Corporate Governance

Management

  • David Colo
    David J. Colo
    President and CEO
    David Colo
    David J. Colo
    President and CEO


    David J. Colo serves as SunOpta’s President and Chief Executive Officer, a role he was appointed to in February 2017. Mr. Colo joined SunOpta from Diamond Foods, Inc. where he served as Executive Vice-President, Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Colo has 30 years of leadership experience in general management, operations and supply chain management. As Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer for Diamond Foods, Mr. Colo had direct responsibility for marketing, innovation, R&D, operations, supply chain, procurement, quality, food safety, grower services and contract manufacturing. Together with the Diamond Foods executive team, he was responsible for leading the turnaround of the highly distressed company and its successful sale for approximately $1.9 billion to Snyder's-Lance in March 2016.

    Before joining Diamond Foods, Mr. Colo spent approximately three years as an independent industry consultant, focusing on organizational optimization and planning. From 2005 to 2009, he held leadership positions in the consumer products division of ConAgra Foods, including roles as Senior Vice President of Sales and Operations Planning, Senior Vice President of Enterprise Manufacturing and Senior Vice President of Operations. From 2003 to 2005, he served as President of ConAgra Food Ingredients.

    Mr. Colo previously served with Nestle-Purina Pet Care Company in roles of increasing responsibility, including Vice President of Supply for the company's Golden Products Division, and Vice President of Store Brands and Venture Development. He also served for two years as President of the American Dehydrated Onion and Garlic Association. Mr. Colo is a member of the Board of Directors of MGP Ingredients, Inc. 

    Mr. Colo holds a Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness Economics from Southern Illinois University.


  • Robert McKeracher
    Robert McKeracher
    Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
    Robert McKeracher
    Robert McKeracher
    Vice President and Chief Financial Officer


    Robert McKeracher serves as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of SunOpta overseeing all financial reporting, compliance and corporate treasury activities. He previously served as Vice President of Financial Reporting for SunOpta Inc. from June 2008 until October 2011, and as Director of Financial Reporting from August 2007 to June 2008. Prior to joining SunOpta, Rob was the Manager of Business Planning and Treasury at Magna Entertainment Corp. from May 2003 to August 2007, after spending four years in public accounting in the assurance and business advisory practice at PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP. Rob is a Chartered Accountant and holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from The University of Toronto.


  • Colin Smith
    Colin Smith
    Chief Operating Officer - CPG
    Colin Smith
    Colin Smith
    Chief Operating Officer - CPG


    Colin Smith serves as the Chief Operating Officer of SunOpta’s Consumer Packaged Goods division, a role he was appointed to in February 2017.  Mr. Smith is a Managing Director and member of the Portfolio Transformation Team with Oaktree Capital Management, L.P. “Oaktree,” who entered into a strategic partnership with SunOpta in October 2016.  He joined Oaktree from AlixPartners in 2014 where he served as a director leading value creation projects across a variety of industries for its global clients.  Prior to his eight years at AlixPartners, he worked as a consultant for Deloitte in their Strategy and Operations practice, and for A.T. Kearney Ltd. as a senior business analyst. Mr. Smith earned his B.A. with honors in applied economics from Queen’s University, and an M.B.A. in operations and strategic management at the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business. He is a Certified Insolvency and Restructuring Advisor, and is a member of the board of directors of Floatel International.


  • John Ruelle
    John Ruelle
    Senior Vice President RMSS and Corporate Development
    John Ruelle
    John Ruelle
    Senior Vice President RMSS and Corporate Development


    John Ruelle serves as Chief Administrative Officer and Senior Vice President of RMSS.  He previously served as Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer from October 2011 to January 2013. Mr. Ruelle brings over 15 years of progressive food industry senior leadership experience to this role with a focus on building foundational structures to achieve aggressive revenue and profitably growth through driving talent management, business processes and strategy linkage. Mr. Ruelle joined SunOpta in November 2007 as Vice President of Finance and Administration and Chief Financial Officer of the SunOpta Grains and Foods Group, the largest operating division of SunOpta. Prior to joining SunOpta, Mr. Ruelle was Vice President of Finance and Administration, Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer and Corporate Secretary for Restaurant Technologies, Inc. where he was co-founder and managed over 30 Greenfield start-ups. Earlier in his career he held various financial and operational roles with LaserMaster Technologies and was a Certified Public Account with Larson Allen, LLP. Mr. Ruelle has a Bachelor of Science degree from St. John's University.


