What is ConnectOTT?

ConnectOTT is a dinner and networking event that creates strategic opportunities to meet inspiring people in the city of Ottawa.

The event bridges the gap between emerging professionals looking to progress in their careers and grow their networks and well-established community and industry leaders who have been there and done that and are looking to give back.

Throughout a three-course dinner, participants are matched with leaders in industries of their choice. Each course is spent with 2 leaders and 6 young professionals, a format which maximizes face time and allows for both mentorship and network opportunities to develop in an intimate setting.

This year’s event will be attended by over 240 participants including 60 leaders in 13 different industries.

2016 Event Details

Date March 31st, 2016
Location Fairmont Château Laurier
Evening Schedule Executive Reception                   5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Young Professional Cocktail      6:15 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Networking Dinner                     7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Young Professional Ticket Price $80.00
Includes (1) Welcome drink + 3 course meal + VIP face time with 6 executives + networking opportunity with 240 participants in 15 different industries!

How it works:

  1. Pick three industries you want to meet people in (real estate, law, finance etc..)
  2. Get matched with six industry leaders over dinner!

Dinner Menu:

Young Professional Meal

Industry Leaders

We’ve hand picked these industry leaders just for you.

These are the forward thinkers, the change makers you keep hearing about and the ones you’re about to. These are the innovators in their fields, the followers of big ideas and the contributors to what makes Ottawa great. They are giving of their time to both their peers and to the next generation of professionals.

Our table hosts represent more than 10 diverse industries you may not have known were in this city!

These folks have been there and done that, they’ve been where you are now and are excited to share their experiences with you. Get to know them better!

Arts and Culture

Mark Monahan

Mark Monahan

Executive Director, Ottawa Bluesfest

Mark Monahan is the Executive and Artistic Director of Ottawa Bluesfest and the CityFolk festival. Founded in 1994, Ottawa Bluesfest has expanded from a one-­stage, three-­day event into a multi-­stage, ten-day showcase featuring some of the best performing talent on the planet. RBC Bluesfest has become the landmark event of the Ottawa summer, and according to Billboard Magazine, is one of the top­ ten music festivals in the world, attracting over 300,000 music fans each year. Mark has recently coordinated the creation of Festival House, a central artistic hub for many of Ottawa’s festivals to grow and thrive.


MaryAnn Camps


After a 24 year career as a freelance graphic designer in Toronto, Kingston and Ottawa, MaryAnn Camps moved full-time to painting in 2005. She has exhibited her work in galleries in Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto. Her work is part of private collections in Canada, US, Europe and South America. She is an elected member of the Society of Canadian Artists and a member of CARFAC and the Ottawa Arts Council. Camps is interested in urbanism: how cities work and how they feel. She works with acrylic and palette knife on wood panel. Based in Ottawa, she is represented by Cube Gallery, Ottawa.

Rebecca Noelle

Professional Vocalist, Songwriter

Blessed with a searing three octave vocal range, Rebecca Noelle has had the privilege and versatility to try her hand at just about every musical style she wanted to over the years. But it’s her natural afnity for Soul, that has set this stunning singer apart.

With a sultry voice that is simply unforgettable, Noelle brings to mind some of the artists of whom she has been infuenced by over the years – Etta James, Jay Kay (Jamiroquai) and k.d. Lang. Noelle also has a natural charisma and confdence as she struts around onstage that bring to mind performers like Tina Turner and Mick Jagger.

At the beginning of her working career as a musician, Rebecca toured and recorded with Juno-nominated blues/rock stalwart David Gogo, throughout Canada and the U.S. – Opening for acts such as ZZ Top, B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt and a tour with legendary blues master Johnny Winter. Rebecca performed an extensive European tour with Gogo, which included live sessions for BBC Radio 2 in London, UK. and Germany’s Radio Bremen.

Stepping out as a solo artist, Noelle – backed by her 5-piece rock band, began warming up crowds for artists like Hawksley Workman, Boz Scaggs and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Rebecca shifted to jazz music in 2012 and kicked of 2013 with the release of her debut solo jazz collection “Rebecca Noelle: A Night at Maggie’s”. This was quickly followed with the blockbuster release of “Revenge of the Vinyl Café” – an album by Rebecca’s musical comrades; The PepTides. This was a soundtrack written and recorded by The PepTides (thepeptides.com) in collaboration with Stuart McLean, and CBC’s The Vinyl Café. “Mixing their stunning vocals with funk beats underneath a soulful sound, an abundance of theatrical dance moves, and kitschy quirks, they defy any genre or description. One must simply see them to believe them.” – Much More Music on Ottawa’s favourite 9-member troupe, The PepTides. After collaborating with Stuart on that full-length album to accompany his most recent book, The PepTides were the featured act on the 20th Anniversary Show of Vinyl Cafe (CBC Radio, 2013). They were awarded ‘Album of the Year’ by Peter Simpson of The Ottawa Citizen in 2010, voted the ‘Best Live Show’ in The Ottawa XPress Readers’ Poll 2011, and named ‘Best Band’ in The Metro Ottawa News in 2012. In 2013, under the direction of composer and saxophonist Brian Asselin, Rebecca co-arranged and recorded backing vocals for Delbert Nelson (lead vocalist of Motown Records’ legendary Funk Brothers) in his release “Delbert and the Commotions: Let Me See Ya Dance.” Founding members Brian Asselin & David Gaw were an integral part of The Commotions project, writing and performing with various featured vocalists. Rebecca began to work closely with the duo, coming from an eclectic background, creatively drawing from their roots in jazz, hip-hop, funk and pop. This union became the launchpad for the Rebecca Noelle project.

