CanCham Thailand

Board Members of 2019/2020

Seated from L to R: John Casella, David Beckstead, Surachit Chanovan, John Stevens, Caroline Kwan, and Ron Livingston
Standing from L to R: Rajiv Parrab, Dean Outerson, Derek van Pelt, Dan McKay, and Natasak Rodjanapiches


Board Members

Executive

 

John Stevens, President
Managing Partner, Stonelotus Ventures

John Stevens is a Canadian entrepreneur living in Bangkok with business interests in Asia Pacific. John is Managing Partner of Stonelotus Ventures – which provides angel investment and strategic support to early stage businesses in Southeast Asia. Since 2011, the group has funded and provides ongoing management support for several investee companies. John’s key areas of expertise include deal origination, fundraising, strategy, marketing and investor relations.

 

Formerly, John was Founder and Managing Director of Rabbit Rewards – the loyalty and membership program for Rabbit Card – Thailand’s leading mass transit and retail smartcard under BTS Group.

 

Prior to Rabbit Rewards, John was Founder and MD of POV Media Group – a leading media company headquartered in Thailand which operates one of the largest digital out of home advertising networks in the country. John sold POV to VGI Global Media PCL in 2009.

 

John is a Vancouverite by birth and is a graduate of the University of British Columbia. He later attended the Asia Pacific Management Cooperative Program at Capilano College which led to his post-graduate degree and internship at the Embassy of Canada in Bangkok.

 

John has served on the board of the Thai-Canadian Chamber of Commerce from 1999 to 2005 and from 2010 to present. He has been awarded Entrepreneur of the Year and is active in organizing several Chamber events and leading a number of marketing initiatives.

Caroline Kwan, Vice President

Vice President

After over 20 years of specialization in Start-up operations, Aviation expertise, Marketing, Investment and Customer Service principles, Caroline joined the MBMG’s Corporate Solutions team to provide corporate advice, investment advice and facilitates strategic business transactions on behalf of a wide range of clients in South-East Asia and further field.
 
Her career history includes practical knowledge at identifying and capturing new business opportunities, sales & marketing, contract negotiation and project management.
 
Notable achievements include successfully started-up new operations for a then US Fortune 500 company at Macau International Airport – Passenger Service Operations as well as setting up the first Asia Pacific office in Hong Kong for the world’s largest philatelic agency with headquarters in New York and formulated marketing strategies to promote public interest in postage stamps and other philatelic products issued on behalf of more than 70 countries around the world.
 
Caroline was born in the UK, grew up in Canada (Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto). She studied and worked in the United States before being dispatched as an expatriate to Macau and Hong Kong.

 

DEREK VAN PELT, VICE PRESIDENT

Partner, Stonelotus Ventures

Canadian-born entrepreneur Derek van Pelt is currently Partner of both Stonelotus Ventures and Smiling Albino Co, Ltd. Having originally arrived in Thailand to work for the Thai Royal Family at Chitralada Palace School, Derek’s entrepreneurial spirit kept him here and led him to work with and invest in a variety of companies in Thailand and the region. Derek has now lived in Thailand for more than 20 years, of which he has served as Vice President on CanCham’s Board of Directors for nine. 

 

Before joining Stonelotus and Smiling Albino, Derek founded DATCorp – a trading and export company responsible for business setup, sourcing, purchasing and logistics from Thailand, Hong Kong and Taiwan to North America and Europe. Five years later, in 2008, Derek also founded Siam Wheels – a motorcycle club aimed at providing members the benefits of bike ownership without the hassle. Prior to his entrepreneurial ventures, Derek also worked with online companies TravelGuide.com and EWIT Co., Ltd. in business and online development roles.

 

 

Dan Mckay, Treasurer

Director, Stonelotus Ventures

Beginning in 1998, Dan McKay spent 10 years in Thailand with the Churchill Pryce Group working in corporate financial advisory, with a focus on debt restructuring and boutique M&A. He managed a team of 30 advisory staff (ex-patriots & Thai nationals), completing financial restructures carrying over USD 625 million of debt. Industries covered included: petroleum, property development, manufacturing, agriculture, and media.

 

After returning to Canada with SGS for 7 years, Dan returned to Thailand to focus on investing in, and working with, early-stage businesses. As a director of Stonelotus Ventures, Dan assists businesses in raising capital, setting strategy, and implementing business management systems.

 

Since 2000 Dan has been actively involved as an advisor with Thammasat University’s Masters in International Marketing (MIM) programme, mentoring graduate student teams on developing comprehensive business plans built around new products and services.

 

From his arrival in Thailand in 1998, Dan has been actively involved with CanCham and has served on the chamber board since April 2017.

