Propel names six new members to board of directors

New board members
(Left to right: April Dunford, Ted Graham, Craig Haney, Joe Teo, Tara Wickwire, Özge Yeloğlu)




Propel is thrilled to announce the appointment of six impressive professionals to its board of directors. 


This grows the board to a total of fourteen and expands its scope beyond Atlantic Canada.  The board is made up of business leaders who are experts in their field with strong involvement in entrepreneurship and the startup community.


“Over the past year, Propel has been undergoing a transformation to be stronger and to add even more value to the startup world in Atlantic Canada.  The addition of these accomplished individuals with their global experience to our board is further demonstration of this positive momentum,” said Jeff White, Chair of the Propel Board.  “Welcome to our new board members and thank you to our entire board for their dedication and passion for building up the startup ecosystem in our region.”


The new board members are:


April Dunford is the founder and CEO of Ambient Strategy.  As an executive consultant, speaker, and author, April helps technology companies make complicated products easy for customers to understand and love. She is a globally recognized expert in positioning and market strategy, and has launched 16 products into market across her 25-year career as VP Marketing at a series of successful high-growth startups. April is also an angel investor and entrepreneur-in-residence at the DMZ, Ryerson University. (Toronto, ON)


Ted Graham is the head of Open Innovation at General Motors where he helps identify partnerships that will help build new forms of mobility including autonomous and connected vehicles. He also serves on the Canadian government’s AI advisory council, is an active angel investor and the author of “The Uber of Everything”. (Toronto, ON)


Craig Haney is the Vice President of Europro, a large real estate developer in Ontario.  With more than 10 years of experience in corporate innovation, his previous work with Canadian Tire Innovations helped launch the corporate innovation program at Communitech. He has also worked with organizations like RCAF, Manulife and Thomson Reuters. (Waterloo, ON)


Joe Teo is the CEO of HeyOrca, a social media approval and publishing platform built for marketing agencies. Since raising a combined total of $2.65 Million from BDC Capital, Killick Capital and Pelorus Venture, HeyOrca has gained rapid traction and powers the social media production of over 400 agencies in the world. Joe is also an alumnus of Propel in 2015. (St. John’s, NL)


Tara Wickwire is the Senior Director of Marketing and Brand Strategy at National where she leads strategy for profile and reputation building for people and organizations across the region.  With more than 20 years of global branding experience, Tara has led Canadian PR strategy for some of the world’s most recognized brands including Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy. (Halifax, NS)


Özge Yeloğlu is the the Data & AI Lead at Microsoft CanadaPreviously, she was the co-founder and CEO of topLog, a startup focused on predictive data analysis based on unstructured log data. She started topLog in 2013 while she was working towards her PhD degree in Computer Science at Dalhousie University. Ozge is a Propel alumnae 2013.  (Toronto, ON)


“April, Craig, Joe, Ozge, Tara and Ted bring new leadership, perspective, extensive networks and a wealth of experience to Propel’s board and the startups Propel works with.  They will be of great value as we continue to foster successful global tech companies right here in Atlantic Canada,” said Barry Bisson, CEO of Propel.  “This move is yet another step in our commitment to strengthening Propel’s contribution to the regional ecosystem.  The skillset, experience and networks of these individuals will enhance Propel’s corporate governance and expand our access to world-class mentorship for our founders.”


All Propel board members are volunteers.  


Complete list of Propel’s board of directors :


Robert Cowan, Partner, McInnes Cooper (Halifax, NS)

April Dunford, Founder and CEO, Ambient Strategy (Toronto, ON)

Craig Haney, Vice President, K-W portfolio, Europro (Waterloo, ON)

Ted Graham, Head of Open Innovation, General Motors (Toronto, ON)

Dave Grebenc, CEO, Innovatia (Saint John, NB)

Gerry Lawless, Chief Technology Officer and Chief Evangelist at iWave  (Charlottetown, PEI)

Gerry Pond, Chairman and co-founder, Mariner Partners Inc (Saint John, NB)

Jeff Thompson, Director of Software Investment Strategies, CGI (Fredericton, NB)

(Board Chair) Jeff White, CEO, New Brunswick Innovation Fund (NBIF)  (Fredericton, NB)

Joe Teo, CEO and co-founder, HeyOrca (St. John’s, NL)

Mark Dobbin, Founder and President, Killick Capital Inc (St. John’s, NL)

Nicole LeBlanc, Director, Direct Investments and Partnerships, Sidewalk Labs (Toronto, ON)

Tara Wickwire, Senior Director of Marketing and Brand Strategy at National (Halifax, NS)

Özge Yeloğlu, Chief Data Scientist, Customer Unit, Microsoft Canada (Toronto, ON)

(CEO) Barry Bisson, CEO of Propel (Charlottetown, PEI)


About Propel

Propel aims to be a leader in fostering the growth of successful global technology companies headquartered in Atlantic Canada.

For more information, please visit:


Media contact:

Jane Harwood


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April Dunford

April Dunford is an executive consultant, speaker, and author who helps technology companies make complicated products eas

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Ted Graham

Ted Graham is the head of Open Innovation at General Motors where he helps identify partnerships that wil

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Craig Haney
Propel Council Member

Craig has been leading the charge for corporate innovation in Canada for almost 10 years.  His work with Canadian Tire Inn

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Joe Teo

Joe Teo is the CEO of HeyOrca - a social media approval and publishing platform purpose built for marketing agencies.

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Tara Wickwire

With more than 20 years of global branding experience, Tara has led PR strategy for some of the world’s most recognized br

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Ozge Yeloglu

Ozge is the Data&AI Lead at Microsoft Canada.

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Jeff White
Propel Council Member

Jeff is the Chair of Propel's Board of Directors.

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Barry Bisson
Propel Team

Barry has a BSc and MSc in Civil Engineering from the University of New Brunswick (UNB) and an MBA from Harvard University

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Robert Cowan

Robert practices corporate and business law with a particular specialization in technology and intellectual prope

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Dave Grebenc

Part of the Innovatia team since 2005, Dave is a true leader with a passion for Sales, Marketing, and Product Development.

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Gerry Lawless

Gerry joined iWave in 2011, after almost 15 years in various management, sales, and technical roles.

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Gerry Pond

Gerry Pond is one of the founders of Propel ICT.

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Jeff Thompson
Propel Council Member

Jeff Thompson is an experienced software executive and entrepreneur with a twenty-year history of creating, launching and

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Mark Dobbin
Propel Council Member

Mark Dobbin is the Founder and President of Killick Capital Inc. From 1998 to 2003, Mr.