About Venture Commercial
What We Do
Venture Commercial was born from a vision to reimagine and elevate the practices of commercial real estate. Our clients benefit from the expertise of the largest commercial real estate brokerage in the Okanagan and the flexible, collaborative and creative representation of a boutique real estate firm.
Our highly driven team is dedicated to building longstanding relationships and uncovering opportunity for our clients. As industry leaders, we aim to guide you through the process with wisdom, fairness and transparency every step of the way. Success for us is not the next commission; rather, it is defined by establishing partnerships throughout the complete life cycle of our client’s business.
Service And Offerings
We create value to our client’s portfolios and mandates by providing the following commercial and investment real estate services:
Chris Wills - MANAGING PARTNER,
Sales AND Leasing
As a leading broker in the Okanagan marketplace, Chris has extensive knowledge of the local retail, office and investment market. He has a clear understanding of commercial real estate trends and how they affect the market. His care and attention to detail have been essential in building strong and long-term relationships with his clients, colleagues and community.
Chris has successfully completed hundreds of real estate transactions on behalf of various clients and prominent developers. Most notably, the sale, repositioning and full lease up of the former Orchard Gardens Shopping Centre along Harvey Avenue – now called Centre 97, the precedent setting sales transaction of the 1605 Gordon re-development property, the repositioning and full lease of W. Brett Wilson’s retail property PrairieWest Centre in West Kelowna, and being the lead broker for The Chopped Leaf’s expansion throughout North America, assisting in building the brand from 3 locations to over 100.
Prior to creating Venture Commercial, Chris was one of the top agents at Colliers International for over four years, and was integral part of the Sales & Leasing Team at DTZ Okanagan from 2008 to 2016. Before real estate, Chris worked with an international restaurant group as a Senior Manager and Training Partner. This experience gave him a strong understanding of customer service, and how to succeed in high pressure environments.
When not in the Office, Chris spends invaluable time with his wife and two daughters. When it’s time to relax, you’ll find him on the basketball court or football field.
Charity Work: Co Founder of 100 Men/Hero’s Who Give a Damn- Over $350,000 raised for Okanagan focused non-for-profits since 2016.
Jason Wills - PARTNER,
Sales and Leasing
Jason was immersed in commercial real estate from a very young age. Growing up in Vancouver, his father managed a large portfolio of commercial properties in the Lower Mainland. Jason not only learned the day-to-day operations of running a commercial portfolio but also was familiarized on what it takes to be a successful commercial real estate broker. Jason was and remains very active in playing competitive sports such as basketball and football.
Jason started his career in commercial real estate in 2011 with DTZ Barnicke prior to being acquired by Colliers International. In 2020, he left Colliers with his twin brother and started Venture Commercial with a vison of making commercial real estate more approachable. Jason has been involved in thousands of transactions amounting to over two million square feet of commercial real estate sold, acquired, or leased. Working on both sides of the deal, Jason always strives for a win-win outcome. He is proud to be working closely with all the major landowners and developers in the region. He prides himself on being honest, transparent, and always puts the best interests of the deal first. His passion and competitive nature make him one of the most prominent industrial brokers in the market.
When away from work, Jason is either spending time with his wife and young daughter, playing sports or out fishing.
Lee Levering -
PARTNER, Sales and Leasing
With over 13 years of experience in the BC and Alberta commercial real estate markets, Lee brings a diverse background and skillset to Venture Commercial. Lee started his career in commercial real estate with Colliers in Calgary. Lee’s interest in the development side of the business drew him away from brokerage to work with developers and landlords in both Calgary (Brookfield Properties and Ronmor Developers) and Kelowna (Callahan Property Group). Because of his experience in both brokerage and development, Lee understands the intricacies of a transaction from both sides of the table and possesses the technical skills necessary to ensure his clients’ requirements are satisfied regardless of the size or type of transaction.
Lee specializes in both sales and leasing with a focus on investment sales, land sales, industrial leasing, and retail leasing. Throughout his career, Lee has completed hundreds of transactions totaling over three million square feet in all categories of leasing and investment sales, as well as a variety of land sales including all types of commercial and residential development sites.
In his free time Lee enjoys golfing, skiing, fishing, playing basketball and enjoying the natural amenities the Okanagan has to offer with his family. Originally from Vancouver Island, Lee never misses his annual salmon fishing trip to the West coast!
