Women We Admire is pleased to announce The Top Women Leaders of Toronto for 2024. A truly diverse city located in the province of Ontario, over half of the population of Toronto was born outside Canada, including one of the largest concentrations of Americans outside the States. With such a multitude of talent in one place, it’s no wonder women leaders are in command at top employers like CIBC, Rogers Communications, Deloitte, CGI, and PwC and in key industries, such as finance, education, manufacturing, life sciences, IT, and more.

Among this year’s awardees is a high-level executive at CGI, Christina Fung. As the SVP of Consulting Services, Fung delivers complex business roadmaps and innovative technology solutions in collaboration with senior leadership.

Another honoree, Anita Shinde, is a Partner for another top Toronto employer, Deloitte Canada. As a Partner and member of Deloitte’s Global Economic Advisory executive team, Shinde utilizes her 20-year career in economic consulting and data analytics to influence the company’s global financial global private and public sector strategies.

Finally, we acknowledge the career of IT and education leader Carrie Purcell, the Founder and CEO of Insight Research Tech Group. Purcell’s team provides companies with data-driven insights for effective growth and change in the future of education and the future of work.

Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of The Top Women Leaders of Toronto for 2024.

Heather Kay
Head, Financial Services Public Policy, Amazon Web Services - Canada

Heather Kay is the Head of Financial Services and Public Policy for Amazon Web Services in Canada. AWS provides a highly reliable, scalable, low-cost infrastructure platform in the cloud that powers hundreds of thousands of businesses in 190 countries around the world. With data center locations in the US, Canada, Europe, Singapore, and Japan, customers across all industries are taking advantage of their low-cost, elastic, open flexible, and secure platform. 

Kay has broad experience gained through a career in the public and private sectors, with deep subject-matter expertise in public policy, financial regulation, and risk management. In her more than 15 years of experience, Kay has led the development of significant government policies for, which she has appeared before parliamentary and senate committees. As a management consultant with Deloitte Canada, she worked with major Canadian financial institutions to develop and implement leading risk management and compliance functions.

Kay is passionate about leadership and has been recognized as an empathetic and strategic leader. As the mother of two young children, Kay prides herself on work-life balance and supporting those she works with to find balance. She holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration and is a member of the Women’s Executive Network and the board of the Canadian Lenders Association.

Christine Cooper
Executive VP & Head, BMO Commercial Bank, Canada, BMO Commercial Bank

Christine Cooper is the Executive Vice-President & Head of BMO Commercial Bank, Canada.  She leads a talented team committed to providing innovative financial solutions and best-in-class relationship management for commercial clients. The team works holistically with companies to provide an integrated suite of commercial debt products, treasury and payment solutions, deposit products and services, M&A advisory, mezzanine finance, and equity. BMO Commercial Bank has been named Best Commercial Bank in Canada by World Finance for the last nine consecutive years.

Christine has a proven track record of success in the financial services industry with over 30 years of experience. She joined BMO in 2006 and has delivered results across the business with executive positions in retail, commercial, and corporate areas working regionally on both the East and West coasts as well as nationally. 

Christine serves on the Board of BMO Life Insurance Company, BMO Life Assurance Company, and BMO Capital Partners Inc. In all her roles, Christine is an advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion across the industry. She is a voting member of the BMO EMpower Impact Equity Fund Investments Committee, a dedicated fund specifically for black, Latinx, and women-owned businesses. She is also a founder and executive sponsor of BMO Mosaic, an enterprise-wide resource group dedicated to including, developing, and supporting employees who are visible minorities and newcomers to Canada.

Christine is a member of the Board of Governors, Canadian Charter for Business of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award. She is patron emerita for World Vision Canada (Past Board Member and Chair of the Audit Committee), and a Steering Committee Member for the Canadian Employee Ownership Coalition.

Christine holds a BA, and MBA, and is a Fellow of the Institute of Canadian Bankers. Christine was previously named by WXN as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women.

Anita Shinde
Partner & Inclusion Leader, Financial Advisory, Deloitte Canada 

Anita Shinde, is a Partner for another top Toronto employer, Deloitte Canada. As a Partner and member of Deloitte’s Global Economic Advisory executive team, Shinde’s work has been published and leveraged to effectively influence global commercial strategy and public sector policy. She has collaborated with some of the world’s leading brands and corporations, and numerous government agencies across various industries.

Shinde spent the last several years serving as an inclusion executive at Deloitte, advising strategic diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, such as leadership development, sponsorship, recruiting, community partnership, and knowledge building. Her efforts include driving the launch of Deloitte Canada’s inaugural annual scholarship program for Black and Indigenous students, and students with disabilities.

Shinde is passionate about investing her time in driving community impact, leading a number of pro bono strategic consulting initiatives for nonprofit and charitable organizations across Canada, and serving as an active coach and mentor within her professional networks. Shinde holds an MA in Economics from the University of Ottawa, a BA in Honors Economics from Western University, and a Management Certification from Harvard Business School.

Silvia Gonzalez-Zamora
Partner, People and Change Practice, KPMG Canada

Silvia Gonzalez-Zamora is a Partner at KPMG’s People and Change Practice. She has over 20 years of experience in management consulting with two of the big 4 firms, and she has expertise and passion for talent management, behavioral change management, people analytics, employee experience, and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Gonzalez-Zamora has led large-scale business transformations, including the merger of banks in Latin America and North America, the birth of new product lines for the largest consumer brands global giants, and multi-country technology implementations for Fortune 500 companies. She has also led large culture change transformations supporting the Canadian Federal Government to create the 50-30 What Works Toolkit to support a diverse and inclusive Canada. Gonzalez-Zamora has been a speaker and trainer in new technology topics like employee experience (Ex), effective virtual teams and hybrid workforce, building think tanks, design thinking, resilience and wellbeing, virtual productivity and virtual reality (VR), and managing pods/tribes. She is a recognized thought leader in new market trends, such as sociometrics, people analytics, data governance, digital labor, and regulatory change. 

Gonzalez-Zamora has a Master’s in Industrial and Labour Relations, from Cornell University, where she was awarded three scholarships. She is a Fulbright Scholar, a CONACYT scholar, and a NY State Female Latino awardee. She has been selected as part of the Top 10 Most Successful Mexicans in Canada, a recognition from Latinos Magazine, sponsored by Scotiabank. She is the winner of the Award 2022 Latinas to Watch For, from ALPFA the Association of Latin Professionals for America.

Joy Shuchat
Partner, Grant Thornton LLP

Joy Shuchat is a Partner of Grant Thornton LLP, one of the world’s leading independent audit and assurance, tax and advisory firms. Shuchat’s primary goal is to help business owners remain compliant with assurance services so they can confidently make strategic business decisions.

As one of the real estate and construction leaders for Southern Ontario, Shuchat primarily focuses on clients in this real estate sector which includes multi-residential, commercial, retail, industrial, and office. Her clients primarily include REITS (where she has worked with clients from inception in setting up mutual fund trusts ) developers, pension funds, asset management companies, professional services firms, and entrepreneurs. Shuchat is also a client growth partner and helps mentor partners within the firm to grow their practices and was previously an assurance service line leader for Southern Ontario. With over 25 years of experience, she delivers a diverse array of audit, accounting and advisory services.

In addition to being a Chartered Professional Accountant and Chartered Accountant, she is a member of CPA Ontario and TCREW. She has had the opportunity to present at Realpac, a national industry association dedicated to advancing the long-term vitality of Canada’s real property sector. Additionally, she serves on the board of the Jewish Family and Child Foundation and chairs the Audit Committee for Holy Blossom Temple. She has contributed in various capacities to numerous charitable organizations over the years. Shuchat received her undergraduate degree from the University of Western Ontario and received her Chartered Accountant designation in 1990.

Judy Mellett
VP, Product & Platforms, Channels & Customer Experience, LifeLabs Medical Laboratory Services

As Vice President of Product and Platforms, Channels, and Customer Experience at LifeLabs, Judy Mellett’s current focus centers on engaging in purposeful design and delivery of end-to-end service experiences that reinforce LifeLabs’ value proposition and sustain customer loyalty. LifeLabs is the largest provider of specialty laboratory testing services in Canada. Together with their partners, they provide national access to specialized clinical tests.

As an active member of the Toronto design community, Mellett serves on the Rotman Design Initiative Advisory Board and has taught business design to undergraduate students at the Ted Rogers School of Management. She currently trains women entrepreneurs and diverse groups with WE-Hub (Women’s Entrepreneurship Hub) and ADaPT (Advanced Digital and Professional Training), respectively.

Mellett earned a Bachelor of Commerce from Queen’s University, where she participated in Queen's Varsity Lacrosse and the Ontario Provincial Women's Lacrosse Team. She has also studied executive leadership and strategy development at The University of British Columbia, the University of Toronto, and INSEAD Business School.

Paula Cruickshank
Senior VP, Ontario, BDC

Paula Cruickshank is the Senior Vice President in Ontario, overseeing BDC’s financing and consulting services across that province, bringing more than 25 years of experience in the banking industry to the role. She joined BDC in 2009 as vice president of securitization, taking over the management of the Canadian Secured Credit Facility, a $12 billion program by the Government of Canada to help restart the asset-backed securities market following the 2007-2009 financial crisis. She also launched BDC’s Funding Platform for Independent Lenders (F-PIL) to provide capital to smaller financing and leasing companies. 

In 2015, Cruickshank assumed responsibility for both Syndicated Financing and Indirect Financing, rebranding the unit as Wholesale Financing in June 2016. In 2017, she was appointed senior vice president of British Columbia and North, successfully growing the bank’s financing and consulting services throughout that region. In 2020, Cruickshank transitioned into the role of Senior Vice President in Ontario to grow the region’s portfolio. She also took on the role of Business Lead for BDC’s Digital Transformation in Ontario from 2021 to 2023, in, which she focused on ensuring digital investment decisions and strategies for segmentation, omnichannel, and client teams were aligned and continued to serve BDC’s clients.

Before joining BDC, Cruickshank spent more than 11 years with the Scotiabank Group, where she gained broad experience in structured finance and corporate finance. She holds an International MBA from the Schulich School of Business and an LLM in banking and financial institutions from Osgoode Hall Law School.

Linda Muneka
VP, North America, Management Resources Practice Group, Robert Half

Linda Muneka is the Vice President of Robert Half’s Management Resources practice, a premier provider of senior-level accounting, finance, and business systems professionals on a project and interim basis. She is responsible for driving the tactical execution of operational initiatives and go-to-market strategies for more than 90 offices in North America.

Muneka joined Robert Half in 2015, quickly taking on increased responsibility, including leading multiple teams by translating market and data-driven insights into actionable strategies, creating success in a highly competitive landscape. With this approach, she has been able to scale small teams to triple-digit growth rates and support large teams in maintaining eight-figure books of business. Muneka and her teams have assisted thousands of clients with transformational business projects in areas, such as governance, risk and compliance, technical accounting, financial systems, cash, and cost management. Before joining Robert Half, Muneka specialized in strategy and operations in the technology sector. She was instrumental in scaling small technology startups across marketing, sales, and operational divisions.

Muneka is a people-first leader, proudly a member of the company’s Global Women’s Employee Network (GWEN), and often mentors new employees on their professional journeys. After twenty years in China and Malaysia, she is fluent and educated in Mandarin, Albanian, and English. She holds a Master of International Business from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario.

Flora Wan
Partner, Deloitte

Flora Wan is a Partner at Deloitte. She first joined the company in 2000 as an auditor. Deloitte firms around the world help clients become leaders, wherever they choose to compete by investing in outstanding people of diverse talents and backgrounds and empowering them to achieve more than they could elsewhere.

Previously, Wan was a member of Canadian Women in Private Equity. She has over 17 years of experience in delivering comprehensive advisory services across the M&A cycle. She has led M&A transaction teams in the TMT and FSI sectors for clients with a focus on asset management, retail banking, fintech, and specialty software. Wan supports buyers and sellers in making informed deal decisions, such as financial and accounting due diligence, synergy identification, deal pricing, deal execution, and structuring.

Wan has leveraged her technical and project management competencies to lead over 300 transactions in multiple countries in the world in the context of buy-side deals, carve-outs, synergy tracking, financial analysis, target list qualification, and IPO project management. Wan graduated from McGill University with Distinction from the Bachelor of Commerce program. She is a Chartered Accountant and a US CPA.

Brenda New
Partner, EY

Brenda is a Partner in the Technology Consulting Practice at EY Canada, specializing in delivering complex technology-enabled business transformations, aimed at improving customer experience and increasing operational efficiencies. She predominantly helps Financial Services clients in the consumer banking sector to develop and implement digital solutions that support sustained profitability and growth. She brings a wealth of global experience and insights gained in the UK and Canada.

Brenda works closely with other EY practices and industry alliances to deliver transformations that help clients stay ahead of the fast-evolving digital landscape. She particularly looks forward to collaborating with vanguard clients who spearhead purpose-driven lending transformations that are not only sustainable but also offer equitable choices to more diverse consumer segments, including under-served communities.

