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Business In Vancouver launches B.C.’s only CFO of the Year awards Recognition given to those in the C Suite who play a pivotal role but are often overlooked By Glen Korstrom


hief financial officers (CFOs) play a pivotal role in a corporation’s success, but all too often their efforts are overlooked while the CEO basks in the corporate glory or, alternately, is blamed for poor performance. With a goal of rectifying the situation, Business in Vancouver launched B.C.’s only CFO of the Year awards program. Winners will be announced at the inaugural BC CFO of the Year awards dinner May 17. “The goal is to identify CFOs who make significant contributions to the success of their companies,” said Cheryl Carter, vicepresident of Business in Vancouver Media Group and a champion of the CFO awards project. She explained that a good CFO is a strategist with a high level of financial acumen and the ability to tell the company’s story to various audiences. That’s not all, however. Carter said that strong CFOs must also be able to consider all of the financial factors at a company and

form a single, coherent picture of the company’s financial situation. Essentially, that means seeing the big picture but also knowing the details. BIV is presenting separate awards to CFOs in the following categories: Ąpublic company with more than $50 million in revenue; Ąpublic company with less than $50 million in revenue; and Ąprivate company. Three finalists have already been announced in each of these categories. Four winners have already been announced in a fourth category – transformation agents: ĄDuncan Campbell, Vancouver Coastal Health Authority; ĄSarah Hoffman, Health Care Benefits Trust; ĄTerry Krepiakevich, SouthGobi Resources Ltd.; and ĄBrian Pettipas, Global Container Terminals Inc. Judge Peter W. Roberts explained that the transformational category was created because simply acknowledging success based on corporate profit growth at large, small and private compan-

ies left out a huge number of CFOs who were doing phenomenal jobs keeping their company from going bankrupt and reorganizing operations to deal with the global economic downturn. “What about the companies that are in a turnaround situation? They’ve gone through the financial crisis and many nearly went bankrupt. Now they’ve come back,” said Roberts, who is a former CFO at Sierra Wireless and former president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of British Columbia. Deciding winners from many quality applicants was difficult for the five judges who also included: ĄStirling Mercantile Corp. partner Hugh Notman; ĄLawson Lundell LLP partner Valerie Mann; ĄDeloitte managing partner Paul Fletcher; and ĄCIBC Commercial Banking vice-president Phil Lehn. Fletcher praised what he called a “very rich pool of senior financial leaders.” He said that all of the candidates had to illustrate sensitivity to

the roles that they were in and that there are significant differences in the CFOs role depending on whether they are in a small or large, public or private company. “It was the first year for Business in Vancouver and for the judges to deal with the package requirements but we had enough strong packages to make well-informed decisions about who should be a winner,” Fletcher said. “All of them had broad community involvement and went beyond their nine-to-five job,” he said. More than one judge commented that applicants in future years should spend a significant amount of time making sure that their nomination package is as strong as possible by including specific descriptions of how the CFO impacted the financial performance of their company. The CFO of the Year awards dinner takes place at the Four Seasons Hotel on May 17. BIV subscribers can buy tickets for a discounted $125 each whereas the non-subscriber rate is $149. Corporate branded tables are also available. Ą

May 3–9, 2011


Sarah Hoffman Terry Krepiakevich Duncan Campbell Brian Pettipas

3 3 4 5

LARGE PUBLIC COMPANY: FINALISTS Allan Baydala Don Leslie John Currie

6 7 8

PRIVATE COMPANY: FINALISTS Stephen Mavety Zvonko Maretic Michael Taylor

SMALL PUBLIC COMPANY: FINALISTS Cindy Turner 12 Peter Wong 14 Sherry Tryssenaar 15

Photography by Dominic Schaefer

Sponsor’s Message

Business leaders, highest standards The Institute of Chartered Accountants of British Columbia (ICABC) is the largest accounting organization in BC, with over 10,000 members and more than 1,700 students. Established in 1905, the ICABC is also the oldest accounting organization in the province, celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2005. You may think of chartered accountants as “number crunchers” or people who only do tax. But the CA profession has changed dramatically over the past half century, keeping pace with the rapid evolution of business. CAs are still the leading authority on tax issues and auditing, but they’re also at the forefront of new business valuations; corporate and personal financial planning; insolvency; and environmental and forensic accounting and assurance. Today, more BC CAs work in industry than in public practice–as presidents, chief executive officers, and chief financial officers, for instance-and many are entrepreneurs, running their own businesses. Roughly 30% work in public practice as partners, employees, and sole-practitioners, providing a wide range of business advice and services to individuals and large and small business clients. A CA is a business leader who upholds the highest of standards. Trust, integrity, independence–these values set CAs apart, and make choosing a CA the best business decision, period.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants understands the importance of strong financial management and is pleased to be celebrating the best that British Columbia’s business community has to offer. Congratulations to the finalists and winners of this year’s inaugaral BC CFO of the Year awards.

8 10 12

May 3–9, 2011 Business in Vancouver




Your people are your backbone!

Sarah Hoffman CFO, Health Care Benefits Trust


nder Sarah Hoffman’s financial leadership as CFO of Health Care Benefits Trust, the trust’s funded position went from 69% to 95% within the course of a single year. Besides overhauling the trust’s financial reporting and reporting practices, bringing new transparency to the trust’s financial reporting, Hoffman was instrumental in de-

veloping a deficit recovery program to ensure that employers don’t leave behind their share of the liabilities if they withdraw from the trust. “The plan and Sarah’s role in that plan are an incredibly important part of the trust’s future financial sustainability and success,” said trust counsel and Lawson Lundell LLP partner Murray Campbell


ongratulations to the 2011 BC CFO finalists and winners! Angus One Professional Recruitment Ltd is proudly BC owned and operated and is pleased to be the premier sponsor of Business in Vancouver’s inaugural BC CFO of the Year Awards.

