Fellows 2017-06-27T15:14:15-07:00


Commitment without boundaries

ACETECH’s Fellowship program is designed to recognize individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the organization. Each ACETECH Fellow has had a significant impact in moving ACETECH’s mission forward. Their commitment has fueled the vision and brought the organization to another level of excellence.

In 2005, the Fellows created the Spirit of Ole Jensen Award to recognize CEOs who have demonstrated exceptional perseverance and positive spirit in the face of great personal or business adversity.


Phil Dubois is currently the CEO of AdAmplify Corp. Previously he served as CEO for software companies providing e-commerce and sales force automation solutions. Phil served as a director of ACETECH for 7 years and as Chair for 3 ½ years from 1995 to 1998.

He was recognized as a Fellow for his contribution in helping ACETECH become financially sustainable through the development of a robust sponsorship program that continues to this day.


Paulin has over 30 years in the technology industry and currently serves as the CEO of iCompass Technologies. With strong leadership skills, he has demonstrated the ability to recruit capable managers, develop high-performing teams, and create a loyal and motivated organization.

Paulin embraces the best practices of high growth companies. In addition to his many roles as CEO, Paulin has spent countless hours as an instructor and mentor to early stage companies.

Paulin served on the ACETECH board in various capacities from 2003 – 2013 including Chair of the ACETECH Emerging conference in 2005/2006, Chair of the ACETECH Board 2006 – 2008, and as the leader of the Growth Strategy Program in 2009/2010. However, his most important contribution was the productization of the Market Validation Program (MVP), a program originally started by Ralph Turfus. Paulin worked tirelessly developing and delivering the workshop content,  the supporting online content and the learning platform to create a repeatable and scalable training program. The MVP became an industry standard across the province. To this day it is the curriculum for BCIC Venture Acceleration Programs across the province and it is now being delivered in other accelerators across Canada.


Derek assisted in organizing the first ACETECH Summit in 1993 and, shortly thereafter, was appointed ACETECH’s Executive Director, a post he held until his retirement from ACETECH in 1999. Derek was a man who worked with rapidly growing technology companies where his skills and experience could add value.

A graduate in Business from McGill University in 1954, Derek’s career has included several years with the Investment Department of the Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada in Montreal and London, England, followed by a career in venture capital, first with Canadian Enterprise Development Corp.(CED), which he helped to create, and then as founding President and CEO of Vencap Equities Alberta Ltd. in Edmonton.

While with CED, Derek was appointed President and CEO of a troubled investment, Westmills Carpets Ltd. of Calgary, which he assisted to return to profitable operations.

Derek ended his career as Principal of the Osborne Group, Canada’s leading firm of interim executives. As well as serving as a member of Science World of BC’s Equity Committee and a Partner of BC Technology Social Venture Partners.


Tom served continually as an ACETECH director from May 1993 to September 2006. But the fact that Tom was clearly the longest serving director in our history is not what earned him this recognition. Length of service is not a criteria. Nor were his many, many other valuable contributions over the years.

Tom’s exceptional contribution was conceiving and building regional ACETECH symposia outside the Lower Mainland. The first such event was ACETECH on Vancouver Island which Tom initiated in 2002.  Tom’s commitment has seen ACETECH on Vancouver Island become an annual event. Tom followed that initiative up with ACETECH in the Okanagan, another regional symposium that became an annual event.

Over and above nurturing these two regional events that brought ACETECH to many CEOs who otherwise would not have been able to benefit from our programs, Tom ensured that the regional events were sustainable by building regional boards that embraced and carried forward the ACETECH mission – “By CEOs, For CEOs”.


Ken Spencer is currently retired but is spending a considerable amount of time as a philanthropist. Previously he was General Manager of two hi-tech companies before co-founding Creo Products in 1984. Ken has served a number of boards both for profit and not for profit.

He served on the ACETECH board for a number of years and was recognized as a fellow for his contribution in starting ACETECH Early Stage, a one day conference in various cities around the province.

Dr. Spencer received an honorary doctorate from SFU in 2001. In 2011, in recognition of his work, Dr. Spencer was inducted into the Business Laureates of British Columbia Hall of Fame.


Morgan is currently the Chair of the Great Northern Way Trust which is jointly owned by UBC, SFU, BCIT and Emily Carr University and is home to the Masters in Digital Media and the new Emily Carr University. He also Chairs of Discovery Park and Responsetek and has sat on over 30 technology company boards.

Morgan was CEO of Dees Communications for twelve years which was sold to Nice Systems in 1997.

Morgan was Chair of ACETECH for three years and Director for six years. He was recognized as a Fellow for his contribution to starting ACETECH and as the founding Chair.


If there is one person that embodies ACETECH, both as a CEO that benefited from the organization, and one who helped to build it, it’s Shannon Susko, a successful tech entrepreneur and author of The Metronome Effect.

Shannon served on the ACETECH board from 2006 – 2013 and as Chair 2009/2010. Shannon is known as ACETECH’s Growth Architect. She has been a driving force in the development of ACETECH’s Growth Strategy Program, encapsulating the most practical tools and proven methods of high growth companies. She has pulled together the best thinking and research of our time and structured it all into one rhythm, or pattern of activities, that CEOs can follow day-by-day, week-by-week, and year after year to lead better, reduce uncertainty and drive profitable growth. She has since outlined this process in her book, The Metronome Effect, which is the foundation of the Growth Strategy Program. And, she’s living proof that they work, with more than twenty years’ experience building and leading successful high-growth technology companies.

