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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 nineteen volunteer directors. They are:

Parveen Walia, CFP, CFA, Portfolio Manager, Odlum Brown Limited
President

Parveen Walia

Parveen holds the highest distinction in the investment management profession — the Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA) designation. As a Portfolio Manager at the Odlum Brown Langley branch, she uses a comprehensive process and works collaboratively with other professionals to ensure her clients maximize the probability of achieving all of their financial priorities. In addition, she holds the CFP (Certified Financial Planner) designation, and offers over 20 years of practical experience. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of British Columbia.

Parveen is active in the community and currently volunteers with Junior Achievement of BC and Rotary International. Outside of work, she is an avid news buff, and loves to travel. Prior to joining Odlum Brown, Parveen was an Investment Advisor with a Canadian chartered bank, and provided holistic financial planning and investment advice to high-net-worth individuals and business owners.

Parveen has held the position of President since 2019. Previously, Parveen held the position of Fraser Valley Events Director (2016-18), and Vice President (2018-19). 


Elly Seddon, Partner, Financial Services Group, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
Vice President 

ELLIE_SEDDON-0001.jpgElly is a Partner in the Financial Services Group at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP. Elly focuses her practice on debt financing, commercial lending and bankruptcy & insolvency.

Elly 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. 

Elly has held the position of Vice President since 2019. Previously, Elly held the position of PEAK Marketing & Communications Director (2016-17), PEAK Chair (2017-18), Events Strategy (2018-19).


Clare Gaster, Senior Manager, KPMG LLP
Treasurer

Clara_Gaster_EDITED.jpgClare is a Senior Manager with KPMG and works in the Enterprise Audit department.  Clare manages a portfolio of audit clients and delivers audit services to private companies across a range of industries from start-up technology companies through to large industrial manufacturing clients. Clare joined KPMG in 2000 and transferred from the UK to Canada in 2017.

Clare is a Chartered Accountant and holds a First Class Honors degree in Accounting and Financial Management. 

Clare has held this position on the AWF Board since 2018.


Jill Pereira, Partner, McMillan LLP
Governance/Secretary

Pereira_Jill_2.jpgJill is a Partner in the Financial Services Group of McMillan LLP and is the practice group leader for the firm’s Vancouver office.

Jill's practice focuses on a wide variety of debt financing transactions, quasi debt/equity investments and private equity. She also advises clients on general banking and treasury matters and a wide range of corporate, commercial, regulatory and compliance issues.

Jill is committed to being an engaged member of the community in which she works, and is actively involved in various mentorship programs as well as partnering with clients involved in pro bono work and other socially responsible projects. 

Jill has held this position on the AWF Board since 2019. 


Candice Hartwell, CPA, CMA  - Vice President, VEER Business Advisors
Golf for Good

Candice_Hartwell_Edited.jpgCandice is an award winning accountant and Vice President of VEER Business Advisors.  Her focus at VEER is on exit planning and sell-side advisory for small- to medium-sized business owners.  Alongside her team, she helps business owners identify and manage the unique strategic, financial, emotional and structural implications of business transitions in a wide array of industries, working with business owners to ensure an amazing exit from their business. Previously, Candice worked as a commercial lender at the Business Development Bank of Canada. She also has experience working in Government, operations, and marketing-related roles.

Candice holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree (Honours) from the Sauder School of Business and is a Chartered Professional Accountant, earning the Certified Management Accountant’s Silver Medal for British Columbia in 2015.

Candice has held this position on the AWF Board since 2019. 


Kat Kawczak, CPA, CA, CBV, CFF, Senior Manager, EY LLP
Strategic Communications  

KK

Kat is a Senior Manager in the Valuations, Modelling & Economics practice of EY LLP, with a decade of assurance and consulting experience spanning audit, corporate tax and business valuation. In her current role, Kat provides valuation services to corporate and individual clients for deal, tax, financial reporting and litigation purposes. Her industry experience includes technology, consumer products, public services, oil and gas, and mining and metals.

Kat holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Accounting (Distinction) from the University of Calgary. She has lived, studied and worked in Europe, Canada and the US. Outside of work, Kat is passionate about resource stewardship.

This is Kat’s fourth year as Director of Strategic Communications on the AWF Board.


Dayna Hui, CPA, CA, Partner, Assurance, PwC LLP 
Scholarships & Bursaries 

Dayna Hui Photo Dayna Hui is a Partner in PwC Canada’s Financial Services Assurance practice working in the Vancouver office. Since joining the firm in 2001, she has developed extensive practical experience and professional knowledge working in the asset management, pension and benefit, and insurance industries.

Throughout her professional career working with PwC in Canada and the Cayman islands, Dayna is focused on providing assurance solutions over financial reporting and reports on controls at service organizations of asset managers and investment funds, pension and benefit plans, and insurance entities. 

