Chief Executive Officer
Jim is a 30-year veteran of the Canadian tech industry, having worked in design, marketing and management for companies in Atlantic Canada, Ontario and New England. His career has spanned the aerospace and defence sectors as well as the marine environmental monitoring field. Over the years, Jim has worked in senior management positions with several large publicly traded multinationals. He has also sampled the waters of the entrepreneurial well as an owner in two separate high tech companies that have successfully grown and been purchased by multinationals.
Until February of 2012, Jim was the President of Ultra Electronics Maritime Systems in Halifax, NS. He and his partners sold their company to Ultra Electronics Inc. in May of 2008. Ultra Electronics Maritime Systems is one of the oldest continuously operating electronics design and manufacturing operations in Canada and the largest electronics product design company in Atlantic Canada.
Jim’s personal passion is innovation and its impact on the competitiveness of Canadian industry. Jim is a proud alumnus of the Nova Scotia Technical College (now Dalhousie University Faculty of Engineering) with a degree in electrical engineering. He also has an MBA in marketing from Saint Mary’s University in Halifax and is a registered professional engineer in Nova Scotia.
Chief Operating Officer
Sheila joined the IORE/COVE team in February o f 2016 as Chief Operating Officer. In her role, Sheila builds relationships with industry, researchers, facilitating organizations and governments for the initiation, support, application and commercialization of world-class scientific research.
Sheila spent eight years with the Province of Nova Scotia, most recently as a Business Development Executive at the Nova Scotia Department of Energy, working to enhance the capacity of the local energy sector supply chain and advance the provinces’ international links. She previously worked with International Relations at the province’s Department of Intergovernmental Affairs, with International Commerce strategy at the Department of Economic Development, and with the Air Quality group at Nova Scotia Environment. Earlier in her career, Sheila held process engineering roles with a high-tech electronics manufacturer, led a custom electronics product design group, and worked in the aerospace sector in continuous improvement engineering. She graduated from Dalhousie University with degrees in Chemical Engineering and in Science.
As COO, Sheila has been instrumental in the development of the Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship. Located on the deep-water port of Halifax, Nova Scotia, COVE is a collaborative space where ocean technology companies can start, grow, and prosper.
Information Systems Analyst
Brandel has recently joined the Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship team as Information Systems Analyst. He graduated from Dalhousie University with an undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering and received his Engineering-in-Training (EIT) credential.
While earning his degree, Brandel worked at Wilson’s Fuel Company as Operations Engineering Assistant, where he assisted with day-to-day operations, and worked heavily in business intelligence, where he managed databases to develop automated reports to enhance business decision making. He also managed and facilitated various environmental, safety and efficiency projects to decrease negative environmental impact and workplace safety.
In 2017, Brandel was part of a team working with VON Canada that developed an automated interface and model to more accurately forecast VON’s nursing demand in Nova Scotia and Ontario.
Brandel’s personal passion is hockey. While he’s no longer coaching hockey, he continues to play and watch regularly. When not on the ice, Brandel enjoys travelling, running, and fishing.
Matthew P. Johnson Jr.
Director of Business Development and Client Relations
Matthew P. Johnson Jr. is the Director, Business Development and Client Relations at the Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship (COVE). Most recently Matthew was the Corporate Strategist and Senior Advisor for Aerospace and Defence at the Department of Business for the Province of Nova Scotia.
Matthew brings nearly 15 years of Business Development experience to his role at COVE. He has previously held positions with NS Economic Rural Development and Tourism, ACOA, and the Black Business Initiative. He is passionate about Business Development, and continually seeks ways to ensure that firms in Nova Scotia, and Atlantic Canada more broadly, have opportunities to compete in the Global Marketplace.
Matthew lives in Halifax with his family, and spends as much time as possible fishing lakes and streams for “the Big One”. He is a student of Shotokan Karate and, while he is physically able, will continue to endeavour to be like those who teach him.
Sheila joins the Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship team as Controller. Her education includes a Bachelor of Science: Biology Degree, and Master of Business Administration, with a concentration in Finance, from Dalhousie University, and a Chartered Accountant designation. Her career includes ten years with the Province of New Brunswick where she worked with the Office of the Auditor General, Board of Management as Director of Budgets and Financial Management with analyst responsibility for the Department of Health and Community Services, Economic Development and Tourism, and Fisheries and Aquaculture. Sheila returned to Nova Scotia where she held the title of Chief Financial Officer and Deputy Director of Operations at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.
Sheila has been a Board Member of Kidney Foundation and Financial Management Institute, and has worked with Scouts Canada, Dartmouth Whalers Association, Abenaki Aquatic Club, IORE, and the New Brunswick Nurses Association.
Sheila lives in Cole Harbour with her husband and three children. When she’s not cheering on her kids from the sidelines of the soccer field, Sheila enjoys travelling and reading.