  • Rob Duchscher
    Rob Duchscher
    Chief Information Officer
    Rob Duchscher
    Rob Duchscher
    Chief Information Officer


    Rob Duchscher serves as Chief Information Officer. Rob brings 30+ years of experience in the areas of Software Engineering and Information Technology. Of those 30+ years, 17 years were spent in Industrial Process Control and Transportation Logistics. Most recently, he served as CIO at Starkey Hearing Technologies where he led the transformation of both the Information Technology and Software Engineering Departments. He holds a BS degree in Computer Science.


  • Gerard Versteegh
    Gerard Versteegh
    Senior Vice President, Global Ingredients
    Gerard Versteegh
    Gerard Versteegh
    Senior Vice President, Global Ingredients


    Mr. Versteegh is the President of International Sourcing & Supply. Gerard joined SunOpta in April 2008 as President and co-founder of Tradin Organic Agriculture. Gerard has 30 years of expertise in the global sourcing of organic raw materials in a broad range of categories.


  • James Gratzek
    James Gratzek
    Senior Vice President, Research and Development
    James Gratzek
    James Gratzek
    Senior Vice President, Research and Development


    James Gratzek serves as Senior Vice President of Research and Development.  Starting in June 2014, Jim brings more than 20 years of food product and process innovation leadership to the SunOpta team.  Jim spent more than 10 years at General Mills, where he focused on new product development, cost and process improvement, and technology development, completing his tenure as a Director of R&D.  Prior to his role at General Mills, he worked at Tetra Pak as Aseptic Technology Director; in this role he oversaw Tetra Pak’s North American Product Development Center, Regulatory Affairs and Machine System Validation Protocol.  Jim holds a PhD in Food Science and Technology from the University of Georgia and engineering degrees from Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Minnesota.


  • Jeff Gough
    Jeff Gough
    Chief Human Resource Officer
    Jeff Gough
    Jeff Gough
    Chief Human Resource Officer


    Jeff Gough serves as Chief Human Resources Officer.  Jeff brings 25+ years of progressive experience in human resources and leadership development in addition to considerable experience in mergers and acquisitions, labor relations, organization design and talent acquisition.  Prior to joining SunOpta, Jeff spent 15 years with Smithfield Foods, Inc. most recently as Sr. VP of Human Resources and Employee Safety for Smithfield/Farmland’s 23,000 U.S based employees.  In addition, Jeff oversaw the benefits programs for the 40,000 Smithfield Foods employees based in the United States.  Prior to Smithfield Foods, Jeff spent 17 years with Koch Industries in various roles in human resources and accounting.  Mr. Gough earned his B.S. in Accounting and Business Administration from the University of Kansas, and an M.B.A. from The College of William of Mary in Williamsburg, VA.


  • Jill Barnett
    Jill Barnett
    General Counsel
    Jill Barnett
    Jill Barnett
    General Counsel


    Jill Barnett serves as General Counsel and is responsible for the legal affairs of the company.  Prior to joining SunOpta in July 2014, Ms. Barnett spent more than a decade as in-house counsel for Best Buy, the world’s largest consumer electronics retailer, where she provided legal support to various areas of the business, including Best Buy’s global sourcing and exclusive brands business.  Ms. Barnett received her undergraduate degree from University of North Carolina at Greensboro and her J.D. from William Mitchell College of Law.


Board of Directors

  • David Colo
    David J. Colo
    President and CEO
    David Colo
    David J. Colo
    President and CEO


    David J. Colo serves as SunOpta’s President and Chief Executive Officer, a role he was appointed to in February 2017. Mr. Colo joined SunOpta from Diamond Foods, Inc. where he served as Executive Vice-President, Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Colo has 30 years of leadership experience in general management, operations and supply chain management. As Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer for Diamond Foods, Mr. Colo had direct responsibility for marketing, innovation, R&D, operations, supply chain, procurement, quality, food safety, grower services and contract manufacturing. Together with the Diamond Foods executive team, he was responsible for leading the turnaround of the highly distressed company and its successful sale for approximately $1.9 billion to Snyder's-Lance in March 2016.

