Managing Partners

Cathy Bennett

Founding and Managing Partner

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Cathy Bennett

Founding and Managing Partner

As a former CEO, seasoned entrepreneur, current board director and consultant, and as a prominent business-person in Newfoundland, Cathy’s focus is growth. With over 30 years of business leadership, her own company, Bennett Group of Companies, included operations in commercial and industrial construction, industrial manufacturing, human resource support, food service, industrial supply and real estate investments and operations. Cathy is past chair of TaskForce NL. Cathy serves/has served on public, private and crown corporation boards spanning diverse industries. Cathy is an active angel investor and mentor for early-stage technology companies.
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Rhiannon Davies

Founding and Managing Partner

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Rhiannon Davies

Founding and Managing Partner

A native of New Brunswick, Rhiannon’s business leadership spans Europe, Asia, South and North America. She was on the Board of Directors that took GrandVision N.V., a CAD$ 5.5 Billion revenue retailer with businesses in 45 countries, through a successful IPO on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange. Rhiannon has driven the target identification, due diligence, acquisition, integration and move to profitability of many companies. She thrives in fast moving, fast growth environments, and works in executive and board roles in private, public and non-profit organizations.  Rhiannon believes in the need to support entrepreneurship and innovation to deliver meaningful change in business, community, and social development. She actively supports this belief by serving as a mentor and angel investor.
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Sarah young

Founding and Managing Partner

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Sarah young

Founding and Managing Partner

Sarah Young is an entrepreneur, a business leader and one of Canada’s most sought-after communications advisors. She is Partner and Senior Counsel Managing Partner at NATIONAL Public Relations, Canada’s leading PR firm. Previously Sarah was Managing Partner responsible for Atlantic Canada at NATIONAL and she also led the corporate talent strategy across the global network for AVENIR GLOBAL, one of the world’s 15 largest communications companies. Sarah helps private and public organizations across Canada tackle complex challenges ranging from industry disruptors, the modernized workplace, gaining social license, shifting consumer attitudes, scaling business into new markets and investment attraction. She is specifically committed to building advisor networks and investment opportunities for women in ventures. Sarah bought her first company at 28 and sold it to NATIONAL after significant growth and expansion. Prior to returning to Atlantic Canada, Sarah was Vice President, Technology of an international public relations firm based in Toronto focused on start-ups.
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Our Team

Sandpiper Ventures is founded by a group of intensely engaged, highly experienced, internationally networked women with deep expertise and proven leadership across several industries and services. We came together with a shared vision to radically disrupt the venture capital landscape, deliver social change and economic value, and ensure fair representation of women’s innovation.

Steven Carr

CFO

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Steven Carr

CFO

Steven Carr is a Chartered Professional Accountant with over 25 years of experience in the fields of diverse tax, finance and business consulting. Over these years, he has connected with over 500 companies, providing advice and support to successfully reach their unique objectives. Steven began his career as a senior manager in business banking with RBC Royal Bank. Further enhancing his experience in financial services, he spent 2 years at CIBC World Markets before transitioning to Deloitte LLP in 2005. In 2016, Steven started his own private practice, with a focus on start-up companies in the IT and Bio-Sciences space, to provide fractional CFO, tax advice and support his client to claim the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (“SR&ED”) tax credits. Steven has also worked with a number of local Venture Capital firms who have invested in the start-up sector by providing advice on accounting and due diligence. Steven obtained his Chartered Professional Accountant designation in 2004, received his MBA(Finance) from Saint Mary’s and holds a Bachelor of Arts(History) from Dalhousie University. He is a member of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Nova Scotia.
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Tara Wickwire

