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PLATINUM SPONSOR

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Congratulations to the 2016 Forty Under 40 Winners Congratulations to the winners of the 2016 Forty Under 40 Awards. We are proud to work with industry-leading people who understand that in order to succeed in business you need to be adaptable, efficient and able to capitalize on opportunity. Your achievement is well deserved. MNP is one of the largest national accounting and business consulting firms in Canada with 20 offices across B.C. Contact: Darren Turchansky, CPA, CA Executive Vice President for B.C. T: 604.685.8408 E: darren.turchansky@mnp.ca

MNP.ca

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Excellence is achieved in the details. Congratulations to our partner David G. Wong and the 2016 BIV Forty Under 40 Winners! Fasken Martineau is Vancouver’s largest law firm. We see legal issues in the context of our clients’ broader business issues. Our lawyers achieve great things for their clients. Find out how we can assist you.

VANCOUVER

CALGARY

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TORONTO

OTTAWA

MONTRÉAL

QUÉBEC CITY

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4 | FORTY UNDER 40 2016 PUBLISHED BY BUSINESS IN VANCOUVER

Choosing Forty under 40 winners is challenging, judges say | 6 Forty under 40 gala | 8 2015 Forty under 40 winners | 10 2014 Forty under 40 winners | 12

2016 WINNERS JoelÂ

Breedon Grauer | 24

Kim

Kiem

Bardai | 14

Almira

Fraser Hall | 26

Christopher Lythgo | 37

Nick

Beth

Matt

Jeff

Ankit

Natalie

Philip

Jennifer

Jon

Melissa

Roy

Dana

Tyler

Scott

Domenico

Laura

Anne

Willie

Chad

Lisa

Joseph

JC

Ric

Lori

Susan

Jacqueline Gallagher | 22

Janet

LePage | 34

Michael Richter | 45

Alfred

Michelle Grant | 23

James

Maryam

David

Abramson | 13

Boyle | 15

Cartwright | 16

De Genova | 17

Emslie | 18

Fisher | 20

Fraser | 21

Harper | 27

Heming | 28

Hessel | 29

Iannidinardo | 30

Kalyk | 31

Leong | 32

Lombardi | 35

Lucas | 36

Magnusson | 38

Maloney Adab | 39

Matheson | 40

Murray | 42

Niemetscheck | 43

Pinkowski | 44

Sadeghi | 46

Schutter | 48

Seddon | 49

Sharma | 50

Sharun | 51

Smyrski | 52

Stevens | 54

Tolzmann | 55

Tomaine | 56

Wong | 57

Wong | 58

Photography by Rob Kruyt, Richard Lam and Chung Chow

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SILVER SPONSORS

Forty under 40 is published by BIV Magazines, a division of BIV Media Group, 303 West 5th Avenue, Vancouver, B.C., V5Y 1J6, 604-688-2398, fax 604-688-1963, www.biv.com. Copyright 2016 Business in Vancouver Magazines. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or incorporated into any information retrieval system without permission of BIV Magazines. The publishers are not responsible in whole or in part for any errors or omissions in this publication.

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POWERFUL. VERSATILE. YOURS. CAPABLE BMW SPORTS ACTIVITY VEHICLES WITH xDRIVE ALL-WHEEL DRIVE. BMW X4 and BMW X3 shown.

BMW X6

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©2016 BMW Canada Inc. “BMW”, the BMW logo, BMW model designations and all other BMW related marks, images and symbols are the exclusive properties and/or trademarks of BMW AG, used under licence.

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6 | FORTY UNDER 40 2016 PUBLISHED BY BUSINESS IN VANCOUVER

CHOOSING FORTY UNDER 40 WINNERS IS CHALLENGING, HUMBLING, JUDGES SAY

Final cut of accomplished, talented and ambitious candidates drawn from 120 applications

BY BRIGITTE PETERSEN NEWS@BIV.COM

S

electing Vancouver’s best and brightest in business for the Forty under 40 award is no easy task; just ask any of this year’s five judges. “It’s hard and it’s humbling,” said Iain Black, who has participated as a judge three times. “I really learn something every time I go through the process.” The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade president and CEO, who won the award when he was 29, said nominees who stood out are ambitious, bright and demonstrated genuine dedication to their industries over several years. “Three elements are common in all of the winners,” explained Black. “They really care about what they do for a living, they really care about their colleagues and are great leaders, and they really care about their community.” Danna Dunnage, Gordon Food Service’s president for B.C., won the award last year and was honoured to return as a judge. “It was quite an in-depth process, truly, and eye-opening for me

being on the other side of it,” Dunnage said. This year’s shortlisted nominees, drawn from a wide range of sectors, were accomplished, talented, driven and well balanced, making picking the top 40 a challenging process. “It humbled me even more in thinking of myself being selected last year as I really understood how hard the judging process is,” Dunnage said. The annual award honours a cross-section of people from a diverse range of industries who have risen up the ranks. Winners are chosen for their achievements, experience, innovation, vision, leadership and community involvement. While professional success is key, community service and participation in trade groups, mentorship programs, and not-for-profit work are also considered. Candidates must be respected leaders or rising stars in the business community and B.C. residents. Judges used a five-point system to rank submissions, and met to discuss and compare the highest scores to select the nominees. This year, 80 submissions were shortlisted from a stack of 120 applications. “It’s almost like trading hockey cards,” said Neil Belenkie, CEO of

Sponsor’s Message

Congratulations 2016 BIV FORTY UNDER 40 WINNERS! Congratulations to the 2016 BIV Forty Under 40 award winners – an exceptional group of British Columbia’s young entrepreneurs and professionals who embrace, and excel in, today’s fast-paced and evolving business environment. These individuals have proven they have what it takes to succeed, going above and beyond to demonstrate the professionalism, expertise and resourcefulness that every successful business professional needs in order to thrive. The Forty Under 40 award winners are leaders and role-models who bring their outstanding contributions not only to their workplaces, but to their communities. Our local business landscape continues to progress in large part due to the innovative ideas and entrepreneurial spirit of this group of individuals. Their accomplishments raise the bar for others in the formative years of their careers, propelling business growth in BC. Our Province is stronger because of them.

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(ZVULVM)*»ZSLHKPUNSH^ÄYTZ-HZRLU4HY[PULH\ recognizes that highly motivated professionals who are passionate about their work are the key to success in any organization. Our “Emerging Executives” initiative was developed with this in mind, propelling emerging leaders—both within our ÄYT HUK [OL JVTT\UP[`·PU[V SLHKLYZOPW YVSLZ HZ expeditiously as possible. Given the outstanding quality of this years’ winners of the BIV Forty Under 40 Awards we can rest assured that the future of BC’s business community is in good hands. All the best in your continuing success, and once again congratulations!

William Westeringh, Q.C. 4HUHNPUN7HY[ULY Vancouver -HZRLU4HY[PULH\

William Westeringh, Q.C.

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THE 2016 JUDGING PANEL Kirk LaPointe Vice-president, audience and business development, Business in Vancouver Media Group

Neil Belenkie CEO, The $2000 Coffee

Iain Black President and CEO, Greater Vancouver Board of Trade

Danna Dunnage President, B.C., Gordon Food Service

Alex Read CEO, Movarie Capital Ltd.

DANNA DUNNAGE |

PRESIDENT, B.C., GORDON FOOD SERVICE

I really understood how hard the judging process is The $2000 Coffee and OnGuard Lone Safety. “We each had heard great stories about the candidates and we shared those stories.” Belenkie, who won the award in 2011, said he was looking for stories that spun tales of success to inspire future candidates. “It’s a pleasure to get a chance to lift people up.” Movarie Capital Ltd. CEO Alex Read said narrowing the choices down to 40 was difficult due to the high calibre of applicants. “For me, it was about the holistic picture of the individual,” said Read, who won the award in 2007. “The people who stood out really have a balanced approach to life.” Besides selecting those who went above and beyond to make their mark in their careers, Read sought those who also demonstrated a good sense of values. Kirk LaPointe, Business in Vancouver’s vice-president of audience and business development, also participated as a judge, and said the nominees “reflect the depth of talent and resolve in our communities.” “It was extremely difficult to narrow the list to 40, and that speaks to the accomplishments of our leaders and aspiring leaders.”

with Andrew Chang &

Johanna Wagstaffe Senior Meteorologist & Science Reporter

Weeknights at 6pm

An hour

at

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cbc.ca/bc

CBC Vancouver

@cbcnewsbc @andrewchangcbc @jwagstaffe

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8 | FORTY UNDER 40 2016 PUBLISHED BY BUSINESS IN VANCOUVER

FORTY UNDER 40 GALA

B

Laura Dilley, executive director of PACE Society, winner of a 2015 Forty under 40 award

usiness in Vancouver celebrated its 26th annual Forty under 40 Awards on January 27, 2016. The sold-out event, which highlighted the achievements of B.C.’s young entrepreneurs, executives and professionals, hosted more than 520 people for a gala dinner and awards ceremony at the Fairmont Waterfront hotel. Chosen by a group of five judges, honourees were selected based on demonstrated excellence in business, judgment, leadership and community contribution. The night was MCed by CBC meteorologist Johanna Wagstaffe and host Andrew Chang and wrapped up with platinum sponsor Fasken Martineau awarding a cheque for $5,000 in legal fees to 2015 winner Pook-Ping Yao of Optigo Networks. Silver sponsor Entrepreneurs’ Organization Vancouver also awarded a $1,500 Youth Scholarship Award to Angela Tam from the Vancouver Police Department cadet program. Check out the profiles of our 2015 winners at biv.com or visit BIV’s Facebook page to see more photos from the event.

CBC Vancouver’s Andrew Chang and Johanna Wagstaffe MCed the evening’s program

2015 Forty under 40 winner Adrian Fluevog, chief operating officer of Fluevog Shoes, at the awards gala

PHOTOGRAPHY: CHUNG CHOW

JUST IMAGINE WHAT THEY’LL DO IN THE NEXT 40 YEARS. JC Fraser and Alfred Wong – and all winners of the 2016 Top 40 Under 40 award – will do things in an unknowable future for business, technology, innovation, and society.

JC FRASER

ALFRED WONG

JC and Alfred join a prestigious group of past Beedie alumni who have been Top 40 Under 40 winners. These shining stars are moving business and society forward in sweeping moves and our congratulations go to the latest inductees.

General Manager Vancouver Canadians Baseball Club

Director, Asia Pacific Ballard Power Systems Inc.

beedie.sfu.ca

A PROUD HISTORY: BEEDIE HONOREES, PAST AND PRESENT JC FRASER ALFRED WONG MANNY PADDA RAMAN RANDHAWA SARAH LUBIK AMIT SANDHU SHAWN SMITH CARLOS YAM

TERRY BEECH GREG MALPASS JOSHUA ZOSHI BENJAMIN SPARROW DIANA STIRLING ROBIN DHIR NEILS VELDHUIS MILUN TESOVIC

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ROB WILDEMAN CHARLES CHANG RYAN BARRINGTONFOOTE SALIM KARIM MARK FORWARD ROB CHASE DAVIS YUNG

SHERRY TRYSSENAAR DARREN LATOSKI RYAN VOLBERG JADE BOURELLE STEVE MOSSOP BRANKO ZURKOVIC DIVESH SISODRAKER RICHARD KATRUSIAK

ROBIN CHAKRABARTI JOHN CAPUTO RYAN BEEDIE JACQUI MACNEIL DAVE COBB MIKE CORDOBA SHARKA STUYT DAVID NICHOLS

BRENT NICHOLS MICHAEL SHEIN SANDRA MILES HARALD LUDWIG GUY LOUIE NICK STEINER MURRAY DUNLOP DAVE GADHIA

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Michael Parrish of Fasken Martineau (left) awarded Pook-Ping Yao of Optigo Networks $5,000 worth of legal services

Left to right: winner Jamil Murji, Inter-Urban Delivery Service CEO, his wife, Faizah Mitha, and fellow winner Market One Media Group founder Farhan Lalani

Cameron Burke, director, partners, of Hootsuite, accepts his award from Sue Belisle, president and publisher, Business in Vancouver Media Group

Left to right: Kerry Riley, Paula Tedham, Tricia Gilliss and 2015 winner Jessica Hollander, director of marketing at Carruthers & Humphrey

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BMW X5

Experience xDrive All-Wheel Drive for yourself and book a test drive at bmw-vancouver.ca.

©2016 BMW Canada Inc. “BMW”, the BMW logo, BMW model designations and all other BMW related marks, images and symbols are the exclusive properties and/or trademarks of BMW AG, used under licence.

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10 | FORTY UNDER 40 2016 PUBLISHED BY BUSINESS IN VANCOUVER

2015 FORTY UNDER 40 WINNERS Dave Arnsdorf, co-founder and managing partner, Pomme Natural Markets Aleem Bandali, senior vice-president and director, MNP Corporate Finance Inc. Brooks Bergreen, founder and CEO, HIT Technologies Inc. Katherine Berry, chief product officer and co-founder, Allocadia Software Sage Berryman, chief operating officer, Ralmax Group of Companies Trevor Bruno, president, Intrawest Resort Club Group and Intrawest Hospitality Management Cameron Burke, director, partners, Hootsuite Media Inc. Morgan Carey, CEO, Real Estate Webmasters Warrick Chu, founder and CEO, Qoola Frozen Yogurt Bar Alex Clark, co-founder and chief software architect, Bit Stew Systems Sean Clark, chief revenue officer, Shoes.com Jay Dilley, president, Hawkair Laura Dilley, executive director, PACE Tyler Douglas, chief marketing officer, Vision Critical Danna Dunnage, president, B.C., Gordon Food Service Adrian Fluevog, chief operating officer, Fluevog Shoes Seth Fruson, president and CEO, GuardTeck Security Joe Geluch, president, Naikoon Contracting Ltd. Chris Goward, founder and CEO, WiderFunnel Cody Green, founder, co-CEO, Canada Drives

EO Vancouver Chapter

Congratulations MNP is proud to sponsor BIV’s Top Forty Under 40 and congratulates all of this year’s winners and nominees. As entrepreneurs and community leaders, each of you understands success does not come without risks, but with a vision, courage and a clear plan of action you can reap the rewards. As an entrepreneurial firm built for entrepreneurs, MNP has a strong set of values that encourages leadership within our organization, with our clients, within our communities and within our profession. These values are well ingrained at MNP and date back almost 60 years. In this year’s winners, we see bright minds and giving hearts. We see motivated individuals who have the desire to develop themselves while creating positive change in our local communities, in our businesses and in the world around us. We commend each and every one of you and wish you all continued success. Sincerely, Darren Turchansky, CPA, CA Executive Vice President for B.C., MNP LLP

MNP.ca

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Carla Guerrera, vice-president, planning and community development, Darwin Properties Karina Hayat, president, co-founder, Prizm Media Jessica Hollander, director of marketing, Carruthers & Humphrey James Iranzad, founder and president, Gooseneck Hospitality David Jordan, executive director, First Vancouver Theatre Space Society Zachary Killam, founder and CEO, Play Taxi Media, One Taxi, Play Charging Farhan Lalani, founder and CEO, Market One Media Group Jamil Murji, president and CEO, Inter-Urban Delivery Service Ltd. Leon Ng, founder, LNG Studios and the Real Estate Channel Manny Padda, founder and managing director, New Avenue Capital Sara Padidar, co-founder and principal, Talk Shop Media and LongGame Holdings Meredith Powell, co-founder, the Next Big Thing Raman Randhawa, vice-president, finance, operations, Goldcorp Inc. Ryan Spong, CEO, Food.ee Kristine Steuart, chief executive officer and co-founder, Allocadia Software Ryan Tones, senior vice-president, Western Canada, Kiewit Tim Vipond, vice-president, corporate finance, Shoes.com Amelia Warren, CEO, Epicure Pook-Ping Yao, CEO, Optigo Networks Youssef Zohny, director, wealth management, portfolio manager, StennerZohny Investment Partners

EO is a worldwide network of experienced entrepreneurs committed to personal and business enrichment as well as entrepreneurial mentorship and education. If you are the founder, co-founder, owner or controlling shareholder of a business with annual gross sales exceeding (US) $1 million, you qualify for EO. EO delivers a wealth of local and international benefits, programs and services to its membership including peer support through local monthly Forum groups, networking, exclusive learning events, and international programs. EO is an international network of over 12,000 entrepreneurs in 50 countries around the world. EO Vancouver Chapter is the premiere network for peer-to-peer interaction among Vancouver’s entrepreneurial community. For membership criteria and information please visit our website at www.eonetwork.org EO Vancouver Administration Office 604.622.7020

Entrepreneurs’ Organization

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Can celebrating achievement inspire more of it? We’re proud to celebrate EY partner Michelle Grant, who’s been named one of the 2016 Forty Under 40!

