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speakers

speakers

Clark Grue, CITP*, is a Founder and the CEO of Rainmaker Global Market Access. He is a visionary global business leader who has advised hundreds of organizations on the nuances and strategies of business expansion and diversification around the world.

His creativity and out-of-the-box thinking has guided companies and organizations to exponential growth as they embrace the global marketplace. He has been proud to apply his skills to small businesses as well as multinational, public, state-owned companies and governments agencies in Business Events, Economic Development and Tourism.

Clark’s leadership has been recognized by many organizations that have engaged him to provide vision, strategy, strong governance and business growth. Some of the roles he has held in addition to his role at Rainmaker include: Current: Chair – Meetings Mean Business Canada Advisor – Destination Canada, Business Events Member of the Executive Committee of the Board – Convention Centres of Canada Member, Advisory Board, World Petroleum Congress Calgary, 2023 Member, Advisory Board, Global Alliance on Pandemic Prevention & Preparedness Past: CEO, Calgary TELUS Convention Centre President, Meetings and Conventions Calgary Vice Chair – American Chamber of Commerce Canada Founder, Canada Day in London and New York Vice President, Trade and investment – Calgary Economic Development President – Association for Corporate Growth, Calgary Founding Director – British Trade Office, Calgary Vice President – Network Innovations Founder, FDI Canada Forum G20 Canadian Task Force Member – SME and Entrepreneur G20 Canadian Task Force – Investment and Trade

His focus on business expansion and recovery has been a key foundation for Rainmaker since its inception. His passion for volunteering has expanded his understanding of the global marketplace and allowed Clark to learn from some of the world’s top business and thought leaders.

*CITP: Certified International Trade Professional

Clark is the Keynote speaker in the FDI Canada Forum, May 2021.

Wole Oduntan is a certified Lean leader and Business consultant with deep background experience in healthcare management, regulatory and policy development, governance, Board member of regulatory body. After contributing immensely to the health care sector for 23 years, he decided to semi-retire in 2018 and focus on his passion in the business world. having acquired over 20 years experience as an entrepreneur with significant breakthrough in real estate and stock market, he launched Global Business Access (GBA) Inc. GBA creates a platform for him to help grow businesses, attract investors to the Canadian marketplace. He assumed the ownership of the FDI Canada Forum in 2019 and has since been advancing the vision of the forum.

His goal in the business world is to help grow businesses, contribute to the economic growth while empowering investors.

Wole has his medical degree from University of Ibadan, Nigeria, then his master’s degree in family medicine from the University of Pretoria, South Africa. He received his world gold standard triple crown accredited MBA with honours in entrepreneurship from the University of Liverpool. Wole lives in his beautiful farm in Windsor, Southwest of Ontario, with his beautiful wife and awesome children.

Wole would be speaking on the Canadian Investment Opportunities Database in the FDI Canada Forum May 2021.

Bonnie Nunnari is an economic developer who has proudly supported small to large scale investors throughout her career. Providing meaningful contributions that encourage business growth and job creation is her vocation. Bonnie is dedicated to improving the investment ecosystem through collaboration with key stakeholders from all political levels. Notably, Bonnie was an integral project leader in the creation of the recently launched Invest Alberta Corporation. Bonnie is a born and raised Torontonian, but Alberta’s majestic landscape grabbed hold of her, and the province has been her home for the last seven years. Prior to moving West, Bonnie was a political advisor in the City of Toronto and also worked in the corporate sector. Drawing from her public and private work experience, she brings a unique perceptiveness in her work with diverse stakeholders and clients.

Bonnie will be the MC of the FDI Canada Forum May 2021.

James Morrison is the Director of Pharmacy Excellence at the Whole Health Pharmacy, Ontario, Canada.

After spending the first decade of his career as a designated manager in community pharmacy, James joined the Whole Health team, practicing in both Parry Sound and, most recently, Burlington. He has served in various pharmacy leadership roles and presently holds an elected position to the Ontario College of Pharmacists’ board of directors. Additionally, James holds a prestigious spot on the Executive Committee at the Ontario College of Pharmacists. James is passionate about a high standard of pharmacy care and the important role that pharmacies fulfill in their communities.

