BYOBF Network is proud to be participating in IGNITE once again at Princess Margaret Secondary School in Surrey. This will the 5th year of the conference and they are taking a holistic approach with the theme being ‘Networking 101: The Value of Relationships and Mentorships’. Students will be exposed to stories of the benefits of building a supportive network and seeking out mentors. BYOBF Network participants will join in by sharing their experiences of triumphs and struggles, and the people who helped you along the way, so that the students learn firsthand of the possibilities for the future. All it takes is a spark!
Anu Chouhan – Illustrator + Animator
Anu Chouhan is an illustrator and animator. Growing up, she always knew she wanted to pursue an artistic career and spent a lot of time learning about animation and fashion, while drawing inspiration from video games, movies, and nature. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from SFU, and Commercial Animation diploma from Capilano University. Anu is currently working as a mobile game Artist in Vancouver, while running her Instagram art page, @Anumation. Her unique, edgy, and energetic art has garnered attention on social media from major publications, celebrities, and influencers.
Babita Gill – Occupational Therapist
Babita is a Registered Occupational Therapist with the College of Occupational Therapists of British Columbia. She has a bachelors degree in Human Kinetics and a Masters of Occupational Therapy both from the University of British Columbia. After working in community practice for 3 and a half years, Babita has recently opened her own practice, BG Rehab Group. She works with individuals that have been involved in a motor vehicle accident. She provides case management and direct intervention to individuals with orthopaedic injuries, soft tissue injuries, acquired brain injury and psychosocial health concerns. In her spare time she enjoys watching and playing sports.
Bharathi Sandhu – Financial Advisor
Before joining Raymond James as a financial advisor, Bharathi worked at another financial services firm for five years, as a financial advisor.
Bharathi graduated from BCIT in 2004 with a degree in Business Administration. She additionally completed her Financial Planning Certificate in 2005. She currently holds her securities and insurance licenses. A firm believer in continuing education, Bharathi enhances her experience by committing to keeping herself up to date on changes in the industry, as well as innovation.
Bharathi takes pride in community involvement. She is currently the chair of the Fraser Valley Indo Canadian Business Association and has served there since 2009. She has also sat on the board of the esteemed Dasmesh Punjabi School board since 2008. She serves on an advisory committee to the University of the Fraser Valley as well as the City of Abbotsford, strongly demonstrating her belief in giving back to the community.
Bharathi resides in Abbotsford, BC where she grew up. She enjoys spending time with her family. When she is not working with clients, Bharathi enjoys travelling, keeping active, and connecting with the community.
Dave Bawa – Singer
Born and raised in Victoria, BC, Dave Bawa is a world fusion artist. His music is an eclectic mix of influences of Hip Hop, RnB, Soul, Bhangra and Bollywood fused with Punjabi and English lyrics. Dave Bawa has worked with a variety of artists including Rishi Rich and Harj Nagra. With perseverance and hard work he has released two albums which have received worldwide recognition. Attend this session to learn about Dave’s journey of following his passion to becoming a singer.
Jadan Claire – CEO
Jadan Claire, 27, was born and raised in Vancouver BC and is the Founder & CEO of Scout Zoo International. He has had a lifelong passion for sports and business. In 2014, he combined his two greatest passions in life to create a reliable platform to connect players with recruiters. Jadan’s commitment to sports has provided him insight into the specific qualities required to lead a successful scouting company. From a young age, Jadan gained exposure to the business industry through working for his father’s company. As the founder of Scout Zoo, Jadan’s business philosophy entails implementing a platform allowing players and recruiters to connect professionally and personally.
Jasmine Garcha – Registered Holistic Nutritionist
Jasmine Garcha is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, a Health and Lifestyle Blogger and the founder of Holistic Jazz. She is passionate about creating awareness and educating others on thriving through a holistic lifestyle. Jasmine is an intuitive and expressive storyteller who utilizes her true, raw and authentic story to empower others. She is also a holistic health enthusiast, smoothie bowl addict, sports fanatic, adventure seeker and world-wide traveler!
Jasmine Garcha completed her Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree with a major in Psychology and extended minor in Criminology at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby. Jasmine has worked with several non-profit organizations in the area of youth work, community safety, volunteer management, event and program planning. Jasmine is passionate about helping others and is an advocate for at-risk youth, cancer research and mental health. She is very active in the community at large as an avid volunteer and community activist.
After hitting rock bottom with her health, Jasmine returned to school to become a Registered Holistic Nutritionist. Jasmine is the founder of Holistic Jazz, a platform dedicated to raising awareness about chronic illnesses, mental health and holistic wellness. Jasmine is an intuitive storyteller who shares her personal trials and tribulations of battling mental health and chronic health issues. She talks about her own career exploration journey through volunteering, mentorship and travelling.
Kim Trehan – Event Planner
Kanwalpreet (known as Kim) is the Founder and Lead Planner of The Soiree Company, a Vancouver-based wedding and event services company, and Savvy Professionals, a Vancouver-based digital marketing and virtual admin support company. She is also the digital editor for Aaarzu Magazine.
Kiran Dhaliwal – Lawyer
Kiran K. Dhaliwal obtained her Bachelor of Science, with honours in Biochemistry, in 1999. Ms. Dhaliwal attended law school at the University of British Columbia where she obtained her law degree in 2003. Ms. Dhaliwal was called to the British Columbia Bar in 2004.
Prior to joining Somers and Company in 2014 Ms. Dhaliwal worked at a law firm in the Fraser Valley practicing in the area of plaintiff personal injury. At Somers and Company Ms. Dhaliwal’s practice has been primarily insurance defence law. Ms. Dhaliwal has had experience in both the Provincial Court and Supreme Courts of British Columbia.
Outside of work, Ms. Dhaliwal is actively involved in her community through her work with arts and culture organizations as the Chair of the Vancouver International Bhangra Celebration, Treasurer of the Canada India Education Society and Prize Chair of the Dhahan Prize for Punjabi Literature.
Kirn Gill – Contemporary Artist
Kirn Gill is a contemporary artist. Kirn paints landscapes and florals in acrylic and Mixed Media. Kirn’s paintings can be found at Kizmit Gift gallery in Fort Langley and Kyubu Market in Vancouver.
Kirn has been commissioned by customers from all over North America. She has worked with Interior Designers to create pieces for their projects. She is a member of Thrive Mastermind which is a group of professional women artists.
Kuljit Sandhu – Lawyer
Kuljit K. Sandhu has been practicing law since 2005. Kuljit has strong ties to the community, having grown up and attending school in Surrey. Her desire for law came early in life after taking a Law 12 class in High School and she has never looked back.
She completed her undergraduate degree at Simon Fraser University, and then traveled east to the University of New Brunswick to pursue law. Kuljit practices exclusively in litigation matters with a focus on family law, personal injury and general civil litigation. After working for a traditional law firm for several years, Kuljit decided to start her own practice in 2013 when she opened Excel Law. Being her own boss has helped Kuljit pursue various areas of law but also ensure she maintains a good work and life balance.
Outside of law, Kuljit is a mother of two very active children that keep her on the soccer field and in ice rinks during her down-time.
Manpreet Dhillon – Executive Coach + HR Strategist + Management Consultant
Manpreet Dhillon, founder of Veza Community is an acclaimed Executive Coach, Management Consultant, Human Resources Strategist, Professional Speaker and Published Author. She brings over 15 years of leadership and community development expertise to the table and her experience spans program development and strategy implementation, Governance and Organizational Management, Small & Medium Business Consulting, and much more.
As sought-after consultant, coach and workshop facilitator, Manpreet has provided leadership, HR and diversity training and strategy for clients like the UN affiliate: Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, City of Vancouver, University of British Columbia, Blenz Coffee, 7-Eleven, Terramera, as well as a host of tech and biotech companies, Canadian political parties, and non-profit organizations.
Veza Community offers enriching personal and professional development opportunities. These opportunities train and mentor female leaders, of various cultural backgrounds, to speak up with confidence, and contribute their unique vantage point and expertise to create positive change in the entrepreneurial, not-for-profit, government and corporate sectors they serve.
Preet Bains – Personal Trainer + Certified Nutritional Practitioner
Preet Bains is a Holistic Nutritionist and a Certified Nutritional Practitioner (CNP). To obtain this accreditation, Preet attended the Institute of Holistic Nutrition (IHN) in Vancouver, Canada. IHN is a private college that offers an intensive 1 year full-time university-level curriculum. Graduates receive a diploma in Applied Holistic Nutrition and have earned the designation of Certified Nutritional Practitioner (CNP), with full qualification to receive the Registered Nutritional Consultant Practitioner (RNCP) and Registered Orthomolecular Health Practitioner (ROHP).Along with being a Certified Nutritional Practitioner, Preet has a Sports Science degree and is an ACSM certified personal trainer, with additional training and certifications specializing in prenatal and post-natal training. Over the past 3 years, Preet has been working with clients on achieving their personal fitness goals and with her certification in a Certified Nutritional Practitioner (CNP) Preet is now offering a full rounded approach on achieving one’s overall health and wellness goals.
