Winners 2017


Adrian Pereira, C0- Founder – Paretologic Inc.

In the past 15 years, Adrian Pereira has founded, co-founded and held board positions for many of the most successful technology firms on the island.  He brings a unique combination of marketing and technical expertise to the table, and his entrepreneurial spirit, passion, work ethic and vision has been invaluable to the growth of these businesses.  Adrian graduated from the University of Victoria with a degree in Computer Science in December 2000.  During his studies at the University he also worked for Motorola, UVIC and the Department of National Defense

In 2002 Adrian launched his first online business when he designed, developed, and marketed  Adrian later co-founded ParetoLogic which develops sophisticated technology coupled with simple, easy to use software interfaces to allow users to resolve computer issues and enjoy their computing experience.

Alison Kilby, Owner/Operator – Pioneer Home Hardware Building Centre

I, like most people, do what needs to be done to make my business successful and I have been fortunate to be surrounded by a great team. I was humbled when my peers were asked to write reference letters and what they said about me.  The letters made me realize what I take lightly has made an impact on others.

My family has always been supportive and that is what makes me so extremely proud. Thank you to all of them.

Andrew Wilson, Maintenance & Fleet Manager – Wilson’s Transportation.

I am the third generation of a locally owned and operated bus company located in Victoria B.C.  I am very passionate about our company and the things we do within the community.  Currently I am the head of the “Green Initiative” program for our company which, is looking at converting several of our vehicles to electric.  I also work closely with local businesses to help give back to kids who are less fortunate.  Last year I organized the bus races at Western Speedway where all of the proceeds of the 50/50 draw went back to the Kids Klub lunch program.  I also like to support Al Hasham and the Victoria Chamber Commerce as much as I can by attending several events also donating my time to volunteer at fundraisers.  Supporting the youth of this city I hold near and dear to my heart and being environmentally responsible is a part of that. 

Chris Hunt – Branch Manager – Scotia Bank

Chris is from the Kwakiutl Nation of the Kwakwaka wakw people.  Chris graduated from UVIC with his MBA specializing in Entrepreneurship.  In January of 2012 he was appointed as Branch Manager Cordova Bay Branch, and was promoted to Branch Manager Oak Bay in November of 2014.  Chris is known for his grassroots approach of collaborating with non-for profits, Scotiabank Bright Futures, and the community to raise money for numerous not for profits.   Chris has raised $130,000 for various not for profits and community organization since 2012.   In Oak Bay, Chris has collaborated with the Oak Bay Rotary, Oak Bay Community Association and the community of Oak Bay to raise money for the Sno’uyutth Legacy Scholarship and Sno’uyutth Pole and Oak Bay High School.  In addition Chris holds an annual fundraiser for the Aboriginal Back to school picnic that provides backpacks to 2,100 underprivileged children in BC.  Chris has coached the Under 7 T Birds Soccer Team and served as Treasurer of the T Birds for the past three years. Chris acknowledges the support of his wife Jaime, daughter Nola, parents, family and community.

Christopher Mavrikos, Founder/Executive Director – The Dahlia Society

Christopher Mavrikos is a proud Victorian, the General Manager of his family business Romeo’s Restaurant and Lounge on Hillside, a philanthropist and a top national fundraiser, who has personally raised more than $150,000 in the fight against breast cancer since his mother’s passing in 1997. As the Founder and Executive Director of local not-for-profit The Dahlia Society, he has led his team of volunteers to bring Canstruction – a major international event – to Victoria. In just three years, Canstruction Victoria has raised more than $260,000 for those with food insecurity in our community. Lastly, he is a dedicated husband to his wife Lauren and proud father to his two children Evelynn and Harrison and his beloved golden retriever Parker. 

Craig W. Rennison, Commercial Insurance Specialist – Waypoint Insurance Services Inc.

I was born and raised in the Comox Valley and I couldn’t have asked for anything more in my childhood. Sports were a huge part of my upbringing and I still play hockey, golf, tennis, baseball, and ski. When not volunteering, working, or playing sports I am travelling. Visiting different parts of the world is rewarding and helps me to expand my awareness of other cultures.

I am very proud to be both a fourth generation Comox Valley Rotarian and Insurance Broker. Giving back has been instilled in me since I was a child and the older I get the more I value that.

Dave Forrester, Advancement Manager – Vancouver Island University

With an Honours Degree in Sport Management from Brock University, Dave previously worked with Olympians and Paralympians before joining Vancouver Island University as an Advancement Manager in 2008. At VIU he is responsible for connecting, engaging and celebrating the more than 75,000 alumni of the school and leading the annual campaign which raises more than $250,000 annually to fund student awards, experiences and equipment.

A National Championship winning coach with Special Olympics BC, Dave volunteers with many community committees including the Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce, Nanaimo Sport Achievement Awards and he is a founder of the Young Professionals of Nanaimo.

Deanne Orrell, Owner – Salon D

De Orrell built Salon D from the ground up. Starting in 2006 with a complete renovation of the space in Nanaimo’s Old City Quarter, De’s vision was for a high-end, yet relaxing salon environment. Today, Salon D features a boutique feel, high quality products, and customer service that puts the needs of the individual first. De is dedicated to pursuing industry training in the latest technologies and techniques, and in turn has trained and mentored numerous up-and-coming stylists. In the community, De is a strong supporter of business in downtown Nanaimo, and generous in her support for local causes.

Elizabeth Robinow, Attorney – Ridgeway & Co. Barristers and Solicitors

Born and raised in Vancouver, but left at 18 to study in England.  Since then she has lived in Kingston, Edinbofough, Halifax, The Pas, Victoria, and Duncan.  She has worked in commercial art sales before fulfilling a childhood dream of attending law school.   Currently the Co-President of the Cowichan Valley Bar Association and a board member of the Big Brothers Big Sisters Cowichan Valley.

Glen Smethurst, Founder/Managing Director – Van Isle Paint/Island Digital Marketing

Glen Smethurst began his career in the student entertainment sector, uncovering markets in Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto. Mr. Smethurst re-focused his energy into the education sector as a student recruiter, he found himself steadily scaling the corporate ladder and soon enjoying the leadership roles of Director, National Director, and Chief Officer, where he oversaw student marketing in Canadian and U.S. universities. The lure of new challenges prompted Mr. Smethurst to co-create Van Isle Paint Inc., Island Digital Marketing, and Playing 4 a Purpose foundation, for at risk youth. Glen shares his home with his dogs and enjoys the outdoors.

Greg Phillips- Lawyer – Johnson Franklin Bishop

Greg Phillips is a lawyer with Johnston Franklin Lawyers in Nanaimo.  Greg has quickly become a noted trial lawyer, with his cases becoming important precedents used by other lawyers across the province. Professionally he has enjoyed much success as a result of his drive, self- motivation and genuine willingness to help people – especially the “little guy”.   Greg is highly involved in his community, including serving as Chair of the Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce, Governor of the Trial Lawyers Association of BC, Past-President of the Nanaimo North Rotary Club, and as a Director of the Nanaimo-Ladysmith Schools Foundation.

James Bogusz, Vice President Operations & Development – Victoria Airport Authority

A lifelong Vancouver Island resident, James grew up in Saanich, graduating from Reynolds High School.  His passion for technology and people, led him into a career that began in 1996 with selling technology products at large Victoria retailers.  In 2001, he started a local technology support business.  James grew the business from $30,000 in its first year, to over $1,400,000 in annual sales in under 5 years.  He sold the profitable business at the end of 2005.   In 2007, James joined the Victoria Airport Authority as the Manager, IT. In 2008, was promoted the Manager, Marketing, Communications & Technology and in 2010, he moved into the position of Director of Airside Operations, Technology & Environment.  In 2014, he took on the role of Vice President, Operations & Development, with a focus on public relations, revenue development and operational oversight for the Authority.  James is married to his wife Melanie who he has been with for almost 20 years and loves Vancouver Island.

Jason Schmidt, Owner – Pheasent Hill Homes ltd.

Jason has been building literally all of his life; starting by following his father around on jobsites as a boy in rural Saskatchewan. He has broad construction experience including civil work, institutional renovations, and high-end residential new homes and renovations. Jason has been project managing for Pheasant Hill Homes Ltd. since 2007, partnering in the company in 2008. Pheasant Hill is an award winning custom building and renovating  based in Nanaimo that has been crafting beautiful, energy-ecient homes in the area for the last 16 years. Since Jason’s partnership in the business Pheasant Hill has seen signicant growth, from nine employees to twenty.

