of Toronto’s top schools. She was also one of the founding members of Intrinsic Dance Project, a contemporary dance collective that won the audience choice award at the Fresh Blood festival at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre.
Dmitri worked on furthering his Project Management career and started a web design company with a colleague.
Both successful ventures, however, after six years, they felt Lethbridge calling them again and made the decision to leave their Toronto life and move back to start a family.
Building a babywearing business means being very involved in the babywearing community. Philanthropy is a strong focus for True North Slings.
The company works with several non-profit organizations by donating a portion of their proceeds to a variety of causes. They also connect with babywearing groups across Canada and donate to their lending libraries where parents can try a variety of baby carriers before purchasing.
Locally, Anali is one of the volunteer leaders of the Bridge City Slingers – Lethbridge’s babywearing group and baby carrier lending library. They are strongly focused on babywearing safety, not only to ensure that their own products are safe, but also to help in developing better safety standards in the industry.
Dmitri and Anali are members of two important nonprofit organizations which work towards improving safety standards: the Baby Carrier Industry Alliance and American Society for Testing and Materials.
With Anali’s dance experience she also serves as a board member with the Lethbridge Society of Independent Dance Artists.
For their unique and innovative entrepreneurial success, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Dmitri and Anali Reizvikh as two of Lethbridge Top 40 Under Forty.
Jeff Hinman is the owner of Jeff Hinman Photography, and independent photography business based in Lethbridge.
Born and raised in Lethbridge, Jeff first picked up a camera only three years ago. He started his photography business in January, 2017 and has already been overwhelmed with success.
After graduating from Catholic Central High School in 2006, he turned to sheet metal work as a stable career but always felt like something was missing from his life.
Jeff has been drawn to the arts for as long as he can remember. For Christmas 2015, he received a camera from his mother and it consumed his life.
Jeff attended the self-employment program at Excuserv Plus. It helped him to properly understand how to run a business.
Much of Jeff’s success can be attributed to his tendency to go above and beyond to ensure that clients are delivered a high quality product.
Jeff loves working with local business owners and realtors to show case their abilities and what they have to offer to our community.
Through photography, Jeff has learned the most important thing your career is to have passion—passion creates inspiration; inspiration creates movement; movement creates achievements. He feels so passionaltely about photography, that he doesn’t even consider photography work.
Jeff has had his prints and calendars sold around the globe. He has shot over 150 houses in as a real-estate photographer, and serves as the in-house photographer for Atkinson & Associates Reality. His landscape and real estate photography has been published in multiple local magazines.
Jeff loves to give back to the community. He regularly donates his time to charities and non-profit events, including the MS Run, Battle of the Badges, Steps for Life, and the 1/8 Mile Drag Race.
He has also donated landscape prints to the Ducks Unlimited dinner and other events. Jeff jumps at the opportunity, whenever he is able, to lend a hand for someone in the community.
For his talent, desire to give back to our community and entrepreneurial spirit the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Jeff Hinman as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty.
Dr. Matthew Secretan
Dr. Matthew Secretan is a practicing plastic surgeon with a practice in Lethbridge, where he performs cosmetic procedures with a special interest in reconstructive surgery.
Dr. Secretan’s reconstructive practice focuses on facial reconstruction following skin cancer excision, hand surgery, peripheral nerve surgery, and reconstructive surgery for burn victims. Each patient presents with a unique problem and he enjoy the challenge of trying to restore normal function and appearance to each of them.
Dr. Secretan grew up in Picture Butte and attended high school there. He completed his undergraduate degree in biochemistry at the University of Lethbridge in 2005 with Honors with Great Distinction. He then went on to study medicine at the University of Alberta and received his Doctor of Medicine in 2009.
He was accepted into the plastic surgery program at the University of Alberta and completed his training to become a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
Dr. Secretan is committed to providing the highest quality of care to all of his patients. He values the community that we live in and tries to support those who helped shape who he is today.
He attends several community events, sponsors local fundraising efforts, supports other small businesses, and does what he can to offer the best possible service to the community.
