Welcome to Phyto Organix Foods

Sustainable Proteins for a Healthier Planet

About Phyto Organix

Phyto Organix is an independent Alberta-based innovator, processor, developer, and distributor of conventional and organic plant-based protein and
co-products for the food and beverage industry. We are building a plant protein innovation hub in Strathmore, Alberta – our processing facility will sustainably source novel pulse crops to produce high purity protein concentrates and co-products from our net-zero fractionation facility.

Our Vision

Sustainable proteins for a healthier planet

Our Motto

The sustainable fuel of life

What Drives Us

  • Pioneering the plant protein industry in Alberta
  • Health, wellness, self-care, and safety
  • Yield meaningful outcomes for employees, customers, growers, and community
  • Tenacious champion of sustainability and food security
  • Organically develop our people and culture

Our Team

The Phyto Organix Management Team brings together over 100 years of food science, agriculture, engineering, finance, investment banking, private equity, business development and regulatory experience.

Management Team

Chris Theal, CFA, MBA, ICD.DFounder, President & CEO, Director

Chris is the Founder, President & CEO of Phyto Organix Foods Inc. and has over 25 years of business and leadership experience as an Alberta entrepreneur. Most recently, he was the Chief Financial Officer of Velvet Energy Ltd., a private company backed by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and private equity holders, including Warburg Pincus. Prior to that he founded an energy hedge fund and was the founding partner of a full service energy investment boutique, Tristone Capital Inc. A former officer in the Canadian Armed Forces, he is the Past President of the Royal Military Colleges of Canada Foundation. Chris holds an Undergraduate degree in Economics, with Distinction, from the Royal Roads Military College and a Master of Business Administration (Finance) from the University of British Columbia; is a Chartered Financial Analyst Charterholder (2000) and holds the ICD.D designation from the Directors Education Program.

David Vetters, CPA, CAChief Financial Officer

David has 28 years of broad experience in capital markets, finance, accounting and leadership with roles in private equity, investment banking and audit. Most recently, he was a Managing Partner with Annapolis Capital, an energy focused private equity investment firm, where, among other duties, he was responsible for the design and implementation of Annapolis’ Responsible Investment Policy and ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) reporting and portfolio company benchmarking. Prior to Annapolis, David held senior and leadership positions with a number of investment banks including BMO Capital Markets, Macquarie Capital Markets Canada and Tristone Capital, where he spent considerable time advising private company clients on financings and merger, acquisition and sale transactions. David obtained his Chartered Accountant designation following articling with Price Waterhouse in Saskatoon and Calgary and holds a Bachelor of Administration (Accounting) degree.

Laure Laval, PhD, MScChief Innovation Officer

Laure brings 12 years of experience in product development, food formulations, product commercialization and leading R&D teams. Her experience in a variety of fields and her multidisciplinary training allowed her to develop a global vision of the product launch chain. Most recently, she was the Applied Research and Development Manager for North America for Lallemand, one of the leaders in yeast and probiotics production, working closely with the commercial team. She has a great balance of food technology competency and commercial acumen.  Laure holds a Master’s degree in Biochemistry and Biotechnologies from the National Institute of Applied Science in Lyon, France and a PhD in Microbiology from the University of Paris Sud.

Drew Sharp, P.Ag, MBAAgribusiness Manager

Drew is the Agribusiness Manager for Phyto Organix Foods Inc. and has over 6 years of experience working in the agriculture industry throughout Alberta and Saskatchewan. Most recently, he was the North American Agriculture Manager for Boortmalt, the world’s largest maltster, with a global footprint of 27 malting plants in 15 countries spread across 5 continents. Prior to his time with Boortmalt, he worked in grain merchandising and agronomy with Rahr Malting located in Alix, Alberta. Drew is a professional agrologist with the Saskatchewan Institute of Agrologists and holds an undergraduate degree in Agronomy, with Distinction, from the University of Saskatchewan and a Master of Business Administration in Food and Agribusiness from the University of Guelph.

Martin Vogel, CPA, CASenior Manager, Finance

Martin has 15 years of experience in finance, accounting, budgeting, treasury and audit. Most recently he was the Manager of Finance and Accounting at Velvet Energy Ltd., where his responsibilities included financial analysis, financial reporting, treasury and budgeting. Prior to Velvet, Martin worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Calgary where he obtained his Chartered Accountant designation. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) degree from the University of Calgary.

