Advisory Board

The Advisory Board for the John F. Wood Centre is comprised of a diverse group of thought leaders from industry, and across campus who are contributing to the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem. They are industry experts, University of Guelph faculty and students.  Together, they provide insight to the Executive Director regarding our programming and ensure we continue to meet the unique needs of our stakeholders and community.

We are extremely proud to celebrate the ten individuals who contribute their time and energy to help make the Wood Centre the Innovation and Entrepreneurship hub on campus. 

The John F. Wood Centre Advisory Board


John London, Vice Chairman, Miravo Healthcare, Chair of the John F. Wood Centre Advisory Board

John London has over 30 years of experience managing a wide variety of public and private businesses. His experience includes international Masters of Law degree, partnership at a Toronto Bay St. law firm, senior position at auto parts multinational, co-founder of public auto parts company, venture capital investing and CEO and board positions at technology and public pharmaceutical businesses. London’s current focus is business and academic board roles, including his roles at the Wood Centre as Chair of the Advisory Board and Executive in Residence.

Ben Cullen, Founder, Cullen's Foods

Ben Cullen grew up in a gardening family and, in pursuit of his love of food, attended agriculture college in the heart of Ontario’s farm country: Ridgetown, Ontario. When in Ridgetown Ben became immersed in the culture of Ontario’s agriculture industry and forged relationships which are strong to this day. After attending university in Nova Scotia and working the food industry he decided to participate in the John F. Wood Centre's Hub program to gain support as he launched his own business, Cullen’s Foods. Cullen's Foods promotes a model of food business that connects agricultural producers more directly with consumers. They are 100% transparent in their supply chain and deal directly with farmers they know, rather than using intermediaries. They promote more sustainable food systems at home, and supporting better systems abroad through their not-for-profit partner, S.H.A.R.E. Agriculture Foundation.

Bill Van Heyst, Associate Dean External Relations, University of Guelph

Bill Van Heyst is a Professor in Environmental Engineering and is currently the Associate Dean of External Relations in the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences. Van Heyst's research specializes in characterizing ammonia and particulate matter emissions from agricultural sources, especially within the poultry sector, and in the development of novel air pollution control devices. 

Jim Estill, President and CEO, Danby Appliances

Jim Estill is CEO of Danby Appliances, a niche manufacturer of specialty appliances, which manufactures and distributes over 2,000,000 appliances per year.  Jim Estill is leveraging his tech background to create new markets and products for Danby such as the Parcel Guard. Jim is a Canadian technology entrepreneur, executive, and philanthropist. He started his first computer distribution business from the trunk of his car while in university and grew that business to $2 Billion in sales. Jim has invested in, mentored, and advised over 150 technology companies including Blackberry.  He joined their board before they went public and served for 13 years. Jim is the EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2019 Ontario winner and has received both the Order of Canada and Order of Ontario.

Felix Arndt, John F. Wood Centre Chair in Entrepreneurship, University of Guelph

Felix Arndt is the John F Wood Chair in Entrepreneurship in the Department of Management. Dr Arndt’s research intersects strategy, entrepreneurship, and innovation. He looks at how firms use organisational renewal and technological innovation to stay ahead of the competition (dynamic capabilities, ecosystems, business models). His work has been published in the Academy of Management Review, the Journal of Business Ethics, the Journal of Business Venturing InsightsIndustrial and Corporate ChangeEntrepreneurship and Regional DevelopmentTechnological Forecasting and Social ChangeTechnovation among others. 

Felix is an active entrepreneur and investor. As an engineer by training, he is fascinated by new technologies and their application. He has held patents, has experience as an entrepreneur (including scaling and exits), on the director level in consulting, and as a lobbyist. Felix is a recognized executive and start-up coach, provides consulting services to the private sector and policy advice to the government. He is currently a board member of Innovation Guelph.

Katelyn Cortina, President of Lang Student Association, University of Guelph

Katelyn is currently in my fourth year of the Marketing Management co-op program, the President of the Lang Students' Association and a delegate for JDCC Lang. 

Lianne Foti, Associate Professor, University of Guelph

Lianne Foti is an Assistant Professor in the School of Hospitality, Food & Tourism Management at the University of Guelph. She received a MBA from EDHEC Business School, France and a Doctorate from the University of Bradford, UK. Prior to her academic career, she worked in both the food and energy industries. Foti’s body of research largely focuses on ethical decision making, consumer behaviour, and social marketing. Her work has been published in several peer reviewed journals and has been featured in the Globe & Mail, CBC’s The National, and CTV News Channel among others.

Stefanie Sharp, Senior Development Manager, University of Guelph

Stefanie Sharp has been with U of G for over seven years. Her focus is on connecting with her fellow alumni and potential donars to secure major gifts that will help the Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Econimics execute on their strategic plan. Sharp is also a sessional instructor on campus and teaches Introdutctory Marketing in the Departement of Marketing and Consumers students withing Lang. 

Suba Naganathan, Sr. Account Executive, Amazon

Having graduated from the Lang B. Comm. Program specializing in Marketing Management, Suba fell in love with building businesses and brands. He currently serves as a Sr. Account Executive at Amazon, working with Global brands to build and grow their impact amongst Canadian consumers. Previously, Suba held the role of Brand & Sales Leader at Mars Canada, working on brands such as M&Ms, Snickers, Mars, Twix, Excel, Starburst, Juicy Fruit, Skittles, and more. Over Suba’s career within Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) he’s gained colourful experiences across Brand Management, Shopper Marketing, and Sales. He’s worked with outstanding organizations around the Global industry such as P&G, Colgate, and Mars. Suba’s work has spanned across numerous sectors such as Health & Beauty, Household Needs, Baby Care, Oral Care, and Confectionary across all major retail channels within the Canadian marketplace. What drives him is the prospect that most Canadians have interacted with one of his brands at some point in their lives.

Travis Francis, Graduate Student Representation, University of Guelph

Travis is a graduate student, who is workin gon his Ph.D. in Psychology, with a focus on neuroscience.  He has been both a teaching a research assistant at the University of Guelph and his the Treasurer for the Psychology Graduate Student Association on campus.