Board of Directors

Mark Sutcliffe, Co-Chair
Mayor, City of Ottawa

Mark Sutcliffe was born at the Riverside Hospital to parents John and Florence, who were both immigrants to Canada. Mark has lived his whole life in Ottawa. He was elected Mayor of Ottawa on October 24, 2022.

Prior to entering municipal politics, Mark was an award-winning journalist, entrepreneur, volunteer, and community activist.

For over 30 years, Mark covered politics and current events as a broadcaster for CFRA, CityNews, Rogers TV, and CPAC, and as executive editor and columnist for the Ottawa Citizen.

Mark started his first business when he was 19 years old. He co-founded the Ottawa Business Journal in 1995 and founded and led several other small and medium-sized businesses. He has been a coach, mentor, and adviser to more than one hundred CEOs, entrepreneurs, small-business owners, and not-for-profit leaders.

Mark has been a passionate volunteer and fundraiser. He served as chair of the board of United Way Ottawa, the Ottawa Board of Trade, OrKidstra, the Great Canadian Theatre Company, Ottawa Community Housing Foundation, and Run Ottawa. He also served as board member for Algonquin College, Invest Ottawa, Kind Ottawa, the Ottawa International Writers Festival, and the Royal Ottawa Hospital Foundation. His contribution to the city was recognized in 2016 when he was inducted into the Order of Ottawa and named the United Way’s Ambassador of the Year. In 2018, Mark delivered a highly regarded TEDx Talk about the role of luck in his life.

Mark is an avid marathon runner who has raised more than $250,000 for Ottawa charities with his fundraising runs. He is the author of four books, including Long Road to Boston, which chronicled his quest to qualify for the Boston Marathon, which he completed in 2015 and 2018. Mark and his wife Ginny have three children.

Adam Miron, Co-Chair
Entrepreneur, Investor, Interim CEO and Chair, Brane Inc & Brane Trust

An accomplished serial entrepreneur, Adam is one of less than a hundred Canadians to have launched and scaled a business valued at $1+ billion as the Co-Founder and former Director of HEXO. He is the Interim CEO and Chair of Brane Inc. & Brane Trust, the digital asset custody startup; an avid mentor and investor in high-risk, early-stage startups from music to fashion and furniture; and a well-known public figure in politics and media. As the Co-Chair of Invest Ottawa, he will play a pivotal role in supporting the organization’s strategic direction.

France Hébert, Vice Chair
Vice-President and General Manager, CAE — Defence & Security Canada

A 35-year veteran in defence and security, France serves as the VP and General Manager of Defence & Security Canada with CAE. Her expertise and experience in this sector are bolstered by 17 years as a business leader with General Dynamics Mission Systems Canada and as a veteran of the Royal Canadian Air Force. Her appointment as the board’s first Vice-Chair is a testament to her leadership and capabilities. She will play an instrumental role in pursuing Invest Ottawa’s strategic goals, including long-range market opportunities in the defence and security sector.

Lise Bourgeois
President, Collège La Cité

Since March of 2010, Lise Bourgeois, President, has led La Cité, the largest French-language college of applied arts and technology in Ontario. Ms. Bourgeois has worked in the field of education for over 30 years, from the classroom all the way to senior management positions. Ms. Bourgeois has a bachelor and a master’s degree in education, as well as a Supervisory Officer’s Qualification.

From 2003 to 2010, she headed the Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est (CECCE), the largest French-language school board outside of Quebec. Under Ms. Bourgeois’ leadership, the organization attained an exceptional level of performance, without parallel in the province, thus making a significant contribution to the development of French-language education: CECCE enrolment increased by over 2,000 students, five new schools were opened, and construction began on two more.

In her capacity as President of La Cité, Ms. Bourgeois pursues the development of French-language education, and makes the success of every student central to the College’s educational decisions. Under her leadership, La Cité’s enrolment has surpassed 5,500 students, and is consistently ranked among the best colleges in the province. A true visionary, she secured the necessary funding to develop a new infrastructure that will position the student experience at La Cité into a new experiential and multidisciplinary dimension: Place La Cité, to open in September 2018.

Committed for many years to enhancing the vitality of the Franco-Ontarian community and extending its influence, Ms. Bourgeois is a member of various organizations, including the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce, the Regroupement des gens d’affaires de la capitale nationale (Association of business people of the National Capital), the Consortium national de formation en santé (National healthcare training consortium) (CNFS), the Réseau des cégeps et collèges francophones du Canada and Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan). She is also a member of the Board of Directors of Invest Ottawa and has co-chaired the Association des collèges et universités de la francophonie canadienne (ACUFC) since April 1, 2015.

