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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.
Heather Briant, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Cineplex Entertainment LP
As Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Cineplex Entertainment LP, Heather Briant is responsible for all aspects of the Human Resources function, encompassing talent development and succession, organization effectiveness, total and executive compensation, health and safety, and HR governance and reporting. She is also a leader in the organization’s corporate strategy and transformation activities.
Active within the community, Ms. Briant has served on public company and not for profit boards. She is currently a member of Canada’s 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures’ Board of Governors and the Kilberry Advisory Board.
Heather Briant graduated with a MBA from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, and also holds the ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors.
Janice Boulet, Vice President of Credit, National Leasing
Janice Boulet has been in her current role as Vice President of Credit with National Leasing since January 2008. After graduating from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Commerce (Hons) degree in 1988, Janice started her career with National Leasing.
As the Vice President of Credit, she oversees all functions of the Credit, Lease Administration and Asset Management departments. Janice’s main roles are to support the long term growth and profitability of the company through effective leadership of all departments that she oversees and to manage all of the departments’ resources consistent with National Leasing’s strategic and operating plans.
As a member of the Senior Executive team, she ensures growth and development of the organization through managing strategic initiatives to successful outcomes, promoting the company’s unique culture and image, promoting Customer Focus, assuring good Corporate citizenship and promoting continuous improvement and innovation.
Janice volunteers with several organizations, including the Canadian Cancer Society and Habitat for Humanity. Wishing to stay involved in her children’s activities, she has also been a member of the Board of Directors for her children’s Day Care Centre, taught children in the Catechism program at their family Church and has managed several Club soccer teams.
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.
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.
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.
Frank Hart, President, Managing Director and Chief Risk Officer for Greystone Managed Investments
Frank Hart is President, Managing Director and Chief Risk Officer for Greystone Managed Investments in Regina. Greystone is a leading Investment Management firm managing approximately $34 billion of investments for pension funds, endowments, and trusts in Canada. Greystone is headquartered in Regina and has offices in Winnipeg, Toronto and Hong Kong. At Greystone, Mr. Hart is responsible for the firm's business strategy, enterprise risk, finance, legal, compliance and operations functions. Mr. Hart also has executive leadership overseeing Greystone's market expansion into China.
Mr, Hart has held a number of senior positions in a variety of industries and organizations including:
- President of EDS Canada where he led this U.S. company's Canadian Business until it was purchased by Hewlett Packard Company in 2008.
- Vice President of Global Government Consulting for EDS headquartered in London UK where he led business transformation services for State and Local Governments worldwide.
- President and CEO of Crown Investments Corporation of Saskatchewan
- Vice President, KPMG Consulting in Canada and National Practice Leader for Biotechnology Industries.
- Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade for the Province of Saskatchewan
- Partner in Charge of Consulting for Saskatchewan for KPMG
- Office Managing Partner Consulting Stevenson, Kellogg, Ernst & Whinney
- Partner, Derek Murray Consulting, Regina
- Assistant Deputy Minister, Planning and Policy, Saskatchewan Department of Renewable Resources
In addition to these senior positions Mr. Hart has worked as an Associate Consultant with Conroy Ross Partners, and held various positions in the Saskatchewan Ministry of Finance and Executive Council with the Government of Saskatchewan.
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.
Len Jillard, Senior VP, People Resources and Chief People Officer, McDonald's Canada
Len began his career with McDonald's Canada in 1972 when he first joined a London, Ontario restaurant as a crewperson. Since then, he’s held a number of mid and senior management positions throughout the Canadian operation including Regional Director of People Resources, Toronto. Len also spent three years, from 1995-1997, with McDonald’s Mexico as the Senior Director of Operations.