In December 2015, The Canadian Armed Forces invited Rebecca, with celebrated Canadian comedian Shaun Majumder, to the northernmost inhabited place in the world. This show tour to Alert, Nunavut, was established as a means of boosting morale, and entertaining those currently stationed at the most remote corner of our country. “Celebrating the people who serve our country from afar, and coming to know those individuals on a personal level, was a life-changing event that I hope to experience over again during my career as a performer.” says Rebecca of her time in the north. In Spring 2016, Rebecca will be fnishing up her second full-length solo album. Scaling her band up from the trio on a collection of original urban jazz delivered with a funk-driven fair. In the meantime, Rebecca tours with The PepTides, promoting their latest double-disc release: Love Question Mark and as a solo jazz act, promoting “Rebecca Noelle: A Night At Maggie’s” Rebecca currently resides in Ottawa, Ontario.


Rolf Klausener

Creative Director, Arboretum Music Festival & Singer/Songwriter of the band Acorn

Rolf Klausener is a creative director, musician, writer, and arts advocate working in Ottawa. He is best known as the singer/songwriter of the Polaris-nominated art-pop band, The Acorn. As the founding creative director of Arboretum Festival, he has helped bring a modern, boutique music and arts festival to Ottawa every August. The festival has grown rapidly, showcasing hundreds of critically-acclaimed local and international acts city-wide, highlighting the tremendous economic impact of Ottawa’s music industry.

Additionally, he sits on the board of the Ottawa Music Industry Coalition, a member-based not-­for-profit organization dedicated to growing the local music industries.
As a community and arts advocate, he consults with several organizations on issues as diverse as cultural spaces, arts funding, and expanding awareness of Ottawa’s First Nations. He has also worked as a freelance graphic designer for over a decade, and as a music reporter for Weird Canada, CBC Radio, and Ottawa Magazine.


Engineering and Architecture


Andrew Reeves

Senior Architect, Principle Partner, Owner at Linebox Studio

Andrew is a licensed Architect with the OAA and holds a Bachelors and Masters’ Degree, both from Carleton University’s Architecture Program. He is the Owner and Principal Architect at Linebox Studio, a collaborative firm with design capabilities in architecture, interiors, lighting, sound, furniture procurement, sustainable practices and landscape. Linebox works both on residential and commercial projects. The company launched in 2007 and has offices in Toronto and Ottawa.

Angelo Ferro

Angelo Ferro

Manager, Product Engineering, Proslide Technology Inc

Mr. Angelo Ferro is the Manager of Product Engineering at ProSlide Technology Inc. He manages a high-
performance team of mechanical engineers, civil engineers, and industrial designers that develop world renown waterslides. These waterslides are sold globally to signature clients and water parks. He is an accomplished engineer with expertise in many engineering disciplines including: steel structures; polymer material; finite element analysis; vibration; fire protection and heat transfer; acoustics; weld distortion control; blast and impact behaviour; fatigue; and material characterization.

Prior to his tenure at ProSlide, Mr. Ferro worked for SPS North America, a sole purpose company that is responsible for the development and commercialization of the SPS® Technology for maritime, offshore, civil and industrial applications. Mr. Ferro held the title of Vice President of Engineering for SPS NA. Mr. Ferro holds a Master of Engineering degree from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada and is a licensed professional engineer in the province of Ontario.


Jeanette M. Southwood

M.A.Sc., P.Eng., FEC, FCAE Vice President - Strategy & Partnerships, Engineers Canada

An award-winning engineer, Jeanette Southwood is Vice-President – Strategy & Partnerships at Engineers Canada, the national organization of the 12 engineering regulators that license Canada’s 280,000 members of the engineering profession.  She leads a team focusing on the future of the engineering profession, in particular strategies to sustain and grow the profession for the continued benefit of society.  Prior to joining Engineers Canada, Jeanette led the Canadian Urban Development & Infrastructure Sector and the Global Sustainable Cities teams at a large global consulting firm where her teams focused on the strategic integration of cutting-edge international innovation and knowledge into value-creating solutions for public and private clients.  For more than 20 years, she has directed and participated in numerous projects related to urban intensification and the sustainable revitalization and resilience of communities.   A dedicated volunteer on several Boards over the years, Jeanette is a Fellow of Engineers Canada and a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, a recipient of the Province of Ontario “Leading Women Building Communities Award”, and a Canada’s Clean50 2014 honouree.  In 2015, she received the Ontario Professional Engineers Awards (OPEA) Engineering Excellence Medal and was named one of WXN Canada’s Top 100.


