Young Professional of the Year Finalists
For a business person who is 35 years of age or under as of January 1st, 2019 who excels in business, exemplifies leadership and demonstrates strong entrepreneurial skills.
- Embodies leadership and support in community initiatives and has had a significant positive impact on the Tri-Cities community and local businesses.
- Has a proven track record of sustained success, leadership, and growth in his or her field.
- Has had a significant impact on his or her business as evidenced by growth, innovation, and an established reputation as a business leader.
- Has a reputation of business excellence and expertise in his or her field.
- Showcases dedication to his or her company and bettering both the community and him or herself.
2017 Winner: Kris Schjelderup, Innovative Fitness
Byron Vallis, Mariner Brewing
Byron Vallis is the Founder of Mariner Brewing. At the age of 25 years old Byron Vallis, a born and raised Coquitlamite, successfully opened Coquitlam’s first craft brewery. He did this practically single-handed, doing everything himself from writing the business plan, securing investors, organizing trades, designers, architects and doing much of the physical labour himself. He was able to do all this in the span of only 20 months coming up with the idea in January of 2016 and opening Mariner Brewing’s doors in August 2017. Although he had a successful career working for the federal government, Byron choose to take a risk and pursue his dream. With no formal business education, Byron is completely self-taught and extremely committed, often working 18 hours (or more) a day! Mariner Brewing has currently 12 employees and projects to have over 20 employees within the next year.
Harry Dhaliwal, TD Bank
Harry Dhaliwal is a Small Business Banker for TD Bank and a Tri-Cities Young Professional committee member. He was and continues to be a driving force of the inauguration of the Tri-Cities Young Professionals program (TCYP), building it from a young leadership forum to something BIG. He assisted in providing an outline with the TCYP’s vision to build, impact, and grow and we executed on it to an extent that it has grown to be a staple program of the Tri-Cities Chamber. Being part of this circle from the beginning has provided him with friendships that will last a lifetime and a network that supports him. My involvement with the Chamber and TCYP has, directly and indirectly, has supported his business growth.
Community involvement is what fuels Harry, he is the Captain of a cycling team that has been riding since 2012 raising money for the BC Cancer Foundation. The team of 24 cyclers raised over $124,000 this year, bringing the total over the years to over $350,000.
In addition, he has been a Big Brother and has his own non-registered non-profit that distributes food and snacks on the Downtown Eastside on the last Sunday of every month.
Paige Petriw, Spotlight Events
Paige Petriw started her business, Spotlight Events, at 23 years old as a side passion project while pursuing a full-time career in hospitality and event planning. She quickly began getting recognized within the wedding industry as a top professional in the field, and was receiving many referrals from well-respected companies and venues, including Grouse Mountain, Pinnacle at the Pier Hotel, Science World, and many more.
In 2014, just 2 years after founding Spotlight Events, she was awarded a top 3 finalist for Best Wedding Event Planning at the Professional BC Wedding Awards. An accolade that launched Spotlight Events into a full-time endeavor for Paige overnight. The company grew from doing 5 weddings/events per year to 20+ weddings/events per year in its first 4 years, raising revenue by 490% from 2014 to 2015. Now, after 5 years in business, Spotlight Events enjoys a steady stream of clientele with event contracts ranging from weddings to corporate events to not-for-profit fundraisers.
Her work as a wedding planner has been featured in various regional and national publications, including Style Me Pretty Canada, Real Weddings Magazine and Ruffled Blog. In 2016, Spotlight Events was awarded the WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Award, which goes to the top 25 wedding planners in Canada. In the past 2 years, Paige has expanded Spotlight Events by hiring a team of 3 steady event planners and coordinators, in addition to a seasonal team of about 5 assistants each summer. This has allowed the company to take on more contracts, raise its profile and increase revenue.
She also enjoys giving students and young professionals the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in event planning through intern opportunities. In addition to event planning, Paige provides various freelance services, including photography, videography, graphic design and more.