Our Advisory Board
|Douglas W. Reid, FCA, Chair of the Board
Regional Managing Partner Atlantic, KPMG LLP
Mr. Reid has some 38 years of accounting, auditing and business advisory experience. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Hons) degree from Dalhousie University. Mr. Reid serves as engagement partner for a number of the firm's clients in the region and has extensive experience with emerging companies. He has served on many not-for-profit boards and is currently assisting the Nova Scotia Nature Trust with its Twice the Wild capital campaign. Mr. Reid is a member of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Nova Scotia and the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants and CPA Canada. He was appointed an FCPA, FCA in 2004.
Chief Strategic Engagement Officer, Ocean Frontier Institute
Ms. Blewett comes to the OFI after a distinguished career in public service, most recently as Deputy Clerk of the Privy Council and Associate Secretary to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Cabinet. Since March 2019 she has been Canada’s representative for the international High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy, a group of world leaders committed to developing, catalyzing and supporting solutions for ocean health and wealth in policy, governance, technology and finance. Ms. Blewett previously served as Canada’s Deputy Minister of Fisheries & Oceans where she led on oceans for the G7 and achieved the country’s Mandate on Ocean Protection targets of 5% by 2017. She also led the development and implementation of key fisheries legislation. From 1990–2016, she held increasingly senior positions in the Nova Scotia provincial government, latterly as Clerk of the Executive Council and Secretary to Cabinet. Her portfolios included the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), Citizenship & Immigration, Office of Aboriginal Affairs and Intergovernmental Affairs.
Director, Sustainability and Public Affairs, Clearwater Seafoods
Ms. Boyd engages with stakeholders in the seafood sector nationally and internationally in government, industry, academia and NGOs, always with the intention to bring greater value to the industry. She has served on many governing boards, including the Fisheries Council of Canada, the Lobster Council of Canada and the Atlantic Groundfish Council and has specific strengths in consensus-building and gaining alignment among diverse interests. Catherine holds a Bachelor's degree from Memorial University and a Master's in Environmental Studies from Dalhousie University.
Executive Vice Chair of EastLink and its associated telecommunications companies, which include Amtelecom, Coast Cable and Delta Cable
Mr. Bragg attended Mount Allison University and University of New Brunswick. After holding various positions in the Bragg family food business, he moved to cable operations in 1996. Under Bragg's leadership, EastLink has grown to become the fifth largest cable company in Canada, operating from coast to coast. EastLink has been recognized as one of Canada's 50 Best Managed Companies for four years in a row, while its parent company, the Bragg Group, was named Canada's Family Enterprise of the Year for 2009. A sports enthusiast, Bragg lives in Fall River, Nova Scotia, with his wife, Amy, and their three sons.
Mr. Coolican has held leadership positions in the not-for-profit, government, political and private sectors. Most recently he was the Deputy Minister of Energy and Deputy of Business in the Government of Nova Scotia. He served as senior vice president at Maritime Life, and vice president at a number of companies including Manulife Financial, Nova Scotia Power, Corporate Communications Limited and National Sea Products. He was Deputy Minister of Native Affairs in the Government of Ontario and Special Assistant to the Rt. Hon. Robert Stanfield. Mr. Coolican was also executive director of the Canadian Arctic Resources Committee, an environmental NGO, when it won the Governor General's Conservation Award. He is currently a Director of Clear Seas, FarmWorks and the Williams Lake Conservation Company.
Associate Executive Director, Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq (CMM)
Angeline Gillis is a proud member of Eskasoni First Nation. In East Bay, Cape Breton, Angie grew up surrounded by her family and culture. Her unique upbringing gave her the strength and ingenuity to pursue her education. She is an alumna of Dalhousie University, obtained her LL.B from Schulich School of Law and was called to the Nova Scotia Bar in 2010. A practicing lawyer, she has worked with CMM since 2011. In 2013, she became Director of Environment & Natural Resources and, in 2019, was appointed to her present position—the first woman to hold it in the organization’s history, and in the largest tribal council in the east. She provides oversight and guidance to all CMM’s departments, with over 100 staff, numerous projects and services offered to eight Mi’kmaw communities in Mainland NS. Angeline’s career focus is on the inclusion of traditional knowledge and modern science. She is passionate about creating real, measurable progress in the communities' priorities. She is an advisor to the Assembly of Nova Scotia Chiefs, Dalhousie’s Board of Governors, the Marine Environmental Observation, Prediction & Response Network (MEOPAR) Board of Directors, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster Board of Directors, Natural Resource Canada’s Departmental Audit Committee and the Indigenous Centre of Cumulative Effects Management Board of Directors.
