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.”
Eric van Roon
President, Contract Manufacturing
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 Quality
Richard has a passion for the health and wellness industry and brings over 20 years of GxP manufacturing, quality and compliance experience in medium to large branded companies within the natural health products industry.
He has progressed through a series of management roles in quality control, quality assurance, compliance, scientific, technical affairs and validation. His career focus has been on improving and developing quality systems and technical capabilities to support efficient and robust quality control and manufacturing operations. Additionally, he has worked to mentor, enable and develop teams to foster a caring culture of quality throughout an organization.
Richard is very excited and proud to be contributing to the GFR Pharma team and a dynamic business dedicated to producing quality and compliant health products.
“It’s all important – a caring culture of quality, trust and ownership that is team focused and proud to deliver quality and compliant products for our customers.”
Director of Special Projects
Angelo brings over 25 years of successful sales and leadership experience, from Quotations Manager for GFR and Operations Manager for one of the pioneers in the manufacturing and distributing of natural health products, to General Manager and Field Manager for leading companies in the retail industry, and Project Manager for an international consulting firm.
Angelo graduated with an MBA major in Finance, and his passion is not only for the industry, living an active and healthy lifestyle, and his family, but also for continuous learning to achieve excellence personally and professionally.
“I feel blessed to be part of an organization where the main priorities are the quality of the products it manufactures, and the safety of its employees, and to top that off, whose customers really care about the wellbeing of the consumers of their products”