A Sloan Fellow with an MSc in Global Leadership and Strategy from London Business School, Brenda is a proud ambassador of EY’s coveted Entrepreneurs Access Network (EAN), an impactful business accelerator program designed to support underrepresented communities, particularly Black and Indigenous entrepreneurs. The program provides learning opportunities and networks to help entrepreneurs overcome obstacles and achieve sustainable growth.

Audrey Jacob
Global Cities - Toronto City Executive & Places Canada Business Area Director, Arcadis

Audrey Jacob is the Managing Director for Arcadis’ Places Canada business area, as well as the Toronto City Executive for the firm’s Global Cities Program. She is also part of the global company’s Senior Leadership Group.   Arcadis, is a leading global design and consultancy organization for natural and built assets.

In her Places Canada role, Audrey manages a $60 million national business and a group of 320 professionals in the areas of Buildings Engineering (SME) and Land Engineering/Development.  Projects include new or upgraded automotive industrial facilities, major transit projects, suburban greenfield development, urban infill / intensification projects and much more. 

In her City Executive role, she pursues new collaborative business development opportunities and partnerships, and oversees client relationships in the Toronto region aligned with the company’s strategic growth initiatives. Her appointment to this role marked the inaugural entry of a Canadian city to the Arcadis Global Cities Program, a network of 17 cities around the world identified as key markets.

Audrey was previously the Chief Operations Director of IBI Group (acquired by Arcadis in 2022) where she was responsible for the firm’s global marketing and communications, human resources, and office leases for IBI’s over 60 offices. Audrey is a Registered Professional Planner (RPP) and a Professional Land Economist (PLE) with more than 30 years of experience. Previously, she led IBI Group’s Real Estate Economic & Planning practice, specializing in growth management/land needs, market analysis, development/financial feasibility/strategy, economic impact, development charges, and municipal financial impact analysis. 

Audrey has a BA in Geography from the University of Toronto and a Master of Urban Planning from McGill University. She is the Co-Chair of ULI Toronto’s Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI) and the former Chair of the Executive Committee of Pragma Council at the University of Waterloo, a forum of business, education, and government leaders.

Jennifer Riel
Partner & Chief Strategy Officer, IDEO

Jennifer Riel is an IDEO Partner and Chief Strategy Officer. In this role, she works with the senior leadership team to set and activate the long-term strategy for the firm. She also collaborates with clients and internal teams to push the edges of creative problem-solving, leveraging tools from strategy and design thinking. As a strategy advisor, Riel has worked across industries and countries, helping organizations and teams to build winning, sustainable, and human-centered strategies.

Before IDEO, Riel spent 13 years at the Rotman School of Management, where she taught undergrads, MBAs, and executives how to think creatively about their toughest challenges. During this period, she partnered with organizations to help them build their strategic thinking capabilities and transform their teams. 

Riel is also the author of Creating Great Choices: A Leader's Guide to Integrative Thinking (with Roger L. Martin, Harvard Business Review Press, 2017). Creating Great Choices is a Wall Street Journal bestseller and was shortlisted for Canada's National Business Book Award.

Kathleen Jinkerson
VP, Human Resources & Total Rewards Solutions, The Talent Company Ltd.

Kathleen Jinkerson is an advisor and advocate who works with organizations to optimize their people and pay practices. She and her dedicated, expert team work with organizations locally and globally, helping them understand how to leverage proven and leading practices to refine their HR strategies and practices. 

Jinkerson currently serves as the Vice President of HR and Total Rewards Solutions for The Talent Company. The Talent Company is one of the largest Canadian-owned human capital firms. They work with local, national, and global organizations, partnering with clients to achieve their mission and goals through effective people and culture practices.

A passionate advocate for effective leadership, Jinkerson has mentored leaders early in their careers to the executive level. She has also provided leadership to organizations through board participation, such as currently serving as the board secretary for the Alzheimer Society of York Region and previously as the board president for the Toronto Centre of Learning & Development.

Sandie Douville
VP, Investor Relations & ESG Strategy, EQ Bank | Equitable Bank

Sandie Douville is the Audit and Finance Committee Member of TFS - Canada’s International School (Toronto French School). TFS - Canada's International School is an independent bilingual, co-ed school with campuses in Toronto and Mississauga. The school was the pioneer of French immersion education in Canada when it started in 1962. 

With a background spanning corporate development, private equity, corporate law, and strategy, Douville approaches life and career with unwavering dedication. Her passion lies in spearheading transformational projects, where she excels in negotiating win-win outcomes for business deals, leveraging creative structuring techniques such as put/call options and earn-outs to meet diverse objectives. Douville thrives on strategic business planning, employing innovative methodologies from IDEO and Strategyzer to foster out-of-the-box thinking and drive growth. Adept at risk analysis and mitigation, she navigates operational, reputational, and execution risks with ingenuity, devising creative solutions to safeguard against potential challenges. 

Douville held previous leadership roles at EQ Bank, Sun Life, and Assuris. She has an MBA from Northwestern University and an MBA and a JD from York University. She also studied science and business at the University of Waterloo. 

Lynn Roger
Chief Human Resources Officer, Bayshore HealthCare

Lynn Roger is the Chief Human Resources Officer of Bayshore HealthCare, the first to hold this role for the organization. Bayshore HealthCare is one of the country’s leading providers of home and community healthcare services and is a Canadian-owned company. 

Roger is a transformational strategic HR executive with over two decades of business transformation with proven results in developing and leading world-class HR programs and operations. She leads organizations through successful change to power organizational agility through critical thinking, staying ahead of the curve, and embracing emerging technologies and innovation.

A former senior executive at BMO Financial Group, Rogers is an authentic and engaging leader with deep experience in transformational change and a reputation for connecting talent strategies to the business and customers. She is a passionate supporter of mental health, and mentoring female leaders, and will be a key driver in Bayshore’s diversity, equity, and inclusion initiative. Roger earned an MBA in financial services from Dalhousie University and a certificate in human services from McGill University.

Angela Clayton
President, Project Delivery, Infrastructure Ontario

With over 20 years of experience in the infrastructure sector, Angela Clayton has extensive experience working in both the public and private sectors in the areas of strategic planning, risk management, and program management. She is currently the President of Project Delivery, with Infrastructure Ontario, where she is responsible for overseeing the strategy, planning, and implementation of infrastructure projects across Ontario. 

Clayton spent her early career in property and asset management, working for Brookfield LePage Johnson Controls for nine years, where she managed outsourced facility management contracts for national clients. She is a passionate advocate for women in the infrastructure sector and actively seeks ways to make meaningful contributions to her community through her involvement in industry associations and volunteer efforts.

Clayton is a Chartered Professional Accountant with an undergraduate degree in commerce and several professional designations, including Project Management Professional, Facilities Management Administrator, and Real Property Administrator. 

Mouna Hanna
Partner, Whitelaw Twining

Mouna Hanna is a Partner in the Toronto office of Whitelaw Twining and leads the firm’s cyber and privacy practice group. Hanna is a Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM) through the IAPP and holds a Certificate in Privacy Law and Cybersecurity from Osgoode Hall Law School. She is also a contributing author of the book, Cyber Liability and Cyber Insurance in Canada, published by Thomson Reuters. Hanna is a frequent speaker on the topic of emerging cyber and privacy risks.

Hanna provides strategic advice and guidance to clients across various industries involved in all manner of cybersecurity incidents, privacy breaches, and matters involving professional liability. She also advises clients on their obligations under Canada’s Federal and Provincial privacy laws and assists small and large Canadian and international organizations throughout each step of urgent, high-profile, and complex breaches. Hanna acts as both a breach coach and defense counsel to clients involved in litigation, particularly involving lawyers, IT service providers, data controllers, and other professionals following wire fraud, a data breach, or data loss. 

In 2021, Hanna was recognized by Lexpert as a Leading Lawyer to Watch by Commercial Insurance and was awarded the Richard B. Lindsay QC Exceptional Young Lawyer Award by Canadian Defence Lawyers. She sits on the board of directors for Canadian Defence Lawyers and is the current treasurer. She is also a member of the Ontario Bar Association’s Privacy and Access to Information section.

Heather Ring
Partner, The Caldwell Partners

Having completed over 500 searches, Heather Ring is an expert in supporting committees through the process of leadership transition and truly loves the combination of head and heart involved in working with volunteer committees. Working across North America, Ring focuses primarily on leadership roles in education, arts and culture, social services, foundations, associations, healthcare, and government agencies. 

A founding member of Caldwell’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council, Ring has been instrumental in the development of Caldwell’s inclusive search process. Her work with boards and committees and her research experience have earned her a reputation for careful listening and a passion for reaching a deep understanding of the organization and its culture.

Following an early career in academic publishing, Ring joined Caldwell from the Research Department of Dean Witter Reynolds (now Morgan Stanley). A graduate of Western University, Ring served eight years on the board of The Arthritis Society (Ontario), including three years as Chair. Passionate about the performing arts, she is a Governors’ Council member of The Shaw Festival.

Cerys Cook
Chief People Officer, Swift Medical

Cerys Cook is the Chief People Officer at Swift Medical leading people strategy and operations, employer branding, communications, and team member experiences. She is also the Founder of Ryse Coaching, where she works with women leaders to deepen their impact by building confidence for the next phase of their careers. Cook has always held a profound passion for changing the face of HR from the "principal’s office" to being deeply embedded in core company strategy at the leadership table. 

Specializing in high-growth scaling organizations, Cook has spent her career working directly with, as well as coaching and advising founders and CEOs. She has over 20 years of strategic people leadership across multiple industries, including health and medical technology, Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG), and market research, building award-winning inclusive workplaces, driving performance excellence, and growth, and augmenting strong values-based cultures.

Before joining Swift Medical, Cook held the position of VP, of people and culture at BlueDot Inc. and prior to that VP of people and culture at The PUR Company. She has previously held leadership positions at Viva Naturals, Grimco, and Research Strategy Group. Earlier in her career, before transitioning into the people space, she worked as a chef within the fine dining industry in Toronto.

Samantha Sannella
Senior Managing Director, Cushman & Wakefield

Samantha Sannella is the Senior Managing Director of Cushman & Wakefield.  Cushman & Wakefield is a leading global real estate services firm and among the largest real estate services firms with 48,000 employees in approximately 400 offices and 70 countries. Sannella leads Cushman and Wakefield’s Strategic Consulting/Total Workplace team across Canada, where services include portfolio, workplace, change management, asset, and location strategy. She is also the Americas Business lead for this service line where she focuses on business development and operational excellence. 

Sannella specializes in comprehensive real estate strategy, including design management, workplace strategy, occupancy planning, scenario development, project management, and holistic building/land solutions. Her combined background in architecture, urban design, interior design, construction, development, and project management helps provide clients with strategies that are well-grounded through all phases of the real estate cycle. She was formerly a studio director and workplace strategy expert at Stantec Toronto, the former president and CEO of the Design Exchange, and a former professor of interior design at Ryerson University. Sannella was a practice leader for HOK Consulting Canada. As part of her career, Sannella has been instrumental in organizations through fundraising, public relations, and community involvement. 

Sannella is passionate about universal and sustainable design and teaches audiences about the critical connections between design and the economy, environment, and quality of life. She is the editor of Ontario Design, a trade publication for professional architects, designers, and contractors, and frequently writes for other industry publications. Ms. Sannella holds a Bachelor of Fine Art in Interior Design, a Master of Architecture, and an Executive Master of Business. She has also completed certificates in ESG/Urban Planning and DEI studies.

Jessica Diniz
President, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Canada

Jessica Diniz is the President of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Canada. She first joined JDRF in 2015 as the VP of marketing and development. JDRF is the leading global funder of type 1 diabetes research. They are a top national health charity with a bold strategy to accelerate the pace of type 1 diabetes research. 

Diniz is a compelling storyteller and leads with tenacity and energy. She is laser-focused on harnessing the power of research, advocacy, and community, to advance life-changing breakthroughs for Canadians living with type 1 diabetes. Leading with fearlessness, tenacity, energy, and gratitude to drive significant impact, she is a seasoned senior executive with over 20 years of experience in healthcare and research fundraising, marketing, and strategic leadership. 

Diniz Before JDRF, Diniz worked in senior roles at Sunnybrook Foundation and Cystic Fibrosis Canada. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies and Fine Arts from Wilfrid Laurier University. She has a Certificate in Strategic Agility and Strategic Planning from the Schulich School of Business at York University, and she studied strategic marketing management at Columbia Business School.

Victoria Bovaird
Partner & National Leader of the Organizational Transformation Offering, Deloitte Canada

Victoria Bovaird is a Partner at Deloitte Canada in Human Capital Consulting and leads the Organization's Transformation Consulting Practice. Born in Toronto, she has worked in the UK, Europe, and Canada with a focus on financial services companies (banking, private equity), energy organizations, and the public sector. 

Bovaird is a management consultant with deep expertise in large transformation programs, M&As, technology implementations, and organizational challenges that can be solved through human-centered solutions. She has worked with some of the world’s leading brands and corporations.

Bovaird is on the board of Daytrippers Children’s Charity and a member of the McGill Women, Leadership, and Philanthropy Committee. She has a Bachelor of Commerce from McGill University and a master’s degree from the University of Sussex in the UK. 

