About the Board
Our Board is comprised of volunteers from industry, education and supporting agencies. Digital Nova Scotia strives to maintain a diverse Board to reflect the diversity of the digital industry within Nova Scotia. Our Board Members have the opportunity to serve three-year terms, but are voted-in on an annual basis at the Annual General Meeting. Once elected, the Board selects the Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer and Secretary.
Jenn believes that life in ICT sector is as much about creativity as it is technology. Throughout her career, Jenn has not only been a critical player in REDspace’s success, building and maintaining one of their strongest client relationships, but has also been a mentor and role model to young women through her work with Techsploration. Jenn was the first non-family female member of the REDspace team when she joined in 2004. Today, she is the senior-most woman at a company where 25% are female, in comparison to an industry backdrop of closer to 15%.
Emily Smits is the co-founder of Modest Tree, a software company developing virtual, augmented and 3D training tools and solutions.Emily is the Chief Operating officer at Modest Tree and has worked with the company through high-growth stages, leading the operations and project management.Over the past 10 years Emily has worked in high finance, and in information technology, leading high-performance teams. Modest Tree was founded in 2011 with the vision to develop tools that make it easier to create advanced digital training. Emily is especially proud of the innovative team at Modest Tree, pushing the envelope to create advanced 3D, augmented and virtual reality applications, while continuing to keep things real with a sense of humour and office nerd gun fights.Emily has Bachelor of Commerce degree from Laurentian University and is a designated accountant and Project Management Professional. Emily lives in Halifax with her husband and young son.
After completing a 4 year Biology degree at Acadia University, Lisa joined Purolator Courier in a sales role and never looked back. She got the “startup” bug when she joined Sprint Canada in the late 1990’s. Lisa loved the positive energy, spirit and drive; it was infectious. Fast forward 10-15 years and she joined Radian6 – what a ride that was! Radian6 was her introduction to the world of SaaS and social media. Lisa now leads teams of business development reps, inside sales executives, and customer success specialists!
Craig Mulcahy is a Consulting Partner at BDO Canada LLP. Over the last 20 years, Craig has developed extensive expertise in management consulting, strategy and government incentives for large complex organizations as well as owner managed and not for profits.Prior to becoming Partner with BDO, Craig started and was the Managing Partner of PRM Inc. He started the consulting company in 2006 and merged it with BDO in 2012. Craig has also filled many roles as an IT consultant and executive. Craig was the Director of IT for an International manufacturing organization before transitioning to become the organization’s CFO.Craig leads BDO Canada’s Technology Industry group for Atlantic Canada, and is a member of the firm’s National Emerging Technology Team.
Jim Fitt is CEO and founder of Velsoft and is responsible for all aspects of the business. Under Fitt’s leadership, Velsoft has grown from a small ebook publisher to an award winning global leader in customizable courseware development, eLearning and other educational technologies. Jim takes pride in continually pushing the boundaries of what is possible in online education by disrupting learning and development with innovations and flexibility that challenge the economic model of how organizations train their people.
Andrew Rau-Chaplin is Dean of the Faculty of Computer Science at Dalhousie University. He received his Ph.D. from Carleton University in 1993 and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at DIMACS. His academic research has led to over 100 publications in conferences and journals and his M.Sc. and Ph.D. students have gone on to positions in academia and leading technology companies including Google, Microsoft, and Intel. In addition to his academic work, Dr. Rau-Chaplin has been active in industrial research and consulting. He spent a number of years as the Chief Architect and head of R&D for a global reinsurance company where with a team of 50 scientists, mathematicians and software engineers he lead projects in quantification of individual catastrophic risks (e.g. Japanese Earthquakes, US Hurricane), management of risk portfolios, and dynamic financial analysis.
Neville Ashleigh is a Vice President of Consulting Services for CGI here in Nova Scotia where he is responsible for the profitable growth, client satisfaction and delivery excellence for the services that CGI provides in the Atlantic region. Neville is passionate about helping Nova Scotia to continue to grow an exciting and sustainable technology industry and community that we can all be a part of. Neville has nearly 25 years of professional high end IT consulting experience with various industries such as Government; Oil and Gas; Defense; Financial Services and Facilities/Equipment management. This rich background in service delivery and client success has shaped Neville into a strong, confident and driven leader; one who is able to identify the best in others and empower them to maximize their talents. During his consulting career, Neville has provided services to major clients including governments and top tier organizations all over Europe, North America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
Karen L. Churchill, Vice President of Customer Service for Web.com, oversees both the Yarmouth and New Glasgow locations. Karen is responsible for Web.com’s customer care interactions and works closely with her teams to optimize the overall customer experience. As a dedicated, energetic and self-motivated leader, Karen builds strong and talented teams, while generating superior levels of cooperation and morale. She develops vital relationships between business partners and customers, securing world-class service and infrastructure. Karen is seen as very able and a motivating leader who organizes every available resource and has the ability to strengthen a program, while producing efficient and cost-effective results. A strong believer in the growing tech sector in Nova Scotia, her belief in the importance of networking, collaboration and advocacy will assist with driving our digital community forward. Karen moved to Yarmouth in 1971 as a young child. She has made all of her career decisions in order to live, work and play in her rural community
Karen has been a community volunteer for many years, involved with both committees and organizations. For three years, she served as President of the Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce and she was recently Chairperson for the NSCC Yarmouth and Digby Make Way campaigns. Currently she is a NSCC Board of Governor and a member of the Technology Advantage Program (TAP). Karen continues to live in the Municipality of Yarmouth with her husband. She is a mother of one child, a step mom to three others and now a grandmother of four.
