It’s never been cheaper to start a business but it’s never been harder to scale one. Our Scale Up programs are designed to help tackle rapid-growth issues and promote future success through customized action and a curated team of mentors and experts who have the industry and business experience.
What makes these mentors so qualified? They’ve been there. They’ve lived the challenges, thrived in success and, most importantly, learned what leads to both of those outcomes. We recently sat down with our team of Scale Up Executives to learn more about their professional journey and why they believe so strongly in the power of mentorship.
Brodie Desimone is an Executive-in-Residence at Accelerate Okanagan. Brodie has a passion for digital disruption in niche markets and leveraging tech solutions to accelerate growth at the seed stage. He was the founder of three successful startups before he joined Microsoft Canada and spent the next 10 years developing technology strategy in mining, forestry, retail, and telecommunications. In addition to Brodie’s passion for developing businesses, he also is also an active investor. In 2012 Brodie became a partner of Anrias Capital Corp. Anrias is a boutique investment firm with investments in several hospitalities, technology, and financial business.
Brodie currently sits on multiple boards and is also extremely active in mentoring and supporting early-stage companies. Brodie has been an Investor in Residence for The Next Big Thing. He is active in youth entrepreneurship and is supporting the growth of angel network. Brodie is an avid experience seeker and can be found on caving expeditions, sailing trips, scuba diving, and long-distance motorcycle adventures.
Robin Jones is an Executive-in-Residence at Accelerate Okanagan. Robin has a Bachelor of Science degree from Florida State University, and an MBA from Northeastern University in Boston. Robin is a career marketing executive with over 20 years’ experience building and leading marketing teams in global technology companies. She has been instrumental in moving startup and mid-size organizations through rapid growth stages, and has managed more than 20 strategic acquisitions and partnerships, as well as 2 IPOs.
Robin enjoys wake surfing, snowmobiling, and home design and renovation, as well as entertaining friends and family.
Michele Leeners is an Executive in Residence at Accelerate Okanagan. She has over 25 years of experience building and leading finance and operational teams. Her diverse industry experience includes start-ups to large corporations, both private and public. Throughout her career, she has been instrumental in leading businesses through significant growth, new initiatives
and organizational change.
Michele is a graduate of the University of Calgary’s Bachelor of Commerce program and has the Chartered Professional Accountant, Chartered Accountant designation (CPA, CA).
In her spare time, Michele enjoys golfing, biking, swimming, entertaining family and friends, and tending to her extensive vegetable garden.
Sandra Oldfield is an Executive-in-residence at Accelerate Okanagan. Sandra brings over 30 years of strategy, marketing and human resource knowledge in her CEO role from production, sales and customer experience in the BC wine industry. Sandra founded Tinhorn Creek Vineyards in 1994 and grew it from a 1,000 case production to over 40,000 cases before its sale in 2017. Innovative packaging and marketing initiatives including becoming the only carbon neutral winery in Canada and the only winery to include its employees as an integral part of its sustainability program are just some of the ways Sandra drove innovation. Sandra was recently awarded Canada’s 100 Most Powerful Women in the Trendsetters and Trailblazers category and now enjoys coaching dynamic companies with incorporating employee engagement into their strategic plan.
Larry is an Executive in Residence at Accelerate Okanagan. He has led several technology companies from an early stage, through rapid growth, to become market leaders. These companies were recognized (several times by Profit, Deloitte, Branham and others) as leading growth companies, became respected in their markets, and ultimately attracted the attention of acquiring companies. This growth was built on a robust understanding of the market, careful positioning, and capitalizing on best opportunities through marketing, sales and strategic acquisitions. He has rounded out his leadership experience by advising a number of technology companies—assisting them to navigate challenges, turnarounds, and rapid growth while supporting and mentoring their leadership team.
Larry focuses on achieving traction and growth through good strategy, focus, leadership, marketing, sales, operations and overall execution. He works to understand and build commitment to the focus that allows a technology company to grow to the next stage and increase value. His experience selling companies helps him prepare companies to maximize their long-term value.
Larry has a degree in Information Science, an M.B.A and has earned the Certified Management Consultant (CMC) designation. In his spare time, Larry enjoys sports and the outdoors with his family.
Looking for support scaling your business? Check out our RevUp Program.