OUR FOUNDERS

Shyra Barberstock

President, North America
Chairperson, Global
 

Shyra jokes that she has been described as ‘popcorn’ by her fellow colleagues, and understandably so, just like popcorn she is everywhere. Shyra is an up-and-coming rock star on the social innovation scene and has quickly risen through the ranks to become a recognized and coveted social connector and advisor for government, corporate, and community entities across Canada. A serial entrepreneur and Indigenous scholar, Shyra’s business journey began, with the advent and debut of the Okwaho Network; Canada’s first social networking platform dedicated to the empowerment of Indigenous business on a global scale.

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Since then, Shyra has expanded upon her digital footprint creating several Indigenous-led businesses including her flagship company Okwaho Equal Source Inc. (2016), dedicated to empowering Indigenous entrepreneurship and championing minority business and commerce at home and abroad. 

As the current President, North America and Global Chair of Okwaho Equal Source Inc., Shyra attributes her success to surrounding herself with innovative minds and influential trailblazers and working with her fellow business counterparts, who share her mission to champion Indigenous and women-owned enterprises. 

Shyra’s uncanny ability to captivate an audience with her thought provoking social mindset and entrepreneurial savvy has humbled even the most discerning capitalist viewpoint. In fact, it’s her charismatic nature and academic and business intelligence that has contributed to her successes that has led her to the forefront of the Indigenous social innovation movement across Canada, the United States, Australia and New Zealand.

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Rye Barberstock

Vice-President, North America
Chief Operating Officer, Global
 

Known at corporate headquarters as the company’s ‘behind the scenes workhorse’ our office staff are convinced Rye is a paper shuffling superhero worthy of his own movie. An impressive marvel of administrative genius and innovation, Rye plays an invaluable role as a lead advisor, senior communications strategist, and engagement specialist in Indigenous relations and sustainable economic development frameworks for Indigenous businesses and First Nations communities across Canada. An Indigenous scholar and entrepreneur, Rye’s business journey began in 2014; a year that he attributes as being his ‘entrepreneurial wake-up call’.

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 Driven by a passion to challenge the status quo in First Nations communities, Rye has dedicated every waking hour since as Okwaho Equal Source’s Global Chief Operations Officer (COO), supporting and promoting the inclusion of Indigenous and diverse entrepreneurs and businesses in the Canadian and global economies.

As a senior officer of Okwaho Equal Source, Rye has the privilege of working closely with the agency’s global trailblazers, including distinguished scholars, consultants, industry leaders, and business visionaries.

A born disruptor and change agent, Rye’s 15 years of senior management has proven a tremendous value-add to the company. And, with projects such as the Okwaho Network, MAPP Canada and other exciting ventures coming online in 2017, Rye is always up for the challenge and will surely be kept busy at Okwaho Equal Source.

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Luke McIlroy-Ranga

President, Australasia
Chief Strategy Officer, Global
 

Luke is described as the entrepreneur who is continuously succeeding at challenging the status quo. When his peers thought of which universities to attend, he instead turned his energy to patenting his first of several inventions, disrupting the telecommunications marketplace. Since then, he has armed himself with an invaluable cohort of mentors and business partners allowing him to spearhead ventures in the technology, telecommunications, marketing & public relations, fashion & beauty, hospitality and general retail sectors. He sharpened his leadership abilities within the corporate world, spending over a decade in senior

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positions within commercial banking and financial sector procurement in the Australasian marketplace. Here he is credited for the development of game-changing supplier diversity, relationship management, and economic inclusion models.

Luke’s true passion is found in social enterprise and assisting others to harness the power of entrepreneurship to solve some of society’s toughest social, economic and environmental issues. This led him to co-found Okwaho Equal Source, where he has built a reputation for boldly challenging traditional practices, like procurement, to force fresh thinking and ultimately shift-change global impact models.

As a man openly proud of his own diverse background, he relishes challenging the ‘norms’ and breaking down barriers so others can be their own true selves within a business context and as a result, carve out their own place in our global economy.

