Vineland establishes Stakeholder Advisory Committee

    VINELAND, ON, Feb. 21 /CNW/ - Vineland Research and Innovation Centre
("Vineland") is pleased to announce the establishment of a Stakeholder
Advisory Committee. With the objective of facilitating consultation and
information exchange among all stakeholder groups and ensuring that the
organization is provided with independent advice from outside experts, the
Stakeholder Advisory Committee is the first of three advisory committees that
Vineland plans to establish.
    "The goal of Vineland's vision is to develop long-term technology and
innovation that adds overall value to horticultural and ornamental products
and to the industry," said Donald Ziraldo, Chair of Vineland Research and
Innovation Centre Board. "Vineland's success will be driven by brilliant
science working hand in hand with market delivery. The Stakeholder Advisory
Committee provides invaluable expertise to ensure that Vineland's programs
remain based on achieving commercially relevant outcomes that will provide the
industry with strong competitive advantages."
    Vineland's Stakeholder Advisory Committee is charged with addressing
sector-specific opportunities and the quality of knowledge transfer for
Vineland. The Committee Chair is Debbie Whitehouse, Executive Director of the
Niagara Parks Commission. Ms. Whitehouse's previous experience includes
serving as Director of Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens and School of
Horticulture and Acting Director of Horticulture.
    Eighteen esteemed members join Ms. Whitehouse on the Vineland Stakeholder
Advisory Committee, including John Bakker, Paul-André Bosc, David Donnelly,
Michael Ecker, Ward Hanlon, Pascale Harstar, Denton Hoffman, Ian Mole, Art
Moyer, Matthias Oppenlaender, Lynn Ogryzlo, Ken Porteous, Patrick Robson,
Harold Schooley, Jennifer Smith, Torrie Warner, and ex-officio members, Bill
Ingratta and Dr. Gary Whitfield. These members were nominated and selected
following an earlier visioning meeting attended by 68 stakeholders.
    "Our Stakeholder Advisory Committee provides Vineland with an excellent
mix of practical experience and strategic thinking," said Dr. Jim Brandle, CEO
of Vineland Research and Innovation Centre. "The insights and support that
this advisory committee brings to Vineland are incredibly valuable as we
strive to achieve the ambitious objectives that we have defined for the

    About Vineland Research and Innovation Centre

    Located in the Niagara Region, the Vineland Research and Innovation
Centre is a not-for-profit corporation. It is currently in the process of
significant renewal and revitalization as result of a Federal and Provincial
government, and industry led initiative in 2007 to create a world-class
research institution and international hub for horticulture and ornamentals
research, innovation and commercialization. Created in 1906 through a gift by
M.F. Rittenhouse, the Vineland Research Station has contributed to the
emergence of a competitive horticulture industry in one of Canada's most
unique geographic regions. It is accredited with the development and release
of over 150 new varieties of fruits, vegetables and ornamental plants, as well
as numerous production techniques and post-harvest technologies.

                   Vineland Research and Innovation Centre

           Stakeholder Advisory Committee to the Vineland Research
                         and Innovation Centre Board

    John Bakker

    John is the General Manger and a Partner in J. C. Bakker and Sons
Nurseries Ltd, St. Catharines. He is involved with a number of industry
related organizations including the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association,
Landscape Ontario, the International Plant Propagators Society and he is a
Canadian Nursery Certification Institute Board representative.

    Paul-Andre Bosc

    Paul-Andre is Vice-President, Administration, Marketing and Export
Development, for Château des Charmes, his family owned business. His
contributions to the wine industry include: Vice-Chair of the Canadian
Vintners Association; member of the Wine Council of Ontario, the Ontario Grape
& Wine Research Foundation, the National Wine Research Advisory Council,
Niagara Wine Auction Foundation, and the Niagara College Winery & Viticulture
Program Advisory Board.

    David Donnelly

    David is one of Canada's leading environmental lawyers and advocate for
smart growth. He has represented public interest groups and Ontario ratepayers
at the Ontario Municipal Board's Oak Ridges Moraine hearings, at the Walkerton
Commission of Inquiry and before the Greenbelt panel. David has been an
advisor to government on law and planning reform and he is a frequent media

    Michael Ecker

    Michael is the Vice-President, Sales and Marketing for Vineland Growers
Co-op. Mike has served as the President of the Ontario Produce Marketing
Association and he remains on the Board. He is a Director of the Canadian
Produce Marketing Association.

    Ward Hanlon

    Ward is a sales executive in the consumer foods and packaged goods
industry. He has held senior sales and marketing positions with several food
manufacturers. Ward has served on numerous industry committees and he has
worked as a business consultant. He is currently responsible for Industry
Relations and Membership for the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers.

