Powerful Unions: 9 Couples Who Mean Business in B.C.

B.C. couples who rate high on our influencer index.

1. Carole Taylor, Chancellor of SFU and Art Phillips, former mayor of Vancouver and co-founder of Phillips, Hager & North

Home Turf: Vancouver

SHE is widely respected as a longtime business and community leader. After 20 years in broadcast journalism, Taylor was elected as an Independent Alderman for Vancouver, later named Chair of Vancouver Port and subsequently Chair of Canada Ports Corporation. Then became Chair of CBC/Radio-Canada and was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2001. Elected as a Liberal MLA for Vancouver-Langara and promptly named Minister of Finance (2005-2008). Became Chancellor at SFU in 2011 and continues to serve on several corporate boards.

HE served as the 32nd mayor of Vancouver from 1973 to 1977, after co-founding the successful Vancouver investment firm Phillips, Hager & North. Phillips was instrumental in forming the municipal political party TEAM in 1968, and is considered Vancouver’s first modern mayor, a proponent of the livable cities concept. In 2010 Phillips was awarded the city’s highest honour, the Freedom of the City award. That year Phillips and his wife also received the President’s Distinguished Community Leadership Award, which recognizes outstanding community service.

2. Derek Corrigan, Mayor of Burnaby and Kathy Corrigan, NDP MLA of Burnaby-Deer Lake

Image courtesy of Kathy Corrigan

Home Turf: Burnaby

HE has been mayor of Burnaby since 2002, now serving his fourth consecutive term. Left-leaning and outspoken, Corrigan is unafraid to speak out on issues that affect Burnaby taxpayers, like Kinder Morgan’s planned expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline (he slammed it).

SHE was elected MLA in 2009 and serves as Deputy Caucus Chair and opposition critic for Public Safety and Solicitor General. A lawyer and public-policy researcher by profession, she’s a strong advocate for public education, serving three terms on the Burnaby Board of Education until 2008.

3. Vikram Vij and Meeru Dhalwala, restaurateurs, co-owners of Vij’s and Rangoli

Image courtesy of Vikram Vij and Meeru Dhalwala

Home Turf: Vancouver

THEY famously brought contemporary Indian food to Vancouver in 1994 with the opening of Vij’s, a non-traditional Indian restaurant. Then Vij’s at Home, a line of packaged curries, launched with second restaurant Rangoli in 2004. Three years later their first cookbook Vij’s: Elegant and Inspired Indian Cuisine was published and won the Cuisine Canada’s Gold Award for Cookbook of the Year and the Cordon D’Or Gold Ribbon for International Cookbook. Momentum continues – last year, Vij’s Railway Express food cart hit Vancouver’s streets and Dhalwala (with Oguz Istif) opened 72-seat Shanik in Seattle. Dhalwala is also one of the organizers behind The Joy of Feeding, an annual multi-cultural potluck, supporting UBC Farm.

4. Shayne Ramsay, CEO of BC Housing and Janice Abbott, CEO, Atira Women’s Resource Society

Image courtesy of Atira Women’s Resource Society

Home Turf: Vancouver

HE was named the CEO of BC Housing in 2000, the provincial agency responsible for creating housing options for those most in need in B.C. He provides leadership for the delivery of social housing strategies in partnership with the housing sector. Has also served as CEO of the Homeowner Protection Office and Director of Housing Policy and Program Development with the former Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

SHE is a leading social entrepreneur who has transformed Atira Women’s Resource Society into a multi-service agency with more than 20 programs and 11 sites in the Lower Mainland, dedicated to the provision of housing, advocacy and support services to women and children experiencing violence and poverty.

5. Annabel Hawksworth, Principal, Hawksworth Communications and David Hawksworth, Executive Chef, Hawksworth Restaurant

Image courtesy of Hawksworth Communications

Home Turf: Vancouver

SHE is a PR maven, focusing on the development and implementation of strategic media plans for luxury clients. Previously the communications director for Toptable Restaurant Group, Hawksworth opened her boutique PR agency in 2006, and provides services for resorts, retailers and restaurants including Bellstar Hotels & Resorts, Tiffany & Co., Caffè Artigiano and Tinhorn Creek Vineyards.

