Our Team

Steve Kaminski, President.

Steve Kaminski, President

Steve stepped into an operational role as President of Market Maker Agriculture after serving as Board Chair for several years. He is a passionate champion of the company’s mission to grow strong agriculture businesses that are run by talented teams and built for long-term success.

Steve’s deep background in strategy, capital allocation and balance sheet management is ideally suited to Market Maker Agriculture’s hands-on financial oversight of its portfolio companies. He combines that expertise with the real-world experience and hard-won wisdom of having co-founded and helped build a dozen companies over the course of his career in both real estate and the agriculture sector. As a leader, Steve is driven by the desire to help others develop and succeed; as a community member, he spent 22 years involved with the Board of the Ottawa Hospital Foundation, including four as the foundation’s Board Chair. Steve holds a degree in Honours Math – Math and Accounting from the University of Waterloo.

Jean-Jean “JJ” Vanasse, Vice-President Acquisitions

“JJ” Vanasse has spent most of his career working for privately owned, family-run agriculture businesses. In a past role as President of Property Management at Bonnefield, he visited farm families across Canada to learn about their challenges and needs and understands how hard they work to put food on tables. Since 2019, he has led the acquisition activities at Market Maker Agriculture, from early stages through to closing transactions for handoff to onboarding.

Over his career, JJ has been directly involved in raising more than $750 million in private equity capital for various businesses. He has also guided many businesses through ownership transition: as the company being acquired and as the acquirer -- always with a view to setting them up for success in their next phase. He is a Chartered Professional Accountant and holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree.

Chris Verrilli, Vice-President Finance

Chris acts as mentor, coach and advisor to finance teams in Market Maker Agriculture’s portfolio of companies, supporting them as they explore new ways of doing business and attracting talent to succeed and build on the legacies of the owners who started them.

A Chartered Professional Accountant, Chris has been Vice-President Finance at Market Maker since 2020. He brings more than a decade of experience in agriculture, real estate, private equity and retail. He has developed finance teams, modernized and streamlined finance systems and infrastructure, worked on merger and acquisition transactions, and helped raise private equity funding.

Lisa Courtney Lloyd, Vice-President Business Development

Combining creativity with clear thinking, Lisa sets the strategies that strengthen Market Marker’s reputation as a trusted partner in the agricultural sector. Lisa makes sure the Market Maker team understands what a successful transition means for each owner/operator and creates space for discussions that will lead to mutually beneficial outcomes. She relies on her business and marketing acumen to develop deep understanding of industries, companies and markets to help ensure that every acquired agribusiness is a solid, long-term fit for Market Maker.

Lisa has held a variety of marketing and business roles throughout her career, including more than a decade of working in the agricultural sector as Vice-President of Marketing for Bonnefield. She is a recipient of a Gold Quill Award for excellence in business communications from the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). Lisa is an active volunteer in her community, donating her time to Ottawa’s Parkdale Food Centre.
Pamela Bianconi, Director of Growth.

Pamela Bianconi, Portfolio Companies President

With a penchant for focused strategies that drive business results and a talent for cultivating productive relationships, Pamela ensures the long-term performance of Market Maker Agriculture’s portfolio companies. She works closely with each firm’s leadership team to build financial and management expertise, embed best practices and ensure every Market Maker business delivers for the portfolio as a whole.

Pamela’s strategic management approach is founded on extensive experience in business development, sales, strategic partnerships, and project management. Committed to financial excellence, good process and oversight of centralized support services, Pamela’s goal is to see each portfolio company thrive, evolve and grow. Her passion for fostering vibrant businesses also motivates her volunteer work as a peer supporter within Ottawa’s business community. Pamela holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Lakehead University and a Diploma in Business Administration from Algonquin College.
Joseph Kipfer, Director of Finance.

Joseph Kipfer, Director of Finance

A CPA with more than a decade of experience in public accounting, Joseph is a passionate leader and mentor. This is perfect for his role as Director of Finance, in which he works closely with portfolio companies’ financial teams to strengthen their skills and embed best practices — helping them develop and track financial performance indicators and establish common performance cultures. His goal? To help create businesses people are proud of.

Joseph also leads audit, tax, accounting and financial planning functions for the group. He’s a strong believer in Market Maker Agriculture’s relationship-building approach and respectful way of working. He has taught Masters-level accounting at Carleton University and supports the CPA profession as a team leader for the CPA final exams.

Joseph received his BA in Accounting from the University of Ottawa.
Roy Farrer, Director of Business Development.

Roy Farrer, Director of Business Development

Roy brings a lifelong love of Canadian agriculture to his role as Director of Business Development. Growing up on a family-run cash crop farm in Saskatchewan, he understands the benefit of Market Maker Agriculture’s diversified portfolio approach and the opportunities it creates.

