Our Board

Michael Macaulay, Chairman

Partner, Lawson Lundell LLP

Michael was a key contributor in opening the firm’s Kelowna office. His practice is focused on corporate, securities and technology law. Michael has extensive experience working with and advising entrepreneurs, start-ups, emerging companies, angel investors and venture capital funds. He also devotes significant time to organizations in the BC start-up community, including Accelerate Okanagan, Innovation Island and entrpreneurship@UBC.

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Chris Pinkerton, Vice Chair

Global Director of Channel Partnerships, Clearco

Chris Pinkerton is the Global Director of Channel Partnerships at Clearco. Over the past 15 years, Chris has worked with the digital teams at companies including 3M, ADT, Google US & UK, Microsoft, Avis Budget Group, Zipcar, The New York Times and Walmart Media Group. All in an effort to help them better understand their digital customer and apply this insight to their acquisition and monetization models. Prior to Clearco, Chris was the President of GetintheLoop and the Vice President at Mediative and Head of the Mediative Consulting Group; an award-winning digital media and research company, which was acquired by YP in 2010.

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Shayne Dyrdal, Treasurer

Senior Airport Finance and Corporate Services Manager, City of Kelowna

Shayne Dyrdal is a CPA, CA with over 15 years of experience in aviation, mining, oil and gas and public practice.  Shayne is currently the Senior Finance and Corporate Services Manager at Kelowna International Airport (YLW) where she helps define the strategic direction and oversees the financial stewardship of YLW.  In this role, Shayne is responsible for financial forecasting, reporting, and budgeting, as well as cash management, procurement, legal and insurance.  Shayne is the Chair of the Canadian Airports Council Financial Affairs Committee, a member of the Canadian Airports Council Tier 2 Insurance Committee and is the Treasurer for the Okanagan Fruit Tree Project.

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Tanja Halsall, Executive

Chief People Officer, Potentia Human Resources

Tanja Halsall provides consulting services to various local businesses through her consulting company Potentia Human Resources and is also an Adjunct Professor with the Faculty of Management at UBC Okanagan. Tanja draws on her 30 plus years of progressive management, operations, and strategic Human Resource experience to support local businesses in developing exceptional People, Culture and Leadership practices.

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Mark Betteridge, Executive

Chief Executive Officer, Mark Betteridge and Associates

Mark is an investor in start-up technology firms and in small real estate development projects primarily in British Columbia. In several of the technology start-ups he is also an advisor/mentor.  Mark has 22 years of running Discovery Parks and Discovery Foundation in Vancouver and almost as long as an active angel investor in 21 startups.  Mark is also a member of BCTech Board for 12 years and currently a Governor of the BC Business Council. He seeks a balance of profit and social good in all activities and wants to make the Okanagan the location of choice for both locally created startups and those who want to move here for a blend of lifestyle and commercial success.

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Nicole Rustad, Executive

Chief Impact Officer, Carbon Counts

Nicole is a passionate entrepreneur who helps build companies so they can make a lasting, positive impact on the planet. With a strong conviction that technology can be used as a force for good, Nicole is the Chief Impact Officer of Carbon Counts Tech – a rapidly growing entertainment studio building a game she likens to the “Candy Crush” of reforestation and climate action. She is also a Co-Founder of Unboxals Creative, a purpose-first, entertainment studio connecting kids and their families to endangered animals and their environment. From Fortune 500 Companies to foundations and NGOs, Nicole also helps scale impactful initiatives—from vision and strategy through to delivery of large-scale projects, products and programs globally as a consultant, advisor and board member.
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Buffy Mills

First Nations Group Benefits and Pension, Acera

Buffy is a member of the Okanagan Indian Band. She is from an area called Inkumupuluxthis translates as “where the people gather” which is located on the north end of Okanagan Lake. Buffy has worked in the Aboriginal Health and Wellness industry for 28 years. She is a licensed advisor, and a couple courses away from completing her MBA. Buffy is passionate about the experience of wellness in First Nation communities and looks forward to assisting clients and communities achieve their financial and wellness goals.

