“Charles led Vega to become an iconic lifestyle brand sold in over 20,000 stores across North America.”
Charles Chang is a born entrepreneur with a passion for innovation, active living and mentoring. Prior to starting Lyra Growth Partners in September 2015, Charles was the President and Founder of Vega.
Started from scratch from his basement in 2004 and financed by his life savings, a second mortgage on his house and four credit cards, Charles led Vega to become an iconic lifestyle brand of clean, plant–based nutritional products sold in over 20,000 stores across North America.
Honouring a triple bottom line approach to business and recognizing people were the company’s greatest source of competitive advantage, Vega and Charles have received many accolades and awards, including: Profit 100 Fastest Growing Companies, Best Workplaces, BIV 40 Under 40, Canada’s Best Managed Companies and E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year.
In August 2015, Vega was sold to White Wave Foods for US$550 million cash. Charles is proud that corporate headquarters will remain in Vancouver, all Vega’s employees have been retained and Vega’s executive management team continue to run the company.
As one door closes, another opens and so Lyra was born: The constellation in which Vega was its brightest star seeks fresh, young stars looking to shine brighter and reach further.
Charles lives in Vancouver, BC and is an active member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), an avid mountain biker, skier and Whistlerite wannabe.
“Milan has specialized in advising rapidly growing food & beverage, and technology companies over the past 15 years.”
Milan Roy has over 15 years of entrepreneurial and corporate finance experience. Prior to joining Lyra Growth Partners, he was the founder of EKA Growth Capital, which advised rapidly growing food & beverage and technology companies. During that time, he was the CFO for Bench Accounting, a technology–enabled bookkeeping service, assisting the company through its growth capital rounds. Prior to EKA, Milan was a VP & Director at Deloitte Corporate Finance for eight years where he led numerous mid–market M&A and growth capital transactions. At Deloitte he was also the National Senior Sector Specialist for Food & Beverage for the last two years at the firm.
Milan started his career at an early–stage incubator, followed by a startup B2B software company in business development where he was a shareholder and then followed as a junior partner at Brendan Wood International, a consulting firm to global investment banks.
Milan Roy is a CFA Charterholder and has completed a BBA at the Schulich School of Business.
Milan likes to run around after his two young kids and if he can fit it in, likes running the seawall by English Bay, in Vancouver.
“Seb is responsible for helping source and structure new investments and partnering with investee companies across finance, strategy, and operations functions.”
Seb Kocsis joined Lyra Growth Partners from the Starbucks corporate development group, where he worked on acquisitions, joint ventures, and corporate partnerships. Prior to Starbucks, Seb worked in investment banking, most recently at Houlihan Lokey where he advised various food & beverage companies on sell-side and buy-side M&A transactions.Seb graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in Economics and Anthropology.
In his role at Lyra, Seb is responsible for helping source and structure new investments and partnering with investee companies across finance, strategy, and operations functions.
Seb has been fortunate enough to live in 5 cities over the last decade and can speak 3 languages, poorly. He is excited to be back in Vancouver and looking forward to doing more backcountry skiing. He is a keen pick-up soccer player and aspires to one day be an amateur surfer.
“Alistair wants to grow your company and solve your most pressing operational challenges. ”
Alistair wants to grow your company and solve your most pressing operational challenges.
Prior to Lyra, he was a consultant with Parthenon-EY, where he designed a small country’s healthcare system, played war games in Japan and determined to the 97.5% confidence interval exactly how many pizzas were sold as a result of NFL football games. Just in case you were wondering, the answer is… a lot of pizzas.
Alistair is also a founding partner in a joint venture with the world’s largest farming cooperative in India. As a result, he owns a small slice of 400 acres immediately adjacent to a fully-functioning deep water seaport.
His career naturally progressed from an education in Atmospheric Physics at UW and business at Dartmouth. When not lying awake at night thinking about your company, he can be found skiing and climbing.
“Chelsea is involved in all aspects of the investment process including sourcing, evaluating, executing and monitoring investments. ”
Chelsea joins Lyra Growth Partners from her role at CIBC with over five years of capital markets experience. She most recently worked as an investment banking associate, advising on a variety of transactions including mergers and acquisitions as well as debt and equity financing. Prior to investment banking, Chelsea worked in sales & trading with CIBC’s equity derivatives group where she supported institutional clients with their listed and OTC derivative needs. Chelsea is a CFA Charterholder and holds an Honours Bachelor of Commerce from the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University.
In her role at Lyra, Chelsea is involved in all aspects of the investment process including sourcing, evaluating, executing and monitoring investments.
Chelsea is an avid skier, hiker and emerging golf enthusiast that loves travelling and enjoying the outdoors.