in nominating Hoffman. Even prior to taking on her role as CFO, Hoffman

Nomination remarks from Murray Campbell, a partner with Lawson Lundell LLP and legal counsel to Health Care Benefits Trust: How has the nominee contributed to the company’s growth and/or profitability? While the trust is a not-for-profit entity, Sarah has had a critical role in helping improve its funded position, notably by playing a key role in the development and implementation of a deficit recovery program. She also helped develop a comprehensive communication program to educate participating employers about the deficit recovery program. How has the nominee contributed to the strategic direction of the organization? Sarah’s sound business judgment has helped the trust achieve its strategic goals of mirroring a private sector institution in an organization with institutional features that were resistant to change. This included: contributing to the initiation of a deficit recovery, clarifying trustee roles to eliminate overlap and create a more effective corporate structure, making strategic changes to financial reporting and invoicing practices and creating a culture of proactive collection of receivables. How has the nominee demonstrated sound business ethics? Evidence of Sarah’s sound business ethics can be found in the transparent reporting and knowledgesharing practices she implemented internally and that resulted in greatly improved internal departmental relationships. Sarah quickly recognized the importance of providing stakeholders with financial information about the trust and their role in the trust in order to increase their overall confidence in the trust and its ability to efficiently provide healthcare benefits to their employees.


Terry Krepiakevich

was tightening up and streamlining financial processes at the trust in an earlier role as director, financial services, and controller. In that role, she reduced the trust’s operating budget by 10% to $30 million. She also rolled out a streamlined invoicing and benefits administra-

“The plan and Sarah’s role in that plan are an incredibly important part of the trust’s future financial sustainability and success”

tion system and developed major financial policies regarding invoicing and participating in the trust, which led to increased recoveries of receivables and proactive pursuit of collection matters. Campbell calls Hoffman a “highly effective leader” and a “change agent” and comments that her team of 13 trust employees has the highest level of employee engagement in the organization. Ą

– Murray Campbell, partner, Lawson Lundell LLP

Nomination remarks from Alexander Molyneux, president and CEO of SouthGobi Resources Ltd.: Please list any significant awards or achievements that should be considered SouthGobi was the first Canadian mining company to achieve duel listing on the TSX and the HKSE. It ranked second in Business BC’s 2010 Top 100 fastest-growing companies. It was selected by the Mongolian Chamber of Commerce as the “Local Job Creator of the Year” for 2009.

CFO, SouthGobi Resources Ltd.


n four years, Ivanhoe Mines Group subsidiary SouthGobi Resources Ltd. has expanded from six employees, a coal deposit with no proven market and a market capitalization of $35 million to 520 employees, 2.5 million tonnes of annual coal sales and a company value of $2.6 billion. A key force behind this growth is SouthGobi CFO Terry Krepiakevich who joined the company in 2006. Krepiakevich, who previously initiated an initial public offering process for Extreme CCTV Inc. before the high-tech company was acquired by Bosch Security Systems, spearheaded a process to earn SouthGobi a listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKSE). To achieve that, Krepiakevich had to meet requirements such as having SouthGobi’s TSX listing moved from the

How has the nominee contributed to the company’s growth and/or profitability? To help SouthGobi achieve a strategic foothold in Mongolia’s coalmining sector and a 30-year mining lease, Terry spearheaded corporate planning and organized public documentation and internal reporting for the Mongolian operation. For SouthGobi to commence trading on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Terry spearheaded a two-year initial public offering process, trailblazing through the Hong Kong regulatory process, establishing a framework for future listings and creating opportunities for other Canadian mining companies. He also established the investment policy to effectively steward more than US$ 900 million generated by the IPO and an investment from Chinese Investment Corp.

TSX Venture Exchange to the TSX main board and transitioning to International Financial Reporting Standards. Also as part of achieving that Hong Kong listing, he led the due diligence for US$500 million in financing from China


Investment Corp. “As the first Canadian mining company to pursue this strategic advantage and leverage the explosive growth in Asia, Terry found a way to navigate the Hong Kong regulatory system,” said Alexander Molyneux, SouthGobi president and CEO, in nominating Krepiakevich.

How has the nominee contributed to the strategic direction of the organization? During his tenure at SouthGobi, Terry has demonstrated highlyeffective leadership skills that have been instrumental to the strategic direction and success of the organization. A true number cruncher, Terry upholds strong financial standards and ethics yet defies the traditional CFO stereotype. He often takes a less linear route to problem solving. He engages, asks questions, is highly communicative and thinks creatively. As the chief financial architect and financial advisor for this rapidly growing public company, Terry’s unique toolbox of skills, abilities and values have effectively contributed to its success.

In 2010, Krepiakevich’s efforts enabled the company to close a global equity offering of US$437 million and

become the first Canadian mining company with dual listings on the HSKE and the TSX. Ą

At Angus One we know people are the backbone to every successful business. That’s why we’ve become specialists in connecting your business with the right people, the right people to help your business prosper and grow. With over 25 years and counting, BC’s top public, private and not for profit organizations trust Angus One Professional Recruitment & Templine as their prompt, professional and reliable one-stop source of recruitment services for all of their Temporary Staffing, Temp to Perm, Permanent Recruitment, Contract Staffing, Executive Search, Payrolling and Candidate Selection, Testing and Training Services. Located in beautiful Vancouver BC, and now in Calgary AB, Angus One has an amazing network and can introduce you to the right candidate for any of your hiring needs. In fact, we are so confident in the quality & precision of our services, that we provide you with a 100% Total Satisfaction Guarantee. Call us for Smart, Flexible Staffing!

