Conference Speakers 2024

Keynote Speaker

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Honourable George Chow
Ministry of Citizens's Services





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Claire Anderson 
Commissioner, British Columbia and Yukon, CRTC

George Chow was elected MLA for Vancouver-Fraserview in 2017 and re-elected in October 2020. Prior to that, he served two terms on Vancouver City Council from 2005 to 2011. He is the Minister of Citizens’ Services. He previously served as the Minister of State for Trade, and assisted the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture in establishing Canada’s first Chinese Canadian Museum.

Born in China, he completed primary school in Hong Kong and settled in Vancouver in 1965. George grew up in the Downtown Eastside and attended Britannia and Gladstone Secondary Schools. He graduated from UBC in mechanical engineering in 1975 and had a 30-year career with BC Hydro in power generation.

George is a retired member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC, and a Fellow of Engineers Canada.

He also served on many community organizations as a volunteer including: the Urban Spirit Foundation, Vancouver Public Library Board, Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Vancouver, Boys and Girls Clubs of South Coast BC, Chinese Benevolent Association of Vancouver, Vancouver Chinatown Merchants Association, S.U.C.C.E.S.S., and various family associations. He was actively involved with the building of the Chinese Cultural Centre in Vancouver's Chinatown during the 1970's and 1980's.

               CRTC Update

Claire Anderson is a lawyer and a citizen of the Taku River Tlingit First Nation (TRTFN), and she has been serving as the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)’s Regional Commissioner for British Columbia and Yukon since August 2019. 

Claire has over a decade of experience working with Indigenous communities on a wide range of matters that ultimately advance reconciliation at both a community-based and governmental level, within her previous private practice at Lackowicz & Hoffman and through her work with Indigenous governments and Ontario’s Ministry of Indigenous Affairs.

Claire is the Vice Chair of the Council of Canadian Administrative Tribunals, a national non-profit organization dedicated to promoting excellence in administrative justice, and also serves as Chair of the organization’s Truth and Reconciliation Committee.

In her free time, Claire enjoys canoeing, skiing, and running on the beautiful territory of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and the Ta'an Kwäch'än Council, in her home community of Whitehorse, Yukon, and she is grateful for the privilege of living on those territories. 

Network BC Update

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Rachel Greenspan 
Executive Director, Network BC, Ministry of Citizen’s Services

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Michael J. Jeffery                     Senior Director, Connectivity Initiatives, NetworkBC Ministry of Citizens’ Services



Rachel is an expert in technology policy, programming, and digital transformation, she has over 15 years of experience as a tech manager and leader, helping companies of all sizes achieve operational and strategic growth.   

Rachel begin her BC Public Services in Aug 2021 as a Director of Regulatory & Permitting at Network BC, she has then been promoted to the Senior Director of Policy and Programs, and is now the Executive Director leading Network BC.





Michael is a seasoned technology leader with over 25 years of experience in IT, large technology infrastructure programs, and telecommunications in both private and public sector organizations, including a province wide public safety communications network and the Alberta SuperNet. After holding several senior roles with Group Telecom, Bell and with Calgary olice, Mike joined the BC Public Services as Senior Director of onnectivity Initiatives in August of 2023.

He has been a member of several provincial and national level committees and boards relating to telecommunications for first responders and mission critical services.


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Steven Koles
President & CEO - Hifi 

Steven Koles has over 25 years of operational and executive experience in technology companies. He has been involved as an executive and corporate director with a number of organizations. From 2006 to 2012, Mr. Koles was President and CEO of Hemisphere GPS where he led the company through a transformation and rebranding exercise highlighted by the divestiture of two unprofitable businesses, international expansion, two key acquisitions, two public financings, and a restructuring of manufacturing operations. Under his leadership, Hemisphere GPS achieved numerous awards including the Deloitte Green 15, Alberta Venture Fast 50, ASTech Outstanding Commercial Achievement in Science and Technology, and Branham’s Top 300 Canadian ICT companies. Steven has also served in executive management positions with Steeper Energy, AOL / Time Warner Canada, Group Telecom, and TELUS Corporation. 

