The Speakers

Edward Burtynsky
Guest Speaker

Edward Burtynsky

Edward Burtynsky is the founder of Toronto Image Works, a custom photo laboratory, digital imaging and new media centre. He has spoken widely, including at the Library of Congress in Washington, and was one of the first recipients of the TED Prize. He is also an Officer of the Order of Canada and was named one of Canada’s Greatest Explorers by Canadian Geographic. His remarkable photographic depictions of global industrial landscapes are included in the collections of over fifty major museums around the world, including the National Gallery of Canada and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and his exhibitions, which have all been published as books, include Residual Landscapes, Manufactured Landscapes, Before the Flood, China, Quarries, Oil, and Water.


Senator Murray Sinclair
Guest Speaker

Senator Murray Sinclair

Senator Sinclair has served the justice system in Manitoba for over 25 years and is the first Aboriginal Judge appointed in Manitoba and Canada’s second. He served as Co-Chair of the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry in Manitoba and as Chief Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). As head of the TRC, he participated in hundreds of hearings across Canada, culminating in the issuance of the TRC’s report in 2015. He also oversaw an active multi-million-dollar fundraising program to support various TRC events and activities, and to allow survivors to travel to attend TRC events. Additionally, Senator Sinclair served as an adjunct professor of law at the University of Manitoba, and is very active within his profession and his community, winning numerous awards, including the National Aboriginal Achievement Award (1994) and the Lifetime Achievement Award (2017) from Indspire, the Manitoba Bar Association’s Equality Award (2001) and its Distinguished Service Award (2016). He most recently received the President’s Award from the Canadian Bar Association (2018), the SSHRC Impact Award (2019) and will be the 2019 recipient of the Symons Medal.


Nick Nurse
Guest Speaker

Nick Nurse

Nick Nurse is the Head Coach of the Toronto Raptors, the 2019 NBA champions. He led the Raptors to 58 regular-season wins, a .707 winning percentage and the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference titles. His team set franchise records for points per game (114.4), assists per game (25.4), rebounds per game (45.2), and three-point field goals made (1,105). He was named Coach of the Month for November 2018. Known for his offensive flair and on-court innovation, Nurse joined the Raptors as an Assistant Coach in 2013, and helped construct an offensive system that ranked among in the NBA’s top 10 in three of five seasons. A graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, Nurse began his coaching career at the age of 23 when he became the head coach of Grand View College, making him the youngest college basketball coach in the United States. He moved on to an assistant coach position at the University of South Dakota where his teams recorded a 46-14 mark. Nurse was named head coach of the Canadian Senior Men’s basketball team in June 2019. He has also served as an assistant coach in the 2012 Olympics for the host British National Team.


John M. Bremen
Guest Speaker

John M. Bremen

John Bremen, Managing Director, Human Capital & Benefits, and Global Co-Head – Health & Benefits at Willis Towers Watson is a recognized global business leader, C-suite and board consultant, and thought leader on the future of human capital, purpose-driven organizations, sustainable human capital, and the modernization of human resources and Total Rewards programs. John has consulted to the world’s largest organizations on complex human capital issues and led multi-year research efforts on human capital and the future of the human resources profession. He co-founded Willis Towers Watson’s CHRO Thinking Ahead Group, which was established to provide a forum for innovative, disruptive, and early-adopting CHROs to share perspectives, conduct research, and prioritize and collaborate on topics that are driving their global human capital business agendas. John is a frequent speaker at global and industry conferences, an author, and is often quoted in the business press. John has lectured at several graduate schools of business, including Northwestern University and the University of Chicago, and serves on a number of industry, community, and advisory boards. He is also an executive sponsor of Willis Towers Watson’s Human Capital & Benefits Inclusion & Diversity (I&D) content team. John received an M.B.A. from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management with majors in organizational behaviour and management strategy. He also holds a B.A. from Northwestern, including a special certificate in Business Institutions.


Dr. Rumeet Billan
Moderator

Dr. Rumeet Billan

Dr. Rumeet Billan is an award-winning, internationally recognized entrepreneur, learning architect, speaker, author and humanitarian. Her mission is to raise potential by designing experiences that build resilience. Dr. Billan is the President and CEO of Viewpoint Leadership and an expert on Psychological Capital. She was twice named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women and completed her PhD at the University of Toronto. She led the groundbreaking national research study on Tall Poppy Syndrome which reveals the impact of the silent systemic syndrome on women in the workplace and is the National Ambassador for Not Myself Today®, an initiative of the Canadian Mental Health Association that aims to transform workplace cultures. Recently, she released her first award-winning and bestselling book, Who Do I Want To Become?, designed for children and adults who are struggling with the question of what they want to be when they grow up. She also serves on the Board of Directors of CODE and for G(irls)20, a renowned global non-profit that aims to mobilize girls and young women for economic advancement locally and worldwide.


