Peter Schwartz
Founder and Executive Chairman at Kognitiv

Peter Schwartz is an accomplished Canadian technology entrepreneur. Peter was the Chairman & CEO of Descartes Systems Group Inc., a $6 billion global logistics technology company with customers in over 160 countries, that he took public in 1998. Peter is also one of the founders of Communitech, Canada’s pre-eminent technology hub. Communitech serves as a budding ecosystem for the commercialization of innovative technologies and as a model for start-up incubation in Canada.

Since leaving Descartes, Peter founded Laurence Capital which has made over 30 portfolio investments (17 in the technology sector) with some of Canada’s leading entrepreneurs and breakthrough companies. He is presently the founder and Executive Chairman of Kognitiv Corporation which recently completed the successful acquisition of Aimia Loyalty Solutions and Intelligent Shopper Solutions, former business units of Aimia Inc. A founding member of the YPO Great Lakes Chapter, Peter resides in the Waterloo Region and was one of the youngest recipients of the Financial Post’s “Top 40 under 40” award.

Bruce Croxson
A Digital Innovator Finding & Investing in The Next Canadian Wave

Bruce Croxon made his mark as a digital pioneer by co-founding Lavalife and revolutionizing how people connect. Under his direction, he grew this early tech start-up into the marquee brand in online dating with over two million users. Partner, chairman and CEO, Croxon helped lead the company’s growth from four to 600 employees, while achieving revenue of just under $100 million. Since the sale of Lavalife, Bruce has been active as both an investor and advisor in growth stage companies in the technology sector.

As an ex-Dragon on CBC’s Dragons’ Den, he added a broad range of businesses and products to his portfolio that tapped into his passion for digital media, health and marketing. Croxon currently helms Round13, a company dedicated to investment in growth stage Canadian tech companies. He also co hosts The Disruptors on BNN and CTV, a weekly show spotlighting Canadian business and believes our entrepreneurs can hold their own with anyone in the world

Joyce Aluoch
Former Judge and First Vice-President, International Criminal Court, The Hague. IMI-Certified Mediator, CEDR-Accredited. Mediator.
Hon.  Justice  Joyce  Aluoch,  EBS,  CBS  (Rtd),  is a  former  Judge and  First Vice President of the International Criminal Court, at The Hague, The Netherlands. She currently resides in Nairobi-Kenya.

She was the second woman Court of Appeal, and High Court Judge as well as Magistrate in Kenya. She has a Master’s Degree in International Affairs (GMAP), from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, Boston-USA. The University awarded her the Distinguished Achievement Award in April 2015. In September 2018, the same University awarded her its top award, ‘The Class of 1947 Award’ (honoris causa), making her the first black person to receive such an honour, only awarded to those who have carried the University’s ideals throughout their career.

Upon retirement from the bench in 2018, Justice Aluoch successfully moved her legal profession to other forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanisms, namely mediation, and arbitration. She is a member of the International Advisory Board of the office of the Ombudsman for the United Nations Funds and Programmes.

She co-founded Aequitas Mediators and is a Certified International Mediator (IMI), a Certified Advanced Mediator (CAM), and Chartered Mediator (MTI-East Africa), as well as a CEDR-Accredited Mediator, London-U.K. She is also an Accredited Trainer for Foundation Mediation.

Javade Chaudhri
Partner, Jones Day

Javade Chaudhri is a Partner at Jones Day, an international law firm with 40 offices around the world. He has worldwide experience in helping major private and public sector companies across a range of industries to transact business, including advising on domestic and international mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, strategic alliances, and matters involving corporate governance and compliance.

Prior to rejoining Jones Day in October 2013, Javade was the executive vice president, general counsel, and chief compliance officer for Sempra Energy, a roughly $30 billion California-based Fortune 250 energy services company. Prior to joining Sempra he served as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Gateway, Inc., then a $10 billion technology company. Javade currently serves on the boards of the University of California’s School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, The Institute of the Americas, The National Judicial College, and The San Diego Zoo. He has been a visiting faculty member for the International Development Law Organization in Rome and the international Law Institute in Washington, D.C.

Chaudhri was born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya and received his early education at Strathmore College in Nairobi. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Yale University (US) and a Juris doctor degree from Georgetown University Law Center (US).

Yasmin Meralli
President, Pluralism Performance Inc

Yasmin is a steadfast advocate for diversity and inclusion.  As President of Pluralism Performance Inc., Yasmin has worked with start-up tech companies, banks, educational institutions and not-for-profits to identify opportunities to improve diversity and inclusion.

