Vernon Office

Gary Huston, CA, CFP Gary Huston, CA, CFP
Gary Huston is founder and principal of The Fraser Financial Group LLP. A graduate of the University of Western Ontario, he has an extensive background in business and the financial services industry. Following a career in public accounting, education (both teaching and in administration), and in the financial services sector, he found that his interests lay in the area of estate and retirement planning. This ultimately led to the formation of the Fraser Financial Group in 1991.

Gary has worked to become an authority on personal estate planning and corporate restructuring, and works closely with the accounting and legal communities to design and implement effective and workable financial solutions to meet the needs of his clients. He has served as a member of council with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of BC, and has been active in community affairs and politics from municipal to federal levels. He is a member of CALU, the Canadian Association of Life Underwriters, and is also a board member of the Community Foundation of the North Okanagan.

Rick Balfour, CGA Rick Balfour, CGA
Rick Balfour is the Administration Partner for the Fraser Financial Group LLP. He is also the Branch Manager for the five offices of Fraser Financial Group & Investment Planning Counsel.  

His background includes Vice-president Finance and Administration of Whistler and Silver Star mountains and Treasurer of the Canada West Ski Areas Association. He has also served as President of the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce and director of the Vernon Golf and Country Club.

Brent Barker, CA,CFP Brent Barker, CA, CFP
Brent has successfully achieved the Chartered Accountant and Certified Financial Planner designations. His twenty-five plus years background allows him to advise on planning, insurance and investing from a personal and corporate perspective. His previous role as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for a number of resource based, private owner managed companies provides perspective on the development of plans to meet both individual and corporate long-term goals and objectives.

Brent’s experience includes attaining his Chartered Accountant (CA) designation with KPMG and he has served clients in both the Vernon and Vancouver market. While with KPMG he was responsible for assisting private and owner-managed businesses on all aspects of accounting, tax and financial matters.

Colleen Barker Colleen Barker, CFP
Colleen joined the FFG team in the Vernon office in January 2009 and attained her Certified Financial Planner designation in June 2012. Exceptional customer service is a high priority with Colleen and she brings a wealth of customer service and business experience from her many years with Rona prior to moving into financial services. Together with her husband Brent, also a Certified Financial Planner holding the CA designation, Colleen enjoys working with clients to help them achieve their financial goals and objectives through lifestyle financial planning.
Joanne Calvert Joanne Calvert
Joanne Calvert and her husband Terry arrived in Canada from England in January 2007. They resided in Edmonton before relocating to Vernon, BC. Joanne joined our FFG team in December 2007 bringing with her 22 years of experience in the Financial Services industry. Since joining FFG she successfully acquired her Mutual Funds Registration in February 2009 and went on to complete her Branch Manager’s course in November 2010.

Joanne heads up the Processing Department for our Vernon office, in addition to acting as Alternate Branch Manager for all of the FFG offices. You can find Joanne in our back office working diligently to ensure our internal policies as well as all regulatory requirements are met. It has been a great pleasure having her join our team, an asset we truly appreciate.

Dawn Fidler Dawn Fidler
Dawn moved to the Vernon area in 1993 and began her history of client service driven roles with the local ski industry and as a Financial Planner's Assistant. It was there that her interest in investment and insurance products began. She spent 2 years in that role before accepting an office position with a major manufacturing facility closer to her home in Armstrong.

Keen to gain back the commute and re-invest this time with her husband and young son; they put down roots in Armstrong and her family grew with the addition of another son and two dogs. Together, they enjoy everything the Okanagan has to offer: beaches, snow sports, golf, hiking and all things hockey.

Blessed with the help of 'Grandma and Grandpa' and a four-lane highway between Armstrong and Vernon, the commute is no longer an issue and Dawn has joined our team at the Vernon office as an Assistant to Gary Huston and Brent Barker. She looks forward to advancing her financial education with Fraser Financial Group and developing personal relationships assisting our clients.

Sandy Howden Sandy Howden
Sandy Howden joined the Vernon office of FFG in May 2006 as our resident “insurance specialist”. With 30 years of experience within the financial planning and insurance industry, Sandy has handled many aspects of the intricate “world of insurance” by working in a great variety of positions. Sandy’s wealth of knowledge is of great benefit to anyone looking for insurance, with extensive and practical hands-on experience.

As well as holding her life insurance license, Sandy has made superior customer service the main focus of her work within the insurance industry. Sandy brings a cheery smile and sharp sense of humour to the workplace. Sandy enjoys living on their hobby farm in Kelowna, along with her husband and pets.  

Jill Hunt Jill Hunt
Jill Hunt joined the Vernon office as an Administrative Assistant in June 2006. Jill provides a cheery greeting to those who call or visit our office. Jill quickly became acquainted with the financial planning industry, which led to her looking after our GIC and ING investment clients which is one of her many responsibilities. Along with Vera, Jill makes sure that our clients and visitors experience professionalism in a relaxed atmosphere.

On a more personal note, Jill is a long time Vernon resident who enjoys going to the gym. She has also successfully raised three sons. Jill's experience and background both in business and life as a mom has been a valuable asset to Fraser Financial.

Laurie Kitchen Laurie Bell
Laurie Kitchen joined the Vernon office in 1998 as an administrative assistant and has had many administrative roles in her years with FFG. Her experience and enthusiasm is a great asset to our firm. Currently she is working part-time as assistant to Gary Huston and Brent Barker.

Laurie has been a Vernon resident for 16 years and loves all that the valley has to offer.

Chris Perrigo Chris Perrigo
Chris comes to us with extensive experience in office administration in private industry, municipal government and educational institutions where her communication skills, problem solving abilities and time-management strengths were highly respected. These qualities have proven invaluable as she embraces the complex responsibilities associated with the role of Administrative Assistant to Keray Regan. Chris has enjoyed the challenge of becoming familiar with the wide scope of products and services available to our clients. Her professionalism and attention to detail ensures our clients are well cared for.

Chris and her son relocated to Armstrong in 2002. She became an “empty-nester” in 2008 when Shawn moved back to AB and now being 20 (2011) he has returned!! Chris’s on-going projects with renovations and landscaping to her 1910 home will be appreciated with her handy-man son. Chris enjoys living in the Okanagan and spends her leisure time relaxing in her back yard, lazing on the beach, out boating or being a passenger on a motorcycle.

Vera Schipfel Vera Schipfel
The role of front-office receptionist is varied and demanding with many behind the scenes responsibilities that Vera handles with a calm manner and warm smile. These duties include assisting our clients with opening ING accounts, purchasing GICs and generally directing traffic. Whether you meet her in person or on the telephone, Vera communicates a genuine desire to find the right department or individual to answer your questions and meet your needs.

We are most appreciative of the talents and expertise that Vera brings to us from her eclectic background in wholesale and retail environments that support the smooth flow of the office. It’s obvious that Vera loves working with people and this generosity of spirit carries over into the community through her volunteer work at the local homeless shelter.

Bobbi-Jo Shand Bobbi-Jo Shand
Bobbi joined the Vernon office as a Trades Processer in October 2010. She recently moved with her husband back to the Okanagan from Abbotsford, BC. She brings with her, Administrative and Registered plans experience from the Credit Union as well as a Book-keeping knowledge and a Bookkeeping certificate from UFV. She has enjoyed working in the financial industry for the last seven years and looks forward to expanding her knowledge with further education. 

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