© 2016 Ernst & Young LLP. All Rights Reserved.

Visit ey.com/ca

SPECIALIZING IN CONTENT PARTNERING IN SOLUTIONS

Congratulations! The BCIT School of Business congratulate alumni JC Fraser and Lori Pinkowski, graduates of HR Management and Financial Management – Corporate Finance respectively. BCIT business graduates launch their careers with the advantage that comes from applied learning. We look forward to congratulating future BCIT graduates as Business in Vancouver’s Forty under 40.

GET CONNECTED

C A L L : 6 0 4 - 6 8 8 - 2 3 9 8 O R E M A I L : A D S @ B I V. CO M

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12 | FORTY UNDER 40 2016 PUBLISHED BY BUSINESS IN VANCOUVER

2014 FORTY UNDER 40 WINNERS Arash Adnani, president, Blender Media Jennifer Archibald, chief financial officer, Cardiome Pharma Corp. Kristan Ash, director, home health, B.C., We Care/CBI Home Health Services Lana Bradshaw, managing director, Holloway Schulz & Partners Kevin Campbell, managing director, investment banking, Haywood Securities Inc. Luis Canepari, vice-president, information systems, Goldcorp Andrew Chan, CFO, Gener8 Danny Chase, president, Chase Office Interiors Bruce Constantine, president, Espro Inc. Lynn Cook, chief financial officer, U.S., Colliers International Luke Evanow, president/owner, Pacific Restaurant Supply Chelsea Ganam, clinical director, Monarch House Autism Centre David Gens, founder and CEO, Merchant Advance Capital Sunny Ghataurah, director, Applied Engineering Solutions Ltd. Matei Ghelesel, president and owner, Sonic Enclosures Ltd. Zeeshan Hayat, CEO and co-founder, Prizm Media Inc. Branislav Henselmann, executive director, Ballet BC Alex Holmes, partner, Oxygen Capital Corp. Peter Hudson, founder and CEO, BitLit Media Inc. Cameron Laker, CEO, Mindfield Group Matt Lennox-King, president and CEO, Pilot Gold Joey Lin, CEO/owner, Taipak Enterprises Ltd. Sarah Lubik, lecturer and director of Tech E@SFU, Simon Fraser University

Sacha McLean, president and CEO, McLean Ventures Ltd. and the McLean Group of Companies Justin Maxwell, chief operating officer, Angus One Professional Recruitment Ltd. Mark Melissen, managing partner, Wildstone Group of Companies Jeff Nugent, chief operating officer, Industry Training Authority Daniel Popescu, president and CEO, Harbourfront Wealth Management Sukhi Rai, president, RBI Group of Companies Drew Railton, managing partner, Caldwell Partners Rasool Rayani, owner, president, Heart Pharmacy James Reyes, VP, strategy and business development, The ACTIVE Network Sharadh Sampath, head, department of surgery, Vancouver Coastal Health – Richmond Amit Sandhu, chief executive officer, Ampri Group of Companies Jen Schaeffers, executive director, CKNW Orphans’ Fund Greg D. Smith, president, CEO and cofounder, Anthem United Inc. Jeremy Tiffin, president and managing director, Horizon Recruitment Inc. Colin Topham, managing director, Agrocorp International – Canada Ray Walia, co-founder and executive director, Launch Academy Michael Ward, senior vice-president, development and general manager, Grosvenor Americas

Sponsor’s Message

Congratulations! TELUS would like to congratulate all of the winners that have been named 2016 Forty under 40 presented by Business in Vancouver. Coming from a variety of backgrounds and sectors, your excellence in leadership, innovation, and social contribution symbolize the success and diversity of our community. As leaders in our community, we at TELUS recognize your importance, and want to ensure your continued success making BC a great place to work and live. At TELUS, we work hard every day to enable your company to achieve all of your business accomplishments, including your most recent accolade. And that’s why we are investing $1 billion to connect the majority of homes and businesses in the City of Vancouver directly to TELUS Fibre over the next 5 years – making Vancouver the world’s next gigabit-enabled city. Together, we will continue to make Vancouver the best city it can be. Congratulations!

Engaging Entrepreneurs to Learn and Grow EO Vancouver, Entrepreneurs’ Organization is, once again, a proud sponsor of the Business In Vancouver Top 40 Under 40 Awards for a 12th year. As an international, world respected association of entrepreneurs, the EO Vancouver Chapter is pleased to have had many EO Vancouver members as winners of the 40 Under 40 Awards over the past ten years and we congratulate all the finalists for 2016. As a global community of entrepreneurs EO has 12,000 members in 50 countries. Members must be the founder, co-founder, owner or controlling shareholder of a business with annual gross sales exceeding (US) $1 million. EO offers members Direct Peer-To-Peer Learning, Once-In-ALifetime Experiences and Connection To Experts through member events and monthly Forum Groups. The Vancouver Chapter is one of the leading chapters in the world. EO Vancouver also supports emerging entrepreneurs through the Accelerator Program, Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) and the awarding of Youth Scholarships presented annually at the 40 Under 40 Awards. Congratulations to Business In Vancouver for their vision to profile the “best of the best” entrepreneurs in British Columbia at their annual awards.

Entrepreneurs’ Organization

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For membership information visit www.eonetwork.org or contact us at 604.622.7020

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| 13

AGE

35

G

JOEL ABRAMSON

rowing up, Joel Abramson, chief executive officer of Fully Managed, experienced all the regular technological milestones of the day. The 35-year-old leader of the multiplatform IT services company remembers his father setting up a Commodore 64 – an eight-bit computer – for him in the living room. He also remembers getting a Super Nintendo for Christmas, and playing early console video games like Summer Games or Skate or Die! that have become iconic over the years. “I remember when the Internet really first started,” said Abramson. “I built a fan page for the Vancouver Grizzlies because I took a summer course up at [Simon Fraser University] building websites on the Internet. That was when I started to understand the potential of connecting people with technology, simply because of how accessible the Internet started to make information, even back in those early days.” Abramson graduated from McGill University in 2004. He was on the path to landing a job in New York for Merrill Lynch as an underwriter when his career took a turn, back to the past. An opportunity came up to start PacketSafe Networks Corp., a managed services company. It was something he couldn’t say no to. “It actually took me back 10 years to when I was 23 years old to something that I had said. And that was that I wanted to connect business and people to technology.” Over the years Abramson has also started and sold a number of ventures including a niche-market T-shirt website, a collegiate sports memorabilia customization website and a vacation rental management consulting firm. Abramson ran PacketSafe as its managing director until 2013 when it was

Birthplace: Vancouver Where you live now: Strathcona in Vancouver Highest level of education: BA in economics and political science from McGill

40 Under Forty 2016_60 pages_11.07_132.indd 13

CEO, Fully Managed Inc.

RICHARD LAM

acquired by Fully Managed. He started as vice-president of business development, and in January of this year was named chief executive officer. W hen asked about the futu re of technology, Abramson said the only certainty is that the possibilities are endless. “The rate of change is incredible to watch. We’re in a day and age where the growth of technology available to both consumers and businesses is growing exponentially.”

The rate of change is incredible to watch. ... The growth of technology available to both consumers and businesses is growing exponentially

Currently reading: Tools of Titans by Timothy Ferriss

Profession you would most like to try: Venture capitalist

Currently listening to: Closer by The Chainsmokers

Toughest business or professional decision: Selling my first business

When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: A bridge between business and technology

Advice you would give the younger you: Build a strong “personal board of directors” from Day 1

What’s left to do: So much! Continue to explore the world with my wonderful young family. M&A, international expansion and innovation in my professional life. I’m just getting started

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14 | FORTY UNDER 40 2016 PUBLISHED BY BUSINESS IN VANCOUVER

AGE

39

I

ALMIRA BARDAI

n the seven years since Almira Bardai co-founded Jive Communications with Lindsay Nahmiache, the two have expanded their public relations company to include offices in Vancouver, Los Angeles and Toronto, and employ 17 staff members. A dozen of those employees are in the firm’s Vancouver office while two are in Toronto, and Nahmiache heads a three-person contingent in Los Angeles. Clients include Telus Corp. (TSX:T), Granville Island Brewing and the Vancouver International Film Festival among many others. Her initial goal was to be a teacher. Instead of going through that training, however, Bardai took a job at the public relations agency Wilcox Group in 2000, just before graduating from Simon Fraser University with a bachelor’s degree in communications. A year and a half later, she realized her dream to work abroad when she leapt into the unknown and went to London, England. She spotted an ad for Cobra Beer while riding the city’s underground railway, and inspiration struck. She decided to cold-call the company’s marketing director to see whether there were any public relations jobs available.He was impressed with her experience, so he gave her a chance. Within a year she was put in charge of the company’s global PR while Cobra expanded across Europe and to South Africa, the U.S. and India. In 2005 she moved to Australia. “I really wanted to continue to travel,” she said. After about eight months at an agency in Sydney, she left to travel some more before working at Cobra in Capetown for a few months. A Vancouverite at heart, she returned to her hometown in mid-2006 and

ROB KRUYT

launched her own agency, Avid Communications, while she looked for work. Within months, she secured contracts that gave her full-time work. The partnership with Nahmiache came about four years later, in February 2009, when the world was nearing the nadir of the global financial crisis. Despite challenging times at first, the duo persevered. Jive is now the 12th largest PR firm in Vancouver, according to Business in Vancouver’s 2016 list of PR companies.

Birthplace: Vancouver

Currently listening to: Drake

Where you live now: Vancouver

When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: Teacher, particularly in the developing world

Highest level of education: Bachelor of applied sciences in communication, with a minor in both publishing and English, from SFU Currently reading: Time to Think: Listening to Ignite the Human Mind by Nancy Kline

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Co-CEO and co-founder, Jive Communications

Profession you would most like to try: Brewmaster, as I’m fascinated by the craft beer industry Toughest business or professional decision: Deciding to do a

Clients include Telus Corp. (TSX:T), Granville Island Brewing and the Vancouver International Film Festival

major scale-up, in a six-month period. It was intense, and we had to learn to walk slowly and thoroughly, while simultaneously running hard Advice you would give the younger you: Reverse engineer, right from the beginning, with scalable, achievable milestones. Planning for growth, right from the get-go, makes growth less painful

What’s left to do: My biggest passion is female entrepreneurship, and supporting/creating opportunities for women and girls in the developing world. I’d love to set up a social enterprise focusing on these areas

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| 15

AGE

35

B

BETH BOYLE

eth Boyle, founder of Longgame Holdings and co-founder of Talk Shop Media, has a lot on her plate. While running two successful companies she is also a social entrepreneur, member of numerous boards, community volunteer, women’s coach and mentor and instructor at Simon Fraser University. She’s also just finishing a degree in urban land economics through the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business. “I think as an entrepreneur it’s important to maintain a level of diversification, develop new skill sets and try new things,” Boyle said. “I love the variety, I’m constantly learning, and it’s never boring.” The core of Boyle’s business acumen resides in marketing and PR. She cofounded Talk Shop in 2007 and became a partner in 2011. Her work includes successful media strategies for companies such as Bosa Properties, Sotheby’s International Realty and MGB Architecture. She uses those skills to build on her other work. “[Marketing] is about building relationships and fostering relationships,” she said. “That’s my passion, and marketing is my tool to be able to do that.” Boyle is also committed to helping her community. Since 2014 she has served on the board of directors for Bloom Group, an organization focused on developing affordable and seniors’ housing in the Downtown Eastside. She also sits on the board of non-profit children’s book company Big Heart Publishing and is an active volunteer with Habitat For Humanity’s Women Build program in Vancouver. She’s committed to helping encourage young business people as well, particularly in the fields of science and technology.  

Birthplace: Vancouver Where you live now: Vancouver Highest level of education: BA in Romance languages Currently reading: Keeping the Love You Find by Harville Hendrix

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Founder, Longgame Holdings Inc.; co-founder, Talk Shop Media Inc.

ROB KRUYT

Boyle values not only skills development but also that rare ability to apply knowledge and ability across professions. Her work in marketing for real estate companies, for example, ignited her interest in property development and real estate investment. K indling that interest, Boyle cofounded Longgame Holdings, a real estate investment firm that in 2015 had revenue of $2.5 million. The company now owns and invests in properties across Western Canada.

Currently listening to: The Beautiful Brain podcast When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: An obstetrician

I think as an entrepreneur it’s important to maintain a level of diversification

Profession you would most like to try: Real estate consultant or developer

Advice you would give the younger you: Spend more time really identifying your core values

Toughest business or professional decision: Starting my first company. I had a good job, good stability, and it was a risk to go out on my own

What’s left to do: Write a book, get my master’s and find more balance in my life

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NATALIE CARTWRIGHT

hen the war in Syria broke out in 2011, Natalie Cartwright, cofounder and chief operating officer of Finn.ai, was overseeing the Syria portfolio for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. At the time, unrest meant supplies of life-saving treatment for people suffering from HIV infection were being threatened. “[My] colleagues in Syria at the Ministry of Health and Red Crescent had bombs falling within blocks of their family homes and were shot at,” she said. “And yet they still worried about keeping national health programs running.” Her work with the fund enabled needed pharmaceuticals to continue flowing to people during the war. It’s evidence of Cartwright’s ability to bring disparate parties together to find stable ground – even as falling bombs are shaking the earth beneath their feet. Sometimes leadership qualities are inborn. Cartwright was her high school class president, director of leadership programs at the YMCA, and her graduate school class valedictorian. That’s not to say her abilities weren’t cultivated by the most important people in her life. “My mom’s last words to me when she dropped me off at elementary school every morning were ‘Be nice to everyone today,’” Cartwright said. “That was my first leadership training.” Even though she can’t help being noticed for her successes, she’s put her prominence to good use. She gives interviews on shows such as She Built That, presented at the Next Big Thing convention and speaks to, mentors and judges competitions for aspiring young entrepreneurs. Among the up-and-comers, women hold particular importance for Cartwright. “Women aren’t there yet with gender equality, and it makes for bad

Birthplace: Vancouver Where you live now: Vancouver Highest level of education: Master of public health, MBA Currently reading: The Illegal by Lawrence Hill Currently listening to: Anything by Kate Vaughan

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Co-founder and chief operating officer, Finn.ai

ROB KRUYT

business.” Cartwright holds a bachelor of arts in psychology and pathology from McGill University, a master of public health from Lund University in Sweden and an MBA from IE Business School in Spain. In 2014 she brought her training and experience together to create Finn.ai, an artificial-intelligence banking interface for day-to-day transactions, budgeting and saving, customer support and other financial business functions.

