Eric Lawson

Eric Lawson is the Group Publisher for the Kootenay / Boundary region for Black Press, responsible for a dozen newspapers from Greenwood to Fernie.

He has worked in the newspaper business for 34 years, from Halifax on the East Coast to the Kootenays in the West.  He has worked in all aspects of the business, having held positions in news, advertising, distribution, and as a publisher.

Black Press News Media operates more than 170 titles, associated web sites, and digital media outlets in Canada and the United States.

Susan Green

Susan is the Business Analyst for Community Futures Boundary and has been since June 2000. This position has given her the opportunity to combine her banking, entrepreneurial skills and experience providing assistance to local businesses. Susan assists entrepreneurs with their start-up, expansion and/or maintenance needs as required.

Susan has, in her entrepreneurial past, owned and operated 5 different businesses ranging from a pair of local video stores in Grand Forks to a large Chevron Town Pantry/Gas Bar in Cranbrook. Susan is a certified Small Business Counsellor, Business Analyst and Commercial Lender She has lived in the Boundary area for over 25 years.

Susan is strong supporter of youth in business. She has mentored her son in several business ventures, from a local café that still operates, to his latest a successful video production company in Vancouver, BC.

Mike Martin

Mike Martin was elected to Trail City Council in 2014 and has served as the City’s Mayor since that time. Mike retired from his 5-year leadership role as General Manager and 40 year career at Teck Trail Operations in 2011 and has since then immersed himself in community involvement.  This is Mike’s third year as a Judge of Dragon’s Den, and each year he looks forward to seeing the innovative ideas that the leaders of our future bring forward.

Chris Bell

Chris is President and Senior Advisor at Krueckl Financial Services Inc. (KFS) in Castlegar. Chris has a strong background in business planning, investment strategies and management and worked for several years as a consultant with Columbia Basin Trust’s Basin Business Advisor Program. Chris is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Community Futures Central Kootenay in Nelson and has served on the Executive for the Castlegar Rotary Club and as a Board Member and Manager of the Castlegar Chamber of Commerce.

Joanne McQuary

Born and raised in the Kootenays and married for 30 years with 2 children, Joanne leads the team at TD Bank in Trail. With over 22 years of banking and financial management experience, Joanne is an active community volunteer, with a keen mind and genuine passion for helping people succeed.

Mike Johnstone

Mike is the Regional General Manager, Kootenays, for Vista Radio. Mike and his wife, Shana relocated to Castlegar in 2004 where his professional career kept him busy in Print, Real Estate and the Financial sectors. Outside of work, Mike is very busy, currently President of the Castlegar Rebels junior hockey team along with a lengthy history of other events and organizations that benefit the local community. Mike and his wife, have 3 kids ranging from Grade 9 to University.


Sue Kenny

GM Community Futures Peace Liard (CFPL)

A 17 year veteran with Community Futures, Sue leads her team at CFPL. Sue’s team provides business, and economic development services throughout the expansive N.E. BC region. A seasoned strategic planning facilitator, business expert and former Dawson Creek City councillor, Sue is a welcome addition to the judging panel.

Ray Proulx

Ray Proulx is a certified economic development practitioner and a long-time resident of Tumbler Ridge. Shortly following his graduation from the University of Northern BC Ray co-founded an ecotourism marketing cooperative and provided tourism business development training to Aboriginal communities in Manitoba and Northern Ontario. After serving as Tumbler Ridge’s Community Development Officer for close to 7 years he was recruited to work with Teck Coal Ltd. in 2010 and has been with them ever since.

John Powell

John has been the Director of Economic Development and Tourism at the District of Tumbler Ridge since April 2016. Previously, John was the Economic Development Officer for the District of Okanagan-Similkameen and prior to that, the Thames Strategy Coordinator for the River Thames in London, England. He joined the Community Futures Board of Directors in 2017.

John has an undergraduate degree in Countryside Planning from the University of Gloucestershire, England and a Master’s Degree in Tourism Management from the University of Westminster, London.

He and his wife reside in Tumbler Ridge with their two children and dog.

Shamir Mangalj

Shamir Mangalji is a Senior Manager at the Dawson Co-operative Union. He manages the Petroleum Department, overseas the IT Department, and is involved in Risk Management & Business Development. Shamir holds a Bachelor of Commerce undergraduate degree in Marketing & Management, and a Masters of Business Administration graduate degree. Shamir is an avid soccer fan; he still plays and coaches in his community.