Ottawa Chapter


                   Ottawa Technovation Challenge

Ottawa Chapter Team

shannon Shannon O’Higgins is a Sales Account Manager at DNA Genotek, where she is responsible for customer accounts in Europe. Prior to joining the DNA Genotek sales team, she worked in the lab for their Research & Development group. Shannon has also worked as a summer student in a molecular biology laboratory at PharmaGap. Shannon holds an MSc. in Biotechnology and Business from the University College Dublin in Ireland, and an Honours Degree in Biology from Queen’s University. Connect with Shannon on LinkedIn.
MelanieDuquette Melanie Duquette With over 10 years experience in biotech, Melanie is currently the International Marketing Manager for Invitae, a genetic testing company based out of San Francisco CA. Additionally, Melanie sits on the advisory board of Eve Medical, a Toronto based start-up focused on women’s health. Previously, Melanie was instrumental in the early stage growth of DNA Genotek as they defined a new market for non-invasive sample collection. She developed markets in North America and around the world as Senior Manager, International Sales for APAC, EMEA and LATAM. Melanie has an Honours Degree in Biopharmaceutical Sciences, and mentors and teaches others throughout her career.
katy Katy Pelletier graduated from the University of Ottawa with an honours degree in Biopharmaceutical Science, and has built her career in sales, business development and management within the Biotech industry. She has worked both at start-ups and multi-billion dollar enterprises, and loves bringing cutting-edge technology to market. Currently Katy is on the Management Team at Spartan Bioscience, where she leads the sales division. She is also a board member for the Good Morning Creative Arts and Preschool.
Katy feels passionately about helping young women who are interested in building rewarding careers and striving for leadership. She also loves being a mom, and spends as much time as possible with her crazy small boys.
MaureenOHiggins Maureen O’Higgins is a senior consultant specializing in broadband deployment strategy. She believes that connectivity is essential for economic and social wellbeing, even in hard-to-reach places.
After, completing a Master of Business Administration at The Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, Maureen moved on to a career in Business Development and Marketing at Nortel, then to consulting on broadband deployment for communities across Ontario.
Maureen is an avid skier (on snow and water) and runner. She lives in Ottawa with her husband Brian and three daughters.
DanielleHodgson Danielle Hodgson is a Product Manager at Klipfolio, an Ottawa based business dashboarding company. She graduated from Concordia University with honours in Economics and has been working as a Product Manager since for both hardware and software products in satellite communications, IoT, and SaaS. Prior to Klipfolio, she was a Product Manager at SkyWave and ORBCOMM.
Danielle is passionate about building great products and advocating for women and girls in the tech community. She is also an outdoor adventurer enthusiast! Connect with Danielle on LinkedIn.
Jennifer Jennifer Francis is the Principal of Cafe Noir Consulting, with over 25 years of experience in the high technology industry working in a variety of areas including software development, marketing, product management, business development and executive management. Until recently, Jennifer was the Vice President of the Financial Analytics business at IBM. Prior to that she was the Vice President of Business Development at Cognos. In addition to large company experience, Jennifer has startup experience as Sr Vice President of Products at Watchfire, M&A and partnerships with startups at Cognos and IBM, and working with Lead to Win, an organization to help Ottawa area startups get established and grow. Jennifer holds a BMath from the University of Waterloo. Connect with Jennifer on LinkedIn.
LesleySturla Lesley Sturla is an Account Director with High Road Communications [], a full-service communications agency working with some of the best names in the technology and consumer industries. With over 10 years of communications experience, Lesley has guided the public relations and social strategies for a number of clients including companies in the consumer technology, data and interactive gaming space.
SheriFinlay Sheri Finlay. Sheri is the Team Lead, Systems Integration – CRM & Data Warehouse at MD Financial Management. She graduated from Carleton University with a Bachelor of Computer Science with Honours and has had a fast-tracked career in software development and management in a variety of sectors including the financial sector, domain name and website hosting industry, and government contracting, for clients ranging from “Mom and Pop” shops to multi-million dollar enterprises.
Sheri is an active contributor to the Ottawa high-tech community in her role as Co-Chair of the Ottawa Chapter of Women Powering Technology (@WPTGlobal), and previously as Vice-Chair of the Ottawa Chapter of Canadian Women in Technology. Sheri has a deep-rooted desire to help encourage women of all ages seek out opportunities in high tech and create rewarding contributions to the sector. Connect with Sheri on LinkedIn.
  Katharine Griffiths is an operationally minded leader with more than 20 years of experience in the technology industry. She leverages her mathematics and computer engineering background to encourage the next generation of women to embrace STEM, and she draws on her compassionate leadership style to demonstrate the power of resiliency to not only survive, but to flourish in the ebb and flow of the technology sector. Inspired by strong women, Katharine couples her passion for gender diversity to provide a fresh perspective on feminism. Connect with Katharine on LinkedIn.
  Julia Elvidge As past President of Chipworks, Julia has extensive experience growing a company in the high tech industry. Her strengths include industry experience with Intellectual Property issues, international sales, strategic planning and product management best practices. Julia retired after the sale of Chipworks to its largest competitor, TechInsights, in June 2016. Prior to joining Chipworks, she worked at LSI Logic Canada, a company that designed and manufactured semiconductor chips.
Julia is an electrical engineering graduate of University of Waterloo and a member of the Canadian Institute of Corporate Directors, and has attained the Institute’s ICD.D designation. Her interests include leadership skills development and mentoring girls and women in STEM careers or business growth. Connect with Julia on LinkedIn.
Claire McLaughlin is a Biomedical Engineer at Cumulus Dental, a biotechnology company in Ottawa. Claire graduated with a Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) from North Carolina State University after studying Biochemistry at the University of Ottawa. She developed a broad science knowledge base while managing a science laboratory during her previous career as a high school Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Earth Science teacher. She has advocated for increased diversity in STEM as a leader in the Brunswick County STEM Council, Girls Who Code, and FIRST Robotics. Connect with Claire on LinkedIn. LinkedIn.