Meet the Team

Rebecca Richards

Director – LCIC


Rebecca grew up in Castlegar and is very happy to have returned home to the West Kootenays after spending time away at university. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and in Economics from the University of Calgary, and a Master of Arts in Political Studies from Queen’s University. She is excited to be starting a career in her field where she can make a positive impact in the local West Kootenay communities and help bring sustainability to industry and the economy.

Jacomien van Tonder

Director – Metal Tech Alley

Jacomien is the Director for Metal Tech Alley, a successful regional marketing strategy from the Lower Columbia Initiatives Corporation (LCIC) based in Trail BC. After 4 years running the Metal Tech Alley program, the LCIC is considered a leader in economic development best practices through creating a circular economy hub in small rural area. The considerable success of Metal Tech Alley rests on embracing industry of all sectors and supporting innovation for companies that are engaging with circular practices and doughnut economics.
Jacomien was born in South Africa and emigrated to Canada 12 years ago. She got a Baccalaureus Procurationis degree and practiced as a lawyer and CEO of a Top 500 South African Company. Since moving to Canada, she has branched out to take her career in new direction to include Economic Development and Project Management.

Board Members

Dino Dorazio

Owner – Canadian Tire

Board Director

Dino was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta and for the past 12 years, he has owned and operated Canadian Tire stores across Canada. Dino and his wife, currently make their home in the beautiful town of Trail, where they enjoy the strong sense of community, kindness, and great weather! Dino is a strong believer in contributing to his community and is excited about all the opportunities that the West Kootenays have to offer.

Michele Cherot


Board Director

Michele Cherot, M.B.A., has a strong management background in organizational development and business consulting. With over 19 years’ experience has the Business Manager of a successful non-profit organization, her primary areas of responsibility included: management of financial systems, strategic leadership and the creation of new revenue streams. Now retired, she enjoys contributing to the economic development of the Lower Columbia region.

Deanne Stevens

Instructor – Selkirk College

Board Director

Deanne has extensive experience in marketing, management, and entrepreneurship in a range of industries and countries. She’s worked for the Department of Foreign Affairs, helped run a high-tech firm in the wireless industry in Vancouver, and was the Executive Director of Tourism Rossland.

Deanne currently works as an Instructor at Selkirk College in the School of Business where she specializes in teaching Management courses.

Dave Diplock

Owner – Bear Environmental Limited

Board Director

Dave Diplock is a professional environmental engineer with 23 years of environmental consulting experience in British Columbia combined with a background in the mining sector.  As Principal of Bear Environmental Limited since 2000, his focused has been providing sustainability, property development, risk management and engineering services to government, First Nations and small to large business alike. Dave has lived in Lower Columbia Region since 2006 with his wife and two children where he enjoys the balance of a mountain culture lifestyle.  He is actively involved in the community currently serving as President of the Kootenay Columbia Trails Society, and a board member of Tourism Rossland and the Lower Columbia Initiatives Corporation.

Don Thompson

President and General Manager – RED Mountain Resort

Board Director

Don has been a director of RED Mountain since the partnership was formed in 2004 and currently serves as President and General Manager. Don has lead Commercial, Residential, Resort, Exposition and Industrial development projects throughout British Columbia and Colorado. Prior to joining RED Mountain Don was consulting to the Aspen Skiing Company at Snowmass, Vail Resorts at Keystone and Intrawest at Copper Mountain Colorado.

Preceding his career in Resort Planning and Development Don gained resort operations experience through hands on professional development in Civil Engineering, Project Management, Risk Management, Retail Sales and Ski Lift Operations.

Don has served as a volunteer with several local agencies including the Rossland United Way, Tourism Rossland, the Columbia Basin – Rural Development Institute and the Selkirk College Ski Resort Operations and Management Advisory Committee. Don is a director and past Chair of the Lower Columbia Initiatives Corporation, an economic development organization in the Lower Columbia Region. He has a background in Land Use and Environmental Science and holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Saskatchewan.

Pete Stamper

CEO KC Recycling

Board Director

Pete is a successful CEO, engineer, and management consultant with a passion for small industrial companies. He has a proven track record of success in turnarounds, lean manufacturing, and M&A.

He draws from decade of leadership experience with the well-respected Danaher Business System at Danaher  (NYSE: DHR.)   Since leaving Danaher in 2010, Pete has found success turning around and growing several small manufacturing companies across a variety of industries, including professional tools, test and measurement, and automotive. 

In 2019 Pete joined KC Recycling, building the circular economy in the West Kootenays.   Pete holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and both a Masters and Bachelors in Engineering from the University of Michigan.

Dan Ashman

CEO – President & Dealer Principal

Board Director

Growing up and playing Jr. Hockey in Penticton Dan came to Trail, BC in 1974 to play for the Trail Smoke Eaters. Dan worked at various automobile dealers and went on to open a used vehicle lot and Ryder Truck Rental franchise in May 1982, and then in 1984 Dan, approached by Ford Motor Company became the Dealer Principle on the Ford franchise for the Kootenay Boundary region.

Dan is a founding member of the LCCDTS that provided an innovative business prospective to economic development issues to grow the region. Dan is a LCCDTS North South Corridor committee member and is dedicated to seeing the successful development of a 160 km corridor to Alaska for the betterment of current and future Lower Columbia generations.

Chris Legler

CEO and Founder – Axios

Vice Chairman

Chris Legler is a growth-oriented leader with over 30 years experience executing strategic plans for businesses throughout North America. Chris has worked with businesses from a broad range of industries, particularly the food and beverage sectors, to achieve sustainable growth and transformation, while maximising efficiencies.
During Chris’s four-year tenure as CEO of Espresso Supply, the company’s annual revenue increased exponentially. Chris also led the company in globalizing the Bonavita brand within the specialty coffee and consumer homewares markets, and in acquiring Eko Brands in North America. In the first year post-acquisition, Chris led and oversaw the establishment of efficiencies that significantly improved profitability, resulting in revenue growth for the business

Brent Anhel

Founder and CEO – TenFourOptics

Vice Chairman

“My experiences within our community and running a fiber optic module company, in combination with the rest of the LCIC Team, will definitely help to discover and bring healthy opportunities to the Lower Columbia. Opportunities to benefit – with a thorough understanding of the preciousness of the environment we enjoy.”

Brent Anhel is the Founder and CEO of TenFourOptics, a Captain at Station371 Rossland, a father of 2 and has been married for 23 years. He also enjoys bikes, skis and chasing his dog.

Thompson Hickey

General Manager – Teck Trail Operations 

Board Director

Thompson joined Teck at the end of 2015 as General Manager of Trail Operations. His focus is on the successful long-term sustainability of Trail Operations and the Zinc business. In addition to his time at Teck, he brings 25 years of extensive business and operational experience with other mining companies.

Thompson holds a Bachelor of Science Honours in Engineering from Queen’s University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Western Ontario.

With an interest in business and economic development, he is a director of the Lower Columbia Initiatives Corporation.

Thompson and his wife Jane live in Rossland and enjoy the outdoor offerings in all four seasons.

Thank you to all our stakeholders for your ongoing support!