Entrepreneur in Residence, Molson School of Business, Concordia University
Charles Bierbrier is an experienced entrepreneur with a background in the banking and investment management industry. He founded and launched a craft brewery in Montreal, where he developed, brought to market, and grew a portfolio of premium brands of beer for more than a decade.
Currently, Charles is the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the John Molson School of Business at Concordia University where he interacts with students, conducts lectures and acts as a mentor. He is also a Faculty Member in the Department of Business Administration at Dawson College where he lectures on management and marketing.
Charles enjoys giving back to the community through his involvement in various organizations and foundations. He is an active member and Past-President the Westmount Rotary Club. He is currently Officer Commanding of the 78th Fraser Highlanders (Fort St. Helen Garrison), and Co-Chair of the Young Colonel’s Circle of the Black Watch (RHR) of Canada. In 2012 Charles participated in the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference, and was the Quebec Regional Co-Chair for the conference in 2015. He is also a Past-President of both the Selwyn House Old Boys Association, and the McGill Young Alumni.
Charles is an experienced public speaker, lecturer, and business consultant, and has been featured in several magazines, television and radio shows.
Graduate of McGill University with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, Master of Business Administration from Concordia University, and a Certificate in Sustainable Business Strategy from Harvard Business School.
Daniel is an alumnus of the 1998 Duke of Edinburgh Commonwealth Study Conference and former Business Manager of Local 2228, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). While IBEW Business Manager, Daniel also served as President of the International Federation of Air Traffic Safety Electronics Associations from 2011 to 2018.
Following the 1998 CSC, Daniel continued to support the goals of the Conference and served on the Steering Committee and the Ottawa Tour Group organizing committee for the 2015 Caribbean-Canada Emerging Leaders Dialogue (CCELD).
In retirement, Daniel pursues a wide range of professional and personal interests. He is a Board member of the Public Service Health Care Plan Administration Authority and an active volunteer with the Ottawa Volunteer Search and Rescue Association. An electronics engineering technologist by training, Daniel holds an amateur radio operator’s license and dabbles in technology for leisure and pleasure.
Daniel serves as Chair of the CSC2023 Global Alumni Reunion in Montreal.
General Manager, Sea to Sky GondolaKirby Brown is a business and social entrepreneur, outdoorsman and tourism operator. He got his start in tourism at age 14 as a tour guide at The Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic in his hometown of Lunenburg, NS. Today he is founding General Manager of one of British Columbia’s most successful and innovative tourism start-ups, the Sea to Sky Gondola near Whistler.
Kirby is also a founding director of Canadian charity Playground Builders International, which has built 247 playgrounds to date in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Palestinian Territories, bringing safe play in major conflict zones to over one million children daily.
Kirby became a senior manager at the world-famous Whistler Blackcomb resort in 1999. In 2007 he became the President and COO of Panorama Mountain Village in Invermere, BC, and negotiated the sale of the resort to local owners in 2010.
Kirby worked at a variety of social and tourism ventures before moving to Squamish in 2015 to proudly join the new Sea to Sky Gondola as General Manager. His community commitments include serving as Chair of Tourism Squamish, a board member of the Squamish Sustainability Corporation and the Granting Committee of Community Futures. Recently he became a founding member of the Squamish First Nations’ ambitious project, Hiy̓ám̓ ta Housing Society, with the aim to develop new affordable housing sufficient to “bring home” all off-reserve nation members and to improve the current supply of on-reserve housing.
Since being a member and study group co-chair for the 2008 Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference, Kirby has remained involved in the regional organizing committees for the 2012, 2015 and 2017 Conferences.
CEO of Stella’s CircleLisa Browne has a demonstrated history of working and volunteering in the community sector. She is strongly guided by her values with a particular focus on social justice and community involvement.
Lisa is CEO of Stella’s Circle, a community organization with a mission to transform lives by offering housing, counselling and employment services. She has twice been recognized as one of the Top 50 CEOs in Atlantic Canada.
She is currently a Board member of Food First NL, Mental Health Research Canada and the National Gallery of Canada. Lisa is a past participant and regional co-chair of the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference. She has served as the Deputy Mayor of the Town of Clarenville, the Board of Directors of The Rooms and as a community violinist with the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra.
With a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Business Administration from Memorial University, Lisa was recognized by her alma mater as Alumna of the Year in 2020. She is the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of her community work.
Executive Director, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 832
Marie Buchan is the Executive Director for United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 832, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, representing over 16,000 members in over 130 private sector workplaces across the Province.