Yasmin’s background includes executive/leadership roles in Strategy and Business Planning at BMO Financial Group.  She was part of the first e-business group at BMO.  As BMO’s VP of Diversity and Workplace Equity, Yasmin led a North American mandate to foster pluralism; during her tenure, BMO was recognized with several awards including Mediacorp’s award for being one of Canada’s Best Employers for New Canadians

While at BMO, Yasmin also joined forces with Mediacorp and TWI to initiate Canada’s Best Diversity Employer Award.  This Award has helped to advance pluralism across Canada.  At the invitation of the Canadian Embassies in Norway, Finland and Iceland, Yasmin was invited to present the Canadian business view on diversity to business leaders, labour groups and policy makers.  Yasmin was recognized by Planet Africa as one of twelve “Phenomenal Women Transforming our World”.

Geoffrey Cowper
Partner, Fasken, Strategic Advisor, Promerita Group

Geoffrey Cowper, Q.C.

Strategic Advisor, Promerita Group, Partner, Fasken

Geoff Cowper Q.C. is a partner at Fasken, one of the largest business law firms in Canada with more than 700 lawyers and agents in ten offices on four continents. As the national leader of Fasken's Litigation and Dispute Resolution Group, he is one of Canada’s leading trial and appellate counsel and is internationally recognized as a leading jurist in a number of aspects of commercial law. Geoff’s appearances before the Supreme Court of Canada have included leading cases concerning banking, contracts, trusts as well as constitutional and civil rights. He has also been counsel in leading private and public cases in Canada and internationally. These cases include investor-sovereign state and international commercial arbitration matters and have led to significant decisions with national and international dimensions respecting commercial law, public law, and human rights.

Geoff has served the community in leadership roles in law reform, legal aid, housing services to the homeless, and international economic development and conservation.

He is the leader of Fasken’s Litigation & Dispute Resolution Group and is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. Geoff was named Canada’s “Trial Lawyer of the Year” by Benchmark Canada for 2016 and is repeatedly cited as a leading counsel in many areas of law by a number of the profession's leading ranking services including Chambers & Partners and Best Lawyers.   

In addition to bringing preeminent legal expertise to his role as a Strategic Advisor to Promerita Group, Geoff brings significant investment, commercial and strategic business insight from his many years serving as a board member or investment committee member of several prominent corporate and charitable boards both regionally and internationally. Geoff is passionate about sustainable economic development and the rule of law, and education. He believes bringing people, communities and sustainable business initiatives together in a way that benefits all stakeholders is critically important in improving our society and economy.

Geoff was raised on the outskirts of Calgary, Alberta, and attended the University of British Columbia to study ornithology, but got sidetracked on a bird walk and ended up graduating with a degree in Law. He received his QC (Queen’s Counsel) in 1997 and in 2012, at the request of the Province of British Columbia, Geoff conducted an independent review of that province’s judicial system.

 

Tariq Fancy
Founder & President - Rumie Initiative

Tariq Fancy founded The Rumie Initiative after a notable career at the intersection of finance, technology, and emerging markets. His successful business career and unique decision to found Rumie has been chronicled in extensive case studies published by both Harvard Business School and INSEAD Business School.

Prior to Rumie, Tariq led a successful career in finance, beginning as a Palo Alto-based technology investment banker in the group that led the IPOs of Google, Amazon, and Cisco. He next joined NYC-based private equity firm MHR Fund Management, where he became the firm’s youngest partner in 2006 after leading numerous successful turnarounds of technology companies. He subsequently spent two years at CPP Investment Board in Toronto, Canada, helping to create and invest in new credit strategies for the growing platform.

One of Tariq’s prior investments warrants special mention: In 2004, after multiple trips to Central and South America and months of due diligence, Tariq led early work to bring mobile phones into emerging markets as a ‘leapfrog’ innovation – back when the idea of the masses from Cairo to Calcutta skipping landlines altogether to go directly to mobile phones sounded far-fetched to many. Tariq sees a similar ‘perfect storm’ of market forces enabling a pragmatic, market-based solution to global education that will usher in another watershed moment in international development. Since being founded in 2013, Rumie now has projects in over twenty countries.

Tariq has appeared on CNBC, BNN, the CBC, has spoken at the United Nations, and guest lectures at Harvard Business School. In 2017, he was named one of Canada’s Top 40 under 40.

Tariq holds an Honors B.A. with distinction from Brown University in the US, spent one year studying at Oxford University in the UK, earned a master’s degree in Economics and Public Policy from Sciences Po Paris (L’institut d’études politiques de Paris) in France and an MBA with distinction from INSEAD in France and Singapore. Tariq was born and raised in Canada to parents who immigrated from Kenya and speaks four languages.

Ian Seward
GM - SFIA Foundation
Ian Seward
GM SFIA Foundation

Ian’s career spans 39 years in software engineering and IT across diverse business sectors including aerospace, financial services, utilities, pharmaceutical, not-for-profit and management consulting. He has broad business and deep delivery experience having been a systems development engineer and project manager; ahead of programmes/programme director for organisational change, process improvement and delivery assurance.

