past featured companies & community organizations

cracking the code: building loyalty

David Ker - CEO & President of ZINation

David Ker - CEO & President of ZINation

David’s mission is to reinvent the way retailers & online merchants engage with shoppers in the mobile work. He is a serial entrepreneur, founding two companies (RealWat and ZINation) over the last 10 years.

He is a graduate of M.Sc. in the TIM program at Carleton University and a B.Eng. from Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal. He worked previously for Newbridge, Alcatel and Matrox as a senior software developer & team leader for over 11 years.

Megan Martin

Megan Martin, Account Manager at Iversoft

As Account Manager at one of Ottawa’s leading app development agencies, Iversoft, Megan Martin helps clients use technology to grow their companies. Focusing on how to leverage tech to enhance human experiences rather than solely digitize or automate them, Megan works with Iversoft’s clients on their strategy and development of new web platforms, mobile apps or new innovations. Whether it’s collaborating with established brands such as HarperCollins, on-demand startups such as TouchPlow, or small non-profits, Megan is a strong advocate in helping clients find new customer-centric solutions – digitally or otherwise.

cracking the code: financing & business valuation

Ed Bryant - President & CEO of  Sampford Advisors

Ed Bryant - President & CEO of Sampford Advisors

Ed Bryant is President and CEO of Sampford Advisors. Ed has over 20 years of experience including over 16 years in Investment Banking with Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley in Hong Kong, Singapore and New York. In that time, Ed raised in excess of $20 billion in equity and debt capital and completed over $10 billion in M&A transactions.

Rick Norland

Rick Norland - Founder of Thorington Corporation

As the founder of Thorington Corporation, Rick Norland is a serial entrepreneur and occasional Angel investor. Started in 1996, his Thorington experience includes 14 startups across a multitude of sectors. As well, he has a strong investment banking background, accumulating over 60 transactions, from $10,000 to over $350 million. Rick also has been a volunteer for both OCRI’s Entrepreneurship Center (now Invest Ottawa) and Ottawa Capital Network (now the Capital Angel Network), particularly on strengthening startups’ access to capital. Rick is both a Professional Engineer, a former Chartered Business Valuator, and an accredited small business advisor (Institute for Independent Business). As a Charter Member of the Ottawa Chapter of TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs), he has launched Ottawa’s TiE Institute (entrepreneurship training curriculum) and helped organize TiECon Canada (a flagship conference for entrepreneurs).

cracking the code: it’s tax time again

Welch LLP

Welch LLP

Chartered Professional Accounting Firm

Welch LLP is a Chartered Professional Accounting firm that provides a full range of accounting, assurance, tax, advisory and specialty services. Welch offers private enterprises, government and not-for-profit organizations industry specific services and knowledge with a relationship-driven approach to client service. This allows us to identify industry related issues and develop solutions from our in-house experts. Our expertise is offered at a cost that makes sense without you having to sacrifice service quality.

Bryan Haralovich CPA, CA, CPA (Illinois) Partner

Bryan Haralovich CPA, CA, CPA (Illinois)

Bryan has specialized in providing financial services to entrepreneurs from private to public companies including charities, government departments and agencies for over 20 years.

Bryan leads Welch’s Technology Services group. He has served technology companies from start-up to successful exit, including support with public and private financing. The majority of Bryan’s clients have had a global footprint and the experience he gained in that sector allows him to support entrepreneurs in managing issues arising from doing business abroad. Prior to joining Welch, Bryan was supporting clients as a partner with a global accounting firm.

Joshua Smith, CPA, CA

Joshua has worked on a number of government compliance audits, as well as audits for private sector and not-for-profit clients.

Since 2007, Joshua has focused on tax compliance and planning for personal, business and estate clients. Joshua is also responsible for SR&ED and other business incentive planning.

Zoran Vranjkovic

Zoran is a tax specialist, with a focus on providing tax and estate planning to business owners, high net worth individuals and their families. His expertise includes trust and estate planning, implementing tax minimization strategies, corporate reorganizations and structuring purchase and sale transactions.

Zoran has been a group leader for the CPA Canada In-depth Tax Course, has taught various CPA Ontario courses and has spoken at the CPA Canada National Conference on Income Taxes. He currently sits on CRA’s Ottawa Tax Practitioners Advisory Committee and is the Chair of the Ottawa branch of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners.

cracking the code: branding

Graham Lee

Graham Lee

Chief Creative Officer - The T1 Agency

Graham’s worked at some of the best agencies in North America, alongside some of the industry’s best talent. He’s been honoured with an extensive list of creative awards, and has helped shape the marketing and branding for some of the world’s most prestigious clients, including IKEA Canada, IKEA Germany, Electronic Arts, Lucky Brand Jeans, Labatt Blue, Bell Canada and Honda, to name a few.

Currently, Graham is helping shape the growth and creative future of T1, a top-tier engagement firm as Chief Creative Officer. We’re also talking about a guy who spoke for an hour at the prestigious South By Southwest conference in Austin Texas, about Comic Sans. Yes, the font. If you’re interested in branding and marketing, you shouldn’t have missed this!