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May 3–9, 2011


Sponsor’s Message

Duncan Campbell CFO and vice-president, systems development, Vancouver Coastal Health Authority


hen Duncan Campbell joined Vancouver Coastal Health Authority (VCH) in 2008 as CFO and vice-president, systems development, the authority was teetering on the edge of financial Phil Lehn, disaster. Vice-President, Gripped in the recesCIBC Business Banking sion, belts tightened throughout the provincial government and the authority’s annual funding increase was slashed to 2.6% in 2008/2009 from 6.9% the year prior. But under Campbell’s direction, the authority found new efficiencies that allowed it to DcWZ]Va[d[Vaad[bnXda" meet increased demand aZV\jZhVi8>78!>Vbi]g^aaZY despite lower funding, idXdc\gVijaViZi]Z[^kZdji" and eliminated a $20-milhiVcY^c\^cY^k^YjVahl]d lion structural deficit. “Duncan has played a ]VkZWZZchZaZXiZYVhi]^h pivotal role in the transnZVg¼h7jh^cZhh^cKVcXdj" formation of the organkZg8;Dd[i]ZNZVgVlVgY ization’s fiscal landscape gZX^e^Zcih"Pa^hil^ccZghR# within a severely constrained provincial I]^h^cXgZY^WaZVX]^ZkZbZci funding envelope that, gZXd\c^oZhi]Zh^\c^[^XVci Xdcig^Wji^dcd[i]Z]dcdgZZh idi]ZhjXXZhhd[i]Z^gdg\V" c^oVi^dc^cVX]VaaZc\^c\bVg" `ZieaVXZ#I]Z^gYZbdchigViZY aZVYZgh]^e\dZhWZndcYi]Z `ZnbZVhjgZhi]Vi^beVXi i]ZWdiidba^cZ#>cVYY^i^dc idYg^k^c\\gdli]VcYdkZgVaa eZg[dgbVcXZi]gdj\]higdc\ [^cVcX^VahiZlVgYh]^e!i]ZhZ 8;Dh]VkZVahdY^[[ZgZci^ViZY i]ZbhZakZhVhhiVcYdjihVi i]Z[aVlaZhhZmZXji^dc!higV" iZ\^XYZX^h^dc"bV`^c\!VcY hdjcYWjh^cZhheg^cX^eVah i]ViVgZXg^i^XVaidadc\"iZgb Wjh^cZhhhjXXZhh#

CIBC congratulates this year’s CFO of the Year honorees

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“Duncan has played a pivotal role in the transformation of the organization’s fiscal landscape within a severely constrained provincial funding envelope that, given its trajectory at the time, would have meant financial disaster and either a bailout or reduced services” – David Ostrow, president and CEO, Vancouver Coastal Health Authority given its trajectory at the time, would have meant financial disaster and either a bailout or reduced services,” VCH president and CEO David Ostrow said, nominating Campbell. Campbell helped VCH reduce $25 million in administrative and support costs and updated supply chain reporting and

analysis, leading to better use practices and lower purchase prices. In addition, he was the force behind new reporting tools for improved bed tracking, which allowed VCH to reduce hours per patient day and overtime, while keeping services constant. Campbell established workforce productivity initiatives that raised productivity by 3.5%,

allowing VCH to keep its employee base static for the past three years, despite growth in activity. This has resulted in $30 million in costavoidance annually. Additionally, he focused on cash manage-

ment, restoring VCH’s cash to $100 million now from $25 million in 2008. As a testament to Campbell’s leadership, external auditors have found no financial and activity control weaknesses at the last two year-ends. Ą

Nomination remarks from David Ostrow, president and CEO of Vancouver Coastal Health Authority: Please list any significant awards or achievements that should be considered When Duncan joined VCH, he seized the opportunity to grow a modest energy management program into a corporate-level initiative. Building on the organization’s objective to reduce waste and its carbon footprint, Duncan led the way to deliver the program to employees as well as the executive team, establishing energy-focused reporting to senior management and requiring that all requests for funding consider energy consumption as criteria for approval. Duncan has proudly accepted the Power Smart Excellence Award on behalf of VCH for two consecutive years for Workplace Conservation Leadership. How has the nominee contributed to the company’s growth and/or profitability? By engaging leadership in a new approach to resource allocation through use of evidence-based and value-based criteria to identify areas for resource reductions and increases, VCH is on track to achieving an operating surplus of $40 million this year. This is a major turnaround given the financial crisis the organization was experiencing when Duncan arrived at VCH. How has the nominee contributed to the strategic direction of the organization? Duncan recognized workforce optimization as an area that could achieve real savings for VCH and also serve as a model for best practice for other health authorities. Duncan led the creation of a cross-departmental SWAT team to propose solutions and support implementation and change management. These efforts resulted in the use of a substantial new information package for front-line managers, facilitating a significant improvement in productivity. How has the nominee demonstrated sound business ethics? In 2010, VCH conducted an audit of its purchasing cards. Uncovered through the process were two cases of fraudulent behaviour involving two separate individuals. In addition to terminating their employment, Duncan has initiated a process to press charges against these individuals. Duncan’s adherence to sound ethical business practices ensured that the decision was made to proceed with appropriate legal action, when it may have been easier to simply walk away.

May 3–9, 2011 Business in Vancouver




Sponsors’ Message:

Brian Pettipas CFO, Global Container Terminals Inc.


hen Global Container Terminals Inc. acquired its terminals at the height of the market in 2006, the highly-leveraged transaction was premised on the idea that container trade growth would reduce its debt ratio. “The acquisition plan and credit facilities did not provide a contingency for the worst economic recession since the 1930s,� said Lori Janson, GCT’s director of corporate communications. That problem would fall squarely on the plate of Brian Pettipas, the company’s CFO since 2007. Watching the high volume decline, he came to a simple and harrowing conclusion: GCT was on a trajectory to default on its credit facilities by June 2010.

