President & CEO
Michael Lende has more than 25 years of experience founding companies and leading them to operational success. In 2006 he launched the ZipCar car-share service in Canada, growing the Toronto-area membership from zero to north of 42,000 and contributing to the parent company’s successful IPO in 2011. Michael was also presented with the City of Toronto’s prestigious Market Transformation Green Award for taking over 3,500 cars off the road. From 2012 to 2016, Michael was President and CEO of start-up Student CarShare Inc. which ultimately served more than 15,000 students nationwide with strategic partners Mastercard, CIBC & Kia Motors. Michael was the Chief Marketing Officer of Dominion Sports & Entertainment and Co-Founder of the Capitol Event Theatre. He has been the lead revenue consultant to many C-Suite executives and has sat on advisory boards of several successful start-ups and growth companies. Michael was a 2012 recipient of the prestigious Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal presented by the Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario on behalf of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
Khurram Qureshi brings over 25 years of experience in the field of accounting and corporate finance. Khurram qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1990 and has held senior positions with several small to medium-size public companies. He has been a key member on several merger and acquisition teams. Currently, Khurram is a senior partner at CQK Chartered Accountants LLP, a licensed public accounting firm serving small to medium size businesses in the Greater Toronto Area. Khurram is also a member of the board of directors of Rehma Foundation, a charitable organization serving elderly in the GTA.
CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER
Darryl Smith, the company CTO, has more than twenty years of information technology experience and a Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Systems. During the past 10 years Darryl has gained extensive experience creating and deploying mobile road weather sensors and developing road weather products for the weather industry, from gathering client requirements, designing, managing, and implementing road weather related software/hardware solutions leveraging the latest AI techniques and distributed platforms available. Darryl has been engaged in software development consulting as an entrepreneur for the past 17 years and before that another 4+ years of custom software development as the lead technical employee and developer at the Diamond Group of Companies. Deriving from past and present entrepreneurial experience he possesses the unique ability to manage a project and/or business from the operational level as well as seeing the bigger vision from 30,000 feet. This allows Darryl to lead development teams and interact with clients all while keeping the client’s bottom line, mission, and future goals aligned with day-to-day technical tasks and operations.”
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
Rob brings 20+ years of C-Level public, private and government experience in finance, operations and corporate development across the technology, telecom and consumer package goods industries. He partnered with the CEO/CFO of an IT services company and helped grow their revenue to $140 million to $2 billion in market cap over a 3-year span. Rob as the COO/CMO for a consumer package goods company, drove their product to #3 in its’ category within 18-months of launch, reduced COGS by 50% and improved production cycle time by 20%. In addition, he has led/co-led the acquisition and integration of 20+ companies.
Director of Innovation
Malcom Rook is a highly respected electronics engineer with over 50 years of experience. He has developed ultra-low noise microwave receivers for military and weather radar systems. He has designed and developed electronic systems for many areas of application including asset tracking in hospitals, retail environments, driver behavior monitoring, mobile weather data collection and remote monitoring and control in industrial and domestic environments. Malcom has designed and manufactured in three continents and sat on UK government working groups to develop the early emc standards and methods of test.
Jim Grimes is a recognized pioneer in Canada’s telecom technology industry; a highly successful angel investor and much sought-after, respected executive consultant. During the first 15 years of his career, he led three early stage Silicon Valley based telecom start-ups from inception, through exceptional growth, to exit – Stratacom Inc. (Cisco), Xylan Inc. (Alcatel) and Access 360 (IBM). Jim then founded, and/or made key investments in, multiple very lucrative ventures, including: Redline Communications; Chippery Inc. and Concave Sports.
He subsequently led, in concert with the Cisco Canada leadership team under Nitin Kawale, the creation of Cisco Canada Venture Fund to drive Canadian innovation. This was Cisco Global Ventures’ first fund outside the US and they successfully built and deployed $150 million in the Canadian venture ecosystem. Most recently, leveraging Jim's vast and deep relationships in the C-suites of Canadian business, He advises companies, such as Rogers Communications Inc. and Next Pathway, on their corporate growth, acquisition and exit strategies.
Hon. Jerry Grafstein, Q.C.
The Hon. Jerry S. Grafstein, Q.C., holds degrees from the University of Western Ontario and the University of Toronto Law School and has taught the Bar Admission Course at Osgoode Hall. He has wide-ranging legal and business experience in all aspects of media. Jerry was a co-founder of a range of media companies, focusing on broadcasting, cable, communications, film production and publication enterprises in Canada, the USA, the UK, South America. He recently co-founded on-line news sites from Canada, USA, Brazil, China, Russia, Africa, UK, Europe and the Mideast. Jerry advised several key government ministries, including Transportation, External Affairs, Consumer and Corporate Affairs and Justice. He was appointed to the Senate of Canada in 1984 by then Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau. Jerry served on all Senate Committees, including the Foreign Affairs and the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committees. He served as Chairman of the Senate Banking, Trade and Commerce Committee. While in the Senate, Jerry was a long serving Co-Chair of the Canada-United States Inter-Parliamentary Group, and a long serving senior officer of the Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA). He retired from the Senate on January 1, 2010. Jerry continues his law practice in corporate finance and communication law and as counsel emeritus to Minden Gross LLP in Toronto and remains active in the local affairs in Toronto. He now devotes most of his business time to technology start-ups in Canada, U.S. and Latin America.
Millard S. Roth M. Sc. Ind. Mgt.
Millard is a mature, successful senior executive, business consultant, “M & A” intermediary. He is a business builder/fixer/team enhancer who has executed profitable growth plans and developed exit initiatives for an array of medium size enterprises.
Millard’s career has encompassed serving as: interim CEO (Atelier America Inc., CCC Information Services of Canada Inc., Canadian Motion Picture Distributors Association); Co-Chair Repositioning Committee (Baycrest Foundation); Member of Board of Directors (Vubiz Inc., Tengtu International Inc., Swing Stage Ltd., Kimball Aim Labels Inc.); Advisory Board (Earthfresh Farms Inc., Human Solutions International Inc.) and Presidents’ Coach (Inniskillin Wines Ltd., Shaftesbury Films Ltd., Menu Foods Corp., TMS Marketing Ltd.). In the process, he has developed and executed strategic plans; identified, negotiated and closed acquisitions; led corporate reorganizations; and realigned business models.
Michael Lende has more than 25 years of experience founding companies and leading them to operational success. In 2006 he launched the ZipCar car-share service in Canada, growing the Toronto-area membership from zero to north of 42,000 and contributing to the parent company’s successful IPO in 2011. He was also presented with the City of Toronto’s prestigious Market Transformation Green Award for taking over 3,500 cars off the road. From 2012 to 2016, he was President and CEO of start-up Student CarShare Inc. which ultimately served more than 15,000 students nationwide with strategic partners Mastercard, CIBC & Kia Motors. Michael was the Chief Marketing Officer of Dominion Sports & Entertainment and Co-Founder of the Capitol Event Theatre. He has been the lead revenue consultant to many C-Suite executives and has sat on advisory boards of several successful start-ups and growth companies. Michael was a 2012 recipient of the prestigious Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal presented by the Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario on behalf of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.