Board of Directors, President and Chief Executive Officer
Geist is an experienced, hands-on entrepreneurial leader who is recognized as the key innovator in the Cloud-based Recovery as a Service (RaaS) industry. With a solid track record of founding innovative and market disruptive companies, Geist currently focuses his efforts on establishing leading business models, technologies and processes in the Cloud-based RaaS landscape through Geminare, the global market leader in RaaS deployments and enablement. Through Geist’s leadership, Geminare’s is recognized several times over via industry awards and leading market analysts and has patented its disruptive Cloud CORE Platform - a proven, mature, multi-tiered service delivery vehicle that is the foundation of Geminare’s entire RaaS enablement engine.
Geist was previously President and Chief Executive Officer of MindBytes, a professional services organization focused on delivering technology best practices to organizations, where he acted as the outsourced Chief Technology Officer for over 200 small and mid-sized organizations over the course of 12 years, and personally guided consistent year over year company growth as a quoted technology expert and advisor for multiple start-ups. Prior to founding MindBytes, Geist had the privilege of working for Apple Computer for over 4 years as their Technical Training Manager where he developed and delivered network, system, sales and operational training programs across Canada.
Geist holds a degree in Applied Physics and Computer Science from the University of Western Ontario and enjoys every free moment with his wife and three daughters.
Board of Directors
With a background in technology, communications and M&A, Duncan McEwan is an investor and advisor with several emerging technology companies. He currently serves on the Board of Geminare Inc., an emerging global leader in the Recovery as a Service space, and is Chairman of Kneebone Inc., a software company specializing in marketing performance measurement and ROI analysis.
Previous roles include President and Chief Operating Officer of Sprint Canada Inc., an integrated, national telecommunications provider; Chief Executive Officer of Northpoint Canada Communications, a provider of high-speed data and Internet (DSL) lines; President and Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Satellite Communications (Cancom); Founder and Chairman of the Business News Network (BNN, formerly ROBTv) and Executive Producer in the television industry.
Mr. McEwan is president of Diligent Inc., his consulting company specializing in M&A and strategic advice for technology-based clients. He is Vice-Chair of the Board of The Royal Conservatory of Music and has previously served on a number of public and private company boards.
Mr. McEwan is a graduate of the University of Toronto.
Board of Directors
As a member of the executive team at BEST Funds, Mr. Chettiar is principally involved in transactions, managing portfolio investments and conducting due diligence on prospective opportunities. Mr. Chettiar actively negotiates transactions and recommends investments for approval by BEST’s independent boards of directors. Mr. Chettiar is responsible for monitoring BEST’s venture debt portfolio, and he is involved in the operations of portfolio companies as a member of portfolio company boards of directors and in a consulting capacity, advising on various strategic initiatives.
Mr. Chettiar is principally involved in the firm’s Cloud portfolio; working with companies such as XPI Inc., ERMS Corporation, and Geminare Incorporated, among others.
Mr. Chettiar brings to the firm a Bachelor of Laws from Dalhousie Law School, a Bachelor of Commerce with a Major in Global Business Management from St. Mary’s University, as well as an MBA from the Ted Rogers School of Management and the CIM designation.
Mr. Chettiar joined BEST Funds in 2007.
Board of Directors, Geminare
Managing Director, MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund (IAF)
Mr. Gekiere has over 25 years of experience in senior management positions in venture capital, private equity, and operating companies. Prior to joining MaRS, Gekiere was a Partner at Ventures West, one of Canada’s largest and long standing venture capital firms. During his 13 years at Ventures West, Gekiere worked closely with entrepreneurs while making early stage technology investments in IT, communications, clean-tech and medical device companies.
Prior to Ventures West, Gekiere had experience as a partner in two private equity firms specializing in expansion stage financing and leverage buyouts. As an operator, Gekiere has served as President of four turnaround situations: automotive aftermarket parts manufacturing; an industrial products holding company; fleet and field service management software; and aerospace components manufacturing.
Gekiere has served on the Board of the Canadian Venture Capital & Private Equity Association and various private and public companies. Gekiere has an HBA Business Administration from the University of Western Ontario.