Atlantic Canada’s independent voice on economic issues

Business Panel Speakers

We are pleased to announce the following speakers for the Business Panel sessions at all conference locations.


Halifax  November 6


Chris Keevill   CEO, Colour

Chris splits his time between Halifax, Toronto and New York, building new trade routes for Colour. Colour is a marketing agency that helps businesses through the digital transformation of their customer experience. Before Colour, he was President of Aliant Broadband.  
He has a BBA from Acadia University, an MBA from the Ivey School of Business, and the Rotterdam School of Management. He was selected by KPMG for Quantum Shift in 2005.
Chris is active in his community and is currently serving as Governor of the JA Nova Scotia Business Hall Of Fame, Co-Chair of Destination Cheema, Director Nova Scotia 211, Director Canoe ’09 Legacy Foundation, and Co-Chair Canoe ’22 Bid Committee.
He was previously a Governor of APEC.


Lori Kennedy  Co-Founder/Owner, Louisbourg Seafoods

Lori Kennedy has been co-­‐owner of Louisbourg Seafoods since the company was founded in 1984.  She is a former fisheries plant  worker with a deep appreciation for the industry and a skillset derived from working in all facets of business operations.

Ms. Kennedy believes the knowledge and experience passed down from her ancestors, who have lived for hundreds of years in Newfoundland and St. Pierre & Miquelon, France, have informed her success. Valuing and respecting the ocean is an important lesson she has learned from them – a lesson all seafood companies should incorporate into their mission.

Ms. Kennedy graduated from Cape Breton University’s School of Business with a major in Accounting, and recently completed the Women’s Leadership Forum at Harvard Business School.

She is a member of the Board of Directors for the World Ocean Council and is an involved member of the Women’s Presidents Organization, a non-­‐profit organization formed to improve business conditions for female entrepreneurs and to promote the acceptance and advancement of female entrepreneurs across all industries. A senior representative of the Roundtable on Nova Scotia’s Manufacturing Executive Council, she is also involved in numerous international trade missions and panels concerning the east coast fishery of Atlantic Canada.

Ms. Kennedy is a member of the Board of Directors for the Cape Breton Regional Hospital Foundation and is a respected community leader and philanthropist.


David Steele, Director, Product Management, MetOcean Telematics

David has been with the company for over 10 years in various capacities; VP, Operations (2.5 yrs), Project Development Manager (4.5 yrs) and Quality Manager (3 yrs).

In his current role, David is focused on recommending the nature and scope of present and future product lines by reviewing product specifications and requirements; appraising new product ideas and/or product or packaging changes; determining customers' needs and desires by specifying the research needed to obtain market information; and assessing product market data by calling on customers with field salespeople and evaluating sales call results. He serves as the conduit between Sales and Product Development as well as working with Sales and Product Development to develop new product proposals for submission to various Government Agencies and Programs for possible funding.

Beyond his time with MetOcean, David has over 24 yrs experience working in primarily a manufacturing environment and received his Bachelor of Engineering (Industrial) from TUNS (Dalhousie) in 1993.


St. John's   November 7


Ron Collier    Vice President, Business Development, SubC Imaging 

Ron manages the sales and marketing team and is responsible for expanding SubC’s business in a variety of diverse markets nationally and internationally. Under Ron’s leadership, SubC has developed an extensive international clientele and partner network with over six hundred clients in twenty six countries.
Prior to joining SubC, Ron was the Global Sales Manager for Avalon Microelectronics which developed software for telecommunications systems. Avalon was acquired by Altera Corporation in 2010.
Ron holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Memorial University and is a member of the Canadian Professional Sales Association. He currently sits on the board of Oceans Advance, NL’s ocean technology cluster and is actively involved in an advisory capacity with the local start-up community.


Holly Hill   COO, Agile Sensor Technologies 

Holly Hill is a results-oriented, energizing and inspiring leader who has been professionally involved in Sales and Marketing since 2010. Holly is currently the Chief Operating Officer at Agile Sensor Technologies Inc. where she is involved in the strategic planning of the company’s product line and long-term corporate vision. Through her day-to-day tasks that range from ensuring sales and revenue growth, to organizing product manufacturing and customer deliveries, Holly is committed to achieving success for Agile, and pushing Newfoundland and Labrador’s thriving technology sector forward.

