June 22, 2024

Health Mettler Institute

Healthy LifeStyle & Education

The Top 25 Healthcare Technology Leaders of Toronto for 2022

The Top 25 Healthcare Technology Leaders of Toronto for 2022

The Healthcare Technology Report is pleased to announce The Top 25 Healthcare Technology Leaders of Toronto for 2022. As the largest city in Canada and the financial center of the nation, it’s not surprising that Toronto is also a central location for life sciences. The city of 2.8 million is home to a rapidly growing healthcare technology industry, and many of the leaders on this year’s list are at the forefront of that movement. Across a range of specialties, from pharmaceuticals to cannabis, medical devices, and animal health, the companies represented here are driving dramatic innovations in healthtech the effects of which reach far beyond the Toronto area.

Some of the distinguished leaders on this year’s list include CEO David Van Slingerland of Sterling Industries, which designed a cost-effective and scalable face shield for frontline healthcare workers during the pandemic, and then delivered 30 million units within months. Meanwhile, Co-Founder and COO Diana Kraskouskaya’s Dunad Therapeutics has developed a unique small molecule platform which induces targeted degradation of disease-causing and often undruggable protein targets. And CEO David Pidduck’s MediPharm Labs is mastering the production of cannabis concentrates and was one of the first Licensed Producer applications in history to apply for a license that did not include the cultivation of cannabis.

While this year’s awardees lead from a variety of different positions, from CEO to COO, Senior Medical Director and Senior Vice President, what they share is their seasoned and successful leadership in the healthcare technology space, and their dedication to innovating new treatments to improve the lives of patients in Toronto and around the world. Please join us in celebrating The Top 25 Healthcare Technology Leaders of Toronto for 2022.


1. Renzo Dicarlo
Company: BioPharma Services
Title: Chief Executive Officer

Renzo Dicarlo is the Chief Executive Officer of BioPharma Services. BioPharma Services Inc. is a full-service Contract Research Organization (CRO) specializing in Phase I/IIa as well as bioequivalence clinical trials with research facilities in Toronto and St. Louis, Missouri. BioPharma also offers in-house, GLP preclinical and clinical bioanalytical services, featuring LC-MS/MS technology, at its Toronto facility. Successfully inspected by all major regulatory bodies, BioPharma Services is dedicated to building and maintaining long-lasting relationships with its global clients through superior quality service and timely and reliable research results.

Before joining BioPharma Services, Dicarlo was Vice President of Clinical Strategic Solutions at SNC Lavalin Pharma, and before that VP and General Manager of Global Central Labs at MDS Pharma Services. Earlier in his career, he worked with General Motors of Oshawa, Canada as an industrial engineer. Dicarlo graduated from Queen’s University with an MBA in strategy and from the University of Toronto with an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering.


2. Matthew McLeod
Company: Superette
Title: Chief Executive Officer

Matthew McLeod is the Chief Executive Officer of Superette, a retail brand that makes buying cannabis as enjoyable as consuming it. In the current sea of cannabis retailers, Superette wanted to take a fresh approach. So it leaned into more traditional retail environments to create an immersive yet familiar and nostalgic experience. Every thoughtful detail of its brand, whether in-store or online, is all about creating moments of delight every step of the way.

McLeod first got his start in 2013 as an associate at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP. From there, he went on to The Law Offices of Robert C. Edwards and Peter T. Hollinger, before eventually becoming President of Cannoe Cannabis, his most recent position prior to joining Superette. McLeod graduated from Western University with a JD, and from Royal Military College of Canada with an MBA in business and commerce and an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering.


3. Peter Pekos
Company: Dalton Pharma Services
Title: Chief Executive Officer

Peter Pekos is the Chief Executive Officer of Dalton Pharma Services. Dalton is a contract pharmaceutical manufacturer which provides integrated chemistry, development, and manufacturing to biotechnology and pharmaceutical clients around the world. In its 42,000 sq. ft. facility, Dalton operates cGMP manufacturing of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs), sterile injectables, finished drug products in vials or syringes, as well as solid oral dosage forms. APIs can be produced in gram to kilogram quantities, including sterile APIs. Dalton contract capabilities can support clients at any stage of the regulatory process (Phase I, II, III, or commercial). Development services include chemistry and process development, medicinal chemistry, custom drug conjugation, targeted drug delivery systems, analytical method development and validation, ICH stability testing, formulation, and polymorphism screening. Dalton also supports the industry’s pharmaceutical research programs with a catalog of 2,500 reference standards, building blocks, metabolites, and impurities with its Dalton Research Molecules business.

