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Vancouver’s profiles of


2020 edition

Vancouver’s profiles of

excellence 2020 EDITION

ÒExcellence is the gradual result  of always striving to do better.Ó pat riley


Pat Riley, one of the winningest coaches in the history of the National Basketball Association, didn’t reach that success without learning some lessons along the way. Riley is also one of the most quoted coaches in the league and his messages are always clear, “Great effort springs naturally from great attitude” or “To have long term success as a coach or in any position of leadership, you have to be obsessed in some way.” And while the industry leaders included in Profiles of Excellence 2020 are rarely described as “obsessed,” when it comes to seeking success, they are tireless and committed. Or as Riley would say, “Being ready isn’t enough,


you have to be prepared for a promotion or any other significant change.” When it comes to achieving true excellence there are other common denominators, besides preparation and determination, which help shape successful leaders, including dedication and compassion. That compassion can be found in the commitment to community these leaders strive for both professionally and personally. And when it comes to leading by example, these CEOs, managers and executive directors are proof that excellence also has a trickledown effect, much like Pat Riley and his championship players. sandra thomas editor

excellence Vancouver’s profiles in of

excellence healthcare 2020BC EDITION 2017 edition

Michelle Yu Personal Real Estate corporation odlum brown limited


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Michelle Bhatti editorial

Martha Perkins Sandra Thomas design + production

Amherst funeral & cremation services


opal by element


Krista Simon hammerberg lawyers llp


Fairlane collision repairs ltd.


pain pro clinics


eastward media


Marina Rockey photography

Chung Chow Dan Toulgoet

For enquires regarding the next edition, contact Michelle Bhatti, Publisher, Vancouver Courier, at 604-630-3503 or email mbhatti@vancourier.com

vancouverÂŤs profiles of excellence 2020 is produced by, and is exclusive property of Glacier Media Inc. Copyright 2020.


Michelle Yu

Vancouver’s profiles of

Personal Real Estate Corporation


As the new broker owner of RE/MAX Real Estate Services, she thrives on sharing her experience

I feel blessed that I am able to help make a difference in other people«s lives.


Twenty-five years ago, when Michelle Yu was launching her career as a Realtor® in Vancouver, she yearned to have a mentor. She would have liked to have someone to turn to when she had a question or was facing a dilemma, someone who would share what they had learned through the ups and downs of the city’s sometimes turbulent real estate market.

Today, as the new broker owner of RE/MAX Real Estate Services, she gets a deep sense of satisfaction from being able to be that mentor for the young Realtors® on her team. By tapping into her years of experience — learning from the successes and the hardships — she can provide support and guidance to those just starting out on their career. “I see myself as a lucky person,” she says. “I want to pass what I have learned to the next generation. It means a lot to me to help people on my team. We will work together so, hopefully, they can be even more successful than I have been.” Owning a brokerage is the culmination of a dream for Michelle, who is driven by a desire to always improve her skills and knowledge. She’s never strayed from wanting to be a Realtor®, even though there were challenging periods as the market swung from highs to lows. Especially in those early years, she had to dig deep to believe in herself and have the confidence to know that she could overcome any adversity. At the same time, she doesn’t regret those challenges. “From solving my difficulties on my own, I learned how to have a better and stronger character, as well as how to be more professional.” Asked what advice she’d give to her younger agents, Michelle says, “Don’t give up easily. If you are consistent and believe in yourself, the good days will be there. Build up your network and become involved in events. If you can focus, you’ll be a success.” Her advice complements the collegial work environment she is fostering at RE/ MAX Real Estate Services. It’s an approach shared by senior team members, some of

whom have also had more than 30 years of experience. Some of her support staff have been with the company for more than 20 years, creating a deep institutional memory that everyone can tap into. “I like the culture of the office,” Michelle says. “The staff and agents help each other a lot and share their experience. Everyone is very independent but don’t mind asking for help. They are also very professional and live up to the high standards that are expected of them by the industry. It’s inspiring.”


Michelle Yu

She’ll be looking into ways technology can help both agents and clients, bringing service levels even higher. She’s thrilled with new customer relationship management (CRM) technology that RE/MAX has developed and will be launching soon in Canada. It gives brokerages a powerful database and search engine. While technology has made a huge difference to agents, Michelle knows that it’s human relationships that matter. Buyers aren’t just investing in real estate; they’re creating homes and futures for themselves. Sellers are making some of the most important, life-altering decisions in their lives. One of the best skills a Realtor® can have is the ability to listen. That way, you understand your client’s needs on a more personal level. “They need help solving problems and making it work,” she says. Now that she’s entering the next stage of her career, it gives Michelle a sense of purpose and fulfillment to be able to help others, not just those in her office. She’s embarked on several charitable initiatives, including donating her commission from a recent sale. Some of her charities include hospitals, schools, universities and developing countries. “It gives me very deep satisfaction. I feel blessed that I am able to help make a difference in other people’s lives. There is a quote that I really like: ‘A person become 10 times more attractive not by their looks but by the acts of kindness, love, respect, honesty, and loyalty they show.’”

suite 110, 3540 West 41st Ave., Vancouver, BC T 604.329.8228 o 604.263.2823 W michelleyu.com E info@michelleyu.com


Odlum BrownÂŤs Presidents Wall. From top, left to right: A. Malcolm Brown, Thomas B. Read, William Thomas Brown, George D. Sherwood, Tony Hepburn, S. Ross Sherwood, Debra Hewson

Odlum Brown Limited Investment firm builds an exciting future on a steadfast foundation


A strong foundation is essential to any business, especially if it is to thrive during turbulent times. For almost 100 years, Odlum Brown Limited has been witness to some of the world’s most challenging economic times, starting with the stock market crash in 1929 just six years after its inception. But, thanks to the foresight and personal values of founders General Victor Wentworth Odlum, Colonel Albert Malcolm ‘Buster’ Brown and his son, Colonel William Thomas ‘Tom’ Brown, the Vancouverbased investment firm has not only endured, it has strengthened its ability to create and preserve wealth for clients. General Odlum and Colonel ‘Buster’ Brown were veterans of the First World War. They had experienced the devastation of global conflict but were also buoyed by the sense of optimism that followed during the Roaring Twenties. Taking the long view, they believed that their firm would succeed if it followed “the Golden Rule.” They wanted to treat their clients the way they would expect to be treated. “At Odlum Brown, our values include words such as integrity, respect, pride, passion and community,” says President and CEO Debra Hewson, who joined the employeeowned firm in 1991. “I know these words get used a lot, and often with not a lot behind them, but I also know they truly reflect how we think because our team members described our firm this way in our most recent employee engagement survey. This is how we think throughout our organization. The success of our team and our firm depends on us delivering on these values. “We really walk the talk.” Chair Emeritus Tony Hepburn, who led the firm as President and CEO from 1978 to 2001, was invited to join the firm in 1969 by Tom Brown. The two men’s values were closely aligned, and Hepburn decided that his future lay with Odlum Brown. “They had a vision. They were forwardlooking. We were a team and not focused on individual ambition. We all recognized that clients come first,” he says. Although large, bank-owned firms beckoned, the firm’s leaders were, and

remain, determined to maintain Odlum Brown’s independence, says Hepburn: “Our value is in our people, and they’re not on the balance sheet.” When Hepburn joined the firm it was still quite small, with upwards of 40 employees. But those team members were intent on wise and strategic growth. Led by Tom Brown, the company immersed itself in the industry, getting involved with national bodies such as the Investment Dealers Association of Canada (now IIROC), and built on the founders’ tradition of giving back to the community. Says Hepburn, “Tom was really instrumental in establishing the firm’s values and taking us to a new level.” Today, with six business locations and over 300 team members, Odlum Brown has stature in British Columbia that belies its size.