Over the years, Ms. Bourgeois has shown a great capacity for taking care of business and for obtaining the support required to implement initiatives associated with the development of the organizations she has headed. In recognition of her achievements in this area, the Regroupement des gens d’affaires de la capitale nationale has given her its award Dirigeante de l’année dans le secteur parapublic (Leader of the year in the parapublic sector), and she has received first prize in the “Education” category at the Prescott-Russell gala honouring women. These marks of distinction are a testimony to her leadership and to her passion for making a difference in the social, economic and cultural development of the larger community.

Ms. Bourgeois is a woman of action with a gift for bringing people together. She has developed a vast network both within the structures of government and in the community to make a difference to the social, economic and cultural development of her community at large.

Claude Brulé
President, Algonquin College

“Claude Brulé was appointed as Algonquin College’s ninth President and Chief Executive Officer in August 2019. Prior to taking on this leadership role, Claude served the College at every level of its leadership team from Department Chair, to Faculty Dean, to Senior Vice President Academic where, for the past twenty years, he has been a champion for student success and an innovator in the higher education sector, providing leadership to the advancement of digital learning.

Prior to joining the College, Claude served 22 years in the Canadian Armed Forces, in the Air Force occupational branch of Communication and Electronics Engineering, retiring at the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. Among his many tours of duty, he was an instructor at the Canadian Forces School of Communications and Electronics (CFSCE), and subsequently, its Senior Staff Officer for Strategic Planning and Chief of Staff. Between tours at CFSCE, he lectured in the Mathematics and Computer Science department as an assistant professor at the Royal Military College.

He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering Physics and a Master’s of Science degree in Mathematics from the Royal Military College in Kingston. He is also a graduate of the Command and Staff College, and holds a certificate in Management and Leadership in Education from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education.

Claude is an active member of the community and serves on several boards, including Invest Ottawa, the Ottawa Network for Education (ONFE) and the Ottawa Community Loan Fund (OCLF). He is also a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and was promoted to Senior Member in 2018 for his significant contributions to the profession.

Rob Cameron
Head of Integration, Illumifin
Aquilas K. Dapaah
Trial Lawyer, Economic Empowerment Advocate, Youth Advocate

Aquilas Kapend Dapaah is a multifaceted professional with a diverse background. She is a lawyer, executive director, entrepreneur, and fierce advocate for economic empowerment. She has served as both a crown attorney and a commercial litigator, representing individuals and large corporations. Throughout her career, she has accumulated more than a decade of legal experience and financial literacy. As a mentor and Founder of Financially Savvy Girl Inc., she dedicates herself to empowering professionals to take charge of their personal finances, develop passive income streams, and build generational wealth. In addition, Aquilas is the Co-Founder of The Women Investors Network Canada, an organization that equips women with the confidence, network, and knowledge to invest in real estate.

Jason Flick
CEO, Serial Entrepreneur, Investor, and Advisor

Jason Flick is a CEO, serial entrepreneur, investor, and advisor with successful exits such as YOU.i TV (sold to HBO/AT&T), and N-able (sold to solarwinds). Jason brings 25 years of technical and business leadership to his mentoring, executive and director roles. His most recent company, You.i TV doubled in size each year of operation and called the biggest media and technology companies in the world as their customers. In addition to his role as Board of Director with Invest Ottawa, Jason also lends his expertise to the boards of a number of non-profit entrepreneur focused entities and private sector companies.

Jennifer Francis
High Tech Mentor, Advisor and Investor

Jennifer is a technology mentor, advisor and angel investor with over 25 years of experience in the high technology industry. She was a former executive in the information technology and services industry, with experience in Enterprise Software, SaaS, Go-to-market Strategy, and Strategic Partnerships. Jennifer is an advocate for girls and women in STEM.

Jacques Frémont
President & Vice-Chancellor, University of Ottawa

Jacques Frémont is Professor Emeritus at the University of Montreal and former President of the Quebec Human Rights and Youth Rights Commission. Prior to this appointment by the Quebec legislative assembly in 2013, he was Director of the International Higher Education Support Program of the Open Society Foundations in New York.

Within the University of Montreal, Mr. Frémont was Dean of the Law school, as well as Provost and Vice-Rector (Academic Affairs) until 2010. Mr. Frémont is author of numerous books, articles and chapters of books in constitutional law as well as in public law.

Throughout his career, Mr. Frémont has acted as expert in issues of Human rights, of good governance and democracy with Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) as well as consultant with World Bank financed projects. He has also acted as director of major international cooperation projects in the fields of Human rights and judicial training.

Mr. Frémont is a graduate of Laval University (Quebec City) and has pursued graduate studies at York University (Toronto). He has received prizes and honors, including that of member of the Order of Academic Palms of the French Republic in 2009 and received a Ph.D. Honoris Causa from the Université Paul Cézanne (Aix-en-Provence) in 2010. He has been made professor emeritus of the University of Montreal in 2012. Mr. Frémont has been a visiting professor at many Quebec, Canadian, European and Asian universities.