    Before joining Diamond Foods, Mr. Colo spent approximately three years as an independent industry consultant, focusing on organizational optimization and planning. From 2005 to 2009, he held leadership positions in the consumer products division of ConAgra Foods, including roles as Senior Vice President of Sales and Operations Planning, Senior Vice President of Enterprise Manufacturing and Senior Vice President of Operations. From 2003 to 2005, he served as President of ConAgra Food Ingredients.

    Mr. Colo previously served with Nestle-Purina Pet Care Company in roles of increasing responsibility, including Vice President of Supply for the company's Golden Products Division, and Vice President of Store Brands and Venture Development. He also served for two years as President of the American Dehydrated Onion and Garlic Association. Mr. Colo is a member of the Board of Directors of MGP Ingredients, Inc. 

    Mr. Colo holds a Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness Economics from Southern Illinois University.


  • Shân Atkins
    Shân Atkins(4)(5)
    Independent Director
    Shân Atkins
    Shân Atkins(4)(5)
    Independent Director


    M. Shân Atkins was elected to the Board of Directors in October 2014 and was the Chair of the Audit Committee from 2014 to 2016.  Ms. Atkins brings more than three decades of broad business experience to SunOpta, including development and execution of strategic plans for major retail organizations, deep expertise in finance and accounting, and extensive experience as a director of other publicly traded corporations in both the United States and Canada. 

    Ms. Atkins has been a Managing Director of Chetrum Capital LLC, a private investment firm, since 2001.  From 1996 to 2001, Ms. Atkins held various positions with Sears Roebuck & Co., a major retailer, being promoted to Executive Vice President in 1999.  Prior to joining Sears, Ms. Atkins spent 14 years with Bain & Company, Inc., an international management consulting firm, as a leader in Bain's consumer and retail practice. Ms. Atkins began her career as a public accountant at what is now PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, a major accounting firm, and has designations as a C.P.A., C.A. (Ontario) and C.P.A. (Illinois).  Ms. Atkins holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, as well as a Masters of Business Administration from Harvard University.

    Ms. Atkins currently serves on the Boards of Spartan Nash Company (NASDAQ: SPTN), a national grocery wholesaler and retailer in the Unites States, Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE: DRI), an owner and operator of more than 1,500 restaurants in North America and LSC Communications, Inc (NYSE: LKSD), a global leader in traditional and digital print, print related services and office products that serves the needs of publishers, merchandisers and retailers.  Ms. Atkins also serves as a director of a number of other private and not-for profit organizations.
     

     


  • Al Bolles
    Dr. Al Bolles (2)(4)
    Independent Director
    Al Bolles
    Dr. Al Bolles (2)(4)
    Independent Director


    Dr. Albert Bolles was appointed to the Board in November 2016 and currently serves as a member of the Corporate Governance Committee and the Operations Transformation Committee.

    Dr. Bolles most recently served as Executive Vice President, Chief Technology & Operations Officer of ConAgra Foods, a leading consumer products food company with net sales exceeding $16B.  Prior to this role, Al was Executive Vice President, Research, Quality and Innovation for ConAgra, championing the development and execution of multiple new and improved products, realizing incremental growth for ConAgra Foods and a multi-year pipeline to sustain and advance growth further.  Prior to joining ConAgra in 2006, Dr. Bolles served as Vice President, Worldwide R&D for PepsiCo Beverages and Foods, responsible for global R&D leadership for beverages (Pepsi, Gatorade, and Tropicana) and Quaker Foods including product, process, package and sensory R&D, Nutrition, Quality, and Scientific & Regulatory Affairs.  His prior appointment was with Gerber Foods for over 8 years up to R&D Director, overseeing infant and toddler global research and development. 

    Mr. Bolles currently serves on the Board of Directors of Landec Corporation and is a member of the Compensation Committee and the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee for Landec.  He has a Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Food Science, and a Bachelors’ Degree in Microbiology, all from Michigan State University.


