Advisors

Expert eyes

Your business idea needs support to succeed, and Vertical Motion can work with you from planning and logistics through design and execution. Meet our team of coaches, developers, designers, and analysts spanning industries from coupon and retail, through entrepreneurship, real estate, and manufacturing.

Jason Jones

  • ENTREPRENEURSHIP
  • PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
  • Jason’s strong business sense and entrepreneurial spirit are driving forces in his work. After selling his first retail business at the age of 19, he set out to be a pioneer in the emerging internet industry. Through his 20 year career, Jason has gathered a diverse client portfolio including Dell, HP, Bell, Canadian Pacific Railway, Shell, Shaw Communications Inc., Lloyd’s of London, and Stuart Olson. A practiced leader and team–builder, Jason has grown and managed successful web departments in the UK and helped mentor several Canadian startups. He capably organizes and directs resources in the service of internal and external customers through his own company, Vertical Motion, interpreting and facilitating business needs with careful efficiency. Jason has a multi–faceted background in several industries, and now as a Foresight Entrepreneur in Residence (EiR), he’s able to help bring decades of executive level experience to Cleantech Startups. He’s a consummate self–starter, equally able to direct vision from a high level, and get down in the trenches to get things done.

    Rick Gagner

  • ENTREPRENEURSHIP
  • EXECUTIVE COACHING
  • Rick began his career in finance, and quickly rose to the level of CFO in his first taste of high growth, Umbro Canada, and Sims Snowboards, apparel and sporting brands which grew from early stage to $50M in 6 short years. Subsequently, Rick turned around two publishing enterprises, one of which he transitioned into digital marketing as the media world changed over, and ran as President for 7.5yrs, before making a successful exit. Rick’s talents in leading growth were called upon once again, as he first consulted and then took on joint finance and operations roles in a startup food processing concern that quickly grew to $10M after 3 years. He then moved on to another processing concern where he was responsible for 5 plants, 1800 employees, representing .$5B in revenues. Since then Rick has focused his time on fast growth small to mid-size enterprises in food and advanced manufacturing, and has had the greatest satisfaction coaching and mentoring them following a coaching model based on EOS and Lencioni’s 4 Discipines. In addition to Rick’s work in industry, he was also a Director, Vice Chair, and then Chair of the BC Food & Beverage (over an 8 year period), a 13.5B industry sector. He was also a Director of Investment Agriculture Foundation of B.C., an industry-led, not-for-profit organization working with industry partners and funders to invest in projects that enhance the competitiveness, profitability and sustainability of BC agriculture and agri-food.

    Colin McWhinnie

  • SALES
  • EXECUTIVE COACHING
  • Colin is an experienced CEO, entrepreneur, and sales strategist with over 20 years experience developing, testing, and executing on sales programs for over 300 clients. His passion is helping entrepreneurs successfully bring their solution to the world by focusing on the right markets, with the right offering, and the right sales process.
    Colin launched SalesXperts in 2000 focusing on B2B sales campaigns for clients including Oracle, Microsoft, and Bell, to over 200 small to medium-sized businesses at all stages of their business lifecycle.
    Canada Start Up was launched in 2005 to help entrepreneurs navigate through the fog of the first couple years and focus on practical sales activities to acquire customers quickly and profitably. Since then, Colin has worked with hundreds of start-ups representing the SaaS, ICT, Fintech, Digital Health, and CleanTech industries, helping companies move from strategy to execution through practical, test-driven sales programs and coaching. In 2020, Colin launched his third venture called Sales Primer to help entrepreneurs understand the underlying sales metrics for their business model.
    Colin also is passionate about sharing his experience with entrepreneurs as an Advisor, coach, speaker, and instructor. He is an EIR with Foresight Innovation; a Sales Mentor with Volition Advisors, SFU Innovation Lab and the Edmonton Regional Innovation Network; instructor with the BCIT Venture program, and has been the keynote speaker for several Entrepreneurial Conferences including the MIT Venture forum in Seattle. He also developed and teaches an entrepreneurial course to First Nation Groups in Northern BC.
    A graduate of Western, Colin has lived and worked in Japan and the US, and now makes his home in sunny Tsawwassen BC.

    Christopher Moreno

  • FINANCE
  • EXECUTIVE COACHING
  • Christopher Moreno’s background is diverse and multi-disciplinary. As a CPA-CMA, he is currently the fractional CFO for no less than five companies. His experience includes completing a Master’s degree in Business Ethics and starting multiple companies – one of which grew into a multi-million-dollar, international entity before being acquired by its largest customer. Having also served as a Director of Investor & Regulatory Affairs for a NASDAQ listed Canadian company, a Director of AV Services at a major hotel, Manager of Guest Relations for the Vancouver Aquarium, and a designer of several of Canada’s largest high tech LED installations, Christopher can draw upon many real-world cases to provide guidance and mentorship.