The first 10 years of his career was in systems and software engineering working on safety-critical systems in the aerospace industry including autonomous vehicles, machine vision, guidance and control systems.  Then, for 15 years, he focussed on capability development and process improvement including leading a software engineering initiative for a large electronics company; as systems and software assurance lead for a satellite company; as a VP for the EMEA region of a financial institution; as a global senior manager delivering executive PMOs and leading onshore-offshore integration.

Over the last 14 years, he has focussed on workforce development and has undertaken a number of assignments including developing career paths, continual professional development schemes, a cybersecurity certification scheme, skills assessment and skills development and shaping organisations with skills profiles and role descriptions.

He was an author of the UK Industry Structure Model (an IT skills framework in the 1980s) and has been a contributor to the global skills and competency framework SFIA (Skills Framework for the Information Age) since it was first published in 2000. He has been a SFIA Accredited Consultant for 10 years.

For the last 5 years, he has led the SFIA Foundation as its General Manager.  He has established a more formal global presence across 180 countries, delivered SFIA 7 (available in 10 languages) and initiated a number of global collaborations.  His current activities include preparing for the SFIA 8 update, establishing more end-user guidance of the SFIA Framework and initiating projects to address the needs of the global community.

His role in leading the SFIA Foundation is part-time and he continues to consult on interesting competency and human capital development programmes.

Prof. Arvind Gupta
CEO at Palette Skills, Professor of Computer Science at U of T

Arvind is the CEO of Palette Skills and a Professor of computer science at the University of Toronto. He has served as President and Vice-Chancellor of UBC, and was the Founder, CEO, and Scientific Director of Mitacs Inc. Arvind was instrumental in creating the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences (PIMS) and the Banff International Research Station in Mathematical Innovation and Discovery (BIRS). He is a Senior Fellow of the Brookfield Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and serves on the Boards of the India-Canada Research Centre of Excellence (IC-IMPACTS), BIRS, and SimTrec.

Laura Tuell
Pro Bono Counsel at JONES DAY - Firmwide

Laura Tuell directs and coordinates Jones Day's pro bono activities across the Firm. The Firm's pro bono efforts are diverse both substantively and geographically. In recent years she has specifically directed initiatives to improve access to counsel for refugees, combat human trafficking, promote peaceful protests, and deter hate crimes through litigation strategies.  Laura sits on several Boards of Directors of non-profit organizations and participate in panels and other presentations at various conferences and convenings highlighting Jones Day's work.

She graduated in 1991 in “Political Science” from George Mason University and she graduated as “Doctor of Law” from Georgetown University Law center in 1996.

Chris Anderson
President - Castlekeep Inc.

Vice President of Cyber Security at BlackBerry Limited

Chris is a business and IT Governance, Risk, and Controls Leader with significant professional services and corporate experience in technology, telecommunications, financial services industries, as well as other sectors.  Chris Anderson was the Vice President of Security for Blackberry and from 2014 to 2017, he was VP Risk at Rogers Communications, where he championed the overall business risk management mandate and partnered with senior business leaders to improve short and long-term performance.  Prior to Rogers Communications, Chris was a Partner at Grant Thornton for 10 years, and a Partner at Ernst & Young for 7 years, leading sales and practice development and delivering high-quality business and IT risk, controls, cybersecurity, and assurance services.  Chris is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Cyber Threat Exchange.  From 2009 to 2017, Chris was a member of the Information Management and Technology Advisory Committee (IMTAC) of CPA Canada. 

Sire Mathews
Award-Winning Cyber-Security Expert - Inventor - Founder
Dr. Mohamed El-Guindy
Information Security Advisor to the Assistant of Prime Minister of Egypt- IDSC

Dr. El-Guindy is a Cybersecurity and Cybercrime consultant to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC-ROMENA) delivering training to Law Enforcement and Intelligence Departments. Furthermore, he works as a Cybercrime Expert at the Faculty of Law, the British University in Egypt. Mohamed is the president of the ISSA chapter in Egypt and a frequent speaker at national and international conferences. He was invited by the Egyptian Military to deliver a speech in front of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi. Mohamed represents Egypt in UNESCO International conferences and participated in drafting UNESCO IFAP declarations.

