Board & Council
The Board Members of FWE are experienced business professionals who support women entrepreneurs in business by offering their expertise, time, and support to the organization.
Chair | FWE
Judy Brooks has founded, built and successfully sold 3 companies over the last 28 years. She has a reputation for strategically building international businesses, fiscally responsible companies, dynamic teams, and impressive brands and cultures.
Since exiting her last venture and for the last 8 years, Judy has worked with CEO Founders, Partners, Boards & Senior teams to bring clarity and leader development in high transition times (mergers, acquisitions, and strategic changes). Judy is known for her ability to lead clear conversations that shift outcomes.
A well-known presenter and mentor in the business community, Judy co-created Brew (a leadership retreat) for those wanting to lead mindfully and with self-reflection. Judy serves on the Board of Directors for FWE and is a past Board member for Small Business BC. She is also a past Advisory Board Member for The Smart Cookies, Nurse Next Door, YYoga and Young Women in Business amongst others.
Judy has been honoured with the Business in Vancouver Women of Influence Award and the Vancouver Board of Trade Mentor Award.
Christina Anthony, CFA
Founder & Chair Emeritus | FWE
Vice President, Director and Portfolio Manager | Odlum Brown Limited
Inspired by the commitment and drive of female entrepreneurs, Christina founded FWE as a non-profit organization in 2002 to provide education and mentorship to women entrepreneurs. Now the Chair Emeritus of the Board of FWE, she is also Vice President, Portfolio Manager and Director at Odlum Brown Limited.
Prior to joining Odlum Brown, Christina worked at Goldman Sachs as a Portfolio Manager in Seattle and as a bond trader and investment banker in New York. Christina is a graduate of the Portfolio Management Foundation program at UBC.
She serves on the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation Board, the Wear Else Advisory Board, and in 2013 was appointed to the Capilano University Board of Governors. In 2011, Christina was honoured with the YWCA Women of Distinction Award and the Association of Women in Finance Community Legacy Award. In February 2010, Christina carried the Olympic torch for RBC in recognition of her outstanding community leadership. Christina also received the UBC Outstanding Young Alumnus Award in 2008, was named one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40™ in 2007, and was one of Canada’s Most Powerful Top 100 Women by the Globe and Mail in 2006. BIV named her one of the Top 40 Under 40 in BC in 2002.
Christina grew up in Richmond and currently lives with her husband, Matthew, and four children in Vancouver.
COO | SmartSweets
Cindy has spent the past 5 1/2 years in operations at lululemon. She is grateful to have worked on both brands, lululemon and ivivva. Her most recent assignment was General Manager of ivivva, lululemon’s young girls brand. Prior to that she was Vice President for North America Operations with lululemon. In that role she also had the pleasure of working with the talented team at the GEC – guest education centre – who support the guests with anything on the website.
Prior to lululemon, Cindy spent 17 years with Starbucks. While at Starbucks, Cindy lead Western Canada retail operations as regional vice president for Starbucks Canada. In that role, Cindy oversaw the operations of more than 450 Starbucks stores, providing support to 5000 Partners (employees). Cindy began her Starbucks career in 1993 as a district manager in Vancouver, and held a number of different roles within the company. Regional food & beverage manager for Western Canada, Colorado, Utah. Regional director of operations in Chicago. Director of Food for North America based in Seattle. Vice President of operations for Seattle’s Best Coffee, which was acquired by Starbucks.
Cindy has always been passionate about sports and health. She was a ranked squash and racquetball player, is a triathlete, avid runner and cyclist, and an enthusiastic yogi. She is inspired and energized by her studies of Mid Century Modern Design. Cindy contributes to mentorship programs; helping emerging leaders and entrepreneurs develop business and leadership skills.
As a passionate, dedicated learner, Cindy has fun adding unique experiences to her toolbox such as the Culinary Institute of America, Elite Sensory Training, and becoming a Coffee Master.
Cindy currently lives in North Vancouver with her partner, three children, and two dogs.
Bev Briscoe, FCPA, F.ICD
President | Briscoe Management Ltd.
Bev Briscoe has been a corporate director for over 12 years and is currently Chair of the Board of Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Inc. and Vice Chair and Lead Director of Goldcorp Inc. Previously Bev owned a transportation services company and worked in senior management positions in the heavy equipment industry in Canada serving the construction, mining and forestry industries. She also worked as Chief Financial Officer for various operating divisions in The Jim Pattison Group in Canada and Geneva, Switzerland. She articled with PWC and worked with them in Vancouver and Sydney, Australia.
