Quality People are the Vantage Advantage
Quality people are the essence of Vantage’s high performance culture. We’re proud to share that many of our senior managers have built their careers with us.
Working together the right way is living our core values and putting cultural practices into action. More important, it is how we attract and retain exceptional people who value opportunities to grow and contribute to a dynamic, inclusive workplace.
Investing in our people is a Vantage absolute, which is why we encourage and support an attitude of continuous learning and skill development using internal and external resources.
Chief Executive Officer
Gary has invested his career in North American agriculture and food processing industries as a successful entrepreneur in both primary and value-added sectors.
In the last 20 years, he has directed the conception and strategic growth of Vantage Foods, which now operates three, highly automated fresh meats processing facilities in Canada and one in the US, serving progressive food retailers in long-term partnership agreements.
A life-long passion for continuous learning and positive change drives Gary’s commitment to championing Vantage’s Vision and Core Values, which anchor a high performance culture, fueled by a powerful attitude of accountability for customer success. Gary's advocacy for positive change includes participation and leadership in organizations that benchmark global best practices and emerging trends in the fresh foods processing sector.
Gary holds an International MBA from IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Vantage Foods is a private company held by the Haley family with equity participation by senior management.
A pioneer who has been in the retail case-ready meat business for over 23 years, Leonal started North America’s first stand-alone, multi-species case-ready facility located in Canada and the first dedicated single customer, multi-species case-ready plant in the United States. Today, Leonal directs the growth and operation of Vantage Foods throughout North America.
A skilled communicator and a strong team player, Leonal has negotiated long-term case-ready contracts with the largest retailers in Canada and the United States, and built successful, enduring relationships with them.
Highly motivated to produce quality solutions for discerning retailers, Leonal draws on his knowledge of integrated supply chains (from conception to consumer), the competitive retail environment, and the realities of operating major case-ready meat plants. Leonal is a graduate in Accounting and Business Administration from Northwest Nazarene University.
President and Chief Operating Officer, Vantage Foods North America
Chief Financial Officer
A Certified Management Accountant and a graduate of the Commerce program from the University of Calgary, Don has spent over 25 years in the Canadian food industry.
Beginning in wholesale with Associated Grocers, Don has worked as a Controller and Financial Manager in both food processing and food retailing (The Overwaitea Food Group), and, in so doing, has acquired a keen sense of the North American food distribution system and the importance of strong retailer/processing relationships.
An advocate of timely technology, Don is a self-professed “early adopter” and champions the integration of state-of-the-art technology for Vantage Foods. Don directs financial management for all elements of Vantage Foods, and has been with the company from its beginning.
A Bachelor of Commerce graduate of the University of Alberta, Jim brings significant experience in the areas of human resources and corporate services attained in the oil and gas, clean technology, and management consulting sectors.
Jim’s career as a human resource generalist includes a balance of strategic and tactical initiatives, including recruitment and selection, total rewards, career transition consulting, business processes, and human resource service delivery alternatives through restructuring and outsourcing efforts.
Active in both professional and community roles, he is past Chairman of the Calgary Seminar’s Committee for WorldatWork and holds a Certified Human Resource Professional (CHRP) designation from the Human Resources Institute of Alberta.
In his role as Director, Human Resources and Corporate Services, Jim is responsible for providing leadership in all human resource and corporate services matters, including employee and labour relations, organizational effectiveness, total rewards design and delivery, office and facilities management, as well as strategic and operational planning.
Director, Human Resources and Corporate Services
US Corporate Controller/Interim PA General Manager
A core Vantage Team member since 2012, Kelly Kuhn has earned a wealth of experience in operational accounting and auditing within the fresh meats industry in both Canada and the US.
A Graduate from the University of Kansas with a B.Sc. in Accounting and Finance, along with a concentration in Architecture, Kelly is a strong advocate of processes oriented to drive results, and business drivers that impact financial performance.
He’ll tell you he’s a big believer in treating people right, servant leadership, and communicating effectively with a high level of integrity. This is evidenced by a solid track record as both a devoted leader and team player, who lives and breathes Vantage Core Values every day.
In addition to his permanent position as Vantage US Corporate Controller, Kelly is currently acting as Interim PA General Manager while an executive search is underway.
Alan Cook is a highly motivated and seasoned Operations Director and General Manager who thrives on challenge, and excels in management and leadership of complex and diverse business models in the fresh chilled and value-added seafood processing sector.
