The MaRS Discovery District in Toronto has appointed Annette Verschuren as the chair of its board of directors.
Verschuren is the chair and CEO of NRStor, a cleantech company that specializes in energy storage development. Previously, Verschuren was the president of Home Depot Canada and Asia, and also the co-founder of craft chain Michaels.
“MaRS is at an exciting inflection point, and Annette’s entrepreneurial experience and business acumen scaling global companies makes her the ideal candidate to assume the role of board chair,” said Gord Nixon, the former chair who will continue to serve on MaRS’ board of directors.
Verschuren currently sits on the NAFTA Advisory Council, the Canada US Women’s Business Council, and a variety of other boards. She has served on boards like Canadian Natural Resources Limited, Liberty Mutual Insurance Group of Boston, Air Canada, Saputo and the CAMH Foundation.
“I look forward to working with Yung and his team to ensure that we find opportunities to help launch made-in-Canada companies.”
“I’m delighted to be appointed chair of the MaRS board of directors,” said Verschuren. “This is an exciting time to be an entrepreneur in Canada. Our homegrown ventures are on the frontlines of cutting-edge research, but the future depends upon our ability to build global demand for these products. I look forward to working with Yung and his team to ensure that we find opportunities to help launch made-in-Canada companies that succeed and lead on a global stage.”
“We are looking forward to leveraging Annette’s international experience to help startups in our ecosystem succeed internationally,” said Yung Wu, CEO of MaRS. Wu was appointed CEO of MaRS last year after former CEO Ilse Treurnicht stepped down, following 12 years in the role.
“She has jumped in wholeheartedly, not just moving her company into the MaRS Centre, but by actively engaging in initiatives that support economic growth and greater competitiveness.”
Verschuren’s company NRStor received an $11 million equity financing commitment and access to $200 million in additional capital through a strategic partnership with the Labourers’ Pension Fund of Central and Eastern Canada in February 2017.
Photo via Ontario Chamber of Commerce.