Board of Directors

Supporting MindFuel’s Vision
James (Jim) Gray - Founder & Honourary Chair
Shahauna Siddiqui: Chair; British Columbia; Partner, DHR International

Shahauna Siddiqui is a partner at DHR International, a global executive search and coaching firm, which recently acquired BluEra, where she was a co-founder and managing partner. Shahauna brings over a decade of executive search leadership, having worked with leading organizations in the energy, real estate, retail and not-for-profit sectors. She holds an MBA in finance from the Haskayne School of Business, a BBA from Bishop’s University and participated in the Advanced Program in Executive Search Consulting at Cornell University.

Cassy Weber: MindFuel CEO

Cassy Weber is CEO of MindFuel. She brings 25 years in wireless and mobile software product development and innovation, and technology start-up companies, with deep experience in fundraising, market development, and developing award-winning products and services. She studied Commerce, Science, and French at UBC, UWaterloo, and Université de Montréal, respectively. Also, has earned a Graduate Certificate in Technology-Based Distributed Learning, UBC and a graduate degree in Education Technology at UBC (completion 2019) and completed the Canadian Securities Coursework. Finally, Ms. Weber’s current area of research focuses on understanding how e-technology can support diversified learners. She has co-authored numerous conference papers summarizing research insights into digital learning management systems as a means to support diversified learners.

Stephen Burns: Bennett Jones LLP

Stephen D. Burns is a partner with Bennett Jones LLP. Stephen’s practice focuses on energy and agriculture related technology, procurement and outsourcing, IT procurement and outsourcing technology transfers, intellectual property, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate/commercial matters related to technology. Stephen’s practice includes a focus on information law, including seismic, privacy, social media, document retention and access to government information. Stephen regularly advises on matters concerning licensing, registration and protection of intellectual property in Canada and abroad. Stephen is a registered trademark agent. Stephen earned his H.B.A. from Ivey at The University of Western Ontario, his LL.B. from the University of Manitoba and his M.B.A. from the University of Calgary.

Peter Kinash: CFO, Replicon

Peter Kinash is the CFO and COO of India, Replicon. He has over 25 years’ experience in the fields of mergers and acquisitions, corporate financing, and securities filings. He is a chartered accountant and specializes in guiding growing high-tech companies to maturity. Peter is the former leader of the Information, Communication, and Entertainment practice of KPMG Calgary. He holds the Institute of Corporate Directors ICD.D designation, and earned a B.Comm. from the University of Saskatchewan.

Raja Panwar: Retired, Ministry, Alberta Education

Upon graduating from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Education, Raja began his teaching career in Smoky Lake, where he taught for nine years. He joined Alberta Education in 1986 as a Test Development Specialist (Sciences.) Until his retirement in 2017, Raja served in many leadership positions focusing on strategic planning and policy and program development at provincial, pan-Canadian and international levels.

During his time with Alberta Education, Raja led many teams responsible for the design, development and implementation of large-scale, multi-year provincial curriculum projects for the development of programs of study and learning and teaching resources. Raja is passionate about curriculum design and implementation; in particular, a responsive and relevant science curriculum that addresses evolving students’, and societal and economic needs.

Bill Peters: President, Bill Peters Consulting

Bill Peters is a leading international planner and innovator in the non-profit, museum, science centre and informal science learning fields. He has a specific interest in the way people learn, the way organizations inspire learning and the value that learning brings to individual lives and to society.

Bill played a key leadership role in building Calgary’s TELUS Spark Science Centre and the Creative Kids Museum. He pioneered the current generation of digital tilt-dome planetarium theatres. He has an A.B. in Astronomy from the University of Southern California, an M.A. in the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology from the University of Toronto and is a graduate of the Getty Museum Leadership Institute. Bill received the Cascade Award for Outstanding Career Achievement from the Canadian Association of Science Centres in 2009. He is a past president of the International Planetarium Society and of the Alberta Museums Association.

Bill is an expert in public education in science and has extensive experience in planning and operating outreach programs, museums, science centers, planetariums and public observatories. With Ian C. McLennan Consulting, he is currently assisting Lowell Observatory in developing a new Astronomy Discovery Center and master plan for its Mars Hill campus if Flagstaff, Arizona.

James Pettigrew: Director, British Columbia

James Pettigrew is a seasoned financial professional with over 30 years of experience leading teams and serving the complex
needs of rapidly-growing companies. A CPA, Pettigrew’s past experience includes: Chief Financial Officer at Benevity, Inc., Partner and Market Leader at Deloitte LLP., and Parter and Technology Industry Leader at PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers). He brings a wealth of experience in communicating strategies and financial results with clarity, financial and operational management in a high-growth environment, creating high-performing teams, board governance, and managing capital and working with private equity investors.