Suzanne Wilkinson
Principal, Figure3

Climbing the ranks from senior team leader to Principal in Figure3, Suzanne Wilkinson understands the power of interior design. Figure3 is one of Canada’s most distinguished multidisciplinary interior design firms. Leveraging design-based research and brand strategy, Figure3 helps clients to realize environments that achieve an equitable connection between people and place. Independently owned and based in Toronto, Figure3 has established itself as a trusted partner for over 28 years. 

As a managing partner of Figure3, Wilkinson focuses on promoting the value of design in the workplace, residential development, and retail sectors. She is passionate about leading clients and the Figure3 team through a strategic and interactive design process. Wilkinson is a highly intuitive designer with over 20 years of experience leading teams on projects in diverse regions and markets. Committed to the profession of interior design, she holds professional designations from ARIDO, IDC, and NCIDQ.

Wilkinson continues to push boundaries and inspire those around her as a designer, speaker, mentor, and panelist. She studied at the Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology.

Jessica Savage
CEO, North Strategic

Jessica Savage is the Chief Executive Officer of North Strategic, a communications agency that drives earned media programs for clients. The company is a passionate, entrepreneurial group with a wide range of consumer marketing, corporate communications, and brand-building experience. 

Savage is a strategic communicator specializing in thought leadership for C-suite executives of some of North America's leading brands. Never one to shy away from a challenge, she moves between her teams, multiple projects, and big brands, guiding clients through good times and crises across the Canadian earned media and influencer landscape. As an agency-led expert across multiple media channels and platforms for more than two decades, she has built thoughtful, creative campaigns and brand moments within the technology, real estate, retail, CPG, finance, and travel industries.

Internally and interagency, Savage is a builder of culture-first environments. She has helped develop and expand a supportive network of peers who are driven by shared values, including a desire to learn, grow, and have a little fun along the way. Savage graduated from Western University with an undergraduate degree in classical studies.

Jacqueline Loch
Executive VP, Strategy & Revenue, AZURE Media

Jacqueline Loch is the Executive Vice President of Strategy and Revenue for AZURE Media, an award-winning media company with a focus on contemporary architecture and design. 

Previously, Loch was the EVP of social and emerging platforms for SJC, Canada's largest privately owned communications company. Before joining SJC, she was a VP and group publisher at Groupe TVA. Before that, she was a VP and group publisher of consumer solutions at TC Media. Earlier in her career, she worked with Rogers Media as a VP of content solutions, where she launched and executed the award-winning "Canada's Best Beauty Talent" program with L'Oreal Canada, a 12-part web-isodic reality series, multi-brand and multi-platform, delivering exceptional ROI for L'Oreal Canada. 

Loch serves on the board of The Content Council and with the National Media Awards Foundation. She graduated from OCAD University with an undergraduate degree in communication and design.

Sarah Palmer
Executive VP, Telecon

Sarah Palmer is the Executive Vice President of Connectivity and Sales at Telecon, the leader in telecommunications infrastructure service in North America. Palmer has a proven track record of delivering major infrastructure deals globally and transforming businesses through strategy, product, business development, and business transformation. 

Previously, Palmer was the VP of digital infrastructure for BAI Communications, a world leader in shared communications infrastructure. Palmer has over 20 years of experience leading high-performing commercial and operational teams in the technology, telecommunications, and IoT sectors, where she held roles, including director of market development, executive general manager of product, executive general manager of service delivery, and now her current role, where she is on an international assignment in Canada.

During her executive career, Palmer has launched dozens of products in wholesale, consumer, and enterprise markets and led sales teams across the globe. She started her career studying the Japanese language and economics at Sydney University and attended the prestigious Sophia University in Japan, participating in the Comparative Culture program. She most recently had the privilege of completing Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management program. Palmer is a skilled leader in strategy, product, business development, and business transformation. She is passionate about customers and delights in delivering customer-centric solutions that transform business both in terms of operational efficiency and revenue growth.

Sohana Inderlall
Deputy Head, Anti-Money Laundering & Sanctions, TD Bank Group

Sohana Inderlall is the Deputy Head of Anti-Money Laundering and Sanctions at TD Bank Group. The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Group (TD). TD is the sixth largest bank in North America by branches and serves approximately 22 million customers in a number of locations in key financial centres around the globe. A global leader in anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing, Inderlall is an authentic, innovative, resilient, and engaging leader who prides herself on her ability to deliver transformational programs with top-tier results. She is a champion for talent development with a reputation for building and leading high-performing teams in a fast-paced environment. 

In her prior roles at TD Bank, Inderlall has served as the VP and head of anti-money laundering and sanctions for TD Securities. She also led the Global Wealth Compliance function and built and delivered programs for Conduct Risk Management and Culture Oversight. She enjoys working with the bank’s senior leaders and being their trusted advisor to deliver TD's strategy while helping colleagues crystallize their career goals. She values family and contributing to the community, and is a world traveler.

Inderlall holds the Chartered Public Accountant designation in Canada and South Africa. She has leveraged her prior audit experience and professional designations in her community board work. Inderlall serves as the treasurer and head of the audit committee for Up With Women, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping homeless and at-risk women and gender-diverse individuals build a sustainable pathway out of poverty. Her prior board engagements include Ascend Canada and Canadian Mental Health Halton Region.

Joanna Kervin
VP, External Approvals & Implementation, Crosslinx Transit Solutions

Joanna Kervin is the Vice President of External Approvals and Implementation of Crosslinx Transit Solutions. She first joined the company in 2018. Crosslinx Transit Solutions is a design and construction consortium established to deliver and maintain the Eglinton Crosstown LRT. Kervin’s goal throughout her career has been to make communities and cities move better with an eye to accessibility and equity while ensuring that transportation infrastructure is well-designed and safe for all who use it.

A University of Waterloo alumnus with a degree in civil engineering, Kervin found her calling in the transportation engineering field, initially working with two major Toronto area engineering firms, and later moving into the public sector with the City of Toronto. As a manager of transportation planning, she focused on inter-regional transit, leading many major initiatives. She later moved to the Toronto Transit Commission, as the third-party planning and property director of TTC’s $3.2 billion Line 1 Extension that opened for passenger service in 2017. In 2018, she received the Canadian Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) H. Robert Burton Distinguished Service Award for her work and leadership with ITE and in the transportation field over the last 30 years.

A member of the Women’s Championship Team of the Urban Land Institute, Toronto, she continues her support of women in the infrastructure field and has shared some of her stories of delivering big transit projects on the ULI Electric Cities Podcast. She recently became a mentor with the Prosperity Project, supporting and mentoring young women who are disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Kervin regularly guest lectures at Universities across Ontario, covering a wide range of engineering, planning, and infrastructure experiences.

Carrie Purcell
Founder & CEO, Insight Research Tech Group

Carrie Purcell is the Founder and CEO of Insight Research Tech Group, a broad network of researchers, designers, developers, and distribution that provides companies with data-driven insights for effective growth and change in the future of education and the future of work. Purcell manages the Innovation cycle, R&D, tech design and development, and go-to-market strategy for startups, EdTech companies, and, SMEs.

Purcell is an emerging technology and digital transformation enthusiast who harnesses the power of storytelling, worldbuilding, and human-centered digital design. She was an early adopter of metaverse technologies leading her to co-found Adatpika, an award-winning VR gaming company creating virtual worlds, experiences, and educational environments. Purcell is also a professor at George Brown College and a doctoral student in emerging technology with a concentration in generative AI. 

Purcell has a Master of Arts from the University and an executive MBA from Quantic School of Business and Technology, where she studied blockchain and entrepreneurship. 

Lesley Warren 
Professor, Civil & Mineral Engineering, Director, Mining Futures

Professor Lesley Warren is an internationally recognized, innovative researcher working in the mining environmental space. As principal investigator, she has developed and led multiple, multidisciplinary, teams in industry-academic partnered multi-million dollar projects in both the hard rock and energy resource extraction sectors.  Her pioneering research program is closing critical knowledge gaps impeding mine waste management, reclamation, and closure success; one of the most important sustainability challenges facing the global resources extraction sector.  By merging multiple disciplines and asking novel questions, Dr. Warren's research has made fundamental knowledge discoveries that identify current and future possible risks, establish the processes underlying these risks, and quantify their possible magnitude in mine waste contexts.  This new foundational understanding is paving the way to smart, biologically integrated, adaptive tools and robust risk assessment that can improve the environmental performance of this critical sector. 

Dr. Warren moved to the University of Toronto to take up the Claudette Mackay Lassonde Chair in Mineral Engineering in 2016 in the Department of Civil and Mineral Engineering and became the first female Director of The Lassonde Institute of Mining in 2018.  She now leads Mining Futures at the University of Toronto, a new research-intensive venture focused on the global industry’s need for new strategies and technologies to meet growing supply demands, as well as improve their environmental and social outcomes in ways that align with UN Sustainable Development Goals.  

Over the last ten years, Dr. Warren has brought in over $12,000,000 in energy sector and mining industrial partnered research, trained over 50 trainees in advanced mine water systems characterization, and given over 40 keynote/ invited talks, including invited presentations to MPs and Senators on Parliament Hill.  She also serves as a mentor to the Femina Collective, a network for women working in the natural resources sector.

Elaine Mah
Brand, Creative, & Media Director, Intel

Elaine Mah is the Brand, Creative, and Media Director for Intel Corporation, where she has proudly worked since 2005. For more than 50 years, Intel and its people have had a profound influence on the world, driving business and society forward by creating radical innovation that revolutionizes the way we live. Today, they are applying their reach, scale, and resources to enable customers to capitalize more fully on the power of digital technology. 

Among her many achievements at Intel, Mah is especially proud of her work fostering innovation and growth with small businesses through her Canadian small business advisory board. Mah is a frequent speaker at industry and government conferences, and blogs on the importance of technology to the Canadian economy, as well as on emerging trends.

Mah previously held leadership roles at ITAC (Information Technology Association of Canada), Havas Worldwide Toronto, and Deloitte. She has a Bachelor of Commerce and Marketing from the University of Alberta. 

Elana Chan
Director, Americas SMB Marketing, Google

Elana Chan is the Director of Americas SMB Marketing at Google. With nearly 20 years of marketing experience, her goal is to help small and medium businesses get online, thrive, and grow through the transformative power of AI and digital marketing.

Her responsibilities include building and executing the marketing strategy for Google’s Americas Ads Acquisitions business, including programs through both direct and partner channels. She has deep expertise in e-commerce, paid media, growth and lifecycle marketing, and go-to-market strategies that help millions of businesses make the most of the web. 

Prior to Google, Chan built iconic brands at Unilever, launched new products at Apple, and helped scale the startup, Jetsetter, and successfully sold it to TripAdvisor. Wherever she goes, Chan is passionate about leading teams, innovating new ideas, and transforming businesses, particularly in the areas of digital commerce, lifecycle marketing, and customer insights. She holds an HBA from Ivey Business School at Western University, an MBA from INSEAD, and also sits on the board of directors for Fora: Network for Change, formerly known as G(irls)20...because ceilings don’t shatter themselves.

Frances Martin-DiGiuseppe
Founder & Principal, Q4 Architects

Frances Martin-DiGiuseppe is the Founder and Principal at Q4 Architects, a full-service architectural firm based in Toronto with offices in Calgary and Ottawa. The Q4 Architects’ team of over 60 members includes over 50% women and focuses on creating a collaborative work environment. As the principal of a woman-led firm, Martin-DiGiuseppe is committed to creating a diverse workplace that promotes collaboration and inclusivity. 

With a deep passion for responsible architecture with a social mission, Martin-DiGiuseppe has designed and developed housing and institutions that provide support to individuals under social, mental, and physical stress. Some of her notable work includes Marnie’s Lounge at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Wellspring Cancer Care Centre in Oakville, and Chapelle Housing in Edmonton for women and children escaping domestic violence.

Martin-DiGiuseppe is deeply committed to creating real homes for real people and over the past 35 years she has led some of the most innovative ideas in housing. She strongly believes that the future of Q4A lies in architecture that improves everyday lives by incorporating user-friendly innovation, offering creative solutions to specific challenges, being responsible to the greater community we live in, and being aesthetically beautiful. In recent years, she has been an active advocate for multi-generational housing, and her research, ideas, and concepts on the subject have been widely published. When Martin-DiGiuseppe is not designing, she enjoys traveling, spending time with her family, and reading.

Sanyam Sethi
VP, Public Affairs, Ipsos 

Over 15 years of her career, Sanyam has established herself as a leading public affairs researcher, regularly publishing articles and other thought leadership content. She is a sought-after speaker and presenter and can be spotted on Canada’s major TV and radio networks bringing the voice of the citizens on topics of social and economic relevance.  

As Vice President, of Ipsos Public Affairs, Sanyam works closely with the government, multi-lateral/non-profit organizations, think tanks, and associations. Sanyam found her passion for understanding people, societies, and cultures through her on-the-ground experience as a social researcher in diverse geographies, starting from Asia to the Middle East, and North Africa, and North America. 

Through this enriching experience, Sanyam developed a keen interest in the intersectionality of international development through equality and inclusion. Sanyam has passionately led research that drives meaningful social outcomes and demonstrated real-world impact, including imminent programs on Health, Education, Governance, Quality of life, Gender, Equity, Sustainability, Diversity, and Inclusion, Immigration, among others. 

