David CameronExecutive Director
David Cameron is a leader in Youth Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation in Canada. As the Executive Director at YELL, David is inviting us to imagine Canada's future if we ignite the entrepreneurial spirit in the generation of today. Prior to YELL, David co-founded Radius Ventures, a social venture accelerator at Simon Fraser University, and he was the Manager of Innovation at The Next Big Thing Foundation – Canada’s most innovative youth fellowship for entrepreneurs under the age of 25, founded by the CEO of Hootsuite, Ryan Holmes. He is a business coach, mentor, and speaker. Before moving into youth education, David worked on the launch of an impact investment fund with Vancity Credit Union and designed strategy and marketing plans at Coca Cola. David continues to represent the voice of young innovators to the BC and federal governments through the BC Partners for Social Impact and the National Youth Innovation and Leadership Agenda.
Farrah JinhaCommunity Manager
Farrah Jinha brings 15 years of community engagement and communications experience to her role as Community Manager with YELL. She has a proven track record of developing strategies and programs to reach students, parents, alumni, partners and educators and has managed and expanded profile, awareness and relationships with business and community partners, media and other stakeholders. Farrah has worked with organizations focused on students including The Directors Cut Workshops and 4Cats Arts Studios. She was previously the President of the University of Toronto Student’s Activity Council, representing 30,000 undergraduate students to the university administration and provincial government. Farrah has served as the National President of the Wired Woman Society and was appointed to the Ismaili Council for BC where she led Community Relations efforts from 2002 to 2005. She is currently the Chair of the Media & Communications Alliance for Western Canada.
Vanessa CinesiDevelopment Manager
Vanessa Cinesi is a solutions-oriented professional with over fifteen years of corporate experience in North and Latin America. As the Development Manager at YELL, Vanessa is inviting organizations to join a growing national network of organizations committed to transforming entrepreneurship education and investing in the innovative potential of our youth. Prior to YELL, Vanessa developed a career in marketing and sales for the technology sector, fostering revenue growth and customer adoption by managing a wide variety of accounts and building strong customer relationships. In addition to her corporate experience, Vanessa carries a longtime interest in social innovation. She launched a social enterprise in 2012, which aimed to empower developing communities through the use of their own craft and natural resources, facilitating financial inclusion. Now through YELL, Vanessa looks to inspire entrepreneurial thinking in youth and contribute to a bolder economic and social future.
When Rattan Bagga refers to himself as a "wholesome entrepreneur," he isn't referring only to the organic granola and gluten-free treats that New World Natural manufactures. Rattan Bagga has been the CEO of New World Natural Foods, a Canadian organic foods manufacturer, since 2010. Mr. Bagga was also recognized as one of the top 20 under 30 entrepreneurs in Canada in 2011/2012. His belief in 'maximizing the benefits of his decisions on those around him,' also translated into raising funds for charitable initiatives such as the disaster relief in Pakistan and Haiti, as well as sourcing ingredients from local sources (e.g. Canadian farmers) as much as possible. Rattan's latest initiative has been the launch of Everland Natural Foods coconut water, where proceeds from each sale go towards supporting farmers in India. Everland Natural Foods was recognized as the Business of the Year by the Burnaby Business Excellence Awards.
Judy BrooksDirector, Chair
Judy Brooks has founded, built and successfully sold 3 companies over the last 28 years. She has a reputation for strategically building international businesses, fiscally responsible companies, dynamic teams, and impressive brands and cultures. Since exiting her last venture and for the last 8 years, Judy has worked with CEO Founders, Partners, Boards & Senior teams to bring clarity and leader development in high transition times (mergers, acquisitions, and strategic changes). Judy is known for her ability to lead clear conversations that shift outcomes. A well-known presenter and mentor in the business community, Judy co-created Brew (a leadership retreat) for those wanting to lead mindfully and with self-reflection. Judy serves on the Board of Directors for FWE and is a past Board member for Small Business BC. She is also a past Advisory Board Member for The Smart Cookies, Nurse Next Door, YYoga and Young Women in Business amongst others. Judy has been honoured with the Business in Vancouver Women of Influence Award and the Vancouver Board of Trade Mentor Award.
