BCEA Finalists’ Profiles

Leadership Award Winner—Ryan Holmes, HootSuite

Ryan Holmes

Ryan Holmes is the CEO of HootSuite. Thought leader, dog lover and serial entrepreneur, he has redefined the face of social media—bringing Twitter, Facebook and other social networks out of the dorm room and into the boardroom.

Holmes has grown HootSuite from a lean startup to a global leader in social media with 5 million users, including 79 of the Fortune 100 companies. A college drop-out, he started a paintball company and pizza restaurant before founding Invoke Media, the company that developed HootSuite in 2009.

Today, Holmes is an authority on the social business revolution, quoted in The New York Times and Wall Street Journal and called upon to speak at TEDx and SXSW Interactive Conferences. An angel investor and advisor, he mentors startups in Canada and around the world. Through HootSuite University, Holmes partners with major universities to deliver social media coursework to the next generation of business leaders.

International Business Studies Award Winner—Cory Boles

Cory Boles

Originally from the University of Victoria, Cory is a now a BCOM student at the Sauder School of Business at UBC. Having worked for the Vancouver Airport Authority and participated in several case competitions at a global level has allowed Cory to gain valuable international experience. This eventually led Cory to spearhead an initiative to start an international case competition in Vancouver in March 2013. With twelve of the top schools in the world, representing six continents agreeing to send their teams, this event will be a milestone that highlights Vancouver’s achievements in international business studies. Cory has obtained the support of Sauder and the Commerce Students’ Society in the amount of $60,000. Back in UVIC, Cory Boles also led the local chapter of AIESEC, a non-profit organization that aims to promote international development.

Inuktun Services Ltd

Inuktun Services Ltd. is a designer and manufacturer of remotely operated modular robotic systems and cameras for use in confined spaces and hazardous environments. The company has a reputation as the expert in remote controlled robotic transport and delivery of visual inspection equipment and instrumentation tooling through standard product offerings and custom engineering services. Inuktun has a prominent worldwide presence, exporting to more than 30 countries through its network of global agents and distributors.

OceanWorks International Corp

OceanWorks is an internationally recognized subsea technology company specializing in the design and manufacture of manned / unmanned subsea systems and specialized equipment for military, oil and gas, scientific, and other marine markets. Offering a full range of subsea system engineering, design and analysis, fabrication, testing, and project management services, OceanWorks has been at the cutting edge of deep submergence and diving technology, operations, and support for over 20 years.

Norsat International Inc

Norsat International Inc. is a leading provider of innovative communication solutions for challenging applications and environments. More specifically our satellite terminals, microwave components, and RF conditioning products permit the transmission and reception of data, audio and video from almost anywhere in the world including where traditional communication infrastructure is insufficient, unreliable, damaged or non-existent. Norsat has sold more than 2.5 million products in 87 countries around the world and is recognized as an industry leader in usability, service, support and total value.

Ironwood Clay Company Ltd

Ironwood Clay Company Ltd. is the largest supplier of Natural Oceanic Clay, a unique mineral rich clay. We process, manufacture and package our marine glacial product both for personal care and agricultural business.
We provide GMP, organic certification to international companies as Boots the Chemist, Avalon Organics, Nuskin, LG Korea, Amore Pacific and others.
Our unique formulation and products have allowed our company to increase sales of our exported goods by 50% annually for the last 3 years and 100% this year.

Jealous Fruits Ltd

Jealous Fruits is a vertically integrated sweet cherry producer, specializing in this high end niche product. The Okanagan company has 370 acres of cherries planted, with another 180 acres planned.  2012 production was 2600 tons, all packed on the day of harvest to ensure freshness. Jealous Fruits cherries are sold to over 25 countries, with a strong emphasis on the Asian markets of the Pacific rim.  The company’s reputation in worldwide markets is for fresh, consistently high quality sweet cherries, reliably delivered as per each customer’s exact specifications.

Coast Spas Manufacturing Inc

Coast Spas is a leading manufacturer of hot tubs, swim spas and commercial spas with over 200 dealers worldwide. Producing top-quality products has been the company's unwavering priority since day one.  Every spa model is hand-finished in Coast Spas’ Langley factory under the highest manufacturing standards, and we were recently recognized by the City of Langley for our environmentally-friendly production procedures. Coast Spas remains the only Canadian ISO 9001:2008 quality-certified spa manufacturer and we proudly export our hot tubs around the world.

Advanced Integration Technology

Founded in 2004, Advanced Integration Technology (AIT) specializes in high-precision manufacturing, and assembly of machines, and equipment, for the automated assembly of aerospace structures, including fuselage, wings, and empennage. In its 112,000 square foot facilities in Langley AIT employs 93 people. The company sales are gained over ninety percent through exports.
Its parent company, AIT, is headquartered in Plano, Texas. With over 200 aircraft automated and drilling systems in operation worldwide, AIT has been involved with designing, developing, installing, and enhancing almost every large airframe automated alignment system in production throughout the aerospace industry.