Rick Cunliffe

M. Eng., P. Eng.- Principal, Cunliffe and Associates

Since the inception of Cunliffe and Associates in 1989, Rick has been involved in consulting engineering work. He leads of a dedicated team of structural engineers, designers and technologists. Rick appreciates the needs of clients and seeks to deliver structural systems which meet the Architectural intent and systems requirements. His philosophy is that the good of the project outweighs that of individual disciplines. This makes Rick a valuable design team member and respected leader.

Rick graduated from the engineering program at Carleton University with high distinction in 1985 and followed up with a Master of Engineering degree in 1988. Rick began his career in a consulting engineering office in 1987 and began the integration of real construction and engineering experience with the theory of academia. These tools have provided a greater design freedom to explore innovative solutions to structural engineering challenges.

Rick was a Sessional Lecturer at Carleton University involved with Architecture courses in structural analysis and design between 1989 and 1997. Rick is interested in Heritage Conservation and has worked with the Heritage Conservation (Program) Directorate for Parks Canada.


ConnectOTT Industry Leader - Ajmal Sataar

Ajmal Sataar

Co-Founder, CigBins

Ajmal Sataar has been working in the entrepreneurship programming and social enterprise space for the past 5 years on various initiatives. He is Co-founder and director at Cigbins, a cigarette butt collection and recycling service that eliminates cigarette butts off of city streets while employing individuals with mental illness. His newest venture is called Inspire Nunavut, an all-encompassing entrepreneurship training initiative geared towards at-risk youth in 2 communities in Nunavut. Ajmal is a recent graduate and many of his experiences fall under the auspices of Enactus uOttawa where he developed social enterprises to help at-risk youth, homeless men and women, high school students and underemployed immigrant women. He was able to grow the Enactus team to win 1st place in Canada and represent the country at the Enactus World Cup in South Africa this past year.


Bill Stewart

President and Co-Founder, Terra20

Bill is on a mission to bring green products into the mainstream. He’s backed by over 20 years experience in retail, building distribution strategies and improving the customer experience. He is responsible for bringing the terra20 store concept to life and creating the plan for a national retail chain. A huge advocate of sharing knowledge, Bill believes in training staff as in-store educators, coordinating vendor and customer feedback and allowing the community to influence the products on the shelves. If Bill had a super-hero ability it would be the ability to turn insights into action in a single bound.

Favourite terra20 product and why: My personal favourite is the Wipe & Glow cloth. It was one of the first products I tried and completely blew me away – it was incredibly effective at cleaning many smooth surfaces and consistently left the windows streak-free.

My easy green tip: Begin your exploration and start investigating alternative products. More importantly, educate yourself on the impacts of those on your body and their overall impact on the environment.

If I could do one thing to help change the world I would: I hope that by building this brand, it gives our customers the ability to impact the ingredients in products and how they are manufactured, making the world a better place!


Jim Roche

President & CEO at Stratford Managers Corporation

Liam Mooney

Liam Mooney

Founder and CEO, Jackpine

Liam Mooney is the Founder and CEO of Jackpine and an Instructor at Carleton University.

He has 10+ years leadership experience and an unorthodox approach to team building, business problem solving and teaching. In design, business and teaching he leads with questions. He genuinely wants to know as much as he can from my colleagues, business associates and students. He truly believes in the power of collaboration, question based learning and collisions between creative fields and disciplines.

He loves what he does and is am extremely passionate about the work Jackpine does.

“Jackpine clients need new perspectives on old problems. That’s why we’ve built our team in a new way: designers working beside social scientists, engineers beside artists, technologists beside writers, performers beside developers. It’s a new method for business problem solving. We call it Creative Counsel.

Jackpine has been challenging the definition of the creative firm since 2012. We’ve pushed aside perceived limitations and delivered clear results for clients throughout Canada and the United States.

Jackpine is brave, fresh, and forward thinking. Passionate and invested. United by the simple idea that collisions between fields and disciplines leads to unparalleled creativity and innovation for our clients.

We believe that magic happens when Jackpine creatives come together to solve a problem by examining it from every angle. This commitment to dynamic problem solving is our common bond and the value we deliver to every client.”


Nick May

Founder, REMAY

Nick May is the founder of REMAY, a consumer care brand known for the development of a revolutionary shave gel called Glide Shave. As a chemistry student, Nick figured out how to transform traditional shave cream into a conveniently hand held “gel bar” to make the daily task of shaving more enjoyable. Nick was the 2013 Young Entrepreneur of the Year by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, the 2013 ENACTUS student Entrepreneur National Champion and can also be seen making an investment with Jim Treliving and Arlene Dickinson on CBC’s Dragons’ Den. Nick brings experience in consumer packaged goods development, market testing and distribution growth.

Stacey Price

Stacey Price

Co-Owner & Wedding Planner, The Design Co.

