Bonnie Lewtas helps islands around the world become self-sufficient and resilient against climate change. She specializes on innovative energy, waste, water, food, and conservation solutions for hospitality. Her work has taken her to many different islands like BVI, Grenada, Dominica, Barbados, Antigua, Azores, Madeira, Sicily, Swedish Islands, Dutch Islands and more. Through her company TurtlCo, Bonnie works with the government of Friesland on the EU-Interreg Islands of Innovation project and several other organizations that support island sustainability. TurtlCo recently partnered with Island Growers to bring the first-ever hurricane-resistant hydroponic greenhouses to Caribbean resorts.
Bonnie is a contributor for “The Tipping Guide: Strategies for creative local & regional innovation policies aimed at organizing “probing and learning” projects and programs for the future pathways of islands”. The Guide can be used to compare the status quo with a desired future “the dream”, create a new or revised policy program with a focus on engagement-oriented projects; and build innovation and teams to develop multi-sector action plans on topics like energy, water, transport, agriculture, circular economy, tourism, emerging technology, and more. You can download the guide at innovationislands.com
Jim Estill, President and CEO of Danby Appliances, Discusses the Appliance Industry and Dealing with the Unknown as an Entrepreneur During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Danby Appliances manufactures and distributes over 2,000,000 appliances per year, such as bar fridges, freezers and microwaves. Danby is being transformed by their newest product Parcel Guard– a smart mailbox for consumers that stops parcel theft.
ShipperBee is a new venture that is ready to revamp outdated shipping channels into a system that is better for consumers, retailers and the environment.
Jim started a computer distribution business from the trunk of his car while in university. He grew that business to $2 Billion in sales.
Jim has invested in, mentored and advised many technology companies including Blackberry. He joined their board before they went public and served for 13 years.
Over the past few years, Jim Estill has been involved in sponsorship efforts to settle refugee families in Guelph. The Financial Times, BBC News, The Guardian, and Toronto Life have all covered his story.
Jim’s most recent endeavour is as Co-founder of Ventilators for Canadians, (V4C) a growing team of philanthropists and entrepreneurs who have come together to find solutions to help Canadians through the COVID-19 health emergency.
Jim was awarded the Order of Ontario, the provinces highest honour, in 2017. He was Entrepreneur of the Year 2019 Ontario and has been awarded an Everyday Heroes Award by the Global Hope Coalition. In 2018 Jim Estill was awarded the Order of Canada. Jim lives in Guelph Ontario.
Food, wellness & personal beauty care is essential Five years ago, Rebecca Rochon founded Pivot & Pilot Creative, a boutique design agency in Vancouver that specializes in branding, packaging design, advertising, and website creation. Pivot & Pilot helps clients in the food, beauty and wellness space capitalize on their first impression. Aside from running her agency, Rebecca is actively involved in the business community in Canada and leads talks and workshops frequently. Pivot & Pilot runs a quarterly “Conversations” panel where Rebecca hosts a conversational interview with business leaders in Vancouver. Some past topics include “Launching Your Brand with Kickstarter”, “Working Creatives: Making Creative Your Full-Time” and “Ecommerce vs Brick and Mortar”. She also hosts Pivot & Pilot’s YouTube channel where she interviews experts and speaks about the way design influences consumer behaviour. In her spare time she’s on stage doing stand up comedy, at an art gallery or dancing with her dog, Bernie.
After having worked his way up from the front lines of the Retail sector since 2004, Ryan’s path has brought him through every aspect of the Retail industry, eventually leading him to begin working in Retail e-commerce in 2008.
Founding his agency in 2013, Ryan has focused on working with both SMEs and Enterprise retailers who are looking to grow customers, build relationships, increase revenues & profitability.
Diplômé en communication graphique de l’Université Laval, Francis Drolet est un entrepreneur en série. Il a fondé Click Contact en 2003, et est également le cofondateur de l’entreprise Slow Cow, qui distribue à l’international la boisson relaxante du même nom. Débordant d’énergie et d’idées, Francis Drolet est un leader naturel, mais surtout un créateur de génie depuis plus de quinze ans. Il exploite son talent au sein de l’entreprise Yankee Média dont il est le cofondateur.
Coming to Canada from Iran for post secondary studies, Meti Basiri, Co-Founder and CMO of ApplyBoard, Massi, and their eldest brother Martin, experienced the challenges international students face trying to access education. ApplyBoard was founded—out of these shared experiences—to streamline the student application process. Meti and Massi were recently featured on three Forbes Top 30 Under 30 Lists. Since ApplyBoard’s founding in 2015, the staff has grown to nearly 400, raised CAD $172 Million and last year were named Canada’s fastest-growing technology company by Deloitte. They have helped over 100,000 students around the world with their academic journey, and have grown to become the world’s largest platform for international student recruitment to Canada, The United Kingdom, and The United States.
Responsible for leading Edgewater Wireless, Andrew Skafel’s broad strategic perspective comes from his work with both multinational equipment vendors and a number of start-up network operators. Andrew has significant multinational experience. He was based in Asia for seven years where he worked for Newbridge Networks/Alcatel; Silicon Valley-based, InterWAVE Communications and the Commercial Division of the Canadian High Commission (Malaysia). His roles included strategic marketing, international business development, and business planning. A proven telecom innovator and leader, Andrew founded an innovative GSM operator in Brasil, taking the project from concept to fundraising, license acquisition and launch phases. Mr. Skafel holds an MBA from INSEEC (Paris), a graduate diploma from the McRae Institute of International Management (Vancouver) and a BA in Economics & Politics from the University of Western Ontario.
Andrew is a Senior level international business development and strategic marketing executive with multi-faceted telecommunications experience. Demonstrated innovative and results-oriented approach to start-up and listed companies on both vendor and service provider aspects of the telecom industry.
Specialties: International business development; strategic marketing; telecommunications; data communications; contract negotiations; channel management; strategic planning; GSM; CDMA; IP; VoIP; hosted key systems
Erica Pearson Discusses Her Business Vacation Fund, Mental Health & Avoiding Burnout, Especially During a Crisis Like COVID-19
After 4 years competing as a varsity athlete, and simultaneously earning her Bachelor of Commerce degree at Queen’s University, Erica Pearson spent several years on the RBC Capital Markets trading floor in Toronto. She held Analyst positions within Debt Capital Markets, Foreign Exchange Institutional Sales, Institutional Equities Trading, Money Market Sales, and Interest Rate Derivative Solutions. Erica then worked as an Analyst for the CEO Office of Investor and Treasury Services. At the end of December 2016, she informed RBC of her intention to resign to start her own company. The idea for Vacation Fund, a Toronto-based startup, was born from Erica’s upbringing. Her family was very frugal, but prioritized spending time and money on travel and experiences. By the time she turned 22, Erica had visited over 40 countries.
Michael Zahra is a seasoned CEO who has worked with many of the larger corporations in Canada. Drone Delivery Canada is a publicly traded, disruptive, pioneering, technology company focused on designing, developing and implementing commercially viable, drone-based logistics systems for government, commercial, industrial & retail customers globally. This podcast episode focuses on what to do as entrepreneur when you are past start, well-funded and ready to take on a major market change. Bringing the right leader/operator onto the mix is often the sign of a wise entrepreneur — and we address this during this interview.micha