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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Tanja Halsall, Vice Chair

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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Corie Griffiths, Treasurer

Director of Corporate Services, Regional District Central Okanagan

Corie leads the Economic Development Commission team at the Regional District of Central Okanagan—specializing in investor and government relations, workforce development initiatives, and marketing of the Central Okanagan region, province and country. She connects industry needs and economic development opportunities through her work with the Kelowna International Airport Advisory Committee, and in her roles as a member of UBC Okanagan’s External Advisory Council, and Director on various local, provincial & national organizations including Executive roles on the Boards of the Local Government Management Association of BC and the Economic Development Association of Canada.

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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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Buffy Mills

First Nations Group Benefits and Pension, CapriCMW

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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Chris Pinkerton

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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Doug Gilchrist

CAO, City of Kelowna

Doug spent 4 years as Manager of Community Development & Real Estate before being named to the Senior Leadership Team as Director of Real Estate. During his time with the City of Kelowna, Doug managed a variety of divisions and has overseen numerous complex projects, such as the acquisition of the CN Rail line for the Okanagan Rail Trail initiative.

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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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Mark Betteridge

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

Founder, Vortovia

Nicole is the founder of Vortoia and a champion for world change. She uses equal parts strategy and passion to make things happen. During Nicole’s decade as Corporate Citizenship Director for the tech division of Disney, she drove the corporate social responsibility vision, strategy, and programming across multiple lines of business. This included Disney’s Club Penguin where she created bold, immersive initiatives that spanned the globe.

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Philip Ashman

Regional Dean, Central Okanagan 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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Dr. Philip Barker

Associate Vice-President Research & Vice-Principal Research, UBC Okanagan Campus

Dr. Barker serves in the dual role of AVP Research for the UBC system and Vice-Principal Research for the Okanagan campus. There, he works to deepen the research and innovation culture. Phil is driven to build relationships that increase research and innovation capacity, as well as advocate for the University’s research and innovation mission.

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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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Shayne Dyrdal

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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