Nick Rockel

Recent Posts on BCBusiness

Jan 20, 2021
A white B.C. tech CEO named Dave joins the anti-racism conversation

Dave MacLeod starts our Zoom chat with some alarming statistics. Just three African-American CEOs lead Fortune 500 companies—a number that will soon dwindle to two. And over several years, studies of that powerful group of corporations have turned up more...

Jan 14, 2021
The Innovators: Terramera is out to transform food production

Terramera has been playing the field lately. Founded by biologist, lawyer and former MLA Karn Manhas in 2010, the company changed the agriculture game with Actigate, a technology that can make plant-based active ingredients more effective than synthetic pesticides and...

Dec 24, 2020
B.C.’s top 10 office, retail, industrial and multifamily real estate deals of 2020

The province’s office, retail, industrial and multifamily property markets took a hit from COVID-19 this year but the pandemic failed to break their stride. The first quarter of 2020 was a busy time for investment deals, says Bob Levine, Vancouver-based managing partner with real estate services firm Avison Young. After the pandemic struck, activity died off as investors tried to figure out what was happening, Levine explains. “But I would say since late summer, the tempo has really picked up,”...

Dec 20, 2020
What will it take for B.C. to grow more of its own food?

First, let’s get the scary-looking numbers out of the way. In the 2021 edition of Canada’s Food Price Report, the authors predict that the cost of food will rise 3 to 5 percent for Canadians next year. For a family that includes a man and a woman aged 31-50, a boy aged 14-18 and a girl aged nine to 13, that means annual food expenditure would increase by $695 at the high end, to $13,907. Of course, the pandemic looms large...

Dec 17, 2020
5 Questions: Mélanie Joly shares her plans to launch B.C.’s own regional development agency

It may not fix Western alienation, but it’s a welcome move. To better support B.C. businesses, the federal government recently proposed opening a regional economic development agency focused on the province. The country’s seventh, the new agency would operate separately from Western Economic Diversification Canada, which currently serves B.C. and the Prairies...

Dec 16, 2020
In BC Chamber of Commerce address, John Horgan talks post-COVID recovery, Indigenous investment and food delivery apps

The lacrosse stick propped against the wall of John Horgan’s Victoria office spoke loudly: the premier casts himself as a man of the people, but he also knows how to play hardball. In his keynote speech at this year’s Premier and Cabinet Connect, hosted virtually by the BC Chamber of Commerce, Horgan justified the BC NDP’s recent early election gamble, which saw his party win a commanding majority. The premier also pitched an optimistic vision of economic recovery with Indigenous...

Dec 15, 2020
This local VR firm’s coaches are virtual, but they can get real on the job

Virtro Entertainment knew what to do when COVID-19 struck. Harnessing the power of artificial intelligence, the Vancouver-based company had spent the previous year or so developing a virtual reality platform that lets users train for a task or job by conversing...

Dec 8, 2020
5 Questions: AME head Kendra Johnston likes her industry’s prospects

If we look just at the last 15 years, we’ve contributed over $5 billion to the provincial economy. On average, we spend approximately $330 million a year as mineral explorers directly into the ground in B.C. So that’s an average of about $1.2 million per company.

Dec 4, 2020
Making It Work: Now more than ever, your staff need a strong wellness program

"Since the pandemic, we’ve seen a few shifts in how organizations are approaching employee well-being,” says Alissa Gillanders, a wellness program specialist at the Vancouver office of professional services giant Aon. First, employers are making wellness a priority, “with an...

Dec 3, 2020
Making It Work: How to on-board a new hire who's working from home

As businesses have switched to remote work during the pandemic, those still in hiring mode face challenges when it comes to welcoming new staff. For advice, we turned to Shelagh Levangie, a human resources and recruitment consultant with Vancouver-based Harbour...

Dec 2, 2020
Vancouver and Victoria rank highly in new national tech talent report

B.C. fares well in a new report ranking Canadian cities for their competitive advantage and appeal to tech companies and workers. In the 2020 edition of Scoring Canadian Tech Talent, a study by real estate services firm CBRE Group, Vancouver and Victoria...

Nov 30, 2020
B.C. company Santevia makes safe water for life its Giving Tuesday goal

For small businesses that want to make a social impact, Yvonne Anderson has one piece of advice: Get started. “Everybody waits, thinking, Oh, when I get a bit bigger, when I get this, when I do that, I will start,” says the co-founder and CEO of Santevia Water Systems. “No. Start now, no matter what your budget is.” Anderson and her husband, David, did just that when they founded Delta-based Santevia in 2008...

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