Over the past 10 years, Stacey has garnered a well­-deserved reputation for designing and executing truly memorable high-­end events. Her artistic and innovative approach to design has produced hundreds of events known for their originality and beauty. Producing over 40 weddings a year, the need to cultivate the perfect event is obvious in every aspect of Stacey’s personality. From initial consultations, Stacey’s skill and enthusiasm are contagious. Always working in close consultation with her clients, she plans, coordinates, and personally manages every aspect of the event, always mindful of their objectives, vision and budget. These qualities, together with Stacey’s respect for her clients’ privacy, have made her the top choice for Ottawa celebrities as well as high profile couples in the city.

As a Certified Wedding Coordinator, Stacey’s weddings have been featured on The Life Network’s hit show “Rich Bride, Poor Bride”. She is also a regular contributor to Ottawa’s CTV Morning and Evening News Programs. She is featured as an industry expert in the Ottawa Citizen on a regular basis and her weddings have been published in a variety of bridal magazine, such as Wedluxe, Wedding Bells, Bride’s Magazine and Ottawa Wedding Magazine. In 2010, two of her weddings won the coveted “Best of” in Wedluxe Magazine.

As a business owner, giving back to her community is extremely important. In 2009, when a good friend was diagnosed with breast Cancer, she started the charity “Something White for Something Right”, an annual event held at the Chateau Laurier where attendees are encouraged to dine and dance in their wedding dresses with all proceeds of the event and silent auction going to fight breast cancer.

In 2015, after 10 years as Marry Me Productions, Stacey merged her company with Full Bloom Floral Design to create The Design Co. a one stop shop for couples who are looking to plan the perfect luxury wedding.


Steve Cody

CEO, The Better Software Company

Serial entrepreneur, Steve Cody, has started 15 local and national businesses in the service, rental, e-
commerce and retail markets which have generated over 250 million in sales.

Steve launched his career with humble roots; he was 15 years old when he turned his entrepreneurial aspirations into reality with just $1200, a squeegee, a bucket, and a dream.

Steve is the Founder and CEO of The Better Software Company, a company grown from the belief that there had to be a BETTER way to power small businesses. He is on a mission to help small business owners by removing barriers created by current systems and take their business to the next level, giving them a better life too.

Mayhew9245 uncroppedPhoto by Michelle Valberg, Valberg Imaging

Wendy Mayhew

Founder Business Launch Solutions. Host and Executive Producer of Idea2Delivery

Wendy Mayhew is an accomplished businesswoman with a flair for helping first-time entrepreneurs establish successful businesses. Drawing on early experience in the telecom and satellite technology sectors, and on later experience as the owner-manager of a full-service communications firm and a promotional products production house, Wendy is always on the watch for innovative ways to harness technology in the service of business needs. Among the first to recognize the potential of social media to gather business intelligence, engage clients, and market products and services, Wendy’s perspective on web-assisted business development is particularly appealing to today’s generation of would-be entrepreneurs.

An example of Wendy’s innovative approach is the recent completion of a 13-part reality Web series entitled Real World Entrepreneur Training.

Real World Entrepreneur Training has been incorporated into an eLearning course on the McGraw Hill Ryerson (MHR) Connect website. Real World Entrepreneur Training is MHR’s first all-digital, video-based product for higher education courses such as Entrepreneurship, New Venture Creation, Small Business and other market and business driven programs. Real World Entrepreneur Training has also been adopted by eLearning sites that focus on global entrepreneurship and emerging markets.

Wendy is also the co-author of Building Your Dream, a Guide for Starting Your Own Business, available for Colleges and Universities across Canada through McGraw-Hill Ryerson.

Wendy’s latest project is to assist the newest segment of entrepreneurship, seniorpreneurs. Wendy guides and helps the 50+ generation discover entrepreneurship through speaking engagements and workshops. Wendy has global ties with groups and organizations supporting older entrepreneurs who are moving to become business owners for the first time. Wendy also works with Startup Canada and is the voice of seniorpreneurship in Canada.

As a professional advisor and as a long-time volunteer contributor to the Canadian Youth Business Foundation, Startup Canada Pivot Magazine, guest blogging and a sought after speaker at Colleges & Universities and other organizations focused on entrepreneurial development, Wendy continues to share how-to advice and success strategies with business start-ups across Canada. Wendy is also an expert on Clarity.fm and has been appointed as Ambassador to Startup Canada.


Ian Sherman

Ian Sherman

Partner, Tax Services, EY Ernst & Young LLP

Ian is a Tax Partner in the Ottawa Office with over 30 years of public accounting experience. He manages our Ottawa Office Tax Practice of over 60 professionals and is a Tax Account Leader coordinating and facilitating services to many of EY’s local and multinational clients in several industry sectors.


Ian coordinates and supervises EY’s tax services to numerous companies including business tax advisory; SR&ED compliance and planning; tax accounting and risk advisory services; Canadian and US corporate tax compliance and planning; transfer pricing; commodity taxes; mergers, acquisitions and divestitures; corporate tax structures; tax controversy and tax risk management.


