Professionals & Entrepreneurs in Metal Tech Alley

Unique businesses led by amazing people are the foundation of Metal Tech Alley. With unmatched lifestyle and career opportunities, the region is home to people from all over the world who choose to lead the way. Read some of their stories below.

Building a Voice for Women in Tech: Pilar Portela, President and CEO of Astra Smart Systems & AP Tech Solutions.

Pilar Portela isn’t just multilingual when it comes to fluently speaking English and Spanish. With her career igniting concurrently with the internet, she learned to communicate with computers and applications to solve systemic problems and translate those ideas to all kinds of people. Originally from Latin America, Pilar immigrated to Canada and grew a career [...]

Engineering Remote Communication: Jenn Wilson, Managing Partner, Austin Engineering

The ability to run a team meeting remotely is a skill that Jenn Wilson has mastered. The Golden, BC resident is the Managing Partner at Trail’s Austin Engineering and is a leading example of a thriving remote-working professional. After a career in communications and public affairs, Jenn pivoted and leveraged her entrepreneurial acumen to begin [...]

Championing School Engagement: Chris Derochie, Account Manager, Thoughtexchange

Like many from smaller communities, Chris Derochie was eager to leave his hometown after graduating from high school. Seeking a larger centre, he left Rossland and landed in Michigan, where he played college hockey and obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration. While there, he also discovered his passion for working with tech startups, and after [...]

Innovating Economy Through Tech: Jason Taylor – Chair / Lead Researcher, Selkirk Technology Access Centre.

Digital arts professional Jason Taylor felt a new sense of intrigue and purpose when he held his animated character in his hand for the first time. That tangible moment of experiencing a design leap from concept to physical model spurred his career at Selkirk College into some radical shifts, and before long he was hooked [...]

Preserving a Lasting Legacy: Ingrid Hope – Owner, Hall Printing

A customer calls looking for help with materials for a fast-approaching marketing event, or replacement labels after a missed shipment from their supplier. It’s calls like these that excite Ingrid Hope, owner of Hall Printing. Problem solving drives innovation and breakthroughs, and that’s the environment that she excels in. Ingrid became the print shop owner [...]

Leading Business Engagement: Erika Krest – Executive Director, Trail & District Chamber of Commerce.

Encouraging a regional mindset is a priority for Erika Krest in her role as the Executive Director for the Trail & District Chamber of Commerce. Erika has spent the last 20 years fostering community as a dedicated volunteer, mother, and business owner. Originally from Hungary, she counts her experiences as essential to her early years [...]

Circular Economy Role Model: Pete Stamper – General Manager, KC Recycling

Pete Stamper traded in his business suit for coveralls and a respirator when he moved to the Lower Columbia from Seattle, WA to become KC Recycling’s General Manager (GM).  The primed professional is comfortable working at ground level operations, especially excelling at leading global manufacturing companies through ownership transitions and turnarounds. Last March, Stamper was [...]

Accelerating Kootenay Tech: Cam Whitehead – Executive Director, KAST

A recognizable acronym can be an indicator of success. Enter KAST, or the Kootenay Association for Science & Technology. The innovation hub is the only rural tech association in Canada, and it’s situated proudly in the Kootenay region’s Metal Tech Alley. At the helm is Executive Director Cam Whitehead, who left city life behind to [...]

The Sustainable Mission: Darrel Fry – CEO, Advanced BioCarbon 3D

Carbon neutral and biodegradable are familiar buzzwords in today’s environmental industry - but has their wide usage blurred their definitions? CEO Darrel Fry of Advanced BioCarbon 3D (ABC3D) is breaking down their precise meanings and providing a prognosis for a bright future where wood replaces all 700 manufactured plastics. But Darrel isn’t an environmentalist; he’s [...]