About the Hall of Fame

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, enriching our technology and innovation ecosystem and building a stronger BC economy.  Presented in partnership with the Government of British Columbia.

In this 30th anniversary year for BC Tech, we are thrilled to establish the Innovators Hall of Fame in partnership with the Government of British Columbia.

About this Award

This award recognizes the key role of innovation to BC’s economy and the leaders that have left a legacy on this province, enriching our technology and innovation ecosystem and building a stronger BC economy. Nominations are invited for new inductees in 2023.

Who Should be Nominated?

Nominees in this category must be:

  • BC Based leaders who have left a positive legacy
  • Champions of innovation, whether in tech or in other sectors

Evaluation Criteria – please complete the following:

1. Background: (100 words)*

Tell us briefly about the nominee, their career and some key accomplishments.

2. Nomination Pitch: (250 words)*

Tell us in your own words why you this individual exemplifies what the BC Innovators Hall of Fame represents.

3. Who else is supporting this nomination?*

Include the names and email addresses for anyone else who is supporting this nomination (max 4).
Note that there is no limit to how many nominations you can make, but each must be made in a separate submission.

Past winners of the Bill Thompson Lifetime Achievement Award and BC Tech Person of the Year Award will be inducted into the BC Innovators Hall of fame in this inaugural year:

  • Greg Aasen
  • Mark Betteridge
  • Jeff Booth
  • Michael Brown
  • Ward Chapin
  • Klaus Deering
  • David Demers
  • Norman Durieux
  • Gordon English
  • Haig Farris
  • Norm Francis
  • Roy Henderson
  • Judi Hess
  • Ryan Holmes
  • Hugh Ray
  • Moe Kermani
  • Paul Lee
  • Julia Levy
  • John MacDonald
  • Gordon MacFarlane
  • Greg Malpass
  • Amos Michelson
  • Jack Newton
  • Greg Peet
  • Shahrzad Rafati
  • Jonathan Rhone
  • Don Rix
  • Warren Roy
  • Laurie Schultz
  • John Seminario
  • Gerri Sinclair
  • Ken Spencer
  • Keith Spencer
  • Jim Spilsbury
  • Morgan Sturdy
  • David Sutcliffe
  • Shafin Tejani
  • James Topham
  • Ralph Turfus
  • Mossadiq Umedaly
  • Alan Winter
1 7 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Photo of Greg Aasen Greg Aasen

Prior to founding the fabless semiconductor company formerly known as PMC-Sierra  — originally Pacific Microelectronic Centre pre-merger —Greg Aasen cut his teeth as both a product and design engineer, and later a VLSI (Very Large Scale Integration) design manager at various telecom businesses. The 68-year-old graduated from UBC in Electrical Engineering before beginning his career at Mitel.

Photo of Mark Betteridge Mark Betteridge

Currently the CEO of Mark Betteridge & Associates, an angel investment firm financing technology start-ups in sectors including biotechnology and food processing, Mark Betteridge previously served as the CEO of Discovery Parks and Discovery Foundation helping provide funds for capacity-growth initiatives to local organizations. He was also the first contributor to the BC Tech Scholarship Fund established in 2005.

Photo of Judy Bishop Judy Bishop

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.

Photo of Jeff Booth Jeff Booth

Entrepreneur, strategic advisor and most recently author are just three of the many hats Jeff Booth wears. He co-founded addy, a website and app that allows people access to invest into commercial real estate, and helmed BuildDirect, a top online destination for building materials for 20 years. In January of 2020, he published The Price of Tomorrow explaining how future innovations in digital technology will drive revolutionary societal change.

Photo of Michael Brown Michael Brown

Founder and former CEO of Chrysalix Venture Capital, the top independent cleantech investment VC in the country, Michael Brown has spent multiple decades supporting and being a catalyst for early-stage technical innovation. In fact, in 2012 the Governor General of Canada bestowed upon him the order of Canada for just this achievement. As of 2016, Brown has chaired biotechnology research NPO Innovative Breakthrough Energy Technologies.

Photo of Kathy Butler Kathy Butler

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.

Photo of Ward Chapin Ward Chapin

A veteran of the financial services world, Ward Chapin was vice president of IT operations at HSBC Bank Canada and then director of IT operations at HSBC Bank France. A particularly notable entry on his resume is CIO of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Hired as the first technology employee for the landmark event, Chapin managed 1,400 full-time staff members and av $350 million budget.

Photo of Klaus Deering (1924-1999) Klaus Deering (1924-1999)

E.K. (Klaus) Deering grew up near Swan River, Manitoba and moved to West Vancouver at the end of WW II after serving with the Canadian Army. He initially worked in the logging industry alongside his father and two brothers and in 1969 he joined Glenayre Electronics taking the company into the wireless age by introducing the GL1400 mobile phone to market in 1974.

Photo of David Demers David Demers

Developing and launching significant new products is in David Demers’ DNA, having done just that for 12 years at IBM where he assisted in the design of everything from the first laser printers to the first email system in Western Canada. In 1995 Demers co-founded and took on the CEO role of Westport, which creates alternative fuel, low-emissions technologies allowing engines to operate on liquified natural gas, for example.

Photo of Norman Durieux Norman Durieux

Norman Durieux joined the RCAF on November 23, 1955. He completed his electronics training at #1RCS Clinton Ontario and graduated as a Radar Air Technician in 1956. After leaving the RCAF he worked at Lenkurt Electric in Burnaby BC in the Engineering Dept. and in 1973 established Band Electronics that specialized in custom electronic assembly, engineering and design of telephone central office equipment and electrical transmission supervisory equipment.

Photo of Gordon English (1926-2016) Gordon English (1926-2016)

Gordon English’s early love of radio and communications parlayed into a career in Signals with the Canadian Army at the end of WW II, before he returned to civilian life and became employed by BC Forest Service and BC Rail. English eventually founded Westronic, now a network alarm management business, and later became regional director of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Photo of Haig Farris Haig Farris

As president of Fractal Capital since 1990, Haig Farris continues to finance early-stage, high technology start-ups and resource exploration and service technology companies. He is also a founding chairman and board member of the Vancouver-based D-Wave Systems that raised $130 million to build the first-ever commercial quantum computer. In addition, Farris played a significant role in establishing Science World.

Photo of Norm Francis Norm Francis

Before leading Pivotal Corporation, a provider of customer relationship management and eBusiness solutions, to global prominence, Norm Francis co-founded Basic Software Group (BSG) in the late 1970s — the makers of wildly successful ACCPAC and Simply Accounting. He holds a computer science degree from UBC and is a Chartered Accountant, and awards annual scholarships to at-risk youth and students at his alma mater Southern Okanagan Secondary.

Photo of Andrew Harries Andrew Harries

In 1993 Andrew co-founded Sierra Wireless with Norman Toms. During his tenure the company grew through IPO to over $200m in annual revenues. In 2004 Andrew co-founded Zeugma Systems as CEO. Tellabs acquired substantially all of Zeugma in 2010. Andrew chaired the board at Contractually through its acquisition by Coupa Software in December 2015.  In 2010-2013 he chaired the Science World board through the completion of a $38m renovation and expansion and a major capital campaign. …

Photo of Roy Henderson (1931-2012) Roy Henderson (1931-2012)

Roy Henderson co-founded RAE Industrial Electronics in 1967 along with Al Marion and Erhardt Jorgensen. The company expanded across the Country in the mid eighties and became a National Distributor with the purchase of a Winnipeg based company Cam Gard Supply. He was also appointed as the first executive director of the Electronics Manufacturers Association of BC, which later amalgamated with the Information Technology Association of Canada, BC Chapter (ITAC-BC) to form BC Tech in 1993.

Photo of Judi Hess Judi Hess

Judi Hess has spent over 40 years in the technology industry in British Columbia, from MDA to Creo to Copperleaf. Most recently she was the CEO of Copperleaf taking it from a fledgling company in 2009 to an IPO in 2021 reaching unicorn status. She was only one of two women to take a technology company public in the history of the TSX.…

Photo of Ryan Holmes Ryan Holmes

Founding social media management platform Hootsuite in 2008, used by 18 million people worldwide and 79 of the companies found on the Fortune 100, Ryan Holmes is known as a serial entrepreneur first becoming a paintball paraphernalia supplier while in high school and then an owner of a pizza-by-the-slice establishment. Dropping out of the University of Victoria, Hootsuite was a spin-off his digital media agency, Invoke.