For his success as a surgeon and entrepreneurial spirit, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Dr. Matthew Secretan as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty.
Deana Dypolt is a full time math teacher, girls’ basketball coach and owner & operator of ArtBeat Lethbridge – a non-profit organization that engages with Lethbridge's vibrant artist community.
ArtBeat Lethbridge exists as platform to allow local artists to showcase and sell their work. Deana participates annually in the Lethbridge Art Walk, and her unique, corky style has landed her home in the SAAG House Tours and Tea. Her art can be seen in several businesses in and around Lethbridge and Calgary.
Deana feels that Lethbridge itself has shaped her into the person that she is today. Lethbridge has given her the opportunity and platform to get involved with many organizations.
Originally from Calgary, Deana came to Lethbridge to play basketball at Lethbridge College where she studied Fashion Design. The College allowed her to travel Canada and play basketball at a high level, captaining the team from 2003-2005 and winning the 2004 CCAA Women’s National Championship.
Playing at this level allowed Deana to gain the experience to play for OutWest Canada. She travelled the world playing basketball with other national teams and athletes. In 2006, Deana was inducted into the Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame.
During this time, Deana enrolled in art classes, reviving a passion from high school. She continued with art and earned her combined Bachelor of Art and Bachelor of Education in 2009.
As a full-time math teacher and basketball coach, Deana was missing her involvement with the arts. She looked for an event or organization that she could get involved with and couldn't find one that suited her needs. That’s when she decided to start her own business: ArtBeat Lethbridge. Deana found a business partner and ArtBeat Lethbridge emerged!
ArtBeat Lethbridge has an artist collective of approximately 50 local artists, including Deana.
ArtBeat gives these artists a platform to show and sell their work in a gallery setting, where most have not been given the opportunity before. The community of Lethbridge is then able to interact with these artists, view and purchase local, original art at an affordable price.
ArtBeat’s shows and sales open the door to other community members and organizations. ArtBeat Lethbridge collaborates with local DJ's, radio stations and other various local businesses.
For her unwavering dedication and versatility through teaching, coaching and working to promote Southern Alberta’s art community, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Deana Dypolt as one of Lethbridge Top 40 Under Forty.
Rachel Lindemann is the owner of Atlatl Archaeology, an archaeological consulting company based in Lethbridge.
Rachel sets high standards for the work don’t by Atlatl Archaeology both in the field, as well as the reporting requirements. She strives to provide the most information possible to integrate it into the larger picture through research and interpretations.
She also works hard to foster a positive learning environment in her company for her employees where they are encouraged to learn, and ask questions and feel like valued members of the team.
After earning her Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Lethbridge in 2005, Rachel travelled overseas to continue her education. In 2007, she earned her Master's degree at the University of Bristol, England before returning to Alberta.
After completing her education, Rachel taught at Lethbridge College for three years before moving on to a large environmental company in Calgary. While teaching at Lethbridge College, Rachel discovered that sh enjoyed teaching, giving her the opportunity to break down complex ideas and topics and guide students to find the best ways to express their ideas.
Starting her own company has been a massive learning curve for Rachel. Even several years in, she feels that she is still continually learning and being challenged.
As a graduate of the UofL, Rachel has been passionate about giving back to the community and over the past four years. She has hired almost 20 students and graduates of the UofL Archaeology and Geography programs giving recent graduates and students hands on experience and training.
She is currently the president of, the Archaeological Society of Alberta, Lethbridge Centre. She believes strongly in encouraging the general public to be excited about archaeology.
Through Atlatl, Rachel participates in public outreach events such as visits to local schools, local events such as Nature Play Day, and Word on the Street. She also partners with the Galt Museum to educate and engage children in archaeology.
Rachel also makes sure to do a variety of free public presentations on the major archaeological sites that they excavate, as well as participating in local conferences to get the general community, as well the archaeological community, engaged in what they are researching.
For her dedication to furthering the field of archaeology, teaching and training future archaeologists and engaging the next generation of archaeologists, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Rachel Lindemann as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty.
Tony Montina is the Magnetic Resonance Facility Manager at the University of Lethbridge where he supervises students and responsible for all operational and financial aspects of the facility.