Faced with the options of refinancing US$1.88 billion in debt – a virtual impossibility, given the meltdown in the debt markets – or seeking syndicate support to amend credit facilities, Pettipas honed in on the latter option. He proceeded to lead a 14-month process to amend the company’s debt facilities with an international syndicate of 40 banks, many of which were suffering financially and looking to exit the port sector. “What resulted was a successful credit amendment in which the shareholder reconfirmed confidence in the business by providing additional capital, the cost of debt was held in check, financial covenants were

Nomination remarks from Lori Janson, director, corporate communications, Global Container Terminals Inc.: How has the nominee contributed to the company’s growth and/or profitability? During the recession, Brian led GCT to improve productivity, reduce headcount and discretionary costs, strictly manage capital spending, maintain cash flow and help customers reduce their costs without lowering contracted revenue rates. The measures led to the company gaining marketshare in a down market, reduction of receivables over 60 days to historic lows, and improvement in the company’s contribution margin such that the overall EBITDA margin held strong, even on 11% less volume in 2009. How has the nominee contributed to the strategic direction of the organization? In 2005, Brian negotiated a landmark 50-year-lease agreement as part of a $400 million expansion of Deltaport at Port Metro Vancouver. The project was in advanced stages of construction when the recession hit, causing concerns that the project would increase the terminal’s capacity by 50% just as container volumes were declining. Brian believed the expansion would represent a compelling strategic advantage for the company and caused construction to continue. Deltaport’s third berth opened in January 2010. To date, the facility experiences record-breaking volumes, with an annual increase of 37%. How has the nominee demonstrated sound business ethics? Brian has always ensured that negotiation of commercial contracts with shipping lines does not result in undue benefit or hardship to any one shipping line. Brian has helped implement a vendor approval process and a procurement policy. This was done to ensure transactions with non-arm’s length vendors are fully disclosed, and to ensure that large contracts are awarded based on criteria pre-defined in an RFP. Please list any significant awards or achievements From May 2009 to June 2010, while guiding the company through a complex amendment to the company’s credit facilities, Brian enabled the company to launch a US$400 million container terminal expansion project at the Port of New York and New Jersey. In 2008, Brian assumed the CEO role for eight months to cover an unexpected medical leave of absence while continuing his duties as CFO. During this period, Brian drove significant changes in the company’s strategic plan. Most importantly, he prepared management for the possibility that after a decade of double-digit growth in container volumes, GCT would have to compete against every other container terminal in North America to attract and retain business; this became a reality in 2009. Brian successfully integrated the finance function of GCT across four container terminals operating in two different ports on two different coasts in two different countries.

Paul Fletcher, FCA Managing Partner

relaxed, and the banking syndicate agreed to release significant real estate collateral so that GCT could enter into the strategic sale/leaseback transaction with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey,� Janson said. Ą

“The acquisition plan and credit facilities did not provide a contingency for the worst economic recession since the 1930s� – Lori Janson, director corporate communications, Global Container Terminals Inc.

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Daily business news at


May 3–9, 2011


Sponsor’s Message

Allan Baydala CFO, Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (Port Metro Vancouver)


Brian D. Fulton Managing Partner

Celebrating BC’s CFOs AVlhdc AjcYZaa AAE Xdc\gVijaViZhi]Z7>K78 8;Dd[i]ZNZVg6lVgY [^cVa^hihVcYl^ccZgh#

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everaging the entrepreneurial drive that in 1995 led him to launch West Coast Air Ltd., Allan Baydala has been a transformative force at Port Metro Vancouver (PMV) for the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority. Baydala joined PMV as CFO in 2008 and previously led the amalgamation of the Vancouver, Fraser and North Fraser port authorities as president and CEO of North Fraser Port Authority. Under Baydala’s financial leadership, PMV became the first Canadian port authority to issue bonds through an April 2010 bond issue. The fully subscribed issue of 10-year bonds raised $100 million to aid PMV in achieving its strategic objectives. Also in 2010, Baydala led a consultation and design process to estab-

lish a new fee structure for the port – the gateway infrastructure fee–which will recover $150 million over 30 years from port users. The new fee will recover capital that the port fronted in order to leverage an additional $600 million in government and railway funding

“Having previously owned and run his own airline business, he is able to provide both a clear focus on financial control and discipline and a strong entrepreneurial drive to ensure PMV continues to become more customer-focused and business-like.� – Robin Silvester, president and CEO, Port Metro Vancouver for port-related infrastructure projects through the Lower Mainland. Prior to his port

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focus on financial control and discipline and a strong entrepreneurial drive to ensure PMV continues to become more customerfocused and businesslike,� PMV president and CEO Robin Silvester said in nominating Baydala. Ą

Nomination remarks from Robin Silvester, president and CEO of Port Metro Vancouver:

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authority work, Baydala was owner, president and CEO of West Coast Air for a decade, growing the profitable regional airline. “Having previously owned and run his own airline business, he is able to provide both a clear

Global Container Terminals is proud to recognize the outstanding achievements of the Business in Vancouver &KLHI)LQDQFLDO2IĂ€FHU$ZDUG)LQDOLVWV &RQJUDWXODWLQJ%ULDQ3HWWLSDVRXU&KLHI)LQDQFLDO2IĂ€FHU IRUKLVDZDUGDVD7UDQVIRUPDWLRQ$JHQW

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Why should this person be considered one of B.C.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s CFOs of the Year? Allanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ability to provide strong strategic and financial leadership and clearly position his teamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s activities within the broader strategic business context of PMV has been key to his success and the portâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s success. How has the nominee contributed to the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s growth and/or profitability? Allan brings a clear focus on financial process to the organization and is able to frame the requirement for robust financial process within the context of why it matters to the business. This is particularly important for PMV, which has evolved from being an arm of government to now being a self-standing, self-funding federal corporation reporting to a board. How has the nominee demonstrated sound business ethics? Allan has a strong commitment to business and personal integrity. He led the process for the port to publish publicly, for the first time in 2010, a management discussion and analysis document to give stakeholders a greater insight into the Portâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s strategy and operating and financial activities. This reporting is beyond the level required by either the Canada Marine Act or the portâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s financing activities but is in keeping with the portâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s focus on being accountable and open. How has the nominee contributed to the strategic direction of the organization? Allanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s team leads the annual business planning process and has been instrumental in the establishment of clear business plans for the port. He has successfully delivered several key elements of the portâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s strategic plan, including leading the financing, establishing a major new fee through a broad consultation process and assisting with a number of key tenant negotiations.