Vancouver’s profiles of

excellence 2020 EDITION

We«ve had the right formula from day one: putting our clients and our people first. Debra Hewson, President and CEO

“Our history is all about building relationships, and my role is to nurture and sustain that,” Hewson says. “What’s so wonderful about leading this firm is that no one, including myself, has ever had to rework our business model. We’ve had the right formula from day one: putting our clients and our people first. This won’t change, whether it’s over the next 10 years or 100 years.” Like the founders before them, both Hepburn and Hewson lead by example, recognizing that it’s not enough to have a company vision; what’s imperative is that everyone shares it. “If you don’t have buy-in from your team members and your clients, that vision isn’t going to become reality. At Odlum Brown, our people are inspired by working at a firm that is aligned with their values,” Hewson says. “The way we treat our people is what sustains us and will continue to move us forward. It’s at the core of everything we do.” The next 100 years will present many challenges, but it’s a future that inspires them. “Our path forward is maintaining our independence and the level of service we provide. This is absolutely important,” says Hepburn. Hewson believes that General Odlum, Colonel Brown and Tom Brown would agree: “I think they would be immensely proud of how their legacy is being honoured.”

Suite 1100, 250 Howe Street, Vancouver, BC T 604.669.1600 W odlumbrown.com E information@odlumbrown.com


Amherst Funeral & Cremation Services Families« needs, not profit, come first at independently owned funeral company


People are at their most vulnerable when they’ve lost a loved one. Not only are they in mourning, but they are also faced with a myriad of decisions when it comes to planning what comes next: Large funeral or simple service? Burial or cremation? No-expense-spared or more practical options?

for our industry and those should always be provided,” McFarlane says. “Having experienced a loss myself also helps me understand the ‘other side’ of the equation. I teach our staff to make our families their primary focus and to ensure they give them all of their undivided care and attention.”

Scott McFarlane had been working in the funeral industry for 25 years when one of his family members died. His unpleasant experience as a client highlighted all of the uneasiness he was feeling about the industry. In the age of corporatization and the push for more profits, he felt that funeral services had lost their way.

With independent establishments, families know that they will receive more personal and often hands-on care from true stakeholders. There is a sense of familiarity, community and personality when those families get to meet, interact and even be served by the very same people who put their reputation on the line for their very own company’s services. Helping families is the only true priority at Amherst.

That’s when Scott decided to start his own, fully independent funeral service serving the Lower Mainland. At Amherst, “our goal is to provide simple, honest and straightforward funeral and cremation services that everyone can afford, without any sales pressure or upselling,” he says. “We were the first provider who started posting our prices online for transparency, back when others mostly kept this information hidden until the time they actually had families come to meet them.” Instead of using sales tricks, tactics, pressure and guilt to upsell various funeral options, Amherst simply provides the services a family needs. No more, no less. And, above all, no pressure. With no chapel of its own, Amherst is able to share its profits with the churches and halls who open their facilities for funerals and memorials. Another value that everyone at Amherst adheres to is respect. This means respecting both the family’s wishes and needs, as well as respecting the deceased individual’s wishes and dignity. “It’s very important that both respects coexist with one another,” McFarlane says. Amherst follows the Golden Rule: if they were the ones who have lost someone they loved, how would they wish to be treated? “Without a doubt, kindness, compassion and sensitivity are the major requirements

Vancouver’s profiles of

excellence 2020 EDITION

My goal is to provide simple, honest and straightforward funeral and cremation services that everyone can afford, without any sales pressure or upselling. Scott McFarlane, Owner

