Nicole Janssen and Wendy Luther join Mitacs Board of Directors; Philippe Gervais becomes Chair

Vancouver, BC —Mitacs welcomes two leaders in Canadian business innovation, stretching from applied AI solutions to export development, Nicole Janssen and Wendy Luther bring valuable insights and experiences to the Mitacs board.

The new directors were appointed at the board’s AGM on September 14. Philippe Gervais, Principal, Navigator Ltd., was appointed Board Chair. Gervais succeeds former Chair Diane Gray, founding President and CEO of CentrePort Canada Inc.

New directors:

Wendy Luther, MBA, CITP, is President and CEO of Halifax Partnership, the city’s public-private economic development organization. In this role, she leads efforts to achieve the Halifax Economic Growth Plan’s ambitious goal of growing the city’s population to 550,000 and GDP to $30 billion by 2031.

Wendy is passionate about building deep, collaborative relationships with the business community, investors, and other stakeholders to position Halifax as a city of the future, where businesses and people thrive. Prior to her appointment to the helm of Halifax Partnership in 2019, she served as President and CEO of EduNova, leading the organization’s efforts to elevate Nova Scotia’s profile for international students. Wendy also spent time as a Trade Development Executive with Nova Scotia Business Inc., working to market Nova Scotia to the world as an investment opportunity and a thriving export market.

Nicole Janssen is Co-Founder and Co-CEO of AltaML, a Canadian artificial intelligence scaleup that designs and implements applied AI solutions for businesses. Nicole is responsible for overseeing the growth of AltaML’s business, which spans multiple sectors including agriculture, financial services, health, and energy. She is recognized as a leader in helping Canadian business leaders understand the importance of ethical AI.

Prior to AltaML, Nicole cofounded Janalta Interactive Inc., an online media company, as well as Stratus Holdings Inc., a private real estate investment firm. Nicole is active in her local community and currently serves as a Director at Innovate Edmonton. Nicole holds a BCom in international business from the University of Alberta.

The two leaders join current board members:

  • Amiee Chan, President and CEO, Norsat International Inc.
  • Bruce MacDougall, Principal, Burcot Park Holdings Inc.
  • Doug Mitchell, National Co-Chair, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
  • Gilbert Nolasco , Consultant, Cohérence RH
  • Iain Klugman, President and CEO, Communitech
  • John Hepburn, CEO, Mitacs Inc.
  • John Milloy, Assistant Professor of Public Ethics and Co-Director of the Centre for Public Ethics at Waterloo Lutheran Seminar, Wilfrid Laurier University
  • Karen Mossman, Vice-President, Research, McMaster University
  • Marie-Hélène Labrie, Senior Vice-President, Public Affairs and Communications, Cogeco Inc.
  • Philippe Gervais (Board Chair), Principal, Navigator Ltd.
  • Santa Ono, President and Vice-Chancellor, UBC
  • Tony Chahine, CEO and founder, Myant Inc. 

Mitacs is grateful to outgoing board members Diane Gray and Sarah Bevan for their distinguished service.


Philippe Gervais, Chair, Board of Directors, Mitacs and Principal, Navigator Ltd.

“The insights and expertise Nicole and Wendy bring to the board table align well with the central role Mitacs will play in the months and years ahead in helping Canadian businesses emerge strong from the pandemic and developing the talent Canada needs to compete in the new global marketplace. Mitacs is fortunate to have business leaders of this calibre join our team at this moment in time.”

John Hepburn, CEO, Mitacs

“It is with great enthusiasm that I welcome our new board members and board chair. Their experience and enthusiasm for Canadian innovation is a tremendous asset to Mitacs as is their commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and championing our strategic objectives and vision for the organization.

Quick facts:

  • Mitacs is a not-for-profit organization that fosters growth and innovation in Canada by solving business challenges with research solutions from academic institutions.
  • Mitacs is funded by the Government of Canada along with the Government of Alberta, the Government of British Columbia, Research Manitoba, the Government of New Brunswick, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Government of Nova Scotia, the Government of Ontario, Innovation PEI, the Government of Quebec, the Government of Saskatchewan, and the Government of Yukon.

Learn more:

For information about Mitacs and its programs, visit