Board of Directors


Wendy Kraft - Chair

I grew up in Kitimat, am married with two children and have made Kitimat my home. Working and living in Kitimat has been very rewarding and, as the Branch Manager of Envision Financial (a division of First West Credit Union), I have enjoyed being a part of the Chamber of Commerce for the past 8 years. Kitimat is a great community and a wonderful place to raise your family. I am proud to represent the Kitimat Chamber of Commerce and look forward to all the exciting things planned for our community!

Tracey Hittel - Vice Chair

I was born and raised on a grain and cattle farm in rural Saskatchewan. I come from a large working class family and believe in community spirit and involving myself in my community. Being a Director of the Kitimat Chamber of Commerce is a great way to communicate with like-minded others and help new business people connect. I have a wife and two great kids and Kitimat has been my home since 1993 when I was a Methanex operator. I have since branched out and started businesses in Kitimat from Lodging to Guided Fishing to Water Taxi and Spill Response. Kitimat is a diverse community and without the Chamber of Commerce we could not communicate our voice of business.

Derick Stinson - Past Chair

Derick was born and raised in Kitimat, BC. After graduation from Mount Elizabeth Secondary School with honors he attended university in Prince George. In 2007 Derick graduated with a double major in accounting/finance and marketing with honors from the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC). After graduation Derick worked in the marketing and sales industry for several years before taking a Finance/Management position with Pyrotek High-Temperature Industrial Products Inc. where he currently serves as Plant Manager of the Kitimat operation. Derick has been a part of the Chamber Board since 2008, serving as Director, First Vice President, Chair and now in his current role as Past-Chair.

Daniel Chimko - Director

I was born in Kitimat and grew up working for the family business and living on a hobby farm in the Cablecar subdivision.  As a teenager I spent 5 summers working for the Kitimat Fish Hatchery before working as an Initial Attack Firefighter for the BC Forest Service in Fort Nelson while I completed a B.Sc. in Geography at the University of Northern British Columbia.  My wife and I have 3 wonderful children that we raise on our own hobby farm in Cablecar. We purchased Dal Monte’s Wood-Craft Ltd., an industrial woodshop where I have worked since 2010, in February of 2016. I am pleased to be a member of the board in order to give back to our local business community and the community at large.

Katherine Gauer - Director

I was born in Lower Mainland and relocated to Kitimat in 2015.   Over my 25 year career to date, I completed a Diploma in Business Management from Kwantlen Polytechinic, Bachelor of Commerce from Thompson Rivers University and achieved a designation as CPA, CMA to provide Business Management and Financial Management support.  I believe in getting involved with my community and I volunteer with the CPA Canada Community Connect program in support of Financial Literacy and I have served on several non-profit Boards.  My husband and I recently completed building in Strawberry Meadows and we are enjoying our new home and continuing to connect with all the great people we have met since moving to Kitimat.

William (BJ) Houghton - Director

BJ was born in the Eastern Townships of Quebec and grew up in Western Canada in Calgary AB and Vernon BC. He attended the University of Calgary and obtained a Geomatics Engineering degree in 2006. Following graduation, BJ began work in Fort St. John with McElhanney in the busy and active upstream oil and gas industry of Northern BC. He relocated to Kitimat in 2012 as the Survey Division Manager for McElhanney’s new Kitimat branch. BJ was promoted to Branch Manager in 2016 and currently oversees McElhanney Consulting’s Engineering and Survey operations in the Kitimat Valley. BJ is a commissioned BC Land Surveyor and Professional Engineer.

BJ is also active in his professional association as a member of the Association of BC Land Surveyors Board of Examiners and Vice-Chair of the Practice Advisory Panel. He is married with 4 boys and is looking forward to representing the interests of the business community in Kitimat. 

Philip Malnis - Director

I came to Kitimat in 1957 and, after graduating from Mount Elizabeth Secondary School, I left Kitimat for seven years. We chose Kitimat to be our home and came back to raise our family. As the Northern Regional Manager for FirstCanada ULC for the past thirty five years, I have had the opportunity to experience both the slow times and the fast pace of Kitimat. I am looking forward to the opportunity to be part of the Chamber of Commerce. 

Heather Masch - Director

I was born and raised right here in Kitimat - I have never lived anywhere else.  I am married and have 1 daughter who also works and lives in Kitimat and has no intentions of living anywhere else. I am the owner of Pyramid Office Supplies, which was started as a family business by my parents Don and Sheila Reeves in 1989.  My Husband and I purchased Pyramid from them in 1999.  I look forward to being a Chamber of Commerce Director and working with my fellow Chamber Directors in keeping Kitimat a great place to work and raise a family.

Thom Meier - Director

I was born and raised in Kitimat and am married with 3 children. I am the President and General Manager of 101 Industries and I have served on the Kitimat Chamber of Commerce as both a Director and President.

It is a pleasure to be involved with the Chamber of Commerce and I am especially pleased to be able work with the current Board of Directors and to be involved with the community during these very interesting and productive times.

Mark Minifie - Director

Mark was born and raised in Kitimat and is the 3rd of 4 generations calling Kitimat home.  In 2008 Mark graduated from the SAIT in Calgary with a technical diploma in Mechanical Engineering. After some time working in his field, Mark attended NWCC for Business Administration. In 2011 Mark started working as a co-ordinator for J.Oviatt Contracting and then Daudet Creek Contracting, focusing mainly on the development, sale and marketing of land. Mark has always had a deep entrepreneurial spirit and enjoys discussing small business ventures with others.  Mark feels honored to be a Director of the Kitimat Chamber of Commerce.

Graham Pitzel - Director

I have been a local resident of the great little town of Kitimat for over 25 years and enjoy all the aspects small town living has to offer.  Working at Eurocan until the plant shut down gave me a sense of what the town needs to survive and thrive in an industrial setting during the good and bad times.  I want to make sure the growth of this town supports all aspects that the people really enjoy about living here.  My time in industry as a Power Engineer and now in real estate as a local Realtor, has given me a great deal of experience with people and industrial requirements for what Kitimat needs to grow and thrive as a global community.

Jacqueline Sweet - Director

Jacqueline “Jackie” Sweet is a Notary Public and a member of the Society of Notaries Public of British Columbia.  Jackie was commissioned as a Notary Public by the Supreme Court of British Columbia on May 2, 2013.  She received the BDO Canada Award for Inspirational Performance in all subjects of the Notary Education Program.  Jackie devotes her work to helping the public with their personal planning needs such as drafting Wills, Powers of Attorney and Representation Agreements.  Jackie believes in assisting our community with their real estate conveyancing needs including buying, selling and refinancing their home.  Jackie holds a Master’s degree in Applied Legal Studies from Simon Fraser University, a Bachelor’s degree in General Studies from Simon Fraser University and a diploma in Business Administration from the College of New Caledonia.