About

Our Board

Quinton Pullen - Board Chairman

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 - Board Chairman

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.

Corie Griffiths - Executive Committee

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 - Executive Committee

Corie is the Director of the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission (COEDC) and is a key resource for business retention and attraction initiatives. She has represented the COEDC on several boards and is currently sitting on the Kelowna International Air Route Development task force, and is a regional advisory member to both Okanagan College and the University of British Columbia Okanagan.

Scot Speiser - Executive Committee

Vice President, Business Development Capri Insurance

Scot recently joined Capri Insurance with experience from Royal Bank of Canada, Federated Co-operatives Ltd. and most recently, 20 years with Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC).

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Scot Speiser - Executive Committee

Scot spent the last 11 years with BDC as Vice President, Financing and Consulting where he was responsible for BC North & Interior. In addition, Scot led BDC’s National Aboriginal Unit, served as the Lead for Business Development and Client Relationship Management of BDC’s National Transformation Project and was a founding member on BDC’s National Client Experience Committee.

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.

Joshua Fraser

CEO, Data Nerds

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.

Jason Kryski

Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Strawhouse Labs

An accomplished serial entrepreneur who has co-founded three companies in the digital marketing space, Jason assists US based venture and private-equity backed companies grow distribution and revenue.

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Jason Kryski

An accomplished serial entrepreneur who has co-founded three companies in the digital marketing space, Jason helps US-based venture and private-equity-backed companies in growing their distribution and revenue. Leveraging performance compensation models, he learned early on that, when all party’s interests align profound things can happen.

Michael Macaulay

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

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.

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.

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.

Harry Singh

Strategic Partnerships and Transactions at Facebook

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.

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.

Tanja Halsall

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

Tanja provides consulting services to various local businesses through her consulting company, Potentia Human Resources and Engagement Consulting. She is also an Adjunct Professor with the Faculty of Management at UBC Okanagan. Drawing on her 30 plus years of management, operations, and strategic Human Resource experience, she seeks to mentor, guide, and develop young professionals on their journey towards the HR profession. 

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