Dan Salekin

Dan is a co-founder and the President/CEO of Columbia Networks. Dan brings over 25 years of working experience in the Computing and Data Networking industries to Columbia Networks. Dan has been employed as a senior manager within Canadian business enterprises during the past 18 years and has developed a solid understanding of the telecommunications business in Canada as an entrepreneur, senior architect, and senior director of technology. Prior to co-founding Columbia Networks, Dan held the role of Senior IP Architect at TeraGo Networks where he developed the commercial services for the launch of TeraGo and was instrumental in growing the client base to over three thousand customers. Prior to TeraGo, Dan held a senior role with another startup company, GT Group Telecom, as a senior director of National Data Networks. At GT Group Telecom, Dan managed a multi-million dollar budget and a technology department. Dan was successful at developing and launching GT Group Telecom’s commercial services as well as a national data network across Canada.

Terri MacDonald

Ms. MacDonald is the RDI Regional Innovation Chair in Rural Economic Development at Selkirk College. She holds a Ph.D. in Educational Studies from the University of British Columbia, M.A. in Policy and Administration from the University of Calgary, and a B.Sc. and B.Ed. from Lakehead University. Dr. MacDonald has worked for over 12 years in economic development across British Columbia, primarily in the Kootenay region. Terri’s research interests include regional economic development, the role of community colleges in rural development, and the use of indicators to support informed decision‐making. Her commitment to rural revitalization and strategic decision‐making as a fundamental ingredient to planning for positive change is evidenced by an impressive track record of rural research and dissemination.

Mike Konkin

Mike Konkin is a Chartered Professional Accountant and MBA with over 15 years of experience assisting high technology and small businesses grow and succeed. Mike is an accounting and management instructor at Selkirk College and owns and operates Konkin & Associates, a tax and business consulting firm. He has extensive experience working in the advanced metals and semi‐ conductor business sector with the former Firebird Technologies as their CFO. Mike has also worked with many other science and research based organizations on business process improvements and their tax and reporting requirements including getting these companies over $10 million in government scientific research and experimental development tax credits. He is the audit and operation risk chair and a director of Kootenay Savings Credit Union and has recently been appointed to the board of the Lower Columbia Initiatives Corporation as the City of Trail’s representative.

Greg Richards

Greg Richards

Greg Richards graduated in Metallurgical Engineering from the University of British Columbia, continuing with the department teaching process metallurgy and conducting research in non‐ferrous pyrometallurgy.  He later moved to Cominco Research working in their metallurgical research group, and is currently Superintendent in the Process Support and Development group at Trail Operations, Teck Metals Ltd.  Professional activities have included service to the Metallurgy and Materials Society of CIM where he is currently a board member.

Rhys Andrews

Rhys Andrews is the Dean of Applied Research and Innovation at Selkirk College. His responsibility includes leading programs in the schools of Environment and Geomatics; and Health and Human Services, as well as leadership in Applied Research and Innovation. Rhys has worked very closely with the development of Applied Research at Selkirk College over the last 12 years including the building of the Selkirk Geospatial Research Centre, administrative support and development of the Rural Development Institute, and Selkirk College’s most recent work in supporting industry with geomatics and digital fabrication solutions, work funded by the National Research Council of Canada. Selkirk College is a committed MIDAS training and R&D partner.

Don Freschi

Don Freschi is a Professional Applied Science Technologist, with an MBA from Royal Roads University, and will serve as the company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Don has over 30 years of Pure Metals/Semiconductor experience, and was CEO of Firebird Technologies during the company’s successful exit in late 2009.

Darrel Fry

It is my personal mission as the CEO of Advanced BioCarbon 3D (ABC3D) to improve the quality of life for all of us on this planet and one of the ways I am going about this is through the creation of sustainable advanced materials. ABC3D produces high performance sustainable plastics from wood that are stronger, lighter and cost less than fossil fuel derived plastics. This in combination with additive manufacturing is revolutionizing how the world makes products and exponentially decreases carbon emissions by providing locally sourced high performance sustainable materials while future proofing jobs for rural communities.

Fernanda Whitaker

Fernanda Whitaker is the Director responsible for Business Development at Innovate BC, seeking out partnerships and opportunities to support the tech industry in BC.  Over the past years, Fernanda has gained extensive experience developing and delivering programs to increase competitiveness and growth of small and medium-sized technology companies, providing guidance on their market expansion plans, connecting them with potential clients or qualified contacts for funding, R&D, commercialization or sourcing of technology. Fernanda holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Simon Fraser University and an MBA in Internet Technologies from University of São Paulo.