Directors and Staff


Etelka Gillespie


After a 35 year career in the newspaper industry and former publisher of the Merritt Herald she brings years of experience to the table with her passion for business, marketing, sales and community work. She now manages the Merritt & District Chamber of Commerce part time and has a publishing company currently active in producing children’s books. No stranger to the Chamber of Commerce, Etelka has been an active member in every community she lived in since the early 80’s.

Etelka also serves as a member of the Lending Committee with Community Futures since arriving to Merritt almost 10 years ago. It is one way to help achieve her motto “ to help make a difference wherever I go”.






Mike Heron

First Vice-President


Jasmine Kooner

jasmine koonerVice President

Jasmine was born and raised in Kamloops, BC. She attended Thompson Rivers University and received her Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in Finance in 2010 and graduated from the University of Victoria Law School with her Juris Doctor in 2013. Jasmine worked with Chahal Priddle for two summers as a law student, and also completed her Articles with them. She was called to the bar in May of 2014.

Jasmine is establishing her practice in the areas of personal injury, real estate, wills and estates, and corporate matters. She also provides these services in Merritt on a weekly basis. Jasmine is a member of the Law Society of British Columbia, Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia, the Canadian Bar Association, and the Kamloops Bar Association. She also sits on the executive board of the Kamloops Women Lawyers Forum section of the Canadian Bar Association, serves as a director for the Thompson Rivers University Alumni and Friends Association, and is a member of the Aurora Rotary Club of Kamloops . In her free time, Jasmine enjoys hiking, snowboarding, playing soccer and volleyball, and spending time with her family and friends.




Louise Genier

louise grenier

Louise currently serves at the Branch Manager at RBC in Merritt. She is a motivated, personable, professional with experience in financial services, project management and emergency services. Particular strengths are building relationships, communication and leadership. Elder Planner Counselor designation, in good standing with the Canadian Initiative for Elder Planning Studies. Distringuished Toastmaster in good standing with Toastmasters International.








Manuel Olguin


Manuel is originally from Mexico City where he received a Bachelor’s degree in Management. Since 2012 Manuel has been the Business Development Officer for Community Futures Nicola Valley. He provides customized training and counselling services to the Nicola Valley businesses. He is responsible for the planning, marketing, coordination and administration of the Lending Program; and the counselling and monitoring of clients. Manuel has lived in the area for the past 5 years and thoroughly enjoys the opportunity to be able to work with the Nicola Valley businesses to help find solutions to their business needs. 






Tricia Graham


Tricia Graham is the Branch Manager of Interior Savings Credit Union Merritt Branch. Her 14 year career in the financial industry has been in a wide range of positions, primarily management.

Through bold leadership and a passion for providing solutions and advice to members the development of her teams in a rapidly changing environment has led to positive growth and impact to the members the Credit Union serves.

Tricia’s love for community and volunteering makes integrating Interior Savings purpose “Making a Positive Difference in People’s Lives” a daily mantra. This has led to much involvement in various projects and community groups in the City of Merritt including her current role as Vice Chair at Community Futures Nicola Valley.

With strong roots in Merritt Tricia’s focus on economic development and furthering the community of Merritt has driven her continued involvement in the Merritt and District Chamber of Commerce since joining the Board in 2017.




Mike Fairfield

mike fairfield








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