Small Business BC’s business speakers are industry experts with a wealth of their own small business knowledge. Their business seminars, and online education, provide small business owners with practical business advice, tips and tools to help their businesses grow.
AJ Palladino is a Sr. Manager on the Small Business Marketing team at Canada Post. In this role, AJ helps Small Businesses start and grow by providing access to insights, business solutions and expert partners. Through his 8-year career at Canada Post, AJ has gained extensive experience in Product Marketing, Product Management and Ecommerce Strategy. He’s worked with global ecommerce merchants, platforms and marketplaces like Amazon, Shopify, Ebay and Etsy to design, deploy and market industry leading solutions. His deep knowledge of the ecommerce ecosystem combined with his passion for Small Business offers entrepreneurs a unique expertise to help them achieve their goals.
Albert Tsou is a Border Integrity Compliance Officer with the Border Centre West of Health Canada. Albert is involved in regulatory compliance enforcement and verification of health products at the border. Albert joined Health Canada in 2012. and started his career at the Inspectorate Program of Health Canada. He has a degree in science from Simon Fraser University.
As GOOD BUDS Chief Strategy Officer and Co-Founder, Alex does a lot more than making 10-year plans. He brings over a decade of experience in management consulting, strategy and finance to the GOOD BUDS management team. An avid learner, Alex is always flexing new muscles, and proudly wears many hats as chief strategist, salesman, fundraiser, and sober second-thinker. Alex champions a disciplined, researched approach decision-making, which has helped the company cut through the market noise, and ultimately remain true to its core values and people-first approach. Today, Alex and his brother Tyler have launched Canada's first legal outdoor craft grow on Salt Spring Island, BC, and are leading the charge in making award-winning, organically-grown, all-natural hash and rosin. Follow their journey on Instagram @goodbudsco or visit goodbudsco.com for more information.
Alex is the Senior Manager, Underwriting within the Small Business Insurance team at BCAA. Alex assisted in the design and creation of BCAA’s Small Business Insurance. He works closely with a team of Commercial Advisors and Underwriters to meet the unique needs of BC Businesses. Alex has been involved in commercial insurance underwriting since 2012.
Allison Boulton has her own international consulting firm, and is the Program Manager of the Export Navigator Program.
After living in China and the Middle East for three years, Allison returned to Vancouver to work as an International Trade Advisor with Small Business BC, and started her own firm assisting entrepreneurs grow globally. While abroad, she completed her MBA and worked as the China Director of Marketing and Trade Sales with an importer and distributor of North American beverages. Prior to moving overseas, Allison was the Director of Operations for a boutique Canadian winery with exports to over 20 countries.
Her enthusiasm for travel and for understanding how people live around the world has led her to explore over 30 countries. She uses this experience to help clients understand, not only the regulations of international trade, but also the country's cultural differences that are so vital for businesses looking to succeed in the global marketplace.
Amber Piché is an Export Advisor for the Export Navigator Program.
An entrepreneur at heart, Amber has had the privilege of working with a range of organizations, from non-profits to multinational corporations. Born and raised in the Thompson-Okanagan, Amber started out in the food & beverage industry, specifically wine, tea, and hospitality.
Following this valuable experience, Amber worked in international business development in ICT & tech, created a successful start-up in the events industry, and grew a network of contacts across the globe. Whether your business is just starting out or fully established, Amber can help your company reach its export potential.
Amenda has worked in the field of mental health for over 10 years, working for both government and private organizations. Prior to joining WorkSafeBC in 2014, she worked as a psychiatric social worker and forensic case manager for the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA). She has been involved in mental health from providing support to adults with mental health issues, to working with family members who have lost a loved one in a workplace accident. Amenda has worn several hats at WorkSafeBC, including working as a Case Manager in Claims, Investigations Officer in Fatal and Series Injury Investigations, and currently as an OHS Consultant for Mental Health Injury Prevention.
Amenda graduated from UBC with her Master of Social work and outside of WorkSafeBC, also practices as a registered social worker/therapist at a Vancouver clinic specializing in support for adults struggling with anxiety and other mental health issues.
To build a thriving business, it’s not enough to be great at what you do. You need clients.
Ami has helped over 430 business owners connect with millions of prospects online. His team at The Uncommoners Club have placed over $3 million in advertising on behalf of their clients.
Amin Yazdani is a software architect and the director of technology of A.Y. Technologies Inc. Amin has more than 15 years of experience in software development and has helped many startups grow to their true potential using software systems. He is an expert on helping startups find the right markets to approach and solve the right problems for their customers.
Amy Robinson, LOCO BC, is a small business sustainability consultant. Amy founded LOCO BC because of her perception that BC undervalues the economic and social pillars of sustainability that strengthen communities, build resilience and foster innovation. She started LOCO to connect, support and promote local businesses while advocating for increased local spending by consumers, businesses, and institutions.
