Meet our Team

Making a difference in the community

The Calgary Black Chambers Board

Brian Lanier

Board Chairperson

Brian helps executives reimagine and achieve their goals by altering the context and expanding their leadership and communication practices. Brian coaches and leads programs for CEOs, business leaders and staff across North America and Europe. 

Brian holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, NS and studied journalism at the University of Houston (Texas).

He serves as a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion champion and lead facilitator with LearnIt.com as well as an elected Chairperson with the Calgary Black Chambers, a non-profit group of Black Professionals, Academics & Entrepreneurs who value mentorship & scholarship of black youth. Brian serves on the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion subcommittee at the Calgary Chamber of Commerce and on the Historical, Interpretive & Education Committee at Heritage Park Historical Village.

Brian lives in Calgary, Canada with his spouse, Yvonne, and their dog Fletcher.

Chi Iliya-Ndule

Co-Founder, President

Chi Iliya-Ndule, is a corporate commercial lawyer in the Calgary office of Blake, Cassels and Graydon LLP.


Chi is actively involved in the community. She currently serves on the boards of Alberta University of the Arts, where she also acts as Chair of the Human Resources and Governance Committee, and Antyx Community Arts, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to engaging youth through the arts, where she also sits on the Human Resources and Governance Committee.


She also sits on the executive committee of the Environmental, Energy and Resources Law Section of the Canadian Bar Association, provides pro bono legal services through the Civil Claims Duty Counsel Project and Queens Bench Court Assistance Project with Pro Bono Law Alberta, and mentors internationally trained lawyers through Calgary Regional Immigrant Employment Council.


Chi previously practiced law in an international law firm based in Calgary and, prior to immigrating to Canada, in one of Nigeria’s oldest law firms. Chi holds a Master of Laws (LL.M) from the University of Calgary, Canada and a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) from Olabisi Onabanjo University, Nigeria.

Chucks Okafor

Chucks Okafor

Co-founder, Vice-President

Chucks’ reputation as the pre-eminent marketer of the most prestigious real estate is unparalleled in Calgary. Chucks’ clients benefit from his sole focus: achieving the highest values of their homes while providing a discreet and bespoke real estate experience.

As a former professional athlete in the Canadian Football League, Chucks relies on discipline and a strict work ethic to tackle intricate details involved in a transaction beyond his client’s expectations. With well-rounded experience and attention to detail, Chucks caters to the needs of discerning individuals globally and in Calgary’s most prestigious neighborhoods.

Chucks is a highly sought-after luxury real estate advisor who employs a client-centered philosophy with a results-driven mindset and a modern outlook on real estate marketing. Chucks is uniquely able to leverage his relationships with media, private bankers, and 23,000 connected advisors in 70+ countries within Sotheby’s International Realty network to market the most significant properties. In addition, Chucks is also the co-founder and vice-president of Calgary Black Chambers, a not-for-profit organization made up of Black professionals and entrepreneurs that provide mentorship, scholarship, fellowship, and advocacy for Black students and professionals.

Kene Ilochonwu

Kene Ilochonwu

Co-Founder, Partnerships Director

Kene Ilochonwu was born and raised in Nigeria. He graduated from Abia State University and the Nigerian Law School, and obtained a Master of Laws degree from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. Kene moved to Canada in 2007 and worked as a supply chain professional for oil and gas majors in Calgary and Fort McMurray for several years. He is currently a Legal Counsel at Parkland Corporation and a member of the Law Society of Alberta and Calgary Bar Association.
Kene is an active member of his community, he is deeply involved in volunteering and giving back. He has served in various capacities as a mentor to law students and internationally trained lawyers in Calgary through the Canadian Bar Association mentor program and Global Lawyers of Canada.
Kene is a member Anambra State Association Calgary and Igbo Cultural Association Calgary. He provides pro bono services through his involvement in the civil claims’ duty counsel with Pro Bono Law Alberta, and as a volunteer at the Calgary Drop-In Centre and Parkland’s Diversity and Inclusion Council.
Kene is an avid soccer fan (Up Chelsea FC!) and enjoys bike riding, exploring new places, daddy duties, connecting with people and quiet time.

Akwasi Antwi

Akwasi Antwi

Co-Founder, Fellowship Board Chair

Akwasi Antwi is a risk management and investment advisor at Sun Life, an insurance and asset management firm that helps individuals protect and build wealth. Previously, Akwasi was a professional football player with the Calgary Stampeders, BC Lions and Saskatchewan Roughrider in the CFL. Born in Ghana, Akwasi moved to Toronto, Canada earlier at a young age, where there is a large community of Ghanaians that still hold traditional and cultural values from the motherland.

Working with clients, trust and honesty are qualities that he holds in high regard. He values continuous learning and the strength of a community as a means to empower future generations.

Michael Lee Hing

Michael Lee Hing

Co-Founder, Treasurer

Michael is currently Chief Operating (COO) and Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) for Accelerate Financial Technologies Inc, an innovative investment management firm specializing in exchange-traded alternative funds. He has over 20 years of financial and investment experience including early roles in fund valuation at BMO and Dejardins and risk management at BCE Inc.  After moving to Alberta in 2008, he took on the role of Director of Risk Management and CCO at Auspice Capital Advisors.

In 2013 he moved to Ross Smith Asset Management ULC as SVP Accounting and CCO,  where he was part of the executive team that managed award winning hedge funds. Prior to his current role, Michael was CCO for Carecana Management Corp., an Alberta based registered investment fund manager. Michael attended the University of Concordia where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration and then a Masters of Business Administration.