Currently, he presents a Technology TV Show called “Tech Talk” on (Al Kahera Wal Nas), in which he delivered over 180 episodes tackled a variety of technical and scientific topics. Dr. El-Guindy works also as an assessor at BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT in the UK, visiting lecturer at the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Justice, and Ministry of Defense in Egypt. Mohamed is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) in the UK and a member of several international organizations related to technology and engineering: Senior Member of ISSA, Senior Member of IEEE, Member of World Economic Forum Expert Network, Member of the Institute of Science and Technology – UK, Ambassador to the Society for Computers and Law –UK, Member of Council of Europe’s Octopus Cybercrime Community, Member of International Association for Crime Analysts-USA, Member of the International Association of Engineers. In addition to teaching and consulting work, Mohamed is publishing and supervising technical papers and book chapters on cybercrime and cyber-terrorism.  In addition to a doctorate in IT, Dr. Mohamed holds qualifications from reputable UK institutions, to name but few:

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, UK
  • Chartered Scientist, the Science Council UK
  • Chartered Fellowship, The Chartered Institute for IT, UK
  • Chartered Engineer, the Engineering Council UK
  • Chartered IT Professional, the Chartered Institute for IT, UK
Kirstine Stewart
Head of the Future of Media at World Economic Forum

Former VP NA Media @Twitter, Founding Head Twitter Canada. Exec VP and Head of CBC, CBC Newsworld, Head of International Hallmark Channels, AllianceAtlantis Lifestyle Channels, President Paragon International President CRO TribalScale CSO Diply

Author of Best-Selling Business Leadership Book "Our Turn" Random House

Founding Member of Chief
CAMH Foundation Board
CILAR Founding Board Member (Innovation Leaders Against Racism)
YGL Alumni

2016 NBA All-Star Game Steering Committee
2015 Canadian Business Magazine "Power 50"
2015 Toronto Life Magazine Most Influential
MacLeans Magazine #15 on the Power List of Canadians 2014
Former DMZ Advisory Council for Start-Ups
2015 Ambassador FIFA WWC
Former Board - theScore
Former Kognitiv Board
Former WOW Entertainment Board
Past Board Writers Trust
Past Honourary Chair - Women's Brain Health Initiative
 

Bashir Fancy
Founder & CEO - Business & Technology Professionals' Association of Canada (BIZTEK)

Bashir Fancy is the Founder & CEO of Business & Technology Professionals' Association of Canada (BIZTEK) – a NOT for Profit, partner with SFIA Foundation, BCS that provides education, training, mentoring, exams, certification of Business & Technology professionals. BIZTEK brings both business and technology in today’s world where the pace of technology changes and innovation is happening at a lightning pace, creating skills gaps.   Bashir sits on the Board of ICCP and other Advisory Boards, led the cybersecurity task force in Canada, and is former Chairman and CEO of CIPS National Board and CIPS Ontario.

Bashir, Fancy was the Executive Vice President - Risk Management & Security for Visa International and also the Global Head of Internal Audit for Visa International. He headed Risk Management & Security for Visa Canada.  Bashir was the Vice President, Card Payment Services for SNS (initially became known as Emergis and now merged into Telus). He has held Senior Management positions at Citibank, Air Canada, and also as Senior Executive Advisor For Deloitte and Grant Thornton.  Bashir is Senior Executive with extensive Financial, Risk Management, Security, Operations, IT, Internal Audit, Governance, Customer Service, Product Management & Business Development experience in financial, credit card, airline, third party processing, and retail business, identifying root causes and taking a holistic view.  He provides these services to Corporations in Canada and globally

Ernest Lang

Ernest is the founder and CEO of Promerita Group. His experience includes being a founding partner of one of the leading portfolio and wealth management practices at Canada’s largest bank-owned investment dealer and wealth management company. He also has an extensive track record of entrepreneurial success, having been instrumental in establishing several significant enterprises in Canada and abroad. Ernest’s professional experience encompasses corporate acquisitions, structured financial products, equity, and debt financing, international trade, real estate finance and development, business start-ups, and multi-asset class investments.

With his roots in family business, his experience in wealth management and as a multi-industry entrepreneur, coupled with his corporate and finance background, Ernest is frequently relied upon by corporations and private family groups to provide strategic business and financial advice and to develop effective risk management, capital allocation, and investment strategies. He has presented these strategies and provided comparative analysis at provincial accounting bodies, international financial industry conferences, global tax and legal firms and has been a university guest lecturer.  

Ernest has an extensive history of community service as a board director and committee member of a number of leading organizations including the provincial board of the Certified Management Accountants (CMA) of British Columbia where he participated in the original proposal to merge national accounting designations, the national government relations committee for Canada’s preeminent financial advisory advocacy and policy association, Vancouver’s Union Gospel Mission as well as the Insurance Council of British Columbia.

Ernest believes that people and organizations that adopt an entrepreneurial, pragmatic, and businesslike approach to achieving their objectives maximize their likelihood of success. He also believes that leaders have a fundamental responsibility to expand the scope of their organizational purpose from just short-run financial profits and business (or political) objectives to include the long term well being of the individuals they lead and the society in which they operate. Ultimately, he believes that we all have a responsibility to care for each other, serve our community, and be good stewards of the world that we all share.