CEO & Chief Librarian, Halifax Public Libraries (HPL)
Ms. Kachan oversees 400 staff across the 14-branch library system. HPL received international acclaim with the opening of Halifax’s new Central Library. Åsa and her team continue to capture attention through their modernization of library service through services, programs and welcoming spaces that reach diverse populations. Prior to taking on this role in 2014, Åsa spent 16 years in senior administrative roles at universities, most recently serving 10 years as Assistant VP Enrolment Management & Registrar for Dalhousie. Åsa volunteers her time with community organizations, including serving as a Board Member and Chair of the Governance Committee of the United Way of Halifax. Åsa is also a member of the Governing Council of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Library and Archives Canada Stakeholder Forum and the Centre for Equitable Library Access.
|Laura Lee Langley
Deputy Minister of the Office of the Nova Scotia Premier, Deputy Minister of Treasury Board, Clerk of the Executive Council, Head of the Nova Scotia Public Service, CEO of Communications Nova Scotia, Deputy Minister of Office of Citizen-Centered Approaches
Ms. Langley began her career as a broadcast journalist in radio and TV, and her public service career working in strategic communications and public affairs. She was appointed Associate Deputy Minister in 2004 and Deputy Minister in 2010. She has a Master of Public Administration from Dalhousie University (2002) and an MA in Leadership from Royal Roads University (2015). Laura Lee has served as a board member for various professional and community organizations and is a known advocate for diversity and inclusion. She has been recognized by the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission as a Champion of the Workplace. In 2018 she was recognized as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women. She is passionate about revitalizing the Nova Scotia public service and is actively leading ‘Be the Change’ encouraging innovation and pride in the public service.
COO, Black Business Initiative (BBI)
Mr. Martel previously held positions with HRM and Knightsbridge Robertson Surrette. He has a bachelor’s degree in Management from Dalhousie University, a master’s in Technology, Entrepreneurship and Innovation from Saint Mary’s and is a Certified Project Management Professional. Mr. Martel serves on the Downtown Halifax Business Commission Board of Directors and is a Director of the Halifax Dance Board. Matthew is passionate about Canadian entrepreneurship, especially in working to foster and grow minority-led enterprises. He resonates with the saying, “One moment can change a day, one day can change a life, and one life can change the world.” Matthew is proud that in his current profession, he can use his expertise to have a positive social and economic impact on the African Nova Scotian entrepreneurial experience and the Black business community.
CEO and Managing Partner, Cuna del Mar LP
Mr. Orr operates a specialized consulting company, through which he operates Cuna del Mar LP, a US-based private equity fund concerned with global food security, healthy oceans and transformational technologies in aquaculture practices. Mr. Orr’s senior management career spans 35 years in private equity, marine biotechnology, nutritional ingredient and food retailing. He has experience both creating start-up companies and managing multinational corporate divisions. From 1996 to 2011, he was co-founder and CEO of Ocean Nutrition Canada, which became the world’s largest ingredient supplier of Omega 3s to the dietary supplement and functional food industry. ONC built a unique, internationally recognized leadership position in the nutrition sector, with customers in over 40 countries. Mr. Orr also serves on the boards of several start-up companies and is the Chair of the Board of the Community Foundation of Nova Scotia.
