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Board&Staff

Organization & Board of Directors


DigiBC’s Board of Directors is comprised of up to 15 industry leaders.
The Games Group (led by Jeanne-Marie Owens, Critical Path Games), Animation & VFX Group (led by Sharon Taylor), and HR Group (led by Dana Ramnarine, Rhum HR & Steph de Groot, SkyBox Labs) were formed to provide additional support for these sectors.

 

Executive Office Staff

Loc Dao (he/him), Executive Director

Loc is the co-founder of the groundbreaking NFB Digital and CBC Radio 3 studios and their industry shifting bodies of work. He has won over 100 awards including Top Digital Producer (Digi Awards), Site of the Year (Favourite Website Awards), a Cannes Cyber Lion and 15 Webby Awards. . He was recently the Chief Digital Officer for the National Film Board of Canada, and throughout his career has advised the Government of Canada, Canada Media Fund, Sundance, Tribeca, IDFA an
d VIFF Film Festivals.


Colleen Arndt (she/her), Marketing & Communications

Colleen is a highly-organized and versatile professional who has 10+ years of experience in the video game industry and event management. She got her start in 2006 when she was hired on as a production coordinator for the NFS team at EA Blackbox. That led her to joining United Front Games in 2008, starting out as a project coordinator and then moving into HR two years later. On the event front, she brings 12+ years of experience with producing, organizing and coordinating various types of events from wrap parties and networking mixers, to webinars and panel discussions. In 2017, Colleen joined DigiBC and manages marketing, membership and communications.

Kristina Lao (she/her), Partnerships & Events Manager

Kristina has 15+ years of experience in entertainment and media on both sides of the stage and screen in Hong Kong, London, Melbourne, and Vancouver. For the last nine years, she has specialized in community and industry relations in music, theatre, film and TV, implementing and developing up to 150 initiatives per year for post-secondary institutions, industry associations, film festivals and more. In 2022 and 2023, Kristina was DigiBC's Special Events Producer and Lead Producer respectively, at Signals. Kristina is passionate about fostering growth for the creative ecosystem, elevating underrepresented voices, and championing career sustainability and artistic agency through both the art of others and her own.

Roxanne Hunt (she/her), Project Administrator


Roxanne has over 10 years of experience working in a variety of roles in the creative industries. She started her career at the national public funding organization Arts Council England, and worked in communications at the British Film Institute in London. After moving to Vancouver in 2016, Roxanne joined the Digital Platforms team at the National Film Board of Canada where she was responsible for the overall administration and project coordination for the division. Roxanne joined DigiBC in 2021 and helps to coordinate Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI), as well as other strategic projects.


Sandun Dissan (he/him), Work Placement Officer, WPPP


Sandun is a talent acquisition and HR professional with a passion for the animation, VFX and video game spaces. He brings a range of industry experience and has always thrived within the tech sector where he has fostered a healthy network of connections. As DigiBC's WPO, this role will encompass all of Sandun's previous experience into a new challenge, while continuing to make a bigger footprint in the creative technology economy. Outside of work, Sandun involves himself in the entertainment and creative industries by attending workshops, events, classes and auditions.


Mithila Karnik (she/her), Work Placement Administrator, WPPP
 
With over a decade of experience in artiste management and PR in the Indian film industry, Mithila pivoted her career to project management and sales within creative tech educational institutions in BC. Her forte are student recruitment and alumni relations in animation, video games and VFX. Mithila is passionate about EDI and representation and also pursues creative writing. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering in her community in Port Coquitlam, cooking up a storm with her husband and keeping up with a precocious duet of dog and daughter.

DigiBC Board of Directors 2023-24

Jeanne-Marie Owens, Founder & COO, Critical Path Games // Board Chair

Jeanne-Marie was the first employee at Phoenix Labs, the Vancouver-based game development studio behind Dauntless and Fae Farm. She led teams in recruiting, HR, finance, legal, IT, and operations as it grew from a small start-up to a 350 person multinational company.  In 2024, she co-founded Critical Path Games, a small new game development studio with the ambitious goal of creating a new game genre.

