Vineland appoints new chair

Vineland Research and Innovation Centre (Vineland) has appointed Karen Belaire as the centre’s Board chair for a two-year term. 


Ms. Belaire joined the board in 2016 and was appointed vice chair in 2019. She succeeds Warren Jestin, PhD, who retired as chair after being appointed in 2018 and served on the Board for the last seven years. 


Ms. Belaire is president and CEO of Shared Services West, a not-for-profit shared services organization with expertise in healthcare supply chain optimization. Previously, she was COO at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research. She brings an extensive background in finance, information technology and human resources to the post. She also holds CPA/CGA and Chartered Director designations and an MBA. 


Ms. Belaire is joined on the Board by four new directors: 


• May Chang: Ms. Chang is an executive who has spent 25 years in the healthcare sector in leadership roles at large community hospitals and major multi-site hospitals. She is currently the principal of May Chang Consulting, offering executive leadership strategies. 


• Lori Hall: Ms. Hall is a partner and trademark agent in Gowling WLG's Hamilton, ON office and a member of the firm's Intellectual Property Group. Distinguished among the world's top trademark professionals by the World Trademark Review, she focuses her practice exclusively in the area of trademark prosecution. 


• John Groenewegen: Mr. Groenewegen is principal of the JRG Consulting Group, an agri-food consulting firm that helps the sector maximize its value and contribution to the overall economy. John has a PhD in agricultural and applied economics from the University of Minnesota. 

• Mark Picone: Mr. Picone is an educator, chef and vineyard proprietor. He currently teaches at Niagara College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute. Mark is a graduate of the University of Guelph (BComm) and Niagara University (MBA). 


For more information, visit

Source:  Vineland Research and Innovation Centre October 9, 2020 news release




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