A different kind of lender

At Progressa, we help Canadians improve their financial future by providing a second chance at credit. We read between the lines to see your potential, and help build your loan and financial future to help you succeed. This means consolidating your outstanding debt, resolving overdue bills and getting you back on track financially. With the right loan from Progressa, you can rebuild your life, your way.

While some lenders want to give you fast, easy money, regardless of whether or not you can afford it, we get to know your unique financial situation and build a loan that works for you. We look beyond your credit score to find out your story, and how we can help you achieve financial success.

Leadership Team


  • Ali Pourdad | CPA, CA

    Co-Founder & CEO

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    Ali Pourdad | CPA, CA

    Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer

    Ali Pourdad has been CEO of Progressa since its inception in 2013. Progressa is Canada's only direct-pay lender, offering Canadians with challenged credit an opportunity to repay past due bills directly to whom they owe and build back their credit. In just 4.5 years, under Ali's leadership, the Company has raised over $35.0 million of investor capital and invested over $2.0 million dollars in its proprietary "Powered by Progressa" decision engine for Canadians with non-prime credit. The Company's proprietary "Progressa Score" offers an alternative credit score currently being used by Canada's largest banks, credit companies, and telecoms, to enhance recoveries. To date, the Company has funded over 13,000 loans and anticipates an additional 15,000 loans in 2017 alone. The company has also grown to over 100 employees with operations in both Vancouver and Toronto. Prior to co-founding Progressa, Ali worked in both corporate restructuring as well as auditing at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Ali began his professional career at a young age, co-founding a leading IT services firm in Edmonton, AB and Vancouver, BC, in 1998, which grew to 30 employees. Ali exited the venture in 2005. He was born and raised in Vancouver, BC, holds a Canadian Professional Chartered Accountant degree, a BBA in Finance from Simon Fraser University, and is a husband and dad to his wife and two great kids (5 and 2).

  • Kiya Hushyar

    Chief Financial Officer

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    Kiya Hushyar

    Chief Financial Officer

    Kiya Hushyar joins Progressa with over 20 years of accounting, finance and risk management experience of which 12 years was specialized within the financial services industry. He is a pragmatic, results-oriented professional that has a successful track record of building and leading high performance finance teams, as well as a strong aptitude in business development, operational structuring and talent management.

    Prior to taking on this role Kiya was an executive consultant with Coast Capital Savings in their effort in becoming a National Credit Union with his main emphasis focused on capital, liquidity and regulatory compliance.

    Part of Kiya’s extensive experience comes from working across the audit and enterprise risk function at Deloitte where he was on the national credit union council and led Deloitte’s micro-community that was dedicated to working with credit unions. Some of the financial services companies that Kiya has worked with include Coast Capital, First West, VanCity, Marsh and Phillips, Hager & North.

  • Tony Vardy

    Chief Operating Officer

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    Tony Vardy

    Chief Operating Officer

    Tony Vardy joined Progressa as Chief Operating Officer in 2016 after 17 years of operational experience within the Financial Services Industry. His prior management experience includes BPO, Credit Card operations, managing prime and non prime portfolios, and change management with stops at Home Trust, CIBC, GoEasy, Mogo, and FinanceIT.

    Tony brings hands-on experience with building and managing lending operations from loan origination through to collections & recoveries within the near & non prime lending space in organizations during early start -up years and experiencing rapid growth. Leveraging both his educational background in Computer Science and experience working with technology, his passion stems around increased automation and managing lean operational environments.

    Tony and his wife both balance active careers while being parents for 3 young boys who help challenge their operations management skills on a daily basis.

  • Aaron Gladders

    Chief Technology Officer

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    Aaron Gladders

    Chief Technology Officer

    Aaron joins Progressa with over 20 years of technology and leadership experience creating software for data discovery, analysis and visualization with a strong emphasis on user experience and agile software development. He received his Masters of Science from UBC, incorporating leading-edge technologies, statistical and spatial modelling techniques to push the envelope of his research. His work has spanned many industries including finance, global health and international aid. In addition to managing the Company's core operating technologies, Aaron is focused on the automation of our credit decisions utilizing big data techniques and predictive analytical models.

  • Nathan Slee

    Chief Innovation Officer

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    Nathan Slee

    Chief Innovation Officer

    Nathan Slee joined Progressa in May 2014. In his previous role, he was the founder of Credilogic, Canada's first online payday lender which operated under the brand 310-LOAN. Nathan grew the company to a 25 employee operation and led a successful sale of the company to US-based QC Holdings Inc. for C$12 million. Nathan wrote the initial versions of 310-LOAN's software systems and played a lead role in the design and project management of large software development projects with budgets of greater than C$2 million. Nathan has a B. Com (Entrepreneurship) from UVic (2000) and he completed a Global Studies program at NYU and studied Negotiation at Harvard (both 2009) as part of his professional development. In 2011, Nathan was named to the prestigious Business in Vancouver Forty under 40 list.

  • Jason Wang

    VP Of Risk Analytics

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    Jason Wang

    VP Of Risk Analytics

    Jason Wang joins Progressa from TransUnion, where he led the research projects and industry trending analysis as its Director of Research. Prior to joining TransUnion, Jason spent more than a decade with prominent lending organizations, such as American Express, CIBC and Citigroup, with expanding responsibilities within credit risk and lending. He has rich experience in formulating actionable strategies from data mining, and achieving the optimal balance between reducing loan losses and maximizing growth opportunities. His commentary about industry trends has been frequently featured in the business section of key industry trade publications and national newspapers, and he appeared regularly on national television programs such as BNN, CTV and CBC.

    Jason received his MBA from New York University, and his bachelor’s degree in physics from Peking University. In addition, he is a CFA charter holder.

  • Karim Nanji

    VP Of Product & Partnerships

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    Karim Nanji

    VP Of Product & Partnerships

    Karim is a Senior Product, Strategy and Technology executive with more than 25 years’ success and experience in retail financial services and financial technology in both B2B and B2C environments. His background consists of contributions in start-up, growth, enterprise and Fortune 500 companies that include Crelogix, CustomHouse/Western UNion, Trimble, Trintech and TIO Networks. Karim is a Concept through Execution leader with a track record in providing results in both web and mobile channels in organizations that range from $40 million to $4 billion in revenue. He has a MBA in the Management of Technology from SFU. ​

  • Jeff Carnochan

    VP Strategic Accounts

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    Jeff Carnochan

    VP Strategic Accounts

    A business professional with a career specializing in the areas of call centre management, process improvement, performance analytics and strategic account management spanning over 25 years. ​

    Jeff is an effective leader who improves profitability and drives process transformation. He has extensive North American ARM experience with emphasis in first and third-party debt collections. He is results oriented, fact driven and people minded; Jeff utilizes data and teamwork to unravel the daily challenges that turn obstacles into opportunities.

    Jeff's specialties include data modeling, client business goal alignment, RFP response writing and inbound/outbound telephony design and phone system implementation.

  • Jim Chan

    VP Engineering

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    Jim Chan

    VP Engineering

    Jim Chan is a technology and coding enthusiast whose passion is to work with talented engineers to build software that improves the lives of everyday people. After spending over 20 years in engineering, of which 16 was specialized in software development, Jim knows that investing in people, nurturing a team oriented culture, and creating an efficient software development process, are the three key pillars of a successful engineering department.

    In addition to having a proven track record of leading high performing engineering teams, Jim also has extensive experience designing and implementing backend APIs and web applications for device provisioning systems that require a deep understanding of network protocols, scalability, and high availability. As complicated as these systems are, Jim understands that great software must fundamentally help people first, so it is paramount each engineer connects to what is important to the end user. Of Jim’s many prior achievements, one of the most notable has been successfully integrating user centric design into every facet of software development. This has resulted in a more polished product and a significantly better user experience.

    Jim holds a B.A.Sc from UBC and is a registered Professional Engineer in British Columbia.

Advisors


  • David Gens

    Co-Founder & Chairman

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    David Gens

    Co-Founder & Chairman

    David is the Co-Founder of Progressa and currently serves as Chairman of the Board. David also Founded Merchant Advance Capital Ltd., an alternative small business financing company that provides funding on credit card cash flow. Merchant Advance Capital has provided over C$100.0 million to Canadian businesses to date. David is responsible to over 50 investors who have invested over C$20.0 million to date and have earned returns of over 10.0% per annum compounded since the company's inception 7 years ago. David was previously a partner with GBA Equity Partners, a private equity firm focused on small to medium sized business acquisitions in the Greater Vancouver Regional District. David's background includes working as an investment analyst with CAI Capital Management Co., a New York-based private equity firm focused on mid-market transactions in Canada and the US. David holds a BComm (Finance) degree from UBC where he graduated with honours as a Leslie Wong Fellow. He was born and raised in Vancouver, BC.

    David is widely recognized as one of the most successful younger leaders in Vancouver, being named to the prestigious Business in Vancouver “40 under 40 List” in 2014, named to the BC Business “30 under 30 List” in 2015, and most recently an E&Y Pacific Entrepeneur of the year finalist in 2016.

  • Dave Nickel

    Independent Director

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    Dave Nickel

    Independent Director

    Dave Nickel has a noteworthy career in the North American banking and specialty finance industry spanning over 26 years, where he has built and managed teams in complex operating environments. He has overseen $1B+ in small ticket lease and loan transactions across a wide range of asset and credit classes.

    Mr. Nickel founded SNAP Financial Group, guiding it become one of North America’s most successful specialty finance companies, on track to lend in excess of $1 billion per annum to businesses and consumers across North America. In 2017, Mr. Nickel worked through a successful CEO transition in SNAP, where he continues to hold a large equity stake and director seat. Mr. Nickel assembled a potent executive team, and led the business through a continuing evolution which now has the Company active in two distinct product markets of insurance premium financing, and consumer financing for home improvement loans across North America.

  • Mike Veldhuis

    Independent Director

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    Mike Veldhuis

    Independent Director

    Mike has spent the last ten years helping start-up companies obtain the capital necessary to grow their businesses. He is a co-founder of Aroway Energy Corp, a junior oil and gas Exploration Company listed on the TSX Venture Exchange. In addition to being a director of Creditloans Canada Financing Inc., he is currently a director of Upton Capital Corp., a privately held Mortgage Investment Corporation that specializes in residential mortgages in Western Canada. He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Economics) from Simon Fraser University and a Masters of Arts (Economics) from McGill University.

  • Hashem Aboulhosn CFA

    Independent Director

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    Hashem Aboulhosn CFA

    Independent Director

    Hashem is Vice President at Conconi Growth Partners, based in Vancouver, BC. He specializes in providing growth capital for tech startups and other growing businesses. Before joining the team at Progressa, Hashem founded GBA Equity Partners (GBA), a Vancouver-based private equity firm. Prior to GBA he worked with Vanedge Capital, a $140 million technology venture capital fund. As part of the investment team, he helped invest and allocate over $50 million in innovative growth companies and the entrepreneurs that drive them. In conjunction with these investments, Hashem was actively involved in their growth and execution at the board level, in strategic planning, business development and occasionally, interim-operating positions. Hashem was also instrumental in fund raising, sourcing new investments and overall strategy.

    Hashem holds a Bachelor of Commerce (with Honours) from University of British Columbia, where he was part of the renowned Portfolio Management Foundation. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).

  • Dillon Cameron CFA

    Independent Director

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    Dillon Cameron CFA

    Independent Director

    Dillon joined Deans Knight Capital Management Ltd. in September 2000. He is a partner of the firm, and responsible for managing the Income Strategy with a focus on high yield debt securities. Prior to joining Deans Knight, Dillon worked on the trading floor at Scotia Capital Inc. in Toronto. Dillon graduated from Bishop's University with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, majoring in Finance, and received his Chartered Financial Analyst designation in 2002.

    Dillon currently serves on the Board of the Lymphoma & Leukemia Society of Canada, and has actively served the organization for over 6 years. Dillon volunteers as a mentor in the UBC Portfolio Management Foundation program, guiding students who are pursuing similar careers, and as a youth soccer coach with Vancouver United Football Club.

  • Kevin Jardine

    Shareholder & Advisor

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    Kevin Jardine

    Shareholder & Advisor

    Kevin is the Founder and President of Sport Mart Inc., Canada's largest independent sporting goods retailer with 70 superstores at the time of his departure. The company gained critical acclaim for its leading-edge marketing, merchandising, and distribution strategies. He has served as a Director and Board Member for British Columbia Lottery Corporation and the Forzani Group, and as Chairman of Coast Wholesale Appliance Trust. He has received many awards, including the Canadian Retailer of the Year and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal, an award given to Canadians in recognition of their significant contributions and achievements. He is presently founder and President of Jardine Capital Corp., a diversified investment and Brand Development Company that specializes in consumer branded and strategic businesses.

  • Kalle Radage

    Advisor

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    Kalle Radage

    Advisor

    Kalle Radage is currently President of Payfirma, who is responsible for a range of functions including product development, finance, marketing, strategy, and performance tracking. Kalle has also held senior roles at Oracle, Nokia, and a startup, Sabela Media, which was successfully acquired by 24/7 Real Media for $70M. Kalle held roles as a Venture Capitalist at both Nokia Ventures and BDC Venture Capital, investing in disruptive software companies. Kalle earned an MBA from IESE Business School in Spain and a computer science degree from UBC in Canada. Kalle is also an active member of the technology community as an advisor, investor, and board member.

  • Simon Stanlake

    Technology Advisor

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    Simon Stanlake

    Technology Advisor

    Simon Stanlake is the former Chief Technology Officer of Hootsuite, a world leading platform for social media marketing. As a technology executive and team builder, Simon worked directly with the CEO to grow revenue from zero to over $50 million and expand from a startup environment to over 500 employees (including over 100 person engineering team). Simon has proven experience turning good ideas into great businesses and is an active advisor to many startups who are rapidly growing their technology and engineering capability.

Media Inquiries and Interviews

If you are a journalist and would like to speak to us about a story, or ask more general questions about our service and our customers, please send us an email at media@progressa.com or give us a call: 1-855-723-5626 ext. 4.

Media

Sept 26, 2017 Businesses adapt to rise of fintechs

Sept 14, 2017 Fintechs Serving Canadians: Which verticals are thriving?

Sept 14, 2017 Progressa CEO Ali Pourdad named to Business in Vancouver’s 2017 Forty under 40 winners

Sept 11, 2017 Progressa announces Dave Nickel joining Board of Directors

Aug 22, 2017 Progressa appoints Glenda Schmidt as Vice President Operations, Jim Chan as Vice President Engineering and announces new Toronto Office

Aug 21, 2017 Companies Targeting The Next Billion: 38 Startups Serving The Underserved

Aug 10, 2017 Toronto TechWeek Growth Summit 2017: Customer Acquisition for Enterprise

Aug 4, 2017 Disrupting User Behavior — 2017 Toronto Empire FinTech Conference

Jun 20, 2017 Ottawa’s new immigration program sparks talent pool debate

Jan 11, 2017 Upstart Vancouver eyes Toronto’s fintech crown

Jan 5, 2017 Progressa announces new Chief Financial Officer

Dec 5, 2016 Progressa appoints Jason Wang as Vice President Risk Analytics and Karim Nanji as Vice President of Product & Partnerships

Nov 29, 2016 Fintech firms: using data innovation to improve financial health

Nov 16, 2016 B.C. 'playing catch-up' as Ontario unveils new fintech-friendly initiatives

Oct 5, 2016 Why financial institutions, Vancouver startups are aiming for ‘collaboration rather than disruption’

Sept 7, 2016 Aspire Financial Technologies Announces Four Initial Data Partnerships for the Aspire Gateway Platform

July 29, 2016 Progressa Shifts Lending Operations to Capitalize on Toronto Fintech Cluster

July 20, 2016 The Future of Credit Scoring is Data Driven

July 5, 2016 Impact of Brexit on Canadian Fintech - Ali Pourdad, CEO - Interview with Business in Vancouver (Roundhouse Radio 98.3)

July 4, 2016 This is the Periodic Table of Tech in Canada

May 24, 2016 Is The Honeymoon Phase Over For Fintech?

May 24, 2016 Fintech online lenders are looking at your social media footprint

March 8, 2016 Progressa Appoints COO, CFO & CRO

March 3, 2016 Progressa and Alpine Credits Announce Canadian Partnership

Nov 30, 2015 Progressa Announces Successful $11.4 Million Series A Financing and New Marketplace Investor Platform for 2016

Nov 10, 2015 Progressa & Centum Financial Group announce Partnership

Jan 29, 2015 Creditloans Canada announces Progressa™ – Jan 2015

Jan 29, 2015 Creditloans Canada Financing announces closing of new Senior Facility &  new Corporate headquarters

Nov 19, 2014 Creditloans Canada Capital announces Private Bond Offering

May 31, 2014 Creditloans Canada Financing announces Nathan Slee and Mike Veldhuis join board of directors

July 11, 2013 Creditloans Canada Financing presents urLoan™ - Canada's newest and simplest service to obtain a loan online

May 20, 2013 Creditloans Canada Financing appoints new Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer

Work For Progressa

Progressa is one of the fastest growing financial technology companies in Canada and we are looking for energetic professionals who have a knack for people with a positive attitude and a desire to help others change their lives for the better. Our company is in a unique position to help the lives of individuals who can't get help elsewhere. We're a team of motivated, enthusiastic individuals who want to change how credit-challenged Canadians borrow. Whether you're passionate about financial technology in general or more specifically, credit adjudication, customer service, risk, underwriting, or software development, we want to hear from you!

What can you expect from a career at Progressa?

You can build a meaningful career with Progressa. Our company values revolve around empathy, and our diverse teams work collaboratively together to provide a useful service for our customers. We offer excellent growth opportunities, including professional development and career advancement. We work hard to reach our goals, but we also know how to have fun along the way! If you excel in a fast-paced, ever-changing environment with dynamic and challenging results-driven work, you will fit in well at Progressa.

The Perks

  • Industry-competitive wages;
  • Health and dental benefits;
  • Bonuses and incentive programs;
  • Advancement opportunities;
  • Development programs;
  • Fun social events;
  • And more.

Think you've got what it takes to be a part of the Progressa team?

See our current Full Time and Part Time job postings below or email careers@progressa.com.

We thank all interested applicants; however we will only be contacting those who possess the required skills and qualifications. Please note that any job offer will be conditional upon the completion of a satisfactory background check including, but not limited to, criminal, credit and employment reference checks.

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