Meet the Faculty
Thomas Gomes is the Director for the Bachelor of Hospitality Management program at Acsenda. Thomas recently completed his PhD thesis from Bournemouth University, United Kingdom. He received a scholarship for his PhD. The PhD thesis in relating with tourism value chain and poverty reduction in the context of Bangladesh, Cox’s Bazar as a case study. He holds MBA, MSc and B.Com from Anglia Ruskin University and London South Bank University, United Kingdom. In addition, he has over 7 years’ experience working in the hospitality industry for major brands such as Hilton, Marriott and Holiday Inn.
He was a full-time Lecturer in Hospitality and Tourism Management for undergraduate students from September 2016 to March 2020 with New Bucks University, UK. Previously he taught at University of Greenwich for BA (Hons) students from September 2018 to April 2019 and at Bournemouth University from November 2015 to April 2016 for BA (Hons) and Masters students. His recent paper “Bede -Travels with the river Gypsies of Bangladesh” was short-listed for Journey for lifetime award by Royal Geography Society –IBG and BBC Radio-4. He attended CHME (Council for Hospitality Management Education) conference at Bournemouth University in May 2018. He attended IATE (International Association of Tourism Economics) conference in Italy in 2017.
He is a member of the International Association for Tourism Economics. His research interests are economics of tourism, pro-poor tourism, poverty alleviation, and women empowerment at tourism value chain in developing countries. He publishes in the area of Tourism as a driver for promoting gender equality, perception of working in the hospitality industry as a new immigrant, sustainability tourism.
Thomas has a track record of research skills and engaging students in industry-relevant learning activities. He has a strong commitment to equality and diversity and supporting students to achieve their potential.
Ray Rahimi is a versatile educator specializing in teaching English to speakers of other languages. With two decades of experience in helping learners in different parts of the world to improve both their language and life skills, Ray is no stranger to the linguistic and cultural challenges of mastering a foreign language as an adult, particularly for academic pursuits. Through the years, he has developed a unique pedagogy that addresses the main issues ESL/EAP learners often face today. The guiding principle in his approach is an inspiration through cognitive engagement.
Ray also sets great store by what students bring to the table, most importantly their intuitive knowledge and culture of learning. Striking a balance between achieving specific objectives and appreciating the process, Ray creates a safe yet exhilarating environment where intellectual stimulation sparks curiosity and emotional involvement promotes risk-taking, paving the way for autonomous discovery, creative self-expression, and fruitful collaboration, qualities essential for academic and professional success in the real world.
Ali de Haan has a Masters of Library and Information Science from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa and a BFA in Art History from Ohio University. She has over 10 years of library experience with a focus on Academic libraries and special collections. Ali plays a wide variety of roles at Acsenda, where she also teaches information literacy, research skills, and helps students understand plagiarism and how to use the APA citation style. Previously she was the Director of Library Services at University Canada West.
Ali is also active in many professional library organizations and including BCLA, BCOEL, BCELN, and BUSLIB -BC.
B.Sc., MAM (HR), CPHR
Pomponia Martinez is presently the Department Head, Human Resources Management of Acsenda School of Management, having been in this position since 2010. She has taught with Acsenda since 2007 and was a Faculty Representative for the Academic Council from 2007 to 2012.
Ms. Martinez holds the CPHR designation and is a long-time member of CPHRBC and recently recently certified in EQi2.0, an emotional intelligence inventory tool. At Acsenda, Ms. Martinez teaches a variety of Human Resources and Management courses including Managerial Skills, Organizational Behaviour, Human Resources Planning, Recruitment and Selection, Organizational Change, Compensation, Training and Development, and HR Strategy.
Ms. Martinez is also a private sector practitioner in staffing and provides a wide variety of HR Consulting. Ms. Martinez brings over 20 years of experience in the private sector in information systems, strategic planning, operations management and human resources.
An amateur astronomer, Ms. Martinez is past-President of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (Vancouver).