As Director of Operations, Marie oversees all staff and overall operations of the Local’s three offices & two training centres. Marie began her career with UFCW Local 832 in 2002. She came on staff as a relief representative and became a permanent, full-time union representative in March 2003. In the same month, in addition to her appointment as a Local 832 full-time union rep, Marie was elected to the Executive Board of the UFCW Canadian Council.
Marie has also been the Manitoba representative for the UFCW Canada Youth Committee and the UFCW Canada Women’s Advisory Board. She was the Local’s Director of Servicing for 4 years before moving into the Negotiation’s department in 2012. After 4 years as a full time Negotiator and Executive Assistant to the President, Marie moved into her current role as Director of Operations.
Marie also represents UFCW Local 832 as a member of the Manitoba Federation of Labour Executive Council and Secretary Treasurer for the Manitoba Council of Healthcare Unions.
Marie currently sits as a trustee for a variety of Health and Welfare Benefit Plans and served a term as a board member for the Central Regional Health Authority. In May of 2020, Marie was appointed to the Board of Directors for Manitoba Blue Cross.
In 2015, Marie was selected as one of the Manitoba delegates to the Governor Generals Canadian Leadership Conference and was named Co-chair for the Alberta Study Tour. When the conference ran again in 2017, Marie was appointed as the regional co-chair of the Manitoba Study tour, playing a critical role in showcasing Manitoba to the study tour participants.
General Manager – Recreation, Culture and Events (City of Moncton)
Catherine Dallaire has held a number of strategic leadership positions with the City of Moncton. As General Manager, she has overall responsibility for parks and recreation, athletic facilities, events and major venues, social inclusion programs, a museum complex, heritage buildings and cultural services.
Catherine earned her undergraduate degree, a Bachelor of Public Relations, from Mount Saint Vincent University (Halifax) and her Maîtrise en Administration publique from Université de Moncton (Moncton).
She is a proud alumna of the 2004 Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference and was honoured to serve as Regional co-chair of the 2008 Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference).
She is actively engaged in her community and her profession, including the Organizing Committee of the Congrès mondial acadien 2019, the Institute of Public Administration of Canada, the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators, International City Managers’ Association, Moncton Rotary Club (Past President and Paul Harris Fellow), and the Greater Moncton YMCA.
Principal, The Fractional CMO
Stephen Dorsey, CM is the principal at The Fractional CMO, where he provides senior-level, management consulting expertise in the areas of omni-channel marketing and brand strategy.
Stephen’s international career has included direct and indirect engagements with leading brands including Starbucks, Aroma Espresso Bar, Western Financial, Costco, Hollister, Bose and PlayNetwork, and non-profits including Haven Toronto.
Stephen is also an award-winning creative producer, director and storyteller at Dorsey Studios, where he has produced an extensive portfolio of engaging visual content for multi-channel distribution.
In 2019, Stephen was awarded an inaugural Chartered Marketer designation given to select Canadian marketers (via their Senior Path) by the Canadian Marketing Association.
Stephen is a recognized thought leader in digital media and related technologies. His white paper titled “Winning in the New Economy– Seven Steps Toward a Canadian Innovation Strategy” was widely shared with leaders in government and business.
Stephen is active in civic matters and is a founding member of Democracy House – a non-partisan, non-profit dedicated to supporting and promoting liberal democracy in Canada and beyond.
As a Black Canadian, Stephen is a vocal advocate for the need to build bridges and on-ramps to the Black Lives Matters movement for all anti-racist Canadians who want to be part of systemic and societal change.
Stephen is an alumnus of the 2008 Governor Generals Canadian Leadership Conference (Yukon Study Group).
Chief, United Nations Peacebuilding Fund
Marc-André Franche has served the United Nations for over 20 years. Since 2016 he leads the Secretary General’s Peacebuilding Fund which is investing in over 50 countries worldwide to sustain peace.
Prior to this assignment he was Country Director for the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in Pakistan from 2013 to 2016, where he led a team working on governance, climate change adaptation and crisis prevention and recovery. He was Deputy Director of UNDP in Haiti from 2008 to 2012 where he oversaw the implementation of programs addressing governance, rule of law reform, improvement of livelihoods and environmental protection notably in the context of the post-earthquake recovery and reconstruction. Between 2004 and 2008, he worked for UNDP in New York as Program Adviser for conflict prevention in Latin America and the Caribbean. Prior to that he worked on applied research and policy dialogue in conflict prevention and governance for UNDP in Colombia from 2001 to 2004, and poverty reduction and local governance for UNDP in Bolivia from 1998 to 2001.
Marc-André obtained Master’s degrees in Politics of Development from the London School of Economics and in European Affairs from Lund University and a BSc in Political Science from Université de Montréal. He is an alumnus of the 2008 Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference.