Ms. Briscoe holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of British Columbia and is a Fellow of the Institute of Certified Professional Accountants of British Columbia. Bev received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Influential Women in Business Awards in 2011 and in 2012, she was honored as a Fellow by the Institute of Corporate Directors. In 2016 she was recognized by the NACD as one of the top 100 Directors in the US.
Principal | CarterConsulting
Cheryl Carter’s business network reaches throughout Vancouver’s vibrant business community including entrepreneurs, corporate and not-for-profit leaders. After a successful career as a business leader in media she now works with entrepreneurs on initiatives that build profile and improve business results. Her sales and marketing experience, backed up by business acumen allows her to add real value to the organizations she works with.
Previously she was Vice President at Business in Vancouver Media Group. In those 15 years she had responsibilities which included every facet of the business. Accomplishments included building BIV’s business through marketing, audience development, strategic alliances, content marketing and events.
Cheryl is also a Director and Chair of Small Business BC.
President & Founder | Lyra Growth Partners
Charles is a serial entrepreneur – today he runs Lyra Growth Partners, a growth equity firm he founded that provides smart capital and brand savvy coaching to young, fast-growing entrepreneurial companies.
Prior to Lyra, Charles was founder and President of Vega, which he started from scratch from his basement in 2004. Financed by his life savings, a second mortgage on his house and credit cards, Charles led Vega to become a leading brand of clean, plant–based nutritional products in North America.
Honouring a triple bottom line approach to business and recognizing people are the greatest source of sustainable competitive advantage, Vega and Charles have received many accolades, including: Fastest Growing Companies, Best Workplace, Best Managed Companies and Entrepreneur of the Year.
In June 2016, Charles helped establish the Charles Chang Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Simon Fraser University, an interdisciplinary home and academic hub where people and ideas converge to foster entrepreneurial thinking and action.
Charles is also co-founder of PowerPlay Young Entrepreneurs, a non-profit organization that helps elementary school students develop an entrepreneurial mindset. Using real-world, hands-on learning experiences, PowerPlay helps build confidence and resiliency and develop practical life skills.
Charles lives with his family in West Vancouver, BC and is an active member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), an avid golfer, fly fisherman, mountain biker, skier and Whistlerite wannabe.
Vice President, Information Technology and Strategic Business Intelligence | Mark Anthony Group
Robert Eckley is the Vice President Information Technology and Strategic Business Intelligence for the Mark Anthony Group of Companies. Mr. Eckley joined the company in 2002, and is responsible for all aspects of information technology, strategic business systems, corporate business unit integration and strategic data intelligence. He also assists in the digital marketing, social media and ecommerce strategy and consumer insights / big data management across the organization.
Mr. Eckley brings more than 20 years of global experience as a senior executive in a variety of Industries to his current position. He was previously IT Operations Director and IT Manager of Research and Development at Seagate Software/Crystal Decisions/SAP. Throughout his career he has lived/worked in cities across North America and Europe.
Mr. Eckley holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of British Columbia. He lives in Vancouver with his family as is an active in numerous outdoor activities including kayaking, sailing, and skiing throughout the province of British Columbia.
Lawyer | Farris, Vaughan, Wills & Murphy LLP
Amielle is an experienced entrepreneur, advisor and marketer. Most recently, Amielle was an Entrepreneur in Residence and Director of the Core Tech Stream for Entrepreneurship at UBC. Prior to UBC, Amielle founded Tagga Media Inc, a customer data platform designed to help large brands better understand their customers. In 2017, Campaign Monitor successfully acquired Tagga. During Amielle’s tenure at Tagga, she held roles across the executive bench including being the CEO○and○Founder, then Chief Revenue Officer, Investor and Board member. Prior to founding Tagga, Amielle was the VP of Marketing at Western Keltic Mines Inc. and Haywood Securities Inc. Amielle holds an MBA and is a published author.
President and CEO | BC Chamber of Commerce
Previous to his role with the BC Chamber of Commerce, Val served as CEO of the Whistler Chamber of Commerce for three years. During this time, he grew its membership base, launched a world-class educational partnership with the Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria (which was featured on Forbes.com) and reinvigorated the Chamber’s brand to the point where Whistler had one of the fastest growing membership bases last year.
