Barbara Miller, Interim CEO

Barbara Miller

Barbara is an experienced professional who brings a unique background of public, private and not-for-profit sector expertise. For more than 15 years, she has been the owner of a management consulting firm focused on strategy, business development and public-private sector collaboration.

She has held leadership roles in the start-up of the Ontario Brain Institute and the Mental Health Commission of Canada, as well as providing strategic advice to organizations such as the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Let’s Talk Science and Queen’s University in Kingston.

She also brings extensive public sector experience as a former Deputy Minister with the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, and Assistant Deputy Minister and Director of the Food Industry Competitiveness Branch in the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

In the private sector, she has held positions as Division President of Ault Foods (Parmalat) and Category Director, Marketing with the Campbell Soup Company.


James Farrar, Corporate Secretary

James is a CPA CGA with more than 35 years’ experience in the food and agriculture sector. At an earlier stage of his career, James was the CFO of a small to medium enterprise (SME) in the food manufacturing business with operations in Ontario and Nova Scotia.

Subsequently, he served as Director of the Food Industry Competitiveness Branch of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs to support the needs of the post-farm gate food sector in Ontario.

James has had training in Not-for-Profit governance and has extensive experience in applying for and administering government grant programs. He is passionate about obtaining returns from investment of private and taxpayer funds in innovation projects.


Lilian Schaer, Communications Manager

Lilian is an experienced independent communications professional with a solid understanding of agriculture, agriscience and agritechnology. She is also an award-winning freelance writer for many of Canada’s leading farm publications, covering everything from horticulture and consumer issues to livestock and crop production, but with a particular interest in innovation.

Lilian works directly with many agricultural boards, organizations and businesses, including CFI-ICA, on communications-related projects, writing, and event planning and management.

Lilian is a graduate of the University of Guelph and the Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program.


Melanie DiReto, CPA, CMA, CAE,  Chief Financial Officer

Laura Sider, Science Coordinator

Hannah Haasen, Financial Administrator

Jan Stoneman, Financial Administrator (Cluster)