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Our people

TechImpact is represented by business and technology leaders who care deeply about Atlantic Canada. They volunteer their time and share their experiences and knowledge so others can benefit and collectively we can make an impact.

TechImpact CEO, Cathy Simpson

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Cathy Simpson is an Atlantic Canadian IT leader who has dedicated her career to building the region's tech capacity. Most recently, she was the Vice President, People and Culture with T4G Limited one of the largest privately-held IT firms in the region with clients throughout North America.

Cathy is a leader in the movement to use technology and innovation to drive economic growth, create thriving communities and engage citizens. She champions this evolution as Chair of the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation, an independent, not-for-profit corporation that invests in new growth-oriented companies and applied research activities. Her current work is an extension of her role as one of the co-founders of PropelICT, Atlantic Canada’s original tech accelerator and she continues to mentor and advise start-up entrepreneurs in the region.  She also sits on the board of Enterprise Saint John.

In 2015, she decided to follow her own advice and create her own company, a social initiative called Up+Go, that delivers leadership and self-discovery programs for high school girls introducing them to New Brunswick women who are doing extraordinary things particularly in the areas of STEM, entrepreneurship, and leadership.

She began her career at NBTel and Innovatia where she helped launch Canada’s first IPTV service and other innovative consumer products. Cathy is a graduate of F.C. Manning School of Business at Acadia University and lives with her family in Rothesay, NB.    

Our board

Al Carson

Al Carson
Partner, Advisory Services, Ernst & Young


Al has worked in the Information Technology field for over 31 years and has been involved with both professional services companies and software product companies. Through his various endeavours, Al has acquired unique and valuable skills, and has been a member of the start-up team of three IT companies.

Al is currently an IT Partner at EY and based in Fredericton. Al leads the Government IT practice in NB, and is part of the Atlantic leadership for consulting services in Atlantic Canada. As a serial entrepreneur, Al is passionate about growing the region and is active in the community.

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Dr. Andrew Rau-Chaplin
Dean - Faculty of Computer Science,
Dalhousie University


Dr. Andrew Rau-Chaplin is a full professor and dean in the Faculty of Computer Science at Dalhousie University. He received a Ph.D. from Carleton University and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at DIMACS - a National Science Foundation centre run by Princeton University, Rutgers, and AT&T Bell Labs. Together with his research group, he has authored over 100 scientific papers on the application of parallel computing to data and computationally intensive problems. Dr. Rau-Chaplin's recent industrial research has focused on catastrophe modeling, portfolio risk management, and dynamic financial analysis, by drawing on a diverse set of technologies including stochastic simulation, high performance computing, optimization, spatial OLAP, and data warehousing. He is passionate about developing the best talent pipeline possible for Atlantic Canada’s digital sector.

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Brian Freeman
Senior Executive VP & Founder, VeroSource

Brian has over 30 years’ experience in IT industries. Internationally he has provided subject matter expertise to industry partners to state and local governments in the US, UK and Canada engaged in large service delivery transformation initiatives. His experience in service delivery operations management, strategic planning and implementation, and business development has contributed to transformation initiative solutions in dozens of state and local governments. It has included working at the CXO level of those governments to contribute pragmatic approaches to integrating emerging technologies and new business architecture to support pathways to digital society. His senior positions have included Vice President, Operations, Service New Brunswick; Vice President Consulting Services, CGI; and currently Executive Vice President and Advisory Board member to VeroSource Solutions Inc.

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Charlie Harling
VP Bell Aliant, Bell Aliant

Charlie leads the Bell Canada Business Sales teams in Atlantic Canada responsible for both the public and private sectors.

Prior to joining Bell, Charlie held numerous senior positions in the Atlantic Canada start-up community.  He remains involved in a number of start-ups today as an angel investor and mentor.

Charlie also has extensive experience in the public sector; being involved in the New Brunswick government’s economic development mandate, including serving in Premier Frank McKenna’s office priming economic development priorities.

He is active in the community, serving on various boards, including Atlantic Provinces Economic Council (APEC), Business Council Anti-Poverty Initiative (BCAPI), private companies, as well as on several Bell Canada Executive Councils.

Born in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Charlie attended both St. Thomas University and the University of New Brunswick. He is also a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD.D).  Charlie and his wife Debbie make their home in Rothesay, New Brunswick.