Pat Banerjee is a Business Faculty at Acsenda School of Management. He has an Economics Honours with Mathematics (First Division) Degree from Delhi University (St. Stephen’s College); BBA (Accounting) from Deakin University (Australia) and MBA (First Division) from Amity University New Delhi. Pat is currently doing his PhD in Business (Topic: Corporate Social Responsibility & SDG). In addition, Pat is a CPA (Canada) CPA (USA), CPA (PWC Australia) & FCA (PWC India). Pat is an award-winning founding teacher at Hanson College (at Cambrian College) in New Westminster, B.C. since April 2013. Pat has also taught Advanced Internal Auditing at Sauder School of Business, UBC from 2013 to 2015 and all Business subjects at Winston College in Burnaby from 2011 to 2013. He treasures & inspires his students and wants all his students to excel in their respective careers globally.
Louis Blais has had a history of success in sales, marketing, and project management spanning the last 20 years in various industries including IT, promotional advertising, technology consulting and risk management. On the sales and marketing side, Louis has won several awards including a national Gold award from the Promotional Product Association of Canada for a successful self-promotion campaign.
Since 2006, Louis has been operating his own consultancy specializing in technology assessment and project management.
His technology consulting has helped to develop the marketing recommendations for over 100 products including cancer diagnostic tools, medical devices, and manufacturing technologies.
His project management experience spans several projects, including the creation and delivery of described video and closed captioning content for over 550 TV show episodes.
Louis is a dynamic speaker and has presented to nearly 50,000 people over the last 35 years.
M.Ed., MA Media & Communications Management, TESOL, CELTA and BA (Hons) English
Garima is a young professional with an academic background in Education, teaching English to speakers of other languages, Media & Communication and English Literature. She completed her Masters in Education from Thompson Rivers University- Canada and was awarded the International Students Overall Excellence Award. She was both the Graduate Tutor at TRU’s Writing Centre as well as the Online Graduate Tutor for WriteAway (SFU).
Having lived in several countries Garima understands the issues faced by international students in second language acquisition both written and verbal. Her personal philosophy can be understood as a seed that carries within itself reconciliation of the self, nature and reality. It is a holistic approach which allows her to be both the teacher and the learner engaging in growth and development of oneself as well as of others.
BA, M.Sc., CHRP
Prior to teaching at the Acsenda School of Management, Mr. Chan held senior corporate Human Resources Management (HRM) appointments with a number of international financial institutions in Malaysia and Singapore. Besides his HR appointments, he had spent a year teaching at a private university in Malaysia.
As a Human Resources professional, he was involved in a wide spectrum of HR roles and functions over a period of two decades. He held various in-country HR leadership positions and played different regional coordination roles. His accomplishments include designing and implementing HR policies and harmonizing HR practices across 15 business branches in the Asia-Pacific region. He was involved in hiring various senior management positions and facilitated expatriation and transfers globally. He designed and ran training programs, successfully dealt with challenging labor relations issues and facilitated his employers through difficult change management initiatives.
Tom obtained a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Ottawa and a Master’s Degree in Social Science from the University of South Australia. As well, he has been a Canadian Certified Human Resource Professional (CHRP) since 2010.
Tom has taught the following courses at Acsenda since the summer of 2010: International HRM, Recruitment & Selection, Labour Relations, Organizational Behavior, Introduction to Psychology, and Negotiation and Conflict Management. He currently serves on the board of Peace House International Ministry.
MBA, ACMA (UK),CGMA, B.Sc
Trevin Hannibal is an expert in E- learning and a charismatic instructor in accounting and marketing with over 8 years of experience. His vision is “to build competencies and change the lives of students by creating an enjoyable learning experience utilizing modern technology”.
He is an expert in the subject matter and he holds a master’s degree from Cardiff Metropolitan University-UK. Trevin is well known for simplifying sophisticated theories so that the substance of any course content is understood by his students in a practical manner.
He brings a theater atmosphere to the classroom with visuals related to the learning material with his charismatic style of teaching which is embedded with a sense of humor.
Guy Louie is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) with over 33 years of combined experience in public accounting and tax administration. He retired from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) in 2014 where he was Team Leader, Aggressive Tax Planning. Since joining the CRA in 1984, from Dunwoody and Company, he has held a number of progressively responsible positions in Audit, Appeals, Tax Litigation, Tax Avoidance, and Corporate Administration. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) degree from the University of British Columbia.
