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Dawn Davidson, Honors B.Sc., M.Sc.
Associate Vice President
Dawn Davidson is the Associate Vice President (Acting), Research and Innovation at George Brown College. In this position, she leads the College’s applied research and innovation activities and is accountable for the overall leadership of applied research at GBC, including growing research capacity within the College and attracting external partnerships and financial investment to the College. Ms. Davidson is also responsible for institutional research and planning, focusing on educational quality measurement and improvement, and strategy implementation. | Full Bio
Tricia Ryan joins FIRSt as Director, Food and Beverage Research after a long career consulting for clients across all sectors of the food, alcohol beverage, retail, and hospitality industry. Her focus has been marketing and research, client servicing and communications that span an array of business issues and opportunities including concept development, market entry, revenue growth, performance measurement and management, branding and customer insight, leadership training and coaching. Skills include marketing and sales strategy, planning and research design and analysis, communication planning (digital and offline), client servicing, leadership training, moderation/facilitation to develop insights to identify meaningful customer centric opportunities for brands to engage with customers (B2B & B2C). Clients have included Dare Foods, Frito Lay Canada, Gardien, General Mills, Gluten-Free Certification Program, H.J. Heinz, Kraft General Foods, Maple Leaf Foods, Nestle, Pepsi Canada and The Ice House Winery.
Diana Facchini, M.A.Sc.
Senior Manager (Acting)
Diana Facchini is an accomplished Program Manager with over five years of experience in research-based business development and project management. She graduated from the University of Toronto in 2005 with a Master of Applied Science (Materials Science and Engineering and Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering) and since then has worked with a variety of private and public sector companies as a researcher and project leader, including Honeywell Ltd., Ontario Power Generation and the University of Toronto. She most recently served as Business Unit Manager and Project Leader at Integran Technologies, Inc., a GTA manufacturer that develops nanocrystalline metals for the defense, aerospace, industrial and consumer goods markets. Much of her past experience spans international markets, giving her a competitive edge in strategic planning, grants management and business development for the ORI.
Rosalina Declaro, B.Comm.
Operations & Budgets Manager
Rosalina has more than 10 years of experience in office administration, finance, accounting and bookkeeping. She is a 4th level Certified General Accountant and received a B.Sc in Commerce (Accounting) from the University of Santo Tomas. Since 2012, she has been the Budgets and Operations Manager for Research and Innovation, overseeing the budgets for the department and all research projects.
Jillian Butler, M.A.
Knowledge Transfer Coordinator
As Knowledge Transfer Coordinator, Ms. Butler oversees all ongoing outreach for the ORI, including divisional messaging, media production, press releases, funding proposals and marketing materials. Her career to date has explored a diverse range of media, spanning traditional outlets like print, advertising and publishing as well as emerging sectors like film, design, digital and social media. Jillian received an M.A. in Media Studies from York University in 2012, a B.A. (Hons) in English Literature from Memorial University, and a certificate in Graphic Design at George Brown College.
Baaba Lewis, B.Comm.
Baaba Lewis has over five years of experience providing administrative support in and around the educational sector, with considerable familiarity with the college infrastructure. She received a Bachelor of Commerce from Ryerson University in 2005 and since 2008, Ms. Lewis has supported all activities of Research & Innovation, helping to streamline applied research across the college. As the front line of Research & Innovation, Ms. Lewis is essential to managing its relationships with external and internal clients and stakeholders, as well as the coordination of meetings, events, workshops and training.
Michelle Kienitz, MA
Manager, Industry Liaison and Business Development, FIRSt
Michelle brings a value-chain approach to the team at FIRSt. She has spent her academic and professional careers in primary agriculture, agri-food, and agri-technology, and even continues to occasionally assist on her parents’ cash crop farm in South-Western Ontario. With a Bachelor’s degree in Social Development (University of Waterloo) and a Master’s degree in Political Science and International Development (University of Guelph) she studied food and agriculture through a very different lens. Michelle applies her interdisciplinary background by bringing creative and holistic solutions to clients and partnerships.
Manager, Industry Liaison and Business Development
Neal Lilliott is Manager, Industry Liaison and Business Development for Research and Innovation. He is responsible for forging research and industrial partnerships between the College and businesses across Canada. Neal has over 15 years’ experience working within the technology, engineering and digital space having previously worked for the British Government’s trade and investment service, where he worked with Canadian aerospace, engineering, financial services and technology companies on their investment and academic collaboration plans. Neal’s previous role also included working with SME and startups on funding models. Prior to this he ran a successful business in the U.K., which he established at the age of 16.