Paul Eisner
President, Mariner Innovations

LinkedIn | Twitter

With over 25 years’ experience in communications, advanced media technology and cyber security, Paul has held executive leadership positions at Mariner, IBM, Harris Corporation and Leitch Technologies. Prior to his appointment as President of Mariner Innovations, Paul was the founder of Mariner Security Solutions, a startup within Mariner, now a part of Mariner Innovations. In this capacity, he successfully led Mariner’s entry into the high growth market of information security services and products. Paul is also a strategic advisor and Chairman of the Board for Beauceron Security, a Fredericton NB based cyber security startup.

David Small

David Small – TechImpact Executive Team
Director, Advanced Research & Innovation, IGT


Dave Small is a professional engineer and an Electrical Engineering graduate of UNB. He has been working for IGT (formerly SPIELO) since 1999, in several capacities such as Engineering Manager, Sr. Project Manager, Sales Executive, and in his current position as Director of Advanced Research and Innovation. His responsibilities include creation and management of technology research programs, nurturing a culture of innovation and research collaboration with academics and 3rd parties. Prior to joining IGT, Dave held various technical positions with Westinghouse in Ontario, RPC, and Com Dev Atlantic. 

Dave Grebenc
Co-CEO, Innovatia

Dave Grebenc is Co-CEO and Co-Owner of Innovatia Inc., a global knowledge management company providing software and services to Fortune 100 and 500 companies. Headquartered in Saint John, New Brunswick with offices in Atlantic Canada, Calgary, Houston, and Bangalore, India. With over 30 years of experience in the Telecom & IT industry Dave is highly committed to the technology and startup community. 

Dave is active in leadership roles on various boards including chairman of the Board at Propel ICT. Previous roles include; the Premier Advisory Council on Technology, Co-founder & Chair TechImpact, and Co-Chair of UNB's Computer Science Advisory Committee. 


Dr.  Luigi Benedicenti
Dean - Computer Science, University of New Brunswick

LinkedIn | Twitter

Dr. Luigi Benedicenti is a full professor and dean in the Faculty of Computer Science at the University of New Brunswick. Benedicenti received his Laurea in Electrical Engineering and Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Genoa, Italy. He is a Professional Engineer licensed in New Brunswick and a licensed Italian Engineer. His collaborative network extends beyond New Brunswick and Canada through collaborative work with colleagues in Europe, South East Asia, and North America. Benedicenti’s current research is in three areas: Software Agents, Software Process, and New Media Technology.

Geoff Flood
President, T4G

LinkedIn | Twitter

Geoff is the founder and the guiding force behind the continued growth of T4G Limited, a leading Canadian technology services firm. Geoff has provided the leadership, vision and strategic direction for the company since its inception. Geoff retains overall responsibility for strategy while ensuring that the individual business groups within T4G achieve their objectives. His experience and thought leadership, coupled with a robust knowledge of corporate finance and investment strategy, has enabled T4G to remain at the forefront of IT Professional Services firms.

Geoff is actively involved in several boards and charitable organizations and has a specific interest in Future Focus, T4G’s philanthropic arm, which backs organizations with a track record of helping children succeed.  

Geoff holds an MBA in Finance from Queen’s University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from St. Francis Xavier University. Geoff and his family live in Saint John.


Kevin Perkins
CIO, McCain Foods


Kevin Perkins is the Chief Information Officer for McCain Foods Limited. In this global role, Kevin partners with the business overseeing IS strategy, continuous improvements, solution development and delivery, as well as technical architecture and solutions. Kevin’s mission is to ensure McCain IS processes, solutions and the team achieves excellence that supports sustainable profitable growth.

Originally from Florenceville-Bristol, Kevin began his 25 year career with McCain as a Financial Analyst before joining IS as a Business Analyst. Since joining IS, Kevin has held increasingly more senior IS level roles. Most recently, as Vice President One McCain, Kevin led the deployment of a global SAP ERP in over 30 countries within four years on time and budget. Since this successful deployment, he has continued his efforts by establishing a center of excellence focused on driving continuous improvement throughout the McCain organization.

Kevin feels strongly about McCain. Its rich roots in New Brunswick, its global presence, and unique culture aligns perfectly with his personal values.  


Lauren York
Strategic Account Executive - TIBCO Software

LinkedIn | Twitter

Lauren York is a passionate and dedicated Account Executive for TIBCO Software. Lauren works with enterprise organizations in Ontario and Atlantic Canada including, airports, utilities and government entities. Lauren collaborates with these organizations to address their most complex data challenges, drive innovation and deliver business value from their data. Lauren graduated from St. Thomas University in New Brunswick. She currently lives and works in Toronto. 