Jeanne-Marie joined the board of DigiBC in 2019 and currently serves as the Vice-Chair as well as the lead for the Video Games Group Committee. Her efforts were critical to the development of the new Creative Technology Gallery at Science World - a project that was a co-creation of Science World, DigiBC, Phoenix Labs, other member studios, and NGX Interactive. Jeanne-Marie is a champion for diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace, and has been invited to speak internationally as a consultant and commentator on DE&I and building great teams in the games industry. In 2021, she was named to the Business in Vancouver (BIV) Forty Under 40 list.


Tim Teh, Founder & CEO, Kano // Board Vice-Chair

Tim is the Founder and CEO of Kano, a Victoria, BC-based indie game developer. Building meaningful connections through social games, Kano has reached over 30 million players worldwide. Teh attributes Kano’s success to its hyper-focus on the customer and on building a values-driven organization around amazing talent.


Lance Davis, Director, Boule Management // Board Treasurer


Lance Davis has extensive experience in the British Columbia local technology industry. Over the last 20 years, he has focused on the video game and interactive technologies sector. He has experience with the Scientific Research and Experimental Development Tax Incentive program (SR&ED), BC Interactive Digital Media Tax Credits (IDMTC), Canada Media Fund (CMF) and Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP). He has worked diligently with local, provincial and federal organizations to bring attention to the tech and gaming sector.

Coupled with extensive administrative, financial management and banking experience, Lance has held the positions of Director and Chief Financial Officer for Slant Six Games, provided Virtual CFO services for Relic Entertainment, Radical Entertainment, Totally Hip Software, Granville Entertainment Group, and Barking Dog Studios.




Karam Bayrakal, Partner, Fasken // Board Secretary


Karam is a partner at Fasken, a leading international business law and litigation firm with eight offices around the world. He practices in the corporate/commercial group where he focuses on information technology, online services, emerging technology, and intellectual property. He advises global and regional clients on the strategic, legal and commercial aspects of acquiring, transferring and developing technology, and is also involved in the related issues around cybersecurity, privacy, and confidentiality.


Alex Grimbley, Franchise Strategy Director & Executive Producer, The Coalition (Microsoft)


Alex originates from the UK where he worked for IBM in a management consultancy after graduating in Management Sciences. He now has 16 years experience working on some of the biggest gaming franchises, and moved to Vancouver in 2008 to work on the Need for Speed and FIFA franchises at Electronic Arts. He then joined The Coalition in 2016 as executive producer for publishing and live products, and recently took the role of strategy director for the Gears of War, bringing together all aspects of the brand and business to further franchise growth. In addition to product roles, Alex is the executive sponsor of the Women in Gaming group at the studio, and he is passionate about product quality and building teams that reflect the diversity of our players.


Jon Lutz, CFO/COO, House of How Games


Jon was born in London, England and attended Cambridge University where he graduated with a Master’s degree in Natural Sciences. The first two years of his career were at Proctor & Gamble in the European Health and Beauty Care division. Jon joined Electronic Arts Europe in 1998, the perfect fit for him as a video game enthusiast.

During his career at Electronic Arts, Jon has been based in London UK, Redwood Shores CA, Los Angeles CA and most recently Vancouver. Since moving here in 2006, Jon held roles as VP, CFO, EA Canada; VP, CFO, EA SPORTS; VP, CFO, EA Labels Worldwide and VP, Strategy, Ops & Finance.

Jon is the founder and Chairman of the Board for CANADA SCORES Vancouver, a not-for-profit organization that combines soccer, poetry, and service learning for at-risk children in the Lower Mainland.


Kay Wong-Alafriz, CFO, Kabam


Kay is an experienced, high integrity strategic partner bringing a broad array of finance and operations experience to bear in helping public and private companies achieve corporate objectives. She serves as the CFO, and Head of User Acquisition, Data Science & Analytics, Legal and Asset Infrastructure teams at Kabam, Inc., a subsidiary of Netmarble Corporation.

