All 2016 Speakers

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Andrew Wilson

CEO, Electronic Arts

As CEO of Electronic Arts, Andrew Wilson has aligned the company around three core strategic pillars: putting players first, driving a digital transformation and operating as one team. During Andrew’s tenure as CEO, EA has launched groundbreaking new games and services, reached record player engagement levels across its global franchises, and transformed into one of the world’s leading digital entertainment companies.

Andrew has held several positions during his over 15 years at EA, providing leadership on product and brand development for both packaged goods and digital services.  Prior to being appointed CEO in 2013, Andrew served as executive vice president of EA SPORTS and Origin where he oversaw all aspects of the EA SPORTS business and development, as well as EA’s digital PC service.

Andrew has also led EA’s Online Organization overseeing the direct-to-consumer business, Asia Online Publishing as well as the EA studio in Seoul, Korea. In addition, he previously served as vice president and executive producer of all EA SPORTS FIFA games, growing the property into one of the largest videogame franchises of all time.

A native of Geelong, Victoria, Australia, Andrew began playing games at a young age and got his start working for a consortium of online companies that specialized in the creation of content and services for sports and entertainment media.

Andrew has been named one of the “Top People in Business” by FORTUNE, one of the “Most Creative People” by Fast Company, and one of the “100 Most Influential Leaders in Marketing, Media and Tech” by AdWeek.

In his spare time, you can find him playing games, surfing and training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He lives in the Bay Area with his wife and two children.

Ray Kurzweil

Ray Kurzweil

Author, Inventor, Futurist

Ray Kurzweil is one of the world’s leading inventors, thinkers, and futurists with a thirty-year track record of accurate predictions. Called “the restless genius” by The Wall Street Journal and “the ultimate thinking machine” by Forbes magazine, Kurzweil was selected as one of the top entrepreneurs by Inc. magazine, which described him as the “rightful heir to Thomas Edison.” PBS selected him as one of the “sixteen revolutionaries who made America.”

Kurzweil was the principal inventor of the first CCD flat-bed scanner, the first omni-font optical character recognition, the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind, the first text-to-speech synthesizer, the first music synthesizer capable of recreating the grand piano and other orchestral instruments, and the first commercially marketed large-vocabulary speech recognition.

Among Kurzweil’s many honors, he recently received the 2015 Technical Grammy Award for outstanding achievements in the field of music technology; he is the recipient of the National Medal of Technology, was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame, holds twenty honorary Doctorates, and honors from three U.S. presidents.

Ray has written five national best-selling books, including New York Times bestsellers The Singularity Is Near (2005) and How To Create A Mind (2012). He is a Director of Engineering at Google heading up a team developing machine intelligence and natural language understanding.

Elyse Allan

Elyse Allan

President and CEO, GE Canada

In her role as President and Chief Executive Officer of GE Canada and Vice President GE, Elyse is responsible for growing GE’s business in Canada and advancing the company’s leadership in advanced technology, services and finance.  Elyse is a passionate champion for Canada’s competitiveness, advancing the country’s science and technology base and competitive fiscal policy. She actively engages in industry groups, public policy and the community and serves on the Boards of Directors for several organizations, including the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, the C.D. Howe Institute, MaRS Discovery District, Conference Board of Canada and the ROM Board of Governors. She has been recognized as  a YWCA 2012 Woman of Distinction (Business), a Top 100 Business Women of Influence by the Women’s Executive Network, and as Canadian Business Magazine’s 25 Most Powerful People in Canada (2009).

Eric Ries

Eric Ries

Author, The Lean Startup

Entrepreneur and New York Times best-selling Author, Eric Ries, is best recognized for pioneering the Lean Startup movement, a new-business strategy which maximizes a company’s potential by allocating and improvising their resources as efficiently as possible. When Crown Business published Eric’s first book, The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses, it became an instant standard blueprint and bestseller for entrepreneurs and startups around the world.

Eric is currently pioneering a new publishing experiment. Relying solely on crowdsourcing, Eric procured the funds to publish his next book, tentatively scheduled for release in late 2016 or early 2017. Donors are offered exclusive access to Eric’s user manual for business leaders and an online community, where by sharing their experiences using The Leader’s Guide’s principles will help Eric research and write his next book.

Eric is also a leading Silicon Valley and business blogger with his posts and advice having been featured in Reuters, CNBC, MSNBC, The Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, The New York Times, Inc. Magazine, Forbes and Wired Magazine. He founded and annually co-hosts The Lean Startup Conference and serves on the advisory board of a number of technology startups and venture capital firms. Eric did his BS in Computer Science at Yale.

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T.K. “Ranga” Rengarajan

Corporate Vice President, Technology & Research, Microsoft

T.K. “Ranga” Rengarajan, a Corporate Vice President within Technology and Research in Microsoft is responsible for global aspects of engineering. Among his responsibilities are all Microsoft Global Development Centers located in China, India, Israel, New England, Silicon Valley and Vancouver, the Garage program to drive grassroot innovation and advanced technology projects in the areas of system and performance. Ranga and his teams are responsible to ensure Microsoft attracts, trains and retains the best talent in the world. Previously, Ranga led engineering for Microsoft’s Database and Big Data businesses driving significant cultural transformation in the Data Platform team, notably in focusing on execution, faster innovation and delighting customers. His leadership was instrumental in growing the service culture in SQL DB and launching and growing the full complement of Azure data services – Data Lake, DocumentDB, Search, SQL DW, HDInsight on Linux.

Before Microsoft, Ranga held senior leadership positions at SAP, Wily, Sybase, Digital Equipment Corporation and at several Silicon Valley startups. At SAP, he was responsible for the Business Analytics and Hana applications. Before that, he ran Wily’s application management solutions. He also has held executive positions in engineering, operations, and support at Silicon Valley startups focused on customer experience management, wireless, security, and internet messaging services. Earlier in his career, Ranga ran database server development for Sybase, Inc. At Digital Equipment Corporation, Ranga was among the youngest individuals elected as a Distinguished Engineer and set the world record in transaction processing with Oracle Rdb product in the TPC-A benchmark, resulting in papers and patents.

Ranga holds a Master’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin. He lives in Silicon Valley with his wife and two daughters.

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Terry Stuart

Chief Innovation Officer, Deloitte

When some of the world’s leading brands need to discuss innovation strategies or figure out how to get ready for disruption, Terry Stuart often gets the call.  As Deloitte Canada’s Chief Innovation Officer, Terry’s job is to be a “constructive disruptor”, helping both the firm and clients thrive in a world where exponential change is in the driver’s seat and is not obeying the speed limit.  A creative thinker with an idea every nanosecond, a meeting with Terry leaves people itching to jump out of the present and bounce into the future.

Animated and passionate, Terry speaks to audiences across the country and abroad.  Terry is a master connector and finds value in meeting with everyone in the innovation ecosystem—he finds inspiration everywhere.    Whether Terry is experimenting with his latest Kickstarter purchase, watching a TED video on his deck with his family or attending Singularity University’s Innovation Partnership Program in Silicon Valley, he leaves ready to take action and finds others who will join him on his journey.

The word innovation can sometimes be used in a cavalier way, but in Terry’s mind it matters.  Canada’s productivity is on the line and innovation is what will propel the country forward to help future generations be successful.

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Beth Noveck

Founder and Director, The Governance Lab

Beth Simone Noveck directs The Governance Lab and its MacArthur Research Network on Opening Governance. Funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Google.org, the GovLab strives to improve people’s lives by changing how we govern. The GovLab designs and tests technology, policy and strategies for fostering more open and collaborative approaches to strengthen the ability of people and institutions to work together to solve problems, make decisions, resolve conflict and govern themselves more effectively and legitimately.

The Jerry Hultin Global Network Professor at New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering, she was formerly the Jacob K. Javits Visiting Professor at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and a visiting professor at the MIT Media Lab. Beth is a professor of law at New York Law School and a Senior Fellow at the Yale Law School Information Society Project. She served in the White House as the first United States Deputy Chief Technology Officer and director of the White House Open Government Initiative (2009-2011). UK Prime Minister David Cameron appointed her senior advisor for Open Government, and she served on the Obama-Biden transition team. Among projects she’s designed or collaborated on are Unchat, The Do Tank, Peer To Patent, Data.gov, Challenge.gov and the Gov Lab’s Living Labs and training platform, The Academy.

A graduate of Harvard University and Yale Law School, she serves on the Global Commission on Internet Governance and chaired the ICANN Strategy Panel on Multi- Stakeholder Innovation. She is a member of the Advisory Board of the Open Contracting Partnership. She was named one of the “Foreign Policy 100?? by Foreign Policy, one of the “100 Most Creative People in Business” by Fast Company and one of the “Top Women in Technology” by Huffington Post. She has also been honored by both the National Democratic Institute and Public Knowledge for her work in civic technology.

Beth is the author of Wiki Government: How Technology Can Make Government Better, Democracy Stronger and Citizens More Powerful, which has also appeared in Arabic, Russian, Chinese and in an audio edition, and co-editor of The State of Play: Law, Games and Virtual Worlds. Her next book Smart Citizens, Smarter State: The Technologies of Expertise and the Future of Governing will appear with Harvard University Press in 2015. She tweets @bethnoveck and writes on Medium @bethnoveck.

Victoria, BC-October 4, 2011-Premier Christy Clark, photographed in her Legislative Office.-Photograph by Diana Nethercott

Honourable Christy Clark

35th Premier of British Columbia

Christy Clark was sworn in for her second term as British Columbia's 35th Premier on June 10, 2013 and was elected Westside-Kelowna MLA on July 10, 2013.

Re-elected with an even larger majority, Premier Clark is unwavering in her focus to protect and create jobs in B.C. with her plan for a strong economy and secure tomorrow.

Her plan starts by controlling spending today.  Her proven commitment has led B.C. back to an era of balanced budgets.

Her plan also includes working to continue growing BC's diverse economy and markets, fighting for economic development in every corner of our province, expanding international trade, and strengthening skills training to make sure British Columbians are first in line for the jobs that will come.

