John O'Fee

Independent for Kamloops School Board (incumbent)

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Biography

submitted by the candidate or their team
I am an Associate Teaching Professor and Lawyer working at Thompson Rivers University. I have a long history of community service and want to contribute my skills and experience to assist public education in our region.

CURRENT SCHOOL BOARD EXPERIENCE

Elected to Kamloops-Thompson School District 73 October 2018

Finance and Planning Committees, Audit Committee

Board Representative to BC Public Sector Employer’s Association

PAST SERVICE

Elected Three Term Trustee, School District #73 (Kamloops-Thompson) 1988 - 1996

Board Representative, BC School Trustees Association 1991-1994

School Board Chair, District #73 (Kamloops-Thompson) 1993-1996

CIVIC GOVERNMENT EXPERIENCE

Elected Four-Term Councillor, City of Kamloops 1999 - 2011

Director, Thompson-Nicola Regional District

Member, North Thompson Wildfire Recovery Task Force

Chair, Thompson-Nicola Regional District Audit Committee

Chair, Thompson Regional Hospital District

District Representative to the BC Municipal Finance Authority

President, Kamloops Airport Society

Director/Treasurer, Venture Kamloops Economic Development Agency

Chair, Local Court of Revision/Parcel Tax Review Committee

Member, Air Services Task Force

Chair, City Audit Committee

City Director, Parks and Recreation Commission

MAJOR ACHIEVEMENTS AS A CITY COUNCILLOR

Bringing my legal experience and training to bear in the adoption and implementation of the BC Community Charter.

As Kamloops Airport Society President, I led the development of the $25 million Airport Expansion Project. This involved timeline management, strategic planning, preparation/ presentation of proposals to provincial and federal governments, public presentations, open houses and private presentations to corporations.

Presented business cases and marketing proposals towards attracting and securing additional carriers to Kamloops such as Horizon Air, Westjet and Pacific Coastal.

Collaborated with First Nations groups on the Airport Project as well as on general civic matters.

Participated in the establishment of the Venture Kamloops Economic Development Society and its transition into its current role.

Published a weekly column in the Kamloops Daily News to share my insight on city issues with the public.

UNIVERSITY EXPERIENCE

Tenured Associate Teaching Professor, Thompson Rivers University School of Business 2014-Present

Teaching Commercial Law, Employment Law, Real Estate Law and (in the TRU Law School) Real Estate Transactions.

UNIVERSITY ROLES

Member, TRU Policy Committee

Chair, School of Business and Economics (“SoBE”) Undergraduate Curriculum Committee

Parliamentarian, SoBE Faculty Council

Course/Program Developer for SoBE, Environmental Law, Indigenous Business Law, Advanced Commercial Law.

Staff Liaison, Indigenous Financial Management Program at TRU Williams Lake

Course Developer, BLAW 3921 (Employment Law) TRU Open Learning .

Course Instructor, APEC1671 Development Cost Charges (DCC's) on Aboriginal Lands.

Sessional Instructor, TRU World/Tianjin University of Technology

May/June 2014 (in person) and December 2020 and 2021 (online) (MNGT 3710 - Business Ethics)

Sessional Instructor (Commercial Law) Thompson Rivers University School of Business 2010 - 2013

THOMPSON RIVERS UNIVERSITY FOUNDATION 1997 - 2012

Annual Campaign Chair 1997-2004

Executive Member at Large 2006-2008

President 2008 -2012

EXECUTIVE EXPERIENCE

Chief Executive Officer, Tk'emlups te Secwépemc (Kamloops Indian Band) March 2011 - June 2013

As the operational head of a dynamic and complex First Nations organization, I led a team managing over 200 employees and an annual operating budget of over 34 million dollars. The Tk'emlups band provides all aspects of governance for its members including housing, education and social development. Municipal services included infrastructure, wastewater, roads, garbage collection, fire protection, planning and zoning for both members and thousands of non-aboriginal people living and working within reserve lands. Other operations ranged from a band operated K-7 school, daycare and nursery as well as a large working ranch, logging company, convenience store, gas station, car wash as well as a large Lands, Leasing and Taxation Department.

Major Achievements at Tk'emlups:

Implemented a three year strategic budget to chart a path of sustainability for Band finances. This was a complex and difficult process that involved splitting many long term member entitlements and cutting staff levels by approximately 15%.

Adopted a Financial Administration Law and Governance Model for future financial transparency, controls, and accountability.

Facilitated new business opportunities and relationships including build to suit leasing opportunities, re-development of prime commercial space combined with master planning and re-branding of the gas station with a national retailer. (Petro-Canada)

Used my legal and civic experience to provided necessary skills in reviewing proposed contracts/ development plans and assisting the legislative drafting for financial management laws allowing Tk'emlups to participate in capital funding through the First Nations Finance Authority.

Improved the lease registration process.

Drafted briefing notes for and participated in meetings with a wide range of provincial ministers including the premier and cabinet members.

Participated in federal discussions with current and former AANDC Minsters regarding local and provincial issues affecting First Nations.

PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT EXPERIENCE

Director/Board Chair Interior Health Authority (IHA) (Oct 2016-October 2017)

Appointed by the Province of BC I lead a team responsible for public accountability related to the single largest government entity operating in the Interior of British Columbia. With over 20,000 employees and an annual operating budget of over two billion dollars, I sat on audit, finance, patient care and strategic initiatives and act as a public spokesperson and liaison for healthcare issues for this organization. My experience in law and real estate will assist me and our board in overseeing major capital projects including a $417 million dollar expansion to Kamloops' Royal Inland Hospital.

Member/Panel Chair/Mediator, Health Professions Review Board of British Columbia 2012 - present

Appointed by the Province of BC, I am called upon to adjudicate appeals of decisions made by all BC medical colleges. This requires sound knowledge in administrative law combined with a demonstrated ability to exercise fairness, impartiality and good judgment. Panel members are expected to apply the rules of natural justice, interpret legislation, weigh and assess evidence, and apply case law to compose clear and cogent reasons for critical decisions or assist parties towards resolution of issues through mediation.

Director, Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) (Dec 2014- October 2016)

Appointed by the Province of BC I help provide public oversight to provincial scale medical facilities including BC Children's Hospital, the BC Cancer Agency and the BC Center for Disease control. With an annual budget of over 2.3 billion dollars, this organization requires team members with critical thinking skills able to set direction for a large and diverse organization.

LEGAL EXPERIENCE

Associate Lawyer: Jensen, Mitchell and Company/Berg and Company (Kamloops) 1987 - 1992

Lawyer: John H. O'Fee Law Corporation, Kamloops, BC 1992 – 2003 and 2011-present.

Associate Counsel: Morelli Chertkow LLP, Kamloops, BC 2003 - 2011

My 23 year private sector legal career concentrated on real estate development (both on and off reserve lands), corporate transactions, administrative law, wills and estate planning. I developed skills in negotiation, corporate governance and contract review. One of my specializations was in establishing and developing several innovative non-profit seniors' housing projects. Another was to represent clients before a range of administrative bodies and tribunals including the Workers Compensation Board, Canada Pension Plan Appeals Board and the BC Assessment Authority. I provided legal advice to the Tk'emlups te Secwépemc and keep my credentials and professional development current as member in good standing of the Law Society of BC.

EDUCATION

Bachelor of Commerce, Sauder School of Business University of British Columbia 1987

Juris Doctor, Allard Hall School of Law, University of British Columbia 1987

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Appointed to the BC Judicial Appointments Committee 2021

School of Business and Economics Dean’s Award for Service 2021

School of Business and Economics Dean's Award for Excellence in Teaching 2018

Appointed Queen's Counsel by the Province of British Columbia 2015

Recipient, Province of BC Community Achievement Award 2011

Recipient, Thompson Rivers University Distinguished Alumni Award 1995

Reason for running

submitted by the candidate or their team
My wife, myself and our children are all SD#73 graduates. As a teaching professor I work with our graduates at the next educational level. My skill set and experience in this area will assist the board and administration as we face the challenges presented by growth.

My whole family can say that they were born and raised in Kamloops. I have seen the school district as a student, a parent, and now as a post-secondary educator.

A strong public education system is the cornerstone of a properly functioning and prosperous society. Over the past term I have been able to contribute my experience and expertise to public lobbying, capital project management, strategic planning, budgeting, and legal issues.

Helping children and our public education system succeed has been a rewarding experience and I hope to be chosen to join the team of public representatives to complete this important work.

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