Our staff

Our team is driven by your success. Nothing gives us greater pleasure than seeing your business idea come to life. We’re proud to be part of your entrepreneurial journey, and providing the best resources available to help make your startup successful. Meet our small, but mighty team.

Headshot of Gord Sawatzky

Gord Sawatzky

Executive Director

gord@businesslink.ca

Gord provides his team with solid leadership having held management roles in a number of private, public and non-profit organizations. He is excited to work with the Business Link team to fulfill the vision of becoming Alberta's hub for small business and entrepreneurs.

In his spare time Gord enjoys reading, traveling and chasing his two kids around the soccer field.

Client Services

Headshot of Suzanne Ebelher

Suzanne Ebelher

Director, Client Services

suzanne@businesslink.ca

Suzanne leads our Client Services team and brings over 15 years of experience in client services support. Her goal is to lead her team to client services excellence and to ensure every aspiring Alberta entrepreneur learns of Business Link’s amazing service offerings.

Outside of office hours, Suzanne spends time volunteering at a local humane society, practicing her amateur sommelier skills and seeking out a tee time to practice her swing. 

Headshot of David Bayda

David Bayda

Senior Business Facilitator

david@businesslink.ca

David provides leadership, works with an amazing team, and offers one-on-one advice and guidance to entrepreneurs. He has extensive knowledge in product design, marketing, tech, innovation and business development. 

David's past startup experience includes running his own handyman business.

Headshot of Jean-Jacques Mitakaro

Jean-Jacques Mitakaro

Business Facilitator (Bilingual)

jean-jacques@businesslink.ca

Jean-Jacques brings his strong business and non-profit startup and development expertise to our team, helping entrepreneurs successfully start and take their businesses to the next level.

When he’s not networking, you’ll find him volunteering his time to local and international causes, and spending time with his wife and four young sons. If there’s time left over, you’ll find him playing and coaching kids or watching his favorite sports, soccer and basketball.

Headshot of Kari Morton

Kari Morton

Business Facilitator

kari@businesslink.ca

Kari helps clients find answers to their burning business and market research questions. She enjoys putting her broad range of interests and experience to work for Alberta’s entrepreneurs.

When Kari isn’t out enjoying theatre arts or exploring the world, you’ll find her with her nose in the latest novel, or volunteer teaching ESL.

Dream business: bookstore with a café/live art space, or a mobile candy store.

headshot of Meredith Perich

Meredith Perich

Business Facilitator

meredith@businesslink.ca

Meredith loves to see thriving communities, and believes small business to be at the heart of them. At Business Link, she excitedly works to support entrepreneurs, as a ‘go-to’ in helping them navigate the landscape of regulatory and licensing requirements, and providing market research support to clients. She is happy to be involved on a micro level, getting to know individuals and their own personal experiences in self-employment.

Usual weekend activities for Meredith include visiting the Farmers’ Market or taking off to enjoy the mountains. She owns a guitar, but is regrettably still really bad at playing it.

Headshot of Sheila Shand

Sheila Shand

Senior Business Advisor

sheila@businesslink.ca

For over 20 years Sheila has helped people establish self-employment by assisting them with their business plans, providing them mentoring support, and occasionally offering up creative ideas to help them secure loans to start up their businesses.

When Sheila isn’t catching up on the events involving her two adult daughters, one a professional dancer and the other in social marketing, she enjoys spending time in the great outdoors with her golden-doodle, Coco, or putting her creative talents to use by crafting up something special.

Headshot of Heidi Hoover

Heidi Hoover

Senior Business Advisor

heidi@businesslink.ca

Heidi believes innovation is what keeps the world spinning and entrepreneurship is innovation at work.  Here at Business Link, Heidi is able to fuse her extensive background in small business support programming with her dedication to helping entrepreneurs succeed. 

Heidi's passions include: writing, dancing, traveling, and encouraging those around her to fly (but not literally, she knows that would be irresponsible).  She is currently writing an autobiographical memoir, choreographing a dance series with a female empowerment focus, and working on a collection of short stories centered around her experiences living in Mexico.

Headshot of Dale Schaub

Dale Schaub

Senior Business Advisor

dale@businesslink.ca

Dale Schaub enjoys talking with and offering advice and knowledge to entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs. Having worked in a variety of industries and environments, Dale provides a diverse knowledge in sales, marketing, new product launches, new business development and training. His past startup experience includes running a modest delivery business.

When he's not working, you can most likely find Dale out camping anytime it’s not winter. He'll be happily playing cards or board games with his friends and family while discussing grand ideas and wondering when the rain is going to stop. 

Headshot of Barry Yewchuk

Barry Yewchuk

Research Advisor

barry@businesslink.ca

Barry is part of our research team, always with his eyes on the ball, finding tidbits of small business information to help clients succeed.

