George Niktaris – Chief Financial Officer for COWI North America

PFM Executive Search was pleased to undertake an international CFO search for COWI North America, a Vancouver based leader in bridge, tunnel and marine engineering disciplines. The company provides clients with innovative and sustainable solutions to the most complex engineering challenges worldwide from its 11-offices across North America.

The breadth and depth of its experience in design, inspection and construction engineering enables it to contribute to the creation and operation of the world’s most challenging bridge, tunnel and marine infrastructure. Parent company, COWI International is based in Copenhagen, Denmark and has more than 80 years of history, a permanent staff of over 6,200 employees worldwide and project offices in 35 countries.

New to COWI North America is Chief Financial Officer, George Niktaris, who comes from his previous role of Deputy General Manager & Vice President, Finance at Cegertec (formerly Cegertec Worleyparsons) in Montreal. George brings over 16 years of senior accounting and finance experience, including time spent in the UAE as Finance Manager for SNC-Lavalin. An accomplished strategic financial leader, George will work closely with the COWI offices throughout North America and with the COWI International office in Denmark.

Facilitating the needs of clients located in North America as well as Denmark, our executive search firm created a diverse slate of candidates who possessed the technical skills and the organizational fit for a unique organization.

Our search firm provides outstanding facilitation of large and diverse Search & Selection Committees in our work with private, public and not-for-profit organizations. The hallmark of success for PFM Executive Search over the last 24-years has been our ability to develop a strong working relationship with Boards and Selection Committees in creating a seamless process that nets proven results for our clients

Catherine Warren – President for the Centre for Digital Media & Great Northern Way Trust

PFM Executive Search congratulates Catherine Warren on her appointment as President of the Centre for Digital Media & Great Northern Way Trust.

Catherine Warren is a veteran digital media entrepreneur and executive to take on the role of President. Warren will guide the strategic growth of a vibrant campus community of creators, innovators and educators, overseeing GNW Trust’s groundbreaking joint venture between the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, Emily Carr University of Art + Design and the British Columbia Institute of Technology.

Reporting to and serving on the Great Northern Way Trust board, Warren will provide overall leadership for GNW Trust, including its four key business areas: the Centre for Digital Media, real estate development, property management and the endowment fund.

“Catherine brings a valuable blend of digital media entrepreneurship, business development acumen, as well as the academic values to lead the GNW Trust and the Centre for Digital Media district into the future,” said GNW Trust board chair Morgan Sturdy. “She takes the helm at a pivotal time of growth for Vancouver and for interactive media. Her extensive professional relationships in Canada and around the world will help to build our community and broaden our reach for years to come.”

Warren joins GNW Trust from the private sector as president of FanTrust Entertainment Strategies, a pioneering international digital media business development consultancy based in Vancouver. Throughout an illustrious career in digital media spanning more than three decades, Warren has lived and worked in Canada, the U.S., UK and Europe.

Born and raised in British Columbia, Warren was part of the New Media BC board that brought together the original vision and funding for Great Northern Way’s Centre for Digital Media. “Coming aboard GNW Trust now, as the Centre for Digital Media’s graduate program prepares to celebrate its 10th anniversary, I feel grateful to have come full circle as we look forward to the next decade of global digital transformation and to our city’s growth,” says Warren. “I’m honoured to take a lead role in facilitating the growth of British Columbia’s digital media industry and community, and to evolve GNW Trust’s strategy and vision together with the distinguished board and expert staff, faculty and students.”

To continue breaking new ground in the fast-paced world of digital media content, technology and relationships, Warren will remain on various independent boards and continue leading select, strategic FanTrust activities. Currently, Warren serves on the board of DigiBC, the industry association for video games, animation, visual effects and digital innovation; is a longstanding board member of Canada’s Bell Fund, the country’s largest private fund for digital media associated with television; is an executive board member of the World Summit Awards, a United Nations flagship program dedicated to celebrating the best in digital and mobile media from 167 countries; as well as various corporate and academic boards. She is a member of the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, renowned for the Emmy Awards, and serves on the Academy nominating committee.

Warren has a bachelor’s degree in physics from Reed College in Portland, Oregon. She received her master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York, where she did her original thesis work on-site at MIT covering the launch of its Digital Media Lab, and won the Correspondent’s Fund Award to investigate the race between Europe and America at CERN, the European Centre for Particle Physics Research.

Paul Hawes – Chief Marketing Officer for Tourism Victoria

PFM Executive Search has completed a broad-based international search for the newly created role of Chief Marketing Officer for one of North America’s mostly highly regarded Destination Marketing Organizations – Tourism Victoria. Paul Hawes comes to the role in Victoria from a senior marketing position in London, England.

Paul has more than 22 years of progressive tourism marketing and sales experience, and arrives in Canada after leading Destination New South Wales (Australia) to successfully grow its presence in the European market. He brings a unique blend of experience and comprehensive perspective on the industry. He has worked in the private sector with small and medium-sized businesses, as well as with large corporate hotels and Destination Marketing Organizations.

Paul was most recently the Regional Manager for Destination New South Wales, based out of Australia House in London. He had overall accountability for marketing communications and sales for advertising, media and public relations, as well as travel trade sales and market activations in Europe.