More than 86,000 British Columbians work in technology, up from 66,000 in 2002 and the sector will continue to grow.

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Daniel Muzyka

President and Chief Executive Officer, The Conference Board of Canada

Dr. Daniel F. Muzyka is the President and Chief Executive Officer of The Conference Board of Canada and the RBC Financial Group Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of British Columbia's Sauder School of Business. He is also Vice-President and Chair of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

He was previously the Dean at the Sauder School of Business at UBC. Prior to 1999, Dr. Muzyka taught and held senior administrative positions at Harvard Business School, INSEAD, Babson College, Northeastern University, Wharton School (University of Pennsylvania) and Williams College.

He worked in industry with General Electric and Braxton Associates. In addition, he has been an active board member on several corporate, regulatory, and venture boards. Dr. Muzyka currently serves or has served on various government councils, including the B.C. Competition Council, and the B.C. Premier's Technology Council.

Dr. Muzyka holds a DBA from Harvard University, an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania, and a BA from Williams College. He has been awarded the National Order of Merit by the Government of France.

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Brian Wong

Founder and CEO, Kiip

Kiip (pronounced “keep”) redefines how brands connect with consumers through a rewards platform that targets “achievement moments” in mobile games and apps. This innovative approach to mobile marketing creates meaningful engagements between users, developers and advertisers. Backed by Hummer Winblad, Relay Ventures, True Ventures, Digital Garage and others, the company has raised $15.4 million in funding to date.

Kiip has been recognized by Forbes as one of the “4 Hot Online Ad Companies to Put on Your Watch List,” named on the Dow Jones “FasTech50” and listed on Fast Company’s “50 Most Innovative Companies.” Once the youngest person to ever receive venture capital funding, Brian received his Bachelor of Commerce from the University of British Columbia at age 18, after skipping four K-12 grades.

Brian has been recognized with many awards for his accomplishments and leadership, including: “Top 20 Under 20” in Canada; Business Insider’s “Top 25 Under 25 in Silicon Valley,” “30 Under 30 in ?Advertising” and “18 Most Important People in Mobile Advertising”; Forbes’ “30 under 30” for three years; Mashable’s “Top 5 Entrepreneurs to Watch”; iMedia “25”; and AdAge “Creativity Top 50”.

Before starting Kiip, Brian led key publisher and tech partnerships at the social news website Digg.com, where he accelerated the company's mobile presence by launching the Digg Android mobile app.

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Honourable Amrik Virk

Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens' Services

Amrik Virk was appointed as Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens' Services on December 18, 2014. Previously he served as Minister of Advanced Education from June 2013, after being elected as MLA in the riding of Surrey-Tynehead in the 2013.

Currently, Virk is working to support and expand B.C.'s vibrant technology sector as indicated in the BC Jobs Plan as a key economic force. This will create a strong foundation across the province for creating jobs and business opportunities.

As Minister of Advanced Education, he helped guide the development of B.C.'s Skills for Jobs Blueprint which redesigns education to match students with the skills and training needed to fill the impending estimated one million job openings.

After the completion of a Bachelor of Arts Degree majoring in Economics and History at Simon Fraser University, Virk joined the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in 1987. Following an extensive career in a variety of policing roles including sharpshooter with Emergency Response Teams, he retired at the rank of inspector in 2013. Virk is a recipient of two bravery awards, and The Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal and The Queen's Silver Jubilee Medal.

Virk also spent six years on the board of directors of the Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation and served on various community boards.

Virk lives in Surrey with his wife Jatinder, and their three daughters; Maansi, Anisha and Jusleen.

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Lindsay Smith

CEO, Massive Media

Lindsay is the founder and CEO of Massive Media, a Vancouver based creative digital agency. To say that Lindsay is passionate about technology is an understatement. On a life long journey to explore human interaction, Lindsay has dedicated her life to building opportunities for people to connect, grow and learn using technology. She has spoken both in-broadcast and in-person to millions of people across North America and is recognized as a 'go-to' expert in consumer technology and digital living. As a pioneer in the digital space, she has worked with several leading tech companies and broadcasters, including Samsung, Microsoft, Shaw TV, and CBC.

In addition to Lindsay's CEO hat, she also volunteers her time as the President Elect for the BC Chapter of the American Marketing Association and is a mentor for Futurpreneur Canada; a non-profit organization that supports young entrepreneurs.

Lindsay's favourite Star Wars character is Yoda. And when she isn't working, Lindsay enjoys getting outside and exploring the great outdoors with her husband Nels.

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Dave Smardon

President & CEO, Bioenterprise Corporation

Dave Smardon has a background in establishing, growing and financing technology-based companies. Early in his career, Dave held a variety of mid-to senior level positions with corporations including Texas Instruments Inc. and Apple Computer Inc.

In 1984, he began a career as an entrepreneur establishing Learning Connections, an educational software company. In less than 15 months, he built the start-up company to one of Canada’s leading educational software companies and sold it to Unisys Corporation. In 1993, he founded Commcorp Technologies Inc., a spin-off company, providing technology outsourcing services and application software to the financial and banking communities. The company was subsequently sold in 1995 to their largest customer.

From 1986 through 1990, Dave headed up Apple Computer's Canadian venture capital activities. It was this experience that led him to establish his own personal investment and venture capital companies (Nibiru Investments and Capital Management Ltd.). During this period, he provided corporate finance services, venture capital investment and hands-on operational management to high growth companies. In addition, he provided advisory, due diligence and investment syndication services to the venture capital and institutional investment communities.

Dave became immersed in the agricultural sector in 2003 and in 2005, he assumed the role of President and CEO of Bioenterprise Corporation. Since then, he has built Bioenterprise into North America's leading business accelerator in the agricultural industry. He often compares the heady days of the hi-tech bubble with the agricultural sector today and he refers to agricultural-technology as the “New Wave” for investors. In 2010, he established Bioenterprise Capital Ventures, a venture capital firm focusing on investments in emerging and innovative global agricultural firms.

Dave is an advocate for the creation and growth of a strong venture capital industry and he advises government, Family Offices and investment companies on agricultural investment activities. He is a strong supporter of Socially Responsible Investing and of Responsible Agricultural Investment practices. Dave sits on the boards of several companies and is an angel investor himself.

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Wal Van Lierop

President & CEO, Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital

Wal is an energy technology veteran with unique industry insight gained through deep operational experience as a venture capitalist, corporate executive, top international consultant and a university professor. Since co-founding Chrysalix in 2001, Wal has sourced, invested in and advised numerous startups building innovative solutions for the new energy economy – often while working hand-in- hand with large multinational companies on their sustainable innovation strategies. Wal is a specialist in maximizing returns from bringing innovative solutions to energy intensive industries that are in transition including: oil and gas, power and utilities, mining and metals, chemicals and materials, and automation and manufacturing.

Prior to founding Chrysalix, Wal spent six years as the Vice President of Strategic Planning at Westcoast Energy (at the time one of the largest Canadian energy companies) with a strong focus on innovation and venturing. He also advised energy, chemicals and financial services blue chip companies on innovation and change management while working for more than seven years with McKinsey & Company.

Before officially joining the corporate world, Wal worked for almost a decade as an Associate Professor at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam doing research in economics, econometrics and the environment, and consulting with businesses, governments and major international institutions including the World Bank and European Union. He has an extensive teaching background in venture capital and entrepreneurial finance, and change management through associate professorships at the University of British Columbia (2000-2008) and Simon Fraser University (1995 – 2002).

With a long standing passion for clean energy innovation, Wal has founded or co-founded several new ventures and clean energy organizations including New Ventures BC and SET Ventures in Amsterdam as part of the Chrysalix Global Network, which he assisted GRC from China in joining as well. He is a long standing member of the Cleantech Group’s Advisory Board, leader of the BC Cleantech CEO Alliance, 2014 Canadian “Clean16” honoree, co-founder of the BC 2030 Tech-Hub initiative, member of the regional sustainability council and a member of the Vancouver “Renewable City Action Team”, and frequent political advisor.

Wal holds a PhD in Economics from the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam and has completed executive training in Change Management from MIT. He is a passionate advocate for innovation and sustainability, author of several books and scientific articles, and can regularly be seen contributing to articles in the international media as well as speaking at industry conferences around the world – from being a key business speaker during the Vancouver 2010 and London 2012 Olympic Games, to debating Robert F. Kennedy Jr. at GLOBE2014, to giving innovation speeches at high profile events including Oil and Money in London and Energy for Tomorrow in Kuala Lumpur.

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Kharis O’Connell

CEO, HUMAN

Kharis is the CEO and cofounder of HUMAN - a product design studio that focuses on emerging platforms such as wearables, IoT and VR. Kharis has over 15 years of international work in experience design crafting thoughtful products and services, and prior to the creation of HUMAN, worked at Nokia Design on a multitude of award winning products. Previous work also included projects for companies like Samsung - helping design their first flagship mobile devices, and an interactive hardware/software platform for Nike.

Kharis gave the keynote at Taiwan Design Week in Taipei for 2014, and is a regular speaker at conferences and events focused on the future of design and it’s growing effect on success in business.

Kharis is also a startup mentor at the Wearable World accelerator in San Francisco, and advisor to Commandwear Inc. based here in Vancouver. He also is a guiding member of the Immersive Technology Alliance (ITA) - a non-profit organization dedicated to guiding and growing the industry around virtual reality, and helping build out the community of practice.

Ryan D'arcy

Dr. Ryan D’Arcy

Head of Health Sciences and Innovation, Fraser Health Surrey Memorial Hospital

Dr. Ryan C.N. D'Arcy is a Canadian neuroscientist specializing in translational neurotechnologies. He is a full Professor of Engineering and Computer Science at Simon Fraser University and holds the Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation BC Leadership Chair in Medical Technologies. He is also Head of Health Sciences and Innovation at Fraser Health’s Surrey Memorial Hospital. In 2012, he founded and has led the development of Surrey’s Innovation Boulevard, a vibrant and growing health technology cluster. Prior to his return home to metro Vancouver, Dr. D’Arcy led Canada’s National Research Council in the development of the world-renowned Halifax-based Biodiagnostics cluster. Key to these efforts, Dr. D’Arcy’s research specializes utilizing brain imaging and related neurotechnologies to demonstrate immediate real-world benefits for patient care.

