Azra Lakhani

Azra Lakhani is an Aga Khan Academy graduate (2014) and is pursuing Biochemistry and Psychology at University of Victoria, British Columbia. She chose to “explore” her potential as a future biochemist at UVic as she was awarded a full scholarship ($90,000). Currently, she works as a Research Assistant at InnoTech Alberta, Vancouver Island Technology Park. InnoTech Alberta, a wholly owned subsidiary of Alberta Innovates, was established to facilitate the conversion of applied research to economic, social and environmental benefits for Alberta (although she lives on the other side of the rockies!).


Prior to joining InnoTech Alberta, Azra worked as a Research Assistant in the Division of Medical Science at UVic. She is very passionate about medical science; however, she allows herself to be inspired to explore and discover other avenues.


Not only does she like giving back to the community, but also likes to be reminded of her roots. Azra recently completed her 1-year volunteer assignment as an Administrative Portfolio Lead for Aga Khan Academies Alumni Portal, where she not only assisted with the launch of the alumni portal, but also took part in its mentorship program.


In her spare time, Azra likes to brunch, travel, and learn new languages. Currently she is self-teaching American Sign Language! She believes French should be next on the list since we live in Canada!


Azra wishes to engage with, and invites thought leaders to challenge her, converse with her, and slog through the mud with her (not literally-because that would be awful!)

Cory Landels

Cory Landels is the founder of CL Creative and Communications, a boutique creative firm offering clients graphic design, video, social media, and digital marketing solutions. He has developed a niche working with not-for-profit organizations, and is interested in the social impact that creative work can have on a community. Originally from the Island, he has returned after eight years spent working and studying in Calgary and Montreal. Cory is an active member of the tech and creative co-working community at Input Cowork, and is interested in pushing the limits of what Nanaimo represents as a city, and can achieve moving forward.

Jane Coady

Jane Coady is a Sport, Recreation and Tourism Management student at Vancouver Island University. With over 7 years of leadership experience, Ms. Coady has had the honor of working with The City of Coquitlam, SFU Summer Camps, the Gabriola Recreation Society, The Recreation Prescription Project and Pacific Sport Vancouver Island.


She can also be found across VIU as an honors student in her program, a Community Leader with VIU Residences and a senior member of the VIU Mariners Dance Team. Through her experiences both in school and the wider Nanaimo community, Jane has come to appreciate the importance of self-marketing and personal branding. She hopes to share this with aspiring leaders across Vancouver Island.

Zachary Tannar

Born and raised in Nanaimo, Zachary Tannar discovered his passion for filmmaking during high school. In his efforts to pursue filmmaking here on Vancouver Island, in 2013 he founded the Hub City Cinema Society which is a non-profit based in Nanaimo focused on providing local filmmakers opportunities to learn and network. Zach’s work with the society over the past six years has been a constant process of discovery as he’s had to explore the many different aspects of running a community organization. Through the society, he strives to inspire local indie filmmakers to reach new levels of filmmaking.

Nneka Otogbolu

Small and Medium Enterprises are the lifeline of every economy and helping to build these businesses and providing professional guidance to ensure their growth and sustainability is Nneka’s passion.


She is an MBA/MSc International Management graduate of the Vancouver Island University, where she was actively involved in activities in the community and co-curricular engagement across the campus. She led the VIU MBA Team as team captain at the MBA National Games 2017, where her team won the prestigious queen’s cup for the first time in 30years. She was also the VIU MBA Society President 2017/2018.


She is currently the Executive Director of Nanaimo Science and Sustainability Society (NS3), a non-profit organization in Nanaimo, with a mission to inspire children and develop their interest in science through hands on learning.

She is a Supermom of 3 kids and loves to cook, travel and meet new people and experience different cultures

Katelyn Peterson

Katelyn is finishing her final year of the Bachelor of Science program at Vancouver Island University. Katelyn has a strong passion for animals and she has worked in a veterinary hospital setting for seven years. Katelyn's passion for animals has cultivated to spending volunteer hours working with horses and pursuing a career in veterinary medicine or academia. She enjoys spending time exercising and often takes advantage of the beautiful scenery that Vancouver Island has to offer. Along with her interest in veterinary medicine and academia, Katelyn has a strong passion for mental health and how balance is critical in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. 

Skylar Anderson

My name is Skylar Anderson. I am a full time student at the VIU Cowichan campus, while I work two part time jobs. I value knowledge, originality, loyalty, integrity, kindness, open-mindness and above all compassion. I enjoy staying busy, no matter how overwhelming it may be sometimes. I am currently working towards my criminology diploma, then degree. After that I aim to attend law school at UVIC. I value the relationships I have with my loved ones and the experiences I have gained in life, over money any day. The biggest inspiration and support in my life is my boyfriend.

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