Celebrating Excellence

May 16, 2023
Photo credit: Above: Bubbers13/iStock/Getty Images Below: Kent Kallberg Studios and Chung Chow

Meet the 14 CPAs chosen for Member Recognition in 2022. CPABC celebrates their outstanding leadership, volunteerism, and career achievements.

Early Achievement Award

The CPABC Early Achievement Award celebrates members who distinguish themselves early in their CPA career through professional achievement and/or volunteer service.

Paulina CameronPaulina Cameron, CPA, CA

Paulina is the high-achieving and progressive CEO of The Forum, a Canadian charity supporting women entrepreneurs. Since 2019, she has greatly expanded its reach from 440 to 1,600 entrepreneurs, boosted its programming, and doubled its funding. She had an equally striking impact at Futurpreneur Canada (2013-2018), where she expanded the community of young entrepreneurs accessing capital by 150%.

Since obtaining her designation in 2012, Paulina has become a widely respected thought leader, championing gender diversity and women’s empowerment through popular speaking engagements, including for the League of Innovators and BC Tech Summit. In 2017, she also created and taught an Introduction to Entrepreneurship and Innovation course at SFU’s Beedie School of Business.

Paulina also fosters strong communities as a volunteer, shaping the vision and mission of YWCA Metro Vancouver as a board director, and promoting a robust and resilient economy as a director of the BC government’s Small Business Roundtable and as past chair of the Immigrant Employment Council of BC.

“Paulina has turned her passion for uplifting her peers into a career that makes a tangible difference in the lives of women and entrepreneurs across Canada.”

– Brandi Wingrove, CPA, CA, Partner, KPMG Enterprise

Mallory DennistonMallory Denniston, CPA, CA

Mallory is CFO for the City of Powell River, providing strategic financial leadership, guiding finances for large civic projects, and introducing systems that improve efficiency, transparency, and engagement. A trusted voice by the mayor, council, staff, and residents, she has expertly navigated the financial challenges of aging infrastructure amid supply chain issues, inflation, rising interest rates, and changing economic drivers.

Mallory improved City accountability and transparency through comprehensive and accessible public presentations, which expanded online engagement and in-person consultation. She also championed innovation in adopting best practices for the City’s financial, HR, and enterprise resource planning systems.

After obtaining her designation in 2013, Mallory worked for Catalyst Paper before joining the City in 2017. Her public profile—through dedicated public engagement and media appearances—has raised the visibility of the profession.

She also gives back as a coach for women’s hockey and a director-at-large for the Bruce Denniston Bone Marrow Society, which supports marrow transplant patients, helping the organization achieve its mission and strategic direction.

“Mallory exemplifies leadership at an organizational, professional, and community level to which everyone can aspire and from which one gains inspiration for personal and professional development, public service, and commitment to community.”

Russell Brewer, Chief Public Affairs Officer, Métis Nation British Columbia

Jocelyn LiJocelyn Li, CPA

Jocelyn is a manager in the ESG and sustainability services group at KPMG in Vancouver. A dynamic ESG expert, she drives business success by guiding clients to develop and implement ESG strategies, frameworks, reporting, and assurance, and identifying ways that ESG can create long-term value. She’s also the firm’s first impact manager, leading team recruitment, training, and performance-management initiatives.

In 2021, Jocelyn led a first-of-its-kind engagement, advising a banking client on their adoption of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Banking (UNPRB) framework; she’s now KPMG’s subject matter expert on UNPRB in Canada. She’s also one of only 14 members of a UN global working group, providing insights on UNPRB from an assurance provider’s perspective.

Jocelyn obtained her designation in 2018, and since 2021 has inspired students at the Sauder School of Business, where as an adjunct professor she brings accounting courses to life with expertise and enthusiasm. She extends that passion to volunteerism with PentaSport Ministries, a not-for-profit sports league where she provides financial leadership.

“In her recruitment, mentoring, volunteering, and speaking activities, and as an adjunct professor at UBC Sauder, Jocelyn educates and inspires and gives a fresh and vibrant visibility to the CPA designation and profession.”

