Our Team

Our team is here to support innovators in every step of the way to grow and succeed.

Gay Yuyitung

Gay Yuyitung

Gay Yuyitung

Acting Director

Gay Yuyitung is the Acting Director at The Forge and Executive Director of McMaster Industry Liaison Office (MILO). Gay has negotiated license agreements to transfer technology from the university to both large multinationals, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises. Gay has also represented the university on the board and provided management support for several McMaster startups and not-for-profit organizations, including ProSensus, Turnstone Biologicals, and Triumvira, as well as the Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization (CPDC). She assists faculty and companies with obtaining government grants or seed investments to support commercialization. Prior to joining MILO, she has had experience with marketing at MDS Nordion and price reimbursement at Eli Lilly. Gay has her PhD in chemistry from the University of British Columbia and an MBA from McMaster.

Gay YuyitungGay's LinkedIn Profile
Mariya Leslie headshot

Mariya Leslie

Mariya Leslie

Manager of Student Entrepreneurship

Mariya Leslie is the Manager of Student Entrepreneurship at McMaster University, where she focuses on helping campus entrepreneurs launch and grow their startups. Originally from Ukraine, Mariya is now a proud Hamiltonian whose mission is to help build and strengthen the local entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem. Prior to her role at McMaster, Mariya led the operations of Altitude Accelerator, Peel Region’s hub for innovative technology startups. Mariya received a Master of Biotechnology from the University of Toronto and an Honours Bachelor of Science from the University of Waterloo.

Mariya LeslieMariya's LinkedIn Profile
Marissa Principato Headshot

Marissa Principato

Marissa Principato

Marketing & Communications Manager

Marissa Principato is the Marketing and Communications Manager for The Forge. She is responsible for developing, implementing and evaluating the marketing and communication efforts of The Forge. She facilitates a variety of student-focused events and programs through The Forge, including Startup Survivor and McMaster’s Entrepreneurship Week.

A proud McMaster Alumni with an Honours Bachelor of Commerce, Marissa is passionate about helping other McMaster students achieve their startup dreams at The Forge.

Marissa PrincipatoMarissa's LinkedIn Profile
Sarah Hodge headshot

Sarah Hodge

Sarah Hodge

Program Coordinator 

Sarah Hodge is the Program Coordinator for The Forge. Sarah is The Forge’s office and finance manager, overseeing daily operations with a keen interest in the future of the workforce and how AI will impact it. Sarah is passionate about helping entrepreneurs and team members achieve their goals through hard work and dedication.

Prior to joining The Forge, Sarah worked in student facing roles at the DeGroote School of Business. Her passion for technology and the future of work inspired her to pivot her career towards the startup world, where she can make a meaningful impact in shaping the future of work.

Sarah HodgeSarah's LinkedIn Profile
Marwan Genena headshot

Marwan Genena

Marwan Genena

Communications Assistant

Marwan Genena is the Communications Assistant for The Forge. Marwan supports a variety of marketing tasks including digital marketing, graphic design, and communications. Pursuing an Honours Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Computer Science at McMaster University, Marwan brings his passion for entrepreneurship to his role. With expertise in external communications and impactful digital media strategies, he actively contributes to enhancing The Forge’s vibrant community.

When he’s not crafting marketing campaigns, Marwan enjoys hikes and exploring his culinary skills. Through his technical knowledge and innovative mindset, he is excited to play a vital role in empowering startups and making The Forge an even more remarkable environment.

Marwan GenenaMarwan's LinkedIn Profile
Celine Masrajian Headshot

Celine Masrajian

Celine Masrajian

Program Support Assistant

Celine Masrajian is The Forge’s Program Support Assistant. Celine assists the finance team in budget reconciliation in addition to her role conducting research projects to foster the development of new programs. She is a fourth-year Economics student at McMaster University.

Celine MasrajianCeline's LinkedIn Profile
Jessica Rudden

Jessica Rudden

Jessica Rudden

Program Coordinator (On Leave)

Jessica is The Forge’s office & finance manager and ensures that operations run smoothly. She joined The Forge back in 2015 as one of the first team members and is proud to have helped form The Forge into the successful program it is today. She believes everyone should spend their lives doing what sets their soul on fire and she is delighted to support entrepreneurs doing just that. Prior to her role at The Forge, Jessica specialized in sales in both the hospitality and retail sectors.

Jessica RuddenJessica's LinkedIn Profile