Rob Rennie – Chairman of the AVAC Board
Dr. Rob Rennie is President of Keppoch Advisory Services, a consulting company which assists new companies in the agriculture and fertilizer sector. He retired as President and CEO of Spur Ventures in April, 2012 after having successfully sold Spur’s fertilizer business in China. He was formerly with Agrium Inc. where he was Vice President International and Vice President Corporate Relations. As VP International he was responsible for starting Agrium’s wholesale fertilizer and growing their retail agricultural business in Argentina. As VP Corporate Relations he represented Agrium in its various political and environmental dealings with the US, Canadian and Argentine governments.
Dr. Rennie earned a PhD from the University of Minnesota in soil microbiology, a M.Sc. from Université Laval in soil chemistry and a B.S.A. (Honours) from the University of Saskatchewan in soil science. He then held an NRC Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the University of Sussex, UK. He has more than 27 years of experience in international agriculture and agriculture R&D serving as a scientist with Agriculture Canada and previously as an Officer with the International Atomic Energy Agency and Food and Agriculture Organizations of the United Nations in Vienna, Austria.
Dr. Rennie is fluent in English, French, Spanish and German and includes travel, long-distance running and reading as his hobbies.
Jerry Bouma has over 30 years experience as a management consultant in the agri-food industry. As a founder and senior partner with Toma & Bouma Management Consultants, he has managed more than 500 strategic planning and marketing projects. Prior to establishing Toma & Bouma in 1992, he worked as the Senior Marketing Manager with Shur-Gain Feeds – a division of Maple Leaf Foods and as a management consultant with Deloitte Haskins + Sells – now Deloitte Touche.
Since 2012, Jerry is serving as a Director on the Board of AVAC. He is Chair of the Investment Committee and serves on the Audit Committee. During that time AVAC has re-focused its investment strategy back to the agri-tech sector – a sector in which AVAC is uniquely positioned.
Jerry’s governance experience includes: Governor on the Olds College Board (current); past Chair of Northlands Board of Directors (2007 to 2009) – Canada’s largest agriculture and exhibition society; founding Chair of the Northland’s Board of Governors (2009 to 2011). He has also served on the Board of Horse Racing Alberta (2002 to 2007) where he chaired the Marketing Committee which won numerous national and international awards for its innovative marketing campaign. Jerry was also the Founding President of the Canadian Swine Exporters Association and former President of the Canadian Agri-Marketing Association.
Currently Jerry serves as a Business Advisor to the Little Potato Company, Chair of Pan-American Junior Athletics Organizing Committee and Advisor to the Canadian Athletics Coaching Centre. He is a former member of the Canadian Track & Field Team and holds a M.Sc. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Guelph and a B.Sc. in Mathematics from Villanova University, Pennsylvania.
Mr. Art Froehlich is the President and CEO of Agriview Inc. in Calgary, Alberta. He is also the past President and managing partner of AdFarm and is currently Strategic Advisor and Board member at AdFarm, one of North America’s largest agriculture and food marketing and communications companies. Over the last 30 years, Mr. Froehlich has held senior executive positions with Hoechst Canada Inc (Bayer), Alberta Pool (Viterra), and Wetcan Malting (RAHR). He continues to work with Canadian food and agricultural companies in developing international markets for their products. Mr. Froehlich currently is Chair of the Board of Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions and FBSciences. In addition, he sits on many corporate boards including: RR46, Prince Rupert Grain, AVAC Ltd. (past chair), AgWest Bio Sciences, ABIC Foundation, JEH Enterprises, POS Sciences, and the Board of Governors of Olds College. Art is a past Board Chair of the Alberta Agricultural Research Institute, Genome Alberta, University of Alberta Faculty of Agriculture Industry Advisory Board. Art is also a past board member of ATB Financial and the Canadian Agricultural Policy Research Institute. In addition, he has also served on the Boards of the Malting Barley Research Institute, Western Grain Elevator Association, and the Canadian 4-H council.