– Walter R. Pela, FCPA, FCA, Regional Managing Partner, KPMG LLP


The title of Fellow formally recognizes members who have earned distinction and brought honour to the profession by meeting at least two of the following criteria: exceptional service to the profession, extraordinary career achievements, and exemplary contributions to the community.

Robert (Bob) ArmstrongRobert (Bob) Armstrong, FCPA, FCA

Bob is a sought-after board director and finance mentor advocating for climate-change action and responsible business development as board chair of Coast Capital Savings Federal Credit Union.

From 1997 to 2014, Bob provided groundbreaking leadership at Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, where he helmed numerous transformational initiatives. In executive roles including CFO and COO, he led Ritchie Bros.’ IPO and oversaw the pioneering expansion into online auctions. Bob was also a trusted advisor to Traction on Demand from 2015 to 2019, helping the award-winning application developers successfully scale up.

Bob launched his career at KPMG in 1985 and has provided inspired mentorship to up-and-coming CPAs ever since, including with CPABC’s Mentorship Program.

In his community, Bob has served as a director and chair of the Chris Spencer Foundation for over two decades, strengthening board diversity to support the Foundation’s efforts to fund youth-oriented charities. As treasurer with Ballet BC since 2019, he has improved financial management processes and increased the organization’s financial sustainability. And he is particularly passionate about his continuing, decades-long volunteerism with the not-for-profit Crescent Beach Swimming Club, where as president (2016-2017) he initiated a capital campaign that raised $1 million for the renovation of the club’s facilities.

“Bob embraced and led the critically innovative digital transformation that impacted the entire industry. He was instrumental in evolving the company’s strategy to enter the digital world and to lead the pace of change.”

– Peter J. Blake, FCPA, FCA, Past CEO, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers

Warren BeachWarren Beach, FCPA, FCA

A distinguished and sought-after leader, Warren has helmed some of British Columbia’s most significant companies: Glenayre Manufacturing, Sauder Industries, Sierra Systems, TimberWest, Aritzia, and Hold It All Inc. He is currently the chief strategy and innovation officer at Odlum Brown Ltd., responsible for developing and executing the firm’s strategic planning efforts.

Warren has also vigorously advocated for the profession for many years—participating in CPABC’s branding campaign in 2015 and sharing his knowledge as a mentor for over three decades.

Throughout his career, Warren has been very active in the community. He currently gives back as a board director with the BC Parks Foundation and the Boys and Girls Club of South Coast BC; for the latter, he leads the board in identifying strategic priorities. He is also a member of the UBC Gold For Life Committee, supporting rowing at UBC, and a member of Alumni UBC’s Advisory Council and Finance and Audit Committee. Previously, he served as board vice-chair with BC Women's Health Foundation, leading fundraising and strategic planning processes (2014-2021). He also served for seven years on the cabinet of United Way British Columbia, including as cabinet co-chair (2011-2012).

“Never one to shy away from tough conversations, Warren has and uses the unique ability to explore the most important issues in order to come to strategic decisions.”

– Carolyn Tuckwell, President and CEO, Boys and Girls Club of South Coast BC

Gopi ChandeGopi Chande, FCPA, FCA

Gopi has personified excellence throughout her career. She brought her financial acumen and collaborative leadership skills to Telus in 2009, and now serves as its senior vice-president and treasurer, driving an innovation mindset within the company’s treasury, investor relations, M&A, pension, and sustainability teams. Gopi has also had a powerful impact on Telus’ culture as a pioneering force in diversity and inclusion, serving as an executive sponsor of Telus’ Women in Finance and Finance Inclusion Squad initiatives.

Previously, Gopi was a senior manager at KPMG in Vancouver, Silicon Valley, and Budapest, guiding clients on complex financial matters. She also served as controller at E2open, overseeing the global expansion of this Silicon Valley software-as-a-service startup.

Within the profession, Gopi has inspired CPAs as a mentor since 2000 and has contributed to CPA Canada’s Accounting for Sustainability Group since 2019.

A dedicated volunteer, she shares her business acumen as board chair with Mulgrave School (2011-present). Her keen insights on finance and governance have also benefited BC Women’s Health Foundation (2022-present) and the North Vancouver District Public Library Board (2013-2015). As a trustee for the latter, she implemented financial reporting and governance frameworks that continue to strengthen the library’s operations.

