2016 workshops

Eric Claasen


Workshop: Income Taxes

Eric Claassen is a Partner at Claassen Certified General Accountants. He holds a Certified General Accountant designation (honours - public practice) and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Victoria. Eric’s diverse practice focuses on tax and assurance for private enterprises, non­profit organizations and individuals. Eric oversees the growth of start-up client revenues from $0 to over $1 million and manages audits of nationwide retailers in both Canada and the US. His volunteer experience includes service as treasurer on University student boards, Build 2030 Society and residential strata boards. He has recently provided input to CPA Canada for the development of the CPA education program.


Robert McLean


Workshop: Types of Investments

As an Investment Advisor with RBC Dominion Securities, Robert provides access to a comprehensive range of services to help you build and protect your wealth. A firm believer in ongoing education, Robert earned the leading industry designation of Chartered Investment Manager (CIM) which is the highest-level portfolio management credential available through the Canadian Securities Institute.

Harnessing his expert knowledge and experience, Robert develops personalized wealth management strategies for his clients. His breadth of experience, expertise and credentials help ensure sound advice, expert execution and peace of mind for clients who need solutions for broad and complex wealth management needs. His strategies encompass investment portfolio management, retirement and estate planning, insurance-based wealth protection as well as business succession.


Brendan Cooper


Workshop: Entrepreneurship

Brendan Cooper was originally hired by the Canadian Youth Business Foundation as the Facilitator for British Columbia in 2008; with a focus on reaching young entrepreneurs in rural communities via video-conferencing. The pilot project was so successful the Brock University Honours Graduate stayed on staff and is now the Senior Business Manager for British Columbia where he continues his presentations and supports young start ups across the province with various needs. More recently, Brendan made the transition to the private sector working for Paramount Refund Management as the Business Development Manager covering Western Canada. After Deloitte acquired Paramount Refund Management, Brendan became a Product Market Development Manager for Deloitte in Vancouver. An entrepreneur himself; Brendan enjoys helping these young business owners become the success they strive to be.

Matt Illich


Workshop: Stocks

As a Portfolio Manager at Richardson GMP, Matt constructs and manages investment portfolios for individuals, trusts, and institutions based on their unique needs and circumstances. He was bitten by the investment management bug at the age of 14 or so and hasn’t looked back since. After brief stints working in government and then property development, he began his investment management career in June 2007 and became a portfolio manager in 2014. Matt earned the Chartered Financial Analyst designation in 2011 and holds a Bachelors of Arts from UBC. Always happy to give back to his community, Matt currently serves as Vice Chair on the Richmond Hospital Foundation Board.


Alvin Mok


Workshop: Credit, Debt, and Student Loans

Alvin is a Senior Financial Advisor at TD Canada Trust.  He attended UBC for a Bachelor of Music Degree and later attended BCIT for a Certified Financial Planner Designation Program. During his course of study, he became employed at TD Canada Trust as a Greeter, and later on pursued a career as a Financial Advisor.  With multiple years of employment experience since a young age, Alvin is aware of the financial adversities students, youth, and young adults are facing nowadays. As a retail bank advisor, Alvin enjoys servicing clienteles by sharing his wealth of experience and knowledge, and takes passion in educating the importance of financial literacy to youth and adults alike.  Alvin was a part of the Scouts Canada Program and has been a recipient of the Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award with many hours of volunteering experience. In his spare time, Alvin loves working on his cars, working out, and reading food blogs.


Michael Atkinson


Workshop: Budgeting & Insurance

Michael Atkinson is currently the Vice President of Wealth Management at G&F Financial Group. In addition, to his role at G&F Financial Group, Michael is a part-time economics instructor at British Columbia Institute of Technology. Michael holds a Master of Business Administration from Simon Fraser University. Prior to earning his MBA he completed a BA in Economics. Michael also holds an Associate Certificate in Financial Planning from BCIT and is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP). Michael is currently working on a Masters of Science in Economic Policy through the University of London.