    Pascale Harstar

    Pascale operates and owns Harster Greenhouses, one of Ontario's largest
growers and marketers of African violets. With Andre Harstar, she operates 7
acres of highly automated greenhouses in Dundas Ontario. She is the founder of
Science-Based Medicinal Plants Inc. -a research company dedicated to new
horticultural greenhouse crops that can be used to provide pharmaceutical
ingredients. Pascale is Chair of Flornamentech, the research committee for
Flowers Canada (Ontario).

    Denton Hoffman

    Denton is an energetic agricultural leader and business turnaround
specialist with more than 30 years of experience in the agri-food sector. For
more than 10 years, he guided the greenhouse vegetable industry in Ontario. He
helped that industry attain successful years with the growth in industry
acreage and farm gate product value. Since 2003, Denton has focused his
expertise on work with both the Ontario ginseng and asparagus industries.

    Ian Mole

    Ian is an industry leader with St. David's Hydroponics,
Niagara-on-the-Lake, a leading grower and supplier of premier greenhouse
vegetables in North America. St. David's has 'state of the art" greenhouses
with the latest technology and equipment. Production techniques being used
include natural resources such as bumble bees for pollination and biological
pest control.

    Art Moyer

    Art farms on the generational family owned farm (Ronald Moyer Limited)
which features 65 plus acres of apples as well as sweet cherries, sour
cherries, pears, grapes and a broiler breeder operation. Art is a director for
the Ontario Apple Growers and he is a committee member for the Ontario Tender
Fruit Producers' Marketing Board and the Grape Growers of Ontario. As well, he
is a past Director for the Ontario Tender Fruit Producers' Marketing Board,
the Grape Growers of Ontario, and the Vineland Growers' Co-op Limited.

    Matthias Oppenlaender

    Matthias studied agriculture and viticulture in Germany. After he came to
Canada, he was hired as a manager at Huebel Grapes Estates, Queenston. Over
the past 20 years he has grown the vineyards to approximately 220 acres along
with another 80 acres of contracted vineyards. In 1991, he became a partner in
the business. Matthias is a Director with the Grape Growers of Ontario and
Chair of the Ontario Wine and Research Foundation.

    Lynn Ogryzlo

    Lynn is a culinary journalist and culinary activist. As a food and wine
writer, Lynn has regular columns in the 'Niagara this Week' newspaper and the
'Niagara Life' magazine. She is the Executive Editor of 'taste', a magazine
featuring Ontario's local flavours. Lynn is the founder of the Niagara
Culinary Trail.

    Ken Porteous

    Ken is President of Lingwood Farms Ltd., an 850-acre operation that
produces apples, tart cherries, pears, peaches, and asparagus. Ken's many
contributions to the industry include: President of the Norfolk Cherry
Company; President of the Canadian Agricultural Marketing Council; Vice-Chair
of the Ontario's Foreign Agricultural Resources Management Services; and
Vice-Chair of the Ontario Tender Fruit Producers' Marketing Board.

    Patrick Robson

    Patrick is the Director of Community Integration for the Regional
Municipality of Niagara. Patrick has extensive experience as a private sector
planning consultant, as a community planner with the Niagara Escarpment
Commission and as an investigator with the Ontario Human Rights Commission. He
recently completed his third term as an Alderman in Wainfleet. Patrick teaches
Public Policy at Brock University.

    Harold Schooley

    Harold is a third generation apple farmer in Norfolk County where he has
been farming since 1976. Harold has a keen interest in the advancement of
research and innovation. He is Chair of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable
Growers' Association's Research Committee, Harold sits on a number of Boards
including: the Ontario Agri-Food Technology, the Guelph Food Technology
Centre, the Ontario Agriculture Research Coalition, the Norfolk Fruit Growers'
Association, and the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers' Association.

    Jenifer Smith

    Jenifer is the Chief Operating Officer of both Cherry Lane Frozen Fruits
and HWM Smith Holdings Ltd. She is a Director on the Ontario Tender Fruit
Producers Marketing Board and on the North American Cherry Task Force.

    Torrie Warner

    Torrie is an active tender fruit and grape grower in the Beamsville area
where he is involved in all aspects of the business including direct
marketing. Over the years, Torrie has been a leader in testing new tender
fruit cultivars. He is a Director and Treasurer with the Niagara Peninsula
Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association. Torrie has been Treasurer for the
Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention and was President of the Ontario Fruit
Testing Association.

    Debbie Whitehouse (Chairperson)

    Debbie began her career with Niagara Parks Commission in 1980 as an
Instructor at the School of Horticulture. She has worked in a number of
progressively responsible positions including Horticulture Coordinator, Human
Resources Director, Director of Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens and School of
Horticulture and Acting Director of Horticulture. Since 2001, Debbie has been
the Executive Director of Parks.

    Ex-officio Members

    Bill Ingratta - Director of Transition, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture,
Food and Rural Affairs.

    Dr. Gary Whitfield - Science Director, Greenhouse and Processing Crops
Research Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

For further information:

For further information: Bob Kalbfleisch, Special Advisor, Policy and
Communications, (519) 572-1112,,

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Vineland Research and Innovation Centre

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