Investment & Business Planning
Since 1986, Derek has helped clients set and achieve significant goals, both financial and personal. He has a keen sense of keeping the balance between saving for the future and enjoying each day. His motto is ‘Taking people beyond success . . . into significance.’
Among the greatest strengths Derek brings to his clients are his knowledge (especially taxation, business planning, succession/estate solutions & investments), integrity, and commitment to excellence.
Derek has over 30 years of business experience that he can share with entrepreneurs. His teaching background helps him communicate complex concepts in easy-to-understand language so clients can make wise, educated decisions about business, money, and, life.
The community benefits from Derek’s passion for helping others through his leadership roles at CBMC, his church, and, sponsorship of The Day of Hope and Leadership. He is the happy husband of Wanda, proud father of three exceptional young men, and, enjoying his relatively new role as ‘Grampie’ to two delightful grandchildren. Derek believes you should live your legacy before you ever try to leave one.
Finance & Accounting
Wasif has intensive experience in directing the financial and accounting activities of international companies. He is a results-oriented leader with highly developed analytical, financial statement consolidation, budgeting, risk management and internal control skills. He excels at adopting best practice accounting policies, systems, procedures and team building.
With more than 25 years of extensive practical experience gained within multi-national corporations, he developed competencies in financial, operational and business leadership.
Wasif is well known for his high standards of integrity, performance, and respect for clients, employees and community. He works in partnership with senior management teams to achieve their objectives, while continuously learning about their business and challenges.
Financial, Commercial Lending
Ursula was born and raised in Durham Region and built a career in the financial industry where she worked for 23 years with one of the top financial chartered banks in Canada. Over the past 7 years, she spent her career working in the commercial division as a Commercial Relationship Manager. As a commercial lender, Ursula provided her clients with sound financial advice looking at both sides of the balance sheet and provided financing anywhere from operating lines to commercial mortgages. Ursula has several years experience in credit analysis and underwriting as well as foreign exchange, trade financing and cash management.
Ursula has earned a solid reputation in the industry for her knowledge and expertise, and has a stellar network to some of the top business professionals. Ursula provides nothing less than superior customer service.
Ursula holds a Bachelor’s degree from York University in Economics and Administrative studies as well as an Accredited Mortgage Professional Designation from the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals (CAAMP). She is active in the Chambers of Commerce within Durham Region and volunteers with organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and the Children’s Aid Society.
Accounting & Financial Planning
Peter is a Chartered Accountant and a Certified Financial Planner. Peter began his career with a national accounting firm in Toronto. In 1983 he joined a local public accounting firm, which became part of Collins Barrow in 2012. Along with being a partner in the public accounting firm, Peter is also President of an affiliated company, Collins Barrow Durham Consultants Inc. The consulting practice specializes in performance improvement, offering services such as: process improvement, human resource management and organization development.
Peter’s experience includes working in the wholesale trade, manufacturing, real estate and agriculture industries. Peter likes to partner with his clients to help them grow their businesses profitably. He works with his clients to set realistic performance goals, develop strategies to meet those goals, and measure performance against predetermined bench marks to keep his clients on track.
Peter has served on the Board of many local organizations. Currently he is a Board member of the Bowmanville Hospital Foundation. His duties with the Foundation include chairing its Leadership Task Force which is responsible for implementing a new strategic plan.
Technical & Software Development
John is the CTO and co-founder of Effective Registration, an online platform for event registration and management. Previously, John worked for over 10 years as an independent consultant, providing development services and technical advice to clients such as CIBC World Markets, TD Bank Financial Group, and eHealth Ontario. With over 20 years of industry experience, John possesses a wealth of knowledge in the fields of technical architecture, software development processes, and development team management, as well as hands-on experience in a wide range of technologies. John holds a Bachelor of Computer Engineering and Management degree from McMaster University.
Patrick founded Kleurvision Inc. visual communications studio in 2004 to expand his creative expression. An entrepreneur at heart, Patrick is used to wearing many hats. His background is in graphic design and creative direction, though more recently has become an expert in web development, as well as social and digital marketing for business growth and strategy. Spending four years at the beginning of his career in motion and broadcast graphics on a national level, he quickly became adept to deploying high impact visual communications that made a statement and engaged the audience.
Patrick is also the Chief Marketing Officer of The Software Colony, an incubation firm that extends services and business expertise to the start-up community. The Software Colony was launched in the third quarter of 2012 and launched its first two companies by Christmas of that year.