In January 2002, Len became Vice President of the Western Canada Region, overseeing all aspects of the Western Canadian operation. In December 2005, Len was named to his current role as Senior Vice President, People Resources and Chief People Officer, in which he is responsible for carrying out McDonald’s people vision to become Canada’s favourite place and way to work. Under his leadership, the company has received the honour of being named one of AON Hewitt’s Best Employers in Canada eight times. Len has also recently taken on the added responsibility of overseeing McDonald’s national franchising strategy.
Len has always made it a priority to dedicate his time and expertise to McDonald’s charitable efforts, having served on the Ronald McDonald House in London, Ontario for more than seven years and as a member of the Society for Ronald McDonald House Vancouver.
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.
Janis Grantham, Co-Founder, President and Chief Operating Officer, Eagle Professional Resources
Janis Grantham is a Co-Founder, President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Eagle. Ms. Grantham is a member of Eagle's executive team responsible the company's strategic direction. In addition she is focused on ensuring that Eagle's systems, processes and organisational structure are maximised to support the operations of the company.
Ms. Grantham studied Computer Science at Carleton University and has an MBA from the Queen's Executive Program. She has more than twenty years of industry experience starting as a computer programmer and working in various consulting and management roles for large system integrators and software companies.
Ms. Grantham is listed in Canada's Top 100 Women Business Owners Hall of Fame, is listed on Canada's Most Powerful Women Top 100 list, was the Consumers Choice Business Woman of the Year for Ottawa-Gatineau in 2005, and was a finalist in the 2002 Ontario Entrepreneur of the Year award.
Christopher Szybbo, President & CEO, CBI Health Group
As President and CEO, Mr. Szybbo provides the overall leadership, vision and strategic direction to CBI Health Group, a leading provider of outpatient rehabilitation and community health care services in Canada. He has led the growth, development and diversification of the company for the past twelve years. Prior to becoming President, he was the Chief Operating Officer, Western Canada, before becoming the Chief Operating Officer of CBI Health Group nationally. Originally trained as a physical therapist, Mr. Szybbo is intimately familiar with health care, having worked in both private and publicly-funded sectors before joining CBIHG in 1990. Mr. Szybbo holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration, in addition to his Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy.
In 2006, Mr. Szybbo successfully engineered a management buyout of CBI Health Group from its [then] parent corporation, Select Medical Corporation, in partnership with the private equity firm Callisto Capital LLP. In 2011, Mr. Szybbo again led a process that transitioned equity ownership to a blend of investment from management and OMERS Private Equity Inc.
Bruce Okabe, Chief Executive Officer, Travel Alberta
Bruce Okabe was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Travel Alberta in July, 2009 with the mandate to build and lead the new tourism marketing Crown Corporation of the Government of Alberta.
Prior to his appointment, Bruce was Senior Vice President, Business Strategy Group at InterVISTAS, a leading Vancouver-based global transportation and tourism consulting firm.
Previously he was Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Tourism, Sport and the Arts for the Province of British Columbia between 2006 and 2008. In that capacity, he sat on the Board of Directors of Tourism British Columbia and the Canadian Tourism Commission.
Prior to joining the B.C. government, Okabe was Vice President, Strategic Solutions at TELUS Communications Inc., a leading Canadian telecommunications company, where he held a variety of executive level positions in areas of marketing, business, consumer, strategy, retail distribution, outbound call centres and web development.
Actively involved in the community, Bruce is a member of the Board of Directors of Heritage Park Society in Calgary, the Calgary Chamber of Commerce and the Business Advisory Councils for both the Calgary and Edmonton International Airports. He is a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society has also served on the Boards of the 2009 World Police and Fire Games and the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation.
Bruce is a graduate of the Ivey Business School's Executive Development Program, the British Columbia Institute of Technology's Marketing Management Program and the Institute of Corporate Directors Program at the Haskayne School of Business.
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.