Preet was born and raised in Vancouver. She decided to become a nutritionist because it’s her passion to educate others on the healing power of nutrients from food and the power of emotional well-being. She realized through her own journey that the body has an innate desire to be well if you feed it right and treat it right. Preet is a firm believer that “The greatest wealth is health”. She has always had a passion for health and wellness and helping individuals live a healthy balanced lifestyle. Preet is an active member of the community and performs health seminars and group info sessions across the lower mainland. Preet loves reading and learning, loves cooking with whole foods and herbs, gardening, playing sports, working out and is getting ready to do her first half marathon this year.
Preeti Dhillon – Artist + Art Instructor
Preeti Dhillon is an artist, teacher and owner of an art studio. For the past 15 years, Preeti has been teaching both children and adults to get in touch with their artistic side. This means exploring their talents through drawing and painting. Preeti teaches in schools as a guest artist, hosts painting parties at the Neighbourhood Art Studios in South Surrey and also hosts private paint parties in the comfort of your own home. Preeti believes every person has an artist hidden inside of them and strives to provide a creative outlet to their emotions through visual arts/painting and connecting them to their creative side.
Priya Pranjivan – Professional Dancer
The road to success is always winding with a lot of ups and downs. Priya Pranjivan has gone through a lot of challenges but yet she still comes out on top fighting. She chose a career in an ever growing field and possibly one of the most challenging. Priya has performed and choreographed award winning dance routines, participated in performances with celebrities, and has represented herself as well as Canada in a one year program in India under the most famous and well known Bollywood choreographer in the world, Shiamak. She’s also taken it on herself to add to these talents which include a diploma from JCI institute of hair as well as helping teach dance to people of all ages and helping with the dance choreography of astounding weddings. To express her passion for dance she also started her own YouTube channel creating dance videos that reflects events in her life. Priya is a strong believer in not letting anything stop you from believing and making your dreams come true.
Rupi Kainth – Graphic Designer + Photographer + Interior Designer
A lover of all things creative, Rupi is a trailblazer in combining elements to deliver design solutions across many different industries. From graphics, to photography, to interiors, to fashion, to events. Her eye for detail and ear for communication is conveyed with her ventures: Karisma Home Design and Studio Orange Design + Photography. Behind the lens, Rupi conveys an evocative approach to shooting weddings, portraiture, advertising, and still life. In the residential space, Rupi breaks through industry challenges as she introduces creative approaches to new construction and interior design.
Rupi Kainth worked over 10 years in marketing and design for municipal government, while starting her entrepreneurial journey at the age of 25 by starting Studio Orange Photography. Currently, she is a single-mom, who continues her projects with her company Karisma Home Design, and Studio Orange. She is also the co-founder of Photographers Academy, where she teaches students photography.
Sharon Taggar-Sekhon – Makeup/Hair Artist, CEO Made in London Studio
Sharon graduated from Middlesex University Business school with a BA Honours in Marketing with Law in the UK. Sharon has also lived and worked in three different countries. Working firstly, as a Marketing Executive at STAR Plus in Bombay, India and then moving to Canada and working for VANOC in Vancouver.
Sharon now successfully runs an established bridal Hair and Makeup company in the lower mainland with a team of six artists. Sharon also has a training academy where she teaches her skills to budding makeup and hair artists. In this session, learn how Sharon balances being a mother and running her own business, and how she used her marketing skills to help launch her own successful personal business.
Sukhi Ghuman – Marketing & Events Manager / Photographer
Sukhi Ghuman is a community builder, connector, digital marketing consultant and lifestyle photographer. She has spent over 10 years working in various sectors of the entertainment industry, as a producer, writer, television host and reporter for Shaw Multicultural Channel and Shaw TV. Currently, Sukhi freelances as a Digital Marketing Strategist, with an emphasis on branding and social media. Sukhi also works as a Marketing and Events Manager with the University of British Columbia, and expresses her artistic side as a lifestyle photographer. Sukhi co-founded the Be Your Own Best Friend (BYOBF) Network in 2006, a networking group dedicated to empowering young girls and women. Currently, Sukhi volunteers as a Board of Director with the Roundhouse Community Arts Centre and as the Managing Director of the BYOBF Network. Sukhi also chaired the SUPER GIRL WITHIN conference for grade 9 girls in 2017, and is chairing BYOBF Network’s WE FOR SHE conference for grade 10-12 students in 2018.
Sukhi didn’t start off her career working in media or marketing. Initially, she completed her Bachelor’s of Arts and Bachelors of Education degree from the University of British Columbia and worked as a Teacher-On-Call in the Surrey School district.