Check out our team, board of directors, investment committee members, and women in business.
PRESIDENT & CEO AT CANADIAN CREDIT UNION ASSOCIATION (CCUA)
Ms. Durdin is a seasoned executive with extensive experience in management, public affairs and advocacy. Previously, she was the Managing Principal of a leading national strategic public affairs firm and spent thirteen years as an executive at a large Canadian bank. Early in her career, Martha worked in The Prime Minister’s office under The Right Hon. Pierre Elliott Trudeau.
Martha volunteers her time for a number of community organizations. Among them, she served three terms as the Chair of the Ontario Arts Council and is immediate past Chair of the Royal Ontario Museum Board of Trustees. She is currently a Director of The Canadian Club of Toronto, The Canada Post Foundation and Roots of Empathy. Martha represents CCUA on the boards of The World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) and Co-operatives & Mutuals Canada (CMC) and is a former member on the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada’s National Steering Committee for Financial Literacy. Martha is a recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Ms. Durdin is bilingual; holds a BA (Hon) from Western University, an MSc from the London School of Economics, and an ICD.D from the Institute of Corporate Directors at the Rotman School of Management.
Western University, BA (Hon)
London School of Economics, MSs
Rotman School of Management, ICD.D
Michele J Buchignani
CEO, MCLEAN DRIVE CONSULTING LTD.
Michele is a strategic business leader with extensive senior level experience in private equity, law, finance, compensation, corporate social responsibility and consulting including development and implementation of strategic vision. She has proven success in Canadian and US public and private business organizations including building new business from scratch, repositioning troubled business and driving growth.
Michele was previously a partner at Stikeman Elliott, practicing corporate law in Toronto and London. She subsequently worked for seven years with CIBC World Markets and CIBC Capital Partners in Toronto and New York and for four years with the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board in Toronto. Michele is currently the CEO of McLean Drive Consulting Ltd. as well as the Managing Partner of a US-based property holding company.
Michele has been a board member of several for-profit companies as well as serving on executive, audit, compensation, corporate social responsibility and human resource committees. Currently, she serves on the boards of White House Design Company Inc., Westport Fuel Systems Inc. (WPRT:Nasdaq/TSX), Copper Mountain Mining Corporation (CMMC:TSX/ASX), TMX Trust Company and Dane Creek Capital Corp.
Throughout her career, Michele has made a commitment to giving back and has served on a number of not-for-profit boards in a variety of roles, including Chair, and has participated in formal mentoring programmes for women in capital markets and developing young women for governance roles on boards. She was also a founding member of two networks for women working in private equity in New York and Vancouver.
Michele successfully completed the director education program at the Institute for Corporate Directors and holds the designation ICD.D. Michele graduated from the University of British Columbia with a BA Honours, English and also the University of Toronto Faculty of Law with a JD and completed the Stanford Executive Program at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University.
University of British Columbia, BA (Hon)
University of Toronto, JD
Stanford University, SEP
VP, M&A, Strategy &
Shareholder Relations; President, Dockside Investco.
MacKenzie leads M&A activities and strategic initiatives at Dane Creek Capital Corp. Her focus is on sourcing, evaluating, and completing investment/acquisition opportunities, and supporting portfolio companies.
Prior to joining DCCC, MacKenzie worked as an investment analyst and program lead for Nova Scotia’s early stage venture capital fund Innovacorp, covering life sciences, ocean technology, clean technology and information technology sectors. MacKenzie holds a Bachelor of Management degree with a major in sustainable resources and environmental management from Dalhousie University. More recently, she studied venture capital finance at Saint Mary’s University and is currently pursuing her CFA.
Saint Mary’s University
VP, Marketing & communications
FOUNDER & CEO,H&H
SALES & MARKETING INC.