When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: When I was in preschool I wanted to be a dad when I grew up. I got mad when people laughed and told me that it wasn’t possible. I still don’t like it when people tell me that things aren’t possible

My mom’s last words to me when she dropped me off at elementary school every morning were ‘Be nice to everyone today’

Profession you would most like to try: To be in a musical on Broadway

resignation letter but in the end it was closer to a bottle of wine before I pressed send

Toughest business or professional decision: To leave my job in Geneva at the Global Fund to start a business. I thought it would take a glass of wine to have the courage to send my

Advice you would give the younger you: Be kinder to yourself What’s left to do: Be an angel investor

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MELISSA DE GENOVA

here has been plenty of discussion around affordable housing, but for Melissa De Genova it’s time for action. As a native Vancouverite, a military spouse and a millennial, De Genova has had first-hand experience addressing the affordable housing issue and she regularly highlights the importance of it. The issue prompted De Genova to run for municipal office, and she has made it a cornerstone of her career. In 2011 she joined the Vancouver Resource Society (VRS), a non-profit organization that uses innovative fundraising techniques to provide housing to people with disabilities. As the director of development, De Genova manages a $90 million real estate portfolio and aims to use that value to increase the availability of affordable housing. “I do believe that organizations including VRS do thrive from charitable organizations,” De Genova said. “However, what I’ve tried to move forward to is a model that is financially sustainable and will see the equity in the properties that VRS already owns help to create more housing for people with disabilities.” The fight for affordable housing is not new for De Genova or her family. Her father, Allan De Genova, founded Honour House, a residence for the families of veterans and first responders when they or their families fall ill or are injured, and where Melissa De Genova works as the fundraising chair. As the youngest person on the Vancouver city council and the only millennial in the council chambers, De Genova is also concerned that many young people are being priced out of the city’s housing market. She personally has wrestled with the issue, having

Birthplace: Vancouver Where you live now: East Vancouver Highest level of education: Bachelor of arts in political science

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Director of development, Vancouver Resource Society

RICHARD LAM

struggled with her husband to live in Vancouver, though she adds it has been well worth the sacrifice to live in the city she loves. “I was compelled to run for city council to make sure that I had a seat at the table,” she said, “that I was there to provide the perspective of a younger person and for those people across the board, regardless of their age, who require accessible and affordable housing.”

Currently reading: City council binder for upcoming day Currently listening to: Michael Bublé greatest hits When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: Lawyer

I was there to provide the perspective of a younger person and for those people across the board ... who require accessible and affordable housing

Profession you would most like to try: Not sure but perhaps it will find me one day Toughest business or professional decision: To run for political office Advice you would give the younger you: Don’t give up regardless

of what anyone tells you. You will be able to achieve your goals with a good work ethic, determination and strength What’s left to do: Make housing affordable in Vancouver and expand VRS

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SCOTT EMSLIE

or an extended moment, Scott Emslie had a professional career in volleyball. After graduating with a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Alberta, where he became one of just a handful of people to be named both an Athletic All-Canadian and an Academic All-Canadian, the founder of Wet Ape Productions headed overseas to play his sport in Europe “I was travelling around, basically chasing summer, playing on these different beach circuits. That was the start of this transition into starting to produce my own events,” Emslie said. His first foray into event production was Volleyfest, which was Emslie’s response to the lack of beach volleyball festivals being hosted in Canada at the time. After pulling off the inaugural event in 2007 with some DJs and some sponsors, Emslie wanted to do more. “I wanted to have this multi-sport festival. That was the birth of Center of Gravity.” Nine years running, Kelowna’s Center of Gravity now attracts sponsors like Monster Energy (Nasdaq:MNST) and has hosted some of the biggest DJs and artists in the world, including Calvin Harris, Skrillex and Ice Cube. The festival has grown organically to welcome crowds of over 24,000 annually, Emslie said. Beyond Center of Gravity, Emslie’s company has several other events under the Wet Ape portfolio. Ape, he said, stands for athletes, productions and events, while the “wet” part was meant to make it more fun and creative. “It was a passion project originally; I wasn’t really expecting it to become a career.” Among his other events are Harvest Haus, a Vancouver ode to Oktoberfest

Birthplace: Calgary Where you live now: Vancouver Highest level of education: Bachelor of science, mechanical engineering Currently reading: Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap ... and Others Don’t by Jim Collins

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Founder and president, Wet Ape Productions

RICHARD LAM

that draws around 10,000 people per year, and Unbuckled, an experiential country event in Stanley Park that debuted last year and returned in September. “It’s really powerful when everybody’s on the same page and everybody’s completely united and you feel like you’re part of a moment,” Emslie said. “That was for me the driving force behind continuing with event management and building these festivals:. these moments that we were creating at these events.”

Currently listening to: Scared, The Tragically Hip When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: Professional athlete Profession you would most like to try: Property development Toughest business or professional decision: Having to discontinue the Keloha Music & Arts Festival because it wasn’t

It was a passion project originally; I wasn’t really expecting it to become a career

financially sustainable. It was a festival my staff and I were very passionate about and it was a great experience for all the artists and fans who attended Advice you would give the younger you: Focus on your strengths and what you enjoy doing and then hire or outsource for the rest. Your potential is much

greater when your attention is focused on the right things What’s left to do: Professionally I hope to start and/or build two or three successful companies over the next 20 years. I don’t know what industries the businesses will be in, but I do look forward to the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead

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We give where we live ®

At TELUS, we love helping local communities flourish. We’re delighted to have given over $440 million and volunteered more than 6.8 million hours to local causes across Canada since 2000. To all our customers, employees, supporters and volunteers – thank you for helping us make a difference in communities across Canada. We couldn’t have done it without you. Together, we give where we live ®.

Learn more about our commitment to local communities at telus.com/community.

© TELUS 2016. 16_01047

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WILLIE FISHER

illie Fisher, managing partner and co-founder at Cedar Coast Properties Ltd. and CEO and co-founder at Outland Living, has always been an entrepreneur. It started with selling chocolate bars at school and running a lawn-mowing business. That kind of self-driven industriousness is rare in childhood, but for Fisher it came naturally. “When I was seven, eight years old, I was always looking for things to make a little extra spending money,” he said. “When I was 12 I would look through the paper for business opportunities.” It’s a marked departure from Archie comics and Saturday morning cartoons. By 19, when most teens are just realizing laundry doesn’t wash itself, Fisher was taking a $20,000 loan to make his first business investment, a 20% share in the local pizza business in his hometown of Williams Lake. “I needed a co-signer for a loan when I purchased my first business. My parents agreed to help me out,” said Fisher. “My dad said, ‘We don’t know the business, but we know you’re good for the payments.’” When eight months later he couldn’t secure financing to purchase the remaining 80%, he sold back his 20% and left town for bigger opportunities. He settled in Chilliwack, far enough from the city to feel homey, but close enough to allow his burgeoning entrepreneurialism to blossom. He purchased a dollar-store franchise, which he expanded over the next few years until he was able to purchase the territory rights for Western Canada. After opening numerous stores around the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island, he sold the businesses and invested the money in other ventures. In the ensuing years, like the pizza

Birthplace: New Westminster Where you live now: South Surrey Highest level of education: High school Currently reading: The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan

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Managing partner and co-founder, Cedar Coast Properties Ltd.; CEO and co-founder, Outland Living

RICHARD LAM

dough left to rise in the first major venture of his youth, his enterprises grew. From an import business to real estate ventures, he built his various businesses into the powerhouses they are today. With 12 employees in Canada and five overseas, Cedar Coast Properties projects revenues of $11 million to $12 million for 2016, while Outland Living’s product lines are carried by Costco (Nasdaq:COST) throughout Canada and the U.S.

Currently listening to: Humble and Kind by Tim McGraw; Can’t Stop the Feeling by Justin Timberlake When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: Professional athlete

When I was 12 I would look through the paper for business opportunities

Profession you would most like to try: Country music singer Toughest business or professional decision: Deciding to purchase a business that owed me hundreds of thousands of dollars

Advice you would give the younger you: Invest more time and capital in your health What’s left to do: Create 100 millionaires

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JC FRASER

C Fraser was a sports fan growing up in Vancouver, but not specifically a baseball fan – not too surprising in a city without its own major-league team. “If you were from Vancouver and you knew who the Canadians were in 2005, you were very much in the minority,” said the general manager of the Vancouver Canadians baseball club. “This team was completely obscure. The place was falling apart. Minor-league baseball had given up on us.” Today, it’s a whole other ball game. The Canadians were recognized in 2013 as the best-operated team in minor league baseball out of around 160 teams – the rest of which are based in the U.S. – and the players now entertain mostly sold-out crowds in a revitalized Nat Bailey Stadium. From that multimillion-dollar stadium renovation to achieving the highest per-game attendance rate of any team in the league after Triple-A franchises, Fraser has left a mark on the club since signing on as an intern nine years ago. “I kind of made the decision. … Instead of working extremely hard, doing very laborious, bad jobs for bad money, I would take on a really good job for bad money,” said Fraser. Within a year, Fraser had taken over the organization’s fan services area, managing ushers, security staff and medical personnel at less than half the age of most of them. “From there we were able to develop, I think, a customer service standard that is consistently rated above any other teams in Vancouver,” said Fraser, who’s very proud of the fan experience that’s re-energized the Canadians’ brand. With the Northwest League of Professional Baseball’s Executive of the Year award under his belt, Fraser will

Birthplace: Vancouver Where you live now: Mount Pleasant, 10 blocks from the ballpark Highest level of education: BA from the University of Victoria; currently taking an executive MBA through Simon Fraser University

ROB KRUYT

continue to challenge himself at work – and in the classroom as he tackles an executive MBA from Simon Fraser University. “I was told by numerous people that I was insane for trying to do it when I had two kids under two years old at home, but whether I do it now with two young children or do it four years from now when they’re six and four, and I have to be at their baseball games, it just seemed to me that this is as good a time as any to accomplish it.”

Currently reading: The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell Currently listening to: 54-46 Was My Number by Toots and the Maytals When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: A lawyer – like my dad Profession you would most like to try: Project engineer or city

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General manager, Vancouver Canadians

This team was completely obscure. The place was falling apart. Minorleague baseball had given up on us

planner, something that would allow me to build things

takes it all on with patience and grace

Toughest business or professional decision: To go after my master’s degree despite a demanding job and raising two incredible boys, both under three years old. Fortunately I married well and have an incredibly talented wife who

Advice you would give the younger you: Have more confidence in yourself, you got this. And when you don’t, make sure you learn from the experience What’s left to do: Keep making a difference, in my community, workplace and especially at home with my family

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JACQUELINE GALLAGHER

acqueline Gallagher, vice-president for British Columbia and Saskatchewan at David Aplin Group, one of Canada’s leading recruiting firms, hunts for talented employees for clients ranging from local entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 companies. It’s a role reversal. She had been in the business only a year when she was herself recruited by David Aplin Group after being recognized for her talent. She joined the firm at 22 and has been with them for more than 10 years. “I grew up playing soccer up to the Canada Games level,” said Gallagher. “It’s a great way to build connections, and ... the ability to work collaboratively and cohesively in a team has been one of the key components of my success here at Aplin.” She attributes some of her tenacity to her athletic background. “Athletes don’t take ‘no’ very well,” she said. “Working in this industry you have to be resilient. You get told ‘no’ a lot.” While on the East Coast with Aplin Group, she was responsible for hiring and placing temporary and permanent administrative professionals with organizations in the Atlantic Canada market. But she wanted more. Reluctant to lose her, the company relocated her to Saskatoon and gave her the role of managing consultant in 2013. She increased sales by 300% in the first two years. She caught the attention of Canadian Management Centre, which asked her to sit as a panellist for its cross-country presentation called Rise of the Millennia Leader. In 2015, she was promoted to vice-president for Saskatchewan, after which she was asked to take over as vice-president of the company’s B.C. division, and she relocated to Vancouver. Over the past 18 months, Gallagher

Birthplace: Halifax, Nova Scotia Where you live now: North Vancouver Highest level of education: Master of business administration in executive management from Royal Roads University Currently reading: The First 90 Days by Michael Watkins and The Racketeer by John Grisham Currently listening to: Anything old-school hip hop (I went to

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Vice-president, British Columbia and Saskatchewan, David Aplin Group

ROB KRUYT

has completed her master’s degree in business administration at Royal Roads University. It’s taken her away from some of the volunteer work she loves. Over the years she has contributed her time and effort to multiple groups including Special Olympics, Adsum House, Phoenix Youth Programs and HomeBridge. “I’m looking forward to getting better connected to the community in Vancouver,” she said. “I believe you need to give back to the community you work in.”

a tough high school and fell in love with hip hop) but if you are making me pick: DMX, Ruff Ryders’ Anthem When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: A teacher Profession you would most like to try: Something in the hospitality/hotel industry Toughest business or professional decision: Moving from Halifax

I believe you need to give back to the community you work in

to Saskatoon for a promotion opportunity with my firm Advice you would give the younger you: Surround yourself with individuals much smarter than you. Hire and train people who want your job and are capable of taking over your job. You will never grow your career if you can’t backfill your own role

question. But in the immediate future, build a team of professionals in Vancouver who are capable of high performance in my absence. I believe the sign of good leadership is when everything works seamlessly even when I am not around

What’s left to do: So much! I’m only 33; I feel like I have a lifetime left to answer this

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MICHELLE GRANT

ne of only two women to become an equity partner in the corporate restructuring practice at Ernst & Young LLP, Michelle Grant was named a winner in this year’s Business in Vancouver Forty under 40 awards as a result of more than just her work in B.C.’s mining and metals sector. “I am very Type A,” she said. “And I also have a drive to succeed within me.” That said, she’s quick to attribute her success to those who have mentored her along the way. “[They] were willing to throw, not just push, me out of my comfort zone.” Grant recently won a number of industry awards for a complex miningcompany restructuring case, including mining and metals deal of the year and cross-border deal of the year, and was named the rising star of 2016 in the Association of Women in Finance Peak Awards. That restructuring, which involved Veris G old Corp., help ed b ol ster Grant’s reputation as a go-to person for complex cases, with her peers describing her as having a professional maturity well beyond her years of experience. I n 2005, when s he b e c a me t he you ngest person u nti l then to receive a trustee in bankruptcy licence. That achievement was the result of her commitment to learning the full spectrum of skills required for success in her profession. “You have to achieve technical proficiency, even superiority, but then go beyond.” Grant’s excellence extends well beyond her law practice. She is a past board member of the Cerebral Palsy Association of BC and two-time cochair of Ernst & Young’s Vancouver United Way campaign, work that garnered her a 2012 nomination for the

Birthplace: North York, Ontario Where you live now: Burnaby Highest level of education: Bachelor of commerce (honours) from Queen’s University, major in finance Currently reading: The Art of People: 11 Simple People Skills That Will Get You Everything You Want by Dave Kerpen Currently listening to: Adele and Drake

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Partner, Ernst & Young LLP

ROB KRUYT

United Way Spirit Awards. As an exemplar of women in legal management, Grant is one of only a handful of women across the country who have built successful careers in the field of corporate restructuring. As vice-chair of the Vancouver chapter of the International Women’s Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation, Grant also takes particular care to mentor young insolvency professionals and address the retention challenges that exist in the field.

