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CanCham Vietnam Annual General Meeting 2023

Updated: Apr 10, 2023

On March 28th 2023, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) for 2023 at Park Hyatt Saigon.

At the AGM 2023, the Chamber welcomed Mr. Bez Babakhani, Consul General of Canada in Vietnam and its members both Ordinary and Associate.

The meeting covered the Chamber's accomplishments, the Financial and Budget report, as well as some key highlights for 2022 and the plans going forward in 2023.

Finally, an election was conducted to elect eight nominees to the Board of Directors of CanCham Vietnam for the year 2023.

⭐ Meet the new Board of Directors of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce Vietnam for 2023 (in alphabetical order by first name):

- Mr. David Paillé - Head of Branch at CJ Legal Services Vietnam

David is a proud Canadian, originally from Quebec City. He is currently a lawyer and Head of Branch at CJ Legal Services Vietnam, an international law firm offering services in a wide range of immigration programs. He is a Canadian lawyer, member of the Barreau du Québec since 2011. He has also held a foreign lawyer’s license from the Vietnamese Ministry of Justice since 2016. David practiced law in a number of fields in the Montreal region before moving to Asia in 2016, first working in Shanghai before establishing the CJ Legal Services office in Vietnam later the same year. He graduated from the Université Laval in Quebec City with a Bachelor of Law and a Master of International Studies, and also holds a Certification in Investment Migration. David works every day with Vietnamese applicants, most of whom are entrepreneurs looking to invest and apply their talents to new markets, on the route to achieving residency or citizenship abroad. David has been an active member of the CanCham for the past 5 years.

- Ms. Elizabeth Nguyen - General Director at St. Johns Packaging

Elizabeth is the General Director of St. Johns Packaging Vietnam. In 2016, she came to HCMC to start a Greenfield project in Binh Duong for her mother company, a world leader in the bread bag business. She expended St. Johns Packaging footprint in Vietnam via M&A in 2020. Prior coming back to HCMC, Elizabeth also helped a Canadian manufacturer to start up their operations in Central Vietnam in 2011 then moved to a Commissioning Project Management role for an iron ore regional distribution center in Malaysia for a global mining company. She holds an Engineering Degree from l’École Polytechnique de Montréal. Elizabeth is fluent in French, English and Vietnamese.

- Ms. Happy Nguyen - General Director at GeoComply

Happy Nguyen is a senior corporate development expert in the IT industry, especially for start-ups and new developments. She is the Country Head acting as General Director in Vietnam for GeoComply, a unicorn Canadian-based award-winning geolocation compliance solutions provider.

She is also the CEO of <Code> Like A Girl - Vietnam, an initiative created to support gender diversity, encourage young female talents in STEM, and empower women's leadership.

Happy has over 20 years of corporate experience working for multi-international companies and brands. She gained insights and knowledge in various industries and roles, including operation management, talent development, business development, and relations development.

- Mr. Ismael Pili - Head of Research at VinaCapital

Ismael Pili is the Head of Research for VinaCapital. He has deep leadership experience in international capital markets across the Asia-Pacific region, having held senior positions or served as Managing Director on a country and sector basis at various global banks. This includes HSBC (Head of ASEAN and South Asia Research), Macquarie Group (Head of Financials Research – Asia, Head of Philippines Equities, Deputy Head of Research HK-China), JPMorgan (Head of Research), and Indosuez WI Carr Securities (Head of Singapore & Malaysia Research) with postings in Singapore, HK, Tokyo, and Manila. Ismael holds an economics degree and MBA, and hails from Calgary.

Matthew is currently the Chief Financial Officer at Sun Life Vietnam, where he has worked since February 2019. He previously also worked in Ho Chi Minh City between 2013 and 2015 with Sun Life Vietnam, before leaving for just over 3 years to work at Sun Life Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur(2015 to 2019). He is qualified actuary (Fellow of Society of Actuaries), has held a variety of actuarial and financial roles with Sun Life Financial over the last 14 years and has worked in multiple countries, including Canada (Toronto), Hong Kong, Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City) and Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur). Matthew is originally from Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, a small community just outside of Edmonton. He graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Sciences Degree in Actuarial Science, before moving to Toronto to work. He has been an active member of the Canadian Chamber of Vietnam Board of Directors since 2019

- Mr. Mike Hebert - Director of Admissions & Market Growth International School Ho Chi Minh City

Mike Hebert has lived and worked in Vietnam since 2015.

Mike is the Director of Admissions & Marketing at the International School of HCMC, the first international school in the city, and a global leader in providing a holistic international-minded education for K-12 students. Established in 1993, the school hosts over 1,400 students from over 59 nationalities and is one of the first schools in Vietnam to be recognized as an IB World School. Mike leads the school in its growth strategies for new students, partnerships, and marketing.

Before joining the International School of HCMC, Mike had a successful track record as Managing Director of a leading corporate training firm, and experience in international banking with HSBC.

Mike is originally from North Bay, Ontario, Canada and spent many years in Montreal, Canada. He holds a Bachelor of Business from St. Francis Xavier University and an Executive MBA from the Universite du Quebec a Montreal.

- Ms. Sarah Galeski - Counsel at Tilleke & Gibbins

Sarah is an experienced lawyer with Tilleke & Gibbins, based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Sarah has over 12 years of legal experience, eight of which are in Vietnam with international law firms. Before coming to Vietnam, Sarah practiced as a litigator in Canada where her cases involved issues ranging from corporate fraud to contractual disputes to employment matters.

- Ms. Winnie Lam - COO at Colliers

Winnie Lam is a Canadian who has been working in Vietnam since 2005. Winnie is currently the COO of Colliers International for the Vietnam franchise operation, an international real estate consulting firm listed in the Toronto exchange. Winnie served on the Board of CanCham between 2010 & 2014, and as President for two terms. Winnie is originally from Hong Kong and has sat on the Board for the Hong Kong Business Association Vietnam since 2011, and is the General Secretary to the Board since 2016 upon returning to Vietnam full time. She was responsible for the restructuring of the association secretariat which included the set up of the complete SOP, update of the association charter as well as steering the Charity Committee to date. Winnie maintains a strong community presence in Vietnam having been involved with many government initiatives on labor code review as the Head of the HR Committee of AmCham then and continued to be involved with the VBF HR Committee. After a few years of absence from the CanCham board, Winnie is now well settled into her role here and is looking to rejoin with her decision to stay in Vietnam for the longer term. She would like to leverage her experience and relationships in the community and in the region to help CanCham stay mainstream for the benefits for both Canada and Vietnam.

An internal election will be held later to determine the position of each member in the Board for 2023.


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