Management Team

Igor Gimelshtein , Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Gimelshtein is the CFO of the Company, providing leadership on financial matters, including capital structure, forecasting, budgeting and reporting, as well as corporate development and data-driven business optimization. Previously, he was a Vice President at Birch Hill Equity Partners, a Canadian mid-market private equity firm. While at Birch Hill, Mr. Gimelshtein worked on the development and management of a number of the portfolio companies and potential investments across a wide range of industries, each of which was aimed at generating significant growth and value-creation.

Mr. Gimelshtein played a key role in Birch Hill’s investments in companies such as Softchoice, Shred-it, DHX Media (formerly Cookie Jar Entertainment), Carmanah Design and Manufacturing, and Mastermind Toys. Prior to joining Birch Hill, Mr. Gimelshtein worked in San Francisco and New York for Union Square Advisors as an investment banker focused on the technology sector. At Union Square he evaluated and executed mergers and acquisitions and financing transactions across the software, internet and digital media, and hardware sectors. Mr. Gimelshtein is an active philanthropist, spending the majority of his volunteer time working with the executive team and board of directors of the Toronto Foundation on various initiatives. Mr. Gimelshtein holds an HBA (Ivey Scholar) from the Richard Ivey School of Business at Western University.

Donald J. Courtney , Chief Operating Officer

Mr. Courtney is the Chief Operating Officer of the Company, overseeing all business operations, from integrated sales and operations planning to supply chain management, resource and systems development, facility expansion and site management. Prior to joining the Company, he served as COO of LG Electronics Canada, where he provided strategic operational leadership in the technology-driven Tier One global business sector.

With more than 20 years managing complex manufacturing organizations, including operational roles at Mars Canada, PepsiCo and Vincor International, Mr Courtney has acquired extensive experience with ISO environments, perishable inventories, strict regulatory constraints and sensitive processing technologies. As a member of the leadership team across a range of B2B and B2C companies, he has been instrumental in driving change, transforming business planning methods and organizational systems. Mr Courtney has demonstrated success in challenging, change-oriented operating environments, responding effectively and proactively to evolving product and technology needs in expanding markets.

Since completing the Instrumentation and Control Engineering Technology program at Saint Lawrence College, Mr. Courtney has continued to pursue his interests through executive learning courses in Lean Manufacturing and Integrated Business Planning.

Darren Karasiuk , Senior Vice President / General Manager, Recreational

Mr. Karasiuk is the Senior Vice President / General Manager, Recreational of the Company, responsible for business development and preparing the Company for the potential introduction of a recreational cannabis market in Canada, while ensuring that MedReleaf’s business strategy and growth plan are founded in industry-leading analytics and data-driven insights. Mr. Karasiuk brings over 15 years of insight generation, marketing strategy and public affairs experience to his role. Prior to joining MedReleaf, Mr. Karasiuk was Vice-President, Insights and Advisory at Deloitte where he was a leader in the firm’s cannabis practice, co-authoring the firm’s seminal study, “Recreational Marijuana: Insights and Opportunities.”

Previously, Mr. Karasiuk was Vice-President, Strategy, Corporate and Public Affairs at Environics Research, where he conducted many of Canada’s earliest studies on pharmacist and physician perceptions of medical cannabis. He has also been the Canadian associate for the Marijuana Policy Group, a leading Denver-based economic and policy consulting firm specializing in helping to shape regulated medical and recreational cannabis markets. Mr. Karasiuk’s advisory experience has focused largely on the integration of consumer and marketplace data, financial modeling, marketing strategy and behavioural science, with a view to uncovering drivers of consumer behaviour and uncovering hidden market segments, as well as informing price, brand, product portfolio, communications and public affairs strategies. Mr. Karasiuk is also experienced in working within highly regulated industries including private and public healthcare, pharma, tobacco, consumer packaged goods and energy, as well as all three levels of government. Mr. Karasiuk holds an MA from Western University and an MBA from Kellogg-Schulich.

Ivan Latysh , Vice President, Information Technology

Mr. Latysh is the Vice President, Information Technology of the Company, and has over 30 years of experience in information technology across multiple verticals and provides leadership for the continued development of an innovative, robust and secure information technology environment at MedReleaf.

Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Latysh held a number of senior positions within the marketing and professional services industries. Most recently, he was Director of Technology at Sapient Nitro, a leading technology, marketing and insights consultancy. At Sapient Nitro, Mr. Latysh acted as a delivery lead for e-commerce implementations for some of North America’s most well-known retail brands.

