2023 HKCBA Annual National Conference
Hello Hong Kong: Your Gateway to Business in Asia
This half-day Conference with a Keynote Luncheon and Cocktail Reception is designed to present the latest business opportunities in Asia to Canadian companies.
Together with sponsors, supporters and multiplier partners, HKCBA will encourage and provide advice and deliverables to these companies to tap the potentials strategically. The pandemic in 2020- 2021 had greatly disrupted business activities and consumption patterns. But at the same time, certain market trends had accelerated while new trends had also emerged. In the post-COVID era, we are witnessing traditional sectors continue to be re-energized by innovative technologies. The trends fully illustrate that there are business opportunities in the new normal.
This HKCBA signature event will focus on such areas of opportunities as: Energy Transition and Environment, and success stories of Canadian companies. As these developments in Asia are further broadened and deepened by China’s 14th FiveYear Plan, the Greater Bay Area (GBA) Development and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement, the opportunities are for Canadian companies to capitalize on.
This Conference, Luncheon, and Cocktail Reception will be attended by executives from Canadian corporations, SMEs and start-ups from across Canada.
The cocktail will include an interactive game hosted by the Hong Kong Tourism Board! Experience the thrill of the Hong Kong Kahoot Quiz. Show off your expertise on Hong Kong for the chance to win an extravagant stay at The Hari Hotel. Dive into the spirit of Hong Kong, play, win, and make your next visit a luxuriously comfortable affair.
Latest Speakers Announced
Chairman and CEO, Boardwalk REIT
He was born and raised in Calgary. At age 21, he graduated from the University of Calgary with a Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering. In 1984, Sam and brother Van started and founded Boardwalk Properties Co. Ltd. He is a provider of multi family rental housing homes. His company Boardwalk went public with Boardwalk Equities Inc. in 1994. Boardwalk Equities Inc. converted into a Real Estate Investment Trust in 2004 and tirelessly strives to be Canada’s friendliest publicly listed multi-family provider where love always lives, with over 33,000 rental units representing over 28 million net rentable square feet. Sam, as Chairman and CEO, serves the Boardwalk team consisting of over 1,500 associates located in 5 provinces.
Sam is a Fellow of the Real Estate Institute (FRI) and a Certified Property Manager (CPM) and over the years has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Top 40 Under 40 award, Western Canada’s Real Estate Entrepreneur of the year award, the Pinnacle award and the Canadian Governer General, in recognition of Queen Elizebeth’s 50th Anniversary Golden Jubilee Medal and 70th Anniversay Platinum Jubilee Medal, both in recognition of public service. Sam enjoys to serve the communities less fortunate and is a Director, volunteer and supporter of the Jesus Loves You Society neighbourhood soup kitchen for homeless families, past member of the President of the University of Alberta advisory group, past member of the Queen’s School of Business Dean’s advisory board. Original board member of Calgary Homeless Foundation, first organization in Canada to adopt a 10 year plan to end homelessness, Member on the Resolve Committee to end homelessness which raised over $100M for homeless housing as part of the 10 year plan. Sam is married to Melissa and has four children.
Associate General Counsel and Legal Lead, Commercial Projects, Birchcliff Energy Ltd.
Ms. Lewicki is the Associate General Counsel and Legal Lead, Commercial Projects for Birchcliff Energy and is primarily responsible for transactional work and business development initiatives. In addition, Ms. Lewicki is the Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary for Rockies LNG, a limited partnership comprised of 10 gas producers dedicated to developing an LNG facility on Canada’s west coast, and is responsible for several key aspects of the project work being pursued by its focused commercial team.
Ms. Lewicki joined Birchcliff in 2015 as Legal Counsel, with the role expanding over time and leading to the appointment to her current role in 2021. Prior to joining Birchcliff, Ms. Lewicki was the Senior Legal Counsel at Penn West Petroleum Ltd. (now Obsidian Energy Ltd.) and an associate at Blakes LLP.
Ms. Lewicki holds a Law Degree from the University of Alberta and is a member of the Law Society of Alberta.
