Jeanette Jackson

CEO

Jeanette is an experienced CEO and entrepreneur with broad experience in technology, business development, marketing, and operations. As the CEO of Foresight, Jeanette has led rapid growth, transforming a regional organization into Canada’s cleantech ecosystem accelerator. Since 2018, under her leadership, Foresight has expanded accelerator programs from one province to four, built a vibrant Innovation Challenge program, and launched a sectoral approach to accelerator cleantech innovation. Jeanette is a frequent speaker, media guest, and advisor to industry and government. 

 

Prior to joining Foresight, Jeanette was founding CEO of Light-Based Technologies, which she built into a thriving enterprise before a successful exit. As President of The Brag Company, she oversaw the complete restructuring of the business and sale of the company in just two years. As an Executive in Residence with Foresight, Jeanette advised more than 20 companies in several markets including bio-energy, electric vehicles, smart buildings, water tech, robotics and wind.  

 

An energetic leader with a rare ability to create and execute on a vision, Jeanette is applying her talents to help position Canada as a global leader in the cleantech sector.

 

TWITTER:  @jeanetteinbiz @foresightcac

Stephen Wilson

VP Acceleration

Stephen is experienced in sales, business development, and operations. Always looking to add a positive contribution to all stakeholders, Stephen brings high-level thinking and a broad base of experience.

Stephen graduated from the Sauder School of Business with a Bachelor in Commerce. Starting his career at an event marketing company, he moved into fashion before finding his passion for electronics. Having worked with startups in the LED lighting space to a global company in power conversion, Stephen has worked in teams both small and large to raise financing, launch products, drive volume and deliver on complex custom sales.

Stephen is responsible for delivering the value of our flagship accelerator programs, and EIR and mentor networks to the cleantech ventures Foresight supports. 

Jason Switzer

VP, Growth & Capital

Its Executive Director since 2016, Jason Switzer led the Alberta Clean Technology Industry Alliance to join with Foresight in Spring 2021.  With a new focus on unlocking Capital for Canadian cleantech ventures, Jason brings 20 years of experience in developing industrial and natural climate solutions, partnerships and policy with organizations including the Pembina Institute, Cenovus Energy, Shell, and IISD.  A cofounder of the Canada Clean Technology Alliance and of Biological Carbon Canada, Jason is vice chair of the SIF-backed Clean Resources Innovation Network, Alberta Ecotrust’s Low Carbon Innovation Fund Advisory Committee, and sits on the CSA Committee on Transition and Sustainable Finance.  Jason holds master’s degrees in engineering and public policy from MIT, and co-hosts Canada’s leading energy and environment podcast, Pipelines and Turbines.

Jason leads Foresight’s efforts to unlock capital for Canadian cleantech at all stages, including through supportive policy, dealflow events, growing Canada’s angel community, fostering global investor relationships, and supporting Foresight’s investment funds.

Jacob Malthouse

VP Commercialization

Jacob is an experienced entrepreneur and intrapreneur. He has conceived and launched global industry collaboration initiatives for the United Nations, ICANN and as CEO of the company he founded, the Dot-Eco Domain Registry (www.go.eco).

He is best known for his work directing the Investment Team at the United Nations Environment Programme’s Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) in Geneva, Switzerland, where he was responsible for architecting the negotiations that created the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (www.unpri.org). Jacob has a BA in Geography and Economics from the University of Victoria, and is an IISD Young Canadian Leader for a Sustainable Future alumni (2000).

Jacob manages Foresight’s ecosystem programming, including industry and government partnerships that scale sector and regional innovation rates.

David Sanguinetti

VP Technology

David Sanguinetti is an executive engineer with over 20 years’ experience in industry. He has a particular focus on helping companies with the development and commercialisation of new technologies and has extensive experience both with technical scale-up and with designing the corporate, engineering, and project management systems to support growing companies.

He started his career designing gas processing plants, and has since worked in potable water treatment, biomass-to-energy, industrial water treatment, and metals recovery. In recent years, David has focused on supporting new companies to develop and scale their technologies and systems, and is an instructor/course developer for our Deliver program, geared toward cleantech CTO’s, now being delivered across western Canada.