May 3–9, 2011 Business in Vancouver




Don Leslie CFO, A&W Revenue Royalties Income Fund


y developing capital sources for franchises and facilitating the installation of a new system to track profit growth in restaurants, A&W Revenue Royalties Income Fund CFO Don Leslie helped drive 26 new restaurant openings in 2010’s challenging economy.

“Under Don’s leadership, A&W has become the gold standard for franchise lending in Canada” – Paul Hollands, CEO, A&W Revenue Royalties Income Fund To pull that off, Leslie – who is also CFO of private company A&W Food Services of Canada Inc. – established extensive relationships with five national lending institutions – a step which has facilitated the availability of the capital necessary to further A&W’s goal to double the pace of its new restaurant growth over the next four years. “Under Don’s leader-

ship, A&W has become the gold standard for franchise lending in Canada,” said Paul Hollands, CEO of A&W Revenue Royalties Income Fund and president and CEO of A&W Food Services of Canada Inc. Targeting increased profitability at the chain’s franchises, Leslie was a force behind a new information system and architecture that now provides the best restaurant-level information on profitability of any of Canada’s major franchisors. Leslie’s leadership of the income fund generated more than 40% growth for unit-holders last year. “Don has provided superb financial leadership to the publicly traded A&W Income Fund,” Hollands said. “He spearheaded two major restructurings which have maximized the value of the units of the fund to unit-holders.” Under Leslie’s leadership, the chain is poised to accelerate to 30 new restaurant openings in 2011 and 40 new restaurants per year by 2013. Ą

Nomination remarks from Paul Hollands, CEO of A&W Revenue Royalties Income Fund.

She’s Linkedin, has plenty of Friends and Tweets away But it’s who you know that really counts She came to us. Shouldn’t you?

Why should this person be considered one of B.C.’s CFOs of the Year? As CFO for Canada’s second-largest hamburger chain and one of the fastest-growing restaurant businesses in the country, Don is a key leader in the organization. As a member of A&W’s strategy team, Don is part of the team that shapes the overall business strategy for an organization with over $800 million dollars of system sales. Beyond the day-to-day leadership of the accounting function, Don also provides leadership in a number of key areas of the business. One of the most important areas is ensuring the availability of capital for the franchised operators in the system, enabling them to grow and further build new restaurants. How has the nominee contributed to the strategic direction of the organization? Beyond his financial responsibilities, Don has provided critical leadership on several of the major strategic thrusts – for example, the intent to double our pace of new restaurant openings from about 20 per year to 40 per year over a four-year period – which are reshaping the business and fueling powerful growth for the A&W chain. How has the nominee demonstrated sound business ethics? Don provides demonstrated leadership in this area to the whole organization. He is responsible for the implementation of all corporate governance and ensures that the enterprise adheres to the highest practices.

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Nomination remarks from Shayne Gregg, partner, enterprise risk, Deloitte:

John Currie

Why should this person be considered one of B.C.’s CFOs of the Year? Bringing his wealth of experience from Intrawest, John is truly a well-rounded CFO who is responsible for a number of areas beyond just accounting. He brings a sound business mind to an executive team deep in apparel production and distribution expertise and also finds time to lead the organization in other areas such as finance, leasing and information technology.

CFO, Lululemon Athletica Inc.


ince joining Lululemon Athletica Inc. in 2007, CFO John Currie has helped drive company revenue’s 35% compound annual growth rate. “His capacity for strategic thinking about growth and how to invest in a premium brand are a unique skill set and have helped direct Lululemon to not only be a highgrowth business model, but to deliver a worldclass operating margin while growing,” said Deloitte partner, enterprise risk, Shayne Gregg in nominating Currie. In his four years at Lululemon, Currie has built strong teams in finance, accounting, IT and store development

How has the nominee contributed to the strategic direction of the organization? John and the executive team have created a disciplined strategic planning process that is focused on high-quality growth with a scorecard that measures the hard and soft metrics, allowing the company to respond to opportunity and issues in a timely manner.

by hiring and developing top talent. With a keen eye for opportunity, Currie leveraged his real estate knowledge during the recession to renegotiate leases to increase bottom-line profitability.


Stephen Mavety CFO, uniPHARM Wholesale Drugs, Ltd.


n his 12 years at uniPHARM Wholesale Drugs Ltd. (uniPHARM), CFO Stephen Mavety has been responsible for

May 3–9, 2011

the implementation of advanced business procedures and technologies that have allowed uniPHARM to leverage a wealth of new

How has the nominee demonstrated sound business ethics? John demonstrates transparency in communications with the marketplace. He responded quickly to the recessionary conditions, developing a solid plan that allowed the company to exceed expectations for the past eight quarters which created an environment of trust and credibility.

Prior to his current role, Currie worked for resort and leisure travelprovider Intrawest Corp. for a decade, first as senior vice-president, financing and taxation, from 1997 to 2004 and then as CFO from 2004 to 2006.

Before that, Currie, a chartered accountant, held senior financial positions with telecommunications service provider BCE Group. In 2009, Currie won a Deloitte alumni award, honouring his “outstand-

ing leadership qualities” in helping his organization “grow and win in the marketplace”. Currie, who received his bachelor of commerce

degree from the University of British Columbia, volunteers with Kiwanis International, Big Brothers and Vancouver Water Ski Club’s kids camp. Ą

business opportunities. In 2002, it was Mavety’s responsibility to implement an integrated business system that would improve the business processes and data quality in order that the company could adopt industry best practices in terms of planning, business intelligence, web

ordering and operational supply chain efficiency including EDI and EFT. The launch was on time and on budget with return on investment within five years. This past year Mavety played a pivotal role in setting up a financial entity with its business goal being to provide investment management services to grow and to sustain the member base of uniPHARM while also growing opportunity for its investors within the retail pharmacy sector. Mavety worked closely with the company’s bank, accountants, and lawyers to incorporate this company and establish the framework under which acquisitions and investment management services would be facilitated. This new venture, uniCAP Investments Ltd., was incorporated as

a wholly owned subsidiary of uniPHARM and to date it has acquired one pharmacy, secured the premise for another pharmacy and is currently negotiating the purchase of a second pharmacy to move to the new premise. “Mavety is the benchmark for servant leadership,” said Deborah Kerr, director of retail operations, uniPHARM.