Guy joined Acsenda in 2014 and teaches the following subjects: Financial Accounting, External Auditing, Taxation, and Financial Management.
Julia is a young professional with solid development skills, business experience, and strong research background. She obtained her MSc degree in Mathematics from McGill University. Before coming to McGill, Julia received her MSc in Mathematics and Computer Science from Kharkiv National University, Ukraine, and her BSc in Finance from Kharkiv National University of Economics. Julia was a Lecturer in McGill on a number of undergraduate courses including Calculus, Linear Algebra, Applied Linear Algebra and Calculus for Management class. She worked in a number of international air transport and tech companies and innovative start-ups. She was also a business development executive for a company that specialized in innovative educational programs in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, Robotics, Coding), growing the company with the entrepreneurial mindset and embracing thinking outside the box, so that STEM classes were a part of school curriculum. She is passionate about showing students the beauty of math! She loves to give students tools on how to approach different math problems and help them get confident and comfortable with their math skills.
B.Com., MBA, CPA, CGA, ACCA
Branka Gataric is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) who has spent a combined twenty-five years working in the industry and teaching accounting and business courses at post-secondary institutions in Canada. Her passion for teaching made her transition to education, working full-time for a legacy Accounting Association in BC known now as Chartered Professional Accountants Western School of Business until September 2019 before transitioning to teaching full-time. Branka holds a teacher’s certificate, a Master of Business Administration, the Canadian accounting designation – CPA, and the global professional accounting designation – Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). Branka’s vast industry experience, while working as Corporate Controller, brings real life business stories to her classroom. Branka joined Acsenda School of Management in 2011.
BSHE, M.Ed., LLQP, RESP lic.
Ms. Dela Cruz has been an educator for more than 25 years. Prior to her immigration to Canada in 2001, she was assistant professor in two state universities in the Philippines; namely, Philippine Normal University and West Visayas State University. She also worked as textbook editor at the Instructional Materials Corporation, an agency mandated by the Philippine government to develop, produce, and distribute elementary and secondary textbooks in the country.
Through the years, she has engaged herself in curriculum development, book writing, and research. Among the curricular programs she developed are as follows: (1) English for Academic Purposes (EAP) Program of Acsenda School of Management, (2) English 100 – The Basics of English, (3) College Writing, (4) Business English, and (5) Teaching English to Children. While at Sprott-Shaw International Language College, she co-authored Hospitality and Tourism Management – English Communications (Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced) with accompanying teacher’s manuals. On January 26, 2018, she received the Certificate of Registration of Copyright from the Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada for her book Living, Loving, and Coping. She was a recipient of a research grant funded by The Netherlands Government in cooperation with the University of the Philippines at Los Banos.
Ms. Dela Cruz has taught the following courses: English 101 – Academic Writing – Fundamentals, English for Academic Purposes (EAP) – Level 4, Business Communications, College Writing, Dynamics of Customer Service, Strategies for Success, and Strategies for Employment. She also served as graduate services representative/employment coach (GSR) of Sprott-Shaw College for three years. During her term as GSR, she received $10,000 – a cash award given to the top three GSRs.
Her experience as Director of the Career Advancement Program of a financial services company based in Vancouver enables her to bring to her classroom real-life business situations. She passed two British Columbia licensure examinations: Life License Qualifications Program and Registered Education Savings Plan.
Ms. Dela Cruz’ ultimate teaching goal is to be an effective “teacher of the heart” – the one that makes a considerable difference in students’ lives.
MBA, DMS, HNC
David Crawford has been teaching at the Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia, for the past 13 years. Currently, he also teaches at Alexander College and Acsenda School of Management. Previously, he taught for 10 years at the Harrow School of Business, University of Westminster, London, England.
Before entering the teaching profession, Mr. Crawford acquired extensive experience in a variety of roles in central and local government, health care, and the travel industry, while developing an increasing interest and involvement in the fields of management development, human resources management, and business strategy.