Tony earned a BSc in general sciences in 2007 and an MSc in Physical Chemistry in 2010, both from the University of Lethbridge. He originally enrolled at the UofL to become a high school science teacher.
While completing his undergraduate degree, Tony successfully applied for the position of NMR facility manager at the UofL. He accomplished this at the age of 25, which is a very unique accomplishment in the academic community. This academic position allows him to pursue his loves of research and teaching.
Tony prides himself on being an educator that is willing to go above and beyond when teaching students. Several of the students that he has supervised have gone on to medical school or further academic and professional studies. Getting to see the light bulb turn on in a student’s head when they finally grasp a difficult concept is the highlight of his day.
The growth and financial stability of the NMR facility over the past eight years showcases Tony’s leadership skills. Since taking over the NMR facility he has been successful in securing approximately $1.9M in highly competitive national grants to expand and upgrade the facility to double its original size. Furthermore, when Tony took over the facility it was in a deficit, which he has been successful in turning into an annual surplus for the past six years.
Tony feels that giving back to the community is one of the most important things an individual can do. Over the past 15 years he has volunteered in several different capacities ranging from being a group leader for the homeless census, judging at the regional science fair and volunteering for various events at both the Canadian Cancer Society and YWCA.
He is also passionate about coaching and spent 10 years coaching junior high basketball and high school volleyball at Coalhurst High School. He currently sits on the board of directors for the Coulee Kickers Soccer Association, which runs a recreational soccer league for several small towns in southern Alberta.
For his success in running the NMR facility at the University of Lethbridge and as a educator, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Tony Montina as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty.
Karissa Schlaht is a Relationship Manager with TD Agriculture Services where she works with producers to manage the financial health of large farm operations across Southern Alberta. She helps companies grow through strategic borrowing, first class customer service and transparent financial advice.
Growing up on a mixed grain and cow calf farm near Lomond taught Karissa the importance of teamwork, community involvement and hard work.
Karissa earned her Bachelor of Management, majoring in Finance, from the University of Lethbridge in 2009. During that time, she began working as a bank teller where she found her calling. Today, she is an emerging leader with TD Canada Trust.
Karissa has always been strongly involved with the community. She has been a member of the Lethbridge Chamber for over a decade, including serving as a member of the Board of Directors during 2009-2010.
She began as a dedicated volunteer with Crohn’s and Colitis Canada in 2006, and served as President of the Lethbridge chapter from 2010-2012. She helped organize a charity BBQ, garage sale and walk-a-thon annually, which combined have raised over $300,000 for the foundation over the past ten years.
Karissa is a founding board member of Alberta Women in Agriculture, an innovative group aimed at helping women connect and build relationships that support growth and networking for a successful career in agriculture.
Karissa was raised to believe that giving back to the community isn't just about big endowments, grand gestures and public recognition, but also about spreading small, consistent kindness. Her mantra is this: Give out of love. Give when its least expected.
For her dedication to community involvement and improvement, and to helping strengthen region’s our agricultural base, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Karissa Schlaht as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty.
Patrick McCullagh is the creator of the Lethbridge Sports and Social Club, an organization that allows adults to participate in recreational sports and social activities they might not otherwise do because they have a small social network, or a social network that does not share all of their interests.
Patrick created the Lethbridge Sports and Social Club as is a way for adults to connect with others, play entry level recreational sports and feel that they belong to a group that shares their interests. Since its inception earlier in 2017, membership base has grown to over 300 members. Patrick started the club in his spare time outside of his full-time job, and it has grown into being another full-time job.
When he first moved to Lethbridge in 2014, Patrick was looking for a group that supported recreational sports and social activities. After three years of not finding that group he took it upon himself to create it.
The social activities the club offers supports local businesses and other events in town. Many club members want to experience what the city has to offer, but do not want to do it alone. The club is a way for adults to connect with people in a safe inclusive environment.
Patrick has earned three college diplomas: Advanced Motion Picture Production, Culinary Arts and, most recently, Library and Information Technician.
