The PIER Team

Centre for Port Development and Innovation

Andrew Black Executive Director at The PIER

Andrew Black

Executive Director

Andrew is the Executive Director of The PIER and heads up the innovation agenda for the Port of Halifax, focusing primarily on collaborative initiatives with customers, partners, and stakeholders. Since joining the port in 2015, Andrew has led the launch of a Port Operations Centre, the Terminal Traffic Monitoring System, and has led an information management strategy. More recently he has led a Digital Roadmap, created an innovation framework for the Port. Prior to joining the Port, Andrew worked for a consultancy, working extensively with the Maritime sector. He also worked in marketing, teaching and the provincial government. He studied at Mount Allison University and then did a teaching degree at the University College of London. He is an avid lover of performing arts and is heavily involved in his community.

Ryan Grant

Operations Lead

As operations lead for The PIER, Ryan is responsible for day-to-day operations, member, event, and partner engagement, and facilities management. 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.

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.