Office of the President
Dr. Terry Rock is working to bring innovation to the core of the Calgary and Alberta economies. He is a passionate promoter of Calgary’s potential and has an extensive entrepreneurial and strategic leadership background.
Terry’s previous experience has covered a wide variety of contexts and industries including Principal of Rock Strategy & Leadership, Executive Director of the Alberta Small Brewers Association, and Strategic Advisor to Alberta Music Cities. He was also the founding CEO of Calgary Arts Development Authority. Terry brings diverse experience in consulting for high-potential technology ventures, government relations, marketing and sector development, all critical to CTI in its work to establish Calgary as a global innovation hub.
Terry currently works with many Calgary-based boards including the TELUS Calgary Community Board, the Sled Island Music & Arts Festival Board, and the board for Hillhurst United Church. He has previously sat on the founding board of cSPACE Projects, and was the Chair of the AIESEC Canada Inc. board where he had been their President.
Terry holds a PhD in Management with a focus on Strategic Management, Entrepreneurship and Innovation from Texas Tech University, and a Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing (with Distinction) from the University of Saskatchewan.PROFILETerry RockPresident & CEO
As Vice President, Entrepreneur & Enterprise Development, David Chavez leads the team that delivers programs to help entrepreneurs, researchers, and startups get from ideation to funding to commercialization.
David has more than 20 years of experience building and leading technology organizations. Previously, he led research and development and product management teams in Canada and China for Nortel and Ericsson, leading global suppliers of telecommunications and networking gear. David is a Professional Engineer and holds a B.A.Sc. in Engineering Physics from the University of British Columbia.
David has been awarded The Practice of Coaching badge by the Roy Group for succesfully completing coach training. This badge is awarded to leaders interested in tools for positioning others to amplify performance, learning and engagement.PROFILEDavid ChavezP.Eng.Vice President, Entrepreneur & Enterprise Development
Amblessed (Amby) Algeo
Amby Algeo is a facilitator for all Human Resources functions. Her broad experience includes benefits administration, employee relations, HRIS implementations, talent acquisition and payroll.
Previously, Amby worked as a Senior Sales Consultant in Calgary and Lethbridge for numerous years advising the sales company through its stages of growth, creation and stabilization. She brings an array of skills to her position including a strong client services background and is most proud of her ability to successfully recruit highly skilled and technical professionals.
Amby holds a Bachelor of Management degree in Human Resource Management and Labour Relations from the University of Lethbridge, Alberta and is a member of the Human Resources Institute of Alberta (HRIA).PROFILEAmblessed (Amby) AlgeoBMgmtHuman Resources Specialist
Kelly is an accomplished Executive Assistant with more than 15 years of experience in the oil and gas sector. Prior to joining the team, Kelly worked with major publicly traded corporations, supporting CEO’s, Boards of Directors and Senior Vice Presidents.Kelly MarkevichExecutive Assistant to the CEO
Communications & Finance
Jacqui MakoriJacqui MakoriAccountant
As Media Relations Advisor, Communications & Marketing, Meghan Ockey supports the organization's marketing and communications activities with a focus on public and media relations, and strategic planning.
Previously, Meghan worked as a Marketing Manager for a not-for-profit organization where she developed and maintained key sponsorships, along with managing the organization’s website, media relations, and event planning needs. Meghan brings more than 10 years of communication and marketing experience to her position, including international media relations, and brand development.
Meghan holds a certificate in General Studies, and a Diploma in Broadcasting from Mount Royal University.PROFILE
Meghan OckeyAdvisor, Media Relations
As Advisor, Communications & Marketing, Andrea supports the organization's marketing and communications activities in a generalist role, bringing a variety of skills to the position including strategic planning, events planning, content creation, website management and graphic design.
Previously, Andrea worked as a Communications & Marketing Coordinator for a not-for-profit organization where, along with assisting in the planning of an annual street festival, she managed the organization’s communications and marketing needs.