Steven is a graduate from the Faculty of Business at the University of Alberta, and the Executive Management Program at the University of Western Ontario’s Richard Ivey School of Business. Steven has also received his ICD designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors through the University of Toronto and University of Calgary. 


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Mark Beland

Mark Beland is a seasoned professional with over 25 years of experience in the telecommunications industry. As the Chief Innovation Officer at the Alberta-based ISP MCSnet, Mark has been at the forefront of technological advancements, driving innovation and spearheading strategic initiatives within the company.

With a passion for cutting-edge technologies, Mark specializes in the utilization of millimetre wave technology, a revolutionary approach to wireless communication. His expertise in this field has enabled this company to stay ahead of the curve, delivering high-speed internet solutions to its customers and unlocking new opportunities in the ever-evolving telecommunications landscape.

Tacit Law

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Christian Tacit
Barrister & Solicitor, Tacit Law


Brenda Bouchette
Technical and Economics Advisor, Tacit Law


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Myles Lu 
VP of Marketing & Business Development,  Star Solutions

Drawing on over 41 years of technical, business and legal experience, Chris is the founder of
Tacit Law, a boutique law firm that provides a broad range of legal and consulting services to
clients in the information technology, communications, regulated industries, and broader
commercial and not-for profit sectors.

In addition to providing traditional legal services, Chris assists clients with strategic planning,
governance, risk management, business reviews, commercial transactions, as well as corporate
and regulatory compliance. He is also very involved in Internet governance through various
volunteer activities.


Brenda is a professional engineer with 26 years' experience in the telecommunications industry. Brenda has designed fixed and mobile networks across Canada and internationally, for large carriers and small operators. She has extensive knowledge of telecommunications network design and the business challenges facing network operators. She is also well-versed in economics and its application to the telecommunications industry.

Brenda authors submissions to ISED consultations and CRTC proceedings related to
telecommunications policy, spectrum policy, spectrum auctions, wholesale access, funding
programs, and digital connectivity, and works with clients to develop and refine positions, and
present their position effectively to regulators.

She also helps clients prepare funding applications for broadband, wireless and other
telecommunications infrastructure expansions, and also assists them in developing strategies
and tactics related to the acquisition of spectrum, including by way of spectrum auctions.
Brenda holds an undergraduate Electrical Engineering degree and a Master of Arts in

                    Star Solutions 

Myles Lu is VP of Marketing & Business Development at Star Solutions, working to enhance the success of sales and marketing activities.

Before Star Solutions, Myles supported sales and product teams in the semiconductor, telecom and energy sectors. He's been the go-to technology or marketing specialist for account teams tackling major consumer devices companies, wireless service providers, and utilities. Over the past 20 years, Myles has developed significant experience and expertise in working with customers to address technology opportunities, particularly wireless connectivity needs.  Today, he brings this knowledge to work closely with Star Solutions' new and existing customers and partners.



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Hesham Fahmy                       Chief Information Officer, TELUS


Chantal Davis                                  Sr. Director of Regulatory Polic, ISED


Omneya Issa                                        Director of Dynamic Spectrum Access, ISED        





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Keith Ponton
Telecoms & Media Cabinet Leader | Director | Sr. Practice Lead | Intelligent Systems, Arcadis






Chandan Mohapatra         Strategic Solution Sales Director, Ciena      



Jean-Francois Richard          Sales Director, IP Optical solutions, Ribbon 

Hesham Fahmy serves as the Chief Information Officer at TELUS, a leading telecommunications company. With a wealth of experience in information technology and strategic leadership,

Hesham oversees TELUS's IT operations, driving innovation and digital transformation initiatives. He is recognized for his expertise in leveraging technology to deliver exceptional customer experiences and drive business growth. With a passion for innovation and a commitment to excellence,

Hesham plays a key role in shaping TELUS's digital future..