Retired Federal Civil Servant
During his 35 years with the Federal Government, Mr. Potter worked extensively in Atlantic Canada. He began his career with Parks Canada for 13 years followed by Fisheries & Oceans for 22 years. At DFO, he held several management positions, retiring as a Regional Manager in Fisheries Resource Management. One of Mr. Potter’s proudest accomplishments was to have played a key role in the hiring, coaching and mentoring of numerous professionals throughout his career. This contributed in some small manner to a renewed and strengthened Public Service. A prestigious Departmental Prix d’Excellence award was bestowed on Mr. Potter for his work with Indigenous fishing organizations in overcoming significant bureaucratic hurdles, allowing them to enhance their economic potential. He has also received three Distinction Awards for: 1) work on the conservation of fish habitat as part of the environmental assessment process; 2) collaborating with First Nation Fishing Enterprises to improve their business management practises; and 3) leadership in building and maintaining a respectful workplace, including developing a Code of Conduct for meetings with stakeholders, as well as his leadership in the promotion and support of workplace wellness initiatives. Mr. Potter holds a Master of Marine Management from Dalhousie University, and a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Marine Biology from Memorial University of Newfoundland. He speaks English, Spanish and French.
|Kenneth C. Rowe, CM, LLD, FCG
Executive Chairman, IMP Group International Inc.
Dr. Rowe is Executive Chairman of IMP Group International Inc., one of the largest privately owned businesses in Nova Scotia. IMP is focused on global, sustainable growth, with 3,500 experienced people delivering service, quality and value to customers across diverse sectors, such as aerospace, aviation, healthcare, industrial, information technology, hospitality and property development. Dr. Rowe is director and past director of a number of public companies and the recipient of numerous awards including the Order of Canada. In 2009, he was recognized as one of Canada's outstanding visionaries by the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada. In 2010, he was inducted as Companion to the Canadian Business Hall of Fame. In 2002, Dr. Rowe received an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Dalhousie University.
Director and principal shareholder, Precision BioLogic Inc.
Originally from the UK, Michael Scott has spent over 25 years developing Precision BioLogic in Halifax – a company that designs, manufactures and markets blood diagnostic products used by leading hospitals and pharma companies internationally. During Michael’s 20 years as CEO, Precision BioLogic earned a reputation for high quality products and exceptional service, and was recognized by the Globe and Mail as one of the 10 Best Places to Work in Canada. A finalist in EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, Michael has co-founded two other successful life science firms and provides support to several young technology companies locally.
|Allan C. Shaw, CM, LLD
Chairman, The Shaw Group
Mr. Shaw was born in Halifax. He earned his BSc from Dalhousie University and MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School. He is Chairman of The Shaw Group. In 2001 he was named Atlantic Entrepreneur of the Year; in 2002 he was inducted into the Junior Achievement Nova Scotia Business Hall of Fame; in 2004 he was an honoree at the Public Policy Forums 17th Annual Testimonial Dinner in Toronto. Mr. Shaw is a Member of the Order of Canada and has received an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Dalhousie University.
|Christopher H.C. Smith, CPA, CA
Executive Vice President, Finance, Nova Scotia Power
Chris joined Nova Scotia Power in 2017 and is responsible for leading the Finance, Information Technology and Procurement teams and ensuring that business value is achieved across the organization. As a member of the executive leadership team, he plays a key role in developing and executing corporate strategy. Previously, Chris held senior executive roles with private-sector organizations and most recently served as President of Heritage Gas Limited, Nova Scotia’s natural gas distributor. He has volunteered on numerous not-for-profit boards and is currently a member of the boards of Athletics Canada and Sacred Heart School of Halifax. Chris holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Dalhousie University and is a Chartered Professional Accountant, CA.
President & CEO, Halifax Chamber of Commerce
Mr. Sullivan leads his team in representing 1,750 member businesses in the HRM. He meets with all levels of government regularly to advocate on behalf of businesses and continuously improves membership offerings to support the business community. In response to the pandemic, Mr. Sullivan created and chairs the N.S. Business and Labour Economic Coalition as a point of contact for government as it makes rapid decisions, to advocate for businesses and their employees, ensure all Nova Scotians are heard and supported, and assist in the development of a recovery plan. The group represents over 5,000 organizations and 200,000 people in Nova Scotia. Mr. Sullivan enjoys running and has run half/marathons, marathons and in 2011 completed a 250km run across the Sahara Desert. This run helped raise over $100,000 for the National Advertising Benevolent Association. He is a proud MSVU alumnus with a Bachelor of Administration.