Braden Hoeppner, Chief Marketing Officer, Coastal Contacts
Braden Hoeppner is the Chief Marketing Officer of Coastal Contacts Inc., the optical industry’s largest ecommerce company. Braden is an experienced leader, web analyst, marketer, strategist and design thinker. By combining customer focused marketing, analytical and usability skills, he specializes in growing businesses by focusing on their online activities and e-Commerce channels to enhance results. Prior to joining Coastal Contacts, Braden held roles in vertical media and telecommunications where he guided the implementation, optimization and usage of web analytics & usability to improve website sales performance. He has also provided consulting services for online strategy to public sector and non-profit organizations. Braden holds a Bachelor Degree and Certificate of Community Economic Development from Simon Fraser University.
Joseph Mapa, President & CEO, Mount Sinai Hospital
Joseph Mapa, President & CEO of Mount Sinai Hospital since 2001, is a graduate of the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, and he also obtained his MBA from the Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. He is a Fellow of the Canadian College of Health Leaders, as well as a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. He is Past Chair of the Council of Academic Hospitals of Ontario and has recently completed his terms on the Governing Council of the University of Toronto and the Board of the Canadian Nurses Association. He currently serves on the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation Advisory Council, the Advisory Board of the Women’s Executive Network – Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100; and Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures’ Board of Governors. He is the author of numerous articles, and is co-author of three books focusing on healthcare management.
In 2003 he co-edited a book on effective government relations in the healthcare industry with Professor Peggy Leatt of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. That year, he also received the Chairman’s Award for Distinguished Service by the Canadian College of Health Leaders. In 2007, he received the Seymour Schulich Award for Teaching Excellence at the Schulich School of Business. In 2010 he received the Canadian College of Health Leaders inaugural national Mentorship Award and in 2012 he was recognized with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. In 2012 he was also appointed Executive-In-Residence, Health, University of Toronto Scarborough and an Adjunct Professor, Institute of Healthcare Policy, Management & Evaluation, University of Toronto.
Carolyn Tyrie, Director, Human Resources, Harry Rosen
Carolyn holds an Honours Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Toronto, as well as a Certificate in Human Resources and Employee Relations through Woodsworth College, UofT.
She started her career in human resources with a small, privately held high tech company in Toronto called Remanco Systems. When that company relocated to the US in 1989, Carolyn joined Harry Rosen Inc., initially as Personnel Specialist but eventually moved up through the ranks.
Carolyn has been in the role of Director, Human Resources since 2001. In this role she has the overall responsibility for training, recruiting, employee relations, health and safety, non-selling compensation, as well as pension and benefits. Carolyn also sits on the Harry Rosen Executive/Management Committee and the Compensation Committee at the Toronto Board of Trade, responsible for oversight of their Salary Survey product.
Carolyn also recently participated as a member of the organizations committee for the Retail Council of Canada's annual Retail Human Resources conference in April of this year.
Eric Nowlin, President, Acklands-Grainger Inc
Eric Nowlin has served as President, Acklands - Grainger Inc. since April 2012. He is responsible for all aspects of Grainger’s business in Canada. Acklands - Grainger is recognized as one of Canada’s 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures by Waterstone Human Capital.
Prior to this role, Eric was Vice President, Customer Service, responsible for the management of Grainger's multi-channel customer service network in the U.S including branch and eCommerce business. He joined Grainger in 2006 as Regional Branch Services Vice President, overseeing the strategic direction of branches in the Western U.S. Region and later was Vice President, Business Development.
Prior to Grainger, Eric spent more than 20 years with Maytag, holding various positions in sales, business development and marketing, including Vice President, Sales, Western Division; Vice President, National Accounts; and Vice President, Customer Development.
Eric serves as an active member of the United Way York Region Campaign committee and the selection committee for Canada’s 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures.
Eric is a graduate of Bowling Green State University in Ohio with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration.
Acklands - Grainger Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Chicago-based Grainger, is Canada’s largest distributor of industrial, safety and fastener products with 2012 revenues of C$1.1 billion, 175 branches, six distribution centers and 2,700 team members.