Courtney Fedevich - Associate, Sales and Leasing
Courtney is one of the Venture Commercial Associates responsible for Commercial Sales and Leasing. Courtney has been in the industry since 2020 when she joined as the Project Lead, responsible for all client relations, marketing and conveyancing.
She spent the prior 5 years managing in the Restaurant Industry, where she developed her passion for people and networking. Courtney enjoys helping local entrepreneurs and business owners confidently navigate their leasing interactions.
Courtney spent the early years of her life living in Southern Ontario, Germany, and Winnipeg but is excited to re-establish her families roots in the Okanagan.
Courtney’s dream is to purchase a property in the Okanagan where she can spend her free time gardening, raising chickens and operating a local Bed and Breakfast while continuing to establish herself as a well known Commercial Sales and Leasing Associate.
Trading Services, University of British Columbia
Bachelors of Business Administration – Marketing Major, University of Winnipeg
Business Administration Diploma – Marketing Major, Red River College
Director, Uptown Rutland Business Association
Sol Benson - Associate, Sales and Leasing
Sol works with the Venture Commercial team as an Associate involved in leasing, sales and tenant representation throughout the Okanagan. He is an integral part of the team, assisting clients with projects and listings from start to finish. He is heavily involved in the industrial asset class and brings an intelligent, detail oriented, relationship driven approach to achieving his clients’ success.
Born and raised in Kelowna, Sol has seen the city’s growth and transformation first hand. He is grateful to be a part of that growth and help facilitate the development of his community. Sol joins us with a Degree from UBC Okanagan and extensive managerial experience in the events industry where his experience managing customer relationships has transferred seamlessly to the world of commercial real estate.
Sol is a big believer in staying connected with his community and donating his time. He has built houses for underprivileged families locally and abroad, and in his off time, Sol coaches youth basketball. If not on the court, Sol enjoys long distance running, playing sports, and spending time with friends.
Nicola Austin - Associate, Sales and Leasing
Nicola recently joined the Venture Commercial team as an Associate in Commercial Sales and Leasing.
She grew up in Rock Creek and Northern B.C. before moving to Ontario where she obtained a degree in Life Sciences from Queen’s University.
Nicola returned to B.C. in 2011 and was fortunate to join the Okanagan’s booming tech industry where she spent the last decade in the field of healthcare technology, building and leading one of the top Electronic Medical Record data teams in Canada. She is passionate about the role systems and innovation can play in moving organizations in new directions, and the critical importance of a strong team dynamic. The collaborative approach is what drew Nicola to Venture Commercial when she decided to enter the commercial real estate industry.
Years of experience in a corporate environment have provided a strong foundation of skills in business management that Nicola looks forward to bringing to the commercial real estate realm and her clients.
In her free time, Nicola enjoys spending time with her family, including her 14-year-old Mastiff Caesar and her fiance Colin. Nicola is a strong advocate for animal welfare and enjoys supporting the many amazing rescue organizations in her community.
Noel Acres - Associate, Sales and Leasing
Noel joins the Venture Commercial team as an Associate where he is responsible for leasing, sales and tenant representation throughout the Okanagan.
Noel’s career in real estate and development spans over more than five years throughout the Okanagan and Vancouver. Noel prides himself in first understanding his client’s requirements, goals and business objectives which enables him to strategically advise his clients based on their specific real estate needs.
Born and raised in Kelowna, Noel has established strong roots in the business community. He has witnessed firsthand the evolution of the Okanagan over the last 20 years and is excited to be part of its growth moving forward.
As a strong believer in the fight against heart disease and stroke related conditions, Noel is an avid supporter of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.
In his spare time, Noel enjoys spending time with family and friends, skiing, golfing and fishing.
Murray Wills - Senior Associate, Sales and Leasing
Murray Wills is a proven broker in the Okanagan, who has an extensive network of local, national and international clients as well as a wealth of local and regional real estate experience. He has been directly responsible for hundreds of leases and sales throughout Kelowna, the Okanagan and Kootenay regions and was instrumental in negotiating some of the largest industrial lease deals to be transacted in the Okanagan.
Murray’s main emphasis is working to bring buyers and sellers together in mutually beneficial transactions. His tenacity and attention to detail has allowed him to build and constantly improve his relationships with his clients. Murray has a clear understanding of commercial real estate trends and an intimate knowledge of the local Kelowna commercial real estate market as well as the overall BC market.
