Monday, May 2, 2011
MLA Ben Stewart - Westside-Kelowna
Ben Stewart is the MLA for Westside-Kelowna and serves on the Legislative Review Committee, as well as the Priorities and Planning Committee.
Ben previously served as the Minister of Agriculture, Minister of Community and Rural Development, Minister of Citizens' Services, and Minister Responsible for Multiculturalism and the Public Affairs Bureau. He was elected MLA for Westside-Kelowna on May 12, 2009.
An entrepreneur, Ben founded and built Quails’ Gate into one of Canada’s leading estate wineries.
Ben has 30 years of extensive experience serving the community and is a founding director of a Venture Capital Fund for local business development. He was on the board of the Kelowna General Hospital Foundation and has been active in the fundraising and establishment of the Brookhaven Extended Care Facility Campaign, Southern Interior Cancer Centre Campaign, and the Rotary Centre for the Arts.
Ben was chair of the BC Grape Marketing Board where they successfully negotiated with provincial and federal governments on agricultural stabilization. Additionally, he was chairman of the Regional Transportation Advisory Committee for the Thompson Okanagan, as well as a member of the Presidents Community Advisory Council at UBC Okanagan.
His other experience includes having served as the past chair of VQA Canada, where they successfully resolved a number of significant international issues such as trademark protection, international mutual recognition agreements including national wine and health standards. As vice-chair of the Canadian Vintners Association, he oversaw the establishment of new national wine association offices in Ottawa and the hiring of their first CEO.
Ben has been recognized as Business Leader of the Year in Kelowna in 1998, received the Westbank Chamber of Commerce President’s Award in 2006, and recognized as Family Business of the Year by Grant Thornton in 2007. He also received the Queen’s Jubilee Medal for Community Service. He was a Kinsman, a scout leader and a member of the Canadian Ski Patrol.
Ben lives in Westside with Ruth his wife of 30 years and has three grown children.