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Spark Centre Announces Appointment of New Board Members



November 9, 2021, Oshawa, ON — Despite the challenges that COVID-19 posed on in-person business operations, Spark Centre, a Regional Innovation Centre based in Oshawa, Ontario, has undergone immense growth. In addition to an increase in clientele, services, initiatives, programming and staff over the past year, Spark Centre has recently expanded its Board of Directors from five members to seven.

The Spark Centre Board of Directors, comprised of experienced professionals across a number of sectors, is a key component for the success of the organization, providing input, support, and direction for Spark Centre’s vision with the goal of building a globally recognized technology and innovation ecosystem within the Region of Durham.

“With the renewal of our Transfer Payment Agreement from the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade and the renewed commitment from the City of Oshawa and the Region of Durham earlier this year, the time had come to grow Spark’s Board to reflect our expanded client base, the diverse sectors we now serve and our commitment to creating high growth companies.” says Sherry Colbourne, President and CEO of Spark Centre, “We are thrilled to welcome Hari, John and Nikki to Spark Centre’s Board of Directors.”

The Spark Centre Board of Directors now includes three new Directors:

John Dynes, Managing Partner of Cascadia Equity Partners, who focuses on deal origination and capital sourcing for Canadian mid-market opportunities. He brings to the Board twenty years of experience in investment management, capital markets and consulting in both public and private markets, providing deep expertise in business strategy, financial analysis, and long-term value creation.

Hari Sambasivam, Bank of Montreal’s Associate Director of Research (retired) who adds 27 years of experience in North American capital markets, financial and strategic analysis. Hari looks forward to providing financial and strategic advice to assist Spark Centre’s mission of building a pre-eminent technology and innovation ecosystem

Nikki Stone, Executive Vice President at Publicis Groupe, who will contribute her vast experience in spearheading and managing the launch of innovative new companies and divisions, to assisting Spark Centre continue on its trajectory of growth.

These invaluable new Board members will be joining Gary Jarosz, former Vice President at Global Emissions Systems Inc. and Chairman of the Board, John Russell, Co-founder of RBRO Solutions in the role of Secretary-Treasurer and Vice Chair, Directors Christopher Aleong, Vice-President and Head of Emerging Markets at Endoceutics Inc., and Dror Nir, Senior Executive with Solo Gelato Canada. The Board of Directors is joined by Simon Gill, Director of Economic Development and Tourism with the Region of Durham, Hailey Wright, Director of Economic Development Services at the City of Oshawa, and Roger Pan, Senior Advisor for the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade as observers. Spark Centre Board says goodbye to Thomas Jankowski, CEO of Trybe Inc., as he steps away to focus his efforts on Spark’s sister company, Synergy Lab Inc.

“I am very pleased that the Spark Centre has attracted such great new talent to our Board”, said Board Chair Gary Jarosz. “We have many key initiatives underway including the development of the Eastern Ontario Innovation Corridor. A strong, active and engaged board of business professionals will ensure that we are successful.”

Based in Oshawa, Ontario, Spark Centre is renowned for its dedication to economic growth and sustainability in Durham Region and Northumberland County, serving technology and innovation entrepreneurs — both local and those moving their operations to Canada — with knowledge and support to launch, grow and scale. Through collaboration with funders, stakeholders and industry partners, Spark Centre has built an unparalleled, globally recognized technology and innovation ecosystem that develops competitive, world-class businesses in a wide range of sectors including EN3 (Energy, Environment and Engineering), ICT and Digital Media, Agritech, Medtech, Health Sciences and more.

In providing a wide range of services — from educational programming and advisory services, to co-working space and access to funding — Spark Centre is dedicated to creating opportunity within Durham Region and beyond through our partners in Eastern Ontario.

For more information on Spark Centre please visit https://sparkcentre.org




Melissa Nowakowski, Communications Specialist

Spark Centre

[email protected]

(905) 432-3999 x137

Original Article on Spark Centre

Spark Centre
Helping innovative companies start, grow and succeed. Spark Commercialization and Innovation Centre is one of eighteen not-for-profit Regional Innovation Centres (RICs) that form part of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE). The centre works to improve competitiveness and visibility of Durham Region and Northumberland County as a world-class innovation cluster. Spark Centre works with clients to develop individualized plans for success. We connect start-ups to business and research networks, learning tools, business coaching, mentorship, and access to funding and investment.

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