Brian Brown, CIA, CPA, CMA, C.Dir, CFE Principal, Best Job in the Company Consulting Services
Brian Brown possesses a unique combination of senior-level private, public, and non-profit sector experience in governance, internal audit, risk management, fraud, and internal controls.
Brian is a recognized leader in the internal audit profession with over 30 years of experience collaborating with and supporting Boards of Directors and Audit Committees. Now retired and providing independent consulting and education services, he previously he led internal audit activities with The Canadian Grain Commission, The Great-West Life Assurance Company, Agricore United and its predecessor, UGG, and with Sears Canada Inc.
He has served on numerous not-for-profit and association Boards, currently serving on three.
Brian has been providing education services for many years and is a frequent speaker at conferences and seminars. He is a founding faculty member of The Directors College and a Distinguished Faculty Member for the Institute of Internal Auditors. He also serves as faculty for the Institute of Corporate Directors, the Caribbean Governance Training Institute, and the Aboriginal Financial Officers Association.
Brian is a graduate of the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Commerce degree and holds the Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), Chartered Professional Accountant, Certified Management Accountant (CPA,CMA), Chartered Director (C.Dir.), and Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) designations.
Vice President, Corporate Governance, Meridian Credit Union
Corporate Secretary, Motus Bank
In January 2018, Brigitte joined Meridian Credit Union as Vice-President, Corporate Governance. With Meridian’s launch of a federal digital bank in April 2019, Brigitte was appointed Corporate Secretary of Motus Bank. In January 2019, Brigitte joined York University as Adjunct Professor of Osgoode Hall Law School where she is Co-Director of the Investor Protection Clinic. Brigitte is also a Subject Matter Expert for the Boardroom Dynamics and Risk Management modules of the Chartered Governance Institute’s certification program.
Prior to Meridian, Brigitte held positions at Sun Life Financial as Vice-President, Associate General Counsel and Corporate Secretary as well as Corporate Secretary and Head of Governance of HSBC Bank Canada. Prior thereto, Brigitte spent close to a decade as Vice-President, Legal and Corporate Secretary of Astral Media Inc. and prior thereto, she was Associate General Counsel and Associate Secretary of Canadian National Railway Company.
Brigitte obtained her BCL/LLB degrees from McGill University (National Program) in 1988 and was admitted to the Quebec Bar in 1989. She began her legal career at Norton Rose Fulbright where she was named Partner in Business Law. She also obtained the designation of Certified InHouse Counsel –Canada (CIC.C). She is a Fellow of the Chartered Governance Institute.
Dr. Nita Chhinzer Associate Professor of Human Resources and Business Consulting, Department of Management, University of Guelph
Dr. Nita Chhinzer is Associate Professor of Human Resources and Business Consulting at the Department of Management, University of Guelph. Her research is concentrated on Strategic Human Resources Management, with a strong focus on downsizing practices, procedures, employment law and ethics. She is the co-author of Canada’s best-selling post-secondary Human Resource Management textbook.
Dr. Chhinzer serves on the Advisory Board for the Canadian HR Reporter. She is a member of the Board of Directors at both the Toronto Centre for Learning and Development and Hospice Toronto. Dr. Chhinzer was the recipient of the 2019 Outstanding Paper Emerald Literati Award (Education +Training) and the University of Guelph Fellowship in Leadership, HRM and Work (2012-2017). In 2016, she was recognized as one of the top 25 HR Professionals in Canada.
Caroline Codsi, ICD.D
President & Founder, Women in Governance
Caroline Codsi is the President & Founder of Women in Governance, a non-profit created in 2010 with mission to help women access decision-making bodies and male dominated fields. Women in Governance’s programs have a deep and concrete impact for gender parity in Canada through advocacy, major events, mentoring programs, governance training as well as its Parity Certification developed with the support of McKinsey&Company and available across Canada and the US.
A Citizen of the world having lived on three continents, Caroline was born in Beirut and grew up through the civil war. A highly sought-after speaker, Caroline has addressed audiences across the globe. She is the recipient of numerous national and international awards and was recognized as a Top 20 Diversity Leading Figure in Quebec, Top 75 Canadian Immigrant and Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada. She is also the recipient of a Gender Equality Award by the United Nations Women’s Committee and by New Delhi’s Women’s Economic Forum. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau nominated Caroline on Canada’s National Gender Equality Committee and Mayor Valérie Plante on the City of Montreal’s Busines Committee.
Milla Craig, CEO, Milani Group
Michelle de Cordova, Principal, ESG Global Advisors Inc.
