The Bast Team
Experienced, innovative, passionate about fibre
Noel HallCEO, Chairman
Mr. Hall brings extensive experience in the technology and biotechnology sectors, with particular expertise in deal making, strategic planning and market development. Known as a visionary who sees a clear path to success, Mr Hall has proven ability to drive research-based technology into profitable commercialization.
As a serial entrepreneur, Mr. Hall was co-founder and president of Aspreva Pharmaceuticals, taking the company from start-up to profitability and over a billion dollar market cap in seven years. He is also the co-founder and board chair of Creatus Biosciences, co-founder and board chair of Vitaeris Bio, co-founder and board director of Arius Technology and former board director for Zymeworks.
Mr. Hall is co-director of Machall Investments, a family office focused on the Healthcare and Technology sectors with a particular interest in sustainability.
James PosaPresident, General Manager
Mr. Posa is a woven and nonwoven industry veteran with over 25 years of executive experience. As a senior executive, Mr. Posa has delivered successful results from start-ups to $500 million divisions of fortune 500 global companies.
Known as a results-driven executive with a strong ability to develop strategic direction, Mr. Posa provides clear, focused implementation and leadership to improve and grow businesses.
He was formerly CEO and a board member of INDA (Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry).
Jason FinnisCTO, Executive VP
Mr. Finnis is a 25-year veteran of the hemp fibre industry and has hands-on experience in all areas of the hemp value chain.
Mr. Finnis has overseen the installation and commissioning of several decortication and fibre refining lines in multiple countries, operated a hemp and linen fibre degumming facility in Europe, and led the filing of multiple patents dealing with bast fibre processes and products. He has also been involved with growing hemp and linen fibre in Canada, USA, and Europe. He has even taken hemp into the clothing industry as co-founder of Hemptown Clothing.
Mr. Finnis sat on the board of the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance and has successfully commercialized bast fibre products with multiple global consumer brands.
Guy PrevostGlobal Head, Operations
Mr. Prevost is an experienced manager of sustainable market companies with over 15 years' experience. Mr. Prevost has in-depth knowledge of sustainable markets and products, having overseen the operations and product flow of these companies from initial feedstock through to completed products.
He has been responsible for the development of sustainable IP, has led successful TSXV fundraising and has listed companies on USA markets to SEC standards.
Larisa HarrisonManager, Corporate Operations & Administration
Ms. Harrison co-founded and grew both Hemptown Clothing and HTnaturals Apparel Company. For 15 years she familiarized herself with eco-friendly fabrics, while managing the needs of a growing company from start-up to a multi-million dollar organisation.
Since 2000 Ms. Harrison has been developing and commercializing bast fibre processing IP in the global textile and nonwoven industries.
Dr. Amin PourChem. Eng, Project Manager
Dr. Pour has extensive training in chemical engineering with a doctorate from University of Alberta. At the University of Alberta Mr. Pour has managed projects and teams, expanding his learning and working his way from engineering design assistant sessional instructor to sessional instructor (engineering thermodynamics) to industrial advisor.
From 2017 to 2020 Dr. Pour trained at Techfibre Industries where he developed and tested new ideas, analyzed the outcomes and interpreted the results.
Ian MackenzieHead of Logistics & Distribution
Mr. MacKenzie has executive and senior management level experience in logistics, leadership and supply chain management within pharmaceuticals, retail, consumer electronics, food service, fashion apparel, and music industries. In addition to his technical corporate experience, he has worked as a national-level sports coach.
ALAN WRIGHTManager, Global Business Development & Sales/ Marketing
Mr. Wright is a 25-year veteran of the nonwovens and consumer products industries in a wide range of senior roles including R&D, commercialization, and business development. Since 2013, he has been developing IP and commercializing products made from bast fibres. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Textile Engineering and Polymer Chemistry from North Carolina State University and an MBA from Georgia State University.
JESSICA BERGERONManager, Administration & Customer Service
Mrs. Bergeron graduated from the business school of Florida International University in 2019. As Administration and Customer Service Manager, she acts as a liaison between the customers and the company. Over the last 6 years, she familiarized with planning, scheduling, and walking customers through setup processes.
Laura FerreiraExternal Relations & Communications Associate
Ms. Ferreira graduated from the Political Science and Environmental Studies program at the University of Victoria in 2017. She has experience in research and policy analysis, coordinating political election events and recently joined from the House of Commons. As the External Relations and Communications Associate, she is involved in funding and government relations initiatives and public relations.
Ken HallatBoard Member
Mr. Hallat is the founder of M-chem Technologies (now Project Clean) and serves as its chairman and CEO. Project Clean is a manufacturer of chemical cleaners and sanitizers for industry, as well as a number of related chemical specialty products.
Mr. Hallat also serves as chairman and CEO of Novas Capital Corporation and has previously been a director of Sleeman Breweries and Sun Rype Products Ltd., as well as several other public companies and non-profit organizations. In addition, Mr. Hallat serves on the advisory boards of several family-owned businesses in the technology, specialty wood manufacturing and cleaning products industries in North America.
George P. MurphyBoard Member
Mr. Murphy has over 40 years of senior executive and management experience with companies serving the away-from-home wiper marketplace, including Scott Paper and Kimberly-Clark.
He currently sits on the governance committee for Wasau Paper and is the board chair of Altitude Medical. Mr. Murphy also serves as vice chairman of the Spitzer Center for Ethical Leadership and as a member of the Executive Board of Advisors of the School of Professional Studies, Gonzaga University.
Phil ChristopherBoard Member
Mr. Christopher has worked for over thirty years in institutional fixed income, based mainly in Toronto.
He is currently the VP and director of Montrose Development Ltd., a family-owned company involved in commercial real estate, public and private equities.
Mr. Christopher is a board director for Creatus Biosciences and TBF Environmental Technology, and is chair of the Mary and Gordon Christopher Foundation.
Benjamin LightburnBoard Member
Mr. Lightburn works with early-stage technology companies as an investor and advisor, specializing in the cleantech and natural ingredients industries. Previously he was the CEO of Mazza Innovation Ltd. which was sold to Sensient Technologies in 2018. He successfully managed Mazza’s rapid growth through its innovative botanical extraction platform technology.
In addition, he worked at Radient Technologies, a pharmaceutical extraction technology firm, where he held a variety of increasingly senior positions. Subsequently, he spent two years working in Benin and Kenya, providing business skills education and developing mobile apps focused on increasing maternal health outcomes.
Benjamin holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from Queen’s University and an MBA from the University of British Columbia.