Families certainly are appreciative. Thanks to their vote of support, no other funeral service is as decorated as Amherst. It has won Best of Vancouver, Best of the City, and Stars of Vancouver readers’ choice awards for several consecutive years, as well as the recently won 2020 Consumer Choice Award. That’s why Amherst can boast “The Best is Simply Affordable” with pride. When McFarlane reflects on his decision to start his own funeral service a decade ago, he can feel a deep sense of satisfaction with what he and his staff have achieved, and continue to strive for. “By founding Amherst, I can honestly tell myself that I truly get to help others in a manner that reflects my main mission: to help people afford the best funeral services, regardless of the level of service they require and their current financial state,” he says. “Our profit margin may be small, but I’m the most proud when I know that I have given these families the best care and services without sacrificing the respects they deserve. “Yes, I should be proud of all the awards and the accolades that have come from providing our services. But I think the thanks and the loyal support of the families we’ve helped along the way is the true affirmation that we are achieving our goals.”

suite 1209, 207 West Hastings St. Vancouver, BC T 604.831.3023 24 hours a day/7 days a week W amherstcremation.com E scott@amherstcremation.com


The Opal team from left to right: Sabeena Denton, Recreation Manager; Bernice Sutherland, Director of Care; Alex Mok, Executive Chef; Edwin Brunink, General Manager; and Veronica Da Conceicao, Director of Resident Services, Sales, Leasing & Marketing.


OPAL by Element Family is a valued element of OPAL by Element


Family — it’s not only what inspired the director of resident services for OPAL by Element to seek a career working with seniors almost 30 years ago, but also why she continues to enjoy her work so much. Veronica Da Conceicao, who is also director of sales, leasing and marketing for OPAL, says a death in the family made her realize just how little she and other family members were prepared for such an event. “We were just in shock and didn’t know how to even start dealing with his affairs.” That confusion led to Da Conceicao’ s determination to learn all she could about dealing with aging. It also helped that her mother encouraged her to take a part-time job at a Vancouver-based, seniors’ home while she attended school. “It was a casual job, but I could see its potential and I found myself loving seniors,” says Da Conceicao. Now, after almost three decades in the industry — independent living, assisted living, licensed long-term care and intermediate and extended care — it’s obvious Da Conceicao’s enthusiasm for working with seniors has only grown stronger. Da Conceicao says her position at OPAL aligns well with her personal beliefs that seniors should be able to live out their lives with dignity, a philosophy she notes, not embraced by all care residences. She adds there’s also often been a shortage of appropriate and safe senior housing. “Some residents are living at risk in their own homes with no family support,” says Da Conceicao. “Couples struggle to look after each other’s medical and physical challenges and become each other’s caregiver due to the fear of being separated.” And when it comes to adult children, Da Conceicao says due to the stress of looking after their own families on top of their parents, it’s easy for them to burn out. “Seniors realize this and, therefore, don’t want to burden their children so they try to ‘manage.’” It’s OPAL’s commitment to keeping families together, that Da Conceicao loves so much about her work. While OPAL at

Element is open to seniors 55 and older, it’s been created with families in mind. To that end, the beautifully-constructed building on King Edward Avenue includes a theatre room, which can be booked by residents who want to watch a movie with their grandkids, an outdoor play area and upcoming plans to offer programs for kids, such as cooking lessons, and, eventually, Montessori classes.

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excellence 2020 EDITION

Keeping families together for as long as possible is key to healthy living. Veronica Da Conceicao, Director of Resident Services, Sales, Leasing & Marketing