Putting her passion into action, Sanyam holds Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) certification by the Government of Canada, is a member of Lean In Canada & a coveted speaker in webinars and events to raise awareness on Gender & Equity, among other topics of social action. She is currently leading a first-of-its-kind seminal multi-country program on online gender-based violence in 36 countries, that engages governments and policymakers around the world. 

In her free time, she regularly volunteers to support and counsel newcomers to Canada. 

Eman El-Fayomi
Director, Service Design & Consulting, Canadian Digital Service

Eman El-Fayomi is currently the Director of Service Design and Consulting with the Federal Government’s Canadian Digital Service (CDS). Previously, she served as the head of design and the head of learning resources at CDS, leading a team of over 25 in-house service, interaction, and content designers to create accessible and inclusive services for the people of Canada. She led a team to create a centralized space for learning resources to support the government of Canada’s accelerated mission towards digitization. Particularly, these learning resources are aimed at public servants working to change how they design and deliver their services.

Prior to joining the public sector, El-Fayomi was an interaction design professor at Sheridan and spent over 10 years working on design/UX teams with a variety of private sector, civic tech, and nonprofit organizations across Canada. El-Fayomi is a member of the Creative Interactions Lab at Carleton, working with Audrey Girouard, and her research is funded in part through the READi program at Carleton (Research in Education, Accessibility, Design, and Innovation).

She is also a PhD student at Carleton University, studying information technology, specializing in inclusive design and human-computer interaction. Her PhD research is focused on improving the accessibility of virtual collaboration tools, educational technologies, facilitation techniques, and design software for people who use assistive technology. 

Lisa Hemi
CFO, Document Direction Limited

Lisa Hemi is the Chief Financial Officer of Document Direction Limited with over 25 years of experience across a broad range of industries. Document Direction is a Digital Business Services and Printing Solutions provider. Hemi currently leads Document Direction's financial operations and is responsible for all accounting and finance operations, administration, and overseeing many components of business operations.

Hemi is a strategic partner to the leadership team focusing on the achievement of financial goals and growing the business. She has a proven track record of achievement in driving finance transformation, championing significant cost savings, and implementing processes to optimize performance. She has met many challenges related to complex contract executions, change management, and other transformations that required in-depth review, analysis, problem-solving, and resolution.

Before joining Document Direction in 2018, Hemi worked at Callian Capital Partners as their CFO. Before that, she held senior-level finance positions in the mining and real estate industries. Hemi is a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Professional Accountant and started her career with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. She graduated from McMaster University with an honors undergraduate degree in commerce.

Natalie Tom-Yew
Senior VP, Dentsu Creative

Natalie TomYew is the Senior Vice President, Client Services at advertising giant Dentsu Creative Canada; an agency on a mission to help clients navigate, progress, and thrive in a world of change by developing work that creates culture, changes society, and invents the future. As part of the Canadian business community for the past two decades, Natalie has led large matrixed teams in the development of global and national campaigns, across a diverse range of Global clients including automotive, CPG, technology, consumer electronics, entertainment, education, and finance. She excels at building and enabling high-performing teams, while nurturing relationships and company culture is her superpower, in addition to solving complex business problems in disruptive, everchanging landscapes. Her background in strategy and creativity, combined with an empowering leadership style fosters deep trust, collaboration, and innovation.

A skilled presenter, Natalie believes in giving back to the next generation and spends time mentoring students and new immigrants to the industry in Canada, through the Dentsu Mentorship Program. She has also been a guest lecturer at the talent development program the 4A’s MAIP (Multi-Cultural Advertising Agency Program) in NYC and at Loyola Marymount University in LA. She supercharges our strategic offering to keep clients and teams across multiple disciplines on the pulse and relevant, with programming that focuses on what’s next on the fringes of culture and society. 

As a mom of four, Natalie leads with not just head, but heart and empathy. Outside of her professional and family life, Natalie moonlights as a recording artist, with her latest single currently on radio rotation in the Caribbean.

Urmilla Mahabirsingh
Partner, BIPOC Executive Search

Urmilla Mahabirsingh has over 20 years of experience leading strategic talent management and career coaching in the not-for-profit, private, and public sectors. Throughout her career, she has developed innovative solutions that drive organizational revenue and growth, while fostering a sense of belonging that aligns with the diverse needs of customers and communities. 

Mahabirsingh is a graduate of the Human Resources Management Program at Sheridan College and currently serves as a Partner at BIPOC Executive Search Inc. Operating in Toronto, Vancouver, Los Angeles, and New York, BIPOC Executive Search Inc. stands as one of the few executive search firms in Canada, and the US, dedicated to cultivating extensive networks in Black, Indigenous, and racialized communities. By doing so, they ensure organizations access candidate lists that authentically reflect the global society in, which we live and conduct business. Additionally, the firm actively recruits steadfast allies to their candidate lists, guaranteeing that leaders placed in key roles are genuinely committed to advancing the welfare of all.

Originally from Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies, with ancestral roots in India and Nepal, Mahabirsingh migrated to Kanata (Canada) on Turtle Island (North America) over 25 years ago. She has played a pivotal role in empowering numerous newcomers to Canada across various industries and functions, including the arts and culture, engineering, healthcare, information technology, logistics, and pharmaceutical, sectors.

Cynthia Heyd
Co-Founder, Twin-agers

Cynthia Heyd is a Co-Founder of Twin-agers, a platform focused on changing society's narrative around aging, along with her identical twin Leslie White. The aim of Twin-agers is to foster intergenerational dialogue and understanding by demonstrating the many ways in which everyone can make a contribution to society, no matter their age. Heyd and her team are working to change the social narrative around aging by establishing a unique platform to inform, inspire, and celebrate the invaluable skills and talents of those in their ‘Magic Hour’ years, through poignant storytelling and dependable information.

Heyd’s career has been in advertising production. She climbed the corporate ladder within advertising agencies for over 30 years. As she hit 50, she knew she’d reached a peak and didn’t see an obvious way forward. She launched a number of companies after leaving the agency world in response to the ever-changing marketing landscape. Today, she is at the helm of The Deli Production Agency working with agencies and brands to determine how best to create content for all mediums.  The DELI Production Agency is now a successful, fast-growing production company serving an international advertising community. This experience was the foundation of Twinagers launched in 2023.  

Heyd is passionate about tackling seemingly impossible projects. Whether embarking on an unknown challenge or a simple ask, her production management and creative problem-solving, paired with her talented team, enable her to customize and lead the best team for any project. Her numerous awards include commendations from Cannes, The One Show, The Art Director Annual Awards, and more.

Morgan Marlowe
Founder & CEO, Perkopolis

Morgan Marlowe is the Founder and CEO of Perkopolis, Canada’s leading provider of fully managed discount programs. Since 1999, the company has brought employer-preferred pricing from big brands to nearly 4,500 corporations with hand-selected promotions that help employers engage and retain their employees in fun and financially rewarding ways.

As the original visionary of the company, Marlowe serves as the voice of the customer, stewarding exceptional service standards, high-quality offers, and a thriving company culture that remains true to its mission. With agility and adaptability, she has successfully led Perkopolis through economic downturns and industry changes, allowing the company to evolve and expand to meet market and consumer demands. 

Deep in the heart of Marlowe’s professional DNA are the twin talents of creativity and problem-solving, which ensure that no entrepreneurial obstacle goes unchallenged. She brings attention to detail, a personable approach, and an absence of ego to everything she does. Outside of Perkopolis headquarters, Marlowe lives with her husband and two sons in Toronto and is rarely without a creative project, from perfecting the art of the macaron to planning the most epic family trip ever.

Heather Brady
National Director, Sales, Yardi 

Heather, is an accomplished sales leader known for her ability to build winning teams that deliver exceptional results. During her twelve years at Yardi Canada, she and her team have driven unprecedented market share and revenue growth and forged lasting client and industry relationships in every asset class across Canada.

Prior to Yardi, Heather held the position of Sales Director at Rogers Communications where she led an Enterprise Sales team in securing the first business partnerships with Real-estate Developers, Owners, and Fee Managers. In addition, Heather successfully led the development and launch of the first Small Business Sales Division. Selected for her strategic strengths and collaborative style, Heather also led a Sales Strategy and Business Readiness Team, working with over 100 stakeholders and 12,000 sales agents to design and implement a $40M sales and service tool. This initiative was the single largest software implementation in Roger’s history.

A passion throughout Heather’s career has been the work she’s done to support women on their journey toward financial independence. Working with amazing organizations like the Canadian Women’s Foundation, WoodGreen Community Services, and Toronto Commercial Real Women (CREW) all with dedicated efforts to create opportunities and programs that help women gain the skills, confidence, and resources needed to build successful careers and secure their financial futures.

Jennifer Steinmann
President, MRM

Jennifer Steinmann, based in Toronto, Ontario is currently the President at MRM, a leading, digital-first, relationship marketing agency that drives end-to-end business transformation in CRM, Loyalty, Commerce, Digital Experiences and Technology, with 3,500+ people across 45 counties and 30 offices. MRM is a part of McCann Worldgroup, a leading global network providing best-in-class integrated marketing solutions.

Jenn is a seasoned business leader with both local and global experience - cross-company, cross-discipline and multicategory. Over her career, she has galvanized and led organizations in challenging environments to unprecedented growth, profile, client satisfaction and profitability. With a robust skill set that includes Integrated Marketing, Interactive Advertising, Strategy, Digital Marketing, Business Intelligence, and more, Jennifer contributes valuable insights to the industry.

In her role as President of MRM, she leads client relationships, new business and agency operations focused on agency growth, client satisfaction, best in class digital, technology and analytics products/services and talent acquisition and retention. With a strong focus on aligning client and agency values and vision as the foundation of the relationship, she challenges her teams to bring agile, seamless strategic, and creative synergies to all integrated initiatives and, most critically, to deliver successful business solutions to current and new client partnerships. Operationally, her efforts are on enhancing the agency's offerings and processes to output optimized cross-functional teams, innovation in ideas, and drive efficiencies for clients.

KB Brinkley

KB Brinkley serves as the Chief Financial Officer of BBTV and leads all financial functions, including strategic and financial planning, accounting, treasury, tax, internal audit, and investor relations. 

Brinkley is a seasoned and experienced finance transformation executive with over 23 years of experience in finance spanning different industries, with a background in technology, media/entertainment, and online advertising. She has diverse finance, accounting, internal audit, operational audit, and risk management experience serving both public and privately held companies. 

Brinkley was most recently an associate partner at EY as a finance transformation and EPM solution leader, where she was a thought leader for Integrated Business Planning (IBP) and ESG. Brinkley has held various senior finance executive positions at Electronic Arts, Blackhawk Network, and Multiview, Inc. She is an alumna of the Harvard Business School and holds an undergraduate degree from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

Martina Pileggi
Senior Director, North American Business Partners, The Hillman Group

Martina E. Pileggi is a proven global HR leader, who brings a unique and proactive approach to HR Leadership while working to enhance and cultivate a positive, inclusive, and winning culture.   Working closely with senior leadership she helps to achieve their business goals by truly understanding what is important to the business and its people. She joined The Hillman Group Canada in 2014 as the Human Resources Manager. Over the last 10 years she has grown the HR function in Canada and more recently was given responsibility for all the HR Business Partners North America-wide. Under Martina’s leadership, the HR Business Partners cover over 4000 employees coast to coast.   

Working with all organizational levels she focuses her team to continuously improve employee engagement and excellence programs, work on processes to upskill and reskill current staff to address North American market conditions and ensure the basics flow - like compensation, total rewards, learning, and development, health & Safety, and Wellness. She has the incredible privilege to work with an amazing group of HR professionals, growing and learning as a leader is Martina’s happy place – watching the team at Hillman achieve its goals is what keeps her going!

Martina has worked as an HR leader for Kohl and Frisch Limited and UNFI Canada, both pharmaceutical and food distribution companies. Mentoring female leaders and supporting mental health initiatives is a passion of hers. Martina has published articles through Hardlines, where her commitment to leading Hillman Canada through the Pandemic was highlighted. Martina has a BA in Sociology from York University, a Mini MBA from Schulich ExecEd, a Certificate in HR Law from York University, and a Certificate in Workplace Mental Health Leadership from Queens University.

Renee Laforet
Senior VP, Transformation, Infrastructure Ontario

Renee Laforet is the Senior Vice President of Transformation for Infrastructure Ontario, a world-class agency that creates value out of the public assets of the province to build a connected and competitive Ontario. With over 20 years of experience in information technology leadership, Laforet has enabled transformation in municipal and provincial sectors spanning shared services, justice, social services, public health, community health, laboratory services, health system information management, investment, and emergency health services. 

Previously, Laforet founded and served as the CEO of Energize to Actualize, a coaching and mentoring organization. She has also worked in the public sector, specifically at the City of Toronto as the interim chief technology officer and deputy chief technology officer, where she led technology services delivery and modernization efforts. Additionally, she has held leadership positions at the Ontario Ministry of Government and Consumer Services, including chief information officer and assistant deputy minister, where she oversaw the Government Services Integration Cluster and led initiatives to enable IT solutions for partner ministries.

