CEO of Tangerine
Brenda joined Tangerine in 1999 and has been instrumental in growing the Tangerine's Canadian business and helped launch several direct banks internationally for ING Group. Following the acquisition by Scotiabank, Brenda led the Bank’s brand transition to Tangerine.
In 2007, she was awarded the Most Innovative CIO award from Bank Systems and Technology magazine and in 2008, she was the recipient of the CIO of the Year award from the Canadian Alliance Technology Association. She is the co-chair of the Women in Leadership Council at Tangerine and has been a member of a number of Advisory Councils including Oracle, HP, Dell, and the Association of Innovation Professionals. Brenda currently sits on the board for Tangerine Mutual Funds, and Magnet Youth Employment.
VP of Talent at Coast Capital Savings
Over the last twelve years, Sarah has held leadership and consulting roles in Human Resources, Talent Management, and Organizational Change across industries, including with such inspiring global companies as Intrawest, Accenture and Coast Capital Savings.
An affirmed “people junkie,” Sarah is passionate about unleashing potential in leaders, teams, and organizations by creating connections and challenging limits. In addition to her work, Sarah can often be found learning new languages, travelling the world, running along Vancouver’s Seawall, practicing yoga, exploring the backroads of British Columbia on her Triumph Bonneville, or finding new places and things to eat.
Co-Founder and CEO of Dayboard
After dropping out of school at 19, John pursued the misguided dream of early retirement. Without formal guidance to rely on, John carved his own path through self-teaching, experimentation, and mentorship from Olympic coaches, self-made millionaires, and world-class experts.
Today, John works as a designer, developer, and consultant and have helped brands like Basecamp, UBC, Vision Critical, and Lighthouse Labs. He’s the Co-founder and Product Lead at Dayboard, a software company that serves over 20,000 users worldwide. He's also the Principal at 2x Conversion Design, a growth marketing agency that helps online businesses increase their sign ups, engagement, and revenue by running online experiments and using data driven designs. On the side, he owns a real estate investment portfolio with properties in BC and Ontario.
Senior Manager of Risk Advisory Services at EY
Melissa has spent more than 10 years in the field of business consulting, focused on risk management, performance measurement, and internal audit. Melissa has found success in helping organizations identify issues ranging from technical to cultural and working collaboratively together to drive continuous improvement.
Outside of work, Melissa is actively involved in the Vancouver business community: she serves as Vice-Chair of the Women’s Leadership Circle program with the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade and volunteers on the Board of the Institute of Internal Auditors Vancouver Chapter. Melissa’s favourite animal is the sea otter, and in her spare time she regularly visits her friends at the Vancouver Aquarium, with the hope that one day they will recognize her.
Founder of Exvera Communications and TEDxGastownWomen
Brittany is a public relations professional, where she specializes in PR for innovative and emerging technologies. She is also the founder and executive director of TEDxGastownWomen, a resident technology panelist on Roundhouse Radio, and a frequent emcee and speaker. Brittany was named to BC Business Magazine's Top 30 Under 30 in 2017.
Previously, Brittany led communications for Procurify, a SaaS software company, taking the company through multiple rounds of venture financing. During her nearly three years with the company, it grew from a small startup to a company with 50 employees, earning seven-figure annual recurring revenue and serving customers worldwide. Brittany believes in giving back and works to support women and youth entrepreneurs, mentors entrepreneurs and students and serves on the advisory board of a number of startups.
Director & Speaking Coach at Leading Light Coaching
Amy's mission is "Let's make work better!" Specializing in leadership development, she uses executive coaching, training, and facilitation to identify what motivates us and how to get the best out of ourselves and the people we work with. She combines a strong academic background with 15 years of practitioner experience in HR and works with senior executives across the world. Her clients often struggle with conflict, either with their co-workers or within themselves. After working with Amy they feel less stressed, more in control, and are bursting with confidence.
Communications Strategist & Consultant at Audrey Joy Kwan Communications
Audrey Kwan is a storytelling marketing consultant and communications strategist. She works with entrepreneurs and leaders who struggle with stories and messaging to get clear on thier stories and attract the right people. Audrey has a Masters Degree in Professional Communications and a certification in Body Language Training. In the last 12 years, she has headed up key projects for Proctor & Gamble, Pepsi-QTG, Eminence Organic Skincare and the Canadian Diabetes Association, among other. Her passion is to help people understand the power of communications is not about getting but about giving.
Founder & CEO of Winning Academy
Kristin Constable is the Founder of Winning Academy. She is a Certified Professional Leadership and Business Coach, Learning and Development Specialist, and Team and Systems Coach.
Kristin works with entrepreneurs and business leaders to bring a Whole Life Leadership™ approach into their lives and into the companies they work in. She has been coaching and working in the field or learning and development for ten years and in this time has supported organizations build award winning coaching and leadership cultures that not only support the strength of the organizations but that support the growth and development of each individual in the organization.
This is Kristin’s life’s work. She believes that when we have a group of people connected to and operating from their authentic leadership purpose our organizations, our communities, and our lives will be enriched and transformed.
