A Family Story

A Family Story

In 2012, Nan-b and Philippe de Gaspé Beaubien challenged their grandchildren to find their own voice as future philanthropists by asking them what issues were of concern to them. Members of the family’s fourth generation were of one mind: their biggest concern was water.

Extensive research and engagement with key leaders in the water sector opened the eyes of the de Gaspé Beaubien grandparents to the state of freshwater in North America. Their grandchildren were right.

And so, believing in the passion and creativity of youth and the value of entrepreneurship to channel that potential for sustainable societal impact, the De Gaspe Beaubien Family Foundation founded AquaHacking and launched the AquaHacking Challenge to become a source of solutions for our most pressing water issues.

Our Main Targets

Our Main Targets

The water crisis

AquaHacking Team

Juliette Dufresne
Juliette Dufresne

Project administration officer

Nicolina Kamany
Nicolina Kamany

Research Support Officer

Laurence Basso
Laurence Basso

Communications Coordinator

Dominique Monchamp
Dominique Monchamp

Senior Advisor

Anne-Pascale Richardson
Anne-Pascale Richardson

Program Director

Melissa Dick
Melissa Dick

Development Officer

Kariann Aarup
Kariann Aarup

Advisor

Caroline Thomassin
Caroline Thomassin

General Counsel
and Corporate Secretary

Vittoria DePalma
Vittoria DePalma

Controller

Board of Directors

Nan-B De Gaspé Beaubien
Nan-B De Gaspé Beaubien

Nan-b de Gaspé Beaubien is co-chair of the de Gaspé Beaubien foundation and devotes her time to philanthropic endeavors that continue to break new ground supporting environmental causes, enterprising families and enterprising women, public health, and education.  An internationally renowned expert on topic of family enterprise, she is a regular speaker at global conferences and top universities worldwide.

Fondation de Gaspé Beaubien

François de Gaspé Beaubien
François de Gaspé Beaubien

François de Gaspé Beaubien obtained a BA with honours from Haverford College before earning an MBA with distinction at Harvard Business School in 1989. Because of his strong academic performance, he was recruited by the Phi Beta Kappa fraternity, one of the oldest and most prestigious academic honour societies in the United States. After concluding his studies, François rose up the publishing ranks from publisher of New England Monthly magazine to eventually become President of Telemedia Publishing, Canada’s largest consumer magazine company at the time with titles ranging from TV Guide to Elle magazine. He and his team turned the organization from losses to the most profitable publishing group in Canada and he then sold that division in 2000.  He and his brother oversaw the expansion of their radio division as co-CEOs to become Canada’s largest radio broadcaster, Telemedia, which they then sold in 2002.  In 2003, François acquired Zoom Media, an indoor advertising company. Since he became CEO, the company has experienced tremendous growth (and focus), digitally entertaining and educating over 35 million fitness members every month across all of Canada, the USA, and the United Kingdom.  He is the sole owner of Zoom. The businessman is also the co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Hivestack, a company that allows advertisers to target custom audiences digitally, based on physical world behaviors (combining the engagement of mobile devices with digital billboards). François recently sold Ayuda Media Systems, a software company utilized across 22 countries for its billboard management systems of which he was the Executive Chairman of the board (he remains a minority shareholder in the new combined company with the acquirer, Broadsign). He is very involved in the industry and serves as Chairman of the board of the Digital Place Based Advertising Association (DPAA), a global initiative based out of NYC seeking to foster the growth of Digital Out Of Home (DOOH) media by bringing together market participants (media owners and tech suppliers) and educating marketers.

