David Blades, A.Sc.T., LGA – Director, Board Chairman
As a Senior Management Director in municipal government, David provides key leadership to an Alberta municipality and has worked within the municipal government sector since 1986, David brings seasoned government and public relations communications and contract knowledge and experience to GLC.
In addition, David has 5 and a half years’ experience as a Director of a Canadian junior mining company, involving executive support to the planning stages and funding of the mining operation and assisted with the processes for guiding of the mine’s initiatives. David brings his mining and government relations expertise to the GLC Team and has focused his efforts to securing graphite resources in our development of liquid dispersion graphene as well as investor and government relations.
Enrolled in an MBA Program in Community Economic Development, David has achieved an Applied Degree from Lethbridge College in Environmental Science –Physical Geology and Biology. In 2002, David received accreditation in the Local Government and Applied Land Use Planning Programs at the University of Alberta and was responsible for the development and promotion of the Applied Land Use Planning program at the University of Alberta. David is a member of the Alberta Society of Engineering Technologists as a Certified Technologist (C. Tech).
John Andrew, MBA- Director
John holds a Masters Degree in Environmental Studies from York University, 1977 and has been a professional planner in Alberta for 30 years. Having worked for the City of Edmonton, the Yellowhead Regional Planning Commission, the provincial government, and for three private consulting firms, John was until recently a Principal of Scheffer Andrew, an independent professional engineering and planning consulting firm.
In 1995, John started an independent planning consulting practice which he combined with Scheffer Consultants in 1999 to form Scheffer Andrew Ltd. John has extensive experience in senior business management, leadership development and strategic planning and has a successful track record in directing the growth of corporate companies. John taught the program for planning technicians at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology and as well taught a course on Planning & Zoning for the Edmonton Real Estate Board.
John brings to GLC a strength in corporate governance and leadership with a keen interest through his research in graphene innovations. With a strong background working with various sectors in industry and government, John will provide sound knowledge and experience in navigating GLC towards success in the emerging graphene industry.
Donna Mandau, BA – Director
In combination with 30+ years of experience in executive management, senior leadership, finance, investor relations, operations, business development for private and public companies, Donna brings strategic direction and vision to the organization and offers business management expertise. Donna is currently working to complete an Executive Management MBA and has achieved a degree from the University of Alberta.
Donna’s entrepreneurial leadership and passion is responsible for the business development of a clean technology company, its operations initiatives, development of strategic partnerships and stakeholder relationships, investor relations and supporting the overall marketing and advertising platforms in elevating the company’s business model and vision. Her prior work as an entrepreneur was working with a technology and engineering team where Donna came to realize graphene as a valuable solution to that market sector. Conducting further research into graphene, Donna realized the immense potential and business opportunity to exploit the properties of graphene and formed a team of like-minded individuals looking for technology solutions utilizing graphene for applications solutions to serve Alberta and Canada that would support global initiatives.
Donna’s vision in founding GLC is to develop graphene innovative solutions to serve global markets and enable technological, environmental and economic advancement for Canada; to provide opportunities worldwide for humanitarian advancement through stewardship that embodies responsible planning and management of our environment to serve our planet.
Donna serves as a Director and Officer President and CEO in GLC.
Imran Ally, BCom., CPA, CA – Director
Imran Ally has over 25 years of leadership experience in the areas of financial management, financing, business analysis, risk management, strategic planning, accounting, financial reporting, operational monitoring and reporting, information systems management, procurement, contracts, and corporate governance.
He undertook his CA articles with one of the big four accounting firms where he developed a strong foundation in internal controls and processes, risk assessment, financial analysis, and business analysis, in addition to accounting, auditing, and tax. Imran also spent time in the business financing industry developing a solid understanding of the attributes and information required to obtain and maintain funding from lenders and investors.
Imran has had extensive involvement with start-up and mid-market companies where, in addition to the usual reporting and regulatory compliance responsibilities, his major contributions included involvement in strategic planning, forecasting, and careful management of funding requirements, cash flows, and risks. He has managed through periods of start-up, growth, stability, and contraction, and has a strong understanding of strategies and actions required during such phases.
His most recent experience was the role of CFO for the Canadian division of a publicly traded international engineering firm, where, among other things, he was responsible for ensuring adherence to parent company governance, control, and reporting practices in various areas, in addition to stringent cash flow management.
Imran serves as a Director and Officer Vice-President Finance & Business Planning in GLC.