Andrea holds a Bachelor of Communications Studies from the University of Calgary, and a Diploma in Journalism Arts from SAIT Polytechnic. She is a member of the International Association of Business Communicators.Andrea MendizabalBCSAdvisor, Communications & Marketing
Willis’ previous experience includes working at Husky Energy as a Co-op Student on their Marketing Strategy and Programs team. He also started and owned a societal enterprise Bundles of Hope, which gave back to the community with each product sold.
Willis is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Marketing from the University of Calgary's Haskayne School of Business, with anticipated graduation in December 2017.PROFILEWillis TatBCommAnalyst, Marketing and Business Systems
As Multimedia Coordinator, Ankur Desai is responsible for the organization’s video and multimedia production, and assisting the marketing & communications team with various communications activities.
His previous experiences includes both media-creation and communications for various non-profit clubs at the University of Calgary.Volunteering and interning at New University Television (NUTV) as a Post-Production Associate, gave Ankur the necessary skills for successful media creation. Volunteering with other clubs, such as University of Calgary Film Society (UCFS) & Indian Student’s Association (ISA), as a VP of Communications and Jr. Executive of Promotions respectively, provided Ankur with experience handling various communication tools including newsletters, social media, and email promotion.
Ankur is a recent graduate from the University of Calgary with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies.PROFILEAnkur DesaiBAMultimedia Coordinator
Entrepreneur & Enterprise Development
As the Program Manager for the first CTI Global StartUp Program cohort, Michelle Nanjad will be managing the program from a project management perspective.
Working as a Project Management Executive for 20 years, Michelle has worked closely with many CEOs, COOs, IT managers and staff, from various industries and brings her expertise in project, program and portfolio strategy development to CTI. Working with diverse companies such as Charodix, Cenovus Energy, Skyservice Airlines, and many more, Michelle also co-founded her own project and people management company Nanjad Advisory Services Inc.
Michelle holds two degrees from the Universtiy of Calgary, a Bachelor of Commerce in Information Systesms and Finance, and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology.PROFILEMichelle NanjadPMPProgram Manager
Working with the Junction 31 team, Claire LeLievre will be supporting the recruitment, management and provision of advisory services to startups who have signed up for the program.
Claire’s brings a wealth of experience in finance and project management working for various organizations in Europe, including CGI and the Italian Chamber of Commerce. In 2012, Claire joined the world of entrepreneurship when she co-founded Hear and Know – an internationally awarded company providing innovative tracking solutions to the defense and logistics sectors.
Claire holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Management from the Bocconi University in Milan and a Masters in Economics and Financial Engineering from the Dauphine University in Paris.PROFILEClaire LelièvreEntrepreneur & Enterprise Development
As Vice President, Entrepreneur & Enterprise Development, David Chavez leads the team that delivers programs to help entrepreneurs, researchers, and startups get from ideation to funding to commercialization.
David has more than 20 years experience building and leading technology organizations. Previously, he led R&D and product management teams in Canada and China for Nortel and Ericsson, leading global suppliers of telecommunications and networking gear. David is a Professional Engineer and holds a B.A.Sc. in Engineering Physics from the University of British Columbia.
David has been awarded The Practice of Coaching badge by the Roy Group for succesfully completing coach training. This badge is awarded to leaders interested in tools for positioning others to amplify performance, learning and engagement.PROFILEDavid ChavezP. Eng.Vice President, Entrepreneur & Enterprise Development
Dave Van Den Assem
David has over 18 years of leadership experience in environmental, project, and business unit management in several sectors, including mining, power, real estate, and oilsands sectors, most recently with Suncor, Imperial Oil and Syncrude. He has been involved in developing collaborative strategies and plans for innovative technology implementation in the areas of industrial water management, tailings management and closure & reclamation, through both the Canadian Oilsands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) and internally. Previously, as an environmental consultant at Golder Associates Ltd., David has held leadership, management, project management, and environmental specialist roles, during which time he focused on business unit performance and growth and improving project and business management systems.
