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Meet the Jury - 2018


The Win Your Space YK Jury members have been selected for their diverse backgrounds and involvement with the Yellowknife business community, as well as their business expertise and first hand experience of starting and running businesses in downtown Yellowknife.

Gillian Lee

Professional Summary

  • · Gillian has been with Crowe MacKay LLP since 2003
    • · She provides taxation and financial planning services, including personal tax planning and retirement planning services, to individuals.
    • · She also provides bookkeeping, financial statements, audit and tax services to private corporations.
    • · Gillian also instructs numerous training courses, and assists clients with completing business plans.


  • · In Gillian’s 15 years with Crowe MacKay, she has worked with both large and complex businesses, and small to medium-sized owner-managed businesses

Professional Affiliations

  • · President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.


  • · A graduate of Memorial University in Newfoundland, Gillian received her Chartered Accountant designation in 2006, and was awarded her Certified Financial Planner designation in 2010 from the Financial Planning Standards Council
  • · Gillian has also completed the three year In-Depth Tax course offered through Chartered Professional Accountants Canada, as well as the In-Depth GST course.

Community Involvement

  • · Gillian is active in the community and has served as the Purser of the Great Slave Yacht Club, Treasurer of the Yellowknife Curling Club and as a member of the NWT chapter of Compassion House (a facility to house and support women with breast cancer, and their companions, while the women undergo treatment).
  • · Gillian is currently volunteering with the City of Yellowknife’s business incubation contest “Win Your Space YK” as a juror, working with other volunteers to assess the future viability of new businesses proposed by contestants.

Service Focus:

  • · Audit, review, compilation
  • · Tax planning and compliance
  • · Succession planning
  • · Retirement and estate planning
  • · Business plans

 Industry Focus:

  • · Privately-held businesses
  • · Manufacturing, wholesale and distribution
  • · Not-for-profit and charitable groups
  • · Professionals
  • · Real estate and construction


 Rob Warburton

 Robert Warburton is a founder of CloudWorks who’s primary focus is to work with businesses, NGO’s and clients to find the right commercial or residential space for them to succeed.

Rob believes that there are unique and better ways to use our spaces. Whether it’s finding a better use for an existing building or advocating for better policies and approaches to housing and density, Rob believes that we can make Yellowknife a great livable city if we focus on small incremental changes while we dream of big ones.

CloudWorks has undertaken over $10 million in real estate projects and is continuing to invest and grow in Yellowknife.


Mellisa Mercredi

Mellisa Mercredi, is a Sourcing Specialist in the procurement department at Diavik Diamond Mines. Her current responsibilities include creation, negotiation and execution of commercially sound contracts with key suppliers. In addition to fostering relationships with suppliers, Mellisa assists in development of strategies to deliver optimal value to the business. Since joining Diavik in 2006, Mellisa has held various roles, at our mine site operation and with the department of finance.
Mellisa is a graduate of Aurora College's Northern Leadership Development Program and has obtained her Diploma in Supply Chain Management. She is currently pursuing a designation from the internationally recognized Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS).
Win Your Space YK is an exciting opportunity to represent Diavik and will allow Mellisa to contribute to her community through her expertise as a panelist for the jury. Mellisa currently resides in Yellowknife with her husband and two young children and looks forward to learning more about the entrepreneurs participating in the competition.


Kyle Thomas

Kyle Thomas is passionate about helping small businesses and entrepreneurs reach their goals while supporting Yellowknife. Always driven by his own passions and commitment to the community, Kyle has started and operated various small businesses since the age of 13.

Be it a mobile bike mechanic service, community tour agency, a seasonal bakery booth at the farmers market, an online publication about Yellowknife, or a digital marketing and start-up consultancy. Kyle has learned a great deal about starting up small businesses and building strong brands in Yellowknife and hopes to bring that knowledge to anyone interested in pursuing their own ideas and passions.   


Sheila Conroy

Sheila joins the Jury with more than 20 years of banking experience. She moved to Yellowknife from Cambridge Bay Nunavut in 2014 to open the First Nations Bank of Canada branch.  She highly values community and is an active volunteer.


Jonathan Renko

Jonathan Renko started his career in commercial real estate in 1995 and has been in the business ever since. He has evolved with enclosed shopping centers throughout the years working in many different cities in Canada refining his skills. Jonathan has more than 20 years of experience in the shopping center industry.  Jonathan is now the Director of Commercial Real Estate and manages the operations of all Northview REIT`s commercial portfolio across Canada.

Jonathan is also involved in the development and implementation of all commercial leases along with Leadership Mentoring and Development Initiatives throughout the Company.

Jonathan holds his LEED AP designation and continues to keep himself updated through many BOMA & LEED initiatives and programs.  His professional experience is concentrated in the retail market sector where he has worked with numerous national corporations on assignments throughout Canada.  Jonathan has also served as an invited panel member for the National Retail Construction Association and is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers. Jonathan has a big passion in educating the future leaders of Canadian real estate, shopping center, and management and truly enjoys all aspects of this diverse industry


Gabe Powless

Gabe Powless grew up in Yellowknife and is a member of Yellowknives Dene First Nation. He established Raven Web Services in 2016. Gabe is very proficient in web design and various programming languages. He is also a Certified Webmaster and certified in Google AdWords and Advanced Analytics. Gabe loves to spend time with his family and is a proud father.