Every great team is supported by a capable and experienced team of advisors – Our advisory board have decades of expertise in business management, ocean technology, software and robotics, giving us an edge in delivering high impact products and solutions
Dr. Farbod Hagigi
Dr. Farbod Hagigi is the CEO of ClinicalBox, Inc., a technology company developing solutions for the healthcare industry, headquartered in the heart of the innovation district in Cambridge, Massachusetts. ClinicalBox is part of the Industrial Liaison Program Startup Exchange at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has 20 years of business experience in areas such as product development, go-to-market approaches, corporate strategy, financial management, corporate collaborations and partnerships, public-private partnerships, and investor fundraising for new ventures. Prior to becoming the CEO of ClinicalBox, Inc., he was a Project Leader at The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), a leading global management consulting firm, in their Boston office. At BCG, he worked with Fortune 500 global companies in areas such as R&D, strategy, financial modelling and valuation to support development investment decisions, mergers and acquisitions, technology, and innovation.
Janet Bonnaguro is an advisor to Shift through Innovation Island Technology Association’s Venture Acceleration Program. Janet is a freelance change management professional with 25 years of experience leading transformational change initiatives in over 250 organizations, from small startups and community organizations to Fortune 100 companies and international NGOs. She has credentials in business (MBA), finance (FMA), and project management (PMP), which she uses in leadership roles in national and international management consulting companies (KPMG, MNP). She has a wide range of skills in helping businesses and ideas get off the ground quickly. She understands the scalability and profitability challenges that face growing or pivoting organizations in evolving marketplaces. Her experience spans multiple industries, including production/manufacturing, financial services, non-profit, construction and real estate development, energy and utilities, First Nations, marine operations, and government regulation. When not in “business” mode, she enjoys woodworking, paddleboarding, and hiking.
Graham Truax is an advisor to Shift through Innovation Island Technology Association’s Venture Acceleration Program. Graham is a technology and entrepreneurial shaper with over 30 years of experience working as an entrepreneur and executive in start-ups and in small- and medium-sized businesses. Starting with mainframe computing in 1982, his career has spanned retail, manufacturing, commercial real estate development, and media/technology industries in Canada and the US. He has founded, co-founded and advised dozens of companies, realizing seven- to nine-figure revenues and raising over $150 million in venture and institutional financing. Product conceptualization, market research, strategic planning, creative financing, and risk/opportunity assessments are key attributes to his work as an Executive in Residence and Business Advisor.
Tom Hlavac is a veteran Canadian fishery officer who started out in the industry as a recreational fishing guide/deckhand and commercial fisher, diving for octopus and swimming scallops, and hook-and-line fishing for rockfish, lingcod, and live aquarium specimens. He joined the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) as a student technician at the Babine River Fence Camp then took on seasonal positions before advancing through the ranks of the government’s Conservation and Protection (C&P) program on BC’s north coast. In 2006, Tom accepted an assignment as project officer representing DFO C&P in the Maritime Security Operations Centre (Coastal) national project office. In 2008, he was promoted to Area Chief until retiring in 2017. During this time, he also led the development of the Canadian Catch Certification Audit Office and acted as C&P Director for DFO’s Pacific Region. After retiring from the federal public service, Tom joined INTERPOL for three years in the role of fisheries coordinator based in Singapore.
Chief Gordon Planes
Chief Gordon Planes has been the elected Chief of T’Sou-ke (SAA-UKE) Nation since 2008. Gordon’s traditional name is HYA-QUATCHA, named after his great grandfather from Sc’ianew (CHEE-A-NEW), which translates to The Salmon People. He has boldly embarked on a 100-year process to build a new community vision that fosters a healthy Indigenous population with a focus on four pillars: autonomy, food security, cultural renaissance, and economic development. Under his expert leadership, the T’sou-ke Nation is emerging as a leader in the Blue Economy and has embarked on a number of initiatives within the ocean sector and with technology providers to improve their understanding of their traditional marine territory. He is also a Coast Salish artist, carver, traditional singer, and captain of traditional T’Sou-ke dug-out canoes.
Alex Reuben is the Executive Director of the Association of BC Marine Industries. He retired from the Royal Canadian Navy after 35 years of service, starting as a marine engineer and concluding as Chief of Staff on the Pacific coast. Upon retirement, he built and operated the Industrial Marine Training and Applied Research Centre (now known as the Camosun Coastal Centre), serving as Executive Director from 2012 to 2017. He has served as the Chair of a BC Workforce Table for the Shipbuilding and Repair Industry and as Chair of the Resource Training Organization of BC. He also helped found the West Coast Shipbuilding and Repair Forum and the Centre for Ocean Applied Sustainable Technologies, where he remains part of the advisory council. He has a Bachelor of Engineering (Industrial Engineering) from the Royal Military College and a Master of Business Administration degree from Queen’s University.
Dr. Zuomin Dong
Dr. Zuomin Dong is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Victoria in Canada. He received a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from State University of New York at Buffalo in 1989, and served as Chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering for many years. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering and an Associate Editor of several international journals. He and his team research integrated modelling, simulation, design, and control optimization for hybrid electric vehicles, marine vessels, hydrogen fuel cell systems, adaptive power distribution networks, and advanced manufacturing. He established and leads the University of Victoria’s Clean Transportation research team, providing excellent training to many students and researchers. As a result, many of them have become academic and industrial leaders in mechatronics, manufacturing automation, electrified propulsion of vehicles, and marine vessels with advanced hybrid electric or fuel cell powertrain systems.
Everhardus van den Heuvel
Everhardus van den Heuvel, known as Van, has a Bachelor of Science (Electrical Engineering) and Masters in Business Administration (MBA), having attended the Royal Military College (RMC) and University of Ottawa. In addition, Van holds a Project Management Professional Certification by pmi.org. He has worked in telecommunications and with industrial and military equipment in various technical, project, and business capacities. He is currently employed as the Vice-President of Systems Integration and Strategy at JCAII.ca and engages in direct consulting in the government, aviation, and maritime sectors as an associate to established Canadian firms. Van was instrumental in coordinating collaboration between Shift Environmental, Saab, and BlueNode, grounding his advice in combined technical knowledge and experience in maritime solutions.
Jennifer Michell is the Organizational Development Manager of Titan Boats Ltd., a manufacturer of aluminum rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RHIBs) Sidney, BC, known for commitment to quality, customization, and superior after-sales support in the RHIB market. She has implemented organizational processes to maximize operational efficiency while leading the company’s marketing and social media strategies. She also recently oversaw the construction of a new 28,000 sq.ft. manufacturing facility to completion in July 2021. Jennifer was a member of the Town of Sidney’s Economic Advisory Committee as the representative for the West Sidney Business Park from 2019 to 2021. Jennifer is also a co-founder, business management advisor, entrepreneurial spirit, and tractor driver behind Field Five Farm Ltd., a Saanichton farm built off six generations of farming expertise that grows grain and produces malt for Vancouver Island brewers and distillers.
Dr. Louis Beaubien
Dr. Louis Beaubien is a professionally certified accountant, a Professor and Associate Dean of Innovation at Dalhousie University, and the CEO of BlueNode, a data-cleansing program designed for the maritime supply chain. He completed his PhD (Business) at the University of Western Ontario, focusing on accounting information systems used for operational analysis and governance, and he remains an active researcher into the design of financing and governance models and information systems strategy in the co-operative and healthcare sectors. He is also the academic lead for Atlantic Canada’s branch of the Creative Destruction Lab, a non-profit organization that mentors business owners in the technology sector, and he has (co-)founded two start-ups that exited successfully.