BCB MayJune 2022_LR

With a mission to inform, empower, celebrate and advocate for British Columbia's current and aspiring business leaders, BCBusiness go behind the headlines and bring readers face to face with the key issues and people driving business in B.C.

Issue link: http://digital.canadawide.com/i/1468031

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MAY/JUNE 2022 BCBUSINESS 21 BCBUSINESS.CA W I N N E R PEPITA ELENA MCKEE F O U N D E R A N D C E O , I M P A C T R E S O L U T I O N S A s a teenager in the 1990s, Pepita Elena McKee dropped out of high school and ran away from home. Now CEO of consulting firm Impact Resolutions, she describes that escape as her way to deal with racism, hatred and bigotry. "To be told by teachers, You're not white enough to be in the school play, to be physi- cally violated and yelled at and told you're stupid, these are stories you hear about, but I get it," says McKee, who was born in Vietnam and grew up on the Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island. "Looking back, I can only describe that time in my life as taking a lot of pain and hate and turning it into purpose." McKee, whose clients in- clude the Northern Forestry Centre, the Sunshine Coast Regional District and the Saik'uz First Nation, calls Impact Resolutions a "human environment" company that of- fers social risk and impact strat- egies. For example, it provides All Nations Outreach Society, whose mission is to help Indig- enous people suffering from intergenerational trauma, with services ranging from research to fundraising. The project's partners and volunteers share resources to ensure that sus- tainable and culturally appro- priate support is available. When McKee left high school and hitchhiked across the Yukon and the Northwest Territories, working odd jobs, she had more questions than answers about Indigenous Peoples and their relationship with the Canadian government: "These are areas with no run- ning water, no electricity, high rates of poverty. I was like, I'm in Canada?" That experience inspired her research methods, which involve living with communi- ties to understand policy R U N N E R - U P JEANETTE JACKSON C E O , F O R E S I G H T C L E A N T E C H A C C E L E R A T O R C E N T R E SERIAL ENTREPRENEUR Jeanette Jackson has always cared about the planet. One night at the dinner table, she argued with her father over a can, she recalls. "I was like, Whoa, I can't believe you didn't recycle! He very quickly learned to." Born in Peterborough, Ontario, Jackson moved to B.C. at age 12. Fresh out of SFU, where she earned a BBA in marketing and international business, she launched a clean technology startup in 2014. The company, which closed $7.5 million in funding, helped speed up the shift from incandescent to LED light bulbs by enabling consumer-standard control over the latter's colour and brightness. Today, Jackson is CEO of Port Coquitlam-headquartered cleantech accelerator Foresight CAC. The organization sup- ports cleantech businesses across the country, works with in- dustry and buyers to get technologies to market, and ensures that private capital, academia and government all play a role in the transition to net zero. When Jackson joined Foresight in 2018, it only had two staff. "Now we're supporting 300 companies with just under 30 team members and have a pretty robust mentor network of over 150," she says. Jackson also points to Foresight's Scale-up Program for later-stage cleantech businesses. "In just two years, we supported 30 companies, and they secured $450 million in capital, $250 million in revenue and created 600 green jobs," she says. "If that's not a huge win for the province, I don't know what is." Jackson does 80 to 120 speaking engagements a year on climate and sustainability. "I feel like we need to do more to solve the climate crisis, and that's what keeps me up at night and keeps me waking up loving the work that we do here." –R.R. implementation in practice. From 2006 to 2012, McKee travelled to and from the Philippines, residing in two communities that had been involuntarily resettled in the wake of a hydro development project. During that time, she did a master's in sociology and anthropology at SFU. Before launching Burnaby-based Impact Resolutions in 2016, she helped create socioeco- nomic impact assessments for liquefied natural gas and other infrastructure projects in B.C. McKee continues to focus on community impact through her own company, leading a team 34 whose lived experience spans some 100 First Nations here and across the country. They're engaging the public and private sectors, Indigenous governments, nonprofits and academic institutions to answer the same questions she had as a teenager. –R.R. COMMUNITY BUILDER WOMEN YEAR OF THE 2 0 2 2

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