In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Mr.Crawford also holds a part-time position as Commerce Program Co-ordinator for Alexander College, and is a member of that College’s Standing Academic Standards Committee. He keeps up-to-date with developments in business, management, human resources and education, frequently attending workshops, seminars and meetings in these areas. He also co-organises a professional development group that focuses on developments and current issues in teaching and learning. His research interests include student peer evaluation and the use of mentoring in business.
Mr.Crawford has taught the following courses: Organisational Behaviour, Human Resources Management, Strategic Staffing, Employee Training and Development, Conflict Management, Introduction to Business, Introduction to Marketing, and Business Strategy. He has taught at universities in Canada, England and China.
MPAC, CGA, CPA, ACCA
Ivan Chenkov is Professional Chartered Accountant (CPA) and Fellow Chartered Certified Accountants (FCCA). He holds a Master’s in Professional Accounting, Control and Audit. Ivan has over 20 years of professional experience in various types of companies and industries in North America and Europe including Architectural and Professional Services, Manufacturing, Transport & Logistics, Construction, Medical & Pharmaceutical, Agriculture & Fishing, and Public Practice.
Since 2010, Ivan was part of CGA – Canada and CGA – BC Education Programs. He was closely involved with final students’ evaluation and assessment.
Currently, Ivan works as a Controller/Business Manager with PMG Landscape Architects Ltd. He is also involved in CPA Education Program. Ivan is the Director of Education with CPA-North Shore Chapter and he is a CPD Coordinator with ACCA Canada for BC.
Ivan joined Acsenda in January 2012. He develops and teaches Financial Management and Accounting courses.
Fuat Ramazanov is a faculty member at Acsenda School of Management. A life-long learner himself, he is passionate about sharing his in-depth knowledge of all aspects of project management, operations management, quality assurance, and supply chain. Fuat is a certified Project Management Professional with a Master’s Degree in Administrative Science and a Bachelor’s Degree in General Economics. He is a recipient of numerous industry-recognized certifications in the areas of Quality Management, Workplace Safety, and Lean Manufacturing. Fuat serves on the Section Leadership Committee of Vancouver Section of ASQ (American Society for Quality) with the focus on the voice of the customer and building school-business partnerships.
His teaching philosophy is based on the fact that all learners are unique, and that the educational environment should be structured to allow them to grow mentally, emotionally, and socially. He uses a curriculum that incorporates each different learning style, as well as make the content relevant to the students’ potential work experience. Fuat incorporates hands-on learning, simulations, team-based exercises, projects, and individual work that engage and activate students’ learning and allow them to unleash and apply their analytical, creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving abilities in order to achieve their highest potential. He likes to bring a healthy dose of humor to all aspects of his work life as he believes it helps boost productivity and enhance the learning process.
MBA, BASc in Mechanical Engineering
Patrick Cheng holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) and a Bachelor’s Degree of Applied Science (BASc) in Mechanical Engineering. He has been accepted for his Doctoral Degree (PhD) Program in Management with Finance as a concentration. He is a Licensed Professional Engineer (PEng), a Licensed Real Estate Agent, a Licensed Rental Property Manager, and a Licensed Strata Manager. He was a BC Certified Teacher approved by BC Ministry of Education from 2004 to 2013.
A recipient of the following awards :
Fellow of Engineers Canada (FEC) for exceptional contributions to the engineering profession in Canada, from the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers, 2011
United Nations General Assembly and Government of Canada International Year of Volunteers Award for outstanding service and contribution, 2001
He is the Founder & President of ”A Planet Without Borders” ( https://aplanetwithoutborders.org/ ) and Leading Global Capital Corporation. He has many years of experience in B2B and B2C marketing, sales, advertising, promotion, teaching, public speaking, and entrepreneurship.
Ph.D, BComm, MBA
Dr. Zahra Ladha is a Canadian Business Professor. She obtained her Ph.D from The International School of Management in Paris, France, her MBA from Simon Fraser University in Canada, and her Bachelor of Commerce degree from McGill University in Canada.
Dr. Zahra has over 12 years of Sales and Marketing experience in the Healthcare industry, primarily working in North America, to conduct market research, launch products, train physicians, surgeons, and other healthcare professionals, as well as sales representatives on new medical and medical device products. She has worked for three global Healthcare companies and contributed positively to the growth and success of each one.