Dr. D’Arcy has received several awards, including Canada’s Public Service Award of Excellence, and has been recognized as a “Kickass Canadian.” From 2010-2012, he co-led the brain delegation in the Canada-Israel Innovation Summit and then the Innovation Boulevard Trade Partnership in 2012-2013. He has over 160 published papers, chapters, patents, and conference proceedings and has generated several successful brain-based companies and products active in the marketplace. Dr. D’Arcy sees Canada as a rising global leader in neurotechnology innovations that quickly impact lives and generate economic growth.

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Jill Earthy

Chief Growth Officer, Frontfundr

Jill Earthy is an entrepreneurially minded leader with a passion for supporting small business.  She is the Chief Growth Officer of FrontFundr, an online platform connecting entrepreneurs and investors.  Using technology, FrontFundr enables entrepreneurs to raise awareness and money from a broad investor community, and helps through the entire funding cycle using an easy, transparent process. For the previous 3 years, she was the Regional Director for BC & Yukon of Futurpreneur Canada, a national non-profit organization providing loans and mentorship to start-up entrepreneurs between the ages of 18-39 years old.  After completing her MBA, she successfully built 2 companies (Frontline Staff Inc. and momcafe Network Inc.), grew them nationally and then sold them. She then became CEO of the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs (FWE), a non-profit organization educating, mentoring and energizing female entrepreneurs with growing businesses, where she worked from 2007 - 2012.  As a community leader and active mentor, Jill serves as a Director on the Board of Governors for Simon Fraser University (SFU), on the Board of the Women’s Enterprise Centre and as Co-Chair of the WEB Alliance, a collective of over 25 Women’s Business networks in the lower mainland of BC. She has been recognized by Business in Vancouver as a Top 40 under 40 and was recently acknowledged by Start-up Canada as a BC finalist for Entrepreneurship Promotion.

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Sean Silcoff

Business Reporter, The Globe and Mail

Sean Silcoff is an award-winning business writer with The Globe and Mail and co-author of Losing the Signal: The Spectacular Rise and Fall of BlackBerry. During his 21-year career in journalism and communications, he has worked at the National Post, Canada Post and Canadian Business Magazine, where he oversaw publication of the inaugural edition of the Rich 100, the annual survey of Canada’s wealthiest people. Sean has won two National Newspaper Awards and the Montreal Economic Institute’s Economic Education Prize. He lives in Chelsea, Qc. with his wife and three children.

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Dr. Saber Miresmailli

Founder & CEO, Ecoation Innovation Solutions Inc.

Saber is an inventive applied biologist and the Founder and CEO of Ecoation, which provides a platform that aims to change the way we produce and protect our food. He is the BioScience Advisor at Sustainability Television. Previously, he was the Executive Science Officer of Sumatics LLC., a member of the Scientific Advisory Panel at EcoSMART Technologies Inc., and a Research Associate at the Energy Biosciences Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has developed a number of innovative methods for ascertaining potential impacts of biogenic VOC’s on arthropod communities, energy flow, biogeochemical cycling, atmospheric chemistry and climate change in biofuel feedstock production systems. Saber received his M.Sc and PhD. in Plant Science at UBC and a B.Sc in Plant Protection from the University of Tehran. Saber recently received the IAF Award of Excellence for Innovation in Agriculture and Agri-Food.

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Prem Gill

CEO, Creative BC

With over 20 years of experience in creative industries including film, TV, media, communications and digital technology, Prem Gill is a passionate leader with a proven track record of fiscal responsibility, strategic thinking, and inspired employees. Prem’s commitment to the creative economy in BC can be seen through her work as Director of Production & Original Programming with TELUS and previous experience in the broadcast industry with CityTV and CHUM. Prem is Vice-Chair of the board of directors for the National Screen Institute and is an advisor position with Women in View.

With many accolades to her name, Prem was named one of The Globe and Mail’s 10 Women Who Matter in Film and TV. Prem believes whole-heartedly in the advocacy and advancement of the BC creative industries to position BC as a global leader in innovation and creativity.

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Honourable Andrew Wilkinson

Minister of Advanced Education

Andrew Wilkinson was appointed Minister of Advanced Education on December 18, 2014. Previously he served as Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens' Services from June 2013, after being elected MLA for Vancouver-Quilchena in the 2013 General Election.

He is a former deputy minister of the British Columbia Ministry of Economic Development, where he had responsibility for economic issues, trade and tourism. He also served as deputy minister for Intergovernmental Relations in the Premier's Office for two years.

Prior to his election as MLA, Wilkinson worked as a lawyer in the Vancouver offices of a major national law firm. Prior to being called to the bar, Wilkinson was educated and licensed as a physician. He lived and worked as a doctor in Campbell River, Lillooet and Dease Lake. He holds degrees from the University of Alberta, Dalhousie University, and Oxford University, where he attended as a Rhodes Scholar.

He has also served as president of the BC Civil Liberties Association and president of the BC Mountaineering Club, and president of the BC Liberal Party.

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Paul Drohan

President & CEO, LifeSciences BC

Paul V. Drohan has over 25 years of experience in the global biopharmaceutical industry, and returned last year from the United Kingdom where he lived and worked for the past eight years. Most recently, he was with Genzyme (a Sanofi Company) as Senior Global Vice President, leading the organization’s strategic, financial and sales and marketing operations performance for the U.K., Republic of Ireland, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Paul looks to bring this knowledge and experience back to Canada's life sciences sector.

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Kevin Sandhu

Founder & CEO, Grow

Kevin Sandhu is the Founder and CEO of Grow (formerly known as Grouplend), a leading digital finance platform utilizing technology and big data analytics to revolutionize banking. He brings over a decade of finance experience with roles in investment banking, private equity and structured finance. He and the Grow team have set out to build a company focused as much on the financial health of its customers as the health of its bottomline. They’ve truly embraced data-driven geekery and it’s working for them, and it’s also working for their customers.

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Dr. Brendan Byrne

Chief Innovation Officer, TELUS Health

With his strong vision for how information, communications and technology (ICT) can transform healthcare for Canadians, Brendan is leading our focus on continued digital innovation and the evolution of our health solutions from our current applications to an open platform of products and services.

A self-described technophile, Brendan is passionate about the role mobile and digital technology can play in improving healthcare outcomes in Canada.

Prior to joining TELUS Health, Brendan founded Wolf Medical Systems, which at the time was the largest cloud-based electronic medical record (EMR) provider in Canada. He directed the evolution of Wolf from its inception in 1998 to becoming one of the fastest growing EMR companies in Canada, prior to its acquisition by TELUS Health in 2012.

Deeply committed to healthcare, he has more than 20 years of experience in family practice, including seven years as the Director of the Columbia Medical Clinic in New Westminster, British Columbia.

Brendan has a degree in Neurobiology from Yale University and is a graduate of McGill University’s Faculty of Medicine.

Recognized throughout North America as a leading physician and computing expert, he speaks frequently at medical and computing conferences about the importance of leveraging data at the point of care.

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Manie Eagar

Founder and CEO, DIGIFIN & The Blockchain Lab

Manie Eagar is an experienced global investment, mergers and acquisitions executive with over 30 years of driving new wealth creation, business growth and strategic innovation. He brings international experience and deep skills in the startup, investment management and venture capital space. He has been involved in multiple successful start-ups, government policy developments and national educational initiatives internationally.

Manie is the founder and CEO of DIGIFIN - The Future of Money - an industry-wide initiative to advance digital identity and finance, and distributed ledger (blockchain) technology innovation, transparency and inclusion. Manie has a sound understanding of the emerging markets and the needs of the financially underserved and under-banked.

Manie is a founder/partner of The Blockchain Lab, a partnership with leading global developers and investors to integrate cross-platform methodologies to prototype and build secure and compliant digital identity and financial services platforms with applications in fields such as finance, the internet of things, machine to machine learning and digital asset management and interexchange, aimed at the consumer, government and enterprise. Launched in Vancouver, BC, in May 2015, The Blockchain Lab is an international, industry wide and cross-sectoral collaboration.

Manie is an advisor to Identity2020, a New York based non-profit aiming to provide a secure 'sovereign' digital identity to address the global needs of refugees, stateless minorities and the more than 2 billion financially excluded. He is a director of the Bitcoin Alliance of Canada, the leading industry body representing digital finance, fintech and distributed ledger technology (blockchain) in Canada.

The past few years he has focused on deal shaping and making in the new world of digital value finance, mobile media delivery platforms and digital finance 2.0, inspired by the latest cryptocurrency protocols. He has supported a number of startups, growth acceleration, mergers and acquisitions, VC tie-ups and alignments with regulatory compliance. He developed the openaxyz collaboration software that was deployed at leading financial institutions such as Barclays Africa and was nominated for the MaRs/RIC Innovation Idol in Ontario in 2012.

Manie was the chief strategist for the South African government’s $40 Billion Development Bank of South Africa Infrastructure Centre of Excellence for Infrastructure Development Plan initiated in 2012 supported by the World Bank and the IMF. He is an expert in global infrastructure and telecommunications development for emerging markets.

Manie has provided thought leadership to the THNK School of Creative Leadership’s Executive Program on “The Future of Capitalism” in Vancouver, British Columbia in 2015 to explore how digital currencies like bitcoin, can increase access to low-carbon housing.

Manie is the founder/partner of GriffenVentures, a global investment advisory company, startup incubator and consultancy with a focus on the latest innovations in fintech, digital currency and blockchain (distributed ledger) technologies; and alternative financing via peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding for venture capital platforms.

