Communitech’s board members are dedicated leaders from Waterloo Region’s business community and have experience in a variety of technology areas and at all levels of business. They provide valuable organizational direction and support for Communitech’s many services and activities.
John Baker, President and CEO, D2L
Chairman of the Board, Communitech
Founded in 1999, Desire2Learn is headquartered in Waterloo Region, Ontario and with satellite offices in New Brunswick and British Columbia. John is a hands-on leader who creates the vision and plays an integral role in positioning the company as the premier provider of learning technology. Under John’s leadership Desire2Learn has become the enterprise market leader with more than 4 million learners worldwide and sustaining continued rapid growth. Desire2Learn has won a 2006 Deloitte Fast 50 Award as one of Canada´s fastest growing technology companies, with 2,117% growth during the years spanning 2001 to 2005.
John graduated with an Honors B.A.Sc. in Systems Design Engineering, with First Class Honours and an option in Management Sciences from the University of Waterloo in the year 2000. John is an active member of industry consortia, peer-to-peer groups, contributes to standards and specifications bodies, and regularly speaks at conferences around the world.
Ted Hastings, CEO, Rebellion Media
Vice-Chair of the Board, Communitech
Ted is the CEO of Rebellion Media, a leading digital media company with offices in Waterloo, Guelph and Toronto.
As past president of Cyberplex, Ted was responsible for development and execution of strategic vision for the Organization. Prior to joining Cyberplex, Ted was the acting President and CEO of Tsavo Media. Ted joined Tsavo in October 2007 from Geosign where he served as President. Prior to Geosign, Ted was CEO of GBG (Global Beverage Group). During his five years at GBG, Mr. Hastings led the acquisition of nine direct competitors, increasing revenue 10x during his tenure that ultimately led to the sale of the company to 3M. Prior to GBG, Mr. Hastings spent five years at Deloitte and Touche where he earned his CA and CPA designations.
Iain Klugman, President and CEO, Communitech
Iain Klugman is the CEO of Communitech in Waterloo Region — Canada’s hottest technology cluster. Under Iain’s leadership, Communitech has become one of North America’s leading tech enabling organizations, supporting the growth of more than 1,000 small, mid-sized and large technology companies. He believes passionately in the power of the entrepreneur-driven economy, and its ability to deliver big results for Canada.
Before joining Communitech in 2004, Iain’s career spanned leadership roles in both the private and public sectors, including Director of Global Branding and Advertising for Nortel, Executive Director of Communications with CBC, CEO of a provincial crown corporation, and numerous roles with the Privy Council Office and Industry Canada. Iain began his career as an entrepreneur and has never lost his passion for tech and startups. He sits on numerous local and national boards that include the business, academia and social sectors.
Iain holds an MBA from Wilfrid Laurier University, a Master’s in Public Administration from Dalhousie, an HBA from Laurentian, and has completed the Advanced Program in Human Resources at the Rotman School of Management.
Howard M. Armitage, Special Advisor to the President – Entrepreneurship, University of Waterloo
Howard M. Armitage is the Special Advisor to the President – Entrepreneurship, the Founding Director of the Conrad Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology and the Gordon H. Cowperthwaite Professor of Accounting at the University of Waterloo in Canada. He has a B.Sc. from McGill University, M.B.A. from the University of Alberta, and a Ph.D. from Michigan State University.
He is the recipient of the University of Waterloo’s Distinguished Teaching Award, the LS Rosen Award for Outstanding Canadian Accounting Educator and the 3M Teaching Fellowship for outstanding Canadian Educator.
He has published over 100 articles and monographs in the area of entrepreneurship and cost management systems.
Ali Asaria, CEO, Tulip Retail
Ali Asaria is the CEO of Tulip Retail, a technology startup focused on building the platform to drive the next generation of retail and shopping. Before Tuilp. Ali was the founder and CEO of Well.ca, Canada’s largest online health and beauty store. Ali grew up in Guelph and Toronto, Ontario. He studied Computer Engineering at the University of Waterloo.
Ali has been interviewed in the Globe and Mail, National Post, and the Toronto Star. Projects he has worked on have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Business Week, and GQ UK.
Dave Caputo, Co-Founder, President and CEO, Sandvine
Dave is responsible for leading an enthusiastic team of professionals who are committed to protecting and improving the quality of experience on the Internet.
Prior to co-founding Sandvine, Dave was the vice president of marketing for PixStream—which was later sold to Cisco Systems for more than $500 million. At Cisco, Dave was the managing director for the video networking business unit and was formerly the product marketing manager at Hewlett Packard.
As a leader in the technology community, Dave is a dedicated supporter of local entrepreneurs and speaks regularly at universities.
In 2007, Dave and his fellow co-founders were honoured with the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in the technology category for their success and dedication to their work at Sandvine.
