Dr. Don Ridley, Lead – Mentorship Program and Mentor in Residence
Dr. Ridley received B.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in chemistry from the University of Guelph. After completing a National Research Council Post Doctoral Industrial Fellowship with CIBA-GEIGY, he joined this Swiss multinational chemical and pharmaceutical company as a research scientist. Dr. Ridley held executive positions in research and development, marketing, sales and general management during his twenty-three year career with CIBA. In 1995 he left his position as Senior Vice-President in Canada to become the Managing Director of CIBA South East Asia based in Singapore. He held this position until the merger of CIBA and Sandoz to form Novartis. Dr. Ridley returned to North America and joined CanTox US in New Jersey as Managing Director and Senior Scientific Consultant. In 2008 he joined Nautilus Biosciences Canada as part-time VP Business Development. Dr. Ridley has served on the Boards of Ciba Corning, Ciba Dyes, Mettler-Toledo, BioVectra.dcl, PEI Institute of Human Health Research, and Genome Atlantic.
Jason Cleaversmith, Executive Director, Incubation and Infrastructure
Jason Cleaversmith is no stranger to the PEI Bioscience Cluster community and has an extensive network both nationally and internationally. Most recently he was VP Health and Nutrition for the Center for Aquaculture Technologies and General Manager of Canadian Operations. He has also served as Managing Director of AKVA Group Scotland, Director of Operations and Business Development at the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Center, and Head of Novartis Aqua Health in PEI overseeing manufacturing and R&D. He was also an industry expert with HATCH Blue, an innovative aquaculture accelerator supporting a cohort of 13 technology companies on three different continents.
Jennifer Lenentine is Manager, Corporate Services and has been a valued member of the BioAlliance team since 2005. Jennifer has lead responsibility in preparing and managing core and project funding agreements including those with Innovation PEI, National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, the International Business Development Agreement, and Skills PEI (Labour Market Development Agreement).
Eddie Francis, Business Development Officer
Eddie has been a member of the PEI BioAlliance team since 2015. He manages relations with existing and prospective clients and assists with the pre-incubation process, admission process and establishing service contracts. Eddie also provides support to the Emergence Mentorship Program and actively participates in the recruitment of companies to the Emergence Incubator. Eddie has a B.Sc and a M.Sc in Molecular and Cellular Biology from UPEI where his research focused on inhibiting early stage cancer progression pathways. Eddie has spent the last 15 years in the private sector in early stage companies as an owner, operator and project manager.
Clara Deacon, Director, Communications and Marketing
Clara Deacon is a senior communicator with experience leading communications and marketing in both the private and public sectors. Clara has a strong background in communications planning and strategy, media relations, reputation management and research storytelling, and has extensive experience executing large scale institutional announcements. She has a Master of Business Administration from the University of Calgary and a Bachelor of Public Relations from Mount Saint Vincent University.
Amy McQuillan is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and earned a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from Saint Mary’s University’s Sobey School of Business and a Bachelor of Science degree (Biology) from UPEI. Prior to joining the PEI BioAlliance, Amy held increasingly senior finance roles at Atlantic Canadian news, media, and entertainment businesses.
Amy is responsible for the overall financial management of the PEI BioAlliance, including financial administration for Emergence, Canada’s bioscience business incubator, and the Eastern Canada Oilseeds Development Alliance (ECODA). Her strong financial management and administration background as well as her experience in capital projects are key assets for the PEI BioAlliance. Her consultative and collaborative approach in the workplace is well-matched with the facilitator and catalyst functions of the bioscience cluster.
Heather has a background in geomatics with over 10 years of IT experience, specializing in client services. Heather received her undergraduate degree in Geography from Trinity Western University in B.C. and a post grad in GIS (Geographic Information Systems) from the B.C. Institute of Technology. She excels in documentation design, solution architecture, time management, prioritization and management of enterprise databases and applications. Heather has a variety of public and private sector work experiences across Canada at universities, remote sensing firms, Canadian Forest Products, the National Capital Commission, and numerous consulting firms. Through these diverse work experiences, she provides the following roles for the PEI BioAlliance: coordinating and troubleshooting systems and software, URL maintenance, support to the Executive Director and BioAlliance Board of Directors, and provides assistance in project and event execution.