Our Leadership Team
GFR Pharma’s management team combines extensive pharmaceutical and natural health product knowledge with strategic business expertise. Our team of capable professionals in the areas of manufacturing, quality assurance, research and development, distribution, sales, finance, graphics and marketing can help you every step of the way … from concept to reality.
Founder, President & CEO
A respected member of the Canadian Health Food Association, Richard is well known in the natural products industry for creating and marketing the most successful brand of sport nutrition products in Canada.
Long before sports nutrition powders entered the mainstream, Richard was researching ingredients and developing protein supplements to support health and fitness. Richard’s entrepreneurial passion, insistence on high quality product and service together with embracing new technologies and industry trends are key components to the success of his GFR Group of Companies. In 2012, Richard was recognized for his contributions to the industry with a Natural Health Products Canada Industry Leader Award.
GFR Pharma is a clear reflection of Richard’s drive, passion and innovative vision making us an internationally recognized and respected organization.
“I always tell our team to make every product as if they were making it for their own family members. Quality is our #1 priority.”
Chief Operating Officer & Co-Owner
Tom brings to GFR Pharma over 36 years of experience in, and a passion for, the nutraceutical industry.
His most recent position was Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Factors Group of Nutritional Companies, where he was instrumental in setting up manufacturing and packaging facilities in Kelowna, Washington and Australia. He has also held senior leadership roles at Vita Health Products Inc. (Senior Vice President and COO) and Banner Pharmacaps (Vice President and General Manager).
Tom is responsible for implementing the company’s vision through the management and expansion of our operational functions; including all facets of manufacturing, packaging, warehousing, purchasing, planning, scheduling, quality, product development, formulations and plant engineering. Tom’s wealth of knowledge, leadership, and day-to-day operations skills will be helping move GFR Pharma to the next level.
“Throughout my career I’ve been blessed with having great people around me and great customers to work for….it is truly a fabulous Industry to be part of!”
Eric van Roon
Senior Vice President
Eric draws from his engineering and business backgrounds in the pursuit of operational excellence, business improvement, innovation and delivering effective customer-focused solutions. Over the past 25+ years, he has held senior leadership positions in the food and sustainable utility sectors and was on the executive team that founded Corix Infrastructure where he was COO and SVP of Corporate Development.
He has a passion for wellness and sustainability, which has been a common thread throughout his career. His experience comprises R&D, engineering, operations, business and corporate development and executive management.
Eric is thrilled to be working with such an accomplished leadership team, and to contribute his experience to the continued success of contract manufacturing at GFR Pharma.
“We are all partners in each other’s success. Utilizing a partnering mindset, we will be better aligned and able to focus on achieving our mutual goals.”
Vice President of Finance
Surjit is a designated CPA, CGA with over 20 years of experience in various financial management positions.
She started her career in public practice as an auditor and progressed into more senior roles in the manufacturing industry. Prior to joining GFR Pharma, Surjit was the Director of Finance and Accounting for a large Canadian national-brand food manufacturer.
Surjit brings to GFR Pharma extensive experience in financial and operations reporting and analysis, financial and strategic business planning, treasury, corporate tax compliance, ERP implementations and the development of high performing cross-functional teams. In addition to leading the finance and IT teams, she is responsible for maintaining relationships with bankers, auditors, lawyers, insurance brokers, and tax authorities.
“The finance team is committed to providing accurate financial information, mitigating business risks, enhancing transparency and identifying business opportunities.”
Director of Human Resources
Shelley brings over 30 years of Human Resource experience to GFR Pharma.
She has successfully created and implemented systems that relate to company policies, procedures, recruitment, retention and performance management in a variety of industries; both non-union and union. She has also developed and lead several training courses to increase performance at multiple levels of the organizations she has worked in. Shelley holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business and has completed and developed several Human Resource related courses.
At GFR Pharma, Shelley shares her passion of promoting a culture supportive of employees while at the same time achieving business success.
“We nurture our culture daily so we can provide a supportive, respectful and fun place to work!”
Director of Plant Engineering
Craig has over 25 years experience in roles as Plant and Maintenance Manager from CP Rail to large multi-million dollar food processing facilities.
Throughout his career, Craig has demonstrated his ability to grow profitable operations by reducing costs and streamlining processes. With his personable and productive management style, Craig is skilled at training and mentoring the teams he leads. With a thorough understanding of maintenance programs and budgets, Craig leads with a focus on executing plant improvement projects to minimize loss and downtime.
From leading machine installations and building expansion projects, through to day-to-day plant operations, Craig believes strongly in employee safety and is certified by WorkSafe BC.
“Keeping our equipment up to date through technology and innovation is our commitment.”
Director of Marketing & Sales (Brand)
Joanne brings many years of international sales and marketing experience to GFR. Originally from Ireland, she has worked with large multinational businesses across a variety of industries.
She recognizes the importance of working cross functionally with departments to create successful long term partnerships with customers. Joanne brings experience and enthusiasm to her role which in turn helps to fuel the creativity within her team as they work to deliver best in class marketing practices to serve the GFR business and customer.
Joanne graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a Masters in Economics and Business. She is passionate about leading a healthy balanced lifestyle and strives for continuous growth and success personally and professionally.
“The marketing team at GFR is committed to promoting the company products and services in an open and honest manner. We aim to find future trends and opportunities to best serve your business and growth within the industry.”