Today you’ll find Shannon delivering these foundational elements in ACETECH workshops and as the facilitator and coach to a high growth ACETECH Roundtable. She also serves as an ACETECH ambassador travelling throughout North America to top tech conferences and, inviting innovative thought-leaders to the annual ACETECH Whistler Summit to share new ideas with our members.  Shannon’s contribution to ACETECH is invaluable and embodies her core purpose of helping CEOs grow through coaching and education.


David is actively engaged as a volunteer with a number of non-profit organizations. He is recognized as an ACETECH Fellow for his contributions, initially as Marketing Chair and later as Board Chair, to ACETECH’s foundational positioning “by CEO’s for CEO’s”.

David has served on boards and in advisory roles including ACETECH, Ballard Power, BC Premier’s Technology Council, Canadian Advanced Technology Association, Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association, E-Comm 911, Sierra Wireless, SMART Technologies, Social Venture Partners Vancouver and Wireless Data Forum.  He is an active volunteer and a recipient of BC Technology Industry Association’s Bill Thompson Award and Sport BC’s President’s Award.

David strives to make a difference, every day.


Ralph is an accomplished technology entrepreneur who has spent three decades in the IT sector. As an engineer/MBA, his passion is developing the marketing and sales capabilities of entrepreneurial technologists. Most recently, he was founder and CEO of Class Software.

He is a highly-regarded speaker on the topic and is a hand-on angel investor and mentor who is active with the founders of numerous next-generation technology companies emerging on Canada’s west coast.  In recognition of his business success and industry contributions he was named the B.C. Technology Industry Association’s “Person of the Year” in 2006.


Professor David Yoffie is the Max and Doris Starr Professor of International Business Administration at Harvard Business School. A member of the HBS faculty since 1981, David received his Bachelor’s degree summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Brandeis University and his Master’s and Ph.D. from Stanford.

Over the last two decades, Professor Yoffie has chaired the HBS Strategy department, the Advanced Management Program, Harvard’s Young Presidents’ Organization program, and now chairs Harvard’s World Presidents’ Organization program. From 2006-2012, he served as Senior Associate Dean and Chair of the HBS executive education programs.During his tenure, executive education revenues grew almost 75 percent, classrooms were opened in Shanghai and Mumbai, a new executive education building complex was launched, and HBS emerged the highest rated and largest business school in executive education in the world. He currently teaches competitive and corporate strategy in the Owner/President Management Program.

Professor Yoffie’s research and consulting have focused on competitive strategy, technology, and international competition. Outside of HBS, Professor Yoffie’s activities include being on the Board of Directors of Intel Corporation, HTC Corporation, Financial Engines Inc., MindTree Ltd., TiVo Inc., and the National Bureau of Economic Research. When appointed to Intel’s board in 1989, he was the youngest outside director of America’s largest 150 industrial corporations. Over the last decade, Professor Yoffie served as lead independent director of Intel, and on the boards of numerous companies, including Charles Schwab, Spotfire, and E Ink. Professor Yoffie has also lectured and consulted in more than 30 countries around the world. In addition, he has served as a member of the U.S. Department of Justice’s commission on international anti-trust.

Professor Yoffie’s writings on business strategy and technology have been widely published. Professor Yoffie is the author or editor of nine books, including Masters of Strategy: Lessons from Bill Gates, Andy Grove, and Steve Jobs for the Next Generation of CEOs and Entrepreneurs (forthcoming), co-authored with MIT Professor Michael Cusumano and Judo Strategy (Harvard Business School Press, 2001), co-authored with Mary Kwak. Judo Strategy has been translated into ten languages and explores strategic techniques for turning your competitors’ strengths to your advantage.

His other books include Competing in the Age of Digital Convergence (Harvard Business School Press, 1997), and Competing on Internet Time: Lessons from Netscape and Its Battle with Microsoft (Free Press, 1998, also co-authored with MIT Professor Michael Cusumano). BusinessWeek and named Competing on Internet Time as one of the top 10 business books of 1998. Professor Yoffie has written extensively for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Harvard Business Review, as well as numerous scholarly and managerial articles on international trade, firm strategy, and global competition in high technology industries. Professor Yoffie has published more than 100 case studies on business strategy and international management issues, which have sold more than 2,500,000 copies.

Spirit of Ole Jensen Award

In 2005, ACETECH created an award to recognize CEOs who have demonstrated exceptional perseverance and positive spirit in the face of great personal or business adversity.  This award was inspired by Ole Jensen.

Who Was Ole Jensen?

Ole Jensen was a dedicated ACETECH supporter, Board member, and longtime CEO, who had faced more than his own share of adversity in building his business. In May 2003, Ole was diagnosed with ALS, a rapidly progressive and fatal neuromuscular disease, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Throughout his two year battle with ALS, all those who supported Ole were moved by the tremendous spirit with which he faced the disease through its relentless progression. The ACETECH Fellows who visited Ole through the later stages of his struggle recommended to the ACETECH Board that a perpetual award be created to recognize his indomitable spirit and perseverance. In late January 2005, Ole was honored as the first recipient of the Spirit of Ole Jensen award. In May of that year ALS claimed Ole but for those who knew him it never claimed his spirit.


2005 – Ole Jensen
2008 – John Livingston, CEO, Absolute Software
2010 –  Howard Adam, CEO, SustaiNet Software International

Award Criteria

To qualify, the nominee must be or must have been the CEO or president of a technology or life sciences company who has demonstrated exceptional perseverance and positive spirit in the face of great personal or business adversity. Posthumous recognition is acceptable.


Nominations are to be in writing, specifically describing the individual and the fit between the circumstances and the award criteria.
Nominations are to be submitted to ACETECH’s Executive Director.


The Award recipient will receive a personal citation delivered at the annual ACETECH Summit at Whistler that takes place every year, a personal plaque, recognition on a perpetual memorial displayed at the ACETECH office, and recognition on the ACETECH website.

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