Living and working in Canada, the US, UK and Europe, Warren has served as a C-suite executive for publicly-traded companies, academic institutions and government-business enterprises.
Most recently, as Chief Executive Officer of Vancouver Economic Commission, she led the team in attracting $3B in foreign direct investment to the region, with a portfolio including the Vancouver Film Commission, the world’s largest animation and visual effects sector, smart cities technologies such as AI, 5G and quantum computing and the green and impact economies.
In more than two decades as a tech advisor, Warren’s track-record includes mergers and acquisitions for digital distribution and digital IP, raising capital and liquidity events for tech companies, consulting to national media funds, hedge funds, crowdfunds and coaching executives on strategic growth and monetization. Earlier in her career, she was the start-up COO of a broadcast software company that she and her partners took to the Nasdaq and grew to a $300M market cap.
Warren has a bachelor’s degree in physics from Reed College in Portland, Oregon, with a focus on climate change, and a master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York, where she did her original thesis work onsite at MIT covering the launch of its digital Media Lab.
Kris is responsible for providing leadership and direction for the Corporate services functions for the organization including Accounting and Finance, Human Resources, IT, and general administrative services, as well as providing strategic and business guidance to the organization. She oversees both an internal team and third-party partners to provide direction, vision, and overall accountability for their deliverables, and establishes innovative practices to improve the long-term and day-to-day value, quality, and effectiveness of business processes for the delivery of policies, programs, systems, and value-added services.
Kris is a mission-oriented, strategic leader with experience managing finance and operations in high-growth organizations and has spent the last several years providing CFO consulting services. She brings over 20 years of senior finance experience in both publicly traded and privately owned organizations spanning a diverse background of industries including private investment, specialized industrial services, industrial construction, and biotechnology. Her background includes extensive work in financial management and reporting, policy and procedure development, and IT management, and has had direct reporting responsibility of revenue volumes across North America from $2 million to $200 million. Kris completed her CPA (CMA) designation in 2002, and has volunteered extensively for the profession, first as an Evaluator in the Strategic Leadership Program for CMA Alberta, then with the CPA Western School of Business as an Evaluator for the Professional program. Kris is currently volunteering as a mentor in the CPA Alberta Professional Program.
Erin is responsible for building and executing marketing and communication strategies that align with the overall Innovate Edmonton business strategy, from branding and promotion to market intelligence and innovation placemaking. She oversees both an internal team and third-party partners to drive growth and awareness of Edmonton as a leading innovation capital.
Erin is a business strategist, with a drive to take on large organizational challenges. She has a track record of delivering exceptional results while focusing on strategic planning, client experience, research, marketing, brand, communications, sponsorships, fund development and product management. Her efforts have directly contributed to positive brand value and exceptional stakeholder experiences during her senior leadership and executive roles in the financial services, non-profit and charitable sectors.
In 2021, Erin completed the Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies degree from Royal Roads University, with a focus on innovation, culture, communication and strategy. She also holds a Graduate Certificate in Values-Based Leadership and a Graduate Certificate in Professional Communication Management also from Royal Roads. She is a purpose-driven leader that connects with others through values to mobilize collective success.
Heather is responsible for developing positive intergovernmental relationships and communications, collaborating with internal stakeholders to align with, and inform on government policy, and monitor performance measures related to government funding. At Innovate Edmonton, the ability to engage, translate, and activate in the innovation ecosystem is based upon sustainability, ingenuity, and communication.
Well-known for her advocacy work with non-profits across Alberta, especially in the arts community Heather is an authentic leader, strategic communicator, and a published writer. Her focus through community connections has been on fundraising, governance, reputation management, and crisis communications. Elected as MLA for Edmonton Glenora from 2008 to 2015, she proudly served as a Minister the entire time with Service Alberta, Culture and Human Services.
