Upcoming Speakers
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    Boosh Plant-based Brand - From Start-Up to Growth & Capital Raise Stage

    Connie Marples , Founder & President - Boosh

    What started as making dishes for friends in a tiny kitchen in Vancouver has grown to a publicly traded company with Boosh Food in grocery stores all over Canada. America is next.

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    Environmental Metrics and Impact Investing

    Vikram Raju , Managing Director & Head of Climate Investing- Morgan Stanley

    Vikram Raju is a Managing Director and serves as Head of Climate Investing for the Private Credit & Equity platform of Morgan Stanley Investment Management (MSIM)

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    How Theory Becomes Operationalized

    Bruce Turris , Executive Manager- Canadian Groundfish Research and Conservation Society

Past Speakers
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    Technology, Climate Change and Agriculture

    Tomas Nilsson , Professor - Werklund School of Agriculture Technology

    Tomas teaches courses in the Agriculture Technology Integration and Precision Agriculture programs and researches digital agriculture technologies at the college. Tomas is also involved in developing the new Bachelor of Digital Agriculture Degree.

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    Konscious Foods: Plant-based seafood

    Eiman Raouf , VP Technical Services - Konscious Foods

    Discover plant-based seafood that delights: At Konscious, our chefs create plant-based seafood people choose over traditional options.

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    Food System, Distribution and Supply Chain

    Heather Escobar , Business Development Manager, United Way

    Heather Escobar is LFS grad and is the Business Development Manager for Food Security at United Way BC. In her previous work she developed relationships with a variety of food systems stakeholders including small scale farmers and producers, large national brands, logistics providers, and independent grocery retailers. Her current work includes developing and piloting a technology solution that will standardize and aggregate food need data and find efficiencies in supply and logistics to ensure that fresh, nutritious, and culturally appropriate food reaches the communities that need it most

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    Economics and Valuations

    Jean Philippe Gervais , Vice President, Farm Credit Canada

    J.P. Gervais is Vice-President and Chief Agricultural Economist at FCC. He has over 20 years of experience analyzing domestic and international agricultural policies and markets, and his insights help guide strategy and monitor risk throughout the corporation. He’s frequently a featured speaker at national and international conferences, addressing global trends and the linkages to agri-food markets. In addition to acting as an FCC spokesperson on economic matters, J.P. provides commentary on the agriculture industry through videos and the FCC Ag Economist blog. Prior to joining FCC in 2010, J.P. was a professor of agricultural economics at North Carolina State University and Laval University. He also held the Canada Research Chair in Agri-Industries and International Trade at Laval. J.P. is Past-President of the Canadian Agricultural Economics Society. He obtained his Ph.D. in economics from Iowa State University in 1999

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    Durability in Forest Carbon and Voluntary Carbon Markets

    Cheenar Shah , Project Manager, Taking Root

    Cheenar leads the implementation of Taking Root's Forest carbon projects in Africa. She has worked on policy and program development with a focus on climate adaptation with smallholder farmers, for both the BC provincial government and the United Nations. Cheenar is an alumna of the Master of Food and Resource Economics from the University of British Columbia and holds a BSc in Ag. & Environmental Science from McGill University

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    Peko Produce

    Arielle Lok , Founder, Peko Produce

    Arielle is the co-founder of Peko Produce, Vancouver’s first online grocery for “peculiar” & surplus products. She started multiple businesses as a teenager but was notable more for her strides in Canada’s food policy, especially pertaining to Canadian children under the poverty line. Her advocacy work resulted in the allocation of hundreds of millions of dollars more directly towards accessible food projects. She has also worked at District Ventures Capital, Canada’s largest consumer goods venture capital firm, and currently works full-time at Shopify’s venture fund, investing in the future of ecommerce. At Peko, Arielle runs operations, finance, and strategy with Sang. She’s entranced by produce economics - “Pekonomics”, and how it can be leveraged to serve the most underserved. Outside of work, she likes building mechanical keyboards and is also looking for the best Taiwanese beef noodle soup in Vancouver

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    Telus Agriculture

    Niel Van Seters , VP of Product & Strategy at TELUS

    Neil Van Seters is a VP of Product & Strategy at TELUS. His focus is on the development of new innovative solutions and businesses that expand TELUS product and market reach. His most recent effort was the development of the new TELUS Agriculture business, an organization focused on connecting data and insights across the end-to-end agriculture and food system. Along with his wife he co-founded and runs an organization called Access Knowledge Africa that provides adult literacy, computer training and library programs in rural Uganda

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    Economic Perspectives on Human-Wildlife Interactions

    Sumeet Gulati , Professor at UBC with the Food and Resource Economics (FRE) group

    Sumeet Gulati is a professor at The University of British Columbia with the Food and Resource Economics (FRE) group. His research interests include the economics of wildlife conservation, the economics of urban transportation, and the effectiveness of environmental policy. Dr. Gulati's wildlife conservation research focuses on estimating the cost of conflict with wildlife to farmers living in proximity of wildlife reserves in India. This includes direct damages from conflict: lost crops and livestock, human injury and death. It also includes indirect costs from not being able to grow the crops they would like to, or from having to alter their portfolio of livestock they herd (and other measures taken to lower conflict).

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    Connecting and Report Fertilizer, Emissions, and Regenerative Agriculture

    Marc Fawcett- Atkinson , Canada's National Observer - Reporter and Writer

    Phil brings over 20 years of experience driving growth in rapidly changing industries. Phil has run all facets of an organization, most recently as CEO of Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC). Under his leadership, MEC underwent a significant transformation program focused on e-commerce, store experience, supply chain, merchandising, and continuous improvement.

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    Career Paths and the Road to MEC

    Philippe Arrata , Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) - CEO

    Phil brings over 20 years of experience driving growth in rapidly changing industries. Phil has run all facets of an organization, most recently as CEO of Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC). Under his leadership, MEC underwent a significant transformation program focused on e-commerce, store experience, supply chain, merchandising, and continuous improvement.

Explore the complexities of food and resource economics issues.

Open to the general public. Come join us!

The MFRE speaker series is part of the MFRE professional development program and is designed to show a glimpse into these complexities and ‘real world’ food and resource economics issues. Join us to learn more about how exciting technological progress, global environmental pressures and unprecedented demographic changes are rapidly reshaping the world’s food and natural resources systems.


The speakers series aims to cover two main topics:




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Food & Agribusiness

Provides students with the opportunity to interact with key industry experts from the food and agribusiness sector and learn about industry opportunities & trends, or the challenges in running an Agri-Food entrepreneurial business.




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Resource & Environment

Provides an opportunity to interact with a range of people either influencing environmental policy, or shaping the natural environment through their activities. Guests are typically government officials, industry leaders, pioneers in resource management, academics or NGO representatives.


Examples of previous speakers include: