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Jim Yih, '91 BCom
Giving the gift of guidance

Back in 2014, I was approached to be a Mentor for VMS by my good friend Brad Nichol and, VMS Manager at the time, Ashlyn Bernier.

Jim Yih, '91 BCom
Giving the gift of guidance


At the time, I'll admit I wasn't sure I truly understood VMS. The easiest way for me to figure it out was to jump right in by joining two venture groups right off the bat. When I went to my first meeting, I was in awe at being part of a mentorship team that included Ray Muzyka, Kristina Milke, Catherine Vu and Stuart Lomas. It was at that moment I realized how powerful this service was.

The young entrepreneurs in that group were hardworking and excited but also pretty naïve at times. I remember thinking what an incredible support it was to have this powerful team of experts to help guide them in their business journey.

Today, I've had the fortune of being on six venture teams. Being a business owner and entrepreneur myself, I wish I'd had access to this powerful and diverse group of Mentors as I struggled and grew in my own businesses.

I will continue to support VMS because it’s such a great opportunity for entrepreneurs to benefit in different ways no matter what stage of their business they're in. Having a group of experienced Mentors, with diverse expertise and experience, is truly a priceless gift. Helping fellow entrepreneurs feels extremely satisfying when you can actually make a difference with their business decisions. It's an absolute honour to be part of this community. At first, I thought being a VMS Mentor was about giving my time back to the business community with no expectation of anything in return. What I didn't realize was that being a VMS Mentor is like being a student all over again. This community of people has made me realize how much I can still learn despite having been an entrepreneur for over 25 years. Not only do I learn from the other Mentors in the program but I can’t say enough about the quality of the entrepreneurs.

Being involved with VMS has helped me better understand other aspects of business that I have not had to deal with in my own personal business journey. I've had the privilege of learning from conversations with the mentorship teams I work with, and have applied these lessons to my current business. This has resulted in positive, tangible results from simple changes. I get really excited to participate in these groups because mentoring others provides such a practical, hands-on alternative to learning that books and schools can’t teach you. The community of Mentors and entrepreneurs in VMS is such an incredible library of experience, knowledge and resources.


Looking back to 1995 when I started my first business, I wish I had the benefit of a VMS program. Having access to top notch, successful entrepreneurs and business leaders in the community would have been invaluable. Had I been surrounded by experienced business owners and professionals to answer questions, provide feedback and give me support, I wonder if I would have been able to reach higher levels of success or get to where I am more quickly. I see VMS as a gift to entrepreneurs that I wish I could have benefitted from in my journey.

Jim Yih
VMS Mentor since 2014