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.
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.
For more information about Wardell International, visit www.wardellinternational.com/services.
For more information about Harold, visit www.MyHarold.com
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.
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 lives in Coquitlam, BC with his wife and two children and 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.
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.
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.
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.
Kent Carter is a third-generation entrepreneur who — in addition to investing in and running his own family businesses — has held senior executive roles in enterprises ranging from start-ups to publicly listed companies.
After graduating from UBC with a degree in engineering, Kent started his career in consulting while continuing his studies in finance. This led to a number of new opportunities and overseas postings; he has held operations, senior management and board level positions for firms involved in project development, cross-border investment, asset management and investment banking in Australia, Africa, South-east Asia and China.
Along the way, Kent started up and invested in three businesses of his own, in F&B, online and “brick and mortar” retail, and corporate services.
With Wardell, Kent’s mission is to help Canadian businesses grow and succeed, both domestically and in the highly competitive global markets. Having assessed thousands of companies as an investor, he knows there's a direct link between the value of an enterprise and the quality of its foundations and systems.
Kent lives in Langley with his wife, two children and their growing menagerie of pets. His interests include working out, coaching baseball and hockey, golf, wine, and close-up magic.
Jose Enrique Torres Ibarra
Born in Guadalajara Mexico, Jose has travelled extensively since the age of 15 with a passion for languages, cultures, art, music and food. With an MBA from the Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey Campus Guadalajara, he has worked for leading organizations in tourism and finance: Mexicana de Aviacion, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Aeromexico and American Express.
At American Express, he was responsible for pre-tax income for the North and Pacific Regions, and received the World Great Performance Award. Working at the American Chamber of Commerce, he was President of Tourism, representing Mexico internationally. With Aeromexico, Jose spearheaded franchise office models, expanding to the concept to 55 locations across Mexico. He also founded a luxurious travel agency.
Jose joined Wardell International in Vancouver, BC to accomplish his mission in life:
Leave a legacy as businessman leading companies in Canada, USA and Mexico to succeed in competitive environments. His goal is to provide clients the most advanced leadership skills to overcome business challenges, develop International business abilities, and enjoy work and life using time wisely.
Jane Mackay has extensive experience in renewable energy and mineral exploration, including 18 years in Asia and 10 years in Canada. Her focus is on business development for small- and medium-sized companies through strategic planning and targeting critical details in the business cycle roadmap.
Jane acted as a Sr. Advisor to ReEx Capital Asia, a boutique Merchant Bank in Singapore that's been involved in transactions with an aggregated value of US$20 billion in technologies. Prior to this position, Jane was President and CEO of Enerasia Renewable Corp., a Philippines-based energy development company, which explored business opportunities in the renewable energy sector. In Canada, Jane was a founding member of two wind energy development companies in Western and Eastern Canada — one was sold to a major investment fund and the second company was acquired by a public company.
Prior to her work in renewable energy, Jane worked in Asia for over 12 years in the minerals exploration industry in various capacities as a project geologist and in executive management. In her last position, she was President of KTR, an Asia-based gold and base metal exploration company. Her executive management and technical work has been focused on large projects in remote and challenging environments, allowing her the opportunity to work with a diversity of Indigenous cultures.
Additionally, Jane has acted as Director and Advisor for several small mineral exploration and renewable energy companies. She received her Degree in Geology from Brandon University in Manitoba.
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