Patrick’s goal is to bring people together so that they feel like they belong to a community that supports them. Lethbridge Sports and Social Club offers a variety of programming for adults including hiking, organized recreational sports leagues, fitness classes, pop-up sport events, cultural activities, social nights, trivia nights, leisure walks, skiing, snowshoeing, go-karting, and more.
Lethbridge Sports and Social Club also supports the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign and donates 5% of its membership fees towards that campaign.
For his entrepreneurial spirit and innovative idea to bring people together, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Patrick McCullagh as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty.
Verlin Torkelson is the owner of BlueGrass Landscaping Ltd., a landscaping business that creates stunning landscapes for discerning clients with an eye for beauty.
BlueGrass Landscaping was started in 2004 when Verlin and a co-worker bought his brother's lawn care. They have grown the business substantially since and now employ 8-10 people seasonally.
Verlin’s background is from the farm where he learned many of his life skills and how to work hard. This value for hard work extends into his business values, where he puts a strong focus on honesty, and quality work for customers. He loves to create beautiful ponds and water gardens, and replicate natural ecosystems to keep them clean, and create habitat for local birds and wildlife.
Verlin attributes much of his company’s success on teamwork and the people that they have been able to employ. He employs the best people, and use only the best equipment and materials because creating their customer's ideal outdoor living spaces brings his team as much joy as it brings them.
A strong community supporter, Verlin has volunteered with Streets Alive Mission with their outreach to hand out sandwiches and coffee, and their Sunday Lunch program.
He also serves as coordinator for Christian Aid Ministries Rapid Response Service which bring cleanup volunteers into the area within forty-eight hours of a disaster. Their team spent a month in Fort McMurray following the fires, and helped in Nova Scotia with flooding. This year the team has been in throughout interior BC helping with fire cleanup.
For his outstanding work as an entrepreneur and dedication to giving back to our community, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Verlin Torkelson as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty.
Katie Saruwatari is the owner and operator of Vital Essence Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine, an acupuncture clinic committed to delivering the highest standards of treatment to their patients.
Katie has always had a desire to help and care for others. This desire developed into a keen interest in alternative medicine, which lead her to a career in acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine.
In her practice, Katie strives to create and maintain a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere. Her first priority of patient care is taking the time to develop a strong professional relationship with all patients so as to fully understand their health concerns and create a unique and successful treatment plan to suit their individual needs. Katie prides herself on one-on-one patient care.
Born and raised in Lethbridge, Katie has deep roots in the community that have taught her the value of contributing to bettering our community and giving to others.
Katie attended the Alberta College of Acupuncture & Traditional Chinese Medicine and earned a Doctorate in Acupuncture Diploma. She holds an Alberta Acupuncture License with the College and Association of Acupuncturists of Alberta.
Katie treats a wide range of ailments, but mostly sees acute and chronic pain in her practice. She is currently working toward continued education in sports medicine acupuncture. Katie also works in furthering her knowledge towards fertility issues. She takes great pride in helping medically unexplained infertility cases to get pregnant.
Katie strives to educate the public on how Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine can work for everyone and not just in an acute injury or rehabilitative manner.
For her work to help her patients and educate the public about the benefits of acupuncture and TCM, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce & BDO are proud to recognize Katie Saruwatari as one of Lethbridge Top 40 Under Forty.
Lane Anderson is the owner of London Road Media a content marketing agency in Lethbridge specializing in social media marketing and digital media.
Lane is a storyteller. Combined with a dedication to staying on top of social media strategies and innovative marketing approaches, he is able to take his storytelling skills within the business world, making him a leader in the content marketing field.
Not one to follow the safe and established path, Lane’s daily mission is to develop better ways to build quality relationships between businesses and customers. He created an agency that is doing business locally and is highly invested in our community, but is also recognized internationally for doing innovative things with global brands.
In 2014, Lane earned a Bachelor of Arts in Honours English, minoring in Sociology at the University of the Fraser Valley in B.C.. UFV prepared Lane for innovation and thought-leading.
Living at a variety of places around the globe has exposed Lane to a lot of diversity. It's this broader view from other communities that helps him see things that could add value to our community, and makes him a superb storyteller.
Lane has had fiction, poetry, and non-fiction published in the literary magazines Louden Singletree and The Pacific Rim Review of Books, and the UFV student newspaper The Cascade. He was also Associate Producer of a documentary called Phwap's Back, following the return of Kevin "Phwap" Boudreau to the 2015 World Series of Poker following a serious brain injury suffered during the 2013 event.
Soon after moving to Lethbridge in 2014, Lane started a community resource called Your Quintessential Lethbridge (YQL), spurred by his love for this city and recognizing the need for a publication that celebrates Lethbridge and all the things going on here. He created Your Quintessential Lethbridge to show off our city and to help “Lethbians” discover all of the awesome things going on in the city.
Lane believes that Lethbridge is an unrecognized and underappreciated city with amazing natural beauty, incredible culture, inspiring community, and enormous economic opportunity. He takes pride in shouting this from the rooftops of Your Quintessential Lethbridge and working to convince the world of it.
In addition to his professional duties, Lane serves on the board of directors for Fifth on Fifth where he helps to give youth the tools to find success in our community, investing in Lethbridge's future.
For his work in promoting our community through storytelling and helping local businesses grow, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Lane Anderson as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty.
Jordan Sailer is the president and personal trainer at Twisted Steel Fitness, a fitness centre located in Coaldale.
Jordan had always wanted to own his own business, but never knew exactly what. When he realized Coaldale had almost 10,000 residents and no place to work out, he knew just what to do!
The main thing that sets Twisted Steel apart from many other fitness facilities is their focus on customer service. Jordan believes developing a strong relationship with the customer is the key in running a successful business.
Jordan developed a passion for fitness at a young age and started training at age 15. He has learned a lot from experience and always trying to further his knowledge. Jordan studied Exercise Science and Business Management at Lethbridge College and did a semester of International Business at the Kajaani University of Applied Science in Finland.
In June 2015, Jordan acquired two pieces of commercial real estate. After several months of hard work he converted one of the buildings into a community fitness centre while the other building is currently being leased out.
Jordan considers it a major achievement to wake up every day and going to work doing something that he loves. His favorite thing about his job is seeing the results of his clients and how their attitude and confidence grows at the same time.
The focus at Twisted Steel has been to build a community within a community. Their gym members come from all different backgrounds, yet they all feel comfortable and connected. No matter what one's goals are, Twisted Steel has the tools and knowledge to help them get there.
Since opening the gym, Jordan has been extremely dedicated to giving back to the community in every way possible and plans to continue to do so as the business grows. In the past three years they have enjoyed helping out the community with fundraisers and local events.
Twisted Steel has connected with local youth as well, giving them a positive place to go after school. They run youth fitness classes to help them learn the fundamentals of weight training and sports conditioning. They also support or local sports teams through sponsorship and training with some of the teams.
For his dedication to improving the health and wellbeing of his clients, and entrepreneurial spirit, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Jordan Sailer as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty.
Adriana Mercader is the vice president of Flexahopper Plastics Ltd., a rotational molding plastics company founded in 1967 and headquartered in Lethbridge.
Starting as the sales and marketing manager, she worked her way up to the vice president of a Multinational Manufacturing Company. Through her leadership, she encourages everyone in the company to support community-involved initiatives.
Adriana earned her Bachelor's Degree in Management, part in Mexico at ITESM and part in Canada at Mount Royal. After working for a few years, she was awarded in Mexico with an international scholarship to study for her Master's Degree in China, which she would go on to earn from Zhejiang University in 2007.
In 2008, Adriana immigrated to Canada, with her whole life packed into one suitcase and has never looked back! Being an immigrant has come with many challenges but most importantly with lots of great life learning experiences.
Her vision and foresight has proven invaluable to the growth of Flexahopper Plastics, propelling the company into new arenas of business that never seemed possible before.