Punit is also the co-founder and CEO of OncoSec Medical, Inc. a biopharmaceutical company developing its advanced-stage immunotherapy to treat solid tumors. Punit was formerly Vice President of Finance and Operations at Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. In his management experience, Punit has raised over $160 million through multiple financings and several licensing deals including early stage deals with Merck and Wyeth. More recently, Punit has been leading the development of a pipeline of novel immunotherapy candidates for a wide range of solid tumor applications at OncoSec with an industry leading technology. Punit’s management experience spans corporate finance, M&A, integration, successful in-licensing of key intellectual property, strategy implementation, corporate transactions and collaborations with leading Universities and working with several key opinion leaders across the globe. As a serial entrepreneur, Mr. Dhillon places great value on helping future leaders overcome challenges through mentorship and education. Mr. Dhillon is an active member in his community focused on promoting an active lifestyle and grass roots community involvement, including scholarships to support students pursuing post-secondary education. He is also the founder of becancerpositive.org a community dedicated to sharing and connecting; highlighting stories from around the globe and creating a platform where people can share with others their own unique experiences with cancer and help people find their own silver lining. In 2013, he was recognized as the "Top 100" CEOs by PharmaVoice and "Most Admired CEO" by the San Diego Business Journal. In 2014, he was recognized as a finalist for Ernst & Young’s "Entrepreneur of the Year." Punit holds a Bachelor of Arts with honors in Political Science and a minor in Business Administration from Simon Fraser University.
Val is the President & CEO of the BC Chamber of Commerce. Previous to his role with the BC Chamber of Commerce, Val served as CEO of the Whistler Chamber of Commerce for three years. During this time, he grew its membership base, launched a world-class educational partnership with the Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria (which was featured on Forbes.com) and reinvigorated the Chamber’s brand to the point where Whistler had one of the fastest growing membership bases last year. In 2007, Val co-founded a first-to-market concept, Blo Blow Dry Bar, which has since grown to more than 70 locations worldwide. In 2011, as Vice President of Franchise Operations at Nurse Next Door, Canada’s largest homecare company, he helped drive the franchise system’s fast growth into the US market – adding almost 70 locations to the brand in under 3 years. Val is also well-versed in the social enterprise space. In 2002, he co-founded Extreme Kindness and launched volunteer tours and a web series based on committing random act of kindness across Canada and the U.S. The tours evolved into a best-selling book on corporate social responsibility and the power of communities to build social capital.
Dr. Sarah Lubik is Simon Fraser University (SFU)'s first Director of Entrepreneurship, promoting the power of, and need for, interdisciplinary teams and commercialization of research to solve wicked problems. She is co-Champion of the Technology Entrepreneurship@SFU program, a lecturer in Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Beedie School of Business and a researcher in technology management, including incubation, university entrepreneurship, commercialization and innovation ecosystems. Sarah has been named one of Business in Vancouver’s Top 40 under 40 and an Innovation Leader by the Government of Canada. She is also a certified business coach and the co-founder of a high-tech startup: Lungfish Dive Systems. Sarah holds a BBA (honours) from SFU and a masters and PhD from the University of Cambridge.
Amit Sandhu is a real estate developer and investor at Ampri Group. Amit believes it is important to invest in the social fabric that makes communities desirable to live in. Amit has worked with Richmond Hospital Foundation to establish the first Patient- and Family-Centred Model of Care for individuals living with mental health and addiction issues in British Columbia. His affinity for the arts led him to sponsor and co-develop a first-of-its-kind undergraduate course on the Social Practice of Public Art at Emily Carr University. As an early adopter of energy-efficient building programs, Amit built 59 of 200 homes in the pilot program for the BuiltGreenBC and Energuide for New Homes Initiatives. He is currently building B.C.’s first solar-powered, 30 home single-family home subdivision. Amit has been recognized by Business in Vancouver’s Forty Under 40 Award and served on the City of Richmond’s Economic Advisory Committee from 2011-2016. Amit holds a degree in Human Resource Management from the Beedie School of Business at Simon Fraser University.