Brand and Network Lead

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Tara Wickwire

Brand and Network Lead

As a celebrated brand strategist, Tara has curated company, consumer and executive brands across sectors and industries. She has worked with food tech startup Outcast Foods, where she has led marketing, brand communications and strategic positioning for the company, charting their leadership in food waste mitigation and developing global channels for the company's upcycled products. Prior to Outcast she was Associate Vice President, Marketing and Brand Strategy at NATIONAL Public Relations, Canada’s leading Public Relations firm. She specialized in brand and media strategy, event marketing and executive profile building and communications. As part of this, she worked with executives in helping them define their personal brand, share their vision with a broader audience and bring a human story to their business. Tara is passionate about encouraging leaders to think more critically about their values, vision and voice while establishing them as industry experts and influencers in their own right. She is a former board member of Propel and current board member of Brilliant Labs.
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Tope Salawudeen

Senior Analyst

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Tope Salawudeen

Senior Analyst

Prior to joining Sandpiper Ventures, Tope has worked in across a range of investment management roles. She has worked in private equity, venture capital, and traditional finance and has led engagements in the end-to-end prospective investment deal activities. She has a background in due diligence and deal structuring for companies at different stages of operation, and an ability to evaluate and analyze investment opportunities. Tope has an in-depth understanding of business operations, driving value generation, and growth optimization. She has a Master’s Degree in Investment Management from Temple University and an undergraduate degree in Banking and Finance from Covenant University in Nigeria. She is also pursuing her CFA designation and has completed level II.
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Ben Blackmore

CLO

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Ben Blackmore

CLO

Born and raised in central Newfoundland and Labrador, Ben joined the Sandpiper team in 2021 as external legal counsel. Ben is a partner at the law firm of Blackmore Law office in central Newfoundland where he practices in the areas of commercial real estate, marine law, general corporate/commercial law and business sales and acquisitions. He has been practicing at Blackmore Law office since 2005, prior to which he articled and practiced as an associate lawyer at the law firm of Davies Ward Philips & Vineberg LLP in Toronto, ON. Ben received his law degree from the University of Victoria in British Columbia where he was awarded the gold medal for top marks in his graduating class. When not practicing law, Ben enjoys reading, the outdoors and all manner of sports. Ben is an active member of his community; he previously served on the Board of the South & Central Health Foundation, the last 3 years as Chair, and was a board member of the Winterset in Summer Literacy Festival. At present he is coaching the local Grade 9 boys basketball team.

Mark Fraser

CSO

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Mark Fraser

CSO

Mark Fraser is an accomplished, award-winning executive that has worked inside of some of North America’s most recognizable brands. He is an alum of both Mount Allison University (1994) and Harvard Business School (2011). An entrepreneur at heart, he has most recently traded executive leadership in one of North America’s largest applied data services organizations for the intimacy of independent advisory at 440park, through which he is providing fractional portfolio engagement services to Sandpiper Ventures. Mark has fiduciary board experience that spans private, community, and public sector organizations. Mark is former Chair of the Executive Committee of the Mount Allison University Board of Regents, Lead Independent Director at HomeEXCEPT, Independent Director at Oberland Agriscience, Director at Alpine Nova Scotia, and Past Chair of the Halifax Chamber of Commerce. Mark also serves on several non-governing boards including Engage Nova Scotia Business Advisory Council; the Dalhousie MBA Advisory Council and recently was a member of the Mayor’s Poverty Solutions Advisory Committee in Halifax.
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Lynn Coveyduck

Operations

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Lynn Coveyduck

Operations

Lynn's Dad would say she can't keep a job...she says she's just interested in too many different things. Over the course of her career, Lynn has led a non-profit, tackled challenging media issues such as strikes and lay-offs, built new lines of revenue in the post-secondary industry, and managed an economic development team's province-wide response to COVID-19 in its early days. At the same time, she's raised funds to build a new YMCA and the Margaret Norrie McCain Centre at MSVU, mentored students, entrepreneurs, and new Nova Scotians, been on a Chamber of Commerce task force, and helped plan provincial legs of national conferences (twice). And she's also the only Duke MBA graduate in Atlantic Canada (as far as she knows - if you're a Blue Devil, get in touch). Now she's stepped into the VC realm, using her strategic management skills to align our work and ensure founders and investors are given the custom, thoughtful Sandpiper treatment they won't get anywhere else.
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