Chantal Davis is Senior Director of Regulatory Policy at Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. In her current role, she is responsible for developing plans and policies related to spectrum use and spectrum auctions. In her over 20-year career at ISED, Chantal has been responsible for domestic and international spectrum planning, engineering and standards related to mobile communications including broadband commercial services, public safety, engineering practices for interference management and land mobile radio.

She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Ottawa. 


Omneya Issa is the Director of Dynamic Spectrum Access at Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) Canada. In her current role, she is responsible for developing policies that support automated spectrum management and alternative forms of spectrum allocation, addressing growing demand from a variety of stakeholders, including rural providers and innovators outside the traditional mobile industry.

Previously, she was Section Head of Business Strategies for future Information Capabilities with the Department of National Defence. She was also Manager at Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada, responsible for public safety spectrum planning. Earlier, she was a Senior Research Scientist with Communications Research Centre (CRC) Canada, where she led CRC Multimedia Communications Team and initiatives for e‚cient use of spectrum. She also worked in the private sector where she conducted research and development on multimedia applications for wireless and mobile technologies for main Canadian operators and manufacturers.

She has authored many academic and position papers, served in the review and organizing committees of several renowned international journals and conferences, and authored ITU-T contributions. She is a senior member of IEEE and member of ATSC, ITU, and European Alliance of Innovation. She holds a BSc and MSc in Computer Engineering and Ph.D. degree in Telecommunications from INRS-EMT, Montreal, QC, Canada.



Keith is an experienced senior executive and currently leads Arcadis’ Broadband Consulting and Managed Services practice (Woven Smart Arcadis Solutions), which is part of the new Arcadis Intelligence Global Brand Asset. 

Keith is a seasoned telecommunications veteran with over 30 years of telecommunications and information communication technology experience across engineering, sales, product management, marketing, and executive level management functions. He has worked with vendors, developing strategic plans based on needs assessments, devising strategies for monetizing technology investments; services and product differentiation through market analysis and competitive positioning; business model development; risk mitigation and contingency planning; vendor selection and contract negotiations. He has played a significant role in the engineering, design and business management/leadership of one of the largest public/private networks to be implemented in North America, the Alberta SuperNet. He has been responsible for managing large capital infrastructure programs, spanning over $100M/year across Canada and has provided Canadian municipalities strategic guidance and reviews of CRTC decisions relating to local and wholesale telecommunications competition and Internet as a basic service. Keith has been quoted by IT Business magazine and has given several public interviews on the strategy of using fixed wireless as a broadband deployment strategy and holds a government of Canada secret level security clearance and has acted as the Lead Communications Infrastructure Consultant on critical infrastructure such as ports of entry, bridges, tunnels, and intelligent transportation networks.


Chandan is a Director at Ciena’s Strategic Solution Sales Organization, that reports to the CTO of Americas. Having spent more than 15 years in the industry, he serves as a subject matter expert (SME) to Ciena’s customers & Account teams on  Ciena’s Routing & Switching solutions.







Presentation Topic - The Intelligent Middle Mile

Details:  Jean-Francois will cover trends in IP and Optical networking evolution leading to the sweet spot between enabling flexible and future proof capabilities and cost effectiveness

Jean-Francois is a Sales Director responsible for Ribbon's IP and Optical solution sales in Canada. Jean-Francois has ~30 years of telecommunication experience having worked at Nortel, Ericsson, EXFO and ADTRAN with a focus on solution sales to service providers, utilities and NRENs. Areas of interest include automation, customer experience, service assurance and open/interoperable solutions. JF is based in Montreal with his family and enjoys sports and renovations as a hobby.  


                                                                                       TDL Gentek

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Vardin Amiri                              Senior Sales Engineer, Tarana

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Jon Paul (JP) Janze ​​​     ​​​​   Managing Director, BC Operations, Beanfield Technologies Inc. 

