Our previous Y.E.S. Talks have featured an amazing lineup of speakers all of whom have a great deal of experience as business owners, advising business owners and teaching business owners. Their stories and practical advice hit the mark in terms of resonating with the personal experiences and challenges faced by the young entrepreneurs in attendance.
Brian Scudamore is a serial entrepreneur and passionate people-person. Renowned for pioneering the professional junk hauling industry with 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, he’s since added brands in the painting, moving, and home-detailing industries under the O2E Brands banner. He’s now at the helm of a burgeoning home-service empire - each brand has franchise locations in every major metro in North America and Australia. He’s a respected industry leader and speaker, known in the business community for his belief in people and passion for innovation.
His companies have appeared on Oprah, CNBC and more. Brian is a regular contributor to Forbes and The Globe and Mail. A strong believer in ongoing personal and professional development, Brian has attended programs offered by MIT for several years. If he’s not launching a new brand or coming up with a new, big idea, he’s skiing, biking or hanging out with his family in Vancouver, BC.
Daniel is a passionate adventurer and change maker. Daniel is one of ten Canadian founders under the age of 25 that was chosen for The Next Big Thing (TNBT) first cohort in 2014. Daniel is creating a world of unlimited access to adventure as the founder of ShareShed and Guiides.com.
Daniel also spoke on stage in front of 20,000 youth at We Day, directed a film series on the collaborative economy, received a monthly grant from the Austrian government to conduct research on the European sharing economy, and has traveled to over 30 countries. Since arriving at TNBT Daniel has been named Top 30 Under 30 by BCBusiness Magazine as well as a Canadian G20 Delegate.
In his spare time you can find Daniel stand up paddle boarding off of Kits Beach and exploring the local mountains.
Samantha Skelly is the founder of Hungry For Happiness, an international movement to support women around the world who are suffering from disordered eating and body image issues. Hungry For Happiness creates online accessible and affordable recovery resources to those who are suffering in silence. Samantha's mission is to revolutionize the weight loss industry by providing solutions to the internal problem. Samantha was awarded ‘Top 24 under 24’ in September 2013, and in 2014 she was a finalist as the SBBC ‘Best Emerging Entrepreneur’. Samantha Skelly is building a disruptive company in the eating disorder recovery space. Her vision is to create the largest and most impactful online resource to support those whose lives are negatively affected by issues with food and their bodies.
Otis Perrick is president and founder of Disruptive Media Publishers, an independent Vancouver-based interactive entertainment company that develops and publishes licensed and non-licensed digital personalization content on Microsoft Xbox and Sony PlayStation. Otis is responsible for leading and managing the company’s overall strategic direction. In his role, Otis has developed and secured valuable partnerships with the world’s top brands including NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB, NCAA and Warner Brothers. Under his leadership, the company has experienced a 1009 per cent revenue growth over five years and recently being recognized by Business in Vancouver as one fastest growing companies coming in at number 11. Otis was also a recipient of BIV’s 40 under 40.
In addition to founding Disruptive Publishers, Otis is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Ripe Rides. Ripe Rides is a mid-level, point-to-point luxury sedan car service, giving customers more value, choice and transparency when it comes to car-for-hire options. Ripe introduces full smartphone integration to the GVRD, giving customers accurate wait times, cost estimates, and a dynamic feedback loop between driver and customer.
Dario has established himself as an entrepreneur and a global connector over the past 15 years. He has founded a number of successful ventures in Vancouver, New York, and Los Angeles, including Quietly, Invoke, BrightKit, and HootSuite – the world’s leading social media management platform. Dario is an active investor and currently sits on the advisory board of several technology companies.
Scotty is the President & CEO of Browns Restaurant Group. He’s responsible for brand concept and restaurant design, and he’s heavily involved in all programs and initiatives that shape guest experiences, including the music program, menu development and more. Scotty's desire to mentor and create wealth for other people led to the creation of the their franchise model; small footprints, low capital start up costs and sound processes are the trademark of the Browns Socialhouse concept.