W.W. Grainger, Inc., with 2012 sales of $9.0 billion, is North America's leading broad line supplier of maintenance, repair and operating products, with expanding global operations. For more information about the company, visit www.grainger.com/investor.
Jon Hantho, President and Chief Executive Officer, Maxxam Analytics
Jon’s understanding and experience in the areas of corporate strategy development, mergers and acquisitions, and customer service development are playing a critical role in Maxxam's on-going success. He brings extensive executive management experience and a proven track record for delivering customer and shareholder value to his current role. The majority of his career has centered on building successful business and outsourcing services with both well-established industry leaders and rapid growth start-ups.
Jon began his career at Moore Corporation where he developed new transformational business models to drive dramatic growth and customer satisfaction. His experience extends throughout the US and internationally. Prior to Maxxam, he was President of Symcor Customer Communication Services, and he founded Optus Corporation which was acquired by Symcor in 2001. Since joining Maxxam in 2006 as CEO, the company has more than doubled in size and secured its leadership position in the analytical services industry.
Jon has an MBA from the Ivey School of Business and an Honours BA (Sociology) from Queens University. He sits on the Board of ECO Canada and the Ivey School of Business Advisory Board. In 2012, Jon won an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® award for his successful leadership at Maxxam. Jon was also awarded a national Special Citation for Entrepreneurial Leadership as part of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year® National Awards in a recognition that celebrates his vision, leadership and contributions to building successful, values-based enterprises. In 2013, Jon received the Purvis Memorial Award of the Society for Chemical Industry (SCI) in recognition of Jon’s contributions to advancing Canadian industry in the field of chemistry since he took the leadership role at Maxxam seven years ago.
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.
Stuart Suls, President & CEO, Mr. Lube Canada
Stuart Suls is the current President and Chief Executive Officer for Mr. Lube Canada. Mr. Lube is the largest automotive maintenance provider in Canada with over 128 locations and plans to double in the next three years. Suls is responsible for all aspects of franchise leadership, company growth and strategy. In the past year, he has led the company to an industry leading same store sales growth. Stuart’s success has been built on driving revenue through increased visit frequency by delivering a customer service model that focuses on trust and value. Hired in 2008, Stuart has been instrumental in executing a long term national partnership with Walmart, improving franchisee relationships, increasing store growth and increasing shareholder value.
In 2012, Stuart achieved the highest corporate awards recognition when Mr. Lube Canada received Waterstone’s prestigious award of Canada’s Most Admired Culture and then further bolstered that with the designation as one of Deloitte’s 50 Best Managed Companies. Additionally, Mr. Lube was named as a top British Columbia employer.
An international executive, Suls has extensive experience in growth strategy, mergers & acquisitions, organizational change, and Board governance. Suls has held senior leadership roles for Fortune 500 retail, franchising, manufacturing, food service and transportation companies. Suls is an accomplished agent for change and an organizational strategist. With an ability to align people to a common set of goals, his vision, expertise and passion for winning have created performance driven cultures, with notable outcomes and consistent increases in profitability.
Prior to joining Mr. Lube, Suls was President of S E Independent Delivery Systems Inc., the largest furniture delivery distribution company in North America. The company delivered $1 billion of retail merchandise annually. During his seven years of tenure, he strategically reorganized operations, achieving revenue growth of 57% and a profitability increase of 19% while reducing the capital outflow by 80% through the implementation of a tax structured business leasing unit.
Prior to being recruited to S E Independent Delivery Systems, he spent seven years at the world headquarters for Arby’s Inc., a fast food franchisor with $3 billion revenue, over 3,500 stores and 90,000 employees. Suls held numerous roles within the organization. As Vice President of Strategic Planning, he was involved in a project to divest of 355 stores in the first franchisor royalty cash securitization. He also led the effort of multiple acquisitions of strategic dual-branding partners. As the CIO, he implemented an electronic commerce initiative that improved operational efficiency through the establishment of a global data warehouse.