Viki Bartosiewicz is a customer relations and B2B sales professional with a passion for animals and business. Her extensive experience in the pet industry has led to the founding of Henry & Harvey, a full service pet specialty sales agency serving Canada and the US. Through H&H, Viki is focused on partnering with innovative pet products and service providers to grow and solidify their B2B relationships and sales programs.
Prior to founding H&H, Viki served as Senior Sales Manager for Dane Creek Capital Corp. and Director of B2B Sales in Canada at Pethealth Inc., a multinational corporation and the leading global provider of companion animal microchips.
In addition to developing business Viki enjoys spending time with her two Frenchies, exploring the Canadian outdoors and horseback riding.
Head of Sales, Eastern Canada
PRESIDENT, United Pet
Farah is the President of RawPaw, a Québec-based distributor of high quality raw pet food, treats and supplements. Farah founded the company in 2012 to meet market demands for premium products as consumers began looking to feed their pets with recognizable, sustainable ingredients. After obtaining a Certification in Canine Nutrition, Farah became qualified to formulate customized meal plans to improve and sustain the health of domestic cats and dogs.
In her free time, Farah enjoys spending time with her husband and Pug/Shih Tzu Truman, along with horseback riding and competing in local dressage shows.
Founder, TOLLDEN FARMS
Annette started the Tollden Farms pet food company in 2002. In 2001, when her new Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever puppy had a severe allergic reaction to kibble, Annette began researching alternative ways of feeding. Even though she was warned against feeding raw food, her grandfather stepped in and reminded her what the dogs on the farm had been fed, how healthy they were, and how veterinary intervention was seldom needed. After three days on a strict raw-only diet, the puppy not only recovered, but thrived. There was no going back to any other method of feeding at that point!
Research became Annette’s driving passion. She firmly believes that we never stop learning, and she is constantly researching better, and trusted ways to keep pets healthy through diet and supplements.
From modest beginnings in their kitchen, Annette and her husband Kevin have grown Tollden Farms into one of the leading raw pet food producers in Canada.
Annette has extensive background in customer relations and has managed all aspects of administration for Tollden Farms for the last 18 years. Annette and Kevin are a dynamic team, and when not running their business, love to spend time with their three grown children. They share their home with three senior Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers and three cats. Annette also has a special place in her heart for Gracie, her Canadian horse.
DIRECTOR, FORMULATION & NUTRITION
Melissa is the Director of Formulation and Nutrition for Dane Creek. Her focus is on analysing, testing and reformulating recipes within the portfolio companies, formulating new innovative products in the raw food and supplement verticals, and educating retailers and pet parents across the nation.
Melissa has a rich history of formulating and analysing species-appropriate diets. Co-founding Naturawls Pet Products in 2011, one of the fastest-growing Canadian raw pet foods, and later becoming the Director of Operations for Pets4Life, Canada’s first AAFCO compliant brand of raw pet food. She has a passion for petitioning for appropriate regulation around raw feeding and foods. Challenging the “status quo” of feeding highly processed diets full of preservatives, to our companion pets.
Through her years of studying in Ayurveda, she has developed a keen sense for digestion. “If people or our pets are not eating what they were designed to digest, the result is always going to be disease”.
BScN California College
of Ayurveda, AHC
Alessia is an analyst at DCCC. She is responsible for assisting with M&A operations, and providing support in various activities including shareholder reporting, data collection & analysis, financial and business analysis of the industry and portfolio company projects.
Prior to joining DCCC, Alessia held multiple internship positions at TD bank where she worked on the acquisitions team as well as business process teams. She graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Science, majoring in BioChemical Engineering from Queen’s University in Kingston, ON.
SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR
Katie is the Marketing Coordinator at DCCC. She is responsible for executing strategic marketing plans, managing search engine optimization, supporting sales with marketing materials and assisting with the execution of promotional and marketing activities.
