Our Team

Leadership

  • Donna Mandau, BA

    Founder, President & CEO

    Donna Mandau is the Founder, President and Chief Executive Office of Graphene Leaders Canada (GLC)…

  • Imran Ally, BCom., CPA, CA

    Vice President, CFO

    Imran Ally has over 25 years of leadership experience in the areas of financial management,…

  • Ushula Tefashe, PhD

    Chief Science Officer (CSO)

    Dr. Ushula Tefashe earned a doctorate (PhD), with great distinction (magna cum laude), in Chemistry…

  • Leah Coumont, PhD

    Director of Research

    Dr. Coumont holds PhD in Chemistry from the University of Alberta for her work preparing…

Donna Mandau, BA

Founder, President & CEO

Donna Mandau is the Founder, President and Chief Executive Office of Graphene Leaders Canada (GLC) and is a member of the company’s board of directors. Donna founded GLC in 2013, bringing more than 25 years of industry leadership, operations, investor relations, business development and executive management experience to her role with the company. 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 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.

Imran Ally, BCom., CPA, CA

Vice President, CFO

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.

Prior to joining GLC, Imran was the CFO for the Canadian division of a publicly traded international engineering firm where, as a member of the leadership team, he provided strong financial oversight, strategic advice and inputs to key business decisions for Canadian/North American operations. During his tenure Imran led the company financially through periods of growth and periods of significant challenges. He possesses superior business sense, strong analytical skills and innovative thinking which he successfully applied to the financial management of Canadian operations. He was also responsible for ensuring adherence to governance requirements, controls, and reporting practices in various areas, in addition to stringent cash flow management.

Imran earned his Business degree from the University of Alberta which houses one of the top business schools in Canada. The University of Alberta is ranked as one of the top 100 universities in the world. His formative post-graduation professional years were spent with a big four firm 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.

During his career, 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.

Ushula Tefashe, PhD

Chief Science Officer (CSO)

Dr. Ushula Tefashe earned a doctorate (PhD), with great distinction (magna cum laude), in Chemistry from Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg (Germany) in 2012 under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Gunther Wittstock. From 2012-2015, Dr. Tefashe was a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Laboratory for Electrochemical Reactive Imaging and Detection of Biological Systems at McGill University in the Research Group of Prof. Janine Mauzeroll. In April 2015, Dr. Tefashe joined the Research Group of Prof. Richard McCreery in the Department of Analytical Chemistry at the University of Alberta as a Postdoctoral Researcher, and later rose to the position of a Research Associate.

Dr. Tefashe is a co-inventor of one Patent and has co-authored at least 40 peer-reviewed journal articles in international journals. His research interest is the field of electrochemistry, corrosion, biosensors, electrochemiluminescence, molecular electronics, and energy storage and conversion systems. He is serving as a reviewer of several international reputed journals.

Leah Coumont, PhD

Director of Research

Dr. Coumont holds PhD in Chemistry from the University of Alberta for her work preparing functional organic polymers and self-assembled carbon nanomaterials. Over the course of her Undergraduate and Graduate degrees she has accumulated over 13+ years of experience in working with functional organic materials, with a focus on organic synthesis, polymer chemistry, materials characterization, nanomaterials research, and device preparation.

Driven by a strong desire to make a positive contribution to the scientific community, she has developed exceptional expertise in organic materials for electronic applications (polymer light emitting diodes and solar cells), and carbon-based nanomaterials for environmental applications (sensing and CO2 sequestration).

To continue to pursue her love of carbon-based materials and investigate their exciting future applications, Dr. Coumont has joined Graphene Leaders Canada to help develop safe and efficient graphene-based products to solve environmental problems. Dr. Coumont leads a team of 3 PhD’s focused in environment and coatings product development, and a team of 4 technical MSc-Chemistry and senior laboratory technologists.

Board

  • David Blades, A.Sc.T., LGA

    Director, Chairman

    As a Senior Management Director in municipal government, David provides key leadership to an Alberta municipality and…

  • Donna Mandau, BA

    Director

    Donna Mandau is the Founder, President and Chief Executive Office of Graphene Leaders Canada (GLC)…

  • Imran Ally, BCom., CPA, CA

    Director

    Imran Ally has over 25 years of leadership experience in the areas of financial management,…

  • Steve Pugh, CST, PMP

    Director

    Steve is the Vice President of Strategic Growth and Senior Manager of Industrial Survey at…

David Blades, A.Sc.T., LGA

Director, Chairman

As a Senior Management Director in municipal government, David provides key leadership to an Alberta municipality and has been responsible for several key areas including planning, environmental, engineering, economic, development and quasi-judicial board settings 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 five 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 1999, David was responsible for the development and promotion of the Applied Land Use Planning program at the University of Alberta and in 2002, received accreditation in the Local Government and Applied Land Use Planning Programs at the University of Alberta.  David is also a member of the Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta as a Certified Technologist (C. Tech.).

Donna Mandau, BA

Director

Donna Mandau is the Founder, President and Chief Executive Office of Graphene Leaders Canada (GLC) and is a member of the company’s board of directors. Donna founded GLC in 2013, bringing more than 25 years of industry leadership, operations, investor relations, business development and executive management experience to her role with the company. 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 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.

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.

Prior to joining GLC, Imran was the CFO for the Canadian division of a publicly traded international engineering firm where, as a member of the leadership team, he provided strong financial oversight, strategic advice and inputs to key business decisions for Canadian/North American operations. During his tenure Imran led the company financially through periods of growth and periods of significant challenges. He possesses superior business sense, strong analytical skills and innovative thinking which he successfully applied to the financial management of Canadian operations. He was also responsible for ensuring adherence to governance requirements, controls, and reporting practices in various areas, in addition to stringent cash flow management.

Imran earned his Business degree from the University of Alberta which houses one of the top business schools in Canada. The University of Alberta is ranked as one of the top 100 universities in the world. His formative post-graduation professional years were spent with a big four firm 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.

During his career, 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.

Steve Pugh, CST, PMP

Director

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.

Scientific

  • Ushula Tefashe, PhD

    Chief Science Officer (CSO)

    Dr. Ushula Tefashe earned a doctorate (PhD), with great distinction (magna cum laude), in Chemistry…

  • Leah Coumont, PhD

    Director of Research

    Dr. Coumont holds PhD in Chemistry from the University of Alberta for her work preparing…

  • Mikolai Vajda, BSc

    Research Associate

    Mikolai achieved a BSc degree as a chemistry major and biology minor from the University…

  • Brad Krueckl

    Senior Lab Technician

    Brad is a highly skilled Chemical Technologist with over 18+ years of Research, Engineering, and…

Ushula Tefashe, PhD

Chief Science Officer (CSO)

Dr. Ushula Tefashe earned a doctorate (PhD), with great distinction (magna cum laude), in Chemistry from Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg (Germany) in 2012 under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Gunther Wittstock. From 2012-2015, Dr. Tefashe was a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Laboratory for Electrochemical Reactive Imaging and Detection of Biological Systems at McGill University in the Research Group of Prof. Janine Mauzeroll. In April 2015, Dr. Tefashe joined the Research Group of Prof. Richard McCreery in the Department of Analytical Chemistry at the University of Alberta as a Postdoctoral Researcher, and later rose to the position of a Research Associate.

Dr. Tefashe is a co-inventor of one Patent and has co-authored at least 40 peer-reviewed journal articles in international journals. His research interest is the field of electrochemistry, corrosion, biosensors, electrochemiluminescence, molecular electronics, and energy storage and conversion systems. He is serving as a reviewer of several international reputed journals.

Leah Coumont, PhD

Director of Research

Dr. Coumont holds PhD in Chemistry from the University of Alberta for her work preparing functional organic polymers and self-assembled carbon nanomaterials. Over the course of her Undergraduate and Graduate degrees she has accumulated over 13+ years of experience in working with functional organic materials, with a focus on organic synthesis, polymer chemistry, materials characterization, nanomaterials research, and device preparation.

Driven by a strong desire to make a positive contribution to the scientific community, she has developed exceptional expertise in organic materials for electronic applications (polymer light emitting diodes and solar cells), and carbon-based nanomaterials for environmental applications (sensing and CO2 sequestration).

To continue to pursue her love of carbon-based materials and investigate their exciting future applications, Dr. Coumont has joined Graphene Leaders Canada to help develop safe and efficient graphene-based products to solve environmental problems. Dr. Coumont leads a team of 3 PhD’s focused in environment and coatings product development, and a team of 4 technical MSc-Chemistry and senior laboratory technologists.

Mikolai Vajda, BSc

Research Associate

Mikolai achieved a BSc degree as a chemistry major and biology minor from the University of Alberta in spring 2018. During the course of his degree, he gained relevant chemistry experience from spending a summer as an analytical chemistry lab assistant along with volunteering under a chemistry graduate student for two semesters in the lab of Prof. James Harynuk. While at the University of Alberta, Mikolai developed extensive in-lab chemistry skills which has been further advanced with his work in Graphene Leaders Canada. Working with all projects in the company, Mikolai has developed strong graphene knowledge and skills in both the coatings and water filtration platforms.

