About

Our Board

Corie Griffiths - Chair

Director, Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission

Corie is a key resource for business retention and attraction initiatives, leading award winning projects such as Canada’s first Business Walks and the inaugural Okanagan Valley Economic Profile and Site Selection Toolkit.

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Corie Griffiths - Chair

Corie leads the Economic Development Commission team at the Regional District of Central Okanagan—specializing in investor and government relations, workforce development initiatives, and marketing of the Central Okanagan region, province and country. She connects industry needs and economic development opportunities through her work with the Kelowna International Airport Advisory Committee, and in her roles as a member of  UBC Okanagan’s External Advisory Council, and Director on various local, provincial & national organizations including Executive roles on the Boards of the  Local Government Management Association of BC and the Economic Development Association of Canada.

Michael Macaulay - Vice Chair

Partner, Lawson Lundell LLP

Michael is a Partner at Lawson Lundell LLP practicing in the areas of corporate, securities and technology law.

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Michael Macaulay - Vice Chair

Michael was a key contributor in opening the firm’s Kelowna office. His practice is focused on corporate, securities and technology law. Michael has extensive experience working with and advising entrepreneurs, start-ups, emerging companies, angel investors and venture capital funds. He also devotes significant time to organizations in the BC start-up community, including Accelerate Okanagan, Innovation Island and entrpreneurship@UBC.

Quinton Pullen - Executive Committee

Partner, BDO Canada LLP

Quinton specializes in providing tax planning to owner-managed businesses, particularly with respect to divestiture planning, mergers and acquisitions, corporate reorganizations, and cross-border transactions.

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Quinton Pullen - Executive Committee

Quinton is a Chartered Professional Accountant and Tax Partner at BDO Canada LLP. His primary focus is providing tax planning to owner-managed businesses, particularly with respect to divestiture planning, mergers and acquisitions, corporate reorganizations, and cross-border transactions. Quinton is deeply involved in the community as a Director of a number of charities and NPOs, as well as an active supporter of Accelerate Okanagan.

Blair Forrest - Executive Committee

Partner, Pushor Mitchell LLP

Blair Forrest is a partner at Pushor Mitchell LLP, a longtime supporter of Accelerate Okanagan, and an AO Partner. Blair’s practice area is business law with a specific focus on corporate, securities, and technology law matters.

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Blair Forrest - Executive Committee

Blair Forrest is a partner at Pushor Mitchell LLP, where he practices business law with a specific focus on corporate, securities, and matters of technology law. He deals with mergers, acquisitions, public offerings, private placements, venture capital investments, corporate finance transactions, corporate structuring, and regulatory applications to the Canadian stock exchanges and securities commissions. Technology transactions involve unique, complex risks and Blair’s experience in this area includes the full spectrum.

Tanja Halsall - Executive Committee

Chief People Officer at Potentia Human Resources and Engagement Consulting

Tanja provides consulting services to various local businesses through her consulting company, Potentia Human Resources and Engagement Consulting.

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Tanja Halsall - Executive Committee

Tanja Halsall provides consulting services to various local businesses through her consulting company Potentia Human Resources & Engagement Consulting and is also an Adjunct Professor with the Faculty of Management at UBC Okanagan. Tanja draws on her 30 plus years of progressive management, operations, and strategic Human Resource experience to support local businesses in developing exceptional People, Culture and Leadership practices in order to achieve desired results.

Ashley Ramsay

Founder and CEO, Yeti Farm

Ashley Ramsay co-founded Yeti Farm Creative with her husband, Animator and Director, Todd in 2007. She had previously spent over a decade honing her production and business skills at leading Vancouver studios in various roles.

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Ashley Ramsay

Ashley Ramsay co-founded Yeti Farm Creative with her husband, Animator and Director, Todd in 2007. She had previously spent over a decade honing her production and business skills at leading Vancouver studios in various roles. As CEO and Momma Yeti, Ashley embodies Yeti's core values leading the studio management team, corporate strategy, partnerships, acquisitions and intellectual properties. Ashley is extremely active with government initiatives and industry boards, serving as a Director for the Canadian Media Producers Association and as a Director on the British Columbia Business Roundtables. She had previously served with the Okanagan Film Commission.