  • Michael Detlefsen
    Michael Detlefsen (1)(6)
    Independent Director
    Michael Detlefsen
    Michael Detlefsen (1)(6)
    Independent Director


    Michael Detlefsen was elected to the Board of Directors in May 2013 and since that time has also served as a member of the Audit Committee.  He was appointed Chair of the Audit Committee in November 2016 and is a member of the Compensation Committee and Operations Transformation Committee.

    Mr. Detlefsen is Co-Managing Director of Muir Detlefsen & Associates Limited, a strategic advisory firm. He was Chief Restructuring Officer of Organic Meadow Inc. from 2014 to 2015. From 2013 to 2014 he was Interim CEO of Ceres Global Ag Corp. and from 2008 to 2013, he was President of Ceres. Mr. Detlefsen was also previously with Maple Leaf Foods Inc. where he held the position of Vice President, Corporate Development from 1999 to 2000, Executive Vice President Vertical Coordination from 2000 to 2004 and President of Maple Leaf Global Foods, the global sales, marketing and trading subsidiary of Maple Leaf Foods Inc. from 2005 to 2007. Prior to joining Maple Leaf Foods, Mr. Detlefsen was with BCE Inc. in Montreal where he was Vice President, Corporate Development at Bell Canada International, from 1997 to 1999, responsible for telecom investments in Korea, Brazil, Mexico and the United Kingdom, and Vice President Strategy/Business Analysis/Mergers and Acquisitions at Bell Canada from 1996 to 1997.

    Mr. Detlefsen’s work experience also includes roles as: a strategy consultant for Monitor Company, a Boston-based strategy consulting firm, from 1993 to 1996; Director, Corporate Strategy at Air Canada in Montreal, New York and Houston from 1989 to 1993; a consultant for Price Waterhouse’s Transportation Consulting Practice in Washington, D.C. from 1988 to 1989; and, a policy analyst for the Canadian Deputy Minister of Grains & Oilseeds in Ottawa, Canada from 1987 to 1988.

    Mr. Detlefsen is currently a Director of the State Street Bank and Trust (Canada), a Director of Phoenix Canada Oil Company Limited, a Governor of the Royal Ontario Museum, a member of the Investment Committee of The Ontario College of Art and Design University, a member of Harvard University’s Private and Public, Scientific, Academic and Consumer Food Policy Committee and a member of the Finance Committee and 150th Anniversary Campaign Cabinet of Trinity College School.


  • Dean Hollis
    Dean Hollis (4)(6)
    Chair
    Dean Hollis
    Dean Hollis (4)(6)
    Chair


    Dean Hollis was appointed to the Board in November 2016 and serves as the Board Chair as well as Chair of the Corporate Governance Committee.

    Mr. Hollis presently serves as a senior advisor for Oaktree Capital and Chairman of the Board at AdvancePierre Foods Holdings, Inc.  Prior to retiring in 2008, Mr. Hollis served as the President and Chief Operating Officer of the Consumer Foods Division of ConAgra Foods from December 2004 to July 2008.  In that role, Mr. Hollis developed and executed a worldwide business transformation strategy, while overseeing the largest part of the ConAgra Foods portfolio.  During Mr. Hollis' 21 years with ConAgra Foods, he held many executive level positions, including Executive Vice President, Retail Products; President, Grocery Foods; President, Frozen Foods; President, Specialty Foods; and President, Gilardi Foods.  Mr. Hollis previously served on the board of directors of Diamond Foods, Inc., where he served on the audit and nominating and governance committees.  Mr. Hollis also previously served on the board of directors of Boulder Brands, Inc., where he served as Chair of the board of directors and on the audit committee.  Mr. Hollis also served on the board of directors of Landec Corporation, where he chaired the compensation committee. Dean has several privately held businesses and investments, ranging from transportation services, to specialized retail.  Mr. Hollis is a graduate of Stetson University.  Mr. Hollis also currently serves as Chair of the Board of Trustees of Brownell Talbot College Preparatory School.


