Lisa George of Port Alberni, centre, celebrates her Top 20 Under 40 win with some of her Loving Hands staff member, Saturday night (April 8, 2017). SUBMITTED PHOTO

Lisa George of Port Alberni, centre, celebrates her Top 20 Under 40 win with some of her Loving Hands staff member, Saturday night (April 8, 2017). SUBMITTED PHOTO

Alberni women named to Island’s Top 20 Under 40

Lisa George and Jolleen Dick have been recognized for their community achievements.

Two Port Alberni leaders have been named to the 2017 Vancouver Island Top 20 Under 40 list.

Lisa George opened Loving Hands Senior & Community Care in 2013 and The New Leaf Supportive Recovery in 2015. Jolleen Dick has been influencing positive change in the Hupacasath First Nation community and the Alberni Valley as a whole with her leadership role in Young Professionals of the Alberni Valley and other volunteer organizations.

George and Dick received their awards at the Top 20 Under 40 gala at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre in Nanaimo last Saturday, April 8.

George is CEO and founder of Loving Hands and The New Leaf, and has a team of employees and list of clients both in the Alberni Valley and over the Hump in the Oceanside area. She offers both home care services to seniors and recovery-based programs and supportive housing to others with a contract through Island Health.

“This award has proven to me that anything is possible with hard work, dedication, and a clear vision for what you set out to do,” she said. “As a young, female entrepreneur with a young family at home and (being) from a small community like Port Alberni, I hope I empower others like me.

“This award has further improved my confidence as an employer, a business leader and an advocate/ voice to some of the most vulnerable, stigmatized or under-serviced populations in (my community),” she added.

This was Dick’s third nomination in a row for the Top 20 under 40, and her first win.

“I just want to thank my community in the Alberni Valley, Hupacasath’s traditional territory and to my friends and family from all over,” Dick said during her acceptance speech.

“They say it takes a community to raise a child and it really feels that way. I am thankful for the connections I made in the community through the chamber of commerce, the city, regional district, Nuu-chah-nulth leaders and the young professionals of the Alberni Valley. I’m thankful to the mentors that have embraced me and the friends and family who made me who I am.”

Dick works as a full-time communications coordinator for the Hupacasath and recently wrapped up a two-year stint as an elected councillor for the First Nation. She has been involved in a number of community development projects in the past few years.

“Tonight is such a special night to be among like-minded people and people putting in effort where it matters,” she said.

“I know we’ve all faced numerous challenges in the work we do, but it’s this community here in this room that we fall back on for support and encouragement. We aren’t alone. We are allowed to be bold. We are allowed to be vulnerable.”

Rounding out the Top 20 were: from Duncan, Elizabeth Robinow, Ridgway & Co. Barristers and Solicitors; from Victoria, Andrew Wilson of Wilson’s Transportation, Linley Faulkner of Emplomancy, Glen Smethurst of Van Isle Paint/ Island Digital Marketing, Mike Smith of Harbour Air, James Bogusz of Victoria Airport Authority, Christopher Mavrikos of The Dahlia Society, Chris Hunt of Scotiabank and Adrian Pereira of Paretologic Inc.; from Nanaimo, Timothy J. Mawdsley of Island Savings, Laurie Bienert of the Nanaimo Foundation, Jason Schmidt of Pheasant Hill Homes Ltd., Greg Phillips of Johnson Franklin Bishop, Deanne Orrell of Salon D and Dave Forrester of Vancouver Island University; from the Comox Valley, Kathryn Jones of Presley & Partners, Craig Rennison of Waypoint Insurance Services Inc. and Allison Kilby of Pioneer Home Hardware Building Centre.