Marketing & Business Development
Philip is a sales, business development and marketing professional with experience with startups, small to midsized companies, and multinationals.
His passion for people, customers and business has helped him lead and positively impact many successful sales organizations. He believes in clarity of strategy and implementation and has acted as the voice of the customer in developing effective marketing and sales development initiatives. He has been recognized for his business leadership skills and brings a collaborative and entrepreneurial approach to driving sales success and firmly believes that marketing / sales alignment are fundamental to business success.
Previous, Philip was VP Sales / VP Sales & Marketing for ArjoHuntleigh (medical devices), Managing Director for Azonic Networks (telecom startup), held various sales and business development roles in the pharmaceutical industry, and ran the business consulting groups at Ryerson and Dalhousie Universities.
Philip is involved in his local community as a coach, holds a Bachelor of Business Management (BBM) from Ryerson University in Toronto, and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Manufacturing & Project Management
Kathleen started her career on the shop floors of Northern Telecom, one of Canada’s most successful innovation stories. Deep in the trenches of Nortel’s computerized drilling and engineering division, she spent over 20 progressive years providing and directing training. She has firsthand experience with the complexities of increasing worker productivity, process tracking and the challenges of employee training.
After Nortel, she spent another decade working in a variety of roles including quality, line management, IT, process control, change management and training.
As President & CEO of Nessis Inc., she now applies her real world expertise to develop leading edge e-Automation solutions for some of the world’s smallest and largest companies, resulting in optimized work environments, including specialization in automotive, aerospace, high tech, healthcare and food processing.
Her most recent accomplishments include appointment as chairman of the American Society of Quality – Toronto, and Advisory Board Member at the Business Advisory Centre Durham. She is also a proud sponsor of Spark Centre, and member of Durham Strategic Energy Association.
Brand Marketing & B2B
Andrea is an experienced marketing and communications professional with over two decades of experience working in B2B and B2C sectors on both corporate and agency sides. Her brand strategy and marketing experience includes roles at BMW Canada, Toronto Stock Exchange, American Express and Aviva Insurance. She has a breadth of industry experience ranging from web application software, product marketing, financial services, insurance, travel management to retirement lifestyle marketing. Her experience spans businesses large and small, serving niche markets or broad national consumer markets.
In the Durham Region, Andrea has served as run director, media relations chair and fundraiser for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation/CIBC Run for the Cure, volunteered at Community Care Durham/Meals on Wheels and currently serves as a volunteer leader with Scouts Canada. She holds an MBA from Queen’s University. On the weekends, Andrea can usually be found enjoying family time outdoors and cottage country activities, along with her husband Ken and son Gregory.
Marketing & Business Development
Annie brings over 12 years of experience working within the Technology Media & Telecommunications, (TMT) and Clean Tech industry. Her Marketing and Sales experience focuses on helping young to mid-size companies grow by fostering relationship building with current and potential clients, including industry leaders and engineering firms as well as strategic planning and execution.
She is currently an Account Manager with Deloitte in Toronto with a focus in the TMT industry as well as the Power & Utilities industry. Current priorities include the management of industry key global priority accounts within Deloitte. Previous to this, Annie held a Manager of Market Development position in the TMT and Clean/Green Tech practice of Deloitte in Toronto. She was actively involved in Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50™ program and served as a coach for companies participating in Canada’s Best Managed Companies program. Annie spent a number of years acting in a leadership role within the national marketing team, managing both internal and external initiatives. Annie also provides guidance and support as an INcubes mentor, assisting with business, marketing, sales and product plans, as well as team building.
Prior to returning to Deloitte in 2013, Annie worked with Real Tech as Business Development Manager for over a year, focusing on developing the industrial market as well as leveraging existing and building new relationships with Engineers across North America.
Lucy Shenouda is a Business and Leadership Coach with specialization in marketing, branding and strategic planning. She developed her skills in the corporate world on both the client and consulting side as a marketing, advertising and brand specialist. She headed Marketing, Account Management and Strategic Planning Departments for brands such as Rogers Cable Advertising, Unilever, McDonald’s, Nestle, Carrier, Coca-Cola, MasterCard and Showtime Satellite Pay TV Network.
