Maurine Karagianis served three terms in elected office as an MLA from 2005 to 2017, taking on a variety of Opposition portfolios including Transportation and Children and Families. In January 2011, Ms. Karagianis was elected as Opposition Caucus Whip and served in that role until 2017. She retired from provincial politics in May 2017 and is currently keeping bees and working with the non-profit sector. Prior to serving as an MLA, Ms. Karagianis was elected as a municipal councillor in Esquimalt in 1996, and re-elected in 1999 and again in 2002. During that time she also served for five years as the CRD Arts Chair. Starting in 1998, Ms. Karagianis served three years with the provincial government as assistant to three NDP cabinet ministers – in the Social Services ministry and then in Transportation and Highways. From 2001 to 2005, she ran a consulting company working with non-profit organizations and First Nations to create seniors housing in BC. Prior to 2001, Ms. Karagianis was an entrepreneur, opening her own retail fashion store, operating a wholesale venture and a successful import/export business. She was also a co-founder of the Sunshine Folkfest in Powell River, BC.
Knowledge-West Communications Corporation Board of Directors
Chamkaur Cheema has a broad range of experience in both the private and public sector. He has been an Instructor with the School of Business at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in the Entrepreneurial Leadership program since 1997. Besides his teaching duties, Mr. Cheema has served in a variety of other capacities including the University Senate, Departmental Chair and several administrative and faculty committees. His current and past board experience also includes the Insurance Council of BC, B.C. Original Minds Association, the governing body of Destination Imagination B.C, CMABC, Leadership Vancouver, and the Langara College Foundation Board.
Besides post-secondary education, Mr. Cheema has substantial experience in several industries including; finance, real estate, technology, retail marketing, and consulting. In addition to his role as an educator, he is the Principle of Chip Properties, a holding company that specializes in small multi-family apartments. In the past, Mr. Cheema was the Principal of HeadStart Business Solutions, a Senior Manager with HSBC Bank Canada, President of Great Ideas Marketing, and a marketing representative with IBM Canada.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Victoria and a Masters of Business Administration from Queen's University.
Rudy Buttignol was appointed the President and CEO of British Columbia’s public broadcaster, Knowledge Network in 2007; and became President of the BBC Kids channel in 2010. He moderates financing forums in Amsterdam and Leipzig, and serves on the boards of several organizations, including the Vancouver International Film Festival and the Cultural Properties Export Review Board, a federal government tribunal.
Buttignol was TVO’s Creative Head of Network Programming, Head of Independent Production, and Commissioning Editor from 1993-2006. His notable commissions include The Corporation, Manufactured Landscapes, Diamond Road, Black Coffee, The Champagne Safari, and Emmy/Grammy Award winning Yo-Yo Ma: Inspired by Bach. From 1975 to 1993, he worked as an independent writer, director and producer of children’s series and documentaries.
International honors include the inaugural Doc Mogul Award from the Hot Docs International Documentary Festival, the Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal, and nine Canadian Academy Awards. Buttignol is a graduate of the Faculty of Fine Arts at Toronto’s York University and has completed Executive Education programs at Stanford and Harvard Business
Jeffrey Lee obtained his Certified General Accountant designation in 1989, after completing the British Columbia Institute of Technology’s Administrative Management – Public Administration Option in 1981. He worked in the private sector as the Regional Accounting Manager with a national home health company. In 1999, he joined the Open Learning Agency as their Budget Analyst. Jeffrey has also taken on the roles of Accounting Manager, Controller, and Director of Finance with the Open Learning Agency. He is currently Director of Finance with Knowledge Network Corporation. Jeffrey is also the Secretary and Financial Officer of Knowledge-West Communications Corporation, a subsidiary of Knowledge Network Corporation that owns and operates BBC Kids, a national digital specialty channel. Jeffrey has obtained an Applied Bachelor of Business Administration degree from CGA/SAIT, and has maintained his professional development in the areas of executive leadership and technology. Jeffrey also volunteers with his local minor hockey association and was a volunteer Team Leader during the winter Olympics in Vancouver.
As President, BBC Worldwide North America, Ann Sarnoff is responsible for driving growth and profit across the company’s diversified business divisions in the U.S. and Canada. She oversees BBC Worldwide Productions, Adjacent Productions, linear and digital program sales and co-productions, home entertainment, licensing, live events, film and BBC.com. She also leads efforts to amplify BBC Worldwide’s global brands Top Gear, Doctor Who, and the natural history brand BBC Earth.
In her previous role as COO, BBC Worldwide North America, Sarnoff was responsible for most major revenue streams for the company and led cross-business franchise development for global brands, resulting in significant revenue gains. Sarnoff oversaw negotiations around major MVPD deals for BBC AMERICA leading to an increase in distribution from 68m subscribers to 80m; grew digital program sales to where they now exceed linear program sales; built sales of Doctor Who merchandise to over $100m at retail; spearheaded the BBC.com features section strategy; and launched the first-ever conference for BBC.com ‘BBC Future: World-Changing Ideas Summit.’
Prior to joining BBC Worldwide, Sarnoff was President of Dow Jones Ventures and Senior Vice President of Strategy. In this role, she was responsible for leveraging the assets of Dow Jones to create new businesses focusing on digital and B-to-C markets, and for overseeing corporate strategy and business development. Sarnoff created The Wall Street Journal executive conference business, launching a number of new conference franchises including The Wall Street Journal CEO Council, a prestigious gathering of 100+ top CEOs from around the globe, ECO:nomics, the leading conference for executives in the clean-tech space, and Viewpoints West, an executive breakfast series based in Silicon Valley; and oversaw the D: All Things Digital conference.
From 1993-2003, Sarnoff worked with some of the best-known brands in television at Viacom. As Nickelodeon’s Executive Vice President for Consumer Products and Business Development, she built Nickelodeon consumer products into a multi-billion dollar revenue business at retail. In this role, Sarnoff developed Rugrats and Blue’s Clues into successful off-air franchises by launching them into toys, apparel, publishing, home video, video games, live events and themed attractions. She also led the teams that developed new cable channels TV Land and Noggin. Subsequently, she became COO for VH1 and CMT where, in addition to strategic planning and business operations, she oversaw the company’s websites, radio, audio and video products, and launched the channel VH1 Classic.
Sarnoff holds a BS from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and an MBA from Harvard Business School. She sits on the board of HSN, Inc., a $3B interactive multi-channel retailer. Sarnoff is the vice president of The Women’s Forum of New York and the vice-chair of the advisory board of the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown. She also serves on the board of the Harvard Business School Women’s Association of New York, the advisory board of British American Business, and the Digital Task Force for New York Public Radio. For the past five years, Sarnoff has been named one of the Most Powerful Women in Cable by CableFAX Magazine. She has two children, and lives in New York City with her husband.