Photo of David Hughes (1934-2020) David Hughes (1934-2020)

Born in Kingston upon Thames in England, David John Llewellyn Hughes was sent to boarding school at a young age in nearby Marlborough after WWII setting him on the academic path. Following a two-year stint in the army, Hughes graduated from Emmanuel College in Cambridge on a scholarship in 1957 and began his career as a programmer and systems analyst at International Computers Limited.…

Photo of Hugh Kay Hugh Kay

Hugh Kay was a board member of the Electronics Manufacturing Association of British Columbia (EMABC) as well as president of Circuit Graphics. Founded in 1973, Circuit Graphics was one of the oldest and largest manufacturer of printed circuits in Western Canada. Under Kay’s leadership, the firm invested heavily in a computer-based production control system, quality control certification, employee training and industry cooperation.…

Photo of Moe Kermani Moe Kermani

Managing partner of Vanedge Capital, Moe Kermani and his team invests heavily in the areas related to cloud computing, infrastructure software and security. He gained valuable experience and became an expert in these serving as president and CEO of Bycast, a leader in storage visualization solutions for large-scale digital archives. Kermani sits on several boards including Echodyne Corp that makes high-performance radars for industry and government.

Photo of Paul Lee Paul Lee

Paul Lee is the founder of venture capital firm Vanedge Capital, and former president of video game giant Electronic Arts tasked with global product development. He is also the chairman of D-Wave Systems, a Vancouver designer and manufacturer of quantum computing and superconducting electronics. Lee is the recipient of many awards such as the Business in Vancouver Forty Under 40.

Photo of Julia Levy Julia Levy

Now retired, Dr. Julia Levy founded QLT Inc., an innovative photodynamic therapies company responsible for pioneering fledgling B.C.’s biotech sector beginning in 1982. One of its greatest achievements happened under her watch as president and CEO in 2000 when the QLT Visudyne medication for treating age-related blindness became FDA approved. The author of many published scientific articles, she has received seven honorary doctorates from Canadian universities.

Photo of John MacDonald (1936-2019) John MacDonald (1936-2019)

With decades of experience across the energy, aerospace and photovoltaic industries, John MacDonald co-founded space specialists MDA (MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates) in 1969. Over his long career he served as an advisor to Canadian, US and other governments internationally on science, technology, trade policy and industrial policy. In November of 1988, MacDonald was named an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Photo of Gordon MacFarlane (1925-2018) Gordon MacFarlane (1925-2018)

After coming back from WWII where he piloted Anson and Lancaster bomber planes, Gordon MacFarlane attended the Electrical Engineering program at UBC. He joined BC Tel, now Telus, in 1950, and following a stint at Automatic Electric in Brockville, Ontario returned to BC Tel in 1977 as chairman and CEO. In addition, MacFarlane helped start Microtel Pacific Research (MPR), which was responsible for the creation and success of many leading tech companies in the province.

Photo of Greg Malpass Greg Malpass

Once the only employee of Traction on Demand for the first four years, founder and CEO Greg Malpass has grown it to become North America’s largest dedicated Salesforce consulting and application development firm. Possessing a reputation as a technology evangelist, his clients rely on his deep expertise in building processes with CRM and marketing automation. Previous roles include various sales and marketing positions at BusinessObjects and Cossette agency.

Photo of Don Mattrick Don Mattrick

Starting out as an independent video game developer, Don Mattrick and Jeff Sember co-founded Distinctive Software in their parents’ basements in 1982 making racing and sports titles for the Amiga, Apple II, Commodore 64 and PC DOS. In 1991, Mattrick led a stock-based merger with Electronic Arts and eventually went on to be become president of EA Worldwide Studios and grew EA’s market capitalization from 100M to 23B.…

Photo of Amos Michelson Amos Michelson

Amos Michelson held the title of CEO at digital printing hardware and software makers Creo from 1995 until 2005 when Eastman Kodak assumed control. During the decade-long period he grew the staff to over 4,000 people, and revenue to $650 million USD annually. Prior to Creo Michelson was at the reigns of Opal, a semiconductor equipment company, and Optrotech, a manufacturer of optical and imaging systems.

Photo of Jack Newton Jack Newton

Founder and CEO of Clio, a pioneer in cloud-based legal technology and disrupter of the legal service industry — as well as the first unicorn in this niche — Jack Newton continues to utilize his platform to speak on and educate about the security, ethics and privacy issues surrounding cloud computing. He also cofounded and is the acting president of the Legal Cloud Computing Association, representing the collective voice of leading software providers in the space.

Photo of Josh Nilson Josh Nilson

With a collective 20 years of time spent in gaming and tech, East Side Games co-founder and general manager Josh Nilson has steered the mobile games studio to a three-year-revenue growth of 262 per cent. Josh is Métis and grew up in Northern B.C. He started in hospitality before going back to school for IT. His proverbial foot-in-the-door was securing a technical support position at Relic Entertainment, then known as THQ Canada, in 2006.

Photo of Greg Peet Greg Peet

Skilled in fostering customer-centric and operationally-focused corporate cultures, from 1993 to 2002 Greg Peet served as CEO of A.L.I. Technologies turning the small R&D facility into the largest independent supplier of radiological image management systems to hospitals and clinics. Later, he moved to McKesson to head its Medical Imaging Group. Peet co-chairs the B.C. Premiere’s Technology Council.

Photo of Shahrzad Rafati Shahrzad Rafati

Growing in Tehran, Shahrzad Rafati had limited access to things like cable TV and other content sources until she moved to Vancouver at the age of 17. Her background proved a source of inspiration in launching BroadbandTV, a media-tech company enabling creators to distribute, manage and monetize their content. In 2018, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed Rafati as the Canadian representative on the G20 Business Women Leaders task force.

Photo of Firoz Rasul Firoz Rasul

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.

Photo of Jonathan Rhone Jonathan Rhone

Described as a serial cleantech entrepreneur, Jonathan Rhone has a knack for partnering with industrials to solve tough energy and environmental problems through the development of large-scale projects. Co-founder and CEO of Axine Water, which established a new industry standard for treating toxic industrial wastewater, until 2022, this year he started C0280 aiming to help businesses reduce their carbon footprint.

Photo of Don Rix (1931-2009) Don Rix (1931-2009)

Born in Orillia, Ontario and having obtained an MD from the University of Western Ontario in 1957, Dr. Don Rix interned at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver and began his medical career as a general practitioner. He founded and became the chairman of MDS Metro, the first private lab to computerize in the 1970s, and the predecessor to LifeLabs Medical Laboratory Services BC.

Photo of Shannon Rogers Roy (1968-2023) 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.…

Photo of Geordie Rose Geordie Rose

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.

Photo of Warren Roy Warren Roy

With no background in computer science, Warren Roy founded Global Relay, a software company providing electronic message archiving, instant messaging, compliance and supervision services, in 1999. Today its client list includes thousands of financial firms around the world and 23 of the top 25 international banks. Before Global Relay, Roy had a design-build business and despite not having any formal architectural training, built dozens of homes.

Photo of Laurie Schultz Laurie Schultz

For 10 years, Laurie Schultz was the president and CEO of Galvanize that builds security, risk management, compliance and audit software. Following the April 2021 sale to Diligent Corporation, she became the first female CEO in Canada to lead a technology company to unicorn status. Schultz is currently a board director of UserZoom, a UX solution designed to help teams gain actionable insights into customer behaviour.

Photo of John Seminario John Seminario

Among the many accomplishments John Seminerio has achieved and accolades received in the Western Canadian high-tech space, an interesting one being an Entrepreneur in Residence at VentureLabs since 2012. A technology business accelerator program delivered by SFU, he brings his sector-specific expertise to coach and mentor the next generation. Seminerio is a co-founder of Yaletown Partners, an early-stage venture capital group, as well.

Photo of Gerri Sinclair Gerri Sinclair

Appointed as the B.C. Innovation Commissioner in 2020, part of Gerri Sinclair’s duties is to facilitate partnerships and promote innovation across the province. Prior to the role, she was a managing director at Kensington Capital in charge of the $100 million BC Tech Fund aimed at mitigating the local Series-A gap. Founding web content management vendor NCompass Labs in 1996, it was sold to Microsoft in 2001 for $36 million USD.

