Wardell International’s business advisors, analytics team and support staff come from a wide range of disciplines and professional backgrounds, offering a wealth of business acumen and experience. Take a moment to meet our headquarter team, and say hello.
Founder and President of Wardell International, Mark Wardell has developed a reputation as a leader in business advisory by helping entrepreneurs successfully plan, execute, and manage sustainable business growth.
In addition to offering comprehensive business consulting services through his company, Mark regularly shares his business advisory expertise through many channels. He is a published author of seven business books, frequent contributor to several top national publications including Profit Magazine, The Globe and Mail, and CGA Magazine, and a speaker at high-profile business events and on televised programs including BNN’s Money Talk with Patricia Lovett-Reid.
Mark continuously strives to expand his business expertise and maintain his position as a business advisory authority by researching, networking, and exploring new ideas among successful professionals.
Prior to founding Wardell International in 1999, Mark’s career included time as a business advisor for a major California-based consulting firm, an entrepreneur, a professional musician and a national level gymnastics coach.
With over 15 years experience in management and business consulting, business advisor Randy Friesen offers Wardell International business advisory clients specialized knowledge in both unionized and non-unionized management.
This experience, combined with Randy’s strong relationship with the entrepreneurial community, brings a powerful depth and breadth of knowledge to Wardell’s business advisory service.
Randy is passionate about providing practical ‘real life’ solutions to problems that business owners face, and not only shares his insight as a business advisor to Wardell International clients, but also as a teacher at the British Columbia Institute of Technology’s (BCIT) School of Business in Vancouver, B.C.
He holds a diploma of Marketing Management (Small Business Development Option), a Bachelor of Technology Degree in Management from BCIT, and a Masters Degree in Knowledge Management from the University of South Australia.
For the past 20 years, Jorge Oceguera has combined his business, consulting, management and academic expertise to add value and richness to businesses in multiple and diverse industries. He’s a strong, analytical problem solver, specializing in a variety of business topics, particularly strategy and organizational culture.
Jorge has extensive experience in designing and delivering all levels of education and training. He specializes in facilitating training in strategic planning, international business, entrepreneurship and other business skills development areas. He’s a seasoned facilitator and a Faculty Member at the Capilano University School of Business.
Jorge holds a Masters of Education in Adult Learning and Global Change (University of British Columbia, Canada), an Executive Masters of Business Administration from IPADE (Pan-American Institute of High Management), Mexico, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical and Electronic Engineering. He is a graduate of the Effective Management program from ICAMI Mexico, and a Certified Professional Facilitator (CPF).
Brian Forward is a career banker who’s worked for more than three decades in several progressively responsible positions, gaining extensive experience and proven skills in leadership, management, operations and credit risk management. Before joining Wardell International, Brian’s background included senior and executive roles in commercial and retail lending and human resources.
Driven by a passion to advance his clients’ interests, Brian works relentlessly to support their credit, subordinated debt and management needs. Having worked extensively with small- and medium-sized businesses as well as in large corporate environments, Brian’s perspectives, knowledge and interpersonal skills are ideally aligned with providing the guidance and advice the business community requires.
Brian has been actively involved in the Vancouver Board of Trade, the Whitehorse and Surrey Chambers of Commerce, Rotary Clubs, Vancouver Enterprise Forum, Human Resource Management Association and The Leadership and Management Council of British Columbia. He also regularly volunteers in community sports programs.
After winning two Grey Cup championships with the Canadian Football League’s (CFL) B.C. Lions, business advisor Jamie Taras decided to share his passion for team success as part of Wardell International comprehensive business advisory service.
As an award-winning football player recognized for his outstanding sportsmanship, team leadership, and contribution to his community, Jamie easily makes the transition into the teamwork-focused world of business development.
A gifted communicator, Taras is well equipped to provide insights into the integrity and leadership required to win in sports, business and life. He holds a degree from the University of Western Ontario, a securities certificate from the Canadian Securities Institute, and has extensive experience in business consulting.
In addition to being a dedicated business advisor, Jamie continues to give back to his community as an executive board member of Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver.
As an entrepreneur and executive leader, Werner conveys a wealth of first-hand business expertise to Wardell International clients through his career in the private sector, government and industry associations. Having worked closely with senior executives of leading businesses and world class organizations, he brings strong strategic and operational leadership skills to the table.
