Dianne is a Certified Professional Bookkeeper (CPB), Advisory Business Consultant and Accounting Software Trainer. Over the past 25 years she has earned a reputation for helping entrepreneurs keep their financial position up-front and central to their business. Dianne and her company Soma Small Business Solutions is the glue that sticks entrepreneurs to their growth strategies. Through regular seminars at Small Business BC she helps new entrepreneurs during their start-up stage.
Digital Main Street is a program and service that helps main street businesses achieve digital transformation. The program is built around an online learning platform, structured training programs, and their Digital Service Squad, a team of highly trained recent graduates who help main street businesses grow and manage their business through the adoption of digital tools and technology.
Dylan Hrycyshen is a start-up advisor and entrepreneur with a passion for technology, social enterprise and sustainable design. Dylan loves big ideas and the passion that fuels small business.
As a Business Advisor, Dylan uses his community development experience to foster the relationships that accelerate business skill training.
Eddie Abbey is a Business Development Representative at Uniserve Communications. He works with a number of Uniserve's accounts, across a broad range of industries and specialties’, to provide support, consultation, and management of their I.T. services. He specializes in providing Unified Communication solutions which give businesses access to essential communication needs such as phones, video conferencing, online chat, and remote capabilities. Eddie also consults and provides tailored solutions for businesses looking for I.T. managed services, hosted solutions, network/infrastructure gear, business-grade internet/connectivity, and office devices and hardware.
Elise Kobylanski is a Registered Nurse and certified Occupational Health Nurse with 20 years' experience specializing in public and private sector disability management. Starting her WorkSafeBC career in 2006, Elise has progressed through several areas of the organization including Special Care Services, Claims, and the new Employer Return to Work Programs. Over the last five years, she has collaborated with employers throughout the province to improve their return to work outcomes by implementing disability management and prevention best practices. Elise has shared her expertise on Return to Work best practices and programs at conferences and other engagements for the BC Municipal Safety Association, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, the BC Maritime Employers Association, and the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering.
[Treasurer *2019] Emily is Vice President, Business Banking at Bank of Montreal where she leads a team of Relationship Managers dedicated to serving the small business sector across the Greater Vancouver area. Emily is an entrepreneurial, visionary leader known for consistently delivering an exceptional client experience and business results through a team of highly motivated professionals.
Prior to joining BMO, Emily held both client-facing and leadership roles with RBC’s Commercial Financial Services team. Her experience spans pharmaceuticals, consumer packaged goods, and financial services.
Outside of her work in the financial services industry, Emily has gained first-hand entrepreneurial experience as co-owner of two large-scale residential heritage home re-development projects in the City of Vancouver. On both of these “side hustles”, Emily was responsible for managing the financial aspects of the projects, sourcing construction materials, and managing sub-trades. Both projects were completed successfully under development permits and were later sold at a capital gain.
Concurrent with her volunteer board position at Small Business BC, Emily also volunteers as Director, Major Events role with Association of Women in Finance. She holds a Master of Business Administration from Queen’s University and Bachelor of Business Administration from Simon Fraser University. Outside of work, Emily enjoys golf, yoga, and music.
The Employers' Advisers Office is a brand of the Ministry of Labour. It was created under the Workers Compensation Act to provide advice and assistance to employers in British Columbia regarding claims, health and safety and assessments (premiums).
In addition to their client services, The Employers' Advisers Office consults with WorkSafeBC officials from the employer's perspective. They make recommendations to the policy departments, executive, and Board of Directors for the betterment of the workers' compensation system overall.
Gina Vahlas has been an ergonomist/human factors specialist for more than twenty years, as a consultant and working in-house at the University of British Columbia before joining WorkSafeBC in the prevention division thirteen years ago.
Gisele Forge is the Founder and Creative Director of Workshop Creative(formerly Blank Canvas Design Co.), a creative consultancy offering branding, graphic design and custom website design for businesses since 2013.
Gisele is an accidental entrepreneur, having left the corporate life to become a digital nomad, and now leading a team of talented designers at a studio in Gastown. She lives and breathes business and loves supporting other entrepreneurs in defining their brands and launching successfully. She loves connecting with serial entrepreneurs, self-proclaimed workaholics and people who are creating something awesome.
For a complimentary consultation on how Gisele’s team can support your business, or simply to talk about business and making things happen(!), please connect via her website at www.workshopcreative.ca
Gordon Fraser is a Competition Law Officer with the Cartels and Deceptive Marketing Practices Branch in the Vancouver office of the Competition Bureau. Gordon is involved in investigations into alleged bid-rigging conspiracies, criminal cartels, and deceptive marketing. Gordon joined the Competition Bureau in 2008, and spent the first five years of his career working in the Mergers Directorate in the Bureau’s Gatineau headquarters. Gordon has a degree in economics from Queen’s University.
Helen Chandler is an Industry Specialist with the Young/ New Workers and Small Business Program at WorkSafeBC. Helen has been employed in the field of Occupational Health and Safety for over 20 years including working as the OHS Advisor for Vancouver General Hospital. She has a B.Sc in Kinesiology from the University of Waterloo and a Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety from BCIT.
Helina Patience is a CPA, CMA with over a decade of experience in Finance & HR within multinational companies, across many industries. She is the CEO of the Entreflow Consulting Group where she helps small to medium-sized businesses get organized, grow, and crush their goals. She is a QuickBooks Elite Level ProAdvisor and a Silver level Xero Advisor. She also has vast global experience living and working in Australia, India, the UK, and Ireland.