Michelle has played a prominent role in Canadian responsible investment for over ten years and has more than twenty years’ experience in sustainability. As a Principal at ESG Global Advisors, she works to bridge the gap between companies and investors on environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) factors: assisting companies and boards of directors to develop ESG strategies that generate long-term value and respond to emerging capital markets expectations, and assisting investors to integrate ESG to their investment processes. Prior to joining ESG Global in 2019, for eight years she was Director of Corporate Engagement at NEI Investments, leading the firm’s well-regarded program of dialogue with portfolio companies, engaged proxy voting, and public policy work on corporate regulations and standards. Before moving to Canada, she worked for ten years as a staff member and consultant for environment and social development non-profits in Europe, Asia, and Africa, including Oxfam and WWF, and earlier she served for six years in the U.K. Diplomatic Service. She holds a Master of Science degree in the management of integrated conservation and social development. Michelle is a member of the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance Environmental and Social Committee and the BC Securities Commission Corporate Finance Stakeholder Forum. She has played a leading role in numerous ESG collaborations at the Canadian Responsible Investment Association, the U.S. Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility, and globally through the Principles for Responsible Investment and the Investor Alliance for Human Rights. She is a 2020 Clean50 Honouree for leadership in clean finance.
President, John T. Dinner Board Governance Services
John Dinner is President of John T. Dinner Board Governance Services, a leading Canadian consulting firm focused on corporate governance and board effectiveness. For more than 25 years, John Dinner has been helping boards across sectors and across Canada improve their performance and contribute in tangible ways to the success of the organizations they oversee. Board members and organizational leaders value John’s depth of experience, relevant insights, practical approach and his ability to facilitate needed governance change.
John’s hands-on, board work focuses on helping clients develop and benefit from leading-edge governance practices, including board, committee and director effectiveness evaluations, director recruitment, board education, meeting effectiveness and best practices, information management and decision-making. He knows and understands the needs of directors and other organizational leaders first-hand.
Principal, Hugessen Consulting
Paul Dubal, Founder, Perfect Balance Consulting
Paul has over 20 years of corporate secretarial, corporate governance and regulatory experience both in house and as a professional services consultant in the United Kingdom, Canada and the Caribbean. He has worked for KPMG LLP and PwC in leadership roles and served in senior in-house roles for several listed financial services companies. He has also provided governance services to Mid-Cap and Large-Cap companies in Europe, North and South America and the Caribbean region. Paul has worked extensively with a diverse range of boards and senior management teams on governance matters, including the transition from a stakeholder to an independent board. He also acted as Corporate Secretary and Governance Advisor to the Bank of Montreal’s OSFI regulated subsidiaries. Paul has recently completed a two-year assignment as Head of Corporate Governance at the First Abu Dhabi Bank, the largest bank in the Gulf region, where he developed the Bank’s corporate governance framework, advising the Board and executive management on the practical implications of the new UAE Corporate Governance Regulations. He also refined the Bank’s management committee structure and its international governance structure across twenty jurisdictions globally. Paul has recently founded Perfect Balance Consulting, aimed at providing executive coaching to individuals with a focus on emotional intelligence, and presentations to corporate bodies in governance and related fields. Paul is a Fellow of the Chartered Governance Institute (CGI) and holds an LLB from Middlesex University (UK) and a Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice from Leicester De Montfort University (UK).
Aaron Friedenthal, Assistant General Counsel, ATB Financial
Janet Gisselman, Director, AGI
Paul Gryglewicz, Senior Partner, Global Governance Advisors
Victoria Hurth, Senior Associate, Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership
Dr Victoria Hurth is a Visiting Fellow of the University of Cambridge’s Judge Business School and Senior Associate of its Institute for Sustainability Leadership. Her research focuses on the concept of 'purpose-driven organisations’ and the role of marketing, governance, leadership and culture in delivering them. She convenes the first global ISO standard in Governance of Organizations (ISO37000). She is Convenor of an ISO ad-hoc group scoping standards of indicators for governance (TC309/AHG5), a member of WBCSD’s working group on Governance and an UNCTAD review panel member for ISAR Honors. She was recently a member of the UNCTAD/UNEP Task Force developing a methodology for SDG indicator 12.6.1. Victoria has been a management consultant with Accenture and an Associate Professor of Sustainable Business at the University of Plymouth. She is currently a Non-Executive Director of the Soil Association Certification Ltd and FTB Lawsons Ltd.
