Sarah Nathanson, COO & GC, Atomic Cartoons / Thunderbird Entertainment // Board Chair
Sarah is COO, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at Thunderbird Entertainment Group, a publicly traded, Vancouver-headquartered content production and distribution company. In her various roles, she provides legal and operational support and strategy to both the production crews and the corporate team, as well as Thunderbird’s Board of Directors. With more than 17 years of experience in entertainment law, both private practice and in-house, she is a strong advocate for the cultural and economic value of Canadian content. Additionally, Sarah currently serves as treasurer on the Canadian Media Producers Association Board of Directors.
Jeanne-Marie Owens, Advisor, Phoenix Labs // Board Vice-Chair
Jeanne-Marie was the first employee at Phoenix Labs, the Vancouver-based game development studio behind the hit free-to-play action-RPG, Dauntless. She led teams in recruiting, HR, finance, legal, IT, and operations as it grew from a small start-up to a 350 person multi-national company. After the studio shipped their second game, Fae Farm, to critical acclaim in 2023, Jeanne-Marie stepped away from her role as COO and now supports the company as an advisor.
Jeanne-Marie joined the board of DigiBC in 2019, and in 2021 became lead of the DigiBC 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. 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.
, 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.
, 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.
, 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.
, 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.
, 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.
, Senior Creative Director, Unity Technologies
Lilli Wong is a Senior Creative Director with Unity Technology’s accelerate solutions design team in Vancouver. She has 20+ years of experience working in the tech sector with a hands-on approach to leading and developing innovative approaches to complex design problems for global brands. She has been a creative lead for enterprise client and internal engagements utilizing XR, immersive, mobile, campaign, and various other platforms to ideate and deliver for metaverse and digital twin solutions built in Unity. She hopes to add to the creative voice at DigiBC with her knowledge of Unity’s contributions in VFX, animation, gaming, film/video, and digital applications.
More recently, Lilli has been working behind the scenes to develop foundations for her design teams as well as strategize within the tech industry to help brands and communities to understand the future road maps of current technologies. As a woman in the tech sector, she is excited to inspire new talent, open doors to education and careers, and support our tech industry.
As the Senior Vice President, Head of Operations, EA SPORTS & RACING, Natali oversees development for Electronic Arts (EA)'s multi-billion dollar portfolio of industry-leading sports and racing franchises, which entertain and connect hundreds of millions of people. She is responsible for driving product development activities, with a strategic and operational focus, across their multidisciplinary, international team of 2500+ developers. Natali joined EA – a global leader in digital interactive entertainment – after graduating from the University of British Columbia (UBC) with a degree in Computer Science and has built her career there over the past two decades.
In addition to her contributions as a Board Director for DigiBC, Natali is also on the Board of Directors for the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade.
She is passionate about mentorship, as well as diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), and is a strong advocate for women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields – actively mentoring others through the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade's "Leaders of Tomorrow" program, as well as the UBC Computer Science Mentoring Program.
In 2022, she was recognized as one of the 500 most influential business leaders in British Columbia by Business in Vancouver.
, 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.
, CEO, Animal Logic
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 Movie, The 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, and then moved into the COO role in 2017.
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.
, Co-founder & CEO, Kano
Tim is the Co-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.