2012 April, Mike Brown

Mr. Mike Brown, Senior Planner, Strategic Planning will present to the Scandinavian Business Club on April 11th on the following topic:

Building a Better Airport for BC

Vancouver International Airport celebrated its 80th anniversary in 2011.  Opened in 1931, the airport included a single runway, two hangars and a small terminal that consisted of an administration building and waiting room.  Throughout the years YVR has grown and expanded into an award winning airport served by 67 airlines and connecting businesses and passengers to 119 destinations around the world.

Looking forward to the next ten years, YVR recently announced a $1.8 billion capital program.  Mike Brown will explain the global context and the local benefits of this program.

About Mike:

Airports are operating in a much more competitive environment, including Vancouver (YVR). I am currently focused on strategies to respond, for example, by building closer relationships with its customers and creating new value propositions. This is particularly true in the case of 'transborder leakage', that is, with the strong Canadian dollar many Canadians are using US border airports. The bottom-line is that Canadian airports are going to have to work harder and hustle to win these customers back.

I have also built a forecasting model to predict airport passenger traffic in any country in the world based on two simple metrics: GDP/capita and tourism arrivals. These two variables explain 87% of the difference in countries' propensity for air travel.

I am currently half-way through an Executive Certificate in Strategy and Innovation at MIT. This is a rich and rewarding program. Also, to better understand some contemporary issues I'm brushing up on my international economics through a distance course with Athabasca University.

2012 May, Peter Cowley


Peter Cowley


Peter Cowley is a Senior Vice-President and the Director of School Performance Studies at The Fraser Institute. Upon graduation from the University of British Columbia (B.Comm. 1974), Mr. Cowley accepted a marketing post with Proctor and Gamble in Toronto. He later returned to Vancouver to begin a long career in marketing and general management in the furniture manufacturing sector. During his assignments in general management, process improvement was a special focus and interest. Mr. Cowley wrote several books on education matters. He continues his research on education and related issues for The Fraser Institute. Mr Cowley has co-authored all of the Institute's annual Report Cards. Annual editions now include Report Cards on secondary schools in British Columbia, Alberta, and Quebec, as well as Report Cards on elementary schools in British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario.


2012 May, Leah Costello


Leah Costello

Writer, Film-maker and Event Host


Leah Costello is the founder of the Bon Mot Book Club, Vancouver’s most exclusive and intellectually stimulating event series, which has hosted authors including Michael Lewis, Sarah Palin, and former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. In addition to this series, she regularly hosts other authors for lunch discussions and other conversations, posting their presentations and interviews on her iTunes channel Leah Costello Online. Costello is the former Director of Events for the Fraser Institute as well as producer & host of Fraser TV.Leah moderated several similar events such as a discussion on Olympic Security Costs featuring Judge Wally Oppal and David Eby of the BC Civil Liberties Association and lively panel discussion on the HST with Sun Columnists Harvey Enchin, NDP President Moe Sahota and others.


2012 May, Jim Sinclair


Jim Sinclair

The B.C. Federation of Labour represents 500,000 workers throughout the province. Jim Sinclair was elected President of the B.C. Federation of Labour on May 14, 1999, by the Federation's governing body, its Executive Council. He was acclaimed President by Convention in 2000 and 2002 and re-elected in 2004. Jim has been an articulate and active leader in the labour movement for more than 25 years. As a staff member for the UFAWU since 1982, he was the lead negotiator in industry-wide negotiations with major fish processing companies. Prior to his work in the fishing industry. He has been active in the labour movement in BC through his participation on the B.C. Federation of Labour Executive Council and committees since the mid seventies. Jim currently sits on the Board of Directors for Working Enterprises Ltd., the Working Opportunity Fund, and BC Citizens for Public Power.


2012 November, Ben Whiting


Ben Whiting



Ben Whiting, is a Canadian from British Columbia, but he also has Swedish and Norwegian ancestry. He has worked in the Scandinavian mining industry and presented at the World Mining Forum in Stockholm and the Euro Mine 2012 in Skellefteå.




Ben is a professional geologist with over 30 years experience in the worldwide mining industry. A graduate of the University of British Columbia, he has served as an advisor for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and on the Sino-Canadian Collaborative Program in Mineral Management. He currently is the Chief Geologist for Orko Silver Corp. and Orex Minerals Inc., as well as being a Director of several publically traded companies.




For 10 years, Ben also taught as an Adjunct Professor of geological sciences and mining engineering on a dual-appointment at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. His fields of research are in exploration methodologies, ore deposits geochemistry and reserve/resource estimation.




Ben is a registered “Professional Geoscientist” with the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia (APEGBC) and the Association of Professional Geoscientists of Ontario (APGO). He is a Fellow and past-editor for the Society of Economic Geologists (SEG) and a member of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) and La Asociación de Ingenieros de Minas Metalurgistas y Geólogos de México (AIMMGM).




Ben is an “Economic Geology Award” winner from the Aaro Aho Foundation and he received the 2008 IAC “Explorer of the Year” Award for his role in the discovery of the giant silver-gold deposits of La Preciosa in Mexico.