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.
Brion Hendry – Treasurer Partner, BDO Canada
Brion has over eleven years experience in a managerial role which includes audits of Canadian and US publicly listed companies primarily within the technology, real estate and financial service sectors, including credit unions. Brion has worked extensively with many large and complex clients, and he is experienced with reporting issuers, public offerings and regulatory filing requirements. Brion created the BDO STARTSMART program which provides a cost efficient compliance and advisory program for startup entities.
Leon Efraim – Secretary Partner, Thomas Efraim LLP
Leon is an entrepreneurial minded lawyer with over 20 years of experience. Leon is known as a problem solver who provides common sense advice to business owners, founders and angel investors. His expertise includes an emphasis on corporate finance, commercial law, business startup, intellectual property, investment law, and corporate organizational design. He has worked with companies of various sizes and at all stages of their business development and is now active in working with start-up technology companies in the information technology, health sciences/medical technology, cleantech, and high tech manufacturing industries.
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.
Jodi Glover – Director CEO & Co-Founder, Real Tech Inc.
Jodi Glover is the CEO and Co-Founder of Real Tech Inc., an award winning company that has developed an innovative, patented product line of real-time water quality monitoring solutions. Jodi has always had a passion for being environmentally responsible and started Real Tech with the vision to improve access to water quality monitoring through the development of practical and affordable solutions. Jodi’s drive, vision, and passion have resulted in Real Tech’s many successes and global presence. Jodi was awarded the 2012 RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur of the Year for the TPH Sustainability Award.
Dan Ross – Director Asset Operations Leader, SABIC Innovative Plastics
Dan Ross graduated from Engineering Physics at McMaster University in 2002. Dan began his career with a large defense contractor in a Project Management/Engineering role. While there, Dan worked closely with companies like Boeing on lean manufacturing techniques and earned his Project Management Professional (PMP) designation. Dan joined SABIC in Cobourg in 2006, as a Process Engineer and Innovation Leader. Now as the Site Operations Leader, Dan has a passion for people centric leadership, understanding behaviour and motivating teams. Dan is currently the President of the Northumberland Manufacturers Association (NMA).
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.
Usha Srinivasan – Observer VP, Learning & Insights, MaRS Discovery District
Usha, alongside her team at MaRS, provides advisory services, leadership training, connects entrepreneurs with program funding, helps leverage open data and market intelligence, and works to make online and onsite educational content accessible through Regional Innovation Centres province wide. She also sits on multiple advisory boards including Walkerton Clean Water Centre’s Research advisory committee and Humber College Research Analyst Program committee. Usha holds a BSc Hon in Environmental Microbiology from University of Bristol, a PhD in Environmental Sciences from University of Abertay, and teaches the “Market Intelligence and Customer Discovery” module in the “Certificate in Entrepreneurship” program at U of T’s School for Continuing Studies.
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.