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New board members at VRIC

September 24, 2013  By Press release

September 24, 2013, Vineland, Ont – The Vineland Research and Innovation Centre recently announced that its board of directors has appointed three new members.

Rory Francis, executive director of BioAlliance; Dr. Warren Jestin, senior vice-president and chief economist with Scotiabank; and Phil Tregunno, president of Tregunno Fruit Farms Inc., will join Vineland’s board, effective immediately. The appointments increase the number of Vineland directors from 10 to 13.

“Since its start-up in 2007, Vineland has worked to recruit talented and diverse leaders to its independent board,” said John F.T. Scott, chair of the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre.  “Rory, Warren and Phil bring tremendous operational, capital and leadership expertise to the table. I’m confident their contributions will support Dr. Jim Brandle and his team in accelerating Vineland’s unique research value across the horticultural sector, serving our stakeholders, and strengthening partnerships from research to retail.”


Vineland’s distinctive model of private sector and industry investment, program delivery and focus on real results benefits tremendously from the advice and direction provided by a board made up of such experienced leaders,” said Dr. Jim Brandle, chief executive officer of the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre. “Rory, Warren and Phil bring remarkable talent to the board and I’m grateful for their support, as well as the ongoing support from all of the directors.”

Rory Francis – Rory has 30 years experience in professional, management and leadership roles in the public and private sectors. He has led transformative change in several public sector organizations encompassing economic and social policy, programs and services.

Since 2004 he has been executive director of BioAlliance, a not-for-profit network of bioscience business, academic and research organizations and government agencies based on Prince Edward Island.

Rory is a member of the Canadian Bio Accord and serves as a board member with the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute, the PEI AgriFood Alliance Inc., and is chair of the advisory board for the Culinary Institute of Canada’s Technology Access Centre.

Dr. Warren Jestin – Warren is chief economist with Scotiabank and has been with the bank since 1979.  He has also worked at the Bank of Canada and taught at several Canadian universities. Warren is economist-in-residence at the College of Management and Economics of the University of Guelph, and has served on advisory boards for the University of Guelph and the Sobey School of Business at St. Mary’s University.

Warren has been a member of the C.D. Howe Institute’s Monetary Policy Council and been involved with policy committees of the Canadian and Ontario Chamber of Commerce and the Toronto Board of Trade. As chair of Scotiabank’s Sponsorship and Donations Committee, Warren works closely with a wide variety of charitable institutions.

Phil Tregunno – Phil is a fourth-generation farmer operating the 700-acre Tregunnno Fruit Farms Inc. along the Niagara River in Ontario. With a focus on new technologies, improved varieties and organics, the operation has grown and prospered, packing more quality fruit for the Canadian marketplace.

Phil serves as chairman of the Ontario Tender Fruit Producers Marketing Board, chairman of Vineland Growers Co-operative, and as director of the Winery and Growers Alliance of Ontario.

Vineland’s board of directors also includes Robert Bierhuizen, president of Sunrise Greenhouses Ltd.; Paul-André Bosc Jr., resident of Château des Charmes; Dr. Jim Brandle, chief executive officer of the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre; Marilyn Knox, president and chief executive officer, Maternal and Infant, Nestlé Nutrition North America; Anthony Longo, president and chief executive officer of Longo Brothers Fruit Markets Inc.; Alan Ralph, retired chartered accountant, Deloitte & Touche LLP;  John Scott, chair of the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre; William Stensson, chief executive officer of Sheridan Nurseries; The Honourable Lyle Vanclief, former Canadian Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food; and Jamie Warner, owner of Warner Orchards.

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