First scholarship for UBC Okanagan management program will honour Kelowna’s Hoffman family

A successful career in New York’s financial industry has given Kelowna-born Jacki Hoffman-Zehner the opportunity to honour her family with new scholarships -- including a four-year award of up to $20,000 -- that will help future business leaders achieve their educational goals at UBC Okanagan.

Hoffman-Zehner, a member of the UBC Board of Governors, an Okanagan College graduate as well as a UBC alumna, has made a gift to establish the Ed and Rose Hoffman Family Entrance Scholarships for students pursuing a Bachelor of Management degree from UBC Okanagan’s new Faculty of Management. The scholarships honour her parents, long-time Kelowna residents Ed and Rose Hoffman, and the entire Hoffman family.

“We are grateful to Ms. Hoffman-Zehner and her family for the leadership and vision they have shown in establishing such generous scholarships in honour of her family,” said UBC President Martha Piper. “These scholarships will make it possible to help more outstanding students – tomorrow’s business leaders – pursue their Management education at UBC Okanagan.”

“This gift is a wonderful beginning for the Management Faculty,” said Blaize Horner Reich, Dean of the Faculty of Management. “The scholarships will allow us to attract and support the best and brightest students for our program.”

Born and raised in Kelowna, B.C., Hoffman-Zehner graduated from the UBC Faculty of Commerce in 1988. She began working for Goldman Sachs, a global investment bank headquartered in New York City. In 1996, at the age of 32, she was the youngest and first female trader to be made partner. In 2002, Hoffman-Zehner retired from the firm and co-founded with 11 other women the Circle Financial Group, a private wealth management firm in New York City.

“My parents have always been such incredible role models for me that I thought these scholarships would be a wonderful way to honour them,” Hoffman-Zehner said. “My father moved to Kelowna as a young boy and the Hoffman family, with eight brothers and one sister, most of whom remain local, have been working and serving in Kelowna for decades.

“Growing up in Rutland, my father spent many years in the grocery business and his commitment and hard work set an amazing example for me. My mother was born and raised in Vernon and until her recent retirement had maintained full-time jobs, while still finding time to serve in various civic roles including the Chamber of Commerce, political affiliations, and her church community,” said Hoffman-Zehner.

“I wish every child could have the gift of such exceptional parents as without their love and support I never could have gone on to study at UBC and have such a wonderful professional experience in New York. To quote a friend ‘I won the jackpot in the parent lottery.”

The Hoffman Family Entrance Scholarship will provide $20,000 ($5,000 per year for up to four years) for a student entering the Faculty of Management from secondary school.

“Candidates for this scholarship must demonstrate academic excellence in combination with significant leadership in their school or wider community,” said Reich. “Preference will be given to students with long-term connections to the Okanagan region.”

Scholarships of $5,000 each will also be offered to outstanding undergraduate students transferring from college or university to the second or third year of the Bachelor of Management program. Recipients who maintain scholarship standing will be eligible to have their award renewed for up to two additional years of study towards their degree.

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