Charles Buchanan

Charles Buchanan

Co-Founder, Board Member, Events Director

Charles is the visionary behind Technology Helps; an idea that emerged from his experience in the corporate and as volunteer in the non-profit sectors and shaped the mission to end technology poverty in the non-profit sector. Recognizing that ‘somebody’s got to do something’ and making the decision to step-up and do it, Charles founded Technology Helps in April 2016.

An information technology and business leader with a powerful combination of skills in sales, consulting, strategy, finance, customer insight, and technology innovation. Charles has an MBA from Queen’s University and a degree in computer engineering. He was Chair of the Board of Directors for the Centre for Newcomers, one of the largest immigrant-serving agencies in Calgary.

Clarence Wynter

Clarence Wynter

Co-Founder, Oversight Director

A proven Engineering Procurement Construction Management (EPCM) Technical Specialist with a legacy of project success in piping and plant layout design, construction field support in Greenfield /Brownfield environments: QA/QC Audits, Standards, and CADD. Resourceful and adaptable to new roles, responsibilities, cultures, environments, and technologies.

Support working with teams through short term tasks, and large long-term journeys to resolve issues in a high stress, high production environment. Clarence has over 30 years’ experience of piping design with Oil & Gas Pipelines, Oil & Gas surface processing, Upstream Minable Oil Sands, Power Plants, Natural Gas, Water Treatment and Injection Systems.

One of my greatest achievements is the design and modeling of the world’s largest Pressure Separation Vessel in Canada on the Aurora Mine Project, support in working on Design Memorandum Basis (DBM), Front End Engineering Design (FEED), through to issue for Construction (IFC) and turn over for commissioning projects.

Safety is paramount to all project undertaking that produces safe innovative fit for purpose design in fabrication, modularization, and installation.

Provide leadership on the project, mentoring, training, guidance, and technical expertise to the individuals assigned to the team. Ability to pull diverse perspectives together and meeting project schedules.

Provided CADD, Equipment, piping design, clash reviews, production isometrics for fabrication and Modularization oversight management support, audits, technical specifications, and standards with ASME, API, ISO9000 codes & compliance.

Wunmi Idowu

Wunmi Idowu is an award-winning multidisciplinary artist, choreographer, filmmaker, performer, and producer and the Founder and Director of Woezo Africa Music & Dance Theatre Inc. For the past 16 years, the arts organization has been passionately dedicated to bringing the history of African culture to the masses through traditional and modern modes of performing arts, including dance, music, theatre and storytelling. By pushing for increased visibility of ethnically and culturally diverse artists in Alberta, Wunmi hopes that perceptions will shift around who participates in the arts. Through dynamic, cutting-edge work that captures the imagination of a range of audiences, she curates programs, events and productions to enhance the creative economy in Alberta, empower communities and perpetuate the movement for instilling social change for African, Caribbean and Black artists.

Sandra Ryan-Robinson

Sandra Ryan-Robinson is a CPA, CA with over 25 years of experience primarily in the energy industry in varying leadership roles including Principal Financial Officer and Controller, with large public companies.  Sandra has volunteered on a number of charitable boards including most recently the Calgary Catholic Education Fund.  She is a passionate mentor and coordinates a mentorship program for women in finance.

Sandra is married with two children and two dogs. In her spare time she loves to golf with family and friends.

Rhonda Richardson

Rhonda is an Early Childhood Educator who brings many years experience to the role of community director. Rhonda was born in the beautiful twin island of Trinidad and Tobago and is of Nigerian- Hispanic- Indian descent. Rhonda migrated to Montreal, Quebec in 1987 and as a teenager in high school she founded the Committee Intercultural group. She also participated in the teen leadership program at CDN Black Community Association and served as youth female lead of her local church choir.

Rhonda returned to Trinidad after graduating high school where she worked at the CNG Plant at BP Amoco as assistant plant operator and studied communication part-time at the University of the West Indies. In her spare time, she volunteered as an assistant teacher at her local elementary school where she tutored neighbourhood children for the Common Entrance Exam. In 2000 Rhonda returned to Montreal where she studied Early Childhood and Early Elementary Education at Vanier College.

Rhonda has 20 years experience as a teacher and manager in ECE. She is well regarded for her work with children and has been advocating for families in Canada and Caribbean nations for several years. Rhonda is also an experienced communicator and organizer and in the last decade she has served on public and charter school boards as key communicator, event coordinator and school chair. Rhonda currently serves as secretary for the Calgary Spartans Track club.

Rhonda is thankful for the things she’s been able to do, for the people that have helped her along the way and understands only too well the impact of community and mentorship in the success of attaining one’s goal. She’s most proud of being a wife and mother and values the time spent with family. She enjoys cooking, long walks and country music.

Lana Bentley

Lana Bentley Is a registered clinical social worker who completed both of her degrees at the University of Calgary. She currently works as the Director, Program Strategy. In addition, Lana works as part-time faculty at Mount Royal University and Bowvalley College. Lana worked with Alberta Health Services for a number of years where she worked in eating disorders, personality disorders, and in her final role, she managed an inpatient psychiatric unit and children’s psychiatric emergency department. She is the president of the S.H.A.R.P. Foundation board of directors in addition to serving as a public member with the College of Alberta Opticians and a board member with Youth Central Calgary. In her spare time Lana can be found on the ski hill, boxing, or adding to her ever growing sneaker collection.