Barrie Laver
Barrie Laver

Barrie G. Laver, CPA, CA. ICD.D is a Managing Director with Royal Bank of Canada and heads RBC Capital Partners, the bank’s venture capital and private equity business.  His primary focus is on leading venture investments in support of RBC’s broader innovation strategy; typically, these are minority investments in early-stage technology companies where RBC has a commercial partnership and where the investment is seen to deliver increased strategic benefit as well as strong financial returns.  Mr. Laver’s background is primarily in the venture capital industry both with RBC as well as having founded his own independent venture fund that focused on early-stage technology investments. Mr. Laver has also served as CEO with companies in the technology, hospitality and manufacturing sectors, including Vintage Hotels in Niagara-on-the-Lake and Prinova Inc. in Toronto.   He has experience on numerous private, public and not-for-profit boards.  His NFP Board experience includes having served on the Board of Governors of Havergal College, a leading independent girls’ school in Toronto, where he was Chair of the Board from 2014 – 2017, as well as serving as a Trustee of Runnymede HealthCare Center (formerly Runnymede Chronic Care Hospital) in Toronto from 1990 – 1999 and 2000 – 2003. Mr. Laver is a member of CPA Canada and the Institute of Corporate Directors.

Pierre-Marc Sarrazin
Pierre-Marc Sarrazin

Pierre-Marc Sarrazin is Vice President, Corporate Finance & Treasury for Ovivo, a global provider of water and wastewater treatment equipment headquartered in Montreal. He joined Ovivo in 2011 and he currently leads the mergers and acquisitions strategy, financing, treasury operations and investor relations.
Pierre-Marc cumulates close to twenty years of corporate finance and development experience for several multinational public companies, where he also actively participated in a number of strategic transactions, such as acquisitions, divestments, financing and restructuring.
Pierre-Marc holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance and a Master of Science in International Business from HEC Montreal. He also holds the designation of Chartered Financial Analyst.

Simon Olivier
Simon Olivier

Board Member, Strategic and Creative Thinker, Champion of Innovation (EX Senior VP, Strategy & Innovation @ AGROPUR). Executive Leader with an international track record in Innovation, Strategy, Entrepreneurship and Financial services. Worked with Fortune 500, medium-sized businesses, Coop and start-ups across various industries; all related to social development – Energy, Transportation, Healthcare, Water, Food and Finance. Simon Olivier was last responsible for building and executing Agropur’s growth strategy across North America as well as leading the development and innovation of new competitive products. With nearly 20 years of experience with General Electric, Simon has held several leadership positions including Executive VP Strategy, Innovation and Mergers & Acquisitions. Previously, he was General Manager – Renewable Energy for Canada and the Northeastern United States where he built a multi-billion-dollar business. Before joining GE, Simon worked 5 years as an engineer with Air Canada. Simon holds an engineering degree from Polytechnique Montreal and an MBA in finance from McGill University. He sits on different boards of directors; the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal (CCMM) and C2Mtl. He is a member of the strategic and global leadership council of McGill. In 2009, Simon received the “Young Quebec Business Leader” award. Passionate about sports, Simon competes in triathlons and other sports.

Allen Lalonde
Allen Lalonde

Allen Lalonde was the former IBM Canada’s Senior Innovation Executive and Director of IBM Canada’s Research & Development Centre. In directing IBM’s investments and collaboration in strategic innovation initiatives across Canada, Allen and his team were focused on driving social and economic growth in Canada through IBM’s leadership, participation and support of collaborative innovation initiatives and models, and especially through IBM’s support for big data, analytics and cognitive research projects. In this role, Allen has collaborated with Municipal, Federal and Provincial governments, academic institutions and researchers, and industry associations and partners to establish, progress and execute such initiatives. He led a team of research, project management, business development and operations leaders who were dedicated to exciting research projects to answer Canada’s most pressing challenges, including challenges like those prioritized with the AquaHacking Movement.

Matthew Price-Gallagher
Matthew Price-Gallagher

Matthew Price-Gallagher is President & CEO, Watercluster Scientific Inc. Watercluster Scientific Inc. is a Montreal-based privately held corporation focusing on innovative science-based technology solutions using nanotechnology. For the past seventeen years, Mr. Price-Gallagher has guided the Company through its commercial and R&D initiatives with leading researchers and engineers around the world. Current research partners include Brojde Center for Innovation in Engineering and Computer Science and the School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, both at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, as well as NanoSpun Technologies, a spin-off of the Technion.