Listed are members of the VK Venture Advisor Advisory Panel. These are our core local business and industry leaders who attend the monthly entrepreneur to presentations. We occasionally select guest advisor when industry specific presentation require insight from professionals that are experts in the entrepreneurs business pitch.

Mario Piroddi

Mario Piroddi is an assurance partner in the Kamloops Office. He brings a working knowledge of assurance and related services that he has accumulated since 2001 in working with both the Vancouver and Kamloops BDO offices. He has significant experience with providing assurance, accounting, and taxation services to various businesses, not-for-profit organizations and municipalities. Mario has been involved with the audit training of professional staff on an office, regional, national and international level along with lecturing on topics such as audit methodology and financial statement analysis. He has also been active in working with BDO’s national office in providing commentary on assurance methodology changes and responses to exposure drafts issued by the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants.

Bryce Herman

Bryce Herman, DMATP (Distinguished Member in the Association of Tourism Professionals) CHS (Certified Hospitality Supervisor), has 40 years of experience in the Food & Beverage, Hospitality and Tourism Industries. Bryce is currently President & CEO of Advance Hospitality Consulting since 1996. The company provides management, leadership, fundraising, and consulting services to organizations, companies, individuals and not for profit groups in the hospitality, hotel and facilities, financial, education, tourism and community interest sectors.

Jason Wassing
Information Technology

Jason Wassing is the IT Manager for Kelson Group Property Management, a family owned Kamloops company that has been offering quality rental apartments for over 40 years. In addition to his duties at Kelson Group, Jason has also run a web development and custom programming business, Sweetwater Media, since 2000. Jason is a lifelong resident of Kamloops, attending TRU (Digital Art/Computing Science), and has been heavily involved in making the Kamloops technology industry better for over 20 years.

Jennifer McKinney
Marketing & Advertising

Jennifer is the owner of Fresh Inc., a full service advertising agency in Kamloops that has been in operation since 2004. Jennifer enjoys the opportunities that the agency provides to help businesses market themselves for long term, sustained growth. She has been nominated for Business Person of the Year with the Kamloops Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards four times and was honored with the Val Anderson Memorial Award from the Premier of the province for volunteerism.

Frank D’Amore

Frank was born, raised and still presides in the great city of Kamloops where he is the Chairman and founder of The Kamloops Sports Hall of Fame, Owner/Partner of Frick and Frack Tap House, Owner/Partner of Frankly Coffee, President of Nevada Holdings Ltd. and the Managing Partner of FRF Holdings. During this time Frank has carved himself a nice niche in the hospitality industry in Kamloops and continues to be an industry leader and serial entrepreneur.

Lisa Fuller
Human Resources Manager

A long-time resident of Kamloops, Lisa joined the KGHM International team in Kamloops as the Ajax Project’s Human Resources Manager. Lisa grew up in Kamloops and has worked as a human resources leader for large, complex organizations within healthcare and gaming in B.C. She has also worked in project management. Lisa has more than 20 years of human resources experience in union and non-union environments and believes in building strong relationships with everyone she works with. She is committed to the personal growth of both herself and her profession and is a director with the B.C. Human Resources Management Association. Lisa is passionate about Kamloops and works regularly with a variety of community organizations.

Myles Bruns
Regional Manager, Economic Development, Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training

As the Regional Manager for the Thompson-Okanagan, Myles has been engaged in economic development with the provincial government since 1999. He works closely with local government staff and economic development professionals on economic development and investment attraction initiatives both regionally and provincially. He works with communities to foster business development, helps them to resolve strategic issues, and provides a key liaison into provincial government programs and services. From his office in Kamloops, Myles supports and promotes Thompson-Okanagan businesses looking to develop new markets or products, mentors and assists entrepreneurs and start-up companies, supports businesses with labour force and business succession issues, and helps to connect international investors with local businesses seeking investment equity or venture capital. Myles has a passion for international trade and investment attraction and he works closely with the Province of BC international trade and investment offices in China, India, Japan, Korea, Europe, and the US.

Hal Hicks
Legal Services

Hal Hicks is a partner at Fulton in Kamloops, whose practice involves commercial finance, collections, realization, foreclosures and commercial insolvency. Hal is a director at Community Futures Thompson Country and sits on their self-employment committee.

Acacia Pangilinan
Kamloops & District Chamber of Commerce

Acacia Pangilinan is the Executive Director for the Kamloops & District Chamber of Commerce, a member-based organization designed to elevate the business community in Kamloops. She is a passionate Kamloops enthusiast dedicated to empowering others. Through connection, development and advocacy the Chamber helps support, grow, and enhance businesses.

Brendan Shaw
Real Estate Professional

Originally licensed in 2006, Brendan Shaw founded BSRE in 2012 after managing a national real estate franchise. His primary focus is project marketing, new construction and investment sales, and other areas of business.

Jesse Ebbett
Owner/Chief Technology Officer

Jesse Ebbett is an entrepreneur and a web developer who focuses on systems and complex problems, AI, automation, and more. Jesse has a passion for developing business automation processes and advancing the frontier of technology.

Vanessa Gammel
Tumbleweed Toys

Vanessa Gammel, Kamloops native and mother of three, has owned Tumbleweed Toys since 2011, building it from a quaint shop to an award-winning 4,500 sq ft haven for children. Her Early Childhood Education background fuels the store's mission to enrich families. Thanks to Vanessa's leadership, fostering staff growth and happiness, Tumbleweed Toys boasts multiple awards, including Retailer of the Year. Her guiding principle is clear: a happy, motivated team equals a thriving business.

Kevin Sewell
Director, BDO LLP

Kevin is a director in BDO's Kamloops office, with over 30 years of professional experience providing accounting, taxation and business advisory services to clients. Kevin works with owner-managed enterprises, not-for-profit organizations and incorporated professionals across several industries. He has been involved with the audit and accounting training of professional staff on an office, regional and national level, along with lecturing on topics such as audit methodology and financial statement analysis. He has also been involved with BDO's national office in providing commentary on assurance methodology changes and responses to exposure drafts issued by CPA Canada. Kevin has presented at seminars on accounting and auditing standards and taxation matters such as incorporation, family trusts and succession planning.

Carrie Inskip
Senior Relationship Manager

Carrie Inskip is a Senior Relationship Manager for Business Markets with RBC, she has been with RBC for 19 years and helping business owners in Northern BC, Edmonton Alberta and now her hometown of Kamloops BC for the past 15 years. Carrie specializes in startups and complex structures with real estate purchases, leasehold improvements and franchises. In the past 15 years of working with business owners throughout a variety of economic cycles, world pandemics and the unpredictability of the environment she is always impressed by the ingenuity and drive that business owners have and has enjoyed helping them reach their goals.