Laforet attended the University of Waterloo and completed the Executive Development Program at Queen's University and the Leadership Enrichment & Advancement Program at York University. In 2023, she received a Coaching Certificate from KHAN Method Coaching, focusing on various aspects, such as goals, uncovering blocks, self-image, niche, sales, marketing, and boundaries.

Alison McNeil
Partner, Design, DIALOG

Alison McNeil joined as a Partner at DIALOG Toronto studio following a 14-year tenure as a design director with another firm. They're a team of architects, urban planners, interior designers, structural, mechanical, and electrical engineers, and landscape architects who truly believe design can, and should, meaningfully improve the well-being of their communities and the environment they all share. One of their national interior design leaders, she focuses on hospitality, retail, and corporate workplace projects. Alison approaches each design challenge with unmatched rigor, an eye for detail, and bold pragmatism. 

McNeil’s ability to move seamlessly between all building scales and disciplines influences her integrated design solutions, from master planning and programming to the refined detail of a custom chair. A genuinely passionate designer, McNeil has a talent for turning abstract ideas into inspiring built environments. Over her 20-plus-year career, she has developed an impressive body of work defining global brands. Some of her most notable projects include the Four Seasons Toronto d|bar, the Four Seasons Toronto Spa, the Four Seasons Resort Whistler, and the JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District. McNeil is always hands-on and works closely with her clients to design beautiful spaces that exceed their expectations. 

McNeil also currently serves as a member of the Governing Council, an elected body within the Partnership, responsible for the stewardship of the long-term interests and well-being of DIALOG. McNeil first got her start in 1999 as a design director at Yabu Pushelberg. She graduated from Dalhousie University with a Master of Architecture and from Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador with an undergraduate degree.

Hira Mubasher
Head of Talent | Global, Tucows

Hira Mubasher is the Head of Global Talent at Tucows. Being in the business of keeping people connected and keeping the Internet open, Mubasher is spearheading transformative talent strategies rooted in agility and innovation. She champions a blend of high-touch human interaction and digital innovation as the cornerstone of competitive advantage, ensuring that Tucows remains at the forefront of its field. 

With a career spanning over 15 years, she has pioneered high-impact business and culture shifts across North America, Asia, and EMEA. Mubasher's expertise lies in holistic leadership, driving performance mindsets, and cultural prowess – anchored in talent acquisition and experience, data-driven storytelling, employment branding and engagement, inclusion, and culture-shaping initiatives. Prior to Tucows, she played a pivotal role in leading talent transformation at Colliers International, scaling talent and accelerating commercial growth. Earlier in her career, Mubasher was in talent leadership roles at KPMG, Shoppers Drug Mart, and Sears. 

Beyond her professional endeavors, Mubasher is deeply committed to philanthropic initiatives, particularly those focused on childhood education and development. She is a co-founder of educate-kids.org. Furthermore, Mubasher is a strategic advisor for startups within the Canadian market for her SME. She currently is a Strategic Advisor of BeWell Health Centres where she advised on corporate wellness programs aimed at psychological wellness for executives. She also is an advisor to Finneo Tech where she advises on their international talent strategy as well as being a former executive program lead for TEDxDonMills. A Torontonian, she thrives amidst the city's vibrancy, accompanied by her spouse and two beloved dogs. She’s quite involved in GTA’s advocacy for local enterprises and is an ambassador of multiple pet small businesses.

Andrea Ogunbadejo
VP, Managing Director, Production, Cossette

British-born, Toronto-based production executive Andrea Ogunbadejo is on a mission to revolutionize production by ensuring it plays a key role in the creative and strategic process, emphasizing the importance of “the how.” With a film school background followed by a career in independent feature films, shorts, and scripted TV, Andrea specializes in telling compelling stories, where she aims to bring together content, marketing and entertainment.

She has worked at agencies in London, New York and Toronto, with notable roles as Head of Production at Eleven in the US, and VaynerMedia London, where she established and led the agency production and in-house content studio department. Andrea currently serves as both VP Production for Cossette, and Managing Director for Magic Circle Workshop, a full-service production company in Toronto within the Plus Company network.

She has worked with a broad range of clients globally including McDonalds, Google, Amazon, TikTok, Kraft Heinz, Durex, 7UP and UNICEF.

Andrea is also a fierce advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as sustainability in the creative space. She has been featured in Adweek, Campaign, Shoots, AgencySpy, and Shots, and served as the US Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Chair for Eleven and the EMEA DEI lead at VaynerMedia London. She will serve as Juror at the 2024 Cannes Lions in the Film Craft category.

Kristin Wozniak
Global Lead, Customer Success, Plus Company

As the Global Lead and SVP of Customer Success at Plus Company, Kristin Wozniak inspires clients to think differently. A leading analytics, insight, and strategy expert, Kristin was named the 2021 Canadian Media Directors' Council Media Leader of the Year, and Women We Admire voted her one of Toronto's top 50 female leaders in September 2022. She is equally known for her prowess in data measurement, helping clients use synthetic data and generative AI to understand people and not their devices, and creating working cultures that recognize and celebrate the realities of people’s personal lives (e.g., who is a better multitasker than a working mom!). Her “more human” approach to corporate life has also impacted her approach to data and analytics, where she champions the idea of bringing humanity back into data. She calls this “data-informed decision making” versus the traditional “data-based decision making”, which allows data experts to bring their experience and emotions into the decision-making process. 

Prior to Cossette Media, Wozniak developed the analytics and insight discipline at Wavemaker Canada (formerly MEC) and also managed the audience research team at CBC, where she co-led the first team in Canada to incorporate digital video viewing data into traditional television measurement methodologies. Wozniak completed her master’s in communication and culture, with a focus on media and policy at York University and earned her undergraduate degree in communications from McMaster University.

Carla de Jong
Head, Co-Production & International Partnerships, Sinking Ship Entertainment

Carla de Jong is the Head of Co-Production and International Partnerships of Sinking Ship Entertainment. Sinking Ship Entertainment is a production, distribution, and interactive company specializing in family and kids' live-action and CGI-blended content. In her current role, de Jong is responsible for overseeing the development, production, and co-production of a varied slate of live-action and animated series for both kids and family audiences.

Before joining Sinking Ship Entertainment, she was Head of Commissioning and Development for ABC Australia and Executive in Charge of Production and Development at Kids’ CBC. She has created and produced a number of successful children’s series for the BBC in the UK and Network Ten in Australia. Carla’s work has been recognized both locally and internationally at the Daytime Emmy Awards, the BAFTAS, the Kidscreen Awards, The United Nations World Environment Day Awards, The Prix Jeunesse Awards, and the BANFF World Media Awards.

Before joining Sinking Ship Entertainment, de Jong was an executive in charge of production, children, and youth at CBC television. Before that, she was the head of commissioning and development for children's television at Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Earlier in her career, de Jong worked with Network Ten as a series producer. She graduated from CQUniversity with an undergraduate degree in music theater.

Dimah Khalili
VP, Communication, Marketing & Member Engagement, Canadian Credit Union Association

Dimah Khalili is an accomplished and strategic global executive with significant experience in strategy, planning, and communications. She specializes in Reputational Management, Change Communications, Storytelling, Thought Leadership, and Corporate Partnerships. Dimah has worked in various industries at the national and global levels, including financial services, government, management consulting, real estate, and non-profits. She has a passion for tactical and empathetic leadership, and she has a proven track record of building and empowering teams while keeping organizations' visions, goals, and stakeholder engagement at the forefront.

Dimah has extensive international experience working with influential world leaders such as the late King Hussein of Jordan, King Abdullah II of Jordan, Former Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri, and The Crown Prince of Wales (currently the King of the UK), as well as leading nationwide communications at the World Economic Forum, the United Nations, and the White House.

She holds an Executive MBA in General Management from the University of Toronto, a Master's Degree in International Communications and Development from the University of London, UK, and a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication with a specialization in PR and Advertising and a Minor in Economics from the American University. Dimah was awarded the Medal for Achievements at the World Economic Forum by King Abdullah II of Jordan in 2003 and is also the proud recipient of two academic awards, the Carol Dickson Memorial by the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, and the British Chevening by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Dimah has lived in five countries across four continents and traveled to over 60 countries, which has given her a deep appreciation for cultural differences and their power to bring people closer together. She enjoys traveling, hiking, sailing, innovation, and health and wellness.

Sharifa Khan
Founder & CEO, Multicultural Marketing Specialist, Balmoral Multicultural Marketing

A champion for multicultural marketing, Sharifa Khan is an acclaimed industry visionary and member of Canada’s Marketing Hall of Legends. Founding Balmoral Multicultural Marketing in 1989, Sharifa created Canada’s first agency dedicated to helping clients connect and engage

with diverse communities. Today, Sharifa continues to trail-blaze, leading an award-winning team of ethnic marketers that have taken minority marketing mainstream.

Recognized as one of the top women leaders in Toronto, Sharifa was the first female President of the Toronto Chinese Business Association, and the first minority group female Vice President of the Canadian Club.

Her entrepreneurial success and ongoing involvement with multicultural communities and business organizations have received widespread recognition. She is a recipient of the Top Canadian Immigrant Award, was named one of the top 18 Women of Influence in Canada,

and has been acknowledged for her contributions to multiculturalism by a prime minister and all levels of government. Notably, Sharifa’s historic work as co-founder of the Toronto International Dragon Boat Race Festival shaped the city’s waterfront with the building of a new watercourse for a Dragon Boat Championship and has been instrumental in the success and popularity of this multicultural event in Canada.

Rebecca Pang
VP, Treasury Solutions, RBC

Rebecca Pang is the Vice President, of Treasury Solutions, where she leads a team of specialists across Canada to deliver best-in-class cash management, payments, and liquidity solutions to business owners. Prior to that, she was the Vice President, Commercial Financial Services at RBC where she led a team of front-line commercial account managers to support the growth of Canadian businesses. Before leading sales teams, she was the Senior Director, of US Strategic Business Development for RBC, where she led the development of strategic planning and investment initiatives for traditional and emerging U.S. banking sectors through innovation, mergers & acquisitions, and venture partnerships. Pang was the recipient of the RBC Convention Award in 2021 as well as the RBC Global Citizen Award in 2020. 

Prior to RBC, Rebecca had various progressive careers in China, Hong Kong, the U.S., and Canada, including management consultant at McKinsey & Company in Hong Kong, Investor Relations Officer for one of the largest telecom operators in China, Head of Retail Channel Analytics of CIBC, and Director of Investment Banking Mergers & Acquisitions team (leading transactions with aggregated values of $100 billion), among others. 

Pang received an MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business and a BBA in Professional Accounting from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She also studied at Columbia University for a one-year exchange under the HSBC Scholar program. She has earned Certified Treasury Professionals, Chartered Financial Analyst, and Chartered Business Valuators designation. Pang currently serves on the board of the Yee Hong Foundation as an advisor for the Ted Rogers Leadership Centre. She was previously appointed as the Dean Council Member for Ryerson University Ted Rogers School of Management and the board of directors of the Toronto Zoo and Multiple Sclerosis Society Toronto Chapter. 

Amanda Small
VP, People & Culture, Nest Wealth

Amanda Small is a professionally trained artist and experienced People and Culture Leader with over 10 years of experience in HR, talent acquisition, program management, and people and culture. Her passion for collaborating with entrepreneurs, startups, scaleups, and creatives is focused on finding new ways to deeply engage with their communities and talent. As a natural connector, Small partners with founders, CEOs, and senior leadership teams as the ambassador and curator for growing culture, evangelizing possibilities and overall, influencing with a curious mindset and a desire to build an amazing business. 

Currently, as the VP of People and Culture at Nest Wealth, Small’s role is to create meaningful programs and opportunities for cultural and organizational development and continuous growth and to ensure we are focused on building a culture that will expand through the challenges and excitement of scaling up. Small is passionate about growing companies by helping people focus on what they love and how they contribute value. 

With expertise in embedded leadership and executive partnership, Small excels in setting up foundational processes and policies tailored to both the current and future states of organizations, fostering workplace cultures focused on inclusion and belonging. Her talent management and recruiting skills encompass process building, auditing, and improvement, executive recruiting, and onboarding and orientation revamps, particularly beneficial for high-growth companies navigating today's competitive talent market. 

Kelly Potvin
Executive Director, Elizabeth Fry Toronto

Kelly Potvin, a proud queer woman of European and Indigenous ancestry, works as the Executive Director of the Elizabeth Fry Society of Toronto and brings over two decades of leadership in the non-profit sector. Her professional journey began in the violence against women (now called GBV) sector, where she honed her skills within an anti-racist, anti-oppression framework, serving marginalized women and individuals grappling with mental health challenges. She chairs the Board of Directors for Thunder Woman Healing Society, a pioneering organization dedicated to healing and cultural connection for criminalized Indigenous women. Additionally, Kelly sits on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies (CAEFS), advocating for prison abolition and addressing the mass incarceration of Indigenous women and gender-diverse people in Canadian prisons.

As a survivor of trauma, Kelly believes in transforming the colonial carceral structure towards a system rooted in reconciliation, support, and community empowerment. She envisions a society where all individuals, especially the most vulnerable and racialized, find empowerment and belonging.