Coordinator for Communications and Operations
Leslie is the Coordinator for Communications and Operations at the Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship (COVE). Leslie graduated from Nova Scotia Community College with a diploma in Business Administration, Marketing. Previously, Leslie worked for the Province of Nova Scotia, at Communications Nova Scotia and the Department of Labour and Advanced Education, Apprenticeship Agency, and the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo. The experience she gained working for the province and a Non-Profit Organization where she learned key relationship building skills in government. Leslie’s continuing to work towards her Business degree from Mount Saint Vincent University and is putting her education and experience into practice at the Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship.
In her spare time, when Leslie’s not hiking up mountains or backcountry camping, she’s busy chasing after her two daughters. Her pride for community is exemplified in her time volunteering for the Red Tent Event, for the Marguerite Centre, and GiveToLive: The Big Ride, for the Canadian Cancer Society.
Cal’s passion for promoting positive community and economic growth in Nova Scotia is what lead him to his role as Project Manager for the Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship. (COVE). Before Cal joined the COVE team he worked at IBM in Business Development, and Analyst at Scotiabank. Cal graduated of Dalhousie University with a Bachelor of Management degree. While working on his degree, Cal was President of Dalhousie Management Society and Business Case Competitor. As a talented manager, Cal’s able to motivate teams to meet challenges and build business relations.
In addition to being a Project Manager, Cal spends his spare time coaching a local volleyball team, and is Halifax Youth Council Member. Cal enjoys exploring Halifax or spending time with family at the cottage on Prince Edward Island. Grateful for an amazing group of neighbourhood friends, Cal makes sure that he leads a healthy and active lifestyle.
Manager of Learning and Development
Anna joined the Institute for Ocean Research Enterprise (IORE) team in December 2016, in the newly created role of Manager of Learning and Development. Anna will support and manage human resource development initiatives and programs within the mandate of the Marine People Partnership (MPP). Anna has former experience with IORE in her work as an independent consultant on MPP related activities. She brings her background in marine management and experience in ocean education and curriculum development to this role.
After graduating from Dalhousie University with a Masters in Marine Management, Anna co-founded OCEANS-NS, a registered not-for-profit organization that seeks to enhance and strengthen oceans education in Nova Scotia. Partnering with different organizations such as the Early Education and Childhood Development (EECD), Labour and Advanced Education (LAE), Ocean Technology Council of Nova Scotia (OTCNS), International Oceans Institute (IOI) and Dalhousie, OCEANS-NS completed numerous projects that helped raise awareness of the importance of the ocean sector and opportunities in ocean-related careers in Nova Scotia. In 2015, OCEANS-NS received the Gulf of Maine Visionary Award for their work and dedication.
As a diver and open water swimmer, Anna spends her spare time travelling in search of new bodies of water to explore. Swimming once from New Brunswick to PEI for GiveToLive: The Big Swim, a fundraiser for Brigadoon Village, Anna is constantly on the look out for other awesome challenges.
Dr. Sherry Scully
Director, Learning & Organizational Development
Sherry Scully joined the IORE team as the Director, Learning & Organizational Development. In this role Sherry leads initiatives under the mandate of the Marine People Partnership relating to human resources development. This mandate was derived to fulfill the human capital component of the value proposition for the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS). Sherry is partnering with numerous interested stakeholders in government, academia, and the private sector, to pursue the core objective of this initiative; to attract, train, and retain highly qualified people to sustain the competitiveness and growth of the Canadian shipbuilding and marine industry.
This coast to coast to coast initiative is intended to benefit the national marine industry through enriched training programs, new marine-focused institutions, improved youth engagement, and increased connectivity to the marine industry. Greater integration of research and education will result in a skilled, highly capable, and adaptable workforce available to meet the demands of an innovative industry.
To this role Sherry brings broad working experience in organizational development within public and private sector organizations. Her areas of focus over the past 20 years have included learning & development, performance management, succession planning, and change management. Sherry is passionate about finding people-focused solutions to change and talent management challenges and initiatives.
Sherry holds an interdisciplinary PhD in social psychology and management from Dalhousie University. She completed her doctoral research examining social cohesion resistance amongst knowledge workers during a merger or acquisition. Sherry strives to combine scholarly insight and research with practical advice based on real world experience. Sherry also holds an MBA from Dalhousie University, a Bachelor of Education from Queen’s University, and an undergraduate degree in Education from Ryerson University.
A strong advocate for learning, Sherry volunteers with educational development efforts internationally.
Having moved from Toronto to the Maritimes in 2009, Sherry is proud to call Nova Scotia home. She resides in Hammonds Plains with her two small children, Haley and Ty. When Sherry’s not working she enjoys traveling and hiking abroad, backcountry kayaking and camping, puttering in her many gardens, or cooking for her friends and family.