Born and raised in Nova Scotia, James completed his Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Biology at Dalhousie University and his Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy at the University of Toronto. During his time at U of T, James served as President of the Undergraduate Pharmacy Society and Vice-President Communications of the Canadian Association of Pharmacy Students and Interns National Council. Upon graduating in 2010, James received the Ontario Pharmacist’s Association Student of Distinction Award. The Canadian Pharmacists Association nationally recognized him with the New Practitioner award in 2013. James is a sought-out speaker and author and has presented for CPhA and OPA.

James would be moderating the Health-Tech panel of the FDI Canada Forum on May 5th, 2021.

Nusrat is a Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Academic Family Medicine (DAFM), College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Canada. Her research interests include Family Medicine, Cancer Care, Cancer Screening, Physician decision-making,

Research, Women’s Health and Medical Education. She graduated with an MBBS and completed her residency training at the University of Manitoba in 2005. She obtained Certification in Health Education Teaching (2004) and completed a Fellowship in Research and Academic Development, University of

Manitoba (2006). She received her Certification from the College of Family Physician of Canada, CCFP (2012), completed her thesis in Lung Cancer Screening (2015) and received a Masters Degree in Clinical Science, from the Department of Family Medicine, University of Western Ontario, Canada (2016).

She is a co-author of a book on Advanced Patient-Centred Medicine. She has experience in a variety of positions including Instructor, University of Manitoba, PARIM (Professional Association of Residents and Interns Manitoba), Board Member (2001-2005), Urban Member at-Large, Manitoba Medical Association, and member, Physician Advisory Committee (2011- 2015), Regional Medical Advisory Committee (2011 to present), Chairperson Mental Health Board (2012-2015). She received the Janus Research Award (2009) for her research in Lung Cancer Screening from the College of Family Physicians of Canada. She is Examiner, Medical Council Of Canada (2011 to present) and Examiner, College of Family Physicians of Canada for the Certification Examination in Family Medicine (CCFP) (2012 to present). She was selected as a researcher in the TUTOR-PHC program (Transdisciplinary Understanding and Training on Research – Primary Health Care) (February 2016-2017) and will continue her contribution to Research and Primary Health Care.

Research Interests: Family Medicine, Cancer Care, Cancer Screening, Physician Decision-Making, Research, Women’s Health, and Medical Education.

Nusrat would be one of the panelists for the Health-tech panel in the FDI Canada Forum May 2021.

Akinwumi Reju is Senior Partner at Topmarké Attorneys, LLP and one of the three founding partners of the firm. He is partner in charge of Business Immigration and Business Law team of the practice. His specialization spans corporate, commercial, investments, franchise law, real estate and technology law.

Akin has over 31 years’ wealth of legal experience as a transactional lawyer having worked with multiple teams in technology and business development as an international business lawyer. After a stint of 3 years in litigation practice early in his career in Nigeria, he became an in-house lawyer to financial service companies notably the Corporate Trust Group and later on the Industrial & General Insurance Plc (IGI) Group where he rose to become Deputy Director Corporate and Legal Services and also the Ag. Company Secretary.

Akin gained valuable international corporate law experience leading the legal negotiating team in the privatization of two Government-owned insurance companies in Uganda and Rwanda. These projects were supervised by the World Bank and he served as Corporation Secretary and Legal Adviser to these companies. He commenced the process of preparing the Corporation for listing on the Uganda Stock Exchange. Akin was a member of the team that established Global Trust Bank of Uganda and served as the Legal Adviser upon its formation and approval by the Bank of Uganda, (BOU). He also participated as Team Lead in negotiations for joint venture arrangements between US and Canadian oil and gas firms and their Nigerian EPC counterparts. His areas of expertise also include corporate compliance, mining law, and corporate secretarial practice.

Akin holds a bachelor’s degree in Law from the University of Benin and professional certification as a chartered secretary; he has worked with management and boards in legal advisory, corporate management, and corporate secretarial capacities. Akin also holds certifications in different areas of law including mining law, IP Rights and he is a member of several professional organizations.

An Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Secretaries of the UK, Akin was accredited by the Institute of Chartered Secretaries (ICS) Canada as a member on merit in 2010. Akin also worked with Boards and Managements in corporate

governance, audit, risk management, project management, business analysis, corporate compliance, and training.

Akin is a member of the Law Society of Ontario (LSO), International Bar Association and the Nigerian Bar Association, (NBA).

Akin would be one of the panelists for the Tourism panel in the FDI Canada Forum May 2021.

Eyitope is a physician with expertise in women’s health and primary care research. She is a clinical lecturer at the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. She holds membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners (UK) and is a Certificant of the College of Family Physicians of Canada. She is the CEO of ChatswithdrT – a platform aimed at promoting the health and well being of middle aged and older women. She is the executive director of Oasis of Hope Foundation – a charity that supports the less privileged with health and educational services. She is passionate about mentoring young girls as they navigate their personal lives and professional career paths. Eyitope is intentional about using her personal life story and journey to encourage African women navigating life’s challenges. She speaks on topics such as the sociocultural beliefs and practices around marriage, divorce, abuse, single parenting, and the ability to overcome these challenges as women. This informed the writing of her personal memoir, titled, “Still, I Rise; A story of three generations of victorious African women.” Eyitope is an entrepreneur and a collaborator with other women passionate about making a difference in the world, encouraging other women to become more purpose-driven and passionate about achieving and making an impact in their personal lives and the community they find themselves. She is married to Gilbert Fagite and they have three children.

Eyitope would be one of the panelists for the Health-tech panel in the FDI Canada Forum May 2021.

Jeff Ivan is the CEO of Soilgenic Nutrients. Soilgenic is focused on sustainable and environmental agricultural technologies that will reduce the agricultural impact on C02 emissions and the environmental loss of nutrients. Soilgenic focuses on the soil’s health and other carbon reduction technologies for low carbon agricultural systems while sequestering Carbon from the environment in the process. Jeff Ivan has spent over 32 years in the agricultural field, establishing international fertilizer projects in developed and emerging agricultural regions. Jeff has also led the marketing and international business development for Tiger-Sul promoting the benefits of Sulphur and micronutrient fertilizer applications and to improve food security in developing nations around the world. Jeff started his career in the retail fertilizer sector in Canada and originates from a family farm in Saskatchewan, Canada. Jeff has been involved in several committees such as Fertilizer Canada’s, Agronomy and Environment Committee, and the 4R Solution (Africa) Steering Committee working in Ethiopia, Ghana and Senegal to improve crop production practices. Jeff also worked with the Sulphur Institute’s Sulphur Advocacy committee based out of Washington, DC acting as the lead for the development of Sulphur based fertilizers in India. Jeff is active with the International Fertilizer Association’s (IFA) African Forum for the development of fertilizer and food security in Africa. He is currently advising several companies in Africa on sustainable fertilizer production and has advised several Agtech startup companies on sustainable and regenerative agriculture. Jeff has presented at several domestic and international conferences including the International Fertilizer Association, The Sulphur Institute and International Fertilizer Development Center speaking on innovative fertilization technologies, environmental and food security related issues.

 

Ivan  would be one of the panelists for the Agric-tech panel in the FDI Canada Forum May 2021.

Monica Rovers operates an international business advisory firm, Global Connect Corporation, where she assists organizations to grow through her global business experience and relationships. She is also a Global Partner at Rainmaker Global Business Development, specializing in Africa and Latin America. She was previously Head, Global Energy at Toronto Stock Exchange and TSX Venture Exchange where she helped Energy companies around the world to finance international projects. She was Business Development Manager of International and Energy at Calgary Economic Development where she helped companies to expand their operations into international markets. She has also worked in International Marketing in the Education industry.

