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Another Whistlerite named to Premier’s Technology Council

Whistler resident Peter Ciceri has been appointed to Premier Gordon Campbell’s Technology Council.

He is one of nine new appointments to the council, which is charged with helping to establish B.C. as one of the world’s top 10 technology centres.

Ciceri is the Lead Independent Director for Sierra Wireless, as well as Director for MDSI (Mobile Data Systems Inc.) and Progressive Solutions Inc.

Before his current professional activities as a corporate director and CEO Counsellor and Advisor, he was president of Rogers Telecom Inc.

Prior to that, Ciceri held the position of president and managing director of Compaq Canada Inc. During his tenure as president (1997-2000), Compaq's revenue increased from $1.01 billion to $1.8 billion. The company grew from 500 to 3,500 people and during this time Ciceri managed the largest IT industry merger in Canada, between Compaq, Tandem and Digital Canada.

In 1999, he was named one of the top 10 "IT Influencers" in Canada by the National Post and he was also named one of the top 100 Business Executives for Canada.

Between 1985 and 1997, Ciceri lived in the Asia Pacific region working with Unisys, HP and Compaq.

He is currently completing an MA in Counselling Psychology at UBC and is an Executive in Residence for the Sauder School of Business.

Ciceri, an active community member, has lived in Whistler for several years along with his wife Nancy Powell and their two young girls.

Several other members of the Council have ties to Whistler including Shannon Byrne, president and CEO of Paradata Systems Inc.; Jim Yeates, chairman of Burntsand Inc.; and Greg Kerfoot, CEO and president of Crystal Decisions.

Paradata, based in Function Junction, has become well known in recent years, as it has become a world-leader in e-commerce systems for digital goods delivery. Paradata was recently awarded the 2001 British Columbia Technology Industries Association Best Application of Web Technology award. Byrne is also a recipient of Canada's Top 40 Under 40 for the year 2000.

Yeates has been involved in the high-tech industry for the last 28 years. Prior to co-founding Burntsand in 1996 he headed Computer Innovations, a microcomputer integrator that was acquired by SHL Systemhouse Inc., and Integrated Network Services Inc.

Away from the office, Yeates is a past president of the Whistler Mountain Ski Club and a past chairman of the board of directors of the Canadian Alpine Ski Team.

Kerfoot is a past member of the Whistler Mountain Ski Club and like Yeates, has been a second homeowner in Whistler for many years. He is currently building a new house with a skating rink.

Kerfoot joined Crystal Decisions in 1988, when it was known as Crystal Services, as director of research and development and chief architect of Crystal Reports. He became president of Crystal Services in 1992, overseeing expansion of the product line to include Crystal Info., before becoming executive vice president of Crystal Decisions, a wholly owned subsidiary of Seagate Technologies, in 1996.

Other council members with Whistler homes are Greg Aason, founder and chief operating officer of PMC-Sierra; Norm Francis, president and CEO of Pivotal Corporation; and Firoz Rasul, CEO of Ballard Power Systems.

Eight more news members were added to the Council along with Ciceri. They are: Al Hildebrandt, founder of Total Care Technologies Inc. and QHR Technologies Inc.; Dr. Bill Hunter, President and CEO of Angiotech Pharmaceuticals; Eric Jordon, founder of PureEdge; Gerry Martin, co-owner of Northern Drugs Ltd.; Greg Peet, high-tech entrepreneur, executive and company director; Ted Renner, president of Kiora Resources Inc.; Morgan Sturdy, director for numerous B.C. private and public technology companies including CREO Inc, Voice Mobility International, Ignition Point, Idelix Software, ResponseTek and TIR Systems; and Mossadiq Umedaly, chairman of Xantrex Technology Inc.

Five members also left the council, which was formed in 2001.

The Premier’s Technology Council recently released its sixth report highlighting progress made in unleashing B.C.’s potential as a global technology leader.

It found the province had made significant advances in several priority areas, including:

• Bridging the Digital Divide: since 2002, broadband access has been extended to 47 communities, with another 65 to be connected this year and all B.C. communities are to be connected by the end of 2006.

• E-health: over 100 patients every month benefit from telehealth programs in more than 50 communities, providing better care and avoiding the time and cost of travelling to a regional centre.

• Industry marketing and development: the premier’s participation in marketing activities by Leading Edge B.C. at the BIO2004 exhibition in San Francisco in June raised B.C.’s profile as Canada’s fastest growing biotechnology centre. Similarly, support for the Hydrogen Highway initiative will help expand the province’s position as a global centre for hydrogen fuel-cell research and development.

In preparing its sixth report, the council participated in 10 regional consultation forums around the province and conducted an e-learning roundtable in Victoria.