  • Katrina  Houde
    Katrina L. Houde (2)(3)
    Independent Director
    Katrina  Houde
    Katrina L. Houde (2)(3)
    Independent Director


    Katrina L. Houde was elected to the Board of Directors in December 2000.  She served as Chair of the Compensation Committee and as a member of the Audit Committee until November 2016. In November 2016, Ms. Houde was appointed the interim CEO and serves as the Chair of the Operations Transformation Committee.  Ms. Houde has been an independent consultant since March 2000.

    From January 1999 to March 2000, Ms. Houde was President of Cuddy Food Products, a division of Cuddy International Corp. and was Chief Operating Officer of Cuddy International Corp. from January 1996 to January 1999. She is a Director of a number of private and charitable organizations.


  • Brendan Springstubb
    Brendan Springstubb (2)(6)
    Independent Director
    Brendan Springstubb
    Brendan Springstubb (2)(6)
    Independent Director


    Brendan B. Springstubb was appointed to the Board in November 2016 and is currently a member of the Audit Committee, Compensation Committee and the Operations Transformation Committee.

    Mr. Springstubb is a Principal at Engaged Capital, a California-based investment firm and registered advisor with the SEC focused on investing in small and mid-cap North American equities.  In this role, Mr. Springstubb has been responsible for sourcing and managing a variety of Engaged Capital’s investments in the consumer, healthcare and technology sectors.  Prior to joining Engaged Capital, Mr. Springstubb held multiple roles with Relational Investors, LLC (“Relational”) a $6 billion activist equity fund, from June 2005 to April 2013.  At Relational, Mr. Springstubb was most recently the senior analyst covering the healthcare sector where he was responsible for identifying and overseeing activist investment opportunities and communicating with portfolio company management teams.   Prior to leading the healthcare group, Mr. Springstubb was a generalist covering investments in the telecom, financial and technology sectors.   Mr. Springstubb earned a Master’s degree in Biotechnology with a dual concentration in Biotechnology Enterprise and Regulatory Affairs from Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Molecular Biology from Pomona College.  Mr. Springstubb is also a CFA Charter holder and a Certified Financial Risk Manager.


  • Gregg Tanner
    Gregg Tanner (2)(4)
    Independent Director
    Gregg Tanner
    Gregg Tanner (2)(4)
    Independent Director


    Gregg Tanner served as Chief Executive Officer and Director for Dean Foods Company (NYSE: DF) from October 2012 to December 2016. As the Company's Chief Executive Officer, and with his experience in supply chain management, Mr. Tanner provided the Board with invaluable insight regarding the Company's operations and businesses.

    Prior to serving as CEO, Mr. Tanner served as the Company's Chief Supply Chain Officer and President of the Company's Fresh Dairy Direct division, where he was responsible for all sales, marketing, manufacturing and distribution functions for Dean Foods' largest business unit and for supply chain operations for Dean Foods as a whole. Mr. Tanner joined Dean Foods in 2007.

    Prior to joining Dean Foods, Mr. Tanner was Senior Vice President, Global Operations with The Hershey Company. Before joining Hershey, Mr. Tanner was Senior Vice President, Retail Supply Chain at ConAgra Foods, Inc. where he directed the entire supply chain for retail products. Earlier in his career, Mr. Tanner held positions at Quaker Oats Company and Ralston Purina Company.

    Since 2007, Mr. Tanner has served on the Board of Directors of The Boston Beer Company, Inc., where he is the Chair of the Audit Committee. He serves as Chair of the Milk Industry Foundation, as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the International Dairy Foods Association, and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Grocery Manufacturers Association. He is a graduate of Kansas State University.



(1) Chair of Audit Committee
(2) Member of Audit Committee
(3) Chair of Corporate Governance Committee
(4) Member of Corporate Governance Committee
(5) Chair of Compensation Committee
(6) Member of Compensation Committee


The Board of Directors of SunOpta, Inc. (the "Company") sets high standards for the Company's employees, officers and directors. Implicit in this philosophy is the importance of sound corporate governance. It is the duty of the Board of Directors to serve as a prudent fiduciary for shareholders and to oversee the management of the Company's business. To fulfill its responsibilities and to discharge its duty, the Board of Directors follows the procedures and standards that are set forth in these guidelines. These guidelines are subject to modification from time to time as the Board of Directors deems appropriate in the best interests of the Company or as required by applicable laws and regulations.

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