In addition to this industry experience, Zahra has over 12 years of University teaching experience. She has taught various courses in the business schools at the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University in Canada, as well as 1.5 years of teaching MBA level courses at the Canadian University of Dubai, in the UAE, and has taught 5 executive MBA courses in Paris, France. She also has experience in Corporate Training, where she successfully developed, and delivered three training courses to the 75 staff of a client in Dubai. Dr. Zahra has published papers on various topics including branding in the pharmaceutical industry, the consumer behaviour of millennials, and country happiness rankings, amongst others. For fun, she is a published author of 3 children’s books.
Residing in Vancouver, BC, Dr. Zahra is currently teaching 4th year Marketing Courses at Simon Fraser University, and various courses at Acsenda School of Management.
BA, MBA, CSP
Mary Charleson is a marketing and media expert. She is one of fewer than 12% of speakers globally who hold the designation of CSP (Certified Speaking Professional), the international measure of excellence for professional competence and proven experience. She is the author of two books, Word of Mouth Mouse & Mobile and Five-Minute Marketing, each featuring tips for the time-starved business leader. Mary’s career spans over 20 years in media, advertising and education.
In addition to speaking, consulting and writing, she has been a popular marketing instructor at Acsenda School of Management since 2007 and Department Head of Marketing since 2009. She has also taught at City University of Seattle, New York Institute of Technology and Capilano University. A contributor to Business in Vancouver since 2002 and a monthly marketing columnist for the Huffington Post, her work has been published in the Globe & Mail, the Toronto Star, the Vancouver Sun, Marketing Magazine and Strategy. She has also published lifestyle pieces in Zoomer, Cottage and Outside magazine.
B.Sc., M.Sc., CITP
Sylvain Charbonneau is a Certified International Trade Professional (CITP®) and a FITT International Business Professional (FIBP®). He has experience within large organizations in the public and private sector and with small and medium businesses of various industries in Canada. He holds a Master of Sciences of Communication and a Bachelor of Sciences in Communication and Psychology from the University of Montreal. He holds also a Diploma in International Trade from the Forum for International Trade Training (FITT) and a Certificate in Sales.
Since 2012, Sylvain is teaching the International Trade Program accredited by (FITT), and he teaches in Business, Management, Sales and Marketing in various institutions in Vancouver. He was previously Lecturer in Communication Planning at the University of Montreal and he taught courses of Business, Marketing and Economics at The Canadian International School of Egypt in Cairo. He is currently teaching International Business Management and International Trade Management at Acsenda School of Management.
Nathan Arney is a member of the Marketing Faculty at Acsenda School of Management. His prior industry experience is in sales, B2B relationship marketing, and large account management with leading high-tech companies such as Canon and Konica Minolta. Nathan holds a B.A. in Psychology (2002) and an MBA (2009) from Trinity Western University. He teaches classes related to marketing, behaviour, sales, and technology. Nathan is interested in consumer judgements, sales person motivation, and the impact of solution focused questioning.
Nathan has experience with research funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). He is a member of the Academic Council, and the Research Ethics Board at Acsenda. Nathan is also a member of the American Marketing Association (BC Chapter), the Internet Marketing Association, and the National Association of Sales Professionals.
Brian holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Guelph with a specialization in Tourism and Hospitality Management.
He has previously taught courses in Sustainability, Finance, Capital Asset Management, Corporate Social Responsibility and Managerial Accounting. Brian has branded himself a “Corporate Hippy” and is actively involved with the non-profit, Climate Reality Project Canada. Climate Reality Project Canada is a non-partisan organization created by the former United States Vice President Al Gore and offers complimentary lectures based on Mr. Gore’s 2007 Academy Award-winning film about Climate Change, An Inconvenient Truth. Brian was trained by Mr. Gore personally in 2013 and has delivered over 30 lectures on the science, controversies and solutions to Climate Change.