David Beckstead, Secretary

Counsel, Chandler MHM

David has been a representative at CanCham Thailand for four years, and has served as a director at the chamber for the past two years. He is originally from Ottawa, but his last home in Canada was in Montreal where he attended law school. David has been in Asia for over ten years, having previously lived in Japan, Mongolia and China.

 

David is a Counsel at Chandler MHM Limited (CMHM). Prior to joining CMHM, he gained experience as a consultant at a respected international law firm in Bangkok. He regularly represents lenders and borrowers in cross-border lending in oil, gas, mining, renewable energy, and manufacturing sectors. David has also advised on numerous complex commercial transactions such as cross-border joint ventures, M&As, loan portfolio acquisitions, and greenfield infrastructure projects.

Board Members

Dean Outerson

Ambassador & Writer-in-Residence, Sasin School of Management

Dean Outerson has worked in Thailand for the past 14 years and has been in Asia since 1990, having previously worked in Japan and Indonesia. Currently, he is Ambassador & Writer-in-Residence at Sasin School of Management (Chulalongkorn University), Thailand’s first internationally accredited business school. 

 

In his previous position as Director of Publications/Managing Editor at Veritas Graphics, he worked closely for a number of years with the British Chamber of Commerce, AustCham, and the New Zealand Chamber on their publications. He has been an active member of the Rotary Club of Bangkok South since 2007 and served as President in 2018-2019. He is a writer and editor and has a keen interest in books, technology, education, literature, and history.

 

Born in Tillsonburg Ontario, his family moved to Florida when he was 10 years old, and he graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. He grew up playing hockey and soccer and is a long-suffering Toronto Maple Leafs fan and an optimistic Arsenal fan.

John Casella

Managing Partner, PKF Tax and Consulting Services (Thailand) Ltd.

Mr. John Casella has more than 27 years of professional experience in accounting, consulting and management positions for a wide range of companies and projects across S.E. Asia and North America. John is the Managing Partner at PKF Tax and Consulting Services (Thailand) Limited where he has successfully built a strong team over more than a decade providing a broad range of business solutions expertise, including: taxation compliance and tax advisory services, corporate legal due diligence and compliance services, outsourced accounting and payroll services, special accounting project support, and risk management services. 

 

As an actively licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in both USA and Canada, John works closely with PKF Audit (Thailand) Ltd., which has recently been licensed by Thailand’s SEC to carry out audits on public listed companies, allowing PKF Thailand to offer audit and assurance services to clients public and private, local and international, large and small, alike.

 

Previously, John spent 10 years providing corporate financial advisory services for Churchill Pryce Capital throughout SE Asia, including corporate debt restructuring, operational consulting, M&A due diligence, business valuations, etc. And before that, John worked as Operations Analyst in the corporate head-office of the Dusit Group in Bangkok. John started his career with 4 years as a financial audit for Arthur Andersen at their Canadian head-office and a year as an operational consultant with Sheraton Hotels in Toronto. John earned an Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Windsor and a Bachelor degree in Psychology from the University of Western Ontario.

 

John is also a member of the Rotary Club of Bangkok South, a member of both the Bangkok Flying Farangs ice hockey and the Mekong Cup ball hockey Hall of Fame. John is a former CanCham Thailand President and CanCham Thailand Treasurer.

Lawrence Cordes

Brand Manager, Evian, Badoit, Volvic

Lawrence has been in Thailand for over 18 year all within the Hospitality industry with 5 star Hotels such as ACCOR/Hotel Muse, SOFITEL, Six Senses Resorts and Spa’s as Food & Beverage Director along with Toscana Valley Hotels as General Manager.  After many years, Lawrence moved to Aldama Foods group of restaurants as owner’s representative overseeing day-to-day operations for 9 franchise restaurants in Thailand and Malaysia.  Most recently, he is the Brand Manager for Evian/Badoit/Volvic mineral waters through their importer Jagota Brother looking after the HoReCa industry for these mineral waters and other beverages.
 
 
Born in Richmond B.C., Lawrence grew up in one of Vancouver’s finest French eating establishments on Robson Street offering him a good jump start in his career in the hospitality business. Under his father’s tutelage and culinary schooling has provided a solid base to learn important hospitality management skills, customer service, empathy and other traits at an early age. Lawrence has a son, Luc 11 and daughter Celicia 13 and is in love with Doctor Fuangwong.

 

Natasak Rodjanapiches

Senior Advisor, KPMG Phoomchai Business Advisory, Ltd.

Natasak is a Senior Advisor to KPMG Phoomchai Business Advisory, and Vice Chairman of Digital & E-Commerce at the Board Of Trade of Thailand.  He is also an Independent Director at CIMB Thai Bank Public Company Limited. 