Shavonne Hasfal-McIntosh
Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Wealthsimple
Shavonne Hasfal-McIntosh is the Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Wealthsimple. With a career in human resources spanning over fifteen years, Shavonne brings to the board expertise in workplace diversity and inclusion and understands what it takes to establish a sense of belonging within an organization.
Shavonne believes the importance of work comes from the ability to connect with and impact people. She is a developer who recognizes the potential in others and a relater who finds deep satisfaction in working collaboratively towards a collective goal. Over the past six months, Shavonne has been an invaluable member of the Female Founders and Women-Owned Business Sub-Committee of the board.
Giovanna Mingarelli
Technology Entrepreneur, Public Speaker and Writer

Giovanna is an award-winning technology entrepreneur, thought leader, public speaker and writer. Recognized as one of Canada’s top 100 most powerful women, she is the Co-Founder of several international firms, including M&C Consulting, MC2 and MC3 US. For more than 20 years, she has worked in political and digital communications. She has served with a former Prime Minister; contributed to events at the White House; and founded several philanthropic initiatives supporting women, youth, leadership and kindness.

Devan Pennell
President, Northern Counselling and Therapeutic Services & LKC Consulting Corp.

Devan Pennell is an accomplished senior executive and Chartered Professional Accountant with more than 15 years of leadership experience spanning multiple industries and diverse roles across high-growth companies in Ottawa. This includes expertise in private financing, go-public strategies and transactions in Canada and the US, Integrated Business Management, and mergers and acquisitions.

Throughout his career, this Ottawa 40 Under 40 winner has built many high-performance teams and companies from startup to scaleup and operationalization. He is currently President of Northern Counselling & Therapeutic Services (NCTS). This high impact company specializes in providing counselling services, crisis and event support, training/workshops, and broader mental health support services to Northern and Indigenous communities. Previously, Devan has served as both Chief Strategy Officer Chief Financial Officer of Flow Beverage Corporation, Interim President of Brane Digital Assets Custody; Senior Vice President of Integrated Business Operations of HEXO; Director of Finance for Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG); and Director of Risk at EY.

Deeply committed to our local and global community, he has also served as a Director of the Board and Treasurer for the Ryan’s Well Foundation, a Canadian charitable organization providing effective and sustainable solutions to the water crisis in the poorest regions of the world’s developing countries. Devan will play a pivotal role in supporting Invest Ottawa, the founders, companies and community it serves, as a Director of the Board and member of the Audit Committee.

Dobrila Rancic Moogk
SVP, Marketing, Giatec Scientific

Dobrila Rancic Moogk is SVP, Marketing at Giatec Scientific, an Ottawa IoT company revolutionizing the construction industry by bringing smart testing and AI technologies to every job site.  Through her work in and with startups and scale-ups on strategy and business models, customer development and strategic marketing, Dobrila’s passion for accelerating commercialization of innovation results in significant growth and scale-up.  This is combined with her drive to lead her undergraduate and graduate students to stellar career starts by passing on her cutting-edge marketing skills to the next generation of business leaders.

Over her career, Dobrila has contributed to over a dozen boards and committees.  She is a member of the Community Impact Cabinet at United Way Ottawa, past chair of Volunteer Ottawa, and past vice-chair of the Women in Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Ottawa.

Solmaz Shahalizadeh
Co-Founder, Backbone Angels

Solmaz is an Operating Advisor at Bessemer, an executive and advisor in data and product, and a founding partner of Backbone Angels, a collective focused on funding more diverse and women-founded companies. Most recently, she served as the Vice President and Head of Data at Shopify, helping it grow from 100K to over 1.75 million merchants from 2013 to 2022. In this role, Solmaz was the voice of data in the senior leadership team. She played a critical role in Shopify’s successful IPO, and later built and scaled their portfolio of data and AI products. Prior to Shopify, Solmaz worked as an analyst at Morgan Stanley and a data scientist at McGill University, in the latter role she contributed to cancer research.

Jerry Tomberlin
Interim President and Vice Chancellor, Carleton University
Mike Weider
StartUp Founder, CEO & Investor

Michael is the former CEO of Clearwater Clinical, a medical health IT company, and a serial entrepreneur and investor with over 25 years of leadership experience and successful exits. He served as the Founder and CEO of three venture-backed startups, including Watchfire (acquired by IBM), Blaze (acquired by Akamai) and SHOEBOX (acquired by WSA). Michael has served as a board member for many startups and non-profits. He is also a seed investor and partner at, which supports 40+ startups with early-stage funding.