President and COO, Northern Vision Development
Michael is currently the President and Chief Operating Officer of Northern Vision Development, a Yukon-based hotel operator and real estate development company. With six hotels, Yukon’s largest commercial real estate portfolio and multiple capital projects, NVD is one of Yukon’s (and the North’s) largest private sector entities.
Michael moved to the Yukon more than 20 years ago and has built a life in Canada’s north. His career has spanned a wide gamut, from journalism to government to politics to private sector. Previous to his current role, he held numerous roles from Chief of Staff to Yukon’s Premier to Vice President of Operations for a Crown corporation to Assistant Deputy Minister/Chief Negotiator for Aboriginal Relations to Chief Administrative Officer for Yukon’s only post-secondary institution.
In 2008, Michael attended the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference and in 2012, as a GGCLC alumni, he co-chaired the planning and development of the Yukon tour.
He has two sons, Maddox and Jonah, and a partner, Lacia, who remind him daily that work is only one part of life.
Partner and General Counsel, Sagard Holdings
Sacha Haque is a Partner and General Counsel at Sagard Holdings, a multi-strategy alternative asset manager. Prior to joining Sagard, Sacha spent almost ten years with Power Corporation of Canada, where she most recently served as Assistant General Counsel. Sacha started her career in private practice at Dentons LLP, a global law firm, as an M&A lawyer.
In 2012, Sacha participated in the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference, as Chair of the Alberta study group, an experience which she describes as transformational. Sacha is a Director of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) Foundation and a Member of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation. She was previously Chair of the Marianopolis College Millennium Foundation, a founding Director of the Young Directors of the Institute for the Governance of Public and Private Organizations, a Director of the YWCA Montreal, and has served as a Director or Chair of various other not-for-profit community or fundraising initiatives over the years.
Sacha holds Civil Law (LL.L) and Common Law (LL.B) degrees from the University of Ottawa, and is a member of the bar in Ontario and Quebec. She is a single mother by choice and lives in Montreal with her one year old twins boys, Jonah and Jacob. In her spare time, Sacha is a #pelotonmom and writes short stories that she never intends to publish.
Vice President, Strategy and Stakeholder Relations, International CCS Knowledge Centre
As Vice-President, Strategy & Stakeholder Relations, Beth leads the Knowledge Centre’s considerations of policies and regulations that foster Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS). Including linking CCS knowledge with other countries to reduce locked-in investments and collaboratively support the goals of the Paris Agreement.
Her understanding of complex climate change matters, capacity building requirements, and international financing concerns act as a solid basis for assisting both national and international implementation strategies for technologies that support environmental targets.
Beth’s legal education, teaching and practice have explored balancing energy, the environment and social implications. Prior to joining the Knowledge Centre, she worked as legal counsel for the provincial Crown utility and as Acting Director of Climate Change with the Government of Saskatchewan. She has also worked the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy where she focused on analysing provincial/territorial climate action plans and making recommendations for low cost and sustainable pathways.
Executive Secretary-Treasurer, Alberta Union of Provincial Employees
Jason Heistad is serving his fourth term as Executive Secretary-Treasured of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE). He previously served eight years as a Vice-President, and for the last twenty years has been an AUPE activist fighting for social wellbeing.
Heistad cannot remember a time when unionism wasn’t a part of his life. His grandfather was a labour leader whose mentorship continues to guide Jason today.
With Alberta facing its worst economic challenge since the Depression of the 1930s, Jason is working with his colleagues to save thousands of public sector jobs within government, health and advanced education. The provincial government had proposed major job cuts prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic situation has only worsened. Jason’s leadership emphasises that the extraordinarily difficult times require government, labour, business and non-profits to collaborate to ensure that public services and the economy survive the extraordinary challenges.
Jason was selected for the 2004 Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference. During that time he was a shop steward and an up and coming leader within the Alberta Labour movement. Through the GGCLC experience he learned the potential power of collaboration among the different sectors, a framework he tries to work with whenever possible.
In addition to his work with AUPLE, Jason has been active in local politics, serving nearly 12 years as Town Councillor in his hometown of Innisfail, Alberta, where he lives with his wife Sharla and their three daughters Emma 22, Claire 20, and Ella 16.
Director, Canada Chinese Business Council
Adam is a proud Canadian who has lived and worked extensively overseas; in the UK, France, Japan, and currently in Hong Kong. Adam works for CIBC in their Asian investment banking team.
In addition to having advised companies based on every continent, Adam spent a period of time seconded into the office of the former Premier of Alberta and helped establish a CIBC office in Latin America.
Adam received an MBA with Distinction from INSEAD in France, a Masters of Mechanical Engineering in Space Resources from the Colorado School of Mines, a Bachelor of Applied Science (Chemical Engineering) and a Bachelor of Arts (Classics) from Queen’s University, Canada, and a Professional Engineer designation from APEGA.