CEO, Kit and Ace
David has significantly impacted the retail industry and community through his involvement as an investor and board member. He has served on the Board and Governance Committee for Hypertension Canada, the Retail Leadership Committee for the Canadian Marketing Association, the Marketing Advisory Committee for the Retail Council of Canada, and currently as a Board Member and Chair of the Marketing Committee for Theatre Calgary.
He holds an MBA from the Ivey Business School at Western University. His dedication to the industry and community has been invaluable.
David Lui is an accomplished global brand and entrepreneurial leader renowned for turning brands into profitable market share leaders.
With a wealth of experience in leading public and private organizations in complex retail, digital and consumer environments, his impressive portfolio includes developing global award-winning marketing campaigns, scaling online e-commerce brands, and being named CEO of the twelfth Fastest Growing Company in Canada’s PROFIT100, First for Fastest-Growing Company in British Columbia, Canada, CIBC’s Top Job Creator in Canada, winner of the BDC Young Entrepreneur Award, and a Business in Vancouver Forty under 40. In 2022, he was also ranked 11th in the Global CEO Award.
COO, CNOOC Petroleum North America ULC
Tilak Nithiyeswaran is the Chief Operating Officer of North America. In this capacity, Tilak has oversight of the overall day-to-day business operations.
Tilak joined the company in 2014 as the Chief Information Officer and established
a business-led, operationally focused Information Technology Solutions delivery approach; that delivered reduced total cost of ownership and increased quality/effectiveness of service delivery. After experiencing major Safety and Environmental events at our Oil Sands asset, Tilak was appointed as the Vice President, Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) for the company. He was later appointed as the Vice President of the Oil Sands Business Unit. Tilak worked with the broader team to improve safety, reduce cost and established the roadmap for becoming a sustainable business. Tilak and his team’s efforts resulted in achieving positive cash flow in 2017 and profitability in 2018. In late 2018, Tilak was assigned to an expatriate role as the President and General Manager of Husky-CNOOC Madura Ltd. (HCML); an off-shore natural gas joint venture project in Indonesia, managed by CNOOC. In this role, Tilak contributed to establishing a high- performance culture that resulted in improved safety, improved reliability and a 40% increase in profits year-over-year (2018-19).
As a leader, Tilak is passionate about transforming teams into high-performance units by establishing a healthy organizational culture that deliver sustainable results.
Prior to joining the company, Tilak gained nearly 20 years of cross-industry experience in financial services, hi-tech contract manufacturing, mining and energy sectors. He has held various positions with Scotia Bank, Celestica, Teck Resources and Husky Energy.
Co-founder and CPO, Neuraura
Dr. Pierre Wijdenes graduated from the Ecole Nationale Superieure de Cognitique in Bordeaux, France, with an engineering degree specialized in Human Factors and Product Engineering. He then worked at Essilor International before completing a PhD in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Calgary. He co-founded Neuraura with Claire Dixon and Colin Dalton while going through the Creative Destruction Lab accelerator program, and subsequently raised $4M+ in funding (dilutive and non-dilutive) to further the development and testing of the company’s core technology. He is now the President and Chief Product Officer leading the product and regulatory strategy along partnership and business development activities.
Chief Strategy Officer, GRST
Frank has worked 20 years in Asia in private equity and cleantech. Born and raised in Vancouver, after his graduate degree in Transportation and Logistics from UBC, he moved to Hong Kong working for AIF Capital managing private equity investments in infrastructure and growth capital in SE Asia and India. He then joined a start-up electric 3-wheeler company Kyto Green Technologies focusing on SE Asia which led him into the world of batteries. Since 2021, he has been working with GRST (Green Renewable Sustainable Energy), a Hong Kong lithium-ion battery technology and materials company which uses water-based production to make batteries which are cleaner, cheaper, and more recyclable. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer and is now based in Vancouver with the goal of bringing this technology to the emerging North American battery supply chain.
Head of Business & Talent Attraction/Investment Promotion, Invest Hong Kong (Canada)
Christopher Chen is the Head of the Invest Hong Kong presence for Canada, responsible for driving foreign direct investment to Hong Kong. Prior to InvestHK, he was a senior fintech professional, leading growth and CX initiatives for multinational insurance and asset management companies throughout Canada, Europe, and Asia. Originally from Vancouver, he has lived and worked in Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Taiwan, The Netherlands, and Scotland.
