Meet Our Team
Our goal is to make the Innovation Centre feel like a member of your team. We have a variety of backgrounds, educations, and experiences which lets us bring perspective and diversity to your business. We also like to have a little bit of fun while we're at it!
Thunder Bay Office
Judy Sander, Manager
When Judy isn't cross-country skiing, canoeing, or enjoying time spent with her family, she is managing the Innovation Centre. Judy provides overall leadership and reports to our volunteer Board of Directors. For the past 15 years, Judy has been supporting the growth of many unique businesses. She helps with developing the market strategy, obtaining funding, making connections, finding advisors and coordinating the team. Judy knows from experience that being a business owner is challenging, she believes that the right support can make it easier to achieve success.
James Ellard, Marketing and Branding Specialist
James has been working on the Innovation Centre's and clients marketing and branding efforts for the last 10 years. He also manages the ICT infrastructure digital economy projects. Recently, James graduated from Lakehead University's MBA program on a part-time bases during his spare time.
Kendall Williams, Program Coordinator
Kendall spends her time at the Innovation Centre meeting with clients who are looking to establish and/or expand their business through innovation, as well as developing community partnerships, and innovative projects in Northwestern Ontario. As a program coordinator, Kendall is responisble for the youth programs, as well as the funding programs offered through the Innovation Centre.
Tania Couture, Office Manager
Tania brings business management and administration experience as well as a background in graphic design and IT. When Tania is not at the Innovation Centre she enjoys honing her fine art skills and rooting for the Minnesota Vikings. SKOL!
Ryan Lipcsei, Business Development Advisor
Ryan brings economic development experience and an entrepreneurial education to the team. With a background in the tourism industry, he previously worked in human resources and has also written about collaboration & community engagement. Ryan is pleased to help Northwestern Ontario clients and projects reach their potential.
Bridget Postuma, Business Development Advisor
Bridget is a recent graduate of the Go Global pilot program ran through the Centre; where she worked alongside Wolfhead Coffee as the Business Development Representative. Bridget brings lots of first-hand experience to the table in areas of marketing, sales, and economic development. Bridget is eager to use her skills to deliver excellent customer and client services.
Corey Jones, Regional Business Advisor
Corey has a background in economic development and municipal government. He received his undergraduate degree from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario where he majored in political science and legal studies, along with completing a research specialization in Indigenous government. In his role as Regional Innovation Advisor Corey will be working out of the Innovation Centre’s Kenora office and looking to enhance support for innovators and entrepreneurs in the Kenora and Rainy River Districts, including Treaty 3 communities, and Atikokan.
Jade Lorimer, Regional Business Advisor
Jade graduated from Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, BC with a degree in International Business. Jade has operated her own business for the last six years, and brings with her a first hand insight into the entrepreneurial experience. In her spare time, Jade enjoys traveling the world and spending time on the lake with her family. Jade hopes to help grow and encourage innovative businesses through her role at the NWO Innovation Centre.
Expert in Residence
Born in Thunder Bay, Nathanael left to join the military and purse his undergraduate degree. He studied business at the University of Ottawa (BComm), Royal Roads University (MBA), and Walden University (DBA). Passionate about leadership and Canada, Nathanael has served as a regular force officer in the Canadian Army and Royal Canadian Navy since 2002. Not willing to let go of his business aspirations while serving, Nathanael started a gym in 2009, which grew to 5 locations by 2012. Having explored the world as a Naval Warfare Officer and having recently sold his business, Nathanael is now dedicated to sharing his knowledge and passion through mentorship and education.