He has been honoured with admittance into the Order of St. John, a Paul Harris Fellowship by Rotary International, a Baden Powell Fellowship by the World Scout Foundation, a Royal Geographical Society and Royal Asiatic Society Fellowship and a lifetime membership in the Friends of the Scott Polar Research Institute of Cambridge University. In 2017, Adam participated in the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference.
Adam is director of the Canada Chinese Business Council (CCBC), a past director of the Glenbow Museum in Calgary, St John’s Ambulance in Alberta, the Calgary Stampede Rodeo Committee and the Queen’s University Council. Adam is also a “Male Ally,” a supporter of corporate gender equality in Hong Kong.
Adam is an avid sportsman and has completed the Boston Marathon and the Athens Classic Marathon as well as a successful summit of Mt. Everest from the Nepalese side.
Managing Director, Office of the CEO, BMO Financial Group
Paul was appointed Managing Director of the Office of the CEO in May 2018.
Prior to this role, he served as Head of Canadian Government Relations, managing BMO Financial Group’s relationships with federal, provincial/state and municipal governments in Canada and International jurisdictions.
From 2006-2014, he served in the Government of Ontario in various roles within the Office of the Premier of Ontario and the Office of the Minister of Training, Colleges & Universities. Mr. Lehmann holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) degree from the University of Waterloo.
Ed J. McHugh
Professor of Business, Nova Scotia Community College
Ed McHugh is an award-winning business faculty member at the Nova Scotia Community College and a part time faculty member at Mount St. Vincent, Saint Mary’s and Dalhousie Universities. Prior to switching to education, he spent his career working in corporate marketing and public relations.
Ed has a deep history of community involvement. A past president of the St FX Alumni Association, he was inducted into the university’s Hall of Honour for life-long contributions to society. He has served in many roles in the world of basketball. (He just completed his 47th year as a referee and claims, “There has not been one bad call!” .
His favourite community passion is Special Olympics and has actively been involved for 20 years.
A native of Grand Falls-Windsor, NL, Ed was educated at Western University (Ivey MBA), St. FX University (BA Political Science) and St. Michael’s High School.
He is married to Shelly (Culligan) of Belledune, NB. They have two children – Kate
(Edinburgh, UK) and Colin (Halifax, NS). All four are graduates of St FX University.
Executive Director, North America Porfolio Planning, General Motors
Amrit Mehta is Executive Director – North America Portfolio Planning at General Motors (GM) Company, based in Detroit, Michigan.
During his career at GM, Amrit has held various management and leadership positions in Product & Portfolio Planning, Customer Experience, Strategy & Performance Management, Brand Management, and Franchise/Network Management. In addition to Automotive, Amrit also has prior work experience in the Healthcare and Airline industries.
Amrit has a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering, a Master’s in Business Administration, and has also earned Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), Certified Management Accounting (CMA) designations in Canada. In 2019, Amrit completed a Senior Executive Transformation Leadership Program at Stanford University, USA.
In addition to the U.S., Amrit has lived/worked in India, UAE, UK, and Canada. Amrit is an alumnus of the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference (2008), and serves on the board of The CHARGE Syndrome Foundation (www.chargesyndrome.org).
President and CEO, Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund
Sarah Midanik is an Indigenous professional who is passionate about increasing capacity and social impact within Indigenous communities. Born and raised near the historic Métis community of St. Albert, Sarah is a proud member of the Métis Nation of Alberta.
Sarah is currently the President & CEO of the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund, a national charity that seeks to build cultural understanding and create a path towards reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians. Sarah is the former Executive Director of the Native Women’s Resource Centre of Toronto (NWRCT), a charity dedicated to providing resources and support to urban Indigenous women and their families. Prior to NWRCT, Sarah was at Indspire, a national charity working to advance education outcomes for First Nation, Métis, and Inuit students.
Sarah is committed to advancing Indigenous programs and projects and has sat on many advisory councils and boards including the Indigenous Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Indigenous Professionals Association of Canada, the Aboriginal Advisory Counsel for the City of Toronto, the Toronto Indigenous Health Advisory Circle, the Toronto Police Service and was the Co-Chair and Co- Founder of the Indigenous Place Making Council. A dedicated volunteer, Sarah currently sits on the national board for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada.
CEO, Charlottetown Airport Authority
Born and raised in Charlottetown, PEI, Doug has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from UPEI and a MBA from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Prior to his current role as CEO of the Charlottetown Airport Authority, Doug spent 7 years in the airline industry working in various roles in marketing, sales, planning, and revenue management with two different airlines – Air Canada Jazz and CanJet Airlines. In June of 2007, Doug was appointed CEO of the Charlottetown Airport Authority. He currently serves as a board member of the Atlantic Canada Airports Association, Canadian Airports Council, Charlottetown
Harbour Authority Inc., and Maritime Electric Company Limited.