Vice President, Business Development. SixRing Inc.
Ron Hoffmann joined Calgary-based bio industrial tech firm SixRing Inc in the fall of 2021, following more than 35 years of diverse professional experience, including leadership positions in Canada’s diplomatic service, and federal and provincial governments. As a Canadian diplomat Ron has served in six countries spanning four continents, with extensive experience in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa. His roles including Senior Trade Commissioner, Director General of Strategic Policy, Director of Defense and Security Policy, and Senior Advisor to two Canadian foreign ministers.
Ron has served as Ambassador in Afghanistan at the height of Canada’s engagement and as Ambassador in Thailand with cross accreditation to Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos. His other postings were in China, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and South Africa. Since 2014 Ron has served Alberta as Senior Representative to Asia based in Hong Kong, and then as Interim CEO and then COO of Invest Alberta tasked with standing up the corporation in its initial year and supporting several major new investments into the province, including in various energy sub-sectors. While based in Hong Kong, Ron was elected Vice Chairman of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce from 2015-2019. He is a frequent commentator and lecturer on foreign policy, international affairs and government.
Managing Director, Arbutus Grove Capital Corp
Mr. Lindsay has in excess of 30 years of experience in corporate finance, investment banking, and business development. Mr. Lindsay is the Managing Director of Arbutus Grove Capital Corp, which provides management and financial services to companies in the natural resources and renewables sectors. He was most recently the Founder, President, and CEO of Otis Gold Corp. until its sale to Excellon Resources Inc. (TSX:EXN) in 2020. In 2020, he identified, negotiated, and managed the reverse takeover process of Electric Royalties Limited (TSXV:ELEC), a company with a portfolio of 25 royalties in the battery metals sector. In 2022, as Lead Director and Chair, he led the going public process of Revolve Renewable Power Limited (TSXV:REVV), a North American developer of wind, solar and battery storage projects and operate of a portfolio of independent power production assets.
Previously, he was a Founder, CEO, and Director of Magnum Uranium Corp. until its sale to Energy Fuels Inc. (TSX: EFR) in 2009, and prior thereto was a Vice President in the Corporate Finance and Investment Banking Group at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. Mr. Lindsay was a founding Director of Malaspina Capital Ltd. and led its reverse takeover with Miranda Mining Corp., a Mexico-based gold producer that was subsequently acquired by Wheaton River Minerals in 2003. He was a Founder and CFO of Hong Kong-based OneAsia.com (Holdings) Ltd. and helped develop the business from inception through to the sale of business to Tom Group Limited in 2001 (SEHK:2383). He began his career in Hong Kong during the period from 1989 to 1991.
He is currently a Director of Excellon Resources Inc. (TSX:EXN), Revolve Renewable Power Corp (TSXV:REVV), Electric Royalties Ltd (TSXV:ELEC), VR Resources Ltd. (TSXV:VRR), and Alianza Minerals Ltd (TSXV:ANZ). Mr. Lindsay has a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) from UBC, an MBA from Dalhousie University, and is a Chartered Financial Analyst. He is the incoming Chair of the Board of Governors of Crofton House School, a Past Chairman of the Family Services of Greater Vancouver and a Past National Chairman of the Hong Kong – Canada Business Association (HKCBA).
Ben Leung, President, Hong Kong-Canada Business Association (HKCBA) Calgary Section and Executive Director, Chief Financial Officer, Insignia Energy Ltd
Cindy Ho, Conference Co-Chair and Partner, DS Lawyers Canada
Emily Mo, Conference Hon. Chair and Director, Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (Toronto) (HKETO)
Liying Zhao, Consul General of the People's Republic of China in Calgary
Rachael Bedlington, Consul General of Canada in Hong Kong and Macao
Andrew Yui, Director, Canada, Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC)
Alexandria Sham, Vice Chair, Federation of Hong Kong Business Associations Worldwide (FHKBAW)
Meet our Partners and Sponsors
Get in touch with us to build custom sponsorship program and stay connected with your audience throughout the year with our year-round events.
Greetings - President, HKCBA (Calgary) sponsor: