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Board of Directors

Daniel Chimko - President

I was born in Kitimat and grew up working for the family business and living on a hobby farm in the Cablecar subdivision.  As a teenager I spent 5 summers working for the Kitimat Fish Hatchery before working as an Initial Attack Firefighter for the BC Forest Service in Fort Nelson while I completed a B.Sc. in Geography at the University of Northern British Columbia.  My wife and I have 3 wonderful children that we raise on our own hobby farm in Cablecar. We purchased Dal Monte’s Wood-Craft Ltd., an industrial woodshop where I have worked since 2010, in February of 2016. I am pleased to be a member of the board in order to give back to our local business community and the community at large.

Tracey Hittel - Vice-President

I was born and raised on a grain and cattle farm in rural Saskatchewan. I come from a large working class family and believe in community spirit and involving myself in my community. Being a Director of the Kitimat Chamber of Commerce is a great way to communicate with like-minded others and help new business people connect. I have a wife and two great kids and Kitimat has been my home since 1993 when I was a Methanex operator. I have since branched out and started businesses in Kitimat from Lodging to Guided Fishing to Water Taxi and Spill Response. Kitimat is a diverse community and without the Chamber of Commerce we could not communicate our voice of business.

Jacqueline Sweet - Secretary

Jacqueline “Jackie” Sweet is a Notary Public and a member of the Society of Notaries Public of British Columbia.  Jackie was commissioned as a Notary Public by the Supreme Court of British Columbia on May 2, 2013.  She received the BDO Canada Award for Inspirational Performance in all subjects of the Notary Education Program.  Jackie devotes her work to helping the public with their personal planning needs such as drafting Wills, Powers of Attorney and Representation Agreements.  Jackie believes in assisting our community with their real estate conveyancing needs including buying, selling and refinancing their home.  Jackie holds a Master’s degree in Applied Legal Studies from Simon Fraser University, a Bachelor’s degree in General Studies from Simon Fraser University and a diploma in Business Administration from the College of New Caledonia.

Corrado Colombo - Director

I was born and raised in Bergamo, Italy and immigrated to Kitimat in 2008. Prior to making Kitimat my home, I had been visiting Kitimat and the surrounding Northwest for yearly fishing adventures. I am now married to Lucy Zanardo, a local Kitimat resident, and have two children. Prior to making Kitimat my home, I was owner/operator in a family run CNC machine shop. My duties included management, drafting and CNC programming.

In 2009 I purchased a long standing Kitimat business, ABC Janitorial, now known as ABC Industries Ltd. and have successfully grown this business to be the primary janitorial company in Kitimat, serving Kitimat's commercial and industrial customers.

In my free time, I am an avid fisherman and an active member on Kitimat Search and Rescue (KSAR). I believe I am extremely fortunate to live in Kitimat. I have made a personal choice to live and work in this beautiful community as it provides an excellent work/life balance. I am pround to call Kitimat home.

BJ Houghton - Director

BJ Houghton is a British Columbia Land Surveyor and Professional Engineer. He is currently the Kitimat Branch Manager for McElhanney Ltd., an employee owned engineering, survey and consulting, survey and consulting firm which has been in continuous operation in Western Canada since 1910. BJ has resided in Kitimat with his family since 2012.

He has 15 years of consulting experience in Northern British Columbia with a focus on Upstream Oil & Gas, LNG and Manufacturing market sectors. BJ's practice focus is leading multi-disiplinary project teams, legal surveys and high-precision surveys.

BJ is also a member of the Association of BC Land Surveyors Practice Advisory Panel and Vice-President of the Board for the Northwest Regional Airport Terrace-Kitimat.

Outside of work BJ is an avid curler and beginner hockey player. 

Vanessa Lopez - Director

Vanessa was born in Ottawa, Ontario but has spent the last 13 years in BC, 6 of those in beautiful Kitimat. Living in this corner of the world has given her and her family the sense of community and the opportunity to grow as individuals. Vanessa has a background in psychology, focusing in the addictions and recovery/treatment field. She has worked in the hospitality industry for the past 4 years and is currently the General Manager of MStar Hotel and is working towards expanding the tourism footprint in Kitimat. Vanessa currently sits on the Kitimat Grow Committee, Kitimat Youth Soccer Association and is eager to start her first term with the Chamber of Commerce during these exciting times.

Winston Michell - Director

I have 20 years' experience in Hospitality Management, including golf, food and beverage and public facilities in several management capacities. I am currently the General Manager of Hirsch Creek Golf & Winter Club since relocating from Victoria BC as the Director of Sales and Marketing.

 Mark Minifie - Director 

Mark was born and raised in Kitimat and is the third of four generations calling Kitimat home. In 2008, Mark graduated from the SAIT in Calgary with a technical diploma in Mechanical Engineering. After some time working in his field, Mark attended NWCC for Business Administration. In 2011 Mark started working as a co-ordinator for J. Oviatt Contracting and then Daudet Creek Contracting, focusing mainly on development, sales and marketing of land. Mark currently heads Minifie Business Group Ltd, which provided business management services to clients large and small.

Thom Meier - Director

I was born and raised in Kitimat, completed school here and served an apprenticeship as a mechanic. I left Kitimat in 1986, returning in 1989 to help run the family business, and progressed to being the General Manager and part owner. I am married to Diana and we have 3 children who have gone on to their own careers, 2 of which still live here in Kitimat. I chose to move back to Kitimat due to the opportunity that was offered to me, however, the return to this safe, beautiful and friendly community was one of the best decisions I have made. I am President and General Manager of 101 Industries and I have served on the Kitimat Chamber of Commerce as both a Director and President.

Eve Normandin - Director

My husband and I moved to Kitimat in December 2015 from Quebec to work at Rio Tinto. Being committed to the outdoors, we fell in love with the community and region. When we are not  snowboarding, mountain biking or hiking, we are spending quality time with our son, Loic. I am the Senior Communications and Communities Advisor for Rio Tinto BC Works.

Grham Pitzel - Director

I have been a local resident of the great little town of Kitimat for over 25 years and enjoy all the aspects small town living has to offer.  Working at Eurocan until the plant shut down gave me a sense of what the town needs to survive and thrive in an industrial setting during the good and bad times.  I want to make sure the growth of this town supports all aspects that the people really enjoy about living here.  My time in industry as a Power Engineer and now in real estate as a local Realtor, has given me a great deal of experience with people and industrial requirements for what Kitimat needs to grow and thrive as a global community.