David’s role centres on helping industry find and adopt clean technology. This includes managing Foresight’s Industry Challenge program, research initiatives, and other programs that connect industry with innovation.

Elizabeth Thorsen

VP Operations

Elizabeth has worked with start-up and scale-up businesses for nearly 10 years in the areas of investment preparation and funding strategy, marketing & sales development, and growth planning. With experience in industries including tech, SaaS, CPG, finance, and life sciences, Elizabeth specializes in working with teams to distill complex opportunities into tangible and actionable strategic plans. She joined the Foresight team in August of 2020 as Director of Development and moved into the Director of Operations role shortly thereafter, leading the Marketing, Communications & Events team.

Prior to joining the Foresight team, Elizabeth worked within the Regional Innovation Centre network in Ontario, supporting entrepreneurs through consulting and mentorship, creation and deployment of start-up competitions, and facilitating connections between industry, SMEs, academic supports, government, and investors. Elizabeth supported the creation of the Synapse Life Sciences Consortium, a cluster for the greater Hamilton region with the goal of facilitating the commercialization of health innovation, and has guided many companies through Series A and B investment cycles. She excels in leading cross functional teams, and is delighted to support the growth of clean technology in Canada.

Elizabeth has had the pleasure of serving on several boards and committees, including as a member of the Board of Directors at HIVE, with the Angel One Investment Network screening committee, and as a planner and judge at several ‘hackathon’ events and pitch competitions. She has been called upon to speak at business events & innovation days, and has a strong commitment to supporting the growth of women in STEM fields.

Elizabeth oversees Foresight’s operations, including strategic planning and partnerships, programs, HR, marketing, and events.

Sydney Kjellander

Director, Alberta

Sydney Kjellander is dedicated to supporting the growth of Alberta’s Clean Tech Sector through her role as the Managing Director of ACTia. A keen strategist and collaborator, she leads the operations team at ACTia and is known for the development of their highly successful deal-flow events that have generated over $18 million in potential deal flow for Alberta’s cleantech ventures. She has worked globally across multiple sectors and has a hands-on and diverse background – from field research in the Arctic, to business management and contaminated sites consulting. She was the project leader of the popular Alberta Cleantech Ecosystem Map, which provides a clear path for investors to discover Alberta’s cleantech opportunities, and for startup companies to access funding and navigate industry resources. She is a Fellow of the Energy Futures Lab, where she supports the Hydrogen and Lithium initiatives.

Sydney has an MBA in Entrepreneurship and a BA in Geography, both from the University of British Columbia.

Alan Shapiro

Director, waterNEXT

Alan is a water and sustainability professional and an instructor in BCIT’s School of Business + Media. Since January 2021, he has been leading Foresight’s new waterNEXT initiative, developing a pan-Canada ecosystem to support the acceleration and adoption of Canadian water innovation and technologies.

As Principal at Shapiro & Company, Alan works with industry, non-profit, and research sector clients on complex, crunchy water and sustainability challenges through amplifying the impact of purpose-driven organizations, building ecosystems to enable coordinated action, and helping to train the next generation of environmental leaders. His previous consulting roles, including with PGL Environmental, have included work on environmental impact assessments, groundwater studies, water management plans, and contaminated sites investigations.

Alan also serves as an advisor for the Centre for Social Innovation’s Climate Ventures accelerator and a mentor through the Connecting Environmental Professionals Vancouver network. He holds an MSc in Environmental Engineering from Columbia University and a BSc in Environmental Earth Sciences from the University of Alberta.

Sarah Pirani

Director, Corporate Partnerships

Sarah brings experience developing corporate partnerships and securing government and foundation grants to drive impact with not-for-profits across diverse focus areas, most recently with the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto. Her experiences include developing global partnerships at a university, and managing a built heritage site rehabilitation project.

Sarah has a Bsc in Environmental Biology and Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Guelph. She volunteers as a member of the Aga Khan Park Landscape Management Committee.

George Lawton

Director, Finance

George Lawton has been an executive leader in the financial, accounting, and operational systems functions across a broad spectrum of technology and industrial companies. In the majority of businesses George has worked with, he has been a leader in all sorts of capital raising and funding initiatives which resulted in the successful closing of several financing transactions that were material to each company.