When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: A rock star, but seriously a teacher Profession you would most like to try: Investment banker Toughest business or professional decision: Move from Toronto to Winnipeg two years into my career to be with my now husband. As a finance major I thought it would end my career, but it ended up being the best

You have to achieve technical proficiency, even superiority, but then go beyond

decision for professional and personal reasons Advice you would give the younger you: Be confident, take risks and don’t be afraid to tread outside your comfort zone (that’s where you learn the most) What’s left to do: I am in my third year as partner at EY, so I feel like I am at the beginning of a new career. I’m excited to see where this path takes me and

where I can go within my firm. I am particularly interested in our people strategy and helping to shape that for future generations. I also have a 20-month-old daughter, so as I start my new career I am also just starting my family journey and that’s a fabulous experience full of wonder and excitement

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BREEDON GRAUER

reedon Grauer doesn’t have a university degree, but he likes to say he’s getting an MBA every day at the office. The Jim Pattison Group’s 33-yearold managing director for sales, marketing and procurement was hired in 2012 as the private company’s youngest such executive. He works under a chairman who is Canada’s best-known entrepreneur, a president who is a former B.C. premier and a corporate development managing director who is a former Vancouver Canucks and Vancouver Olympics executive. “I count my lucky stars every day,” Grauer said. “Jimmy is a legend in this community; [I’m] learning from Glen [Clark], learning from Dave Cobb and the other people in here, understanding their vision and how they operate.” No two days are alike in a $9.1 billion company whose diverse holdings range from groceries and packaged goods to car dealerships and advertising. “I can’t pretend to know everything about all these industries and the diversity and all the details that go on in one industry, let alone 26 major operating companies. Listening and trying to understand their business the best that I can, so we can add value to their business and help them grow, is one of the best parts of my job.” After high school, Grauer tried a variety of jobs, like parking cars, washing dishes and selling door to door, and he went to Alberta’s oilsands and worked on rigs. His stepmother, sports and event marketer Leila Bell-Irving, inspired him to take a volunteer gig with the launch of a PGA Champions Tour Boeing Classic in Seattle that turned into a director of operations job. That prepared him for a job in the sponsorship and out-of-home advertising

Birthplace: Vancouver Where you live now: North Burnaby Highest level of education: High school Currently reading: So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love by Cal Newport Currently listening to: The Tim Ferriss Show podcast

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Managing director for sales, marketing and procurement, Jim Pattison Group

RICHARD LAM

sales department of Vancouver’s 2010 Winter Olympics organizing committee. Grauer later joined the Olympic torch relay tour team as a logistics manager. After the Games, Andrea Shaw, the Vancouver Olympics’ vice-president of sponsorship sales and marketing, was so impressed with Grauer that she made him a founding member of her TwentyTen Group marketing agency until the Pattison opportunity came along in 2012.

When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: NHL goalie Profession you would most like to try: The fact that I haven’t considered this reinforces that I must be in the right place Toughest business or professional decision: Many short-term decisions can be detrimental to the long-term health of an organization. We first always want to make the “right”

Listening and trying to understand their business the best that I can, so we can add value to their business ... is one of the best parts of my job

decision, from a business ethics perspective, then we always have to look past shortterm wins and make the right decisions for the long-term health of an organization Advice you would give the younger you: Even though I’ve made many mistakes, my past has gotten me where I am today, so I don’t think I would give my younger self any advice. The risk is too large – I may set a

different course in life and not be blessed with the family, friendships, work and health I’m extremely lucky to have today What’s left to do: Everything. We’re just getting started

2016-11-23 1:12 PM


A SUPERIOR COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE

Congratulations to Joseph Tolzmann, Founder and CEO of Superior Flood & Fire Restoration Inc. for being selected one of the BIV’s Top Forty Under 40. We are so proud of this outstanding achievement. We also want to send our heartfelt congratulations out to all the other winners this year.

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FRASER HALL

ears after leaving the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society – a marine conservation group founded by early Greenpeace member Paul Watson – Fraser Hall found himself back aboard the Brigitte Bardot, commanding a 12-person crew on a one-boat mission to intercept a whale hunt in the Faroe Islands, and at the same time trying to close his Series A financing for Recon Instruments. “I was trying to close my financing at sea on this sat phone while we were being chased by the navy, zipping in and out of ports trying to track down whalers,” said the co-founder of Recon, today a partner with Vancouver Founder Fund. “It was a very interesting and frankly difficult experience, confronting whalers all day long, by day at sea, and by night at ports, they’d come up to the boats. And then trying to close the most significant financing of my life.” Before the sale of Recon to Intel (Nasdaq:INTC) last year, Hall’s hightech company, which produces smartglasses and head-up displays, raised in the neighbourhood of $30 million from an array of investors – from friends, family and fools, as he put it, to angel investors, venture capitalists and corporate venture arms. “When we dealt with Vancouver-based investors, the experience was less than ideal,” Hall said. “They didn’t add the value that we felt they should, and they made our process difficult.” He added that he felt investors prioritized their vested interests. The culture was predatory, and the outlook narrow-minded. “When we sold Recon, … [fund cofounder] Dan [Eisenhardt] and I felt we had to fix this problem. And so that was the genesis of Vancouver Founder Fund – a geographically focused venture fund – to be the funders we wished we’d had.”

Birthplace: Calgary, Alberta Where you live now: Vancouver (Southlands) Highest level of education: MBA Currently reading: Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War by Robert Coram  

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Partner, Vancouver Founder Fund

ROB KRUYT

Providing seed-level funding for startups in Vancouver, Kelowna and Victoria, the fund supports seven different companies, and plans to fund up to five more. After that, Hall may be looking to expand geographically to Alberta and Washington. He also wants to remain hands-on with the companies he’s funded, through mentorship, guidance or reinvestment. “I’m treating this fund like a startup itself; I think it might even be slightly disruptive to the venture community.”

Currently listening to: Audiobook: The Last Train to Zona Verde: My Ultimate African Safari by Paul Theroux

I was trying to close my financing at sea on this sat phone while we were being chased by the navy, zipping in and out of ports trying to track down whalers

Toughest business or professional decision: Leaving a paying job to build a startup

When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: Sailboat racer

Advice you would give the younger you: Allow skeptics to inform your decision-making, but not deter you from your mission

Profession you would most like to try: Search and rescue

What’s left to do: Build out the next generation of venture

capital in B.C., help build explosive-growth local startups, contribute more to the rescue and defence of animals, form a disaster relief rapid response team

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MATT HARPER

t wasn’t uncommon in 2008 for business people to get upended in some way as the global financial crisis unleashed economic turmoil across the world. But Matt Harper’s own upending came of his own volition. “I woke up and went to work one morning and realized I had kind of done everything I had set out to do in my career,” recalled the co-founder and chief product officer at Avalon Battery. After graduating from the University of British Columbia’s mechanical engineering program in 2000, Harper’s bucket list consisted of designing “cool technology,” getting some patents to his name and leading an international team. “I realized I had done all those things far faster than I thought I would,” said Harper, who started off in the cleantech sector interning at Ballard Power Systems before becoming a product manager at VRB Power Systems (which would later become Prudent Energy). So when he was accepted into the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) master’s degree program in management and engineering, he uprooted his life in Vancouver for 18 months to hit the books in Boston. That meant temporarily leaving his fiancée (now wife) on the West Coast to usher in the next phase of his career. He returned to Prudent Energy after finishing school, parlaying the new master’s degree into a job as vicepresident of product management and marketing. But by 2013, he and a number of colleagues were ready to depart the Beijing-owned company to found Avalon Battery in Vancouver and develop a turnkey energy storage system. Harper said even if he hadn’t attended

Birthplace: Halifax, Nova Scotia Where you live now: Vancouver Highest level of education: Master’s degree, systems engineering and management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Currently reading: The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew Mcafee

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Co-founder and chief product officer, Avalon Battery

RICHARD LAM

the MIT program, his “entrepreneurial bent” and proclivity for tinkering would have likely pushed him to launch his own company. “The thing that I realized after the fact was that when MIT lets you in, you don’t turn them down,” he said.

Currently listening to: Sunday by HNNY, via Spotify When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: An airline pilot – airplanes are just about the biggest, coolest toy there is Profession you would most like to try: I’d be an architect. There’s something about conceptualizing then creating space that I find incredibly compelling

I woke up and went to work one morning and realized I had kind of done everything I had set out to do in my career

Toughest business or professional decision: Any time that I know the right decision will be damaging to someone I respect

tolerance and values makes a huge difference What’s left to do: Build something truly revolutionary

Advice you would give the younger you: Look to do business with like-minded people and organizations; when you’re pushing the envelope of what’s possible, having partners who have the same energy, risk

2016-11-23 1:13 PM


28 | FORTY UNDER 40 2016 PUBLISHED BY BUSINESS IN VANCOUVER

AGE

29

W

PHILIP HEMING

hile Philip Heming took flight in higher learning, the entrepreneur’s success remains grounded in the tried-and-true business ethos of “work hard and treat people well.” Heming, general manager of Central Park Business Centre, flourished at McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management. Studying strategic management and entrepreneurship, Heming received a scholarship for top academic marks and made dean’s honour roll as a varsity athlete. In school, sport or business, there are many variables that can affect an outcome. However, the one thing always in a person’s control is his or her effort – a value Heming embraces. “While some people … have come up with amazing startup ideas, my strength is coming into a situation and being able to work and energize the team and create genuine relationships,” said Heming. “In sports, school and business, that extra gear for work ethic definitely helped me be successful.” Following graduation, Heming had stints providing business strategy and analysis both for companies in-house and through his own consulting practice. However, Heming wanted something to fully own his time, energy and interests. So, he sold his condo and crafted a business plan to secure financing to buy Vancouver’s Central Park Business Centre at the end of 2012. As a 25-year-old walking into an established operation, the experience was “somewhat daunting,” but Heming knew the first order of business was earning the respect of his customers and staff. “[First] just gaining their trust by being extremely respectful and genuine and looking after them because at the

Birthplace: North Vancouver Where you live now: Vancouver Highest level of education: Bachelor of commerce, strategy and entrepreneurship, McGill University

40 Under Forty 2016_60 pages_11.07_132.indd 28

General manager, Central Park Business Centre

ROB KRUYT

end of the day they spend the majority of the time at the workplace,” said Heming. “I never came in to a situation acting like a dictator. I’m more willing to help with all of the hands-on work while also managing. I think they respected that.” Recently, Heming diversified his interests by acquiring and “re-energizing” Wavor Wire, a manufacturing business that supports the Canadian recycling industry. Wavor Wire, Heming said, just came off its best year.

While some people ... have come up with amazing startup ideas, my strength is ... being able to work and energize the team and create genuine relationships

Currently reading: Birds Without Wings by Louis de Bernières

Profession you would most like to try: NHL general manager

Listen to The Sunscreen Song by Baz Luhrmann. Travel

Currently listening to: Hard Sun by Eddie Vedder

Toughest business or professional decision: Firing a problem client

What’s left to do: Wake up each day and make it a great one

When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: Professional soccer player

Advice you would give the younger you: Close one door and another one opens (my dad’s advice).

2016-11-23 1:13 PM


| 29

AGE

37

W

ROY HESSEL

hen Roy Hessel arrived in Vancouver in 2014 to head all of French optical giant Essilor’s online eyewear operations, he was a seasoned entrepreneur and corporate executive. He had left his native Israel to discover China and in late 2005 found the pioneering online eyewear seller EyeBuyDirect in Shanghai. Success followed, and the profitable company expanded quickly. When Essilor offered to buy a majority stake in the venture in late 2013, Hessel agreed to the deal, knowing that Essilor’s deep pockets would help him scale the venture. Essilor moved Hessel and his young family to Austin, Texas, to head EyeBuyDirect and another recent Essilor purchase, FramesDirect.com. When Essilor spent $430 million to buy the Nasdaq-listed Coastal Contacts, which owned U.S. operations under that brand as well as Canada’s Clearly Contacts and Europe’s LensWay, Hessel merged all of Essilor’s operations to be run out of Vancouver. “We’re growing nicely and faster than the eyewear market,” Hessel said. “We’ve got an amazing team that I’ve been fortunate to put together.” Revenue is deep in the hundreds of millions of dollars, and the profitable venture is doing research to develop a smartphone app that enables users to determine their prescription without having to see an optician. “That kind of app is inevitable,” he said. “We’re not the only ones investing in this type of research.” Since arriving in Vancouver, Hessel has rebranded Canadian operations as Clearly and repositioned the company’s operational focus to be more on education and a high-quality experience, as

Birthplace: Tel Aviv, Israel Where you live now: Vancouver Highest level of education: Harvard Business School, Owner/President Management program

40 Under Forty 2016_60 pages_11.07_132.indd 29

President and CEO, Clearly

ROB KRUYT

opposed to simply low prices. Acquisitions in 2016 included buying the Brazilian online eyewear sellers Eotica.com.br and Elens.com.br. Outside work, Hessel is a devout believer in disconnecting from technology between sunset on Friday and sunset on Saturday to observe the Sabbath. “There’s something to be said for the insight, which I think surfaces when you put yourself in a position where you can’t be disrupted or distracted.”

We’re growing nicely and faster than the eyewear market

Currently reading: The Guns of August, Barbara Tuchman

I wanted to be like my father, but different

company I founded and took 10 years to build

Currently listening to: Israeli mix, YouTube

Profession you would most like to try: A spy

When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up:

Toughest business or professional decision: Selling control of the

Advice you would give the younger you: Trust your intuition and act faster What’s left to do: Invent the time machine

2016-11-23 1:13 PM


30 | FORTY UNDER 40 2016 PUBLISHED BY BUSINESS IN VANCOUVER

DOMENICO IANNIDINARDO

AGE

39

Chief forester and vice-president of sustainability, TimberWest Forest Corp.

W

hen Domenico Iannidinardo entered the coastal forest industry fresh out of university in 1996, it was just three years after the War in the Woods had ended. That campaign to save the old-growth forests of Clayoquot Sound from clear cutting fundamentally changed the way the coastal forest industry would operate. Iannidinardo admits the temptation was strong to take a job in the booming oil and gas industry after university, but he decided to stick with his plans to follow his father into forestry. “I got excited about forestry partly because of the changes I was witnessing in high school,” he said. “The temptation was big money and lots of opportunity in oil. But it wasn’t a renewable resource, and that was something that was already important to me and still is.” Born and raised in Duncan, Iannidinardo grew up in the forest industry. His father was a logger. After high school, Iannidinardo got a science degree from the University of British Columbia in forest operations, followed by a master’s degree in business administration from Royal Roads University in Victoria. After university, he worked for a number of forestry companies as an engineer before joining Pacific Forest Products, which was later acquired by TimberWest Forest Corp. At the age of 35, he became the youngest chief forester in the company’s 100-year history. As TimberWest’s chief forester and vice-president of sustainability, Iannidinardo’s job includes working on long-range harvesting plans and replanting. One of his biggest challenges is balancing a working forest with other public interests like tourism and recreation, and First Nations rights. “I’ve been a part of significant change

Birthplace: Duncan Where you live now: Nanaimo

RICHARD LAM

to how forestry within drinking watersheds has been managed across Vancouver Island. I continue to believe that not only drinking water, but tourism and a variety of other industries and values, can continue to coexist on the landscape.” Iannidinardo has had a significant role in engaging First Nations in forestry. TimberWest has a log-marketing program that works with First Nations that have their own timber licences to market their timber.

