Organizational Structure

Our senior management team

Laura J. Kilcrease, Chief Executive Officer

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.

Francisco Alhanati, Managing Director, C-FER Technologies

Francisco Alhanati has spent most of his thirty-two-year career in the industry on applied R&D related to production operations, with Petrobras in Brazil, between 1983 and 1996, and with C-FER Technologies in Canada since 1997.

Francisco received the 2013 SPE Production and Operations international award, for his distinguished contributions to petroleum engineering throughout his career. He is considered an industry expert in the area of artificial lift, and he has extensive technical knowledge of offshore production systems and heavy oil production operations.

Francisco became C-FER’s Managing Director in 2012. In this position, he acts as the company’s CEO and responds directly to C-FER’s Board of Directors. Francisco continues to provide senior technical advice to a variety of projects, to try to ensure the quality of their deliverables, and nurture long-term relationships with key clients, including identification of their R&D needs.

Francisco holds a PhD degree in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Tulsa. He speaks English, Spanish and Portuguese fluently.

Learn more abour C-FER Technologies

Lyn Brown, Vice President, Marketing and Communications

Lyn has 30 years of business strategy and communications experience leading teams and guiding high-impact projects in a range of industries and companies. Her background is peppered with change initiatives including postal service transformation in the 1980s, an initial public offering, merger and integration in telecommunications in the 1990s, and court-protected financial restructuring, acquisitions and plant closures in the manufacturing sector through the past decade.

She led corporate responsibility, communications and brand marketing at Catalyst Paper through the end of 2013, during a decade of industry turbulence and social license renegotiation with governments, employees, local communities, First Nations and environmental groups.

During Lyn’s tenure, Catalyst ranked among Corporate Knights Magazine’s Best 50 Canadian companies for seven consecutive years and earned five awards for disclosure from the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (formerly CICA).

She has served with numerous community boards, including the BC Premier’s Climate Action Team, Alberta private sector chair of the Pacific Northwest Economic Region; Quest Outreach Society, a Vancouver-based non-profit in the food security space; GreenBlue Institute, a Virginia-based non-profit dedicated to sustainable materials management; Canadian Business for Social Responsibility, Corporate Knights Inc., a Canadian-based certified B Corporation; and the San-Francisco based International Association of Business Communicators.

She completed the ICD-Rotman School director education program, holds an MBA from Royal Roads University, an undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Alberta, and a diploma in journalism from MacEwan University.

Lyn and her husband, Ray, recently returned to Alberta after more than a decade in Vancouver.

Rollie Dykstra, Vice President, Investments

Rollie provides oversight and direction for the Corporate Planning & Portfolio Management, Entrepreneurial Investments, Highly Qualified Skilled People & Centre Investments and Performance Management & Evaluation teams.

Rollie originally joined Alberta Innovates – Technology Futures as the Director for Business Innovation Services in February 2013 and was promoted to General Manager of Commercialization in June 2014.

His focus is on building the knowledge-based sectors of the Alberta economy, primarily in high tech, and encouraging and supporting regional innovation throughout the province. Accelerating innovation for the province through actively pursuing research collaborations and business development, Rollie specializes in building the relationships that generate mutually beneficial results.

He and his team are dedicated to the advancement of Alberta companies through leveraging government programs, stakeholder relationships and innovation system infrastructure. He works on business development with high tech companies, helping to move research to commercialization.

A former sales executive with NORTEL, TELUS Communications, and Williams Communications, Rollie has over 30 years of experience in the information & communications technology sector and business development roles both in industry and government, and 12 years in the innovation system.

Rollie has an undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of Alberta, and certificates in Telecommunications Management and Computer Programming.

A sense of humour and a passion for making a difference guide Rollie, and he embraces the crucial role relationship building plays in the development of any innovation system. He unwinds by fishing, playing golf and hockey.

Learn more about Entrepreneurial Investments, Post-Secondary Investments, and Performance Management at Alberta Innovates.

Maureen Lomas, Vice President, Finance

Maureen has over 15 years of progressive accounting and managerial experience and has worked in various industries including oil and gas, mining and manufacturing, and health.