Originally from Sault Ste. Marie, Dave holds an MBA from the University of Toronto, a computer science degree from York University and is a graduate of Wharton executive education programs. He currently resides in St. Agatha where he loves to hang out with his family.
Teri Currie, Group Head, Direct Channels, Technology, Marketing and People Strategies, TD Bank Group
A member of TD’s Senior Executive Team, Teri Currie plays a role in determining the organization’s strategic direction, including extending the bank’s leadership in service and convenience with legendary digital experiences, and in developing and achieving TD’s performance targets. In her role as Group Head, Teri is responsible for the bank’s direct channels (online, mobile, phone and ATMs), enterprise technology, enterprise real estate, community, environment and marketing and people strategies.
Teri joined TD Bank Group as Senior Vice President, Human Resources in 2004. In 2005, she was appointed Executive Vice President, Human Resources. Since 2009, Teri has taken on executive leadership of additional corporate areas including non-branch and store distribution channels in 2011, and corporate shared services and marketing in early 2013.
Over the last 25 years of her career, Teri has focused on the banking industry, primarily in the Human Resources and Corporate Reputation areas. Prior to joining TD in 2004, Teri held executive Human Resources positions with CIBC World Markets and Wealth Management and various senior line management and Human Resources positions with Canada Trust.
Teri is a member of the United Way Toronto Board of Trustees where she serves on the Finance, Audit and Risk Committee. Previously, Teri served on the Board of Directors of TD Insurance’s regulated insurance entities and chaired its Human Resources and Ethics Committee. Teri also has served on the National Cabinet of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation Ride for the Cure, was a member of the Compensation Committee for the Canadian Bankers’ Association, and served on the Boards of Goodwill Industries of Toronto and Career Edge, an organization that connects skilled graduates and internationally qualified professionals with Canadian internship opportunities. Teri was named one of Canada’s 100 Most Powerful Women by the Women’s Executive Network in 2008, 2007 and 2006 and was inducted to its Hall of Fame in 2009.
Teri has an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario, and graduated from the University of Calgary with a B.Sc. in Mathematics.
Teri has two children and resides in Toronto with her husband.
Joseph Fung, VP HCM Products, Netsuite
Joseph Fung is the VP of HCM Products at NetSuite and the founder of TribeHR, makers of the first Social HR Platform. Previously, Joseph was Director of Digital Media at The Centre for International Governance Innovation and President & CEO of Lewis Media. In addition to an award-winning entrepreneurial career, Joseph is a passionate member of the cultural and not-for-profit communities. Joseph is an active volunteer, Board Member of Communitech, and co-founder of Ignite Waterloo. Joseph holds a Bachelors of Applied Science from the University of Waterloo’s Computer Engineering program and various certificates in Communications and Human Dynamics.
In addition to his active involvement in the technology sector, Joseph is a passionate member of the cultural and not-for-profit communities. Joseph is an active volunteer, member of the Barnraisers Council, and co-founder of Ignite Waterloo.
Joseph is a graduate of the University of Waterloo’s Computer Engineering program.
Lauren is a Civil Structural Engineer with hands-on North American industry experience, focused in concrete restoration. She is an active mentor to young women in construction and was recently named one of Canada’s top 36 high impact individuals of 2013.
Stephen Lake, CEO, Thalmic Labs
Stephen Lake was named one of Canada’s Top 20 under 20 in 2007 and one of the Next 36 entrepreneurial leaders of Canada in 2011. He has a degree in Mechatronics Engineering from the University of Waterloo, a certificate in Entrepreneurship from the University of Toronto, and has studied as a visiting scholar at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich). He
was an entrepreneur from a young age, and considers MYO the latest addition to years and years of building things.
Michael Litt, CEO, Vidyard
Michael is the co-founder and CEO of Vidyard – a platform designed to solve the problem of implementing Video into your landing pages. This is done by leveraging video analytics, video SEO and call to action integration in order to enable and improve conversion. Vidyard emerged from the Summer 2011 class at Y Combinator and is now serving hundreds of businesses worldwide. Prior to building Vidyard, Michael co-founded Redwoods Media, a firm specializing in the creation of promotional video content designed to entice and engage potential customers.
The Honourable Kevin G. Lynch, P.C., O.C., PH.D, LL.D began his career in 1976 as an economist with the Bank of Canada. Throughout a storied career, Dr. Lynch served as Deputy Minister of Industry and Deputy Minister of Finance. He then served as Executive Director, the International Monetary Fund until early 2006, when he was appointed the 20th Clerk of the Privy Council, Secretary to the Cabinet and Head of the Public Service of Canada. In July 2009, after a long and distinguished career, Dr. Lynch retired from the Government of Canada.
Dr. Lynch earned his BA from Mount Allison University, his Masters in Economics from the University of Manchester and a doctorate in Economics from McMaster University. Dr. Lynch also holds honourary degrees from seven Canadian universities.