Pekos first joined Dalton in 1986. Previously, he was a director at ventureLAB. He earned an MS in chemistry from York University and an undergraduate degree in chemistry and biochemistry from the University of Toronto.


4. David Pidduck
Company: MediPharm Labs
Title: Chief Executive Officer

David Pidduck is the Chief Executive Officer of MediPharm Labs. MediPharm Labs was created in 2015 by a handful of industry experts in Ontario. With the medicinal benefits of cannabis firmly established and with a global patient market demanding quality cannabis oil, MediPharm was born. While initially exploring options to cultivate cannabis plants, the company came to recognize the opportunity for a select focus on cannabis concentrates. It set out to master this area of production, and relied on the many cultivating experts to provide quality raw materials. In 2016, MediPharm submitted an application to Health Canada for approval to distribute medicinal cannabis oil. The company is proud to be one of the first Licensed Producer applications in history to apply for a license that did not include the cultivation of cannabis.

Before joining MediPharm Labs, Pidduck was President, CEO and a board member at Purdue Pharma Canada and Elvium Life Sciences, and before that Vice President of Commercial and Business Development at Purdue Pharma Canada. Earlier in his career, he worked with Baxter International as Director of Global Strategy and Business Development. Pidduck graduated from Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management with an EMBA and from Wilfrid Laurier University with an undergraduate degree in business and international marketing.


5. Greg Guyatt
Company: Phoena
Title: Chief Executive Officer

Greg Guyatt is the Chief Executive Officer of Phoena. With humble roots as one of the first medical cannabis companies in Canada, Phoena has expanded its capacity and capabilities to meet the needs of both the medical and recreational markets. Founded in 2013 with locations in Vaughan, Ontario and Fenwick, Ontario, it consistently delivers high-quality products to empower Canadian cannabis consumers to improve their every day.

Previously, Guyatt served as a manager at Deloitte & Touche. From there, he went on to UBS, before eventually rising to Chief Financial Officer at GreenSpace Brands, his most recent position prior to joining Phoena. Guyatt graduated from Mount Allison University with an undergraduate degree in finance and accounting.


6. David Van Slingerland
Company: Sterling Industries
Title: Chief Executive Officer

David Van Slingerland is Chief Executive Officer of Sterling Industries, a fast-growing vertically integrated contract manufacturer that specializes in building leading-edge medical devices for its clients — a mix of Fortune 100 industry stalwarts and late-stage innovative start-ups and scale-ups. Sterling’s already impressive growth trajectory went hyperbolic during the global pandemic, after Van Slingerland and his team of medical device engineers answered both regional and national governments’ call for help: the team designed a cost-effective and scalable Class 1 Medical Device face shield for frontline healthcare workers, going from “napkin sketch” to high-volume production in a few intense weeks, ultimately delivering 30 million units to regional and national organizations within a few short months.

Under Van Slingerland’s leadership, Sterling has grown exponentially, creating hundreds of high-tech jobs at its facilities in both the U.S. and Canada, building ground-breaking medical devices, at scale, for its clients. Van Slingerland’s contributions to the community — both professional and philanthropic — have been recognized by a variety of organizations, including recently being awarded the Order of Vaughan (a municipality in the Greater Toronto Area). Prior to joining Sterling, Van Slingerland was a senior executive with Manulife Financial, a global financial services leader. He graduated with a degree in computer science from the University of Western Ontario.


7. Angela Cechetto
Company: Grey Wolf Animal Health
Title: Chief Executive Officer

Angela Cechetto is the Chief Executive Officer of Grey Wolf Animal Health. She first joined the company in 2017 as Vice President of Business and Corporate Development. Grey Wolf Animal Health is a specialty animal health company focused on improving the lives and well-being of vets and pets in Canada. Founded in 2015 by Dr. Ian Sandler, its mission is to identify and bring to market products, solutions, and services that meet the underserved needs of vets, pets, and clinics across Canada.

