Board of Directors

The Alberta Innovates Board of Directors is accountable to the Minister and is responsible for the governance of the Corporation and overseeing the management of the Corporation’s business affairs.

This includes oversight of the Corporation’s CEO, as well as the Corporation’s budget, expenditure authority, and human resources policies.

Our Board of Directors

Brenda Kenny, Chair

Brenda KennyDr. Kenny brings significant governance experience. She serves on the boards of the Canada West Foundation, Member Council of Sustainable Development Technology Canada and Nature Canada.  She also continues to serve on the Emissions Reduction Alberta board, during the transition, and is the past President and CEO of the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA), as well as a past member of the University of Calgary Board of Governors.

Dr. Kenny is a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors and holds a Doctorate in Resources and the Environment, a Master of Mechanical Engineering and a Bachelor of Applied Science. Dr. Kenny is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering.

Jane Halford

Jane Halford has a profile of service built on a foundation of professional skill honed during her career as a Chartered Accountant, regulator, corporate director, entrepreneur, and volunteer.

Layered on top of that foundation are the strategic leadership skills she demonstrates in her current business venture, BOLT Transition, and during her seven years as CEO and Executive Director of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Alberta. Jane has also served the technology commercialization industry as an executive-in-residence at TEC Edmonton.

Jane is currently on the boards of Farm Credit Canada, United Way of the Alberta Capital Region, Institute of Corporate Directors Edmonton Chapter, Hyduke Energy Services, Delta Genomics, and the Canadian Angus Foundation.

Laura J. Kilcrease, CEO

Laura Kilcrease is the Chief Executive Officer for Alberta Innovates, including its subsidiaries InnoTech Alberta and C-FER Technologies.

Recruited from Austin, Texas, Laura is the founder and former-managing director of the venture capital fund Triton Ventures, LP. She is widely recognized as one of the key figures in changing Austin’s economic landscape from one struggling with the economic ups and downs that come with oil dependence to a high-tech environment that is today recognized as one of the #1 Entrepreneur City and best place to live and work in the U.S.

She is the founder of the Austin Technology Incubator (ATI), one of the United States’ first technology business incubators, and co-founder of the Austin Technology Council, a premier networking organization that cultivated the growth of the Austin economy. Laura also launched Capital Network, one of the largest angel investor networks in the U.S. with over $150 million in completed transactions.

Laura has more than 25 years of hands-on experience in commercializing technology, and a deep understanding of how to identify and build new business opportunities. Prior to accepting the role as Alberta Innovates’ CEO, Laura was a seven-year member of the Alberta Research and Innovation Advisory Committee, which guided the former Alberta Innovates’ corporations.

In Austin, she gave her time and expertise to a number of non-profit boards, including the Women’s Leadership Advisory Board of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, the Beyster Institute, World Congress for Information Technology 2006, and the IC² Institute at The University of Texas at Austin, among many others.

Laura has often been recognized for her outstanding achievements. She has received numerous honors and awards, including the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, the Austin Business Journal’s Profiles in Power Award, and the University of Texas McCombs School of Business Women in Business Leadership Conference Trailblazer Award.

Born in London, Laura received her certification as a Chartered Management Accountant in the U.K. and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Texas. In her downtime, Laura enjoys cooking and fishing with her husband.

Nancy Laird

Nancy Laird brings an extensive energy sector background where she held diverse senior roles with companies such as Encana Corporation, Pan Canadian Energy Corporation, and the high tech natural gas joint venture NrG Information Services.

Nancy is currently a director with the Business Development Bank of Canada and Trinidad Drilling Ltd. She has served on the boards of private companies and non-profit organizations for nearly 20 years with board committee experience that includes audit, governance, health, safety and environment.

She holds a BA (Honours) from the University of Western Ontario, an MBA from York University and ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors.

