Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.

- Walt Whitman

Graham Truax

Executive Director / Executive in Residence

Graham is a technology and entrepreneurial shaper, a.k.a. Startup Whisperer.  He considers himself (and we do too) as an introverted extrovert and an optimistic pragmatist!  With over 30 years’ experience working as an entrepreneur and executive in start-ups and small-medium-sized businesses, starting with mainframe computing in 1982, Graham’s career has spanned retail, manufacturing, commercial real-estate development and media/technology industries in Canada and the US.  He 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 assessments are key attributes to his work as an Executive in Residence and Business Advisor.

As a relentless information hacker and technology advocate Graham’s enthusiasm for new concepts and ideas is infectious!  In helping his clients to build, grow and stay in place he brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the challenge and opportunity of technology’s exponential future.  Graham moved to the Comox Valley from West Vancouver in 2008 with his family; he enjoys skiing, SUP, sailing, and exploring trails by foot or pedal.

Chelsea Pedersen

General Manager


Chelsea has been part of the Innovation Island team for the past 9+ years; most recently filling the General Manager position. She is a collaborative, efficient and reliable administrative professional with 18+ years of experience supporting business operations at various levels. Chelsea has been involved in several community initiatives including Ladies Learning Code and the Nanaimo Deep Discovery Association. She has attended Vancouver Island University twice: once for Applied Business Technology immediately after graduating high school in Nanaimo; and the second time a few years later for Internet Productions.

She feels inspired by the passionate people that surround her daily and enjoys bringing a positive attitude to the people she encounters. Outside of the office Chelsea can be seen spending time with her family and young kiddos enjoying a low-key, healthy lifestyle on Island time.

The greatest danger to our future is apathy

- Jane Goodall


Vision without execution is hallucination.

- Thomas Edison

Joseph Bowes

Executive in Residence


Entrepreneur, senior executive, and advisor – Joseph’s passion and experience has always revolved around early-stage ventures, and includes significant experience in commercialization strategy, corporate development, and financing. In this regard, he has worked with technology companies, as well as resource-based, and B2B (retail sector) ventures. Notable C-Suite roles include: his own several startups and successful exits; a senior executive role in a B2B startup which, in less than two years, grew to over $1M per week in revenues, and; serving as a founding director of a Florida-based specialty finance company, which grew during his involvement to $50M USD in net loans ($312M, 2016).

Skiing, racquet sports, and boating are some of Joseph’s favourite pastimes.

Innovation Island is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors who is responsible for overseeing the strategic direction of the organization. Our Board excels in its commitment to creating a vibrant regional technology community!
JP Obbagy | Relevance Path Marketing 
Blair Franklin | Johnston Franklin Bishop Lawyers
Jordan Ell | Riipen
Ivan Eggers | Resonance Software