Andreas Robinson is a Social Entrepreneur on a mission to empower individuals and communities to embrace their limitless potential. He is the Founder and CEO of Infinitus Academy, his social enterprise- which integrates social + emotional education into experiential events, training and development within public and private schools from elementary through to post-secondary, along with prisons, community groups. With their 5 pillar of Identity, Resiliency, Leadership, Mental Health and Entrepreneurship, Infinitus Academy focuses on equipping persons with skills to thrive during transitional periods. With a background in experiential learning, over the past 8 years Andreas has engaged 2,500+ persons through events, and continues to build his personal portfolio with facilitation, consulting, public speaking and coaching. Finally, Andreas will be graduating with a double major in entrepreneurship and marketing from the Sobey School of Business in 2019!
Christine believes that to solve the complex issues we face today, we need a modern and creative approach to leadership. Confronting the chaos with creativity helps us design revolutionary solutions, with a focus on real people and their needs. As Accenture Inc’s Innovation Lead for Atlantic Canada, Christine helps the region’s most admired organizations improve their product and service offering, through the co-design and co-creation of solutions that solve actual customer, consumer, and user needs. Christine has a Master’s degree in Technology Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Bachelor Degrees in both Biomedical Science and Business, and countless international certifications for programs that fall under the Innovation umbrella. Christine is also a university Lecturer in Innovation & Entrepreneurship … so, if you want a free lecture, tell her you believe Uber is a disruptive innovation.
Alex Paul is the Executive Director for the Mi’kmaw Economic Benefits Office (MEBO), originally known as the Unama’ki Economic Benefits Office. Not only has he found his way back to his ancestral home, but he has found his way back to his true passion for building capacity within Aboriginal communities in terms of education, training, and employment. He is a former member with the Nova Scotia Community College Board of Governors and Board Member of the UNIA in Glace Bay. He currently sits on the Board of Directors for New Dawn Enterprises and is the Chair of the Cape Breton Partnership Board. Alex was featured in a CBC Radio series titled Cape Breton Leadership: The Next Generation. Alex was also on the Premiers Advisory Committee reviewing the provincial apprenticeship program. Before joining the Economic Benefits Office, Alex had extensive experience in the field of Business Development and Management, having worked for RBC and Ulnooweg Development Corporation.
As Executive Director of the Mi’kmaq Economic Benefits Office, Paul is leading a very successful First Nation model in Economic Development, one that is being recognized across Canada. This office was originally established to ensure there was meaningful lndigenous participation in the $400 million Sydney Tar Ponds Cleanup project. Since then the office has taken the success and experience it gained from the Tar Ponds project and applied it to many other economic opportunities in the region. This model of economic development is often referred to as the “Unama’ki Model”. This model involves taking a business approach and a collaborative approach to Economic Development, by the five First Nation communities in Cape Breton, as well as partnerships with Industry and government, partnerships that are a win-win for industry, government and for the First Nation communities. These partnerships and the training and support that MEBO provides, has resulted in hundreds of jobs for Indigenous community members across Nova Scotia.
Leigh Anne Dingwall
Leigh Anne is an empowering and innovative HR and Communications leader. She brings a wealth of experience developing strategic partnerships, talent and performance management programs, and health and wellness initiatives in the public and private sectors.
Joining Maplewave in 2015, Leigh Anne’s passion for promoting a unique and diverse culture of excellence has facilitated the growth of the company, the development of quality, long-standing relationships, and proven instrumental to Maplewave winning the Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award locally (2017) and nationally (2018).
Leigh Anne holds a Master’s in Human Resource Management from York University and an undergraduate degree in Commerce from Saint Mary’s University. She currently teaches Strategic Human Resource Management and Organizational Leadership and Development at Mount Saint Vincent University in a part-time capacity. A facilitator with the National Coaches Institute in Toronto, Leigh Anne has also delivered HR training as part of the elite Canadian Coaches program over the last five years.
Leigh Anne is actively involved in the Cape Breton Hospice Society and various political organizations. She currently resides in Bedford, NS with her family.
Matt is the co-founder of click2order.ca and Collegio Technologies. Matt received a Business Admin Diploma – Accounting from NSCC (2006) and a Bachelor of Business – Marketing from Cape Breton University (2009). After graduating from CBU, Matt spent 6 years working with the university in a variety of entrepreneurial-based roles. This included a position with the Small Business Development Centre where he worked with new and existing entrepreneurs to help develop business and marketing plans, primarily for funding purposes. In 2015 Matt made the decision to focus fully on his startups. click2order.ca works with independent restaurants to provide branded online ordering systems and digital marketing services. Collegio Technologies provides companies and entrepreneurs professional training in software and digital media. Matt lives in Sydney with his wife and 3 kids.