Photo of Keith Spencer Keith Spencer

A partner and information technology lawyer at international business law firm Fasken, Keith Spencer’s passion for tech started early having worked as the in-house counsel for both the Wireless Data Group of Motorola and quantum computing experts D-Wave Systems. An author of many articles in multiple areas like outsourcing, e-commerce and intellectual property law, he is often found lecturing at the Peter A.…

Photo of Ken Spencer (1944 – 2021) Ken Spencer (1944 – 2021)

After graduating from UBC with an electrical engineering degree and PhD, Ken Spencer embarked on a career as a design engineer at Macdonald Dettwiler and Associates in 1971. By 1979 he became vice president and general manager. Moving on to co-found Creo, initially an optical tape recorder device manufacturer eventually sold to Eastman Kodak in 2005, Spencer was also heavily involved in post-secondary education and taught a management course at SFU in the 1980s.

Photo of Jim Spilsbury (1905-2003) Jim Spilsbury (1905-2003)

Born in Derbyshire, England, Jim Spilsbury moved to B.C. as a child in 1907. Finding wireless technology fascinating as a young boy, he put together primitive crystal radio sets using mail-order catalogue parts that led to a career in marine radio telecommunications. Having traveled up and down the coast installing and maintaining radios in logging and fishing camps, Spilsbury co-founded Queen Charlotte Airlines in the 1940s to better service customers.

Photo of Morgan Sturdy Morgan Sturdy

Morgan Sturdy served as the president of Dees Communications Engineering, which provided call centre solutions, from 1985 until being acquired by Israel-based NICE systems in 1997. At the time of his joining, Dees was a 10-person operation supplying telecom peripheral equipment to BC Tel (Telus) evolving into a major player in USA call centre markets. Since 2016, he has been on the Discovery Foundation board overseeing the delivery of educational support to several tech organizations.

Photo of David Sutcliffe David Sutcliffe

Studying computer science at UBC before taking on roles with Sydney Development, the first publicly-traded software company in Canada, Motorola’s Mobile Data Division and medical devices specialist Xillix Technologies, David Sutcliffe assumed the position of CEO at Sierra Wireless in 1995. He led the IPO of the multinational communications equipment designer on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the public listing on the Nasdaq, and grew annual revenues to $200 million.

Photo of Shafin Tejani Shafin Tejani

A child of immigrant parents from Uganda escaping military unrest, Shafin Tejani followed the footsteps of his entrepreneurial father and uncle and launched his first business from a university dorm room at 19. Now he has over 40 start-ups in 24 countries under his belt, collectively employing more than 350 people, through his Victory Square venture that focuses on the web, mobile, gaming and film spaces.

Photo of William (Bill) H. Thompson (1922-1986) 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.

Photo of James Topham James Topham

Serving as an audit partner in KPMG’s Technology Group in the Vancouver office for 20 years earlier in his career, Topham was instrumental in helping join together Software BC and the Electronic Manufacturing Association of BC to form the BC Technology Information Association (now BC Tech) where he sat on the board for nine years. He founded the Vancouver Social Venture Partners philanthropy group, with a high percentage of technology senior executives, which funds and advises community charitable projects and social enterprises.…

Photo of Ralph Turfus Ralph Turfus

The former founder and CEO of Class Software, Ralph Turfus developed successful community service management software used by agencies around the globe. In 2004 California-headquartered ACTIVE Network acquired the company to bolster its own activity and participant management tools. An engineering and MBA grad, he continues to fund technology start-ups on the west coast.

Photo of Mossadiq Umedaly (1951-2021) Mossadiq Umedaly (1951-2021)

Arriving to McMaster University via Uganda in 1971, Mossadiq Umedaly earned his Chartered Accountant designation and worked for PwC in Canada and then Rome. Afterwards he joined the Aga Khan Development Network and moved to Karachi, Pakistan where he helped plan, developed and operated a university as CFO for eight years before returning to B.C. Umedaly became CFO of Ballard Power Systems, and then in 2007 chairman of BC Hydro.

Photo of Alan Winter Alan Winter

Alan Winter is B.C.’s first innovation commissioner and has wide experience acting as president and CEO in both the private and public technology sectors including at genomics researcher Genome BC, New Media Innovation Centre in Vancouver and BC Tel (Telus) incubator MPR Teltech. His most recent appointment is adjunct professor at the University of Victoria Gustavson School of Business where he provides career advice and mentoring to students as a guest lecturer.