“It’s an intergenerational philosophy. Often these families live together or, five days a week, the grandkids are at grandma’s,” says Da Conceicao. “All of these things exist and here at OPAL they recognize that.” Da Conceicao notes it’s important that people who work with seniors take the time to listen to their stories. Da Conceicao adds it’s something she loves to do and has had the pleasure to meet Supreme Court judges, the first female architect in B.C., the first Chinese physician in Vancouver and the first goaltender for the Vancouver Millionaires — the precursors to the Vancouver Canucks. “If you’re willing to sit down with them, they’ll tell you their stories,” says Da Conceicao. “To this day I feel blessed to have crossed paths with so many residents and their families.” Da Conceicao says residents have shared with her their hardships, family dynamics and celebrations — and never hesitate to pull out their photo albums. “With a sparkle in their eye and a big smile they proudly point out their children, grandchildren, travel, home and garden,” says Da Conceicao. “I am humbled by their stories and have shed a tear or two with residents.” Da Conceicao often wondered whether there was a community living residence that could accommodate the changing circumstances of retirees and how they want to live their lives. “To be honest, most don’t know what retirement living is because they can’t take away the perception of a ‘nursing home,’” says Da Conceicao. “I am so proud to be part of Element Lifestyle Retirement Inc. After 29 years, I can finally say that the concept of intergenerational living with a continuum of care is the true definition of retirement living at its best.”

438 W. King Edward Ave., Vancouver, BC T 604.871.9265 W OPALbyelement.com


Krista Simon


hammerberg lawyers llp


Managing Conflict and Disputes in Personal Injury and Estate claims

I like to reframe challenges as opportunities.


Krista Simon is a problem solver by nature. Growing up in Paradise, a suburb of St. John’s, Newfoundland, Simon always knew she would become a lawyer. She earned her law degree at Dalhousie University and shortly thereafter moved to Vancouver, joining Hammerberg Lawyers LLP in 2004. She was named the firm’s first female Partner less than a decade later. Focussing on personal injury and estate law, Simon is a fiercely determined advocate for her clients as a courtroom litigator. Elected as the fourth female President of the Trial Lawyers Association of BC in 2015 and currently an acting Governor, Simon has a wealth of knowledge and courtroom experience at the Supreme Court level and an impressive track record of trial wins. However, she is also highly skilled in alternative dispute resolution, believing that mediation is often the best way to transform challenges into the best outcomes for her clients. “I’ve always been proud to be a trial lawyer, but really I’m in conflict management,” she says. “Mediation is a beneficial tool on the spectrum of dispute resolution. It allows for some humanity and empowers clients because it gives them the most control over solving their own problems. I’m their advocate, but they really get to participate.” Simon has studied mediation at Harvard and Pepperdine universities and recently started a Masters of Law program at York University’s Osgoode Hall to further her expertise in dispute resolution. When it comes to estate disputes, Simon helps people in often emotionally complex situations. Sometimes all it takes is a phone call or letter to make sure her clients are treated fairly. If more is required, her skills as a litigator and a negotiator kick in. “Not all cases require an adversarial approach that ends in a trial,” she says. “There’s not always a clear path to a win for either side. There’s a process along the way that can accomplish an outcome

that’s even better than a court ruling. You can repair relationships, especially in estate litigation when you’re dealing with families and family history. “

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Krista Simon, Partner Hammerberg Lawyers LLP

“Sometimes in a facilitated discussion, an airing of grievances with advocates present can go a long way. We call that productive venting. You’re not fighting it out or yelling at one another. It’s more productive than that. On the other hand, where parties have no desire to reconcile, we still facilitate a resolution, in or out of court.” Motivated by a heightened sense of fairness, she helps people who have been injured in accidents get the financial compensation and benefits they’re entitled to. “The people who come to me are very vulnerable after an injury. They are going up against a multi-billion-dollar insurance industry. Basing our fee on a contingency arrangement allows people of all socio-economic backgrounds to hire us. Essentially it’s deferred fees — we get paid at the end when we achieve a result.” Simon does a deep dive into her client’s claim and how the accident has had an impact on their lives. “I know the ingredients for a successful case at trial, and if I think my client can do better by going to court, I will not hesitate to take a case to trial. In the courtroom, strong evidence supporting the legal argument prevails.” In fact, Simon recently won a sevenfigure personal injury judgement in the Supreme Court for a young professional client at the start of her career. “When we go before a judge and it goes well, it’s because we’ve done the work to show the law is on our client’s side. One of my mottos is ‘I will not be outworked.’ Preparation is key.” Underlining her tenacious defence of her clients’ rights is a belief that everyone should be treated fairly with respect and dignity. When those rights are being denied, she ensures the scales of justice are put back in their proper balance.

