Meet our 2018 Wise 50 Over 50 Awards™ judges

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2018 – 50 Over 50 Award Judges


We are delighted to have judges from across Canada who were the 2017 winners of the 50 over 50 Awards as judges for the 2018 Awards. Below you will find information on each of them.

Lori Schmidt

GO Productivity Corporation

LORI SCHMIDT (B. Ed., EC DEV, CA-AM), is Chief Executive Officer of GO Productivity, a nationally incorporated not-for-profit organization working to improve the productivity, innovation, and competitiveness performance of Canadian firms. Lori is an avid supporter and facilitator of creative approaches and alliance building in tackling regional and global competitiveness issues.

Her years of public and private sector roles – including industry and cluster development, trade policy, strategic management and regional economic development – has had an impact on a broad range of businesses in a variety of business and not-for-profit sectors.

Lori has completed her designation as a strategic alliance professional and is a member of the board of the Global Federation of Competitiveness Councils – a global network of leaders from competitiveness organizations around the world. Lori is a great believer that our people are our most important resource and has developed and delivered a range of workshops around this theme.

A strong advocate of giving back, Lori is involved in several not for profit ventures, including serving on the board of the Christian Children’s Fund of Canada – an organization dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth in developing countries around the world. Most recently, Lori was identified as one of Canada’s WISE 50 over 50 Award winners for her business and community leadership.


Perry Gotell

Tranquility Cove Adventures

Perry Gotell is the Owner/Operator of Tranquility Cove Adventures and has a real passion for experiential tourism, so much so, that after nearly 30 years of being a professional bonafide lobster and rock crab fisherman Perry decided to change professions completely.

Perry now dedicates his days working in the entrepreneurial realm developing new tourism products and working in the tourism industry. Perry, as the owner of Tranquility Cove Adventures has entertained guests and celebrities from all over the world.

Perry started Tranquility Cove Adventures in early 2008 and during the past ten years continues to work in this unchartered territory with continued enthusiasm.

Business Awards and Acknowledgments:

  • 2010 Canadian Signature Collection Member by the Canadian Tourism Commission
  • 2010-2017 Five Star Certificate of Excellence by Trip Advisor
  • 2011 TIAPEI “Operator of the Year Award”
  • 2015 selected as one of the top 20 “Experiential Things To Do in Canada” by the Canadian Tourism Commission
  • 2016 “Five Lesser Known Treasures to Visit in all of Canada for 2016 by AFAR TRAVEL”
  • 2017 TCA selected in the top 50, nationwide for “WISE 50 Over 50 Awards”
  • 2017 Eastern PEI Chamber of Commerce “Emerging Business Growth Award”Perry also holds his Professional Tour Guide Certification, World Host Training Experience Specialist Certificate and a Certificate of Achievement from Gros Morne Institute for Sustainable Tourism.Community and industry work includes Chairman for the Destination Georgetown Peninsula Ltd, Tourism Association and has co-chaired the Sustainable Tourism Expansion Program for Georgetown through 2015. Additional Boards Perry currently serves on are Georgetown Harbour Authority, The Port Of Georgetown working towards new economic development for the region such as attracting cruise ships to visit Eastern PEI and also a Board Member for the PEI Liquor Control Commission.Tranquility Cove Adventures has been featured in over fifteen made for TV shows, the most current are: Seeing Canada, The Rick Mercer Report, VICE TV with Matty Matheson, TSN’s Morning Drive, Score Golf on the Golf Channel, Pitchin’ In with Chef Lynn Crawford, Globe Trekkers U.K., National Geographic and many more.

    Tranquility Cove Adventures is constantly expanding in new exciting product development and will continue towards the development of revenue generators new to the eastern PEI for 2018.




Brian Donovan

Patchell Brook Equity Analytics Inc.

Brian is the President of Patchell Brook Equity Analytics Inc. a Miramichi, New Brunswick based company focused on fundamental equity analysis.

Brian received his MBA from Wilfrid Laurier in 1999 and completed his Chartered Business Valuator (CBV) designation in February 2014. The combination of the MBA, CBV and his analysis background have all inspired this company.

Upon completing the MBA, Brian joined the .com world as Director of Pulp and Paper with MyPlant.Com. He returned to Miramichi in 2002 as Economic Development Director with the City of Miramichi followed by his role as Executive Director with Enterprise Miramichi until 2013.

Brian resides in Miramichi with his wife Joan.

Valerie Fox

Chief Innovation Consultant
The Pivotal Point

Val is on a mission to enable thriving entrepreneurial communities locally, nationally and internationally based on a triple win practice of partnership, collaboration and iterative growth.

This practice evolved from the co-founding and execution of the DMZ, launched in 2010, which by 2015 was named the number one University Business Incubator in North America and number 3 in the world by UBI.

She left soon after to form The Pivotal Point and is now helping to grow progressively successful community-based incubators worldwide.

Val has over 30 years in the digital world, where she started a graphic design business, and then was hired by one of her clients, IBM, to be part of their innovation intrapreneurial network. There she led enterprise software design teams, was creative director for large experience sites, such as the Sydney Olympics and was awarded 5 patents, including one for the Universal Shopping Cart for the Web (in the top 5% of IBM patents).

Other awards include the Sara Kirke Award for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, the 2016 CNE Woman of Distinction award, The WISE 2017 50 over 50 award and the honour of being part of the 2016 Canada Innovation Leaders team.




Helen MacKinnon

Proprietor and Counsellor
A Holding Place

Helen MacKinnon is a counselling therapist in St. John’s Newfoundland and in 2011 became a proprietor when she started a Private Practice Counselling Centre called A Holding Place Inc.