This is Dayna's first year on the AWF Board in this position. 


Bina Bawa, Director, Corporate Client Group, RBC
Alumni Engagement   

Bina_EDITED.jpg

Bina is a Director with RBC's Corporate Client Group in Vancouver.  Bina works with executive management from a diverse group of corporate clients to help them achieve their companies' strategic goals by delivering comprehensive tailored financial solutions.  

Prior to her role on the AWF board, Bina volunteered as the Chair of the Board of Directors for a non-profit society that provides life skills training programs for youth aging out of foster care.  She is also a mentor with Women in Capital Markets and Simon Fraser University's Beedie School of Business.

Bina holds a Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Arts from Simon Fraser University.  She is an avid runner and loves hanging out with her husband and two little boys.

This is her third year on the AWF Board. 

Elena Tikhomirova, Senior Financing Specialist, Indigenous Markets, Public Sector and Not for Profit Organizations, RBC Royal Bank
Strategic Initiatives - Women on Boards

Elena_EDITED.jpgElena is a Senior Financing Specialist at RBC where she supports Commercial Account Managers working with indigenous, public sector, not-for-profit, manufacturing, and retail organizations in British Columbia. Acting as an advisor Elena provides expertise in on all aspects of financial analysis, credit structuring, risk identification and mitigation to large commercial clients.

Throughout her more than 10-year career in finance, Elena has established an accomplishments-driven progression working at the Big Five Canadian banks and holding a number of finance positions at a real estate developer company in St. Petersburg, Russia. Elena holds MBA from the University of British Columbia as well as Master of Arts from the St. Petersburg State University of Economics and Finance.

Previously, Elena held positions on the AWF PEAK Nominations and Strategic Initiatives - Women on Boards Committees (2016-18). This is her third year on the AWF Board. 


Vivian Lee, Managing Director & Team Lead, Corporate Finance, BMO
Events Strategy

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Vivian is a Managing Director & Team Lead for Diversified Industries with BMO Corporate Finance Division.

Prior to joining BMO, Vivian worked at various financial institutions domestically and internationally in Singapore.

Over the course of her career, Vivian has worked with various industry segments, actively providing solutions and sound financial advice.

She is active in the Vancouver downtown market place as part of the RMA Vancouver Chapter Board member, RMA Women’s Committee and previously held the position of PEAK Vice-Chair (2017-18) and PEAK Chair (2018-19) on the AWF Board. Vivian has held the Events Strategy position since 2019. 

In her spare time, Vivian competes in triathlons and is an avid reader.


Sheena Cebrero, Director - National Accounts, Scotiabank
PEAK Chair  

Sheena_Hoskin_1546_5x7.jpgSheena is a Director with Scotiabank’s National Accounts - Commercial Banking team in Vancouver. Sheena provides financing and banking solutions for large private, small public, and institutional clients including structuring complex credit arrangements to manage cash flow and growth, participating in or leading syndicated loan facilities, implementing cash management solutions, and setting up products to manage risks such as commodity price or currency fluctuations.

Sheena has a BComm from the Sauder School of Business (UBC) and an MBA from the Schulich School of Business (York University).

Outside of work and AWF, Sheena enjoys hiking, skiing, and travel. Previously, Sheena held a position on the Major Events Committee (2016-17) and was the Director of PEAK Marketing (2017-18) and PEAK Vice-Chair (2018-19). This is her second consecutive year as PEAK Chair.  


Vanessa Luu, Marketing and Events Director, Genesa CPA Corp
PEAK Vice-Chair

GENESA.jpg

Vanessa grew up in Victoria, BC and moved to Vancouver in 2015 where she pursued Marketing with a minor in Entrepreneurship at BCIT. 

Vanessa began working at Genesa CPA Corp in January 2017. She was empowered to find creative solutions to bridge communication gaps. She had discovered that the marketing solutions were hidden in relationship building and bringing people together to be empowered with their vision, common interests and curiosities.

Today she is the Marketing and Events Director at Genesa CPA Corp as well as the Founder and Director for Connecting Curious Minds, a new and exciting conference series which was founded on the premise of unconventional business development for Genesa CPA Corp. The conference brings together a wide array of empowered entrepreneurs and creative thinkers to develop their personal and professional spirit.

Previously, Vanessa held the position of PEAK Marketing Director (2018-19). This is Vanessa's second year as PEAK Vice-Chair. 


Jennifer Hunt, Vice-President, Real Estate Investment Network; and Partner, Aliara Consulting
PEAK Sponsorship

Jennifer Hunt PhotoJennifer Hunt is the Vice President of the Real Estate Investment Network and is CEO of Top Deck Group where she began investing in real estate in 2009. Her real estate investing experience ranges from investing in syndicated mortgages, MICs and REITs with LIRAs, RRSPs and TFSAs. She has a real estate portfolio including vacation rentals, residential and multi-family properties (in Canada and the US). She has led and completed significant industrial real estate development projects in the US and commercial leases - some of which were high-profile, unique deals for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games. Jennifer is one of Canada's first Real Estate Investment Advisors. 