Ian was an Instructor for the CICA In-Depth Income Tax Course for over 10 years. He was also EY’s representative to the CICA Tax Courses Committee. From 2007 to 2011, Ian was Chair of the CICA Tax Courses Committee and Chair of its Tax Education Task Force. Ian is currently the Chair of the CPA Canada Income Tax Education Committee.


Lynette Gillen

Regional Vice President Commercial Banking, Ontario North and East, RBC Royal Bank

Lynette Gillen is the Regional Vice­President of Commercial Financial Services with RBC Royal Bank, responsible for leading the Commercial Banking group in Ontario North and East. Lynette began her career in financial services in the early 1990’s, and has held progressively senior sales and leadership roles in the areas of Wealth Management, Retail, and Commercial Banking. Prior to joining RBC, Lynette led the Retail, Wealth Management and Contact Center businesses for Manitoba’s largest Credit Union – SCU. Lynette joined RBC in 2011 and has held the roles of Regional Vice­President, Integrated Markets and Vice­President, Commercial Financial Services prior to her current role for Ontario North and East. Lynette’s community leadership includes serving on the Board of Directors of the Hospitals of Regina Foundation and the Advisory Board for the Levene Graduate School of Business at the University of Regina. Lynette holds an MBA from Dalhousie University.


Rosa Maria Iuliano

M.Acc., CPA, CA, Partner, Collins Barrow Ottawa LLP

Rosa Maria graduated from the University of Waterloo with her Masters in Accountancy in 1998, and obtained her C.A. designation in 2000. Rosa completed her In-Depth Tax courses in 2001 and became a partner in the Taxation Services Department of Collins Barrow Ottawa in 2008. Rosa is an active tax lecturer, seminar leader and business leader. She has worked for the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario, and has been featured extensively on CFRA Radio’s Tax Tip Tuesdays and other media resources. Rosa was recently selected as the winner of the 2014 Women’s Business Network Professional Businesswoman of the Year.

Areas of Experience

Rosa completed of the CICA In-depth Tax Course in 2001, the CICA GST In-Residence Course in 2003 and the CICA Corporate Reorganization and International Taxation Course in 2004. Rosa specializes in providing income tax, commodity tax, and financial planning advice to proprietorships, partnerships and owner-managed corporations and not-for-profit organizations. A well-rounded public accounting professional, Rosa provides a number of tax, wealth, retirement, and financial management planning services. She has direct experience helping clients deal with complex compliance and cross border issues including US tax and international tax issues. Rosa also assists in identifying and quantifying claims for eligible scientific research and experimental development activities.


Susan Richards

FCPA, FCMA, Virtual CFO & Managing Partner, Numbercrunch

Susan is a virtual CFO with over 20 years of finance and accounting experience in the Ottawa tech community having served as CFO to over 30 Ottawa companies in both full and part time engagements. An entrepreneur at heart, Susan co-founded Givopoly in 2012 and Numbercrunch in 2014.  Numbercrunch provides accounting support services for small to mid sized companies.  Susan volunteers on the Board of Directors for Invest Ottawa and Equal Voice and on the Board of Advisors to Ambisheous.

Food and Hospitality


Bradley Campeau

Owner, Brew Donkey

Bradley Campeau opened Brew Donkey as a way to celebrate his love affair of craft beer at a time when he needed to find a new direction and a steady income stream.

In December 2012 Mr. Campeau closed B. Goods bakery after 6 years of business. It had operated as mobile bakery producing wholesale cookies and attending events as a mobile Fair Trade Organic cafe. In the 1 year following its closure Mr. Campeau explored his options for work and future by travelling. A trip to Canada’s west coast provided motivation and proof of concept and a trip to Spain provided the inspiration on naming and experience. The ground work was set to do something new and unheard of in Ottawa, a craft beer delivery service and curated bus tours to craft breweries.

The first six months after opening Brew Donkey, Mr. Campeau kept very busy, expanding the tours from 1 a month to twice weekly. In March of 2015 he received an Ottawa Tourism Nomination for Best New Business and in May of 2015 he faced the extreme business challenge of almost having to shut down due to a TICO inquiry stemming from a legislative roadblock. Throughout 2015 he also dealt with personal turmoil on a grand scale, having to learn how to navigate alcohol abuse in an industry devoted drinking while still being a really fun guy.

Mr. Campeau, 36, is originally from Windsor Ontario and studied retail business at Niagara College. His favourite beer style is porter. The beer that converted him to craft was a barrel aged Screaming Beaver from Beau’s. His dream for Brew Donkey is to help make Ottawa a craft beer destination for both locals and tourists.

Chef Charles Part

Charles Part

Chef and Co-Owner Les Fougères

Charles Part was born in London, England on December 31st 1956. He graduated from Westminster Hotel School in London in 1978. Having being touched by the passion for cooking he decided against pursuing hotel administration and set out into the world of restaurants, beginning with stages in London at the “Inn on the Park” and then in Paris at the Savoy Group’s “Hotel Lancaster”.