Gordon Lambert

Mr. Gordon Lambert retired from Suncor Energy on January 1, 2015. He is currently the Suncor Sustainability Executive in Residence at the Ivey School of Business and has established GRL Collaboration for Sustainability as a consulting practice. He is an advisor and frequent speaker on energy, the environment and innovation. He was instrumental in the creation of Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) and in 2014, was a speaker on Innovation and Collaboration at the World Economic Forum in Tianjin China. In 2015/16 he has been a member of the WEF Global Council consisting of 1200 people globally who help shape the future agenda of the organization including its work on the Future of Oil and Gas.

With Suncor Energy Gord served as the VP Sustainability and in 2013, he was appointed Executive Advisor Sustainability and Innovation where he supported the CEO, senior executive team and the Board of Directors. He has 36 years experience in the energy sector including 17 years with Suncor, two years with TransAlta and 15 years with Imperial Oil. He was a recent member of the Alberta Climate Leadership Advisory Panel to the Environment Minister and the Premier.

Patricia McLeod

Ms. Patricia McLeod is committed to Alberta and has a passion for public service. She is a lawyer and corporate director with over 23 years of in-house legal experience in regulated and deregulated companies and private practices law firms. Patricia is proficient in the areas of corporate/commercial, compliance and securities law, complex regulated and deregulated environments, and has strong experience in change management, strategic planning, enterprise risk management and solid business acumen.

Patricia has held vice president and general counsel legal leadership and management roles in energy utilities and deregulated retail electricity, property development and insurance and financial services companies. She has an MBA from Queen’s University, is a Certified Compliance & Ethics Professional, and a graduate of the Institute of Corporate Directors accredited directors program. She was appointed as Queen’s Counsel in Alberta in January 2014.

She is the current Chair of the Board of Directors of Calgary Co-op, and is a board director of Bradley Air Services Ltd. (operating as First Air), Alberta Innovates and the Beverage Container Management Board. Patricia is passionate about community building. She is the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Calgary Film Centre and cSPACE Projects and is a past Chair of the Board of the YWCA of Calgary and past Vice Chair of the Board of Calgary Economic Development.

Ms. McLeod developed a strong understanding of cultural change management and innovation during her time at AltaLink where, as an outcome of her MBA studies, she helped to implement the company’s internal process to encourage innovation.

David Moss

David Moss is the general manager of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. He was co-founder and vice president of AgriClear LP – an online agri-business marketplace joint venture with the TMX Group and Natural Gas Exchange.

An entrepreneur by nature, David has been in the cattle industry his entire life. He helped build ranch to retail alliances in the United States, Australia and South America. He brings a focus on innovation, data technology, and international business knowledge and experience.

He holds an MA, Leadership Studies from the University of Guelph, an undergraduate degree from the University of Lethbridge and a Project Management masters certificate from York University. He serves on numerous industry committees and is an active volunteer in his Okotoks community.

Brett Robinson

Brett Robinson was appointed President of Canfor Pulp on September 30, 2012 and before this was Executive Vice President, Operations since 2008. Brett joined the company in 1989 and has spent more than 28 years with Canfor and Canfor Pulp.

If you ask Brett what makes Canfor Pulp successful, he will tell you it’s the people. Giving the people in the organization the tools to succeed and the room to learn and grow in their roles is what motivates him. Brett and his team are focused on continuing to improve Canfor Pulp’s global position as a leading, top quartile producer of Sustainable Premium Pulp, Paper and Power Products.

Brett has a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Manitoba and is a Registered Professional Engineer. Brett has been active in various Board roles over the last ten years, most recently completing over 5 years as the Executive Chairman for the 2015 Canada Winter Games.

Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma is a proud product of the Alberta technology innovation and education system. As an engineering graduate student at the University of Alberta and TRLabs, his research work in the field of Digital Communications led to a collaborative work with the National Research Council. Mr. Sharma extended his work in fiber optics into a Ph.D. program with TRLabs and University of Alberta. The industry-university collaborative research environment in Alberta has served as a cornerstone of his skill-set professionally.

Upon completing his Ph.D., Mr. Sharma was recruited to join a Stanford University spin-out company in silicon-valley, followed later by his launch of ONI Systems, a start-up optical networking company powered by a core set of employees including several from Canada. As Founder & CTO, Mr. Sharma led the technology development of world class Metro fiber optics communication systems for the company. In 2000, ONI had a successful IPO, and two years later it was acquired for $900 million by Ciena, the world’s third-largest telecom company.

As an investor with True Ventures, a leading bay area venture capital firm, Mr. Sharma continues to be deeply ingrained into the Silicon Valley founder-led ecosystem of technology innovation. His industry exposure extends across all aspects of the broad ICT sector and his board responsibilities include industrial and chemical applications of genomics and new optical manufacturing technologies. His collaboration network extends into India through his investment in India based startups and venture funds. He is loyal to Alberta and appreciates how the innovation system in the province launched and shaped his career. In 2004 he endowed a professorship in Digital Communications at the University of Alberta to support research and technology development in Alberta.

Anne Snowdon, Vice Chair

Dr. Snowdon’s experience is at the nexus of research, public policy development, Health system innovation and commercialization. She holds a patent for a safety innovation in child car seats, and her expertise in the health care systems of most Canadian provinces and is expected to bring valuable best practices to Alberta Innovates.

Dr. Anne Snowdon is a Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship and the Chair of the World Health Innovation Network (WIN), at the University of Windsor, Odette School of Business. Dr. Snowdon leads the work of the first Canadian health innovation centre with formal ties to the U.S., building collaborative partnerships between the two countries to contribute to advance the health of populations, accelerate health system innovation in both countries to achieve sustainability, economic value and productivity by providing support for innovators and entrepreneurs to successfully bring their discoveries to the Canadian, US and world markets.

Currently, Dr. Snowdon is leading over 15 innovation research initiatives across seven Canadian provinces that collaborate with government, health professionals, private industry, foundations and families. She was a member of the Ontario Health Innovation Council and currently the Chair of the Institute Advisory Board for the Institute for Human Development, Child and Youth Health, of the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR). She has also been appointed to the President’s Advisory committee on digital health innovation at CIHR.

She is also an Associate Professor to the adjunct academic staff of the School of Rehabilitation Therapy at Queen’s University, Adjunct Faculty at the Department of Computer Science at the University of Windsor, and Adjunct Faculty at the School of Nursing at Dalhousie University.

Dr. Snowdon has published more than 100 research articles, papers and cases, has received over $15 million in research funding, holds patents, and has commercialized a highly successful booster seat product for children traveling in vehicles. She holds a PhD in Nursing from the University of Michigan. She is a Fulbright Scholar and was awarded the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Doctoral Fellowship for her research.

Tom Thompson

Tom Thompson is well known and widely recognized for his contributions to education, sports, marketing and community services. On June 30, 2017 he concluded his 15th year as President at Olds College, and is continuing to provide his expertise through his professional practice at Dr. Tom Thompson Leadership Strategies.

For over thirty years, Dr. Thompson has taken a leading role in post-secondary education. Dr. Thompson is recognized for serving on numerous initiatives to enhance education, leadership, governance, entrepreneurship, and community service. Most recently, Dr. Thompson and Olds College were honoured with the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics Gold Award of Excellence in Governance.

Public speaking engagements have extended Dr. Thompson’s influence and brought recognition to Olds College and Alberta’s post-secondary system. Dr. Thompson obtained his Doctorate in Higher Education Administration, with a policy governance research focus. His professional development continues with completed educational and leadership programs at Harvard, Oxford, and the WestPoint Academy. He currently lends his expertise to numerous community, provincial and national boards and committees while providing visionary, forward-thinking leadership to Olds College.

Patrick Lor

Patrick Lor is Managing Partner at 500 Startups Canada, a $30m venture seed fund. Overall, 500 Startups has invested in over 2,000 companies with over $350m under management.

Previously, Patrick was co-founder of iStockphoto, which was sold to Getty Images in 2006. More recently, he co-founded Dissolve, and was head of North American operations for Fotolia, which was acquired by Adobe in 2014.

Patrick is also an active angel investor and LP in several venture capital funds including iNovia Capital, Version One Ventures, and Garage Ventures. He is also an advisor and mentor at several technology incubator programs, and is a charter member of the a100.org and the c100.org.