Currently listening to: Wow by Beck

Highest level of education: Master of business administration, Royal Roads University

When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: Optimus Prime of renewable resource management

Currently reading: Aboriginal Power: Clean Energy and the Future of Canada’s First Peoples by Chris Henderson

Profession you would most like to try: News anchor or talk show host

40 Under Forty 2016_60 pages_11.07_132.indd 30

The temptation was big money and lots of opportunity in oil. But it wasn’t a renewable resource, and that was something that was ... important to me

Toughest business or professional decision: Declining offers to work in the oil and gas sector when I got out of school Advice you would give the younger you: Never confuse etiquette with patience

renaissance to ensure the resource is once again revered in society, and successfully raise our two daughters with my wife

What’s left to do: Guide the coming global forestry

2016-11-23 1:13 PM


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AGE

34

C

CHAD KALYK

had Kalyk is proof positive of the power that translates when an employee emotionally buys into a company. Kalyk has rapidly risen through the ranks of Paladin Security Group to become executive vice-president, w it h oversig ht of t he compa ny’s nine branches located throughout B.C. and southern Alberta and more than 3,000 security professionals. He’s credited with helping to increase revenue in B.C. by double-digit percentages each year since moving to Vancouver in 2012. It’s a far cry from when he joined the company fresh out of university in 2006 to become the lone employee in Paladin’s new Victoria branch office. Establishing a market presence and pounding on doors to establish even a toehold can be extremely difficult, but Kalyk persevered. “I’m a firm believer in working extremely hard,” he said. “Good things happen to people that work hard.” Kalyk’s turning point came when he helped Paladin’s visiting chief operating officer work on a request for proposal. Kalyk showed his writing talents and energy; the COO provided an indepth and compelling overview of the company. Kalyk was hooked. “That was kind of the beginning of where I really realized, ‘Wow this company is amazing. There are so many things going on and what we’re doing is innovative. It was an epiphany for me that I had a good thing going on here, and if I work hard I might be able to turn this into something.” His energ y and conviction have helped Kalyk quickly climb up every manager and director rung of Paladin’s ladder. His integral contribution to Paladin was highlighted two years ago

Birthplace: Burnaby Where you live now: Vancouver Highest level of education: Bachelor of arts (history and sociology), University of Victoria Currently reading: Personal: The Odyssey (Homer). Business: The Radical Leap, Steve Farber Currently listening to: Anything by Jon and Roy

40 Under Forty 2016_60 pages_11.07_132.indd 31

Executive vice-president, Paladin Security Group

ROB KRUYT

when he became a company shareholder. Kalyk says any individual recognition is validation that Paladin’s strong company culture – emphasizing employee satisfaction – is succeeding. “I still speak to classes of new recruits and talk about the opportunity to learn and grow with us. There’s so much happening in our business. If you work hard and listen to the people mentoring you, you can make a career out of this. I tell them about my story because it shows our philosophy works.”

What you wanted to be when you grew up: Professional soccer player Profession you would most like to try: Professional speaker on leadership/change/business Toughest business or professional decision: Leaving my friends and community in Victoria to pursue advancement with Paladin in Vancouver. Looking back, it’s the best decision I’ve made, but at the time I remember how difficult it was

It was an epiphany for me that I had a good thing going on here, and if I work hard I might be able to turn this into something

Advice you would give the younger you: Make it a priority to get to know yourself. The more you know about yourself, the more purposeful and impactful your leadership becomes. Understanding who you are allows you to mitigate (and improve) your weaknesses while replicating your strengths What’s left to do: We want to be the best security company in the world. We feel that we have

a unique and inspiring culture that our clients and employees connect and engage with. I believe that will continue to afford us opportunities to professionalize our industry through innovation and the growth and advancement of our people. We need to continue to get better every day. Truthfully, I feel like we are just getting started

2016-11-23 1:13 PM


32 | FORTY UNDER 40 2016 PUBLISHED BY BUSINESS IN VANCOUVER

AGE

38

R

RIC LEONG

ic Leong’s career path has been filled with a steady string of promotions that have culminated in his role as CFO and senior vice-president of a publicly listed company with a market capitalization in the hundreds of millions of dollars. His biggest accomplishment yet at Avigilon Corp. (TSX:AVO) may well be his completion of negotiations and paperwork for a US$240 million senior secured syndicated credit facility. “We didn’t raise the full US$240 million but the deal gives us access to US$240 million,” Leong explained. “It is the largest financing structure in the company’s history.” Leong’s road to his current position started when he earned his chartered professional accountant designation while working at KPMG as a senior accountant in 2004. He jumped to Angiotech Pharmaceuticals Inc., which was a successful biotechnology venture. I n h is eig ht yea rs at A ng iotech, Leong had five promotions. “I always joke that I pretty much got a new business card every year because I kept moving up the ranks,” he said. Leong went to Westport Innovations Inc. (TSX:WPT; Nasdaq:WPRT) in 2012, when Angiotech was enduring financial troubles following its delisting from public stock exchanges. Promotions followed. Leong had risen to the role of senior finance director when he left to work for Avigilon in mid-2014. T he lure of Avigilon was that he wou ld sta r t a s v ice-president of finance. “It was a move up, for sure,” Leong said. “When I take positions with new companies, my mindset is that I don’t want to make a lateral move; I want to

Birthplace: Vancouver Where you live now: Vancouver Highest level of education: Chartered accountant designation: CA, CPA; bachelor of science Currently reading: Ending the Waiting Game: Increasing Kidney Transplants in Canada by Ken Merkley

40 Under Forty 2016_60 pages_11.07_132.indd 32

CFO and senior vice-president, Avigilon Corp.

RICHARD LAM

make a vertical move.” O utside work, L eong rema i ns a board member with the Kidney Foundation of Canada after a four-year stint as the foundation’s treasurer ended in May. He is also committed to helping others on the job. “One thing I’m proud of is mentoring my team members and seeing them succeed,” he said. “I’ve built great teams at each of the three companies where I’ve worked.”

Currently listening to: Country music by various artists such as Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan and Eric Church When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: Pediatrician Profession you would most like to try: Still pediatrician

I always joke that I pretty much got a new business card every year because I kept moving up the ranks

Toughest business or professional decision: The decision each time I moved on to join a new company and leave a team and department I helped shape and build Advice you would give the younger you: Find a mentor, stay confident in everything you do and try to learn or take away

something new with each new task What’s left to do: Continue building successful businesses and teams, more philanthropy, mentorship and more family time with my wife as we raise my twin girls and third baby on the way before 2017

2016-11-23 1:13 PM


January 25th, 2017 | 6:00 pm-9:00 pm Vancouver Convention Centre

F

or over 25 years, Business in Vancouver has highlighted the achievements of BC’s young entrepreneurs, executives and professionals by finding 40 outstanding professionals worthy of the Forty under 40 distinction. Winners are under 40 and have demonstrated excellence in business, judgment, leadership and community contribution. We invite you to join us for an evening of celebration as we honour these individuals at the 2016 Forty under 40 Awards gala dinner.

Price: Subscribers $195; Non-subscribers $225  Regular Table: Subscribers $1950; Non-subscribers $2250  Corporate Table: $2600

For more information or to register for the event visit www.biv.com/events/40under40

Platinum Sponsor

Gold Sponsors GO2PRODUCTIONS make it great

Silver Sponsors

HouseFP.indd 1

®

General Sponsors

2016-11-29 5:24 PM


34 | FORTY UNDER 40 2016 PUBLISHED BY BUSINESS IN VANCOUVER

AGE

35

I

JANET LEPAGE

n just several years, Janet LePage has gone from flipping homes to building an empire. Both force of nature and forthright, LePage has grown a hobby for dealmaking into an enterprise that now rivals publicly listed real estate investments. The CEO and co-founder of Western Wealth Capital oversees 24 multi-family properties in Arizona comprising more than 4,000 rental units with a total purchased-price value of $300 million. LePage got the deal-making bug early. Her father owned two apartment buildings, and the term “passive income” became an early childhood building block. At 25, LePage got a real estate coach. And in 2008, the market imploded. Most thought the sky was falling; LePage saw the heavens opening up. L everag i ng h ig her i nterest a nd shorter-term hard-money lenders, LePage’s method was to buy a home at cash auction, invest in appliances and a little TLC, and sell the property quickly at a price on par with the unimproved foreclosed property next door. The system was scalable: LePage bought and sold 58 homes over two years, all the while working full time for a B.C. utility. “Here’s the thing: I’m a computer scientist so everything is black and white. Everything in my world is a one or a zero. Even buying the houses it was very clear criteria. … It was a system,” explained LePage. In 2012, she left her workplace and fou nded Western Wea lth Capita l. Since then, the company has acquired 22 multi-family rental properties and raised more than $100 million. LePage’s growth outlook is to make Western Wealth a $1 billion company.

Birthplace: Castlegar Where you live now: North Vancouver Highest level of education: Bachelor of science in computing science and business administration, Simon Fraser University

40 Under Forty 2016_60 pages_11.07_132.indd 34

CEO, Western Wealth Capital

ROB KRUYT

She plans on diversifying by moving into another market outside of Phoenix in the next 12 months. Already attracting large equity partners, LePage doesn’t balk at the idea of packaging a real estate investment trust (REIT) listed on a public exchange. However, LePage is also focused on another growth priority: increasing female leadership in her sector. “It’s something that is a top priority for me to transform and leave a legacy in this industry.”

Here’s the thing: I’m a computer scientist so everything is black and white. Everything in my world is a one or a zero.

Currently reading: Bullseye by James Patterson

Profession you would most like to try: Airplane pilot

means you are just about on the brink of something great

Currently listening to: Try Everything by Shakira

Toughest business or professional decision: Leaving the corporate world to start my own company

What’s left to do: Raise my own compassionate, confident, self-driven children and support more women in commercial real estate

When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: Brain surgeon

Advice you would give the younger you: Embrace fear because it

2016-11-23 1:13 PM


| 35

AGE

32

I

JAMES LOMBARDI

nfluenced by his father’s drive and his mother’s strength, James Lombardi has used his career to create positive social change. Working as the head of global business development for Free the Children, a non-profit organization aimed at youth empowerment, Lombardi learned the importance of community members working together to enact change. “If you’re serious about driving social change you need to have everyone at the table,” Lombardi said. Lombardi has spent his career working with organizations to effect change. During his time at Free the Children, he was responsible for fostering partnerships and bridging the gap between non-profit and for-profit organizations. His experience working with and raising money from the business community taught him the important roles businesses can play in making the world a better place, and the need for social-minded businesses. “Sustainability has to be woven into the fabric of the organization,” he said. “We are now seeing the proof that you can do well and perhaps even do better by doing good. It’s the companies that focus most on a triple bottom line – social, environment and financial – and sustainability that are ultimately having the most success when it comes to revenue and their other business objectives.” This principle led Lombardi to start Minded Projects, an organization that works to create strong relationships between charities and companies. As he did in his position with Free the Children, he works with all types of businesses and various non-profits to help them work co-operatively to create positive change by driving revenue for both.

Birthplace: New Westminster Where you live now: Kitsilano Highest level of education: Master of arts in international relations

40 Under Forty 2016_60 pages_11.07_132.indd 35

Founder, Minded Projects

ROB KRUYT

Lombardi says that institutional might is needed to make a difference. He intends to help foster that strength with projects that both create social change and make a profit. With his desire to work towards community improvement, it is perhaps no surprise that Lombardi is now seeking a new job as a public servant. Lombardi was nominated as the BC Liberal candidate for Vancouver-Point Grey earlier this year and will seek the seat in the 2017 provincial election.

Sustainability has to be woven into the fabric of the organization. We are now seeing the proof that you can do well and perhaps even do better by doing good

Currently reading: The Orenda by Joseph Boyden

Profession you would most like to try: Singer

Currently listening to: Sam Cooke

Toughest business or professional decision: Deciding to put my name on an election ballot

When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: Lawyer

Advice you would give the younger you: Embrace every opportunity and always trust your gut What’s left to do: Finish changing the world

2016-11-24 3:20 PM


36 | FORTY UNDER 40 2016 PUBLISHED BY BUSINESS IN VANCOUVER

AGE

38

K

KIM LUCAS

im Lucas has always loved science, but she was never keen about laboratories. So, after graduating from University of British Columbia with a bachelor’s degree in science, she found the perfect job: working in sales for Stemcell Technologies. “I loved the science but I did not want to work in a lab,” said Lucas, who is Stemcell’s director of sales for the Americas. “I wanted to work in a business. When I joined, it was about 75 people and we’re 950 now. I lead a team of about 100 people, half of which have PhDs – so a wicked smart, highly scientific team.” Her team works with customers in the life sciences that use the company’s processes for growing stem cells for research and medicine. Stemcell is Vancouver’s most successful life sciences company, having experienced tremendous growth in recent years and expanded its reach into Europe, Asia and Australia. Lucas describes her role as “basically constantly leading a team through change.” Lucas has had key roles in implementing programs and processes needed for the company’s expansion. She most recently was in charge of setting up Stemcell’s first U.S. regional sales office, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She was also responsible for developing an inside sales team and a regional manager structure, and for rolling out a new customer relationship management system. The key account management and regional manager structures she developed for the company’s Canadian offices have been implemented in other Stemcell offices in Europe, China, Singapore and Australia. As the leader of Stemcell’s sales

Birthplace: Edmonton Where you live now: Vancouver Highest level of education: Bachelor of science from UBC Currently reading: Topgrading for Sales: World-Class Methods to Interview, Hire, and Coach Top Sales Representatives by Bradford D. Smart and Greg

40 Under Forty 2016_60 pages_11.07_132.indd 36

Director of sales, Stemcell Technologies

RICHARD LAM

division, it’s Lucas’ job to develop strategies for revenue generation. She has achieved 20% revenue growth in fiscal 2016, and over a three-year period, she expanded Stemcell’s sales territory by 55%. She has managed to do all that and be a mom to two children, aged nine and 10. In addition to her job at Stemcell, Lucas sits on the board of directors for the B.C.-Yukon branch of the Canadian Cancer Society.

Alexander; The Emperor of Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee; and The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis Currently listening to: Spotify When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: A businesswoman in a fancy suit, and a mom

I lead a team of about 100 people, half of which have PhDs – so a wicked smart, highly scientific team

Profession you would most like to try: Stay-at-home mom with more children

finish line. Buy more real estate. Read more. Never miss a special occasion

Toughest business or professional decision: To come back to Vancouver and take an opportunity at head office instead of working in Europe

What’s left to do: More travel, more school, more kids? Another marathon, maybe Ironman? Cure cancer

Advice you would give the younger you: Slow down, there is no

2016-11-23 1:13 PM


| 37

AGE

36

C

CHRISTOPHER LYTHGO

hristopher Lythgo is right at home serving small and medium-sized businesses in the province. The senior partner, consulting, for the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), knows the value of service, having followed in the “family business.” His father, retied colonel Chris A.R. Lythgo, served for more than 30 years in the Canadian Forces. Christopher served as an officer in the army reserve for four years. “Seeing how committed [my father] was to serving and being a true professional soldier and conducting himself with such high integrity, he’s a true role model.” Lythgo joined BDC in 2010 as the first employee hired to start a professional consulting group in Vancouver. By 2014, he was promoted as the practice’s youngest senior partner in Canada. Over his tenure, Lythgo has helped build the B.C. business into a regional powerhouse. As top performer in the B.C. region, he has served more than 250 small and medium-sized businesses. His management style culminated in significant improvements to client satisfaction: to 91% in 2015 from 72% in 2010. The fundamental value defining his drive comes from the sage wisdom of his mother, who often said: “To say you know everything goes to show how little you really do know.” “That’s kind of the way I approached life. That’s why I’m curious,” said Lythgo. “For me, this job perfectly fits my temperament in the sense that I’m relentlessly curious. I want to know how things work. I want to understand the ‘why’ behind things. I want to be prepared. I want to add value. I want to keep learning.” From the beginning, Lythgo has

Birthplace: Ottawa Where you live now: Yaletown with my wife, Deanna Highest level of education: MBA, Queen’s University, and chartered professional accountant designation Currently reading: A Practicable Perspective on Leadership

40 Under Forty 2016_60 pages_11.07_132.indd 37

Senior partner, consulting, Business Development Bank of Canada

ROB KRUYT

strategically focused investing his time in initiatives that have personal meaning to him. For his undergrad at the University of British Columbia, he co-founded the Student Leadership Conference, now Canada’s largest student-run conference empowering future difference-makers. Today, as chairman of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade’s Company of Young Professionals, he’s increased membership 100% to 600 members active in professional development and community involvement.