Advisors to the Board – Technical
John McDougall, P. Eng. – Board Advisor
John McDougall is President of Dalcor Innoventures Ltd and has 50 years of experience in the natural resource, IT, manufacturing, consulting, real estate and investment industries as well as research and development and academia. He served as President of the National Research Council of Canada from 2010 – 2016, was CEO of the Alberta Research Council from 1997 – 2009 and the inaugural Chair in Management for Engineers in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Alberta from 1991-97. Through John’s initiative, Innoventures Canada Inc. was created in 2006 by leading Canadian research and technology organizations providing technology development, demonstration and deployment services as Canada’s centres of excellence for commercialization and research.
He spent 44 years with McDougall & Secord, Limited, Edmonton’s oldest privately owned business active in real estate, investment and development initially as Director and Secretary-Treasurer, then as President from 1982 to 2010. From 1967-1975 with Imperial Oil Limited, John participated in oil sands, heavy oil, economics, frontier exploration and logistics, system development and oil and gas production. He founded DALCOR in 1975. Dalcor companies provided project management, technology development, labour market analysis and planning, economics and economic development, financial and business planning, data processing and custom software development, natural gas brokerage and technology investment for a wide range of global organizations ranging from multi-national resource companies to SME’s. He was appointed a Director of DB Robinson and Associates in 1992, became Chairman of the Board and guided the firm through its acquisition by Schlumberger in 2002. In 1999, he led the acquisition of C-FER Technologies by ARC and as Chair oversaw its growth from $3 million to $13 million in annual sales by 2010.
Mr. McDougall has presented keynote addresses, courses, workshops and seminars in Canada, the US, Mexico, Panama, Hungary, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Norway, Finland, Poland, India, Bangladesh, South Africa, Qatar, Taiwan, Korea, Israel, Singapore, Japan and China as well as to the OECD in Paris.
Steve Pugh, CST, PMP – Board Advisor
Steve is the Vice President of Strategic Growth and Senior Manager of Industrial Survey at Opus Stewart Weir, a Geomatics and Engineering consultancy, with over 20 years of experience from technical to project management. Over his career, Steve has actively participated in the Alberta energy sector, oil sands mine and plant construction, oil & gas exploration and power transmission construction. Steve has been involved in the construction of several multi-billion dollar projects in the Athabasca Oil Sands and Alberta Industrial Heartland.
In addition to project work, Steve has been active in the leadership of Opus Stewart Weir since 2014 as part of the management team establishing strategic direction, policy and procedure development. Through 2015 and 2016 he managed the transition and merger of Opus Stewart Weir’s First Nations joint venture, Athabascan Resource Company, with Opus Stewart Weir’s Geomatics – Survey division and served as an advisor to the Board of Directors.
Steve is an active investor and advisor in two environmental start-up ventures that are currently in the commercialization and optimization phases of development, part owner in a start-up company in the biochemical sector, and shareholder of an Edmonton-based service and consulting business.
Advisors to the Board – Marketing & Business Development
Klaas Rodenburg, MA, C.Tech., LEED AP, – Board Advisor
Klaas currently serves as the President of the Alberta Council of Technologies (ABCtech), Focused to support Alberta’s technology leaders and entrepreneurs by developing alliances for emerging technology industries. Klaas also serves as Secretary of the Alberta/Canada Fusion Technology Alliance and is a member of the for emerging technology industries. of the City of Edmonton Energy Transition Advisory Committee (ETAC). He has taught sustainability courses at NAIT and U of A and has presented at a variety of Sustainability focused events. Klaas developed and currently teaches an online course for Lakeland College on sustainable building strategies. Klaas also acts as CEO of Clark Ecoscience and Sustainability, a company that grows local plants and designs local ecosystems for yards, commercial, municipal and industrial sites.
Klaas was the Sustainable Design Coordinator at Stantec before moving to Mammoet Canada Western (2014-2017) as a quality advisor where he was a member of the Sustainovation Steering Committee, a global initiative responsible for identifying and implementing innovative solutions to sustainability challenges faced by Mammoet and its sister companies. Klaas joined GLC as an Advisor summer of 2018 recognizing the immense potential and opportunity this technology offers in Diversifying Alberta’s economy through technology. The Alberta Council of Technologies (ABCtech) advocates for the commercialization of disruptive technologies that will place Alberta and Alberta companies at the forefront of emerging economies and offer global reach.