Her prior roles include being the Vice President, Finance for an arctic marine transportation company and Vice President and General Manager for the Canadian operations of Wood Group Pressure Control, a downstream oil services provider. She also gained experience working with international drilling and exploration companies.

Maureen completed her Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Saskatchewan in 1997. Subsequently, she sat on the University of Saskatchewan Alumni Association in various roles including President. She currently acts as the representative for the Alumni Association in Edmonton. Maureen also serves as Treasurer for various community organizations.

Since her first job with Corning Cable Systems, the importance of innovation was emphasized and has stayed with Maureen throughout her career and influenced career choices. Maureen is a tenacious, energetic and driven leader who is outcome focused. She’s a devoted mother of two who loves dogs, and spends her free time reading, playing and watching sports.

Steve McMahon, Chief Operating Officer, InnoTech Alberta

Steve is a professional engineer with an extensive background in engineering, information technology, and technical systems, specializing in resolving organizational enterprise, and industry-wide integration and interoperability challenges.

Prior to joining Alberta Innovates, Steve was a partner with Deloitte Consulting, where he led the National Healthcare Digital Integration Practice and cross-sector Digital Integration Practice in Western Canada.

Prior to moving into consulting, he practiced as a petroleum engineer, focusing on production and reservoir engineering. Steve brings a cross-sector knowledge base to Alberta Innovates, with experience spanning telecommunications, oil and gas, manufacturing, retail and distribution, and government, including specialization in healthcare systems.

For more than a decade, Steve has been involved in large-scale projects that connect the collective healthcare systems in jurisdictions such as Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario and in the U.S.

Steve has a successful track record in integrating business processes, information technology, standards, platforms and solution development that encompasses multiple stakeholders, sectors, industries and jurisdictions. He has served as a member of Canada’s Health Informatics Association, and as a board member of the Alberta Network for Health Information Exchange and the Health Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC Health). Steve also sat on the advisory committee for the Canadian Health Informatics Executive Forum.

Learn more about InnoTech Alberta

Tim Murphy, Vice President, Health Innovation

Tim has more than 25 years of senior executive leadership experience in the health care sector. Currently, he is the Vice President, Health at Alberta Innovates and prior to this role, he was the Vice President, Provincial Platforms and SPOR.

Prior to joining Alberta Innovates, Tim established an independent consulting practice and worked with clients such as: the CHILD Foundation, the Institute for Health System Transformation and Sustainability, and the Movember Foundation. His other roles include being the inaugural Senior Vice President at the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR) ‐ a provincial research organization based in Vancouver, and 10 years in senior management positions with two comprehensive Academic Oncology Centres‐ Princess Margaret Hospital (1992‐1997) and the British Columbia Cancer Agency (1997‐2002).

Tim holds a Bachelor of Science Degree, Life Sciences from Queen’s University (1989); a Masters of Health Administration from the University of Toronto (1992); and, a Masters of Business Administration from Queen’s University (2006). In 2007, he received his Certified Management Accountant (CMA) designation.

Learn more about Health Innovation at Alberta Innovates.

Steve Price, Executive Director, Bio-Industrial Services

Steve has a wide range of professional experience that includes a stint as the Chief Executive Officer of the former Alberta Innovates – Bio Solutions, and Executive Director of the Alberta Forestry Research Institute in the former Alberta Advanced Education and Technology.

Prior to this, he spent 24 years with the Government of Canada. He held a variety of positions in a number of locations including Southern Africa and Southeast Asia. In 1992, he was the Director of Operations for the Canadian Forest Service in Ottawa. As Director, he was responsible for the management of forest research and operational programs including the Model Forest Program and the First Nations Forestry Program in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and the North West Territories. In 1989 he was Program Director, Regional Development at the former Forestry Canada’s Northern Forestry Centre in Edmonton, having started here in 1983 as Senior Development Officer.

Before joining this federal government department, Steve held numerous positions with the Government of Saskatchewan including manager of forest inventory and manager of silviculture in the forestry branch of the department of natural resources.

Steve is a graduate of the University of Toronto, and former musician (trombone) who maintains music paid his way through university. He’s a devoted family man who spends time doting on his grand kids.

Learn more about Bio, Agriculture, Forestry & Food at Alberta Innovates.

Katherine Salucop, Executive Director, Human Resources

Katherine and her team work with the various levels of leadership to identify key human resource priorities that support business strategy and support employee success within the corporation.

She has 14 years of progressively responsible experience supporting various levels of leadership in workforce planning, recruitment and onboarding, employee relations, labour relations, performance management, compensation and training and development.

Katherine led the strategy development, program redesign and ongoing improvements to the former Alberta Innovates – Tech Futures’ human resources initiatives with particular focus in the areas of performance management and total compensation.

She’s experienced at addressing redundant human resource systems and has implemented an integrated talent management solution that supports ongoing improvements to programs, processes, and reporting that support employees.

Katherine has built a team of human resource professionals that have shifted their team focus from tactical administrative support to solution-focused human resources service delivery that supports the business needs of all Alberta Innovates staff.

She is also experienced at leading cross-functional projects that include organization-wide human resource process and change initiatives.

Katherine has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Alberta, and has successful completed training in conflict resolution, managing in a unionized environment, and recruiter training workshop and programs.

She has been a Chartered Professional in Human Resources since 2009, a Corporate Challenge participant and team captain, and a Junior Achievement company program volunteer.

Katherine has a very young son, and she enjoys sharing in experiences that are new to him and watching him develop. She also enjoys spending time outdoors, particularly hiking and camping in the mountains, golfing, cooking, travelling and reading books.

Interested in learning more about working at Alberta Innovates? Visit our Career page!

Alec Silenzi, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary

Alec SilenziAlec has over 23 years of legal and business experience, both in in-house and private practice settings. He has held General Counsel, Corporate Secretary and Compliance Officer roles since 2007, primarily with international E&P companies. He has led a number of large public and private M&A transactions and financings during his in-house career.

Prior to moving into an in-house role, Alec was a corporate and securities partner at the national law firm Gowlings LLP.

Alec has significant in-house, corporate, commercial, oil and gas, M&A, securities, governance, corporate secretarial, compliance, employment and commercial litigation experience, as well as significant international experience. In the early part of his career, before moving to a corporate practice, he practiced as a commercial litigator, and conducted a number of trials at the Provincial Court of Alberta and the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta.

Alec was called to the Bar of the Law Society of Alberta in 1995, received his law degree from the University of Alberta in 1994, and his Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Calgary in 1990.

John Zhou, Vice President, Clean Energy

Dr. Zhihong (John) Zhou is responsible for strategic direction and technology investments in energy, clean tech, and water and land management. He and his team work to strengthen partnerships with industry and governments to make Alberta a leader in energy and environmental innovation.

John has over 25 years of research development and management experience in the oil industry and environmental management. He spent much of his career with the Alberta Research Council, including 10 years as the manager for Advanced Materials. He was the founding Director of a 25-member international industry consortium called Materials and Reliability in Oil Sands.

In 2010, John joined Alberta Innovates – Energy Environment Solutions as the Executive Director of Environmental Management. He became the Executive Director of Water and Environmental Management in 2012, and Chief Technical Officer in 2015. He led a number of major initiatives in carbon capture and steam-assisted gravity drainage water treatment during this period.

John is a member of APEGA, a life-time member of SPE, and a board member of the Alberta Chamber of Resources and Petroleum Technology Alliance of Canada. In 2015, he was named as Energy Futures Lab Fellow. He is one of 40 influencers from across Alberta chosen by Energy Futures Lab to help accelerate the transition to a more sustainable energy system.

John holds a B.Sc. in Geology from Jilin University, China and a Ph.D. in Geochemistry from the University of Western Ontario. He is an inventor with seven U.S. patents, two of which led to multi-million dollar commercial success.

John is an avid runner and has completed three marathons. He now enjoys competing in the occasional triathlon. His swimming and cycling skills, however, are often subject to ridicule by his two sons.

Learn more about Clean Energy at Alberta Innovates.