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Languages & Cultures Business Forum

Date: Tuesday, February 11, 2020

600 x 300

Languages & Cultures Business Forum:

Building a bridge to domestic and international success




4:30  Visit booths

BOOTHS: Bangladesh Community Association Of Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia Interpreting Services, Canadian Parents for French, ISANS, Université Sainte-Anne CLIC Program, Alliance Française

5:30  Panel presentation

7:00  Cash bar reception


See bios below.

Jean-Paul Deveau (HonDoc'15)

President and CEO, Acadian Seaplants Limited

Bassima Jurdak-O’Brien C. Trans. ATINS, CTTIC, FIT

General Manager, Arabesque Translation Inc.

Malcolm Butler PhD

Vice-President, Academic and Research, Saint Mary’s University

Nishka Rajesh

Program Coordinator, Halifax Partnership

Joseph Daniel

General Manager of Cresco




Jean-Paul Deveau est président et chef de la direction de Les Algues Acadiennes Ltée, une entreprise familiale dont le siège social est en Nouvelle Ecosse.

L`entreprise de biotechnologie est le plus grand fabricant indépendant de produits de plantes marines de ce type dans le monde. Ses activités se concentrent principalement dans la récolte et gestion durable d’algues sauvages, de la culture de plantes marines uniques et la fabrication de produits innovateurs destinés aux humains, animaux et à l`agriculture dans plus de 80 pays. Elle exploite six installations de traitement dans le Canada atlantique, en Irlande et en Écosse. Elle emploie 400 personnes dans 14 pays, dont 35 scientifiques - 15 titulaires d’un doctorat.

Les Algues Acadiennes Ltée a reçu une reconnaissance importante de la part de gouvernements et de l’industrie pour ses innovations et ses réalisations dans les domaines de la science et de la technologie, gestion environnementale, éthique en affaires, la sécurité au travail, excellence en matière d’exportation et son service à la communauté. La société a aussi été reconnue comme unes des mieux gérées au Canada depuis 18 ans.

Jean-Paul Deveau a été président de BioNova (Association des industries des sciences de la vie de la Nouvelle-Écosse) et ancien membre du conseil d’administration des Manufacturiers et Exportateurs du Canada (chapitre de la Nouvelle-Écosse). Il est membre du conseil consultatif du doyen de la faculté de l’agriculture de l’Université Dalhousie. Il a été président des Jeux d’hiver du Canada de 2011 à Halifax et a été membre de la coalition OneNS.

Jean-Paul Deveau a été installé au Temple de la renommée des entreprises de la Nouvelle-Écosse et a reçu deux diplômes de doctorat honorifique. Il s’est vu décerner le prix inaugural Spirit of Halifax de Destination Halifax et a été nommé ``Personne d`affaire` de l’année par la Chambre de Commerce de Halifax. Il a reçu le prix national d’excellence `Eco et Social` dans le Prix de l’entrepreneur de l’année de Ernst & Young et a été nommé Entrepreneur de l’année de la région de l’Atlantique dans le secteur des sciences de la santé.


Jean-Paul Deveau is the President and CEO of Acadian Seaplants Limited, a biotech company and the largest independent manufacturer of marine plant products of its type in the world. It is engaged primarily in the sustainable harvesting of wild seaweeds and in the cultivation of unique marine plants for the development of products for people, animals and plants. Acadian Seaplants exports to over 80 countries, operates six processing facilities in Atlantic Canada, Ireland and Scotland, employs 400 people in 14 countries, including 35 scientists - 15 with PhDs.

Acadian Seaplants has received significant government and industry recognition for its innovation, accomplishments in science & technology, management, environmental stewardship, business ethics, safety, export excellence and community service. His company has been one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies for 18 consecutive years.

Jean-Paul Deveau is a past chair of BioNova (the Nova Scotia Life Sciences Industry Association) and a past member of the Board of the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (Nova Scotia Chapter). He is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council, Dalhousie University’s Faculty of Agriculture. He was Chair of the 2011 Canada Winter Games in Halifax and served as a member of the OneNS Coalition.

