Our Team is a collective of talent who share a belief that technology isn’t a threat, but an opportunity to protect our industry as we expand our knowledge and skillsets. We firmly believe the automotive industry has incredible potential for anyone unafraid of innovation and change.

Founder
Barry Hillier

Barry is a highly respected brand strategist and digital pioneer who has led digital strategies for brands including Hellmann’s, Vaseline, Axe Body Spray, ING Direct, Juicy Fruit, Skittles, Ontario Toyota Dealers and Kraft. Barry founded Dashboard, a digital advertising agency, as well as several technology companies in the automotive industry before founding Catalytic. Collectively, his work has won over 50 global awards for creative and business results. 

 

Barry has continually pushed digital boundaries over the years. He helped build one of the world’s first rich media players for the Vancouver Canucks, led Juicy Fruit to pioneer the use of dynamic interactive ads and directed Hellmann’s to be the first brand to use Facebook Connect. Barry also helped pioneer a stereoscopic 3D website for 3M Filtrate and was recognized as the first in the world to create a dynamic interactive desktop video avatar for Axe Body Spray. 

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Founding Partner
Brent Wees

Brent has been a thought-leader in the North American automotive marketing landscape for almost 20 years where he drove digital strategies, nurtured new business and cultivated client relationships across all three tiers of the industry. His digital acumen and passion for education has pushed him to help create the first digital conference with the Trillium Automotive Dealers Association as well as his participation on several automotive advisory boards where he advised members on innovation, technology and digital transformation.  

 

Widely known for his energetic, comedic and uniquely engaging presentation style, Brent is a much sought-after keynote speaker around the globe who writes on a regular basis for publications in North America and Europe. He is a passionate consultant and advocate for digital transformation in the automotive industry.   

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Founding Partner
Paolo Frescura

Paolo holds a chemistry degree from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Schulich, which is why he is uniquely qualified as a Venture Investment portfolio manager and Business Strategist who wants to understand the science behind the innovations of the technology companies that he evaluates. He has provided business development and investment services across North America, Columbia, Chile and Argentina. 

 

Paolo has taught graduate courses in Corporate Finance and Strategic Consulting and he has been responsible for evaluating and investing over $30 million for his clients in the past few years alone. His background provides Catalytic with exceptional financial experience to allow our team to source, screen and prioritise deals, conduct due diligence, and negotiate valuation and investments with founders and their companies.

Founding Partner
Susan Gubasta

President and CEO of Mississauga Toyota, the first female President of the Trillium Automotive Dealers Association (TADA) and the 2020 President of the Canadian Autoshow, Susan is a respected thought leader throughout the automotive industry. Susan graduated from the National Automobile Dealers Association and is an active investor in technology companies that maintain a focus within the automotive industry.

 

Susan is also a serving board member for the Canadian Automobile Dealers Association where she focuses her efforts toward education on innovation and technology transforming the sector. Susan was responsible for helping develop the first digital dealer conference for the TADA and works diligently to increase awareness and involvement of opportunities for women in the automotive sector, founding Women Driven as a vehicle to increase diversity.

Founding Partner
Niel Hiscox

President of Universus Media Group and the Publisher of Canadian Auto Dealer magazine, Niel is a journalist and author who has been covering the automotive industry for over two decades. His deep experience has placed Niel as a leading subject matter expert and internationally recognized speaker in media, branding, marketing and automotive.

 

Niel has been responsible for technology platform integrations across all three tiers of automotive, working with some of the leading automotive brands to improve their content and marketing strategies to help them future-proof their brand. His experience evaluating and integrating technology has led to him becoming an active investor in technology companies. 

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Founding Partner
Shawn Wells

Shawn brings over twenty years of experience working in the advertising industry, having worked for Saatchi & Saatchi, MacLaren McCann, Dashboard and Due North as a Creative Director and Marketing Director. Shawn has earned multiple international awards for his work on CIBC, Diagio, Heineken, the NFL, H&R Block, Toyota, General Motors, P&G and Sporting Life. 

 

Shawn is a brand and marketing expert who understands how difficult it can be as an entrepreneur, because he's also a partner and investor in several companies that include a distillery and network platform built to help entrepreneurs find capital and human resources. Shawn understands that many entrepreneurs face a marketing and sales gap, which is why he works hard to make a measurable difference in their branding and marketing to help them to scale.

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Founding Partner
Mark Fryer

Mark is a lawyer and partner with Loopstra Nixon who has been working with the Trillium Automotive Dealers Association as well as providing advice and guidance for Dealerships across Canada. Mark practices employment, labour (union), human rights, occupational health and safety and OMVIC law by providing both litigation and corporate/commercial advice and representation to small to large size businesses, corporations, and associations. 

 

Mark has advised and represented multiple clients on several mergers/ acquisitions in excess of $100 million. He is a passionate advocate for the automotive industry and speaks regularly about policy and law in the automotive sector. Mark understands how quickly the industry is evolving and has become a respected industry expert that the industry can turn to for advice and direction.

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Founding Partner
Brad Rome

Brad is a seasoned c-suite executive with extensive automotive experience gained during his tenure working in Advertising agencies and during his role as past-President of Canadian Black Book and former Marketing Director for Daewoo Automotive. Brad is an outstanding strategist who is able to deliver superior revenue and profit growth in highly competitive business environments.

 

Brad is an inventive and results driven executive credited with creating strong business plans, providing sales and marketing management, and implementing organizational leadership processes. Highly respected in the automotive industry, Brad brings his extensive experience in scaling technology companies and understanding the needs of all three tiers of automotive to Catalytic.

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Toronto, ON

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