 

With over 20 years of leadership, international relations and business development experience in non-profit, private and public organizations across multiple sectors, Monica facilitates global development by assisting companies to grow internationally and encouraging investment in and collaboration with international companies. She is regularly sought as a guest speaker and moderator at a variety of events worldwide, speaking on Energy finance, economic trends and international business.

 

Monica developed and implemented global strategies at Toronto Stock Exchange, Calgary Economic Development and Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and led the diversification strategy for the Toronto Stock Exchange in Alberta.

 

Monica holds an MBA in Global Management and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management and has been involved in business deals in over 30 countries.

 

Monica is a Director on the Board of Imperial Helium Corp and the Nigeria-Canada Trade & Investment Group. She has held Chairperson positions on non-profit Boards including Canadian Council for the Americas and Immigrant Services Calgary. She was also on the Advisory Board of a Private Equity firm investing in African Energy projects.

Monica would be co-moderating the Energy Panel with Dean Tucker.

John is the Principal Consultant at Distinct Immigration Services. He is a member in good standing with Immigration Consultant Canada Regulated Council (ICCRC). John holds an Immigration Practitioner Diploma: Laws, Policies and Procedures from Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants, Toronto, Canada. He has lived and worked in at least three continents (North America, Europe, and Africa) and understands the desire of an average potential immigrant looking forward to immigrating. As an immigrant and a Canadian citizen, he is passionate about filing for people who have the desire and qualification for Canadian Permanent residence, study permit or other types of visas.

Having dealt with many immigration issues himself, these experiences together with his training help him to understand the peculiarity of clients’ situation as a practicing Immigration consultant. He specializes in Economic Immigration classes (Skilled Worker Class, Business and Entrepreneur Class), Family Class, Sponsorship and Refugee cases.

John would be one of the panelists for the Tourism panel in the FDI Canada Forum May 2021.

Alexis is a partner at ConnectSeven Group – a project management firm specializing in  sustainable tourism development to build communities that residents are proud to call  home and tourists long to visit. ConnectSeven works with clients such as the United  Nations, Destination Canada, Travel Alberta, Destination BC, Buy Social Canada and the  Adventure Travel Trade Association. ConnectSeven is also the North American partner  for the Global Destination Sustainability Movement – a sustainable benchmarking and  improvement program for destinations. 

As an innovative tourism strategist, Alexis has been bringing forth sustainable and  innovative tourism growth and management concepts to the industry for over 10 years.  Her expertise lies in business tourism, destination development and sales  representation for regions across the globe. 

With the COVID-19 crisis front and centre, Alexis’ focus has turned to re-opening the  business tourism industry, as well as researching and implementing creative ways for  destinations and suppliers to ‘build back better’ – to make health, safety, sustainability  and social impact the key building blocks for re-opening. 

Alexis is a recent recipient of Connect Corporate’s Top 40 Under 40, a member of the BC Meetings and Events Recovery Work Group, an ambassador for Meetings Mean  Business, and a past Board Member of the PCMA Canada West Chapter. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration, Finance and Management Science from Simon Fraser University.

 

Alexis would be moderating the Tourism panel in the FDI Canada Forum May 2021.

Jeff Kraynyk works in the Industry Attraction Unit within the Department of Agriculture and Resource Development.  Jeff’s background is policy and industrial development, with particular focus on renewable energy and bioproducts.  Jeff attended the University of Manitoba where he received his Bachelor’s degree in Political Sciences followed by his Master’s Degree in Public Administration.  During his time with the province Jeff was closely involved with the creation of Manitoba’s biofuels mandate and incentive program which was instrumental in attracting the investment to construct the Husky Energy Ethanol plant in Minnedosa.  Jeff is married with 3 children and enjoys sports, the outdoors, travelling and spending time with his family.

 

Jeff would be one of the panelists for the Agric-tech panel in the FDI Canada Forum May 2021.