Graph Tech Innovation Ltd.

Graph Tech Guitar Labs creates, manufactures and markets innovative guitar and stringed instrument components and accessories that improve the instrument and/or the musicians performance.
We only develop products that will hold a unique position in the market place or provide unique performance characteristics not currently available.
90% of Graph Tech sales are export to manufacturers and distributors in over 35 countries and include the most recognized names in the music business including Fender, Gibson, Martin, Taylor, Larrivee, Yamaha and many more.


Nuheat is the industry leading manufacturer and marketer of floor heating systems for tile, stone and laminate/engineered wood. Also offering a complete line of freeze protection products for commercial and residential applications, Nuheat boasts a shelf presence in over 4,000 distribution points across Canada and the U.S. A Platinum Club member of Canada's Best Managed Companies, Nuheat's culture and employees are the driving force behind its continued success and growth.

Corvus Energy

Corvus Energy is a global supplier of energy storage solutions for industrial and commercial applications. Working with its clients needs in mind, Corvus delivers tangible value and rapid ROI by reducing operating costs and minimizing environmental impact. Corvus delivers solutions that make a difference today using proven robust technology developed specifically for heavy industrial use. Corvus, through local manufacturing and supply chain sourcing, provides local content and supports the local economy. Clients gain excellent energy storage and management products, rugged design, world quality manufacturing, and local supply.

Recon Instruments Inc.

Recon Instruments strives to innovate and lead direct-to-eye communications in fast-paced environments. The company’s multi-patent and patent-pending Heads-up Display (HUD) technology has been designed with GPS and state-of-the-art sensors, providing instant access to navigation, communication, and performance based stats for skiers and snowboarders, direct-to-eye, in real-time.
Distributing to a global customer base, predominantly throughout North America and Europe, for a third successive year Recon Instruments continues to supply groundbreaking HUD solutions to the snow sports market around the world.

Daiya Foods Inc

Daiya Foods Inc was incorporated in Vancouver, BC in January 2008 and is in the business of manufacturing, marketing and distributing non-dairy, allergen free cheese alternatives. Daiya began exporting its products in April 2009.
The company manufactures cheese analogs in block, shred and wedge formats for sale to foodservice, ingredient supply and retail channels.
Currently, Daiya exports to the US only as it has concentrated on building business in Canada and the US.
Daiya Foods Inc. stands out as a proven market leader in dairy and allergen free alternative cheeses and now has the  #1 & #2 SKU’s in Natural Channel Cheese and Cheese Alternative category.

Big Bad Boo

Big Bad Boo makes cartoons to teach kids about different cultures and languages. Their first cartoon Babak & Friends – A First Norooz, was followed by Mixed Nutz, a multicultural series. Mixed Nutz airs on PBS, ShawTV, BrazilTV, Family Channel Finland among others. 1001 Nights, their latest series, brings to life famous characters like Sinbad and Ali Baba. It is airing on Teletoon, Disney Asia, CBC, ORF Austria, RPT Portugal and Al Jazeera Children’s. They just launched oznoz.com, a channel for bilingual kids.

Ayogo Games

An award-winning creator of serious games, Ayogo is a forerunner in the arena of games that help people become better. We take seriously our position as leaders in the movement to transform healthcare through the use of games and play. We work every day to live our company's mission: to create “games for good” – serious games that nurture human connection, motivate, educate, promote health and wellness, and help people manage their chronic diseases.

Nerd Corps Entertainment

Nerd Corps Entertainment is a privately-held IP creation, development, production, and distribution company based out of Vancouver, Canada, with offices in Toronto, Canada. Our expertise in creative development and execution covers all aspects of property creation and management, from development and production to distribution, marketing, interactive and licensing. The company’s roster includes four original properties exported to more than 180+ territories around the world. Top markets include the US, UK, France, Germany, Latin America and Australasia.

Tolko Industries Ltd

Tolko Industries Ltd. is a leading manufacturer and marketer of a broad range of forest products to customers around the world.  Founded in 1956, Tolko has grown from a small sawmill in Lavington, British Columbia, to become a company diversified by geography and product. Tolko manufactures lumber, unbleached kraft papers, panel products, co-products, biomass power, and a growing number of specialty wood products in its operations across Western Canada.

Archipelago Marine Research Ltd

Archipelago Marine Research works with fisheries, governments, and coastal communities around the world to help manage and maintain our shared ocean resources. For more than 30 years, Archipelago has developed and implemented sustainable marine resource-management practices, including electronic fishing-activity monitoring, observer-based monitoring (at sea and dockside), and marine environmental assessment. As a trusted Canadian business with a history of success within BC’s own commercial groundfish fishery, Archipelago maintains a growing portfolio of responsible fisheries-management programs throughout North America, Europe, and Australasia.

