Interview with Bev Stangeland: My First Month at Ag-West Bio

Posted on December 18, 2018

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Fiyin Obayan recently started working at Ag-West Bio as a communications assistant. This series of blogs and videos "My First Month at Ag-West Bio," documents her experience at her new job, including a tour of Innovation Place and interviews with Ag-West Bio staff members.
This process gave her insight into the ag-bioscience industry and the vision behind the organization.
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Bev and I had an instant bond when I came to the office. I discovered we had mutual connections and I was curious about the details of her job. I was looking forward to interviewing her.

Bev joined Ag-West Bio four years ago. For the first three years, she developed and managed what has now become known as Prairie Biosciences Canada, a partnership between Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan that promotes bioscience activities at international trade shows.

Bev explained that as Saskatchewan’s bioscience industry association, Ag-West Bio works with companies active in all areas of agriculture production (including conventional and organic) as well as all along the value chain. Ag-West helps to develop a community to encourage the many different groups to work together.

“Our best contribution is bringing people together within the cluster; not just in Saskatoon, where there a lot of the cluster partners are, but all of Saskatchewan. Our partnerships are not just with Canadians…but international as well,” she says.

As Manager of Industry Development, Bev works on business development initiatives, special projects, events, industry engagement and training programs for companies.

I was curious about how her role relates to Mike Cey’s role as Director of Corporate Initiatives, or Brad Bly’s role as the Director of Commercialization. I wanted to know how all these activities interact and how they contribute to a member company’s success.

She explained that there is a lot of intersecting involved: while Brad helps companies with financial strategies, she creates workshops and training seminars to equip the company with other skills; it’s a team effort.

Bev's advice for future entrepreneurs to achieve success? Engage with consumers and explain to them what they are doing and why they are doing it.

“I love interacting with people in the cluster…I love to see what we can do and how we can make things better in order to contribute. I hope that I bring that connecting piece,” she says.

 

Fiyin Obayan