Our Board

Board of Directors


Robert H Lane

Managing Partner, Robert H. Lane and Associates Inc

Robert is the managing partner of Robert H. Lane and Associates Inc., a business advisor organization headquartered in Toronto, Canada. Prior to starting his consulting business he served in senior management roles with a number of companies including: International Paper, GE Canada, Nortel and Commodore Business Machines. Bob serves as a Board Member or Advisor to various companies in the U.S. and Canada including Energy Advantage Inc, Fontur International, Invest Toronto, GridPlex, Predictive Success, Signum Wireless Corporation and TechConnex. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Toronto (Trinity College), and a Master of Business Administration from the Richard Ivey School of Business–University of Western Ontario (Gold Medalist).


Dick DeStefano

Executive Director, Samssa

Mr. DeStefano has extensive experience in the field of economic development in the Regional Municipality of Sudbury and beyond. He has served in a leadership role in high profile community initiatives including The Next Ten Years Economic Diversification Conference.

He has also been involved in important projects at the provincial level as a member of the Ministry of Culture and Communications Advisory Committee on Telecommunications, a Member of the Premier’s Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship and was a member of the Advisory Board of Directors of Rogers Broadcasting Inc. Cable 4 OMNI 1 & OMNI 2.

Mr. DeStefano is also a member of the first Editorial Board of the Global Mining Supply & Service Magazine, Sudbury Mining Solutions Journal and writes commentaries for a number of publications.


Kirk G Petroski

Founder, Chairman of the Board

Kirk got his start in the mining industry in 1993 as a field technician for Falconbridge Exploration. In 1996 he founded ERE Services which provided exploration services and was at the forefront of technology bringing GPS surveying to Northern Ontario. In 1999, he completed his MBA cum laude at Laurentian University. In 2001, he began building a network within the Sudbury basin by providing technical services for the mining supply and service sector. In 2008, he co-founded Symboticware and cultivated an idea of creating an Open wireless platform to facilitate connectivity to mobile assets, enable real-time data flow and the reporting of safety, production and maintenance information for better decision making. Symboticware innovations have been commercialized in Canada, USA and LATAM directly and through a growing ecosystem of high profile global partners.

Kirk was also a founding contributor, past Director, Treasurer and President of the Sudbury Area Mining Supply and Service Association. Kirk is also is a contributing member of the Global Mining Standards and Guidelines Group and actively contributes and speaks at community based events that foster technology innovation and entrepreneurship.

Advisory Board

John Carpenter

John Carpenter is a turnaround leader and builder of successful business entities, with a 33-year global track record in delivering new and sustainable revenue and business models at Caterpillar. John joined Caterpillar in 1984 and over his career held a variety of executive positions within the company including international postings in Chile and Singapore. His last position was Director of Digital & Technology where he successfully lead Caterpillar’s global construction industry digital transformation. In August of 2017, John retired from Caterpillar but through consulting and board advisory positions continues his passion for helping businesses with their digital transformation.

John graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1984 and completed the Northwestern University-Kellogg Advanced Executive Program in 2000. He currently holds an advisory board position with Tada Cognitive Solutions and Freshwater Advisors. John also holds charitable board positions with the Kiawah Seabrook Exchange Club and Sea Islands Hunger Awareness Foundation of South Carolina.


Brad Nicholas

Director Digital Programs, Corning Inc.

Brad is currently at Corning, where he has established a global development team responsible for large scale data and machine learning engineering as well as enterprise applications development. He was previously VP of IoT Engineering at Uptake, where he built the team responsible for on-asset computing platforms and distributed analytics. He is a named inventor on 12 patents covering embedded and distributed computing, machine learning and real-time billing.

Brad brings extensive engineering, product and general management experience from multiple startups and larger companies across several industries including automotive, consulting, internet applications, telecommunications and engineered materials. Brad holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Tech and an MBA from the University of Michigan.

Marc Castel


Marc Castel is an engineering graduate from the University of Toronto with 30 years of business experience in both the private and public sectors.  His track record includes senior executive, ownership and science positions in diverse SMEs including industrial manufacturing, medical devices, robotics, and enterprise software with several successful start-ups under his belt.

In addition to his engineering work in the petrochemical field, Castel was the Chief Scientist and a co-owner of a private multi-national plastic manufacturing company where he was involved in R&D, engineering, industrial automation, quality management systems implementation, and corporate restructuring.

Castel has spent many years as a commercialization specialist. As Director of Commercialization for the Ontario Centres of Excellence, he developed and managed a portfolio of academic-industry research collaborations and was involved in the funding and mentoring of over 40 high-tech start-ups.

Castel is also a business mentor for young entrepreneurs through CYBF, WBT, Communitech and TiEQuest. He also founded the Resource Alliance, a network of over 400 commercialization professionals that helps grow early stage companies.

Castel has also had a long career in Medical Devices. As the prior Managing Director and co-owner of a Canadian manufacturer and distributor of medical products, he implemented major first-to-market launches of emerging technologies and developed a highly successful and profitable line of medical diagnostic equipment and software. Castel went on to become the International Marketing Director of a US public multi-national medical device company where he managed and grew international sales. His Medical career also included the successful development and growth of multi-disiplinary medical centres and a 15 year career teaching medicine to health care professionals around the world.

Matthew Pickard

Vice President, Environment & Sustainability, Sabina Gold & Silver Corp.

Matthew Pickard is a Professional Geoscientist with 15 years of experience in sustainability and mine development within the Canadian mining industry. Matthew holds an Honours Bachelor of Science and Masters of Business Administration, both from Laurentian University. He also retains the designation of Professional Geoscientist, Canadian Registered Safety Professional and Certified Environmental Practitioner. During his career Matthew has spent time with Falconbridge, De Beers Canada, Baffinland Iron Mines and now Sabina Gold and Silver. He has worked throughout Canada including projects in Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec, and the Northwest Territories, but recently has been focused on Nunavut. Matthew is currently the Vice President, Environment & Sustainability for Sabina Gold and Silver and is directing the permitting of future mining developments in Nunavut. He also currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada.