Propel ICT Adds New Directors at AGM

For Immediate ReleaseAugust 21, 2014

-New board reflective of organization’s regional expansion plans -

Riverview, NB -- Propel ICT, the regional nonprofit mentor network who’s goal is to be the primary catalyst for the creation of a vibrant entrepreneurial community in Atlantic Canada, have elected five new members to serve on its board.

At the Propel ICT General Annual Meeting, Incoming Chair Jeff Thompson welcomed the newest directors, Rob Cowan (Halifax, NS), Steven Burns (Fredericton, NB), Jeff Grammer (Boston, Mass), Gerry Lawless (Charlottetown, PEI) and Jo Mark Zurel (St. John’s, NL).

The new members of the Propel ICT board include:

Steven Burns is the President of Bulletproof Solutions. Mr. Burns was recently inducted into the Atlantic Business Hall of Fame after being chosen as one of Atlantic Canada's top 50 CEO's for five consecutive years, reflecting his in-depth knowledge of all aspects of business. He is also very active in his community, and served as a Board of Director for the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce.

Robert Cowan is a Partner at McInnes Cooper's Halifax office and is the head of McInnes Cooper’s Entrepreneurial Services Group. He practices corporate and business law with a particular focus on startups and venture capital financing. . Rob is director of Entrepreneur’s Forum and the Jazz East Rising Association. Rob is a former in house lawyer for Dalhousie University and is a member of the Canadian Bar Association (CBA), the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society, the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association, the Licensing Executives Society, and an Associate member of the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada. Robert is the past chair of the Intellectual Property Section of the CBA (NS) and has taught intellectual property law at the Dalhousie University Schulich School of Law.

Jeff Grammer is a partner of Rho Canada Ventures. He joined Rho Canada in 2006 and focuses primarily on investments in new media, information technology (hardware and software) and communication companies – mostly at the seed and early stages of development. Prior to Rho Canada Ventures, Jeff worked operationally at Intel, Chips and Technologies, N*Able Technologies and Ember Corporation. His venture capital experience also includes Techfarm Inc. and Sigma Partners. Jeff received a B.A. and M.A. in international economics from Boston University.

Gerry Lawless is President and CEO of iWave Information Systems, which is an IT company that has over 30 staff based in PEI and over 1300 clients worldwide including Yale, MIT, the Smithsonian, and the World Wildlife Fund. Gerry joined iWave in 2011 after almost 15 years experience in various management, sales and technical roles. He previously spent 10 years with IBM in Chicago and Canada as a consultant and then as a director of technical sales. With IBM, he spent the majority of his time onsite with C-Level executives to ensure IBM’s solutions aligned with the clients’ roadmap. He has also spent 5 years working in international sales for a stainless steel fabricator and running a small IT start-up. He is a strong supporter of various causes including the Information Technology Association of PEI (ITAP), Junior Achievement and Chicago Cares.

Jo Mark Zurel is a Chartered Accountant and since 2006 has been President of Stonebridge Capital Inc., a private (family) investment company. From 1998 to 2006, Mr. Zurel was Senior Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer of CHC Helicopter Corporation, helping to build it into the world's largest helicopter operating company. He is also Chairman of Newfoundland Power, a director of Major Drilling, the CPP Investment Board, and Highland Copper, and, until its recent sale, Fronteer Gold. Mr. Zurel holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Dalhousie University. Jo Mark is active in the community, supporting many charities and non-profit organizations. Mr. Zurel’s current and recent not-for-profit activities include chair of the St. John’s Board of Trade, chair of Junior Achievement of Newfoundland and Labrador and chair of its Newfoundland and Labrador Business Hall of Fame Committee, chair of the Canadian Red Cross “Prepared” capital campaign, angel investor with the Newfoundland and Labrador Angel Network (NLAN), board member with the Dr. H. Bliss Murphy Cancer Care Foundation, and the Institute of Corporate Directors, and he is on the founding executive of the Newfoundland and Labrador chapter of the Institute of Corporate Directors. Jo Mark was honored as one of Canada’s Top 40 under 40 in 2000.

The Propel ICT board will now comprise of 11 members and returning officers include Jeff Thompson, Scott MacIntosh, Gerry Pond, Susan Holt, Tim Burke and Dave Grebenc. The organization is now focusing on their fall cohort program, which interested companies can now apply by visiting before the September 8th deadline.

About PropelICT

PropelICT is a private sector led accelerator program that supports startup companies in Atlantic Canada.


For further information:

Trevor MacAusland Executive Director, PropelICT 506-863-5905 @PropelICT