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Paul Alofs, President and CEO, The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation
Since joining The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation as President and CEO in 2003, Paul has helped raise over $850 million for cancer research and clinical care at The Princess Margaret. The Foundation raises and stewards funds for The Princess Margaret, one of the top 5 cancer research centres in the world. In April 2012, Paul helped launch the Billion Dollar Challenge for Personalized Cancer Medicine.
Alofs’ career has been on a skyward trajectory since university. His resume includes Colgate-Palmolive Canada, The Marketing & Promotion Group, HMV Music Canada, President of BMG Music Canada, The Walt Disney Company, and President, Strategic Business Units for the launch of MP3.com.
Paul has received the Outstanding Progress and Achievement Award from the Schulich School of Business and was named Innovative Retailer of the Year by The Retail Council of Canada. In 2005, Alofs was inducted into the Canadian Marketing Hall of Legends. He was named one of Canada's Top 40 Under 40TM business leaders in 1995, and in 2005, was voted one of the ‘Best of the Best’ by his fellow Top 40 alumni. In 2007, The University of Windsor, his alma mater, awarded Paul an Honorary Ph.D.
Anna Petosa, VP, Talent, Pelmorex Media (home of The Weather Network)
In her current role as VP, Talent, Anna leads the people and culture initiatives for Pelmorex Media. This includes creating and leading talent acquisition, development and retention strategies. She is most passionate about building cultures that drive high engagement and deliver strong results.
Prior to joining Pelmorex Media in 2014, Anna gained more than 20 years of HR experience in diverse industries such as travel, consumer electronics, market research, music, book publishing and media.
Outside the office, Anna is committed to giving back to the community and lends her HR expertise to initiatives centred around homeless and at-risk youth to get them off the streets permanently as well as providing coaching and guidance to recent immigrants on employment related matters. Anna is passionate about her family, spending time at the cottage, eating wonderful food, travelling, and shopping (not always in that order).
Anna holds a BA from The University of Toronto and a Certificate in Human Resources from Seneca College. She is also a Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL).
Catherine Kloepfer, Senior Vice President Corporate Services and Chief Financial Officer, Winnipeg Airports Authority
Catherine Kloepfer joined the Winnipeg Airports Authority (WAA) in 2006 just as the major redevelopment of the Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport was getting started.
She is responsible for human resources, information technology, planning & analysis, purchasing & stores, finance, engineering, legal services and also acted as the Corporate Secretary. Catherine is responsible for managing the strategic planning process and other long-term initiatives.
Part of her responsibilities during the airport redevelopment project was the financing of the project and as such revenue bonds were issued to the market along with obtaining construction line financing. Key to the issuance of this debt was maintenance of excellent credit ratings with two agencies.
Prior to joining the WAA, Catherine was an Associate Partner in the assurance practice of the Winnipeg office of KPMG.
Catherine is a graduate of the University of Manitoba and has dedicated countless hours to community organizations over the course of her career.
Dany Paradis, Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, Yellow Pages Digital & Media Solutions Limited
Dany Paradis is Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer at Yellow Pages Digital & Media Solutions Limited. Mr. Paradis was appointed to this position in June 2014 and is responsible for leveraging the strengths of the HR team and focusing on the evolution of YP’s workforce while developing strategies that will instill an overall digital culture within the organization.
With more than 20 years of experience, Mr. Paradis holds an accomplished career as a human resources management, public affairs and supply chain executive having worked with a number of high-profile companies such as Fibrek, a pulp and paper Company, Adidas Group and Domtar.
Early in his career, Mr. Paradis also worked as a pension actuary consultant.
Dany Paradis holds a Bachelor of Actuarial Sciences degree from Laval University and is an Associate of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries and the Society of Actuaries. Mr. Paradis also completed an Advance Leadership Program from McGill University and is certified from the Institute of Corporate Directors.
Mr. Paradis has held several boards of director positions with foundations, associations and public company and is currently sitting on Supremex’s Board of Directors (“SXP.TO”). He is socially engaged and is involved in fund raising for supporting the research to fighting against pediatric cancer.
Mike Cordoba, CEO and Partner, Empresario Capital Partners
Mike Cordoba has 20 years of diverse business experience. He has managed a portfolio of public and private companies with $1 billion in total revenue in various industries including restaurants, retail, manufacturing and processing and real estate. In his executive capacity he has built companies from the ground up to become industry leaders in their segments. His expertise in M&A activity is highly regarded in the marketplace.