In 1979 Charles opened his first restaurant “The General Trading Company Café” in central London to rave reviews in the British press including being named by Fay Maschler of the Daily Telegraph as “ …one of Britain’s top young chefs to watch…”.

Charles moved to Canada in 1981 where he continued his work in the industry, and met his Canadian wife Jennifer Warren. Jennifer left a post in the field of international trade to follow her dream and join Charles in the opening of their first restaurant, the well-reviewed “Loons Restaurant” in the Beaches area of Toronto between 1986 and 1992.

The desire to escape city life and to establish a countryside restaurant brought them to move with their two young children to Chelsea, Québec, in the beautiful Gatineau Hills just north of Ottawa, an area close to Jennifer’s heart as her family had lived in the area for many years. They opened “Restaurant Les Fougères” in 1993 and began their journey and love affair with sustainable, seasonal and regional cuisine. Jennifer’s and Charles’ attachment to their environment is strongly reflected in their work. The restaurant’s gardens now occupy a large part of the property and provide the kitchen with a wide variety of fresh vegetables, herbs and edible flowers. Many ingredients are drawn from the bounty of fresh produce available from quality-oriented local farmers. The cooking at Les Fougères focuses on the intrinsic qualities of these fresh foods, and simply tries to convey their true, wonderful flavours.

Year after year Restaurant Les Fougères has received critical acclaim in international, national and regional media including the achievement of a prestigious gold award in the Grand Prix du Tourisme Québécois in 2004.

Restaurant Les Fougères has widened and deepened its character over the years. A Gourmet Store was added in 2002 to offer a select line of made-in-house, additive-free take-home foods, gourmet products and gifts. Since 2011, select products have been available in fine food and grocery stores throughout Quebec and Ontario–now at almost 40 locations.

Recent projects include a cookbook titled A Year at Les Fougères, which was awarded Gold in the Culinary Culture category of the Cuisine Canada Cookbook Awards in November 2008, as well as a Gourmand World Cookbook award, an Independent Publisher’s silver medal and a Cordon d’Or.

Charles was also awarded a gold medal at the Gold Medal Plates competition in Ottawa in October 2008, and went on to represent the region at the Canadian Culinary Championships in Banff in February 2009.

The seasons play a determining role in the menus which focus on the intrinsic qualities of the produce used. The cooking at Les Fougères simply tries to convey true, wonderful flavours as part of a memorable oasis which also includes warm and informed hospitality, a wine list of distinction and a lovely amble in a countryside setting.


Patrick Garland

Owner/Chef, Absinthe

A graduate of the Dubrulle French Culinary School in Vancouver (now The Pacific Rim Culinary Institute), Ottawa born Patrick Garland began his cooking career at Ottawa’s Clair de Lune. After sojourns in Banff, Victoria, Montréal, Seattle, Hawaii and Miami, Garland moved back to Ottawa becoming Executive Chef at the much beloved Maple Lawn restaurant. Over the years, offering his expertise as a chef consultant he has helped open many restaurants in the Nation’s Capital. Returning many times to Clair de Lune, his relationship with owner Adel Ayad would last until it closed its doors in 2005.

In 2003, Garland opened Absinthe Café to critical acclaim. Widely praised as “A bastion of fine gourmet cuisine in the heart of the nation’s capital” Absinthe Café has won three Epicurean Award from the Sommelier Guild, two Silver Spoon Awards and was named as one of the best dinning experiences by food critic Pierre Jury from Le Droit. Garland is a long time, passionate supporter of area farmers and his locally sourced menu features meats, cheeses and produce from eastern Ontario and western Quebec, fulfilling a commitment to, “eating well” and preparing food, “of the people, for the people”.

Garland believes in giving back to the community. In 2011 he started the “Benevolent Burger” where $1 of every burger sold is donated to the Cornerstone Housing for Women in Ottawa. More recently, he has donated his time and expertise by offering cooking classes and dinner with all proceeds going to the Parkdale Emergency Food Center in Ottawa.

In 2008 Garland competed in the Gold Medal Plates with a dish comprised of Lamb Two Ways: Maple Pralined Walnuts Crusted Roasted Ontario Loin of Lamb, Ras El Hanout, Braised Pulled Lamb Shank, Leek Fondue, Organic Butternut Squash, House Made Goat’s Milk Ricotta Ravioli, Preserved Lemon, Crispy Shallot Gremolata, Dijon Malivoire Gamay Reduction, served with Malivoire Coutenay Gamay 2006; Garland failed to podium. In 2014 he had another opportunity to compete in the Gold Medal plates this time with Quail with Grapes: Quail Breast Stuffed with Foie Gras, Braised Thigh Croquette. Cinnamon Cap Mushrooms, Frittered Shallot, Confit Grapes, Gewürztraminer Reduction served with Tawse 2013 Gewürztraminer Quarry Road Vineyard Vinemount Ridge VQA. This time he fared better winning gold and ensuring himself place in the Canadian Culinary Championships held in February, 2015 in Kelowna BC. there he was tasked with creating a dish to pair with Stoneboat Vineyards reserve Pinotage; he again prepared lamb shank, he again failed to podium. Traumatized, he has sworn off lamb shank and is waiting to redeem himself in 2016/2017. Kelowna or bust!