Alan earned his seafood stripes and developed a self-confessed passion for the sector in long-held positions as Operations Director for Pinney’s of Scotland (suppliers of ready-to-eat chilled seafood and seafood-based meals for Marks&Spencers Food Halls) and Head of Manufacturing for Macrae Edinburgh, a division of Youngs Seafood (suppliers of ready-to-eat seafood products for major branded retail and export customers).
As Vantage’s lead on our new fresh seafood case-ready Service Centre opening 2018, Alan’s expertise in seafood plant engineering and design, LEAN Manufacturing, supply chain management, continuous improvement, health and safety, quality control, HR, and financial resource management will ensure a solid foundation for long-term performance of our newest Canadian Service Centre.
Alan is a graduate of Napier University (Edinburgh) with a BA (Distinction) Business Studies Human Resource Management. He is Green Belt LEAN Sigma Certified.
General Manager, Belleville, Ontario, Canada
Seafood Operations Manager, Belleville, Ontario, Canada
A recent and welcome member of the Vantage Team, Alex Doinikovs brings over 15 years of both hands-on production and executive experience in all facets of fresh seafood plant operations, from raw material intake to final packed customer-ready product.
He credits his progressive career growth in the fresh seafood sector in the UK, and now Canada, to his ability to communicate at all levels in an organization, approach problem-solving methodically, and see the big picture; all of which enable him to achieve business targets and goals within deadlines.
A motivated individual whose approach to team management is coaching and consultative, Alex is focused on working collaboratively with Vantage’s new seafood operations team to create best-in-class leaders in Canadian case-ready seafood. “We are determined to provide our customer with the very best quality product, that is our core purpose.”
Alex has a BA in Business Management and a BSA in Economics.
As Customer Service Centre General Manager for Winnipeg, Yves is responsible for the operating profitability, organizational capability, and growth of our business in the Winnipeg Service Centre, while delivering on Vantage's Brand Promise to our valued customers.
Yves brings over 15 years of Canadian experience as Production Manager within meat processing environments in Alberta.
His passion for quality, with the customer in mind, is of particular importance to Vantage's operations, along with his grinds and sausage-making abilities. He also brings retail store management, sales, and operations management experiences gained in Switzerland.
Yves completed graduate studies in Chef de Cuisine, Butcher and Sausage Maker, and his Bachelor of Commerce degree in Bern, Switzerland.
Customer Service Centre General Manager, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Sheilah Lee Restall
Director, LEAN Manufacturing, Canada
Our newest Senior Management Team Member, Sheilah Lee Restall, brings significant skill and expertise in project management, LEAN Manufacturing application, business management, human resource management, and health and safety, which she has acquired through extensive education, training, and hands-on experience from her time with Maple Leaf Foods and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Sheilah’s demonstrated ability to deliver focused training, drive process changes, and effectively implement LEAN in all aspects of our business, allows Vantage to excel in continuous improvement initiatives.
Based in Winnipeg, Sheilah collaborates with all Vantage Service Centres in Canada and the United States to ensure LEAN consistency and advancement.
Sheilah has certifications in Lean Six Sigma, Project Management Professional (PMP), and is a graduate of the Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree program from the I.H. Asper School of Business at the University of Manitoba.
Yemi leads our research efforts in meeting Vantage's quality and regulatory objectives, along with building and maintaining positive relationships with government, academia, and industry to stay leading edge in Food Science.
Yemi joined Vantage Foods, working out of our Chilliwack, British Columbia Service Centre, in April 2001 as Best Practice Leader - HACCP/Quality Assurance for all Vantage Service Centres. He assumed the role of Chief Food Safety Officer in January 2012. In March 2016, he was appointed Vice-President, Food Safety and Quality Assurance, prior to his May 2018 appointment as Vice-President, Food Science and Regulatory Affairs. Yemi was successful in leading the Service Centre teams in achieving Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) certification, while ensuring the necessary food processes and related systems were in place in all locations.
Yemi brings a vast network of industry contacts, along with a strong academic background in food and animal science, to his current role, supported by his bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois, along with graduate and doctorate studies from Kansas State University. He has published a number of research studies in peer-reviewed journals, and recently received the Certified Food Scientist designation from the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT).
Outside of work,Yemi’s main interests and time are spent with his family and another of his passions……soccer!
Vice-President, Food Science and Regulatory Affairs