George’s tenure as a senior executive includes leading companies employing as many as 3,000 employees. He earned a Bachelor of Commerce degree as well as a Post Graduate Diploma in Accounting from the University of Natal in Durban, South Africa. George holds the designation of Chartered Professional Accountant.

Karen Speirs

Senior Communications Advisor

Karen Speirs is a communications specialist with experience in journalism, public relations, and corporate communications. Her passion is storytelling; Karen has authored several books and has provided writing services for a broad range of private and public sector organizations. Her most recent role was leading external communications for Best Buy Canada.

The BC tech industry figures prominently in Karen’s work experience, including Communications roles with Innovate BC and the Digital Technology Supercluster.

Tony Dhaliwal

Program Manager

Tony has a demonstrated history of working in the renewables and environment industry. Skilled in consulting firm Operations Management, Project Management, Sustainable Marketing and Education. Tony is a strong community and social services professional having dealt with a cross-section of individuals and ethnicities. He previously worked for G-Pak Technology as a Sustainability Project Manager and at RecycleSmart Solutions as an Operations Manager.

Tony began his educational journey at the University of Calgary where he was on scholarship for the Dinos Men’s Basketball team. He completed his BA Geography and Minor in Sociology at the University of Fraser Valley (UFV). Tony’s Master’s research assessed the City of Abbotsford’s waste management program through the lens of intergenerational Sikh families at the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC).

Amanda Lo

Program Manager - Prairies

Amanda is a driven individual with experience in operations and project management. Through her time with Foresight, she has developed meaningful relationships within the cleantech ecosystem. Amanda is dedicated towards making Canada a global leader in cleantech.
Amanda graduated from the University of Calgary with a Bachelor of Science in Geophysics, providing a strong technical understanding of, and appreciation for, the cleantech companies she supports. In early 2020, she was selected to participate in the 2020 Leading Change Forum in Vancouver – a program for young professionals with the common vision to achieve a more sustainable future

Kurt Archer

Program Manager, Alberta

Kurt supports the Alberta team with event coordination and logistical expertise. He has an entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for social innovation, technology and sustainability.

Astrid Nuñez

Marketing & Events Manager

Astrid is a marketer with experience in project management and vast knowledge in events coordination. She has a degree in marketing and a Masters degree in Business Administration, as well as several courses and diplomas in management and project management.

Astrid is passionate about communications and has experience working in market research, merchandising, advertising and branding.

Michelle Zazulak

Brand Manager & Special Projects

Michelle is an accomplished graphic designer, brand strategist and content creator. Throughout her career, she has worked with government, nonprofits and early-stage companies to discover their brand’s look and feel. She is passionate about developing a strong provincial technology sector and supporting a sustainable future.

Michelle has spent the last few years at Innovate BC, supporting BC’s innovation ecosystem and managing the visual design for the #BCTECHSummit, Western Canada’s largest annual innovation event. She is a multi-disciplinary marketer with degrees and certifications in performing arts, graphic design, film production, and UX design. She’s a skilled amateur photographer, spending her free time exploring the wild places of BC.

Kris Hodgson-Bright

Content Manager

Kris supports Foresight’s blog posts, thought leadership papers, and programming content. His background includes eight years instructing courses in the Digital Communications and Media and Multimedia Production diploma programs, 17 years in the media industry, five years in economic development and three years in community capacity building encouraging renewable energy adoption.

Anil Sharma

Finance Manager

Anil Sharma has over 8 years of experience working in the non-profit sector. He has held high-level finance positions on several NPO organizations which range from health services to a sports organization. In these positions, Anil has successfully helped these businesses organize their financial systems, internal controls, and prepare for future financial success.

Anil worked with PricewaterhouseCoopers as an Assurance Auditor for multiple years. His clients included those in the technology, renewable energy, financial services, and NPO sectors. He has earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with Honours in Accounting from Simon Fraser University.

Michelle Hunt

Operations Manager

Michelle is experienced in customer service, project management and administration. Before joining Foresight over two years ago, she held positions in companies ranging from small consultancies to large retail chain stores. During her tenure at Foresight, she has proven her adaptability and efficiency. Juggling timelines and being exposed to a variety of projects feed Michelle’s desire to make things happen and keep it interesting.