Earlier in his career, Suls held increasingly responsible positions at Ryder System, Inc., a $6 billion revenue transportation company and Darden Restaurants, Inc., a $6 billion casual dining company comprising of Red Lobster and Olive Garden.
Suls’s success can be attributed to his unwavering integrity, strong understanding of growth markets, and an ability to clearly define ambitious objectives, while motivating and empowering employees to achieve impressive results. Suls has an unsurpassed reputation for consistently leading with the highest level of integrity, which has been reinforced by his employees, customers and investors.
Suls earned his BA degree from Western Maryland College and his MBA degree from Duke University. He is very involved in charities and has sat on the Board of Directors for the YMCA and Meals on Wheels. In his free time, Suls enjoys mountain climbing, golf, white water rafting and triathlons.
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.
Jay Singer, President and CEO, Discount Truck Rentals
Jay Singer is the President and CEO of Discount Car and Truck Rentals, assuming the role in July 2012. Jay joined his family's business in 2004 as a manager in training in Mississauga. Over the next eight years, Jay went on to hold senior positions in the company in operations, fleet, insurance sales as well as commercial sales.
Founded in 1980, Discount is the only Canadian owned and operated national car rental chain, with over 300 locations and 30,000 vehicles across Canada.
Jay received his BA Honors from York University. He then went on New York City to do his Masters in Fine Arts at New York University, and then his Masters of Business Administration at Fordham University, also in New York City.
While pursuing his MBA, Jay majored in Management. He was also simultaneously employed for three years with insurer AIG in D&O underwriting while getting his MBA.
Jay is the proud husband of Rebecca and they have four beautiful children together.
Greg Honey, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Farm Credit Canada
In Greg’s 25 years of human resource experience, he has developed expertise in creating strategic plans that support high performance corporate cultures, inspire employees to give their best every day and recognize that people of any organization are the competitive advantage.
As the Senior Vice-President of Human Resources at Farm Credit Canada (FCC), Greg has leadership of all aspects of the Human Resources and Facilities and Administration functions for FCC’s 1,600+ employees. He holds a Bachelor of Education from the University of Regina.
Additionally, he has completed extensive leadership development through his career and is a certified Hudson Institute Coach through the Hudson Institute of Santa Barbara culminating in his current status as an Associate Certified Coach through the International Coach Federation. Greg has held professional memberships in the Canadian Pension and Benefits Institute (CPBI), Canadian Human Resource Planners and the Conference Board of Canada Human Resource Executive Council. He is currently President Elect of the Saskatchewan Association of Human Resource Professionals.
On the personal side, Greg loves spending time at his mountain retreat in the Rocky Mountains with his wife Donna and their two dogs, Maverick and Shyla. Greg and Donna have three adult children with one grandchild on the way. In his spare time you’ll likely find Greg headed for the mountains or on the greens in the summer. Or, he could be taking part in his passion for painting.
Pierre Sabourin, Senior Vice-President, Corporate Services, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Pierre Sabourin was appointed Senior Vice-President, Corporate Services in June 2013. Prior to joining CMHC, Mr. Sabourin was Vice-President of the Operations Branch at Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). Previously, he held the positions of Assistant Deputy Minister and Chief Information Officer at Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT). Mr. Sabourin also worked for DFAIT’s Trade Commissioner Service marketing Canadian business expertise internationally, and has private sector experience consulting on international business development bank contracts.
Mr. Sabourin teaches Information Technology for Managers at the University of Ottawa Executive MBA program, and in 2004, he received the University of Ottawa Part-Time Professor of the Year award.
Pierre Sabourin has a degree in Engineering from the Université de Sherbrooke, a Certificate in Finance from the École des Hautes Études Commerciales, Université de Montréal, and an International MBA from the University of Ottawa.