“Maggie joins Lyra with over 10 years of accounting and tax experience at her previous role as a Senior Manager at Deloitte.”
Maggie Ko joins Lyra with over 10 years of accounting and tax experience at her previous role as a Senior Manager at Deloitte. Maggie started as an articling student at Deloitte and obtained her Chartered Professional Accountant designation and spent years specializing in taxation for privately owned companies.
At Deloitte, Maggie worked on tax planning and corporate matters with many private clients. Maggie can assist with day-to-day accounting, business and tax matters to complex tax planning for our partner investee companies.
Outside of work, Maggie enjoys spending time with her family. She also enjoys Yoga and hiking when she is not juggling other priorities (although secretly she is a closet reality TV show fanatic).
“Reese has expertise in the sales process, human resources, business administration and project management and was pivotal during the sale of Vega to WhiteWave Foods”
Reese Davidson joined Lyra Growth Partners after a 3.5 year position as Charles Chang’s right hand at Vega. Essential to the set up and launch of Lyra, Reese has been a part of the organization from inception and has in depth knowledge of the business and what it takes to make it run successfully.
During her time at Vega, Reese was directly responsible for creating culture and supporting the triple bottom line approach that Vega is so famously known for. Reese’s role was pivotal during the sale of Vega to WhiteWave Foods, as she assisted with the creation of the CIM, directed due diligence and dealt with finalizing the transaction. Reese has expertise of the sales process from beginning to end, an asset that she now brings to Lyra.
Reese is a previous entrepreneur with 7 years in the online retail sector. She now uses her project management education and wide array of business administration and human resources skills to support her role at Lyra.
In her spare time she can be found at her cabin; skiing, kayaking, ATV’ing, dirt biking, and enjoying the outdoors. She enjoys perusing garage sales and antique shops for vintage finds, and furniture DIY. As a former gymnast, Reese now participates in acrobatics and trapeze. She is a wannabe Pinterest crafter, lacking the time to commit, but secretly covets those Martha Stewart moms!
“Shannon excels at event planning and entertaining, so you can be sure that any event Lyra hosts, will be one to remember! ”
With over a decade of experience as an administrative professional, Shannon is the Executive Assistant & Office Manager who helps ensure all daily operations run smoothly. Since joining Lyra, Shannon has dedicated herself to keeping Charles and the team organized and prioritized in their daily duties. She offers a streamlined approach to assistance that relies on efficiency and resourceful problem solving.
Her friendly demeanor and nurturing personality is a great addition to the the Lyra team. She excels at event planning and entertaining, so you can be sure that any event Lyra hosts, will be one to remember!
Shannon spends her free time with her daughter, Mya while being the best role model she knows how to be. She also loves to travel and looks forward to exploring the world with her little one by her side.
“Tammy brings over eleven years of experience in fund accounting and administration.”
Joining Lyra from the investment management world, Tammy Horvath brings over eleven years of experience in fund accounting and administration. Her interest in investing started early by following stock markets from a young age, ultimately leading her to a degree in economics and the completion of the Canadian Securities Course.
Prior to Lyra, Tammy was responsible for the administration of two pooled funds. Her main duties included accounting, trading, analysis and compliance related matters. Specializing in valuations, audits and financial reporting, Tammy adds essential value to the Lyra family.
When not dreaming about numbers, or spending time with her husband, three daughters, a dog and a cat, Tammy can be found reading, hiking, practicing yoga or planning her next adventure.
“Brendan is regarded as one of the world’s leading authorities on plant-based performance nutrition.”
Brendan is the formulator and co-founder of Vega, bestselling author of the Thrive book series, and Editor in Chief of Alive magazine. He’s also a former professional Ironman triathlete and a two-time Canadian 50km Ultra Marathon Champion.
Brendan is regarded as one of the world’s leading authorities on plant-based performance nutrition, and therefore works with several NHL, NFL, MLB, UFC, and Olympic athletes. Brendan now invests in and works with socially responsible food & tech companies whose mandate is to fix our food system and reduce the environmental strain of food production.
“Peter digs into the details that can make a business profitable”
Peter Dennis is an accomplished executive, with expertise in manufacturing, operations (COO) and finance (CFO). He is a talented entrepreneur, having owned and run many successful businesses over several decades. When introduced to new situations, he can rapidly determine what issues need addressing and develop clever, non-traditional solutions.
Peter assists Lyra’s portfolio companies with business and financial matters as needed. His expertise allows him to dig into the details that can make a business profitable. His abilities include systems engineering, costing analysis and improvement, and supply chain management. He has a strong track record of leading profitable growth by driving sales through enhanced operational initiatives. But he can also help make sense out of this by producing comprehensive, yet concise management reports.
Peter continues to be an avid sailor and he and his wife enjoy their second home in the San Juan Islands.