His experience grew out of long-term engagements at Barclays Africa (ABSA), Vodafone (m-Pesa and virtual call centre hosting projects) and the J&J Investment Management Group (caretaking strategic partnerships such as Tata, Macquarie Bank, Old Mutual, and Dimension Data/NTT Nippon). He led the pioneering research and prototyping of Africa’s first multi-purposed smartcard payment platform OneCard Systems.

He was a director at ICOZA/Internet Solutions, Africa’s largest ISP owned by Dimension Data / NTT Nippon, the world’s largest ICT company, where he was also responsible for the marketing and strategy for their Cisco-based e-Commerce platform rollout.

He represented the UUX/TotalMovie mobile and online app based content viewing initiative of Mexico's Grupo Salinas Telecommunications and Media in Africa and Asia.

Manie is an expert in educational policy and charitable developments, particularly in emerging and new areas. He was the founder and CEO of the Open Learning Systems Education Trust in South Africa. OLSET was a national strategy that delivered math, science and technology courses to students in South Africa that was sponsored by USAID, CIDA and Kagiso Trust. In 1996, Former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, inaugurated the OLSET project and assisted with teaching a class to students in Soweto, South Africa.

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Boris Wertz

Founder and General Partner, Version One Ventures

Boris Wertz is one of the top early-stage tech investors in North-America and the founding partner of version one ventures. His portfolio encompasses over 60 early-stage consumer internet and enterprise companies. Boris is also a board partner with Andreessen Horowitz.

Before becoming an investor, Boris was the Chief Operating Officer of AbeBooks.com, the world’s largest marketplace for new, used and rare and out-of print books which got sold to Amazon in 2008. Boris joined the company in 2002 after JustBooks, the German company he co-founded in 1999, was acquired by AbeBooks. At AbeBooks, Boris was primarily responsible for marketing, business development, product, customer service and international operations and lead a team of about 60 people. This deep operational experience helps Boris to help other entrepreneurs start, build and scale companies passing on some of the lessons he learned the hard way over 8 start-up years.

He successfully finished his PhD as well as his graduate studies at the Graduate School of Management (WHU), Koblenz, majoring in Business Economics / Business Management. In 2005, Boris was named the Pacific Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year award winner.

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Christopher Baird

Senior Director, Build in Canada Innovation Program

Christopher Baird is currently Senior Director responsible for the Build in Canada Innovation Program (BCIP) within the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises and Strategic Engagement at PWGSC. Mr. Baird and his team work closely with stakeholders through the Program’s outreach, program management and innovation management activities. The BCIP supports cutting-edge Canadian businesses in moving their pre-commercial innovations from the lab to the marketplace by providing qualified innovations with a first sale to federal government departments.

Christopher was most recently responsible managing the development of the government’s Defence Procurement Strategy (DPS) initiative over a 3 year period within PWGSC working with National Defence, Industry Canada, International Trade and industry stakeholders in the Strategy’s development. Previous to this role, Christopher held position of Acquisitions Branch Account Executive working with other government departments regarding their procurement and business needs, and he spent almost 10 years in telecommunications management with the Information Technology Services Branch of PWGSC (now Shared Services Canada).

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Don Mattrick

Industry Chair of #BCTECH Summit

Don Mattrick, born and raised in Vancouver, co-founded his first company, Distinctive Software (DSI), at the age of 17 where he served as President/CEO.  DSI was acquired by Electronic Arts (EA) in 1990 and became Electronic Arts Canada. Over the next 16 years, the combined businesses increased in market capitalization from $100M to over $22B.  Don served the majority of his tenure as President of Worldwide studios for their Global business.  EA Canada employed over 1800 full-time people in Burnaby and Vancouver when Don left in 2007 to join the executive team at Microsoft.

At Microsoft, Don became President of the Interactive Entertainment Business which included Xbox 360, Xbox Live, Xbox internal studios, 3rd party relations, Media Room, an advanced Hardware and Devices R&D group, and the supply manufacturing chain for the company.  During his tenure at Microsoft, the business group was able to reset from a massive loss to a substantial operating profit, and the division grew from approximately 2500 people to over 8000 globally.

Don joined Zynga in 2013 to lead the company through a transition from its PC-based Facebook users and revenue to the growing IOS and Android markets. After making this shift and laying the foundation for future growth Don left Zynga in 2015 to return to BC.

During his career, Don has received many awards including the UBC Award as an Honorary Fellow from the Sauder School of Business.  He was also awarded the highest honor Simon Fraser University can bestow, the Doctor of Laws.  He has served on several public and private boards, including the advisory board for the USC School of Cinematic Arts, The Premier's Technology Council, and held the position of Vice Chair at the Vancouver Board of Trade.  The World Economic Forum selected Don as a Global Leader of Tomorrow (GLT) to assist with their mission to improve the state of the world by taking action on issues critical to the global agenda of the future.

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Karimah Es Sabar

CEO, CDRD

A highly-recognized Canadian life sciences leader with broad global experience, Karimah Es Sabar has had a successful career spanning start-up companies, multi-national pharmaceutical/biotechnology companies, and not-for-profit organizations.

Ms. Es Sabar joined The Centre for Drug Research and Development, Canada’s national drug development and commercialization centre, in 2009 as Senior Vice-President, Business and Strategic Affairs, leading its business functions, and successfully building an array of national and international alliances and strategic industry partnerships. In 2011, she then took on the role of President and CEO responsible for developing and executing on the overall strategic direction of the organization. Since Ms. Es Sabar joined CDRD, she has enabled new public and private sector support in excess of $90M, grown the organization with expanded national and international reach to include partnerships right across Canada, and in eight countries on five continents – firmly establishing its reputation as one of the world’s leading pre-clinical translational research centres. In this vein, Ms. Es Sabar was also appointed Founding Chair of the Global Alliance of Leading Drug Discovery and Development Centres in 2013, an association of international peer organizations dedicated to translating health research into new medicines, the formation of which she spearheaded.

Prior to joining CDRD, Ms. Es Sabar took on the role of leading BC Biotech in 2005, re-engineering and rebranding the organization to LifeSciences BC. As President, she led the organization to its greatest levels of success as a strong business development organization for the life science industry and the scientific research community. Ms. Es Sabar has also held senior management positions with international multinational companies, most notably as Director International Division, and later Director Marketing and Business Development at Connaught Laboratories Limited [Sanofi Pasteur] based in Toronto. Ms. Es Sabar also served as Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for a Vancouver medical devices company, Medsurge Medical Inc., and was the founder of two start-up companies including SAL Healthcare Limited, a leading organization in Kenya specializing in pharmaceutical marketing, distribution and healthcare consulting services. The company set new standards in the marketing and distribution of biopharmaceutical products in the region.

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Kirsten Newlands

Senior Vice President, Animation Production for DHX Media

As Senior Vice President of Animation Production for DHX Media, Kirsten is a passionate leader who has executive produced more than 600 half hours of animated children’s television, including popular hits such as My Little Pony, Martha Speaks, Kid vs Kat and most recently, Dr. Dimensionpants. Managing all animation production activities for DHX, she oversees the robust slate of both DHX wholly owned series, as well as the work for hire business. Kirsten’s enthusiasm to nurture the creative artistry of the studio's productions has positioned DHX as a key player internationally in the creation of kids’ content. She currently oversees and manages the growing operations across three studios with a combined eighteen animated series in production.

Before moving into animation production 10 years ago, Kirsten held a range of production roles on live-action feature films and television series. She was actively involved in CineCity, CHUM Television's commitment to the local film community to help emerging visible minority and aboriginal filmmakers produce short, dramatic films in the province of British Columbia. She is also a past board member of Women in Film and Video Vancouver, is a graduate of the National Screen Institutes’ Totally Television Programme, and of the Canadian Film Centre’s Producer’s Lab.

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Brian Peterson

Director of Innovation for Whitespace, Lululemon Athletica Inc.

As the Director of Innovation for Whitespace, Lululemon Athletica's in-house innovation and R&D team, Brian is responsible for creating the global retailer's strategy for executing high potential, game-changing ideas. With over 10 years in software design and business development in industries ranging from film and gaming to telecommunications, Brian's deep experience analyzing new product, service, and process ideas and business models have enabled him to create unique global best practices and strategies for the Whitespace team. His focus on disruptive thinking and disruptive concept execution is a key element of Lululemon's commitment to innovation and leadership within the highly competitive athletic apparel industry.

Brian is also a passionate community advocate and athlete, most recently trading in his yoga mat for boxing gloves to support the Aprons for Globes Boxing Association which provides outreach programs to at risk youth in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.

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Denis Silva

Associate, Gowlings

Denis is an associate in Gowlings’ Vancouver office. He practises in the Business Law Group with expertise in corporate and commercial law, corporate finance, as well as mergers and acquisitions. Denis has particular experience advising clients in mining, technology and financial sectors on a full range of business law matters, including: Mergers and acquisitions, debt and equity financings, corporate reorganizations, exchange listings, securities regulatory requirements, options and joint ventures, and corporate governance. 


Prior to joining Gowlings, Denis was senior legal counsel with the British Columbia Securities Commission and an associate at another national law firm. While at the Commission, he furthered his legislative and policy expertise on corporate finance and registration matters. 

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Jessie Adcock

Chief Digital Officer for the City of Vancouver

Jessie Adcock is a technology, marketing and digital professional who has worked globally within the high-tech sector since 1998.  She is currently Chief Digital Officer for the City of Vancouver.  She came to the City from HSBC, where she held a series of progressively senior roles in global marketing and IT, with responsibilities for developing and implementing global digital strategy, application development and online service delivery for consumer and business markets internationally.   Prior to that, Jessie spent several years in the telecoms industry working with companies such as Microcell, Verizon, Vodafone, Optus, Telstra, and MTN, helping design and support direct channel business models and developing new e-commerce and e-business capabilities.  Jessie was also the principal of a successful global management consulting firm; she has worked for 2 start-ups, and with multiple global agencies and Fortune 500 brands over the course of her career.