Previously, Cechetto was an equity researcher of healthcare at GMP Securities, and before that a director of international corporate and business development at Paladin Labs. Earlier in her career, she worked with Lawson Health Research Institute/The University of Western Ontario as a technology development and commercialization officer. Cechetto earned an MBA from Ivey Business School at Western University as well as an MS in biomedical and medical engineering and an undergraduate degree in physics and physiology from McGill University.


8. Diana Kraskouskaya
Company: Dunad Therapeutics
Title: Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer

Diana Kraskouskaya is a Co-Founder and the Chief Operating Officer of Dunad Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company focusing on the development of next-generation targeted oral protein degradation therapies. Dunad’s unique small molecule platform induces targeted degradation of disease-causing and often undruggable protein targets via direct modulation of protein stability and conformation. The company’s novel molecular approach is fully tunable to be exquisitely selective and underpinned by a target-class agnostic mechanism of action that is distinct from other targeted protein degradation technologies. This has the potential to generate orally bioavailable degrader therapeutics that significantly expand the frontiers of protein degradation targets.

Before joining Dunad Therapeutics, Kraskouskaya was a senior research associate and research and operations manager of Gunning Group at University of Toronto, and before that she co-founded and served as CEO of EDYP (Education. Discover Your Potential). Kraskouskaya graduated from the University of Toronto with a PhD in chemistry and from the University of Toronto Mississauga with an undergraduate degree in molecular biology and chemistry.


9. Negin Ashki
Company: Eli Lilly and Company
Title: Senior Medical Director, Global Medical Affairs – Oncology

Negin Ashki is the Senior Medical Director, Global Medical Affairs – Oncology at Eli Lilly and Company. She first joined the company in 2017 as National Medical Science Liaison – Oncology. Eli Lilly develops, produces, and markets pharmaceutical products for healthcare professionals, patients, and consumers. For more than a century, the company has stayed true to a core set of values – excellence, integrity, and respect for people – that guides it in all that it does: discovering medicines that meet real needs, improving the understanding and management of disease, and giving back to communities through philanthropy and volunteerism.

Ashki has also served as a Clinical Research Physician and Oncology Medical Lead for Eli Lilly Canada. She was a postdoctoral research associate at the University of California, Los Angeles and a research assistant at the London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC), where she coordinated clinical trials. Ashki earned a PhD and MD in neuroscience and an undergraduate degree in physiology from Western University.


10. Paul Fiore
Company: Auro Pharma
Title: Vice President – Retail Division

Paul Fiore is an accomplished healthcare leader who has driven exceptional business performance. His proven ability to create and lead highly engaged teams, in addition to his strong strategic and financial focus, has helped Auro Pharma become one of the fastest-growing generic companies in Canada, reaching a top 10 position within 6 years of commercialization.

At present, Fiore is the Vice President at Auro Pharma – Retail Division. Auro Pharma is a Canadian subsidiary of Aurobindo Pharma. Aurobindo is a vertically integrated pharmaceutical company heavily focused in research & development and in manufacturing drug intermediates, Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) & finished formulations. Aurobindo Pharma has proven regulatory expertise and technology for speciality formulations.

Fiore has a diverse healthcare industry background, and prior to joining Auro Pharma in 2014, he held multiple leadership positions in both Fortune 500 healthcare companies such as Eli Lilly and Novartis as well as scaling start-ups. He gained brand pharmaceutical experience from the ground up, having started in specialty sales, then progressing through training, marketing, and sales management roles. He has held multiple senior leadership roles over the last 20 years, also gaining experience in biologics when leading the Humira team and program for Canada. Fiore graduated with an undergraduate degree in industrial relations from McGill University.


11. Christina Yung
Company: Indoc Research
Title: Vice President, Data Science

Dr. Christina Yung is Vice President, Data Science at Indoc Research, a not-for-profit company dedicated to the design, build, and operations of health data platforms for advancing biomedical science. In addition to software development, Indoc has deep expertise in data governance, security, and privacy to develop and operationalize comprehensive data management solutions. Dr. Yung has extensive experience in leading cross-functional teams and in cultivating collaborative partnerships. In her role, she strategizes with the company’s executives to define the product roadmap and with stakeholders to develop innovative research platforms. She currently serves on the strategic advisory board for the Paris Saclay Cancer Cluster.