She understands our business and keeps us on track – all with a sense of humour! In her spare time, Michelle is a curling coach, a musician and the mother of two elementary school children.

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Siddharth Chatpalliwar

Project Manager

Siddharth is an environmental sustainability professional, specialising in clean energy and climate policy. He brings extensive program and project management experience from the non-profit and the public sectors. He has worked with large philanthropic foundations and international development agencies to engage stakeholders, develop innovative ideas, and manage deployment strategies to deliver sustainable growth and development. Siddharth holds a Master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Delhi. He spends his spare time reading non-fiction books, cooking, exploring Toronto and following the English Premier League.

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Tyler Maksymiw

Community Manager

Tyler is a sustainability professional interested in leadership development. His experience working in consulting and start-ups has led him to develop his skills in project management, organizational transformation, and leadership.

Tyler holds a Master of Science in Sustainability Management from the University of Toronto, where he studied the effects of leadership models on employee commitment to sustainability.

Alyssa Kelly

Technology Researcher & Analyst

Alyssa is an environmental sustainability professional specializing in strategic research and communications. She brings extensive experience engaging stakeholders to build productive partnerships and break down silos in business, government and non-profit organizations. With a background in market research, consulting and project management for both private and public sector organizations, Alyssa is passionate about finding innovative ways to solve complex sustainability problems and advance the clean economy. Prior to joining Foresight, she worked as a Senior Consultant at Echion Group and holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Science from the University of Toronto.

Andrea Bravo

Analyst, Policy & Special Projects

Andrea is a collaboration and communication-driven individual specializing in environmental and agricultural economics and policy. Prior to joining Foresight’s team in Alberta, Andrea worked at Ontario Agri-Food Technologies as Communication Coordinator, where she supported the delivery and tracking of programs, workshops and events which enabled the commercialization of innovative agricultural technologies. Andrea graduated from the University of Guelph with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and a major in environmental economics and policy.

Carlos Espejo

Technology Researcher & Analyst

Carlos is a business development professional specializing in innovation. His experience in the US and Europe broadens the scope and range of solutions of our projects. Throughout his career, he has worked in the public and private sectors helping companies to develop strategic lines. Although having worked in different areas, he is passionate about cleantech and finding innovative ways to reach the ecological goals that we all want, by transforming jobs, companies and sectors. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering and a MBA in International Management.

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Li Kang

Events Coordinator

Li is a relationship builder and a solution provider with experience in events management and marketing coordination in nonprofit organizations, including the Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund.
She holds an Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree and recently graduated from the University of Calgary with an MBA in Marketing.

Cam Whitehead

Advisor, British Columbia

Cam works to build relationships with industry, academia, and SMEs throughout BC’s Kootenay region. He Whitehead is a big thinker and a catalyst for the technology sector. Cam has a PhD from UBC and over 12 years’ experience leading complex, collaborative projects in the private, nonprofit, government and academic settings.

Previously the Executive Director for the Kootenay Association for Science and Technology, Cam has a passion for spreading the benefits of technology outside big cities and to organizations in all sectors. His specialty is fundraising through grants, strategic partnerships, stakeholder and government relations. In just 18 months, he raised $2M in new funding for KAST and helped establish regional partnerships worth $5M, including the new Selkirk Technology Access Centre and the Nelson Innovation Centre.

While working in government, Cam was the policy lead for BC’s technology immigration strategy and the Provincial Nominee Program Skills Stream overhaul and BC PNP Tech Pilot. He contributed to BC’s Syrian Refugee Response Fund, which was awarded with a Premier’s Award for Partnership in 2017, and to the Child and Youth Mental Health Integrated Data Project, which was nominated for a Premier’s Award in 2019.

Cam was previously a Research Fellow at UVic’s Centre for Global Studies, a Liu Scholar at UBC, and a Director of the Canadian Association of Refugee and Forced Migration Studies.

Cam proudly lives rurally, just outside of Nelson BC. He enjoys getting outside with his family and getting things done.