Marie-Hélène Budworth
Moderator

Marie-Hélène Budworth

Dr. Marie-Hélène Budworth is an Associate Professor in Human Resource Management at York University. Her teaching is concentrated in learning and development with a particular focus on encouraging and supporting developmental relationships. Her program of research seeks to understand how people learn, acquire knowledge, make choices, and negotiate with one another in order to succeed. Her work has been published in top tier academic journals and presented at conferences internationally. She created the negotiation education program for her faculty and has trained thousands of emergent workers and executives. She has also provided in-house training for organizations in a range of industries including professional services, technology, media sales, architecture, and healthcare.


Sean Callaghan
Guest Speaker

Sean Callaghan

Sean Callaghan is the Area General Manager for Sodexo Canada, a global company that provides a variety of services, primarily in food. Sodexo is one of the largest employers in the world, with offices in over 90 different countries. Sean originally joined Sodexo as an Executive Chef and stepped into the role of Area General Manager 17 years ago. In his current role, he manages sites for Loblaws and other prominent clients in Ontario and Quebec, in the company’s corporate segment. Sean has been advocating for, and actively hiring, persons with disabilities for about 11 years, and is the founding member of Sodexo’s ADEPT (All Disabled Employees Possess Talent) internal business group. With over 20% of his employees having a disclosed disability, Sean is a proud proponent of accessibility in the workplace. He is also a member of the Champion’s League.


Brittany Forsyth
Guest Speaker

Brittany Forsyth

Brittany Forsyth is Shopify's Chief Talent Officer. A Shopify employee since 2010, Brittany previously served as the Director of HR and is currently actively involved with a number of HR organizations across North America. Brittany obtained her Bachelor of Commerce at Carleton University.


Todd Gilchrist
Guest Speaker

Todd Gilchrist

With over 30 years in business and leadership roles, Todd is an experienced senior executive. In his current role as Vice President of People at Alberta Health Services, Todd’s portfolio includes Human Resources, Workplace Health & Safety, Protective Services, Legal & Privacy, and Ethics & Compliance. Todd holds a Master of Business Administration with a specialization in Human Resources Management and a Graduate Certificate in Executive Coaching, both from Royal Roads University, and is a graduate of the University of Alberta’s Occupational Health and Safety Program. Todd also serves as Board Director with Habitat for Humanity Edmonton, Board Director and Governance Committee Chair with the Capital Region United Way, and Director of the Local Authorities Pension Plan (LAPP) Sponsor Board of Directors. He is also a member of the Edmonton Community Foundation Nominations Committee.


Jennifer Gilson
Guest Speaker

Jennifer Gilson

Jennifer Gilson is Vice President of Business Development at Sodexo Canada. With over 15 years of progressive experience, Jennifer works with healthcare organizations across Canada to craft and implement solutions that improve patient, resident and staff experience, operational effectiveness and financial performance. Jennifer is the past co-chair of Sodexo’s Women in Leadership and Learning (WILL) business resource group and is currently Chair of the Business Advisory Council for ProjectSEARCH Toronto, a transition-to-work program for young people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Jennifer holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Windsor along with a Bachelor of Arts in Radio and Television from Ryerson University. In 2017, Jennifer obtained the Certified Deal Architect designation from the University of Tennessee, a prestigious certification for experience in the art, science and practice of crafting strategic partnerships.


Susan Goodyer
Guest Speaker

Susan Goodyer

As the Director of HR for Accenture Canada, Susan brings 21 years of experience helping organizations and people improve their performance. Susan spent 12 years working with clients in Accenture’s management consulting talent and organization practice before joining the global HR team to focus on talent strategy for Accenture. Knowing what skills people have along with what skills are needed to drive performance is one of the toughest questions to answer in a rapidly changing technology landscape. Susan brings innovation to competency management by bringing big data and advanced analytics together to measure people’s skills while predicting which skills will be in demand in the future. These innovations enable the data-driven insights that are needed to make more strategic choices in talent for our 492,000 people in 120 countries across Accenture.