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Jeremy Austin                               Senior Product Manager, Preseem 

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Marie-Eve Poulin                          Business Development Manager, Connect 

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Tom Maguire                                VP, Sales MaxCom

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Keyur Thakkar                              
Sales Executive B2B (Western Canada), TP-Link


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 Eustace Orukpe                      Senior Sales Engineer (CCIE, OCI Certified Engineer) TP- Link

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Tom Samplonius                          Secretary, VANIX

Presentation Topic - Commercial Deployments with ngFWA 

Vardin Amiri is a highly seasoned technical sales engineer with more than 24 years of experience in the Wireless industry. He has worked for manufacturers of Point-to-Point, Point-to-MultiPoint wireless solution, built on proprietary and standard based technologies, such as LTE and 802.11xx chipsets.



                 Beanfield Technologies

Jon Paul is an accomplished, results-driven, hands-on executive with 20+ years of progressive entrepreneurial experience with start-ups and mid-size organizations in the technology industry.  

As managing director of BC Operations, JP is responsible for the strategic planning, growth and expansion of Beanfield operations in Western Canada. Prior to his role with Beanfield JP was CEO of Burnaby BC based Urban Communications Inc which was acquired by Beanfield in 2022.  

Jon Paul has an MBA in Digital Technology Management from Royal Roads University, a BA in Political Science from the University of British Columbia and is a past marketing chair for the Vancouver chapter of the Young Entrepreneurs Association.  



As Senior Product Manager, Jeremy is responsible for product direction in analytics with an emphasis on Fixed Wireless at Preseem. Based in Alaska, Jeremy brings over 20 years of product development and ISP/telecom/WISP network design and engineering experience to the position, including a recent role at Alaska Communications as Senior IP Network Systems Engineer. 





                    Connect Telecommunications Solutions

Marie spent the first 10 years of her career in civil construction. You could find her testing systems in Hydro power plant, doing surveying work in substations or directional drilling conduits and cables under roads and rivers in la belle province.

She found a new passion installing fibre optic cables and was recruited by AFL to manage their sales in Canada. After a short stunt at Dura-Line, she joined Connect to help customers across Canada build telecommunications networks. A firm believer that networks are not “one-size-fits-all”, Marie spends a lot of time brainstorming on how to optimize products and methods. Marie lives in Terrebonne, Qc with her german shepherd dog.  



Tom started his career with Integral Corporation, a pioneer in HDPE cable in conduit technology.  Various roles in manufacturing lead to applications engineering, and ultimately, sales, where Tom held leadership roles with CommScope, Amphenol Broadband Solutions, and Digicomm International.  For the past 5 years, Tom has been with Maxcom, where he has been working with customers on solutions for RFoG deployments, as well as RF overlays. 

Additionally, Maxcom worked to develop a device that is now used with companies doing bandwidth expansions in their cable plant, for device validation that they will support signals out to 1200 and 1800 MHz.  Tom lives in Hickory, NC with his wife Patty. 





Keyur Thakkar is an experienced Sales Executive specializing in Business-to-Business (B2B) solutions in the telecommunications industry. Currently serving as the Sales Executive for Western Canada at TP-Link, Keyur is dedicated to driving business growth and building strategic partnerships in the region.

With a strong background in sales and account management, Keyur is known for his proactive approach, excellent communication skills, and ability to deliver tailored solutions to meet clients' needs. Prior to joining TP-Link, he achieved consistent success in various sales and business development roles within the telecommunications sector.

In his current role, he is focused on driving growth, fostering innovation, and delivering exceptional value to TP-Link's clients and partners.


Eustace Orukpe is a Senior Sales Engineer at TP-Link with expertise in networking technologies. Certified as a Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) and an OCI Certified Engineer, Eustace brings extensive technical knowledge to his role. He provides clients with expert guidance and support, leveraging his background in network engineering and customer service. With a commitment to delivering exceptional service, Eustace helps clients navigate complex networking challenges and achieve their business objectives.





Tom is a 25 year veteran of the network service provider, hosting, and telecom industries. He has a specific interest in Internet interconnection, and developing BC’s Internet infrastructure for the benefit of its residents.