Mike was formerly Chief Executive Officer of Boston Pizza International Inc. Since joining the company in 1993, Mike held various senior management positions, including President and Chief Operating Officer, Executive Vice President and Vice President of Finance.
Prior to joining Boston Pizza International Inc., Mike served as Controller for Eye Masters Ltd.; a Vancouver, BC based super optical retail company, for three years. Prior to this, he worked in a public practice as a Chartered Accountant in Vancouver, British Columbia.
In 2001, he was named one of Canada's Top 40 Under 40-award recipients.
Mike is a Chartered Accountant and has a degree in Business Administration from Simon Fraser University. He keeps active in his community by participating in various local charity events.
Douglas Nelson, President and CEO, BC Cancer Foundation
Doug joined the BC Cancer Foundation in 2009. As the President & CEO of the BC Cancer Foundation, Doug Nelson is passionate about raising funds to support breakthrough research and enhancements to patient care exclusively at the BC Cancer Agency.
Doug feels strongly about the relevance of cancer to all British Columbians and the power of philanthropy to make a difference. As the largest charitable funder of cancer research in this province, the Foundation enables donors to make contributions to leading-edge research that have direct impacts on improvements to cancer care for patients.
Over the last six years the Foundation has raised more than $275 million to improve the lives of cancer patients in BC and beyond. With more than 115,000 annual donors the BC Cancer Foundation is uniquely positioned to change the face of cancer in the years to come.
Jeff Polovick, Founder, President and CEO, TDF Group Inc.
Jeff Polovick is the Founder, President and CEO of TDF Group Inc., which operates DRIVING FORCE, one of Canada’s largest independent vehicle rentals, sales and leasing companies, as well as Canada’s number one Hino truck group, Hino Central, Klondike Motors Inc., a GM dealership and Coach Auto Sales. Originally operating as Grove Rentals and Leasing beginning in 1978, Jeff worked out of a service station in Spruce Grove, exemplifying what it means to be an entrepreneur, doing everything from typing up contracts to cleaning vehicles. 37 years later, he has grown the business to a national company with more than 500 employees at 29 locations stretching from coast to coast to coast.
Jeff is a past president of the Mayfield Rotary Club, the Edmonton Motor Dealers Association, the Suzuki National Dealer Council, the Edmonton Eskimos Football Club, and honorary chairman of the Alberta and Saskatchewan Association for Community Living. He has also served with the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Edmonton. He currently serves as co-chair of the Rotary Legacy Project, sits on the board of Fort Edmonton Management Co., and is active with the Alberta Chapter of the World President’s Organization.
Jeff has been personally recognized for his community involvement and business accomplishments on a number of levels. He is a recipient of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Small Business Owner of the Year, Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year, was honored with the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of his volunteerism and has been selected for induction into the Alberta Business Hall of Fame.
Under Jeff’s leadership, TDFI Group Inc. has been recognized as one of Canada’s 10 most Admired Corporate Cultures, named one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies for nine consecutive years, and has recently been recognized as one of Canada’s Top Small and Medium Employers.
Frédéric Boulanger, President & CEO, Macadamian Technologies
Frédéric Boulanger is passionate about beautiful design and is an out-of-the-closet technology geek. His vision is of a world where software enables the full potential of ideas, enriches lives and is a joy to use. His company, Macadamian Technologies, fuses design and technology to create and inspire superb software products with unparalleled user experiences.
Under his leadership as CEO and co-founder, Macadamian has become one of the most respected user
experience design and software development firms in the industry. With a global staff of over 200
employees, the company serves clients ranging from start-ups to some of the world’s biggest and most innovative brands.
Frédéric started his career at Corel Corporation in the software engineering department, becoming the Senior Development Manager of Paradox, the company’s flagship database product. At Corel he also managed the Corel Family Tree Suite, which received the ZDNet Editor’s Choice award. Having learned the ins and outs of creating successful software he began his entrepreneurial journey by starting Macadamian in 1997 with 3 other founders.
Frédéric is an active leader in the Ontario and Quebec business communities. He is a board member and the Treasurer of the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC), the advocacy group for the ICT industry in Canada and is active in a number of ITAC committees, including Small and Medium Enterprises and Canada's competitive positioning. He is President of Export Outaouais, as well as being a member of Anges Québec, and participates at the Outaouais Entrepreneur Round Table to support entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship in the region. He believes strongly in the economic development and prosperity of the Outaouais and is on the board of the Gatineau Chamber of Commerce. He is also a mentor in the FounderFuel start-up accelerator program in Montreal.