Suite 1220 Airport Square, 1200 West 73rd Ave., Vancouver, B.C. V6P 6G5 T 604.269.8500 W Hammerco.net E ksimon@hammerco.net


Evelyn Chand-Caleb, Owner, Fairlane Collision at her state-of-the-art 15,000 square foot facility.

Fairlane Collision Repairs Ltd. Owner continues legacy of high standards for workmanship


When someone brings their vehicle to Fairlane Collision after an accident, insurance companies might be paying the repair bills but Evelyn Chand-Caleb’s ultimate loyalty is to the person standing in front of her. She works with her team of estimators to make sure that a thorough assessment is done of the damages. They take photos, research parts and supplies and then set out a detailed plan for the work that will be required. They let the customer know what’s ahead and, just as importantly, they give insurance companies a realistic estimation of the time it will take to do the job properly. “It’s all about looking after customers’ safety,” says the long-time repair shop’s CEO and president. “I tell my staff to let me know when they need more time in order to get job done properly. “The customer’s safety is the most important.” Evelyn started working at the South Vancouver repair shop when she was 14. Her father, Jim Chand, would bring her to the office to help with paperwork and phones. She then worked on the administrative side of the business before going into accounting and general management, watching first-hand how her father valued and respected their customers’ needs. “Over the course of 40 years in the business, each and every customer who visits our Vancouver shop becomes important to us from the first moment we meet them,” Evelyn says. After the death of her father five years ago, Evelyn took over the business. The leadership role in a male-dominated field presented its challenges which she has learned to overcome by immersing herself even more fully in all aspects of the business. “You have to have knowledge,” she says. “You have to understand why your business is doing something before you can implement it.” Lately she’s been studying different paint brands and how to spot a problem with a paint job before the vehicle is allowed to

leave the shop. She works with her staff to ensure that their standards of workmanship match what they would expect if they were the vehicle’s owner. If there’s a problem, no matter how small it may seem, you fix it.

Vancouver’s profiles of

excellence 2020 EDITION

You have to put yourself in the owner«s situation; you make it right. Evelyn Chand-Caleb, owner and president

“You have to put yourself in the owner’s situation; you make it right.” Fairlane Collision is an accredited ICBC Express Valet Shop. It uses factory level computer equipment and resources to stay current with changing trends. Regular training is provided to the team of certified and master technicians. The 15,000 square foot facility has some of the most high-tech vehicle repair equipment available. This includes an aluminum repair centre, prep centre, two downdraft spray booths, and a state-of-theart bake oven which all lead to professional repairs to return your car to factory specifications. The team at Fairlane Collision also knows that a vehicle is more than the sum of its parts. You can have all the modern technology you want; you also need staff who care deeply about the quality of the work they do with the technology to assist them. “While our team is savvy in the computerdriven technology, old-fashioned craftsmanship comes into play as well,” she says. Staff understand that when many customers arrive at Fairlane Collision, they can be stressed and anxious. No one wants to be in an accident and, when your vehicle is damaged, it creates extra pressures on already busy lives. Staff meet with customers to outline what will be done and provide regular updates, such as if there is an unexpected delay for parts. As demanding as the work is, there are rewards. Evelyn was particularly touched when her 17-yearold-son and 19-year-old daughter told her, “We’re so proud of you. You run a demanding business and you are always there for us as a mother.”

8230 Fraser St.,

It made everything worth it. “When your kid can see it, you’re doing something good,” Evelyn says.

Vancouver, BC

The legacy continues.