Andrew Greenlaw
Guest Speaker

Andrew Greenlaw

Andrew, Vice-President, Community and Client Relationships, joined CIBC in 2012 and now oversees the Bank’s Sponsorship & Community Investment portfolios as well as CIBC’s Client Relationships group. He came to CIBC from Lloyds Banking Group (UK) where he was their London 2012 Partnership team lead. Prior to that, Andrew was the Marketing & Sponsorship lead for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic & Paralympic Torch Relays, and the creator and co-lead on the red mittens campaign. Andrew’s personal passion for community is reflected through his support of Paralympic sport, Camp Oochigeas, the Canadian Cancer Society’s CIBC Run for the Cure and as an avid cyclist in the Princess Margaret Hospital’s Ride to Conquer Cancer. Andrew is also involved with the SMCC’s (Sponsorship Marketing Council of Canada) Board of Directors. Andrew is a graduate of Laurentian University’s SPAD program and a proud ‘5 to Watch’ award recipient.


Ofelia Isabel
Guest Speaker

Ofelia Isabel

Ofelia Isabel is a Managing Director in Willis Towers Watson’s Toronto office. She has spent the last 28 years working to make organizations better and healthier places to work – places that great people want to join and give their best. Having designed and implemented more total rewards programs for organizations across multiple industries than she can now count, Ofelia remains excited and optimistic about the changes organizations are now willing to embrace. Since joining Willis Towers Watson in 2001, Ofelia has held various roles including leading the Rewards, Talent & Communication business in Canada and the U.S. Midwest and leading the Canadian Defined Contribution business. She is also Willis Towers Watson’s Canadian Inclusion and Diversity leader. Ofelia completed her Human Resources studies the University of Toronto’s Rotman Business School and her actuarial degree at the University of Toronto. She is a fellow of the Society of Actuaries and the Canadian Institute of Actuaries and is currently completing her professional coaching certification.


John Kehoe
Guest Speaker

John Kehoe

John Kehoe, Director, Human Resources Business Innovation, Employment and Social Development Canada, has worked in a few departments before arriving in summer 2019 to the Human Resources Business Innovation Division of ESDC, including the Canada School of Public Service and the Privy Council Office, where he worked on a number of Public Service renewal files. He has also led work in areas related to diversity and inclusion, learning and development, and innovation and transformation. He has a couple of degrees in English Literature.


Corrine Kostyshyn
Guest Speaker

Corrine Kostyshyn

Corrine Kostyshyn is the Director of Talent Acquisition at CN and is responsible for all talent acquisition related activities in both Canada and the United States for its over 24,000 employees. Corrine’s almost 25 year career at CN includes positions in Operations, Sales, Marketing, Revenue Planning & Reporting, and HR. Through her career she has led various transformational initiatives, been an active member of CN’s Pension Fund and Chair of CN’s Diversity Council. Corrine obtained her Bachelors of Art (Aboriginal Studies) at the University of Manitoba.


Jane Lewis
Guest Speaker

Jane Lewis

In her role as VP HR for Procter & Gamble Canada, Jane Lewis leads the strategic alignment, development and delivery of HR programs and initiatives including organization development, employee relations, labour relations, benefits, talent supply and HR strategy. Jane started with P&G in 1984 and had assignments in Finance and Product Supply before moving to Human Resources. Jane has led many successful initiatives to drive a top-notch corporate culture, several acquisitions and divestitures and an innovative new workplace model that is now a Harvard Business Review case study. Jane has been the recipient of many awards including the Canadian HR Reporter Individual Achievement Award and the William Cooper Procter Award for profound mastery, profitably applied. As part of Jane’s strong commitment to her community, she was recognized by the Government of Canada for outstanding service and contribution as a volunteer. Jane holds Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Psychology degrees from Queen’s University.


Kim Messer
Guest Speaker

Kim Messer

Kim Messer is a member of IBM’s Global Diversity Business Development organization. As a thought leader in diversity and talent management, she works closely with organizations to develop effective inclusion strategies. She is also responsible for IBM's strategic partnerships with LGBT+ community organizations across North America. In 2018, Kimberley was awarded the Leaders to be Proud of Advocate Award for significant contributions in the area of LGBT workplace advocacy. Kimberley serves on the Executive Boards of both Pride at Work Canada and You Can Play.


Mike Olsson
Guest Speaker

Mike Olsson

As Vice President of Human Resources and Professional Development for PCL Construction, Mike is responsible for all of the human resources and professional development activities, services and products the team delivers. PCL is the 6th largest contracting organization is the United States and is the largest in Canada. PCL’s 4500+ staff professionals and 10,000+ hourly tradespeople are involved with more than 700 projects at any one time ranging in value from $20,000 to over 1 billion across the civil, heavy industrial and commercial buildings markets.  Mike has over 20 years of experience in the leadership, professional development, and human resources fields. He credits ‘terrible handwriting’ as the catalyst to a career with PCL that began in 2005. With a passion for leadership development, Mike became an instructor of PCL’s flagship leadership course in 2010, and in 2012 took over governance of the initiative. The PCL Leadership Academy, which houses multiple leadership and high potential programs for the company, was also launched in 2016 under Mike’s leadership. 


