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Corporate Governance


Management


Katrina Houde Katrina L. Houde
Interim CEO
Katrina Houde Katrina L. Houde
Interim CEO


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.


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.



John Ruelle John Ruelle
Senior Vice President, Healthy Snacks
John Ruelle John Ruelle
Senior Vice President, Healthy Snacks


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.


Michelle Coleman Michelle Coleman
Chief Human Resources Officer
Michelle Coleman Michelle Coleman
Chief Human Resources Officer


Michelle Coleman serves as Chief Human Resources Officer.  Starting with SunOpta in June 2013, she previously served as Global Vice President, Human Resources, for the Components Division of TT Electronics plc, a global manufacturer of electronic components for 14 sites worldwide with approximately 3,500 employees.  Michelle brings 25 years of progressive human resources and organizational development experience to SunOpta, including significant experience in talent management, change management, organization design, compensation and benefits, labor relations, business integration, and business and strategic planning.  Prior to joining TT Electronics, Michelle served as Executive Vice President, Human Resources for Global Ethanol Services, until the Company was sold in 2010.  She also held various Human Resources leadership roles during her 15 year tenure at Honeywell International and also with Zurich Financial Services.   Michelle holds a Masters of Business Administration degree (MBA) from the University of St. Thomas and a BS in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Illinois State University. 



Mike Thyken Mike Thyken
Chief Information Officer
Mike Thyken Mike Thyken
Chief Information Officer


Mike Thyken serves as Chief Information Officer.  Starting with SunOpta in June 2013, Mike brings nearly 30 years of business and information technology leadership to the role.  He has held leadership roles in several manufacturing and retail organizations including Merrill Corporation, Select Comfort, Jostens, IBM and Target Corporation.  He holds a MBA and degrees in Business Information and Computer Science.  Mike also holds positions on the Board of Directors of Braun Intertec and Summit Brewing Company.


Lillian Barlett Lillian Barlett
Vice President, Risk Management and Internal Audit
Lillian Barlett Lillian Barlett
Vice President, Risk Management and Internal Audit


Mrs. Lillian Barlett joined SunOpta as Director of Risk Management and Internal Audit in July 2009 and was promoted to Senior Director of Risk Management and Internal Audit in late-2011.  In April 2013, Mrs. Barlett was appointed Vice President of Risk Management and Internal Audit.  Mrs. Barlett obtained her Chartered Accountant designation in 1985 and has over 30 years of experience in external audit, I.T. consulting and internal audit. Prior to joining SunOpta Lillian held various senior internal audit positions in a number of industries including telecommunications, financial services and steel. In those positions she was responsible for various aspects of Sarbanes–Oxley (or Bill 198) compliance, health and safety auditing, operational, financial and I.T. audit.



Joe Davidson Joe Davidson
Senior Vice President, Healthy Beverage
Joe Davidson Joe Davidson
Senior Vice President, Healthy Beverage


Joe Davidson serves as Senior Vice President and General Manager, Consumer Products Group.  Starting with SunOpta in June 2013, Joe brings more than 20 years of experience in the food industry and graduated with a MBA from Cornell University.  Previously Joe was the Vice President Sales for Tetra Pak North America.


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.


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.



Craig Hanna Craig Hanna
Vice President, Corporate Development
Craig Hanna Craig Hanna
Vice President, Corporate Development


Craig Hanna serves as our Vice President Corporate Development and brings extensive investment banking, M&A and strategy consulting experience. Prior to joining SunOpta, Craig was Vice President with PwC’s Corporate Finance practice, a leading global mid-market M&A advisor, providing sector coverage within the Canadian market, and leading domestic and cross-border M&A and financing transactions.  Prior to PwC, Craig held various roles with Scotia Capital, Teva Pharmaceuticals, and Hay Group.  Craig holds an undergraduate degree in Biochemical Engineering from Queen’s University and a MBA from the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University.


Ed Haft Ed Haft
Senior Vice President, Healthy Fruit
Ed Haft Ed Haft
Senior Vice President, Healthy Fruit


Ed Haft serves as Senior Vice President, Healthy Fruit, Consumer Products Group. Starting at SunOpta in October 2015, Ed brings more than 30 years of experience in consumer packaged goods and food manufacturing. Ed previously served as President & CEO of Sunrise Growers, holding the leadership position in the U.S. retail and food service frozen fruit category. Prior to assuming his role with Sunrise Growers in 2004, Ed spent 18 years with the Sara Lee Corporation, the last six of which as president of their frozen bakery division. He holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a bachelor’s degree in Economics and English Literature from Tufts University.




Board of Directors


Jay Amato Jay Amato (6)
Independent Director
Jay Amato Jay Amato
Independent Director


Jay Amato was appointed a Director of the Company in November 2008 and was Chair of the Corporate Governance Committee until November 2016.

Mr. Amato was the President and Chief Executive Officer of NASDAQ-traded Viewpoint Corporation, a premier interactive media company. He was also President and Chief Operating Officer of NYSE-traded Vanstar Corporation, a $2.8 billion public company with 7,000 employees that provided global computer outsourcing services. In addition, he was founder and Chief Executive Officer of PersonalScreen Media LLC in New York, a company that developed new methods of monetizing video content on the web.

Mr. Amato’s work experiences also include roles as a Consultant and Interim COO starting in 2015 for Jet Edge International in Van Nuys California, a leader in worldwide aircraft management and private jet charter services.; a Mergers and Acquisitions consultant from 2013 - 2015 for BlackHawk Network, a Pleasanton California based electronic payments network and processor; and an Executive in Residence for Arklow Capital from 2009-2012, an investment manager headquartered in New York.

Adding to a considerable list of accolades and accomplishments, Mr. Amato was nominated for an Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Emmy Award in 2008. Mr. Amato has also served on several non-profit Boards.

Mr. Amato brings extensive experience in building, managing and operating leadin edge technology and media based companies in both the private sector and public markets to the SunOpta Board of Directors. He understands the role of new and emerging technologies; strong business practices and how to apply these for strategic benefit. When combined with his keen understanding of emerging governance practices, Mr. Amato brings a unique perspective to the Board of Directors.



Member of the Compensation Committee
Shan Atkins Shan Atkins(4)(5)(8)
Independent Director
Shan Atkins Shan Atkins
Independent Director


M. Shan 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.
 



Chair of the Compensation Committee
Member of the Corporate Governance Committee
Member of the Operations Transformation Committee

Al Bolles Dr. Al Bolles(2)(4)(8)
Independent Director
Al Bolles Dr. Al Bolles
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.



Member of the Corporate Governance Committee
Member of the Operations Transformation Committee
Michael Detlefsen Michael Detlefsen(1)(6)(8)
Independent Director
Michael Detlefsen Michael Detlefsen
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.



Chair of the Audit Committee
Member of the Compensation Committee
Member of the Operations Transformation Committee

Dean Hollis Dean Hollis(3)
Chair
Dean Hollis Dean Hollis
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.



Chair of the Corporate Governance Committee
Katrina Houde Katrina L. Houde (7)
Interim CEO
Katrina Houde Katrina L. Houde
Interim CEO


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.



Chair of the Operations Transformation Committee

Brendan Springstubb Brendan Springstubb(2)(6)(8)
Independent Director
Brendan Springstubb Brendan Springstubb
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.



Member of the Audit Committee
Member of the Compensation Committee
Member of the Operations Transformation Committee

(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
(7) Chair of Operations Transformation Committee
(8) Member of Operations Transformation 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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