Here’s a clip of some of the work that T1 does!

cracking the code: positioning & messaging for your organization


Founded on the premise girls can and should be encougaged to lead early, ambiSHEous combines entrepreneurship training, citizenship education, and leadership development to shape the very real ambitions of girls in a positive, world-changing way.

ambiSHEous first ran as a pilot program in the spring of 2015and was a total hit with participants and parent alike. The first-ever workshop was held at Shopify in August and sold out. They have since expanded their offerings in 2016 and the community continues to grow.

JA Ottawa

JA inspires youth to start a business, make better financial decisions and chart a career path. JA engages community volunteers from local businesses and post-secondary institutions to provide hands-on learning opportunities for Grade 5-12 students.

JA programs are delivered free of charge to local area schools with the support of committed JA volunteers and our community partners and sponsors. ONFE works with educators and school boards to identify and ensure that programs are made available to those in most need of innovative programs.

GreatWork is an adaptable and easy-to-use set of tools for stakeholder engagement, tailored to organizational growth and change.

They provide a process that helps leaders make effective decisions by engaging more people in the organization’s opportunities and challenges. The process is supported by decades of knowledge, best practices and fascilitation tools, as well as cloud-based web technology that was designed to make engagement easier, faster, more scalable – and most importantly, more effective.


Flyta is the smarter and cheaper way to ship anything. They pick up from your door and use a secure, best value carrier to ship your package.

With the recent explosion of e-commerce platforms like Amazon, Alibaba and hometown sweetheart Shopify, disruption has rippled through countless industries. You can now order practically anything from the comfort of your own couch – but not everything about the process of online shopping is as relaxing. Import duties and custom forms are still causing worldwide headaches. Thankfully, Ottawa-based start-up Flyta has a way to make that pain disappear.

Veronica Farmer

Veronica Farmer

Chief Navigator - TrueCourse Communications

With over 20 years of experience in communications, business development, sales and marketing, Veronica Farmer plays a central role in augmenting her clients’ leadership position in their respective markets. Experienced in both public and private corporate environments, for profit and not-for-profit as well as working with entrepreneurs and corporations. Her breadth and depth of experience includes all aspects of marketing and communications such as market segmentation and competitive analysis, strategic and tactical planning, corporate positioning and branding, communications strategies and all aspects of online marketing.

Veronica has held a variety of senior management, business development and marketing communications positions within in a variety of industries including local companies such as Invest Ottawa and Design 1st. In 2007, Veronica founded TrueCourse Communications Inc., a marketing communications company, providing clients in North America and Europe with strategic and tactical marketing and communications support.

Learn more about Veronica

TrueCourse Communications

cracking the code: connecting with your customers

Brightfish Learning

BrightFish Learning is an international company focused on creating innovative tools that help educators and students achieve goals. With offices in Chicago, IL and Ottawa, ON, they are continuously examining best practices in districts, schools and classrooms across North America.

Their mandate is to translate these practices into solutions that can be accessible anywhere, anytime on multiple devices and platforms. They believe that all students can learn if given the opportunity, and at BrightFish, their solutions are all about providing those opportunities in the classroom and beyond.


BoardSpace is software specifically designed for the boards of directors and managers of condos, coops, non-profits and small business.
BoardSpace makes record keeping a board priority without the headache of doing it alone. BoardSpace streamlines administrative tasks such as preparing minutes, tracking of assigned tasks, and securely stores records so they can be easily found. Stakeholders have 24/7 online access to the complete, searchable history of the corporation’s activities and documents. This partnership provides a win-win solution to the challenges of managing a board and implementing best practices in governance.


#HappinessHabits613 is an initiative started in Ottawa to build community and intentionally cultivate happiness.

Through awareness, education, and connection the group inspires and teaches people to realize and embrace the belief, the fact, that they can intentionally cultivate happiness, through daily practices based on core principles of happiness. These principles include creating meaningful experiences/purpose, gratitude, movement, meditation/mindfulness, nature, simplicity, nutrition, altruism, and social investment (community).

Youth Services Bureau

Founded in 1960, the Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa (YSB) is one of the largest and most comprehensive non‑profit agencies serving youth in this community. More than 350 caring professionals work from 20 locations across the city to deliver a vast range of programs and services that support at‑risk youth and their families.

YSB provides services in French and English in employment, health and housing, mental health, youth engagement and youth justice. YSB works in partnership to develop, deliver and advocate for better conditions, services and opportunities for youth and families.

Jason MacDonald

Jason MacDonald

VP of Corporate Communications - Hill+Knowlton Strategies

Jason is a bilingual communicator, skilled at strategic planning, media relations and issues and crisis management gained from his time as director of communications and chief spokesman for the prime minister of Canada. Jason has extensive experience with the federal government, serving as director of communications and issues management and as deputy chief of staff to two ministers of aboriginal affairs and northern development where he provided counsel on a range of economic, social and resource-development issues.

Learn more about Jason

Hill+Knowlton Strategies

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