Our board members

We are truly grateful for the time and efforts of the high-calibre members of our Board of Directors. They offer proven wisdom and experience in a range of areas, including finance and accounting, business, government relations, corporate communications, technology development and transfer, IP and engineering, to name a few.

  • Judy Shaw (Chair)

    President, Judy Shaw & Associates Inc.

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    Prior to forming her own consulting company, mid 2012, Judy Shaw worked for Syngenta and its legacy companies, Novartis and Ciba-Geigy, for 34 years. With demonstrated expertise in regulatory affairs, government policy, industry relations and public affairs, over the years, Judy has established and nurtured many effective stakeholder relationships. She has established strong networks with farm associations, industry, environmentalists, government and not-for-profits and has a skill in working with extensive networks and partnerships.

    While working with Syngenta, Judy designed projects to promote agricultural sustainability and stewardship in Canada. She developed partnerships with Ducks Unlimited Canada and Fondation de la faune du Québec in the restoration of wetlands and riparian strips along with the establishment of more than 20 annual scholarships in sustainable agriculture at Canadian Universities.

    Judy’s passion for agriculture built several Syngenta initiatives, including a philanthropic giving back to agriculture program, focused on supporting agricultural leadership in Canada as well as sustainable agriculture and hunger issues; enrolment with Imagine Canada; the annual 4-H Arbor Awards for volunteer recognition; and a leadership development program for grower association board members to enhance their effectiveness as advocates for agriculture.

    Judy is currently the President of the Canadian Agriculture Hall of Fame, the interim Chair of the Cereals Council of Canada and the Past President of the Canadian 4-H Council. Previous positions held include Chair of the Pest Management Centre Risk Reduction and Minor Use Programs Advisory Committee and Chair of the Canadian Business and Biodiversity Council. She also served on many value chain steering committees focused on sustainable agriculture including the National Food Strategy and the Canadian Agriculture Sustainability Dialogue.

  • Steve Armstrong, PhD

    President and CEO, Genome Atlantic

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    Steve’s unwavering commitment to help Atlantic Canada reap the benefits of genomics-based innovation has made him an invaluable part of the Genome Atlantic team since its inception in 2000.

    He has a strong scientific background as well as extensive experience in both the public and private sectors -- expertise that is highly beneficial as he helps connect industry, academic institutions and funding agents around strategic genomics R&D collaborations.

    Steve is driven by the opportunities for economic and social impact in a diverse range of sectors in the region. As such, he demonstrates a willingness to ‘roll up the sleeves’ and work with partners to make things happen in everything from strategic consultations with industry about sector challenges that can be addressed by genomics, to deriving new R&D funding mechanisms to reduce administrative loads on industry/academic research teams.

    Steve filled other key roles at Genome Atlantic before being named CEO, including project manager and VP Research and Business Development. Prior to that, he worked at a number of innovation-focused organizations, including Innovacorp, CanTox Inc and the Ontario Cancer Treatment and Research Foundation. Steve has a PhD in pharmacology from Dalhousie University.

  • Dave Finn, M.Eng.

    Chief Operating Officer, Petroleum Research Newfoundland and Labrador

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    Dave is the Chief Operating Officer for Petroleum Research Newfoundland and Labrador, an organization that facilitates and manages research and technology development on behalf of the Newfoundland and Labrador offshore oil and gas industry.

    He has over 25 years of experience in various facets of the innovation and commercialization process, from applied research and technology development, proposal development, project development, financing and management, consulting, and business development on the “supply side” to managing an organization responsible for identifying R&D needs, securing alignment, negotiating joint investments and managing complex projects and programs on behalf of an industry consortia on the “demand side”.

    Dave has worked in Houston, Ottawa and St. John’s in large and small public and private organizations, including the National Research Council Canada, xwave (now part of Bell Canada), ZeddComm, and Aliant Energy Services.

    Dave is a graduate of Memorial University where he completed both a Bachelor (Naval Architecture) and a Masters of Engineering (Ocean Engineering). He is a member of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers.

  • Janine Fraser

    Regional Executive Director, Atlantic Region, Innovation, Science and Development Canada

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    Janine Fraser came to Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada (ISED) - Atlantic Region in early September 2016. Janine brings with her extensive regional economic development experience from her years at Atlantic Canada Opportunity Agency (ACOA), where she worked in policy, advocacy, and community development.

    Throughout her career, Janine has worked extensively in both policy and program delivery and has provided leadership on many federal-provincial initiatives. During her time with the Government of Ontario, Janine was involved in the development of the National Child Benefit, and after her move to federal government, the development of the Atlantic Gateway. Before coming to ISED – Atlantic Region, Janine worked as Director of Community Development and finally as Acting Director General of Regional Operations at ACOA Nova Scotia.

  • Patricia Hearn

    Deputy Minister, Intergovernmental Affairs, Province of Newfoundland and Labrador

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  • Ron Keefe

    LL.B, MBA, CPA, CA, ICD.D

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    Ron Keefe is Counsel to Stewart McKelvey and Managing Partner of Island Capital Partners. He is President of Regis Duffy Bioscience Fund Inc. and sits on numerous boards of private entities. Ron has a business degree from University of Prince Edward Island along with LL.B. and MBA degrees from Dalhousie University. He holds CPA, CA and ICD. D designations. He was the President and CEO of BioVectra Inc. and Diagnostic Chemicals Limited.

    Mr. Keefe is past chair and a current member of the PEI BioAlliance. He is a member of the UPEI board of governors and chairs the finance and audit committee of the board. He is Chair of Synapse, UPEI’s technology transfer company. He is a member of the Holland College Foundation and the Chair of Island Advance, a committee established by the Charlottetown Chamber of Commerce to advance the economy of Prince Edward Island. Mr. Keefe is a past chair of the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council.

    Mr. Keefe has a keen interest in advancing economic development in the Atlantic region and views science-based businesses as one of the pillars to grow our economy.

  • Marc LePage (ex officio)

    President & CEO, Genome Canada

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    Before assuming this role in January 2016, he served as President and CEO of Génome Québec since December 2011, where he led a major increase in research activity and enhanced focus on the development of genomic applications within priority sectors within the province.

    He brings a wealth of experience in the innovation sector and venture capital, in addition to a broad network of international contacts.

    He is an expert in international partnerships and previously served as Special Advisor, Climate Change and Energy for the Embassy of Canada in Washington, D.C. and worked as Consul General at the Canadian Consulate in San Francisco/Silicon Valley.

    Marc LePage was also one of the pioneers behind the founding of Genome Canada in 2000. During his tenure as Executive Vice-President of Corporate Development, he made a significant contribution to the development of genomics in Canada.

    From 1994 to 2000, he worked as Director of Business Development for the Medical Research Council, where he was in charge of building international partnerships with the pharmaceutical industry, venture capital and foundations.

    Marc LePage is a member of the Board and the Governance Committee of the Quebec Network for Personalized Health Care. He also sits on the Board of Canada World Youth.

  • Mark Ploughman, B.Eng, MBA

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    Mark has spent over 25 years in the manufacturing sector and has extensive experience in quality assurance, operations management, human resource management, and new product development.

    Prior to joining RDC, Mark was Assistant Deputy Minister for Innovation and Sector Development with the Department of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development (BTCRD) of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, where he was responsible for the province’s Innovation Strategy and worked closely with stakeholders in a broad variety of sectors to develop and advance initiatives that lead to increased levels of innovation and commercialization.

    Mark was the General Manager, St. John’s for Lotek Wireless Inc., a firm that specializes in biotelemetry solutions for animal research. He was responsible for planning, directing and coordinating the operations of the St. John’s plant to maximize plant contribution and corporate value.

    Mark’s career has spanned a number of disciplines in industries including oil and gas, manufacturing and electronics design. He has served on a number of industry association boards and advisory committees to post-secondary institutions.

    Mark completed both his bachelor’s degree in engineering and graduate degree in business administration at Memorial University. He currently serves on the board of the Research and Development Corporation and the Steering Committee for the Translational and Personalized Medicine Initiative of Memorial University of Newfoundland.

  • Dr. James Rourke

    MD, CCFP(EM), MClinSc, FCFP, FRRMS, FCAHS, LLD

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    Dr. James Rourke, Professor of Family Medicine at Memorial University, served as Dean of Medicine at Memorial from 2004 to 2016. He was previously Assistant Dean of Rural Regional Medicine at the University of Western Ontario.

    As Dean of Medicine, he led a major expansion and development of the MD program and vocational residency training (with successful accreditation), the development of new state-of-the-art facilities for medical education and research, and the expansion of world-leading medical research at Memorial, including genetics and health services.

    A recognized leader in medical education and rural health care, Dr. Rourke chairs the AMEE Aspire to Excellence Panel on Social Accountability of Medical Schools and is past chair of the Canadian Medical Forum and the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada. He was instrumental in “The Future of Medical Education in Canada” national initiative to transform undergraduate and postgraduate medical education.

    Dr. Rourke graduated with his MD from the University of Western Ontario, where he completed his Family Medicine Residency Training and Masters of Clinical Science (Family Medicine).

    He has received many honours and awards for his significant contributions to medical education and the practice of family medicine.

  • Ian Thompson

    Executive in Residence, Cox & Palmer

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    A senior business person accredited by Canada’s Institute of Corporate Directors with particular expertise in communication, public policy and board governance, Ian has been a Canadian business owner, a senior executive in a publicly traded energy utility, a senior newspaper executive and a senior bureaucrat. He has held leadership positions in not-for-profits locally, nationally and internationally. As a volunteer, he led the International Cystic Fibrosis Association, providing support to lay and medical communities in parts of Eastern Europe, the Middle East and South America. He has received many awards for his professional and philanthropic work.