President – Gail J. Powley, P.Eng
With over 30 years of experience, as a process control engineer and then executive, Gail has worked for companies of all sizes including: Procter & Gamble, Treiber Controls (Aspen Technology), Matrikon (Honeywell), ATCO, the Alberta Research Council (Alberta Innovates), University of Alberta, and Willowglen Systems.
Recognizing the value of supporting innovation and innovative people – she has founded and/or volunteered with organizations such as the CHOA (Canadian Heavy Oil Assn), MentorUP Alberta (Co-Founder), BESTT (Bridge for Engineering, Science, and Technology Talent (Co-founder)), AWSN (Alberta Women’s Science Network (Director)) and Women in APEGA (Chair), and most recently – Rainforest, and Alberta Regional Innovation Networks.
Gail completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Alberta, and has enjoyed the adventures she has had in the industry and tech sectors, individually and with her husband Ron Unrau (PhD in Computer Engineering from the University of Toronto development team member of: IBM Research, Red Hat, EMC, Dell, and Apple).
Vice President – Jeff LaFrenz
As a serial entrepreneur, with over 30 years’ experience in technology commercialization, Jeff thrives on building successful enterprises that draw from his multi-disciplinary and multi-industry background. Co-founder and President of VizworX Inc., a rapidly growing human interaction solutions company headquartered in Calgary, he works with an amazing team to enable clients to turn their data into business success. Jeff also loves to give back, whenever he has the time to do so, and his volunteer activities include Chair of the Schulich School of Engineering Alumni Chapter, member of the Schulich Industry Advisory Council, past member of the UofC Senate, past member of the UofC Board of Governors, past President of the UofC Graduate Students’ Society, a current member of the UofC Calgary Youth Science Fair (CYSF) Steering Committee and Past-Digital Theme Lead for the Clean Resource Innovation Network (CRIN).
Treasurer – Debra Greig
Principal – Business and Professional Development Programs
Debra is a champion of life-long learning and has a passion for working with tech entrepreneurs to realize their business goals. As an entrepreneur and corporate manager for nearly four decades, she brings a fair amount of entrepreneurial and business expertise to her endeavors. She has a BSc in Computer Science and an MBA, both from the University of Alberta.
Debra began her professional career as a retail manager, a job that would not have spanned twenty years had it not brought her much joy and given her invaluable business experience. In 2000, armed with the knowledge and experience she had gained, she launched her first technology company. ShirWin Knowledge & Learning Systems fused educational methods with gaming technologies to create simulated learning environments for post-secondary students in a number of professional domains. It was important work but it is her latest entrepreneurial endeavor that she feels she is finally able to marry her business experiences with her growing knowledge of how a business grows and succeeds. TransforMana uses a variety of software and face-to-face techniques to strengthen and improve business knowledge for the leaders of small technology-based companies.
Evan is a successful entrepreneur in the Canadian technology industry providing vision, leadership and experience to organizations ranging from start-ups to the Fortune 500. Presently he is an active angel investor, startup mentor and community volunteer sitting on the board of directors/advisors for several companies and organizations including EZ-Robot, TikTiks, TLink, Creative Destruction Labs and Calgary Technologies Inc. With more than thirty years of experience in the creation and management of successful businesses, he has a proven track record in growing and mentoring successful professionals. He has worked with and consulted to many leading Canadian, American and European companies; guiding them in the best practices for technology-enabled business cutting across numerous industries, including telecommunications, high technology, entertainment, utilities and oil & gas.
Ahmad is an established member of the Alberta business community, having founded and expanded Intellimedia into a thriving Edmonton based Ed Tech company. He holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Alberta as well as an Executive Masters of Business Administration from Athabasca University and is currently completing a Certificate of Management Excellence with Harvard Business School. Since founding Intellimedia in 2006, he has led the development of several high-value solutions utilized by School Districts across Alberta. He is viewed as a strategic partner in the Alberta K-12 Education Market and has cultivated an extensive network with leaders, vendors and experts within the field. Combined with his entrepreneurial mindset are his keen strategic instincts as well as a practical and common-sense approach to business operations. He is a passionate community steward, committing both time and resource to support several not for profit organizations.
Greg is the CEO of Spieker Point. Greg started Spieker Point in the fall of 2005 as he saw a need in the market for a dedicated, boutique-style company that applies custom software solutions to customer problems. He graduated from the University of Alberta in 1990 with a Degree in Computer Engineering and acquired 15 years of senior software experience prior to starting Spieker Point. Before Spieker Point, he was CTO at Taylor Scheduling Software which was revolutionary in the manufacturing industry for optimizing the scheduling of finite resources. Prior to that, he spent 7 years at Hewlett Packard on a key project team that built a tester that helped the Telecom industry build the early stages of the internet.
Pushkar Rao – Global Head of Data Refinery, Worley
Pushkar has over 18 years of experience in software development, project management, Consulting, and digital transformation in the oil and gas industry across North America. Prior to joining the leadership group at Worley, Pushkar worked at Suncor leading the technology scope of digital transformation in Mining industry, deploying cutting edge technology at commercial scale. He holds an MBA from University of Calgary, MS in Computer science from University of Illinois – Chicago, and BS in Computer science from Southern Arkansas University.
Wayne is the President and CEO of Willowglen Systems, an Edmonton-based company that develops automation solutions for many industries worldwide, including oil & gas, power, transportation and water. Wayne has over 30 years of corporate experience as an entrepreneur in the advanced technology sector (including Board Chair TEC Edmonton; Board Member ITAC (now TechNation), and founding member Technology Alberta – and a long track record of building businesses to become technology leaders.
As the CEO of BitWide, Shawn Baldwin is responsible for running all facets of the business. Shawn has a proven executive management track record and over 20 years of experience driving sales growth in the Technology industry across North America. Prior to starting BitWide, Shawn was the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Officejobs.com, a Canadian leader in technical Recruitment. Officejobs.com was one of the world’s first online temporary staffing agency, becoming one of Alberta’s 30 fastest growing companies and Venture’s Fast 100, orchestrated 1000% growth, implemented Socially engineered Recruitment campaigns creating a 300% increase in qualified candidate applications. Shawn also served as a Mayoral Candidate for the City of Calgary but decided to continue his journey as a business leader by introducing innovative approaches to job creation and guiding organizations through recessions to be stronger coming out of them.
Shawn continues to be an aggressive driver for creating an innovative economy, with a special focus on invigorating traditional energy companies and collaborating with new small businesses of all types. Shawn is committed to supporting Alberta-wide initiatives – empowering tech companies with growth strategies, which expands the economy and retains our extraordinary workforce.