In Memoriam: Shelley Jones
It is with profound sadness that we share with our members the passing of our dear friend, Shelley Jones. Shelley was an IPIC Fellow and longtime member of the institute for over 22 years, a former member of the IPIC team, and our ongoing EDI Project Consultant. In every capacity and in every role she took on she soared and led by example with grace, professionalism, and optimism. Optimism, that along with her kind spirit, were contagious and an inspiration to all those around her.
The entire IPIC team wishes to extend our sincere condolences to her family and to her wonderful husband Christopher and son Matthew who she spoke of often. Her love and pride for them as well as her devotion was apparent with every word she spoke and the stories she would share.
“I first met Shelley at an INTA event on Parliament Hill in 2017. I was drawn to her infectious giggle and never-ending smile. We became quick friends and lunch buddies. At the time I could never have imagined working with someone of her caliber, but fate intervened and after parting ways with Blackberry, I was somehow able to convince Shelley to work for IPIC in what I could only describe as a philanthropic role for someone with her skillset. I quickly realized that Shelley was not only extremely talented, she was also a workhorse. She produced like no one I’d ever come across in my professional career. And by seeing each other day in and day out at the office, our friendship grew more than I could have ever imagined. We often described each other as our respective ‘partners in crime’ as we attended trip after trip, and government meeting after meeting together for the next couple years. Even when she left for the National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF), she hosted me in DC at the USPTO and dinners with the induction ceremonies of the NIHF. During that period we often discussed her renting the vacant office space on the floor beside IPIC for the establishment of NIHF Canada. After NIHF shut down Canadian operations during the pandemic, we continued to connect over phone calls and lunches to maintain our friendship. It was during one of those lunches that we came up with the idea of writing a grant application to fund IPIC’s goal of doing more for EDI related work for the profession. In this final stretch of her incredible career, Shelley did what she always does, she hit it out of the park. IPIC was awarded a $500,000 grant, and her work to manage the project has been lauded by IPIC members, government, and stakeholders alike. While I’ll miss Shelley as a colleague, I cannot adequately express how much I will miss Shelley as a friend. Gone, but never forgotten. RIP Shelley Jones.”
– Adam Kingsley, IPIC CEO.
Shelley was a licensed Trademark Agent and Lawyer and had an incredible and exciting career. Shelley’s journey in the Intellectual Property (IP) profession started out in various firms in both the Ottawa and Kingston areas providing litigation support, and soon after became a Registered Trademark Agent at Borden Ladner Gervais. Following an internship with Yahoo!, in her final year of law school, she articled at Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh. After she was called to the Ontario Bar in 2010 she then joined Blackberry as Senior In-House Legal Counsel (Trademarks and Brand Enforcement).
Shelley joined IPIC as a member in 2001 and served as Chair of IPIC’s Internet Committee (Domain Names and Trademarks) from 2002 to 2007. She also served as a valued member of other IPIC Committees including the Anti-Counterfeiting Committee, Professional Regulation Committee, Public Awareness Committee, Trademarks Committee, and the Indigenous IP Policy Committee. Additionally, she was also a member of IPIC’s Women in IP Community (WING) and the Corporate Practitioners Community.
In 2017 she joined IPIC’s senior management team as our Director of Stakeholder Relations where she created and led IPIC’s first Stakeholder Relations program. During her time as a member of the IPIC team Shelley collaborated with IBM to negotiate a partnership to develop an IP curriculum for IBM’s “STEM For Girls.” In addition, she also created IP awareness curriculum for students from junior kindergarten to grade 8, and for high-school and university students. She then lobbied the federal and provincial education ministers on IP curriculum for Canadian schools. Shelley also established partnerships for IPIC with Startup Canada, Canadian Chamber of Commerce, National Inventors Hall of Fame, Assembly of First Nations, Export Development Canada, Business Development Canada, First Institute of Canadian Inventors, Spark Niagara, Centre for International Governance Innovation, among others.
In 2018 Shelley was recruited by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)'s National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF) to serve as Vice President Canada where she created the first-ever Canadian STEM and Intellectual property after-school enrichment camps for kids from kindergarten to grade 6. The camps were branded “Camp Invention” after their US counterpart but featured Canadian content and included Canadian IP professionals as mentors and counsellors and were offered to underprivileged communities in select Canadian cities.
When NIHF suspended Canadian operations due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Shelley founded her own company Cedarwing Inc. and rejoined IPIC as our EDI Project Consultant and helped IPIC secure and manage federal funding of over $500,000 from Women and Gender Equality Canada (WAGE)’s Feminist Response and Recovery Fund to promote Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) within the IP profession. The project was launched as Building Back Through Innovation & Increasing Diversity in Canada’s IP Sector. Shelley also co-authored IPIC’s Blueprint for Inclusion: An Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Action Plan and supported the development of IPIC’s first of its kind EDI Survey. She also collaborated in the execution of IPIC’s EDI Roundtables, Focus Groups and Listening Sessions to discuss key EDI issues for the IP profession. In her ongoing role with IPIC her efforts also focused on EDI outreach and building partnerships with several organizations including Pathways to Education, Junior Achievement Canada and other organizations that help develop EDI resources for the IP profession, such as Global Learning Inc., and Gridfern HR. Shelley also connected IPIC to her vast personal network of partners with vested interests in advancing IP awareness to equity-deserving communities such as Kwe Biz, Linking Ventures, Northern College and many others. Beyond her role in IP Shelley also served as a Board Member for the Children's Aid Foundation of Ottawa from 2018 to 2021.
“In 2021 when Shelley rejoined the IPIC team as our EDI Project Consultant I knew immediately that I would be working alongside one of the brightest, most passionate, and hardest working women I had ever come across in my career. Shelley loved the work, the thrill of new partnerships, and achieving meaningful engagement leading to positive and lasting change. We worked together daily for nearly two years knowing that together we were doing good for the IP profession and for communities that would benefit from our work. On two trips we took together, we shared life experiences, discussed our families and goals and we knew that were more than colleagues, we were friends. Shelley inspired and mentored without intent, she had a funny way of providing guidance and support with humour and humility. I am missing my daily interactions with her; her quirkiness, her sense of humour and her friendship is what I will miss the most. To my friend Shelley, thank you.”
– Loreto Lamb, Director of Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion, and Stakeholder Relations.
Shelley, we thank you for everything you gave to IPIC and every role you played in the continued success of this organization, but most importantly, thank you for your friendship and for everything you taught us. We will cherish all of our countless memories of you and your incredible contributions to this organization and its members, and will continue the great work you dedicated yourself to as we know you would have wanted.
Visitation and funeral for Shelley will take place tomorrow Saturday April 15th at 1:00pm in Haliburton, ON. For further details and to view Shelley’s full obituary please click here.
Any members who would like to provide us with any photos or remarks they would like us to share with her family you are welcome to do so and can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.