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Okanagan College bestows quartet of fellowships

Four honourees shine for OC in philanthropy, health care, community development and aerospace
Receiving 2023 Honorary Fellows from Okanagan College are (clockwise from top left): Michael Tindall, Dr. Silvina Mema, Terry Flannigan and Grant Stevens. IContributed)

A Coldstream resident is a jolly good Fellow.

Michael Tindall is one of four people bestowed with Oaknagan College’s highest honour, selected as 2023 Honorary Fellows in recognition of their contributions to the fields of philanthropy, health care, community development and aerospace.

Tindall was selected as an Honorary Fellow for his three decades of volunteer leadership with Okanagan College and his unwavering commitment to community development since the 1970s.

He has served on a multitude of charitable governance boards and campaign committees, including the Okanagan College Foundation Board of Directors and the Sunflower Childcare Campaign Committee. His dedication has played a pivotal role in galvanizing community support to secure the capital needed to build state-of-the-art learning environments for OC students.

“It’s a phenomenal honour. I began my involvement with the college in 1989 in Vernon, and I’m delighted to still be involved today. I’m very pleased to be honoured in this fashion. It wasn’t expected but is most definitely appreciated,” said Tindall. “In my career, I’ve seen the value that education of all kinds brings to people’s lives, in helping them to grow and be successful. Education is so very transforming, and I’ve always been proud to be involved with the college and to participate in its growth and development over time.”

Also bestowed with Honorary Fellowships are Terry Flannigan,Dr. Silvina Mema and Grant Stevens.

“As I reflect on the accomplishments of our honorees, I am struck by the transformative impact each has had on the community,” said Okanagan College president Dr. Neil Fassina. “They have served as true champions for education and learning, and their significant contributions are deeply woven into the social and economic fabric of the region. We take immense pride in recognizing them as Honorary Fellows.”

Flannigan is being honoured for his 50 years of service in the field of educational advancement. During that time, he established college and university foundations across Western Canada, including Okanagan College’s Development Department. By inspiring the community to invest in post-secondary education, he changed students’ lives and increased the long-term economic sustainability of the region.

“I am honoured to be recognized for my involvement with the College and my lifelong career in education. It means the world to me. I can’t wrap my mind around it. It’s an overwhelming and deeply appreciated acknowledgement,” said Flannigan.

Mema is a medical health officer with Interior Health who played a crucial role in developing COVID-19 response strategies for Interior Health and Okanagan College. She provided strategic leadership that prioritized student well-being. This involved following physical distancing protocols while allowing students to maintain important peer connections. She’s also a passionate researcher and advocate for health and equity, striving to remove the stigma surrounding mental health, substance use and homelessness.

“I’m deeply honoured to be selected as an Honorary Fellow. My work with the College has been meaningful and enriching. I believe that education changes people’s lives and makes communities stronger. I’m passionate about supporting students and helping them maintain their social and professional networks so they can thrive when they graduate,” said Mema.

As chief corporate services officer at KF Aerospace, Grant Stevens has played a pivotal role in developing and expanding Okanagan College’s aerospace programming. His unwavering support for the college also extends to the Business Administration program, where he has served on the program advisory committee for seven years. He also generously donates his time and expertise to numerous charitable boards, including the Central Okanagan Human Resources Senior Leadership Group.

“I’m very pleased and appreciative to be selected as an Honorary Fellow at Okanagan College. I’ve been working with the college since 1990 and am glad to still be involved today. In 2008 we partnered with OC to develop, implement and support the Aircraft Maintenance Engineer - Structures Program. Since then, we have worked to double the number of spaces available annually, enhance the curriculum, and improve the student workshop,” said Stevens. “I believe in the high quality of education and development students receive at Okanagan College, and the community connections. It’s a partnership I am proud of, and why KF Aerospace proudly hires OC graduates.”

The college will bestow the newest Honorary Fellows with their titles during Convocation ceremonies starting this June. For information, visit

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Roger Knox

About the Author: Roger Knox

I am a journalist with more than 30 years of experience in the industry. I started my career in radio and have spent the last 21 years working with Black Press Media.
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