Chris Pinkerton

President, GetintheLoop

Over the past 15 years, Chris has worked with the digital teams at companies including 3M, ADT, Google US & UK, Microsoft, Avis Budget Group, Zipcar, The New York Times and Walmart Media Group.

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Chris Pinkerton

Chris Pinkerton is the President of GetintheLoop. Over the past 15 years, Chris has worked with the digital teams at companies including 3M, ADT, Google US & UK, Microsoft, Avis Budget Group, Zipcar, The New York Times and Walmart Media Group. All in an effort to help them better understand their digital customer and apply this insight to their acquisition and monetization models. As President of Kelowna-based GetintheLoop, he is responsible for helping develop and support the company's growth strategy and long-term monetization model. Prior to GetintheLoop, Chris was Vice President at Mediative and Head of the Mediative Consulting Group; an award-winning digital media and research company, which was acquired by YP in 2010.

Doug Gilchrist

CAO at City of Kelowna

Doug started his career with the City of Kelowna in 2004 as Manager of Community Development & Real Estate before being named to the Senior Leadership Team in 2008 as Director of Real Estate.

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Doug Gilchrist

Doug spent 4 years as Manager of Community Development & Real Estate before being named to the Senior Leadership Team as Director of Real Estate. During his time with the City of Kelowna, Doug managed a variety of divisions and has overseen numerous complex projects, such as the acquisition of the CN Rail line for the Okanagan Rail Trail initiative.

Harry Singh

Venture Capital and Corporate Development Executive

Harry is an industry executive with venture capital, M&A, strategic transactions, and general management experience.

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Harry Singh
Harry is an industry executive with venture capital, M&A, strategic transactions, and general management experience.  Harry is a Canadian currently based in California’s Silicon Valley. Harry's experience includes investments in connectivity, enterprise SaaS, artificial intelligence/deep learning, security, IoT security, identity and access management, encryption, and anti-fraud.

Joshua Fraser

CEO, Estated

Joshua has over 10 years of digital advertising experience and is currently building Data Nerds in British Columbia, Canada.

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Joshua Fraser

Joshua has over 10 years of digital advertising experience and is currently building Data Nerds in British Columbia, Canada. After completing the illustrious Techstars Boulder program, Josh and Data Nerds received its first US-based investment from the Foundry group. Josh and the Data Nerds are deeply involved in the community and helping to grow the tech sector in British Columbia.

Nicole Rustad

Founder of Vortovia

Nicole is the founder of Vortoia and a champion for world change who uses equal parts strategy and passion to make things happen.

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Nicole Rustad

Nicole is the founder of Vortoia and a champion for world change. She uses equal parts strategy and passion to make things happen. During Nicole’s decade as Corporate Citizenship Director for the tech division of Disney, she drove the corporate social responsibility vision, strategy, and programming across multiple lines of business. This included Disney’s Club Penguin where she created bold, immersive initiatives that spanned the globe.

Philip Ashman

Regional Dean, Central Okanagan at Okanagan College

Phil Ashman joined Okanagan College in 2002 as a professor, he then moved into the role as Associate Dean of Science, Technology and Health, before recently taking on the role of Regional Dean for the Central Okanagan.

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Philip Ashman

Phil spent eleven years in the department of Network and Telecommunications Engineering Technologies at Okanagan College before becoming Associate Dean of Science, Technology and Health and later the  Regional Dean for the Central Okanagan. Phil has dedicated time leading technology workshops, representing the college on the Board of Directors for the Okanagan Research and Innovation Centre, and as a Technical Lead with the Okanagan High-Speed Broadband Initiative.

Dr. Philip Barker

Associate Vice-President Research & Vice-Principal Research, UBC Okanagan campus

As AVP, Dr. Barker works to deepen the research and innovation culture and build the structure and relationships to increase research and innovation capacity, as well as advocate for the University’s research and innovation mission, both inside and outside the University.

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Dr. Philip Barker

Dr. Barker serves in the dual role of AVP Research for the UBC system and Vice-Principal Research for the Okanagan campus. There, he works to deepen the research and innovation culture. Phil is driven to build relationships that increase research and innovation capacity, as well as advocate for the University’s research and innovation mission.

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