Coast Tsimshian Resources LP

Coast Tsimshian Resources LP is 100% owned by the Lax Kw'alaams Band. We operate TFL No. 1 and the Terrace Forest License, exporting to markets including Japan, Korea and China. Our primary product is hemlock logs and we are proud to be able to provide more than 200 workers from the region with year-round employment.

Idea Rebel

Idea Rebel is an award winning digital marketing agency headquartered in Vancouver that specializes in providing website design, technology development and online marketing strategies. Notably recognized for developing custom applications for Social Media Marketing, Idea Rebel has experienced great growth with the opening of a second office in Toronto this year. Idea Rebel reaches clients and consumers in the US, Mexico, South American and much of Europe.

Klohn Crippen Berger

Klohn Crippen Berger (KCB) is a leading engineering and environmental consulting firm with its head office in Vancouver and offices in strategic locations Canada, Peru, England and Australia. KCB offers a full range of services in oil and gas, mining, environmental, water, power and transportation. Formed in 1951, KCB has a long history of participation in some of the most challenging engineering projects in the world.

JDS Energy & Mining Inc

JDS is a dynamic team focused on delivering quality engineering, construction, procurement and management solutions, heavy equipment leasing, evaluation design, transport solutions, open pit and underground mining operations, locally, and internationally.   We specialize in taking projects from the early conceptual vision, right through to every stage of planning and development. We thrive on resource development challenges and take pride in delivering on time, without harm, and on budget.
JDS serves markets in South America, North America, Eastern Europe, Mexico and parts of the Middle East. JDS export activities include Engineering, Procurement, Construction Management, and underground mine development. We deliver exceptional results on a global scale and our projects are present in all corners of the globe.

Ballard Power Systems Inc

At Ballard Power Systems, we are building a clean energy growth company. We are recognized as a world leader in proton exchange membrane fuel cell development and commercialization. Our principal business is the design, development, manufacture, sale and service of fuel cell products for a variety of applications, focusing on motive power (material handling and buses) and stationary power (backup power and distributed generation) markets. Ballard's hydrogen fuel cell products deliver incomparable performance, durability and versatility to customers worldwide.

Cascadia Windows Ltd

Cascadia Windows Ltd. is an industry leader in the innovation and production of fiberglass construction products. As a specialist in windows, doors, and cladding support systems, Cascadia is known for demonstrating cutting edge technology pertaining to energy efficiency, sustainability and durability.
Cascadia was recently recognized by BC Business Magazine as the 8th most innovative company in BC in 2012.
International sales are a huge part of Cascadia’s success. Nearly half of all products are exported south of the border to meet the recent increased need for sustainable solutions.

Éminence Organic Skin Care

Éminence Organic Skin Care is the award-winning provider of the most effective skin care products in the esthetics industry and a pioneer in natural, organic and Biodynamic® skin care. Products are handmade, combining herbalist heritage and scientific innovation, and distributed to leading salons, spas and their clients in 24 countries and 6,000 spas around the world through environmentally-friendly practices. Éminence is the favourite skin care line as voted by spa professionals three years in a row and Hollywood’s organic skin care secret.

Viking Air

Since 1970, Viking has become a dynamic aerospace company, servicing a global customer base with high quality aircraft modification, repair, and manufacturing services. In 2006, Viking acquired the design rights for the entire line of de Havilland heritage aircraft, and in 2007, launched the Twin Otter Series 400 Production Program. Current orders exceed $400M and over seventeen new aircraft have been delivered to countries around the world, including Libya, Maldives, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Russia, Seychelles, Switzerland, Tahiti, Turkey, and the United States.

Clevest Solutions

Clevest provides software for mobile workforce automation and smart grid operations exclusively for electric, gas and water utilities. Over 125 utilities worldwide have chosen Clevest to transform their field operations by harnessing the power of our software and deep domain knowledge of mobile computing and utility operations. Clevest’s award-winning platform powers a product suite that includes mobile workforce management, automatic vehicle location, meter reading, asset investment planning and a patent-pending graphical configuration tool, as well as the only complete solution for smart grid operations and maintenance activities.

Taseko Mines

Taseko is a Canadian mining company, focused on operation and development of mines in British Columbia.
Headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, Taseko is the owner (75%) and operator of the Gibraltar Mine, the second largest open pit copper-molybdenum mine in Canada.  Taseko’s New Prosperity Project, which is currently in the Environmental Assessment process, is one of the largest undeveloped gold-copper deposits in the world.  In addition, the Aley Niobium and Harmony Gold projects are two longer term development opportunities that provide Taseko with a diverse project pipeline.