Dan Semmens: VP & Head of AI, ATB Financial

Dan began his career as a software developer and has over 20 years of experience in information technology. He is recognized as an innovator in design thinking, lean and business transformation industries. Under his leadership, he and his team are disrupting the banking industry by re-imagining processes and leading with the deployment of Robotics Process Automation and artificial intelligence.

Wafa Kadri: Community Investment Lead with Cenovus Energy

Kadri currently serves as the Community Investment Lead with Cenovus Energy, and has an extensive background in leadership, transformative business practices, and building cross-sector partnerships to drive change on critical issues.

“With a passion for mentoring, volunteering, and supporting causes on a national level such as public education, gender equity and inclusion, cross-cultural understanding, and human rights, Kadri will be an excellent addition to the MindFuel Board,” said Cassy Weber, CEO. “Our non-profit is dedicated to providing equal access and support to quality STEM education resources for Canadian students, with an emphasis on reaching underrepresented demographics.”

I am delighted to be able to support MindFuel’s mission as a board member, and I look forward to collaborating with stakeholders and partners to support their excellent work in the STEM education and youth innovation space. I’m passionate about working together to create sustainable and impactful solutions, which aligns well with MindFuel’s mission of supporting youth on their educational journeys with programs, resources, and guidance.

Georgine Ulmer: President, Churchill Strategies Inc.

Georgine Ulmer has been President of Churchill Strategies Inc. since 2002, where she has assisted both private and not-for-profit organizations with leadership development and organizational change. She has held a number of leadership positions within Calgary for over 20 years, including leading the economic development authority for Calgary as its President and CEO for five years, directing the Southern Alberta office of Hill & Knowlton and Directing the Southern Alberta office of Industry Canada as well as directing the Corporate Communications function for the department for the Prairie Provinces and Northwest Territories. Prior to moving to Calgary as a Federal Partner representative for the 1988 Olympics, Ms. Ulmer worked for various Cabinet Ministers and Departments in the Government of Canada in Ottawa.

Ms. Ulmer was the Executive Director of the New Science Centre 2011 Project overseeing the early planning and development of the project and then directing the successful $160 Million capital campaign. Currently, Ms. Ulmer is working with several non-profit organizations where
she advises both CEO’s and Boards on governance, strategic planning and facility development. A trained facilitator, Ms. Ulmer has facilitated workshops, visioning sessions, mediation negotiations, and planning sessions for a number of public, private and non-profit organizations across Western Canada.

Sherida German: SVP, Corporate Communications Edelman

Sherida German is currently the SVP, Corporate Communications and the National Energy Sector Lead in the Calgary office at Edelman where she provides senior oversight for reputation management and corporate communications strategies for global, national, and local clients.  With over 20 years’ experience in the marketing and communications industries, she has extensive experience in leadership, brand development, sponsorship and community investment, B2C and B2B marketing strategy, research and data analytics.  An expert at building relationships and connections, Sherida has a proven track record of driving strategic planning through to seamless execution and analysis. A creative thinker, self-starter, and high achiever she is able to lead complex projects involving multiple senior level stakeholders. While always focused on ensuring programs are insights driven and deliver a positive ROI, she ensures that her teams are motivated and having fun in a creative and fast-paced environment. 

Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Sherida attended the University of British Columbia, attaining a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History, and a Master of Arts in Community and Regional Planning. She then added to her impressive academic resume by completing a Master of Arts at the University of Toronto.

Sherida began her career in Toronto, Ontario at Atlantis Broadcasting in 1998 working on HGTV and Life Network, expanding her portfolio to History Television in 2000.  She took on the role of Director, Marketing Strategy when CanWest Global Communications in 2007. In 2010, Sherida moved into the position of Sr. Director Marketing, Global News. While working in broadcasting, Sherida launched and worked on several world-class television brands including HGTV, Food Network, National Geographic, BBC Canada, and History Channel.   In 2013 Sherida joined Shaw Communications, relocating to Calgary, Alberta, as Director of Marketing, Cable and Satellite.  In 2015 she moved into the role of Director, External Affairs where she aligned strategy to drive brand reputation and likelihood to recommend metrics across all earned media platforms including publicity/media relations, community investment and sponsorship.

Advisors

Don Bell - Advisor
Neil Camarta - Advisor

Neil Camarta holds a degree in chemical engineering from the University of Alberta. With more than 35 years of experience in the oil and gas industry, Neil has held senior leadership positions with Shell, Petro-Canada and Suncor — in Canada and internationally. During his time with Shell, Neil led the successful development, construction and start-up of that company’s $6 billion Athabasca Oil Sands Project. Neil is currently a partner in a technology start-up venture with a focus on energy.