Doug supports his passion for both basketball and his community, by serving as the President of the Stratford Minor Basketball Association and while also coaching a U12 team.
He lives in Stratford, PEI, with his wife Kristy, two daughters, Ryan and Alex, and
their miniature labradoodle, Kona.
Vice President, Consultation Simon Potter Inc.
Aileen O’Rafferty has held senior executive positions in business, government and non-profit organizations over the past 30 years. She is a proud Alumna of the eighth Duke of Edinburgh’s Commonwealth Study Conference, held in Canada in 1998.
After her education in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Aileen began her career with the Government of France’s Ministère de l’Éducation nationale as a Lycée educator in the archipelago of Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon. She returned to her home city and province after a decade, accepting the position of French language Department Head at the province’s largest secondary school.
Recruited by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador in 1995, she spent the next decade in a variety of senior positions, beginning at the Treasury Board Secretariat where, in concert with the federal government, she established the first NL Office of French Services to provide language training, translation and enhanced relations with the province’s francophone community.
Later, as Director of Constitutional Affairs at the Executive Council’s Intergovernmental Affairs Secretariat, her pragmatism and analytical skills buttressed strategic advice to the Premier and various Ministers on major issues of intergovernmental policy. Aileen also was extensively involved in her province’s relations with the Quebec government on joint hydroelectric development projects. In 2004, she became Director of Government Relations for the NL Department of Health.
Aileen moved to Ottawa in 2005 to work in the private sector, as Vice-President, Federal Government Relations, for RxD, now Innovative Medicines Canada.
From there, she was recruited by Ron Joyce, the Canadian entrepreneur and philanthropist, who sought her leadership and strategic guidance in his businesses and in the establishment and operations of his Foundation, of which she became President.
With her extensive background in public policy, government relations, strategy development and negotiation, Aileen currently serves as Vice-President at Consultation Simon Potter Inc. in Montreal.
Aileen is fluent in English and French. Her volunteer pursuits include chairing the Governance Committee of the Board of Trustees of The Joyce Family Foundation, a private philanthropic foundation whose focus is on access to education for vulnerable Canadian youth.
Manager, Community Indigenous Engagement, Enbridge Pipelines Inc.
A Métis woman originally from northern Saskatchewan, Catherine is passionate about improving employment, health and education outcomes for Indigenous and northern residents, particularly for women and children. A belief that communities and industry can build mutually beneficial relationships resulting in improved social outcomes is what drives her.
As a former social worker with extensive experience in family services, community wellness, counselling and social development, Catherine remains driven to ensure social and economic prosperity are extended to all communities through partnerships and inclusion. Catherine’s accountabilities at Westcoast Energy, Enbridge Pipelines Inc., include leadership in Indigenous and community engagement and public consultation. Her current portfolio includes British Columbia, Alberta’s Athabasca Region and the Northwest Territories.
Committed to community development Catherine is a board member and philanthropy chair for the YMCA of Northern BC, Vice Chair and Vital Signs lead for the Prince George Community Foundation, co-chairs the recently formed national Indigenous Peoples Response Fund and is the BC Chair of the DESC/ELD Leadership Advisory Council for 2020/2021.
In 2015 Catherine was one of 250 selected emerging leaders to participate in the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference travelling to Nunavut to further experience and study issues of Canadian importance from a northern perspective. In 2019 she participated in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Emerging Leaders Dialogue series in Canada with a focus on reconciliation and sustainability.
Catherine attained an honors degree from the University of Victoria, is Certified Professional Coach, and holds a diploma in Mediation and Advanced Conflict Resolution from Mount Royal University. Currently, Catherine is undertaking graduate studies in counselling. She has recently completed a post graduate certificate from the London School of Economics as well an international coaching program with a focus on health.
As lover of the outdoors and exercise enthusiast northern BC is the perfect home! When not working, Catherine can be found with her husband and children Nordic skiing, biking or kayaking.
Senior Vice President, Government and Indigenous Relations, Canadian Utilities
Steven is the Senior Vice President, Government and Indigenous Relations, CU. He is responsible for building and maintaining constructive, respectful and transparent relationships with all levels of government, and with ensuring the company maintains strong and collaborative partnerships with Indigenous communities.
Steven was appointed to his current position on March 1, 2020. Prior to this position Steven was the Senior Vice President & General Manager, ATCO Energy Solutions since 2016, leading ATCO’s Storage & Liquids business which included the development and execution of its Salt Caverns and Heartland Water Intake projects.