Marni Johnson, Vice President Human Resources and Communications, BlueShore Financial
Marni has been a Human Resources executive at BlueShore Financial (formerly North Shore Credit Union) since 1996, and provides overall leadership and strategic direction in the areas of human resources and corporate and internal communications. Under Marni’s leadership, BlueShore Financial has been named to the "50 Best Small and Medium Employers in Canada" and "The Green 30" lists by Aon Hewitt.
Prior to joining BlueShore Financial, Marni held a variety of marketing roles in the consumer packaged goods, financial services and telecommunications industries.
Marni holds an MBA from the Schulich School of Business; a Bachelor of Science (Math and Economics) from the University of Toronto; and the designation of Certified Human Resources Professional.
Marni is Chair of the BC Credit Union Employees’ Pension and Benefits Trusts and serves on the boards of Chor Leoni Men’s Choir and the Pacific Symphonic Wind Ensemble. She is also past-Chair of the Minerva Foundation for BC Women’s “Women In” Committee.
BlueShore Financial is a boutique financial institution providing a full range of personal and business banking, wealth management, insurance and commercial lending solutions. BlueShore Financial has 12 branches across the Lower Mainland and Sea-to-Sky Corridor and administers $3 billion in assets. BlueShore Financial has been honoured numerous times as one of the most technologically innovative financial institutions in North America and has been consistently ranked among the top 20 financial planning firms in Metro Vancouver.
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.
Rosemary McCarney, President and CEO, Plan Canada
Rosemary McCarney is President and CEO of Plan International Canada Inc. (Plan Canada), an international, humanitarian, child rights development organization. Founded in 1937 as Foster Parents Plan, Plan now works in 69 countries helping children, their families and communities to achieve lasting improvements in their lives. Plan leads the global Because I am a Girl initiative through its annual State of the World’s Girls Report and in its advocacy on behalf of girls everywhere.
Rosemary has had an extensive international career in law, business and the not-for-profit sector. She has worked in more than 100 countries and is a regular writer and spokesperson on girls’ and women’s rights and international development issues in the Canadian media as well as internationally. Prior to joining Plan Canada she was the Executive Director of Street Kids International.
Rosemary received her undergraduate degree from the University of Toronto, her law degree from the University of Western Ontario, and her MBA from Case Western Reserve University. She has taught international trade law and constitutional law. Rosemary has worked in international economic development with the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation, USAID and CIDA, as well as other governments and UN bodies focused on institution building, gender issues, and micro finance.
Rosemary has been a member of the Board of Directors of numerous private sector, not-for-profit and community organizations. She is currently a Board Member of The Humanitarian Coalition and the Advisory Board of the Canada-United States Law Institute as well as the Public Policy Committee of Imagine Canada.
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.
Bruce McCuaig, President and Chief Executive Officer, Metrolinx
Bruce McCuaig has been the President and Chief Executive Officer of Metrolinx since September 4, 2010.
Bruce began his career in public service in 1984, and has worked in areas involving land use planning and policy, municipal policy, and transportation planning, policy and operations over the intervening years. He served in various capacities at the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing for 10 years, as well as serving 15 years at the Ontario Ministry of Transportation. His final role at the Ontario Ministry of Transportation was Deputy Minister, responsible for leading the 4,000 public servants dedicated to ensuring Ontario’s transportation was efficient in safely moving people and goods across the Province.
As President & CEO of Metrolinx, Bruce is building a team that is committed to transforming transportation in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, by building a customer service emphasis throughout the organization, delivering quality transportation services on time and on budget, and working collaboratively with our partners. Delivering on the promise of The Big Move, our award-winning regional transportation plan, is central to everything the organization does, and is demonstrated by our focus on growing GO Transit, delivering the Pearson Air Rail Link, deploying PRESTO, the regional smart card fare payment system, and building new transit services across the region.
Bruce graduated from Ryerson University in 1984 with a Bachelor of Applied Arts (Urban and Regional Planning) degree, and from Queen’s University in 2000 with a Master of Public Administration degree.