Frédéric believes that to remain innovative, a nation must invest in education and foster industry
cooperation. He is one of the founders of the Ottawa High School Technology program (TechU.me), which seeks to reverse declining university science enrollment by nurturing student interest in science and technology. Recently he co-founded the Ottawa chapter of Mobile Mondays - a global networking
organization for business people in the mobile technology space. He is also a long-term supporter of the Ottawa economic development agency, Invest Ottawa.
Frédéric was born in Rimouski, Quebec and graduated from Université de Sherbrooke in 1993. He resides in Gatineau, Quebec with his wife and 3 children where he enjoys mountain biking, cross country and downhill skiing. He also loves to cook for family and friends. He blogs regularly on a wide variety of topics.
Jim DiMenna, President and CEO, Red Sun Farms
He’s a well-known, well respected, produce veteran who has selflessly given countless years to the Canadian produce industry.Jim DiMenna, President and CEO of Red Sun Farms, headquartered in Kingsville, Ontario Canada, has not only successfully assembled a winning greenhouse vegetable growing and selling team; he has also been influential in shaping the Canadian produce industry landscape.
DiMenna has been entrepreneurial in spirit since his early years. He was all but 10 years old, selling bunched radishes and green onions for a local farmer door to door off of his red wagon. As years progressed, Jim’s passion for the industry continued. Eager to learn, evolve and lead, Jim began learning the industry from the ground up, literally. He has done it all, from being a farm hand harvesting tobacco fields, a delivery person for farm supplies and a salesman for greenhouse produce. It is in the greenhouse industry where Jim stayed and dedicated most of his time and career progression efforts. For years he spent selling and buying greenhouse produce at the Greenhouse Grower’s Co-Operative in Leamington, Ontario Canada. It was in 1990 when he branched out on his own to create J-D Marketing, now called Red Sun Farms.
Kevin Higgins, CEO, Fusion Learning
Kevin Higgins is CEO of Fusion Learning, a world-class sales training organization. He takes pride in his great team and the sales performance improvements they help to make in their clients’ organizations. Over the past two decades, Kevin has trained thousands of sales managers and salespeople from Fortune 500 companies, including American Express, BlackRock, BMO, Disney, Expedia, Honda, HSBC, iShares, JTI, Manulife, Pfizer, SAS, Sun Life, Scotiabank, TD Bank and 3M.
Engage Me, a book authored by Higgins on Sales Management, was published in October 2013.
An internationally recognized consultant and public speaker on selling, sales management and learning effectiveness, his passion for lifelong learning is well known and he is respected in the training industry as a “business person working in training, not a training person trying to figure out business.”
Kevin lives in Toronto with his wife, Sonny. He loves cottage life including waterskiing, wakesurfing, mountain biking and snowboarding.
Terry Davis, CEO, Home Hardware
Terry Davis joined Home Hardware more than four decades ago in a junior warehouse position in the Distribution Centre in St. Jacobs, Ontario. In the interim years, he has held increasingly responsible managerial and executive positions accountable for Dealer Support and Dealer Development, Marketing, Information Technology, Dealer Finance and Legal Services, Administration and Strategic Planning. Since 2010, he has served as Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer, where he was featured in the Season 2 premiere episode of Undercover Boss Canada.
Terry was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of Home Hardware Stores Limited in May 2014. He assumes responsibility for the sound financial control and long-term health of the company. Terry has proven himself to be a great leader and an innovative executive that embodies the qualities that have made Home Hardware a trusted source for advice and products for Canadians.
Terry and his wife Anne reside in Fergus, ON; they have two daughters and two grandchildren.
Erik Church, Chief Operating Officer, 1-800-GOT-JUNK
Erik Church joined 1-800-GOT-JUNK? in November, 2011. As COO, Erik’s responsibility is to translate the 1-800-GOT-JUNK? vision into strategic and operational plans that are realistic and capable of delivering positive growth results for the company.
Prior to arriving at the Junktion, Erik led EF Education Canada, the largest privately-held education company in the world, where he was able to more than double the company’s profits during tough economic times. Erik became President of EF Education Canada in 2007 after working with the company for eight years in a variety of roles. He was President of EF Explore America, President of EF College Break, and Executive Vice President of Global Marketing.
Erik is a hands-on leader who believes the best way to learn anything is by living it, so he travelled extensively to interact with customers and suppliers to make sure EF was providing the best possible experience. The summer prior to joining 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, Erik travelled to Kenya, Ecuador, Holland, France, England, Switzerland and China.
Before joining EF Education Canada, Erik was Senior Vice President at EONS, Senior Vice President for Student Online Solutions, Vice President for Plum Traders, a College Pro franchise owner, and a leadership consultant for Acacia Educational Foundation. In 1991, he moved to the US and worked in Chicago, Boston and New York.
Erik lives with his wife, Paige, and their daughter, Elizabeth. He is a seasoned outdoorsman who loves canoeing and fly-fishing. He is also a motorcycle enthusiast who has ridden across Africa, from Mexico to the Arctic Circle and across the Gobi Desert in Mongolia.
Greg Houston, President and CEO, Lakeside Process Controls Ltd.
Greg Houston is the President and CEO of Lakeside Process Controls Ltd. Lakeside, a market leader in the Process Automation industry, is the primary organization in the Lakeside Group of Companies. Greg resides as President and CEO of two additional organizations in this Group; The Valve Automation Center Inc. and Arctic Combustion Limited.
The Lakeside Group of Companies began as a small Toronto-based corporation in 1952. Since 1988, the company has grown from 25 employees to over 600 people across 15 offices. Greg’s direction and ambition were key drivers in helping the group expand in peak growth years. While focused on sales growth and business development, Greg is also a firm believer in the importance of employee engagement and its inherent link to company productivity and success. He currently provides leadership and direction on this topic to similar businesses throughout North America.
Lakeside Process Controls was awarded the honour of being named one of Canada’s 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures in Canada for the first time in 2013. The organization has also reached platinum status in the Best Managed Companies program and most recently was ranked 11th in the 2014 Great Places to Work in Canada competition.
Greg started his career with Lakeside Process Controls as an Application Engineer in 1991. His career included positions in outside sales, sales leadership and a promotion to Vice President in 2004. In 2009, Greg was named President and CEO of Lakeside Process Controls Ltd., The Valve Automation Center Inc. and Arctic Combustion Limited.
Greg is a Professional Engineer in Ontario and holds a Chemical Engineering Degree from the University of Waterloo and an MBA from Athabasca University. Greg has been an avid runner for most of his life and has competed in numerous marathons, half marathons, and 10 km races.
Charlie Guy, Vice President People & Culture, World Vision Canada
Charlie Guy serves with World Vision Canada as Vice-President of People & Culture. Prior to this, he held the positions of Executive Director at International Child Care, Canada, an NGO serving children and families in Haiti and the Dominican Republic and Partial Load Professor at Mohawk College. Charlie also has over 29 years of corporate experience with Bell, where he held a variety of senior management positions.
As a member of the Senior Leadership Team at World Vision Canada, he is responsible for developing strategies, processes and programs covering all aspects of human resource management. Charlie’s primary focus is to ensure that World Vision’s People LEADER Strategy (Leadership, Engagement, Accountability, Depth of Talent, Execution & Rigour), leadership capabilities and organization systems support the achievement of the strategic plan.
He is a highly energized leader with extensive experience in sales, customer service, corporate training, operations support, adult education and human resources. Charlie is a team builder and motivator with excellent communication, interpersonal, negotiation and leadership skills. He is skilled at coaching and mentoring individuals and has a proven track record of initiating successful projects. Charlie has a strong sense of commitment to personal values of integrity, excellence and continuous improvement.
Aside from building what he believes is a fantastic HR team, which he has the daily privilege of leading, he is humbled that World Vision has been recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers for four years in a row and most recently as one of Canada’s 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures in the Broader Public Sector.
Charlie is a lifelong learner and holds a BA from the University of Western Ontario, a BEd in Adult Education from Brock University, is a graduate of Rotman’s School of Management—Advanced Program in Human Resource Management and the Arrow Executive Leadership Program. Charlie and his wife Bonnie have two children and three amazing grandchildren.
Greg Kureluk, President & Chief Operating Officer, Yardstick Testing and Training Experts
Entrepreneur Greg Kureluk is not an average millennial. In fact, this unassuming President & COO, is a results-driven executive successful in developing new businesses, identifying opportunities, building organizations, and delivering strong revenues and profits within intensely competitive and emerging markets.
Born in Edmonton, Alberta, Greg’s modest upbringing set the foundation for who he is today.
After graduating from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology with a finance diploma, Greg began his career as sales manager at Waste Management. He embraced every opportunity and made swift and progressive advancements within the corporation.
It was Greg’s ambition to accomplish great things that led him to work a Yardstick Testing and Training Experts in 2006 where he and the company co-founders tirelessly worked; bouncing ideas off each other on how to grow the company.
Sara Presutto, Vice-President, Partner Resources, Starbucks Coffee Canada
As vice-president, Partner Resources, Sara is responsible for leading Starbucks Canada’s national talent strategy and integrated talent management initiatives. Under her leadership, a team of HR business partners in talent acquisition, learning & development, total pay and generalist support more than 16,000 partners (employees) in over 1,000 retail locations and regional offices across Canada. An 11-year Starbucks partner, Sara has been instrumental helping significantly grow the Canadian business during her tenure.
With more than 15 years of human resources experience, Sara has been a vocal champion for Starbucks values and culture and has helped the company achieve external recognition from Best Workplaces in Canada and Canada’s Top 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures. She has served as Chair of the Retail Council of Canada Retail HR Conference, is an active ambassador for the Women Foodservice Forum (WFF) and is a member of the advisory council for the Ryerson School of Retail Management.
Sara holds a Masters of Psychology from Wilfrid Laurier University and is a Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP).
Paul Kelly, President and CEO, First Calgary Financial
Paul Kelly is the President and Chief Executive Officer of First Calgary Financial, Calgary’s only locally-owned full-service financial institution and the ninth largest credit union in Canada. With approximately $3 billion in assets under administration, over 70,000 Members and 500 employees, First Calgary Financial is recognized as a Platinum Club member of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies program and one of Alberta’s Top Employers.
Paul’s educational background includes an H.B.A from the Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario and a MBA from York University. Paul is a strong believer in lifelong education. In 2012, he completed the Director Education Program and now holds the ICD.D designation.
Paul has more than 30 years experience in the Financial Services industry and is an active leader within the Canadian Credit Union. Following 10 years in the Trust industry, Paul joined First Calgary Financial in 1995. Since then, he has taken on positions of increased responsibility including Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer. In 2009, Paul was promoted to President and CEO.
Paul is active in the Calgary community. He sits on the boards of Credit Union Central of Alberta, Canadian Mental Health Association (Calgary), and Safe Haven Foundation. He also leads First Calgary Financials’ support of several local organizations including The Mustard Seed and the Calgary Homeless Foundation.
Grant Mitchell, Executive Vice President, Kenan Advantage Group
Mr. Mitchell has been executive vice president of the Kenan Advantage Group’s Canada Group since November 2013 and chief executive officer of RTL – Westcan Group of Companies since January 2013. He was recruited to RTL- Westcan as president in February of 2012 and was subsequently named CEO a year later.
Mr. Mitchell previously served as general manager of RST Industries Ltd. and Sunbury Transport Ltd., a large-scale bulk carrier based in Atlantic Canada from 2002 to 2010. From 1992 to 2002 he held various operations and sales roles with Trimac Transportation. He has held board positions with various transportation organizations such as Atlantic Provinces Transportation Association, Alberta Motor Transportation Association and the National Tank Truck Carriers.
Rob MacLean, Chief Executive Officer, Points
Rob has served as CEO of Points since co-founding the company in February 2000, and is a member of the Corporation's board of directors. Rob champions the vision for this revolutionary business, and directs an exceptional team of senior managers delivering impressive results. His vision has pioneered and delivered a suite of innovative technology solutions, earning a growing number of partnerships with the world's leading loyalty programs. Under Rob's leadership, Points has grown from a start-up to become a globally recognized leader: publicly traded on the NASDAQ and TSX, has attracted partners with a combined member base of over 500 million members worldwide, and operates a suite of eCommerce products and services that have transacted more than 88 billion loyalty program points and miles to-date.
Prior to founding Points, Rob recorded an impressive list of leadership roles and achievements with 12 years in the airline and loyalty industry. As Vice President, Sales with Canadian Airlines, Rob led a team of over 250 employees throughout North America, delivering over $2 billion in annual revenue, and was responsible for the airline's award-winning Canadian Plus loyalty program. Rob has also served as a senior representative on the Oneworld Alliance's Customer Loyalty Steering Committee.
David Au-Yeung, Managing Director of Engineering, Chief People Officer, Flipp Corp.
David Au-Yeung is one of the co-founders of Flipp, a leading retail technology company that is reinventing the weekly shopping experience. As the Chief Talent Officer, David is responsible for growing Flipp’s workforce as well as leveraging the unique culture at the company to continually drive business productivity. Under his leadership, Flipp’s employee base has grown upwards of 500% over the last five years and the company has won Canada’s 10 Most Admired Cultures and the Best Workplace Award for the last two successive years.
David also leads the vast Engineering team at Flipp where developers are creating innovative solutions for retailers to transform themselves into the digital age. The engineering team has developed Flipp, the #1 weekly shopping app for consumers that has been featured in USA Today and the Apple App Store. David also spearheads the Community Outreach program at Flipp, supporting the efforts of team members to foster sustainability in the workplace and community.
Charlene Press, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Nestlé Canada Inc.
Charlene Press was promoted to Senior Vice President, Human Resources in March 2012. She serves as a member of the Business Executive Team and reports directly to the President & CEO of Nestlé Canada.
Charlene joined Nestlé Canada in 1986 in Finance and in 1991 she moved to the role of Training and Development Manager. From 1993-2003, Charlene was a Brand Manager in the Beverage division, Director of Sales and Process Improvement, Director of Customer Development Finance and Director of Foodservice Sales Operations. In 2003, Charlene was promoted to Vice President for the Loblaws Customer Development Team, Canada’s largest national food retailer, and transferred to the role of Vice President Channel Category Sales Development in 2010. In early 2012, Charlene accepted the position of Change Management Leader and was responsible for managing significant cross-company processes and projects. In her current role as Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Charlene will be responsible for developing capabilities and engaging our people through highly-skilled and empowered leaders enabled by a values-based culture.
Prior to joining Nestlé Canada, Charlene worked with Imperial Oil as a Management Accountant for the Refining and Supply Division.
Charlene attended the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in Honors Business Administration, majoring in Accounting and is a Certified Management Accountant.
Gayle Nathanson, Director of Lawyer Happiness, Cognition LLP
Gayle Nathanson is the Director of Lawyer Happiness at Cognition LLP, a new breed of law firm that provides an ideal alternative to retaining a traditional law firm or hiring full-time in house counsel. Cognition’s unique model provides senior, business-minded legal advice at affordable rates on a flexible basis.
Prior to joining Cognition, Gayle was the Vice Chair of the Ontario Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), a legislative agency responsible for advising the Attorney General (Ontario) on issues relating to victims of crime. Ms. Nathanson was previously a Senior Consultant with the public affairs firm Campbell Strategies where she acted for corporate, individual, association and not-for-profit clients. Earlier in her career, Gayle worked in public policy in Washington D.C., and practiced civil litigation at Goodmans LLP in Toronto.
Gayle is a graduate of McGill University and Osgoode Hall Law School.
Josée Dubuc, Executive Vice-President, Human Resources and Corporate Services, Ivanhoé Cambridge
Josée Dubuc is Ivanhoé Cambridge's Executive Vice-President, Human Resources and Corporate Services. Prior to joining Ivanhoé Cambridge, Josée was Yellow Pages Group's Chief Talent Officer from August 2009 to February 2012. Under her leadership, Yellow Pages Group was named one of Canada’s 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 and was inducted in to the Canada's 10 Hall of Fame in 2009.
Prior to joining Yellow Pages Group, Josée Dubuc worked in various capacities within the BCE group of companies. She notably served as Senior Director of Human Resources at Bell Mobility, where she was responsible for business development and human capital strategies, as well as Bell Mobility’s expansion into Western Canada. Before joining Bell Mobility, she was Vice President of Human Resources at Sympatico-Lycos, one of Canada’s leading Internet properties.
With more than 20 years of experience in all areas of human resources, Ms. Dubuc has partnered with management teams in numerous companies operating in a variety of industries. She participated in many growth initiatives and cultural transformations, mergers and acquisitions, call-centre management ventures, and many other projects. Prior to joining BCE, Ms. Dubuc was Director of Human Resources at Cogeco Cable in Burlington, Ontario.
Josée Dubuc is well recognized for being communicative, results-focused and accessible, as well as for her ability to develop strong partnerships while maintaining a high level of integrity. In 2005, she was recognized as Canada’s Top 40 Under 40™ and received the Human Resources Professional Association of Ontario (HRPAO) Professional Leadership Award.
Josée Dubuc holds a certificate from Seneca College in Human Resources Management and a professional designation in Human Resources (Certified Human Professional, C.H.R.P.) through the Human Resources Association of Ontario.
Simon Farbrother, City Manager, City of Edmonton
As Edmonton’s City Manager, Simon leads a municipal administration of 12,000 employees who serve a rapidly growing metro region of more than one million people.
With more than 20 years of service in municipal government, Simon has dedicated his career to building strong Canadian cities. He has been named one of the province of Alberta’s 50 most influential people by Alberta Venture magazine and was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 for his contributions to the municipal government profession.
Simon recently completed a term as President of the International City/County Managers Association (ICMA). He has been invited to speak around the world on building great cities, presenting in recent years to professional associations and conferences in the UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand and China as well as at home in Canada.
Edmonton is the third city which Simon has led as City Manager. He has also served as President of the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators and has actively participated with several professional associations in the urban planning and government sectors.
Rick Watkin, President and CEO, KUBRA
Rick Watkin has a tremendous amount of experience in the Customer Experience Management industry. He has been President, CEO and Director at KUBRA since 1999, where he has successfully led KUBRA through remarkable organic growth, followed by a Management buyout with Private Equity. He then executed on a number of acquisitions, which led to a private sale for 80% of KUBRA to Hearst Corporation.
He sets the company’s long term vision, fosters tenacity within a client centric and fully engaged culture, and heads up the day to day operations. He also develops strategies focused around profitable growth, new markets and transformative technologies. Rick has been instrumental in KUBRA's recognition of Deloitte's Gold Level Best Managed Companies and WaterStone's Most Admired Corporate Cultures achievements. He sits on various advisory boards, is a member of NACHA, Vistage, Young Presidents Organization, McKay CEO's Forum, and a Director for the Kids’ Health Links Foundation.
Patrick Dumelie, President & CEO, Covenant Health
As President & CEO, Patrick brings a strong background in leadership, change management and strategic planning to Catholic health care in Alberta. He played an integral role in refreshing the vision of Catholic health care and in the consolidation of 16 Catholic healthcare facilities as Covenant Health in November 2008.
In his role, Patrick collaborates with Alberta Health Services, government and community partners to meet the growing demands for healthcare services in the province, continuing his commitment to advancing contributions of faith-based health care in Alberta and Canada.
Prior to the formation of Covenant Health, Patrick was President of Caritas Health Group, playing a pivotal role in refreshing the organization's vision and strategic direction. Patrick came to Edmonton from the Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region in Saskatchewan where he served as Chief Operating Officer, Integrated Health Services.
His over 20-year career in health care includes leadership positions in rural and urban acute and long-term care, ambulance services, public health, home care, mental health and addiction, strategic planning and a broad range of administrative services.
Patrick holds an MBA from Queens University and a bachelor of administration from the University of Regina.
John Gillies, Assistant Deputy Minister, Human Resources, CSIS
The Assistant Deputy Minister, Human Resources is responsible for Human Resources Management (HRM) in the Service and is accountable to the CSIS Director on all HR matters. Its strategic outcome is to ensure the support, development and maintenance of a diverse, high-performing and sustainable workforce capable of meeting its mandate.
Mr. John Gillies has 30 years federal government experience, working for the past 27 years within the security and intelligence environment. Currently an Executive member with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), his past duties within CSIS have been varied including experience in both the counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism sectors. He has occupied his current position, Assistant Director, Human Resources since July 29, 2013.
Mr. Gillies is a graduate of the University of Victoria and he has served as a police officer in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). He is married and has two adult children and he maintains a variety of interest, including music, sports and literature.
Nkere Udofia, Vice Chairman, Blinds To Go Inc.
Nkere is currently Vice Chairman of Blinds To Go Inc. and directly responsible of its Ontario and United States operations. He joined Blinds To Go in 1996 as a private investor and board member and worked with the owners to develop a strategic, operational and human resource roadmap for the company’s expansion from its original Quebec base. His role slowly expanded with the company’s growth and by early 2001, Nkere had assumed a key operating role. Today Nkere remains an important member of company’s leadership team and an architect of its human capital strategy.
Nkere has more than twenty years of management, investing and consulting experience in the consumer and retail sectors. Prior to joining Blinds To Go, Nkere was a Managing Director at Harvard Private Capital Group, the private investment affiliate of Harvard Management Company which manages the Harvard University endowment. From 1989 to 1996, Nkere served on the board of directors of over a dozen portfolio companies, primarily focused on retail and consumer companies. It was through his efforts at Harvard, that Nkere first became involved at Blinds To Go.