A long-time volunteer, commitments include Director positions at Alberta Ballet, Varscona Theatre, Taste of Edmonton, and the Gene Zwozdesky Capital Campaign Cabinet. Heather is a Mentor at Peter Lougheed Leadership College with the University of Alberta and supports ParityYEG and AskHerYYC, through gender parity.
Heather holds a degree in Political Science from the University of Alberta. Early in her public service career she worked as a writer for Premier’s Peter Lougheed and Don Getty.
Relentlessly positive, a midnight gardener, and voracious reader, Heather constantly celebrates those little moments!
James is responsible for enhancing the staff experience by linking HR goals to business outcomes. He plays a hands-on and strategic role in handling the day-to-day HR functions and implements programs and processes to develop a high-performance team culture to drive operational excellence. As a trusted advisor and business-focused contributor within the organization, he liaises with a variety of stakeholders, including senior management and C-suite, to understand business needs and outcomes.
James is an organized and responsible professional who provides direction, oversight, and support to teams within challenging and dynamic work environments. He brings 9 years of Human Resource experience from various industries such as construction, industrial manufacturing, retail, and automotive. He achieved his Bachelor of Science from UBCo and is a member of CPHR, as well as received “Crucial Conversation” training from Vitalsmarts.
Norma is an administrative guru who has worked in administrative services for over a decade, She has extensive experience as an Executive assistant and other senior administrative roles. She is currently the Interim Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer at Innovate Edmonton.
Norma is committed to providing quality Executive Support. Over the years she has provided Executive assistance to Senior Leadership teams in Oil and Gas, Non-profit organizations and in provincial government. Her background includes work in Calendar management, expense reports, creation of operational procedures and processes, benefits coordination, project support as well as Providing training and team leadership.
Norma is a certified commissioner for oaths for the province of Alberta. She holds a bachelor’s degree in General Studies with an Applied Sciences and Arts Designation. She also holds certifications in mental health and gender and diversity, and has volunteered with several community initiatives that cater to youth with addictions and mental health concerns.
Lauren creates a sense of interconnectedness in the member community here at Startup Edmonton, both within the Mercer campus and in programs. In addition to liaising with our Preflight members to ensure they have the tools, resources and mentorship to succeed, Lauren also supports the operations of Startup Edmonton.
She graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Commerce. After starting as an intern with Startup Edmonton in 2014, she fell in love with the local startup community and hasn’t looked back since. When she’s not working to grow the startup community she’s probably skiing or biking down a mountain somewhere.
Ben comes from a finance and coordination background through various roles held at the University of Alberta. He is ecstatic to be joining Startup Edmonton to work with entrepreneurs and help make community connections. In his spare time, you'll find him snapping photos, playing drums, or cruising through the city on board, bike, or motorcycle.
As a program facilitator, Tristan helps deliver our curriculum in an engaging and passionate way. He brings 12 years of experience in facilitating adult learners, namely in a social work context. Most recently, he co-created an 18-week course that taught programming languages to unemployed students looking to find full-time employment in the tech industry. Tristan has managed various teams in both Canada and Australia, which specialized in creating out of the box programs for children with complex diagnosis. He also holds a diploma in Theatre. When not at work, Tristan can be found spending time with his family or enjoying a film. Ask Tristan about: Star Wars, Star Trek, Sci-Fi, TV & Film.
Allan loves kick-starting ideas — from dreams to programs. He brings experience in not-for-profit and cross-cultural educational leadership to Startup Edmonton, where he is responsible for delivering our curriculum in a dynamic and thoughtful way. Allan has experience leading workshops around the world and is excited to sit down with founders and establish their next steps. He is equally passionate about giving back to the community and has been involved in many humanitarian projects over the years. Currently, he teaches citizenship classes to help prepare immigrants to become Canadians. When Allan is not coaching basketball with his son, you will find him playing touch football or cheering on the Edmonton Football Team with his family. Ask Allan about: humanitarian work and issues, the world, geography, culture.
