Board

Randall Howard Chairman

An investor, entrepreneur and software visionary, Randall is a founding partner of Verdexus, a boutique firm providing management and financial services to large corporations, venture capitalists and technology firms.

The Founder and former Chairman and CEO of MKS Inc., one of Canada’s leading enterprise software vendors, he was the 1997 High Technology Entrepreneur of the Year and the 2005 recipient of the Impact Award from Communitech. In 2014 he was named Canadian Angel of the Year by the National Angel Capital Organization (www.nacocanada.com). Randall also serves on the board of Gore Mutual (www.goremutual.ca).

Randall has an infectious passion for social innovation, emerging mobile media, the consumer web space and good wine and food.

His favorite vegetable is the beet. "The fact that I learned to like beets as a kid makes them more special," he says. "So many people I know hate beets, so it’s great to eat something that’s in the long tail of vegetables. I like them in borscht, hot or cold. I especially like cold soups."

Alec Saunders Founder

Alec Saunders is one of the best known faces in the global telecommunications sector today.

He founded iotum with the vision that people should come together more easily by using technology. Alec led iotum for its first six years.

After a legendary stint as Chief Developer Evangelist at Blackberry, today Alec is Microsoft Canada’s Principal Technology Evangelist. He has been featured in Forbes and the Wall Street Journal for his tireless enthusiasm and foresight.

Passionately engaged with how technology can positively affect quality of life, Alec wants to see five-year plans on the market in one. A double-decade veteran of product management and marketing, he spent nine years at Microsoft where he helped launch Windows 95, the first two versions of Internet Explorer, the Universal Plug and Play initiative, the push into home markets, opt-in email marketing and what might well go down in history as the very first direct email list ever.

To positively affect his own life he frequently turns to his favorite vegetable, the jalapeno pepper. "I grow them in my own garden, allow them to ripen to sweet red firecrackers an`d then smoke them over mesquite to make chipotle," he says. "Then I add them to chile con carne. Why? Because sweet and heat belong together."

Jason Martin

Jason has a strong background in business technology strategy, consulting for corporations and governments in Canada, the US and Europe.

Jason has been a longtime investor and board member at iotum. He was co-founder and President of Navantis (www.navantis.com) for thirteen years before joining iotum’s management team in 2011. In addition to remaining a corporate director of Navantis, he also serves as Chairman of Graphene 3D Lab (www.graphene3dlab.com) in New York.

Jason has served on Microsoft’s Partner Advisory Council and was nominated in 2003 for Ernst & Young’s B2B Entrepreneur of the Year. In May 2005, Jason was named in the Globe and Mail as one of "Canada’s Top 40 Under 40".

His wife trained at the Cordon Bleu in Paris, so he eats very well at home.

Gordon Forsythe

Gord has been an expert in the conference calling space for years.

As President of Accutel, he led exponential growth for years before Accutel was acquired by Bell in 2004. Prior to this he was President of Ascom and had senior positions at Cantel.

Gord has been a sought-after advisor at MaRS and the Next36. He is President and CEO of Acculink, one of Canada’s largest call centre outsourcers (www.accu-link.ca).

Gord is a bon vivant and is very fond of excellent food and good wine.

Jim Estill, OOnt

Jim Estill is a technology entrepreneur and has been an investor in iotum for several years.

He started his technology distribution business from the trunk of his car while in his final year of Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo. He grew that business to $350 million in sales prior to selling it to SYNNEX. He was then CEO of SYNNEX Canada growing sales over 5 years from $800 million to $2 billion.

He has been an investor, advisor and board member to many technology businesses including RIM where he was a founding board member. He joined the RIM board just prior to their IPO and served them for 13 years.

Jim continues to invest in companies through his New York-based fund, Canrock Ventures. In addition to substantial community-building and charitable activities, Jim’s day job is being President and CEO of leading appliance manufacturer Danby.