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Martin Davis
Managing Partner, DUNELM Associates

Linkedin | Twitter

Martin Davis is a Managing Partner for DUNELM Associates Limited providing executive-level consulting in the areas of CIO, IT Strategy and Industry 4.0.

 Martin is a results-driven CIO and business leader with extensive information technology experience across consumer goods, frozen/fresh food manufacturing, and the transportation and automotive industries, delivering value globally in large Fortune 500 corporations and privately owned companies.

 Martin has an MBA from Warwick Business School in the UK, and a BSc in Computer Science with Mathematics from Kings College, London, UK.


Emma Clark
Director of Business Management, J.D. Irving Ltd


Emma Clark is with J.D. Irving Ltd., as the Director of Business Management of Information Technology. With experience in the public and private sector, her diverse background covers 20 years of experience in IT, including Sales, Customer Service, Process Improvement, Technical Support, Project Delivery, Audit, Security Operations, Finance and Human Resources. As a member of the Executive Leadership Team, she provides leadership in strategy and planning, talent management and partner management. Emma holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of New Brunswick and a Master of Business Administration from the Ivey Business School. Emma works out of the J.D. Irving Ltd. Saint John head office.


Pierre Mullin – TechImpact Executive Team
R&D Manager, Smart Grid Division, Siemens

LinkedIn | Twitter

Pierre Mullin is the executive responsible for the global custom software development organization for Siemens Digital Grid, including locations in the USA, Canada, Germany, Austria and India. Prior to joining Siemens, he was a software development manager in the BlackBerry R&D organization.

Pierre is a graduate of UNB’s Computer Science program. During his 25+ year career, he has held leadership roles in product development, start ups, consulting firms and corporate IT.

He currently sits on the boards of the OpenADR Alliance and TechImpact (Past Chair), and is also a member of the Smart Grid Innovation Network (SGIN) Steering Committee and the UNB CS Advisory Board.

Rod Murphy

Rod Murphy – TechImpact Executive Team
Regional VP Atlantic, Cisco

LinkedIn | Twitter

Rod Murphy is Regional Vice President Atlantic of Cisco Systems Canada Co., responsible for overseeing all lines of business and local operations, including service provider, public sector, enterprise, mid and small markets. Cisco Canada employs more than 1,200 people and is a proving ground for many of the company’s most advanced and innovative technologies. 

Rod has been part of Cisco Systems Canada since 1999 and has held a number of roles in the region, with a primary focus of being a trusted advisor with customers and the channel market in Atlantic Canada. He is very active in the community, sitting as Vice Chair on the Board of TARA, Advisory Committee Dalhousie University Department of Engineering, Private Industry Council Chair Memorial University, Advisory Committee Acadia University, Boys and Girls Clubs of Atlantic Canada, United Way Technology Fund, Tech Impact (Chair of the Board), Founding Partner Member of the Atlantic Technology Centre and past Corporate Chair Light the Night.  Most recently he has been actively promoting innovation working closely with municipalities on smart and connected community initiatives and Atlantic Universities for Cisco Research Chair positions.

Rod is a graduate of Dalhousie University. He lives in Halifax with wife Margo and two sons. 

Troy Shanks
CIO, Emera

Steven Burns
CEO, Bulletproof


Troy Harnish
Director Atlantic Canada, Rogers Communications

LinkedIn | Twitter

Troy Harnish has sent the last 23 years in the IT Sector working for Rogers Communications. He has helped develop their B2B business and specializes in fixed networks, IoT and data centers. He has developed strong partnerships with IT business partners to drive more collaboration on regional projects and is board member for Junior Achievement to support the IT education conversation. 


Nestor Gomez
Startup and Entrepreneurship Program Lead, McCain Foods


Nestor has 27 years of software technology experience applied to multiple industries and has a degree in Computer Science and a specialization in Hydroinformatics. In 2006, Nestor joined McCain Foods Global Information Services. Since 2013, he leads a co-creation and innovation program with technology startup companies known as “MIGHT”, short for McCain Inspiring Growth through High Technology, which has 3 major goals:

  1. Bring innovative and disruptive technology solutions to McCain

  2. Grow an ecosystem of startups for Food & Beverage around McCain

  3. Increase literacy in information technology and data through educational projects.