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Erkan Akyuz

President, McKesson Imaging and Workflow Solutions

Erkan Akyuz is president of Imaging and Workflow Solutions (IWS) for McKesson Technology Solutions. As president, Akyuz is responsible for reinforcing McKesson's already strong commitment to its customers by supporting day-to-day customer interactions as well as providing new opportunities that will help McKesson imaging customers meet their goals and continue to be successful. Prior to joining the McKesson IWS team in 2014, he was President and Chief Executive Officer at Vital Images Inc. and Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Agfa Healthcare, a $1.6 billion subsidiary of Agfa, with oversight of the Imaging Informatics business.

Akyuz began his career at Mitra Imaging in Waterloo, Ont. He has worked in the healthcare IT profession since 2001 and on the business side of the industry since 2006. Akyuz is an advanced visualization leader whose prior roles have ranged from software development and R&D to imaging informatics and product strategy. Akyuz’s background provides him with good visibility and understanding of the technical, clinical and operational side of the industry and his varied experiences and track record help McKesson to continue to advance its customers' strategic initiatives.

Akyuz holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the Turkish Naval Academy, a Master of Science in Computer Science from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School and a Master of Business Administration from INSEAD, France.

McKesson Corporation, currently ranked 11th on the FORTUNE 500, is a healthcare services and information technology company dedicated to making the business of healthcare run better. We partner with payers, hospitals, physician offices, pharmacies, pharmaceutical companies and others across the spectrum of care to build healthier organizations that deliver better care to patients in every setting. McKesson helps its customers improve their financial, operational, and clinical performance with solutions that include pharmaceutical and medical-surgical supply management, healthcare information technology, and business and clinical services.

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Jeremy P. Hilton

Vice President of Processor Development, D-Wave Systems Inc.

Jeremy Hilton joined D-Wave directly after obtaining his BSc. in Physics from the University of British Columbia. Since 2004 he and his team of engineers and scientists have created a world-class R&D facility and built the world's first scalable quantum processors. Mr. Hilton  also led the creation of the most advanced superconducting integrated circuit foundry, where D-Wave's quantum processors are produced. Mr. Hilton has brought technical leadership to projects ranging from design, model, and test of superconducting integrated circuits to the development of low-noise superconducting fabrication processes, and has led the teams responsible for aggressively scaling D-Wave’s quantum computers. Mr. Hilton is a named inventor on 28 granted US patents.

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Jonathan Rhone

President and CEO, Axine Water Technologies

Jonathan is a serial cleantech entrepreneur committed to building British Columbia into a world-class ecosystem of technology and innovation. In his current role as CEO of Axine Water Technologies, he is leading a world-class team to revolutionize the way we treat industrial wastewater to achieve cleaner, safer and lower cost results.

Jonathan is co-founder and director of Evok Innovations a new $100 million cleantech fund and accelerator with a mission to transform the oil and gas value chain by finding, funding and accelerating the commercialization of disruptive, high impact technologies.

He is also the founder and former CEO of Nexterra Systems an award-winning, global supplier of waste-to-energy systems where he built the company from inception to a market leader. Prior to Nexterra he held leadership positions with a NASDAQ listed cleantech company and the Delphi Group, a leading international consulting firm. He began his career in the oil and gas industry Dome Petroleum and Amoco Canada (now BP).

He is currently a member of the BC Premier’s Technology Council, the Advisory Board of the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions and chairs the BC Cleantech CEO Alliance. He is formerly a board member of VanCity Capital, a venture capital fund subsidiary of VanCity. In 2009, he was recognized as Technology Industry Person of the Year by the BCTIA.

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Igor Faletski

CEO, Mobify

Igor Faletski is the CEO of Mobify, the leading mobile engagement platform used by customers like Garmin, Crocs, British Telecom and Siemens. Along with co-founders John Boxall and Peter McLachlan, Faletski has grown Mobify from a three-person startup in a Burnaby basement to a global mobile technology leader with 125 employees and presence in the U.K., US, Brazil and Japan. Igor is a recipient of the BC Business "Top 30 Under 30" award and an aspiring open water swimmer.

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Amy Rae

Principal, Vanedge Capital

Amy Rae is a Principal at Vanedge Capital. Rae is the former Vice President & General Manager of Mobile and Social Commerce with Ziplocal (USA) where she was responsible for the development of their local search apps and new digital product rollout. Prior to that she held the position of Director of Business Development at Canpages after they acquired Ziplocal Canada. In this capacity at both companies, she leveraged her deal-making and relationship building skills to attract and broker new partnerships to enhance their online local search businesses.
Amy’s previous venture capital experience was as an Associate with JLA Venture Partners (co-managing partner of the Blackberry Partners Fund) where she provided due diligence and investment candidate screening that eventually let to the financing deal that saw the formation of ZipLocal in August 2006. Prior to joining JLA, she was an Analyst with Latitude Partners, a private equity and strategic advisory firm focused on the technology sector.

Amy holds a BComm with a finance specialization.

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Rickey Yada

Dean of the Faculty of Land and Food Systems, UBC

Rickey Yada is currently the Dean of the Faculty of Land and Food Systems, and Professor of Food Science at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, British Columbia (Oct. 2014), Canada. Prior to his appointment at UBC, he was a Professor in the Department of Food Science, Chair of the Department of Food Science, Assistant Vice President Research, a Canada Research Chair in Food Protein Structure and the Scientific Director of the Food Institute at the University of Guelph (1984-2014). Among other activities, he is presently the Scientific Director of the Advanced Foods and Materials Canada Network, the Vice Chair of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes, the President of the International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST), is the North American Editor for Trends in Food Science and Technology and is on the editorial boards for several journals. He is the author of over 200 refereed journal publications and several book chapters. Dr. Yada is a Past President and Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Food Science and Technology, as well as being a Fellow of the International Academy of IUFoST and the Institute of Food Technologists.

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Paul Terry

President and CEO, PHEMI

As the President and CEO, Paul provides the vision and technical leadership at PHEMI.  He also currently serves on the Board of Directors for Providence Health Care, advising on its subcommittees for innovation, quality, EMR, and next-generation data strategies in healthcare. Paul also serves on the Board of Directors for Life Sciences BC and Molecular You, and is an advisor to the BC provincial government on next-generation data strategies. He is an adjunct professor in big data at Simon Fraser University and is a partner with Magellan Angel Partners.  Paul lectures in technology, strategy, and product management for the MBA program at SFU, and is a sought-after speaker on data innovation and strategy. He is a member of the BC Institute for Health Innovation and serves on Genome BC’s Health Strategy Task Force.

Paul spent over a decade as the secretary/treasurer and technology adviser for the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, British Columbia’s health research support agency, and was one of the Entrepreneurs-in-Residence at SFU Venture Labs.  Prior to his experience in healthcare and venture capital, Paul was the CTO and cofounder of OctigaBay Systems – a pioneer in high-performance computing – which was acquired by Cray Inc., the world leader in supercomputing. He was also the cofounder and CTO of Abatis Systems, which was acquired by Redback Networks in one of the largest technology acquisitions in Canadian history. Paul’s early career included senior roles at Newbridge Networks and at technology companies in the UK.  Paul was awarded Canada’s “Top 40 Under 40? award in 2000.  He holds an MBA from the Cranfield School of Management, a marketing diploma from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, a PhD in Electrical Engineering and an honours Bachelor’s degree from the University of Liverpool.

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Dr. Steven Jones

Associate Director and Head of Bioinformatics, Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre, BCCA

Dr Jones gained his PhD at the Sanger Institute, Cambridge, UK in 1999, where he was involved in the C. elegans genome project. Currently, he is Head of Bioinformatics and Associate Director of the Genome Sciences Centre at the BC Cancer Agency in Vancouver. Dr Jones has played a role in numerous other genome projects, including that of the human, mouse, rat, bovine, fruitfly and the SARS coronavirus. He was instrumental in the physical mapping of the Poplar genome and in 2013 published the genomic assembly of the White Spruce.

Dr Jones major research focus is in the computational analysis of DNA sequence and the analysis of genomic and transcriptomic data. In healthcare research, he has applied next generation DNA sequencing technology to detect mutations arising in both patient samples and in cancer cell lines in various cancer types and under the influence of different therapeutics.

Amongst Dr. Jones many and varied honours and awards he is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada as well as the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.

He has been invited to give over 120 presentations, nationally and internationally, is an author on over 300 peer reviewed publications and is Principal Investigator and co-applicant on grants totalling over $97 million.

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Randy Lake

Executive Vice President and General Manager, Sony Pictures Imageworks and Studio Operations

Randy Lake is the executive vice president and general manager of Sony Pictures Imageworks and Studio Operations. He is responsible for managing overall operations, strategy and planning of Sony Pictures Imageworks, Post Production Services, Production Services, Global Mastering and Servicing and Asset Management.

Lake joined Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) in 2006 as vice president, and later senior vice president of corporate development for SPE.

Lake previously served as a strategy consultant to the entertainment, media, and technology industries for Booz Allen in New York, London, and San Francisco. While at Booz Allen, Lake served as a consultant specializing in growth strategy development for a variety of global media and technology clients.  Lake began his career as a securities attorney with Brobeck, Pheleger & Harrison in San Francisco where he advised emerging growth technology companies, underwriters and venture investors.

Lake holds a JD from Harvard Law School and a BA in Political Economies of Industrial Societies from UC Berkeley.

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Miklós Dietz

Managing Partner of Vancouver Office, McKinsey & Co.