 

Prior to joining KPMG, he was the Managing Director of Oracle Corporations (Thailand) for more than 20 years with three years  dual responsibilities as Regional Managing Director covering ASEAN countries including Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan and their related countries. He graduated from McGill University with Bachelor in Mathematics and Computer Science; and  a Master of Applied Sciences from University of Waterloo, Canada.

Rajiv Parrab

CEO and Director, A & II (Thailand) Co., Ltd.

Rajiv is the CEO and Director of A & II (Thailand) Co Ltd. The company focuses on Digital Transformation and E Business strategies. He is based in Thailand.

 

Rajiv has worked within the IT&T industry (including IBM Canada), in various industry and government sectors and brings to the company experiences gained over the last 40+ years. Senior executive positions have included strategy, operations, services, business development (including channels), sales, marketing, international product development and consultancy positions.

 

Past roles have included CEO and Managing Director roles within the Consolidated Press Holdings Group of Companies (CPH) in Australia, CEO / MD of various companies, including global entities and regional company(s) in both ANZ, Asia, Middle East, North America and Europe Rajiv holds an Electrical Engineering degree from the University of Waterloo, Canada and has participated in Finance and Accounting studies in Canada.

 

Ron Livingston

President & CEO, International Environmental Management Co. Ltd.

Ron Livingston has more than 30 years of professional experience in the management of natural resources. He holds a B.Sc. and a Masters Degree in Natural Resource Management from the University of Manitoba.

 

Mr. Livingston is currently the President and Chief Executive Officer of International Environmental Management, which has offices in Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar. Mr. Livingston is also Chairman of Oxigon, a software company that specializes in Health Care and Banking Solutions. Mr. Livingston is a former Vice-Chairman and Director of the Board of Trade of Thailand and a past president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Thailand. Mr. Livingston has served on the CanCham Board for the past 25 years. Mr. Livingston is currently the Vice-Chairman of the Joint Foreign Chamber of Commerce.

 

Before coming to Thailand, Mr. Livingston was an ADM/Director of the Department of Renewable Resources and Environment with the Government of the Northwest Territories. Mr. Livingston has a daughter (Grace) and son (David) who are now Graduates of UBC in Vancouver. Mr. Livingston is a Master in Taekwondo and a Rotarian. Mr. Livingston is a strong supporter of sustainable development and the promotion of Canadian business in SE Asia.

 

Sunny Patel

Managing Director, Trends Digital Ltd

Sunny is originally from Montreal, Canada and attended University of Western Ontario (UWO) in London, Ontario with a BA (Honors) in Philosophy, MBA from INSEAD, and CFA designation.
 
After working in Toronto, Canada for Towers Perrin (now Towers Watson), Sunny attended INSEAD full time MBA and graduated in July 2005. He subsequently moved to London, UK where he worked at Global Asset Management (GAM) in the Hedge Fund / Long Only / Fund of Funds group. He also enrolled in summer program at Peking University in Beijing in 2010 and holds a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation and executive courses with MIT in IOT and AI / Machine Learning for Business & Strategy.
 
Sunny is a member of the Forbes Agency Council and the Intel Innovator Program.

 

Surachit (Art) Chanovan

Managing Director, SuccessCanada.org

As an active member of the Chamber’s Education Sector, Mr. Surachit (Art) Chanovan has been a strong advocate of quality education for Thai students and served as the Country Director of CANCHAM THAILAND member company, Canadian Education Centre Network (CECN) – Thailand Branch from April 25, 2002 until the network’s global closure in January 2010. He served as a CANCHAM THAILAND Board Director from May 2002 to March 2003 and continued as a Board Advisor until 2012 before rejoining as board director in 2013 until present. Mr. Chanovan received the CANCHAM THAILAND’s Business Excellence Award in the “Best Canada-Thai Linkages” Category in 2003 for his efforts in promoting Canadian as education destination. Most recently, Mr. Chanovan became the Managing Director of “SuccessCanada.org” from February 1, 2010 to the present. Like CECN, his new entity is the continuation of his excellent job in promoting Canadian education to Thai students working in alliance with his former colleagues from various countries in Asia.
 
In promoting the Canadian education sector, Mr Chanovan has led and/or supported annual Canadian education fairs, annual secondary school /post-secondary forums, information sessions for schools throughout Bangkok & upcountry, college/university events and student/agent seminars. He has also provided education/travel counseling to various Thai students, parents and local school counselors and provided linkages to various Canadian institutions’ websites for the benefit of Thai public.
 
Mr. Chanovan, a US graduate has acquired extensive business competencies in the fields of communications, education, international relations, travel, and transportation. His career path has included work assignments as Regional Manager, Asia Pacific of Amadeus, and as Country Manager Thailand of Air New Zealand, a leading Asia Pacific Airlines etc.