Before joining Indoc, Dr. Yung served as Director of Genome Informatics and Principal Research Scientist at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, where she led the Data Coordination Centre for the International Cancer Genome Consortium and co-led the National Cancer Institute’s Genomic Data Commons. Prior to that, she was Director of Data Commons at the Center for Translational Data Science at the University of Chicago. Throughout her career, Dr. Yung has recognized the value of mentorship and has fostered a culture of continuous learning. She received her PhD and MS in biomedical engineering from Johns Hopkins University, and a BS in electrical engineering from Queen’s University.


12. Christine Allen
Company: adMare BioInnovations
Title: Vice-President, Ecosystem Development

Dr. Christine Allen is the inaugural Vice-President, Ecosystem Development at adMare BioInnovations. In this role, she is continuing adMare’s leadership of Canada’s life sciences ecosystem through providing state-of-the-art infrastructure, scientific, and commercial expertise and investment capital to companies, enabling them to grow and maintain operations in Canada. Dr. Allen also oversees the adMare Academy, building the talent that the Canadian ecosystem needs to drive growth of the life sciences sector.

Dr. Allen is a Full Professor at the University of Toronto, where she has spent 20 years and held senior leadership roles, including most recently Associate Vice-President and Vice Provost, Strategic Initiatives. Dr. Allen is an expert in drug formulation, with more than 150 publications in this area. She is the co-founder of Nanovista Inc., a company focused on high-precision, image-guided cancer therapy. She is a fellow of AIMBE, CRS, CSPS and CAHS as well as the President of CRS. She earned her PhD in chemistry from McGill University and her BS in biochemistry from the University of Ottawa.


13. Samuel Lee
Company: Astellas Pharma Canada
Title: Senior Director of Medical Affairs

Samuel Lee is the Senior Director of Medical Affairs at Astellas Pharma Canada, a pharmaceutical company dedicated to changing tomorrow by improving the health of people around the world through innovative and reliable pharmaceutical products. In 2005, Astellas was formed by blending the talents, resources, and passions of two highly successful firms – Yamanouchi and Fujisawa. Astellas aims to maintain and strengthen its position as the global leader in transplantation and urology, and going forward it is working to establish its position as a global category leader in oncology. At all levels throughout the company, its people are committed to the opportunity to positively affect and improve patient lives while remaining socially responsible to its community and those with whom it works and collaborates.

Before joining Astellas, Lee was Vice President of Scientific Affairs at LEO Pharma, and before that Associate Director of Medical Affairs at Celgene. Earlier in his career, he worked with NoAb BioDiscoveries as a scientist. Lee graduated from the University of Toronto with a PhD and an undergraduate degree in pharmacology.


14. Carolyn Whiting
Company: Six Degrees Medical Consulting
Title: Executive Vice President, Strategy & Innovation

Carolyn Whiting is the Executive Vice President, Strategy & Innovation at Six Degrees Medical Consulting, a global leader in medical communications. In her role, Whiting leads business development and marketing and drives the agency’s R&D pipeline, supporting the pharma, biotech, and medtech industries through impactful medical education programs.

Whiting is an expert in identifying gaps in medical education and has crafted a learning portfolio to deliver the right educational experience, through the right channel, to the right audience, helping organizations meet their ROE (“return on education”). In 2018, she launched eConnext™, a virtual/hybrid meeting suite for pharma clients to deliver the next generation of online engagement. Throughout 2021/2022, Whiting introduced new solutions to help clients reimagine how scientific data can be packaged and shared (DataReal™); accelerate learning while assisting physicians to navigate through different treatment options (Clinical Care Catalyst™); and address the rise of telemedicine by offering disease-specific education combined with HCP communication skills training to improve patient experience (Virtual Care 360™). Whiting recently co-presented “Six ways the Metaverse will help shape the future of Pharma” at a global summit, assisting organizations in starting their journey into this new interactive world. When not “geeking out” on the next pharma trend, she dedicates time to a dog rescue. Whiting received her BSc (Honours) in biology & pharmacology from McMaster University’s co-op program.