Dr. Miklós Dietz, CFA, is the leader of the Global Banking Strategy and Corporate Finance group, and the Managing Partner of McKinsey & Company’s Vancouver Office. Since joining the firm in 2001, he has specialized on strategy, sales & marketing, innovation and finance topics. He has lead over 300 projects, in 40 countries, including:

- Designing the retail strategy of several institutions, including banks, insurers and telecoms from Europe, Asia and Middle East, including the development of channel strategies, introduction and piloting of new sales technologies and technics, redesigning core processes, training front line employees and introducing new incentive structures
Supporting several large global companies in developing their strategic visions and innovation strategies/organizations, developing digital transformation agendas and delivering pragmatic, high impact innovation projects

- Advising several multinationals to develop their Big Data and partnership ecosystem strategies and implement them through a comprehensive program of organizational setup, capability building, partnership negotiations and technology implementation

- Developing the long term digital strategy for the financial and retail sectors of an Asian country, working for the Prime Minister and the Governor of the Central Bank, which include a new technology infrastructure leapfrogging current such systems and a new national e-commerce platform

- Helping a major global consumer company to innovate, test and roll out a revolutionary, multi-country sales and distribution model and developing internal Center of Excellence and capabilities for its global support
Miklós is also the leader of the McKinsey Panorama, a multinational research center responsible for researching and modelling the global banking markets and innovation landscape while also developing digital solutions. Prior to joining McKinsey, Miklós has been working as a software specialist for Reuters Inc., and as a technology analyst and investment manager for Merrill Lynch in London, Los Angeles and New York.

Miklós is also the leader of the McKinsey Panorama, a multinational research center responsible for researching and modelling the global banking markets and innovation landscape while also developing digital solutions. Prior to joining McKinsey, Miklós has been working as a software specialist for Reuters Inc., and as a technology analyst and investment manager for Merrill Lynch in London, Los Angeles and New York.

Miklós obtained an MPhil degree from the University of Cambridge (specialization in finance and econometrics), a Doctor Iuris degree from ELTE University and a MSc in Business Administration from the Budapest University of Economic Sciences. He is also a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), member of the CFA Organization. Miklós has been awarded by the Knight`s Cross of Republic by the President of Hungary for his work on financial crisis management.  He is a proud father of 3 children, Andor, Emma and Adam.

Pierre Lapointe

Pierre LaPointe

President and Chief Executive Officer, FPInnovations

Pierre Lapointe is President and Chief Executive Officer of FPInnovations since December, 2008.  In the last seven years, under Pierre’s leadership, FPInnovations has positioned itself as Canada’s Forest Sector Innovation Hub. FPInnovations’ scientific research has supported the Forest Industry with landmark projects, from building the world’s first nanocrystalline cellulose demonstration plant (in partnership with Domtar) to creating the most comprehensive CLT (cross-laminated timber) handbook for the construction industry as well as implementing the first cellulose filaments demonstration plant in the world (in partnership with Kruger).

In 2014, ADRIQ (Association for the Development of Research and Innovation in Quebec) and NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada) paid him a special tribute for his outstanding contribution to the development of research and innovation in Quebec and Canada.  This year, as part of the 100th anniversary of the Pulp and Paper Technical Association of Canada, Pierre was presented the John S. Bates Memorial Gold Medal, one of PAPTAC’s most prestigious individual honors, awarded to a member of the Association in recognition of their great contribution to the science and technology of the pulp and paper industry.  In 2009, he was awarded the title of Officer of the Ordre des Palmes académiques (Order of Academic Palms) for his contribution to academic integration between France and Quebec.

Pierre Lapointe chairs the Board of Directors of PRIMA Quebec.

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Graham Palmer

Country Manager, Intel Canada

Graham is the Country Manager for Intel Canada. In his capacity, Graham is responsible for all sales development, marketing, branding and strategic initiatives undertaken by Intel in Canada. Graham stepped into the Canadian role in April 2013 prior to this Graham held the same position within the United Kingdom. Since joining Intel in 1988, Graham has held a range of Sales, Marketing and Communication roles including CPU and Graphics marketing across EMEA, PR, brand and advertising management in UK/Nordics followed by UKI Retail sales team management. Prior to taking on the role of Canada Country Manager, Graham held the UK&I Country Manager role for seven years, setting the strategic direction for Intel’s business, building Intel’s presence in the marketplace and representing Intel on a number of Industry organisations (PITCOM, CBI) and a Board position with Intellect. Graham regularly delivers media briefings on Intel’s business performance across BBC Radio and TV, Sky TV, CNN, CNBC & Bloomberg. Graham holds a BSc in Computer Studies from Sheffield a keen Golfer, Caterham7 owner and Motorsport fan. Graham has been married for 25 years and has three grown children.

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Honourable Terry Lake

Minister of Health

Terry Lake was re-elected in June 2013 as MLA for the riding of Kamloops-North Thompson. He was appointed the Minister of Health June 10, 2013.

Lake has served as Minister of Environment. Prior to that, he served as the Parliamentary Secretary for Health Promotion to the Minister of Health Services and Parliamentary Secretary for the Ranching Task Force to the Minister of Agriculture and Lands. He also sat as a member of the Select Standing Committee on Health and on Legislative Initiatives.

A veterinarian by profession, Lake served as the mayor of the City of Kamloops from 2005-2008 and as a city councillor from 2002-05.

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Stephen Kaufman

General Manager of Corporate Technology, Suncor Energy

Stephen Kaufman is General Manager of Corporate Technology for Suncor Energy.  Stephen has a B.A.Sc in Chemical Engineering from the University of Waterloo, and an MBA from the University of Western Ontario.

Stephen has a 35 year background in the upstream petroleum and service sectors including operations, business and technical development, and sustainability.  Since 1995 his roles at Suncor have included leading an E&P business entry into South America, management of a Coalbed Methane group, and Director of Climate Change Management.  In his current role he leads cross enterprise efforts to advance Suncor’s technology strategy.  This includes investments in venture funds and emerging companies, technical development programs with outside companies, and governance of business unit technology strategies.  Advancing technologies that improve the viability and growth of Suncor’s oil sands business while reducing environmental impact is a key aspect of this strategy

Stephen is on the Executive Board of the Carbon Capture Project, and a Suncor representative on other external groups.  He has been extensively involved in the creation and ongoing management of the Canadian Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) which is sponsored by 13 companies to improve environmental performance of the oil sands sector through technology collaboration.

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Gurminder Minhas

Managing Director, Performance BioFilaments Inc.

Gurminder Minhas is a business and technical development specialist, with extensive experience in biofuels, biochemicals, chemical recycling, pulp and paper industries.  He is well versed in new technology development in the chemical sciences space, as well as growing technologies from lab, into pilot scale then on toward commercialization.  Currently Gurminder is responsible for developing commercial opportunities for cellulose filament (CF) products in composite and chemical applications.

Gurminder is the former Director of Technology Deployment at Lignol Innovations, a Canadian company commercializing a proprietary biomass to fuels and chemicals technology.  Gurminder was responsible for identifying and developing strategic B2B and JV relationships with large energy and forestry companies.  Prior to joining Lignol, Gurminder was Head of R&D for Canfor Pulp Products, where his responsibilities included product development, technology partnerships, technical sales and marketing within North America and Asia.  Gurminder holds a BSc in Chemistry from UBC, followed with a MBA from Simon Fraser.

Carl Weatherell

Carl Weatherell

Executive Director & CEO, Canada Mining Innovation Council

Carl Weatherell joined the Canada Mining Innovation Council (CMIC) on March 1, 2013.

Carl is a change agent known for challenging the status quo, discovering new ways of doing things and taking ideas to execution.  He is a natural connector often bringing together disparate and seemingly unrelated people, groups and organizations to create new partnerships. Carl has been described as a rebel and a heretic.

He has over 27 years’ experience working at the interface of business, government and postsecondary institutions nationally and internationally.  Carl has helped position organizations for success and has established, managed or facilitated the development of strategies with a number of organizations and over 15 different consortia comprised of 200 businesses, 30 government organizations and 180 different academic institutions.

He has won awards for breakthrough leadership, technology transfer and was nominated for an award related to the development of strategic relationships between academia, industry and government.

Carl obtained graduate and undergraduate degrees in chemistry from Carleton University and the University of Waterloo respectively. He holds one patent and has publications in five different technical domains: hydrometallurgical engineering, organometallic chemistry, analytical chemistry, environmental engineering and project management.

Timothy Kendrick

Timothy Kendrick

President & Chief Designer, BW GLOBAL

Timothy is the President & Chief Designer at BW GLOBAL, Western Canada’s largest polycarbonate and polyethylene Greenhouse manufacturer.

Food is a global issue – and as a food system company, BW GLOBAL is developing and refining technologies and challenging the current thinking around food production, food security and food safety.

In direct response to the extreme environmental, economic and societal challenges around food production, Timothy was directly responsible for a number of innovative growing environment designs, including the BW FREEFLOW Greenhouse, which challenges the assumption that the popular Venlo glass greenhouse design is the most effective design for commercial food production.

Another groundbreaking design was developing a 100% Sealed Greenhouse where water vapour within the environment is fully retained while effectively managing humidity levels.  The implications of this technology are equally profound whether for extreme environments of +50 degrees C or -40 degrees C.

With an intense focus on local and global food systems, Timothy and the BW GLOBAL team are working with governments, remote communities, commercial producers and individual families to address current and future global food & water issues for the next generations.

Previously, Timothy worked at Ernst & Young USA as Assistant Director of a think-tank called Communication and Sales Innovation, and Ernst & Young and Cap Gemini Ernst & Young Canada as a Director of Business Development, where he quarterbacked multi-million dollar pursuits for the firm’s consulting and IT service lines across a number of industries, including manufacturing, high-tech, financial services, and utilities. Timothy holds a BA from UBC and a Law degree from the University of Cambridge, England.

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Michael Van Keulen

Procurement Director, Lululemon Athletica Inc.

Michael van Keulen has been in finance and procurement leadership roles for 10+ years.  He recently joined lululemon athletica inc. (NASDAQ: lulu) as the Global Procurement Director from VF Corporation (NYSE: VFC) where he lead a global procurement transformation with $50M+ savings. He developed and executed sourcing strategies, aligning available resources with prioritized cost optimization opportunities to maximize VF’s global capabilities and corresponding return on investment. Michael moved to Vancouver 3 months ago with his family and enjoying everything BC has to offer.