“Gopi has distinguished herself as a steward of our business, supporting a variety of areas and significant investments in Telus’ growth. Her depth of business and industry knowledge is unparalleled, and her financial acumen and guidance is instrumental in driving growth and diversification.”

Doug French, FCPA, FCA, Executive Vice-President & Chief Financial Officer, Telus

Catherine DahlCatherine Dahl, FCPA, FCMA

Catherine served as co-founder and CEO of Beanworks by Quadient, an accounting automation company, from 2012 until retiring in 2023. She grew revenue at Beanworks from $250,000 in 2012 to over $8 million by 2021, and expanded its workforce from six full-time employees to more than 140. Catherine also raised millions of dollars in venture capital, rebuilt Beanworks’ platform, and negotiated its 2021 sale to Quadient for over $110 million.

Catherine is a renowned innovator. As finance manager at CBC (2006-2008), she helped synergize news programming by combining TV, radio, and digital services. She streamlined accounting functions at Grey Worldwide, where she was a business manager (2004-2006), and rebuilt cash flow as the business manager of the Italian Cultural Centre (2000-2004), ensuring its long-term success. As a testament to her leadership, she was named to StartUp Beat’s 20 Under 50 Female Leaders in Tech in 2020.

For two decades, Catherine has advocated for women in the profession and shared her deep knowledge by writing for outlets such as CPA Practice Advisor and the Globe and Mail. She also provides strategic leadership as a board member and treasurer for Acetech, a not-for-profit organization supporting BC’s tech companies.

“Catherine is a fierce advocate and will be in your corner, often putting in longer hours, helping you to have a more powerful voice, and always keeping the vision in very clear focus.”

– Monica Murray, CPA, CA, Founder, Caratt

Kate FurberKate Furber, FCPA, FCA

Kate is PwC’s vice-chair and managing partner, BC region. For over 25 years, she has excelled in vital roles within the firm, including the following for the BC region: assurance leader; private company leader; and technology, media, entertainment, and consumer markets leader. With her guidance, each group increased revenue and profitability.

Promoted to partnership in 2007, Kate has led PwC initiatives around employee recognition, meaningful work, and career development—which have increased team engagement, quality review results, and firm profitability. After being appointed to PwC Canada’s board in 2019, she chaired the people and partnership committee and guided its rollout of a new partner accountability framework.

Kate has also significantly raised the visibility of the CPA profession and advanced member knowledge as an author and speaker with CPABC.

A committed volunteer, she served as a board director and Audit Committee chair (2012-2018) with Canuck Place Children’s Hospice; and as the chair of the Hospice’s building task force, she oversaw construction of a second palliative care home in Abbotsford. Since 2010, she has lent her expertise to the advancement of women by presenting at events including #movethedial, WNORTH, and We For She.

“Seeing that women weren’t making it to leadership positions at the same rate as men, Kate drove change. She supported women to build the critical skills and experience needed to demonstrate readiness for partnership, and through support of maternity leaves, flexible work arrangements, and empowering them to overcome challenges.”

Elisabeth Finch, Jessica Macht, CPA, CA, and Paulina Prokop, CPA, CA, Partners, PwC

Amanda HobsonAmanda Hobson, FCPA, FCA

An experienced finance executive and director with a diverse background in both the public and private sectors, Amanda is an authentic leader and a strong advocate for sustainability. As senior vice-president of investor relations and treasury for Finning International (2019-2023) and as an active member of the company’s Sustainability Committee, Amanda led the renewal of a $1.3-billion global credit facility as a sustainability-linked loan, one of the first loans of its kind in the industry.

Also a director for BC Hydro and its energy marketing and trading subsidiary Powerex, Amanda supports the delivery of affordable clean energy to more than four million people in BC.

She gives back through CPABC’s Mentorship Program and has been actively involved in her community as a board director for the Royal Inland Hospital Foundation and the Dean’s Advisory Counsel for Thompson Rivers University’s Bob Gaglardi School of Business and Economics.

As a testament to her exceptional leadership, Amanda was named one of BC’s Most Influential Women in Finance by BC Business (2019) and BC CFO of the Year in the Emerging Leader category by Business in Vancouver (2017).