David Pickwoad
Guest Speaker

David Pickwoad

As Chief Client Officer at Dentons Canada and a member of the national leadership team, David leads the Firm's Client Development, Marketing, Communications and Business Intelligence teams. He works directly with partners, Firm leaders and clients to support Dentons’ aggressive and targeted focus on exceeding client expectations on value and results. In addition, David is responsible for developing exceptional talent, executing operational excellence, and helping the Firm set and achieve its strategic growth initiatives. Using his broad and deep experience as a former general counsel on the client side, David provides the Firm, its lawyers and the business services teams with a unique and client-centric perspective on critical business decision-making, profile-building and client development activities. Prior to joining Dentons, David served as Executive Vice-President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC), and was a member of the executive leadership team. He was responsible for supporting all North American banners, including Hudson’s Bay, Saks Fifth Avenue, Saks Off 5th, and Lord & Taylor in the areas of legal, asset protection (including investigations and compliance), risk management and records management. As Corporate Secretary, David worked closely with the board of directors on a broad range of board and corporate governance matters. Bilingual in French and English, David was called to the Ontario Bar in 2004. He is a graduate of McGill University in Montréal, where he received both his Bachelor of Arts and Civil Law degrees.


Dionne Pohler
Moderator

Dionne Pohler

Dr. Dionne Pohler is an Associate Professor and Associate Director at the Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources at the University of Toronto, cross-appointed to the Rotman School of Management. She holds the CIBC Chair in Youth Employment, and is a Fellow with the Centre for the Study of Co-operatives at the University of Saskatchewan. Her research covers topics in work and employment, labour relations and human resource management, organizational governance, co-operatives, and public policy.


Natalie Roach
Guest Speaker

Natalie Roach

Natalie Roach is a wellness and mental health expert who is currently Ryerson's Mental Health Coordinator. Working across the Office of the Vice- President, Equity & Community Inclusion as well as Student Wellbeing and Workplace Wellbeing Services departments, she leads campus-wide initiatives and brings a unique perspective on how to best serve students, staff and faculty from a mental health and wellbeing perspective. Natalie also made a lasting impact at the University of Manitoba where in 2014 she led the implementation of a campus wide mental health strategy. Natalie has been featured in national and Toronto conferences as a host, speaker and moderator. She delivers talks on topics such as the ‘intersection of mental health and inclusion’, and ‘promoting mental health through policy change’. She has also moderated a panel on the impact of social media to our mental health and wellbeing. Natalie holds a Masters of Education in Counselling Psychology, as well as an Honours Bachelor's Degree in Psychology.


Nicole Stuart
Guest Speaker

Nicole Stuart

A GSK employee since 2012, Nicole Stuart was appointed Human Resources Country Head in January 2017 and is a member of the Canadian Pharma Leadership Team and Canadian Country Executive Board. Nicole is responsible for leading the Canadian Human Resources team, who support the acquisition, development and engagement of employees across all business units in Canada, including Pharma, Consumer Healthcare, Biologicals, ViiV Healthcare, Pharma Supply Chain and Support Functions. Nicole has over 20 years of Human Resources experience with depth in employee relations, change management and operational excellence. She has proudly championed the development of two local employee resource groups, Spectrum, supporting LGBTQ+ employees within GSK in Canada, and the Women’s Leadership Initiative, which aims to accelerate the personal development and professional advancement of women and men through transformational learning and leadership opportunities and experiences. Nicole holds a Bachelor of Arts (Administrative & Commercial Studies) degree from the University of Western Ontario, and a Professional Human Resource Designation as a Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL) from the HR Professionals Association.


Lores Tomé
Guest Speaker

Lores Tomé

Lores Tomé has been Director, Corporate Affairs and Communications, Kellogg Canada, since 2012. In this role, she is responsible for enhancing and protecting the reputation of the Company while delivering innovative communications solutions to help drive Kellogg Canada’s business results. Ms. Tomé’s accountabilities include oversight for External and Internal Communications, Brand Public Relations, Philanthropy, Crisis/Issues Management, and Public Affairs. Throughout the years, Ms. Tomé has successfully developed and implemented strategic, award winning communication plans to advance the company’s reputation with key audiences, both internally and externally. Ms. Tomé is a member of Kellogg Canada’s Canadian Leadership team as well as Kellogg Company’s Global Corporate Affairs leadership team, and serves on many global teams for internal and external communications, corporate reputation management, corporate social responsibility, and government relations. She also sits on various food industry committees. Prior to joining Kellogg, Ms. Tomé held a variety of senior roles at a national public relations firm in Canada where she managed numerous clients in the food, technology and government sectors. Ms. Tomé received a Bachelor of Applied Arts Honours degree in Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada.