Steven joined ATCO in 2003, was promoted to Supervisor Distribution Operations, Calgary North, Gas Distribution in 2005 and continued to hold progressively senior roles throughout his tenure. In 2012, he moved to the Storage & Liquids division as Senior Manager, Technical & Operations, then in March 2015 was appointed Vice President, Engineering & HSSE, Storage & Liquids.
Steven holds a degree in Chemical Engineering and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Calgary, and is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA). He is an alumnus of the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference.
Partner, Leaders International
As a Partner at Leaders International, Yanouk Poirier has successfully led numerous assignments of top-level executives and board members, for major companies and renowned firms, both national and international. He is also Chairman of Penhyn International, a global network of executive search firms in 30 cities around the world.
Yanouk is an entrepreneur at heart who has created and grown several businesses. His varied career reinforces his passion for entrepreneurship and allows him to fully grasp the reality of new business leaders and entrepreneurs.
He has over 20 years of professional experience in different sectors, including professional services, finance, media and information technology.
Yanouk is actively involved in the community: he sits on the Board of Directors of the Club St. James and the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation. He also a mentor for Enablis, an organization providing assistance to entrepreneurs in developing countries and is active in executive coaching.
He was a member of the 2008 Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference.
International Longshore and Warehouse Union
Angela Talic has worked as Longshore Worker in the Port of Vancouver since 1997. She became a member of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 500 in 2007, and since that time, she has served the labour movement in various capacities. She has worked relentlessly to advance human rights and gender rights in the historically male-dominated industry.
Angela served as the Vice President at Large of ILWU Canada from 2012 to 2014.
She was the first longshore woman to hold an elected position in the international union. During that time, she worked in a partnership with her employer to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of the women longshore workers in the province of British Columbia. They created a video, Women on the Waterfront, which continues to receive international recognition in the transportation sector. She was awarded the 2015 Cargo Logistics Canada Supply Chain Woman of the Year Award for her participation in this project.
She is currently involved in a tri-partite collaborative effort between the union, employer and the federal government to ensure that that the longshore industry will be in compliance with the amendments to the Canada Labour Code introduced by Bill C-65. She is developing a training curriculum geared at the prevention of workplace violence and harassment, which will be delivered to approximately 7,000 longshore workers throughout the province of BC.
In 2017, Angela decided to pursue a law degree and she will be entering her final year of law at the University of British Columbia in the fall of 2020. She has continued to work on a full-time basis while studying and raising her 11 year old son. She has a keen interest in social justice, and she intends on combining her experience in the labour movement with her legal education.
Executive Director, Canadian Council on Animal Care
Pierre Verreault joined the Canadian Council on Animal Care as Executive Director in 2017. With a strong background in standards and policy development, he is committed to fulfilling the CCAC’s strategic goals and objectives of ensuring the highest standards of animal ethics and care in all animal-based science conducted throughout Canada while ensuring the long-term stability and viability of the organization.
Pierre has more 20 years of experience in managing national, member-based organizations. Prior to joining the CCAC, Mr. Verreault worked for a non-profit association of food producers, developing policies and strategies to support the industry and its workforce, and spearheading the development of a professional standards and certification system. He was also responsible for reorganizing the national office and developing a new funding strategy. Mr. Verreault also worked as a management consultant for small and medium firms, and has served on the board of directors of multiple national and international organizations.
Mr. Verreault holds a Master in European Affairs, European Commercial Law and Business Administration degree from Lund University, Sweden, and a Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Relations degree from the Université Laval, Québec. Pierre is an alumnus of the 2008 Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference.
AIA OAA LEED AP, Principal
Sybil Wa is a Canadian architect based in New York City where she is an adjunct faculty member at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation and a principal at Diamond Schmitt Architects working to transform David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center. Her interest in cultural and urban dialogues developed through advocacy and contributions to a broad range of civic focused projects that include housing, playgrounds, and opera houses such as the Four Seasons Centre for Performing Arts in Toronto, Canada, and the New Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia.
She is committed to sustainable development and aims to advance and integrate the industry’s best available building practices to serve this purpose. Her advocacy related to urban issues has garnered attention from Canada’s national television, newspapers and radio. Sybil is a former member of Ryerson University’s City Building Institute Advisory Committee where she developed a greater understanding of the role of research in championing design excellence for cities. She was recently elected vice-chair of the Toronto Community Housing Design Review Panel where projects for North America’s second largest affordable housing developer are reviewed. Working to create thriving communities is her personal and professional priority.
Sybil is an alumna of the 2017 Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference where she was a member of the Nova Scotia study group.