David completed an MBA degree with a ‘Global Energy Management and Sustainable Development’ specialization, focusing on sustainability strategy in the energy industry and carbon management. He also holds a Master’s of Environmental Design (Environmental Science) and a Bachelor’s of Science in biology, all from the University of Calgary.Dave Van Den AssemB. Sc., M.E.Des., MBALead, Acceleration Services
As Director, Entrepreneur & Enterprise Development, Steve is responsible for ensuring early stage entrepreneurs receive timely coaching and mentoring as well as effective programs to support both their professional and business development.
During his engineering career, Steve served as a Product Development Leader for advanced technology startup QuestAir as part of a joint venture between Ballard Technologies and Daimler AG. Prior to this he served as a New Product Introduction Engineer for Western Star Trucks - Daimler AG. He also served as a Project Leader for Haworth where he was responsible for developing and delivering the new Enclose(TM) advanced product line designed for sustainable buildings.
A passionate entrepreneur and innovator, Steve is also the founder of his own company offering product designs via open innovation channels to Proctor & Gamble and many other consumer brand companies.
A Professional Engineer, Steve holds a Mechanical Engineering Honors Degree from Queens University, plus a hybrid Master’s Degree in Industrial Design & Business from the University of Calgary.
Steve has been awarded The Practice of Coaching badge by the Roy Group for succesfully completing coach training. This badge is awarded to leaders interested in tools for positioning others to amplify performance, learning and engagement.Steven McIlvennaP.Eng., M.E.Des (ID)Director, Entrepreneur Development
Wally Thorson leads a sector-focused team that combines technical assessment and product development guidance with market validation and company creation expertise. The team’s mission is to help energy researchers and inventors commercialize their technologies faster and more cost-effectively. Focusing on pre-company technology development and de-risking, Wally and his team work alongside innovators to help them progress from applied research through proof of concept and compelling prototype demonstrations towards defining and developing market-validated offerings ready for commercialization.
Wally brings over 26 years of engineering, product, and technology development expertise to our team. Previously, Wally worked as Advanced Technology Integration Leader and Director of Engineering at BW Technologies by Honeywell, a global provider of portable life safety gas detection equipment. Prior to Honeywell, Wally served in a number of senior R&D and program management roles at Global Thermoelectric and Nortel Networks. Having led many technology-intensive product development programs from initial concept through to successful market launch, Wally has a deep understanding of the end to end design and commercialization process, and is able to help Kinetica Ventures clients develop comprehensive execution strategies.
Successful product development requires vision, teamwork, and insightful understanding of both technology constraints and customer needs. Innovators often face the additional challenge of breaking trails in territory where neither their technology’s capability nor the market requirements are fully developed. Bringing a balanced approach towards technical rigor, pragmatic risk management and an entrepreneurial mindset, Wally and his team help innovators explore the opportunity landscape, set clear direction, and move quickly towards commercial readiness.
Wally holds a B.Sc in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Alberta.PROFILEWally ThorsonBSc., P. Eng.Director, Technology & Market Intelligence
James J. Thangaraj
James Thangaraj helps create mutually beneficial knowledge and revenue based alliances with industry partners that lead to opportunities for the partner to advise, buy from or invest in CTI's startup clients. This accelerates the startup, addresses the partner’s innovation challenges and generates long-term value for all parties.
James has 20 years of business consulting and economic development experience across Africa, Europe, North America and South Asia. He has worked in strategic, operational, client facing and revenue generating roles at organizations like the World Bank, Enterprise LSE and General Electric, and repeatedly created measurable value for diverse clients. James has previously lived in New Delhi, London, Washington DC and Vancouver, and worked across the world, including Tunisia and Libya.
James holds a Master’s Degree from the London School of Economics.James J. ThangarajDirector, Enterprise Services
Richelle is an international marketing and business development professional with more than 12 years of experience across Sub-Saharan Africa, Bangladesh and North America. During this time, she has worked for organizations like AdFarm and Adam Smith International, supported USAID and UKAID funded projects, and engaged clients ranging from start-ups to non-government organizations to private sector companies of all sizes. This diverse experience gives her the ability to navigate complex environments, identify resources, build relationships, make deals and keep projects and companies moving forward despite obstacles. Richelle is also a social entrepreneur and is one of the five global finalist for the world’s largest social enterprise competition, Hult Prize.
Richelle holds a Masters in Intercultural and International Communication from Royal Roads University and a BA in Communications from the University of Calgary.Richelle MatthewsBA, MAManager, Enterprise Services
Bilal’s career spans over 10 years of developing and commercializing technologies and integrative solutions. Through various roles at Innovate Calgary and CTI, Bilal has helped clients with company creation, market opportunity assessments, financial modeling, and strategic business planning. Prior to joining the organization, Bilal worked within the satellite network industry in systems engineering and business development roles, providing key telecommunication integration solutions to clients in a wide array of industries, including oil and gas, government, military, cellular, and the financial sector.
Bilal holds a BSc in Electrical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and an MBA degree from the University of Calgary.Bilal RasoolB.Sc., MBACommercialization Manager
As the Reporting and Outcomes Analyst, Nick Hsu maintains and optimizes critical reporting systems, facilitates organizational projects, and ensures the organization moves towards greater simplicity and efficiency in terms of metrics and reporting.
In 2015, Nick was project lead in a CRM selection, implementation, and optimization project. His role was to assess the current CRM system at the time, make a recommendation, work with staff to develop a more rigorous client service process, and architect the system based on those outcomes.
Previously, Nick did some work in the film and television industry (Vancouver, BC) where he worked on productions like Tron, Psyche, Twilight, and Smallville. After returning to Calgary, he worked for a few years at Shell Canada in the areas of IT, Contracting and Procurement, and HR. These roles included: working on a global system implementation (SharePoint), developing a lubricants sourcing strategy for Shell's Albian oil sands operation, and work on an Employee Value Proposition for the Carmon Creek In-Situ asset in the Peace River region.
Nick graduated from the University of Calgary with a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Systems & Operations Management (2014)Nick HsuB.CommAnalyst, Reporting & Outcomes
As Executive Advisor, Kevin works closely with the Entrepreneur & Enterprise Development team as well as directly with entrepreneurs in technology startups - helping them develop towards their intended goals.
Kevin brings a wealth of business experience to the team. With more than 20 years of entrepreneurial experience, Kevin has focused on experience design, branding, retail sales, marketing, and innovative web-based software. He has successfully led creative and development teams to win multiple awards.
Previously, Kevin co-founded and was CEO of Enthrill, a Calgary-based ebook distribution company whose joint venture with Walmart saw the launch of an innovative ebook gift card program across Canada.
Kevin has been awarded The Practice of Coaching badge by the Roy Group for succesfully completing coach training. This badge is awarded to leaders interested in tools for positioning others to amplify performance, learning and engagement.PROFILEKevin FrancoExecutive Advisor
As Executive Advisor, Elena Dumitrascu, works closely with technology startup entrepreneurs alongside the Entrepreneur & Enterprise Development team.
Elena is also the Vice President of Strategic Partnership at Cortex Business Solutions, where she is responsible for developing and securing strategic partnerships with companies & industry associations that complement & enable the sale of the Cortex platform. She was also fundamental in the acquisition of Caledonia Solutions, an Oil and Gas software company. Elena also has fifteen years’ experience in sales, enterprise business development, and consulting supply chain, operations, and regulatory compliance.
Elena holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, from the University of Windsor. She is also a member of A100, and a mentor with Technovation.Elena DumitrascuExecutive Advisor
As an Advisor for the Entrepreneur & Enterprise Development team, David provides early stage entrepreneurs with coaching and mentoring, leveraging his technical and industry background to help them advance their opportunities.
David has over 10 years of combined experience in sales, product development and design. He has worked in industries ranging from air compressors, optical disc manufacturing, optical and wireless networking. While working for Nortel he helped support and engineer telecommunications networks for major carriers and corporations around the world.
Previously, David spent time in an oil and gas EPCM working in project management and in the assessment and prioritization of in-situ projects for a major client.
David holds a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from McGill University and an MBA from the University of Calgary.
David has been awarded The Practice of Coaching badge by the Roy Group for succesfully completing coach training. This badge is awarded to leaders interested in tools for positioning others to amplify performance, learning and engagement.David YiptongB.Eng., MBAAdvisor
(Currently on maternity leave)
Saadia Syed works as an advisor for the Entrepreneur and Enterprise Development team, and provides early stage entrepreneurs with coaching and mentoring, leveraging her startup and business background to help them advance their opportunities.
Prior to working in entrepreneurship and startups, Saadia spent five years in asset management, working at small boutique firms in both Vancouver and Halifax. Saadia entered the startup world in business development and quickly expanded her experience to include sales, marketing, customer service, and expansion strategy.
Saadia holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Alberta and an MBA from Dalhousie University.Saadia SyedMBAAdvisor
As an Advisor for the Entrepreneur and Enterprise Development team, Andrew provides early stage entrepreneurs with coaching and mentoring, leveraging his technical and industry background to help them advance their opportunities.
Andrew has over 13 years of experience that spans technology, energy, and military spaces, notably at Enbridge, a multinational energy infrastructure operator, and at General Dynamics, a multinational defense industry contractor. His work includes multiple specialities, including Corporate Venture Capital, Natural Gas Midstream acquisition and development, Green Energy development of solar, wind, hydroelectric, and geothermal projects, as well as IT and Communications Technology Development and Commercialization.
Andrew holds a BSc in Software Engineering with a Minor in Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Design from the University of Calgary, and an MBA from the Ivey School of Business at Western University.PROFILEAndrew SandenPEng, MBAAdvisor
As Programs Specialist, Madeline is key in the planning and execution of the organization’s various entrepreneur development seminars and workshops.
Previously, Madeline assisted the Oil Sands Contracts department at Nexen Inc. with database management and interface requirements. Additionally, she finds joy in the satisfaction that stems from conceptualizing and executing events, such as a fundraiser for The Maple Tree Foundation, which raised over $5,000 to support communities in the Philippines.
Madeline holds an Applied Business degree in Small Business and Entrepreneurship with a New Venture Major from Mount Royal University. Along with being a health enthusiast who has a passion for business innovation, Madeline is also a certified yoga instructor and has experience running her own startup, previously owning and operating her own business, Posers Yoga.
Madeline has been awarded The Practice of Coaching badge by the Roy Group for succesfully completing coach training. This badge is awarded to leaders interested in tools for positioning others to amplify performance, learning and engagement.Madeline KendrewBBAPrograms Specialist
Pierre is Program Director and a mentor for the Venture Mentoring Service of Alberta (VMSA), an Alberta-wide mentoring program that matches Alberta-based entrepreneurs with experienced mentors to accelerate startup success.
Pierre is an entrepreneur, angel investor, corporate director and mentor who is passionate about helping entrepreneurs succeed. He chairs the Board of Directors of HGI Industries, a Florida-based company marketing its air purification technology internationally. Pierre has invested in several early-stage technology companies, and is involved in real estate investment and land development.
Following his formal training in agriculture and animal science, Pierre worked in the crop and livestock input sectors where he occupied various positions in sales and marketing. This experience led to the creation of a marketing and communications firm providing services to North American agribusiness and agri-food clients. As a business consultant, he has had direct involvement in strategic planning, domestic and international channel distribution, organizational structure and development planning, executive team development, product management and corporate restructuring. He was president and CEO of Chariot Carriers where he led the management team and the transition of production from Calgary to Asia, European distribution agreements, and streamlined product development. He negotiated the sale of the company to Sweden based Thule Group of companies.
Pierre has been awarded The Practice of Coaching badge by the Roy Group for succesfully completing coach training. This badge is awarded to leaders interested in tools for positioning others to amplify performance, learning and engagement.Pierre DoyonProgram Director & Mentor, Venture Mentoring Service of Alberta
As Program Manager for the Venture Mentoring Service of Alberta (VMSA), Sarah is responsible for the full delivery of the program, including VMSA 2.0 post-pilot program development. She is responsible for completing intake for program participants, facilitating the team engagements between entrepreneurs and mentors and making sure meetings happen regularly and are tracked appropriately. Sarah also performs community outreach to ensure that the program is known to ecosystem members and to maintain a steady flow of new mentors and entrepreneurs.
Previously, Sarah worked with startups in areas such as strategy, marketing, customer support, operations and project management. Sarah entered the startup world as a marketer and quickly expanded her experience to add value to small businesses. Prior to beginning her work with startups, Sarah worked in marketing at companies such as at WestJet, BDO and a local agency called Rare Method.
Sarah holds a combined Bachelor of Communications Studies degree from the University of Calgary and a diploma in Journalism Arts from SAIT.
Sarah has been awarded The Practice of Coaching badge by the Roy Group for succesfully completing coach training. This badge is awarded to leaders interested in tools for positioning others to amplify performance, learning and engagement.PROFILESarah MorrillBAProgram Manager, Venture Mentoring Service of Alberta
As the Executive Advisor for CEO Roundtable, Scott serves as a facilitator for the roundtable program and as a mentor for early stage technology companies.
Scott is a results-driven innovative leader with 18 years of experience in the technology sector. He has experience leading corporate growth and business development internationally. Scott also has experience in pharmaceuticals, medical devices and previously spent six years in the pre-hospital care space at the University of Alberta, the University of Calgary, the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) and other institutions, and has trained over 1,000 students. Scott has mentored over 25 companies in various sectors, including veterinary and human medicine, educational technology, safety, enterprise resource planning, financial technology, accounting and many more.
Scott has held many positions throughout his career, including CEO, President, COO, and various Executive Vice President and business development positions. He has raised millions in venture capital and private funds.
Scott holds a Computer Science honors degree from DeVry Institute of Technology. He currently sits on the board of four private companies and one public Software as a Service (SaaS) provider. He is a husband, father of three and devoted community member, coaching hockey and football in his spare time.
Scott has been awarded The Practice of Coaching badge by the Roy Group for succesfully completing coach training. This badge is awarded to leaders interested in tools for positioning others to amplify performance, learning and engagement.PROFILEScott PickardBCS (Honors)Executive Advisor, CEO Roundtable
Office and Meeting Facilities - Alastair Ross Technology Centre
As the Facilities Coordinator, Pam McQuillen, helps with sub-leasing, event planning, operation & management, space planning and moving at the Alastair Ross Technology Centre (ARTC).
Pam, holding a robust resume in facility and property management, previous experience comes from working in the energy sector, specifically working Penn West as their facilities coordinator for 11 years. Working with Penn West she oversaw various urban and rural office facilities, helping them with her expertise, knowledge and personal flair.
Outside of work Pam likes to spend time with her two children and husband.Pam McQuillenFacilities Coordinator, ARTC
As Facilities Coordinator; the Inc., Pam Boskers focuses on tenant engagement, day-to-day Inc. operations, and working closely with the ARTC team to ensure efficient collaboration of facility and building services objectives.
Previously, Pam worked for an international EPCM firm, working as a former Fleet & Field Operations Manager, overseeing the day to day operations of all field facilities such as leasing, safety equipment, material yards and fleet vehicles.Pam BoskersFacilities Coordinator, The Inc.
As Building Operations Assistant, Bobby is a key member of the Alastair Ross Technology Centre (ARTC) team. He is responsible for ensuring the daily maintenance, operation and security of the building, and is also a point of contact for ARTC tenants and clients.Bobby ReyesBuilding Operations Assistant
As Receptionist, Jen Neufeld is responsible for the front operations of Innovate Calgary and the Alastair Ross Technology Centre (ARTC). Some of her duties include greeting visitors to the ARTC, managing the boardrooms and supporting the tenants and Corporate Identity clients of the building.
Prior to joining Innovate Calgary, Jen worked in the hospitality industry as a front desk agent and sales representative. Jen brings a strong background in administrative support, customer service and organizational skills.
Jen holds a BA diploma majoring in accounting.PROFILEJen NeufeldClient Services Coordinator