Kay is passionate about championing a collaborative, operational approach for the finance function that leverages technology and data to drive decision making. She is responsible for financial and operational leadership post-acquisition and to help set Kabam on a strong footing for continued growth. Kay's expertise includes corporate development and financing, international and cross-border expertise, regulatory and compliance, operations and risk management.  She is also an experienced board member, skilled in the dynamics of both private and publicly listed companies.



Megan Moore, Director of Technology, Walt Disney Animation Studios


Megan has been with Disney Animation for over eight years. She started with the company in 2016 after receiving a master's degree in Computer Graphics and Game Technology from the University of Pennsylvania. Megan has acted in many different roles throughout her time at Disney, starting off as a pipeline developer and then becoming an associate technical supervisor on Frozen II and Strange World.

After six years in Los Angeles, Megan moved up to Vancouver in 2022 to help grow Disney Animation's new location. Now as the Director of Technology for Vancouver office, Megan oversees the Production Technology, Infrastructure & Support ,and Platform Engineering teams.


Natali Altshuler, Chief Operating Officer, EA SPORTS, Electronic Arts


As the Chief Operating Officer for EA SPORTS global studios, Natali oversees development for Electronic Arts (EA)’s multi-billion dollar portfolio of industry-leading sports and racing franchises, including operations, technology, and creative services.

With more than 300 million fans engaged in EA SPORTS games around the world, the portfolio is a major growth center for EA. It includes EA SPORTS FC, the largest interactive sports franchise in the world, as well as EA SPORTS Madden NFL, the best-selling sports property in U.S. video game history, the EA SPORTS F1 series, as well as EA SPORTS NHL, EA SPORTS UFC, EA SPORTS PGA TOUR, EA SPORTS College Football, EA SPORTS Super Mega Baseball, and more.

A proven leader with an extensive record of driving growth, business results, and transformation at scale, Natali brings a strategic and operational focus across product development activities, technology, and their multidisciplinary, international team of 2500+ developers. With over 20 years of experience in game development, Natali joined EA SPORTS in 2003, after graduating from the University of British Columbia with a degree in Computer Science.

Natali is a strong advocate for women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields, and is an active member of the local community as a mentor with the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade’s “Leaders of Tomorrow” program, as well as the UBC Computer Science program. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors for DigiBC, she was also a former Board Director for the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade.

In both 2022 and 2023, Natali was recognized by Business in Vancouver as one of the most influential leaders in the province of British Columbia.


Sam Fisher, CEO, Hyper Hippo Entertainment


Hyper Hippo is an entertainment company connecting people around the world through fun!  Sam has overseen the growth of Hyper Hippo to include teams in Kelowna, Vancouver, and Seattle.  Hyper Hippo created the AdVenture brand, including the hit mobile games AdVenture Capitalist and AdVenture Communist. Sam lives in Kelowna, where he enjoys sports, music, and time with his family.


Sharon Taylor, Independent


Sharon joined Animal Logic in 2005 starting her career working on a number of feature film projects in a production accounting role.  In 2014, Sharon moved into the role of Group Head of Production, with projects such as The LEGO Batman MovieThe LEGO Ninjago Movie and a number of VFX projects all benefiting from her guidance and insight. 

In 2015, Animal Logic expanded its long-established animation production relationship with Warner Bros signing a three-picture deal to produce The LEGO Movie Sequel and two yet to be named animated features out of Canada.  With the opening of Animal Logic’s Vancouver studio, Sharon started as Executive Vice President and General Manager managing the overall operations of the studio, moving into the COO role in 2017, and then served as CEO from 2023-24.


Shyang Kong, Co-founder, SkyBox Labs

Shyang is a co-founder of SkyBox Labs, a game development studio based in Burnaby that is involved with some of the biggest and most recognized game franchises in the world.  He has over 25+ years in the video game industry leading product strategy, business development, and creative direction on established brands, franchises and original IP.