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About

Our diverse team of business and accounting professionals are here to provide you no-nonsense advice, personalized service and tailored solutions.

Each of our staff has a unique background and area of expertise which add to our ability to serve you effectively.

Grace Pagnanini – B.Comm, CPA, CA, Partner

Grace holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of British Columbia and has completed the ICABC In-Depth Tax Course. Her many years with Price Waterhouse, both in the Independent Business Services department and as a Tax Manager, developed her strength in accounting and auditing as well as her specialization in personal and corporate taxation.

Focusing on small- and medium-sized owner-managed companies, Grace’s commitment to satisfying all the business needs of her clients has continued throughout her career. She has also served on the boards of various non-profit and business organizations. Her fluency in Italian has proved beneficial to many of her clients.

Grace is very active and plays tennis on a regular basis. She has also added golf to her repertoire over the past few years and once managed to score an “eagle” on a par 4 (and has been boasting about it to Allan ever since!).

Kathryn Edwards – B.Comm (Hons), CPA, CA, Partner

After graduating from UBC in 1986 with a Bachelor of Commerce (Hons.) degree, Kathryn launched her career in the Audit department of Price Waterhouse, quickly advancing to the Tax group where she specialized in corporate and personal taxation. She later accepted the opportunity to lead the tax practice of a local CA firm where she focused her attention on the income tax requirements of small to medium sized businesses and their owner-managers.

Kathryn is also an experienced lecturer and speaker. She was a five-year tax instructor for the School of Chartered Accountancy and has enjoyed serving on various committees for the Institute of Chartered Accountants of BC. Her many years of business experience, clear communication skills and well-rounded knowledge in the area of owner-managed businesses combine to provide a small business expertise that is invaluable to her clients and their families.

Kathryn’s sport of choice is rowing – a sport she was inspired to start by her rowing daughters.  She’ll now take any opportunity to get on the water and believes that there’s no better way to work out and enjoy the outdoors!

Allan Lam – B.Comm, CPA, CA, Partner

Allan graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Carleton University and is a CPA registered in both BC and Ontario. In Ontario, he gained valuable audit and accounting experience in an international CA firm before becoming a Senior Manager with a medium-sized Toronto CA firm, where he managed the firm’s largest client group. He has also served on the boards of many non-profit and business organizations.

In addition to providing a full range of accounting, financial, tax and business services to owner-managed business, Allan has extensive corporate finance experience with companies in the technology and biotechnology sectors. His expertise in the planning and compliance areas of scientific research and experimental development (“SRED”) tax credit claims has also contributed significantly to the growth of many of our clients.

Allan enjoys activities in the outdoors, especially kayaking, hiking, biking and skiing. He has recently taken up the tranquil torture of golf and enjoys the game far more than his scorecard reflects.

Connie Leung – B.B.A, CPA, CGA, Manager

Connie came to Vancouver in 1993 after earning a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Hong Kong. She has over 15 years of private industry and public practice experience. With the completion of the ICABC In-Depth Tax Course in 2004, she continues to pursue a specialization in tax while still expanding her broad accounting knowledge. Connie is also our go-to person for non-residents selling real property in Canada or reporting their Canadian rental income.

In her spare time, Connie enjoys travelling the world… and planning her next adventure!

Mary MacLellan – M.Sc, CPA, CGA, Manager

Mary received a Master of Science degree from Michigan Technological Institute before changing gears and pursuing an interest in accounting. She earned her CGA designation in 1997 and has now worked in public practice for over 18years.

Her strength and experience in the area of information technology has allowed her to effectively assist our clients in setting up their accounting systems and training their staff. She is well versed in several accounting packages and IT matters, skills that many of our clients have found useful when working out internal software issues.

Mary is an avid runner, and has combined holidays with her sport by participating in marathons across the globe!

Susanna Yu Huang – B.Comm., CPA, CGA, Staff Accountant

Susanna holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Beijing and received her CGA designation in 2011.

She joined the PEL team in October 2011 after moving to the Lower Mainland from Edmonton, Alberta. She has worked in accounting in both public practice and industry for over 10 years and has extensive experience with accounting for owner-manager businesses. Her fluency in Mandarin and Cantonese is very helpful to many of our clients.

In her downtime, Susanna likes to read, play games, and use her family as guinea pigs when trying out new recipes that she learns from YouTube.

John Zhang – B.Sc, MBA, CPA, CGA, Staff Accountant

John holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Nanjing Forestry University and an MBA from Sichuan University. Following his move to Vancouver, John decided to pursue a career in accounting. After earning a Diploma in Professional Accounting from BCIT, he received his CGA designation in 2009.

Prior to joining PEL, John accumulated over 10 years of experience in public practice. He has extensive experience in full cycle accounting, complicated personal tax preparation and owner-manager business taxes and planning.

When he’s not in the office, John enjoys going on road trips with his family across North America or doing laps at Canada Games Pool.

Ivonne Mendoza – Staff Accountant

Ivonne was born in El Salvador and moved with her family to Quebec City in 1988, where she completed her schooling. She has furthered her studies in accounting by taking courses at BCIT. Her practical education and experience has been rounded out by many years with PEL — some of you may remember her as our former receptionist!

When Ivonne is away from the office, Latin beats and precious time with her family keep her busy.

Maria Carpio – Accounting Management Diploma, Staff Accountant

Maria joined the PEL team in 2006 after receiving her Accounting Management Diploma and has been working in public practice accounting for more than 15 years. If there is an accounting software program out there that she is not already familiar with, she will pick it up quickly.

She immigrated to Canada from the Philippines in 1994 and is fluent in Tagalog. When not hard at work, Maria enjoys spending time with her two adorable children.

Julie Harwood – Receptionist/Administrative Assistant

Julie is usually the first person to greet you when you call or drop by our office. It’s a good idea to get to know her, because she will be extremely helpful in directing your calls and queries to the right person.

Julie has an Associate of Arts Degree from Kwantlen and her Editing Certificate from Simon Fraser University’s Writing and Publishing Program. Her editing skills and creative flare make her a terrific resource – for instance, when it comes to laying out our quarterly newsletter, The PEL Tax Break.

Julie is one of the few women on the planet who does not like chocolate and, on a completely unrelated note, has a cat named Westley after the character in the 1987 classic film, The Princess Bride. She is currently learning Koine Greek.