Director of Government Relations, IBEW Canada and
Executive Assistant to the International Vice President
Matt Wayland is the Executive Assistant to the International Vice President and Canadian Director of Government Relations for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Canada. The IBEW is the world’s longest standing and largest electrical union, with a total membership over 775,000 and almost 70,000 members in Canada from coast to coast to coast.
Matt began his career in the Canadian office of the IBEW in 2011 and has played a key role in educating and engaging IBEW leaders and grassroots members across the country. He has raised the IBEW’s profile with various levels of politicians of all-party stripes bringing issues that matter most to their members, to the attention of policy and decision makers.
He is an alumnus of the 2015 Governor Generals Canadian Leadership Conference that assembles Canada’s next generation of leaders in business, government, labour, and NGO’s and remains active as an alumni.
In April 2018, Matt was appointed by Canada’s federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, to the Task Force on Just Transition for Canadian Coal Power Workers and Communities.
In August of 2018, Matt was named the Executive Assistant to the International Vice President and Canadian Director of Government Relations by IBEW IVP Tom Reid.
In August of 2019, Matt was appointed by the Prime Minister and Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour as one of three Co-Chairs for the Ministerial Advisory Committee on a National Campaign to Promote the Skilled Trades as a First Choice Career for Young People.
Matt is a licensed red-seal electrician and has been a proud member of IBEW Local Union 303 in St. Catharines, ON since 2001. Prior to his current role, Matt served his local union in several capacities including as an apprentice representative, Executive Board member, President and a trustee to the local union pension and health and welfare funds.
Vice President, Lafarge Canada
Bruce is an executive with 30 years of entrepreneurial and international leadership experience in general management, strategic planning, operations management, marketing and sales, and change leadership.
Bruce started his career in environmental sciences, founding the environmental consultancy Hemmera in Vancouver and counselling companies, government and NGOs. Under his leadership the company increased in size with offices across Western Canada.
In 2000, Bruce sold his company to join the multinational Lafarge Group. During his time with Lafarge and Lafarge Holcim, his scope of work grew consistently to overseeing more than $700 million in revenue managing construction product lines across Canada and the Eastern US.
In 2010 he joined Lafarge headquarters in Paris, France where he oversaw the revenue performance of 39 country ready-mix concrete businesses from the Americas to the Middle East and China and throughout Europe. In 2014 he worked with the Lafarge team preparing the company for the anticipated global merger with the Holcim Group of Switzerland. More recently Bruce has managed the Lafarge Construction businesses in Edmonton, Alberta as well as the Concrete business across the 4 Western Provinces. He is currently Vice President General Manager of the Lafarge Aggregates business in Eastern Canada, producing more than 30 million tonnes of construction aggregates for infrastructure, commercial and residential construction in most major eastern urban centres.
Bruce has worked in almost every Canadian province and territory, the U.S., and for 4 years supporting Lafarge global operations in 39 countries. Throughout his career, Bruce has supported and encouraged sustainable development and corporate practices, with a strong focus on community and a local presence. A personal highlight was the Jimmy Carter Habitat for Humanity build in Edmonton in 2017 in which Lafarge was a major corporate partner. Bruce led the initiative to donate, support and provide materials and labour to this project resulting in the building of 100 new homes in the Edmonton area and 150 new homes across Canada.
Bruce is an alumnus of the 2004 Canadian leadership conference.
Professor in Native Studies, University of Manitoba
Dr. Wanda Wuttunee is Professor in Native Studies at the University of Manitoba. She is Cree, from Red Pheasant Cree Nation in Saskatchewan. Dr. Wuttunee focuses her teaching and research on future Indigenous business leaders and their efforts to benefit home communities. She also is interested in mainstream business/community partnerships that work to enhance vibrant, sustainable and healthy Indigenous communities in Canada, with CSC 2003 participation enriching her international perspectives.
The term “community capitalism” reflects Dr. Wuttunee’s emphasis on the need for economic development to be in sync with Indigenous entrepreneurs and their communities. Her work brings to the forefront the many different ways in which Indigenous peoples are contributing to the economy. She has published two books on the topic, written numerous journal articles (both academic and popular); and has made frequent conference and invited presentations. She is co-editing a book on Indigenous economic tenacity and overseeing a reprint celebrating the 50th anniversary of Ruffled Feathers, written by her father William I. C. Wuttunee.
Dr. Wuttunee’s community service work has included a range of board and committee memberships such as: Canadian Northern Corridor Scientific Advisory committee, Assembly of First Nations- Making Poverty History for First Nations committee; Manitoba Hydro; the Manitoba Chamber of Commerce Policy committee; Women’s Enterprise Centre, the Board of Directors for First Peoples Economic Growth Fund; Institute for Research on Public Policy and First Nations Statistical Institute.
