September/October 2021

In this issue

Sep 16, 2021
Entrepreneur Of The Year 2021
By the Editors

Well, it was worth the wait. After pausing in 2020 for the pandemic, EY Entrepreneur Of The Year’s Pacific Region program returns for its 27th edition. This time around, the competition honours nine women and men, leading seven companies from a diverse range of industries, who will advance to the national finals in November. If these entrepreneurs have one thing...

Sep 13, 2021
Entrepreneur Of The Year 2021 winner: Darrell Jones puts Save-On-Foods at the top of the grocery food chain
Nick Rockel

In the highly competitive grocery business, Darrell Jones knows how important it is to understand what your rivals are doing. “If they do something well, go and copy it and make it better,” says the president of Save-On-Foods, which shares a crowded marketplace with brands like Sobeys/Safeway, Superstore, Walmart and Amazon. “But the worst thing you can do, in our...

Sep 13, 2021
Entrepreneur Of The Year 2021 winner: Judi Hess turbocharged Copperleaf by reinventing its company culture
Nathan Caddell

When Judi Hess joined Copperleaf Technologies as CEO in 2009, the Vancouver-based decision analytics software firm looked very different than it does now. “I always say it was both the worst and best decision of my life,” Hess recalls with a laugh. Despite doing her due diligence before taking the job, Hess, who was leaving a role as managing director of...

Sep 13, 2021
Entrepreneur Of The Year 2021 winner: Rizwan Somji proved that Cymax Group’s business has legs, with help from the pandemic e-commerce boom
Nathan Caddell

Just a few things have happened since Rizwan Somji was appointed CEO of Burnaby-based furniture dropshipper and e-commerce firm Cymax Group in January 2019. Somji, who got the top job after four years with the company in various roles, found Cymax at something of a crossroads. The business had seen a US$25-million Series A fundraising round, partly led by Plenty of...

Sep 13, 2021
Entrepreneur Of The Year 2021 winners: Catherine Dahl and Reza Sanaie make the numbers work for accounting automation
Nick Rockel

Catherine Dahl found herself out of a job back in late 2011. Bean Services, the startup she’d joined as COO and CFO the previous year, had just been shut down after its investor pulled all of his money. “We were like, Oh, my God, what do we do?” Dahl recalls of the business, an early developer of accounts payable (AP)...

Sep 13, 2021
Entrepreneur Of The Year 2021 winner: Ray Castelli built mobile shelter maker Weatherhaven into a big-tent operation
Nathan Caddell

Few elections have changed the fate of Canada like the federal contest of 1993, in which the ruling Progressive Conservative Party recouped only two seats across the entire country. The seeds of change planted then are still evident today, as the Bloc Québécois became the official Opposition in their first election and the PCs merged with Preston Manning’s Reform Party...

Sep 13, 2021
Entrepreneur Of The Year 2021 winners: Alison Taylor and Trevor Johnston succeed by helping the helpers
Nathan Caddell

“I think it’s interesting when people ask kids what they want to be when they grow up. Because they know, like, four professions,” Alison Taylor says. “They know what their parents do and what their teacher does and whoever else they run across in their community.” Taylor should know: she’s a parent of three, and there’s no chance she could have...

Sep 13, 2021
Entrepreneur Of The Year 2021 winner: Carl Hansen engineered AbCellera’s rise to biotech powerhouse
Nick Rockel

They may not know it, but thousands of people who escaped death from COVID-19 owe a debt of gratitude to Carl Hansen and AbCellera Biologics. “Last year, we had the opportunity to show the world the power of the technology that we had been working on,” director and CEO Hansen says of his Vancouver-based company, which specializes in discovering antibodies...

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