The Canadian Center for Aboriginal Entrepreneurship, Inc. is an incorporated business dedicated to Aboriginal Entrepreneurship in Canada. The Aboriginal BEST program is delivered by CCAE.
The CCAE is owned by Bruce Lacroix, President and CEO. Born in Halifax of mixed Mi’kmaq and French heritage, Bruce now lives in the picturesque heritage town of Nelson, BC with his family.
A life-long entrepreneur and self-professed “terrible employee working for others”, Bruce works best in collaboration with others to help achieve success for all involved.
- Business Administration, Thompson Rivers University, BC
- Hospitality / Tourism Management Algonquin College, Ottawa
- Physical Education (Outdoor Pursuits), University of Calgary
- Recreation Administration, Mt Royal College, Calgary
Bruce enjoys volunteering locally, and has been a Director with Nelson and District Credit Union, Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce, Nelson Municipal Library and the Rotary Club of Nelson – Daybreak.
He started his own business in 1989 while on welfare with his first child on the way, so he understands the challenges of many entrepreneurs. When not working to help you, he can be found on a kayak on Kootenay Lake, or scuba diving in tropical waters with his family.
Flavio Caron owns Aboriginal Directions Business Consulting and has worked with Bruce on Aboriginal BEST for 8 years. He is also Executive Director of the National Aboriginal Energy and Power Association. Of Ojibway and Italian heritage, Flavio brings 20 years of experience working with Indigenous communities and groups to further their economic capacities.
Besides Aboriginal BEST, Flavio includes Indigenous Corporate Training Inc., Royal Bank of Canada, BC Housing, BC Hydro,VANOC and the Government of BC as some of his trusted and respected clients.
He will co-chair the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade’s Aboriginal Business Forum in June 2017.
Kristin Kozuback has been a champion for Indigenous rights, Aboriginal entrepreneurship and community-based economic development since she started working in our community in 1999. She has a Masters of Education Degree specializing in Indigenous Education, bringing her ‘wholistic’ approach to business to our Aboriginal BEST Program as Regional Coordinator and Trainer.
Kristin owns the socially responsible marketing company, Spiritlink Communications, and is the founder and co-owner of RedWAY News Inc. Kristin is highly respected in the BC Aboriginal community for her knowledge of Aboriginal organizations, adult education, communication and marketing strategies, and respect of Aboriginal traditions and culture.
Kristin secured funding to coordinate and recruit 15 Aboriginal delegates from across Canada to form a “Canadian Aboriginal Innovation Team” which attended the United Nations World Youth Summit of Entrepreneurs in New York, NY.
Kristin has been honoured to work with organizations such as KAYA (Knowledgeable Aboriginal Youth Association), the Native Education College, The Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, Aboriginal Business Canada, BC Association of Friendship Centres, the BC AFN (Assembly of First Nations) Youth Council, and the Council for Advancement of Native Development Officers (CANDO).
Chris’ background in web development, design and marketing began in early 2000 as president of Funktion Communications (based in Nelson, British Columbia). Specializing in state-of-the-art web applications and business tools, Chris has developed award-winning websites for a wide array of clients throughout Western Canada and the Pacific Northwest. With his most recent business venture, Battery Studios, Chris continues to work with innovative companies and organizations developing web-based strategies and cutting-edge technology solutions.
Also a professional musician, Chris has performed internationally for the past 13 years with the highly recognized AC/DC Tribute Band, BC/DC. His keen eye for design, and his promotional efforts have been major factors in the ongoing success and brand recognition of the band. Chris’ original rock band, Savage Blade, signed a international distribution deal with Germany’s Pure Steel Records in 2009. With two full length releases to date, Savage Blade has garnered rave reviews and strong worldwide sales ever since.
Chris enjoys working with creative, unique, and motivated people; and that his passion for his work and his music can help others to challenge themselves and meet their true potential.
Supporting Aboriginal BEST
Stewart W. Anderson
Vancity (Vancouver City Savings Credit Union) – Manager, Community Investment
Stewart grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia and attended Dalhousie University, before travelling, doing his Masters degree in International Development and relocating to Vancouver.
He has worked in the financial services sector for the last 25 years, and has a strong background in economic development, project finance, and corporate lending, as well as a keen awareness of the importance of relationship building. His clients have included Entrepreneurs, Aboriginal Social Service agencies, First Nation Governments, Aboriginal and First Nation Development Corporations, and First Nation/Private Sector Joint Ventures.
In his current role as Manager, Indigenous Partnerships, Stewart works to broaden and deepen the Credit Union’s involvement with Aboriginal communities in and beyond the traditional territory of the Coast Salish people where Vancity is located.