Jean-Paul Deveau was inducted in the Nova Scotia Business Hall of Fame, has received two Honourary Doctorate Degrees, awarded the inaugural Spirit of Halifax Award from Destination Halifax and named the Halifax Chamber of Commerce Business Person of the Year. He was awarded the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award’s National Citation for Eco and Social Excellence and named an Atlantic Region’s Entrepreneur of the Year in the Health Sciences Sector.



Dr. Malcolm Butler was appointed Vice-President, Academic and Research, effective July 1, 2017. Since returning to Saint Mary’s, he has made a priority of supporting and growing Saint Mary’s partnerships with other universities and agencies (local and global) in ways that are mutually beneficial.
Dr. Butler was the Dean of Science and a professor in the Department of Physics at Carleton University from 2010 to 2017. Under his leadership, the Faculty of Science made significant progress in developing new programs, increasing enrolment, attracting external funding, and advancing and building a stronger research profile.

Prior to his role at Carleton, Dr. Butler spent 17 years as a professor in the Department of Astronomy and Physics at Saint Mary’s. A tireless advocate for Saint Mary’s University, he was Dean of the Faculty of Science from 2006 to 2010 and Department Chairperson from 2003 to 2006.

Malcolm Butler received his PhD in Theoretical Nuclear Physics from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in 1988 and his honours B.Sc. in Theoretical Physics and Applied Math from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, graduating summa cum laude in 1983. Prior to arriving at Saint Mary’s in 1993, he worked as a research associate with TRIUMF National Laboratory and as an assistant professor and research scientist with the Department of Physics at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.



Nishka is a young alumni from Saint Mary’s University who graduated with a BA in Psychology. She speaks five languages and has lived in three countries, making her passionate about diversity related topics. She is also passionate about supporting immigrants and young grads in their professional career journey. Nishka’s position at Halifax Partnership helps her do just this. Her position connects the groups mentioned above (connectees) to established professionals in Halifax (connectors). This helps connectees build networks while the connector gains access to a wealth of diverse, pre-qualified talent.



Whether at work or in his volunteer life, Joseph is passionate about building vibrant communities in Nova Scotia. A natural entrepreneur, he is a Chartered Professional Accountant with a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Saint Mary’s University. Joseph has worked as General Manager for Cresco, a leading home construction, land development and investment property company, since 2001. He has worked as Accountant, Controller, Director of Finance, and in other financial/accounting roles for a variety of companies, as well as working as a Lecturer at Saint Mary’s University for Introductory Accounting courses. He is a volunteer in a number of associations, including business, cultural, religious, and political organizations. He is a Director and a former President of the Urban Development Institute of Nova Scotia; he has volunteered for over 25 years as a Director of the Canadian Lebanon Society of Halifax, where he has held the positions of President, Treasurer, and Trustee, and he currently sits as Director; he was a member of the Executive Leadership Committee of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada (Atlantic Chapter) in support of Light the Night Walk Halifax; he was a member of the Breakthrough Breakfast Committee for the Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation; and he chaired the Property Prospects Committee for Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Catholic Church. He is also a former Director of the Nova Scotia Construction Safety Association. Joseph lives in Dartmouth with his lovely wife, Dr. Jocelyne Faddoul, and their (very!) active sons, Jonas and Jordan.



Bassima Jurdak-O’Brien is the President and founder of Arabesque Translation Inc. O/A Access Language Services, a translation and interpretation agency that has customers in Canada and the Arab Gulf Region. It is the main service provider of legal and medical interpreters in the province of Nova Scotia.

Bassima is a Nova Scotia Department of Justice (DOJ) accredited interpreter, the first Certified English - Arabic translator in the Maritime provinces, at the provincial and national level, and former President of the Association of Translators and Interpreters of Nova Scotia (ATINS).

An experienced translator and interpreter with more than 15 years of combined experience in the legal and medical field, Bassima has completed the Masters Degree course Program of Translation at Saint Joseph University of Beirut, Lebanon and holds a Graduate Diploma in Management from University of Montreal, and a diploma in legal interpretation from NSCC. She is an Interpreter Language and Skills Assessment Tool (ILSAT) certified and speaks three languages. 

She is very active in the Nova Scotia translation and interpretation community and a strong advocate for title protection, certification, and training for interpreters and translators.


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