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OUR TRUSTED ADVISORS + CONSULTANTS

Dr. Terri-Lynn Brennan

 Archaeologist | Educator | Cultural Heritage & Social Analysis Specialist
 

As a Cultural Heritage Professional, with a 25-year career spanning social equity-based administrative & educational leadership, Dr. Brennan is committed to providing visible platforms with a focus on intangible culture for those who remain voiceless & faceless in society.

Odelle Brown

Entrepreneur | Public Speaker | Talent Development, Rentention & Acquistion Expert
 

As founder and CEO of Evolve People, a certified Woman-Owned Enterprise, Odelle has consistently pushed boundaries in the evolution of recruitment. Her unique blend of art and science engages leaders to conquer what it means to attract, develop and retain the best talent.

Glen Harman

TECH ENTREPRENEUR | SME & GAZELLE INFRASTRUCTURE SPECIALIST
 

A self-confessed start-up junkie, Glen’s talent lies in an uncanny ability to see entrepreneurial opportunity where most wouldn’t. He is recognized for building revolutionary technology solutions that foster first to market positioning and an unprecedented growth acceleration.

David Harrison

Global Procurement, Strategic Sourcing, Outsourcing & Transformation Specialist
 

David is an innovative supply chain executive with extensive multi-industry experience across South East Asia, Europe, Australia & New Zealand. He has a proven track record for leading teams to design, lead & adopt ‘best in class’ capabilities, driving innovative tools, insights & improvements.

Denise Coley

GLOBAL SUPPLIER DIVERSITY VETERAN | MBE INCLUSION & DEVELOPMENT SPECIALIST
 

Denise brings to the table over two decades of building economic vitality and sustainable strategic partnerships for minority businesses. Her leadership within the supplier diversity sector is widely recognized throughout corporate America and in Australasia, where she has been an active mentor & advocate for the Indigenous business sector.

Dr. Sonya Pearce

ENTREPRENEUR | ACADEMIC PRACTIONER | INDIGENOUS ENGAGEMENT EXPERT
 

Dr. Pearce, a Gooreng Gooreng woman, has invested 30 years in working alongside Aboriginal & Torres Islander communities in the challenging yet rewarding realms of education. With a focus on social, Indigenous economic development, & entrepreneurship, she is recognized for her unique, refreshing and engaging approach to strategy and program development.

Dr. Paul Chaput

Métis academic | Filmmaker | Actor | Singer | Songwriter | Poet
 

Dr. Paul Chaput’s research interests include Indigenous curriculum development, film as a method for transmitting findings back to Indigenous communities, & cultural continuity. He has had an extensive communications career, as co-producing, hosting TV series & producing two films. He was awarded the Star of Courage by the Governor General.

Darren Whalen

SENIOR PROCUREMENT ADVISOR | GLOBAL SUPPLIER DIVERSITY & ENGAGEMENT CONSULTANT
 

Darren is known for driving revolutionary methodologies, metric-based approaches & high-value delivery to c-suite stakeholders. He possesses an extensive global supply chain lens & expertise in Government, Not for Profit, Finance, Telecommunications, IT, Defence, Aerospace, Automotive & Manufacturing industries.

Keith Wilson

TELECOMMUICATIONS ENTREPRENEUR | GLOBAL LEADER | TRUSTED EXECUTIVE & BOARD ADVISOR
 

Keith has an extensive dossier of senior finance executive & board level leadership. A natural market disruptor with over 25 years experience in launching successful start-ups in the technology & telecommunications sectors. Keith is also a chartered accountant & company secretary with widespread international experience.

Brandon Barberstock

INDIGENOUS YOUTH ENGAGEMENT SPECIALIST & JUNIOR CONSULTANT
 

Brandon is our in-house Indigenous youth engagement specialist. He holds a junior consultant position at Okwaho Equal Source Inc. and is our go to expert on all things related to Indigenous youth outreach.

Okwaho Equal Source acknowledges Indigenous Peoples as the Traditional Owners of the Lands we visit throughout our work. We recognize their continuing connection to the Land, the Water, and all Living Things.

We pay our respects to Ancestors, and to Elders; Past, Present, and Future.