Before joining Harvard and from 1987 to 1989, Nkere was a consultant at the Boston Consulting Group. At BCG, he focused on advising companies in the consumer sector. From 1983 to 1985, Nkere was employed by the Procter and Gamble Company.
Nkere is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees and a graduate of the Harvard Business School with Masters of Business Administration.
Nkere, wife Naureen and three children, Isiah, Imanuel and Nahlia, currently live in Montclair, New Jersey.
Cathy Sprague, Executive Vice President, Human Resources, Bruce Power
Cathy Sprague is the Executive Vice President of Human Resources at Bruce Power.
Her role is to oversee Bruce Power’s Human Resources function including Labour Relations, Recruitment, Talent Management, Employee Engagement, Wellness, Total Rewards and Payroll.
Along with the Chief Executive Officer and the other five Executive Vice Presidents, she also serves as a member of the Bruce Power Executive Team and is a member of the management committees dealing with pension administration, code of conduct, and corporate sponsorship.
She joins Bruce Power with more than 25 years in the Human Resources field. She recently served as Corporate Vice President of Human Resources with the Irving Group of Companies in New Brunswick. While there, she was instrumental in implementing an integrated Human Resources system for all J.D. Irving companies and their 15,000 employees.
Previously, Cathy was the Canadian Vice President of Human Resources for Coca-Cola Enterprises in Toronto. In addition to the leadership of the Human Resources function for Canada, she was also on the North American HR Leadership team designing and developing HR programs and services for North America.
From 1998 to 2007, Cathy the was Executive Director of Human Resources at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation with overall responsibility for CBC Radio, CBC Television and digital platforms. In her role, she led a full range of Human Resource and Labour Relations activities for the Corporation’s 10,000 employees.
Cathy graduated from Mount Saint Vincent University, holds a Bachelor of Commerce from St. Mary’s University and a Master of Business Administration from Athabasca University.
Rann Sharma, Global Human Resources Director, Free The Children
Rann serves as the Global Human Resources Director for Free The Children. She has worked with staff across Canada, India, Kenya and most recently, expanding to the US and the UK. She has ensured the recognition of Free The Children as Canada’s Top Employer for Young People and Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures in 2013.
Rann has been awarded admission into the Women’s Executive Network (WXN) Wisdom II Mentorship Program featuring Canada’s most influential female audience. She serves on the University of Toronto’s Career Centre Advisory Board and has contributed as a speaker for programs like First in Family Peer Mentor Program, Start Me Up Series for Young Entrepreneurs: "Think Like an Entrepreneur and Get Hired", Perspectives on the Labour Market. In 2014, Rann has been appointed as one of twenty Canadians to serve as Action Canada fellow, a premiere leadership development and public policy program that builds leadership for Canada’s future.
Rann holds a master’s degree from Lancaster University and undergraduate degree from Trent University. She has worked on the Japan Exchange & Teaching Programme held in partnership through the Japanese and Canadian governments and has the global perspective of travel to over 20 plus countries.
She has been profiled in Maclean’s magazine University Rankings Edition, Education Today, Charity Village and The National Post. Rann also serves as a mentor to a Top 20 Under 20 recipient and volunteers reading to new Canadian children.
Linda Young, Vice President Human Resources and People Development, Bison Transport
Linda Young is Vice-President of Human Resources and People Development for Bison Transport and is responsible for human resource programs and services for Drivers and non-drivers (recruitment, employee benefits, performance management and training).
Previously Linda worked as Vice-President of Human Resources for Vita Health Products and before that as Director of Human Resources for Manitoba Telecom Services. Her career spans 25+ years in a cross section of industries – health care, agriculture, telecommunications, manufacturing and transportation. In 2006 Bison was searching for a leader to further develop their HR function. Linda was recruited for the position and has been with Bison since.
She is currently a member of the Human Resource Management Association of Manitoba (HRMAM), Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) and Manitoba Trucking Association (MTA) HR Committees and Red River College Business Administration Advisory Committee. She also has her Certified Human Resource Professional (CHRP) designation.
Linda is an avid swimmer and although she has officially retired from her Masters swimming (including swim competitions), she continues to make waves! Linda and Shawn have been married for 32 years and have two grown children, Robyn and Carter.