He is also Chair of the Board of Governors of the University of Waterloo, and serves on several other boards, including those of the Gairdner Foundation, the Perimeter Institute, U.K. Ditchley, the Learning Partnership, the Samara Foundation, the Shannon School of Business and the Accounting Standards Oversight Council.
The Honourable Kevin G. Lynch was made a Member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada in 2009, and an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2011. He has been awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award from McMaster University and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal.
Martyn Mallick, Director of Worldwide Mobile Business Development, Amazon
Prior to joining Amazon, Martyn worked as the Vice President of Global Alliances & Business Development at BlackBerry where Martyn engaged with application partners and content providers to aid their efforts in providing top quality applications and services to BlackBerry devices. Martyn and his team managed BlackBerry’s partner relationships in the multimedia, gaming, social networking, print media and business markets and also played an active role in the management of App World, BlackBerry’s application storefront.
Prior to BlackBerry, Martyn worked at iAnywhere Solutions (a Sybase subsidiary) as Director of Mobile Solutions where he worked on various new technology offerings in areas such as RFID and intelligent sensor networks. He is also the author of “Mobile and Wireless Design Essentials.”
One of Canada’s most authoritative voices in news, Kevin Newman is a household name and has been well-known to viewers as a news anchor in Canada and the U.S. for more than 30 years. A correspondent and co-host on the award-winning investigative series W5 since September 2012 as well as a fill-in anchor for CTV NATIONAL NEWS, Newman formerly anchored the innovative daily news program KEVIN NEWMAN LIVE and hosted the long-running political broadcast program QUESTION PERIOD.
Kevin Newman was the executive editor and anchored Global National since it first aired in September 2001 up until 2010.
With ABC News and Global National, Kevin Newman has reported from the front lines of the war in Iraq, anchored live coverage of the September 11 tragedy, and interviewed the likes of Jimmy Carter. Having worked as a journalist on both sides of the border, Newman presents a clear picture of the cultural differences between Canadian and American viewers. He takes audiences behind-the-scenes of the news business, and addresses the influence of advertising and profitability on news reporting. In addition, he explores the idea of journalists as truth seekers.
Olga Pawluczyk, President, P&P Optica
Olga obtained an MBA degree from Wilfrid Laurier University in her home town of Waterloo. She also holds a Master’s degree in Medical Physics from the University of Toronto, where she specialized in medical imaging, with particular focus on mammography techniques to predict risk of breast cancer. She still continues this work by collaborating with Ontario Cancer Institute. Olga holds a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Systems Design Engineering from the University of Waterloo.
Olga joined P&P Optica, her family’s business, in 2001 as the Vice President of Product Development. In June 2004, she became the acting President of the company and shifted her focus to the strategic development of P&P Optica as a manufacturer of high performance optical spectrometers. P&P Optica develops the most sensitive non-scanning optical spectrometer available on the market today; Olga being the key innovator. With P&P Optica’s spectrometer, you no longer have to imagine a world where you can wave a portable device over someone’s skin and get all the information that blood tests provide.
Olga’s passion for research and development comes naturally. Her father, Romek, has devoted his career to spectroscopy and continues to work alongside his daughter. Volume Phase Holographic gratings are the core component of P&P Optica’s transmission-based optical spectrometer, and enabled sales in a wide variety of biomedical, industrial research applications. Their determination to push the envelope in this highly-specialized field led to the development of their breakthrough technology.
Olga has led the strategic, marketing and sales efforts, bringing the P&P Optica spectrometer to market. She is the co-author of the firm’s seminal patent on transmission based, multichannel optical spectrometers.
In 2011, Olga moved P&P Optica offices to Waterloo, Ontario and transferred grating production to the brand new, state of the art lab in the Waterloo facility. In the current year the company has tripled in size from six employees to a staff of eighteen and sales have more than doubled.
Mate Prgin, CEO, Avvasi
Mate is responsible for the overall management and strategic direction of the company. Prior to Avvasi, Mate held several business management roles at LSI Corporation. LSI acquired VideoLocus, an H.264 fabless semiconductor company where Mate was the co-founder and CEO. Prior to VideoLocus Mate held several engineering roles at PixStream, a video networking systems company that was acquired by Cisco Systems. Mate has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Systems Design Engineering from the University of Waterloo, and an MBA from Richard Ivey School of Business.
John Ruffolo, CEO, OMERS Ventures
Mr. Ruffolo is the Chief Executive Officer of OMERS Ventures, the venture arm of OMERS. OMERS Ventures invests in early to late stage companies in the Technology, Media, and Telecommunications sectors. In addition, he is also the Senior Managing Director, Knowledge Investing with OMERS Strategic Investments.