In 2007, Val co-founded a first-to-market concept, Blo Blow Dry Bar, which has since grown to more than 70 locations worldwide.
In 2011, as Vice President of Franchise Operations at Nurse Next Door, Canada’s largest homecare company, he helped drive the franchise system’s fast growth into the US market – adding almost 70 locations to the brand in under 3 years.
Val is also well-versed in the social enterprise space. In 2002, he co-founded Extreme Kindness and launched volunteer tours and a web series based on committing random act of kindness across Canada and the U.S. The tours evolved into a best-selling book on corporate social responsibility and the power of communities to build social capital.
Founder and CEO | Bombay Beauty Co.
John Montalbano, CFA
Principal | Tower Beach Capital Ltd.
John built his career in asset management, first as an equity analyst and then as an institutional portfolio manager at Phillips, Hager & North Investment Management Ltd. (PH&N). Throughout, he assumed successive leadership roles until his appointment as President in 2005. In 2008, when the Royal Bank of Canada acquired PH&N, John became CEO of RBC’s newly expanded asset management business, known as RBC Global Asset Management (RBC GAM). By 2015, when he retired as CEO, the organization had clients in over 40 countries, managing in excess of $375 billion of assets. RBC GAM maintained offices in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Hong Kong, as well as a joint venture headquartered in Beijing, China. As Vice Chairman of RBC Wealth Management, John was focused on business development and special projects for the Royal Bank of Canada. In 2017, John was appointed as a Director of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada.
John holds a Chartered Financial Analyst designation and a Bachelor of Commerce, with Honors, from the University of British Columbia (UBC). He is a Leslie Wong Fellow of the UBC Portfolio Management Foundation and also holds an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Emily Carr University.
John’s community contributions include: Trustee of the Killam Trusts, in support of graduate studies at institutions across Canada; member of the Investment Committee, Canada Council for the Arts; Chair of the Vancouver Public Library Capital Campaign and serves as Director for the Boards of Forum for Women Entrepreneurs, The Vancouver Police Foundation (Chair) and St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation (incoming Chair, 2019)
Founder and CEO | Flytographer
Nicole Smith is the founder and CEO of Flytographer, a “first-to-market” online marketplace that connects travellers with local photographers in cities around the world for fun, candid vacation photo shoots.
In just five years, Nicole has grown Flytographer into a multi-million dollar business that operates in hundreds of destinations globally, and was ranked the fastest-growing consumer services startup in Canada in 2017 by Canadian Business Magazine. Nicole has built a service that’s not only beloved by customers, but has also forged partnerships with major global brands including: Expedia, Trip Advisor, Fairmont, Hyatt, Hilton, Zola, Bed Bath & Beyond and Virtuoso.
Press around the world has featured Flytographer; Conde Nast Traveler called Flytographer “The Future of Travel Photography” and BRIDES Magazine declared Flytographer was “Your New Secret Weapon for Impeccable Honeymoon and Proposal Photos.” Flytographer even appears in the first episode of Netflix’s hottest new show, “Stay Here.”
Prior to Flytographer, Nicole worked as a product manager for a Seattle-based tech startup, and spent over 13 years in global marketing and consulting roles at Microsoft in Redmond, Washington.
Nicole was named one of PROFIT Magazine’s 2016 “W100 Rising Stars: Five Women to Watch,” and featured in Mashable’s “Eight Women Shattering The Travel Industry’s Glass Ceiling.” She pitched on Dragons’ Den in 2015, and appeared in a follow-up “where are they now” episode in March 2017. Nicole won the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs “Pitch for the Purse” in 2018.
Partner | KPMG Enterprise
Brandi Wingrove is a partner in KPMG’s Vancouver Enterprise practice. KPMG Enterprise is an integrated team of advisors who seek to continually understand the challenges and opportunities facing businesses, organizations and individuals, with the ultimate goal of making our clients’ businesses better.
Brandi’s practice area within KPMG Enterprise focuses on providing audit, tax and advisory services to retail, real estate, and technology companies and a variety of not-for-profit organizations. She understands firsthand what entrepreneurs face day to day as she played an integral role launching, operating, and eventually selling a family business.
FWE is proud to have well-respected leaders in their network who offer continuous support to the organization and its members.
Dr. Julia Levy
Founder of QLT Inc.
Board Member, Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation
Magellan Angel Partners