Staff

  • Sean McKay

    Interim Chief Executive Officer

    Sean is an experienced professional who brings a broad range of skills acquired through his leadership positions in a variety of industry and research settings. Sean McKay established Honger Innovations Inc. in July 2018 following a distinguished career in industry that focused primarily on technology development and commercialization. Most recently, he held the position of President and CEO of the Composites Innovation Centre, a not for profit corporation that he established in 2003 with support from industry and government partners. This entity stimulated economic growth through innovative research, development and application of composite materials and technologies for the manufacturing industry. He has a wealth of knowledge in government relations, business management and composite materials related technologies with over 40 years of industrial experience within the aerospace, ground vehicle, civil infrastructure and, most recently, industrial bioproducts sectors. He joined the Research Manitoba team in August 2020.

  • Nicole Barry

    Director of Finance and Administration

    Nicole is Chartered Professional Accountant, recipient of the CPA Early Achievement Award and featured within the Top 40 Under 40 in the national CPA Magazine. Nicole completed both the Bachelor of Applied Business Administration Degree from SAIT and the Certified General Accountant’s Designation in 2007. She is currently completing the MBA program at Laurentian University.

    She has worked in senior leadership roles within accounting and finance for nearly 20 years. Prior to joining Research Manitoba, Nicole had a variety of experiences, from large corporate to start-ups to academia. She has been an active member of Winnipeg’s business community, while serving on a variety of non-profit boards and committees.

    Nicole is excited to use her professional abilities to support and grow the world-class research happening right here in Manitoba.

  • Necole Sommersell

    Manager, Evaluation and Impact

    Necole is the Manager, Evaluation & Impact and plays a key role in monitoring, evaluating, and reporting on the progress and impact of Research Manitoba's efforts to advance research in the province. Necole joined Research Manitoba in September, 2014 with a Master of Arts in Education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto (OISE/UT), and a Credentialed Evaluator designation from the Canadian Evaluation Society.
  • Freyja Arnason

    Manager, RITHiM

    Freyja joined the Research Manitoba team in July 2014 as Manager of Research Programs. In 2018, she became the Manager of the Research Improvements Through Harmonization in Manitoba (RITHIM) initiative. Freyja has a Masters Degree in Canadian Politics from the University of Manitoba. Prior to joining Research Manitoba, she worked for the Manitoba government as the Project Manager for research and Innovation. Throughout her career she has gained varied and extensive experience in project and program management, policy analysis, research and fund management. She has worked closely with researchers, companies, and senior public and private stakeholders at the regional, national, and international level to foster research and innovation in Manitoba.
  • Kristen Hooper

    Communications Officer

    Kristen joined Research Manitoba in August 2008 as an administrative assistant. However, over the years her role has evolved into communications for the organization. In her role as Communications Officer, Kristen is responsible for Research Manitoba’s communication activities, including media and stakeholder relations, competition communications, producing promotional materials and maintaining the organization’s web presence. Kristen graduated from the University of Winnipeg with a Public Relations diploma in the October of 2012. She also has a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Psychology from the University of Winnipeg and a certificate in Social Media Engagement from Brandon University's Rural Development Institute.

  • Mikayla Hunter

    Executive Assistant

    Mikayla joined the Research Manitoba team in September 2018 as the Executive Assistant. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Rhetoric, Writing and Communications from the University of Winnipeg. Mikayla is actively involved in the community through volunteer work, and is an advocate for improving the lives of Manitobans in as many ways as possible. Through her role as Executive Assistant, she offers support to various aspects of Research Manitoba’s programs and to the other staff involved.

  • Jennifer Cleary

    Manager, Programs

    As the Manager, Programs, Jennifer oversees and supports the research and innovation grant programs offered by Research Manitoba. She works closely with our partner organizations, post-secondary institutions, and other stakeholders in Manitoba and Canada. Jennifer joined the Research Manitoba team in August 2019. Prior to joining Research Manitoba, she worked at The University of Winnipeg as the Program Officer, Research Development in the Vice-President, Research and Innovation Office for thirteen years. Throughout her career she has worked closely with researchers and research administration colleagues to support and promote a strong research community in Manitoba and Canada.

  • Judi Bahl

    Manager, Strategic Partnerships

    Recently returning to Winnipeg from Edmonton, Alberta where she was the Director, Strategic Partnerships at the University Hospital Foundation, she has taken on the role of Manager, Strategic Partnerships. Previous to her move to Alberta, Judi worked at BAM, formerly LSAM as the Manager of Training and Development. Judi believes in the power of partnership and collaboration. “No idea comes to life in isolation and we are always better and stronger together.” Her role at Research Manitoba is to foster and grow collaborative partnerships to help develop the industry within Manitoba. It is to seek out investment and expertise from a wide variety of industry, government agencies and philanthropic organizations. It is to look for cross sector and cross provincial opportunities to shine a light on Manitoba’s tremendous assets. Judi has a Bachelor in Arts and Education from the University of Manitoba.
  • Dustin Ameis

    Researcher, Evaluation and Impact

    Dustin joined Research Manitoba in November, 2019 as the Researcher, Evaluation and Impact. He holds a BSc from the University of Winnipeg in the neurosciences and an MSc from the University of Manitoba in developmental physiology. Before joining Research Manitoba, he studied neonatal lung disease at the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba. He enjoys applying his writing skills and expertise in data analysis to assess the impact of research conducted within Manitoba.