Dr. Wuttunee is the first Indigenous woman in Canada to jointly hold a law degree (1983) and an MBA (1988). She and her sister Lauren were the first second generation Indigenous lawyers admitted to the bar in Canada.
Founder and Artistic Director, Red Sky Performance
A highly accomplished arts leader, creator, innovator, and influential speaker, Sandra Laronde, M.S.C., O.M.C., B.A. (Hon), Hon. LL.D. is the founder and artistic director of Red Sky Performance. She is from the Teme-Augama-Anishinaabe (People of the Deep Water) in Temagami, northern Ontario.
Sandra Laronde plays a pivotal role in the ongoing Indigenous cultural resurgence of Canada. Her work highlights the originality and power of contemporary Indigenous performance, enabling new creations to expand the breadth and scope of high-calibre Indigenous-led work in Canada while strengthening the international presence of Indigenous arts and culture.
A champion of Canada, Sandra is active in cultural diplomacy forging stronger ties by representing the nation at numerous high-profile international events and platforms including Unceded Voices at the Venice Biennale, two Cultural Olympiads (Canada and Beijing), Shanghai World Expo, Official Delegate and Speaker at the 19th ASSITEJ World Congress in South Africa, and invited on the 2018 Canadian Heritage’s first Creative Industries Trade Mission to China with Minister Melanie Joly, and on the 2021 Trade Mission to Europe with Minister Steven Guilbeault.
Sandra founded her internationally acclaimed company, Red Sky Performance in 2000 which has grown to prominence as a leading Indigenous arts and cultural voice for Canada. Red Sky is one of strongest touring companies of its size in Canada and has participated in landmark world events such as the Venice Biennale, two Cultural Olympiads (Beijing and Vancouver), Shanghai International Arts Festival, State Theatre of Ballet & Opera in Mongolia, as well as touring to countless communities across Canada, USA, and Europe.
For nine years (2007 – 2016), as the Director of Indigenous Arts at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Sandra provided a compelling vision for the future of Indigenous Arts in the 21st century. She created rigorous and transformative programming for Indigenous arts inspired by Banff’s unique place of power. Nine years of extraordinary growth and innovation for Indigenous Arts was achieved under her leadership.
Through her expertise and extensive global network, Sandra identified and activated relationships with many new partners, funders, audiences, media and sponsors, leaders, and communities. She also spearheaded a multi-year, multi-lateral cooperation agreement between the Centre and national funding agencies such as the Australia Council for the Arts and Creative New Zealand, which positioned Indigenous artists from the three countries unswervingly at its core.
Her most recent honours include: the Meritorious Service Cross from Governor-General of Canada, Julie Payette (2018); the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario’s Ontario Heritage Award for Excellence (2018); Ontario Good Citizenship which pays tribute to Ontarians whose life exemplifies excellence and achievement (2016); Toronto Community Foundation’s Vital Ideas Award (2014); the Victor Martyn Staunch-Lynch Award for Outstanding Artist in Dance from Canada Council, (2013), an Expressive Arts Award from the Smithsonian Institute (2011); LL.D honorary degree from Trent University (2011), among others. In addition, her company, Red Sky Performance has received 16 Dora Mavor Moore awards and nominations to date.
Director of Policy and Planning, Department of Education, Government of Nunavut
Kuthula Matshazi is the Director of Policy and Planning in the Department of Education in the Government of Nunavut where he leads a team that provides specialized services to program managers in areas such as legislative and policy analysis, corporate and strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation, statistics, and access to information and privacy.
Kuthula is a former Councillor for the City of Iqaluit. He was Chair of the Standing Committee on Community and Economic Development, and Vice Chair of the Finance Committee. Previously, Kuthula worked for KPMG in Toronto as a business management consultant focusing on the public sector. Kuthula also worked for the City of Kitchener as part of the Association of Municipal Managers and Clerks of Ontario graduate municipal administration internship.
Born in Zimbabwe, Kuthula worked as a police officer, professional footballer, and communications and public relations practitioner for Forestry Commission, the national forestry management agency, the Mining Industry Pension Fund, and the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries, a body that represents the Zimbabwe business sector.
Kuthula holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) degree in International Development and Communication Studies from York University where he earned a scholarship for academic excellence and leadership. He also holds a Master’s degree in Globalization Studies from McMaster University and a professional certificate in municipal administration from the Association of Municipal Managers and Clerks of Ontario, and a diploma in Journalism from the Christian College of Southern Africa in Zimbabwe. Kuthula is currently studying for a Master’s degree in Public Policy and Administration at Carleton University.
He is an alumnus of the 2017 Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference.