We recently hosted our Annual General Meeting on September 23rd and the event gave us the opportunity to pause and to reflect on what we’ve accomplished over the past year. Despite a global pandemic, this has been an action-packed year for Accelerate Okanagan and the #OKGNtech community. There was no shortage of stand-out achievements to celebrate with our members. If you haven’t seen it yet, take a flip through our annual report and learn more about some of the milestones we hit and innovative projects we’ve launched over the year.
Our AGM was also an opportunity to elect a new Board of Directors, consisting of both new and returning members. I wanted to take the opportunity to introduce you to the new Accelerate Okanagan Board. This group of skilled professionals have a wealth of experience and collectively they have committed to supporting us and our community through this next chapter of growth.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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 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.
Michael is a Partner at Lawson Lundell LLP, and 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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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. 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.
We would also like to share our appreciation for our outgoing board members, Jason Kryski and Scot Speiser. Their contribution and influence on our Board of Directors helped shape our Five Year Strategic Plan and Areas of Focus. While they may not be returning to our board, their dedication and impact to the OKGNtech community will continue to be felt. Thank you for all of the amazing work and support you’ve provided.
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