CFI Board of Directors
Dr. Rotimi Aluko, University of Manitoba
Rotimi Aluko is Professor and Associate Head in the Department of Food and Human Nutritional Sciences at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg. He holds a PhD in Food Chemistry with a focus on proteins from the University of Guelph and is a Certified Food Scientist. Dr. Aluko has standing in numerous professional associations and serves as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Food Biochemistry. Dr. Aluko is CFI-ICA’s Vice Chair and Chair of its Science Advisory Committee.
Mauricio Alanis, Maple Leaf Foods
Mauricio Alanis holds an honours Bachelor of Commerce degree from McMaster University. He has been working with Maple Leaf Foods for almost 10 years, starting in their Leadership Track rotational program. He has held progressive roles on the commercial side of the business in both sales and marketing, did a short stint as a production supervisor at a manufacturing facility, and has since progressed through more strategic roles, having worked in corporate strategy for a few years as well as in a financial and strategic advisory role directly to the President and CEO, Michael McCain for 2.5 years. Most recently, he took 2017 as a year sabbatical to travel the world with his wife, 'system-hopping’ around Africa, India, south east Asia and South America before finishing in his native country of Mexico. Currently, he is the Director of Innovation at MLF, responsible for the innovation agenda in the retail, prepared meats side of the business, with a specific focus on platform-wide innovation, as well as longer term, ‘Horizon 2 and 3’ innovation.
Louis Bontorin, Calgary Italian Bakery Ltd.
Louis Bontorin is the Vice President of Sales & Administration at Calgary Italian Bakery Ltd., a family owned and operated business in Calgary, Alberta. Louis’ parents, Luigi and Myrl founded the company in the same year that Louis was born – 1962. Louis spent much of his childhood at the bakery and began working there full time in 1985. Over the past thirty years, Louis and his brother David have shared the responsibility of running the day-to-day operations. His passion for baking has inspired him to get involved in associations beyond his own company. Louis is an active member of the Alberta Food Processors Association (AFPA) and is currently serving as the Treasurer for the Baking Association of Canada (BAC). Louis has been a Director on the CFI-ICA Board since 2017. Outside of work, Louis enjoys spending time with his family, travelling, cooking, and relaxing at the lake.
Louis Falardeau, Bonduelle Americas
Louis Falardeau is the R&D Director at Bonduelle Americas, wherehe is responsible for the frozen and canned vegetables innovation and product development activities in North America. After graduating from Laval University (Qc) in Food Sciences & Technology, over twenty years of his career he has developed deep Quality Assurance and R&D expertise in the vegetable processing industry. He successfully managed product development and innovation projects in Canada and spent four years abroad in the business in Europe. During that period, he developed a broad understanding of the global food processing industry landscape with experience in facilities located in more than 10 different countries around the globe.
Chad Mann, Almalgamated Dairies Ltd.
Chad Mann is the CEO of Amalgamated Dairies Limited (ADL). Chad joined ADL in 2005 as Director of Finance. In May 2018 he was appointed CEO by the Board of Directors of ADL. ADL is a producer-owned co-op with dairy processing and retail food distribution facilities throughout Prince Edward Island. The company employs upwards of 300 people in seven locations. Chad has twenty-five years of experience in the construction and food processing industries on Prince Edward Island. With an accounting background, his primary objective has been on building financially strong organizations to service national and international markets. Chad received his Bachelor of Business Administration in 1992 from the University of New Brunswick, and in 2000 received his CGA designation. He is a strong promoter of the PEI and Canadian dairy industries, specifically a co-operative advocate for building sustainable agriculture and agri-food processing models to service consumer demands.
Dr. Joseph Lake, McCain Foods
Dr. Lake is the Chairman of CFI’s Board of Directors. It’s hard to argue – Joseph Lake has been involved in some exciting areas: whales, beer and French fries! Joseph Lake gained his B.Sc. in Marine Biology from Dalhousie University where he experienced a myriad of opportunities from sea star genetics to fishery regulations. Fulfilling his childhood dream Joseph was also fortunate enough to conduct whale research at sea. Joseph returned to school where he gained his Ph.D. in Food Science and Technology from Dalhousie University. During his graduate work, his attention turned to the world of microscopic organisms: yeast. In this case, his topic of research was flocculation – the interaction of yeast during brewing and the production of beer. Following graduation Joseph joined the Iconic Canadian company McCain Foods Limited. At McCain he has held various roles in R&D. Currently he is driving global innovation as Director of Innovation and Research.
James Pratt, Rhema Health Products
James Pratt became an investment banker at a national investment dealer in Toronto after graduating from the Richard Ivey School of Business with an MBA. In 1992 he co-invested in Sepp’s Gourmet Foods, a food manufacturing company located in Vancouver, which was later listed on the TSX from 1997 to 2008. The company grew from $1 million in sales to $88 million and had as many as seven manufacturing facilities located in three countries. He held various positions over the years, including President, CFO and ultimately CEO. Prior to joining Rhema as CEO, he was President and Director at Mazza Innovation, a botanical extract company, and co-owner of Prosnack Natural Foods, a manufacturer of healthy snack foods. He has served as a Director of the Food Innovation Centre of BC, Food Processors of Canada, Canadian Food Innovators, Timia Capital Corporation, and has served as Chairman of the Functional Foods Alberta Centre of Excellence and the BC Food Processors Association.
Jim Smith, BioFoodTech
Jim Smith is the Executive Director of BioFoodTech in Prince Edward Island, Canada and a professional innovation leader with experience and passion for helping companies commercialize new product ideas to improve their business and develop the economy. During his career, he has had strong involvement with industry and professional organizations. Jim is Chair of FOODTECH Canada (since 2009), Secretary of Innoventures Canada (since 2010) and a Board member of Canadian Food Innovators (since 2013). He was President of the Canadian Institute of Food Science & Technology from 2007 to 2009. Jim has been participating on the UN FAO/WHO Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives since 2002. He holds a PhD in Food Science from the University of Nottingham, England and an MBA from the University of Strathclyde in his native country of Scotland. Jim is a Fellow of both the UK and Canadian Institutes of Food Science and Technology, a Chartered Scientist and a Certified Food Scientist.
Jason Wortzman, Granny's Poultry Co-operative
Jason Wortzman is Director, Marketing & Product Development, Granny’s Poultry Co-operative. Jason joined Granny’s in the fall of 2009 after six years leading the sales, marketing and product development team for Manitoba’s Bothwell Cheese. Jason and his team have created several healthy and innovative new poultry products, some branded as Granny’s and others as private label products for other companies across Canada. He has also developed and marketed specialty foods through his own company and is an internationally-trained professional chef. Jason has been on the CFI board since its inception in 2013. He has also been a Food and Beverage Manitoba board member for twelve years and is a past president of the association.