He empowers the people around him to believe they are capable of greatness. Without ego, and without personal agenda, Stephen consistently helps others achieve their goals. He quietly anticipates what needs to be done and then with unrelenting patience and tenacity he plays a major role in leading you and your team to achieve exemplary results.” Ą

Nomination remarks from Deborah Kerr, director of retail operations, uniPHARM: Please list any significant awards or achievements that should be considered The biggest accomplishment that Stephen has achieved, and it has had a huge positive impact on uniPHARM, was our successful nomination/designation of being one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies. In his role as the executive sponsor, since 2006 when uniPHARM first applied for this designation, the company has requalified and held this award for five consecutive years. How has the nominee demonstrated sound business ethics? Under Stephen’s direction, the company has implemented the following best practices: a steering committee to review on-going and future projects; business ownership guidelines to ensure accountability for projects; the Technology Evergreen Program that formalizes the replacement or upgrade of company technology; and training programs that follow a predetermined structure prepared by the business owners based on actual workflows. Why should this person be considered one of B.C.’s CFOs of the Year? His budgeting and financial management skills are reflective in the financial competency of the company and he champions the practical use of technology for improving business processes and delivering cost savings.

May 3â&#x20AC;&#x201C;9, 2011 Business in Vancouver


The CFO Program A series of roundtable discussions

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Zvonko Maretic CFO, Pharmasave Drugs (National) Ltd.


s CFO of Pharmasave, Zvonko Maretic is fiscally responsible for more than 430 retail pharmacies in nine provinces with 2010 revenue of more than $1 billion. Despite fierce competition in the retail pharmacy sector and the arrival of new aggressive competitors, Pharmasave has continually increased store count in each of the four years since Maretic joined the organization. Over those last four years Pharmasave has had best ever years in total sales, seeing sales increase steadily through the recessionary period and in the face of significant regulatory change. Since joining the company in 2006, revenues have increased 15% to $1.3 billion in 2010. Sue Paish, CEO of Pharmasave said “the remarkable performance

Nomination remarks from Sue Paish, CEO, Pharmasave:

in overall and same store sales is a testament to Zvonko’s astute financial leadership and the culture he has helped to build and which he perpetuates

Please list any significant awards or achievements that should be considered Zvonko’s respect in the profession and in the retail sector is confirmed through his appointment as a director and as chair of the audit committee of Rx Canada, an organization sponsored by eight of Canada’s largest pharmacy retailers. As the only accountant on the board, Zvonko oversees the stewardship of considerable industry funds applied to the development of programs to improve the effectiveness and health outcomes delivered through Canada’s retail pharmacy sector.

“The remarkable performance in overall and same store sales is a testament to Zvonko’s astute financial leadership and the culture he has helped to build and which he perpetuates across the organization” – Sue Paish, CEO, Pharmasave across the organization.” Maretic is also the senior financial officer on a strategic alliance formed in 2009 between Pharmasave and PharmaChoice, a pharmacy retailer with 240 stores in the prairies and eastern Canada. He is also project lead on this project, working

How has the nominee contributed to the strategic direction of the organization? Zvonko was a key leader in the development of the Pharmasave strategic plan. The plan was built to include stakeholders in stores, offices, the supplier community and elsewhere. The comprehensive and far-reaching input during plan development was spearheaded by Zvonko. It has been fundamentally important in guiding Pharmasave to steady growth, increasing sales and a strong profile through a recessionary climate and in an environment of significant regulatory change.

toward the eventual integration of the two organizations, creating a mega independent pharmacy with over $2 billion in annual sales. Under Maretic’s stewardship, Pharmasave implemented codes of ethics and governance standards that are regarded as industry leading. As a

result, Pharmasave has been able to both anticipate legislative change and adapt operations, work flow, financial modeling and business practices. Ą

Why should this person be considered one of BC’s CFOs of the Year? He has provided strategic leadership to Pharmasave, to the industry in BC and across the country through one of the most volatile periods in the last several decades. His vision and credibility have been key to the development of an industry-wide appreciation of new regulatory environments and his vision has been essential to the continued expansion and now, strategic growth, of Pharmasave.

May 3â&#x20AC;&#x201C;9, 2011 Business in Vancouver


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Nomination remarks from nominator John Nicola, chairman and CEO, Nicola Wealth Management:

Michael Taylor

Why should this person be considered one of B.C.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s CFOs of the Year? Michael Taylor has provided steady leadership, created innovative efficiencies, and has become a valued member of the firmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s senior management team and corporate culture. His skills and abilities have certainly elevated the firmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s business development.

