About the People
We are very happy to announce that, as of October 26, 2013, Chad Valente will be the new Ranch Manager! Chad was raised in Beaverdell, B.C. close to Buck Lake Ranch. He worked for us about 5 years previously as a ranch cowboy and is familiar with all aspects of the ranch operations. Chad is a certified farrier and has worked as a commercial truck driver. He enjoys team roping, hockey, hunting and fishing. Chad has worked for several ranches including his families ranch also in Beaverdell.
Wayne and Ava Fipke bought the ranch in 2004. Although he is semi-retired Wayne is passionately involved in the development of the purebred black angus herd. Ava has a green thumb and currently runs a small perennial plant business, Eldorado Gardens. They have 4 adult children: Ace, Leila, Johanna and Beau, as well as 4 grandchildren and one great grandson.
Wayne grew up on a small farm near Kelowna and has always wanted to get back to the land. He got his Bachelors and Masters degrees at U.B.C. and did post graduate studies in Administration at Harvard. He put himself through university by working in sawmills, as a carpenter, as an aerial photographer and as a tutor for Investment Dealers getting licences. Wayne served as Director of Financial Programs for Alberta Culture for 3 years, followed by 11 years at Edmonton's Citadel Theatre as General Manager, producer and Artistic Director of the Children's and Teen Festival. As a Producer he initiated 4 productions transfers to Broadway and one to London's West End as well as extensive touring productions. After leaving the Citadel in 1988, Wayne worked briefly as a Convention Centre Manager in Visalia, California before joining his brother Chuck as President of Dia Met Minerals in Kelowna. For 5 years Wayne initiated the staking and joint venture development of Canada's first diamond mine, the Ektai in the N.W.T. After getting the company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, he retired in 1993. He and Ava then designed and built estates in Kelowna, Big White and at Buck Lake Ranch.
David Lyons and his family have been non-operating joint owners since 2007. They are Canadians now living primarily near London, England with their two boys, Jamie, 17 and John, 15. An adult daughter, Brittany,works in London. David was raised in Calgary and had some great times ranching as a young man. He remains as an Executive in the oil business but his substantial successes have enabled him to have time to enjoy flying his planes and captaining his boats in expeditions and adventures. The Lyons have built a log home on the ranch, dubbed BUCK LAKE LODGE, and are using it as a second residence and a recreation centre to enjoy horseback riding, quading, snowmobiling, skiing, hiking and the myriad of activities the ranch offers.