Sandy McIntosh, Senior Vice-President, Human Resources and Chief Human Resources Officer, TELUS
Sandy McIntosh is a dynamic leader with a proven ability to lead teams and drive transformational change across TELUS. As Senior Vice-President, Human Resources and Chief Human Resources Officer, Sandy serves as a trusted advisor to senior leaders across the company, driving people strategy, managing strategic programs for the office of the Chief Executive Officer, supporting TELUS’ cultural evolution, and spearheading the development of the company’s leadership pipeline. Under Sandy’s leadership, the 400-strong HR team provides support for TELUS’ 43,000 team members who contribute to the company’s $11.5 billion of annual revenue and manage 13.3 million customer connections.
Sandy is focused on building outstanding team member and customer experiences. During her seven-year tenure at TELUS, her people and culture leadership practices have contributed to team member engagement across the organization increasing from 57 per cent to 83 per cent. Sandy’s leadership of HR practices and programs have also contributed to TELUS being recognized as one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers by Mediacorp for five consecutive years.
Sandy is also a passionate advocate of community initiatives and gives back as Vice-Chair of the TELUS Toronto Community Board, co-lead for TELUS Day of Giving in the Greater Toronto Area, and through her involvement in TELUS’ United Way fundraising campaign. In addition, she is a strong supporter of the Weekend to End Women’s Cancers, serving as Honorary Chair. Sandy was recognized for her outstanding professional achievements with the Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award from the Women’s Executive Network in 2014.
Sandy holds both an Executive MBA and a Master’s in Industrial Relations from Queen’s University, and an undergraduate degree in Public Administration from Carleton University.
Sean O'Brien, President, Reliance Home Comfort
Sean currently serves as President of Reliance Home Comfort, where he is responsible for planning and implementing strategies to drive growth, improve operations, productivity and profitability, and foster a high performance culture. The Reliance team includes over 1,100 professionals with unequalled experience to recommend, install, and maintain the heating and cooling essentials for our customers. Currently, the team supports 1.3 million Canadian households across the country. Reliance is the largest rental Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioner business and the largest rental Water Heater business in Canada.
Prior to joining Reliance in 2013, Sean most recently served as President, Acklands-Grainger, Inc. (AGI) since September 2009. He was responsible for all aspects of Grainger’s business in Canada. Grainger was recently ranked #1 company among diversified wholesalers on FORTUNE magazine’s 2010 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list. In 2009 and in 2012, Acklands-Grainger was recognized as one of Canada’s 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures by Waterstone Human Capital.
Prior to his role as President, Sean was AGI Vice-President, Sales where he led several key initiatives in National Accounts, business services, inventory solutions, training, and sales effectiveness. In early 2009, Sean took on additional responsibilities for eBusiness and Marketing where he made a number of enhancements to the company’s offerings. Before joining AGI, Sean held a number of senior leadership positions in the document management, transportation and logistics industries.
Sean graduated from Bishops University in Quebec with a Bachelor of Arts. He supports various organizations in his community including serving as Vice Chairman, Campaign Cabinet for United Way Oakville.
Jill Wagman, Managing Principal, Eckler Ltd.
Jill is the Managing Principal of Eckler Ltd., and a qualified actuary with over 20 years of pension consulting experience. She joined Eckler in 1993 and was the retirement practice leader from 2003 to 2006. Prior to Eckler, Jill was with another major actuarial consulting firm.
Jill has over 20 years’ experience in the pension consulting industry. As a Principal in the firm’s employee benefits consulting practice, she has advised corporations, boards of directors, boards of trustees and government agencies on pension and employee benefits matters and will continue to serve these clients in her new role.
In her professional capacity, Jill currently serves as a member of the Actuarial Standards Oversight Council (ASOC) and has served on and chaired a number of committees of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries. Jill is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and has written many articles for industry trade publications.