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Meet our Crew


The people behind the day-to-day operations of PlaceSpeak:

Colleen Hardwick (Nystedt), Founder and CEO

Photograph of PlaceSpeak President and CEO Colleen Hardwick (Nystedt)Colleen Hardwick was headed for a career in urban planning when a twist of fate launched her into a 20 year in the film industry. When a movie was shot in the family home,  Colleen changed course to planning movies instead.  In 2005, she switched gears, with the support of the Canada New Media Fund, developing MovieSet.com, which won the Vortex Award for new media innovation from the Marshall McLuhan festival of the future.

Circling back to her roots in 2010, Colleen began to innovate in online public participation and decision-making.  The result is PlaceSpeak, the first location-based community consultation platform.


Murray Swales, Acting CFO

PlaceSpeak Crew Member MurraySwalesMurray has nearly 35 years business experience as a Chartered Accountant in Canada. During that period he has served his varied business clients, as a partner in local and national accounting firms, and has actively managed his own ventures.

Murray’s experience as both internal management and external auditor of public companies has ensured good business, control and reporting practices.



Yuri Artibise, Proponent Liaison & Social Media Manager

PlaceSpeak Crew member Yuri ArtibiseYuri is a urbanist with a BA in Political Science from UBC and Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Victoria and a depth of experience in the research and analysis of contemporary policy issues. He put these skills to use as a senior research analyst at Arizona State University’s Morrison Institute for Public Policy and in positions with the governments of British Columbia and Canada.

Before returning to Vancouver in May 2011, Yuri  spent four and a half years creating community in the urban desert that is better known as Phoenix. Through his Yurbanism blog, Yuri explores the ‘Y’ of urbanism by sharing ways to make our cities more livable, community-oriented places.

Yuri is also a social media specialist with experience in blogging, website maintenance and online community management.


Maria Wells, Administrative Coordinator

PlaceSpeak Crew member Maria WellsMaria Wells is an Executive Administrator at Dundee Securities Corporation. She has worked in the financial sector for 25 years, and has been involved with several non-profit organizations that aim to help children.

Maria has spent 5 years on the board of the “Festival of Trees” for BC Children’s Hospital and is currently on the board of Van$tock, a charity that raises funds for children in need.



Laura Ouk, Front-End Developer

PlaceSepak Crew member Laura Ouk

Laura is a girl who loves talking in the third-person. She also loves the internet. Hence she studied for two years at Capilano University’s Interactive Design Program, and got her diploma. She designed this cool blog.

She is planning on going back to school one of these days to get a degree in informatics.





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