Team

Meet the fam.

Keith MacKenzie

FOUNDER & PRESIDENT

VICTORIA

In addition to being a successful business owner, Keith attended Royal Roads University (RRU) in the Executive MBA program. His final project focused on exploring the succession pathways available to business owners on Vancouver Island. He uses the results of that research on a daily basis, working creatively with buyers and sellers to structure traditional and non-traditional transactions. 

During his time at RRU, Keith was the Entrepreneur in Residence and remains active as a panelist and mentor for students in RRU’s Bachelor of Commerce program.

Keith founded Chinook because he loves small business and wanted to help business owners successfully transition to the next stage of their life. He believes business owners truly are a breed apart and is always grateful when a client affords him the opportunity to help with a transaction.

Keith is one of the fairest, funniest, and most fearless leaders out there. He keeps the office light, productive and motivates everyone to be the best version of themselves. The way to Keith’s heart? A bottle of good whiskey and a round of golf.

Mike Lenz

PARTNER, business intermediary

VICTORIA

A successful entrepreneur and broadly engaged human being, Mike founded two companies and purchased three more before starting his career as a business intermediary in 2005. His biggest endeavor was a printing company in Toronto. He bought a tiny shop in a downtown basement with antiquated equipment doing a few hundred thousand in annual revenues. In his 10 years at the helm the company grew into a dynamic, modern operation with sales of more than $5,000,000 and a staff of 25. In addition to helping people buy and sell businesses, Mike also lends his considerable expertise to business owners in helping them analyze operations, understand value drivers, develop and implement business plans for reasons from improved performance and ease of management, to securing financing for business growth and ultimately to achieve maximum value in a business sale. 

After many years of service, Mike still goes to work excited with the opportunity to help people see their business and personal aspirations become reality. Each day he looks forward to sharing his experience, training, insight, wisdom, passion and patience in the service of his clients. 

Things you won’t read in the profile? Mike is one of the best entertainers we know, ask to hear one of his elaborate stories or hear him sing (he was in the opera.) Mike adds that ‘something’ to the team that could never be replaced, and we are grateful to have him.

Morgan Tate

PARTNER, BUSINESS INTERMEDIARY

VICTORIA

Born and raised in Victoria, Morgan is Chinook’s swiss army knife.

A graduate of the Gustavson School of Business, Morgan went on to work at IG Wealth Management before becoming employee #3 at Pani Energy, one of the world’s top water technology start-ups. It was in these entrepreneurial roles, Morgan learned how to overcome a variety of challenges. Whether it was coordinating a complex technology project in rural India, or overseeing the implementation of a business owner’s financial plan, Morgan uses this creative problem solving to help buyers and sellers negotiate deals that are fair to both sides.

Morgan is one of those overly humble people, he won’t sit here and brag about how he’s accomplished so much at a young age, so we will do it for him. Not only has he made partner at Chinook, but he spearheaded the entire development and management of Chinook’s sister company, DealBuilder. From product design, to client relations, to closing deals, to everything in between. Our friend here is headed places, and we’re grateful we get to come along for the ride.

Ramon Ramirez

partner, BUSINESS INTERMEDIARY

NORTH ISLAND

Ramon joins Chinook afters 22 years in the banking industry; a career that started in South America. He held roles in Vancouver, Bermuda, Southern Alberta, and Vancouver Island; working in several areas of banking including Operations, Payments and Cash Management, e-Commerce, and Commercial Banking. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Capilano University. He worked for BDC, HSBC, Costal Community Credit Union, Citibank, and owned a retail business.

He worked with companies of all sizes, from start-ups to large multinationals. He has experience with a wide a range of banking services including Commercial lending, Trade Financing, Leasing, International Banking, FX, Treasury, and Payments and Cash Management.  During his time in Commercial Banking, Ramon advised and supported several clients on starting their dream business, acquire shares from other companies, expand operations, and in many cases, prepare to transition out of business. He is passionate about customer service and helping his clients realize their business projects.

Ramon is also Mortgage Broker with Invis West Coast Mortgages. If there is a need to leverage funds for a business purchase against residential real estate, Ramon will be happy to discuss options with you.

Outside work, he is a fully certified firefighter with Comox Fire Rescue, a director with the Rotary Club of Courtenay, a director with the Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce, an avid cyclist, and competes in long distance triathlons. He lives in Comox with his wife, Amy, and two children, Lane and Sebastian. Fun fact about Ramon? It’s absolutely impossible to leave any conversation with him without feeling 1000000% better than you just did. Always courteous, kind, happy, and light-hearted, you want Ramon in your corner.

Dana Carroll

BUSINESS INTERMEDIARY

VICTORIA

Dana is a seasoned, business-driven expert with many years of experience and countless successes. At the young age of 18, he started his first business, while attending UBC in Vancouver, which grew to over 100 employees and $2 million per annum revenue. Dana expanded this business in to warehousing, box truck delivery, air freight and home delivery programs for big box retail.  On his highlight reel of accomplishments is the endeavour he took on becoming the first franchise operator of a Thrifty Foods store on the Mainland of British Columbia. He opened a 28,000 square foot store with over 150 employees and revenues of more than $25 million per year. This business was sold back to the franchisor as the entire company was purchased by Sobey’s. This experience vaulted his career into retail liquor, store design and retail consulting, commercial real estate, investment banking, residential real estate development and a string of successful interim management engagements with companies ranging from $1m to $65m in revenue.  