Professionally, Brian is Director, Corporate Purchasing with Coast Hotels. Coast Hotels operates 37 hotels in Canada and the USA and is a subsidiary of Japan’s largest hotel company, APA Hotels. Brian works with his company to analyze and define strategic procurement solutions and to design and execute all purchasing decisions in the company. He has over 20 years of progressive hospitality management experience spanning more than 10 department head roles that peaked as General Manager of Coast Hotel’s flagship property in Vancouver, the Coast Coal Harbour Vancouver Hotel by APA.
Dip.T., BA, MBA, CITP®|FIBP®, CCLP, P.Log.
Mike Au is a professional in International Business (CITP®|FIBP®), Supply Chain Logistics (CCLP®, P.Log.) and Transportation (CMILT). Mike’s industry experience includes working in transportation and supply chain logistics management. Since retiring in 2012, Mike has been involved with the Forum for International Trade Training (FITT) in Ottawa in the integrative trade core competencies task force, the exam committee and the content advisory panel.
Mike joined Acsenda School of Management (ASM) in spring 2013 as an instructor and continues to serve the role ever since. He was the IBM Academic Coordinator (2013-Mar 2020), and Registrar (2014-2017) of Acsenda. He stays active in events and activities related to FITT and other logistics professional association such as CITT.
Mike respects and supports best practices in 3BL, the economic, social and environmental dimensions in global business of Profit, People, Planet for sustainability.
Dr. Hiran Roy holds a PhD in Management from University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand and MBA from University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada. Prior to joining to academia he has worked extensively (over 26 years) with hospitality business industry as an Executive Chef in different continents. He has been the recipient of the Outstanding Employee of the Year Award by Hilton Worldwide in recognition of his outstanding performance and service. Hiran is also a recipient of a New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan Award. His research interests include sustainable local food systems, local food marketing, city branding, sustainability, and employee well-being in hospitality industry. Hiran’s work has been published in a variety of book chapters such as Routledge, Elsevier, and Emerald and leading academic journals including Journal of Sustainable Tourism, Journal of Destination Marketing and Management, Journal of Foodservice Business Research, and International Journal of Tourism Cities.
Yunona is a professional educator, translator and writer with Tbilisi State University Master’s Degree in Journalism and Moscow State University Diploma in Japanese Language and Culture. She taught all levels of Japanese language to undergraduate students at Moscow University and Columbia College in Vancouver and lived and worked in Japan and the US. After relocating to Canada, Yunona worked as a retail manager and also as a general manager/owner of an Italian café in Coquitlam, BC and a catering company Yumico in Vancouver, BC. While owning food and beverage businesses for ten years, Yunona gained hands-on experience of all aspects of operation, production, marketing and sales. She acquired proficiency in teaching all levels of various hospitality management courses after earning the AHLEI Hospitality Management Diploma, becoming the AHLEI Faculty Member and having taught hospitality management in Vancouver, BC for 10 consecutive years. Currently Yunona is working on her Master’s Degree in Global Tourism and Hospitality in Global School of Business in Madrid, Spain. Yunona’s teaching philosophy is immersive learning achieved by relating to the aspects taught from practical point of view and taking each step as an inspiration and incentive to learn more.
Vikram graduated from the Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management, Schloss Klessheim, Salzburg, Austria. After working in various capacities for hotels in Vienna, Vikram moved to the U.S. As a Management Trainee with Hilton Hotels, he quickly gained valuable experience in all departments of a hotel, and held senior management positions.
Vikram has a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, specializing in Hospitality and Tourism Management, among other TQM and teaching-related qualifications.
He enjoys the outdoors – rowing, hiking, camping – as much as he enjoys reading and keeping up with world current affairs and events.
B.Sc., MBA, D.Ed., PCC
Sydney is a self-changer; an education junkie. With a flair for the creative, she has faced many challenges and surprised herself and others with her out-of-the-box successes. She is passionate about being a change agent for others.
She has worked with Entrepreneurs for over 15 years helping them turn their dreams into reality. Sydney has been a leader in adult education for the past 25 years. Sydney has created full degree programs, undergraduate and MBA in business and has the technical and analytical skills plus the training in development to bring out the best in her students.
She got into Coaching when she and a team from the British Columbia Institute of Technology developed a Competency-Based Management degree to be delivered through the Coaching process. Since that time Coaching has become a major tool in her work and in her teaching.