INNOVATION ADVISORY COUNCIL
Olga Pawluczyk is the co-founder and CEO of P&P Optica (PPO). Olga is an expert in medical imaging, with a technical background in systems engineering and deep knowledge of the science of spectroscopy. Together with her co-founder, her father Romek Pawluczyk, PPO launched in 2004 as a research company focused on developing high-end spectrometers.
Olga assumed full leadership in 2010 and has grown the company from a research-driven organization to focus on commercialization across different industries, starting with oil and gas, space exploration and medical applications. Olga pivoted the company over the past six years to focus exclusively on building quality and safety solutions for the food processing industry. Olga is driven by the opportunity to combine emerging hardware and software technologies to signiﬁcantly improve the nutritional quality, safety, and sustainability of our food.
Olga participates regularly in an advisory capacity in both the meat industry and the Canadian tech sector, with organizations such as Communitech and Ontario Centre of Innovation. Olga has a BASc (Engineering) from the University of Waterloo; an MSc (Medical BioPhysics) from the University of Toronto, and an MBA from Wilfrid Laurier University.
Doug Alexander joined Premium Brands Holdings (PBH) in 2018 as Vice President and General Manager, Leadbetter Foods and in 2021 accepted a new role with PBH as Vice President Technical Services, Belmont Food Group. Premium Brands Holdings is a Canadian food company consisting of 60 leading specialty food manufacturing and differentiated food distribution businesses with operations across North America servicing over 22,000 customers with more than 10,000 employees. Doug has over 30 years experience running a variety of food processing operations spanning bakery, pasta, sauces, vegetables and meat.
He is a Director on the boards of the Agricultural Adaptation Council, Food and Beverage Ontario and Meat & Poultry Ontario. Doug has also served as Chair of the Agri-Food Management Institute, Chair – of Food Starter, and on the Board of Directors of Provision Coalition. Doug has diplomas in science as well as industrial engineering.
Dave Bender is the Global Vice President of Research & Development for Griffith Foods. Dave is responsible for 350 Research and Development Associates globally and oversees the strategic direction and implementation of the company’s innovation and research and development initiatives. Dave developed the Griffith Foods’ Global Innovation Council and has led this group over the past 4 years.
Prior to assuming this position, he served as Griffith Foods’ Canadian Vice President of Research and Development. Dave joined the organization in 1997 and has held various roles in the commercial organization including Vice President of Sales.
Dave’s previous experiences include progressive management roles at DuPont Canada, Morrison Lamothe Fine Foods, and Cuddy Food Products. Dave graduated with a Master of Science in Marketing Management from the University of Guelph and holds an Honours Bachelor of Science in Food Science.
Shawn Carver has 20 years of experience in advanced analytics and software development. He is currently the founder and CEO of Fiddlehead Technology Inc. — a data science company exclusively focused on food manufacturing and fast-moving consumer goods. He is passionate about startups and committed to growing Atlantic Canada’s IT industry. Prior to Fiddlehead, he worked with or mentored over 80 technology startups as a founding partner in THENEXTPHASE management consultancy and executive board member of the Propel ICT accelerator.
Jacinthe Côté is Director, Product Management, Innovation and Operational Marketing North America at Lallemand with a focus on new ingredients and baking applications. Throughout her career, Jacinthe has comprehensive experience in food manufacturing, biotechnology and nutrition, working in various roles spanning: clinical nutrition (as a registered dietitian), quality assurance, technical support, R&D, communications and marketing. Besides her extensive work experience, Jacinthe is the author of several scientific papers and of the nutrition guide “Desobesité”, published in 2005. In addition, for many years she wrote weekly columns in the daily newspaper “LaPresse” on numerous subjects related to food processing, biotechnology, functional food, nutraceuticals, etc.
Jacinthe earned a bachelor’s degree in Nutritional Science and a master’s degree in Food Science from McGill University. In 2011, she completed her PhD in Biology at the INRS Institute Armand – Frappier after researching the effects of juice processing on the recovery yield and preservation of cranberry bioactive compounds and properties.
Aneta Dymerska is a talented, driven, forward-thinking food development professional with more than 12 years of experience in a variety of food categories at top consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies in North America. She is currently the Director of Research and Development at Ozery Bakery, specializing in the development of innovative breads and snacks and responsible for all elements of industrial baking processes.
Louis Falardeau is the Research and Development Director at Bonduelle Americas, where he is responsible for the frozen and canned vegetables innovations and product development activities in North America. After graduating from Laval University in Food Sciences and Technology, his 25-year career, has been devoted to developing deep QA and R&D expertise in the vegetable processing industry. He successfully managed product development and Innovation projects in both Canada and Europe. During that period, he developed a broad understanding of the global food processing industry landscape with experience in facilities located in more than 10 different countries. Louis is currently a Director on the Board of the INITIA Foundation and was a Director on the Canadian Food Innovators (CFI) Board between 2016 and 2021.
Kelley Fitzpatrick is President of NutriScience Solutions. She has over 30 years of experience in functional food and natural health products (FFNHP) including regulatory reviews and submissions; scientific and consumer presentations, newsletters and articles; and due diligence, feasibility studies, business plans and market trends. Her work has focused on building relationships between the agriculture, food and health sectors and promoting the health benefits of Canadian crop resources.
Kelley has contributed to the development and commercialization of numerous foods and ingredients and has secured over $300 million in funding for her industry clients. She was one of a team of writers for Protein Industries Canada’s 2017 supercluster application. Kelley was the lead for an investment case analysis of FFNHP undertaken for Global Affairs Canada. A popular public speaker, Kelley has presented at over 400 industry events in North America, Europe, Asia, Southern Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. She is currently the Vice-Chair of the Board of Bioscience Association Manitoba.
Dana Gibson is Director of Business Development at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology’s (NAIT’s) Centre for Culinary Innovation. Dana has worked in the food industry for the past 20 years and has experience on the floor, in both meat and dairy processing. She paid her dues on the plant floor working all hours to learn about creating and running quality assurance programs, sanitation programs and production scheduling. Dana then moved her sights towards new product development and decided to return to university to obtain an M.Sc. in Food Science. She worked as a research scientist at the Government of Alberta’s Food Processing Development Centre in Leduc, Alberta where she focused on meat science and ready meals. Through this experience, Dana learned that although most food products could be made it was much harder to actually sell them. This marked her shift into business development where she worked with food companies across Alberta to coach them in market development, network development and accessing resources and grants. From there Dana moved into grant administration where she worked with food companies to develop grant applications and fund automation, innovation, and market development projects. Currently, Dana works at the Centre for Culinary Innovation at NAIT where she and her team provide chef-inspired bench-top product development that puts flavour, aroma and eating experience at the forefront of all product development projects. Dana has a passion for food and loves seeing new food products being made by Canadian companies from ingredients that are grown in Canada. She believes that food is something we all have in common and is a great place for building connection and community.
Jean-François (“JF”) Guillerez is a Professor in the Packaging Engineering program and Structural Packaging Design and Management program at Conestoga College. Prior to teaching, JF spent over 20 years working for major food companies like Nestlé, Maple Leaf Foods and Mondelēz International, in Europe, South America and North America. JF holds a Diplôme d’Ingénieur in packaging from the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne (France) and a Master in Environmental Engineering from École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland). He is also a lifetime Certified Packaging Professional.
Doug Newstead has been in the retail industry for more than 40 years, including experience in merchandising and operations in food, home lines, hard lines, and general merchandise. With experience in both Canada and Central/Eastern United States, he has worked for three of the biggest retailers in North America, and the two largest retailers in Canada. Doug is currently Vice-President – Food Centre Operations and Merchandising at Calgary Co-op. He deeply appreciates the organization’s purpose and culture, especially how co-op members, team members and local vendors work together to provide the very best foods grown, produced, and manufactured in Alberta. Doug is GE School of Business Six Sigma Certified, bringing industry best practices and processes to the Co-op team, with a focus on utilizing quality teams, process improvement and technology for efficiency and growth.
Doug is passionate about Canadian entrepreneurs, start-ups and food innovation. He strongly believes in Canadians supporting Canadians, as well as Canada’s global leadership in quality, locally produced and manufactured food and nutrition products.
Meaghan Seagrave has two-decades of experience in early-stage technology companies and is currently Executive Director of BioNB - a high-impact NGO focused on providing leadership and support to companies and stakeholders in New Brunswick’s bioscience sectors.
She is a nationally recognized bioeconomy thought-leader. Her influence brings together industry and association collaborators across Canada’s science, technology and resource-based sectors, building strong partnerships.
She is member of several investment/funding review committees including Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Canadian Foundation for Innovation’s College-Industry Innovation Fund, the Agri-Innovation Investment Forum Committee, the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises - Public Works and Government Services Canada Build in Canada Procurement Program (OSME & Build in Canada).
Meaghan currently serves on multiple boards including: the Atlantic Chamber of Commerce, the New Brunswick Research and Productivity Council, BioIndustrial Innovation Canada and BioTalent Canada.
Meaghan has a MSc (Food Science) from UBC.
Mark Toman is the Founder and President of EggTech Ltd. He is the developer of an internationally patented process to manufacture upcycled, eco-friendly and sustainable forms of high-purity calcium, collagen and hyaluronic acid from a currently discarded food by-product for use in the human nutrition and specialty packaging markets including, but not limited to nutraceuticals/natural health, pharmaceuticals, food fortification, cosmetics, and personal care.