    Chris Stairs

  • VENTURE DEVELOPMENT
  • BUSINESS PROCESS DESIGN
  • Chris Stairs has 20+ years experience in sales, marketing, and operational start-ups. He helps organizations position for market entry, push through financial hurdles, and build foundations to become best-in-field. He specializes in helping firms translate their financial goals into practical revenue-generating strategies.

    Co-Founder of Sales Primer, a senior consultant with CanadaStartUp.com, finance specialist for Volition Advisors, and EIR at SFU VentureLabs, Chris has supported ventures across a broad range of sectors including construction management software, e-learning, workplace hygiene, therapeutic apparel, industrial automation, event technologies, and anti-counterfeit authentication platforms. He has also helped his varied clients raise more than $10 million in combined grant, debt, and equity funding.

    Prior to his work in the venture space, Chris began his career in sports marketing and tourism-hospitality, working for such global brands as the Olympics, FIFA, NBA, MLS, and Vancouver Aquarium. Chris holds an MBA from UBC. When not coaching innovative entrepreneurs, Chris serves as the Board Chair of the Jericho Sailing Centre Association.

    Alison Geskin

  • STRATEGY
  • ENTREPRENEURSHIP
  • Alison is in the business of transformation. As a recognized leader in the realms of Strategic Consulting and Leadership Coaching, her specialty lies in revenue generation and people development, helping organizations and individuals perform at their best. Her strategic and tactical experience in unearthing pain points and addressing challenges enables those she works with to seize opportunities for sustained growth, helping deepen current advantages while broadening reach.

    Arleigh Vasconcellos

  • PUBLIC RELATIONS
  • MARKETING
  • Arleigh brings a wealth of experience and passion to all her projects. She is a senior communications strategist who works with innovators looking to amplify their brand story and drive measurable results. As the founder of The Agency, Arleigh has 18+ years of experience and honed her skills working for global companies. For the past 9 years she has worked with innovation and technology organizations helping them tell their stories and execute strategic PR and marketing campaigns. In her day-to-day tasks, she focuses on creating first-rate outcomes for clients, working on strategic communications, media training, and crisis messaging. Arleigh was recognized as one of the Alberta Women Entrepreneurs Celebration of Achievement Nominees in 2013 and 2014. She has an honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Ottawa and oversees the successful execution of all client programs.

    Terry Streete

  • MINDSET
  • ACCOUNTABILITY
  • Terry Streete is an experienced coach and consultant who has defined his career by providing straight forward communication, and a no-nonsense approach to creating results. Drawing from his over 20 years of experience, consulting and working with OEM’s in the automotive sector, and a wealth of entrepreneurial experience, he has identified some of the key components that lead to achieving goals, remaining consistent, and living with a winning mindset.

    Kris Hans

  • ENTREPRENEURSHIP
  • MARKETING
  • Kris is an ideas generator capable of turning dreams into reality and truly a social entrepreneur. He continues to undertake diverse roles and responsibilities that bring his skills and experience to serve Calgary’s many communities — a testament to the value that he places on civic participation and social enterprise.

    Floyd Sijmons

  • TECH STARTUPS
  • RETAIL
  • Experienced CEO, Founder and Business Mentor with a demonstrated & successful history in building up tech start-ups and scale-ups to success. Experienced in all parts that come with founding, building, and scaling a digital business, especially the tech kind. Particularly skilled in Business Dev, Operations, PR (including public speaking), HR management, and Marketing (Growth Hacking). Most proud of and passionate about a) Analytical skill & energy in the face of problems b) Building and leading highly effective & motivated teams c) Building a world class company-culture conducive to success Has a Master of Science in Strategic Management from RSM Erasmus University.

    Jeanette Jackson

  • GREEN TECH
  • ENTREPRENEURSHIP
  • High-integrity, energetic leader known for ability to envision and create successful outcomes in complex business environments. Diverse industry and functional expertise with tenacious commitment to achieve company milestones from vision through to team execution. Innovative thinker with broad-based experience in strategy, business development, marketing and communications.

    Doug Reid

  • MANUFACTURING
  • ACQUISITIONS
  • Proven leader of teams and organizations. Strong analytical capabilities related to financial and business analysis. Well versed in taking a product from idea to product launch to product phase out. Worked in start-ups, mid-sized and large organizations. Able to work independently or within diverse cross functional teams. Very good presentation and interpersonal skills.

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