Tyler Arnott, P.EngPlant Manager

Tyler is the Plant Manager for Phyto’s Strathmore plant protein processing facility.  Tyler has 18 years of operations and engineering experience in manufacturing facilities spanning fertilizer, upstream energy, downstream refining, and petrochemicals.  In those industries, he has filled a variety of roles including front line engineering support, strategic and operations planning, operations leadership and most recently as a technical services manager for a new design build facility in Alberta’s industrial heartland.  Tyler has led large operational sites with diverse teams larger than 200 people.  Tyler is a Professional Engineer with APEGA and has held Responsible Member duties at previous employers.  Tyler has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Industrial Systems Engineering from the University of Regina.

Board of Directors

The Phyto Organix Board of Directors is a diverse group of leaders that bring creative tension to the boardroom and oversight of the executive team.

Vincent ChahleyIndependent Businessman – Chairman

Vincent brings 40 years of experience in the investment banking, oil and gas and venture capital/angel investing industries. As an investment banker, Vincent was a founding partner of Tristone Capital and KERN Partners, co headed the Calgary office for RBC Capital Markets and began his career with Burns Fry in Toronto. Vincent has served on numerous private and public company boards and in addition to Phyto Organix, is currently a director of Velvet Energy and the Aequitas Neo Stock Exchange. As an angel investor he is an active member of the Creative Destruction Lab working as a mentor in CDL Rockies for the Ag and Prime Streams and in CDL Wisconsin in the Health and Risk Streams and is the founder of the UCeed Haskayne Student Fund, a venture capital fund managed by students at the University of Calgary.

Scott Exner, LLBAgriculture & Food Lawyer, MLT Aikins LLP – Independent Director

Scott is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School and a partner in MLT Aikins LLP. He has provided legal and business advice to food and agriculture companies for 30 years. An international legal ranking publication has consistently recognized Scott as one of the top food and agribusiness lawyers in Canada. He was also recently recognized as one of the Top 50 most influential individuals in Canadian agriculture. In addition, Scott co-developed and instructs Food and Agricultural Law at the University of Calgary College of Law.

Paul Hemsley, B.Sc., MBAInvestor & Corporate Director – Independent Director

Paul is an entrepreneur, having founded and built Hemmera Envirochem Inc., an environmental consulting and engineering firm that he expanded across Canada over 23 years before subsequently selling it to Ausenco in 2017. He has held various appointments over his career including sitting on the federal Sustainable Development Advisory Council, and the BC provincial Green Energy Advisory Task Force. Paul is a graduate of Queen’s University (B.Sc.) and also holds an MBA from Dalhousie University. He resides in West Vancouver, BC and gives back to the community by supporting the Lions Gate Hospital Foundation and the Family Services of the North Shore.

Margot Naudie, CFA, MBAInvestor & Corporate Director – Independent Director

Margot is a seasoned 25-year capital markets professional with global investment expertise as a Senior Portfolio Manager for long-only and long/short North American and global natural resource portfolios. Margot has held senior roles at leading multi-billion-dollar asset management firms, including TD Asset Management, Marret Asset Management, and CPP Investment Board. Margot was cited as a Brendan Wood TopGun Investment Mind (Platinum) for five consecutive years. She is an active and engaged Independent Director on several public and private company boards where she acts as Lead Director; serves on Investment Committees; and chairs Audit, Compensation, and HR and ESG Committees. Margot has a Bachelor of Arts in Politics/Economics from McGill University, an MBA from the Ivey School of Business, and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.

Mehmet Tulbek, PhD, MScPresident, Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre - Independent Director

Mehmet Tulbek has been a research, technology, and innovation leader with over 20 years of pulses, cereals, oilseeds and plant-based foods’ global research & development, technical services, business development, international technical education, and management experience. Mehmet completed his B.Sc. in Agricultural Engineering with emphasis in Food Science and Technology at Ankara University, and his M.Sc. in Food Engineering at Istanbul Technical University in Turkey. He then moved to the United States to pursue his Ph.D. in Cereal Science at North Dakota State University in Fargo, ND. Before joining Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre as President, Mehmet served as the Director of Research and Development at AGT Food and Ingredients in Saskatoon, Canada, and worked at Northern Crops Institute (NCI) as Crop Quality Specialist and then as Technical Director. Mehmet has served as a board member in Ameriflax, Northern Pulse Growers Association, Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre and Red River College Prairie Research Kitchen organizations.