Press releases

Innovation Cluster Seeks New CEO as Michael Skinner and John Gillis Prepare for Departure

The Board of Directors is accepting online applications until Friday, November 18th.


November 8, 2022 – PETERBOROUGH, ON – Innovation Cluster Peterborough and the Kawarthas (“Innovation Cluster” or the “Organization”) has publicly announced that they are seeking a new Chief Executive Officer. The current CEO Michael Skinner and President John Gillis have resigned and will depart the Organization at the end of the year. 

Mr. Skinner and Mr. Gillis stated, “The Innovation Cluster has always been a labour of love and our passion for supporting business growth and entrepreneurship in our community will not end with our departure. We look forward to staying connected with the people who have made our time at the Innovation Cluster unforgettable.  We are excited to see the introduction of fresh ideas to the Organization under new leadership.” 

Mr. Skinner joined the Innovation Cluster’s Board of Directors in 2012 as a serial entrepreneur, Business Citizen of the Year, and previous founder and CEO of Operitel which was acquired by OpenText in 2011. In 2016, Mr. Skinner became the CEO of the Innovation Cluster and under his leadership, the Organization expanded to its 10,000 sq foot location in downtown Peterborough to include incubation and accelerator services. 

Mr. Gillis joined the Innovation Cluster in 2017 as a business leader within the Canadian cleantech, water, wastewater, and plant automation (IOT) industries. He introduced an H2O Makerspace to the Organization giving clients access to over 30 pieces of sophisticated water testing equipment.

Over the last five years, the two veteran entrepreneurs and business leaders have led the Innovation Cluster to create an economic impact of $54 million, create nearly 900 jobs, and support more than 300 companies to launch, grow, and scale. Mr. Skinner and Mr. Gillis will continue working together after their departure and will be announcing the launch of an exciting, new venture in the new year.

Nicole Stephenson, Chair of the Board of Directors stated, “Both Michael and John have been integral to the growth of the Innovation Cluster over the past few years, especially through the unprecedented challenges of the recent global pandemic.  On behalf of the entire Board, I thank Michael and John for their immense contributions and wish them both continued success in their future endeavours.”


The Board of Directors is now accepting applications for the role of Chief Executive Officer; 

The successful candidate will: 

  • Lead the Organization’s strategic vision as a vibrant entrepreneurship ecosystem, and future pillar of the Peterborough – Kawartha economy.
  • Be responsible for the operational and strategic leadership of the Innovation Cluster.
  • Have a robust awareness and understanding of the complexities and experiences driving entrepreneurial success.
  • Be skilled in complex project management, executive-level communication, stakeholder cultivation, and partnership building.
  • Have a minimum of 10 years overall experience with an impeccable track record as a founder, leading innovation, promoting organizations, or achieving successful exit strategies.

To review the complete position details and to apply, refer to the full job posting. Interested candidates are encouraged to apply online no later than Friday, November 18th.  


About the Innovation Cluster 

The Innovation Cluster is a not-for-profit organization that drives innovative, determined entrepreneurs in the formation and growth of their technology-based companies. Supporting four key sectors, agtech, digital, healthcare, and with a strong focus on cleantech, the Innovation Cluster’s dynamic programming and mentoring ensures start-ups find their best path to market. 

Core funding is provided by The City of Peterborough, Trent University, Fleming College, Peterborough Region Angel Network, The City of Kawartha Lakes, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), Franklin Empire and the Federal Ontario Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).



Media Contact


Michael Skinner, CEO

Innovation Cluster Peterborough and the Kawarthas 

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