15. David Allan
Company: eQcell
Title: Managing Director

David Allan is the Managing Director and a member of the board of eQcell Inc., a One Health company, uniquely cleared by Health Canada for treating equine osteo and septic arthritis with mesenchymal stromal cells in clinical trials (in process, U.S. and Canada) and additionally developing canine stem cell therapeutics. Genetically diverse, large companion animals offer relevant preclinical models for humans, reducing late-stage failures (currently>72{08cd930984ace14b54ef017cfb82c397b10f0f7d5e03e6413ad93bb8e636217f} Ph II; >40{08cd930984ace14b54ef017cfb82c397b10f0f7d5e03e6413ad93bb8e636217f} Ph III) attributed to purpose-bred, genetically homogenous rodents, thus risk-reducing capital investment and accelerating time-to-market.

Allan is the recipient of the 2017 Julia Levy Award from the Chemical Institute of Canada recognizing success in the commercialization of innovation, the 2016 Life Sciences Ontario Leadership Award, and the 2012 Gold Leaf Award from BIOTECanada for industry leadership. Previously, he served as Executive Chairman and CEO of Stem Cell Therapeutics, which acquired Trillium Therapeutics and was purchased by Pfizer in 2021. He was also the founding Chairman of Formation Biologics, which was acquired by Bristol Myers Squibb in 2020, and was the Chairman and CEO of YM BioSciences Inc., which was acquired by Gilead Sciences in 2013. Allan serves on the advisory boards for Inteligex Inc., which specializes in stem cell therapies for traumatic spinal cord injuries, and Haygain Ltd, an EU-based international equine health company. He also serves as Principal at Cresswell Advisors Inc. and is a board member at Maple Leaf Angels Capital Corporation.

Allan has been a member of the Awards Selection Committee for the Government of Canada’s Networks of Centres of Excellence and the Multidisciplinary Assessment Committee of the Canada Foundation for Innovation; a Governor of the Toronto Stock Exchange; and a board member of the Ontario Biotechnology Advisory Board and Life Sciences Ontario.


16. Fernando José Suarez Saiz
Company: BenchSci
Title: Director of Clinical Initiatives

Fernando José Suarez Saiz is a clinician scientist with more than 15 years of experience at the intersection of innovation, technology, and medical sciences. Suarez is the Director of Clinical Initiatives at BenchSci, a biomedical artificial intelligence company based in Toronto, where he is leading the development of solutions that will help pharmaceutical companies bring better and faster treatments to patients. He brings hands-on experience developing and delivering technology solutions for life sciences and healthcare with a focus on AI and translational sciences.

Before joining BenchSci, Suarez was Deputy Chief Science Officer and Master Inventor at IBM Watson Health. He co-led global teams of scientists, engineers, and designers to deliver clinical and life science solutions at scale. Of note are his contributions to the development of user-centric, mental model-aware AI and NLP innovations, exemplified by more than a dozen patents granted in this area while working at IBM. He is a recognized speaker and mentor and believes in the value of cross-functional data, knowledge and skill integration, and the importance of technology-aided human-oriented discovery in the biomedical space. Fernando received his medical degree in Mexico and did his graduate and postdoctoral work at the University of Toronto, where he worked with multidisciplinary systems biology and translational sciences teams.


17. Arpita Chaudhuri
Company: Quomeda
Title: Research Director

Arpita Chaudhuri is the Research Director at Quomeda, a global end-to-end medtech-focused market research and customer insights specialist firm. Since its inception in 2008, Quomeda has collaborated with the healthcare technology ecosystem (including but not limited to medtech/life sciences/pharma companies, healthcare professionals etc.) to build valuable business intelligence tools enabling data-driven decision making. It has been an eminent partner for most healthcare industry players in their journey to becoming leaders. Quomeda has an elaborate in-house panel of healthcare professionals and ancillaries and an extensive database, including procedure and diagnostic volumes. Its proprietary intuitive platform is paving the way to be the first Data Dynamic CRM and point of reference consultation for the healthcare industry.

Arpita Chaudhuri joined Quomeda 2 years ago to manage their market research division. She is a market intelligence and customer insights enthusiast, supporting medical devices and other healthcare industries with strategic and business-related advisory services for a decade. Before joining Quomeda, she was a part of the market research team at Kantar Health (now Cerner Enviza) and worked as the Senior Client Engagement Manager at Cetas Healthcare (a global medtech insights company). Chaudhuri has a bachelor’s degree in physiotherapy from Maharshi Dayanand University and an MBA in healthcare from Bharati Vidyapeeth. In addition, she is an Enterprise Design Thinking Practitioner, specializes in B2B Marketing, and is trained in Lean Six Sigma (Green Belt).


18. Matthew Khoory
Company: GE Healthcare
Title: Senior Director of Partnerships & Digital Solutions

Matthew Khoory is the Senior Director of Partnerships & Digital Solutions at GE Healthcare. GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services that are shaping a new age of patient care. Its broad expertise in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies, performance improvement, and performance solutions services help its customers deliver better care to more people around the world at a lower cost. In addition, it partners with healthcare leaders, striving to leverage the global policy change necessary to implement a successful shift to sustainable healthcare systems.

Khoory first got his start in 2009 as a risk manager at GE Healthcare – Asia Pacific. From there, he went on to MediWiSe – Medical Wireless Sensing, before eventually rising to Vice President of Operations at Metronomic Technology Solutions, his most recent position prior to joining GE Healthcare. Khoory graduated from Nottingham University Business School with an MS in entrepreneurship in science and technology and from the University of Nottingham with an undergraduate degree in medical physics.


19. Lisa Nicholson
Company: Eisai Canada
Title: Senior Director, Sales & Marketing – Oncology

Lisa Nicholson is the Senior Director, Sales & Marketing – Oncology at Eisai Canada. She first joined the company in 2019 as Director, Sales & Marketing – Oncology. At Eisai Canada, human healthcare (hhc) is its goal. It gives its first thought to patients and their families, and helps to increase the benefits healthcare provides. As the Canadian pharmaceutical subsidiary of Tokyo-based Eisai Co., Ltd., it has a passionate commitment to patient care that is the driving force behind its efforts to discover and develop innovative therapies to help address unmet medical needs. Eisai is a fully integrated pharmaceutical business that operates in two global business groups: oncology and neurology (dementia-related diseases and neurodegenerative diseases). Each group functions as an end-to-end global business with discovery, development, and marketing capabilities.

Previously, Nicholson was a new product development lead of oncology at Amgen, and before that an account director at Brightworks. Earlier in her career, she worked with Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada as a brand manager. Nicholson earned an undergraduate degree in marketing and human resource management from the University of Saskatchewan.


20. Jeffrey Zietlow
Company: Phoena
Title: Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer

Jeffrey Zietlow is the Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer of Phoena. Phoena is committed to producing high-quality cannabis products and customer care. Its brands lead with compassion and empathy, helping to promote positivity and creativity while inspiring confidence. With humble roots as one of the first medical cannabis companies in Canada, Phoena has expanded its capacity and capabilities to meet the needs of both the medical and recreational markets.

Before joining Phoena, Zietlow was Vice President of Marketing at Mill Street Brewery, and before that Director of Marketing at Mother Parkers Tea & Coffee. Earlier in his career, he worked with Kraft Foods Canada as Director of Marketing. Zietlow graduated from the University of Toronto – Rotman School of Management with an MBA and from McGill University with an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering.


21. Jason Ellsmere
Company: Aleafia Health
Title: Senior Vice President, Commercial

Jason Ellsmere is the Senior Vice President, Commercial of Aleafia Health, an industry leading, vertically integrated and federally licensed Canadian cannabis company offering cannabis health and wellness services and products in Canada and in international markets. The company operates medical clinics, education centers, and production facilities for the production and sale of cannabis. Aleafia Health owns three significant licensed cannabis production facilities, including the first large-scale, legal outdoor cultivation facility in Canadian history. The company produces a diverse portfolio of commercially proven, high-margin derivative products including oils, capsules, and sprays. Aleafia operates the largest national network of medical cannabis clinics and education centers staffed by MDs, nurse practitioners, and educators and operates internationally in three continents.

Previously, Ellsmere served as General Manager of CAMERON’S Brewing Company. From there, he went on to Beau’s All Natural Brewing Co., before eventually rising to Vice President of Sales and Marketing – Rec Brands at Sunday Market, his most recent position prior to joining Aleafia Health. He earned a degree in entrepreneurial and small business operations from Mohawk College.


22. Tal Gootgarts
Company: Organika Health Products
Title: Senior Vice President, Operations

Tal Gootgarts is the Senior Vice President, Operations of Organika Health Products. A Canadian owned and operated business since 1990, Organika is dedicated to educating and empowering its consumers to seek the highest quality natural health solutions for their good health and wellbeing. Today, its innovation team relies on continuous research and development in the lab, extensive market research across various industries and new ingredient discovery across the globe to anticipate health-related issues, trends and wants before it becomes relevant to the mainstream media, allowing it to fully satisfy the wellness needs of its heroes, the consumer.

Gootgarts first joined Organika in 2020. Previously, he was Senior Director of Operations at Nestlé Health Science, and before that he served as Director of Supply Chain & Logistics at Atrium Innovations after starting at the company as a business analyst in mergers & acquisitions. Gootgarts earned an undergraduate degree in biochemistry from York University.


23. Hamid Sadri
Company: Medtronic
Title: Senior Director of Policy, Value and Outcomes Research

Hamid Sadri is the Senior Director of Policy, Value and Outcomes Research at Medtronic, a global healthcare technology leader that is boldly attacking the most challenging health problems facing humanity with innovations that transform lives. It is committed to developing groundbreaking healthcare technology solutions for more people in more places around the world.

Before joining Medtronic, Sadri was a Manager of Health Outcomes Research and Value Pricing for Pfizer, and before that a senior research associate for the Health Outcomes and Pharmacoeconomic Research Consulting Group (HOPE) at Sunnybrook. Earlier in his career, he worked with Eli Lilly and Company as Associate Director of Medical Affairs. Sadri graduated from the Tehran University of Medical Sciences with a PharmD in clinical pharmacy and pharmacology, and from the University of Toronto with an MS in pharmaceutical sciences, health economics, and outcomes research and an MHSc in healthcare administration.


24. Jin Dai
Company: Everest Clinical Research
Title: Executive Director, Project Management and Business Operations

Jin Dai has over 15 years of experience in strategy and business management for executive management teams. She is a highly effective, driven leader who is passionate about her work. She has strong strategic analysis and decision making skills, demonstrated through her successful achievements in leading large cross-functional project teams and working with management executives in Fortune 500 enterprises and governments to achieve business transformations across people, process, and technology.

Since joining Everest in 2014, Dai has supported the robust growth of Everest’s services and operations, including leading and growing the Clinical Trials Technology department for global IWRS, eDiary, and Clinical Dashboard services, the Project Management department for global project management, and the Business Development unit for new business and strategic growth. Dai’s current responsibilities include overall Everest global strategic planning and capability building, oversight of Everest’s project management and business development efforts, working actively on client accounts to deliver effective solutions, and supporting talent acquisition and staff engagement initiatives. Prior to joining Everest, Dai held the positions of senior manager, manager, consultant, and business analyst at Accenture over the course of her nearly 7-year tenure with the company, and she served as a marketing research analyst at Millward Brown (now Kantar Group) in Toronto.

Dai earned her HBA degree in corporate strategy & operations from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario and her BSc in biology, also from the University of Western Ontario.


25. Mary Barbieri
Company: Shoppers Drug Mart Specialty Health Network
Title: Senior Director of Business Operations

Mary Barbieri is the Senior Director of Business Operations at Shoppers Drug Mart Specialty Health Network. The SHN mission is simple: to optimize healthcare for all. Since its inception, it has seen enormous technological shifts in how healthcare is delivered, as well as in the ways in which patients and consumers want their healthcare services delivered. Now, it aims to lead the Canadian Specialty Healthcare market by delivering superior customer service to those who matter most to it: patients, healthcare providers, and pharmaceutical manufacturers.

Prior to her current position, Barbieri served as Director of Operations – Supply Chain & Customer Care for SHN and joined the company in 2013 as Senior Manager of Customer Care. Before that, she was a call center team lead for Shoppers Drug Mart. Barbieri earned an undergraduate degree in business administration and management from York University and a certification in human resources management and services from Seneca College.