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AWF Board of Directors

Being a Board Member for the Association of Women in Finance is a rewarding opportunity for any woman in finance wishing to obtain Board experience. The Association's Board positions are dynamic in nature and require the ability to work on several projects simultaneously, including assisting other Board members when called upon. These positions require energy and a positive attitude, as well as a time commitment. And what do volunteer Board members get in return? Involvement in a high caliber organization, an opportunity to develop professionally by taking on projects outside one's normal scope of work, lifelong friendships and valuable business networks. This is also a chance to give back to your community!

If you would like further information about the AWF, please contact us by by email. Please include your name, telephone number and e-mail address to enable us to connect with you.

The AWF's Board of Directors is currently comprised of fifteen volunteer directors. They are:

Erica McGuinness, CPA, CA, CBV, Senior Associate, Sequeira Partners
President

McGuinness_EricaErica is a senior associate at Sequeira Partners, a mid-market corporate finance firm. Erica has experience assisting private business owners through the processes of selling their business and refinancing their existing debt. Erica assists clients throughout the transaction process and oversees the preparation of research, financial models and marketing materials.

Before joining Sequeira Partners, Erica obtained her Chartered Accountant designation at Ernst & Young LLP. Erica has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from UBC with a specialization in accounting. Erica previously held the position of PEAK Vice Chair on the AWF board (2013-14); PEAK Chair (2014-15) and Vice President (2015-16). 


Kristy Todd Millar, Senior Account Manager, Commercial Real Estate, HSBC Bank Canada
Vice-President

Kristy_Todd_Millar.jpg
Kristy Todd Millar has over 8 years of experience in the finance industry. She is currently an Account Manager in Commercial Real Estate at HSBC Bank Canada. She and her team provide comprehensive real estate financial services, servicing some of Metro Vancouver's leading real estate developers. The team manages a portfolio of a billion dollars in total footings. Kristy is a graduate from the Faculty of Arts at the University of Alberta in 2006.

Kristy is passionate about community engagement. She volunteers with several organizations in Vancouver and in 2009 she worked in a developing area of Kenya helping to successfully build a microfinance organization. Kristy previously held the position of PEAK Vice Chair (2014-15) and PEAK Chair (2015-16) on the AWF Board.


Rikki Senghera, CPA, CA, Partner, Audit, KPMG
Treasurer

Rikki SengheraRikki is a Partner at KPMG LLP in Vancouver and has a number of years of experience working with large public and private multi-national entities in a variety of industries reporting in the US and Canada. Rikki has significant experience in providing accounting advisory support to clients, primarily related to major acquisitions, dispositions, restructuring, IPOs and assistance with accounting framework conversions. Rikki is a Chartered Accountant and received her Bachelor of Technology in Accounting from BCIT.
 
Rikki previously held the same position on the AWF board (2014-15). 

Karen Carteri, Partner, Nathanson Schachter & Thompson LLP
Governance/Secretary

KarenCarteri.JPG

Karen joined the partnership at a leading litigation law firm, Nathanson Schachter & Thompson, in April 2016.  She was previously a litigation partner and head of the Vancouver office litigation group at a national law firm.

Her dispute resolution practice focuses on cross border litigation, commercial litigation, shareholder, director and corporate control disputes and remedies, major commercial real estate and property development disputes, banking and financial services and security enforcement litigation. She has appeared before all levels of court and before various administrative tribunals with extensive success. She has written and presented on a wide range of litigation issues. 

Karen previously held the same position on the AWF board (2013-14; 2014-15 and 2015-16). 


Floria Mah, Manager, Finance at Port of Vancouver
PEAK Chair

headshot_fm.jpgFloria is the Manager, Finance at Port of Vancouver where she is responsible for leading financial planning and analysis as well as managing treasury, credit, insurance and risk management functions for the organization. Before joining the Port, Floria has held finance roles in the wealth management sector and the oil and gas sector in Toronto and Calgary.

Floria holds a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from Queen’s University and a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) from the University of Toronto. Previously, Floria held the PEAK Vice Chair Director position and has been on the Nominating Committee for the annual PEAK awards. 


Amber Sutherland, Senior Account Manager, Corporate Banking, HSBC Bank Canada
PEAK Vice Chair
 
Amber has over six years experience in structuring, underwriting, and negotiating senior debt transactions. Deal experience includes revolving lines of credit, term loans, trade finance facilities, lease lines, acquisition loans, cash flow lending and treasury products. Credit skills includes analysis of financial statements and projections, sensitivity analysis, financial modelling, industry and business risk evaluation and working capital assessment.
 

Calle Johnson, CPA, CA, Managing Director, PwC Corporate Finance Inc.
PEAK Nominations

Calle Johnson

Calle Johnson is a Managing Director with PricewaterhouseCoopers Corporate Finance Inc. and has been with the firm for 20 years. She is a qualified Chartered Accountant and completed her Bachelor of Commerce and Masters in Accountancy at the University of Manitoba.

Calle has significant experience in helping the owners of private companies through acquisitions, divestitures, pre-sale grooming to maximize value and market valuations. She recently advised on the sale of Que Pasa Mexican Foods to Natures Path; the sale of North American Tea & Coffee to TorQuest Private Equity and Agrifoods’ acquisition of Earth’s Own. She has demonstrated a keen ability to work with clients to achieve their strategic objectives and has a track record for successful deal development.

Calle previously held the PEAK Director position (2007-08) as well as the PEAK Nominations poisiton (2014-15 and 2015-16). 