Paul managed multi-million dollar campaigns and complex partnerships with airlines, tour operators and media companies. He has led Australia and New South Wales on sales initiatives into the UK and Germany, and has successfully negotiated integrated destination and airline partnerships with Qantas Airways, Singapore Airlines, Etihad Airway and Malaysia Airlines.

Prior to joining Destination New South Wales, Hawes served for six years at the Canadian Tourism Commission where he was accountable for Core Markets marketing, U.S. Leisure marketing and a special assignment to activate the Calgary Stampede’s 100th anniversary in 2012.

PFM Executive Search recruits for its wide array of clients, senior executives and innovative leaders from around the world and was delighted to have been engaged by Tourism Victoria on this critically important role for the organization. In the recruitment of Paul Hawes from his base in the UK, this once again demonstrates our firm’s ability to deliver international candidates to our firm’s clients here in Canada.

PFM Executive Search is a national leader in working with private, public and not-for-profit organizations to identify, recruit and facilitate the appointment of senior leadership using innovative and highly regarded search methodologies for almost 25-years.

Mark Collins Commences Role as new President & CEO of BC Ferries

PFM Executive Search congratulates Mark Collins as he begins his new position as President & CEO of BC Ferries – one of the largest ferry operators in the world, providing year-round vehicle and passenger service on 24 routes to 47 terminals, with a fleet of 34 vessels.

Following a competition with candidates from around the world expressing interest in the position of CEO, the Board of Directors for BC Ferries named Mark to the senior leadership position.  He brings experience as a senior marine executive for the past 20 years, including past roles as the President of Rolls Royce Marine Brazil and Italy, and Vice President of Global Technical Services, CSL Group. Previous to being named CEO, Mark was Vice President of Strategic Planning & Community Engagement at BC Ferries, and was the Vice President, Engineering between 2004 and 2012.

When making the appointment, Board Chair Donald Hayes said, “Mark Collins has demonstrated his ability to lead teams and work collaboratively with diverse groups, skills we believe to be vital for the CEO position.” Hayes added, “Mr. Collins cares deeply for the company, its employees and the people in coastal communities who regularly use our services. The Board looks forward to working with him in his new role.”

Donald Hayes said the Board unanimously agreed that Mark Collins has the ideal combination of maritime experience, academic training, operational expertise and leadership skills. Mark has 35 years of marine experience, 20 of them in executive leadership positions; holds a Master of Business Administration (Transport and Logistics) and a Diploma of Technical (Marine) Engineering; has delivered more than $1 billion worth of projects on-time and on-budget; and has been a Marine Engineer Officer on oil tankers, bulk carriers, container vessels and fishing vessels.

“We will continue our focus on safety,” said Collins. “And I will work with my team to continue to deliver a travel experience for our customers that is reliable, safe and enjoyable, and ensure BC Ferries is viewed as an asset to coastal communities. I look forward to working with the provincial government, the B.C. Ferry Commission, our employees and ferry dependent communities to deliver excellent service and an excellent experience.”

PFM Executive Search is pleased to have been engaged by the Board of Directors in facilitating an inclusive search process that involved a wide variety of key stakeholders and partner groups.

For almost 25-years PFM Executive Search has assisted Boards, Selection Committees and decision-makers in recruiting world-class leaders to world-class organizations.  Our firm is recognized as a leader in executive search in Canada.



PFM presents at JABC Alumni Event – An Executive Recruiter’s Perspective on How to Build a Professional Presence on LinkedIn

Senior Recruiting Associate, Brittany Stansfield (left) and Recruiting Associate, Maggie Ow

PFM Executive Search is proud to support the work of Junior Achievement BC, and were delighted to be invited to participate in a recent JABC Alumni event.  Recruiting Associates Brittany Stansfield and Maggie Ow had the pleasure of presenting and sharing their knowledge with a group of 20+ students and new grads on how to build a professional online presence through the use of LinkedIn.

Junior Achievement British Columbia (JABC) is a member of JA Canada and part of JA Worldwide, the world’s largest not-for-profit organization dedicated to educating young people about business. In 2016, over 38,000 BC students benefited from JABC programs delivered free of charge by volunteers from local business communities, who bring their real-life experience into the classroom. JABC programs focus on work readiness, financial literacy and entrepreneurship, giving students the confidence and skills they need to become the next generation of business and community leaders.

PFM Executive Search has been an active participant in supporting JABC through work with JABC and the BC Laureates Nomination & Selection Committees, exemplifying PFM’s commitment to helping BC businesses succeed, and homegrown talent to reach their potential. In addition, PFM Partner, Shelina Esmail, is engaged as a member of JABC’s Board of Directors, and is leading a pro bono search to identify the organization’s new President & CEO.

PFM Exec Search IMG_0113

Our search firm provides outstanding facilitation of large and diverse Search & Selection Committees in our work with private, public and not-for-profit organizations. The hallmark of success for PFM Executive Search over the last 24-years has been our ability to develop a strong working relationship with Boards and Selection Committees in creating a seamless process that nets proven results for our clients.