Gerry Spitzner is a business management consultant who works with retailers and suppliers on their business model/concept to create a competitive advantage. He draws from his experience as an executive in regional retail operations, multi-store ownership, as a supplier in the wholesale supply-chain and as consultant. His practical advice for leadership, management, marketing and business innovation creates clear and compelling value, clarity of purpose and long-term profitability.
Gisele Forge is the Founder and Creative Director of 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.blankcanvasdesignco.com.
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.
Humaira is the Business Development Manager for BC and the Yukon at Futurpreneur Canada (formerly CYBF). This national non-profit is focused on fueling youth entrepreneurship via financing, mentorship and support tools to aspiring business owners aged 18-39. At Futurpreneur, Humaira works with start-up entrepreneurs to support them in the initial stages of their business, connects with mentors across sectors and collaborates with community partners to maintain a strong and connected entrepreneurial ecosystem in British Columbia.
Hussein Alibhai is responsible for leading a team of digital advertising consultants who on a day to day basis help small & medium sizes businesses facilitate the transformation from traditional advertising solutions into full multi-media campaigns. Hussein’s interest in digital marketing stems from his tenure at Simon Fraser University, where he majored in Marketing and realized this was his true passion.
Irene Bremsak has been with Health Canada since 2001. Currently, she advises on the Federal Regulatory Requirements for the importation of Health Products into Canada. As a Regional Compliance Officer, she has provided training on Medical Devices, Human and Veterinary Drugs and Natural Health Products to industry, the public and other government departments. She graduated with a Master of Science from the University of British Columbia.
Jason Apple is one for the co-founders of Gourmet Syndicate, the company that owns and operates two of Canada's most recognized mobile restaurant brands: Roaming Dragon and Vij's Railway Express.
Since launching in 2010, Jason has been instrumental in shaping street food policy through advocacy with the City of Vancouver, as a member of the Food Policy Council, and as a Board Member (currently President) of Street Food Vancouver Society. Jason has been recognized as a "Top Foodie Under 40" by Western Living Magazine, his food trucks have earned three Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards, as well as enRoute Magazine's "Best New Restaurant in Canada" People's Choice Award.
Currently, Jason is leading the charge as Gourmet Syndicate's strategy for expansion focuses on scaling the company's catering business.
Jason is a lawyer who advises businesses at all stages of development. His areas of practice include business startups, partnerships, corporations, contracts, commercial transactions, buying and selling of businesses...
Jayme is a Business Advisor at Small Business BC. She advises clients on their business start-ups, providing them with relevant information and directing them to useful resources Jayme is a graduate of the Bachelors of Business Administration, Marketing Management program at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. She also has experience launching her own online-based business. Jayme has contributed as a writer on the Small Business BC website and presents the popular Start Smart seminar, on a monthly basis.
Jayme also spearheaded the launch of the Small Business BC Meetup Group which has successfully grown to over 2,000 members in just over 2 years. Jayme regularly participates in outreach events and presentations on behalf of Small Business BC.
Jeff Penner and his wife Amanda started Minimoc in 2013, making modern soft soled shoes for children and selling at Craft Fairs and Popups in the lower Mainland. In 2014 they moved the company to a warehouse and have expanded to include 15 employees. Minimoc can be found online, at various pop ups and markets year round, and in over 150 retailers across Canada and the United states.
Jenna Herbut is the Co-Founder of Make It, which is a biannual craft fair that happens in Vancouver and Edmonton. Since 2008, the show has grown from 30 exhibitors to over 250, and attracted over 50,000 customers in 2015. She writes weekly articles on her blog jennaherbut.com, and has an online interview show called #MakeItTV.
Jennifer is an associate lawyer at Oyen Wiggs Green & Mutala LLP, where she assists clients with identifying and protecting their intellectual property rights.
Jenny started Oollo Tea in 2014 that focuses on Taiwanese farm direct teas. The company offers quality Taiwanese oolongs and also makes bottled cold brew teas at her kitchen in East Vancouver. She has participated in pop up markets, festival markets, individual farmer's markets and also collaborated with local artists and makers to create West End General Store Popup.
Jessica Bilmer is one of three co-founders of ElleBox, a monthly subscription box service catered to your period. She is a recent graduate of Kinesiology at UBC. She plays in a competitive women's soccer league and is her happiest on top of a mountain.
Jill Smith is the owner of Bees Wax Works on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia. She is an accomplished artisan making beautiful, fragrant hand-dipped candles and is growing her business with customers and retailers throughout BC, Alberta, Ontario and the Yukon.
With a career spanning cultures, disciplines and industries, Joanne is a specialist in leading innovative collaborations among business, government and civil society organizations. She has worked on investment teams advising franchise systems, social enterprises and independent businesses to successfully start up and scale while delivering on a social mission. She has a proven track record of creating viable economic development initiatives for under-represented groups that strategically align with business objectives.
Joe Markovitch is the co-founder of Solly’s Bagelry, a Vancouver institution and the new-founder of JoeCo Business Coaching - a holistic business-coaching practice. As a successful Vancouver entrepreneur, marketing director, college instructor and professional musician Joe has more than 25 years experience in business.
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.
As CEO of Servco, John brings leadership, tenacity and an entrepreneurial approach to business. His career began in 1989 with a nine-year tenure at Stena Group, a large marine construction company. In the 25+ years since, John has participated in large-scale, international projects in the energy and industrial sectors. He is fully committed to delivering a first-class product, safely, efficiently and effectively as possible.
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.
Julie Menten practices in all areas of employment, labour, human rights and privacy law at Roper Greyell LLP. Supported by her extensive experience in the mental health field, Julie has particular experience working with employers to address complex issues related to workplace bullying and harassment issues, mental and physical disability accommodations including addictions return to work and human rights issues.
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.
Karen Curtis is the owner of KICS Gourmet Products. 16 years ago, as KICS Lemonade, Karen and her Mum decided to try selling her Granny’s lemonade syrup at the Coquitlam Farmers’ Market. That first year, Karen made enough money to buy a portable dishwasher! More importantly however, Karen took the first steps toward fulfilling a dream. As a lifelong foodie, Karen has always been passionate about sharing good food with people. KICS has since branched out and grown into a small business that can be found at numerous markets throughout the Lower Mainland. The product line has grown too. It now includes 6 flavours of lemonade syrup, as well as a line of preserves and dressings, all citrus based and using ingredients from other market vendors. KICS wholesales and retails their products as well. Karen is deeply connected to the local food economy. She is a past board member of the Small Scale Food Processors Association and the Coquitlam Farmer’s Market. She also writes a monthly market column in the Tri-City News and teaches cooking classes. KICS has been through most aspects of the food business, from starting out in a home kitchen all the way up to utilizing a co-packer. KICS has also been listed with 2 grocery chains and several smaller retail outlets.