Kelly's passion for her work is evident in her involvement in large capital projects. She spearheaded the $18 million redevelopment of Elizabeth Fry Toronto's downtown property, incorporating affordable supportive housing for formerly incarcerated women. Kelly also played a pivotal role in advocating for establishing the Healing Lodge in Scarborough, deftly navigating challenges with opposition groups.

Outside her professional commitments, Kelly remains actively engaged in her community. She enjoys rescuing dogs and volunteers with local dog rescue organizations, showcasing her commitment to community care beyond her professional endeavors.

Hua Yu
Managing Partner, Level5 Strategy

With over 35 years of professional experience in marketing, finance, and management consulting in Canada, the US, and China, Hua is highly regarded as a Canadian industry leader in multicultural strategy and a trailblazing role model for women professionals of all backgrounds. 

Originally from Shanghai, China, Hua kicked off her career with the launch of Seagram's Wine Coolers in China, successfully introducing a new product category to Chinese consumers. After moving to New York City to pursue a Masters's Degree in Communications, Hua accumulated experience working with senior US government officials on telecom projects and later launched two successful IPOs for prominent Chinese companies on the US stock market. 

In 2005, Hua joined Level5 Strategy, one of Canada's leading boutique strategy and transformation management consulting firms, and eventually became the Managing Partner in 2011.

Hua's achievements in the Professional Service category earned her the Mandarin Profile Award. Moreover, in 2021, she was recognized as a finalist for the Canada China Business Council's 5 of 50 initiative, which honors individuals in five categories who have contributed to Canada's success over the past 50 years.

In her spare time, Hua serves as the Director of the China Shanghai Business Association and advises LEAP's #TheEquityOpportunity Initiative. She has also previously served on the Board of Directors for Destination Ontario.

In 2022, Hua launched the popular Chinese language podcast, "Turn Lemons Into Lemonade." In collaboration with brand strategist Poy Zhong, the podcast discusses and interprets current business cases and phenomena, with a focus on sharing strategies for turning challenges into opportunities. Since its inception, the podcast has consistently ranked among the top three Chinese language podcast programs in the marketing category on Apple Podcasts.

Kris Boyce
CEO, Signet Group 

Kris Boyce is currently the CEO of Signet Group Inc., a Toronto-based full-service Real Estate firm.  Kris started in the real industry in 1984 and has over 40 years of real estate experience, largely in senior roles in the rental housing industry. With a passion for people, Kris completed her Law Enforcement program at Seneca, with a vision to be a Toronto Police Officer.  When the opportunity did not come to light, she started her journey into real estate.

Kris became an experienced Coach for high-performance results, proven track record overseeing all aspects of property management, and asset management, and advisor with commercial, seniors housing, and multi-residential portfolios, building community memories and impact goals for future generations. People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace, and Partnership drive Kris’ call to action daily.

Strategy driven, community-focused, and has held several senior executive director positions throughout her career in both the Private and Public / Non-Profit Housing Industries for such companies as Greenwin Corp., Chartwell Seniors Housing REIT, Durham Region Non-Profit Housing, Transglobe Apartment REIT, ResReit, Canadian Apartment Properties REIT, Metro International Inc., and Ontario Housing Corporation.

A proud Fellow Member of the Institute of Housing Management (F.I.H.M), a Member of the Human Resources Professional Association (HRPA), and the recipient of the Federation of Rental Housing Providers of Ontario (FRPO) 2003 Property Manager of the Year Award. Kris currently volunteers her time on the following Boards, FRPO.org, Frontlines.ca, and the Greater Toronto Apartment Association. A Top 100 WXN's Canada's Most Powerful Woman Award recipient for 2015. Canada's Most Powerful Woman Top 100 Awards celebrate the professional achievements of strong female leaders across the country in the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors.

Sonia Couto
Managing Director, Konverge Digital Solutions

Sonia Couto is the Managing Director of Konverge Digital Solutions. Clients have been coming to Konverge for over 29 years for help with leveraging technology to meet their organizational objectives. In her role, Couto’s primary responsibility is running and overseeing the day-to-day functions of the company, including, monitoring revenue margins, and worker productivity, implementing new directives for growth, and setting and monitoring KPIs. Also, she drives initiatives that will lead to increased growth in Canada and internationally for Konverge’s award-winning portfolio of companies, which she has led since their inception. She is responsible for the product’s vision, development, and overall company growth.

Couto has been in the tech industry for over a decade, and she is an experienced leader who is highly results-driven and known for getting things done. A self-starting and motivated individual, she is a business visionary and strategic leader, steering two award-winning software products, MenuSano & Field Eagle. Recognized for her results-driven approach and ability to execute, she spearheads initiatives fostering strategic partnerships and driving growth both domestically and internationally. Since the inception of the products, she has been instrumental in shaping their vision, overseeing development, and fueling overall growth. 

Couto’s excellence in leadership within the software industry has been acknowledged through numerous awards, including Nutrition Business Leader of the Year in 2023 and Business Leader of the Year in North America in 2021. She also serves on the Board of Directors at the Canadian Foundation for Dietetic Research and is a member of Canadian Women in Food, reflecting her commitment to industry excellence and community involvement.

Laura Fernandez
Principal, Regulatory Affairs & Sustainability, Kinterra Capital

Laura Fernandez is a Principal, Regulatory Affairs and Sustainability at Kinterra Capital, a Toronto-based private equity firm focused on developing the battery metals and downstream infrastructure necessary for the energy transition. 

Fernandez has over a decade of private investment and legal experience. She has been an integral part of Kinterra since its inception and a member of the firm’s Investment Committee. With a keen focus on sustainability and ESG integration, Fernandez plays a pivotal role in shaping every facet of the firm’s investment cycle. She diligently oversees the progression of value-creation initiatives within Kinterra's diverse portfolio of real assets and ensures both Kinterra and its investments adhere to stringent ESG compliance standards. Fernandez also serves as a trusted advisor to the firm, offering expertise on a wide spectrum of regulatory requirements that impact Kinterra’s business. 

Prior to her tenure at Kinterra, Fernandez served as a principal, associate general counsel, and corporate liaison for the Permitting and Environmental Team at a leading US$2 billion investment adviser. Fernandez holds a JD from the University of Ottawa and a Master’s degree in Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School.

Josefina Nadurata
Co-founder | Executive Producer, Holiday Films

Josefina is a veteran executive producer in the film production industry, with over two decades of invaluable experience. She is co-founder of Holiday Films and The Holiday United Group (H.U.G.), an esteemed production network offering comprehensive services encompassing motion through Holiday Films and Nimble Content, post-production through Recess Post , and photography through The Cavalry. Along with her talented team, Josefina fosters strong partnerships with clients, advertising agencies, and studios, utilizing the impressive roster of award-winning international and Canadian talent within H.U.G. to consistently deliver projects of exceptional quality and demonstrable impact.

Throughout her career, Josefina has had the privilege of collaborating with some of the most talented global creatives in the industry. Together, they have earned prestigious accolades such as Cannes Grand Prix and Cannes Titanium awards for iconic ad films like "Dove Evolution," "Ikea – Start The Car," and "Unilever – Vim." Notably, these works have not only garnered industry recognition but have also been nominated into TIFF's Top Cinematic Work.

In 2018, Josefina founded H.U.G. for Good, a deeply personal initiative dedicated to leveraging the power of film to foster empathy and inspire action. Through this endeavor, she collaborates with clients, advertising agencies, network partners, and filmmakers to craft purpose-driven narratives that tackle pressing social issues. Currently, Josefina is at the forefront of pre-production efforts for H.U.G. for Good's inaugural long-form feature project, scheduled to commence filming in fall 2025.

A passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion, Josefina tirelessly champions initiatives aimed at enhancing the visibility and advancement of BIPOC, LGBTQ2S, and female directing talent within the Canadian film industry. As a proud member of the Filipino community, she brings a unique perspective to her advocacy efforts, striving to create a more equitable and inclusive landscape for all creators, both behind and in front of the camera. Alongside her professional commitments, Josefina served as a former board member of The Association of Canadian Commercial Production (ACCP), where she contributed to navigating the industry through challenges such as COVID-19. Her academic pursuits at Harvard, coupled with her dedication to her 11-year-old son, exemplify her unwavering commitment to lifelong learning, social responsibility, and family.

Melanie Gibson
Head, Corporate Relations, The Personal Development School

Melanie Gibson began her professional career 12 years ago. Today, she is the Head of Corporate Relations of The Personal Development School, a global online platform with access to over 55 courses, digital webinars and supportive community events. They have helped thousands of people around the world transform their lives using science, psychology and more than a decade of experience. The Personal Development School is in over 113 different countries with over 900,000 course downloads and has a 97% satisfaction score among members.

Gibson is a focused and results-driven sales and marketing executive with over six years of successful new business development, competitive market expansion, and sales leadership experience. In her role, she collaborates with a dedicated team in planning and launching sales initiatives that consistently surpass targeted goals and designs online marketing platforms that develop sales growth opportunities. Gibson leads product development and oversees marketing for numerous wholesale lines that are introduced in Europe and across North America. She is also responsible for writing and editing content used in our publications and marketing materials, including catalogs, flyers, and mailers, and supervises government and licensing contracts, including Disney North America, World Wildlife Fund, Simons, Sporting Life, and El Placio de Hierro. 

Gibson graduated from the University of Surrey with an MA in Dance and Theatre Education and from York University with an undergraduate degree in psychology, dance, and fine arts.

Plabita Talukdar
Director, Professional Services Leader, Salesforce

Plabita Talukdar is a passionate technology consulting leader with a strong track record of driving business value for customers. Her expertise lies in SaaS and professional services. As a director of professional services at Salesforce in Toronto, Canada, she is responsible for overseeing key performance indicators of a consulting team that delivers time to value and business impact for customers. She previously served as a services leader in Chicago, USA, where led a team that delivered advisory engagements.

Throughout her career, Talukdar has demonstrated expertise in leading and managing teams, driving digital transformations, and delivering successful engagements. She is adept at building strategic relationships, implementing innovative solutions, and achieving outstanding customer satisfaction. She is also committed to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. She has served as a leader for Salesforce Equality Resource Group, Southasiaforce throughout her tenure. Before Salesforce, she was with VMware, where she served as a process improvement leader. In her role at Vmware, she introduced operational improvements that enhanced customer experience and internal operations. As a consultant, she has worked with over 100 customers across various industry verticals. 

Beyond her professional accomplishments, Talukdar embodies a deep-rooted passion for learning. She has a master’s degree in computer engineering from Purdue University, USA, a Global Executive MBA from the University of Toronto, Roman School of Business, Canada, and SDA Bocconi, Milan. Italy and a Bachelor of Technology in Electrical and Electronics from SRM University, India, graduating Summa Cum Laude. She has also served as a deputy project leader at Compass Probono National in Chicago, where she worked with a diverse team in delivering marketing and digital strategy to nonprofit organizations.

Sheree Mann
Managing Director, Delta Consulting Group 

Sheree Mann is a Managing Director in the Forensics, Investigations, and Dispute Services practice at Delta Consulting Group Canada Ltd. She specializes in fraud, financial investigations, and economic loss quantification. Her clients include private and public corporations, government agencies, municipalities, unions, charities, individuals, and partnerships. She has provided expert testimony in criminal and civil courts and at a Public Inquiry known as the Toronto Computer Leasing Inquiry.

Mann began her career as a forensic accountant seconded to the Ontario Provincial Police Anti-Rackets Branch in 1993. Mann is one of the original owners of Froese Forensic Partners Ltd, which was acquired by Delta Consulting Group in June 2023. Delta specializes in fraud, financial investigations, litigation services, project management, construction consulting, and disputes, and has a network of over 100 experts and consultants in offices in Canada, the US and UK and clients in over 90 countries.

Mann is a CPA/CA, a Chartered Business Valuator (CBV), a Certified Forensic Investigator (CFI) and is Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF). Mann became a partner at Grant Thornton LLP in 2002 and was the co-service line leader for forensic and investigative services. In 2004, she joined LECG Canada Ltd as a principal and became director in 2007. Mann was the president and treasurer for the Association of Certified Forensic Investigators and a former member of the Education Committee and Continuing Education Committee for the Institute of Chartered Business Valuators. She has served on the boards of several nonprofit organizations. Mann has been a presenter on multiple occasions, including fraud courses at CPA Ontario. 

Sousan Bagherpoor
CEO, Virtual POCT 

Sousan Bagherpoor is a seasoned healthcare professional and entrepreneur based in Canada, with over 25 years of experience driving innovation in the industry. As the CEO and Founder of Virtual POCT, she is dedicated to enhancing healthcare accessibility through the integration of Point-of-Care Testing (POCT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions, rooted in Quality Management Systems (QMS).

Bagherpoor began her journey in healthcare with a foundation in Med Lab Science. She has navigated various roles, including senior medical lab technologist specializing in POCT at the University Health Network (UHN). Over 16 years, she spearheaded diverse POCT programs, leading to the establishment of Virtual POCT in 2019. Bagherpoor is an experienced entrepreneur with a history of initiating and establishing multiple businesses. Over the years, she has launched several ventures, demonstrating her capability to identify market opportunities and innovate within various industries. This track record highlights her entrepreneurial spirit and her proficiency in transforming ideas into profitable enterprises. Bagherpoor has co-authored multiple scientific papers on Point-of-Care Testing, showcasing her expertise and contributions to this important field. Also, her work has played a significant role in advancing the understanding and implementation of these diagnostic technologies in healthcare settings. 

