Our Team

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! 


Judy Sander Picture

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.

Email Judy - judy@nwoinnovation.ca

James Ellard Picture

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.

Email James - james@nwoinnovation.ca

Kendall Kerbashian Profile Picture


Kendall Kerbashian, 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.

Email Kendall - kendall@nwoinnovation.ca

Tania Couture Profile Picture


Tania Couture, Office Manager

As office manager Tania is responsible for assisting the team wherever she can, especially in the day to day operations of the Centre, and excited to support her fellow staff and the Innovation Centre clients. As a recent transplant to Thunder Bay, when Tania is not at the office she is exploring and getting to know this beautiful city and its people.

Email Tania - office@nwoinnovation.ca

Laura Randall Profile Picture


Laura Randall, Digital Marketing & Design Specialist

Laura is a graduate from the Honours Bachelor of Commerce program at Lakehead University with majors in marketing and information systems. With a passion for art and design, Laura helps with the marketing initiatives of clients and the Innovation Centre.

Email Laura - laura@nwoinnovation.ca

Ryan Lipcsei Profile Picture


Ryan Lipcsei, Business Development Advisor

As the newest team member, Ryan brings economic development experience and an entrepreneurial education. With a background in the tourism industry, he previously worked in human resources and has also written about collaboration & community engagement. Ryan is looking forward to helping Northwestern Ontario clients and projects reach their potential.

Email Ryan - ryan@nwoinnovation.ca

Katherine Couzelis Profile Picture


Katherine Couzelis, Community Mapping Specialist Intern

Katherine is a recent graduate of the Forestry program at Confederation College and has a background in tourism and indigenous studies. As an intern she will be working with different clients that are in need of her mapping expertise. She will also be working closely with each member of our team to extend her knowledge of the business world.

Email Katherine - katherine@nwoinnovation.ca