Cheryl Trudell is Vice-President, Upstream Research, Imperial.  She is the chair of Imperial’s Institute for Oil Sands Innovation at the University of Alberta, chair of Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance, Shareholder Steering Committee and a member of the Board of Directors, chair of the management advisory board of NAIT’s Centre for Oil Sands Sustainability, member of the Clean Resources Innovation Network steering committee, member of Alberta Innovates Bitumen Beyond Combustion steering committee, participates on the Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada Board of Directors and Executive Committee, a member of the Global Petroleum Show Technical Committee and is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta.  Cheryl graduated from the University of Western Ontario in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemical Engineering and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering in 1996.  Over the last 24 years, she has held progressively more responsible positions in engineering, research, planning, operations and management disciplines in both Calgary and Houston.  In her current role, Cheryl leads Imperial’s upstream oil sands research activities.

Cheryl would be one of the Energy sector panelists in the FDI Canada Forum May 2021.

Dwayne received his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (Econ) from the University of Alberta in 1986. Dwayne was born into a farming family and has continued in the tradition. Dwayne is an entrepreneur with a multi-investment portfolio. He has become increasingly interested in the compounding effects of monetary and fiscal policy, and other facets of macroeconomics over time.

Dwayne has been approached by investors at the local, national and international levels to offer wisdom and to help provide insights into the opportunities, rationale, strengths and threats of farmland as an investment. His thoughts and views are sure to challenge and deepen your understanding and reasoning for this popular asset class in 2021.

 

Dwayne will be moderating the Agric-tech panel in the FDI Canada Forum, 2021.

Joy Romero, P.Eng, MBA PM, ICD.D, FCAE Vice President Technology & Innovation, Canadian Natural Resources Limited. Joy has worked in steel, iron ore, coal and oil and gas.  She joined Canadian Natural in 2001 to develop the Horizon Oil Sands Project. She has served as a School Trustee, Chair of the Governing Council of Athabasca University, and advisor to several NSERC chairs. Joy is currently President of the Clean Resource Innovation Network and Vice Chair of the Petroleum Technology Alliance of Canada as well as past Board Chair of Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance. She is a member of the Business Leaders Advisory Council for Athabasca University and the Faculty of Science Dean’s Circle for the University of Calgary.  Joy is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineers, an inductee of the Canadian Petroleum Hall of Fame and a past member of the Science, Technology & Innovation Council for Canada. 

Joy would be one of the Energy sector panelists in the FDI Canada Forum May 2021.

Dean brings over 30 years of experience in the petroleum industry both domestically and internationally working with junior, intermediate, senior and integrated multinational companies as well as time spent in the service sector. He has worked on exploration, production and development projects as well as A&D and corporate restructuring in North America, South America, Africa and the North Sea. Since 2003Dean held senior management roles at Orion Oil & Gas Corporation, Crew Energy Inc., Pearl Exploration and Production Inc., and Real Resources. Most recently Dean was Chief Operating Officer of Caracal Energy Inc. After the sale of Caracal Energy Inc in 2014 he happily retired from the Petroleum Industry in order to pursue volunteer opportunities. Dean served on the Board of Karate Alberta from 2014 to 2018 and currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Board of the World Petroleum Council Canada  as well as Chair of the Canadian Congress Program Committee.

Dean has a Bachelor of Engineering from Memorial University, is a registered engineer (P.Eng.) in the Province of Alberta, and continues to pursue academic goals at the University of Calgary.

Dean would be co-moderating the Energy Panel with Monica Rovers.

Karen Taylor is an independent energy consultant to industry and investors, with deep experience in capital markets, regulatory policy and infrastructure investing. She is Vice Chair of the Council for Clean & Reliable Energy, a non-profit organization that provides a platform for public dialogue and analysis on subjects related to energy policy and governance and is a Board Member of the Macaulay Child Development Centre, where she serves on the finance and strategic planning committees. She is also an Executive Fellow with the Ivey Energy Policy and Management Centre. Karen has over 25 years of relevant senior executive financial and energy experience. She was a top-ranked equity analyst for 16 years with TD Securities and BMO Capital Markets covering the pipeline, energy utility and power generation sectors. She also served as the Executive Advisor to the Chair of the Ontario Energy Board and was a Member of the Ontario Energy Board. In addition, she served as Special Advisor to the Chair of the Ontario Securities Commission. Karen has a Bachelor of Commerce Degree, Major in Finance, with Distinction, from the University of Alberta, a Master of Business Administration, with Honours from the Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario, and is a Chartered Financial Analyst. She has also completed the ICD-Rotman Directors Education Program and holds the ICD.D designation. Karen lives in Toronto with her husband, their two children, and a dog.

Karen would be one of the panelists for the Energy panel in the FDI Canada Forum May 2021.

Xarvio Digital Farming Lead for North America at BASF

 

Chris Paterson has been involved with agronomy and agribusiness across North America for 25 years. For the past ten years, he has been directly involved with the development of new business applications and value streams around the digitization of farming, Agribusiness, and AgriFood. Chris’s favorite area of focus is where strategy meets technology.  Chris is currently the North American Lead for xarvio Digital Farming Solutions at BASF, and supports BASF’s Ideator platform, Global Technology Scouting, and Venture Investing arms of the company.  Outside of BASF, Chris is also an active angel investor and mentor for a number of early stage AgTech companies.

 

Chris would be one of the panellists for the Agric-tech panel in the FDI Canada Forum May 2021.

Wilson is the Chief Growth Officer at Verge Ag. Wilson brings an extensive background in law and multi-generational experience in agriculture to the Verge team.

As a transactional lawyer, Wilson assisted a wide range of businesses across a host of matters from seed capital raises to strategic acquisitions, including some of the largest and most complex M&A and corporate finance transactions in Canadian history. In agriculture, Wilson was a fifth-generation farmer and rancher in southern Saskatchewan while applying his Agricultural Economics degree to the pursuit of various entrepreneurial endeavors.

Outside of Verge Ag, Wilson sits on the board of directors for KidSport Calgary, a charity focused on removing the financial barriers for all kids to participate in organized sport, and the board of advisors for the Alberta IoT center of excellence, a collaboration of multiple stakeholders focused on the acceleration of the emerging technologies sector as a significant part of Alberta’s economy.

Between brainstorming, burning his knuckles at the BBQ and chasing kids. Wilson is also an avid skier, an average golfer and still digs in the dirt, just in a yard in Calgary instead of a field in Saskatchewan.

Wilson will be one of the panelists for the Agric-tech panel in the FDI Canada Forum May 2021.

Jennifer Bisson, CEO @ Mountain Integrated Medical Devices. Jennifer has been working in the medical device industry for nearly 20 years. With her degree in Engineering, she started her career commercializing medical devices in Canada. Jennifer joined the Notified Body – GMED in France and spent 15 years as a Lead Auditor, auditing medical device companies across the world. Her expertise includes all classes of medical devices and covers the critical processes required to produce devices for small to multinational sized companies. After relocating back to Alberta, Jennifer became active in the medical device and life science industry in Edmonton. She has consulted with a number of start-ups across the device life-cycle process from concept through regulatory approval to commercialization.

Jennifer would be one of the panelists for the Health-tech panel in the FDI Canada Forum May 2021.

Christy spent the first part of her professional life balancing family with her ambitions in high level fitness competition and entrepreneurship in the health and wellness industry.

 

After a significant health crisis in her early thirties, I re-ignited my career in business and management consulting, meaningfully impacting several mid-sized businesses across a variety of industries in Western Canada, and ultimately setting myself on my current path.

 

In 2015 she pivoted into economic development, government relations and foreign direct investment with Rainmaker Global Business Development and then as the Canadian Country Manager for Site Selection Magazine. She has had remarkable success working with the Government of Alberta and international economic development and government organizations.

 

Christy is currently a hybrid business professional; in partnership with Connection Silicon Valley, they hold the Government of Alberta’s contract for investment attraction and trade between Alberta and Silicon Valley. She is a government relations and business development consultant, a technology scout for Thalamus Irwine and a super connector in a myriad of key industries.

Christy would be one of the panelists for the Tourism panel in the FDI Canada Forum May 2021.

PANELISTS