Iain is the founder of Entreflow, a boutique consulting firm, a highly unusual team of 18 Finance legends, HR leaders and Marketing ninjas.
Iain has more than 10+ years in software, marketing and sales leadership. He grew a tech start-up to profitability, quadrupling revenues. Consulted for major software developers and other technology and manufacturing and services business throughout North America. He also founded an innovative mobile mechanic start-up, grew the company and later sold the brand.
Jacqueline Holmes has been with WorkSafeBC for 15 years, initially working as a Nurse Advisor engaging workers in return to work programs with their employers, then as an Occupational Safety Officer in general industry and the Health Care Sector, and finally, over the past 5 years, as a Manager of Prevention Field Services in the Richmond head office. Jacqueline manages a team of Prevention Officers as part of the WorkSafeBC inspectorate for provincial businesses in the Vancouver, North and West Vancouver areas and is the Manager of Interest for the Health Care and Social Services industry, K-12 Public Education Sector, and Violence Prevention. Jacqueline is a Registered Nurse who also holds an Occupational Health Nursing certificate, a Masters’ Degree in Health and Leadership, and Canadian Registered Safety Professional (CRSP) designation.
Jayme is a Business Systems Analyst at Small Business BC. She is a graduate of the Bachelors of Business Administration, Marketing Management program at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. She has also completed the Data Analytics certificate program at BrainStation. Jayme has worked in several different roles at Small Business BC including Business Services Consultant and Education Coordinator and most recently Business Advisor. In her current role, she analyzes the organization's systems and processes to improve operational efficiency.
Jayme has spearheaded several projects at Small Business BC including the launch of the Small Business BC Meetup Group and most recently the new website redesign. She loves working for an organization that supports entrepreneurs in reaching their goals.
Jeff Clare has been with WorkSafeBC for 5 years as an Occupational Safety Officer in the construction and asbestos industries. Prior to joining WorkSafeBC, he was a cabinet maker.
Jennifer is an associate lawyer at Oyen Wiggs Green & Mutala LLP, where she assists clients with identifying and protecting their intellectual property rights.
Since starting CPG Systems in 2007, Jeremy Colwell has provided IT and Cyber support for businesses of many sizes that operate coast to coast. With a focus on operational efficiency, Jeremy and his team are experts at taking complicated technical matters and translating them to plain language that can be understood by anyone, while making sure that everything just plain works. Jeremy holds 4 different computer certifications, and is working on his 5th.
With a 25-year career in sales, marketing and merchandising in the drug, grocery and convenience store channels, Jim’s industry insight and experience is unparalleled.
Jim first spent 14 years as a Category Manager responsible for driving retail profitability at Chevron locations throughout Canada. He subsequently took a management role at Pharmasave, where he oversaw category plans and planograms for over 400 of the chain's healthcare pharmacy stores.
As Pharmasave's National Senior Category Manager, Jim was responsible for choosing the natural products, home health products and over-the-counter (OTC) products to maximize both Pharmasave's sales and customer satisfaction. In this role, Jim experienced first-hand what it takes for a product to get placement in a national retail chain—and the factors that drive success.
In September 2011, Jim formed Shopland Health, with a focus on people, relationships and connections at its core. Jim initially served product entrepreneurs as a natural product broker, and he continues to help his clients get their products on shelves and in the hands of the consumers who need them.
After discovering that entrepreneurs often need additional guidance to launch their businesses, Jim decided to expand Shopland Health's offerings. Along with his wife, Laurie, Jim is thrilled to provide coaching, education and mentoring for retail product entrepreneurs to help them grow their passion for their products into profitable sales.
John is heavily interested in user psychology, learning theories, and product design. He has spent the past decade studying business, design, and programming by learning from world-class experts, launching his own software business, and teaching others how to design and code.
Today, he runs 2x, a marketing and design consultancy that helps online businesses grow by applying design best practices, customer acquisition tactics, and running A/B tests to find measurable improvements. His software company, Dayboard, is currently serving over 25,000 weekly active users and has been featured in publications like Lifehacker, The Next Web, and TIME.
John is a graduate of Saint Mary's University, Bachelor of Commerce, Corporate Finance and has 10 years of experience with the federal government in four departments.
Jonathan McNair is a Partner at Crowe Mackay’s where he leads the Corporate Advisory and Restructuring Group. Jonathan is a Chartered Professional Accountant, Chartered Insolvency and Restructuring Professional, as well as a Licensed Insolvency Trustee. Jonathan specializes in advising business owners facing business and finance related issues. He can be contacted at Jonathan.McNair@crowemackay.ca or (604) 687 4511.
Jordan Fisher is widely recognized as one of BC’s top experts in cost-effective energy & water efficiency strategies for building retrofits. He has 15 years’ experience and has led energy efficiency upgrades across over 30 million square feet of space. This work has helped save millions of dollars in utility costs, and significantly reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
Jordan supports clients with a wide range of building types across BC and Alberta. His work has included restaurants, retail, office, hotels, light industrial, and multi-family housing. He has a particular focus on cost/benefit analysis and developing business cases for cost effective projects.
Jordan oversees a team of professionals including energy managers, mechanical and electrical engineers, and project managers. In addition to overseeing individual building energy efficiency upgrade projects, Jordan leads the development and management of energy efficiency programs that serve commercial and multi-family building owners and operators.
When not at work Jordan enjoys hiking, paddling, surfing, camping, and biking with his wife and two children.