Lucy partnered with Women in Leadership (WIL) – Toronto Chapter in 2012 and Women in Communications and Technology (WCT/FCT) in 2012-13 as a Mentor. She is currently a Volunteer Mentor and on the Mentor Committee for Spark Centre in Durham Region and Northumberland County.
Lucy believes in cutting through the clutter to get deeper into essence, to foster what’s most important. With an overload of information, perspectives and challenges day-to-day, sifting through the noise and getting to what’s important, relevant and differentiating at any given moment is imperative to making effective decisions. In doing so, she facilitates an environment of innovation, collaboration and creativity.
Throughout her time in the corporate world, Lucy finds her greatest fulfillment in fostering strong performance in individuals and teams. She listens deeply and establishes a connection early in the relationship. From a place of safety and trust, she brings awareness to what works, what doesn’t work and to facilitate thought-provoking constructive conversations. Lucy’s extensive training in co-active coaching, relationship systems coaching and constructive conflict is combined with over twenty-five years as a marketing and branding professional.
Lucy has led, mentored and coached teams in Canada, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and the Gulf region. She is an International Coach Federation accredited coach certified in Co-Active Coaching, Relationship Systems Coaching, The Leadership Circle™ and Neuro-Linguistic Programming. She is the Founder of FosterEssence and Co-Founder of LeadingChangeSpecialsts.
Financial Planning & Electronic Engineering
Paul, B.A.Sc., is currently a Senior Investment Advisor and a Vice President at PI Financial Corporation. Paul entered the Investment Industry in 1988 with an independent dealer Richardson Greenshields. In 2002, Paul returned back to his “grass roots” and joined Union Securities Ltd., where he held the position of Managing Director. During his time there, he developed an exclusive proprietary wealth management program – Elite Wealth Strategies – exclusive to clients of Union Securities.
Prior to 1988, Paul worked for Phillips Electronics Ltd, Canadian Marconi and Atlantis Flight Research – specializing in aircraft avionics. In his role as a Product Manager, Paul managed a group of design engineers involved in specialized electronic ground-based stations. In addition, Paul was responsible for marketing the products internationally, which involved meeting government authorities responsible for aircraft landing safety.
Paul loves to work with people as a team leader and a mentor providing guidance in problem solving. When his head is not buried in the books, Paul loves to spend time outdoors on the local golf course and traveling around the continent with his wife Lynda in their new RV.
Business & Brand Marketing
Ron Wilson is a Marketing Professional with over 25+ years’ experience across a variety of industries such as Consumer Packaged Goods, Technology, Telecommunications, Publishing, and Financial Services. Ron most recently led Channel Marketing for Asus. He has also worked for Scotiabank, Toshiba, Moody’s, Fonorola, Block Drug.
He has specific expertise in Business Strategy, Product Management, Brand Management, Go-To-Market Strategy, Marketing Communications, New Venture Business Planning, Channel Marketing, and Segment Marketing. Ron holds an MBA (Queen’s), BBM (Ryerson), and a BEd (Brock).
When not running BuildingBloxs, Ron teaches Marketing and Sales Management at Humber College Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning as well as being a Mentor for Spark Centre.
He enjoys spending time with his family and collecting and trying great wine so if you have a wine recommendation, please share!
Mobile Software & Business Development
Karan is a seasoned software executive with experience in enterprise mobile and big data solutions. Currently, he heads SAP’s mobile product Sales and Business Development team where he works with large Canadian companies and advises them on how mobile can bring efficiency and change business models. Karan is also an active member of the start-up community where he advises entrepreneurs and helps them move along the early growth trajectory of their business.
Karan’s experience spans beyond sales, into customer strategy, product management and operations. Karan holds an MBA from ISB, India, and a Masters in Electrical Engineering from the University of Arizona.
Product Development & Business Management
Michael Younder is a personable and hands-on business manager and leader and brings 13 years of progressive experience in strategic product development and management to Spark Centre’s Mentor Program. He’s skilled in the ability to target and then collaborate with clients to achieve success in business improvement and transformation, planning and launching new services, products and business partnerships.
Michael’s industry background in product management includes financial services, non-profit and wireless technology with BlackBerry. An engaging presenter and story teller, Michael’s work with end clients, internal channels and sales teams has taken him around the world, but he’s equally comfortable hearing about new product ideas and talking about commercialization strategies, over coffee around the corner.
Michael has a Bachelor of Business Management Degree from Ryerson University and lives in Toronto with his wife and children.