Prior to Agile, Holly was Director of Marketing at Solace Power, a wireless power technology company, where she streamlined the company’s sales processes, developed lead-generation tools and launched the technology into new markets. She began her career with Verafin Inc., a Canadian software company that provides anti-money laundering and fraud protection across North America.

Holly holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree with a primary focus in Marketing from Memorial University of Newfoundland. She is also currently completing her MBA, and has completed Miller Heiman Strategic sales training to bolster her diverse sales background. She is an avid volunteer, and currently serves as a member of the board of directors for the Alzheimer Society of Newfoundland and Labrador. Outside of work Holly can be found with her dog Lexi, entertaining around her wood-fired pizza oven, or teaching spin class at a local gym.


Kay Riggs     VP Operations, Dynamic Air Shelters

Kay has managed Dynamic Air Shelters' Newfoundland and Labrador operation for the past nine years, using her knowledge and experience from previous employment to expand the manufacturing facility. Prior to joining Dynamic Air Shelters, Kay was Economic Development Officer with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, assisting small businesses with strategic, marketing and financial planning. Before that, she was employed with Fishery Products International's secondary processing operation in cost accounting and cost control management.

Kay holds a Diploma of Business Administration and a Commerce Degree from Memorial University of Newfoundland.


Saint John   November 9


Lee Corey   President and Lead Dog, Corey Pet Nutrition

Lee Corey grew up in Havelock, New Brunswick on the family dairy farm. He completed a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology at the University of New Brunswick in 1977, followed by two years of post graduate research at UBC Vancouver in Virology. After returning home from British Columbia in 1980, he became a field biologist with the Province of New Brunswick, Fish and Wildlife Branch. Lee started Corey Nutrition in 1982 and successfully grew the business along with the aquaculture industry in Atlantic Canada.

The company began to experiment in manufacturing pet foods in 2005. The new opportunities in pet foods allowed the company to expand, and today export to over a dozen countries around the globe. Today, Corey Pet Nutrition focuses exclusively on its growing pet food markets.

Lee has held many Directorships over the years, the most recent being Chairman of the Board of the Fredericton Convention Center 2010-2013, and Chairman of the Board of the Research and Productivity Council (RPC) in Fredericton 2013-2016. For fun, Lee is a serious beekeeper, holds a Commercial Fireworks licence and plays acoustic guitar. Married with four adult children, he remains as President and Lead Dog of Corey Pet Nutrition.


Dave Grebenc Co-CEO, Innovatia  

Dave Grebenc has 30 years of experience in the Telecom & IT industry, working with Bell Aliant (formerly NBTel) for most of his career. Dave led the development of new call centre technologies and created a new start-up, Connectivity, the first company to offer network-based CTI technology.  Dave later lead the launch of Aliant’s new cloud based services before joining Innovatia in 2005 to lead business strategy, marketing and sales. 

Over the last 10 years, Dave has dedicated much of his efforts to working with other Information Technology leaders towards building a supportive framework for the growth of start-ups and existing ICT companies within New Brunswick and the Maritime Region. He has been active and taking leadership roles in various boards and committees such as the Premier Advisory Council on Technology, co-founding & chairing New Brunswick Information Technology Council, and co-chairing the UNB Computer Science advisory board and is chairing Propel ICT.

Named one of the Atlantic region’s 50 most accomplished business executives by Atlantic Business Magazine in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 as well the EY Entrepreneur of the Year™ 2013 for the Atlantic Region, Dave, along with his business partner, Roxanne Fairweather, leads a workforce that has grown to employ over 600 people, most of whom work in New Brunswick.   


Sylvia MacVey    President, GE Barbour

Sylvia MacVey is President and CEO of G E Barbour Inc. located in Sussex New Brunswick. Established in 1867, G E Barbour is a privately-owned food processing company with a long history of providing safe, quality foods to Atlantic Canadians.

