Anita Pawluk

  • Article
    Attendance ballooned to over 1,100 guests, making it one of the largest celebrations of its kind in see more

    19th Annual VIATEC Awards shine spotlight on Greater Victoria’s #1 industry


    VICTORIA, BC (June 15, 2019) – Last night at the Royal Theatre, the VIATEC Awards celebrated the innovation and excellence of individuals and technology companies responsible for making Victoria the fastest growing technology region in British Columbia. 49 finalists were honoured, with 15 recipients receiving newly designed astronaut trophies (designed by local artist Russell Papp), at the elaborate show. Attendance ballooned to over 1,100 guests, making it one of the largest celebrations of its kind in the nation, and VIATEC’s most attended - ever.

    Erin Skillen took the reigns for the second year in a row as host for the production, bringing the perfect balance of humour, intelligence and attitude. With a theme of “There’s no place like home”, the night featured local variety show acts from Passion

    and Performance Arts Inc, Atomic Vaudeville and a powerful finale accompanied by the resident awards band, in what has become an annual tradition... flying inflatable Killer Whales. The stage was brought to life by immersive video projections from VJ Photon featuring seven flown screens featuring video projection mapping along with four laser banks and five giant disco balls all supported by the incredible stage crew of the Royal Theatre. Everyone continued the celebration at the After Party with local eight piece band The New Groovement.

    “It is our honour to produce a show that brings together and entertains our tech community and we relish the opportunity to highlight and celebrate some of our top performing companies and executives,” said Dan Gunn, CEO of VIATEC. “Each year gets more elaborate and we cannot say enough about our local arts community and what they bring to make this event the unique and anticipated festivity it is has become.”


    Technology Company of the Year (30+ employees):
    (Sponsored by: Farris, Vaughan, Wills & Murphy LLP)


    Technology Company of the Year (11-29 employees):

    (Sponsored by: Lazaridis Institute)


    Scale-Up of the Year:

    (Sponsored by: KPMG LLP)


    Start-Up of the Year:

    (Sponsored by: Bambora)


    Product of the Year:

    (Sponsored by: RBC Commercial Financial Services)


    Innovative Excellence - Software or Service:

    (Sponsored by: Grant Thornton LLP)


    Innovative Excellence - Hardware:

    (Sponsored by: Wesley Clover)


    Leader of the Year:

    (Sponsored by: AbeBooks)


    Emerging Leader of the Year:

    (Sponsored by: Roy Group)


    Team of the Year:

    (Sponsored by: Royal Roads University)


    Employer of the Year:

    (Sponsored by: The VIATEC Foundation)


    NAMED RECIPIENTS (No finalists):


    The Colin Lennox Award for Technology

    (Sponsored by: Reed Pope LLP)


    VIATEC Members of the Year:

    (Sponsored by: Cox Taylor LLP)

    • Sang Kiet-Ly, KPMG


    Community Champion:

    (Sponsored by: City of Victoria)


    Angel of the Year:

    (Selected by the Capital Investment Network, Sponsored by Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP)

    Media Contact:

    Michaela Schluessel
    Community Manager


    About VIATEC

    VIATEC (Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council), started in 1989. Our mission is to serve as the one-stop hub that connects people, knowledge and resources to grow and promote the Greater Victoria technology sector (Victoria's biggest industry). We work closely with our members to offer a variety of events, programs and services. In addition, VIATEC serves as the front door of the local tech sector and as its spokesperson. To better support local innovators, we acquired our own building (Fort Tectoria) where we offer flexible and affordable office space to emerging local companies along with a gathering/event space for local entrepreneurs.,

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    10yrs ago Anita co-founded RaceRocks 3D and began her journey in the defence and security industry.. see more

    Author: Marcello Sukhdeo

    Ten years ago, Anita Pawluk co-founded RaceRocks 3D Inc. and began her journey in the defence and security industry. RaceRocks provides traditional, e-learning, VR, AR, media, story, and game-based training development, and big data analytics for critical decision making.

