Tickets only $10.00
In adherence to the latest COVID related restrictions and latest orders of the Provincial Health Office, we will unfortunately be required to postpone our in-person September 23rd Fuckup Nights event, until we are safe to fully proceed.
Please stay tuned for more details, and we look forward to seeing you all soon!
Fuckup Nights Vancouver is a local chapter of the global movement and event series that shares stories of professional failure. Each month, in events across the globe, we get three to four people to get up in front of a room full of strangers to share their own professional fuckup. The stories of the business that crashes and burns, the partnership deal that goes sour, the product that has to be recalled, we tell them all.
Our Brave Speakers
Rowena Rizzotti – VP Healthcare & Innovation, Health & Technology District
Hassib Sarwari – Owner, Afgan Kitchen
Joe Roberts – The Skid Row CEO
Rowena Rizzotti is a highly successful healthcare leader with more than 30 years’ experience in executive-level leadership roles across multi-site, complex health and business environments.
Rowena holds two Masters Degrees in Management and Business Administration (MBA) and also holds an undergraduate degree in Psychology with a minor in Biochemistry from UBC. She is clinically trained as both a nurse and a paramedic.
Rowena served as VP of Operations for BC’s largest private seniors’ care operator and also served as a Chief Operating Officer for BC’s Northern Health Authority among many other healthcare leadership roles. Rowena earned wide acclaim for her senior leadership of Fraser Heath’s Clinical Programs and Operations including Surrey Memorial Hospital (SMH) and for overseeing the largest investment in BC’s history; a $500 million critical care tower in Surrey, BC.
Rowena is a founder of Innovation Boulevard and the Health & Technology DISTRICT in Surrey, is responsible for having developed a research and innovation strategy for FH in 2012, as well as developed an Innovation Centre for Healthy Aging which won a 2015 Innovator of the Year Award in BC. Rowena also was an original founder and currently leads the planning for Legion Veterans Village in Surrey. Rowena currently holds a number of senior consulting and strategic advisory roles with private sector organizations, is a member of the Conference Board of Canada’s Council for Innovation and Commercialization and is a Mentor for SFU Beedie School of Business and was recently awarded the 2018 Business Woman of the Year in the Corporate Leadership Category, is a Board Member for the Surrey Board of Trade and is Chair of the Women in Business Team.
Born in Afghanistan, Hassib Sarwari moved to Canada at 16 years of age with his mom and three brothers, Zabi, Ehsan, and Wali. For the first three years, his mother, Zohra, could not find a job in Canada as an Afghan woman with broken English.
His father passed away to a heart attack when Hassib was six years old. At the time, Hassib’s family was living in Pakistan to escape from the heavy war in Afghanistan where Hassib was educated in the English language, along with his previous three learned languages of Hindi, Afghan Dari, and Urdu. Hassib excelled in high school academics in Pakistan and developed an interest for journalism, specifically, broadcasting.
Then, his extended family in Canada offered to sponsor Hassib, Zohra, Zabi, Ehsan and Wali to immigrate to Canada under refugee status. Thinking about their future opportunities and brothers’ educations, Hassib agreed, although deeply saddened by his departure from his grandmother and his childhood homes in Asia.
Around the beginning of 2015, he made it his personal goal to open his own Afghan restaurant. Despite 13-hour work days between his two jobs at Sport Chek and Afghan Horsemen, he always found time for his family. Every day off, he would take Zohra to a park or to grocery-shopping, and enjoy a home-cooked meal by his beloved mother at night, because in his heart, food has always been the component to bring people together. His dinner tables between himself, Zohra, and his three brothers would remind him of their experiences in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India, with more family members. The Sarwari family cherished the dinner table.
In May of 2016, Hassib signed the lease at Grandview Central at the current address of Afghan Kitchen for ten years. In June, he had found the right construction company, Merola, to build his dream restaurant. He went into Afghan Kitchen every morning and stayed with the construction crew until sunset. Two months had gone by, where Hassib had already spent every day at Afghan Kitchen to supervise construction and to help in the odd jobs, such as nailing together wood pieces for the bar.
In August, Hassib realized that he was in a bit of financial trouble. His initial savings had dried up in light of the heavy construction costs, but there was one final job left: painting. To have professional painters do the job would have cost Hassib $20,000. Instead, he gathered together all his family members, including Zohra and his three brothers, 10 cousins, 5 uncles, and 5 aunts, to paint together, every single corner of Afghan Kitchen. It was an entire day of hard work, but Hassib and his family had a lot of fun, and created their first memory together at their family restaurant.
Construction was all completed and recipes were being perfected. On his birthday, September 21st, Hassib was surprised by his friends and family at Afghan Kitchen by sample dishes cooked by Zohra. Everyone was proud of him, but he knew that the work was not going to stop there.
Hassib worked 13-hour days since he was sixteen years old in order to save up for Afghan Kitchen, and now he happily works 13-hour days at Afghan Kitchen with his family by his side. Hassib was even able to bring his grandmother to Canada from Afghanistan. The dinners they held at home before, they now hold together at Afghan Kitchen.
The most effective leaders in society are those rare individuals who can inspire their audience with a passion that can only come from personal experience. As the former President and CEO of an extremely successful multimedia company, Joe Roberts has faced and overcome key business challenges, which confront every modern organization.
With a track record of proven business success, Joe formed his own multimedia company, Mindware Design Communications, and in less than four years led the company to a phenomenal 800% increase in business.
Joe’s business solutions have made millions of dollars for his clients, across a variety of business sectors. It is from this experience that Joe draws when addressing Fortune 500 companies, professional associations, and organizations internationally.
What is most amazing about Joe is that in 1989 he was living on the streets of Vancouver as a homeless skid row addict. Through perseverance, determination, and his resilient human spirit, Joe pulled himself out of the darkness and despair, to become a highly respected business and community leader.
Today Joe Roberts (aka The Skidrow CEO) is an award-winning Inspirational Keynote Speaker armed with unwavering determination and 20+ years of speaking experience. His mission has been, is, and always will be to instigate a ripple effect of positive change everywhere he goes by reminding people of their unlimited potential.
When Joe was homeless in Vancouver he made a promise if his life was spared he would pay it forward. He did just that in the form of triumphantly pushing a shopping cart a staggering 9,064 kilometers across Canada in the name of youth homelessness prevention. This very act birthed a national awareness campaign called The Push for Change, inspiring fellow Canadians to create ripple effects of transformation in the lives of at-risk youth throughout the country.
Since 1989, Joe has acquired two college diplomas, became the CEO of one of Vancouver’s leading multimedia companies, walked across Canada, and achieved more success than he could ever have imagined. Joe has been recognized by MacLean’s Magazine as one of “10 Canadians who make a difference,” won the BC Courage to Come Back Award, received The Ontario Premier’s Award for Business, was given an Honorary Doctorate from Laurentian University, was recognized by the Senate of Canada with their Canada 150 Medal, received the Medal of Good Citizenship from the province of BC and the Meritorious Service Medal from the Governor-General of Canada.
Ultimately, Joe’s deep resonating “WHY” is to empower people to step into a life of infinite possibility, to understand “there is truly more to each and every one of us than what we see”