Ottawa Chapter


                   Ottawa Technovation Challenge

Ottawa Chapter Team

katy Ottawa Co-chair – 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.
MelanieDuquette Ottawa Co-chair – 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. She also had global market development responsibility for HLA registries. Outside of work, she has volunteered her time and leadership skills to the organizing and running of Ottawa Fashion Week, raising money for charities including UNICEF and the Ottawa Cancer Foundation. Melanie has an Honours Degree in Biopharmaceutical Sciences, and mentors and teaches others throughout her career. As a member of the board, she hopes to continue to offer guidance to young women who also choose to apply their science background and skills to solve important business problems in life sciences leading to better health outcomes worldwide.
SheriFinlay Board Member – 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.
LesleySturla Board Member – 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.
MaureenOHiggins Board Member – 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.
morgan Board Member – Morgan Donaldson has 10 years of experience working in early and mid stage biotech companies. In her tenure at DNA Genotek, she has developed key account strategies and pricing models, managed an International sales team, and was responsible for conceiving and implementing a sales strategy across a global territory: West Coast USA, APAC, EMEA and LATAM. In her current role as Director of Business Development, she is leading the inorganic growth strategy of the company through technology licensing and M&A activities. Morgan also worked as a Senior Business Development Manager at Spartan Biosciences, where she was responsible for new account acquisition and building a Sales pipeline to support the early growth of the company.
Jennifer Board Member – 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.
shannon Board Member – 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.