    “My first introduction to technology-based work was when we got our first accounting computer in Base Internal Audit at CFB Esquimalt,” said Pawluk. “I jumped at the opportunity to use the tool and took my Certified Information Systems Auditor training.” After that, she became hooked and moved on to AbeBooks to bridge the gap between accounting and technology.

    “I found that I loved working with the developers there. The owners also mentored me to become an entrepreneur – guidance that led me to co-found and take the role of CFO at RaceRocks,” she said. In this role, she discovered that she wanted to work more with the team and understand their products and motivations better. She later expanded into project management and became Director of Operations, and then took on her new role in RaceRocks.

    Anita Pawluk has made a significant impact in the training field and is an outstanding leader. She was selected as Vanguard Game Changer for the February/March 2020 issue. Read on to learn more about her role and how they are changing the game in the industry.

    What is your role at your organization today?

    I am the President and Co-Founder. I build and model our great company culture, provide inspired leadership to the executive team, establish a collaborative working relationship with our board of directors, and set a course for company strategy. As a proud, Indigenous woman, one of the things I enjoy most is working with our diverse and inclusive team. We are one of the few women- and Indigenous-led high technology companies in the Canadian defence industry.

    What was your most challenging moment?

    In the early days, we were trying to sell leading-edge technology that wasn’t yet widely adopted. As the defence industry progressed, we gained traction and built partnerships to create pioneering products that met our clients’ needs. Our products, such as the MV Asterix and MARTECH Leading Seaman Electrical training platforms, are now training personnel at sea, online, and in the classroom.

    What was your “aha” moment or epiphany that you think will resonate most with our reader? Tell us that story.

    In 2019, we learned about the value of partnership. That year, RaceRocks worked with Boeing and Babcock on $1.2 million worth of R&D programs through the ITB Investment framework. At CANSEC, Boeing announced our investment into Big Data Analytics, and Babcock had our interactive class plan on display in their booth. We realized these successful projects are built on strong relationships. Looking forward, we will bring the power of data to the training products we build with our partners.

    What is the one thing that has you most fired up today?

    Creating truly decision-driven training! RaceRocks sees the potential of integrating data in learning products in an industry that is forever changing. We want our training to be immersive and adaptive so we can continually improve and learn alongside our partners. I am fired up to see how we can collaboratively develop creative solutions and build training based on informed decisions.

    What is the best advice you received?

    Tracy Medve from KF Aerospace, a defence industry executive, whom I admire greatly, told me to shoot for the stars, but have a contingency plan that keeps both feet on the ground.

    What is a habit that contributes to your success?

    My leadership style focuses on clear communication, goal-setting and employee motivation. Through a people-first mindset, I empower and support our team to take risks and be innovative. Together, we drive the company towards our goal to become thought leaders in immersive learning.

    What people or organizations do you believe best embody the innovation mindset?

    Organizations that embrace creativity best embody an innovative mindset. Instead of starting with established processes and organizational structures, start with creative thinking.

    How is your organization changing the game within your industry sector?

    RaceRocks is imagining and setting the industry standard for immersive and decision-driven training systems. We redefine learning by doing, by creating realistic, interactive experiences for the learner to practice and adapt. Our goal is to create a world of informed decisions.

    Our cutting-edge, technology-empowered learning creates a seamless experience, more conducive to engagement and retention, and integrates the power of data to achieve optimal results. We utilize immersive game engines, appropriate pedagogical approaches, user input data, human factor tracking, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to consistently advance the state of training.

    What are some of the biggest impediments to innovation in your industry sector?

    The Canadian Armed Forces and defence primes truly want to innovate, but are often constrained by the IT, HR, contracts, legal and security issues that come with their size. By utilizing an innovative small partner, forward-thinking organizations can bypass many of these constraints and achieve their innovation agendas.

    How has innovation become engrained in your organization’s culture and how is it being optimized?

    We empower our team to express themselves as thought leaders. This culture drives us and encourages our industry to be the best in the world. We don’t create gimmicks – we collaborate with partners and empower them with innovative solutions.

    What technologies, business models, and trends will drive the biggest changes in your industry over the next two years?

