The Accelerate Okanagan Technology Association has named Raghwa Gopal, a veteran of the Kelowna technology community, as its new CEO.
Gopal had been acting CEO for the past two months. This new announcement simply cements him in to the full-time CEO role.
Over his 28-year career, Gopal co-founded Vadim Software, an asset management platform used by the Canadian government among other provincial and municipal clients, a company which eventually grew to generate $25 million in annual revenue and employed over 100 people before being acquired in 2001.
Gopal retired as president and chief technology officer of Vadim Software in 2006.
“It is an immense honor to be offered the position of CEO for Accelerate Okanagan, particularly because this is such an exciting time for the tech industry in the Okanagan and the province as a whole,” said Mr. Gopal. “With the Okanagan Centre for Innovation (OCI) opening soon, the new BC Tech Fund, and new and innovative programs being offered by Accelerate Okanagan, I see tremendous opportunity for the growth of tech companies in the Okanagan.”
The Okanagan Centre for Innovation is a six-storey, 104,000 square foot facility under construction at the corner of Doyle and Ellis streets in Kelowna.
“After an exhaustive search that involved over 120 candidates, we are extremely pleased to announce Raghwa Gopal as AO’s new CEO,” said Accelerate Okanagan Board Chairman Blair Forrest. “Mr. Gopal was by far the best candidate measured against the core competencies established by our CEO Search Committee and we are very fortunate to have someone of his calibre to lead our organization through the next stage of growth.”
In his “retirement”, Gopal has been involved in a number of volunteer roles, including Director of the Okanagan College Foundation, the Rotary Club of Kelowna, the United Way, and the Central Okanagan Development Commission.
“He is a very well-known and respected person with an extensive history in our community who will bring many years of business acumen, industry expertise and knowledge to the role,” continued Forrest. “Through his prior involvement as acting CEO and Executive in Residence, Raghwa is very familiar with our team, association members, programs, clients, partners, government funding organizations and objectives.”
Statistics Canada last year named Kelowna B.C.’s fastest growing city, with a population growth of 1.8% over the previous year.
“One of my primary goals will be to create an ecosystem of collaboration between different stakeholders – both here in the Okanagan and province wide – to provide bigger and better opportunities for local companies to grow and thrive,” added Mr. Gopal. “I’m looking forward to help further cultivate and nurture the burgeoning tech industry in the Okanagan.”
Listen to Raghwa Gopal tell his story to a packed house at an Accelerate Okanagan event in June, 2013 in the video below.