Previously, Mr. Latysh was Principal Software Engineer at Infor and Chief Technology Officer at Refine Data Solutions Inc. This experience has provided Mr. Latysh with a deep understanding of various technical environments, information security and software development methodologies. Throughout his career, Mr. Latysh has also effectively managed and led software development initiatives. Mr. Latysh holds an MA in Electronics Engineering and Computer Programming from Dnepropetrovsk State University, Ukraine.

Dr. Jeremy N. Friedberg, HBSc, PhD , Chief Science Officer

Dr. Friedberg, Chief Science Officer, has been involved extensively in both public and private scientific research projects, holds several patents in plant-based gene expression systems and has years of research expertise in the genetics of commercial plant production systems.

He has founded several companies and led the development of numerous scientific research initiatives that have garnered international recognition and awards from the Canadian National Scientific Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the United States National Science Foundation (NSF) and the United Nations.

In his role at MedReleaf, Dr. Friedberg provides a scientific framework for our internal research, oversees the development of new strains for specific conditions and manages third party research sponsored by MedReleaf.

He holds an HBSc in Genetics from the University of Western Ontario, and a PhD in Molecular Genetics & Biotechnology from the University of Guelph.

Jason Fleming, CHRL , Vice President, Human Resources

Jason is an accomplished, bilingual HR executive with a decade of varied HR experience. Prior to joining MedReleaf, Jason was the Director of Human Resources with the Seaboard Transport Group, Canada’s largest transporter of petroleum and chemical products. In addition, Jason has provided HR consulting services to a number of organizations in various sectors, including municipal government, architecture and non-profit. He sits on the board of directors for Aboriginal Legal Services as well as the Canadian Freestyle Skiing Association. Jason possesses a BA from the University of Guelph, a Post-Graduate Certificate in HR Management and a Certificate in HR Law; he is a Certified Human Resources Leader with the Ontario Human Resources Professional Association.

Adam Noyek , Senior Director, Operations and Business Planning

Prior to joining MedReleaf, Adam was an Associate at Alvarez and Marsal, one of North America’s largest turnaround management and restructuring firms. In the Toronto office, he helped guide a broad range of clients, including company management, lending syndicates and secured creditors, through complicated and challenging situations. Notable assignments during his time at A&M included advising the management team of Blockbuster Canada throughout the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of their U.S. parent and helping oversee the $434 million distressed asset purchase of Arctic Glacier Inc., one of the largest ice manufacturers in Canada. Adam maintains a keen interest in small business entrepreneurship. His most successful venture to-date is one he helped co-found: Spray Lake Watersports and Activity Centre, a premiere recreation facility in Ontario. Adam received his Honours in Business Administration (HBA) from the Richard Ivey School of Business (now Ivey Business School) at Western University.

Christie Hall , Vice President, Finance and Accounting

Christie brings over 15 years of senior financial, accounting and reporting leadership for both public and private companies in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, service delivery, real estate, construction and retail. Prior to joining MedReleaf, Christie was the VP Finance for FirstOnSite Restoration, a national provider of disaster restoration, owned by private equity firm TorQuest (until 2016). At FirstOnSite, Christie championed the centralization of the finance team, generating significant cost savings and business process improvements across the organization, while concurrently realigning finance and reporting objectives with the company’s business strategy. Previously, Christie was the Controller for Brookfield Real Estate Services Inc. and Coretec Inc., both TSX®-listed companies. As a seasoned Controller, leading teams of up to 17 finance professionals, Christie has focused her career in accounting, budgeting and forecasting, business modelling, treasury management, internal controls, public company reporting and compliance. Christie has implemented and led various initiatives, including major ERP system integrations, process re-engineering, internal control assessment and development, IFRS conversions and supporting various business mergers and acquisitions. Christie is a designated CPA, CGA and holds a BA from Athabasca University as well as a diploma in Accounting and Finance from Seneca College.

Robert Gora , General Manager, Medical

Robert brings 15 years of experience working in the Canadian Healthcare Industry to his role as General Manager, Medical.

Prior to joining MedReleaf, Robert held the position of Senior Director, Stakeholder Relations at Innomar Strategies, an industry-leading patient support program service provider to the pharmaceutical industry. During his time at Innomar, Robert also worked as a Senior Director, Specialty Services, acting as a business unit leader for one of the company’s largest patient support program divisions. Through his experience at this organization, Robert developed intimate knowledge of patient support programs from multiple perspectives including those of the pharmaceutical manufacturers, physicians, other healthcare practitioners, caregivers and patients. He has further expertise in the launch of patient support programs as well as the development of innovative strategies to maximize brand growth for pharmaceutical clients.