Jennifer Hunt, Director, Real Estate Investment Network; and Partner, Aliara Consulting
PEAK Sponsorship

Jennifer_Hunt_-_Profile.JPGA results driven communications and real estate investment professional, Jennifer brings influential leadership skills with excitement and diversity.

With nearly two decades of integrated communications and management experience combined, Jennifer’s values and strengths have proven to bring success to a range of companies, from large corporations such as Canadian Pacific Railway, VANOC, Ford, and UPS, to non-profit organizations, such as Breakfast Club of Canada and Feeding America, to boutique and smaller start-up companies, showing her adaptability. With sound leadership and management education and experience, Jennifer has delivered annual revenues of up to $120M, managed $10M budgets, and has spearheaded change management initiatives, with a focus on Lean theories. Jennifer’s passion to support women led her to founding non-profit networking groups and events such as Women on Track and Fashion for your Future while providing volunteer support for organizations such as the YWCA.

When it comes to playtime, Jennifer enjoys being an internationally certified sailing captain to feed her love of adventure and travel.


Elly Bahrami, Lawyer, Financial Services Group, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
PEAK & Events Communications

Bahrami-Elly_4.jpgElly Bahrami is an associate in the Financial Services Group at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP. Elly focuses her practice on debt financing, commercial lending and bankruptcy & insolvency.

She has been involved in large corporate finance transactions, including multi-jurisdictional lending transactions and syndicated loan transactions, as well as small- and medium- market lending transactions, with particular focus on asset-based lending, real estate financing and film financing. She has also been involved in various insolvency-related matters, including restructurings, bankruptcies and receiverships under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act and the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.


Lorraine Pitt, Director, Strategic Communications, Branding & Public Affairs, CPA Canada
Marketing & Communications 

Lorraine_Background_HR_2_.JPGLorraine is the Director, Strategic Communications, Branding & Public Affairs at Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada), responsible for marketing, digital and brand services for the organization. Previously Lorraine served as Vice President, Public Affairs for the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada and Head of Business and Technology communications for VISA based in the UK.

Lorraine is a former Board Director for the BC Spinal Cord Injury Association and a former Board Trustee for the RSPCA in the UK. Lorraine holds an MBA specializing in global leadership from the University of Fredericton and a BA from the University of Strathclyde in Scotland.

Lorraine previously held the same position on the AWF Board (2015-16). 

Gemma Whitehead, Lawyer, Fulton & Company Law Corporation 
Scholarships & Bursaries

Gemma_Whitehead

Gemma specializes in the area of restructuring and insolvency. Gemma acts for banks, trust companies, and private lenders in debt enforcement, foreclosure and receivership matters. She has contributed to a number of scholarly texts in the area of insolvency law and has represented clients at all levels of court in British Columbia including the British Columbia Court of Appeal.

Gemma graduated from the Queen's University of Belfast in 2003 with a Bachelor of Law degree, and completed her National Certificate on Accreditation from the Federation of Law Societies of Canada at the University of Victoria in 2008. She articled with McMillan LLP in 2009 and was called to the Bar of British Columbia in 2010. Gemma previously held the same position on the AWF board (2014-15 and 2015-16).


Louisa Lun, CPA, CA, Senior Manager, Ernst & Young
Events Chair

Louisa Lun

Louisa is a Senior Manager with E&Y and leads external audit engagements in providing assurance services of annual audits, quarterly financial statements reviews for large public and private clients in a variety of industries. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Finance from the University of British Columbia as well as CA and CPA (Illinois) designations.

Louisa previously held the position of Events Co-Chair on the AWF board (2014-15 and 2015-16).


Melanie Bradley, Partner, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
Events Vice-Chair, Fireside Chats

Melanie_Bradley.jpgMelanie is a partner in the Securities and Capital Markets Group of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP. Melanie focuses her legal practice on advising public issuers and underwriters in a variety of sectors, including in the area of mining and mineral exploration. She provides advice on corporate financing transactions; mergers, acquisitions, takeover bids and reorganizations; and mining joint ventures. Melanie also regularly advises issuers with respect to public offerings and private placements, particularly issuers whose securities are listed in more than one country. In addition, Melanie provides commercial and regulatory advice in the financial services sector.

Melanie graduated from the Faculty of Law at UBC in 2003 and from the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Illinois in 1996. She was called to the British Columbia bar in 2004. Melanie is an Adjunct Professor (Close Corporations) for the UBC Faculty of law, a member and gender Diversity Officer for the Law Society of BC’s Justicia Project and a member of the Canadian Bar Association, Securities Law subsection. Melanie previously held the same position on the AWF board (2014-15).


Emily Kerr, Manager, Commercial Account Manager Development, RBC Royal Bank 
Events Vice-Chair, Major Events

Emily_s_Professional_Photo.jpgEmily was born near Chicago, Illinois and moved to Vancouver as a child. She completed a Bachelor of Business Administration at Simon Fraser University in 2001 and is a Queen’s University Class of 2017 MBA Candidate. Her experience spans pharmaceuticals, consumer goods and financial services.

For the past nine years, Emily has held both client facing and leadership roles with RBC's Commercial Financial Services team. Emily is known as a change leader and advocate for diversity and inclusion.

Outside of work, Emily enjoys golf, running, and music.


Parveen Walia, CFP, CFA
Events Vice-Chair, Fraser Valley 

Copy_of_Parveen_Walia_Picture.JPGParveen is an Investment Advisor with TD Wealth and provides holistic financial planning and investment advice to high net worth individuals and business owners.

She is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charterholder, and a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and has over 20 years of experience.  

She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of British Columbia.