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Shauna Turner

Chief Innovation Officer, Providence Health Care and Executive Vice President, Providence Health Care Research Institute

Shauna Turner, BSc, MBA is the Chief Innovation Officer for Providence Health Care and the Executive Vice President, Providence Health Care Research Institute. An experienced CEO in the private sector, Shauna has built and scaled companies in enterprise cloud and mobile, selling to F500 media firms, government and health enterprises in the US and Canada.  In the public sector, Shauna served as Assistant Deputy Minister in government, leading the innovation, technology and small business (SME) portfolios. Shauna has worked in finance and investment as CEO of a venture capital and infrastructure fund with (USD) $2.5B in joint holdings in the US and Canada. An entrepreneur at heart, Shauna founded Incite LabsÔ, a hypothesis driven incubator that market tests disruptive business models from idea to profitability. An influence leader in public policy to support health innovation, she has authored national sector strategies and white papers and contributed to regulatory consortiums to develop standards for e-health and mobile health in the US and Canada. Shauna serves her community as Director for Coast Capital Savings, the second largest Credit Union in Canada, and for GRAND NCE, a Canadian Centre of Excellence in Research for Digital Media. Shauna holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of British Columbia and completed her MBA and executive leadership and innovation education at the University of California, Berkeley and Royal Roads University.

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John Colthart

Business Executive of Product Experience & Design, IBM Canada

As a Business Executive for Watson Analytics Product Experience & Design, John leads a team of content creators, evangelists, story-tellers and engagement specialists to continuously innovate and transform how users access analytics to drive new value for their organizations.

Prior to his current role, John served as Business Executive for Financial Close and Disclosure Management, where he oversaw the direction of cloud and on-premise solution offerings. John joined the IBM family through the acquisition of Clarity Systems, named one of Profit magazine's 100 fastest growing companies and a top 100 Canadian IT Company in the Branham300, where he was the Vice President of Sales Operations.

David Hume

David Hume

Executive Director of Citizen Engagement, Government of British Columbia

David Hume is Executive Director, Citizen Engagement for the Government of British Columbia. His small but high impact team is helping government agencies open code, data and APIs to power opportunities for BC entrepreneurs through DataBC and BC’s Developers’ Exchange. David is also responsible for managing many high profile public consultations for the provincial government, including recent work on modernizing liquor laws, reducing frustration in government services and shaping the future of climate action policy.

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Stephen Lougheed

President & Chief Executive Officer, Alberta Innovates - Technology Futures

Stephen has overall executive responsibility for leading the AITF team and focusing the organizations activities and operations to support industry and government in delivering innovation outcomes delivering Economic and Societal Benefit to Alberta.

Stephen brings his passion from years in the private sector to the development and commercialization of innovative technology solutions that benefit customers and Alberta.

Stephen was appointed CEO in 2012 after an extensive national search conducted by the Board of AITF.  Stephen had been Vice Chairman of AITF prior and stepped down as a Director when his name was put forward as a Candidate for the CEO role.

Over the past 35 years, Stephen Lougheed has been instrumental in building and growing a number of technology-related businesses and has successfully led some of these companies through organizational and business transformations. He has worked with a wide variety of client groups in the technology sector, including those in the resource, infrastructure, land and integrated resource management, manufacturing, consumer and public sectors.

Stephen has been a catalyst in the development of new market applications, innovative business approaches and new business models in a number of companies.  His efforts to date have contributed to significant breakthrough business activities creating hundreds of millions of dollars in new value and hundreds of new jobs in Canada and Alberta. Stephen played a key leadership role in three businesses that garnered Alberta Science and Technology (ASTech) awards for technology commercialization.   In 2010 Stephen received an ASTech award for his contributions to Province and community for his various volunteer and business achievements.

Stephen played a significant role in the advancement of organizations including ATCO Frontec, BW Technologies, QC Data, AltaLIS, and Poynt.   Stephen holds an MBA from the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) jointly with University of Geneva Switzerland and a BComm from Queen’s.  He brings a global perspective to his new role based on his extensive international business and innovation experience.

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Sophie Lui

Anchor, Global BC's News Hour

Sophie Lui is co-anchoring the News Hour with Chris Gailus.

Her favourite part of the job is the opportunity to learn something new every day.

She loves that she has an occupational excuse to call just about anybody to ask just about any question.

Sophie was born and raised in the Lower Mainland and has been a news junkie for as long as she can remember. She attended BCIT and graduated from the Broadcast Radio program. From there, she worked at several news radio stations like CKNW, CKIQ-Kelowna, and CFAX-Victoria – before turning toward television news at CHEK TV in Victoria. She has been with the Global BC family for several years and previously was the co-host of the Morning News alongside Steve Darling.

Sophie’s hobbies include travelling, listening to music, reading, and procrastinating.

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Shehzad Bharmal

Vice President of Strategy & Development, Copper, Teck Resources Limited

Shehzad Bharmal was appointed Vice President, Strategy and Development in March 2014. He is responsible for developing the overall growth strategy for Teck’s copper business, managing the portfolio of advanced copper projects in the development pipeline, and directing the resource development, business planning and financial analysis functions for Teck’s copper business unit.  Recently he was also appointed to lead a review of Teck’s Technology and Innovation strategy across all business units and groups.

Mr. Bharmal joined Teck in 1992 as an Engineer-in-Training, and over the last 24 years, has held progressively more senior roles at several of Teck’s operations. His most recent position was General Manager, Operations Development in Chile. Prior to this, he was Director, Business Improvement, where he led business improvement activities across Teck.

Mr. Bharmal holds a Bachelor of Applied Science degree, Mechanical Engineering from the University of British Columbia and a Graduate Diploma in Business Administration from Simon Fraser University. He is also a graduate of the Executive Development Program at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

Tamara Vrooman

Tamara Vrooman

President & Executive Officer, Vancity

As President & Chief Executive Officer of Vancity, Canada’s largest community credit union, Tamara Vrooman believes that banking has a vital role in developing a healthy society—building the well-being of people and, at the same time, ensuring the long-term sustainability of the communities in which they live and work. This summarizes Vancity’s vision of redefining wealth.

Under Tamara's leadership, Vancity has gained international recognition for its values-based banking model—from becoming the first Canadian financial institution invited to join the Global Alliance for Banking on Values, an independent network of the world's leading sustainable banks and banking co-operatives, to an invitation from the Vatican to participate in a summit about creating a more inclusive economy.

Tamara's achievements include leading Vancity to become the first carbon-neutral financial institution in North America, the largest private-sector living wage employer in Canada, and one of the first mainstream financial institutions to launch an alternative to predatory payday loans—the Vancity Fair & Fast Loan™.

Before joining Vancity, Tamara served as Deputy Minister of Finance for B.C. from 2004 to mid-2007, and as Secretary to the Treasury Board, as well as Deputy Minister and Executive Financial Officer for the Ministry of Health.

Tamara lends her voice and leadership experience to issues related to women, families and children with a particular focus on issues related to equality, inclusion and empowerment. She has been recognized for her leadership with multiple awards and honours and is a frequent speaker at local, national and international conferences and symposia.

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Mike Agerbo

Founder, Blink Media

As one of Canada’s most well-known technology figures, Mike is an award-winning television producer and veteran TV personality. You can watch him weekly on his GetConnectedTV show on The Business News Network, AMI, CityTV and CHECKTV across the country. His weekly appearances as GlobalBC's tech expert, reach hundereds of thousands of British Columbians. He can also be heard every Saturday on CKNW AM 980 radio show and the Corus Radio Network throughout Western Canada.

Mike is a successful tech entrepreneur, having founded 3 multi-million dollar companies over the past 20 years, including Chalk Media (sold to Blackberry in 2006) and currently Blink Media, a leading Canadian digital creative agency.

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Tarrnie Williams

President & COO, Roadhouse

Tarrnie Williams has been leading product innovation and creative teams for over twenty years. His career includes stints at THQ as studio head of Relic Entertainment and at Electronic Arts in both Los Angeles and Vancouver in a variety of production and design roles. Tarrnie has overseen multiple award-winning game franchises including Need For Speed, Medal of Honor, NBA Live, Company of Heroes, Dawn of War, and EA SPORTS Active 2 and has produced over $1.5 billion in retail sales over almost every generation of consoles and the PC. He is currently Co-Founder, President, and COO at Roadhouse Interactive, a 150-person independent mobile games company based in Vancouver, BC.

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Kim Keller

Co-founder, Farm At Hand Inc.

Farmer turned tech entrepreneur, Kim was born and raised on a Saskatchewan farm. She co-founded Farm At Hand Inc. with Himanshu Singh to take farm management from the notebook to the Cloud. Kim’s first hand experience and practical knowledge of the Agriculture industry allows Farm At Hand to develop a platform that fits the needs of today’s farmers. She is passionate about Agriculture and shaping the future of the industry.

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Warren Roy

CEO & Co-founder, Global Relay

Warren Roy is CEO & Founder of Global Relay. A life-long entrepreneur and 20-year veteran in the information technology sector, Warren worked in the architecture, engineering and construction industries during the transition to computer-aided design (CAD). In 1999, he founded Global Relay to offer one of the first hosted email archiving services, making Global Relay one of the true global pioneers of the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) technology model that today is popularly known as the "Cloud." Warren's vision has always been to create and build incredible technology that redefines communications and the way the world leverages data. He drives the overall strategic direction for Global Relay — focusing on the design and development of multi-lingual, enterprise-class cloud-based messaging, collaboration, and archiving solutions to address compliance requirements for the financial sector. Today, Global Relay provides services to more than 20,000 financial firms globally — including 22 of the world's top 25 banks.

