Advisory Board Members
Stuart Wyse, Ph.D
Dr. Wyse was a founding partner of Teranis Consulting Ltd., and AvisarSRED Advisors Inc., a firm that provides technical and financial advisory services to Canadian Companies engaged in business development. He also co-founded JumpstartUK. Dr. Wyse has over 20 years of experience in process chemistry, environmental sciences and engineering projects and manufacturing processes. He has extensive experience in the ecological affects caused by emissions from environmentally controlled chemicals and in the investigation and remediation of contaminated land.
Charlie Hodgins, CPA, CA
Chief Financial Officer & Senior Vice President
VIH Aviation Group
Charlie is a Chartered Professional Accountant and a former partner with Deloitte LLP. Charlie has 43 years of experience as a CPA in public practice, private equity and industry. He has served on several boards of directors and professional organizations. Charlie was currently a member of the Executive Council of the Board of Advisers of the University of Victoria Faculty of Business and is chairman of the Speakers’ Committee. He has been with VIH Aviation Group Ltd., an international helicopter company, for sixteen years and has been working in the aviation business for nineteen years. Charlie has held many positions in community organizations including president of the Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce and The GYRO Club of Victoria.
Taylor INSIGHT Consulting
Don had a successful career with IBM Canada Ltd., culminating as the senior executive responsible for Application Management Services, specializing in business and relationship development, strategic planning, business practice management, and project delivery. During his tenure with IBM Don successfully achieved a $200M+ sales target plus a 25% year over year growth in profit while extending market share. He was the proposal manager, lead negotiator and project executive for a >$30M initiative which involved process improvement, cost control, global sourcing and strict international security standards. Taylor Insight Consulting provides strategic mentoring to entrepreneurs and business owners at all stages of development. He has studied at Harvard University and the University of Alberta.
George Caird, B.Sc., P.Eng
Caird & Associates Consultants Inc.
George is a Professional Engineer with over 35 years’ experience in the design, manufacture, testing and marketing of commercial line-haul trailers, including 9 years as Director of Engineering for Utility Trailers and 4 years and Chief Engineer at Fruehauf. Since 1989, he has been an independent consultant to the trailer industry and in litigation regarding truck and trailer accidents, including investigation, reconstruction, failure analysis and human factors.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Cold Star Solutions Inc.
Cold Star Solutions Inc. is a Victoria based grocery wholesaler and transport company that serves Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands with over 180 employees, 5 refrigerated warehouses and a fleet of high-tech HCAAP compliant trucks. ColdStar specializes in hauling and distributing high value perishable food product. Kelly was instrumental in the development and implementation of the Trucking food safe guidelines known as Trucking Food Safety Program which is compliant with the HACCP (Hazard Analysis and critical control points, which has been adopted throughout North America. Kelly was once a member of the Canadian Forces, has studied business at MIT, and served on the Board of the BC Trucking Association, been a member of Young Entrepreneurs’ Organization and TEC Canada and is the co-founder of The Community Food Project. In 2005, Kelly was named the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award runner-up and in 2009 the Business Examiner awarded the Vancouver Island Business of the Year Award to ColdStar.
A 42-year business veteran, Jim has held many senior positions in marketing, merchandising, wholesale and retail operations. From 2011 through 2015, Jim served as President and General Manager of Thrifty Foods, a division of Sobeys. Prior to that Jim was the Senior Vice President and General Manager of Sobeys’ Franchise and Wholesale Business Division in Ontario, leading the 200 store IGA/Foodland grocery chain, as well as the wholesale Operations of Lumsden Brothers Ltd. Jim’s professional experience includes marketing, merchandising, wholesale, distribution and operations management.
Dave is best known for his astonishing career with the fourteen-time Grey Cup Champion Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League (1969 – 1984), where he established many league records and received several awards and honors, including the CFL Hall of Fame. Dave is also a gifted mentor and media communications strategist with a passion for community service. He is an active supporter of several non-profit organizations, including YMCA, Big Brothers and the Parkinson’s Society..
Ross McFarlane, B.Eng,
Ross began his professional career in 1997 and a mechanical engineer with Power Measurement, now Schnieder Electric, responsible for product hardware and prototype design and project management. He entered the financial industry in 2007 as a tax, financial and insurance advisor and now specializes in designing corporate insurance and health insurance strategies for company shareholders, executives and employee groups. Ross was the President of the Sidney Business Association from 2010 to 2013.
Brian T. Digby B.Phys.Ed, MBA
Brian studied at the University of BC, and began his professional career in marketing with General Foods before moving into banking. His banking career was with TD Bank, Surrey Credit Union, now Coast Capital and ATB Financial. Brian retired as EVP Marketing, responsible for retail, small business and agricultural banking at ATB Financial. Brian has held board positions with ATB Investment Services Inc., MasterCard Canada Inc., Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium and the Vancouver Golf Course.
Bob Skene, B.Comm, CA, CPA
Bob’s professional career spans nearly 6 decades as a senior executive in both public and private organizations. Bob co-founded and led the Vancouver Island Advanced Technology Sector (VIATEC), followed by a stint as CFO and SVP at WCG Inc. and President and Chancellor of Royal Roads University. He has held leadership positions on several non-profit Boards and has received the lifetime achieve award from the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, an Honorary Degree from Royal Roads University, Fellowship in the BC Institute of Chartered Accountants and the Annual Leadership Award from the Victoria Leadership Society.