Venture Development Residency Advisory Committee

The Venture Development Residency Advisory Committee provides local perspective, guidance and expert strategic advisement in the selection and renewal of external residents in Brock University’s Venture Development incubation facility. The Committee comprises of successful business and community leaders with extensive entrepreneurial, leadership and technology expertise.

Committee Members

Martin Philp
Principal, Next Advisory Partners

Martin (Marty) Philp started his career in the corporate arena where he held senior management positions, ending as the Canadian president of a multi-national corporation. 

Throughout his corporate career, Marty specialized in business transformations, M & A, strategic development and cultural shifts within global organizations. His roles have included sales, operational and financial responsibility in North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America.

Marty’s passion for working with entrepreneurs and startups led him to his current role, where, for over ten years, private business owners, corporations and private equity firms have sought his counsel to provide solutions and create value.

As a corporate executive, the co-founder of a private equity firm, and most recently at Kilbride Partners and Next Advisory Partners, Marty has brokered a number of private business acquisitions and divestitures with a track record for creating value for shareholders and investors.

He has served on the board of directors of Ingersoll-Rand Canada and its various subsidiaries, and acts as an advisory board member for a number of privately-held small businesses and charitable organizations, and serves on the Goodman School of Business Advisory Council

Marty received his Masters of Arts and a Bachelor of Administration with Honours from Brock University, St. Catharines Ontario and recently became an honourary inductee into the Goodman Chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma. 

David Anyon
Former CEO of Vintex Inc.

David is the founder of The D. Stuart Co. Inc. and former Chair & CEO of Vintex Inc.

He is an entrepreneur and business strategist with more than 35 years of experience and a successful track record of leading both start-up and established manufacturing companies to new levels of profitability, market share capture and business growth.

He launched his career as Controller of Pitt Steel Inc., a steel service company. Over the next few years he provided financial leadership as the company realized significant year- over-year growth in revenues, and spearheaded major administrative restructuring that included the computerization of corporate offices and seven branch operations.

As the President and CEO of Vintex Inc., a polymer coated textile manufacturer, with clients in North America, Europe and Asia, David developed an outstanding leadership team. Their exceptional business results earned the company three straight recognitions as one of the National Post’s Top 50 Best Managed Companies. In addition, David was a finalist as Entrepreneur of the Year in 2000, as voted by Ernst & Young, Canadian Business Magazine, and BMO Nesbitt Burns.

He has served on the boards of private manufacturers in the Toronto area, a Winnipeg insurance company and on the advisory boards of VenGrowth Inc., and the Pierre L. Morrissette Institute for Entrepreneurship at the University of Western Ontario. He is also the Chair on Brock University’s Goodman School of Business Advisory Council. Last year David was also Brock University’s Chapter Honoree for the Beta Gamma Sigma Society.

David and his wife Barbara live in Queenston. David is an avid golfer and enjoys family and friends on most weekends.

CEOs who have the opportunity to work with David will benefit from his entrepreneurial success, extensive business and leadership experience, strength of character and his commitment to providing unconditional support in helping CEOs succeed.

Ian Brindle
Professor of Chemistry, Brock University

Ian Brindle first came to Brock as a graduate student in 1968, returning as a Senior Demonstrator in 1974. He became an Assistant Professor in 1986, a full Professor in 1989, and in 2001 was appointed Dean. He served in that capacity until his appointment as Vice-President of Research. Along the way he was also interim Associate Vice- President, Research and International Development in 2007-08.

Brindle is a professor of Chemistry, holds a Chancellor’s Chair in Research Excellence and is author of more than 90 publications in analytical chemistry. The University of Manchester awarded him the degree of Doctor of Science for belonging to that group of scientists who “have distinguished themselves as authorities in the field by their substantial and original contributions to the advancement of knowledge.” He also holds a BSc from Manchester and an MSc from Brock.

A Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (UK), his work on hydride-forming elements and his pioneering use of L-cysteine in the determination of these elements led to its being called the “Brindle Reagent”. The reagent is used worldwide.

With Roger McLaughlin, of Brock’s Department of Chemistry, he received a US patent for a device for atomic spectrometry. Known as the Multimode Sample Introduction System, the device improves laboratory performance in the analysis of water, wastewater, sludges and sediments for toxic elements such as arsenic and selenium. The device is used in laboratories across Ontario and in the US, the UK and Europe.

Current research centres around the preparation of environmental and mining samples for analysis of major, trace, and ultratrace elements.

Jeff Chesebrough
CEO, Innovate Niagara

Jeff is the Chief Executive Officer at Innovate Niagara. Jeff lives at the intersection of public, private and not-for-profit sectors. Known for his ability to build relationships and foster collaboration amongst stakeholders, Jeff has led the evolution of Innovate Niagara, a one-stop resource for entrepreneurs in high growth sectors that includes a network of business incubators and service providers. Innovate Niagara evolved from nGen – Niagara Interactive Media Generator and now includes the Generator at one and Venture Development business incubators as well as a Regional Innovation Centre.

His previous work experience includes VP Operations and partner at Innivity Marketing group which was named as one of the HOT 50 Emerging Growth Companies in Canada by PROFIT magazine during his time there. After years of running a business outside the region, Jeff made a conscious decision to return to his roots and has become entrenched in the Niagara community. Jeff currently serves on the Niagara Economic Development Advisory Committee and CAA Niagara Board of Directors.

Winner of several business achievement and volunteer recognition awards, Jeff is particularly proud of having been named as a senator with the Jaycee International organization, the highest honour bestowed by JCI, and his Brock University Alumni of Distinction Award.

Marnie LaVigne
President and CEO at LaunchNY

Dr. LaVigne has spent more than 25 years in the both the private and public sectors creating new products and start-up businesses involving innovative applications of technology in health care and life sciences. In July 2014, she became the President and CEO of LaunchNY, a venture development organization she co-founded and whose mission is to identify, support and invest in high-growth, high-impact companies and catalyze the entrepreneurial culture of Upstate New York. Previously she led the development efforts at the University of Buffalo as the Associate Vice-President for Economic Development.

Dr. LaVigne holds a BS in neuroscience and a PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Rochester. She serves on numerous boards for economic development, workforce development, venture capital, and health care organizations, as well as life sciences publications and start-up businesses.

Dan Lynch
Special Advisor Brock LINC, Brock University

Dan brings a strong and career-long commitment to assisting SMEs and academic researchers, facilitating commercialization and has a proven track record in industry liaison. Prior to joining Brock he served as Industry Liaison Manager for Innovation York, York University; Dan was also the Vice President Commercialization and Chief Operating Officer of HTX, Ontario’s Health Technology Exchange, a leading catalyst for accelerating the growth of Ontario’s medical and assistive technologies industry cluster; and for many years he was an Industrial Technology Advisor in the National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program across Southern Ontario including more than 5 years at the University of Western Ontario. In these positions he has worked with many innovative Ontario companies to assist in developing new technologies that resulted in the commercialization of new products, processes or markets.

From his private sector career, Dan acquired years of experience as an engineer and manager in the R&D, design and manufacture of process systems and equipment for the food, biotech and pharmaceutical industries and is the holder of 3 Patents.

A Professional Engineer in Ontario, Dan has a BASc in Chemical Engineering from University of Toronto and a MASc in Management Sciences from the University of Waterloo, specializing in the Management of Innovation and Technology.

Located at the new Cairns Family Health and Bioscience Research Complex, Dan is responsible for connecting Brock University research assets and expertise to the private sector community, particularly in Niagara Region, and matching these assets and expertise with local partner needs, providing access to Goodman Group Venture Development services (research, technology, advisory and commercialization), enlarging our partner base, and working with others in the community to maximize the social and economic impacts of these services.

John Suk
President, Xigera Inc.