A Holding Place is a thriving clinic of multiple professionals offering counselling to individual, couples and families and they work with adults, adolescents and children. They are service providers for a number of Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) helping employees and their families, as well as self referrals, deal with a variety of issues.


In 2014 Helen won the Newfoundland and Labrador Organization of Women Entrepreneurs (NLOWE) Start Up Award. Since starting her business and working alone, she has increased to a team of seven counsellors and the annual revenues continue to grow each year.


Helen calls herself a late bloomer and she wants to inspire anyone who thinks “it’s too late or I’m too old”. Just after her 50th birthday Helen took a leap of faith to start her own business and has had no regrets!


She is honored to be a judge for the second annual 50 Over 50 Awards and looks forward to reading stories of other successful “late bloomers” entrepreneurs.



Ron & Adam St. John


Ron is a board-certified physician in preventive medicine, with post-graduate training in internal medicine, infectious diseases, and public health. Prior to his retirement as the first Director-General of Health Canada’s Centre for Emergency Preparedness and Response, he co-founded the Global Public Health Intelligence Network (GPHIN), the first computer-based 24/7 global electronic monitoring system to create alerts for all infectious disease outbreaks worldwide. Following his retirement, he wanted to provide individual travellers with the same health and safety alerts available to governments through GPHIN. With his son, Adam, he co-founded Sitata.

Adam is a mechanical engineer turned tech entrepreneur and an avid traveller. A run in with some nasty food poisoning abroad convinced him to co-found Sitata, a service dedicated to helping travellers stay safe




Paul von Wittenstein

Chief Operating Officer
Baby World Language Ltd.

Paul von Wittgenstein is a professional entrepreneur, talent management consultant, instructional designer and master corporate trainer with more than 25 years of professional experience. Currently working in both Asia and Canada, Paul is focusing on business development capacity building via management consulting, organizational development and professional skills training.

He is also founder of Baby World Language, an innovative edtech startup company focused on early childhood language development. Baby World Language is a promising startup that will become mainstream across Asia to help parents teach English to their babies. Paul is well connected to the educational sector in China and works with cooperation partners such as the Shanghai Foreign Language Education press (providing lesson materials to more than 1,000 universities and colleges and scores of junior schools in China).

Originally from Vancouver in Canada, Paul’s studies centered first in forest technology, then in organizational behavior and human resources management. Paul worked in the forest industry for many years in government and industry where he assumed progressively more responsible management positions. Eventually he became a senior facilities and asset program manager.

He has been engaged in business and management consulting, leadership coaching, education and professional development training for foreign and domestic organizations in Asia for more than 20 years. Paul’s cross-cultural talent development specialties include needs assessment, business strategy, instructional design and facilitation of performance improvement programs.

Wendy Scott, Susan Scott

Co-Owners; Sisters-in-law
Nurse Next Door, Burnaby

Seeing the major benefits of care delivered within the home, Wendy knew building a Nurse Next Door home care franchise in Burnaby, New Westminster, and TriCities was the best way to deliver on her passion.

With 47 years of experience in healthcare, Wendy brings a wealth of expertise to families in Burnaby, New Westminster, and TriCities looking for elderly home care and all aspects of home care services.

Wendy’s experience includes roles in clinical and management leadership, intensive care and emergency, all of which have given her the experience to bring quality care to local seniors in Burnaby and New Westminster.

Susan’s entry into the world of Home Care services was motivated by a personal experience when she had difficulty finding reliable and respectful care for her very ill mother.

Several years later, after listening to many people’s similar concerns, Susan knew that the purchase of the Burnaby, New Westminster, and TriCities Nurse Next Door franchise would meet her expectations.

With over 40 years of experience in the laboratory technology field and case management software, sales and marketing, project management, and customer service & support, Susan found her passion in making a difference in the lives of clients and families who were experiencing a difficulty in navigating the complex healthcare system.




Jacques Cantin

Caninno Inc.

Jacques Cantin, P. Eng, MBA, PMP, President & CEO, was previously (2012-2015) General Project Manager for Enercon Canada where he carried out numerous important projects including the Kemont project installation (44 wind turbines for Kruger Inc.), the planning and cost estimation for Enercon’s Quebec and Nova Scotia 2014 and 2015 campaigns, installation of all turbines in 2014 campaign in Nova Scotia, and supported sales in major project planning and estimates for projects Meikle, MU, Dawson Creek, Chaplin (1,3B$).

Previously he was Director Engineering – Mining and Metallurgy, for Fjordtech in Rouyn-Noranda where he managed a service launch contract with Xstrata (now Glencore), developed other business in the northern mining sector, signed an agreement with a Nunavut company to market engineering and fabrication services and set up the engineering office in Rouyn-Noranda.

From 1990 to 2011 he held the following positions: Director of Project Management for Axdev Group (Longueuil), VP Technology for CO2 Vortech, Renewable Energy Turbine Development, President, SMDI, New Product and Process Consulting in the Biotech industry and performed management consulting for the family business (Pincourt).

Mr. Cantin obtained his bachelor of applied science in mechanical engineering from Laval University in 1989, and an Executive MBA from Queen’s University in 1999. He also holds a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from the PMI Institute since 2015.

Jacques is the proud father of an 8 year old daughter, plays ultimate frisbee and has a 3 year old Saluki mix dog. He lives in Montreal.


WISE’s goal is to help encore careerists achieve their business start-up goals by equipping them with the requisite skills, knowledge, resources and confidence.

Learn more about the services offered by WISE – Seniors in Business