CEO and Cofounder of Picatic
Serial entrepreneur with two decades of event industry experience. Jayesh Parmar is Picatic’s CEO & Cofounder and is listed as one of the world's top 10 Tech Entrepreneurs Disrupting The Event Industry.
Jayesh doesn’t separate his personal life from his professional life as the two go hand in hand. He started his first company in 1998 and has been building companies ever since. Jayesh has received exceptional mentoring from The Canadian Technology Accelerators in San Francisco and New York City and was part of the 2012 Extreme Startup Cohort in Toronto. Being emerged in Silicon Valley, Silicon Alley and Toronto’s startup scene has provided Jayesh a diverse understanding of what it means to be a part of the startup community.
Cultivating an environment that focuses on cross-pollination, a pay it forward attitude and a culture that invites the new is what Jayesh is currently striving for. He’s always looking to change the “status quo”.
Cofounder of Makers Consulting Group
Kelsey Breakey is a data and technology utilization consultant who helps organizations identify and achieve their potential through 5 organizational pillars: strategy, data, technology, people and processes.
Having worn the hat of entrepreneur, consultant, agency strategist and solutions architect, Kelsey lends her unique perspective and experience to organizations around the globe in a variety of industries.
Kelsey currently resides in Vancouver, BC and is Co-Founder of Makers Consulting Group, a Technology Utilization Consulting Firm specializing in the areas of data, technology and business transformation, with clients in Vancouver, New York, Los Angeles and London.
Global Head, Corporate Communications at Teekay
Jonathan is global head of Corporate Communications for Teekay Corporation, a $13b multinational in the marine energy industry, headquartered in Vancouver. There, he also sponsors organizational creative tension, specializing in innovative Future of Work technologies and practices that challenge and support every node in the network. He also calls himself a Corporate Disorganizer, and is a Charter Member of Change Agents Worldwide, a global movement fighting the good fight for transparency, collaboration and trust in the workplace. He regularly blogs about his own journey of curiosity, learning and change at www.ThisMuchWeKnow.net; and tweets @ThisMuchWeKnow.
Chief Growth Officer at FrontFundr
Jill Earthy is an entrepreneurially minded leader with a passion for growing the Canadian economy through innovation. As Chief Growth Officer of FrontFundr, an online investment platform, she bridges the gap between entrepreneurs and investors by democratizing the capital markets. Jill was previously CEO of the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs and Regional Director of Futurpreneur Canada. She has also started, grown and sold two national small businesses. As a community leader and active mentor, Jill serves on the Board of Governors for Simon Fraser University (SFU), and as Board Chair of the Women’s Enterprise Centre. She is Co-Founder of the WEB Alliance, a collective of over 25 Women’s Business networks in BC and is currently Co-Chair of We for She: Championing the Next Generation. She is also a partner at The Raise Collective, an initiative bringing female investors together. She is well recognized for her contributions to the community and was recently named one of 35 Most Influential Women in BC by BC Business Magazine.
Saba Z. Naqvi
Immigration Lawyer, US and Canadian Law at Boughton Law
Saba is a founding member of Boughton Law’s Cross Border and Immigration practice groups. Saba represents corporations and individuals in a wide range of U.S. and Canadian immigration and citizenship matters. Saba also defends clients in matters of inadmissibility, appeals and application refusals before the Immigration Division and the Immigration Appeal Division tribunals.
Saba served as Chair of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), Canada Chapter in 2009-2010. She authors the Immigration Chapter in the Annual Review of Law & Practice published by the Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia and is the only female cross border immigration lawyer in Vancouver licensed both in California and British Columbia.
Yvonne Schalle (Panel Moderator)
Meteorologist at Global News BC
Before joining the Global BC team, Yvonne spent more than five years working in both Toronto and Calgary. She has reported on weather all over the country, including in Toronto, at CityNews and The Weather Network. Her energetic personality took her to Toronto shortly after graduation, where she took her first on-air position as an entertainment reporter and producer at Rogers TV Peel Region.
Yvonne then moved to Calgary where she became a producer at a local production company, and later held host and producer roles for a local arts and entertainment show on Shaw TV Calgary where she also began weather forecasting for Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Off the air, Yvonne enjoys travelling, running, skiing and golfing. She also speaks Cantonese and Swiss German.
How to Build and Make Meaningful Connections
Founder of Granola Girl
Granola Girl was incorporated in Vancouver in 2011 and founded by April Bellia. She is an entrepreneur with a baking background and has grown the company that services over 250 grocery stores in Western Canada. April is a wife and mother of 3 teenagers so she understands the importance of providing good and healthy food for families and young people. Granola Girl has recently launched the Granola Girl Foundation which is a fundraising platform to provide scholarships for kids in the areas of girl empowerment and entrepreneurship. Granola Girl is a cereal and snack made in Vancouver Canada. We use all natural and organic ingredients for a quick easy breakfast served with milk or yogurt and fresh fruit and berries. Granola Girl can also be enjoyed as a snack after school or post workout. It is lightly sweetened with maple syrup and organic cane sugar and also contains superfoods like hemp hearts and goji berries. So enjoy! Your taste buds will thank you. .