Jolleen Dick

Jolleen Dick is a young, passionate Nuu-chah-nulth woman looking to make a difference on in her home town of Port Alberni where she was born and raised. Upon the completion of her degree in the Bachelor of Tourism Management program at VIU, she returned home to continue what she started: the Sunset Market at the Victoria Quay. Jolleen created this innovative partnership between Alberni Chamber of Commerce & Hupačasath First Nation. This event is an initiative that in builds social capital in the community and supports local economic development, all in a fun, relaxed, waterfront sunset atmosphere.

Kathryn Jones, CPA, CA Accountant – Presley & Partners

Kathryn Jones, CPA, CA is an accountant in the Comox Valley at the accounting firm Presley & Partners. She grew up in the remote community of Shearwater before moving to Port Hardy at the age of ten. She attended the Port Hardy campus during high school for distance study courses, attended the Campbell River campus after graduating high school to study electronics and then attended the Comox Valley campus to obtain her Bachelor of Business Administration degree. As an NIC alumna, Kathryn offers unique insight into student life and how North Island College and the NIC Foundation play an important role in educating people in the communities it serves.

Laurie Bienert, Executive Director – Nanaimo Foundation

Laurie Bienert is the Executive Director for the Nanaimo Foundation. She joined the Nanaimo Foundation as the Development Officer in 2015 as the first and sole staff person in the Foundation’s then 33 year history. Laurie is passionate about supporting her community. In 2016, she established Mid Island Gives—a civic movement dedicated to giving back, involving 35 local organizations. She serves as a board of director for Big Brothers Big Sisters Central Vancouver Island and the Vancouver Island Mental Health Society, and as a member of the Young Professionals of Nanaimo Professional Development Committee.

Linley Faulkner, Co-Founder – Emplomancy

Linley Jena Faulkner is co-founder of Emplomacy. She is often found connecting and building the technology sector. Linley commits her time to increasing inclusion and diversity in the community. She is a co-organizer of YYJ Tech Ladies and Diversitechy, and she lead the launch of Girls Learning Code and Lighthouse Labs in Victoria. Linley chairs the Coast Capital Young Leaders Community Council for Vancouver Island. The Council awarded $1.5 million in grants to 116 youth serving programs on Vancouver Island, the Lower Mainland, and Fraser Valley in 2016. 

Lisa George, CEO/Owner – Loving Hands Senior & Community Care

Lisa is the CEO of LG & JD Holdings Inc., in which she founded and currently operates 2 separate businesses under, Loving Hands Senior & Community Care (est. 2013) and The New Leaf (est. 2015); Servicing two very different, diverse and distinct clienteles while delivering the same philosophy, vision and fundamentals of service delivery. Empathy and compassion are the roots of both businesses as well as the encrypted values of dignity, diversity, and equality for all clients served.  A strong willed, assertive and passionate leader, with the ability and accountability to take risk, accept challenge and produce growth gracefully would be an appropriate description to the way Lisa embraces all business operations. She has heard herself referred to a tenacious, goal orientated and community driven young businesswoman on multiple occasions.

Mike Smith, Victoria Base Manager – Harbour Air

Mike is no stranger to tourism/transportation and has been working in Victoria’s hospitality industry for 13 years, with the Harbour Air Group. His natural ability to lead a team by example was recognized early in his career and he’s been an integral part of Harbour Air’s core values (Integrity, Safety, Team Spirit and Service) in his management role including his community involvement. Mike’s extensive knowledge in the seaplane industry has made him a valuable asset during the consolidation of Harbour Air, Westcoast Air & Whistler Air, and the integration of US owned Kenmore Air into Victoria’s inner Harbour, including Harbour Air’s most recent project, a $4.0-million dollar seaplane facility in Victoria’s inner harbour.

Timothy J. Mawdsley , Branch Manager – Island Savings

Tim is the Branch Manager with Island Savings in Nanaimo. He’s been in the financial services industry since graduating from Vancouver Island University in 2002. His experience in retail and commercial banking has lead to his current leadership role. Tim thrives on leadership and community involvement. He takes great pride in the role that VIU plays in the community and is proud to be the President of the VIU Alumni Association board. He is also a board member with the Nanaimo Foundation and is the Chair of Vital Signs since its inception in 2014.