Shawn St-Pierre

Director of Operations, Chateau Laurier

Health and Wellness

Alex MacKenzie

Dr. Alex Mackenzie

Senior Scientist, CHEO Research Institute, Physician, Division of Endocrinology, CHEO

Dr. Alex MacKenzie, an attending pediatrician at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) in Ottawa Canada has served as the CEO and Science Director of the CHEO Research Institute as well as Vice President of Research for both CHEO and Genome Canada in addition to being founding scientist of the AeGera biotech company.   Dr. MacKenzie’s laboratory has conducted translational research on the rare pediatric disorder spinal muscular atrophy over the past 25 years; in recent years has broadened its focus with its involvement in the enhance Care for Rare project to search for therapies for a larger number of rare diseases.


Dr. Jeff Sherman

Psychologist, Private Practice

Dr. Jeff Sherman was born in Toronto and was raised in both Toronto and Montreal. He started his schooling at McGill University, finishing with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. He then moved to Toronto to complete a Masters in Psychology a PhD in Clinical Psychology from York University. It was at this time Dr Sherman began his career as a psychologist at the Autism Unit at Thistletown Regional Centre in Toronto. Dr Sherman developed the TRE ADD program which was one of the first comprehensive treatment programs for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and other Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD).

Dr Sherman has been a practicing psychologist for over 30 years. He currently resides in Ottawa where he provides a full range of services such as diagnostic assessments, supervision, consultation, treatment planning and workshops.

Over the years, Dr Sherman has gained extensive experience from working with a variety of clinical populations including PDD, Oppositional Defiant Disorders (ODD), anxiety disorders, ADHD, sports psychology, forensic experience, learning disabilities and depression. He is a well respected psychologist and pioneer in the field of ASD.

Specific to ASD, Dr. Sherman provides diagnostic assessment, consultation and supervision of Intensive Behavioural Instruction(IBI) programmes using Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) approaches. He works with various teams and centres as the supervising Clinical Psychologist. Dr. Sherman helped to develop the South Eastern Regional Autism Programme and served as the regional Clinical Supervisor for the same. He is the consultant and Supervising Psychologist for several Renfrew area services. Dr Sherman provides psychological supervision to clients at TIPES.

Dr Sherman has been involved in various research in the field of psychology. He has multiple publications in the area of ASD including “Research in Prompt” with Deborah Hayden (Hayden & Sherman, 1983).

Dr Sherman has several years of experience as a professor at the University of Toronto, Faculties of Medicine and Education, and York University. Today he offers workshops and training nationwide.

Dr Sherman is a part of multiple organizations including The Ontario Psychological Association, The Association for the Advancement of Behaviour Therapy and The Association for Direct Instruction.


Gaye Moffett

RN, B.Sc.N, M.Ed. Founder, President & Owner, GEM Health Care Services Inc., GEM Software Scheduling Solutions and GEM Franchising Inc.

Founded in 1994, GEM Health Care Services Inc. is one of the largest independent health-care agencies in Canada, specializing in private duty, home and palliative care services for clients and providing nurses and other health care specialists for supplemental staffing in health care facilities. In 2000, Gaye started GEM Software Scheduling Solutions, a high-tech software company that developed GEM Health Care System®, an information management system designed for internal use in the health care industry. In 2006, GEM Franchising Inc. was created to license the health care business under franchise in Canada.

Gaye and her companies have received a great deal of recognition. In 2005, The Ottawa Business Journal cited GEM HCS as the region’s biggest employer from its Book of Lists of Women Owned Businesses. In 2006, Gaye made Profit 100 Magazine’s List of Canada’s Top 100 Women Entrepreneurs. GEM HCS was one of the first home care agencies of its kind in Canada to receive, in 2002, the coveted Canadian Council on Health Services Accreditation (CCHSA). Last spring Gaye was recognized with the University of Ottawa’s 2015 Alumni Association Award of Excellence.

Gaye is a member and on the board of the Rotary Club of West Ottawa. She is Chairperson of The Ottawa Hospital’s Community Advisory Committee and is involved in the United Way’s “Hire Immigrants Ottawa” project and is a member of their “Employer Council of Champions”.


Maple Hung

B. Sc. RMT, Private Practice

Maple Hung has been involved in health and wellness professions for over 20 years.

Beginning her career as a Fitness and Wellness Program Coordinator for workplace gyms, she felt the need to deepen her understanding of the human body and completed her education and provincial qualification exams to become a Registered Massage Therapist in 2001.

For several years, Maple practiced in a Multi-disciplinary Sports Clinic where she built a strong reputation as a Deep Tissue Sport Therapist working with professional athletes from the NHL and CFL as well as various Olympic athletes.
Maple also trained in Craniosacral Therapy for infants and animals and spent 12 years as a teacher of Massage Therapy in an accredited college.

