Two former Kamloops residents are among elite company, having received the Order of British Columbia.
The Order Of BC recognizes people who have served with distinction and excelled in a field that benefits the province.
President and CEO of Vancity Credit Union Tamara Vrooman of Vancouver was among 15 to receive the distinction.
Vrooman grew up in Kamloops and graduated from Kamloops High in 1986. She has since shared business views with the Dalai Lama.
“Under Vrooman’s leadership, Vancity became the first carbon-neutral financial institution in North America, the largest private-sector living wage employer in Canada and she tackled the shadow financial system by launching an alternative to predatory payday loans,” the province stated in its announcement of Vrooman’s award.
Susan Tatoosh, an elder and executive director of the Vancouver Friendship Society, also of Vancouver, graduated from Kam High in 1959 and is credited with “significant improvements to programming and services for the urban Indigenous community and helping some of the most marginalized populations.”
She was instrumental in moving a homeless shelter from the Vancouver Friendship Society’s basement to a shelter space in the Downtown Eastside and is working with the City of Vancouver to construct a second shelter.
Order of BC recipients were recognized at a ceremony in Victoria at the end of June.