Where Dana shines is his ability to grow the value of any businesses through operational, management and financial efficiencies. Through his vast years of experience, he was able to help one business with revenue less than $250k to over $1.5m in one year and another from under $600K to over $7.5m in about 18 months! He has had the ability to work with many different companies over the course of his career and help them in unimaginable ways. This wealth of experience makes networking one of his biggest strengths as he has worked in numerous industry fields and has a vast network of contacts throughout Canada. Dana’s experience, knowledge and strategic mind will be an asset to anyone looking to improve an existing business, expand business operations, increase revenue or prepare for a sale. Dana will guide you through the process with your best interests always in mind and at the forefront.

Dana is married and resides in Metchosin with two boys and has been active in soccer, baseball and golf as a player and coach for many years.  

Paul Cheetham

BUSINESS INTERMEDIARY

VANCOUVER

Paul will be leading our team of intermediaries in the Vancouver office. He has extensive experience in a number of industries after working in – or owning – businesses in Tech, Banking, Wealth Management, Marketing, Tourism, Management Consulting, and so much more. In addition, Paul is a Certified Financial Planner, and has the ability to dissect and make sense of numbers with his clients.

Along with his numerous years experience as a Business Broker, he has also been on the other side of the table buying, owning, and selling, which lends a unique skillset to his transactional skills. As an alumnus of Harvard Business School, Paul accumulated an endless list of connections around the globe which aide in helping his clients to success. 

Paul specializes in business improvement systems that turn owner-operated businesses into semi-absentee-run companies. 

In his free time, Paul is also an entertainer; he was in a Pearl Jam tribute band in his early 20s and still plays guitar today. Fun fact: he also holds his pilot license!

Ava Miller

BUSINESS INTERMEDIARY

VANCOUVER

Born and raised in beautiful Montrose, British Columbia, Ava started her own successful event coordinating company and grew it to a staff of 65. Further interested in expanding her portfolio, Ava then studied at UBC Sauder School of Business and received licenses in both Residential and Commercial Real Estate Management.

After years as a practicing Real Estate Agent in Vancouver, Ava developed a passion for business brokering. Leveraging her real estate experience, entrepreneurial background, and large network, she has already hit the ground running and is helping sellers and buyers achieve their goals at Chinook.

Ava is one of those people who lights up a room when she enters, with her welcoming smile and friendly demeanour. She is what we call our connector, constantly meeting new people and creating lasting relationships. 

Steven Chand

BUSINESS INTERMEDIARY

VANCOUVER

Steven comes to Chinook with over 25+ years of experience in his career as a trusted professional in corporate finance & development, exit planning, wealth management, mergers & acquisition, and as a business intermediary. 

Steven is highly experienced in a variety of industries ranging from manufacturing, distribution, real estate, investment banking, and financial services. He has been proven invaluable when it comes to exit/succession planning, wealth management, valuations, mergers & acquisition, and business transition. 

When not working, he is passionate about spending time with his family, as well as playing and teaching music. 

Breanne Epoch

MARKETING & ADMINISTRATIVE COORDINATOR

VICTORIA

Breanne facilitates daily marketing and office administration. She collaborates with her team on all company content being shared on social media, the website, newsletters, email campaigns, marketing packages, or other mediums. Her main focus is creating unique content, completing website updates, social media management, and creating and executing marketing objectives.

Breanne holds a Bachelors of Business Administration with a major in Marketing & Communications Management, and comes with over 10 years of experience in her field. In addition to her Chinook role, she manages a home businesses and multiple residential properties which contributes to her entrepreneurial experience.

Aside from Chinook, she is passionate about spending time with her family, exploring outdoors, helping people, and giving back to the community.

Breanne is always smiling or laughing, and will be your biggest cheerleader. Oh and if you ever need anything, she can be bought with good chocolate or red wine.

Hannah Nixon

Marketing assistant

VICTORIA

Hannah joined us after graduating with a Bachelors of Humanities from the University of Victoria, with a focus in English and writing. Her experience is an asset to Chinook, and directly results in the quality and creativity of our buyer marketing packages.

She is all things creative and fresh ideas. She holds a background in social media management and is able to adapt into any role needed. She started as Chinook’s administrator and quickly moved to marketing where she creates unique and engaging content for our company daily.

Aside from her role at Chinook, Hannah loves to get outside any chance she gets and with her previous home in Edmonton, weather is never a concern.

Hannah’s laughter literally lights up the room, she’s just one of those people you want to be around. Also, if anyone has a dog, please bring it to the office so Hannah can snuggle it and pretend its hers. She wants one dearly but isn’t ready to take the plunge just yet!

Allyse Donohue

Office administrator

VICTORIA

Allyse joins Chinook as our expert of organization. With over 10 years of experience in administration, she is exceptional at prioritizing tasks and knowing what needs to be completed before the rest of us even ask. With an english major and a strong background in real estate, communications, and photo journalism, Allyse is the perfect fit to keep our correspondence organized, our communications clear, and our wild team on track.

Allyse is the friendly voice you’ll hear when you call the office, and is integral to our office running smoothly. She came in and hit the ground running – and now we can’t imagine life without her.

Allyse was fortunate to spend a decade living in paradise, growing up where we all desire to vacation – – Hawaii! Kona to be exact. Somehow she landed in our tiny little city and although she’s ventured off the island a few times, she always comes back to her home (Victoria). In her off time, she spends time with her partner, and her two cats Leo & Sadie. Allyse enjoys exploring the beauty of Vancouver Island by hiking and paddle boarding.