Under Warren's leadership, Global Relay has become an internationally recognized leader in compliance archiving and Thomson Reuters' exclusive Strategic Partner for messaging compliance worldwide. Global Relay has received numerous awards, including Canada’s Best Managed Companies (2014, 2013), Best Companies to Work for in BC (2011, 2012), BCBusiness' Most Innovative Companies (2013), ITAC Ingenious Award (2014), BCTIA Community Engagement Award (2013), and the City of Vancouver’s Award of Excellence for Business Innovation (2014). Global Relay has also won positions on the Deloitte Technology Fast 50/500 and Profit 500 lists — annual rankings of the fastest growing companies in Canada and North America.

In 2012, Warren was celebrated as BC CEO of the Year by Business in Vancouver Magazine for his outstanding vision, strategy and leadership at Global Relay. He was also honored as the BC Technology Industry Association’s (BCTIA) Person of the Year for 2013 for his contributions to the BC technology community and named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for 2013 in the Business-to-Business Products and Services Category for the Pacific Region.

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Minh Le

Market Manager, Silicon Valley Bank's Washington and Western Canada region

Minh is a Market Manager for Silicon Valley Bank's Washington and Western Canada region headquartered out of Seattle. He serves as a banking partner for technology, life science and clean technology companies of all stages. Minh is deeply involved with the Washington entrepreneurial and venture capital communities and has advised countless companies on raising capital and debt financing.

Minh has been with Silicon Valley Bank since 2008 and previously worked at Square 1 Bank where he helped develop and grow their banking practice in Washington and Oregon. Prior to Square 1 Bank, he served in various commercial banking roles at US Bank and Key Bank.

Minh is a graduate of the University of Washington where he obtained his bachelor's degree in Business Administration with a focus in Accounting and Finance.

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Drex

Host of Drex Live, CKNW

He is brazen, bold, challenging and highly engaging and asks the questions that provide the answers we all want to know. Curiosity is in his DNA and his highly interactive style of storytelling will move radio dials to 980 and make noise on social networks. Nothing will be off-side as Drex Live reviews the day that's been unlike anyone else, and provides a unique insight into what makes Vancouver such a compelling and vibrant city. News, opinion, lifestyle and beyond, there are no boundaries for this show on-air, on-line and on social.

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Nevil Knupp

Vice President for Cloud, IBM Canada

Nevil Knupp is vice president for Cloud at IBM Canada. With more than 30 years in information technology across software, managed services and hardware technologies, Nevil brings broad experience and substantial depth in effective client solution development. He is responsible for Canada’s market strategy for IBM’s world class cloud portfolio. Nevil has established a substantial track record for helping clients differentiate themselves in their marketplace with several industry leading “firsts” implemented in the financial services, distribution, real estate, and insurance industries.

VANCOUVER, BC_JAN 10_2013:  BCTIA staff and executives portraits.  Photo by Kim Stallknecht

Bill Tam

President & CEO, BCTIA

Bill Tam, President & CEO of the BCTIA, has been actively involved in guiding the success of entrepreneurial companies as a founder, executive, investor, advisor and board member for the past 20 years.  He first joined the BCTIA as a CEO-in-Residence with the Centre4Growth program, advising over 30 companies from startups to mid-stage technology firms.  Prior to BCTIA, Bill was the CEO of EQO Communications, a mobile app startup in VoIP and social messaging.  Bill was also a Partner at SpringBank TechVentures, an early stage venture capital fund where he led investments in software and wireless.  Early in his startup career, he was a founding executive and Chief Marketing Officer at MetroNet Communications, which grew from a startup to the largest competitive telecom company in Canada.  Bill has held senior executive positions at AT&T Canada, Rogers Communications, Jones Cable, Infowave Software and Bell Canada.  He is currently the Chairman of the Board at Colligo Networks, an advisory council member at the University of British Columbia’s Electrical and Computer Engineering department as well as Simon Fraser University’s Applied Sciences, an industry advisor for BCNet and a board member of BC Bioenergy Network.  Bill holds an MBA from the Ivey School of Business and a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from McGill University.

Darrell Jaggers

Darrell Jaggers

CIO, First West Credit Union

A veteran technology professional with nearly three decades of experience, Darrell Jaggers leads the information technology department at First West Credit Union, B.C.’s third-largest credit union. Darrell is responsible for providing a full suite of technology services to First West’s brands, helping drive member experience through innovation, and ensuring the security of the credit union’s systems and data. He previously served as CIO for Island Savings and helped shape its information systems department into one of the best in the B.C. credit union system. Darrell has been recognized as Vancouver Island's “Top Forty Under Forty” in the Financial Services category.

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Heather Clark

Executive Director of Customer Strategy and Innovation, Merck

Heather O. Clark is the Executive Director of Customer Strategy and Innovation at Merck. She works with global affiliates to understand the needs and priorities of their customers and works internally to align Merck’s operations with the goals and objectives of the company’s top accounts.

Previously, Ms. Clark was responsible for international health policy at Merck, based in Washington, DC. Prior to joining Merck in 2008, Ms. Clark was the Associate Vice President for Asia at the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. Ms. Clark began her career at the US Department of Commerce, where for eight years she focused on trade and economic policy issues.

Ms. Clark received a Master’s degree in International Business from George Mason University. She received her law degree from American University, Washington College of Law, and her undergraduate degrees in economics and political science from the University of Virginia.

Ms. Clark is married and has two sons.

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Dr. Robert Fraser

Chief Operating Officer, Personalized Medicine Initiative (PMI), Associate Director Life Sciences Institute, UBC

Rob received extensive training in the molecular mechanisms of endocrinology while completing his Ph.D. (UofA and Harvard Medical School) and Post-Doctoral Fellowships (Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto and IGBMC, Strasbourg France) before plying this skill set in identifying new targets for drug discovery (Sanofi) and leading drug discovery and development projects (Xenon, Neuromed and CDRD). Rob joined forces with Pieter Cullis and others, to form the not for profit Personalized Medicine Initiative (PMI) in 2011 as Co-founder and COO to implement personalized medicine into healthcare practice. Together with the PMI associated companies and partners, the PMI has raised $19.4M in non-diluted funding and $17.7M in investment for the implementation projects and companies. For pleasure in his spare time, Rob likes to play and manage water polo.

Agata Zasada

Agata Zasada

Director of Talent Operations, Hootsuite

Agata has over 8 years of HR experience in global Talent Management, HR Operations, and Recruitment. Currently the Director of Talent Operations at Hootsuite Media Inc, she is responsible for scaling HR practices globally as well as up. Previous to this role, she was the Talent Manager for 2 years responsible for the employee lifecycle and learning & development. In addition to working for Hootsuite, a high growth tech company, Agata worked for Lululemon Athletica and Olympic Broadcasting Services Vancouver, both also high growth companies. Known for her candidate and pragmatic approach as well as thought provoking quests to making HR a necessity versus a function of successful businesses. She aspires that all employees can be 100% themselves and live lives that they love. Agata has an MBA from Royal Roads University, a BBA from Kwantlen Polytechnic University, and a Diploma from BCIT.

Shirley Bond

Honourable Shirley Bond

Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training

Shirley Bond was elected in 2001 and 2005 as the MLA for Prince George-Mount Robson, and re-elected in 2009 and 2013 as the MLA for Prince George-Valemount.

Shirley was appointed Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour on June 10, 2013.

In this role she will drive government’s commitment for job creation and economic development by accelerating the BC Jobs Plan and ensure that British Columbians are first in line for the jobs of today and tomorrow by executing on B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint, which will re-engineer our education and training system. She also works closely with Destination BC to meet the targets laid out in the Province’s tourism strategy.

With more than 14 years of Cabinet experience, Shirley has served as Deputy Premier, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, Minister of Education, Minister Responsible for Early Learning and Literacy, Minister of Advanced Education, Minister of Health Services, and was the first female to hold the position of Attorney General in British Columbia, a title she held while Minister of Justice. She has been honoured as a trailblazer in the B.C. justice system.

Shirley currently serves as the Chair of the Cabinet Committee on Strong Economy, Vice Chair for the Core Review Committee and she is Vice Chair of the Treasury Board and the Priorities and Planning Committee.

Before her election to the Legislative Assembly, she served three terms on the Prince George School Board, the last as chair. She also worked with the continuing education department of the Prince George School District, becoming its business manager. She was given the B.C. Interior, North & Yukon Woman of Distinction Award for her work in public education.

Shirley lives in Prince George with Bill, her husband of more than 30 years, and they love spending time with their twin adult children and their families, especially their grandsons Caleb and Cooper.

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Jonathan Wilkinson

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Prior to becoming the Member of Parliament for North Vancouver, Jonathan spent 20+ successful years as a senior business leader and executive. He has extensive experience in the energy and environmental technology sectors, having served as CEO of QuestAir Technologies and BioteQ Environmental Technologies, as well as Senior Vice-President of Business Development for Nexterra. Previously, he also worked at Bain & Company, a leading global management consultancy.

A Rhodes Scholar, Jonathan holds Masters Degrees from Oxford University and McGill University. Early in his career, he worked as a constitutional negotiator and a federal-provincial relations specialist.

Jonathan has served on numerous industry and charitable boards, including B.C. Technology Industries Association Chair, United Way of the Lower Mainland Cabinet Committee Chair and Board member and Treasurer of the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation. He is also a long time soccer coach with the North Shore Girls Soccer Club. Jonathan, his wife Tara, and their two daughters live in North Vancouver.

 

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John Jacobson

Deputy Minister, Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizens' Services

John Jacobson was appointed Deputy Minister, Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services, Province of B.C., on June 10, 2013.

He comes to government from the BC Innovation Council (BCIC) where he held the position of President and CEO.

John is a seasoned British Columbian entrepreneur and business leader with a track record of identifying new business opportunities and bringing innovative products to market. He got his start as an entrepreneur as the co-founder of a manufacturing company in North Vancouver in 1979 and he hasn’t looked back since.

Prior to joining BCIC, John was President and Chief Executive Officer of Monexa Technologies Inc., where he led the transformation of the pioneering internet service provider from the 1990’s into a leader in billing and payment services in the cloud. Before Monexa, John held leadership roles at Offshore Systems International (OSI Geospatial), MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates and PSC Group.

More speakers to be announced soon