18 Jul BC Innovators Hall of Fame
VANCOUVER, B.C. July 18, 2023 – To mark BC Tech’s 30th anniversary year the Tech industry association has established the BC Innovators Hall of Fame, in partnership with the Government of British Columbia. The eight inductees for 2023 are:
The native Ontarian moved to Vancouver in the 1980s to study biochemistry at UBC. A co-founder of the BC Technology Association, Judy Bishop had a hand in creating several local start-ups, such as customer relations management specialist Galeforce Solutions, where she was president and chief marketing officer. Relocating to Kelowna in 2015, she consulted and invested in tech industry companies, and currently applies her expertise as a corporate director to a range of businesses.
Kathy Butler is the managing director and head of BC Capital Markets at CIBC where she has spent the last 27 years. Though the UBC and University of Toronto graduate studied finance and business rather than technology, she often works with clients in the sector admiring their passion, drive and commitment to building innovative businesses. Since 2003, Butler has been a partner with Social Venture Partners, which engages in socially driven venture philanthropy.
Co-founding Sierra Wireless in 1993, Andrew Harries grew the multinational wireless communications equipment designer from inception through TSX and Nasdaq public listings to more than $200 million USD in annual revenues. Currently, he is the Tom Foord Professor of Practice in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, at his alma mater the Simon Fraser University Beedie School of Business, passing on expertise in entrepreneurship and innovation, product management and resourcing new venture programs to students.
Starting out as an independent video game developer, Don Mattrick and Jeff Sember co-founded Distinctive Software in their parents’ basements making racing and sports titles for the Amiga, Apple II, Commodore 64 and PC DOS. Electronic Arts bought them out in 1991 and Mattrick eventually went on to be become president of EA Worldwide Studios. In subsequent years he also worked on Xbox Kinect wireless controller at Microsoft and served as CEO of mobile gaming giant Zynga.
In 2021 Firoz Rasul stepped down as the president of Aga Khan University after growing the footprint of the school to six countries on three continents with 2,500-plus students. Prior to the position he was CEO and chairman of Ballard Power Systems, a world leader in clean energy hydrogen fuel cell solutions. No stranger to start-ups, in 1981 he assumed the role of president of sales and marketing for mobile data products manufacturer MDI until a takeover by Motorola in 1988.
Shannon Rogers Roy (1968-2023)
Shannon Rogers Roy was the president and general counsel of Global Relay, which delivers cloud communications archiving, messaging, supervision and eDiscovery solutions to the financial and other regulated sectors. A lawyer by trade, she partnered with Warren Roy to build the technology company from the ground up, eventually scaling it to 1,300 employees and $200 million in annual revenue. Rogers Roy has been named to the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada list three times. She still holds the record at Global Relay for the most deals closed in one day.
Geordie Rose has an impressive resume, just some of the more notable entries being as founder of both D-Wave Systems, which produced the first-ever commercially-viable quantum computer, Kindred, a robotics and AI company that makes intelligent robots to enhance the industrial workforce and Sanctuary AI that makes humanoid general purpose robots. A two-time Canadian national wrestling champion, he holds a PhD in theoretical physics from UBC as well as, for a short time, the Guinness Book of World Records honour of most yogurt eaten in one minute.
William (Bill) H. Thompson (1922-1986)
In the 1960s and 70s, Bill Thompson owned the largest electronics parts distribution company in western Canada. He founded Eldevco, a personal holding company investing in early-stage B.C. tech companies and made a point to build relationships with everyone in the then-fledgling industry, including those providing support services behind the scenes. The eponymous lifetime achievement award was established by the BC Electronic Manufacturers Association to recognize individuals who went out of their way to help young companies and entrepreneurs to succeed.
BC Tech Board Chair said:
“The BC Innovators Hall of Fame recognizes the key role of innovation to BC’s economy and the leaders that have left a legacy on this province. BC Tech is thrilled to recognize these eight leaders who span the full history of BC’s tech sector from its early beginnings through its growth into the major economic sector it is today.” Dan Box, VP Strategy Electronic Arts
BC Government said:
Brenda Bailey, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation –
“Innovation is the key driver of our StrongerBC Economic Plan’s goals of clean and inclusive growth. We are taking big steps to support our entrepreneurs and part of that work is recognizing the innovators who are moving our province forward. That’s why we are so proud to support the creation of the Innovators Hall of Fame. I would like to extend a huge congratulations to all of this year’s inductees, who are inspiring the next wave of tech entrepreneurs in B.C. We will be especially thinking of Bill Thompson and Shannon Rogers Roy, who have sadly passed, but will forever be remembered with their rightful place in the Hall of Fame as amazing leaders of tech and innovation in B.C.”
BC Tech CEO said:
“BC’s technology and innovation ecosystem was built company by company, leader by leader and these eight leaders leave a rich legacy. We were thrilled to partner with the BC Government to establish the BC Innovators Hall of Fame and thank Minister Bailey for her leadership in highlighting innovation as key to a thriving BC economy.” Jill Tipping, BC Tech Association
Past winners of the Bill Thompson Lifetime Achievement Award and BC Tech Person of the Year Award were inducted into the BC Innovators Hall of fame earlier this year. Link
About the BC Tech Association
BC Tech is the largest member-led tech non-profit in BC, and we’re dedicated to turning startups to scaleups. Our work supports members to grow and diversify their talent pool, acquire new customers, access capital and accelerate their scaleup journey. Technology is a key industry for BC’s future and builds resiliency in every industry. Today, every company is a tech company.