Werner currently serves on the Board of Directors of Family Services of Greater Vancouver and as Advisory Board member with Mosqoy. He was a member of the BC Manufacturing Industry Advisory Council, Coalition of BC Businesses, BC Business Summit and has served on the Board of Directors for the Quality Council of BC and the Industry Training & Apprenticeship Commission.
Werner, working with entrepreneurs and business executives through Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME), has a demonstrated record of successfully implementing strategies, tactical plans and long-term solutions that positioned organizations to compete more effectively and profitably. He possesses exceptional public and media relations expertise. Having successfully partnered with the media, his communications skills bring value to clients by significantly enhancing their brand and public image
Innovative, creative and with a strong passion for success; Werner’s utilization of the Wardell International approach generates business solutions and wealth for clients.
Juan Ferreira Pinho’s diverse career includes working in both the public and private sector. He has worked as a strategic business consultant, and as director and president of international industrial, financing and commercial companies throughout South America. In Vancouver, Juan has spent the last nine years on the Executive Board of FY International, Chairing the Ethics and Discipline Committee.
His experience in the public sector spans from being the Secretary of Military Affairs of the Republic of Argentina to the Director of YPF (the Argentina state-owned fiscal oil fields company). He has also acted as the Adviser of the Social Assistance Ministry for the Republic of Argentina.
Academically, Juan taught in the Faculty of Economics in the Buenos Aires University as a professor for the Audit program. He graduated as a Public Accountant from University of Buenos Aires with specialization in business strategies, having completed related studies in the Institute of Strategy Studies of the University of Belgrano, Argentina.
Juan has written numerous popular articles related to national and global security, as well as conflict resolution and business strategies. He has also authored several in-depth research reports surrounding work related to the Program of United Nations Development.
Jeff Driedger began his career as a boy working behind the counter of his family’s successful retail business, where he learned fundamental principles, realities and challenges of business. His love for coffee led him to work with Starbucks in its early days, where he helped lay the foundation for growth across British Columbia and New York City. Then, as Director and Western Canadian General Manager of a Berkshire Hathaway company, he applied his leadership, strategy, sales management, operations, customer service and human resources skills to empower his team to achieve record results.
Jeff’s greatest strengths include using strategic and analytical problem solving skills to create real practical solutions. “Too many times, great ideas fail to make a difference because of poor implementation,” he explained. “I always come back to how to improve the real-world business situation. Those are the actions that impact results. The power of the Wardell International approach is that the changes you will make in your business make it less dependent on you as the owner. That makes room in your life to invest in the things that are important to you. I’ve seen too many burned out business owners. It doesn’t have to be that way.”
Jeff has served the BC Children’s Hospital foundation as a Retail/Wholesale committee member helping raise millions of dollars in support of sick children. He lives in Coquitlam, BC with his wife and two children and loves to cycle, ski and spend time outdoors.
A truly seasoned entrepreneur, Paul Farrow has owned several companies, beginning at age 20 with a private vocational school. Prior to moving to BC, Paul sold his Ontario-based advertising agency in 2010, where he remained for two years as an advisor.
Paul explained he knew he had to bring the ad agency to a turnkey level, but it took him years to mold it into a plan that would attract a potential buyer. “If I had found the Wardell International system back then,” said Paul, “I could have achieved my goal in one quarter of the time, and joined this incredible team years ago.”
Based in Fort St. John and serving clients in the Northern BC market, Paul brings a range of experience to the table. He’s exceptionally passionate about his work and loves helping business owners strive toward achieving their entrepreneurial dreams.
“This is a dream position for me,” he stated. “I get to do something I’m good at and I love to do, with the backing of an incredible team of professionals and a business program that’s second to none. And I’ve researched them all. For me, this is like finally being introduced to what the Matrix really is.”
Billy Bones has more than 15 years experience owning and operating businesses in a number of different industries. He successfully developed a product brand with global distribution.
After completing his BA at UBC, Billy gained experience both running his own business and working in the accounting department at a large corporation.
As the owner of Sparrow Guitars, Billy was responsible for all aspects of the import/manufacturing business, including product sourcing in the Far East, as well as establishing and maintaining relationships with distributors and retailers worldwide.
Billy was an active member of the NAMM, the music instrument trade association in the US, making guest appearances at the annual State of the Industry president’s address in Anaheim, CA as well as the President’s Council in Carlsbad, CA.
Both as a matter of passion and circumstance, Billy was the head of R&D at Sparrow Guitars where he studied and practiced Lean production values.
Billy is married with two young boys, lives in Vancouver BC, and enjoys playing music and sports.
JP Laube holds a Masters in Economics with a specialization in Environmental Economics. He brings with him 15 years of aviation and aerospace experience from a global and varied set of engagements, as well as several years of leading edge success in the digital space.
JP has extensive experience working with the SME demographic, from direct, solution-based consulting to Federal and Provincial Government leveraged investment and IP development projects. He’s excelled in all of his endeavours to propel businesses to the next level by developing and implementing innovative and strategic business development initiatives, ranging from small two person start-ups to multinational giants like Boeing.
JP’s innate passion for entrepreneurship and desire to enable growth has always led him to helping people at all stages and levels of business. He’s an active day-trader, and is devoted to fitness and music.
Joe Markovitch proudly hails from Esterhazy, Saskatchewan where his family owned and operated a popular general store. He learned, from an early age about the nature of business ownership and small town values.
Seeking further education he moved to Vancouver to attend UBC. Graduating with a Commerce degree Joe pursued a career in the advertising field, growing from an Account Executive position to Branch Manager Joe successfully managed advertising campaigns for Toyota, Wendy’s, GM and Jeep.
In 1994, Joe and his wife co-founded Solly’s Bagelry, an ethnic bakery/deli which has become an institution in Vancouver. Together they operated and grew Solly’s, from a small community bakery to a multi-unit retail operation and central production facility with a loyal customer base and premium grocery accounts like Whole Foods and Urban Fare.
After 16 years Joe sold his interest in Solly’s and returned to the marketing field as Marketing Director for a musical instrument components manufacturer. He never lost his passion for entrepreneurship and guiding people toward achieving their vision.
In 2011, Joe began mentoring through a non-profit business start up organization and then decided to begin business coaching on a fulltime basis. Through a business connection from Solly’s, Joe met Randy Friesen, Wardell’s COO and was introduced to the Wardell Business Advisory Services program. Joe is looking forward to delivering excellent advisory services as a member of the Wardell Business Advisory Team.
Joe teaches at VCC and is a professional musician and founding member of the Usual Suspects band, which he has lead for more than 20 years. Joe also enjoys cooking, yoga, biking, swimming and donates his musical talents at annual charitable fundraising events.
Thomas Membury is a driven entrepreneur and business advisor who shares his energy and enthusiasm with every Wardell International business advisory client.
Upon completing his BA at SFU in Political Science and Economics focusing on strategy and theory, Thomas began developing and implementing growth strategies for local clients. Wanting to inspire fellow entrepreneurs to take action, he became the co-founder of an international industrial screening equipment manufacturer. As Chief Operating Officer he took on all aspects of management, import/export, finance and development. He was then connected with Wardell through the NYIT small to medium enterprise business advisor course, where he developed a passion for the value-driven program.
Thomas achieved his Master level fourth degree black-belt in Taekwondo at the age of 18, earning him a unique perspective of respect and dedication. His desire to empower other entrepreneurs continues to connect him with individuals at all levels of business. Thomas actively trades stocks, is dedicated to health and wellness and is an active member of his community.
As a CA, and CPA with a Bachelor of Business Management Degree from Ryerson University, Debra has more than 20 years’ experience as a result-oriented business advisor, entrepreneur and transformation leader.
Debra has successfully held leadership roles – including CEO, CFO, director and investor – in both public and private organizations, ranging from $5 million to $6 billion in revenues with 10 to 8,000-plus employees. Her vast industry expertise includes consumer products, health care, manufacturing, transportation, brokerage, mining, oil and gas, technology, web-based media, real estate development, government and not-for-profit.
Driven by passion and compassion, Debra has coached leadership teams through major transition processes. As an active member of the community, Debra has served on the boards of public, private and not-for-profit organizations. When she’s not helping build businesses, you can find her outdoors enjoying nature.