Manager, Industry Liaison & Business Development
John Parsons joins George Brown College from University of Saskatchewan, where he was legal counsel with the Industry Liaison Office for 9 years. Further, his private legal practice in Saskatoon had a primary focus on First Nations clients. Mr. Parsons has extensive experience working with industry partners and government funding agencies in the academic setting, and has advised extensively on intellectual property issues and commercialization of research outcomes. He holds a Master of Laws degree from the University of Hong Kong, and worked in Hong Kong as a business conference manager. He enjoys the diversity and opportunities present at George Brown and looks forward to facilitating the industry-academia-government relationship to provide the best outcomes for students.
Amy has more than twenty years of international executive marketing experience. Most of her career has been devoted to growing venture-backed technology companies, including Indigo Ltd, the digital printing pioneer, which was acquired by HP for some $850 million, and Check Point Software Technologies, (NASDAQ:CHKP), the Internet security software leader with annual sales topping $1 billion. Since 2010, she has acted as a Virtual VP Marketing or fractional CMO for some of the most innovative and successful start-ups in Toronto. Her particular expertise is in defining and executing Go-to-Market strategies to achieve rapid sales traction.
A sales, operation and management professional, Alena Konovalova brings experience in technology, business development, R&D and commercialization in industry and academic environments to George Brown Research & Innovation, supported by a unique blend of private and public sector experience. As part of her work as Industry Liaison, Ms. Konovalova enables connections with local industry, evaluates and onboards new and potential projects, and manages many applied research innovation activities and events within the college.
Finance & Administrative Assistant
Victoria Trang is the Finance & Administrative Assistant, and has been with Research and Innovation since 2012. In this role, Ms. Trang provides support to the department in terms of processing payables, receivables, PPAFs, employment contracts, timesheets and pulling financial reports. In her previous role as a Project Analyst and Administrative Assistant at Catmedis Healthcare Inc., Ms. Trang supervised and trained junior project analysts, and was also a key facilitator between software developers and clients through communication and market research. She is currently enrolled in the Business program (Diploma) under the George Brown School of Management, having completed courses in commerce, accounting and human resources at York University. Ms. Trang is a United Way Campaign Ambassador.
Erin Jones, B.A. M.IS.
Erin Jones has a Masters of Information Studies from the University of Toronto, with a specialty in usability and human-computer interaction. Ms. Jones is a researcher with 12 years of experience in study design and execution, with focus on online learning and development of interactive learning content, especially in the field of health care. Ms. Jones has also been working in Applied Research for the past 4 years and brings 9 years of Project Management experience to the department. In this time, she has assumed responsibility for the management and maintenance of the department’s DSpace Digital Archive, as well as data management and custom reporting using the ROMEO research database.
Research Resource Coordinator
Alexis Lau has a diploma in Human Resources from George Brown College and is pursuing a Bachelor of Commerce with a focus on Law and Business. She is a current CHRP, working towards her CHRL designation and manages the onboarding of project personnel. She has been with the department since 2012, first starting off as a Project Manager, where she learned the fundamentals of the onboarding process within the college environment. Alexis has 10 years of person-focused soft skills that she brings to the role and is always looking to streamline processes and increase efficiency.
Juan Camilo Sarmiento, MBA, MA
Senior Project Manager, Research & Innovation
As Senior Project Manager, Juan Camilo Sarmiento ensures the efficient and effective administration of research at the College, through direct management of projects, managing the RI project management team’s collective management of projects and by liaising with faculty, staff, students and external research partners and funders. With over 8 years of project management experience in higher education, Mr. Sarmiento has acquired strong leadership, interpersonal communication, presentation, analytical and problem solving skills. Before joining George Brown, Mr. Sarmiento served as a Research Development Manager for Telfer School of Management (University of Ottawa), Project and Program Manager for the Office of the Vice-President, Research & Provost (University of Ottawa), and Planning and Policy Officer for the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
Senior Project Manager, FIRSt
Dan Reilly has managed projects at George Brown College in a variety of sectors including health sciences, green technology, web development, education, and product development. He has served as a project manager on projects for Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC), Scouts Canada, CAMH, the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, and many local SMEs. Dan graduated from George Brown College with an Advanced Diploma in Business Administration and was the recipient of the GBC Project Management Award of Distinction. After spending 2014 in the role of acting Senior Project Manager for Research and Innovation, Dan assumed the role of Senior Project Manager for the Food Innovation and Research Studio (FIRSt) in early 2015. Dan also teaches project management at George Brown College in the School of Management.
Eva Aboagye, PhD.
Project Manager, Social Innovation
With a career that has encompassed strategic institutional planning, research and teaching, Ms. Aboagye joins Research and Innovation as the project manager of Social Innovation. In this capacity, Ms. Aboagye provides guidance and management of research methods and budgets to researchers applying to or currently awarded funds from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). Previous to joining George Brown, Ms. Aboagye served as Strategic and Institutional Research Specialist at York University and as Senior Researcher for the Institute for Global Citizenship and Equity at Centennial College. Ms. Aboagye has a PhD. and M Ed. in Higher Education from the University of Toronto and a BA (Hons.) in Sociology and English from the University of Ghana.
