Organizational structure

Our senior management team

Laura J. Kilcrease, Chief Executive Officer

Portrait photo of Alberta Innovates' CEO Laura KilcreaseLaura 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.

Francisco Alhanati, Managing Director, C-FER Technologies

Francisco Alhanati portraitFrancisco Alhanati has been with C-FER Technologies since 1997. He became managing director in 2012, reporting to C-FER’s Board of Directors.In his role as managing director, Francisco works with his team to ensure C-FER has global impact on the evolving energy industry by advancing safety, efficiency and environmental performance in partnership with operators, equipment manufacturers and service companies.

Francisco also provides senior technical advice to a variety of projects to ensure the quality of their deliverables, and he nurtures long-term relationships with key clients, including identification of their R&D needs.

Francisco has spent most of his 38-year career in the industry on applied R&D. He was with Petrobras in Brazil from 1983 to 1996 prior to coming to Alberta in 1997.

Francisco received the 2013 SPE Production and Operations international award for distinguished contributions to petroleum engineering throughout his career. He is an industry expert in the area of artificial lift and has extensive technical knowledge of offshore production systems and reliability engineering applied to the Oil & Gas industry.

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

Find Francisco on LinkedIn

Learn more about C-FER Technologies

Lyn Brown, Vice President, Marketing and Communications

Lyn Brown portraitLyn Brown’s leadership is anchored to business strategy and communication systems. She brings a results-focus to brand reputation, issues management and transformational change along with commitment to start each day with a full cup of trust.

Marketing and Communications develops integrated plans that support the corporation’s purpose as the province’s innovation engine. The team focuses on:

  • public campaigns to foster understanding of priorities, programs and impacts;
  • social and media scanning to inform ongoing stakeholder relationships;
  • internal communications to engage employees around a values-based culture; and
  • omnimedia channels and content to provide optimal client and business marketing utility.

Lyn’s 30 years of change experience includes the overhaul of postal services in the 1980s, an initial public offering and telecommunications merger in the 1990s, and paper industry disruption and restructuring through the 2000s.

She led corporate responsibility for a decade at Catalyst Paper, during which time it was ranked among the Best 50 Canadian companies for seven years by Corporate Knights Magazine and earned five awards for disclosure from the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada.

Lyn served on non-profit boards including Quest Outreach Society; GreenBlue Institute; Canadian Business for Social Responsibility; and the International Association of Business Communicators. She is president of Canadian Public Relations Society Edmonton.

A lifelong learner, she holds an MBA from Royal Roads University, a B.A. from the University of Alberta, and a journalism diploma from MacEwan University. Lyn is IABC-accredited and attained the ICD.D from the Institute of Corporate Directors/Rotman School of Management.

Find Lyn on LinkedIn.

Rollie Dykstra, Executive Vice President, Impact

As our executive vice president of Impact, Rollie Dykstra is accountable for aligning strategy development and implementation for Alberta Innovates. To ensure investments are well-focused and provide consistent value for Albertans, Rollie works with all business units to drive toward impact and exceptional return. He also plays a pivotal role in stakeholder relationships with governments, academia and industry.

He has 35 years of experience in the Information & Communications Technology sector and business development roles with industry and government. A former sales executive with NORTEL, TELUS Communications, and Williams Communications, Rollie leads development of mechanisms and relationships that accelerate research and innovation for the province through active collaboration, business development, access to capital and international markets.

Rollie’s 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. He and his team are dedicated to advancing Alberta entrepreneurship and new ventures through carefully leveraged public support, consortia networks and innovation system infrastructure. Business development coaching for emerging tech companies helps to move research to commercialization.

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.

Find Rollie on LinkedIn.

Douglas Holt, Associate Vice President, Investments

Doug Holt, AVP, InvestmentsDoug has over 20 years of experience in the fields of financial services, technology, and education managing high functioning teams, designing and implementing corporate strategies and performing complex financial analysis of companies across a wide array of industries.

Doug’s financial services experience is both buy side and sell side with a focus on investment banking, credit analysis, and structured finance. Over the last decade, in various senior management roles ranging from Vice President marketing to President and COO, Doug has helped companies raise over $130,000,000 of equity investment.

As a buy-side credit investor in the US high yield bond and loan markets, Doug was part of a small team running a publicly listed ETF on the NYSE which rose from $80,000,000 (USD) in assets under management to over a $1,000,000,000 (USD).

Prior to this, he spent a decade as an educator teaching both domestically and internationally. Doug earned a B.A. and B.Ed. from the University of Lethbridge in 2000 and a M.B.A. from the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary in 2008.

Find Doug on LinkedIn.

Steve McMahon, Chief Operating Officer, InnoTech Alberta

Steve McMahon portraitSteve McMahon is a professional engineer and systems thinker who brings a passion for solutions to leadership of InnoTech Alberta. He has extensive background in information technology and technical systems, specializing in resolving enterprise interoperability challenges and industry-wide integration.

His experience spans telecommunications, oil & gas, manufacturing, retail and distribution, and government, including specialization in healthcare systems.

He brings a track record of integrating business processes, information technology, standards, platforms and solutions encompassing multi-stakeholders, sectors, industries and jurisdictions to his current role.

Steve joined Alberta Innovates in 2018 as executive vice president, a role in which he:

  • provided oversight of Bio, Clean Energy, and Health business lines, as well as InnoTech Alberta;
  • established the Integration Management Office, a temporary initiative to drive key corporate integration and transformation projects; and
  • conducted the operational review and realignment of InnoTech Alberta.

Formerly a partner with Deloitte Consulting, Steve led the National Healthcare Digital Integration Practice and cross-sector Digital Integration Practice in Western Canada.

For more than a decade, he’s been involved in large-scale projects that connect the collective healthcare systems including Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario and in the USA.

Steve 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. He also sat on the advisory committee for the Canadian Health Informatics Executive Forum.

Find Steve on LinkedIn.

Barry McNabb, Vice President, Finance

Barry is a dedicated financial leader with a proven track record in complex work environments, developing strong and collaborative teams, and making measured decisions that blend strategic, operational, financial, and related considerations.

He brings extensive public and private sector experience in corporate strategy and business planning, enterprise risk management, performance measurement, financial reporting and management systems.

Prior to joining Alberta Innovates, Barry held senior financial roles within the City of Edmonton with insight to more than 70 lines of business and a $3-billion annual operating budget. Barry directed multi-year capital and operating budgets approved by City Council and provided financial and regulatory expertise regarding the operation of municipally owned energy utilities. He was instrumental in the development of the Blatchford Renewable Energy Utility and the Downtown District Energy System in Edmonton.

During his 20-year career with ATCO Electric he held increasingly senior positions, including Vice President, Regulatory & Controller. He led teams in finance, planning and strategy, accounting, performance measurement and regulatory affairs through a period of electricity deregulation and business restructuring. In his executive role, he:

  • oversaw financial and regulatory requirements of the ATCO Electrical Distribution Division and provided strategic direction to 3,000 employees;
  • directed implementation of a new financial management system, payroll centralization, and adoption of international financial reporting standards;
  • led the overall business plan cycle, including the development of corporate strategies and financial targets.

Barry began his career in the audit practice of Ernst & Young in 1989. He is active on several community boards including the Edmonton Food Bank and Wheelchair Sports Alberta.

He has a B.Comm. from the University of Alberta and completed the Ivey School of Business Executive Program in 2012. Barry is also a Chartered Accountant.

Find Barry on LinkedIn.

Tim Murphy, Vice President, Health

Tim Murphy portraitIn his role, Tim Murphy oversees the Alberta Data Institute, and guides the Health Innovations and Health Platforms teams at Alberta Innovates. He brings a deep commitment to partner collaboration and community asset development to the intricate work of health care transformation through data and digital technologies.

He is a proven executive with more than 25 years of progressive leadership experience in a variety of roles in health and health research organizations across three provinces in Canada.

Tim is an inspirational leader, known for achieving high performance teamwork that delivers results. A consummate coalition-builder, Tim is skilled in the processes required to motivate and mobilize an organization and community toward collective action. Evidence of his success includes making Alberta one of the first partners in the federal Strategy for Patient Oriented Research program.

Prior to joining Alberta Innovates, Tim established an independent consulting practice and worked with health research clients and charitable foundations including:

  • CHILD Foundation;
  • Institute for Health System Transformation and Sustainability; and
  • Movember Foundation.

Tim was the inaugural senior vice president at the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, a provincial research organization based in Vancouver. He also spent 10 years in senior management with the Princess Margaret Hospital prior to joining the British Columbia Cancer Agency in 1997.

Tim is a Certified Management Accountant. He has a B.Sc. in Life Sciences from Queen’s University; a Master of Health Administration from the University of Toronto; and an MBA from Queen’s University.

Find Tim on LinkedIn.

Katherine Salucop, Vice President, Organizational Development

Katherine Salucop portraitAs the Vice President, Organizational Development Katherine is passionate about fostering innovative and inclusive work practices that elevate organizations.

She leads a diverse team of professionals in Human Resources, Health and Safety, Facilities Services, and Materials Management who are dedicated to keeping the employee experience at the forefront of operations and daily corporate life. She works with leaders at all levels of the organization to identify strategies that strengthen business operations and enable employee success within the corporation.

Katherine brings 18 years of progressive experience in human resources with demonstrated competencies in organizational design, talent acquisition, learning and development, labour relations, performance management and total rewards.

Katherine is a proud Albertan, having grown up in Edmonton, and currently raising her family there. She holds an MBA and B.Comm from the University of Alberta, is active volunteer with CPHR Alberta, and is a Board Member for Terra Centre.

Find her on LinkedIn.

Alec Silenzi, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary

Alec Silenzi portraitAs approachable as he is knowledgeable, and practical as he is professional, Alec provides guidance to corporate governance and risk management practices.  He leads our legal team and navigates the corporation through contract management, regulatory information management and research ethics.

He has more than 25 years of legal and business experience, both as in-house counsel and in private practice. Alec has significant experience in corporate, commercial litigation, oil & gas, mergers, acquisitions, securities, compliance, employment law, as well as in corporate and international business development.

He held General Counsel, Corporate Secretary and Compliance Officer roles since 2007 with international exploration and production companies and domestic oilfield service companies.

Prior to moving into corporate practice, Alec was a corporate and securities partner at the national law firm Gowlings LLP.

He led several large public and private M&A transactions as well as equity and bank financings during his career, and as a commercial litigator conducted several trials at the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta and the Provincial Court of Alberta.

Alec received his B.A. from the University of Calgary in 1990 and his law degree from the University of Alberta in 1994. He was called to the Bar of the Law Society of Alberta in 1995.

Find Alec on LinkedIn.

John Zhou, Chief Cleantech Officer & Vice President, Clean Resources

John Zhou portraitIn this role, John fulfills dual responsibilities in overseeing corporate strategy for clean tech and sustainable resource development and providing operations leadership for the Clean Resources business line.

He leads strategic initiatives, develops collaboration opportunities, and provides expertise to stakeholders as the corporation’s primary expert to policy groups shaping GHG mitigation, climate adaptation, and clean economy transition plans and programs.

John oversees program investments directed to Agrifood, Cleantech, Energy, Environment, and Forestry. He also leads Alberta Innovates’ advice and services to Emissions Reduction Alberta in the identification and selection of its portfolio of projects.

As an inventor with seven U.S. patents, two of which led to multimillion-dollar commercial success, John developed and is driving the vision for Bitumen Beyond Combustion (BBC), as a transformative effort to create a multibillion-dollar advanced materials industry in Alberta using its vast bitumen resource.

John has over 25 years of innovation and management experience in energy and sustainability innovation including 10 years as manager for Advanced Materials at the Alberta Research Council. He was the founding director of the international industry consortium, Materials and Reliability in Oil Sands (MARIOS).

John was executive director, chief technical officer, and acting CEO of Alberta Innovates – Energy and Environment Solutions. He led key initiatives including carbon capture and storage, the SAGD water conservation study, and dilbit transportation, and oversaw bitumen recovery and partial upgrading programs.  John was expert witness to Canadian House of Commons and Senate Committees on Energy and Sustainability.

He is a board director of the Petroleum Technology Alliance of Canada, a guest director of the Alberta Chamber of Resources, and a steering committee member of Clean Resource Innovation Network. He was an Energy Futures Lab Fellow. John was the recipient of the 2018 PTAC President’s Award.

He has a B.Sc. from Jilin University (China) and a PhD from the University of Western Ontario.

Find John on LinkedIn.