Having spent most of her career as a part of the management team of Barbours in positions of increasing responsibility, Ms. MacVey consolidated controlling interest in Barbours in 2011. Since then, she continues to build her company’s reputation as an innovative, reliable partner in the branded, private label and co-pack food processing business in North America. Her company’s success has been recognized with Food In Canada/Grant Thornton’s Growth Award in 2016; RBC Momentum Award/Women of Influence Finalist 2016; Exporter of the Year for New Brunswick, Sales over $5million 2017; BMO Celebrating Women - Expansion and Growth in Small Business 2017.

Ms. MacVey has held leadership positions on not-for profit and industry association boards at both the regional and national levels, including the MS Society of Canada, the Packaging Association of Canada, Tea and Herbal Association of Canada, the Canadian Spice Association, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (New Brunswick), and Rothesay Netherwood School. In June 2017, Sylvia was honoured as a Founder of Rothesay Netherwood School in recognition of her passionate dedication to the continued success of the school’s mission.

A graduate of Mt. Allison University, Sylvia continued her business education through the University of Calgary and University of New Brunswick. She is married to Andy and they have two grown daughters.


Charlottetown    November 10


Esther Dockendorff   President & CEO, PEI Mussel King

P.E.I. Mussel King Inc. is the most established mussel company in the Canadian industry. 100% family-owned and continuously operated since 1978, the Dockendorff Family’s group of companies comprise one of North America’s largest mussel farming operations, and the most modern processing facility in the industry.

Mussel King processes and markets live, frozen and value-added Island Blue cultivated mussels to the most discriminating buyers around the world. With clients in Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and throughout North America, the Company is well positioned in the global market.

Esther Dockendorff has been involved in the family business since 1982. She was Sales Manager for the Company until 2009 when she took over the position of President and CEO. With over 30 years of experience in the seafood industry, Esther has extensive experience in both the growing and processing aspect of cultivated mussels. She was a member of the Board of Directors of the Fisheries Council of Canada from 2004-2011. She was President of the Seafood Processors’ Association of Prince Edward Island from 2004-2008 and continues to be an active member. She is a strong advocate for and a staunch supporter of the seafood industry in the Maritime region.

Esther is involved in numerous community organizations. She is past President of the Morell Consumers Co-operative and past Vice President of the North Shore Funeral Home.


John Kimmel    Managing Director, RevIQ  

Charlottetown-based RevIQ is a technology company working in Business Intelligence and Big Data for mobile games, apps, and services with “live revenue exploitation” models. Working with developers, gaming studios, and publishers to boost revenue and engagement while minimizing ongoing production costs, RevIQ’s analysts, producers, and experienced pros use data-driven decision-making to maximize product revenue.

John’s own experience in Video Game, Film, Television, and New Media production supports his single-minded focus on client success at RevIQ, leveraging his training in production management, financial analysis, and economics. With more than 15 years’ experience in software development, systems, and operations management, John brings a zeal for coordinated, process-driven development all with the implicit understanding that timely, bottom-line results are king.

Prior RevIQ’s establishment on PEI in 2015, John was VP Operations for Moncton’s Gogii Games, an independent game studio known for its hit games worldwide. At Gogii, John worked to optimize internal game production processes, increase core financial efficiencies, embrace the new industry realities borne by the Free-to-Play gaming revolution, skills that drive ongoing success for RevIQ’s teams and clients.

Thane Smallwood     General Manager, PEI Bag Company

Thane Smallwood is responsible for developing and communicating values, strategies and objectives; building company image by collaborating with customers, government, community organizations, and employees; and maintaining quality service by establishing and enforcing organization standards.  Thane is currently on the board of directors for the Summerside Chamber of Commerce and Central Development Corporation.  He is also a member of the Rotary Club of Summerside, where he serves as past-Chair.  He obtained an Engineering Degree from UNB in 1990 and now lives in Summerside with his wife Sue and two sons.



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