Miriam Halpenny - Creative team lead/unlicensed assistant
Miriam is Venture Commercial’s Creative Team Lead. Born and raised in Calgary, Miriam studied journalism at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. With her diverse skills in writing, video, photography and content creating, she moved to Kelowna in 2019 to pursue a career as a video journalist with Castanet News. During this time, she was out in the community reporting on breaking news and other impactful stories, garnering hundreds of thousands of views on her work.
Miriam has had a lasting impact on the community through her work and her passion for uncovering the truth and telling a story correctly. After getting the opportunity to join Venture Commercial in 2021, she is pleased to use her creativity in a new way to benefit all of Venture’s marketing and social media efforts as well as supporting her entire team. Miriam has become an integral part of Venture Commercial and her responsibilities include responding to inquiries, posting listings online, organizing key pick ups, sending out email campaigns, posting on various social media platforms, creating property brochures and videos, organizing charity initiatives and so much more!
In addition to this, Miriam is a blog post writer for Rad Websites and Oh My Dog News. In her free time, you will find her kickboxing, playing piano, cooking or hanging out on Okanagan Lake with her paddleboard.
Ashley Weeks - Executive Assistant to Chris Wills, Jason Wills and Lee Levering
Ashley joins the Venture Commercial team with nearly a decade of experience in commercial real estate. She has taken on the role of Executive Assistant to Chris Wills, Jason Wills and Lee Levering.
After obtaining a B.A. in Economics from the University of British Columbia, Ashley left her hometown of Kelowna, BC and moved to Edmonton, AB where she began her career in the industry with a mid-sized commercial developer (Cameron Developments). After moving back home to Kelowna in fall 2016, Ashley joined Colliers International as a client project coordinator while she studied to obtain her real estate licence. Once licenced, Ashley worked as a broker at Colliers, specializing in commercial leasing. Seeing an opportunity to diversify her experience, Ashley joined Tommy Gun’s Original Barbershop at their head office and MKK Property Corp., where she had multiple roles in leasing, development and operations.
Ashley’s expertise in documentation, along with her attention to detail and strong organizational skills make her an invaluable asset to our team.
Outside of the office, Ashley enjoys spending quality time with family and friends, hiking Knox Mountain with her dog Suzy, hitting up a spin class at Pace, playing golf and reading a good book.
Chris Grout - Manager / Broker
Chris Grout is the founder, owner and a Managing Broker of Venture Realty Corp., a Kelowna-based Real Estate company providing trading services for Buyers, Sellers, Investors, Builders and Renovators in the beautiful Okanagan Valley.
After finishing his Bachelors of Science Degree and Masters of Business Administration Degree, he began his career in sales and marketing strategy with Canadian Pacific Railway, receiving the President’s Award for his involvement in the arbitration and eventual settlement of a multi-billion dollar contract dispute.
In 2004, he joined a couple skilled partners and moved his family from Calgary to Kelowna to develop a 51-unit innovative seniors’ housing project called Mission Villas. His role as a founder and managing partner was in the planning and research, project management, marketing, sales, finance, resident-services development and general management of the community.
Venture Realty Corp. came shortly after Mission Villas development was completed. Chris wanted to create a Real Estate Brokerage that was structured to function as more of a corporate and collaborative system. His goal was to be different from other brokerages which work with their Realtors as independent contractors and instead gather a handful of skilled employees who are all available to each client and each file.
Kelowna is now home for Chris, his two daughters, son and wife.
Trading Services – University of British Columbia
Master of Business – University of Calgary, Haskayne School of Business
Bachelor of Science – University of British Columbia
Clare Pollonais - Managing Broker
Clare joined Venture Realty Corp. with over 10 years of business experience in recruitment, sales and hospitality. She obtained her Managing Broker license and oversees the Commercial and Residential divisions of the Brokerage. Her attention to detail on compliance requirements and relationships with the industry regulatory bodies ensures optimal support for the brokerage.
As a Partner in the Brokerage, she is involved in strategic planning and overall operations of the business and committed to the success of all Agents and Brokers. Clare is highly devoted to client care and satisfaction, brings a high level of professionalism and integrity and enjoys giving back to her community through volunteer work.
Interview with Cseking In - NowMedia
“These brothers are always propelling each other forwards and constantly encouraging each other to be better. Through support and a little friendly competition, they have built a commercial real estate company that prides itself on putting people first and in the video below, share many of their insights and how to obtain, service and retain customers.” – NowMedia