Mark Blackwell, a partner at Builders VC in Calgary, was appointed Board Chair for the Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund (OCIF) June 23, among several changes to the Board of Directors following the Annual General Meetings for OCIF and Calgary Economic Development.
Blackwell succeeds Barry Munro, whose term concluded with the Annual Meeting.
“Barry provided thought leadership and business acumen to the Board from day one, making OCIF an effective tool to implement our community’s economic strategy, Calgary in the New Economy,” said Mary Moran, President and Chief Executive Officer of Calgary Economic Development and Chief Executive Officer of the Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund. “Mark has been a tremendous addition to the Board and brings a strong understanding of the tech and innovation ecosystems in Calgary that are driving much of our growth.”
Blackwell joined the OCIF Board in October 2019. In addition to Builders VC, his career in finance and business development includes roles as Product Manager at Solarwinds Inc., Chief Operating Officer at GNS3 Technologies and Investment Manager of Cenovus Energy’s corporate venture fund.
“I am confident, now more than ever, that we can leverage OCIF to accelerate growth and be a catalyst for opportunities for companies to grow here in Calgary,” said Blackwell. “I have been tremendously impressed with the level of applications and have full confidence in working with the Board and OCIF staff to ensure we leverage public funds from the City of Calgary to support economic growth in Calgary.”
Current Board member Nancy Laird has also been appointed Vice-Chair of OCIF.
Joining the OCIF Board are Dr. Elizabeth Cannon, O.C., President Emerita, University of Calgary; Jill Angevine, Managing Director at Palisade Capital and Alice Reimer, Site Lead for CDL-Rockies. Reimer stepped down from the Board of Directors of Calgary Economic Development to take a position on the OCIF Board.
Others leaving the OCIF Board were Steve Allan, the former Chair of Calgary Economic Development; and Geeta Sankappanavar, President & Co-Founder of Grafton Asset Management upon the completion of their terms.
“The contribution all these incredible Calgarians have made to their city is inspiring. We owe them a debt of gratitude for their time, knowledge and incredible commitment to helping create a city that has opportunities for all,” said Joe Lougheed, Board Chair of for Calgary Economic Development and a Board Member for OCIF.
Physical distancing rules in place to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Alberta resulted in the cancellation of the annual Report to the Community in March. The annual meetings for both OCIF and Calgary Economic Development were held online.