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 KennyBrenda brings significant governance experience with service on the boards of the Canada West Foundation, Sustainable Development Technology Canada and Nature Canada. She also served on the Emissions Reduction Alberta board 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.

Brenda has extensive experience in energy regulation, sustainability and strategy development. Prior to joining CEPA, she spent several years with the National Energy Board where she provided executive leadership in policy, regulatory reviews and finance. She has been active on community boards including WaterSMART, Sustainable Calgary, the Calgary Chamber of Commerce and imagineCALGARY.

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

Board committee(s):  Executive Committee (Chair), ex officio on Audit Committee, Business Planning, Reporting & Engagement Committee, Governance & Human Resources Committee.

Laura J. Kilcrease, CEO

Laura Kilcrease brings a track record and laser-focus to innovation ecosystem performance and design. Since her appointment in 2017, she has steered Alberta Innovates restructuring, spearheaded assessment of programs with an eye to the future, and launched Inventures, the flagship gathering of innovators, investors, industry leaders and global researchers, which PwC estimated catalysed some $200M in potential deal flow in 2019.

Born in London, England, and recruited from Austin, Texas, Laura served as a member of the Alberta Research and Innovation Advisory Committee for seven years prior to joining Alberta Innovates.

She is widely recognized as a key figure in changing Austin’s economy from oil dependency to high-tech prosperity to become the #1 city for entrepreneurs to live and work in the U.S..

She has more than 25 years of experience in commercializing technology, including:

  • founding the venture capital fund Triton Ventures, LP;
  • founding the Austin Technology Incubator, among the earliest in the United States;
  • co-founding the Austin Technology Council, a premier economic networking organization; and
  • launching the Capital Network, one of the largest angel investor networks in the U.S. with over $150M in completed transactions.

A dedicated community builder, Laura served on various for-profit and 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, the IC² Institute at The University of Texas, and is currently on the board of the University Federal Credit Union, one of the top 100 credit unions in the U.S..

She has been often recognized for outstanding achievements, 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 Trailblazer Award.

Laura is a Chartered Management Accountant and has an MBA from the University of Texas.

Find Laura on LinkedIn.

Gordon Lambert

Gordon has 40 years of energy sector experience. He served as interim CEO of the Alberta Energy Regulator from November 2018 to April 2020. Gordon retired in 2015 from a long career with Suncor Energy where he was Executive Advisor on Sustainability and Innovation. He helped create Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance, a globally unique collaboration that resulted in $1.3B in shared intellectual property to accelerate industry environmental performance improvement.

Gordon served on the Panel to design the Alberta Climate Leadership Plan in 2015 and chaired the Alberta Climate Leadership Technology and Innovation Task Force in 2016, with $1.4B in carbon levy revenue directed to innovation. He served on the Export Development Canada CSR advisory council, as Suncor Sustainability Executive in Residence at the Ivey Business School, and on the Joint Public Advisory Committee for Environmental Cooperation under NAFTA.

He holds an Honours Bachelor of Science from the University of Guelph and completed the Executive Program at the Ivey School of Business in 1997.

Board committee(s): Business Planning, Reporting & Engagement Committee, Governance & Human Resources Committee

Patricia McLeod

As a corporate director and corporate/commercial lawyer with more than 23 years of business experience, Patricia brings expertise in governance, compliance and securities law, privacy, ethics, risk management and corporate social responsibility.

She has been general counsel and vice president of regulated Alberta utilities and financial corporations. Her extensive board experience includes chair, vice chair and committee chair roles with private, crown and not-for-profit corporations including Calgary Co-op, Bradley Air Services Ltd. (operating as First Air), Beverage Container Management Board, Calgary Economic Development, Calgary Film Centre and the YWCA of Calgary. She is a passionate community builder with a strong understanding of culture change management.

She holds an MBA from Queen’s University, is a Certified Compliance & Ethics Professional, and attained the Institute of Corporate Directors designation. She was appointed as Queen’s Counsel in Alberta in January 2014.

Board committee(s): Governance & Human Resources Committee (Chair), Executive Committee, Audit Committee, Business Planning, Reporting & Engagement Committee

Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma is a proud product of Alberta’s technology innovation and education system. As an engineering graduate student at the University of Alberta, his research in digital communications led to collaboration with the National Research Council and a PhD program with TRLabs and the U of A.

On completion of his PhD, Rohit joined a Stanford University spin-out company and then founded ONI Systems, a world class metro fiber optics company. In 2000, ONI launched 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 Bay area firm, Rohit is deeply connected with the Silicon Valley founder-led ecosystem of technology innovation. His industry exposure spans the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector and board responsibilities include industrial and chemical applications of genomics and new optical manufacturing technologies. He has invested in India-based start-ups and venture funds and in 2004 he endowed a professorship in digital communications at the University of Alberta to support research and technology development in Alberta.

Board committee(s): Audit Committee

Anne Snowdon, Vice Chair

Anne’s experience is at the nexus of research, public policy development, health system innovation and commercialization. She 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.

Anne is Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship and the Chair of the World Health Innovation Network at the University of Windsor, Odette School of Business. She leads the work of Canada’s first health innovation centre with formal ties to the U.S. and is dedicated to advancing health system innovation and entrepreneurship in both countries and world markets.

With expertise in most health care systems in Canada, Anne is leading over 15 innovation research initiatives across seven provinces, involving government, health professionals, private industry, foundations and families. She was a member of the Ontario Health Innovation Council and was appointed to the President’s Advisory committee on digital health innovation for the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR).

She holds a PhD in Nursing from the University of Michigan, is a Fulbright Scholar and was awarded the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Doctoral Fellowship for her research.

Board committee(s): Business Planning, Reporting & Engagement Committee (Chair), Executive Committee, Governance & Human Resources Committee

Tom Thompson

Tom is President Emerita of Olds College. During his 15-year presidency the college was awarded the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics Gold Award of Excellence in Governance. He is a published author who has presented his governance as stewardship model to great acclaim in more than 25 countries.

Tom is widely recognized for leadership in education, sports, marketing and community service for over 40 years. He served as President of the highly successful 1995 Canada Games and spearheaded a college fundraising drive that led to the largest personal donation in the history of Alberta colleges and technical institutions.

Since departing the college presidency in 2017, Tom has continued to serve community, provincial and national boards and committees in a variety of governance, advisory and consulting roles. He was named Fellow in the Royal Society of Arts in 2016, joining an international community of achievers and influencers from a wide variety of professions and backgrounds.

Tom obtained his Doctorate in Higher Education Administration, with a policy governance research focus and has completed educational and leadership programs at Harvard, Oxford, and the WestPoint Academy.

Board committee(s): Audit Committee (Chair), Executive Committee

Patrick Lor

Patrick is Managing Partner at Panache Ventures, one of Canada’s most active seed-stage venture capital firms and currently the only national pre-seed platform. He is also a partner at 500 Startups Canada and has been recognized by the University of British Columbia’s Creative Destruction Lab as Associate of the Year in 2019, and by the University of Calgary with its inaugural Big Ideas Bold Leaders Award.

Previously, Patrick was co-founder of iStockphoto, which was sold to Getty Images in 2006. He was also head of North American operations for Fotolia, which was acquired by Adobe in 2014.

Patrick is an active angel investor and LP in several venture capital funds including iNovia Capital, Version One Ventures, and Garage Ventures. In addition, he is an advisor and mentor at several technology incubator programs, and is a charter member of and

Board committee(s): Business Planning, Reporting & Engagement Committee, Governance & Human Resources Committee