CFO and chief compliance ofďŹ cer, Nicola Wealth Management


ichael Taylor, CFO and chief compliance officer of Nicola Wealth Management, began writing a newsletter for the company shortly after he joined. Entitled Kaizen, a Japanese word meaning to continuously improve, it is a philosophy he helps the firm successfully achieve every day. Taylorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s role upon joining NWM was to determine the feasibility of expanding beyond the single pooled fund at the time into a series of proprietary pooled funds. Under his direction, NWMâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s offering grew from a single $70 million fund to 11 funds valued at $635 million. He spent months performing due diligence

How has the nominee demonstrated sound business ethics? Part of Mikeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s goal as CFO and chief compliance officer is to create, as he refers to it, â&#x20AC;&#x153;a culture of compliance within the firm.â&#x20AC;? There is no excuse for being sloppy and never a need to cut corners: â&#x20AC;&#x153;it is a false economy to think poor compliance is good business.â&#x20AC;?

and research to prepare a report exploring the financial structures of proprietary funds; it would become the foundation for NWMâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s expansion into fund manufacturing. After crafting the financial structure that

would allow the firm to become a successful fund manufacturer, he deftly handled a litany of risk management and compliance issues that not only improved NWMâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s standing with the BC Securities Commission, but also allowed the firm to register

as a portfolio manager, investment fund manager and exempt market dealer. Since Taylor joined the company in 2007, NWMâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s assets under management have grown from $635 million to $1.2 billion. Additionally, Taylor was also responsible for


government entities. Under her financial leadership, Capilano reported excess revenue over expenses at over $5.2 million in 2010, a 75% increase over the previous yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s figure of $2.9 million. According to nominator Kris Bulcroft, president and vice-chancellor of Capilano University, â&#x20AC;&#x153;[Turner] works in an environment in which profitability is often characterized as parenthetical to the organization. She has a balanced and fair approach to scarce resource allocation, and she is often a creative problem-solver as we struggle to do more with less.â&#x20AC;? Turnerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s efforts to collaborate with others in leadership roles at the

John Nicola, chairman and CEO of NWM said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;While his skills and abilities have certainly elevated the firmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s business development, Mike is a consummate team player. His creative problem solving ability laid the groundwork for the firmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s future growth both financially and administratively, stewarding business initiatives that have brought both efficiency and scalability.â&#x20AC;? Ä&#x201E;

How has the nominee contributed to the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s growth and/or profitability? Cindyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ability to provide the various stakeholders of the university with a transparent and coherent overview of strategic budget priorities and accounting practices has done so much to foster a culture of trust and collaboration with regard to fiscal management here at Capilano University.

Vice-president, ďŹ nance and administration, Capilano University

indy Turnerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s role at Capilano University presents a unique set of circumstances. As vice-president, finance and administration of a public university in British Columbia, Turner must manage the expectations of various stakeholders. Not only are there fiscal challenges with regard to shrinking levels of provincial financial support, but there are increased pressures to demonstrate public accountability with regard to capital projects, facilities management and energy consumption. She maintains a keen eye toward meeting and reporting on the mandates set forth by various

the inception and structuring of NWMâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s private equity limited partnerships Nicola Opportunities LP and Nicola Interactive LP, both of which allow clients to purchase smaller interests in deals normally restricted by million-dollar investment minimums. Since joining the company in 2007, NWMâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s assets under management have grown from $635 million to $1.2 billion.

Nomination remarks from Kris Bulcroft, president and vice-chancellor, Capilano University:

Cindy Turner


May 3â&#x20AC;&#x201C;9, 2011

How has the nominee contributed to the strategic direction of the organization? There is high regard for her work, her trustworthiness, and her fair-minded approach to balancing the annual budget, which is essential to helping us meet our overall organizational goals. How has the nominee demonstrated sound business ethics? In addition to a stellar record in terms of external audits and Ministry performance measures, Cindy has consistently demonstrated the highest standard of ethics in the profession. She is a credit to Capilano University, and her work extends into many sectors outside the university that give reference to her integrity and dedication to the institution she serves.

university are also notable. She has worked to determine the relationship between programs

offered at Capilano and the cost versus profit associated with those offerings. Turner is called on to

provide the reality-check regarding feasibility and profitability when the university considers new programs or initiatives. Bulcroft added, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Cindy does an excel-

lent job ensuring that what we do have goes a long way toward meeting our mission of enabling student success, while at the same time balancing fiscal responsibility.â&#x20AC;? Ä&#x201E;

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May 3â&#x20AC;&#x201C;9, 2011 Business in Vancouver



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Peter Wong

“In each instance Peter has demonstrated foresight and leadership to ensure that the necessary changes were identified, implemented and communicated in a timely manner”

CFO, Plutonic Power Corporation


n 2010, Plutonic Power Corporation successfully transitioned from a development stage company to an operational entity. Under the strategic direction of CFO, Peter Wong, the Toba Montrose run of river hydroelectric facilities and the Dokie wind farm commenced sale of electricity to BC Hydro, producing power on time, and on budget. Since joining the company in 2005, Wong has overseen all facets of financial reporting as Plutonic has grown from a development stage TSX Venture company to a diversified energy producer. Wong played an integral role in negotiating joint venture partnerships with GE Energy Financial Services for the Toba Montrose and Dokie projects. He also helped arrange $470 million of secured project debt financing with a 38-year term for the Toba Montrose project and negotiated an almost

– Guy Elliot, partner, KPMG

Nomination remarks from Lisa May, director, investor relations, Plutonic Power: How has the nominee contributed to the company’s growth and/or profitability? He has built a team to effectively and efficiently comply with the significant reporting requirements of the debt providers, customer and partners of the two partnerships Plutonic has entered into for the construction and operations of the hydro and wind farm.

$500 million contract with Peter Kiewit & Sons Co. to build the facilities. Wong’s expertise was again called upon to reach agreements with the federal government regarding renewable energy incentives that will result in approximately $100 million worth of funding over the first ten years for both Plutonic projects.

During his tenure at Plutonic, Wong has been required to adapt to the ever-changing environment of the company. As a result of Plutonic’s rapid growth, Wong and his team have implemented internal controls and financial reporting requirements for each of the company’s new partnerships and they have converted the

company’s accounting system to a more sophisticated software package. According to Guy Elliot, partner at KPMG, “In each instance Peter has demonstrated foresight and leadership to ensure that the necessary changes were identified, implemented and communicated in a timely manner.” Ą

How has the nominee contributed to the strategic direction of the organization? Beyond his direct input, what Peter offers our management group is confidence and stability. We can be sure [of] his ability to offer clear, timely and consistently correct counsel on financial and regulatory issues. This support allows the company to investigate opportunities aggressively. How has the nominee demonstrated sound business ethics? Peter Flynn, chair of the audit committee for Plutonic Power, puts it as well as anyone could and his sentiments are echoed by the board and the executive team. “I have served on or chaired many other audit committees, and Peter has the highest level of technical competence of any financial officer I have dealt with. Peter’s sense of ethics and professionalism is impeccable. He has patiently led the audit committee and the board through the implications of myriad changes in accounting practices while consistently ensuring that Plutonic Power and its three partnerships always complied.”

