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

Alison Jackson

Alison is a Tax Partner and the Managing Partner at EY LLP in Calgary. She regularly advises on international transactions, business transformation, risk management and governance. Alison works with companies in a range of sectors, with particular focus on agri-food, tech and energy.

Alison is a CA/CPA, has a Masters of Accounting from the University of Waterloo, and has completed leadership training programs at the London Business School, the Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Board committee:  Audit Committee

Brenda Kenny, Chair

Brenda Kenny 2022Brenda 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, sustainability, innovation 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 government expert panels, and on community ventures including Calgary on Purpose, WaterSMART, 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.

Patricia McLeod

Patricia McLeod, K.C., is a lawyer and corporate director with extensive experience in corporate/commercial, regulatory and securities law, strategic planning and transformation, compliance, corporate governance, privacy, ethics and corporate responsibility.

Patricia was a General Counsel and Vice President, as well as Compliance and Privacy Officer, of regulated utilities, real estate development, insurance and financial services companies in Alberta. She has been a member of the Board of Directors of Alberta Innovates since 2016.

Patricia is also the Board Chair of Pieridae Energy Limited, a natural gas upstream producer located in western Canada, and the Board Chair of the Calgary Film Centre, purpose-built film & television studios located in Calgary, Alberta. She is a former Board Chair and director of Calgary Co-op, the Real Estate Council of Alberta, YWCA Calgary and cSpace Projects, as well as a former Vice Chair and director of Calgary Economic Development. She is also a board director of the Green Line Board and the Beverage Container Management Board. She is a passionate community builder with a strong understanding of innovation and change management.

Patricia has a law degree and business degree from the University of Alberta and an MBA from Queen’s University, during which time she completed an applied thesis in creating a culture of innovation in regulated entitles. She is also a certified Compliance and Ethics Officer and a graduate of the Institute of Corporate Directors’ accredited director program. She was appointed as Queen’s Counsel in January 2014.

Patricia was recognized by BMO Financial in 2021 as one of five Canadian leading women corporate directors. She also was recognized as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women by WXN in 2018 and 2019 and as Legal Advisor of the Year (2019) by Women in Finance Canada. She was also the recipient of the Community Advocate Award of the Calgary Awards in 2015.

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

Chelsey Reschke

Chelsey Reschke is the President and CEO of Voran Group Ventures, based in Edmonton Alberta, Canada. Having spent over a decade developing solutions for the corrosion industry, Chelsey is now turning her attention to organic surface chemistries that provide protection against pathogens. Chelsey and her team aim to become a global leader in the commercialization of innovative surface technologies.

Chelsey’s unique ability to combine her experience in commercial development and operations management have contributed to her success in bringing to market products with unique intellectual property in tightly regulated markets. Drawing on her comprehensive experience across multiple industries, Chelsey excels in strategic planning, offering a powerful competencies-based approach to growth and expansion planning. Her ability to apply entrepreneurial thinking and create value for stakeholders has benefited a range of businesses from lean startups looking to develop specialized product and service offerings through to multinational corporations who have tasked her with transformational projects related to energy transition.

Before joining Voran Group, Chelsey was the Director of Business Development for a globally ranked top ten engineering design firm, Stantec Consulting Ltd. In the early part of her career, Chelsey was Vice President of Keymay Industries, a privately held company specialized in the manufacture of proprietary construction geosynthetics and automated coating application equipment. Chelsey’s specialized knowledge in the corrosion market was instrumental in developing and commercializing proprietary clean tech solutions for the oil and gas pipeline construction industry.

Chelsey holds an MBA from the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University, a Bachelor of Science (Biology) from the University of Alberta, and a certificate in Entrepreneurship from the Chinese Europe International Business School in Shanghai.

Board committee: Business Planning, Reporting & Engagement 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 16-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