Roy seeks out companies with the right fit for the Market Maker roster: strong performers with seasonal businesses, long-term focus and loyal customer relationships. He’s a champion of the firm’s commitment to preserve and protect those relationships while de-risking seasonal cycles and building for the future — and proud to be part of its high-performing team.

Roy holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Queen’s University. Outside of work he’s most likely to be found on the move, skiing, playing hockey or enjoying the outdoors.

Bobbi Faulkner, Portfolio Director

As Portfolio Director, Bobbi provides dedicated support to Market Maker Agriculture’s portfolio companies, helping them achieve their strategic and operational goals by harnessing the talent and purpose of their leadership teams to pursue growth, innovation and value creation.

Having served as president of a Market Maker Agriculture portfolio company for three years, Bobbi understands what firms need to maintain trusted customer and supplier relationships and succeed as part of the Market Maker group of companies — and is committed to ensuring they receive it. She is a passionate advocate for women's empowerment and a supporter of organizations that serve women in need. Currently completing her Executive MBA, she holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Ottawa.

Cédric St-Amand, Controller

Cédric typically works with clients from the due diligence stage of a transaction through to closing. He takes pride in clear, open communication and creating a comfortable space for clients to ask questions as they make important decisions about the future of their business. A Market Maker Agriculture team member since 2019, his duties include financial reporting, budgeting and forecasting, providing support to the board, supervising the controllers of portfolio companies and supporting the Chief Financial Officer.

Cédric is a Chartered Professional Accountant and a graduate of Université du Québec en Outaouais, where he specialized in accounting.

Médéric Duplessis-Savard, Financial Analyst

As a Financial Analyst, Médéric Duplessis-Savard is an integral player in Market Maker Agriculture's investment strategy, contributing his sharp financial insights to the firm's investment management and acquisitions divisions. His detailed analyses are essential in identifying and examining potential investment opportunities, and in ranking these opportunities based on their projected return and alignment with Market Maker’s portfolio strategy. His comprehensive approach ensures that investment opportunities are thoroughly assessed before any capital allocation decisions are made.

Médéric specialized in finance in the Bachelor of Business Administration program of HEC Montreal. In 2023, Médéric successfully attained the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.

Mark Azrak, Junior Analyst.

Mark Azrak, Junior Analyst

Mark’s in-depth analyses help the investment management and acquisition teams at Market Maker Agriculture determine if prospective acquisitions meet the firm’s criteria and assess their potential impact on the Market Maker portfolio. Working with senior colleagues and external investment advisors, the insights he generates enable accurate business valuations that support Market Maker’s long-term hold model.

Mark enjoys being part of a tight-knit team that implements fresh ideas quickly and tackles challenges as soon as they arise. He appreciates the daily opportunity Market Maker affords to learn from seasoned professionals and admires the company’s commitment to preserve and build on the legacies of the businesses it acquires. Mark holds a bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Ottawa and is currently pursuing his Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.

Denisa Johnova, Senior Accountant

Denisa Johnova believes in teamwork, fairness, treating others with respect and being open and transparent. Those convictions guide every aspect of her work as Market Maker Agriculture’s Senior Accountant, a role she began in January 2022. She contributes to consolidated and non-consolidated budgets and reforecasts, prepares monthly and quarterly financial reporting packages, and drafts closing activity reports. She also provides financial analysis support during the acquisition process and helps onboard new companies.

Denisa earned her Honours Bachelor of Commerce from Nipissing University with a specialization in accounting, and is also a graduate of Algonquin College’s Business Administration Advanced Diploma program.
Houley Diallo, Senior Accountant.

Houley Diallo, Senior Accountant

Houley combines a sharp eye for detail with big-picture awareness in her role as senior accountant at Market Maker Agriculture. Responsible for day-to-day accounting functions, she handles the entire accounting cycle from payables and receivables to payments, reconciliations and more.

Houley’s results-driven approach is a perfect fit with the company’s way of working. Eager to take on new challenges, she appreciates Market Maker’s friendly, supportive, team-focused culture and respects the firm’s emphasis on expertise — including that several senior leaders are CPA-certified. Houley seizes every opportunity to learn from the broad experience of her Market Maker colleagues, which ranges from small family businesses to large corporate backgrounds. She holds a Bachelor degree (Honours) in Accounting and Finance from the University of East London, UK, and plans to complete her CPA designation in Canada.

Raphaëlle Vanasse, Accounting Intern.

Raphaëlle Vanasse, Accounting Intern

As Accounting Intern, Raphaëlle works closely with Market Maker Agriculture’s Senior Accountant and Controller on a variety of financial and accounting activities.

Appreciative of the development opportunities her internships have provided, Raphaëlle is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Business Administration degree specializing in accounting at l'Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), with her sights set on a CPA designation. Raphaëlle also secures partnerships and sponsorships as a vice-president of UQAM’s accounting students’ association.