Nevin is the voice behind Startup Edmonton’s social media presence. He ensures our platforms are relevant, up-to-date and of course, witty. Nevin holds a Business Management degree from NAIT, with a specialization in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Before working at Startup, he combined his two passions — entrepreneurship and weather forecasting — to create a subscription service for custom forecasting. Nevin sits on NAIT’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation committee, which is tasked with giving feedback and insight on the program. He also teaches the Grade 5 weather unit at schools in and around Edmonton. When he's not tweeting, Nevin is chasing storms across the Canadian Prairies as part of the Prairie Storm Chasers (where he handles the social media.) In the winter, he enjoys skiing and curling. Ask Nevin about: Twitter, weather & forecasting, supercells, curling.
Roberto’s primary focus is bringing the Startup Edmonton brand to Edmonton’s talented students and getting them more involved and engaged in the city’s startup community. Building on his experience with a Bachelor’s of Commerce from University of Saskatchewan, Roberto is proud to have launched a new, rebranded Student website and working with the team to increase student members from 1100 to 3000+ in one year. Outside of work he is the Web & Social Director for The Yards Magazine, and volunteers for Oliver Community League, Edmonton Folk Music Festival, Arts on the Ave, and The Mustard Seed. You should ask Roberto about travel, basketball or fitness.
Catherine Keill has more than 25 years of experience in strategic communications, public relations, government relations and policy development in private, public, and not-for-profit sectors.
Catherine has been at the helm of Keill & Company Inc. since 1999 and her client work spans across the strategic communications spectrum from speechwriting, to market lead for product launches, to change management and issue management, to government and media relations training. She has built Keill’s body of work based on her extensive experience.
Catherine is excited about the diversity of the work her clients bring to the Keill team, and she prides herself on her deep relationships she builds with clients through all her projects.
Dawn Newton is a business leader and community builder with twenty years of business experience in project management, stakeholder engagement, and public affairs.
Dawn recently worked with CN Rail as Executive Director to build a new CN Community Board program to involve diverse community leaders across Canada in CN’s community outreach. Previously she worked with TELUS Communications as Senior Regional Market Manager in Edmonton for the launch of a $1B infrastructure project to connect homes and businesses directly to the TELUS fibre optic network. Her experience at TELUS also included working as Senior Manager of Community Affairs leading diverse community outreach initiatives. Prior to moving to Edmonton in 2008, Dawn worked in Calgary and Ottawa consulting with Global Public Affairs providing strategic advice on communications strategies and government relations for a wide range of clients.
Dawn is a passionate community builder. She is past chair of the Zebra Child Protection Centre, served on the board of the iHuman Youth Society, was a co-founder of the Ladies on the Green Golf Classic, and an inaugural member of the Women’s Advocacy Voice of Edmonton (WAVE) Committee reporting to City Council. Dawn believes in the power of mentorship and volunteers her time alongside other business leaders as a mentor with the Peter Lougheed Leadership College and has supported students with the NorQuest College Youth in Transitions Program. Her passion for community is shared with her family as she and her husband raise two children in Edmonton.
Chris Henderson is Chief Strategist & a founding partner of Y Station Communications & Research. Having worked in strategic communications, planning, and stakeholder engagement & outreach in some form since 2004, Chris works with a talented team to connect and listen to diverse audiences in nearly every sector in Western Canada, with a focus on resolving complex challenges and building internal strategic capacity. Some of Chris’ recent work includes stakeholder engagement and authoring of Edmonton’s most recent 10 year cultural plan; connecting with Edmonton’s innovation community around its potential future directions; and the development of public engagement frameworks for new affordable housing initiatives.
Toby Lennox is providing strategic and business planning advice to Innovate Edmonton. Toby has a background in corporate law, strategic planning and was most recently the CEO of Toronto Global, the Toronto Region’s international investment attraction agency. Toby also recently received the ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors of Canada.