President & CEO
Kristina is a talented marketer who leads Spark Centre’s marketing organization and manages the execution of the overall marketing strategy. Kristina oversees all flagship events such as Ignite, Spark Centre’s involvement in OCE Discovery and planned events such as Spark’s monthly Startup Grind events. Kristina is helping Spark Centre achieve the audacious growth we expect from our clients and is directly responsible for building Spark’s brand as the catalyst of Durham Region’s innovation culture.
Director, Client Services
Michelle directs and manages the Client Services team, delivering growth-generating services that accelerate clients’ progress through advisory, education, and networking. Michelle provides clients with opportunities for funding, connections, and development. She brings insight into and generates reporting for funders and internal use, manages the budget and strategy for Client Services, and assists with Spark Centre operations.
Client Services Program Coordinator
Krystle is an integral member of the Client Services team. She is responsible for vetting international applicants and manages the Start-Up Visa application process. In addition, she coordinates Spark Centre’s Softlanding and Co-Location programs, organizes workshops, and related networking. Krystle supports client programming, general events, business planning, and reporting. She oversees data management and administration.
Client Services Associate
Kristen is the newest member of the Client Services team and takes over the management of local clients from intake to on-boarding. Kristen is our onsite Market Intelligence Services point person and dedicates her talent to facilities, book-keeping, and general administration. Her attention to the CRM system and data management is crucial to reporting. Kristen is a key resource for Spark Centre’s co-location program and supports workshops, events, and reporting.
Melanie is the newest member of the Marketing team and leads the creative design for Spark Centre’s brand. She also provides support for all of Spark Centre’s high potential clients. With an accumulated 17 years experience in design, Melanie has been able to hone her design skills and gain valuable knowledge of prepress, printing and multimedia allowing her to specialize in both the editorial and packaging fields.
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.
Leon advises public and private issuers in all sectors including real estate, technology, manufacturing, marketing and resources. Leon’s clients include; investment firms, angel investment organizations, federally and provincially funded investment funds, large real estate brokerages and property management firms.
Leon has his Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) from the University of Calgary and is a Partner at Thomas, Efraim LLP.
Accounting & Finance
Craig Loverock is a Chartered Professional Accountant with over 20 years’ experience in accounting and finance roles in Canada, the United States, and England. From October 2014 until May 2015, he served as the CFO of VoiceTrust Inc. From November 2012 until October 2014, Craig served as the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Compliance Officer of Quartz Capital Group Ltd., a private equity firm. From January 2010 until November 2012, he provided CFO consulting services to a number of high growth businesses. Craig served as the Senior Financial Advisor to the Chairman at Magna International from August 2007 to January 2010. He received his B.Comm (Hons) from Carleton University in 1994 and received his Chartered Accountant’s designation from the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Ontario in 1997.
Rick is a Technology Entrepreneur and has been involved with the technology industry since 1991 as a Company Founder, Senior Executive, Board Member, Educator, Consultant and Professional Speaker. He currently leads a Sales and CRM Consultancy Practice and speaks at industry events worldwide
Founder Corette Miller has over 15 years’ experience as a human resources professional. A committed, goal-driven performer with the ability to champion projects, Corette is versatile and can adjust to any workplace situation. She builds strong, cohesive and well-functioning teams to increase productivity and company success.
Corette has worked for corporations throughout North America, fitting human resource management to different cultures, languages and legislation. Her clients include public and private sector, from manufacturing and food services, to health-care technology.
Accounting & Finance
Christine is an entrepreneur and business professional with a passion for creating new ventures and supporting those facing challenges. Bringing 20+ years of progressive experience in start-up and turn-around, Chris is well heeled throughout the investor community.
Christine was co-founder of tech start-up Ladybug Teknologies (LBT) with offices spanning both sides of the border. LBT started with an idea on the back of a napkin and was born into an investor-funded start-up that remained in operation for 8 years.
Always in a hands-on role, Christine knows that wearing multiple hats from bookkeeper to business development to CXO is the life of an entrepreneur!
Before LBT, Chris operated in a very CFO-centric role, working closely with investors of companies that were either in start-up mode or turn-around mode. These companies were typically getting ready for M&A or new investment dollars.
Christine founded Finance Without Borders (FWB) Inc to service the evolution of a new business, from inception to traction, providing the required level of service while supporting the entrepreneur.
Sales, Marketing & Public Speaking
Robert J. Weese is an author, award winning speaker, business coach, entrepreneur and the founder of B2B Sales Connections. His sales and marketing skills have been successful helping entrepreneurs and small business owners realize double digit sales growth. Talk is cheap its results that count.
Bob has over 30 years of experience in manufacturing, business technology, professional services and broadcast media industries. He is a student of professional development and works with his clients help them generate leads, close more sales and become stronger in their sales and marketing programs.
Some of his career highlights include:
- • 39% annual growth over 5 years managing a National Sales division
- • 6 consecutive years as a 100% Sales Club member with a Fortune 500
- • Created & delivered business training programs throughout North America
- • Business training facilitator at one of Canada’s major banks
- • Founder and head coach for one of Canada’s largest sport fencing clubs, the Ajax Fencing Club
Bob is committed to community service and dedicates much of his time in an effort to make a difference in other people’s lives.
Digital Marketing Expert
Marie Wiese is the founder of Marketing CoPilot, an award-winning digital marketing agency that has helped hundreds of companies turn their websites into lead generation and sales machines. Prior to starting her own business in 2003, Marie was the VP of Sales and Marketing for a financial services software company where she was part of a $25M raise for the business. Marie has held corporate marketing positions with companies like Bank of Montreal and the Canadian Institute of Chartered of Accountants. She began her career working in public relations and was a press secretary to a federal cabinet minister. Currently she sits on the board of global IT association CompTIA, volunteers with Futurpreneur Canada, and is the author of You Can’t Be Everywhere: A Common Sense Approach to Digital Marketing for Any Business which recently won an International Stevie Award for Business Book of the Year.
Patrick founded Kleurvision Inc. visual communications studio in 2004 to expand his creative expression. An entrepreneur at heart, Patrick is used to wearing many hats. His background is in graphic design and creative direction, though more recently has become an expert in web development, as well as social and digital marketing for business growth and strategy. Spending four years at the beginning of his career in motion and broadcast graphics on a national level, he quickly became adept to deploying high impact visual communications that made a statement and engaged the audience.
Patrick is also the Chief Marketing Officer of The Software Colony, an incubation firm that extends services and business expertise to the start-up community. The Software Colony was launched in the third quarter of 2012 and launched its first two companies by Christmas of that year.