Katie has worked alongside Tollden Farms for many years, gaining extensive knowledge on raw feeding as well as understanding formulation and the manufacturing process. Prior to joining DCCC, Katie created and executed marketing campaigns for multiple struggling small businesses, allowing them to implement a sustainable business plan. She graduated from the Business Marketing program at Algonquin College in the spring of 2020.
It was over 20 years ago that I began my career in the hair and beauty industry. My early career was in London England, where I trained and worked in one of the top hair salons in the world. Returning to Canada I owned my own award-winning salon in downtown Vancouver that included a clientele of television personalities and led to me working backstage at New York Fashion Week. My industry experience positioned me to fulfill the role of director of education and sales for three major global hair manufactures. With these manufactures I learned how to work with businesses to increase their customer retail experience through education and effective retail displays and marketing.
It was when I stayed at a friend’s house and used dog shampoo instead of a bodywash by mistake I was inspired to create a luxury dog grooming line. When my beloved Maltese Georgie was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure, I began to delve deeper into nutrition. Determined to be better educated so that I did not make the same uninformed choices with my new Maltese Jasper I become extremely interested in nutrition. Because of the loss of my dog and armed with what I now know about food and the exposed myths I am deeply passionate about pet nutrition. I am excited to be part of Henry & Harvey representing the best brands in the pet industry!
I purchased my first sphynx cat Colin at 24 and fell in love with the breed. Shortly after I started a small hobby cattery called “The Gentleman’s Sphynx”. I successfully raised three lovely litters of kittens and found them all the perfect families. Today I still stay in touch with all of my kittens’ families who I have become great friends with along the way. My 3 sphynx cats are my best friends and they continue to make me laugh everyday!
I continued to work at the pet store for 8 years, moving up into the assistant manager position. I continued to develop my pet knowledge and was immersed in the pet sales industry by having the opportunity to attend PIJAC and other pet expos. I am grateful for the years I spent with the lovely owners of that local pet store and all the amazing staff, who quickly became family.
I came upon the Henry & Harvey position and after looking at their website and just knew I had to apply! I jumped at the opportunity and haven’t looked back. I am excited for the future and am so thankful for the chance to be able to travel and meet new people who are also in the pet industry. Can’t wait to see what life brings!
Ever since I was a kid, I knew animals were my passion. There was always a pet in our house, or 5. I quickly learned what taking care of an animal meant, and how important they can be to your life. From owning everything from a dog and a cat to guinea pigs and fish, I knew I wanted to work closely with animals. When I turned 14, I was ready to start my first job in the pet industry. I started as a part time kennel technician and customer service representative and moved onto the supervisor and eventually the inventory manager which I stayed in throughout my years of high school and after graduation. I then decided to venture into the world of Criminology.
After finishing school in Criminal Justice Studies and working in that field, I knew my calling was still in the pet industry. After moving provinces, I went back to work for the same pet store and ended up taking on the inventory management role again, which I stayed in for the next 2 years. While living in Alberta I was able to start another career journey with a non-profit organization where I managed the in-shelter pet store. Between the pet store and the non-profit organization, I was able to gain the skills and knowledge of the pet industry that I have today.
I came across Henry & Harvey through a connection I had made while working in the Pet Industry. I knew that this was going to be my shinning moment in my career and I cannot wait to see where it takes me.
DCCC Chairman & CEO Mark Warren is the founder and former President & CEO of Pethealth Inc. which he formed in 1998. Under his leadership, Pethealth became the leading aggregator of new pet and pet owner data, the largest provider of cloud-based software to the companion animal industry, one of the largest providers of pet insurance in the US, UK & Canada and the world’s largest provider of companion animal microchip technology.
Pethealth was acquired by Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited (‘Fairfax’) in November, 2014 for all cash consideration of C$100M representing 2.1x twelve months trailing revenue, 19.6x twelve months trailing EBITDA and a 69% premium to the common share price.
So Why us?
We are entrepreneurs ourselves. We understand the challenges you face and have hands on experience turning good ideas into profitable ventures.