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New Chair and Directors appointed to Vineland Research and Innovation Centre’s Board

Vineland Research and Innovation Centre (Vineland) announced the appointment of Karen Belaire as the centre’s Board Chair for a two-year term.

Ms. Belaire joined the board in 2016 and was appointed Vice Chair in 2019. She succeeds Warren Jestin, PhD, who retired as Chair after being appointed in 2018 and served on the Board for the last seven years.

Ms. Belaire is President and Chief Executive Officer of Shared Services West, a not-for-profit shared services organization with expertise in healthcare supply chain optimization.

Previously, she was the Chief Operating Officer at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research. She brings an extensive background in finance, information technology and human resources to the post. She also holds CPA/CGA and Chartered Director designations and an MBA.

“It’s an honour to be appointed Board Chair and to continue supporting the groundbreaking research happening at Vineland, that’s essential to preparing the horticulture and agriculture industries for the future,” said Ms. Belaire. “I look forward to working with the new Board and am grateful to Warren and the outgoing members for their contributions, which have been crucial to Vineland’s success.”

Ms. Belaire is joined on the Board by four new directors:

  • May Chang: Ms. Chang is an executive who has spent 25 years in the healthcare sector in leadership roles at large community hospitals and major multi-site hospitals. She is currently the Principal of May Chang Consulting, offering executive leadership strategies.
  • Lori Hall: Ms. Hall is a partner and trademark agent in Gowling WLG's Hamilton, ON office and a member of the firm's Intellectual Property Group. Distinguished among the world's top trademark professionals by the World Trademark Review, she focuses her practice exclusively in the area of trademark prosecution.
  • John Groenewegen: Mr. Groenewegen is principal of the JRG Consulting Group, an agri-food consulting firm that helps the sector maximize its value and contribution to the overall economy. John has a PhD in agricultural and applied economics from the University of Minnesota.
  • Mark Picone: Mr. Picone is an educator, chef and vineyard proprietor. He currently teaches at Niagara College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute. Mark is a graduate of the University of Guelph (BComm) and Niagara University (MBA).

Vineland acknowledges and appreciates the commitment and advice of outgoing Chair Warren Jestin and directors Shelley Martin and Carolyn Hurst.

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