Martin Whittaker
Guest Speaker

Martin Whittaker

Martin Whittaker is the founding CEO of JUST Capital and is responsible for the overall leadership of the organization. He is also co-founder and Board member of the CREO Syndicate, a family office investment network; a Board member of the Carbon Disclosure Project U.S.; a member of the Forbes Finance Council and Forbes Contributor; and an advisor to Mission Driven Capital Partners, a private equity firm. Previously, Martin was a founding partner and investment committee member at Sonen Capital, an impact investing firm, where he led private equity, real asset, and direct investing activities. Martin has also served as Director of MissionPoint Capital Partners, a family office-led private equity firm; Senior Vice President at Swiss Re, where he was part of the Environmental and Commodity Markets team; and Managing Director at Innovest Strategic Value Advisors, Inc., a pioneering sustainable investment advisory and research firm. Martin received his Ph.D. from University of Edinburgh, an MBA from the University of London, an M.Sc. from McGill University and a B.Sc. from University of St. Andrews. Martin has also served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto, provided expert testimony on environmental markets to the U.S. Senate, guest lectured at multiple business schools, consulted to major corporations on sustainability- and impact-related matters, and been an invited speaker, published writer, and contributor via television, print, social media, and conferences throughout his career.


Heather Willis
Guest Speaker

Heather Willis

Heather Willis joined Ryerson University as its inaugural Accessibility Coordinator situated within the Office of the Vice President, Equity and Community Inclusion. She leads "Access Ryerson", an initiative aimed at advancing accessibility by identifying, removing and preventing accessibility barriers. Heather has been an activist in the areas of accessibility and improving the lives of persons with disabilities since she was a teenager growing up in an institution for disabled children. She has served on a variety of boards and committees dedicated to the inclusion of persons with disabilities. Most recently, she completed a term as president of the Canadian Disability Studies Association and currently sits on the Metrolinx Accessibility Advisory Committee and serves on the board of directors of Tangled Arts + Disability. Heather has a BA in Disability Studies from Ryerson and a post-graduate diploma in Disability Studies from the University of Leeds.


Kristina Leung
Senior Editor

Kristina Leung

Kristina Leung is the Senior Editor of the Canada's Top 100 Employers project at Mediacorp Canada Inc. In addition to working on selections for the Canada's Top 100 Employers competition, Kristina also is active on the editorial work for the 19 regional and special-interest "top employer" competitions that are affiliated with the national project. Kristina received her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Toronto and, prior to her current role, was an Editor on the Eluta.ca project at Mediacorp. Originally from Oakville, Ontario, Kristina currently resides in Toronto.


Richard Yerema
Conference Co-Chair

Richard Yerema

Richard Yerema is the Managing Editor of Canada's Top 100 Employers and is this country's most widely-read career author. Mr. Yerema oversees the editorial team that manages the Canada's Top 100 Employers project, which has been called one "of the most prestigious lists" in Canadian business, as well as a series of 19 regional and special-interest competitions. Mr. Yerema is also the author of The Career Directory, now in its 25th edition, which lets young people find great employers that are looking for people with their academic qualifications. His editorial independence and quality of work is one of the most enduring and respected in the Canadian career field. Raised in Southern Ontario, Mr. Yerema is a graduate of the University of Toronto and currently resides north of Toronto.


Tony Meehan
Conference Co-Chair

Tony Meehan

Tony Meehan is the Publisher of the Canada's Top 100 Employers project, now in its 20th annual edition, and Founder of the Eluta.ca job search engine. Mr. Meehan also serves as President of Mediacorp Canada Inc., the nation's largest publisher of employment periodicals. Each year, the Canada's Top 100 Employers project reaches over 15 million Canadians through a variety of newspaper and magazine partners. The Eluta.ca job search engine is used by more than 8 million unique visitors each year. Originally trained as a lawyer, Mr. Meehan holds degrees from Harvard University, the University of Toronto and the University of Western Ontario. He also holds a Certificat from the Université de Paris IV (Sorbonne). Raised in Nova Scotia, Mr. Meehan currently resides in Toronto.