Andrea is the Co-Founder and Operator of Village Bloomery. Andrea is a serial entrepreneur with an education in Design & Display for the retail environment . Throughout her career, Andrea has worked in front line retail with a focus on design and management and has had the pleasure of working for forward-thinking retailers such as IKEA, The Body Shop, and Womyns Ware Inc. She is an entrepreneur who has followed her heart when in the visioning process and her intuition while in the growth phase. Data is a language she is learning to appreciate.
Andrea finds most of her joy in exploring what cannabis means to women.
Andress Lee, Regional Product Safety Officer at Health Canada, has been working in various positions at different departments within the federal government for over 10 years. She started at the meat hygiene program of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) as an inspector. In 2007, she worked at the fish import program with the CFIA as an inspector conducting audits and inspecting importations of fish and seafood products. In 2013, she worked at the shellfish program with the CFIA as a specialist monitoring the marine bio-toxin program and providing recommendations on the opening and closure of the shellfish harvest sites along the pacific coastline. In 2016, she joined the consumer product safety program at Health Canada as an officer researching, assessing and collaborating in the management of the health risks and safety hazards associated with many consumer products, that Canadians use daily. She has worked with businesses to help them understanding legislative requirements.
Andress received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of British Columbia. After graduating, she worked in multiple food manufacturing facilities starting from a quality control technician to a quality assurance manager for over 5 years before joining the federal government.
Anna Chan is the Founder of myMomentum, a community centric platform that helps people and businesses find momentum, one snack box at a time! Best known for her positivity & energy, Anna has a passion for all things wellness, start up, & community. She has spent nearly 20 years experience working in all facets of business development both in Canada & abroad. She has an emerging interest in impact investing, bringing it full circle and combining her passion for impact-led ventures with her strong background in finance and investments.
She often can be heard quoting - take the road less travelled, and that she did indeed - 40 countries & many mountains later! Her adventures have involved living abroad in China, multi-day hikes in Nepal, riding a train across Mongolia and now… taking care of a 3 year old!
Chief Scientific Officer in Research and Development at Terramera
Anthony is a Business Advisor Co-op at Small Business BC. He is currently a student at Simon Fraser University, majoring in business administration with concentrations in finance, management information systems, and international business. He is passionate about helping small business owners succeed, and he has worked in both the public and financial sectors, gaining valuable insights into the workings of different industries.
How do you start on a path that leads to such grand ideas as social entrepreneurship, venture & innovation? If you ask those on it, you’ll rarely hear the same story twice, and only slightly more often – even catch a similarity.
Through an encyclopedia’s worth of false starts, impressive entrepreneurial pursuits, scattered career paths and questionable life choices there are two things that do resound repetitively.
Empathy and belief of impact.
Ash MacLeod was fortunate enough to be born surrounded by empathy and instilled with the confidence that his actions can inspire change. It’s one thing to care, but it’s another to believe that care will change the world.
Starting his first business at the age of 15 Ash has an early start at entrepreneurism and has enjoyed successful, meaningful careers in the music, hospitality and advertising industry and gained skills in each that would melt down and equip him to manage the various businesses of one of Canada’s foremost social entrepreneurs – Mark Brand. As a partner in that business he oversees operations, business development and human resources for all 5 of the organizations including Save On Meats, Persephone Brewing Company, The Diamond, Catalog Creative and serves as Executive Director for A Better Life Foundation. He manages a team that provides over 1,500 meals per day, each day of the year to citizens who can’t afford to eat and by doing so creates meaningful employment for dozens of citizens who identify as having barriers to employment.
This work has granted him a seat on the President’s Group of BC, a coalition of some of the province’s biggest companies dedicated to increasing employment for people with disabilities and he is the Chair of Arts & Culture and Board Member of Hastings Crossing Business Improvement Association which aims to accelerate social entrepreneurship in one of Canada’s most challenging neighbourhoods.
Ashley “WriterGal” Doan
Ashley “WriterGal” Doan is a content copywriter, public speaker, published author, and online marketing consultant. Through her business, WriterGal Marketing Services, she shows entrepreneurs how to make content marketing easy, profitable, and fun so it helps to grow their business. Her specialties include writing SEO web content, blog articles, and social media posts.
Ashley is currently the Product Manager of Business Solutions at Moneris.
As Product Manager of Business Solutions, Ashley’s portfolio focuses on the development and go-to-market strategies for Moneris’ Point–of-sale, Gift and Loyalty solutions. Prior to her current position, Ashley led product and marketing strategies for Moneris’ suite of mobile POS, iPad POS, and core products. With over 10 years of experience in progressively more senior positions at Moneris, Ashley brings a wealth of knowledge as well as a deep understanding of the payments industry and the value we bring to merchants everyday. Ashley also holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from the Schulich School of Business at York University.
Ashley Teister has been with WorkSafeBC for 5 years and started as an Occupational Safety Officer in the construction industry. She is currently the Supervisor for Prevention Field Services for the asbestos team. Prior to joining WorkSafeBC, she was in the rebar industry.
Barinder is the co-founder of HAVN Life Sciences Inc., with the goal of empowering people to achieve their potential and thrive, from a foundation of evidence-informed research.