Brad Krueckl

Senior Lab Technician

Brad is a highly skilled Chemical Technologist with over 18+ years of Research, Engineering, and Management experience. After graduating from SAIT in 2000, he started working for Agriculture Canada on a 6-month contract moving to Core Laboratories as a lab technologist in their PVT lab. In 2003 he moved to Houston, Texas and joined Schlumberger in their Reservoir Fluids division. In 2012 he transferred back to Schlumberger Canada (DBR Technology Center) where he stayed until 2016. In his 13+ years with the company he held positions as Fluid Analysis Specialist, Lab Supervisor and Engineer in Charge, as well as Senior Technologist roles in both Research and Engineering. He was a part of Schlumberger’s Global standardization team and helped author many of the PVT Labs global operating procedures. The DBR Technology Center closed in October 2016, which allowed Brad the opportunity to start working with Graphene Leaders Canada as a Senior Research Technologist.

Advisors

  • D. Jed Harrison, Ph.D.

    Prof. D. Jed Harrison is Emeritus Professor of Chemistry at the University of Alberta, where…

  • Kenneth McKinnon, QC ICD.D

    Mr. McKinnon is a senior executive skilled at providing finance, strategic and legal services in…

  • Melissa Faichuk, PhD

    Dr. Faichuk holds a Ph.D. from the University of Western Ontario in Physical Chemistry for…

D. Jed Harrison, Ph.D.

Prof. D. Jed Harrison is Emeritus Professor of Chemistry at the University of Alberta, where he served as a Faculty member from 1984 to 2021, and as Department Chair from 2006-16. He was a cross-appointed research officer at the National Institute for Nanotechnology (NINT) for a decade.  Prof Harrison earned an Honours B.Sc. in Chemical Physics from Simon Fraser University in 1980, receiving the Gordon Shrum Gold Medal upon graduation.  He was the recipient of a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada Post-Graduate Fellowship while undertaking graduate studies in Chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has held appointments as a Visiting Researcher or Professor at NASA in the USA, CNRS in France, and Dublin City University in Dublin.  He has published over 170 scientific manuscripts, is the recipient of numerous awards, grant funding of over 30 million dollars over his career, and is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.  Prof Harrison received grant funding from Alberta’s agencies, Canada’s NSERC, the USA’s DARPA, and various corporations for work on microfluidic systems and biosensors for bio-agent and point of care monitoring.  He served on the Program and Steering Committees of several international conferences, and was appointed to the Editorial Advisory Boards of Analytical Chemistry, Lab on a Chip, and Electrophoresis.  He sits on the Advisory Board to NASA’s Microdevices Lab, a division of JPL.

Prof Harrison was the first to coin the phrase and publish the lab on a chip concept, also known as microfluidics, in 1991, working with Andreas Manz. He and his team then developed lab on a chip technology for over three decades.  Dr. Harrison was involved in spinning out a company from The University of Alberta, Advanced Integrated Microsystems, in order to commercialize the combination of microfluidics with mass spectrometry, and several of his patents are licensed to companies in Canada and the United States.  He also has an extensive research portfolio on electrochemical-based chemical and biochemical sensors.

Kenneth McKinnon, QC ICD.D

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.

Melissa Faichuk, PhD

Dr. Faichuk holds a Ph.D. from the University of Western Ontario in Physical Chemistry for her work investigating passive oxide coatings on alloys used as steam generator tubing in CANDU nuclear reactors, and developing methods to reduce their susceptibility to corrosion. The scope of her research utilized several physical and electrochemical techniques to examine oxide coating properties to further understand the corrosion behaviour of these materials. Surface modification techniques were also investigated as a method of influencing the oxide properties as a way to improve the corrosion resistance of these materials. In addition to her Ph.D. work, Dr. Faichuk has worked with multi-disciplinary teams at Canadian Nuclear Laboratories studying the corrosion behaviour of alloys used in CANDU nuclear reactors.

To continue to pursue her passion for developing materials with superior performance and function, Dr. Faichuk joined GLC aiming to develop coatings and materials for the pipeline and energy sector.

Looking for more?

We are expanding the global economy. Our technology is available to license and will have a monumental impact for future generations.
GLC is currently seeking strategic partners and welcomes all inquiries and discussions.
For more information, please email us at solutions@glcplus.com