Lynda’s Achievements

  • Masters of Education – Simon Fraser University
  • Bachelor of Communication – Simon Fraser University
  • Founder and CEO of Curatio, a digital health platform that helps patients find one another and the support they need.
  • Widely regarded as a digital media expert who has played an active role in growing the sector across Canada, Lynda served in senior roles at companies such as Electronic Arts, Edelman and Nordicity.
  • Helped establish the Center for Digital Media in 2007 and home to Canada’s first Master of Digital Media program.
  • Lynda has received numerous awards as an entrepreneur and was featured twice on CBC’s “Dragons’ Den”.

“SMS made me ask what contribution can I make to the world? The school motto, – Service with Love – permeates my life and is the basis of my business today. The leadership and responsibility that I had as Head Girl contributed to me being a business leader, to being entrepreneurial and also contributing to doing social good”

Lynda Brown-Ganzert, SMS ’85

Helping Patients Find Support

Lynda Brown-Ganzert, SMS Class of 1985, is the founder and CEO of Curatio, a digital health platform that helps patients find one another and the support they need. Widely regarded as a digital media expert who has played an active role in growing the sector across Canada, Lynda served in senior roles at companies such as Electronic Arts, Edelman and Nordicity. She was instrumental in helping establish the Center for Digital Media in 2007 and home to Canada’s first Master of Digital Media program.

Lynda has won numerous awards as an entrepreneur, including Business in Vancouver’s Top Forty Under 40, Novartis Health 2.0 Global Challenge and most recently, Entrepreneur of the Year BC with Startup Canada. She has served on numerous boards, including the Canadian Interactive Alliance, Information Technology Association of Canada, Emily Carr University and the Canada Foundation for Innovation, and she was recently recognized as Chair Emerita at Simon Fraser University, where she had previously graduated with a Master of Education and a Bachelor of Arts (Communications).

The inspiration for Lynda’s career was her SMS teacher, Mrs. Malkin. “She was quite pivotal for me,” Lynda recalls. “I remember being in her class, and realizing that I could apply my understanding of communications and technology to start a business – this was my first inkling of what I could be at age 15. My interest was sparked and what I was learning made sense of the world in a way that was novel. I did not realize it at the time, but looking back now, I can see that it was the inspiration for me becoming an entrepreneur.”

Lynda’s parents enrolled her in SMS in Grade 10 because they could see that she was headed down the wrong path. “I am enormously grateful to them, because my parents made a lot of sacrifices to give my sister and I the opportunity to attend SMS,” she says. “At my previous school, I was an honours student and never did any homework — and I went from that to being almost at the bottom of the class in Grade 10 at SMS. At the same time, the message was clear that if I was there to do my best, I would be supported to achieve it – everyone was there to support me. I realized that what I had thought was good at my old school was sub-par and now there was no less than great expectations of me.”

“SMS made me ask what contribution can I make to the world? The school motto, “Servite in Caritate” – Service with Love – permeates my life and is the basis of my business today. The leadership and responsibility that I had as Head Girl contributed to me being a business leader, to being entrepreneurial and also contributing to doing social good. SMS made me raise my own expectations of myself and I would not be where I am today without SMS.”

In addition to her demanding career, Lynda is an active volunteer and has a family. When asked for advice about leading a balanced life, Lynda says, “I have a wonderful partner and we share our responsibilities. I view each day as a 24-hour block of time – the 9 to 5 mentality is not part of it. For example, today I was up at 3:45 am and I was able to get lot of work done before my kids got up. There are segments within each day where I can be a present parent and an entrepreneur. One needs to be creative, and do things in segments. I think it is so important to be mindful of the limitations we put on ourselves and be open to shifting our paradigm a bit and be limitless in our expectations. At age 16, we are so conscious of what others think of us –break free and think of the life you want to live – open the boundaries around the expectations of yourself.”

“Back in the 1980s, there were biases around what women could hope to achieve,” says Lynda, “and I believed it would have changed by now – but there are still very few women in tech and I am often the only woman at the table. I recently attended a Springboard event in New York City that was chaired by a woman who is an entrepreneurial legend in the United States. She said, ‘You are here because we believe in you – any fear, anxiety, any feelings of less than-worthiness – leave it behind because we are here to support you and want you to succeed.’ That is the feeling I always had at SMS and to this day in any all-female environment. There needs to be more of that in the world!”