Upcoming Speakers

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Past Speakers
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    Agribusiness and KPM: Industry trends and challenges

    David Guthrie, CPA, CA , National Leader – Agribusiness, Partner, KPMG Private Enterprise

    David Guthrie, CPA, CA, National Leader – Agribusiness, Partner, KPMG Private Enterprise

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    Regenerative Agriculture and Sustainability: Creating a Business Model for Athiana Acres

    Simran Panatch , Managing Director, Athiana Acres

    Simran is the Managing Director at Athiana Acres, a 30-acre regenerative vegetable, fruit, herb and flower farm located in Vancouver, British Columbia, established in 2022. She oversees all aspects of the business with a particular focus on marketing, sales and strategy. She is passionate about leveraging technology to build more sustainable food systems and looks forward to leveraging her background in data within the agriculture space. Prior to this, Simran was a data analyst at TEALEAVES, a Vancouver-based tea company working to redefine luxury in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. In addition, Simran was the Managing Director at Data Feminism Network and built the organization alongside Ali Dunn and Jade Greer while completing her Masters of Business Analytics at the University of British Columbia. She now serves as an advisor for the DPA Data Feminism Program. Simran holds a BSc in Food, Nutrition and Health from the University of British Columbia

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    Consumer Behavior, Preferences and Sustainability

    Katherine White , Senior Associate Dean, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Sustainability, Watkinson Professorship in Sustainability, and Professor, Marketing and Behavioural Science Division

    Katherine White, Senior Associate Dean, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Sustainability, Watkinson Professorship in Sustainability, and Professor, Marketing and Behavioural Science Division

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    Transfer Pricing and Economic Consulting: An MFRE Career Path

    Ian Lederer , Manager, Economic and Global Transfer Pricing Services at KPMG

    Ian Lederer, Manager, Economic and Global Transfer Pricing Services at KPMG

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    The Value of Strategy and Communication Expertise in Building Brands in the Canadian Natural and Organic Food Sector

    Darren Mahaffy , Founder & Principal, Mahaffy Strategic Services and Adjunct Professor, UBC Sauder Marketing and Behavioural Science

    Darren has over 25 years’ experience in business leadership, strategy and marketing, focused in the consumer packaged goods space

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    How Theory Becomes Operationalized, Bruce Turris, Executive Manager, Canadian Groundfish Research and Conservation Society

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

    Bruce is an economist, but very much a practitioner. For the first 17 years of his career, he was an official with the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans, in the Pacific region. He subsequently went into private practice, working very closely with industry as well as the government. He does extensive consulting work outside of Canada, as well as within, with examples being the US (both coasts), China, and Europe

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    Ag. Risk Management in BC Agribusiness sector

    Stuart is the Senior Vice President of MNP's Agricultural Services and National Leader of Crop Services, based in Edmonton. With more than 25 years of experience in agriculture, specializing in the grain industry, Stuart grew up on a grain farm and continues to be actively involved in the industry as a producer. This experience allows Stuart to relate first-hand to what Canadian agriculture producers face in their operations — and gives him greater insights into how to help producers overcome challenges and achieve their goals.

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    Richberry Group of Companies: Agribusiness Ventures, Business Model & Community Involvement

    Vincent Quan , Vice President of Finance for the Richberry Group of Companies

    Mr. Quan is currently the Vice President of Finance for the Richberry Group of Companies. In his role, he is responsible for the overall financial and administrative management of all 6 independent farming operations within the group. He is part of the executive management team that oversees the management of over 1,200 acres of Ocean Spray cranberry bogs both in BC and Quebec. Under his leadership, the Richberry Group has implemented innovative financial strategies and policies resulting in increased profitability and improved overall financial health of the organization. He has an established knowledge of the North American cranberry and greenhouse sector working previously for Farm Credit Canada; Canada’s largest agriculture lender. He oversaw a team of lending professionals across British Columbia managing a portfolio in excess of $1 billion. His other experience would include complex corporate finance and syndicate transactions to large corporate farming operations in the publicly traded space. Being part of a management group that is one of the largest shareholders of Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc, he has great insight global consumer trends that are emerging in the food retail space. He has also served as a member of the Board of Directors as well as a strategic Board Observer for Zenabis Global Inc and Hexo Corp during the most challenging period for the industry. Mr. Quan holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree in Agriculture Economics at the University of British Columbia. Mr. Quan has over 20 years of experience providing effective financing structures with engaging mid-market companies. Described as a relationship builder with expertise performing financial modeling, assessing corporate financial risk, strategic leadership, and a strong understanding of the North American Banking industry

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    Economics of the Environment: Exploring Carbon Tax and Cap-and-Trade Systems

    Dr. Dawit D. Guta , Assistant Professor & Postdoc researcher at the UBC Department of Forest Resource Management

    Dr. Dawit Guta is an economist specializing in energy, resource, and environmental economics, as well as development economics. He currently works as a postdoctoral researcher and teaching fellow at the Department of Forest Resource Management at the University of British Columbia. His research focuses on household energy demand, clean energy transition, renewable energy, water-energy-food nexus, environmental resource valuation, forest, climate change, and livelihoods impact evaluation. Dr. Guta previously worked as an Assistant Professor of Environmental Economics at Addis Ababa University and as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Bonn. He also served as a lecturer at Ambo University. Dr. Guta has a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Economics from Addis Ababa University and a Ph.D. in Development Economics from the Center for Development Research at the University of Bonn

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    The Effects Of Untying International Food Assistance: The Case Of Canada

    Ryan Cardwell , University of Manitoba

    Ryan Cardwell,  Professor, Department of Agribusiness & Agricultural Economics University of Manitoba and Managing Editor, Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics. His research investigates how the Canadian policy to untie food assistance affected Canadian shipments using an operation-level dataset from the World Food Programme to investigate how procurement sources and commodity compositions changed after untying, and an empirical model of Canadian food assistance shipments that is used to compare observed shipments to counterfactually-tied shipments.

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 speaker 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.

2023 / 2022 speakers:
UBC MFRE vertical farming canada poster
Plant Veda Sustainable poster UBC MFRE
women venture capital Kookai UBC MFRE poster
vincent quan richberry agribusiness UBC MFRE poster
Justin Bull_MFRE Digital Post
harvey serecon agri-food consulting UBC MFRE poster
Vikram_Raju_Morgan Stanley
UBC MFRE speaker climate change and agriculture poster
poster konscious food ubc MFRE
Food Systems_Image
Economics and Valuartion UBC MFRE speaker poster
Durability Carbon Capture Markets Forest UBC MFRE speaker poster
Produce UBC MFRE speaker poster
Niel Van_Telus Agriculture
Kirk Homenick
philippe poster MEC