& Management by Chris A.R. Lythgo, CD, MBA, P.Eng., CPM Currently listening to: Starboy, The Weeknd When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: Fighter pilot Profession you would most like to try: Foreign service diplomat/ ambassador

For me, this job perfectly fits my temperament in the sense that I’m relentlessly curious

Toughest business or professional decision: Retiring from the Canadian Armed Forces. It’s an honour and a privilege to serve your country Advice you would give the younger you: Be relentlessly curious and always understand the “why” 

where I live, work and play. On a human level, it is so important. When I start a family in downtown Vancouver, I want it to be a better place than when I moved here six years ago. In our own special way, we all have a contribution to make

What’s left to do: I’m intent on improving the community

2016-11-23 1:13 PM


38 | FORTY UNDER 40 2016 PUBLISHED BY BUSINESS IN VANCOUVER

AGE

38

J

JEFF MAGNUSSON

eff Magnusson’s approach to business is simple: he loves building things from scratch that solve problems and make money. The 37-year-old said he “got the bug of software development” at Chilliwack Secondary and fell in love with programming at Simon Fraser University. He launched his first company, River Styx Internet and Sentry Payments, with friends at age 19. “We dabbled in everything,” Magnusson remembered. Their contract programming jobs included work on online marketing management systems, payment processing and poker sites. “We were doing the classic 60 to 100 hours a week as a small team of young guys. That’s before we started talking about startups as a thing.” The payment business grew to $230 million in volume, and in 2008 he sold the company. He was 30 years old. Instead of immediately launching another startup, Magnusson decided to hit the books again, for an MBA at Queen’s University. “I would learn enough to solve a problem, whether it was accounting [or] HR,” he said. “After I sold my first company I realized that my experiences and abilities as a CEO were limited to the situations that I had faced in my own company.” Magnusson returned and became “deeply embedded” in the local software scene, starting the non-profit Bootup Labs to mentor young entrepreneurs and help launch companies. His next startup, co-founded with Lyal Avery, was Playerize Networks, a 2011 concept to drive growth for social and Facebook games. He moved his family to Montreal for three months to work at the FounderFuel accelerator, “getting our asses handed to ourselves

Birthplace: Chilliwack Where you live now: Vancouver Highest level of education: MBA Currently reading: Skyfaring: A Journey with a Pilot by Mark Vanhoenacker, a poetic book by a pilot about the magic of being able to fly above the

40 Under Forty 2016_60 pages_11.07_132.indd 38

Co-CEO, SuperRewards division, Perk.com

ROB KRUYT

by [venture capitalists] over and over again until we refined the pitch.” Magnusson and Avery raised money for the company, returned to Vancouver and opened. It was profitable within 12 months, he said. Playerize acquired payment and monetization vehicle SuperRewards in 2012 and competitor PayByShopping in 2014. Perk.com (TSX:PER) acquired Playerize last year, and Magnusson exited in August. Now he is busy developing a concept for another startup.

After I sold my first company I realized that my experiences and abilities as a CEO were limited to the situations that I had faced in my own company

earth and rejoin civilization in another time and place

lawyer. But then I learned that it’s 99% reviewing agreements

Currently listening to: Podcasts (99% Invisible, Hardcore History) and audiobooks (Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb)

Profession you would most like to try: Architect. I love the combination of engineering and design

When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: A

Toughest business or professional decision: Thinking on this one

Advice you would give the younger you: Step out of your work bubble and meet people; there are many people in the city going through similar trials and triumphs What’s left to do: Take my family global, live in another country and build another business

2016-11-23 1:13 PM


| 39

S

JENNIFER MALONEY ADAB

Founder and CEO, Brix Media Co.; director of PR, Young Entrepreneur Leadership Launchpad

AGE “

37

erial entrepreneur” is a term that comes easily to mind when describing Jennifer Maloney Adab. She has helped found three separate companies, and seemingly nothing can stop the 37-year-old from starting new businesses. She launched her most recent venture, Brix Media Co., when she was eight months pregnant with her son. And it wasn’t your average company being launched, she said. “We were Canada’s first PR and influencer marketing firm focused on innovation,” said Maloney Adab. “We were one of the very first to adopt the idea of influencer marketing.” Bri x’s m ission is to incorporate people with a strong influence over their social following into the branding of a new product. Brix Media helps connect companies with people who can act as brand ambassadors and help present a product to the broader market. Fighting a time crunch imposed by her pregnancy, Maloney Adab had to work quickly to establish Brix as both a brand and a business. While it was difficult preparing to be both a mother and a business leader, Maloney Adab was able to achieve both her professional and personal goals with a little persistence and family support, she said. “Where you put your will is where you will achieve. And I believe that.” Maloney Adab has established herself as a titan of public relations in Vancouver, helping to form some of the city’s major PR firms. She founded Sip Publicity, which later merged to become Yulu Public Relations Inc., when she was only 27 years old. Later, she would start Spark PR & Publicity, which has since become Talk Shop Media. “The underlying motivator for me

Birthplace: Prince George Where you live now: Vancouver Highest level of education: Journalism diploma from Langara College

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ROB KRUYT

has really been purpose,” she said. “I’ve always believed that if you follow your passion, what gives you the most energy, the money and the rest of it will follow. “That’s just never steered me wrong. It’s not to say that there haven’t been tough times in my business – there have and there always will be – but it’s really the passion that pulls you through the lows and helps you strive for those highs.”

I’ve always believed that if you follow your passion, what gives you the most energy, the money and the rest of it will follow

Currently reading: Dr. Seuss with my son

Profession you would most like to try: Fiction novelist

Currently listening to: Blonde by Frank Ocean

Toughest business or professional decision: Launching a new company at eight months pregnant

When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: Choreographer

Advice you would give the younger you: Enjoy now, it’s exactly where you’re supposed to be What’s left to do: The rest is left unwritten; I’d like to stay open

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DANA MATHESON

hat it takes to win on the football field is not unlike what it takes to operate a successful logistics company, according to the 37-year-old president and CEO of Langley-based C&D Logistics. “There are a lot of similarities between football and business,” said Dana Matheson, who was an offensive lineman for the Saint Mary’s University Huskies while on a football scholarship in Halifax before leaving school in 2004 to focus on his business ventures. “Egos are checked at the door. All of the employees are valuable. You can’t have selfish players in either business or football.” The Huskies won the 2002 Vanier Cup with Matheson on the team, and the entrepreneur continues to score touchdowns in the field of business, including winning the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce’s U40 Business Person of the Year award in 2015. With 13 years of logistics industry experience, Matheson has worked in all departments and worn many hats, including sales, accounting and management. Drawing on his father Bruce Matheson’s 35 years of industry experience, he learned at a young age how to engage clients to earn their trust and how to build long-term business relationships. A father of two, Matheson, who is also co-owner of 360 Industrial Movers and purchased the Cedarbrook Bakery and Bistro in May 2016, believes in leading by example. He is in the office daily working with his staff, and gets involved in all aspects of his businesses. C&D Logistics has 22 full-time employees and annual revenues of about $13 million. “Always keeping the customer No. 1 and trying to out-service our competitors” have been key to Matheson’s

Birthplace: Vancouver, B.C. Where you live now: Langley Highest level of education: Completed three years of general studies at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax while on a football scholarship Currently reading: Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul by Howard Schultz and Joanne Gordon

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President and CEO, C&D Logistics

ROB KRUYT

success in business, he said. His passion for business parallels his loyalty to his family and his connection with his community. C&D Logistics supports more than 20 charitable programs and many minor sports organizations. Matheson, founder of Fraser Valley Family Day, also serves as president of the Langley Rams junior football club. He is also a board member with the Life Ready Foundation, which works with at-risk youth in the Lower Mainland.

Currently listening to: I enjoy a wide range of music. Right now, I’m probably listening to Tim McGraw or Kenny Chesney When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: I wanted to play in the National Hockey League Profession you would most like to try: Own my own gym and work as a personal trainer/coach. For many years my passion was training and sports, and I love

Egos are checked at the door. ... You can’t have selfish players in either business or football

coaching and pushing people to their limits and beyond Toughest business or professional decision: Letting people go in any capacity is never easy or something that I get used to. It probably affects me the most Advice you would give the younger you: Business is a marathon, not a sprint. Stress kills, don’t sweat the small stuff. Deal with the issue at hand, learn from it and move on

What’s left to do: So much! I always have new ventures on the go. To me business and growth is the ultimate high; I love taking something from nothing and seeing where we can go with it. With C&D Logistics, we feel that the sky truly is the limit and the plan is to at least double in size over the next three to five years

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CONGRATULATIONS! CBC Vancouver is proud to be the exclusive broadcast partner of the BIV Top Forty Under 40 Awards. This year’s winners are B.C.’s brightest and serve as an example to young and old the importance of hard work, perseverance and leadership. They are engaged global citizens and inspiring role models. We are also an engaged part of Vancouver’s vibrant community. When reporting on in-depth, investigative local news or connecting with our audiences in the digital space or on multiple platforms, we are honoured to be part of this city’s dynamic social fabric. Congratulations to the 2016 honourees! Sincerely,

Johnny Michel Senior Managing Director CBC English Services British Columbia & Alberta

cbc.ca/bc

@cbcnewsbc

Congratulations Mike Richter from the Troico Team.

KITCHENS, BATHROOMS & FINE CABINETRY

www.troico.ca

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LAURA MURRAY

aking a living as a professional dancer, writer or musician isn’t easy. So when Laura Murray realized she probably wasn’t going to make it as a ballerina, she pirouetted to focus on her other creative talent – writing. But being a freelance art critic is no easy gig, either, so she spent several years in public relations. In 2011, she started her own full-service marketing agency, Murray Paterson Marketing Group, which focuses exclusively on arts and culture. Now five years old, the company has grown from a two-person operation to a 14-person company that has earned a number of accolades, including being named Best Public Relations Firm two years in a row in the Georgia Straight’s Best of Vancouver awards. Born in Etobicoke, Ontario, Murray studied dance from the age of six. After high school, she entered York University to take a double major in dance and English, but after one year, her professors urged her to pursue dance professionally. She auditioned for a ballet company in Toronto, where she trained for two and a half years, then came to Vancouver to train with Goh Ballet around 2001. After making an audition circuit and failing to get accepted into a professional ballet company, she decided to go back to school, and earned a diploma in journalism from Langara College. She learned that it’s not easy to make a living as a freelance writer, either, so she took a public relations job at Ballet BC. She then worked for four and a half years at Curve Communications, where she became vice-president. In 2011, she launched her own agency. “It was myself in my second spare

Birthplace: Etobicoke, Ontario Where you live now: Vancouver Highest level of education: Diploma in journalism Currently reading: A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

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Founding partner, Murray Paterson Marketing Group

ROB KRUYT

bedroom alongside one staff, who is now my business partner, Brian Paterson,” Murray said. While working in PR for other companies, she realized there was a need for a one-stop marketing service that catered exclusively to the arts. She has since found such a demand for her services that she has had to turn down business. “I think one of the greatest challenges of running a business can be knowing when you’re at capacity,” she said.

I think one of the greatest challenges of running a business can be knowing when you’re at capacity

Currently listening to: Coeur de Pirate

Profession you would most like to try: Interior design

When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: A professional ballerina

Toughest business or professional decision: Managing growth, knowing when to say no to new business

Advice you would give the younger you: Trust in your instincts. Your gut is a powerful intuitive tool and it will not steer you wrong What’s left to do: Dipping our toe into the Toronto market in 2018

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LISA NIEMETSCHECK

any families might talk about their workdays around the dinner table, but Lisa Niemetscheck’s childhood was one in which the dinner table served as the hub for her own family’s business. Her father, a car mechanic, would work on vehicles while her mother handled the business side of things right from the kitchen table. Niemetscheck, meanwhile, would zip through her hometown of Richmond on in-line skates to deliver flyers for the car repair service. She later learned to assist her mother with the paperwork and work with her father to overhaul engines. “I grew up feeling a sense of responsibility, just having to step up to the plate and help when needed,” said Niemetscheck, general manager of the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs (FWE). She brings the same can-do sensibility to her organization, which supports female entrepreneurs through mentoring and business workshops. Founded as a Vancouver-based nonprofit in 2002, Niemetscheck oversaw its January 2016 transformation into a registered charity that helps women nationally. “Building the organization through some period of quite some change has been a big reward for me,” she said. “We have, in many cases, tripled the size of our programs and taken our programs to places like Prince George, and we’re going to Toronto.” Niemetscheck credits FWE founder Christina Anthony for persuading the team that every problem has a solution, even if that solution is as simple

Birthplace: Richmond, close to Steveston Where you live now: Vancouver’s jewel, the West End Highest level of education: Master of arts (University of Toronto), international relations

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General manager, Forum for Women Entrepreneurs

ROB KRUYT

as doing a ton of work. “Nothing makes us happier than when we get an email that said, ‘Oh my gosh, thank you for that connection,’ or ‘Thank you for my amazing mentor – they’re sent from heaven,’” she said. “When we get those emails, it just fills us with joy. Then we know we’ve made an impact – a real impact.”

