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
An energetic people person with Emotional Intelligence, Glorie is an accomplished strategist, team leader, speaker, coach and mentor. She is passionate about creating collaborative, open environments where innovation can flourish, and every stakeholder is given the opportunity to learn, teach and grow past the boundaries of their comfort zone.
Glorie’s unique skill set combines forward thinking, big picture strategy, with a well-developed attention to detail ensuring that sales, operations and customer service are aligned and working as one. She has also bought and sold multiple small companies giving her additional insight into the “business of business”.
Glorie’s passion for business doesn’t stop here. She mentors a number of young entrepreneurs in the start-up tech sector and is also a mentor/coach for the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs (FWE) as well as Futurpreneur
Glorie is also a proud supporter of YELL – Youth Entrepreneur Leadership Launchpad - a registered Canadian charity equipping young leaders for an increasingly uncertain future using a network of educators, partners, and mentors to create experiences that expose youth to the stories, skills, ideas, and technologies that have the potential to radically change our future. She is also the co-founder of MyCEO.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.
Il était une fois, Ingrid, coming to you all the way from a French Caribbean Island called Guadeloupe. She is passionate about acting, improv and storytelling - an important part of the culture in Guadeloupe.
While living in France, Ingrid was a successful project manager in a bank, running several very fun and challenging IT projects at the same time across different bank departments. At the same time, she was an actress, performing on several stages in France and in North Africa.
Deciding that she needed a change, to discover a new country, and master a new language, Ingrid moved to Vancouver for the mountains, the beach and the languages (French and English). She thought that by moving to Canada, she would be able to use her passion for acting and improv to improve her English language skills. Upon moving to Vancouver, she found herself disappointed at the options on offer.
It set her mind racing and led to her founding Griottes Polyglottes, a French language school where classes are based on acting, storytelling and improvisation.
Beginning with workshops in person in 2019, Griottes Polyglottes quickly won the Premier's People's Choice Award in 2020. This was a big step and a revelation for Ingrid. While her business started to grow, the pandemic hit, so she had to take a leap of faith and move everything online. Before that, all improv or acting activities only took place in person. Ingrid managed to pivot her business and keep her clients to ensure the long-term success of her company.
Today, Griottes Polyglottes is a growing business, helping clients practice French with fun so they can speak with confidence.
Ingrid has also nurtured her passion for public speaking and entrepreneurship, as President of the Vancouver Entrepreneurs Toastmasters Club from 2019-2020, and is currently serving as VP Education. Before the pandemic, she volunteered for several of Vancouver's festivals, and has performed for three shows at the Alliance Française of Vancouver. In her spare time, on sunny days Ingrid likes hiking, and on rainy days, reading, doing improv or watching improv games online to enrich her sessions.
Dr. Izabela Schultz is a registered psychologist specializing in mental health in the workplace and director of UBC-affiliated CORTEX Centre for Advanced Assessment in Vancouver (www.cortexcentre.com). She has dual qualifications as a clinical psychologist and vocational expert. She was a professor of vocational psychology at UBC for 20 years, doing research and teaching. She authored seven books in the field, including Work Accommodation and Retention in Mental Health and published extensively, receiving a Distinguished Achievement Award from the American Psychological Association. Before settling at UBC, Dr. Schultz was a Director of Psychology Department at WorkSafeBC, for nine years, spearheading new occupational mental health policies.
At CORTEX Centre, a private venture, Dr. Schultz's team is providing consulting, coaching and training to employers on leadership, stress management, burnout prevention, conflict resolution, team work, innovation and productivity, employee selection and promotion, and tackling staff mental health and psychological issues, including work accommodations and early intervention. Dr. Schultz and her group also provide individual psychological assessments, consulting and counselling to business leaders, entrepreneurs and employees.
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.
Jacqueline is a manager of the Implementation and Outreach Section for the Licensing and Security Division within Health Canada’s Controlled Substances and Cannabis Branch. The Implementation and Outreach team is leading the Licensing and Security Division’s process development which aims to integrate a more risk-based approach for decisions for commercial cannabis licenses as well as leading the work to better engage with the cannabis communities and industry.
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.
Jordan Williamson, Senior Product Manager, is responsible for in store payment products at Moneris.
Jordan is an experienced product leader who specializes in delivering industry-leading payment solutions. Prior to taking on the payment industry, Jordan had 10 years of experience working in restaurants ranging from family-owned to mid-market franchises and major national brands.
[Board Chair *2019] Joyce Yip is a passionate clean technology strategist, strategic partnership and supply leader, project manager and governance adviser. She is the Managing Director of Sylas Consulting Group Ltd.
As the Regional Manager for Western Canada at Salesforce, Kalle Sveder helps small businesses grow by developing strategy, processes and implementing best in class technology. Before Salesforce, Kalle co-founded Vancouver based music-tech startup, SKIO Music. As the Chief Operating Officer at SKIO Music, Kalle was responsible for product-market fit, sales and marketing strategy, business development and general business operations.
Brand & Strategic Positioning Expert, Karley Cuningham takes businesses from overcrowded,
competitive spaces out into blue ocean territory where they can confidently
stand-out and thrive. Companies that want to be distinct in their marketplace retain Karley
to sharpen their value proposition, so it cuts through the noise.
Providing business leaders with the critical strategies and tools needed to charge a
premium, attract and retain ideal clients, develop a great company culture and outpace
their competitors, Karley’s international client-base benefits from accelerated growth,
increased profit and stability
As a former pro athlete, Karley is performance driven. An avid mountain biker, she is a two time finisher of the BC Bike Race, a seven day, 325 km stage race. When not focusing on the business or networking, she can be found challenging herself, either on her bike, running or hiking single-track trails throughout the Pacific Northwest.