When he steps away from a computer (depending on the season); you will find him chasing small objects like golf balls and pucks. Barry also looks forward to finding new beaches, beers, Malbecs, and music.

heashot of Delilah Mah

Delilah Mah

Aboriginal Project Coordinator

delilah@businesslink.ca

Delilah Mah is Saulteaux, from Keeseekoose First Nation (Saskatchewan), located in Treaty 4 Territory and is honored to call Treaty 6 Territory her home.  She graduated from the University of Alberta, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education with a minor in Native Studies. Delilah’s professional work experience includes program management and development with a focus in Aboriginal community economic development.

Delilah enjoys working with the Aboriginal Business Development Services (ABDS) team as they share her strong work ethic, professionalism, and desire to help people establish their businesses. 

Headshot of Sammy Zoerb

Sammy Zoerb

Aboriginal Business Support Facilitator

sammy@businesslink.ca

Sammy enjoys being the “quarterback” of the Aboriginal Business Development Services (ABDS) team by handling the logistics and coordination of many different events. She is also excited to grow her client base by building relationships with Aboriginal entrepreneurs and providing advice and support to ensure their success.     

When she isn’t taking her kids to hockey practice and dance class, Sammy enjoys taking her family to cultural events.

headshot of Tina Lanceleve

Tina Lanceleve

Aboriginal Business Facilitator

tina@businesslink.ca

Armed with a Bachelors of Education degree, Tina has always been supportive of personal growth and development.  As a former business owner, she returned to the world of business to teach and provide support to emerging Aboriginal entrepreneurs by providing one-on-one support, facilitating workshops and building meaningful relationships in rural Northern Alberta communities.

Tina loves to travel- whether locally or to sunny destinations!  She also loves music of all genres, so on her many road trips to rural communities, she can be found practicing her singing talents out loud.

Holly Atjecoutay

Aboriginal Business Facilitator

holly@businesslink.ca

Assisting the Treaty 7 area of Southern Alberta, Holly supports Aboriginal entrepreneurs in the startup and expansion of their small businesses. She connects them to helpful resources while also providing guidance. Holly also facilitates workshops and builds meaningful relationships in both rural and urban Aboriginal communities.

In her spare time, Holly is a wife and a mother to a 4-year-old daughter, and 12 and 14-year-old step sons. She enjoys reading, writing and collecting books. She also authors a blog on Indigenous Woman’s Identity, but adores spending all the time she can with her daughter who loves to skate, dance and swim.

headshot of Wendy Muise

Wendy Muise

Business Advisor

wendy@businesslink.ca

Wendy shares a joint position with our Business Link team and Alberta Women Entrepreneurs. She has an extensive education in business with focus on strategy and leadership. She has worked in oil and gas, travel, and banking before finding her passion in the start-up space. Wendy has worked with several tech start-ups across Canada with projects spanning from health care to clean tech. In her spare time, she can usually be found listening to music, hiking, reading, running and spending quality time with her family, notably her adorable dog. 

Marketing

Headshot of Cherie Klassen

Cherie Klassen

Marketing Manager

cherie@businesslink.ca

Cherie leads the Marketing team who is responsible for developing creative ways of engaging entrepreneurs. Cherie has a true appreciation for small business, having managed a health clinic with her brother for several years. That means she understands the difference between ideological marketing strategy and real marketing practices.

When she’s not catching up on the latest digital marketing trends, she enjoys gardening and listening to her kids play their musical instruments. She’s also a bit of a coffee and craft beer aficionado, so she’s your gal to critique your tastes!

Headshot of Brittany Prout

Brittany Prout

Marketing Coordinator

brittany@businesslink.ca

Brittany is a key player on our marketing team managing all our online content and social media. Her background in communications and marketing keeps her in the social media scene, and always helping to plan our next special event.

In her downtime, Brittany enjoys writing and performing spoken word poetry and shamelessly binge-watching Netflix television shows and movies.

Administration

Headshot of Lori Todd

Lori Todd

Controller

lori@businesslink.ca

Lori has a firm grip on our company’s finance, administration, facilities, and information technology (hence the title!). Lori has extensive experience in payroll, accounting, operations, human resources and facility management, after spending 12 years as the Northern Alberta Administration Manager for an International Company based here in Edmonton.

In her home life, when she’s not collecting eggs and chasing chickens, she loves to garden, and enjoys putting her creative spin on renovation projects!

Headshot of Conan Wong

Conan Wong

IT Specialist

conan@businesslink.ca

Conan is our computer guy. He fixes and manages all the computer hardware and software at Business Link. Conan also develops new functionality for the CRM system and provides technical support for our webinars.

In his spare time Conan can be found throwing rocks down a sheet of ice or skating on frozen water, preferably outdoors. Conan enjoys keeping up with current events and monitoring the stock markets.