Board of Directors

PHOTO: Ross Finlay, Co-Founder and Director - First Angel NetworkRoss Finlay

Co-Founder and Director

Ross Finlay, a Co-founder and Director of the First Angel Network Association has been an angel investor since 2000. He has assisted many companies in raising private equity, is a Board Member of the National Angel Capital Organization (NACO), Director of the Angel Capital Association (ACA), and a Trustee of the Angel Resource Institute. Mr. Finlay is a recognized facilitator, senior business consulting professional and strategic change consultant who has an extensive background in public, private and not-for-profit sectors. He has implemented major business changes in a number of organizations and has experience in conducting organizational reviews in the public/private and the not-for-profit sectors. He has extensive business networks throughout Atlantic Canada. He has been Executive Director of a provincial professional association and President of a national consulting company working with scientific, engineering and technical areas.  Since his move home to Nova Scotia, Ross has managed his own successful consulting practice. He returned to the corporate world for a time with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and SolutionInc Ltd. – a Halifax based software development company. In 2002 Ross was a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Medal for outstanding community service through his efforts in numerous charities.


PHOTO: Brian Lowe, Co-Founder and Director - First Angel NetworkBrian E. Lowe

Co-Founder and Director

Brian E. Lowe is co-founder and director of the First Angel Network Association, Atlantic Canada’s largest association for private investors and is a shareholder and director of several operating companies throughout Atlantic Canada. As an accomplished entrepreneur and business leader with over 35 years experience, he has been involved in a number of start-up companies throughout his career. Mr. Lowe raised millions of dollars for these companies. He has been responsible for taking technologies to market internationally resulting in mergers and acquisitions. As a co-founder of Immunovaccine Technologies Inc., Mr. Lowe brought invaluable expertise having been responsible for the incorporation and raising the necessary start-up funding totalling $10 million. On October 5th, 2009, Immunovaccine Inc. (TSX-V: IMV) became a publicly traded company. Past experience includes serving as the President/CEO/Founder of three environmental companies based in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Mr. Lowe successfully negotiated the sale of these companies to Laidlaw Environmental Services Ltd. of South Carolina. He is the Chair of Bio Nova’s Board, Nova Scotia’s Industry Life Sciences Association, a past director of the National Angel Capital Association and the current Chair of Springboard Atlantic’s Board, a network with a mandate to support the commercialization of research throughout the 19 universities and colleges in Atlantic Canada. Mr. Lowe served the past seven years as Entrepreneur in Residence at the Norman Newman Centre for Entrepreneurship under the Faculty of Management at Dalhousie University.


Gary Smith

Chairman of the Board

Gary comes to the board with over 35 years of business and community leadership experience. He has had extensive exposure to the automotive industry and is now a Principal of Atlantic Euro Cars in Saint John. In the past, Gary has been a pharmacist / owner of several Shoppers Drug Mart franchises and he is a licensed real estate agent in the Saint John region. In addition, Gary has served as President of the Saint John Board of Trade, President of the N.B. Pharmaceutical Society and has chaired many community and professional committees.


Jill Green


Jill graduated from UNB with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering in 1995.  She has had a wide variety of professional experience over the last couple of decades working in both the public and private sectors.  Through her career, Jill has had many opportunities in different areas including managing a Public Utility responsible for 23 communities, was a partner in a mid-sized engineering firm and owned her own consulting business.  Much of Jill’s experience was gained in the USA but in 2006, she returned to Atlantic Canada to start Green Imaging Technologies and commercialize technologies developed at the UNB MRI Research Centre.  Green Imaging Technologies (GIT) provides innovative software solutions to the oil and gas industry.  H2 Laboratories was recently spun out of GIT and their in-house lab provides access to some of the top MRI experts in the oil and gas sector.  GIT is an export driven company with clients spanning the globe.


David Holt


David graduated from Acadia University in 1972 with a Bachelor of Business Administration and, thereafter, enjoyed a 42 year professional and business career.  For the first 22 years he worked in public practice as a chartered accountant, a management consultant and ultimately a partner with Doane Raymond, a predecessor firm of Grant Thornton.  In 1994, David changed careers by becoming the President of the Modern Group of Companies. Based in Moncton, New Brunswick the Modern companies are involved in explosives manufacturing, commercial aggregate quarries, highway construction, building construction, and transportation of dangerous goods.  During his career David has served on numerous public and private boards for both business and not-for-profit organizations.  Active in his community, David currently is serving on the region’s Economic Leadership Council and on the capital campaign cabinet for the Atlantic Cancer Research Institute.  Over the years he has  served  his community as the chair of the Friends of the Moncton Hospital Foundation, chair the Salvation Army’s Moncton Advisory Board,  chair of the Orchestrating Change Campaign for Sistema NB, and chair of the Renovating the Spirit Campaign for the Moncton Oncology Clinic.


Robert Dean


With nearly two decades of experience helping owner-managed businesses realize their growth potential Robert Dean has earned a reputation for asking unique questions and listening attentively for helpful insights. While unconventional by nature, Robert is laser focused on the problems and opportunities of his clients. Specializing in taxes, business and succession planning Robert has built a practice around tackling complex challenges and delivering results for clients. In 2012 he merged Edwards Dean and Company with WBLI Chartered Accountants, becoming partner at the region’s largest independent firm. A regular speaker and writer on issues related to taxes, strategy and succession planning for small to medium sized businesses Robert intimately understands the pressures and stress that accompany making payroll. Helping his clients means growth and to Robert growth means jobs and opportunities for families like his across the region.


Sean Burke


Sean graduated from St. Francis Xavier University with a BBA, Major in Accounting, in 1987 followed by a 9 year career with Grant Thornton providing a range of audit, tax and consulting services throughout Nova Scotia. In 1996 he moved to the Sydney area and took a position in the manufacturing sector. Currently serving as President of Polysteel Atlantic Ltd and East Coast Rope Ltd, Sean also has business interests in the metal fabrication and commercial real estate sectors.

Sean has served in several roles with the Sydney and Area Chamber of Commerce and has participated in a variety of local economic development initiatives. Active in his community, Sean currently serves as First Vice President of the United Way of Cape Breton as well as a Director of the Alzheimer’s Society of Nova Scotia.