Wardell International’s business advisors come from a wide range of disciplines and professional backgrounds, offering a wealth of business acumen and experience.
Mark Wardell is an entrepreneur, author and internationally-renowned business advisor.
As Founder and President of the consulting firm, Wardell International and the software company, Harold, Mark has been helping business owners achieve their entrepreneurial dreams for more than 20 years.
The Wardell methodology, which systematically addresses the realities of small and medium sized business markets, is used with vast success in almost every industry around the globe.
Mark is a published author of seven business books, and a sought-after contributor to top national and international publications, including Profit Magazine, The Globe and Mail, The National Post and CEO Magazine. He's featured on television programs, such as BNN’s Money Talk, and frequently headlines Business in Vancouver’s Roundhouse radio segment, Management Matters. Mark is also an acclaimed keynote speaker with talks in Canada, US, United Kingdom, France, Barbados, Argentina and Australia.
When he's not networking, exploring and researching new ideas with business thought leaders from around the globe, the one-time musician and national gymnastics coach enjoys his family and fitness.
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.
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.
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 loves to cycle, ski and spend time outdoors.
Scott launched his career in the financial sector assessing credit risk, and expanded to helping companies create and grow profitable client relationships. With a passion for business growth and more than three decades of experience, Scott has successfully created and operated businesses in the IT, food processing and service sectors.
Leveraging extensive consulting experience, Scott became Director of Corporate Training for a large Vancouver-based, post-secondary institution, and personally worked with over 100 clients to develop executable plans for ongoing success. Currently a professional speaker and trainer, he regularly addresses business audiences across North America on Power Pivots, and has a monthly national webcast on best business practices.
Scott's been actively involved with The Vancouver Board of Trade, Delta and Mission Chambers of Commerce and he's sat on the Board of The Canadian Council of Small Business and Entrepreneurship. As an author, Scott is a published business writer and has contributed to Business in Vancouver amongst other publications. His charitable endeavours include The Tsawwassen Hospice, working with the homeless in Vancouver’s downtown eastside and building computer labs in Kenya to help locals be part of the online economy.
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.
Michelle’s 30 years as an Account Executive have spanned across credit card processing and financial services, transportation, logistics, media, and consulting. With a breadth of projects including managing consultative alliances, live event management, and sales team leadership, Michelle’s career and entrepreneurial ambitions have taken her across the country and outside Canada, giving her extensive experience in multiple markets.
Raised by a strong, independent single mother, vision and values were instilled at an early age. Michelle started her own entrepreneurial journey in the 90s in event planning and speaking. A passion for health, fitness, music, dance and community have also shaped Michelle’s experience providing innumerable opportunities to give back. With Wardell International, Michelle continues to empower entrepreneurs in their communities.
Michelle graduated from the Advertising Program at Sheridan College. She holds a Masters Certificate in Project Management and a Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM). Always looking to sharpen her skills, Michelle also has completed coursework in negotiation, sales and leadership, including the Sales and Marketing Management Program at the University of British Columbia.
Originally from Montreal, Louise Turgeon graduated in Landscape Architecture and worked for a few years before moving to Vancouver in 1979. With a shortage of opportunities in her field, Louise and her partner Mario opened their first business in the newly open “Granville Island Market”, a French Butcher Shop.
3 years later, the first “French Baguette” was born: “La Baguette & l’Echalote”, a French Bakery/Pastry Boutique, was an instant success and soon became an institution, from Retail to Wholesale, serving the best Hotels, Restaurants, Cafés and fine Grocery Shops. Louise was in charge of the Administration, Human Resources, Sales and Marketing, while her partner was taking care of the Production and Innovation.
In 2000, Louise retained Wardell International; Mark helped restructure and grow the business, and eventually sell it in 2017. Louise stayed in the Business with the new Owner and became the General Manager for 3 years.
Louise’s experience in the Food and Hospitality extends over 40 years, in Manufacturing, Retail, Catering and Restaurants. Newly retired, her aspirations are to help Entrepreneurs restructure, grow and eventually sell their business through the Wardell Mastermind Group.
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