W fairlanecollision.com

T 604.321.2452



PainPro Clinics

RMTs, Physiotherapists, Chiropractors and Kinesiologists dedicated to providing easy access to effective treatments


Pain is a demanding taskmaster. It has little patience and won’t go away no matter how much you try to ignore it. That’s why painPRO Clinics is committed to its promise of “same day or next day” appointments when someone calls one of the six clinics in the Lower Mainland. “When you wake up with a sore neck because you slept badly or you slipped and fell, an appointment two weeks away won’t help you,” says Ryan Desrochers, who owns painPRO with his father Michael, who founded the company in 2004. “We understand the importance of providing easy access to effective treatments when people need them most.” This approach is particularly beneficial for people who have been injured in motor vehicle accidents. painPRO will help coordinate care with ICBC by working with the patient’s adjustor to get the approvals needed for the most effective treatment plan and treatment type. “The quicker we can address issues, depending on the severity of your injuries, the better the long-term outcome,” Ryan says. Not only do the professionals at painPRO want to immediately start alleviating a patient’s pain or discomfort, they also want to ensure they’re back doing the things they love as soon as possible. painPRO facilitates communication and informationsharing between its team of more than 70 Registered Massage Therapists, Physiotherapists, Chiropractors and Kinesiologists. Patients might start with a massage therapist who will assess their issues. If the massage therapist believes a chiropractor or physiotherapist can speed up recovery, then the patient will be referred to the appropriate team member. painPRO therapists focus on evidence informed approaches to healthcare. One very important area of research is the integration of active rehabilitation through movement. After undergoing treatment with a Registered Massage Therapist, Physiotherapist, or Chiropractor, many patients are referred to a Kinesiologist. They are specially trained in understanding the mechanics of human movement and will customize an exercise

program that can be done at home to help reduce healing time. Shockwave therapy, which helps break down scar tissue and improve the healing cycle, is included with no extra charge when needed. “We’re all about reducing the treatment cycle and saving patients money,” Ryan says.

profiles of

excellence 2020 EDITION

We empower practitioners with the knowledge to support patients at an extremely high level. Ryan Desrochers

Sometimes pain prevention is equally important. A grandparent who wants to be able to pick up their grandchild with ease or someone who sits at a desk all day long will benefit from a specialized preventative maintenance program and active rehabilitation. painPRO is one of the few clinics with programs specially designed for the challenges dancers face. It has developed close ties with Arts Umbrella through team member Dr. Tony McDougall, a chiropractor who understands that dancing can be an extreme sport. “Dancing is really hard on your body,” says Ryan. “We have therapists who are trained and focused on specific treatments and exercise programs to support dancers on a preventative maintenance cycle as well as a rehabilitation cycle. We help them achieve their highest levels of excellence.” This team-based, collaborative approach is deeply embedded in painPRO’s culture. It has created the Institute of Clinical Excellence, which is headed by the former research chair of the Registered Massage Therapists Association of B.C. to develop and deliver educational seminars to painPRO’s staff and healthcare team. Veteran practitioners share their expertise with young graduates who get to further learn advanced methods. A video conferencing room facilitates discussions about best care options for patients with complex needs. “We’re in service to the patients from a health-care perspective and we’re in service to practitioners,” says Ryan, who adds the company is also dedicated to paying staff a living wage. “There’s a large team that has made painPRO what it is. We don’t have a top-down approach; it’s left-right. It’s a culture — we’re a healthcare community and we really do care about the people who are within it. It’s not just about the patients; we empower the practitioners and the employees with the knowledge to support patients at an extremely high level.”

Six convenient locations: 885 Dunsmuir St., Vancouver 1112 W. Pender St., Vancouver 555 W. 12th Ave., Vancouver 10366 136A St., Surrey 13737 96th Ave., Surrey 4710 Kingsway, Burnaby T 604.683.7246 W www.painproclinics.com E contact@painproclinics.com


Kevin Liminsang and Naomi Zhao founded Eastward Media, a Chinese ad-tech company based in Vancouver with global reach, almost four years ago. OPPOSITE: EASTWARD MEDIA HQ TEAM IN VANCOUVER, FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: AMBER CHEN, SHERRY WANG, KEVIN LIMINSANG, NAOMI ZHAO, ISABEL WANG AND TYLER POND.