Drawing on over two decades of a full-range of general management experience, including: business, leadership, management, performance and motivation and communication. Jennifer holds a master’s degree in communications and her experience ranges from crisis management and sponsorship to social, internal and operations communications. 

Jennifer’s real estate investing goal is to achieve financial freedom by design. She is investing for the long-term and to supplement retirement, with cash-flow, appreciation and mortgage principal buy-down along the way. Outside of business, Jennifer continues to wear the captain’s hat; in her free time she loves to sail as a way to feed her love of adventure and travel. This is Jennifer's fifth year on the AWF Board. 


Charlene Joanes, Associate Lawyer - Real Estate, Corporate & Banking, Gowling WLG
PEAK Nominations

Board Member/CJ_Bio_Photo.jpgCharlene is an associate lawyer in the Real Estate, Corporate & Banking group at Gowling WLG. Charlene helps her clients overcome challenges with a systematic and determined approach, reaching goals for her clients in the most practical and efficient way to grow their business.

With a strong work ethic and unique ability to connect with people, Charlene assists with real estate and corporate commercial transactions, corporate structuring, financing or re-financing.

Charlene completed her Bachelor of Arts and Applied Sciences (2010) at Simon Fraser University and Juris Doctor (2016) at the University of British Columbia.

This is her second year on the AWF Board.


Prianka Pillay, CA (SA), Manager, Audit, EY LLP
PEAK Marketing

Prianka_Profile_2.jpgPrianka is a manager in audit at EY. She is involved with leading annual audit engagements in the public and private sector.

Prianka has recently moved from EY Johannesburg (South Africa) to EY Vancouver. She holds a master’s degree in accounting from the University of Witwatersrand as well as a chartered accountant qualification from South Africa.

This is her second year on the AWF Board.


Emily Kerr, Vice President, Business Banking, Bank of Montreal
Events Director, Major Events

Emily KerrEmily is Vice President, Business Banking at Bank of Montreal where she leads a team of relationship managers serving the small business segment across the Greater Vancouver market.  Emily is known for consistently delivering an exceptional client experience and business results through a team of highly motivated sales professionals.  Prior to joining BMO, Emily held client facing and leadership roles with RBC Commercial Financial Services.  Her experience spans pharmaceuticals, consumer packaged goods, and financial services.  

Emily holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Queen’s University and a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) from Simon Fraser University). Emily is known as a change leader and advocate for diversity and inclusion. Outside of work, Emily enjoys golf, running, and music. Emily also serves in a volunteer capacity on the Board of Directors of Small Business BC as Vice-Chair.

Emily has held this position on the AWF Board since 2016.


Teresa (Terri) Dickson, CFP, FMA, CIM, FCSI, FEA, Vice-President, Portfolio Manager & Wealth Advisor, Dickson Wealth Management of RBC Dominion Securities
Events Director, Fireside Chats 

Terri DicksonTerri is Vice-President, Portfolio Manager & Wealth Advisor with RBC Dominion Securities. For 20 years, Terri was the manager and co-owner of a successful dental clinic.

Making positive change happen is something that Terri is passionate about.  A five-time Paul Harris recipient with Rotary, she currently sits as a board member with Biathlon Canada where she chairs the Finance and Audit Committee.  She has 25 years-experience as a board member at the local, provincial and national level for a wide variety of non-profits and charities.  Her team at Dickson Wealth Management works with many non and social profit enterprises.

Terri and her team strive to ensure everyone they work with is financially secure, by providing comprehensive wealth management and discretionary portfolio management, as well as access to tax, estate and risk management planning for both personal and business needs. This is Terri's fourth year in this position.


Karen Sawatsky, CPA, CA, Partner, PwC LLP
Events Director, Fraser Valley

Karen_S.JPGKaren is a Partner in the assurance practice at PwC LLP where she delivers commercial focused services to a wide range of businesses and organizations. Her experience includes public and private companies, as well as public sector and not-for-profit organizations. 

In addition to delivering high quality and efficient assurance services, Karen also advises on technical accounting issues under IFRS, ASPE, PSAS and ASPNO. She has extensive experience advising clients undergoing complex transactions as well as providing insight on a wide variety of taxation, internal controls, governance and process improvement issues.

Karen is also actively involved in practice leadership where she has led business transformation initiatives focusing on quality and efficiency optimization. She's led teams focused on student recruiting, staff performance and development, and Women In Leadership initiatives. This is Karen's fourth year in this position on the AWF Board.