Currently reading: Two to three books simultaneously, including A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki and Dr Spock’s Baby and Child Care by Benjamin Spock (preparing for biggest challenge ever) Currently listening to: Currently obsessed with Songs from

I grew up feeling a sense of responsibility, just having to step up to the plate and help when needed

Onegin by Veda Hille, The Ungrateful Dead and the incredible cast of Onegin

Toughest business or professional decision: Stepping up to be general manager

When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: Diplomat or teacher

Advice you would give the younger you: Speak up more and ask for help

Profession you would most like to try: Stage actor. It will happen one day – it’s in me

What’s left to do: Keep conquering fears and moving forward

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44 | FORTY UNDER 40 2016 PUBLISHED BY BUSINESS IN VANCOUVER

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LORI PINKOWSKI

ori Pinkowski won’t let an exotic vacation get in the way of protecting her clients. “I don’t believe in relaxing,” the senior vice-president and portfolio manager with Pinkowski-Allen Financial Group said with a laugh. “When I’m away I’m always with my phone, talking to the team.” She has found herself in Hong Kong during civil unrest, Seoul when North Korea tested a bomb just across the border, Japan and Europe during major storms and, most recently, in Florida during Hurricane Matthew. “I’m able to deal with everything from wherever I am,” Pinkowski said. “During the Greek crisis, I was actually trading stock from the back of a safari truck in the Serengeti plains in Africa, trying to get people out.” Pinkowski grew up in North Vancouver, the daughter of East German immigrants. She studied German after school, became fluent and went to Germany to work as an au pair. The child she cared for, Max, was an intern at her firm earlier this year. Pinkowski decided at age 14 that she wanted to be a financial adviser. After graduating from British Columbia Institute of Technology’s (BCIT) financial management program, she made that career goal come true at age 21. She later earned her chartered investment manager designation at BCIT. Pinkowski joined Canaccord in 2000 after the dot-com bubble burst, and later moved to Raymond James Ltd. in 2009, after the 2008 global credit crunch. In 2007 she founded the Pinkowski-Allen Financial Group with Seth Allen, to create an independent firm-within-afirm that boasts a team of 14 researchers, portfolio analysts and traders

Birthplace: North Vancouver Where you live now: Downtown Vancouver Highest level of education: BCIT, diploma in financial management (corporate finance), additional postgraduate courses in advanced investment and portfolio management through the Canadian Securities Institute and earned

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Co-founder, senior vice-president and senior portfolio manager, Pinkowski-Allen Financial Group

RICHARD LAM

who manage $500 million of assets for clients. “You’re only as good as the team that surrounds you,” she said. Pinkowski is a regular guest on CKNW with Jon McComb on her Making Cents of the Markets feature, which is built around a similarly simple premise. “I always am trying to educate listeners … to protect themselves and be treated properly and fairly by their financial adviser. That’s my passion.”

chartered investment manager designation Currently reading: Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg Currently listening to: Madonna. Fave singer – strong, independent, direct, very good businesswoman When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: I knew I wanted to be a financial adviser since I was 14 years old

I always am trying to educate listeners … to protect themselves and be treated properly and fairly by their financial adviser. That’s my passion

Profession you would most like to try: Professional travel tour guide – you get to meet many different happy people from around the world on vacation and get to know their lives and stories – each family is unique. Or a race-car driver. Going to the track is my hobby and I like to race competitively. Toughest business or professional decision: Always investing significantly back into business

Advice you would give the younger you: Confidence and persistence. I always knew to put clients’ interests first and success would ultimately follow. I would tell myself that the financial industry isn’t an all-boys club What’s left to do: Continue protecting clients and their portfolios so they can enjoy a happy retirement

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MICHAEL RICHTER

ichael Richter became an entrepreneur at the age of 25 when he founded Solid Engineering Solutions Inc., a software company and authorized dealer of Autodesk software. Two years later, he had 15 employees, earned the coveted Shooting Star Award from Autodesk and reached platinum status within the Autodesk community. In 2012, Richter launched Troico, a design, renovation and custom millwork company with a manufacturing facility based in Coquitlam, while maintaining his software company. He sold his software company to Cansel in 2013, focusing his attention on Troico. After acquiring the assets of a defunct high-end cabinet company, he applied his manufacturing expertise and fully automated his shop with new software and equipment upgrades. Troico has since doubled its gross sales annually, and today has about 40 full-time employees. Richter, 39, describes his road to success as “rough,” but said he was motivated to work hard in order to spend quality time with his family. “A lot of it was the school of hard knocks. It’s been a challenge, but I’m a gambler. I think it’s part of the excitement for me.” Having a heavy-duty mechanic father with a love of vintage hotrods, Richter learned about mechanical engineering at a young age. He restores classic cars as a hobby, and his custom 1937 Ford roadster has won best-in-show awards in the Lower Mainland. While he never attended post-secondary schools, Richter trained himself in AutoCAD, AutoCAD Inventor and AutoCAD Electrical software. In 2012, Richter invented a new way to use mandrel bending as an alternative to difficult cutting and welding systems in

Birthplace: New Westminster Where you live now: Vancouver Highest level of education: High school Currently reading: Invisible Capital: How Unseen Forces Shape Entrepreneurial Opportunity by Chris Rabb

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President, co-founder and CEO, Troico

RICHARD LAM

metal forming. He holds patents for the invention in both Canada and the U.S. Richter, a father of two boys, also pioneered the fixed-pricing renovation/ new build model in B.C., for which Troico is well known. Richter’s first son was born with a cleft lip and palate and was later diagnosed with autism. Troico donates annually to Smile Train, an international charity that provides cleft repair surgery and care to children in developing countries.

Currently listening to: A Head Full of Dreams, Coldplay When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: Baseball player Profession you would most like to try: NASCAR race-car driver

It’s been a challenge, but I’m a gambler. I think it’s part of the excitement for me

Toughest business or professional decision: Moving my first business, Solid Engineering, to Calgary. In the midst of an oil and gas boom it was the logical choice for the business but it came at the expense of time with friends and family

Advice you would give the younger you: Don’t try to do it all; you can’t. Learn to hire well and delegate. Put yourself and staff where you’re best used What’s left to do: So much to do, I feel like we’ve only just begun

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MARYAM SADEGHI

aryam Sadeghi’s career is noteworthy for, among other things, a fearless approach to tackling outsized challenges such as moving across the globe, getting her PhD and founding a company. Lately, she and her company, MetaOptima Technology, have taken on the task of making it easier for people to identify skin cancer, to raise the chances of catching it early and thereby increase the chances of survival. “I saw the problem and I saw that there was actually a solution, and I thought, ‘Oh, we can make a difference,’” Sadeghi said. While working towards her PhD in computer science, Sadeghi felt it was time to enter Vancouver’s fast-growing medical technology industry. Her studies specialized in computer visualizations, but Sadeghi wanted more than to just find a job in her field – she wanted to help people. As CEO of MetaOptima, she worked to create a smartphone attachment called MoleScope that identified suspicious moles and lesions. When she realized her product was effective, it was bittersweet as her close friend was the first one to successfully identify melanoma with MoleScope. “That was a moment where I was shocked; I didn’t know what to do,” Sadeghi said. “And she told me, ‘Maryam, this is great, this is exactly showing that MoleScope works. If I found my melanoma with MoleScope, other patients can do this as well.’” It was difficult for Sadeghi to celebrate her success under the circumstances, but remaining positive is in her nature. Even though she spends her days creating and viewing computer visualizations

Birthplace: Mianeh, Iran Where you live now: Vancouver Highest level of education: PhD in computer science Currently reading: Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the

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CEO and co-founder, MetaOptima Technology

ROB KRUYT

of cancer, she can’t help but see a kind of beauty in what she creates. “I want to work with images; I want to work with visual things,” said Sadeghi. “And for me, the visual representation of the cancer cell is like a galaxy and stars. I can see cancer cells or signs or structures in the mole, and for me it’s not scary, it’s actually beautiful that you can identify things and find information that can save people’s lives.”

I saw the problem and I saw that there was actually a solution, and I thought, ‘Oh, we can make a difference’

Leap ... and Others Don’t by Jim Collins

Profession you would most like to try: Painter

of challenges, just go for it, nothing is impossible

Currently listening to: Kitaro, Symphony of the Forest, Dream

Toughest business or professional decision: Deciding on who to hire for key positions

What’s left to do: Focusing on my family and myself

When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: Family adviser

Advice you would give the younger you: Don’t be afraid

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48 | FORTY UNDER 40 2016 PUBLISHED BY BUSINESS IN VANCOUVER

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KIEM SCHUTTER

iem Schutter can thank a snowboarding accident for leading him to his career. The 39-year-old owner of Qi Integrated Health fractured his left hip on the slopes in 1998 and was told he would never ride again. He was living with Dirk Brinkman and Joyce Murray at the time of his recovery. Murray, the future provincial and federal Liberal politician, suggested that he try acupuncture treatments. To Schutter’s surprise and delight, it worked. One week he entered on crutches and exited needing one crutch. The next he was going in with a cane and leaving with a limp. “That’s what sparked my interest,” Schutter said. “What is this magic that’s happening?” Schutter decided to explore alternative healing, particularly the Chinese variety. In 2004 he graduated from the Academy of Classical Oriental Sciences in Nelson. Two years later, he founded Qi. From 2010 to 2012, he was president of the BC Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine. When he embarked on his own practice, he was determined for Qi to be different from the rest. “It didn’t seem to me that a lot of clinics were healing environments. I love my environment; I love being somewhere that has a clean, functional, simple way of being, a very natural feel. A lot of places that I’d went seemed to be converted from a mining firm or an accountant’s office.” The 5,000-square-foot Qi on West 7th Avenue has a full slate of practitioners, from massage therapists to chiropractors. It has been described as medical service in a spa-like setting. Qi has grown from six to 40 practitioners and almost doubled its annual

RICHARD LAM

revenue from $1.1 million to $2 million in 2015. Schutter said it is on track to double again in 2016, and a second location, in downtown Vancouver, is in the works. “I had very lofty, ambitious goals with it,” he said, looking back on the decade. “It’s not a surprise, but it’s very reassuring because when I started and I had signed a lease and was going to do this whole thing, so many people that were close to me were going, ‘What are you doing? It’s totally crazy.’”

Birthplace: Homefree Commune, Quathiaski Cove, Quadra Island, B.C.

Currently listening to: The Funk Hunters – any of their mixes get my feet moving

Where you live now: Vancouver

When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: Mountaineer with a hut-tohut alpine touring company in the Purcell Mountains behind my childhood home in the Kootenays

Highest level of education: Diploma, doctor of traditional Chinese medicine Currently reading: The Evolution of Medicine by James Maskell

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Founder, Registered acupuncturist, Qi Integrated Health

I love being somewhere that has ... a very natural feel. A lot of places that I’d went seemed to be converted from a mining firm or an accountant’s office

Profession you would most like to try: Urban planner Toughest business or professional decision: The decision to sell our house, which we built in Dunbar, to grow Qi Integrated Health Advice you would give the younger you: Be grateful for those that

you work with and don’t be afraid to over-communicate and be honest What’s left to do: I plan to grow the Qi clinic/brand across Canada and, in doing so, help to reform our health-care system, restoring Canada’s reputation as a true global leader

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NICK SEDDON

ick Seddon’s entrepreneurialism is clear from his ownership of a successful Vancouver dental practice and two Freshii franchises. The former professional soccer player with the Vancouver 86ers recently sold his first dental practice, Dundarave Dental Clinic, for six times the price that he paid for it, when he bought the venture just before the global economic crisis in 2008. Seddon sold Dundarave because had bought Oceanfront Dental Group, which has an office downtown, closer to where he lives. Seddon is a dentist at the clinic and employs a second dentist as well as three hygienists, two receptionists and a treatment co-ordinator. “The West Vancouver practice had a beautiful location, team and patients, but I knew that for me, I needed to grow both personally and professionally,” he said. “I felt stagnant, and it wasn’t challenging for me, so I needed to move on.” That existential crisis in 2014 led him to simultaneously buy his first Freshii franchise, on West 4th Avenue. Sales were strong at that healthy fastfood outlet, so Seddon bought a second Freshii franchise, in the Wesbrook Village neighbourhood near the University of British Columbia (UBC), which is his alma mater. His two franchises employ about 20 people. “One of the reasons I opened a second location was to take advantage of economies of scale,” he said. “I can spread expenses, such as a manager’s salary, across the two stores.” When not cleaning teeth or overseeing restaurants, Seddon is active with the UBC fraternity Beta Theta Pi, where he is president. He is also on the UBC faculty of

Birthplace: North Vancouver Where you live now: Yaletown Highest level of education: Doctor of dental medicine from the University of British Columbia Currently reading: Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It …

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Owner, Oceanfront Dental Group and two Freshii franchises

ROB KRUYT

dentistry’s dean’s advisory board and is president-elect of the BC Academy of General Dentistry, a professional association of general dentists. “Each year I try to do a [philanthropic] excursion,” he said before recounting trips to Peru, Nicaragua, Cambodia and Ecuador. “We go as a team and see a bunch of patients who are often in very poor areas. We set up shop in various villages, schools, churches or even orphanages, and do dentistry.”

and Why the Rest Don’t by Verne Harnish Currently listening to: Closer by The Chainsmokers When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: Professional soccer player

The West Vancouver practice had a beautiful location, team and patients, but I knew that for me, I needed to grow both personally and professionally

Profession you would most like to try: Chef or a public speaker on leadership, entrepreneurship and happiness issues or a venture capitalist Toughest business or professional decision: Adding a Freshii

franchise to my life when my life as a dentist was fine Advice you would give the younger you: Always say yes to adventure and travel What’s left to do: Grow as a person, start a family, build my businesses and travel

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ANKIT SHARMA AGE

32

Founder and CEO, Kitply Industries

L

aunching a tiny operation in his parents’ basement when he was 24, Ankit Sharma has since expanded Surrey-based Kitply Industries into a countrywide wholesale distributor of hardware and plywood with more than $5 million in annual revenues and a team of six full-time staff members. “I strongly believe that the success we have achieved has been due to the strength of the team, and the strength of the team is due to the way that we manage and treat our people with the respect that they deserve,” said the founder and CEO. The 32-year-old also recently cofounded a new startup called TradesBlock.com, born out of a need to connect building and construction contractors with homeowners. He earned a bachelor’s degree at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in 2007. He completed studies at the London Business School in March 2016, and is participating in the Entrepreneurial Masters Program housed by the Entrepreneurs’ Organization at MIT Endicott House. His only other job after graduating from Kwantlen was as a sales management trainee at Hardwoods Specialty Products. He later moved into account management and began to sow the seeds for Kitply. He quit his job in 2009 to pursue his dream of entrepreneurship. He prepared his business plan and secured funding during the recession, defying a business climate that was unfriendly to new ventures. It wasn’t the first challenge he’d overcome. Success didn’t come easily at first, said Sharma, who moved from Bareilly, India, to the Lower Mainland when he was 15. It took time to learn how to navigate the Canadian business landscape. He’s proud of what he’s achieved so far.

Birthplace: Bareilly, India Where you live now: South Surrey/White Rock Highest level of education: Bachelor’s degree in business administration in entrepreneurial leadership,

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ROB KRUYT

“We set a new standard in the industry, and I’m very proud of that,” he said. Family life is important for Sharma, who spends as much time as possible with his wife and two young children. Giving back to the community is also important. Sharma chairs the Vancouver chapter of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization and has won the Self Employment & Entrepreneur Development Society’s Youth Entrepreneur of the Year Award and Ethno BC’s New Immigrant Entrepreneur Award.

various executive programs at London Business School and MIT Endicott House Currently reading: Thinking, Fast and Slow by Nobel Prize winner in economics, Daniel Kahneman

I strongly believe that the success we have achieved has been due to the strength of the team

Currently listening to: Good Feeling by Flo Rida When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: A pilot Profession you would most like to try: Scientist/geologist

Toughest business or professional decision: Buying out my business partner Advice you would give the younger you: Success takes time What’s left to do: Relax and enjoy the ride

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JON SHARUN

s a serial entrepreneur with a prescient ability to identify upcoming markets, Jon Sharun believes work and life are inextricably intertwined. “What excites me is we may find the next Uber or Airbnb,” said the 35-yearold founder and managing partner of Venexo Corp., a Vancouver-based private equity and venture advisory firm with more than $50 million in assets. Besides leading Venexo, Sharun oversees The Pint Public House and has embarked on numerous other ventures, mostly focused on the millennial market. Sharun’s first entrepreneurial success was establishing a marketing agency in 1999 to help push Kokanee beer to a top-three brand in B.C. and Alberta. He later joined Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE:BUD) where he ranked among the company’s global top 25 and earned Labatt’s Top Sales Performer award. While completing his master’s degree, Sharun continued his entrepreneurship at Lex Venture Developments, later joining Colliers International (TSX:CIG). With a bachelor of commerce degree from the University of Alberta and an MBA from the University of British Columbia, he developed the idea for Venexo during the 2010 Olympics when he envisioned an integrated international private equity company acquiring “cool” life-experience projects. He established the firm, raising $50,000 his first year. An avid traveller and reader, Sharun launched The Pint Public House in 2011, leading an expansion in 2013 that increased revenue by 52%. He has since acquired 25% of hospitality company Urban Sparq, launched a real estate redevelopment company and acquired three health-care businesses. He chairs the boards of directors of Venexo and

Birthplace: Edmonton, Alberta Where you live now: Downtown Vancouver Highest level of education: MBA, finance, and CPA, CMA Currently reading: The Seventh Sense: Power, Fortune, and

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Founder, managing partner and CEO, Venexo Corp.

ROB KRUYT

Urban Sparq. Sharun’s ventures have extended into real estate, pursuing repurposed heritage, retail, industrial and hotel projects in Canada and California. Among other volunteer committee and director positions, Sharun is chair of the Hastings Crossing Business Improvement Association (HXBIA), . He also sits on the Urban Land Institute programming committee and is known for hosting mentorship and networking events.

What excites me is we may find the next Uber or Airbnb

Survival in the Age of Networks by Joshua Cooper Ramo

Wayne Gretzky’s line mate on the Oilers

Edmonton before financing was secured

Currently listening to: Live music at Desert Trip 2016 – Stones, Dylan, The Who…

Profession you would most like to try: Shark diver, marine biologist

Advice you would give the younger you: Live your dream life through work

When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up:

Toughest business or professional decision: Buying the (soonto-be-launched) Crash Hotel

What’s left to do: Lead a disruptive innovation

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52 | FORTY UNDER 40 2016 PUBLISHED BY BUSINESS IN VANCOUVER

AGE

38

T

TYLER SMYRSKI

yler Smyrski never had to rack his brain to figure out what he wanted to do with his life. In Grade 10, Smyrski visited the nowdefunct Vancouver Stock Exchange on a field trip. He was immediately taken with the fancy suits, cellphones and tall buildings. “That is what I wanted to do,” said the University of British Columbia commerce grad and partner at Yellow Point Equity Partners. “I wanted to sit in an office and look out at nice views and talk on the phone.” That idea put him on the right track. In 2004, Smyrski joined Yellow Point, a firm that manages $300 million in assets and has invested in 19 local companies. A cha r tered busi ness eva luator, Smyrski has been involved with several of these companies through all stages of their development, assisting management and helping with growth strategies. Smyrski directs Bravo Target Safety LP, Remcan Projects LP and Viper Innovation. In his role, Smyrski regularly has to assess and coach business leaders. Good leadership is fairly simple to identify, he said. “The ones that tend to do the best are the ones where the people running the business have taken money out of their own pocket and invested into it,” he said. “It just creates that permanent feeling and makes them feel like owners instead of working for someone else.” He said the alarm bells ring pretty clearly when it comes to companies to avoid investing in. “As soon as you get a sniff that maybe somebody isn’t fully transparent with things, those are the red flags you try to stay away from.” Smyrski said he learned that asking

Birthplace: Richmond Where you live now: Yaletown Highest level of education: CPA, CA Currently reading: Competition Demystified: A Radically Simplified Approach to Business

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Partner, Yellow Point Equity Partners

CHUNG CHOW

simple questions of executives is the best way to focus their goals. “People get caught up in the details,” he said. “[I say] ‘Tell me in 10 words what I should take away from that.’ It forces them to think about a bigger picture, which often leads to better answers.” Changing personnel is the toughest part of his job. “Just be open with people about what’s going on,” he said. “Be grateful for the contributions they have made in the past.”

The ones that tend to do the best are the ones where the people running the business have taken money out of their own pocket and invested into it

Strategy by Bruce Greenwald and Judd Kahn

Profession you would most like to try: Astrophysicist

Currently listening to: Closer, The Chainsmokers

Toughest business or professional decision: Any time you have to change the person in a job

When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: Football player

biggest failure is not failing to achieve your goal, but rather setting your goal too low What’s left to do: We are just getting started

Advice you would give the younger you: Set your goals high. The

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Building business is a journey Shirlaws is a portfolio of companies that advise private enterprise how to grow, fund or exit their business in order to enjoy their life’s work. They love what they do, and so do we.

#lovethejourney

shirlawsgroup.com

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54 | FORTY UNDER 40 2016 PUBLISHED BY BUSINESS IN VANCOUVER

AGE

36

A

ANNE STEVENS

lthough born and raised in Vancouver, Anne Stevens says spending formative years in Mexico from grades 6 to 9 had a lot to do with her decision to go into life sciences. “It was kind of an eye-opener to the differences in health-care systems in general from one country to the next, and access to different medications and health-care services,” said Stevens, whose parents were in the airline business and lived in Acapulco for several years. “I think, from an early age, I always knew I wanted to be in this field.” Her rise in the local life sciences sector has been rapid. At the age of 36, she has already helped co-found a new venture capital firm, Northview LifeSciences, which in turn created one of the rising stars of Vancouver’s life sciences sector – Aequus Pharmaceuticals (TSX-V:AQS). After obtaining a bachelor of science degree in microbiology, she worked as a sales representative for Bayer AG, and then went to Cardiome Pharma Corp. (TSX:COM) while still pursuing a master’s degree in health administration. After leaving Cardiome, she and a number of other Cardiome executives, including former CEO Doug Janzen, fou nded Northv iew LifeSciences, which has either formed or invested in 10 life sciences companies. Aequus is one of Northview’s portfolio companies. Founded in January 2013, Aequus went public a year and a half ago, has raised $14 million and already has two drugs approved for sale in Canada and five more in the pipeline. “We became part of the operating management team of that company pretty early on,” said Stevens, who is the company’s chief operating officer. Aequus specializes in securing licensing for drugs that are approved for use elsewhere but not in Canada,

Birthplace: Vancouver Where you live now: Vancouver Highest level of education: Master of health administration, University of British Columbia Currently reading: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr Currently listening to: Everything and anything by Adele

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Co-founder and COO, Aequus Pharmaceuticals

RICHARD LAM

and improving drug delivery systems. One opportunity Stevens seized on was a problem with epilepsy medication, which patients need to take two or three times a day, increasing the risk of patients missing doses. She negotiated a licence with a U.S. specialty pharmaceutical company to make once-daily epilepsy medications available to patients in Canada. Aequus was awarded the LifeSciences BC Growth Stage Company of the Year award in 2016.

When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: An astronaut Profession you would most like to try: A chef Toughest business or professional decision: Staying in Vancouver at a certain inflection point of my career meant pursuing an entrepreneurial path instead of going to the bigger industry in my field back east

I think, from an early age, I always knew I wanted to be in this field

Advice you would give the younger you: What matters most is knowing what you know and what you don’t know, and surrounding yourself with a team that has complementary skill sets that can fill the knowledge gaps, because after all, you will never know it all What’s left to do: One of the most satisfying things I do through Northview is meeting

with physicians who are on the front line of patient care and who can identify system or medication inefficiencies, and then working to connect those physicians with engineers and scientists who can work to solve those problems. Companies, like Aequus, are born from this concept, and I look forward to the next generation of companies of this type

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JOSEPH TOLZMANN

hen it comes to answering questions about his success in business, Joe Tolzmann is a man of few words. Known as a leader in the western Canadian restoration industry, Tolzmann launched Superior Flood and Fire Restoration with no external backing and few connections. “When I started, I had one employee,” Tolzmann said. “At the time, his English was not great. Mine was not much better. We had a real fun time communicating.” He said that helped them to keep it simple. Simplicity became a mantra for their restoration business as it evolved from just the two of them into a company with 60 full-time staff, 20 part-timers and branches in Vancouver, Abbotsford and Calgary. The company has become known as a specialist in highrise and multi-unit damage restoration. “I face challenges every day,” he said. “There is no particular one that stands out. And leadership is about finding solutions for the problems, resolving issues, navigating around obstacles no matter how difficult they are.” The company remains focused on high-quality customer service and finding solutions to problems, he said. Tolzmann said he never had any doubt that he was meant to be a boss. “I like knowing what needs to get done and finding the resources and making sure it happens,” he said, describing his leadership style as creating a shared vision with his staff. “It’s an ongoing process.” Tolzmann marks winning the 2016

Birthplace: Croatia Where you live now: Vancouver Highest level of education: High school and military service Currently reading: Business in Vancouver; Driven: How to Succeed in Business and in Life by Robert Herjavec

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President and CEO, Superior Flood and Fire Restoration Inc.

ROB KRUYT

Consumer Choice Award as his proudest professional moment. In November, he was set to join Covenant House’s executive edition of the Sleep Out campaign that would have him spend a night out on the streets of Vancouver to help raise awareness about youth homelessness. He said he doesn’t get much time off, but when he does he prefers to spend it with his wife and daughter.

Currently listening to: AlunaGeorge When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: The boss. I wanted to run things to ensure everything gets done properly

I like knowing what needs to get done and finding the resources and making sure it happens

Profession you would most like to try: Firefighter. I enjoy hard work that ultimately helps people Toughest business or professional decision: I make difficult decisions every day. There is no one that stands out

Advice you would give the younger you: Take more risks. Share experience, delegate and mentor sooner to build an amazing team that I have today What’s left to do: Continue building the Superior brand across the world

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56 | FORTY UNDER 40 2016 PUBLISHED BY BUSINESS IN VANCOUVER

I

SUSAN TOMAINE

Partner, Blake, Cassels & Graydon

AGE “

39

f there’s a big deal happening in Vancouver, I want to be in it and I want my firm to be on it,” said Susan Tomaine, a partner and transactional lawyer at Blake, Cassels & Graydon. Tomaine represents companies in merger and acquisition deals or as they arrange corporate finance. Many of these deals are worth hundreds of millions of dollars. She recently represented T&T Supermarket in its $225 million acquisition by Loblaw Companies (TSX:L), and Kaminak Gold Corp. when it was acquired by Goldcorp (TSX:G) for $520 million. In the large deals you are always working against the clock, she said. “But you’re also working with very sophisticated parties on all sides and there’s so much to learn in those pressure-cooker situations.” The small deals have similar issues but different stresses involved. “The margin for error is very small,” Tomaine said. “You’re working directly with founders or family-owned businesses and this is their own personal wealth. This is their livelihood. You want to make sure you advocate for them and get them the best possible outcome.” Tomaine moved to Vancouver “for love” from New York, where she worked as an associate at a Wall Street firm. “I had to make a choice as to whether I was going to stay in New York or if I was going to come out here and give it a shot,” she said. “It was a big leap of faith from a professional perspective.” Tomaine said her career has taught her about how to apply limits. “The job will take and take and take, and you have to know when to say, ‘I need to go for a walk. I need to take some downtime. I need to clear my head.’”

ROB KRUYT

Her volunteer work as the chair of Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland helps with that. “It’s just been a fantastic experience,” she said. “We’re mentoring young girls at their vulnerable time through a variety of issues, and providing them with a stable, positive mentor makes a positive impact in their lives.” “Whether it’s setting an example for young girls or helping young lawyers in their career, mentorship is one of the key ways we can help advance people,” she said.

Birthplace: Newport News, Virginia

Currently reading: The Neapolitan Novels of Elena Ferrante

Where you live now: North Vancouver

Currently listening to: Old MacDonald Had a Farm, over and over and over

Highest level of education: Juris doctor

The margin for error is very small. ... You want to make sure you advocate for them and get them the best possible outcome

When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: Astronaut

Toughest business or professional decision: Leaving New York and moving to Vancouver

Profession you would most like to try: Restaurateur

Advice you would give the younger you: Enjoy a lazy day while you still can What’s left to do: A lot, I hope

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ALFRED WONG

f the clean-technology industry were a physical activity, it would be more of a long endurance run rather than a sprint, says Alfred Wong. As such, it’s taken 37 years for Ballard Power Systems to put about 150 hydrogen-fuel-cell-powered buses on the road. But after spending his entire 16-year career at the Burnaby company, Wong said it’s clear to him Ballard is picking up the pace in the clean-tech race. “Last year we signed a deal to look at putting 300 buses in one city, which is going to be a deployment that’s double the size of what we’ve ever done,” said Wong, Ballard’s director for Asia Pacific sales. It’s not often people will stick with one company from the time they get out of university until just before they turn 40. But Wong feels that his mission won’t be done until the company’s fuel cells are used on more roads across the world. “We know that the technology and the company can do great things, but at the same time we had challenges in terms of cost and market adoption,” he said, adding the additional business coming from China over the last year and a half has been a boon for Ballard. While Wong now focuses on the commercial side of Ballard, he got his start with the company as a mechanical engineer. During the mid-2000s he saw the company accelerating its transition from research and development into commercialization. That’s when Wong realized it would be the right time to head to Simon Fraser University to earn his master of business administration in management of technology. “Going back to business school was

Birthplace: Hong Kong Where you live now: Vancouver Highest level of education: Master of engineering from University of British Columbia; master of business administration from Simon Fraser University

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Director, Asia Pacific sales, Ballard Power Systems Inc.

RICHARD LAM

always something that was in my plans,” he said. “It worked out well that the company was going in that particular direction.” He added that time management was a challenge when he was working a fulltime job and studying part time. But it also afforded Wong the opportunity to be the “first guy on the ground” when opening up new markets in Asia. “My career shift was tied to the evolution of Ballard.”

Currently reading: The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail – but Some Don’t by Nate Silver Currently listening to: TuneIn – mostly local radio stations

Last year we signed a deal to look at putting 300 buses in one city, which is going to be a deployment that’s double the size of what we’ve ever done

When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: A movie star

Advice you would give the younger you: Focus on your strengths and trust your judgment

Profession you would most like to try: Scuba diving instructor

What’s left to do: Put cleanenergy transportation in every city in the world

Toughest business or professional decision: To move my family for an expat assignment

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58 | FORTY UNDER 40 2016 PUBLISHED BY BUSINESS IN VANCOUVER

AGE

38

W

DAVID WONG

hile studying biology at the University of British Columbia, David Wong thought he was on track to become a doctor. But after spending time as a researcher at a hospital, he discovered that wasn’t going to work out. “My father was a doctor in medicine,” said the partner at Fasken Martineau law firm. “When I was in undergrad, I was thinking about going that route. I spent a year doing some research in a hospital and I didn’t like the environment and decided to switch paths.” He chose law instead and was called to the B.C. bar in 2007. At 33, after only three years at the practice, he was named head of the firm’s human rights practice group. Wong had found a different way to help people. “I was always interested in human rights in a way,” he said. Having grown up with a non-Caucasian last name, Wong said he never experienced discrimination, but was aware of it. “It was always on my radar,” he said. Wong said practising human rights law came naturally. “I personally find it to be an interesting area,” he said. “It’s unclear what we mean by some of the concepts when it comes to human rights law. Obviously it has an impact on people.” Wong has spent time volunteering at Canuck Place Children’s Hospice and Camp Goodtimes and he serves on the board of the Hoop-Law Society, an organization that raises money for children’s charities. “There was a time when I was thinking about becoming a teacher,” he said. “The energy I get from being around kids, and still get it today when I go to coach

Birthplace: Vancouver Where you live now: Vancouver Highest level of education: Bachelor of laws

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Partner, Fasken Martineau

ROB KRUYT

soccer – it’s just the energy and the shift that it provides me from my everyday stressful life. It’s reinvigorating.” He said his legal career has benefited greatly from strong mentorship over the years. “It’s a demanding job,” he said. “I have three kids at home and I’d love to spend more time with them and my wife. Finding that balance is key, and if I’m going to be successful then I have to put in the time.”

I was always interested in human rights. ... It was always on my radar

Currently reading: The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame (to my three kids)

When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: My dad or a soccer player

Currently listening to: Bobcaygeon by The Tragically Hip

Profession you would most like to try: Singer-songwriter

Advice you would give the younger you: Enjoy your spare time while you have it

Toughest business or professional decision: Deciding to pursue

What’s left to do: The Supreme Court of Canada

a career in law instead of following in my dad’s footsteps

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2016-11-23 1:15 PM

Profile for Business in Vancouver Media Group

Forty Under 40 2016  

Forty Under 40 2016  

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