Eastward Media


Eastward Media helps brands reach Chinese consumers, worldwide It was a chance conversation almost four-years ago, which brought together Vancouverite Kevin Liminsang and Naomi Zhao, who had recently immigrated to Canada from Shanghai after a ten year career at the “Big 4” media agencies in China. But nothing was left to chance once these two met and discussed the myriad of untapped advertising opportunities for North American brands to reach Chinese consumers around the world. Shortly after, and under the guidance of seasoned media executive Alvin Brouwer, Eastward Media was launched to provide Chinese ad-tech and social media products to brands and ad agencies in North America. Since 2016, the start-up has expanded to two Canadian offices with a growing focus on the United States. The media products offered by Eastward Media, which include a range of Chinese programmatic buying solutions and social media management services, are in highdemand as brands globally focus their attention on China and Chinese diaspora consumers. “For brands to successfully scale in the world’s largest consumer market — China — they need to be able to strategically buy Chinese media, which is a huge challenge due to regulation surrounding censorship (known as the Great Firewall),” says Zhao, vice president of business and product development at Eastward. “Here at Eastward Media, our products help brands efficiently enter the walled gardens of Chinese media and reach Chinese consumer audiences in Canada, the United States, Asia and elsewhere.” “We’re working every day to deliver value to our customers,” says Liminsang, Eastward’s vice president of client services and partnerships. “It’s definitely been a process. Our ‘Day One’ challenge was bringing Chinese ad-tech solutions to the North American ad market and iterating them to find the right fit with mainstream media buyers and brand marketers. Our ‘Day Two’ challenge is growing awareness for our unique products and the reach issues they solve, but we’re making great

headway and hitting milestones every quarter.” “Our team in our Vancouver HQ is outstanding. They service our customers, colleagues and sales partners around the world,” says Zhao. “We frequently communicate with teams in China and basically work on three key time zones.” Eastward Media today manages Chinese digital media campaigns for the Big 4 ad agencies in North America, BMW, Toys ‘R Us, China UnionPay, Onni Group and McArthurGlen Designer Outlet, with more clients in automotive, real estate, finance, government, CPG and pharmaceutical.

profiles of

excellence 2020 EDITION

Eastward Media helps brands develop their worldwide Chinese markets more strategically and efficiently. Naomi Zhao, Vice president,  business & product development

A steady stream of newcomers and tourists from China to Canada and the United States means there are plenty of business opportunities, but before Eastward Media was launched, reaching those consumers proved challenging for most brands in North America. “Many Chinese newcomers to North America retain their media habits, choosing to still use websites, apps and video streaming platforms from China,” says Liminsang. “These Chinese websites are purposefully disconnected from mainstream media buying platforms like Google and Facebook due to regulation. That means you can’t buy ads on Chinese websites through those common tools. Eastward Media solves this problem.” Aside from executing North Americatargeted campaigns, a growing area of the Eastward Media business is in helping companies launch or scale in China. “Eastward Media helps brands develop their worldwide Chinese markets more strategically and efficiently,” says Zhao. In Eastward Media’s China practice, they operate as both media agency and advisory, helping their growing roster of enterprise clients achieve long-term success in the China market through the combination of media savvy, consumer research and cultural fluency. A division of Glacier Media Group, Eastward Media is helping brands reach Chinese consumers, worldwide.

Head Office: 303 West 5th Ave, Vancouver BC T 604.619.2991 E info@eastwardmedia.com W eastwardmedia.com Toronto Office: 320-225 Duncan Mill Rd, Toronto



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Vancouver's Profiles of Excellence - 2020 Edition  

Vancouver's Profiles of Excellence - 2020 Edition