“The contribution of Amanda’s expertise and education not only created a culture of enhanced accountability within the Foundation, it also enhanced public confidence in the organization and created a sustainable internal process for the Foundation that will benefit donors, recipients, and Foundation staff for years to come.”

Kerri D. Priddle, Barrister and Solicitor; Professor of Ethics, Thompson Rivers University, Faculty of Law; Chair, Royal Inland Hospital Foundation

Angus IzardAngus Izard, FCPA, FCA, FCGA

Widely respected for his technical skills and people-focused leadership, Angus is a founding partner of the Victoria accounting firm Cameron Izard Snell LLP and a key contributor to its outstanding client service and community involvement.

Angus was previously a senior manager with Deloitte and KPMG, where he focused his expertise on cross-border personal tax and business advisory services. Throughout his career, he has been respected for his exceptional ability to listen to clients’ unique challenges and offer clear solutions. He has also mentored many future CPAs, providing them with invaluable client-centred experience.

For 30-plus years, Angus has volunteered his skills to a variety of organizations, including spearheading major reporting improvements as treasurer with the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (2001-2006), securing funding for an adult workplace learning program and a reading program for underprivileged children as treasurer with the Victoria Read Society (2007-2012), and guiding investments as a board director with Victoria Hospitals Foundation (2013-2019). He has also served with the Sovereign Order of St. John and coached youth soccer and lacrosse. Angus is currently treasurer with the Victoria Hospice Society, providing financial and management guidance.

“Angus’ list of strengths is extensive, but he demonstrates two characteristics that are truly exceptional. First, I’ve never known a professional as dedicated to client service as he is. Second, his commitment to community service is astounding.”

Mike Zelen, CPA, CA

Terry KrepiakevichTerry Krepiakevich, FCPA, FCA

Terry contributes his extensive finance expertise as a sought-after board director. Prior to retiring, he was the CFO of coal miner SouthGobi Resources Ltd. (2006-2011) and helped lead its 2010 IPO. He also oversaw SouthGobi’s listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and the company’s 2009 transition from Canadian GAAP to IFRS standards, making it one of the first Canadian companies to do so. Recognized for this groundbreaking work, Terry received a 2011 BC CFO of the Year Award from Business in Vancouver. He subsequently played an invaluable role in educating accountants on critical elements of the IFRS transition.

Terry has been the financial linchpin of many BC firms, including Mindell Holdings (1982-1988) and Maynards Industries (1988-2000). From 2000 to 2006, he was CFO of Extreme CCTV Inc., a surveillance technology manufacturer. There, he led strategic corporate finance, joint technology initiatives, and merger and acquisition opportunities, positioning the company as a market leader.

Terry has shared his wisdom with community organizations since 1995, including as a campaign member with Arts Umbrella, for which he has meaningfully advanced organizational, fundraising, and building development initiatives. In 2015, he received Arts Umbrella’s Community Achievement Award for his family’s significant contributions.

“From the expertise he brought to the board of directors as a respected business leader with his forward-thinking and strategic discussions, to his dedicated leadership and support of our completed expansion project, Terry works tirelessly to improve Covenant House Vancouver’s ability to serve young people with unconditional love and absolute respect.”

– Allan Seckel, Board Chair, Covenant House Vancouver

Anne MacdonaldAnne Macdonald, FCPA, FCA

Anne is a senior lecturer in the accounting discipline at SFU’s Beedie School of Business. An impeccable and enthusiastic educator who has taught almost every course in the accounting concentration multiple times, she has had a singularly positive impact on SFU Beedie and its students. Remarkably, she has taught approximately two out of every three SFU Beedie graduates since 2004. And for most of her tenure, she has been named to SFU Beedie’s Teaching Honour Roll, which recognizes faculty in the top 10% of all instructors.

Anne has strengthened more than 10 SFU boards and committees, including as chair of the SFU Beedie Teaching Effectiveness Committee. She’s widely respected by peers for her range, diversity, and depth of contributions to the accounting field and for continually sharing her time, energy, and resources with students and SFU Beedie. She also offers a well-rounded perspective, with teaching experience in universities in Hong Kong and China (1991-1997) and in public practice at KPMG (1984-1990).

