Spark Centre would not be successful without a constant pulse on the communities it serves and listening to wisdom, learnings, and strategic views from local innovation leaders. Spark Centre is excited and honoured to have earned commitment from such an exemplary team of successful entrepreneurs, all of which live and work locally, have progressive opinions on innovation, and compete day to day on the global stage. They walk the talk, show excellence, and have an unwavering passion to help other entrepreneurs learn and become successful.
Kathy Weiss – Chair
Director, Economic Development and Tourism, Region of Durham
Kathy joined the Region of Durham in June 2011 as the Director Economic Development and Tourism, coming from the Municipality of Chatham-Kent as Director of Economic Services since 2009, which included economic development, small business and tourism. Kathy is the Past President of the Economic Development Council of Ontario Board of Directors where she actively served 8 years as a board member. Kathy has earned a Masters in Municipal Leadership from York University, a diploma is Business Administration from Niagara College and a certificate in Economic Development from the University of Waterloo.
Gary Jarosz – Director
VP, Global Emissions Systems Inc
Gary Jarosz has over 25 years experience in the information and communication technologies and electronics industries. He is currently VP at Global Emissions Systems Inc., a world leader in the design, development and manufacture of emissions control technologies that reduce up to 99% of carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides for any commercial fuel burning engine. Gary serves on the board of Business Advisory Centre Durham. He has also served as a Board Director for the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and Bridgepoint Health Foundation.
John Russell – Director
Co-CEO, RBRO Solutions
John is a founding partner and Co-CEO of RBRO Solutions Inc. With more than 15 years of leadership experience, John oversees and leads the strategic vision for the company, and is responsible for the day-to-day management of Sales, Marketing and Operations. John has a deep understanding of the unique technology needs of legal firms and corporations, and is a key spokesperson in presenting RBRO’s solutions to the market. Prior to forming of RBRO
Solutions, John was one of the key members involved in the creation and development of the company KiiA Technology.
Jenny Hui – Director
Jenny is an experienced leader in both corporate and entrepreneurial environments. She has invested in several early-staged companies and is currently an advisor to several tech start-ups. Jenny is currently focused on opportunities in AI and Machine Learning.
Howard Morton – Director
CEO, The Flashfibr Group
Howard is a visionary CEO, who excels at managing stakeholders and commercializing technologies. FLASHFIBR brings affordable, lightspeed fibre optic internet, TV, phone and IT products and services to growing communities. Information and big data are the currency of the new economy, and FLASHFIBR empowers start-ups and established businesses to grow and connect with customers, and influencers around the world. Previously, he formed the $800 million IT Services Division of Bell Canada, and held executive roles at Rogers, AIR MILES, Royal Bank of Canada and was Vice Chair of Canada’s second largest business lobby, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. He is an accomplished CEO, Board Member and business accelerator with experience working in multiple sectors on business transformation, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, and risk.
Christopher Aleong – Director
Life Sciences Ontario
Dror Nir – Director
Dror is a Senior Executive with over two decades of progressive leadership experience in the IoT wireless space. Responsible for leading high-performance technical organizations and supporting state-of-the-art technology in globally-scaled organizations. Excels at identifying, analyzing and capitalizing on growth opportunities. Dror brings a long-standing track record of success in international business development, lean thinking and change management initiatives.
Roger Pan – Observer
Senior Advisor, Ministry of Research and Innovation
Roger Pan is a Senior Advisor in the Commercialization Branch of the Ontario Government, serving the Ministry of Research and Innovation, and the Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure. In this role, he oversees various initiatives that help the province’s innovators and entrepreneurs to grow their ventures through commercializing new technologies, and accelerating the flow of innovative new products and services to the marketplace.