Deidre Hackman – Board Advisor
Deidre Hackman began her entrepreneurial journey early on in her career when she launched her own manufacturing/retail/wholesale business in the fashion industry, with stores operating in Edmonton and Calgary for 15 years. In 2001, Hackman was offered a Global position at Nike. She made the decision to to relocate to their headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon. Working on both the Innovation and Design, she drove the women’s active business with a consistent growth averaging 30% compounded over three years.
Following that, she became VP Design and Innovation for Speedo, developing creative direction, product design and market positioning. She was also the brand lead for licensed product and collaborations. Hackman, in partnership with the Speedo AQUA- LAB team, developed the Fast Skyn franchise, including the LZR suit, recognized by TIME magazine as one of the most important innovations for 2008 Olympics. Deidre then took on the role at Victoria’s Secret of VP Design, Innovation and Product Development. Here she launched new creative concepts for business and product development within the Victoria’s Secret brand portfolio; creating a merchandising and design strategy for the VSX performance, lifestyles and swim products.
2015 saw Deidre moving to Amsterdam to become the Global Director Product & Marketing (Merchandising, Design & Licensing) for MEXX. In that capacity, she was their global creative catalyst, leading new product direction and market positioning. She was also instrumental in taking the brand through bankruptcy proceedings and then re-launching both the brand and organization for new owners. Deidre created distinctive product DNA, store concept and marketing strategy to include retail and digital platforms as well as a robust wholesale and franchise distribution.
As Senior VP Product Merchandising Design, Innovation and Product Development for Spyder Active Sports, she lead cutting edge innovation and technology for Olympic athletes, created a distinctive iconic look for premium skiwear, repositioned the brand, and developed business strategy/process within functional silos.
Based between Edmonton and Houston, her current role is as partner for Permit Experts Inc., currently the Canadian guru’s for companies navigating their way through Cannabis permit and licensing laws. Deidre already introduced to graphene materials through her various VP roles was excited to support GLC to drive business development, and champion GLC through her many industry contacts and support in the strategic brand positioning and growth of the company.
Advisors to the Board – Financial-Business Planning
Jim McKillop, FCA, ICD.D, – Board Advisor
Jim is a seasoned Financial Executive with nearly 35 years of unique corporate experience in the areas of corporate governance, major systems development and integration, strategic planning, merger management, procurement & outsourcing, regulation and all areas of financial management in the financial services, telecommunications and mining industries. Jim’s most recent executive role was as Chief Financial Officer of ATB Financial from 2004 – 2015.
Jim currently supports small and medium businesses in Alberta through his own consulting business and his role as Executive Business Advisor for Alberta Innovates Technology Futures (AITF). He is also very involved with governance through his role as Chair of the Governance Committee for the Edmonton Chapter of the Institute of Corporate Directors and his role on the Boards of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Varscona Theater Alliance (Chair of the Board), uDigit Systems and as a member of the Audit and Finance Committee of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta. Through the business presentations held by Graphene Leaders Canada, Jim recognized the significant opportunity and growth potential of GLC and has offered to support GLC in Financial guidance and business advice as to assist in the future development of the Company.
Advisor to the Board – Legal
Kenneth McKinnon, QC ICD.D – Board Advisor
Mr. McKinnon is a senior executive skilled at providing finance, strategic and legal services in the public and private marketplace. He has successfully worked with small management teams and entrepreneurs to grow organizations into significant business, and he provides a well-rounded business solution approach to problem solving. As a director, his skills in corporate governance, business strategy and financial insight, have assisted various management teams in substantial high growth environments. Mr. McKinnon has also served as a director on various private or government boards including Critical Mass Inc. and Alberta Innovate Technology Futures.
Mr. McKinnon is the Past President of the University of Calgary Alumni Association and sits on the Management Advisory Committee of the Haskayne School of Business. He recently stepped down as a member of the Board of Governors of the University of Calgary, where he sat on various Committees including Vice-Chair of the HR and Governance and Chair of Budget. Mr. McKinnon is the recipient in 2014 of the Order of the University of Calgary and the 2007 Management Alumni Excellence (MAX) Award from the University of Calgary – Haskayne School of Business. Mr. McKinnon obtained his Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Calgary majoring in accounting in 1980, his LLB from Queen’s University in 1983 and was admitted to the Alberta Law Society in 1984, and the Law Society of England and Wales in 1994.