Bagherpoor’s educational background includes an Associate's degree in Clinical Laboratory Science/Medical Technology/Technologist from Ahwaz University, a Diploma in Clinical Laboratory Science (Medical Laboratory Technology), a Quality Management certificate from The Michener Institute of Education at UHN, and coursework in health services management and business administration and management from Ryerson University. In 2023, she completed an Artificial Intelligence in Health Care Certificate Program from the Michener Institute of Education at UHN. She is happily married with two adult children. 

Julie Quenneville
CEO, UHN Foundation

Julie began her career as a journalist before transitioning to a decorated career in the healthcare sector. In 2003, she began her role as Associate Chief of Staff to the Quebec Minister of Health and Social Services, where she led national policy changes including the law banning tobacco in public places and the law protecting people living with disabilities. In 2005, she joined McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) as Chief of Staff to the CEO before becoming Chief of Strategic Planning, and then Director of Development and Marketing. In 2015, she became President and CEO of MUHC Foundation, where she grew revenue by 350 percent, expertly navigated the integration of three foundations, and built a team recognized as one of Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures. In 2023, Quenneville joined UHN Foundation as CEO. 

In her role, she leads one of the top fundraising teams in the country to support UHN in its mission to change the status quo of healthcare – a pursuit that has shaped her career. Quenneville’s dedication to healthcare has earned her numerous accolades, including being named one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women, one of Concordia University’s Top 40 under 40, and receiving the Medal of the Quebec National Assembly. She has served as Chair of the Banff Forum and is a member of the Executive Committee of the 2024 President’s Cup. 

She is a change agent, passionate about the need for innovative research as a global responsibility. She is a change agent, a passionate advocate for innovative research, and a firm believer that advancing medicine is a global responsibility. She is a proud mentor, particularly passionate about empowering young women.

Charlotte Anderson
Owner & CEO, ALPHA Health Services

Charlotte Anderson is the Owner of ALPHA Health Services. She founded the organization in 2021 and also serves the role of Chief Executive Officer. ALPHA Health Services is Toronto's leading physiotherapy and healthcare clinic. Anderson has experience working in a number of different healthcare settings, but primarily in outpatient orthopedics, treating a wide range of conditions related to sport, work, and the rigors of daily life. She owns and operates several clinics in Toronto and Muskoka, and provides physiotherapy locum services throughout the year in Whitehorse, Yukon.

Anderson is a registered physiotherapist with the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario and the Yukon College of Physiotherapists. She graduated from the University of Toronto with a Master’s degree in Physiotherapy and was awarded the Goldie Lewis Award upon graduation for the demonstration of strong personal attributes. She completed her PhD in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto and her post-doctoral fellowship at McMaster University. 

Anderson completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Toronto in the faculty of the Institute of Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation. She was the recipient of the 2018 Physical Therapy Practitioner Exceptional Achievement Award from the University of Toronto for demonstrating expertise in a clinical content area, a best practice approach to delivering patient-centered care, and for participating in the development of her practice and the development of others in their clinical area. Anderson has received several awards and research funding for her research.

Helen Kontozopoulos
Adjunct Professor, University of Toronto

Helen Kontozopoulos is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Toronto. Her courses include product development, product design, and entrepreneurship. She co-founded UofT's Department of Computer Science Innovation Lab (DCSIL), an incubator that supports students and faculty to commercialize their innovations in emerging technologies.

In 2018, Kontozopoulos co-founded ODAIA, an AI-powered commercial insights SaaS platform for Pharma companies. Their mission is to reduce patients’ time to therapy by facilitating meaningful interactions with healthcare providers through human-centric software powered by AI. As the chief technical evangelist, Kontozopoulos brought her understanding of artificial intelligence, customer analytics, and digital transformation to drive ODAIA’s thought leadership efforts, ultimately helping pharma teams adopt AI in their work and leverage data science and AI to achieve a competitive advantage.

Kontozopoulos is the host of the Making Impact podcast, where she talks to life sciences leaders and how their work is impacting lives. She has a Master’s degree in Business from the University of Tasmania and a BA in Anthropology and Philosophy from York University. 

Lindie Gerber
Executive Creative Director, Movable Ink

Lindie Gerber is a long-time brand executive, mentor, and design leader in the technology and creative industry. She is the Executive Creative Director of Movable Ink, a leading software company powering creative personalization for the world’s leading brands, where she facilitates the formulation and implementation of brand strategy on an organizational and operational level. As the global head of the Movable Ink brand, she leads several cross-functional initiatives across the marketing, product, design, sales, strategy, and operations teams. As Chair of the Design Guild, her focus is bridging brand and product design with the aim of delivering a cohesive experience across the customer journey.

Prior to Movable Ink, her work spans across multiple industries, from start-ups to enterprise brands in Africa, North America, East Asia, and EMEA. She’s held senior positions directing some of the world’s leading brands, including Nike, Coca-Cola, Garmin, Fiat, and the FIFA World Cup. Beyond her role, Gerber frequently speaks on panels on the role and importance of diversity and inclusivity in the workplace and acts as a mentor and advocate for early-career professional development in support of LGBTQA+ individuals and minorities in the creative and technology industry. 

Gerber earned an undergraduate degree in visual communication, visual arts, and industrial psychology from Stellenbosch University and is working towards a Master’s degree in Visual Arts from the University of South Africa.

Patricia McCarney
President & CEO, World Council on City Data

Patricia McCarney is President and Chief Executive Officer of the World Council on City Data (WCCD). Having founded the WCCD in 2014, McCarney is building a globally standardized data platform for cities worldwide. As the host of this knowledge platform, the WCCD is the leading global city database with ISO-certified, and globally comparable city data for a growing network of smart, resilient, and prosperous cities. In her role, McCarney currently holds the position of Core Partner to the United Nations Program titled, Making Cities Resilient – a Strategy and Vision for 2030.

In addition to her roles with WCCD, McCarney is a professor of political science at the University of Toronto, Canada. She has served as associate vice president for international research and development at the University of Toronto. McCarney received her PhD from MIT in 1987. Her education crosses political economy, city planning, and international development. Before joining the University of Toronto, McCarney worked as a professional staff member in a number of international agencies, including the World Bank in Washington, and the United Nations - HABITAT in Nairobi. 

McCarney holds several positions in the Canadian and international standards industry. Within the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in Geneva, she is Chair of the Working Group on City Indicators in ISO Technical Committee 268, Sustainable Development in Communities. She currently serves on the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) Canadian National Standards Strategy Advisory Committee to the President of SCC and recently served on the Mayor of Toronto’s Bid Committee to attract the global headquarters of the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) to the City of Toronto.

Allison Cutler
Director, Marketing & Communications, Payment Source

Allison Cutler is an accomplished marketing and communications professional known for her strategic leadership and expertise in bridging together the disciplines of marketing, communications, and brand. Currently, serving as the Director of Marketing and Communications for Payment Source, a leading financial services company providing online/offline payment solutions to organizations across Canada, Cutler is responsible for leading the strategy and development of all marketing and communication tactics. In this role, she excels in building brand identity and acquisition pipelines, while effectively managing teams responsible for various key areas, including PR, marketing communications, creative services, social media, digital marketing, product marketing, and demand generation.

Cutler’s journey in the marketing and communications field began in 2008 with Pitney Bowes Canada, where she quickly advanced to positions of increasing responsibility. Following her tenure with Pitney Bowes, Cutler joined KUBRA as the director of marketing. At KUBRA, she established and built the marketing department from the ground up. Continuing her journey as a marketing leader, Cutler then assumed the role of director of brand & digital marketing at WinMagic.

Recognizing the intersection between HR and communications, Cutler recently earned a Certificate in Human Resources Management from York University. She has an undergraduate degree with honors from Brock University and a postgraduate certificate from Niagara College in International Business Management. She is also a Certified Digital Marketing Associate in Data and Web Analytics.

Christine Tu
Director, Office of Climate Change & Energy Management, Regional Municipality of Peel

Christine Tu is the Director of the Office of Climate Change and Energy Management at the Regional Municipality of Peel, the second-largest municipality in Ontario. Climate change is the defining challenge of our time and Tu has dedicated herself as a leader to transparently and equitably meeting that challenge. She brings her technical expertise, authentic passion, and collaborative style to inspire a rapid transition of municipal services to net zero carbon while ensuring the material climate risks to $36B worth of public assets are understood, prioritized, and adapted for a safer and resilient future.

People are at the core of how Tu sees systemic transformation succeeding and she deeply empowers her team of high-performance professionals to accelerate the integration of climate change adaptation science, strategy, and risk-reduction planning across all regional services, as well as ensure the delivery of innovative energy procurement, holistic energy management, and cost-effective corporate greenhouse gas emissions reduction programming. Currently, her work includes guiding the implementation of Peel’s ambitious 10-year Climate Change Master Plan, which was instrumental in supporting the largest investment in climate action made by Peel Regional Council ($40M in the 2023 budget). Tu also proudly mentors next-generation climate leaders, sits on the Peel Housing Corporation board of directors, is a member of Partners in Project Green’s Executive Management Committee, and is the secretariat director for the Peel Climate Change Partnership.

Before arriving at Peel Region, Tu was the senior aquatic ecologist, watershed specialist, and manager of the Ontario Climate Consortium Secretariat at the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. She received her undergraduate and Master of Science degrees in Environmental Science from the University of Toronto. 

Claire Sautner
Director, Digital Operations, Loblaw Agency

Claire Sautner has three true passions in her work life: people, technology, and that special place, where the two intersect. She currently lives these passions as Director of Digital Operations at Loblaw Agency, the internal agency of Loblaw Companies Limited. 

In her role, Sautner has brought change and growth, mentoring her team to better engage in omnichannel customer experiences at Shoppers Drug Mart. She does this with a human-centric approach, putting her team’s development and success as her chief motivating factor. Her most recent achievement is developing data-driven platforms to deliver personalized messages to health and pharmacy customers. This new initiative will drive customer experience and bolster brand power, as well as leverage automation for better operational efficiency.

Sautner has grown her career over the last 20 years and has been a part of some leading programs in the Canadian digital marketing landscape. From launching the online lottery in Atlantic Canada to ground-breaking reward programs like PC Optimum and MyBP for Boston Pizza, Sautner has embraced the philosophy of continuous evolution. She is always looking for the right technologies for the brands she supports so she can continue to deliver excellent service. 

Rann Sharma
Chief People & Culture Officer, Canadian Mental Health Association

Rann Sharma is the Chief People and Culture Officer for Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA). Sharma joined CMHA Toronto in 2021 and leads a range of human resources responsibilities vital to our organization’s success, including talent acquisition and retention, employee relations, compliance with employment laws, and advancing our commitment to moving towards being an anti-racist and anti-oppressive organization.

Sharma was previously employed at Ontario Health, where she was responsible for several key initiatives, including building the Ontario Health Lab Network team responsible for COVID-19 testing and vaccines, building comprehensive talent acquisition programs grounded in equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism, and change management through the adoption of HR systems. Before that, she led human resources at Health Shared Services Ontario through integration into Ontario Health. Her past roles include HR leadership at health service providers and the not-for-profit sector.

Sharma has been awarded admission into the Women’s Executive Network (WXN) Wisdom II Mentorship Program, which features Canada’s most influential female audience. Sharma was selected as one of 16 Canadians across Canada to work on public policy and leadership development as an Action Canada fellow. She holds a Master’s degree in Human Resources.

Evelynn Ratcliffe
Partner, Alair Homes Forest Hill Toronto

Evelynn Ratcliffe graduated from York University with a Bachelor of Arts. With a passion for business, marketing, and management, she has held increasingly senior management roles in telecom, professional services, and real estate development organizations. 

Ratcliffe is a multi-award-winning marketing and management professional with awards from the National Association of Home Builders and the International Property Awards and is one of the country’s first twenty Chartered Marketers. She currently serves as a Partner of Alair Homes Forest Hill Toronto.

Ratcliffe’s more notable projects include the conversion of the historic Tannery District in Kitchener and the early phases of the development of downtown Markham. After nearly two decades in strategic roles, she finds the tangible rewards of building feed her soul in a way strategic plans never could, plus, she and her two young daughters, think it’s perfectly okay to pair steel-toe boots with a dress.

Grace Almendras-Castillo
Founder & CEO, Gifftid Ltd

Grace Almendras-Castillo is the Founder and CEO of Gifftid Ltd, a global team of experts in impact investments, sustainable impact and purpose, enterprise development, community partnerships, resource and talent optimization, and digital transformation. The Gifftid Impact Platform advances the alignment and performance of the impact ecosystem from enterprise to investors.

Almendras-Castillo is an experienced entrepreneur, social impact and technology investor, inventor, and solver of big problems. Leveraging her global experience gained over the past two decades in consumer healthcare, she acquired Self Care Catalysts, a pioneering digital health company, in 2014 and served as the CEO until 2022. Almendras-Castillo continues to challenge the status quo in significant ways. As a pioneering lead in digital health transformation, she received numerous awards from various organizations, including being one of the Top 50 Women in STEM in Canada, an E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year Nominee, Springboard Enterprises Alum, and  MaRS Venture amongst many others. She is a Health Innovator, an inventor, and one of the Patent Holders for Health Storylines, a digital health platform.

