The Kamloops Chamber of Commerce has a new executive director — and the person chosen to succeed longtime ED Deb McClelland was in the chamber’s office all along.
Acacia Pangilinan has been chosen by the chamber board to become the executive director. Pangilinan has been serving as the organization’s interim executive director since McClelland retired at the end of 2018.
In March, the chamber announced it had hired another candidate — John Perks from Ontario — but his hiring was reversed three days later in the wake of controversial posts he shared in his Facebook page.
In 2015, Pangilinan succeeded Teresa Dares as president of the Kamloops Ambassador Society, which each year crowns a Miss Kamloops and ambassador princesses. Pangilinan was a past Miss Kamloops under her Schmietenknop surname and served as B.C.’s Ambassador in 2012.
Also in 2015, while president of the Enactus Club a Thompson Rivers University, Pangilinan received the 2015 HSBC Woman Leader of Tomorrow Award from Canada’s largest student leadership development organization, Enactus Canada, and HSBC Bank Canada.
The award recognized Pangilinan’s more than 5,000 hours of volunteerism, her creation of 100-plus community partnerships and her ability to secure a combined $120,000 in monetary and in-kind donations for her Enactus team.
In 2011, Pangilinan staged an unsuccessful run for a seat on the Kamloops-Thompson board of education in that fall’s civic election.
Pangilinan, who was previously the chamber’s programs and events manager, has worked at the organization since 2015. Prior to joining the chamber, Pangilinan worked at the office for Kamooops-Thompson-Cariboo member of Parliament Cathy McLeod.
She has also served on the Kamloops Community YMCA-YWCA and Telus Thompson Okanagan Community Board of Directors and is chair of the business advisory board for Enactus Thompson Rivers University.
Pangilinan and her dog Templeton live in Brocklehurst.