The Management Team
Ray DePaul is the Director of the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Mount Royal University. Ray is a strategic visionary with 25 years of experience working in high-tech and innovation. Ray was the President and CEO of RapidMind Inc., a spin-off company from the University of Waterloo. Ray steered RapidMind through $11M of venture funding and significant market growth, and turned the company into an industry leader, resulting in acquisition by Intel Corp.
Prior to RapidMind, Ray spent five years with Research In Motion (RIM; now BlackBerry) and was responsible for product management of the iconic BlackBerry. Ray developed and executed RIM’s business plan, product strategy and product launches to help to guide BlackBerry through the exciting early adopter stage in 1999; ultimately establishing the BlackBerry brand as the smartphone market leader.
Ray holds a Bachelor of Mathematics degree in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo and a Master of Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University. Ray was the recipient of the 2011 MBA Alumnus Award for Outstanding Innovation and Achievement.
Read what Ray has to say about innovation and entrepreneurship in his blog.
David J. Finch is an Associate Director & Research Fellow at the Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship. He is also the Program Director for SMART and Designing YOU initiatives. His professional background reflects a commitment to the convergence of theory and practice. David holds a Ph.D. in management and is an active educator, scholar and practitioner. David currently holds several academic appointments including Associate Professor at Mount Royal University’s Bissett School of Business in Calgary, Alberta, a Visiting Professor at Ohio University and Visiting Fellow at the Henley Business School at the University of Reading in the U.K.
David’s research interests focus on exploring the empirical link between stakeholders and organizational performance. Based on his research and breadth of experience, David is the founder and director of the Business School Research Network (BSRN)—a network of senior researchers from 16 North American business schools focused on examining the empirical performance of business schools. In the past five years, David has authored over 50 scholarly papers and published in journals such as the Academy of Management Learning & Education, Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of Marketing Management, Journal of Services Marketing, Industry and Higher Education, Journal of Marketing Education, the Corporate Reputation Review and the International Journal of Management Education. In addition, David has published articles in the Globe & Mail, Marketing Magazine, Victoria Times Colonist, Huffington Post, Ottawa Citizen, Edmonton Journal and the National Post.
Prior to joining academia over two decades ago, David held progressively senior roles in areas of corporate strategy in Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. with Bell Canada Enterprises, Rogers Communications and Harris Corporation. In addition, David was a founding partner at T1 Agency, Canada’s largest sports and sponsorship marketing agency supporting brands such as Esso, Nike, Hudson’s Bay, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, BC Ferries, the Calgary Stampede and Yellow Pages.
Simon Raby is an Associate Director & Research Fellow at the Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship. He is also the Program Director for the Growth Compass initiative. Simon is a “pracademic” working as a Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Mount Royal University’s Bissett School of Business and co-founder of Business Improvement and Growth (BIG) Associates Ltd. BIG identifies the drivers of growth, challenges convention and offers practical ways for ambitious business owners and their organizations to achieve sustained growth and performance.
Simon’s research program is focused on uncovering the strategies, practices and methods of support that enable business growth, leadership transitions and people’s performance. Most recently, Simon delivered a program of research on the growth of Alberta’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to understand the drivers of growth, innovation and diversification for these firms. This research has since led to the creation of The Leader’s Growth Mindset.
Simon completed his master’s degree and Ph.D. part-time while working as a private sector consultant and is an accredited and practicing coach and facilitator. Simon continues to write for academic and practitioner audiences. Simon has researched thousands of growth-oriented organizations and has distilled this into an accessible, applicable and practical guide, The Ten Characteristics of Successful SMEs, which he co-authored. The guide has been downloaded over 11,000 times and is internationally recognized for its quality and value for business innovation and growth.
Simon strongly believes that the world of research has a lot to offer business leaders, if this knowledge is delivered in accessible and practical ways. Simon loves to challenge, learn and find new ways of thinking, and has a deep-seated passion for facilitating strategic change.
Simon is a trustee and board member for the Institute of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, a large, well-established network that enables excellence in small business and entrepreneurship, and builds bridges between research, policy and practice. Simon serves on the editorial board of the International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research.