Vancouver Entrepreneurs Forum appoints 20 board members

The long-standing organization brings together entrepreneurs and investors.

Kookai Chaimahawong, chair of the Vancouver Entrepreneurs Forum (VEF). Photo: LinkedIn

The Vancouver Entrepreneurs Forum (VEF) has released the list of its newly elected board of directors. Twenty leaders in the local tech ecosystem have been appointed, with a tenure that runs for the 2023 to 2024 season.

VEF is a networking forum for technology entrepreneurs, first established in 1988. Its thirty-year legacy aims to inspire technology entrepreneurs, ecosystem champions, and investors across industries. VEF’s goals, the organization says, is to help entrepreneurs achieve their objectives and build long-lasting relationships that will support their journey towards success.

As a non-profit organization, VEF relies on its volunteer-run board to both operate and govern the organization. The board’s focus is on growing the membership base; developing meaningful partnerships; and delivering compelling events that connect entrepreneurs, investors, and industry leaders, helping to unify and strengthen Vancouver’s innovation ecosystem.

“VEF is an organization that is for the community, by the community, and we are so thrilled to welcome such an illustrious group of people that is representative of Vancouver’s thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Kookai Chaimahawong, VEF chair, in a press release. “Our mission is rooted in the belief that a strong community fosters innovation. We are dedicated to shaping the ecosystem that nurtures these connections and drives forward momentum that will help propel BC’s technology sector forward.”

 The elected individuals are:

  • Kookai Chaimahawong (Chair), Executive Director, UBC Sauder’s Centre for Climate and Business Solutions 

  • Kari LaMotte (Vice-Chair), CEO & Co-Founder, Kite Company Creator

  • Bonnie Mah (Treasurer), Director, Canadian Corporate Tax, BDO Canada LLP

  • Tony Rautava (Secretary), Investor, Pender Ventures

  • Michelle Sklar (Events Director), Head of Venture Growth &EIR, entrepreneurship@UBC

  • Heali Thirlwell, (Partnerships Director) Senior Associate, Office Properties, CBRE

  • Amy Rae, Partner, Vanedge Capital

  • Angie Schick, Executive Director, New Ventures BC

  • Brad Bycraft, Vice President, Operations, Sanctuary AI

  • Dean Rockwell, Executive Vice President, Vecima Networks

  • Elizabeth Thorsen, Vice President, Operations, Foresight Canada

  • Heather Tanaka, Investment Principal, InBC Investment Corp.

  • Jon Conlin, Partner, Fasken

  • Lindsay Chan, VP Corporate Advisory + Technology, H+K Strategies

  • Matt Carlson, Founder & Executive Managing Director, Floorspace

  • Mitch Richardson, Senior Associate, Rhino Ventures

  • Sherry Zhao, Regional Director, Pacific Business Development, Mitacs

  • Tim Swanson, Executive Search Consultant, Corporate Recruiters

  • Vivian Wang, Associate, Nimbus Synergies

  • William Johnson, Founder, Vancouver Tech Journal

VEF’s board boasts significant alumni. Previous members include Mike Volker, CEO WUTIF Capital; Brent Holliday, CEO, Garibaldi Capital; Tea Nicola, CEO and Co-founder, WealthBar (acquired by CI Financial); Heather Conradi, Director, Impact Investing, Vancity; and Bryan Buggey, Executive Vice President, Invest Vancouver (formerly acting CEO of Vancouver Economic Commission).

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