Mary Larson CEO, MNP
Susan McGeachie, Global Director, Climate Change and Sustainable Development, Hatch
Vice President, Governance and Corporate Secretary, Vancity Credit Union
Shona McGlashan is Vancity credit union’s Vice-President of Governance. Originally from Scotland, Shona began her career in the UK’s House of Commons, providing professional and procedural support to parliamentary committees and the Speaker. Since then she has held senior governance and policy roles on both sides of the Atlantic, including working as Chief Governance Officer at Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC), and Executive Director of the Vancouver Police Board. Over the course of her career she has led governance, corporate affairs/ issues management, privacy, and diversity and inclusion functions.
An inspiring and passionate leader and mentor, Shona sits on the boards of Bard on the Beach and the Vancity Community Foundation. She is always delighted to talk about governance, Shakespeare, supporting mental health, and feminism. A voracious reader, she would love to know your favourite novel(s). Shona lives in Vancouver with her husband and two awesome kids.
General Counsel, SVP Corporate Operations & Corporate Secretary, ATB Financial
Vice-President, Sustainable Investing, Addenda Capital
Dave Mowat, Director, TELUS and past CEO ATB Financial
Sarah Neville Director of Policy Development, Canadian Coalition for Good Governance
Sarah Neville joined
CCGG as the Director of Policy Development in February 2019. She is
responsible for supporting the Executive Director in identifying
governance issues, undertaking research relating to governance and
staying abreast of emerging governance developments.
She practiced corporate and
commercial law at a national law firm before moving into the public
sector where she gained experience as both a senior policy advisor and
legal counsel. Immediately prior to joining CCGG she was the Legal
Director and Corporate Secretary of an Ontario Crown agency. Sarah
holds an Honours BA from McMaster University, an LLB from the University
of Toronto, Faculty of Law, an LLM in Banking and Financial Services
from Osgoode Hall Law School and a Certificate in Social Impact from the
Smith School of Business at Queen’s University. She is a member of the
Law Society of Ontario and the Governance Professionals of Canada.
A senior legal advisor to global and Canadian businesses on a wide range of issues including corporate law and corporate governance, sustainability, ESG (Environmental Social and Governance) and CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) such as modern slavery, forced labour, human trafficking and child labour in supply chains, as well as on risk management, transactional and commercial matters such as M&A and product-related issues (including distribution, licensing, advertising, manufacturing, regulatory and product liability).
Stephen is the Vice-Chair of the Corporate Social Responsibility Law Committee of the American Bar Association’s Business Law Section, and speaks and writes frequently on how boards of directors and businesses can manage the risks and address the realities of modern slavery, forced labour and child labour in their operations and supply chains.
Associate General Counsel, Bank Board Governance, Legal & Regulatory Compliance Group, BMO Financial Group
Neil Puddicombe is the Associate General Counsel, Bank Board Governance at the BMO Financial Group. He provides governance support to the Bank’s Board of Directors, and manages the Bank’s Annual General Meeting, Management Proxy Circular and shareholder support services. He also acts as the Assistant Corporate Secretary to the Bank’s Board of Directors.
Mr. Puddicombe previously spent 7 years as BMOFG’s Director of Subsidiary Governance (Canada and International), where he designed the subsidiary governance framework for the Bank’s Canadian, European and Asian subsidiaries. He provided transactional support for the Bank’s corporate reorganizations and proprietary mergers and acquisitions transactions. Bank of Montreal was awarded the Governance Professionals of Canada’s Excellence in Governance Award for Best Practices in Subsidiary Governance in 2017, 2018 and 2019, and Best Use of Technology in 2016. In 2018 Mr. Puddicombe was named Governance Professional of the Year by the Governance Professionals of Canada.
Previously, Mr. Puddicombe was Senior Counsel in the Bank’s Capital Markets legal team supporting the Investment and Corporate Banking Group, the Structured Products Group and the trading floor.
Mr. Puddicombe joined the Bank after having spent five years in the Cross-Border Mergers and Acquisitions and Corporate Finance Groups in the Paris and New York offices of French law firm Gide Loyrette Nouel LLP. Mr. Puddicombe joined Gide after having spent four years in the Business Law Group in the Toronto office of a major Canadian Law firm.
Mr. Puddicombe serves as an Adjunct Professor of Business Associations at Osgoode Hall Law School, is a faculty member of the Governance Professionals of Canada’s Education Program and is a member of the Stakeholder Consultation and Practice Group of the International Finance Corporation, World Bank Group. He was named In-House Counsel of the Year by the South Asian Bar Association in 2013 and served as the Board Chair of the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario from 2008 to 2014.
Mr. Puddicombe holds a Master of Laws (Securities) from Osgoode Hall Law School and a Bachelor of Laws from Windsor Law School. Mr. Puddicombe was called to the Ontario Bar in 1997.
Janis A. Riven, BCL,LLB,MBA,FCIS,Acc.Dir. Principal, Governance & Compliance Solutions
Ms. Riven, based in Montreal, has an established consulting practice on governance and compliance matters with clients encompassing publicly listed and closely held companies, as well as various types of not-for-profits, and is currently Adjunct Professor at the John Molson School of Business, Concordia University, where she teaches Corporate Governance. She is a well-known speaker both in Canada and abroad at conferences on corporate governance, and has acted as a facilitator for boards and board committees of a number of different organizations seeking to improve their governance effectiveness. As well, she is an experienced board member, having participated on dozens of boards.
Ms. Riven was formerly Vice President, Compliance and Secretary for the Canadian and global operations of RBC Insurance. She is a member of the Quebec Bar, a Fellow of the ICSA, and currently serves on the boards the Chartered Governance Institute of Canada (CGIC) Quebec, and ELIXIR Inc. a private fintech company.
Dottie Schindlinger Vice President of Thought Leadership, Diligent
Dottie Schindlinger is Vice
President and the Governance Technology Evangelist for Diligent
Corporation, the leading provider of secure corporate board
communication and collaboration software globally. In her role, Dottie
provides thought leadership on governance, cybersecurity, and technology
topics through presentations to boards and executives dozens of times
each year at events around the world. Her work has been featured in
Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, and in multiple governance and
technology publications including Corporate Board Member, Trustee
Magazine, Corporate Secretary Magazine, Execranks, CSO Online, and Dark
Dottie brings over twenty
years’ experience in governance-related roles, including serving as a
director, officer, senior executive, governance consultant and trainer
for private, public, and non-profit boards. She was a founding team
member of the tech start-up BoardEffect – a board management software
provider focused on healthcare and non-profit boards, acquired by
Diligent in 2016. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.
Director of Policy Development, Computershare
Jarrod has worked in the Company Secretarial (CoSec) and Governance industry for over 25 years. He started his career at EY where he developed Global Advisory Services and outsourcing services for multinationals and was appointed as Partner in 2001. In 2006 he joined TMF Group as a Group Board Director where he built out, through acquisitions and organically, a global service offering of CoSec advisory and Global Managed Services across 86 countries. In 2011 Jarrod re-joined EY as Global Partner for CoSec Services and rebuilt EY’s CoSec global practice. Jarrod joined Computershare as CEO for Governance services in January 2020 . Over the 25 years in the industry Jarrod has worked on many multinationals in an advisory capacity and lead multinational outsources as well as building global teams to deliver these services.
Christie Stephenson, Executive Director, Dhillon Centre for Business Ethics, UBC Sauder
Since 2016, Christie Stephenson has been the Executive Director of the Dhillon Centre for Business Ethics at the UBC Sauder School of Business. She previously spent more than 15 years at socially responsible investing firms Sustainalytics (then Jantzi Research Associates), NEI Investments (Ethical Funds) and Purpose Capital (now Rally Assets).
Christie has more than two decades of diverse board experience, having served as a director of a charity, several cooperatives, numerous non-profits, two university senates, and several private companies ranging from startup phase to $100 million in annual revenue.
She currently serves on the boards of Vancity and the UBC Staff Pension Plan.
Peter Stephenson, Partner, Hugessen Consulting Inc, & Owner, Meridien Consulting Services Inc.
Peter is an organizational psychologist and a leading consultant in helping Boards increase their effectiveness. Prior to joining Hugessen, Peter managed his own firm Meridien Consulting Services providing advice and support to Boards, CEOs and executive teams. Before founding Meridien in 1997, Peter spent 14 years at RHR International – a leading firm of management psychologists. Peter is a faculty member in the Institute of Corporate Directors’ Directors Education Program, serves on the ICD GTA Chapter Executive and has his ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors.
Peter has worked with a wide variety of Boards on a broad range of issues to support them in enhancing the value they bring to organizations. From Board evaluation and individual director feedback to Board culture, composition and dynamics to CEO performance management, Peter partners with clients to foster insights that will lead to strengthened performance.
Peter holds a Ph.D. in Applied Psychology from the University of Toronto and is a registered Psychologist. With his dual background in management and the behavioural sciences, Peter combines his strategic perspective on business with a firm grounding in organizational behaviour.
Coro Strandberg, President, Strandberg Consulting
Coro Strandberg is a leading expert in corporate social purpose, sustainability and social responsibility, with over thirty years’ experience in the field. She specializes in Purpose Governance, Sustainable Boards, Sustainability Strategy, Sustainable Risk Management, Sustainable Supply Chains and Sustainable Industry Associations. She is a Corporate Director of BC Lotteries Corporation, and a member of their Governance and Social Purpose Committee, and has over 20 years of corporate director experience in the financial sector, including three as Chair of the Board. She is a faculty member of the Conference Board of Canada's Director's College and of Governance Professionals of Canada where she trains Directors and Corporate Secretaries respectively on the board's role providing oversight of sustainability performance. She is an Associate with Canadian Business for Social Responsibility and a member of the Canadian Office of the Auditor General’s Senior Advisory Panel. In 2015 she was named the top CSR Consultant in Canada for her impacts. As a thought leader, she publishes research and opinions on next generation sustainability practices on her website at www.corostrandberg.com.
Marc Tassé, MBA, CPA, CA, CFF FCPA (USA), CFS (USA), CICA (USA), CACM (USA) Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa
Mr. Tassé is an investigative and forensic accountant, who has experience as an independent special advisor to various board chairs and CEOs of corporations and organizations, on "high profile and sensitive cases” related to alleged corruption, fraud, financial misconduct, and breach of fiduciary duty.
An award-winning lecturer at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law and in the Executive MBA program at the Telfer School of Management, he delivers presentations at the Harvard Institute for Learning in Retirement. A sought-after media commentator, Mr. Tassé has been published extensively and quoted in various prestigious publications such as The Wall Street Journal.
Mr. Tassé is a Chartered Professional Accountant - Chartered Accountant (CPA, CA) (Canada), a Forensic Certified Public Accountant (FCPA) (USA), a Certified Fraud Specialist (CFS) (USA), a Certified Internal Controls Auditor (CICA) (USA), and a Certified Anti-Corruption Manager (CACM) (USA). He carries the designation of Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF) (Canada / USA), and holds both an Honours Bachelor of Commerce and a Master's degree in Business Administration (MBA) from the Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa.
Richard Taylor, CEO, Lumi Global
Richard joined Lumi as CEO in 2011, having spent 4 years as CEO of IML, a leading global event technology business. In 2013, Lumi acquired IML and merged it with Lumi, to create the leading AGM technology provider that Lumi is today. Richard and his team completed a successful MBO in 2017, backed by Vespa Capital.
Richard is also Chairman and Co-Founder of Halo Post Production, and has advised and supported a number of early-stage technology and media businesses. Richard has an MBA from INSEAD.
Peter ter Weeme, Chief Social Purpose Officer, VP Player Experience, BCLC
Christa C. Wessel
Chief Operating Officer & General Counsel, ClearView Strategic Partners Inc.
Christa Wessel is the Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel at ClearView Strategic Partners Inc. providing services and expertise in ethics reporting and whistleblowing systems. She is responsible for operations including technology, advisory services, finance and HR.
Christa leverages her experience as a C-suite executive for global giants McCain Foods and Siemens Canada, where she held chief accountability for the governance and compliance, legal, human resources and stakeholder engagement portfolios.
Christa served as McCain’s Chief Human Resources & Legal Officer and as Siemens’ General Counsel and Compliance Officer. Christa’s extensive hands-on experience spans both developed and developing markets including the US, Latin America, Europe and Asia.
She is also a Corporate Director, and is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Lallemand Inc., Hamilton Enterprises Holding Corporation, and Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care and a member of the CSR Advisory Council, Export Development Corporation. She is called to the Bar in the Province of Ontario, holds an LL.B., University of Ottawa, B.A. Econ., York University and C. Dir., Directors College at McMaster University.
President, The Planning Group
Peter Wright is a career strategist and President of The Planning Group. As a respected executive and in his current consulting practice, Peter has successfully developed and executed strategy with remarkable results. His practical approach to strategic and operational business planning ensures that plans are not only embraced by management and Boards, but also effectively implemented and measured for the tangible benefit. As the Director of Strategic Planning at Clarica, Peter led the company's overall operational and strategic planning process. In an environment of complex change, his skillful facilitation of planning sessions with the senior management team was instrumental in the determination of key strategic decisions. In his time at Sun Life Financial, Peter became Vice President of Corporate Accounts, before leaving to begin his consulting and training career. In his consulting practice, Peter advises boards and executives on all matters of strategy and planning across a broad spectrum of sectors and organizations. An accomplished facilitator and trainer, he works with boards and senior leadership teams to develop strategy, resolve operational issues, and overcome barriers to performance. By providing planning expertise, process advice and facilitation, Peter helps organizations overcome the planning gap. Linking strategy and action, he works with management to foster true stretch mentality focused on growth and value. In 18 years of developing business plans with organizations in more than 20 countries, Peter has created many successful tools, models, and practices that can be taught to clients and other consultants. Peter used his planning and training experience to develop The Business Planning Boot Camp and The Association Hub Strategy and Planning Toolkit.