    We believe that integrating data into immersive and decision-driven learning will fundamentally change training in the industry. It will empower the learner and enable organizations to make critical decisions. We are embedding data warehousing, visualization, machine learning, and artificial intelligence in our training products.

    What is your parting piece of advice?

    Embrace your roots and let your team embrace theirs. Diversity in collaboration always creates a better solution than a single point of view.

  • Article
    As always, the night was filled with irreverence and a touch of pandemonium. see more

    Source: Times Colonist 
    Author: Andrew Duffy

    More than 1,100 people gathered in the Royal Theatre Friday night to celebrate the brightest lights of the high-tech industry.

    The 19th annual Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council awards handed out 15 trophies in what was the largest awards show yet. As always, the night was filled with irreverence and a touch of pandemonium — complete with flying inflatable whales — while the spotlight hit some of the best stories in the industry.

    “It is our honour to produce a show that brings together and entertains our tech community and we relish the opportunity to highlight and celebrate some of our top performing companies and executives,” said VIATEC chief executive Dan Gunn.

    “Each year gets more elaborate and we cannot say enough about our local arts community and what they bring to make this event the unique and anticipated festivity it is has become.”

    Erin Athene was named this year’s winner of the Victoria tech sector's highest award, the Colin Lennox Award for Technology Champion. Athene has been a tireless servant to the community having worn several hats including starting the local Ladies Learning Code chapter and serving as a mentor in VIATEC’s accelerator program.

    Other winners were Women’s Equity Lab as Angel of the Year; Sang Kiet-Ly of KPMG as Member of the Year; and RingPartner, named Community Champion.


    Other Winners

    • Tech Company of the Year (30+ employees): Benevity

    • Tech Company of the Year (11-29 employees): RingPartner

    • Scale-Up of the Year: Tutela

    • Start-Up of the Year: Cuboh

    • Product of the Year: Limbic Media

    • Innovative Excellence, Software or Service: DreamCraft Attractions

    • Innovative Excellence, Hardware: RioT Technology Corp.

    • Leader of the Year: Anita Pawluk, RaceRocks

    • Emerging Leader of the Year: Stephanie Thiel, SaaSquatch

    • Team of the Year: Encepta

    • Employer of the Year: FreshWorks Studio

  • Article
    Anita Pawluk will become the company’s chief executive and retain the title of President. see more

    Source: RaceRocks

    RaceRocks announces new executive leadership



    In preparation for CANSEC next week RaceRocks is excited to announce that Scott Dewis will be stepping down as CEO and Day to Day operations. Anita Pawluk will become the company’s chief executive and retain the title of President. Scott will shift to Executive Chairman and continue to build strategic partnerships as well as support the C-suite as required. Anita and Scott will be attending CANSEC to meet with all RaceRocks clients face to face. 

    I’m excited that Anita be given this chance to take the reins of the team we built over the last 8 years. Her leadership has made us what we are today and helped shape RaceRocks as an inclusive and gender balanced rising star in Canadian Defence industry. – Scott Dewis Executive Chairman

    Anita is a 5th Generation Vancouver Islander, with 25% Métis ancestry and family roots that include Louis Riel (Métis Leader – Canadian Politician). Anita is an experienced entrepreneur and owner of successful Startup companies in diverse fields such as technology, clean energy, construction and storage. 

    Anita has been honored by Victoria’s $5 billion technology industry with a nomination for Technology Leader of the Year at the VIATEC awards in June. She enjoys growing her team and working with clients and strategic partners to deliver innovative projects that help drive the state of the art in Technology Enabled Learning and Data Analytics. 

    RaceRocks is an aboriginal and woman managed western Canadian SMB that designs Virtual training systems to accelerate skills training for its airspace and defence clients. RaceRocks also utilizes big data analytics to deliver critical decision-making tools for In Service Support programs. Under Anita’s leadership RaceRocks became a top 75 Canadian Defence company and grew organically as a gender neutral and culturally diverse firm at the executive, management, and team levels. Anita is executing RaceRocks’ strategic plan to hire 80 Canadians over the next 4 years and create socio economic benefits in British Columbia.