In 2005, Mr. Froehlich was awarded the Distinguished Agrologist Award by the Alberta Institute of Agrologists, and the Alberta Centennial Gold Medal by the Province of Alberta. He was inducted into the BioIndustrial Hall of Fame in 2012 and received an Honorary Degree from Olds College in 2014. In addition to his business activities, Mr. Froehlich is involved with a number of charitable organizations including the Clinton Global Initiative and is Chair of the Board of the Shamba International Partnership. Art continues to personally support developmental initiatives in Peru, the Dominican Republic, South Africa, and Ghana. Mr. Froehlich is still active in his farming operations in Saskatchewan.
Myles is a native Albertan and grew up in the out skirts of Airdrie when it was a small town. He graduated with a diploma in Business Administration from SAIT in 1982. He then attended Washington State University and graduated with a BA in Business Administration majoring in Marketing.
Myles has spent his entire career in consumer packaged goods. Following university he was hired by Procter & Gamble and worked in sales, sales training, advertising, and sales management over a six year period in Edmonton, Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary.
Myles joined Frito Lay Canada in 1991 and worked there for 15 years, with most of his tenure as vice president of Western Canada. Myles was promoted to vice president at the age of 31; the youngest vice president in the history of Frito Lay Canada. During his tenure between 1991 and 2006, the company increased its sales and market share by four fold in Western Canada and led all regions in North America in expanding profit margins during this period.
In 2006, Myles left Frito Lay to become the vice president and managing partner of Spitz International. Myles was involved in several changes with the company and played an integral role in initiating and completing the recent sale of Spitz International a privately held company to Frito Lay a division of PepsiCo.
Myles is currently self employed and has a consulting business specializing in small business consulting and restructuring.
Myles has served on the Board at Center Street Church, The Spartan foundation at Trinity Western University as well as several private companies.
Myles has been married to his wife Corinne for 30 years, he has two children who have both recently graduated from University.
Bill McKenzie has extensive experience in private investments plus corporate development, including leading 20 investments with an aggregate investment value in excess of $2 billion, and serving as a director of 20 companies.
Bill was Senior Vice President of Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo), where he built and led a team to source, assess, negotiate and actively manage international infrastructure and timberland investments. For 15 years, he was Vice President of Vencap, one of Canada’s largest and most active private equity investors, sourcing and assessing potential investments plus assisting investee companies on strategy, corporate finance and executive recruitment. Investment lead and active directorship roles included companies in: internet and messaging software; biotechnology and life sciences; advanced materials and specialty chemicals; electronics, medical devices and communications equipment; energy services; and environmental technology. Bill led investments that resulted in companies going public and being acquired by strategic buyers. As Vice President Corporate Development of Churchill Corporation (TSE), Bill led acquisitions and other initiatives to accelerate growth, profitability and value creation. Bill has also been an active personal investor in emerging companies.
Bill is currently a director of several private companies and alternative asset investment funds.
Bill McKenzie holds a MBA from Harvard Business School and a BAdmin from the University of Regina, plus designations as a Chartered Financial Analyst, Certified Management Accountant and ICD.D, the professional director program offered through the Rotman School of Business, University of Toronto.
Colette Miller (Vegreville) is a partner with Wilde and Company Chartered Accountants. She specializes in owner-managed business including taxation, estate and succession planning, and has a special interest in agricultural related companies. Her expertise is enhanced by her personal experience of farming with her husband on their cattle and grain operation.
Colette serves on the board of ATB Financial, as chair of HRC and member of Audit committee. She is also a Governor of Athabasca University, serving on Executive Committee, Finance & Property, and chairing Audit Committee. Colette has extensive experience with the Public Sector as an auditor, consultant and instructor for municipalities and school divisions.
She remains an active volunteer with the Institute of Chartered Professional Accountants of Alberta, serving on the Awards committee. Colette is also very involved with her community including the Rotary Club, Wendy Brook Music Festival and Big Brothers Big Sisters.