Previously, Robert spent over 11 years working in the Canadian pharmaceutical industry with Bristol-Myers Squibb, where he held leadership positions in Continuing Health Education, Sales and Marketing. While there, Robert gained experience in the development and delivery of continuing health education programs, the consultation process with advisory boards and brand strategy development and tactical execution. He was responsible for maintaining and growing mature brands, as well as launching new and innovative brands. Throughout his time in the pharmaceutical industry, Robert worked with many brands spanning multiple disease areas including cardiovascular, metabolic, mental health, neurology, respirology, immunology, hepatology, oncology and rare disease.

Linda Burlison , Director of Marketing

Linda comes to MedReleaf with 20 years of experience as a trailblazer in the Canadian digital marketing space. She was recognized by the Canadian Internet Advertising Bureau as one of Canada’s 40 Best, Most Creative and Innovative Online Marketing Professionals.

Most recently, Linda was Head of Canadian Marketing for GlobeOne, a California-based fintech start-up. Previously, in addition to founding/building a global ecommerce company, Linda held senior strategy and marketing positions at leading Canadian marketing agencies. While in the role of Director of Media & Analytics at Henderson Bas (Canada’s most awarded digital advertising agency), Linda led cutting-edge programs for clients including Capital One, Nintendo, Molson and Source by Circuit City. She has led successful marketing initiatives for many other well-known global brands.

Linda was one of the first 100 marketers in the world to attain Google’s Adwords Professional Certification and later earned her Google Analytics Qualification. She also spearheaded the first Canadian search engine marketing campaigns for iconic beer brands including Molson, Labatt’s, Budweiser, Keith’s, Hoegaarden and Stella Artois.

Linda is a published author and a graduate of McMaster University’s MBA program, specializing in the Management of Innovation & Technology. She is also the recipient of a Government of Canada National Sport Achievement Award for her performance in the field of amateur sport.

Andy Duncan , Vice President, Engineering

Mr. Duncan is the Vice President, Engineering of the Company, responsible for infrastructure construction, development and reliability. This includes all physical assets, equipment and systems related to the growth, manufacture and distribution of our products.

Mr. Duncan applies the rigour developed over 20 years designing, constructing and maintaining facilities for Canada’s leading healthcare and pharmaceutical providers. Prior to joining MedReleaf, he was Global Director for Engineering at Apotex, one of Canada’s leading pharmaceutical companies, where he led a team responsible for nearly $100 million in capital work.

As Project/Engineering Manager for significant capital expansions in the pharmaceutical industry, Mr. Duncan has implemented effective systems for workflow processes as well as capital and financial reporting. He represented the prime consultant for the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre M/S wing expansions – a $200 million project that was delivered to Infrastructure Ontario standards of cost and scope accountability.

Mr. Duncan also has extensive experience in electrical and control system design for the automotive and pharmaceutical sectors.

Mr. Duncan is a graduate of the University of Waterloo and is a registered professional engineer in Ontario as well as a licensed electrician.

Andrea Park , Director, Quality Assurance and Quality Compliance

Ms. Park, Director of Quality Assurance and Compliance, has over 12 years of experience in the design and implementation of quality management systems, with a focus on patient-centred care and risk management. Her expertise includes mergers and acquisitions,as well as the integration of medical laboratory best practices, patient safety and regulatory affairs.

Prior to joining MedReleaf, Ms. Park held leadership roles in community and hospital medical laboratories and accreditation programs. Most recently she was the Manager, Quality & Regulatory Affairs for LifeLabs Ontario, managing a team of professionals and overseeing quality assurance programs across the province.

Ms. Park is certified by the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS) to practise medical laboratory technology within Canada and is in good standing with the College of Medical Laboratory Technologist of Ontario (CMLTO). She is a Certified Quality Improvement Associate through the American Society of Quality and has completed the Laboratory Quality Management Certificate from the Michener Institute in Toronto. A seasoned auditor with the Institute for Quality Management in Healthcare, Ms. Park is a noted writer and speaker on risk management, quality and innovation. She sits on the Standards Council of Canada mirror committee, facilitating Canadian participation in international standardization systems.

Ms. Park holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Toronto, and a diploma in Medical Laboratory Science from the Michener Institute. She is currently working towards a Master of Health Management from Charles Sturt University.