Since taking the company under her direction, Flexahopper has become an internationally recognized brand. They have penetrated new markets with strong product lines and world-wide known quality levels. The company’s safety program has been awarded internationally by the Association of Rotational Molders as the best one in the field. Flexahopper was awarded "Best Supplier", from over 1500 suppliers, by one of North Americas largest poultry operations company.
Most importantly to Adriana, she has been able to foster a sense of family and a passion to succeed throughout the entire organization. Through her leadership, she encourages everyone in the company to support community-involved initiatives.
Adriana is grateful to be able to give back to the community. She sees it as a cycle: she is able to employ immigrants, that like her, came to this country with hope to better themselves and have a brighter future for their families.
Flexahopper sponsors many events in the community such as Immigrant Achievement Awards, the Val Matteotti Italian Open for the Chinook Regional Hospital Foundation, Rotary Galas, SAAG Art Auction and more.
Also, as a young woman, athletics played a large role in Adriana’s life. She was very fortunate to have strong mentors and coaches who helped her along the way and she now enjoys volunteering her time helping coach youth athletics within the city – especially soccer!
For her outstanding achievements in business, putting Lethbridge on the map internationally in the plastics production industry, and her commitment to making the immigrant experience in Lethbridge positive, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Adriana Mercader as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty!
Breeanne Fuller is the director of the Conservatory of Music at the University of Lethbridge, managing over 50 talented music faculty who teach 2,200 students per year.
The U of L Conservatory of Music is located in the downtown core at Casa, so Breeanne aims to work with the community as much as possible. She organizes a free concert series called Lunch & Listen, offering classical music concerts on the first Friday of every month and volunteers her time to serve on the Lethbridge and Area Music and Speech Arts Festival board.
Breeanna is proud to represent 50 of the most talented musicians in this city, knowing that they have the potential to make such a huge difference in the Lethbridge arts community.
Born and raised in Southern Alberta, Breeanne grew up in the Crowsnest Pass. She discovered music on a Suzuki piano at the age of 2, and continued with traditional piano and singing lessons at 5.
Breeanne has earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Alberta, Bachelor of Music from the University of Lethbridge and a Masters in Education also from the U of L.
Over 11 years of post-secondary education, Breeanne discovered that her passion was education. She absolutely loves working at the U of L Conservatory of Music, where she has the opportunity to make a difference in students’ lives.
She has been featured as one of the top Kindermusik educators in the world by Kindermusik International, and has been a leader in the world of Kindermusik since 2012.
In addition to her duties as director of the U of L Conservatory of Music, Breeanne sits as Vice President for the Lethbridge & District Music & Speech Arts Festival. She volunteers in the arts community as much as possible.
For her passion in instilling a love of music in our community’s young people, and her guidance over the U of L Conservatory, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Breeanna Fuller as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty.
Micheal Ostrom is the owner of The Number Guys, an accounting and business consultancy firm that was founded to help small businesses learn, grow, and succeed in the dynamic landscape that is Lethbridge.
Michael spent a decade working for a local construction company, many of those years as a foreman. Eventually he realized that working for this construction company was not enough of a challenge and that he wanted more.
He left to start his own construction company, Refresh Construction, and at the same time applied to go back to school. In 2012, at the age of 27, Michael began at Lethbridge College where he earned a diploma in accounting. He transferred to the University of Lethbridge and graduated with a Bachelor of Management in Accounting and Finance in 2016.
Michael kept his construction business running during the school year and spent two summers in a co-op position with an oil and gas firm in Calgary. While at the U of L, he had the opportunity to work with an elite group of students in the Integrated Management Experience where they raised money for charity, entered case competitions, learned from knowledgeable business mentors in the community, and built a network of like-minded individuals both in and outside of school.
After participating in, and winning, several business competitions both in and outside of the classroom, Michael’s keen sense for business development and entrepreneurship began to flourish.
During his second year of University, he moved away from participating in business competitions to coaching other students for the competitions.
During this period he also taught case workshops for The Management Students Society and the Cor Van Raay Agribuisness Case Competition. During his time at the U of L Michael sat on both the Accounting and Finance Club boards, was the Director for 5Days for the Homeless, and participated in the SMIF program where he got to learn how the stock market and investing worked in real time.