Prior to joining OMERS Ventures, Mr. Ruffolo was a Partner at Deloitte, as well as the Global Thought Leader, the Global Tax Leader and the Canadian Industry Leader for Deloitte’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) practice. He was also a member of the firm’s Tax and TMT Global Leadership teams and a member of Deloitte’s Board of Directors.
Mr. Ruffolo has over two decades of experience advising public and private companies around the world. He has worked closely with a number of North America’s leading venture capital and private equity firms and has advised many of the companies in which they invest. He also has extensive experience providing strategic advisory services to Canadian and foreign-based TMT companies.
Mr. Ruffolo serves as Chair of the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association’s Government Relations Committee and is a member of its Executive Committee. John also serves on the Board of Communitech. In addition, he is on the board of the David Suzuki Foundation and serves as Chair of the David Suzuki Foundation Friends of Ontario. Mr. Ruffolo is also Chair of the Corporate Advisory Committee for the Art Gallery of Ontario. He is a member of the Toronto chapter of the Young Presidents Organization.
A chartered accountant, Mr. Ruffolo was formerly a partner with Arthur Andersen LLP and has also spent time as an instructor for both the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants and York University’s Schulich School of Business, from which he holds a Bachelor of Business Administration.
Jennifer is responsible for the identification of customer and market needs for Christie’s key areas of business, and the strategy to meet those needs for corporate growth.
As demonstrated in her previous role as vice president, global engineering, Jennifer strives to push beyond the limitations of today’s technology and markets by taking well-calculated risks. She encourages a creative and innovative corporate culture with a sharp focus on delivering results.
Jennifer creates a positive and constructive environment that promotes learning in both business and academia. This is reflected in her ardent support of programs that encourage the pursuit of career choices in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). In 2013, Jennifer was named to the “Top 40 Under 40” for her contribution to innovation and social change in the Kitchener-Waterloo region.
Jennifer joined Christie® in 2000 as engineering program manager and has since held progressively more senior roles within the organization. Jennifer is a designated Professional Engineer. She completed her business studies at Wilfrid Laurier University’s School of Business & Economics, in the Masters of Technology Management program and is a graduate of McGill University’s Faculty of Engineering, where she completed her studies in mechanical and aerospace engineering.
Steven Woods, Engineering Director, Google
Steven Woods joined Google in 2008 as the engineering site director of Google Canada in Waterloo Region, where he is responsible for building and fostering a creative culture of innovation, engineering, and product delivery.
Steven leads a team of engineering and product innovators in delivering projects relevant to Google’s worldwide mission. Locally led initiatives include advertising products that manage well in excess of $1B in annual advertising spending, strategic initiatives in commerce applications and services such as mobile product search, offers and shopping; in key person-to-person application areas such as Gmail and other related social and messaging areas; and a strategic initiative in Chrome and ChromeOS focused on creating a hardware and software platform specifically optimized for bringing touch-based experiences to the web.
Prior to returning to Canada with Google, Steven founded several companies in Silicon Valley including NeoEdge Networks – an in-game advertising company acquired by Double Fusion; Kinitos – a company dedicated to enabling creation of radically inexpensive and powerful consumer services; and Quack.com – an interactive voice portal service acquired by AOL/Time Warner. Steven has extensive experience in building and leading highly creative and successful teams – in consumer service invention and development, and in large-scale software engineering. Steven has received numerous engineering and academic awards and patents including the University of Waterloo’s prestigious J.W. Graham Medal for Computing and Innovation. He holds a PhD and a Masters degree in Mathematics (Computer Science) from the University of Waterloo – and an undergraduate degree from the University of Saskatchewan.
Rosa Lupo is a partner in the Gowlings’ Waterloo Region office and a member of the Business Law Group. Rosa practises in all areas of real estate law, with an emphasis on purchase, sale and finance transactions.
Rosa advises clients with respect to development, financing, leasing, purchase and sale of commercial and multi-residential projects. Rosa is actively involved in preparation and negotiation of complex agreements of purchase and sale, joint venture agreements, commercial agreements and security documentation.
Rosa is fluent in Italian.
Rosa is a member of the board of directors of The Greater Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber of Commerce and of K-W Counselling Services. Rosa is also a member of the Waterloo chapter of the International Women’s Forum. She is actively involved and a regular guest lecturer at the Schlegel Centre for Entrepreneurship at Wilfrid Laurier University.
Michael Worry co-founded Nuvation in 1997, and led its growth to the globally recognized Electronic Design Services firm it is today. Michael develops Nuvation’s corporate strategy, and drives new initiatives such as Nuvation’s growing business lines of Integrated Design to Manufacturing and custom-engineered Battery Management Systems.
A graduate of the University of Waterloo’s Electrical Engineering program, Michael maintains strong ties to the Canada and the Waterloo region. In addition to Nuvation’s Waterloo Design Center, Nuvation recently kicked-off a four-year research agreement with the University of Waterloo to identify new products for autonomous vehicles.