Almendras-Castillo takes learning passionately, having completed her undergraduate degree from the University of the Philippines. She has continued her education at various institutions, including The Wharton School of Business, the University of Pennsylvania, The Rotman School of Business, the University of Toronto, Yale School of Management, and the University of Oxford. Almendras-Castillo comes from a family of women entrepreneurs and microfinance investors who opened doors to give opportunities for employment to people. She continues to build on this meaningful legacy.

Grail Noble
Owner & CEO, Yellow House Events

Grail Noble is the Owner and CEO of Yellow House Events, a full-service event agency offering strategy, production, marketing, and creative services. They specialize in the ​unboring​. They refresh, re-design, and ​re-think events and activations to ensure talk-worthy, share-worthy experiences that resonate with modern audiences. 

Noble has over 25 years in event marketing, sponsorship, and communications. She has previously worked on the client side with YTV, the NBA, Molson, and The Heart & Stroke Foundation, gaining valuable experience in the international media, sports, nonprofits, retail, and in consumer packaged goods. Noble has overseen sponsorships, events, and promotions for brands like Coke, Nike, Nestle, and the Molson Indy Car races. She has also worked as a snowboarding instructor in Switzerland and a bartender in Portugal.

Noble is proud of being listed on the Profit 100 for 5 years and on the W100 top female entrepreneurs in Canada. She was a previous winner of the regional RBC Female Entrepreneur of the Year and won the BDO Business Value award. Noble graduated from the Western University.

Janay Gouveia
Director, Learning Innovation, University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies

Janay Gouveia is a Director of Learning Innovation with the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies, a center of lifelong learning offering transformative personal and professional enrichment opportunities through hundreds of expert-led, non-degree courses and certificates. Leading as an education strategist with a changing and transformative approach to education, Gouveia oversees the design, development, delivery, and evaluation of non-credit, open enrolment courses and certificate programs, as well as international partner programs, and customized training solutions that align with industry and changes in the workplace. 

Gouveia guides the development and implementation of strategic initiatives that drive forward advancements in pedagogy and creative methodologies, such as micro-credentialing, competency-based learning, authentic assessments, micro-learning, digital media, and design thinking. Alongside a top-tier Learning Innovation team, Gouveia leads the divisions' digital learning and educational technology initiatives, online learning support services, and instructor professional development program. 

With over 10 years of experience working in both the public and nonprofit sectors, Gouveia has led a broad spectrum of educational programs and projects and has continually worked to build out and refine business processes to enhance organizational efficiency and drive meaningful outcomes. As a solutions-focused leader in education, Gouveia encourages all individuals she has worked with both past and present to think beyond the idea of conventional teaching and learning to address the skills needed to align with our everchanging and ever-evolving complex, interconnected world. She graduated from the Faculty of Education at Western University with a Master of Professional Education and International Education, as well as a Bachelor of Education, and an undergraduate degree in English language and literature and Catholic studies from the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Western University. 

Josipa Petrunic
President & CEO, Canadian Urban Transit Research & Innovation Consortium

Josipa Petrunic is the President and CEO of the Canadian Urban Transit Research & Innovation Consortium (CUTRIC). CUTRIC is a member-based industry-led organization that partners stakeholders in the transit, transportation and integrated mobility sectors in the pursuit of collaborative research, development and demonstration (RD&D) projects with academia. Petrunic has built up CUTRIC’s consortium to include more than 130 private and public sector companies and organizations across Canada. 

Petrunic is leading the formulation of several national transportation technology trials related to zero-emissions transportation and smart vehicles innovation, including the Pan-Canadian Electric Bus Demonstration and Integration Trial, the Pan-Canadian Hydrogen Fuel Cell Demonstration and Integration Trial, and the National Smart Vehicle Demonstration Project.

Previously, she served as the lead researcher in electric vehicle policy studies at McMaster University, and as a senior research fellow in the history and philosophy of mathematics at University College London (UCL) in the United Kingdom in Science and Technology Studies. Petrunic continues to lecture in globalization studies at McMaster University. In 2018, she was named one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 by Bloomberg News and Canada’s Top Clean 50. In 2019, she was named Aspioneer Top 10 Influential Women Leaders. In 2020, she received an award in WXN’s Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Awards for her role in the science and technology industry.

Julie Lottering
Director, Education for Unreal Engine, Epic Games

Julie Lottering is a passionate leader, currently serving as the Director of Education for Unreal Engine at Epic Games. In this role, she spearheads the development and execution of the global strategy for secondary and post-secondary education, as well as the upskilling of industry professionals. Her leadership and expertise contribute to the advancement of emergent and creative workflows in games, media, and entertainment.

One of Lottering’s primary responsibilities is overseeing large-scale initiatives aimed at revolutionizing the gaming and entertainment industries. She plays a crucial role in driving the adoption of various tools within the Epic ecosystem, including Unreal Engine, Unreal Editor for Fortnite, Metahuman, Twinmotion, and Reality Scan. Her keen insight and strategic guidance ensure the seamless integration and utilization of these powerful technologies.

Before assuming her current position, Lottering made significant contributions to the fields of visualization, technology, and learning through various avenues. Her prior role as the director of education and training at SideFX showcased her ability to develop and implement global education systems centered around procedural content generation and simulation techniques for visual effects. Her diverse background in neuroaesthetics, art history, and experience as an artist brings a unique and insightful perspective to understanding creative processes.

Lori Heller
President, Heller Productions

Lori Heller began her career on Bay Street working in syndication and debt capital markets at CIBC World Markets and eventually moved into event marketing, sponsorships, and donations. With the knowledge and experience under her belt, she decided to launch her own Event Management Company in 1998. Twenty-one years later, Heller Productions has raised the bar in the events industry and has gained a reputation as one of Canada’s finest event boutique companies. The name alone is synonymous with precision, personal edge, vision and flair. 

Heller Productions has created and produced events for The Rose' Picnic, David Foster Foundation, Grand Cru Culinary Wine Festival, Vinifera Wine Lovers’ Gala, President’s Cup and countless corporate events, golf tournaments, conferences, award galas, and incentive trips around the world. Heller and her partners started The Rose' Picnic in 2017 and have grown this into one of Toronto's best summer festivals. Going into the 4th year, the event will attract over 10,000 guests to Fort York on July 11th, 2020. Future plans to go across Canada and into Europe are on the horizon.

Heller embodies a perfect blend of creative thinking, personal service and attention to detail. Her clients are thrilled with the consistent and exceptional service, which allow their events to run flawelssly. The results speak for themselves, unforgettable events and outstanding successes, year after year. Heller graduated from York University with an undergraduate degree in business administration, political science, and government.

Michelle Beyo

Michelle Beyo is the CEO and Founder of FINAVATOR, an award-winning payments and future of finance consultancy. Finavator articles have been published on Mecidi Global and presented at events such as Payment Summit, Money 20/20, Women In Payments Symposium, Toronto Entrepreneur Conference and been interviewed by Global News Radio, Toronto Star, and Global Mail regarding payments innovation.

Beyo is also a strategic advisor to FinTechs, a Money 20/20 Rise Up alumni, a global council member of Women in Payments, the Membership Chair at Canadian Prepaid Providers Organization, a Payment Advisor at National Crowdfunding and FinTech Association of Canada, and a Board Member and the Interim President at Open Finance Network Canada. 

Beyo started FINAVATOR as she is passionate about payments and financial inclusion. She has 20 years of extensive industry experience driving innovation across the retail and payments industry. Beyo was named the Top 30 Best CEOs of 2021 by The Silicon Valley Review and FINAVATOR was awarded Most Influential Leader in FinTech Consulting - Canada in 2020.

Nancy Tavares
Director, People & Culture, Paladin Security Group

Nancy Tavares is an energetic, approachable, and analytical senior human resources leader. Paladin Security, a renowned security provider across Canada, was delighted to bring Tavares on board in September 2021 as the Director of People and Culture and is grateful for her considerable professional and personal contributions. Tavares’ role oversees all aspects of HR, which is vast and complex in Paladin’s service-based business, and includes a specific emphasis on strategic talent acquisition and proactive labor relations management.

A lifelong learner, Tavares’ commitment to growth and expertise motivates her to constantly pursue further education. She has earned both a psychology degree and a Master's degree in Human Resources Management from York University while working full-time. Tavares’ interesting educational background has propelled her career, advancing her into leadership positions in various industries, including fitness, property management, asset management, print, and security.

Tavares is a continuing education instructor at George Brown College, in human resources management. She is a sought-after international speaker on HR-related topics, having presented at numerous conferences in the US and Canada on subjects, including employee engagement, HR metrics, execution, change, and performance. Her professional focus is bridging the gap between best practice research and practical implementation in the organization. With her wealth of experience, dedication to ongoing learning, and genuine approachability, Tavares is an invaluable asset to both Paladin Security and the field of HR.

Nancy Zdravko
Director, Brand & Marketing, Complete Energy Solutions

Nancy Zdravko is an accomplished marketing professional that has over 25 years of experience with an impressive track record of actively propelling revenue growth, increasing brand recognition, expanding business services into vertical markets, and increasing consumer spending while transforming business models into growth capsules.

Blessed at the start of her career to have achieved award-winning designations for her marketing efforts in influential B2B, and B2C campaign engagement, and new business development in digital media. NZdravkoancy is a go-getter who has pioneered industry-changing digital marketing initiatives in commercial retail for over a decade while employed with RioCan, Canada’s largest REIT. She is known for altering Toronto landscapes, changing consumer buyer behavior, and being the driving force behind increasing ROI. She has also served a four-year term as a Board Committee Member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and was appointed to the Program Planning Committee from 2009 to 2012

In 2019, Zdravko turned the page to a new chapter in her career, embarking on an opportunity within the Energy Management Industry. Already a well-respected leader, Zdravko has chartered a new direction for herself, ensuing her experience and expertise in Energy Management with the Complete Group of Companies, including Complete Energy Solutions, Complete Chiller Solutions, CES Plumbing, and CES PowerOn. As an accomplished Marketing Director, Zdravko continues to play an integral role in all areas of discipline for the Complete Group of Companies, engaged to manage all aspects of marketing and thrust 5 company brands into being a household name.

Solange Jacob
Director, Customer Experience Innovation & Culture, Onix

Solange Jacob is the Director of Customer Experience, Innovation, and Culture at Onix whose vision is to be the most trusted cloud consulting partner to the world’s most innovative companies. Her focus in this role is ensuring that customers have successful and transformative deployments by ensuring that effective change management strategies are applied to all project implementations. It is instrumental to ensure that any changes occurring across a business are being communicated effectively, that employees are well-trained on new tools, and that adoption of any changes is being driven by excellent sponsorship. Innovating companies requires her to keep up with the pace of technological advancements and translate those into solutions to re-imagine business challenges into customer success.

Jacob’s current role also focuses on culture, which is driven by her passion for her rich diverse background. She has lived in Toronto for 20 years but was born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago. The island's rich history, food, music, climate, beaches, and local festivals like Carnival are captivating cultural tourist attractions but we digress… back to organizational culture. Culture is created over time and it is strategic to the success of any company for employee retention and building very productive and successful teams. Jacob oversees the implementation of tools, events, and practices that allow employees to remain connected, collaborative, and productive, which in turn supports an environment of trust, and fosters stronger relationships with employees and customers.

Jacob remains an energetic and intuitive leader with a demonstrated ability to tackle diverse challenges and deliver strong operational/project results. She has experience within the public sector, not-for-profits, and the corporate sector, including IT, healthcare, social services, retail, and cloud computing over the last 15 years. She is PMP and Prosci Certified and has achieved an Honors Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto.

Uzma Vakani
VP, Major Accounts, GFT Technologies

Uzma Vakani is currently a Vice President of Major Accounts in the Insurance sector at GFT Technologies, a global IT consulting firm. Vakani is an energetic, passionate, and multifaceted consulting professional who has spent the last decade dedicated to the success of her clients, her colleagues, as well as her organization. At GFT, she has taken on various roles with massive impact over the last 3 years, including building the foundations for rapid growth in Toronto/GTA, solving major technical resourcing problems for her over 90 clients, as well as quadrupling her division’s revenue (in millions) within the Insurance sector.

Vakani is a core believer in inclusive teams and champions diversity in all realms, including cognitive diversity. She believes people are the heart of all organizations and has spent the last 10+ years successfully connecting over 900 IT professionals to career opportunities within the GTA region. Vakani is known by her current and former clients and colleagues as highly responsive, committed, resilient, a problem solver, a trailblazer, accountable, courageous, results-driven, ethically conscious, and not afraid to take calculated risks.

Vakani graduated with an Honors Bachelor of Science at the University of Toronto, after, which she completed her Honors MBA and several studies, such as Harvard Business School’s Leadership & Communication program in 2022. She is currently enrolled in a 1-year comprehensive business program at EADA University in Barcelona in a joint partnership with GFT. After her studies at EADA, Vakani will present her final project in Barcelona Spain, which will be focused on how to further improve Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at GFT.