Ian Potter, PhD X

President and CEO

Ian Potter joined Vineland Research and Innovation Centre in 2019 as President and CEO. He is also President and CEO of Platform Genetics Inc., a spin-off company of Vineland.

Ian is an experienced executive who was recently Vice President, Engineering and Vice President, Business Management with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC). He was also Chief Operating Officer at Alberta Innovates – Technology Futures (AITF). Ian has a successful track record working with many business models for research funding and commercialization as well as a strong experience developing and collaborating with a broad network of stakeholders.

He holds a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Calgary (Canada).

Karen Belaire X

Board Chair

Karen Belaire is President and Chief Executive Officer of Shared Services West, a shared service organization specializing in supply chain optimization in the not-for-profit sector. She has held such roles as the Chief Operating Officer at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, Chief Operating Officer at the London Health Sciences Centre and at St. Joseph’s Health Care London, Vice President Administration for McMaster University and Vice President of Finance and Administration for St. Joseph’s Healthcare in Hamilton and for Credit Valley Hospital in Mississauga.

Ms. Belaire holds a CPA/CGA designation and an MBA, and she is a Chartered Director (C. Dir.).

Her board experience includes current: Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, GS1 Canada, Csii, St. Joseph’s Health System (International Outreach Program), and past: Horizon Utilities, Theatre Aquarius, St. Peter’s Hospital, CIMTEC, Trillium Gift of Life Network, McMaster Innovation Park, Gore District Land Trust, McMaster Museum of Art, HSCN, Kids Health Links Foundation and CAA Southwestern Ontario.

May Chang X

Board Director

May Chang is an executive who has spent 25 years in the healthcare sector in leadership roles at large community hospitals and major multi-site hospitals. She is currently the Principal of May Chang Consulting, offering executive leadership strategies.

Prior to starting her own consulting firm, Ms. Chang was the Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer at Markham Stouffville Hospital and served as Interim Chief Executive Officer at Shared Services West. She also held various senior executive portfolios at Trillium Health Partners and spent nine years in managerial positions in the private sector with Harry Rosen Inc.

Ms. Chang graduated from the University of Toronto and holds the prestigious Fellowship designations from both the CPA and CMA.

Greg Devries X

Board Director

Greg Devries is President of Truly Green Farms and Cedarline Greenhouses. He is a third generation farmer whose grandfather settled in the Dresden, Ontario area from Holland over 60 years ago. Cedarline Greenhouses includes 16 acres dedicated to the production of peppers. The Truly Green Farms greenhouse is currently growing 22.5 acres of tomatoes with the intent of expanding to 90 acres of production. It will also be the first greenhouse in North America to utilize waste heat in production.

Mr. Devries worked for 10 years as a claims adjustor for AgriCorp in Kent, Lambton and Middlesex Counties. In 1997, he was elected to the board of the Ontario Soybean Growers. During the following 10 years, he served on all levels of the board including two years as Chair in 2005-2006. He has also served in various leadership positions on different farm organizations both provincially and federally.

Mr. Devries graduated from Ridgetown College in 1990 as a Livestock Major. In 1999, he participated in the Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program (AALP). 

Kristin Ego MacPhail X

Board Director

Kristin Ego MacPhail owns family-run Ego’s Nurseries Ltd. located in Simcoe County, ON. The greenhouse operation cultivates a wide variety of fruit and vegetables sold to farmers’ markets, restaurants and retailers. The nursery also sells a selection of annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs to landscape and gardening operations.

Ms. Ego MacPhail holds a BSc in agriculture from the University of Guelph.

She is Director of the Ontario Farm Fresh Marketing Association and Past Chair of Agricultural Adaptation Council.

John Groenewegen, PhD X

Board Director

John Groenewegen operates JRG Consulting Group, a Guelph-based management consulting firm in business for more than two decades, focuses on the agriculture and food sector and provides consulting services in areas such as business strategy, sector competitiveness, economic assessments and policy. Mr. Groenewegen has conducted a number of projects in various segments of the horticulture sector.

Previously he was a Partner in a major management consulting firm and was also employed by Agriculture Canada and worked at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the early part of his professional career.

In addition to his professional focus, Mr. Groenewegen is a farm owner in a share-cropping operation in southwestern Ontario.

He has a doctorate in agricultural and applied economics from the University of Minnesota, with his first two degrees from the University of Guelph.

Lori Hall X

Board Director

Lori Hall is a partner at Gowling WLG, an International Law firm with 18 offices across the Globe.

Distinguished among the world’s top trademark professionals, Ms. Hall focuses her practice exclusively in the area of trademark prosecution. Over the course of her 14-year career, she has helped countless clients – from small start-ups to multi-billion dollar corporations – protect and maximize their brands at home and abroad.

A sought-after thought leader in her field, Ms. Hall is the author of the trademark prosecution section of LexisNexis Practice Advisor, one of Canada’s premier legal resources.

Her past board experience includes The Goodwill Amity Group (Hamilton and Halton) and The Innovation Factory at the McMaster Innovation Park.

Fred Koornneef X

Board Director

Fred Koornneef is the President of Koornneef Produce, a supplier of vegetables and tender fruits in Grimsby, ON for more than five decades.

In 2018, Koornneef Produce announced plans to build a 65,000-square-foot warehouse in the town of Lincoln, ON. The new facility will allow the company to pack more vegetables and Niagara fruit for local growers, in addition to sweet peppers, mini cucumbers and private-label grape tomatoes.

Christy McMullen X

Board Director

Christy McMullen joined Summerhill Market, a family-owned gourmet grocery store as Store Manager in 2003. She is the recipient of the 2015 Star Women in Grocery Award from Canadian Grocer Magazine. Ms. McMullen holds a CPA/CA designation and is a graduate of Wilfred Laurier University.

Ms. McMullen is a member of the Executive Board for the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers and Program Advisory Committee of George Brown College.

Mark Picone X

Board Director

Mark Picone is an educator, chef and vineyard proprietor currently teaching at the Canadian Food and Wine Institute at Niagara College.

Using a sustainable approach to farming, he started the Picone Vineyard nestled on the Niagara Escarpment in the sub-appellation Vinemount Ridge.

Mr. Picone is a graduate of the University of Guelph (BComm) and Niagara University (MBA).

Ray Price X

Board Director

Ray Price is President of the Sunterra Group of Companies including Sunterra Meats, Sunterra Markets and Sunterra Farms based in Alberta and the Midwest U.S.

Mr. Price is Director of the Board for the Canadian Meat Council and has also served on the Board of the Government of Canada’s Council of Science and Technology Advisors.

Allan Visser X

Board Director

Allan Visser is President of Visco Holdings Limited. Visco Holdings is active as a principal and project manager in the development and operation of residential and commercial real estate. The company has developed residential subdivisions and commercial buildings in the Niagara Region and Central Florida and manages several commercial and residential properties in Niagara.

Mr. Visser’s training as a chartered accountant and his experience as executive vice president of a multi-divisional real estate development and investment company has equipped him for his role as an entrepreneur.

Mr. Visser has served and led many not-for-profit and charitable boards and committees including the Niagara YMCA, Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce, the Chartered Accountants Association and the Port Dalhousie Business Association.  He is currently Chair of Martindale Place, a not-for-profit senior’s housing development located in St. Catharines, Ontario.

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