About Us

CanCham is a voluntary business association dedicated to assisting companies and individuals doing business in Vietnam. Our aim is to provide our members with business support, education, and a social environment for the purpose of exchanging ideas, sharing expertise among members, and building on experiences. By encouraging collaboration and cooperation between businesses, government, residents and other stakeholders, we help create a synergistic environment in which we all thrive. In addition, CanCham takes pride in contributing to the improvement of the social life in Vietnam by donating all excess funds received to a number of different charitable organizations in Vietnam.

CanCham is a non-profit organization whose mission is to strengthen business and community relations for its members. With its origin dating back to 1994, CanCham has become one of the most active and dynamic business organizations in Vietnam, coordinating a broad array of social and business events that reach out to the entire population – from local business leaders to new entrepreneurs. With a presence in both Ho Chi Minh City and in Hanoi, CanCham is also a venue for young, open-minded Vietnamese business people who want to expand their network and access the Canadian and the international business community.

Strengthening and enhancing business relations is a key objective for CanCham, which includes organizing events for members as one of the avenues we use to accomplish this. CanCham is well known for holding business breakfasts and luncheons featuring topics of significance that make an impact on how business is conducted in both the Canadian and international business community here in Vietnam. For example, our renowned annual “Crystal Ball” luncheon – “The Year Ahead: Executive Summary and Outlook”, which has been held for eight years in HCMC and is typically the first international business luncheon of the new year, is one of the most anticipated events each year and regularly sells out with 200 participants. This event, which features five or six well known CEO level speakers from various industries, was also successfully launched in Hanoi earlier this year. CanCham is an Associate Member of the Vietnam Business Forum (VBF), which allows members to participate in Working Groups for various industries that communicate on behalf of the business community with the government of Vietnam about doing business. The chamber is also a member of the Advisory Council on Administrative Procedure Reform, a participant in the Anti-Corruption Dialogue and is a Honourary Member of the Canada-ASEAN Business Council (CABC), which is a cooperative of Canadian companies and Canadian chambers that operates to enhance Canadian interests in Vietnam and the region.

Board Members & Team

Board Members

Bao Nguyen

President

Mr. Bao Nguyen is a senior corporate executive and M&A/corporate finance professional with more than 16 years of experience in North America and in Asia. Since 2011, he has occupied the role of CEO and General Director of a FDI custom steel manufacturer specializing in heavy plate work. In 5 years, from a greenfield project, he has built a company now comprising 2 factories totaling more than 25,000 sqm of covered fabrication area on 2 sites and 500+ workers servicing global engineering companies and exporting critical steel pieces and components made in Vietnam for heavy industrial projects all around the world, mainly in the power and energy sectors. Bao is also the Managing Director of Newlight Advisors Ltd., an independent investment banking boutique focusing on cross border M&A and corporate finance advisory for companies in the small to mid-market segment in Southeast Asia. Bao also serves as advisor for various other companies including M & A Promotions, a unique direct marketing company with an original new way of building brand awareness.

Bao has been actively contributing to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (CanCham) Executive Board since 2008, having held the Presidency, Vice-Presidency and Treasurer positions. He is a current Executive Board Member and has represented CanCham Vietnam at the 1st Asia- Pacific CanCham event held in 2010 in Shanghai.

Bao was born in Chicoutimi, Quebec and has been calling HCMC, home away from home since 2008. He constitutes one half of a proud and blessed duo of parents that welcomed of wonderful baby girl in January 2016. Bao is fluent in English, French, Spanish and Vietnamese, and is currently learning Mandarin.

Colin McDonald

Vice-President

Originally from the prairie city of Edmonton, Alberta, Colin has been living in Asia for the past 20 years, with the first ten in South Korea, teaching at various college and universities before taking a vacation to HCMC to visit a friend where he then met his future wife. Three months later, he made the move to Vietnam and calls HCMC home where he lives with his wife of six years, Nguyen Thi Thuy and their three-year-old superhero son, Master Andrew. During his ten years in HCMC, he has been involved in the education sector in both teaching and administrative roles. He conducted teacher training at the University of Education for the first two years, teaching at the high school level for about five years, launched a tech-based teaching system and was also the Executive Director for CanCham from 2011 – 2014. In addition to his current position as a high school teacher for BCIS, Colin also coaches Vietnamese entrepreneurs on the Lean business methodology and is an entrepreneur himself, focusing on ECO friendly solar energy applications for personal use.

Jack Nguyen

Secretary

Mr. Nguyen is a Canadian Chartered Accountant who has over 20 years of international executive accounting, finance and investments experience working in Canada, the United States, and Vietnam, in both publicly listed and private companies.

