Our Team.
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Christopher McCurry
CEO, ʔaq̓am Community Enterprises

Christopher has now served the ʔaq̓am community for six and a half years. He brings a wealth of experience in Indigenous economic development, business management, sales, marketing and public relations. Christopher has a diploma in resort management plus four years of post secondary studies in education, business and economic development.

He is passionate about living and adventuring in the mountains and has a deep love for the unseeded territory of the Ktunaxa. Christopher is married and busy raising two young children in the community of Kimberley, BC.

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Ryan Phillips-Clement
Business Development Manager

Ryan Phillips-Clement was born in Cranbrook, BC and raised in the community of ʔaq̓am. Graduating from Mt. Baker Secondary in 2012, he is now looking to finish his diploma in Business Administration - Accounting at College of the Rockies. Ryan is proud to serve the community that raised him, and looks forward to working with ACE on the variety of projects that are taking shape. With a strong passion for team sports, Ryan brings a great sense of communication, teamwork, and reliability to the ACE workforce. 

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Marty Williams
Board Member

Graduated from Nicola Valley Institute of Technology - Integrated Resource Management Program, Energy Tipi Pole Holder since 2011, worked in Resource Management, MInistry of Forests - Fire Protection, Silviculture, Archeaology Field Technician, Environmental Monitoring and Enforcement,  Hydro Impact Technician, served as ʔaq̓am Councillor - Ktunaxa Nation Executive Council  2012 - 2016, ʔaq̓am Community Enterprises - Board of Directors

Becky Pelkonen
Board Member

Becky comes to us with a wealth of experience in indigenous economic, business and tourism development.  She was influential in working with ʔaq̓am Council to establish ʔaq̓am Community Enterprises as previous Director of Community & Economic Development.  While also now a welcomed Board Member for ACE, she is the principal of Handspun Consulting where she continues to focus on community and economic development projects as well as in advising and coaching both business and non-profit Boards to strengthen their capacity and impact.  She is also an instructor and researcher with the College of the Rockies in both the Business and Tourism/Recreation Management Programs. 

Gord Cumming
Board Member

Gord Cumming has been an HR Leader for 35 years. Born in Ottawa ON, he attended Brock University in St. Catharines, ON and graduated in 1981 with a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree with First Class Honours, in Sociology. Mr. Cumming has worked in a variety of industries, providing HR leadership to both Senior Leaders and Associates. Mr. Cumming relocated to Kimberley, BC to be close to his two children and two grandchildren. Since 2019 he is the HR Manager and Privacy Officer for St. Eugene Resort.  He oversees the HR practices across the resort in addition to health and safety as well as serving on the Senior Leadership Team for the Resort. Mr. Cumming holds the Professional designation as CHRP, Certified Human Resources Professional earned in 1985. In 2011 Mr. Cumming was awarded the Professional designation of CHRE, Certified Human Resources Executive, one of only 275 who have received the designation in Canada. He lives in Kimberley with his golden retriever, Molly.

Kara Whitehead
Board Member

Kara Whitehead was born and raised in Cranbrook BC and is now an ʔaq̓am community member. Kara is married to a ktunaxa man and raising two beautiful ktunaxa twin daughters. Prior to moving back to this region, Kara lived and worked in northern Alberta for 10 years. Her education is in Early Childhood Ed and Emergent literacy. Kara has been working with First Nation communities for the last 14 years. She was the Director of Employment and Training for the Athabasca Tribal Council-which represents 5 Cree and Dene Nations in remote locations. Kara now co-owns and operates Rezdawgz Inc. with her husband Lindsey. Their business started as guide/outfitting but has grown and branched into several directions including a Land Based Learning Youth Mentorship Program. Kara is proud to serve and contribute to the community her daughters are being raised in.