Project Manager, Green Homes
Daniel Caunter is an experienced project manager with 4 years of corporate project management experience in the areas of green building technology and commercial real estate. Previous to joining George Brown, Mr. Caunter served a project manager at a variety of green and tech-related firms, completing a diverse portfolio of projects including solar PV construction, process efficiency improvements and customized software deployments. Mr. Caunter has an MBA’09 Schulich School of Business (York University); Graduate Diploma in Business and Environment (York University) and a BCOMM, Major in Management (Concordia University). He also completed his LEED Green Associate accreditation in 2013 and earned his Project Management Professional (PMP) certification in 2015.
Project Manager, FIRSt
Nuvi Dhaliwal joins with a strong knowledge of grant operations and funding streams in publicly funded and not for profit environment. She previously worked with the PSI Foundation, where she served as the Post-Award Grant Officer and focused on tracking grants in medical research through metrics, blogs, social media, final reporting, etc. She has also worked for the Greenbelt Fund, supporting the increase of local food in Ontario, and with Maple Leaf Foods in digital marketing. Ms. Dhaliwal has a B.A. (Hons) from the University of Guelph in International Development, Political Economy and Administrative Change.
Craig Edwards, B.Comm.
Project Manager, Computer Technology
As project manager of Computer Technology, Mr. Edwards puts his extensive computer and information technology management to use on the growing sector of Technology, Computer and I.T. research projects within Research & Innovation. Over his tenure at the college, Mr. Edwards has a demonstrated project management expertise within a Polytechnic College environment that includes project management, research ethics, grant applications and grant funds management & procurement. In 2012, Craig led and managed the P3RD software development project, an online hub to virtually connect providers, partners and projects without the limitations of geography. Mr. Edwards has a Bachelor of Commerce (Entrepreneurship and Strategy) from Ryerson University and a diploma in Business Administration Diploma (Project Management) from George Brown College.
Ana Cristina Gigli
Junior Project Manager, Social Innovation
Ms. Gigli comes to the team from the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, where she assisted in data analytics and fundraising. She has also served as an Enterprise Risk Consultant at Santander Bank in São Paulo, Brazil. She studied at the University of São Paulo where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in Statistics and an MBA, and is also a recent graduate from the George Brown Project Management Postgraduate program. Ana possesses a wealth of experience in risk and project management from the banking and nonprofit industries, and looks forward to applying that knowledge to the Social Innovation projects at the college.
Junior Project Manager, BIM
Arbab Khan joins the team as a Junior Project Manager for Building Information Modeling (BIM). He brings a familiarity with the day to day of a construction site combined with practical managerial experience. He has worked for contractors such as Maple Reinders Constructors Ltd., kara Consultants Inc., NKG Infrastructure Ltd. and Unity Infraprojects Ltd., where he gained a familiarity with coordinating architectural & structural models, 3D models, OHSA requirements and project scopes and scheduling. Mr. Khan has an B. Tech. Civil Engineering (Jamia Millia Islamia University, India). He also completed Post Graduate Certificates in BIM Management (George Brown College) and Construction Project Management (Fanshawe College).
Project Manager, Design
Morgan Kierinkiewicz joined Research & Innovation in 2013, and has managed projects in a variety of sectors including food & beverage, healthcare, and green technology. As a graduate from George Brown College’s Business Administration Program (Project Management), she joined Research & Innovation with three years of experience in and around the hospitality industry, as well as two years in the sports entertainment and healthcare sectors, respectively. Morgan uses the insight from these diverse industries to promote and support partners every day.
Junior Project Manager, FIRSt
Natalia Rogacki is a graduate of the Business Administration, Project Management program at George Brown College & holds an Honours Degree in History from Carleton University. Ms. Rogacki come to FIRSt with a background in hospitality and event planning, previously serving as Events and Projects Assistant for George Brown’s Centre for Business and various public-facing roles with the Cedar Fair Entertainment Company. She has an extensive history of volunteer work in and around social services and community development, including Pump Up Parasport, a Sitting Volleyball Tournament organized to introduce participants to the parasports available for athletes.
Yuchen Sun is currently a Project Manager in Research and Innovation at George Brown College. In addition to her experience of managing various Building Science and Mechanical Engineering projects, Yuchen’s portfolio of projects has focused more on BIM (Building Information Modelling) projects. With her solid 7-year academic background and 2-year working experience in project management and analysis, Yuchen has proven to be a great asset on project scoping, budget analysis, and change management.