Business in Vancouver would like to thank all of those that were nominated for the inaugural BC CFO of the Year Awards. The finalists and winners were chosen based on leadership in finance, contribution to strategic decision making and growth as well as overall performance and execution. We hope that you will join us at the Celebration Awards Dinner on May 17th at the Four Seasons Hotel in Vancouver. Meet this year’s finalists and watch the announcement of the winners at this special event. Don’t miss your opportunity to meet BC’s top chief financial officers! Tuesday, May 17, 2011 6:15pm – 9:00pm Four Seasons Hotel 791 West Georgia Street, Vancouver

Price: BIV Subscribers - $125 Non-Subscribers - $149

Call 604.608.5197 for more information

Corporate branded tables – $2250 (show your support)

Visit to purchase tickets Sponsored by: Award Sponsor


May 3–9, 2011 Business in Vancouver


Sherry Tryssenaar CFO, Ten Peaks Coffee Company Inc. (formerly Swiss Water Decaffeinated Coffee Income Fund)


n early 2011, Sherry Tryssenaar led the conversion of the Swiss Water Decaffeinated Coffee Income Fund from an income trust to a public corporation. Tryssenaar did more than just change the struc-

ture of the company as a necessary requirement of changing tax laws, she embraced the challenge and created a brand new entity with a brand new name. Ten Peaks Coffee Company Inc. saw the diversification of the entire

Nomination remarks from Doug Huxter, relationship manager at CIBC: Why should this person be considered one of B.C.’s CFOs of the Year? Sherry led the transition to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) at Ten Peaks and has prepared the company for this change well ahead of other entities of similar size. This is a major undertaking, requiring a review of all aspects of the company’s accounting activities and internal controls. She was proactive in preparing for the transition, and worked with advisors, the audit committee and the company’s auditors to ensure a successful conversion to IFRS. How has the nominee contributed to the strategic direction of the organization? Unlike most income trusts that simply changed structure without any change in strategy, Sherry promoted the idea that structure and strategy are intimately tied, and a change in one necessitates a review of the other. How has the nominee demonstrated sound business ethics? Financial or other business information can be made overly complicated and can obscure meaning or results; in contrast to this, Sherry strives for clarity and plain language in order to facilitate understanding.

organization from simply being a decaffeinator to emerging as a diversified specialty coffee company. And, when the company’s primary commodity, coffee, appreciated by approximately 70%, requiring Ten Peaks to reconsider its commercial banking requirements, Tryssenaar was again at the ready. “Sherry determined what modifications were required in light of current commodity prices and potential risks, modified the company’s commodity price risk management policy and practices, and worked with the company’s commercial bank to modify the facilities to meet the needs of the business going forward,” said Doug Huxter, relationship manager at CIBC. Aside from restructuring Ten Peaks, in the two years she has acted

“Sherry has helped position the company for significant future growth and diversification of earnings over time” – Doug Huxter, relationship manager, CIBC as CFO, Tryssenaar has been lauded for managing the company through the recession and increasing

sales to $37 million in 2010 from $31 million in 2007. This was achieved through the development of a sales incentive program which helped increase sales volumes. She was able to make sales exceed budgets and the prior year’s returns in a highly volatile marketplace that saw coffee supply shortages and sharply increased prices. Huxter, who nominated Tryssenaar for CFO of the Year, concluded, “Sherry

Nominations are open! After 20 years, Business in Vancouver continues to find 40 outstanding young business professionals worthy of the Forty under 40 distinction each year. Forty under 40 celebrates the depth of business talent in British Columbia, from the rising stars of the corporate world to successful entrepreneurs, and non-profit leaders. Winners are chosen based on such values as achievement, experience, innovation, vision, leadership, and community involvement. By nominating some one for BIV’s Forty under 40, you are supporting and developing today’s young business leaders. Winners of BIV’s Forty under 40 have gone on to shape our city and our province in many different ways!

Go to to submit a nomination. Deadline: June 30th, 2011 Sponsored by:

has helped position the company for significant future growth and diversification of earnings over time. She also effected the change in structure in a cost-effective manner, completing the transaction at a far lower cost than comparative transitions of other income trusts.” Ą

Previous winners: Avtar Bains – 1990 Peter Busby – 1991 Glen Clark – 1991 Rick Hansen – 1991 Susan Mendelson – 1991 Bev Briscoe – 1992 Bob Rennie – 1992 Arthur Griffiths – 1993 Chip Wilson – 1993 Elaine McHarg – 1996 Sandra Miles – 1997 Gregor Robertson – 1997 Brian Scudamore – 1997 Wendy Lisogar-Cocchia – 1998 Darren Entwistle – 2000 Thane Stenner – 2000 Peter ter Weeme – 2000 Tracey Axelsson – 2001 Christina Anthony – 2002 Dave Cobb – 2002 Rob Feenie – 2002 Claire Newell – 2004 Colin Bosa – 2005 Steve Mossop – 2005 Stephanie Cadieux – 2006 Jennifer Podmore – 2007 Chris Breikks – 2008 Paul Haagenson – 2009 Jill Earthy – 2010



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1st annual CFO of the Year Award supplement  

The BC CFO of the Year Awards were developed by Business in Vancouver in partnership with the Institute of Chartered Accountants to honour C...

1st annual CFO of the Year Award supplement  

The BC CFO of the Year Awards were developed by Business in Vancouver in partnership with the Institute of Chartered Accountants to honour C...