2014 Winners


Abel O’Brennan – Winemaker & Owner Coastal Black Estate Winery

Abel has contributed significantly to agri-tourism in the Comox Valley. His support of Flavours, the North Island’s Gourmet Picnic and Toast Comox Valley, as well as the establishment of his own Coastal Black Pumpkin Fest and Coastal Black Christmas, have resulted in significant external media attention on the Comox Valley.


Anna Jones, Senior Associate, Church Pickard Chartered Accountants

Anna Jones, a true professional, provides “service above self” in her profession and community. Her achievement of becoming a Chartered Accountant came at an early age by being a quiet achiever who “just does what is needed to get it done with no expectations of reward.”


Chad Conrad, Owner, Mr. Mikes – Duncan

Chad Conrad began his career with Mr. Mikes as a line cook in 2002 and by 2006 was promoted to Operations Manager for the chain. In 2009, Chad opened a Mr. Mikes restaurant in Duncan, and with hard work and dedication a position on the Franchise Advisory Council.


Chantal Stefan – Founder, CEO Everybody Deserves A Smile (EDAS)

Called to reach out to the homeless one cold night, Chantal Stefan rallied her friends to create care packages to hang on dumpsters and leave in alleyways, and Everybody Deserves A Smile (EDAS) was born. EDAS is now celebrating its 10th Year of Giving handing out over 2000 care packages, helping the homeless across the Island, on East Hastings and beyond.

Cody Dreger

Cody Dreger, Realtor at Remax and Co-Owner / Co-Manager , Simon Holt Restaurant


Cori McCaw, Mortgage Expert, DLC Canadian Mortgage Experts

Cori McCaw is in her seventh year as a Mortgage Broker and has worked in the real estate industry for 10 years. Her knowledge, honesty, and warm personality enable her to connect with her clients. Cori is a member of the Young Professionals of Cowichan (YPC) and sits on the Executive Board as the Professional and Personal Development Director.

Daniel Martinez

Daniel Martinez, Wealth Manager, Integral Wealth Securities

Daniel is a hardworking individual, constantly in search of ways to better himself and his community. Daniel has been a board member, and currently the Vice President for the YPN where he has been involved in the development of the organization. He has recently joined the board for the Nanaimo Community Foundation, bringing renewed energy to the organization.


Dr. Rebecca Morley, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon, Island Health

Born in Campbell River, Rebecca has always considered herself an Island girl. After a year of living in France, she received a Bachelor of Science from Yale before completing her Medical Degree at UBC. Dr. Morley then proceeded to Plastic Surgery Residency at UBC, additional fellowship training in Hand Surgery (University of Western Ontario) and Paediatric Plastic Surgery (UBC).


Edwin Betinol – Physiotherapist The Joint Physiotherapy

Edwin (Eddy) Betinol (BScPT, RCAMT, CGIMS, CHT) has lived in Courtenay for over 11 years. He believes that he is blessed to live in an area that he calls, “The Valley of Giants”. The Comox Valley is a diverse and spirited community that has produced some of the world’s finest artists, academics and athletes.


Gord Groves , Manager, Quality Foods

At age 36 Gord has worked for Quality Foods for half his life. He started as a stock boy during high school in Qualicum and has progressed to Store Manager in one of the busiest large format stores in Port Alberni.

Jameel Sayani

Jameel Sayani, Senior Manager, MNP LLP

Jameel is a Senior Manager of Aboriginal Services at MNP. Working across Vancouver Island, he delivers assurance, taxation and business advisory services to First Nation clients and other Aboriginal businesses and organizations.

Jennifer Millbank

Jennifer Millbank, Partner, Ramsay Lampman Rhodes

Jennifer Millbank is a partner at the law firm Ramsay Lampman Rhodes. She is a courtroom litigator and has successfully argued cases before the British Columbia Supreme Court, British Columbia Court of Appeal, Federal Court of Appeal, and many administrative tribunals.


Jessica Cruise, Founder & CEO, Vibes Fitness

At age 21, Jessica Cruise founded Vibes Fitness in Victoria BC. Vibes specializes in 15 minute, customized workouts that are guided by a certified trainer. Since 2009, Jessica has grown the business to 5 locations on Vancouver Island and the Mainland.

Julie Profile

Julie Broad, Co-founder, Partner, Rev N You with Real Estate and Prairie Island Properties

Julie Broad is a real estate investor, entrepreneur & the #1 Amazon Bestselling author of More Than Cashfl ow. She has invested in six cities in Canada, acquiring $9,000,000 in real estate in Nanaimo alone, providing work to dozens of trades and service professionals on major renovation projects.


Mark deFrias, General Manager , Victoria Highlanders FC

Mark deFrias was named General Manager of the Victoria Highlanders on October 22, 2012. Mark entered the Sports Industry in 2006 through his work as event marketer with the FIFA U20 World Cup. After working as the Highlanders Sales & Marketing Manager during their inaugural season in 2009 season, deFrias joined the UVic Vikes as the Athletic Marketing Officer until 2012.


Professor Jeremy Wulff, Associate Professor, University of Victoria, Department of Chemistry

Dr. Jeremy Wulff grew up in the Comox Valley, and counts Airport and Royston Elementary Schools, Cumberland and Lake Trail Junior High Schools, and G. P. Vanier Secondary among his almae matres. Following this outstanding academic preparation, he went on to complete a BSc from the University of Victoria, a PhD from the University of Calgary, and 2 years at Harvard University doing postdoctoral research.

Kasha Tanaki

Kashi started his career in the BC Public Service in 2005 and he has been the Director, Corporate Planning at the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation since 2010.


Raphael van Lierop, Founder & Creative Director, Hinterland Games

Raphael is the founder and creative director of Hinterland Studio Inc., Creative Director at HELM Studio, a Creative Consultant & Advisor at Blacklight Transmedia, an advisor and mentor at Execution Labs and a member of the Advisory Board for the playback Summit.


Rasool Rayani, President, RDL Health

In 2001, Rasool co-founded Metalogix Software, which won North America’s largest new venture competition (2002), experienced triple digit organic and profitable growth and took on private equity financing (2008). Metalogix is the leading provider of enterprise collaboration and infrastructure solutions to the fortune 5000 (Incl 500 – 2011)


Shawn Steele, General Manager, Prospect Lake Golf Course in Victoria

Shawn has 14 years experience managing a mid-sized business with over 20 full-time and seasonal staff. He excels in leadership and uses his communication and organizational skills to established community and business connections throughout his career and volunteer positions.

Check out our 2016/2017 Winners Full Biographys VIEW HERE