John Suk has had a successful career as a senior executive in the pharmaceutical industry. After senior positions at Hoffmann La Roche and Glaxo, John founded Byk Canada in 1997 , from his home in St. Catharines, Ontario. Known more recently as Nycomed Canada, John is the past President and CEO, having retired as of April 2011. Nycomed was named to the Top 100 Employers in Canada by Maclean’s Magazine in the past several years and has been in the Top 20 of Best Workplaces for the past years, including #7 ranking in 2011. In late 2011, Nycomed was purchased by Takeda of Japan – a global acquisition.

John has served on the Board of Directors of Rx&D Canada, and has served as Vice-Chair of the Health Research Foundation of Canada. John has completed the ICD.D designation through Rotman at the University of Toronto and the Institute for Corporate Directors (2011), and has been or currently serves as a member of the following company boards:
Exciton Technologies of Edmonton ,IIX Corporation  of St. Catharines and Medical Futures of Toronto. 

John has been a trustee for Brock University for the years from 2007 to the present, and serves as current Chair of the Board of Trustees.

John (Brock ’73) was recently recognized by the Brock Alumni Association as one of Brock’s “ Top Thirty from the Past Thirty” award recipients, and as a distinguished alumnus by the Brock Faculty of Math and Sciences.

John and his wife Susan Armbrust live in St. Catharines, and they have three adult children plus three grandchildren.

John Zoccoli
President, Jamzoc Holdings

A native of the Niagara Region, John Zoccoli graduated, with first class
honours, from Brock University in 1986 with an Honours Bachelor of Administration degree (co-op program). In 1987, Mr. Zoccoli received his Chartered Accountant designation from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario, receiving the highest score that year for those who had written the Uniform Final Exam from the Niagara region.

Mr. Zoccoli began his career as an accountant for Dunwoody & Company Chartered Accountants but soon found himself returning to Brock University where he spent the next fourteen years in key administrative positions on campus. Mr. Zoccoli began his career at Brock University as the Internal Auditor from 1988 to 1991, moving to Manager of Accounting Services from 1991 to 1995 and becoming Director of Finance from 1995 to 2002.

Currently, Mr. Zoccoli, a franchisee of Tim Hortons, oversees administrative and financial functions for his family run operation of nine Tim Hortons Stores in the Niagara region.

In 2008, Mr. Zoccoli was awarded the Brock University Faculty of Business Distinguished Graduate Award. In 2012, Mr. Zoccoli was the Inducted as Chapter Honoree of the Brock University’s Beta Gamma Sigma International Honours Society. Brock being only one of eight Canadian Universities with a Chapter which celebrates academic excellence in undergraduate and graduate business studies. In 2013, Mr. Zoccoli was awarded the Brock University Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumnus.

Extremely active in the Niagara region, Mr. Zoccoli is a member of a
number of organizations. Currently, he is a member of the Brock University
Faculty of Business Deans Advisory Council, he is a board member of the Brock University Alumni Association and he also serves on the ICAO/Brock University Institute for International Issues in Accounting Committee. Mr.Zoccoli is a longstanding contributor and supporter of the Brock Presidents’ Golf Tournament, The Faculty of Business Golf Tournament, and the Brock University’s Alumni Golf Tournament.

Mr. Zoccoli is a former Chair of the Board for the Niagara Foundation for Family and Children’s Services, has co-chaired Brock’s annual United Way campaign, was a former President of the Niagara District Chartered Accountants Association, was a former President and Senator of the St. Catharines Jaycees (Junior Chamber of Commerce) and was a former Chair of the Board for Junior Achievement of the Niagara Peninsula.

Currently, Mr. Zoccoli and his wife Michele, also a graduate of Brock University and a teacher with the District School Board of Niagara, live in Niagara-on-the-Lake with their three children; Adam, Andrew and Janyn. As Brock Alumni, John & Michele are very proud that both of their sons are currently studying at Brock University.