The PIER Team

Centre for Port Development and Innovation

David Thomas

Executive Director

As Executive Director of the PIER, David is responsible to engage, connect, manage, and facilitate PIER member collaboration, with the aim of solving challenging and complex problems within the transportation, supply chain and logistics sectors, leveraging initiatives and projects through PIER member led engagement and research.

David has spent 15 years working in economic development, environmental science and tourism in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the UK. Before joining The PIER, he worked in the provincial business and economic development agency specializing in innovation, corporate strategy, investment attraction, transportation & logistics, ocean technology and defence, and manufacturing.

He holds a Master of Business Administration (University of New Brunswick), a B.Sc. in Environmental Science and a PGCE in Education (both University of East Anglia, UK), as well as a PMP from the Project Management Institute. After moving to Canada in 2009, David chose Halifax as his home, and greatly enjoys taking advantage of Nova Scotia's hiking trails and coastal paths. He has twin nine year-old girls, a Welsh Springer Spaniel and three rescue cats.

Ryan Grant

Operations Lead & Manager of Projects

As Operations Lead & Manager of Projects for The PIER, Ryan is working to implement and facilitate innovative solutions to complex project challenges involving PIER members, the HPA, and external stakeholders. He's responsible for day-to-day operations, member, event, and partner engagement, and facilities management. Ryan is With a passion for the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem, Ryan has held positions with multiple Innovation Hubs across Nova Scotia including Ignite ATLANTIC and Volta, where Ryan was project lead for the building of Volta’s 60,000 square foot innovation space. Ryan studied at Cape Breton University and Université Sainte-Anne. He also has a passion for sports such as hockey and golf and has been an active volunteer with Feed Nova Scotia for several years.

Sherry Scully, BEd, MBA, PHD

Director of Workforce Development

Dr. Sherry Scully is the Director of Workforce Development at The PIER. Sherry has more than two decades of experience conducting primary research and contributing to literature, resources, and strategy and program development related to workforces in evolving industries and those in transformation.

In her current role with The PIER, she is examining barriers to entry to port careers, for under-represented workers. She will consider the growth and evolution of the transportation industry and the implications that has for our regional and national workforce.

Sherry holds an interdisciplinary PhD in social psychology and management from Dalhousie University, as well as an MBA and two degrees in Education. A strong advocate for learning, Sherry volunteers with educational development efforts internationally, and in her spare time can be found snorkeling in the ocean or wandering a mountain top - exploring sea to sky!

Eddy Carvery III

Workforce Development Implementation Lead

As the PIER's Implementation Lead, Eddy is developing and executing a strategy to engage underrepresented workers in the transportation, supply chain, and logistics industries. As a member of the African Nova Scotian community, much of his work focuses on engaging youth, mid-career talent, and entrepreneurs from the ANS community, in port and port-adjacent careers. Eddy is also working with the Workforce Development team to implement awareness building programs, youth-oriented initiatives, a work integrated learning program, and recruitment strategies targeting diverse talent

Eddy is the grandson and namesake of the longest active civil rights protestor in North American history. He spent the majority of his life living, learning and growing on the lands where the community of Africville once stood. His experiences from such a remarkable time in history have shaped him to become a small business owner, co-host and co-creator of an award winning podcast, community advocate/activist as well as a consultant.

When he is not working or on the front lines he spends the majority of his time trying to be a positive role model for his three children. Eddy is an avid sports fan, when he does not have his laptop or book in his hand, he is either watching or playing basketball.

Emma Ross

Communications & Programming Coordinator

In her role Emma develops and implements communications materials and strategies and provides support for events and programming for The PIER on behalf of the Halifax Port Authority’s Communications Team. Emma is a graduate of both MSVU and NSCC, and brings experience in communications, marketing, human resources, and arts administration to the team having worked in a wide variety of industries, most recently in marine energy.
She’s involved in her community and spends most of her time in the great outdoors.

Karra York

Administrative Assistant

Karra joined the team at The PIER in the summer of 2022. Her educational background is in Medical Office Administration. She has over ten years in the administrative field and has prior experience through various industries including healthcare, insurance, recruitment, and education. Karra plays an active role in The PIER’s day-to-day operations. Her enthusiastic attitude and professional dedication are a great addition to The PIER family.
In her spare time, she likes to travel, read, and do bit of gardening. Baking is in her bones, and she will always have something delicious to bring in to her colleagues.