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Staff

Paris Gaudet,
Executive Director
Paris has been part of the organization since 2007 and under her leadership, has increased the profile and impact of the organization significantly. As a skilled community builder with more than 15 years’ experience in economic development, Paris draws on her experience in the public and private sector to move Innovation Island forward.

Paris is born and raised on beautiful Vancouver Island and loves the versatile lifestyle that comes with living here. In her spare time, Paris likes running, cycling, cooking, reading and camping. Her favorite quote is “Be daring, be different, be impractical; be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the Ordinary." - Cecil Beaton
Graham Truax,
Executive in Residence / Business Advisor
Graham has over 30 years’ experience working as an entrepreneur and executive with start-ups and small-medium-sized businesses.  With a background in software/technology that started in 1982 he has led and participated in numerous product development and project financing ventures from bootstrapping stages through to mass market commercialization.  Over the course of his career he has worked in retail, manufacturing, commercial real-estate development and media/technology sectors in Canada and the US.  Graham has founded, co-founded and advised dozens of companies; realizing 7-9 figure revenues and raising over $150 million in venture and institutional financing.  Product conceptualization, market research, strategic planning, creative financing and risk/opportunity assessment(s) are key attributes to his work as a Business Advisor and Executive in Residence.

As an ardent information hacker and technology advocate, Graham’s enthusiasm for new concepts and ideas is infectious; he consistently challenges himself and others to drive for creative solutions and to capitalize on the ever changing landscape of business innovation – keeping clients informed, engaged and inspired.  Graham moved to the Island in 2008 with his family; he enjoys skiing, sailing and exploring trails by foot or pedal. 
Chelsea Pedersen,
Program Manager
Chelsea has been part of the Innovation Island team for the past seven years; most recently moving into a temporary Program Manager role from her Program Assistant position. She is a collaborative, efficient and reliable administrative professional with 15+ years of experience supporting business operations at various levels. Chelsea has attended Vancouver Island University multiple times since graduating high school in Nanaimo.  

She feels inspired by the passionate people that surround her daily and enjoys bringing a positive attitude to the people she encounters.