HE is Vancouver’s most renowned chef, the former EC at West Restaurant, and the youngest chef to be inducted into the B.C. Restaurant Hall of Fame. Devoted to ingredient-led, perfectly executed contemporary cuisine, he opened Hawksworth Restaurant and neighbouring Bel Café in Rosewood Hotel Georgia to rave reviews in 2011. Hawksworth was named “Restaurant of the Year” by Maclean’s magazine in 2012.

6. Nanon de Gaspé Beaubien-Mattrick, founder and president, Beehive Holdings and Donald Mattrick, president Interactive Entertainment Business, Microsoft

Image courtesy of Microsoft

Home Turf: Vancouver/ Redmond, Washington

SHE founded Beehive Holdings in 2009, a business incubator that invests in and helps accelerate the growth of local early-stage businesses. Beaubien-Mattrick specifically empowers female visionaries by offering coaching, capital and a connected network. Currently serves as director on UBC/VGH Hospital Foundation, H20 Foundation Board and The Forum for Women Entrepreneurs School.

HE joined Microsoft in 2007 as president, Interactive Entertainment Business, and is responsible for Microsoft’s entertainment experiences across gaming, music and video platforms. His team drives development and marketing of Xbox 360, Kinect for Xbox 360 and Xbox LIVE. In August 2011 Fortune named him one of the “Smartest People in Tech 2011.” He co-founded Distinctive Software Inc. in 1982, acquired by Electronic Arts in 1991 to become EA Canada, a company where Mattrick enjoyed many leadership roles before joining Microsoft.

7. Jay DeMerit, White Caps captain and Ashleigh McIvor, freestyle skiier

Image courtesy of Onside Sports Agency

Home Turf: Vancouver/Pemberton

HE started playing for the White Caps in 2010. From Green Bay, Wisconsin, DeMerit came to Vancouver after six seasons with England’s Watford FC. He was the first player signed by the Whitecaps in preparation for their entry into Major League Soccer in 2011, and was named captain as the season began. DeMerit also plays for the U.S. national team.

SHE is a 2010 Olympic Ski Cross gold medalist, World Champion, X Games Medallist and has won 11 World Cup medals. McIvor recently announced her retirement from racing at age 29, and a return to free skiing. She also works for CBC as an announcer and for Whistler Blackcomb as part of their new “Ski with an Olympic Champion” package.

8. Danny Robinson, founder and CEO of Perch Communications Inc.and Maura Rodgers, founder of Strutta Media Inc.

Image courtesy of Perch Communications

Home Turf: Vancouver

HE launched Perch in 2012, a hands-free video communication app where an iPod, iPad or iPhone is mounted in your home allowing always-ready communication via video. Robinson co-founded both Internet company Strutta in 2007 (with Maura) and Opskwan, and is the managing director of Bootup Labs, which helps founders build tech startups in the area of consumer Internet, mobile, casual gaming and web-based productivity software.

SHE launched Strutta in 2008, a platform to facilitate the managing of social promotions such as contests, sweepstakes and Facebook apps. The Strutta platform has been translated into nine languages and launched in every continent except Antarctica. Rodgers is also behind guide site urbandig.com and Launch Party Vancouver (with husband Robinson), a networking event for the city’s entrepreneurs, tech junkies and bloggers.

9. Anne Giardini, President of Weyerhaeuser Company Ltd. and Tony Giardini, Executive VP and CFO at Kinross Gold Corp.

Image courtesy of Anne Giardini

Home Turf: Vancouver/Toronto

SHE joined forestry giant Weyerhaeuser in 1994 as legal counsel and worked her way to president by 2008. The daughter of the late Carol Shields, Giardini is also an acclaimed author of two novels. Appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2010 and a board member of the Vancouver Board of Trade, deputy chair of the Board of Governors of SFU and chair of the Vancouver International Writers Festival.

HE is a seasoned corporate finance leader in the mining industry. Started his career with KPMG, spent 10 years at Placer Dome Inc. in a number of financial roles, became CFO of Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. from 2006 to 2012, and was named VP and CFO at Vancouver’s Capstone Mining in August 2012. Four months later, Giardini has already moved to a new role as Executive VP and CFO of Toronto-based Kinross Gold Corp.