When he completed his degree, Michael began to work on his CPA designation. During this time he noticed that small business owners in Lethbridge needed accounting and consulting services that were action oriented and cost friendly. The result was the creation of The Number Guys, a company focused on helping small business owners!
It has always been Michael’s passion in life to help people. During his construction career, he loved working with clients to help them achieve the best outcome for their project. As a foreman he enjoyed teaching co-workers new skills that would help them succeed. Since finishing school he has concentrated on helping his accounting and business consulting clients learn and grow their businesses.
Michael sits on the Lethbridge and Area Cycle Association Board and has served as treasurer for two years. Outside of business, biking is his passion. He is dedicated to contributing to the Lethbridge biking community.
For his dedication to helping other small business owners succeed, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Michael Ostrom as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty.
Angie Nilsson is the co-owner and COO of The Epiphany Group, a business consulting service for financial advisors and the co-founder and publisher for Lethbridge’s newest magazine, The Breeze.
Angie started her education degree at the University of Alberta. She is working toward her business management degree.
After teaching in China for a summer, she discovered that she loved to teach and train but not necessarily in the school setting. She refocused and entered the business world and discovered a passion for creating systems, protocols, managing, and training.
Starting as an administrator, through a process of taking courses and hands on experience, Angie eventually came to run the operations for Laurie, Kenna and Associates, the largest multi-agent corporation of its type.
In April of 2015 Angie moved on to form The Epiphany Group with Darryl Kenna and Rick Ursel. She is now the COO of The Epiphany Group. She runs the administration team and continues to develop the systems and tools to expand their many services.
Angie believes that everyone has a story and loves being a part of people’s journey and learning about the obstacles they overcame to become successful.
Because of this, Angie launched The Breeze magazine in May of 2017. The Breeze tells the stories of men and women who have succeeded in their profession and other facets of life.
Angie feels strongly about giving back to the community. She serves as director of The Gord Laurie Foundation. Every year they host a golf tournament and a poker tournament that raises money for local charities, contributing over $200,000 to charities in southern Alberta over the past six years.
For her track record of success, work in helping local business owners and drive to tell the stories of those in our community, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Angie Nilsson as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty.
Jonathan Hamilton is focused, determined, hardworking, dedicated and loyal. He sets goals for himself and for the company that he works for and attain those goals and visions.
These traits led him to his current Chief Operating Officer position at Tollestrup Construction. Tollestrup is a third generation, local family business in Lethbridge that he feels privileged to be of operating.
He believes his personal commitment to these qualities is perhaps what sets him apart.
In 1999, Jonathan moved to Lethbridge with very little to his name. He was accepted into Lethbridge College and had earned a tryout for the men’s Basketball team. He packed everything he owned and moved to Lethbridge.
Something clicked in him with that decision. He knew this was his chance to create a better life then what he had experienced, and lay the foundation for his future.
While at the college Jonanthan was able to earn two scholarships which helped him stay afloat in pursuit of his goals. He continued to work hard and never gave up. This hard work was rewarded with a diploma in General studies. In 2003, he started with Tollestrup Construction as a concrete labourer.
His continued hard work and dedication helped push him through the ranks. Because of Tollestrup, he found himself back at College earning his second diploma with honours in the Civil Engineering Technology program. This sent him on a new path forward with vision and opportunity.
Jonanthan gained his accreditation as a C.E.T. with ASET and currently sits as a member of the advisory committee at Lethbridge College for civil engineering technologies program. He is also a director for the Alberta Roadbuilders and Heavy Construction Association.
Jonanthan has volunteered to coach basketball at Coalhurst Elementary School, which he found very rewarding being able to witness the players grow and excel as the season progressed. He has run multiple basketball camps for players aged 7-17 at both beginner and elite levels. He sits on the ARHCA Board of Directors at a provincial level, a position that provides him the opportunity to help improve the road building and heavy construction industry in Alberta.
For his hard work and success in business from the ground up, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Jonathan Hamilton as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty.