Spark Team

Sherry Colbourne


Sherry Colbourne is a Canadian entrepreneur with decades of experience in Ontario’s high-tech sector. Her career has taken her to the far corners of the world in pursuit of building strategic business relationships for the companies she has served. As CEO, Sherry guides the direction and growth of Spark Centre and advocates for an international approach to the development of Durham Region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Sherry is a strong believer that entrepreneurism brings diverse cultures and people together and that the opportunity for Durham Region lies in its roots as an innovative and diverse Region.

Kristina Svana

Director, Marketing

Kristina manages the development and execution of the overall marketing strategy for Spark Centre. She oversees all of the organization’s flagship events and is a chapter leader for Startup Grind: Durham Region. Kristina is helping the organization achieve the growth we expect from our clients and is directly responsible for building the Spark Centre brand as the catalyst of Durham Region’s innovation culture. Kristina also manages The Spark – Spark Centre’s quarterly publication. 

Michelle Shurland-Jadoo

Director, Client Services & Operations

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.

Nova Oliphant

Client services coordinator

Nova joins the Spark Centre Team to help coordinate the Start Up Visa (SUV) program, client education workshops, and client house events. Her role also includes resident client engagement, on-boarding new international clients, and supporting Client Services operations. Nova comes to us with many years of operations and customer service experience. She has a heart for the world, history, and travel; and enjoys giving back to communities.

Cara Witvoet

Client Services associate

Cara is a member of the Client Services team and takes over the management of local clients from intake to on-boarding. Cara 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. Cara is a key resource for Spark Centre’s co-location program and supports workshops, events, and reporting.

Melanie Marler

Design Specialist

Melanie 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.

Aimee Slater

Communications specialist

Aimee facilitates and drives the development and execution of all internal and external communications for Spark Centre. Aimee runs the organization’s social media channels and ensures clear and accurate content is constructed for Spark Centre’s website, newsletters and internal announcements to ensure the organization’s brand are reflected consistently. 

Christine Montag


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. 

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. 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.