Board of Directors

Lorne Tyrrell, MD, PhD

Lead Director and Chair, Corporate Governance & Nominating Committee

D. Lorne Tyrrell is a distinguished professor in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Alberta. Since 1986, he has focused his research on viral hepatitis. Supported by the Canadian Institute of Health Research and Glaxo Canada, Dr. Tyrrell’s work on the development of antiviral therapy resulted in the licensing of the first oral antiviral agent to treat chronic hepatitis B infection – lamivudine – in 1998. Dr. Tyrrell holds more
than 60 international patents for his studies on viral hepatitis. Dr. Tyrrell was Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry from 1994 – 2004 at the University of Alberta and is currently the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Gairdner Foundation. The Canada Gairdner International Awards recognizes excellence in medical science research globally. Dr. Tyrrell has received numerous prestigious awards including the Gold Medal of the Canadian Liver Foundation (2000), the FNG Starr Award of the Canadian Medical Association (2004), the Principal Award of the Manning Awards Foundation (2005) and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012). Dr. Tyrrell was appointed Officer of the Order of Canada in 2002. In April 2010, Dr. Tyrrell was appointed as the founding director of the Li Ka Shing Institute of Virology at the University of Alberta. On April 28, 2011, Dr. Tyrrell was inducted to the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. In 2015, he was awarded the Canada Council for the Arts Killam Prize in Health Sciences.

Alan Chan, BA


Mr. Chan is an executive director of ITC Properties Group Limited (“ITC Properties”). At ITC Properties, Mr. Chan is involved with the investment and development of commercial, hospitality and residential projects. In addition, he is the lead in developing new policies for green and sustainable practices throughout the group. Prior to joining ITC Properties, Mr. Chan worked in the Investment Banking Division of Goldman Sachs Group with a focus on capital
raising, mergers & acquisitions and strategic advisory for financial institutions in Greater China and Southeast Asia. Mr. Chan is a graduate of Duke University majoring in Political Science – International Relations and minoring in Philosophy and Economics.

Peter H. Kappel

Chairman of the Board

Mr. Kappel is a former investment banker who now manages a private investment portfolio. A former chartered accountant with KPMG in Vancouver and Frankfurt, he made the transition to investment banking with JP Morgan (New York/Frankfurt) after business school. He also served in senior roles at Nomura, Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, Calyon and DVB Bank in London. In the latter three, he was the Managing Director in charge of their respective European Securitisation businesses. He was responsible for many ground breaking transactions, a regular speaker at ABS conferences and a founding and former executive committee member of the European Securitisation Forum of the Bond Market Association. He holds an MBA from the Institut Européen d’Administration des Affaires (“INSEAD”), a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in Economics from the University of Victoria and received his Chartered Accountant designation through the Institute of Chartered Accountants of British Columbia.

Debora S. Fang

Director and Chair, Compensation Committee

Ms. Debora Fang has 20 years’ experience in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods industry, across mergers and acquisitions, strategy, finance and marketing roles in Unilever (London, UK), Danone (Paris, France and Amsterdam, Netherlands), Kraft Foods (Sao Paulo, Brazil) and as a consultant for Bain & Company (Los Angeles, USA). While at Unilever as VP Mergers & Acquisitions, Ms. Fang was responsible for a range of acquisitions and disposals in the Foods, Ice cream and Tea categories, leading multidisciplinary teams and covering a global scope. She is now an independent advisor for Private Equity and strategic clients in the Foods arena as well as a private investor. Ms. Fang holds an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at
Northwestern University in Chicago, USA and a Bachelor of Arts in Business from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Jeanne E. McCaherty


Ms. Jeanne McCaherty is the CEO of Guardian Energy Management, an ethanol manufacturing company with production sites in Ohio, Minnesota, and North Dakota.  These corn dry milling sites produce ethanol, DDGS (distiller’s dried grains with solubles), and corn oil.  Prior to joining Guardian in 2016, Ms. McCaherty spent a year consulting in Private Equity in the areas of specialty grains and value-added ingredients.  The majority of Ms. McCaherty’s career was in various global management roles in Cargill, Inc. The most recent Cargill role was as the Regional Director of the Global Texturizing Business Unit.  This business sourced raw materials, manufactured, and sold specialty food ingredients to food companies around the world. Ms. McCaherty’s R&D career culminated in the position of VP/Global Director of Food R&D.  This role included functional leadership for the Basic and Applied R&D, Applications and Sensory groups for Cargill’s Global Food Ingredients businesses. Ms. McCaherty currently serves as the Chair of the Renewable Fuels Association and on the Board of Directors for Renewable Products Marketing Group.

Alfred T.L. Lau

Director and Chair, Audit Committee

Alfred Lau is a director of WealthOne Bank of Canada (“WOBC”), a Canadian Schedule I Bank.  Mr. Lau has been an independent member of the WOBC Board of Directors since 2018 and currently sits on the Audit and the Credit Review Committees.   In addition, he is the founder and co-leader of a private equity firm with operations in Hong Kong and Beijing.  Prior to his current roles, Mr. Lau was a partner of KPMG with over 35 years of experience at key locations around the world, including Beijing, Vancouver and London. He has held senior positions within KPMG including co-leader of the audit practice in Beijing and co-leader of the China Practice in Canada. He was the Audit Engagement Partner for a number of multi-national Fortune 500 companies and listed companies on the TSX.  Mr. Lau is a former director and Chairman of the Audit Committee of SUCCESS, one of the largest non-profit organizations in Canada.

Aaron T. Ratner


Mr. Ratner is a Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Vectr Carbon Partners, an early-stage global climate technology venture capital fund manager.  He is also the Chief Executive Officer of Clean Earth Acquisitions Corp., as well as an Operating Partner with Nexus PMG, a leading infrastructure advisory and project development company.  He has over 20 years of domestic and international investment and advisory experience, including eight years in Asia, focusing on project finance, venture capital, climate technology, energy, and agriculture.  Mr. Ratner attended the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and completed his undergraduate education at the University of Pennsylvania and Jochi University, Tokyo

John A. Vassallo


Mr. Vassallo has over 30 years’ experience in asset acquisition, development and management across several industries in multiple states. As Founder and CEO of Mos RE, LLC, Mr. Vassallo focuses on real estate development, land entitlements, redevelopment and strategic reuse of underutilized buildings by utilizing multi-source financing packages, including historic tax credits, tax incremental financing and state development programs. Mr. Vassallo headed multiple capital raises for a variety of developments and acquisitions. Mr. Vassallo also has experience in purchasing distressed debt for profitable returns. As Founder and CEO of Global Restaurant Systems, LLC, Mr. Vassallo established a multi-faceted management and consulting company providing inclusive restaurant development and operating services including accounting, human resources, real estate analysis and acquisition, legal, marketing, IT and administrative support to its clients.

Director Emeritus
Paul Westdal, MSc, PAg

Served as Director from 1999 - 2012.

Mr. Westdal is a founder of B.M.W. Canola Inc., the Manitoba based company that developed the technology acquired by Burcon NutraScience Corporation in October 1999. Mr. Westdal is a professional agrologist, belonging to the Agricultural Institute of Canada. He is President of Agri-Tec International, a consortium of grain based construction companies located in Winnipeg. Mr. Westdal was previously the Director of Marketing for the Canadian International Grains Institute. He has been employed for over 30 years in various positions in Canada and abroad with the Canadian Wheat Board. Mr. Westdal has over 31 years of experience marketing and developing sales of agricultural products around the world. Mr. Westdal holds Bachelor of Arts degree and Master of Science degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Manitoba.