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.

Johnny Strilaeff

Johnny Strilaeff is currently the President and Chief Operating Officer of the Columbia Basin Trust. Johnny joined the Trust in September 2005 after eight years with the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. In May 1999 Johnny moved back to the West Kootenay where he continued with CIBC specializing in commercial debt and advisory services, economic analysis, and product origination. In 2003 he successfully completed the Chartered Financial Analyst program and is an active CFA charterholder. Johnny obtained a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) degree at the University of Calgary in 1997.  He was born and raised in Castlegar.

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.

Leon Pigott

Leon Pigott has been a corporate and commercial lawyer for 15 years. He started his practice at Macleod Dixon, an international law firm based in Calgary. His practice at Pigott & Co. is located in Nelson, BC. Leon practised in the areas of banking, securities, energy and corporate and commercial transactions. In 2000, Leon left Calgary to pursue a business degree in London, England. In 2002, he obtained an MBA from the London Business School. In 2004, after a brief time spent with Davis & Company, a large Vancouver law firm, Leon joined Powerex Corp., the power marketing arm of BC Hydro. Leon worked at Powerex Corp. for four years and was the head of the company`s commercial law group. Leon moved to Nelson with his family in 2007 and returned to private practice. He is the Board Chair of the Kootenay Association for Science & Technmology (KAST).

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.

Nadine Diner

Nadine participates in the design, administration and evaluation of BCIC programs, working with external program partners, funding agencies and the community. Most recently, Nadine served as the Outreach Manager at UBC Botanical Garden, designing and implementing events and educational programs in collaboration with donors, volunteers, academic, industry and media stakeholders. Previously, Nadine also interned at TVOntario (TVO), developing educational packages to support TVO productions. Nadine holds a Masters in Science from the University of Western Ontario with a specialization in biochemistry to study the process of phytoremediation and a Bachelors of Education from the University of Toronto.

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.

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.