Gord was born and raised on a small grain and livestock farm in Saskatchewan. He obtained an MSc in agricultural economics, then spent nearly 30 years working with growers and buyers of western Canadian field crops in management positions that included product development, market development, sales, logistics, and construction and operation of grain-handling facilities. He is happy to be working with the progressive and innovative farmers and food manufacturers whom Avena Foods is grateful to have as business partners.
Gord, his wife Louise and their two children spent a year living and traveling in Mexico, Ecuador, and Argentina, learning Spanish, making friends and escaping a Canadian winter. All four family members continue to feed their travel habit with various biking, hiking and other adventures close to and far away from home.
Margaret was raised in a pioneering pulse processing family. She has memories of summer car trips on the prairies, visiting every mill in every town, sliding down hills of newly harvested dried peas in the warehouse, and eating rather a lot of pea soup. Margaret graduated from Queen’s University before moving to the UK for postgraduate studies and then work. After 17 years, she returned home to Manitoba with her husband and two boys, joining the family business with responsibility for sales and marketing. Margaret is excited to be selling oat and pulse ingredients that are healthy for people and the planet.
Lesley was raised on a grain farm in Saskatchewan and currently lives in Regina with her husband and three children. She has over 15 years of experience in financial management. She is a designated CPA, CMA and graduate of the University of Saskatchewan, holding degrees in both commerce and agriculture. As a member of the executive team, Lesley contributes to growth initiatives, fiscal accountability, risk management and cultural leadership. In addition, Lesley is also responsible for managing core transactional process, maintaining an environment of internal controls, and effectively guiding resource deployment.
Born and raised in Saskatoon Saskatchewan, James is the youngest of four boys. After graduating from the University of Saskatchewan with a BSc in chemical engineering and biotechnology, James drove a $1,000 minivan across Canada, covering 17,000km in 3 months. He then worked for a year in the UK before returning to Canada where he obtained his professional engineering designation while working with ADM in Lloydminster as an extraction superintendent in canola oil and biodiesel. James and the oat milling team are committed to providing safe, ‘Purity Protocol’ gluten-free oats of the highest quality to customers.
Alexandra was born in Paris France and now lives in Regina Saskatchewan with her handsome husband and mischievous daughter. She leads the quality, food safety, sanitation, and continuous in-house laboratory improvement programs. The work of Alexandra and her team is key to the ‘start safe, stay safe’ system for producing ‘Purity Protocol’ gluten-free oats. Alexandra has 10 years of food safety and quality experience in the food industry which includes auditing farms, manufacturing, and retailers, as well as maintaining regulatory compliance, supporting technical sales, and managing FSMS in the meat processing industry. She holds MSc in veterinary sciences from the University of Montreal and is a certified HACCP, GFSI & ISO 17065 internal auditor, as well as a PCQI
(Preventative Controls Quality Individual).
Mike has played a key role in the development of the Best Cooking Pulses brand of split peas, lentils, chickpeas and beans. Involved in the Agriculture Industry throughout his entire career, Mike’s passion for people and pulses has been his greatest attribute. Mike is responsible for the procurement of both oats and pulses. He and the Rowatt team are committed to the long-term growth in both export and domestic pulse sales.
Trudy Heal began life as the granddaughter and daughter of Canadian pioneers in field pea milling and splitting. This particular pulse crop and agricultural business have always been a part of her life whether in the background during other career pursuits or as a primary focus at Avena Foods. Trudy has degrees from Queen’s University and the University of Manitoba. In addition to spreading the word about sustainable, gluten-free cropping systems, Trudy is committed to delivering safe food ingredients of superior quality to Avena customers wherever they may be.
Reid is responsible for the development and implementation of corporate strategy. This includes leading strategic projects and initiatives directly, as well as analysing and recommending capital investments. Reid has previously held various roles in finance and grain procurement at Avena Foods. He has a commerce degree with a major in finance from the Edwards School of Business at the University of Saskatchewan.