Prior to launching Browns Restaurant Group, Scotty co-founded Cactus Club Restaurant™ as well as Cafè Cucamonga’s, a sandwich and ice cream parlor.
Don Schick is the passionate founder and executive visionary behind the Strata Health mission and culture since its beginning in 2001. With a record of consistent business success spanning 35 years, Don’s career includes executive responsibilities within global leaders Procter & Gamble and PepsiCo prior to launching his entrepreneurial career. In 1988, Don co-founded Carlyle Computer Products Ltd. which was twice named one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies prior to being acquired by Boise Cascade Corporation. In 2001, Don founded Strata Health Solutions Inc - a pioneer in cloud-based high security health software and now a leader in intelligent patient flow across Canada and Europe. A majority acquisition by Polaris Partners was engineered in late 2014.
Don has been a guest lecturer at a number of Canadian post-secondary institutions and has addressed the Canadian COACH eHealth Conference, the UK Trade eHealth Expo at Cambridge University, and the Australian National eHealth Symposium in Brisbane.
Don is a British Columbia Top 40 Under 40 recipient.
Karm is the Co-founder and Publisher at Vancity Buzz, Vancouver's leading digital media company amassing over 2 million unique visitors a month. He is in charge of the content and direction of Vancity Buzz along side Editor-in-Chief Farhan Mohamed. He also manages the overall direction of the Twitter (over 90,000 followers) and Instagram accounts (over 47,000 followers) for Vancity Buzz.
Michael is the co-founder and President of BRIDGEWAY LEADERSHIP, a strategy + execution consulting firm with offices in Vancouver and Denver. He has published numerous articles, posted almost 100 YouTube videos, and writes a weekly blog – Ruthless Consistency – with actionable concepts, processes, models and tools and is currently writing a book entitled “Ruthless Consistency: Aligning your organization to win … or else!”. If that is not enough, he has already found time to travel to over 40 countries. For more information, you can visit his website.
Faramarz has over 30 years of experience in successfully implementing corporate growth and exit strategies in the consulting/engineering, waste management, remedial contracting and pharmaceutical industries. Faramarz is currently the Founder and Managing Partner of F&M Management Ltd., which advises clients on various key corporate issues related to growth, financial management, management buyouts, shareholder responsibility and training, management training, exit strategies and corporate governance. For more information, you can visit his website.
Tanya purchased Coastal Trademark Services from the founder nine years ago. At the time the once very profitable company was on the verge of bankruptcy. If things were going to be turned around and the company was again to be profitable and resilient, some drastic changes needed to be made. One of the first things Tanya did, which was not easy, was to cut back on staff. She then turned her focus to improving systems by implementing a new accounting system with an electronic diary system ensuring deadlines were being met. Next, it was onto the Cloud. Tanya’s was recently a finalist for Business BC’s Employer of the Year Award. For more information, you can visit her website.
Bob is the founder and president of Vancouver Marketing Workshop Ltd. He has a vast array of experience in the marketing fields, having worked in senior positions with Labatts and Earls Restaurants. Bob is a great speaker who is known for his ability to connect with his audience. You will find him very insightful on the dynamics of human interaction – valuable in the planning for business, human resources and, of course, marketing and sales.
Gabrielle Loren is the founding partner of Loren, Nancke & Company, an accounting firm with offices in North Vancouver and New Westminster that specializes in small business. Gabrielle has devoted her career to helping others become financially empowered. She has earned the reputation of being a community and business leader who’s on a mission to cut through complicated tax and accounting language and give smart, practical, proven strategies to help small business owners reach their goals faster. Gabrielle is the recipient of numerous awards for business excellence. Hugely popular as a speaker, she has appeared as a financial expert in several local and national media including Global TV, City TV, Financial Post, Toronto Star, Vancouver Sun, Business in Vancouver, North Shore News, North Shore Outlook and Canadian Living magazine. For more on Gabrielle's background you can visit her profile page on her firm website.