About Us

prepare for Transition

Sheepdog Strategies Ltd., helps agri-business and agri-food business owners plan and implement a successful transition in ownership of their business. Sheepdog also helps the Boards of agricultural industry organizations (i.e. producer representative, agricultural societies, and advocacy organizations) with succession planning.

We’ve seen how frustrating succession planning can be. Growing up on a farm in New Zealand Alastair witnessed fights between siblings over the family farm or business based on what was ‘fair’. But he didn’t realise how many other issues there were with business transitions until he started searching for a business to buy and operate in Alberta.

Alastair and Anna have encountered many business owners whose business legacies have resulted in infighting among family members leading to businesses selling in a fire sale or closing completely. We know there is a better way, so we created Sheepdog Strategies to help business owners achieve the transition they want.

prepare for Transition

Sheepdog Strategies Ltd., helps agri-business and agri-food business owners plan and implement a successful transition in ownership of their business. Sheepdog also helps the Boards of agricultural industry organizations (i.e. producer representative, agricultural societies, and advocacy organizations) with succession planning.

We’ve seen how frustrating succession planning can be. Growing up on a farm in New Zealand Alastair witnessed fights between siblings over the family farm or business based on what was ‘fair’. But he didn’t realise how many other issues there were with business transitions until he started searching for a business to buy and operate in Alberta.

Alastair and Anna have encountered many business owners whose business legacies have resulted in infighting among family members leading to businesses selling in a fire sale or closing completely. We know there is a better way, so we created Sheepdog Strategies to help business owners achieve the transition they want.

We knew there was a better way and created Sheepdog Strategies to help business owners achieve the exit they want. 

Our Team

Sheepdog Strategies was founded by Anna De Paoli and Alastair Patterson to help business owners with one of their biggest challenges: the transition of business ownership. With a focus on the agricultural sector, Sheepdog Strategies offers a depth of knowledge and experience to help business owners visualize and plan for the transition in ownership of their business.

Alastair Patterson

Alastair Patterson

Partner, Sheepdog Strategies

Alastair grew up on a large sheep farm in New Zealand and has spent much of his career in the agricultural sector. This includes experience as the Agricultural Specialist at the US Embassy in Wellington and working as a Project Manager at Cervus Corporation in Calgary.

Alastair’s career has focused on improving businesses, including over 3 years as a management consultant in Deloitte’s Strategy and Operations practice. Alastair spent 18 months searching for a small business to buy and operate, and quickly saw the significant challenges facing business owners selling their business.

With the creation of Sheepdog Strategies with his partner Anna De Paoli, Alastair’s aim is to improve the experience of ownership transitions of agricultural businesses. His goal is to provide business owners with a variety of options, ones they perhaps did not consider, to drive a successful transition.  This involves preparing their business for succession, whether it’s a successful takeover by the next generation or finding the right third-party buyer. This is achieved through an integrated approach and understanding the challenges facing business owners.

   

Anna De Paoli

Anna De Paoli

Partner, Sheepdog Strategies

Anna grew up in business and has been involved in a wide range of sectors. From family run businesses such as food and beverage, agriculture, and commercial property, to large multinational oil and gas companies. She has extensive international experience having worked in Holland, Germany, and the U.K. before settling in Canada.

Anna is a Certified Management Consultant and in the past 8 years she has worked for a range of privately held businesses focussed on the agri-business sector.  Her aim is to help grow and maintain family business and increase rural prosperity. Her specialties are negotiation, contract development, and stimulating creative change.  She enjoys finding solutions to difficult problems and challenges.

She enjoys giving back with her board positions in the not-for-profit sector and by mentoring a range of commercial professionals.  Anna was recently awarded the Foothills Canada 150 medal for service in recognition of her volunteer work.

   

Shelia Carruthers

Shelia Carruthers

Senior Management Consultant, Sheepdog Strategies

Sheila has had a wide range of experience starting with an exciting career in banking in London, U.K., then in communications at the British Embassy and legal support at the International Finance Corporation in Washington D.C. Following this, she worked extensively in senior leadership positions with charitable foundations such as Canadian Pacific and Claridge Inc. For the past 14 years Sheila has been consulting and collaborating on a range of projects in the for- and not-for-profit sectors.

She specializes in board governance, corporate social responsibility, grants management, and community engagement. She is an educator with the University of Calgary’s continuing education faculty and a mentor for MBA students. In addition, Sheila teaches for the Canadian Association of Management Consultants and has volunteered on more than 10 boards. Sheila was awarded the CMC Alberta President’s Award for community service in 2015.

Sheila brings a wealth of tools and facilitation techniques to business owners via Sheepdog Strategies, helping businesses and Boards of Directors to deliver effective results.

   

Get in touch

We look forward to hearing from you!

CONTACT US DIRECTLY:

(403) 471-9491