John Shillington


John is a technology leader with deep experience in helping companies adopt new technologies to improve their competitive edge and accelerate growth. Much of John’s career has been focused on helping organizations cross the chasm between academic research and applications of that research in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. Throughout his education and career, John has had an abiding interest in Artificial Intelligence.

Prior to joining Amii, John was Vice President, Technology at Cybera, a not-for-profit, technical agency helping Alberta to advance its IT frontiers. He has also held senior executive and technical management positions at several international technology firms, and started up a University of Alberta-based spin-off company. He holds B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees from the University of Alberta.

John on LinkedIn


Osmar Zaïane

Director – Amii Research

Having obtained his PhD in Computer Science from Simon Fraser University in 1999, Osmar joined the University of Alberta’s Department of Computing Science, eventually receiving McCalla and Killam Professorship Awards in recognition of his contributions to research, teaching and learning.

In addition to being a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), he has served in editorial positions for a number of scientific journals and helped to chair and organize several international conferences and workshops.

Osmar on LinkedIn

Board of Directors


Bruce Johnson (Chair)

Executive Chairman – SAM (Social Asset Management)

Bruce is the co-founder of the personal income tax software company WinTax (later Intuit Canada). He provides support and mentorship to many companies in the Edmonton tech startup community with his expertise and insight.

Bruce on LinkedIn


Warren Bergen

President – AVAC Ltd.

Warren is passionate about entrepreneurship, having participated in a number of early-stage ventures and raised growth capital from a variety of sources. He is also the author of Swagger & Sweat: A Start-up Capital Boot Camp.

Warren on LinkedIn

Laura Kilcrease

CEO – Alberta Innovates

Laura has more than 25 years of hands-on experience in commercializing technology and a deep understanding of how to identify and build new business opportunities. Prior to her role at Alberta Innovates, Laura had founding roles at Austin-based venture capital fund, Triton Ventures, LLC, and the Austin Technology Incubator (ATI), one of the United States’ first technology business incubators.

Laura on LinkedIn


Cam Linke

Partner/Co-founder – Flightpath Ventures

Cam has management and investment experience in a number of tech-based companies, including serving as CEO of Touch Metric, an in-person survey software company and co-founder of Startup Edmonton. He is committed to growing Edmonton’s emerging creative and tech economy.

Cam on LinkedIn

Marlene McNaughton

VP, Business Development & Marketing – HeadCount Corporation

Marlene is an award-winning marketer who brings over 30 years of experience in brand management and marketing in retail, business-to-business and the corporate world. Her previous experience includes senior roles in public affairs, as well as international marketing and technology commercialization for a major multimedia/software company.

Marlene on LinkedIn


Patrick M. Pilarski

Primary Researcher – Amii

Patrick is an Associate Professor in the Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Department of Medicine. In addition to his roles as Primary Researcher at Amii and the Reinforcement Learning and Artificial Intelligence (RLAI) Laboratory, Patrick conducts research with the BLINC Lab (Bionic Limbs for Improved Natural Control), which specializes in advanced prosthetic systems.

Kirk Rockwell

General Manager, Basic Research – Alberta Innovates

At Alberta Innovates, Kirk works to transform the way research and commercial development happen in Alberta. Prior to his experience in supporting research and innovation initiatives in Alberta, he has worked in the private sector in a technical and management capacity, managed his own business and worked with many types of stakeholders in government, academia, industry and the general public.

Kirk on LinkedIn


Matthias Ruth

VP, Research – University of Alberta

Dr. Matthias Ruth leads the University's large and complex research and innovation portfolio. He and his team support and advance UAlberta's research ecosystem, working across the University's portfolios and faculties, and with external partners and stakeholders.

Matthias on LinkedIn

Jonathan Schaeffer

Dean, Faculty of Science – University of Alberta

A professor of computing science and founding member of Amii (then AICML), Jonathan is best known for his work in artificial intelligence and games. Notably, Jonathan created the Checkers program Chinook, the first ever program to win a human world championship game.

Jonathan on LinkedIn


Gerri Sinclair

Managing Director – Kensington Capital

Dr. Gerri Sinclair brings over 25 years of cross-domain experience to Amii, largely in the fields of Internet, mobile and digital media technologies, entrepreneurial business, and government policy. Among her many notable achievements, she was the founder and CEO of NCompass Labs, the Internet digital content management company acquired by Microsoft in 2001.