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Ashley Ramsay

Founder & CEO, Yeti Farm

Ashley Ramsay co-founded Yeti Farm Creative with her husband, Animator and Director, Todd in 2007. She had previously spent over a decade honing her production and business skills at leading Vancouver studios in various roles. As CEO and Momma Yeti, Ashley embodies Yeti’s core values leading the studio management team, corporate strategy, partnerships, acquisitions and intellectual properties. Ashley is extremely active with government initiatives and industry boards, serving as a Director for the Canadian Media Producers Association and as a Director on the British Columbia Business Roundtables. She had previously served with the Okanagan Film Commission.

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Derek Edstrom

Divisional Director of Partnerships and Investments at the City of Kelowna

Derek Edstrom is the Divisional Director of Partnerships and Investments for the
City of Kelowna. He leads a division that focuses on developing Partnerships with
institutions, private sector, and other levels of government to achieve the long-term
goals of the City. The Partnerships and Investments division has 4 major areas:
Partnerships Office, Real Estate, Building Services, and Parks &Buildings Planning.
Our mandate is to challenge the status quo for how government delivers its
initiatives. Derek has embraced the challenge of how alternative solutions can be
achieved through investments in technology and automation. He has a finance
background holding both the Chartered Financial Analyst and Chartered
Professional Accountant designations.

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Harry Singh

Venture Capital and Corporate Development Executive

Harry is an industry executive with venture capital, M&A, strategic transactions, and general management experience. Harry is a Canadian currently based in California’s Silicon Valley. Harry’s experience includes investments in connectivity, enterprise SaaS, artificial intelligence/deep learning, security, IoT security, identity and access management, encryption, and anti-fraud.

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Jennifer Kilback

Chief Business Officer, Hyper Hippo

​​Jen is part of the executive team at Hyper Hippo where she focuses on corporate strategy, business operations, communication, and having a positive impact in all the studio does. Jen has played key roles in tech startups that have transitioned to growth, expansion and acquisition.  She is passionate about the well being of the Hyper Hippo team, the local community, and for creating an inclusive environment at work and in industry.

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Krista Mallory

Manager, Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission

Krista Mallory is the manager of the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission (COEDC), a service of the Regional District of Central Okanagan based in Kelowna BC. A believer in the power of working together, Krista supports Canada’s fastest growing metro area by developing and nurturing relationships and connecting newcomers, businesses and entrepreneurs to community resources and networks. In addition to acting as a connector, Krista leads a team of six highly skilled professionals and a 45-member Advisory Council in advancing workforce development, business retention and expansion and investment and talent attraction initiatives.

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Philip Ashman

Director, Ancillary & Business Services at Okanagan College

Phil spent eleven years in the department of Network and Telecommunications Engineering Technologies at Okanagan College before becoming Associate Dean of Science, Technology and Health and later the Regional Dean for the Central Okanagan. Phil has dedicated time leading technology workshops, representing the college on the Board of Directors for the Okanagan Research and Innovation Centre, and as a Technical Lead with the Okanagan High-Speed Broadband Initiative.

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Sandra Spencer

Innovation Manager at the University of British Columbia

Sandra Spencer has worked in the entrepreneur & innovation ecosystem for the past 10+ years, most recently within the Okanagan following a move from Alberta in 2021. Sandra recently took on a new role at UBC Okanagan as Innovation Manager supporting industry partnerships, commercialization and entrepreneurship for the campus community. Prior to that, Sandra was a Sr Innovation Advisor with Innovation Canada support companies of all sectors and sizes across BC and Yukon in identifying resources and supports to grow their companies.

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Sally Powell

General Manager, PAI Health

Sally is an Insurtech & Digital Health professional with over 20 years of experience in Business Development, Sales & Account Management and Partnership Management gained within leading global insurance, healthcare and governmental organisations. She has worked in Asia, Europe and now in North America. She leads Vancouver startup, PAI Health which was fully acquired in 2020 by the largest smart wearables company in the world. She is passionate about challenging gender biases, promoting a meaningful DEI agenda and creating safe environments for LGTBQIA2S+ to be their authentic selves at work.

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