Mr. Nguyen started his career working at the Big 4 accounting firms (KPMG, PwC and Deloitte) for 12 years.  After leaving public accounting, Mr. Nguyen spent 8 years in Finance Director and CFO roles for real estate, health care and education management company.  Most recently Mr. Nguyen was the Fund CFO for VinaCapital, one of the biggest investment firms in Vietnam.  Mr. Nguyen is currently the Managing Director and Country Head of TMF Group in Vietnam.  TMF Group provides financial, corporate secretarial, HR administrative and capital market support to companies of all sizes in nearly 85 countries in the world.

Larry Madge

Treasurer

Larry Madge is CEO of Sun Life Vietnam, responsible for growing Sun Life’s business in Vietnam.

Prior to this role, Larry was Senior Vice-President and Chief Actuary for Sun Life Financial, responsible for directing the firm’s actuarial practices enterprise-wide.

Larry worked in the company’s US operations from 2010-2013, first as SVP and Chief Actuary, SLF US and then as SVP and CFO, SLF US.  Prior to that Mr. Madge held a number of Vice-President positions in the Canadian business including Individual Product Development, Retail Life Insurance, Retail Consumer Solutions, and Chief Actuary, SLF Canada.

Mr. Madge holds a Bachelor of Mathematics from the University of Waterloo. He is a Fellow of both the Society of Actuaries and the Canadian Institute of Actuaries.

Lawrence Brisebois

Lawrence Brisebois obtained a Bachelor of Law (LL.B.) from Université de Montréal before being admitted to the Quebec Bar in 2011. He completed his articling in a law firm specializing in corporate law before joining CJI Shanghai office. After more than 5 years experience in Asia as an immigration lawyer, Mr. Brisebois has developed a deep understanding of the Asian and international clientele. He is now the Head of Vietnam Branch for CJ Group Legal Services Inc.  Mr. Brisebois speaks French, English and has an intermediate knowledge of Mandarin Chinese.

Ralf Matthaes

Ralf has worked and lived in Vietnam for over 22 years, all in market research.

After 20 years of Corporate life, Ralf established Infocus Mekong Research, Vietnam’s first dedicated smartphone based research agency.

In 1996, Ralf established TNS Vietnam, followed up by Kantar Media & Worldpanel, TNS Cambodia & Myanmar, becoming the biggest Agency in the region.

In 2013 he was promoted to Regional Managing Director – Mekong Region: Cambodia | Laos | Malaysia | Myanmar | Thailand | Vietnam

Ralf holds an honours degree from Wilfred Laurier University, Canada.

Prior to coming to Vietnam in 1994, Ralf served as a policy analyst for the Provincial Minister of Finance for Ontario, Canada.

Ralf has served in various capacities on the Cancham Board for almost 10 years, most recently as President.

Graham Potter

Graham Potter was born in Toronto. He held various sales, marketing, Public Relations, promotions and management positions for small companies in Toronto, Calgary and Langley BC before moving to Vietnam in 1995. He began working with local company Long Hai Security Services (now also called Securitas Vietnam), recruited as Marketing Manager five days after it began operations – and he has stayed there 22 years, currently as Client Relations Director.

Professionally, he is a Member of the American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS) and is the Co-Chair of the U.S. Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) – HCMC Chapter. He is also Long Hai Security’s Representative in CanCham, AmCham and EuroCham. Graham is a volunteer Warden for the Canadian Consulate General in HCMC.

 

A founding member of CanCham’s predecessor, the Canada-Vietnam Business Association (CVBA), Graham was also part of the group that drew up its original Constitution in December, 1999, and was elected President at the first AGM. He continued as President until 2003 and was an Executive Board Member with both the CVBA and CanCham from 2003-2004 and 2006-2007. He is proud to be an Honourary Member of CanCham!

Graham continues to support and participate in CanCham’s activities, including promoting our annual Crystal Ball – The Year Ahead business luncheons, the Terry Fox Run, and our new (since 2017) Canada Green Day event.

Mike Hebert

Mike Hebert is the Founder and Managing Director of MDT Global, an international corporate training and consulting firm located in Vietnam and Canada. MDT Global provides leadership, customer service, soft skills and business English training for multinational firms in Vietnam. MDT boasts a strong portfolio of clients in the banking, accounting, IT, hospitality, and FMCG industries. Mike has grown MDT Global into a strong training firm operating in HCMC, Hanoi, Danang and Can Tho with a team of 10 corporate trainers. His consulting team in Canada provides training and advice to Canadian companies manufacturing in Southeast Asia.

Prior to launching his own company, Mike worked in international corporate banking with HSBC Bank Canada and BMO Harris, where he was the team leader of diversified accounts. In his role as team leader, he developed his love for coaching and training.

Mike maintains strong ties to the entrepreneurial community as he continues to be a National Judge for the Annual EO Canadian Student Entrepreneur Awards. He is also passionate about hockey and men’s fashion and is currently developing a men’s lifestyle brand, Ted & Romeo.