Anne works tirelessly to advance the profession. Since 2002, she has provided coaching and student support for case competitions such as JDC West—helping young people strengthen their business and academic skills.

“Anne has not only positively impacted an incredible number of students, but she has also inspired them with a love of accounting.”

Ujwal Kayande, Dean, Beedie School of Business, Simon Fraser University

Michael (Mike) MacdonellMichael (Mike) Macdonell, FCPA, FCA

Mike is a pioneering force in public governance, serving as the City of Vancouver’s inaugural Auditor General since 2021.

He is widely esteemed for making outstanding contributions that move organizations forward. While providing advisory services to the Auditor General for Local Government on technical and engagement quality control review (2013-2021), he ensured success in the completion of audits and in the creation of best practice resources; enabled performance improvements; and developed and delivered critical skills and training courses. As a business advisor to MNP LLP (2013-2018), he drove expansion into new markets and areas of practice.

Within the Office of the Auditor General of BC (1990-2013), Mike progressed to Assistant Auditor General in 2011. His leadership included innovating agile micro-audits, advancing budgeting and performance reporting, and bolstering transparency, collaboration, effective communication, and external relations.

For over a decade, Mike has made generous and strategic contributions to the profession, including as first vice-chair with CPABC’s Victoria/Southern Vancouver Island Chapter (2015-2021), as a member of CPABC’s Public Practice Committee, and as a board member and treasurer with his legacy organization.

He also generously lends his expertise to the community, including through more than 20 years of service with United Way Southern Vancouver Island.

“As board chair, Mike stood out by setting an example in the critical area of community impact and in direct fundraising. His sage counsel on fiduciary issues proved highly beneficial, as did his generous community work and excellent leadership.”

Mark Breslauer, Past CEO, United Way Southern Vancouver Island

Lifetime Achievement Award

The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes the exceptional dedication and commitment and the extraordinary contribution of those members who have received their Fellowship and continue to make significant achievements in a broad range of areas.

Helen LiuEric Watt, FCPA, FCA

Highly respected for his integrity as a leader and skills as an advisor, Eric is chair of the Independent Review Committee and an asset manager at Leith Wheeler Investment Counsel, where he directs annual reporting to security holders on conflict of interest matters and the self-assessment of the committee’s conduct.

Previously, Eric was senior audit partner, financial services, with KPMG (1986-2012). He was instrumental in establishing KPMG’s inaugural Vancouver-based financial services practice, led its asset management and insurance practices, and served as a renowned expert for asset managers, mutual funds, insurance companies, and brokers. Eric began his career with KPMG predecessor Ernst & Whinney in 1977, and served clients from its Vancouver, Calgary, and New York offices.

As a director with his provincial legacy body (2011-2015), Eric was key to the success of its Joint Investment Policy Task Force. He was elected to Fellowship in 2014 and continues to enthusiastically advocate for the profession.

An extraordinary volunteer, Eric has made impactful contributions to manifold areas of his community for over three decades. He has strengthened the financial health and operating abilities of numerous BC not-for-profits, including Arts Umbrella Foundation, where—as founding trustee and treasurer (1991-present)—he has been instrumental in establishing a sustainable funding base. As chair of the Chor Leoni Foundation (2020-present), he has led its strategic growth. And as a director with the VSO School of Music (2013-2020), he established financial frameworks to streamline operations. Eric has also been instrumental in the success of the Rick Hansen Foundation (as treasurer), Knowledge Network (as director), and Vancouver Foundation (as chair of the Finance and Audit Committee). In the latter role, Eric led the growth of Vancouver Foundation’s endowment to over $1 billion, boosting its ability to provide vital grants supporting the local community.

“Eric has created a lasting legacy which will provide support to charities in British Columbia for generations to come.”

– Kevin McCort, President and CEO, Vancouver Foundation

“Eric has developed a reputation for being one of the best to provide guidance to organizations like ours. While his generosity is abundant, it is also clear that it comes from a deep desire to make an impact on the community and organizations that he loves.”

Stash Bylicki, Executive Director, Chor Leoni

This article was originally published in the May/June 2023 issue of CPABC in Focus.

All honourees were photographed by Kent Kallberg Studios, with the exception of Kate Furber, who was photographed by Chung Chow.

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