In her free time, she developed and acts as administrator for a job posting site that allows Massage Therapists and other professionals to match up their skills and find complementary working partners. Her networking partners of Chiropractors, Physiotherapists and Massage Professionals can advertise courses and job opportunities on the website or via email.

Human Resources

Magdalene Cooman Maxwell USE THIS ONE

Magdalene Maxwell

Director, Employer Engagement, World Skills Employment Centre


Michelle Cosh

CHRP, CEC, Human Resources Partner at Carleton University

Michelle is a collaborative Human Resources professional with over 20 years of experience. She recently joined Carleton University in the role of HR Partner and is focused on the growth of the Talent Management portfolio with particular emphasis on workforce planning, employee and leadership development, and service excellence. In her previous role as Director of Human Resources at the Westin Ottawa, she was instrumental in evolving the service culture and creating an environment that allowed people to reach their full potential. She is committed to giving back to the community and developing the leaders of tomorrow. This is demonstrated in part, by her ongoing work with Algonquin College where she helped launch a mentoring program for the Bachelor of Hospitality and Tourism Degree program in her capacity as Chair of the Advisory Committee.

Michelle graduated from Ryerson University with a Bachelor of Commerce degree and has also obtained her Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL) designation. She is passionate about developing people, which led her to Royal Roads University where she completed a Graduate Certificate in Executive Coaching to become a certified coach. In 2012, Michelle received the Odgers Berndtson Vision Award as the “Human Resources Professional of the Year” for the Ottawa/Gatineau region.



Brenda Hollingsworth

Personal Injury Lawyer & Co-Founder, Auger Hollingsworth Professional Corporation

Brenda Hollingsworth is a personal injury lawyer and co-founder of Auger Hollingsworth Professional Corporation which opened its doors in 2005. Brenda represents people injured in motor vehicle accidents and slip and falls. She also handles long term disability denials.

Auger Hollingsworth prides itself as a law firm that provides significant educational materials to both its clients and the general public. To that end, Brenda has published various books and guides, including An Injured Victim’s Guide to Fair Compensation. She appears regularly in all forms of media to comment on changes in insurance laws and practice that affect every day Ontarians.

Brenda is the mother of two teenaged boys and can be found year round at varied hockey rinks in Eastern Ontario.

Brenda can be reached at brenda@ottawalawfirm.ca.

Ken Jennings

Associate, Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP

Ken Jennings has a corporate commercial practice with an emphasis on construction, infrastructure, energy and corporate finance.

Mr. Jennings works extensively on major construction, infrastructure and public-private partnership projects, advising on project development, project finance, procurement, contract negotiation and administration issues for a variety of clients, both private and public.

In addition, Mr. Jennings represents land developers, builders and landlords in their commercial, industrial and mixed-use projects, providing construction, leasing and transactional advice.

Before joining our Ottawa office, Mr. Jennings gained experience in the construction, infrastructure and energy sectors in Toronto at another national law firm. He also has non-law experience in the real estate and construction industries, having worked as a land development analyst in Phoenix, Arizona.

Media, Marketing, Comms, PR


Denise Siele

Managing Partner, SEMGroup

Denise Siele is an award-winning public affairs professional and the Managing Partner of SEMgroup, a strategic events and public affairs consultancy. She has worked with a wide range of public and private sector clients in the management of millions in local, national and international projects. Past and repeat clients include the Department of Canadian Heritage, , Government of Alberta, University of Ottawa, the United Nations Development Program, the Canadian Union of Public Employees, Equal Voice and political and diplomatic stakeholders to name a few.

Passionate about building stronger communities, Denise is immediate past Chair of the Board of a Fund for a New Generation, the single largest private donor to the Ottawa School Breakfast Program. She concurrently serves as a Director of the Canadian Club of Ottawa bringing together community leaders, academics and other stakeholders to engage political and civic leaders. She is a past Board Member of the Youth Services Bureau Charitable Foundation which supports thousands of Ottawa families and youth in areas of housing/homelessness, mental health, and employment.

A well-sought out speaker on entrepreneurship, she is a 2015 recipient of the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce Forty under 40 Award; Ottawa Life Magazine 2015 Top 25 People in the Capital; 2013 alumnus of the US State Department’s prestigious International Visitor Leadership Program; and a 2011 YWCA Women of Distinction Award Nominee.


Ian Capstick

Founding Partner & Creative Director, MediaStyle

With over 20 years of professional political and communications experience, Ian is MediaStyle’s strategic engine. He manages the creative and strategic side of your project from overseeing communications audits, strategic approaches, to communications and marketing plans and branding.

He has worked for Cabinet ministers and opposition members in the House of Commons, including some of Canada’s most colourful and influential political minds from both the New Democrats and Liberals.

Ian is passionate about creating social change through communications. An experienced media coach, political tactician and engaging speaker, he is quoted widely in Canada’s media. He is a regular on CBC News Channel’s Power & Politics and is a go-to source for comment on the changing world of communications.

Ian has testified at Canadian Radio Television Commission (CRTC) hearings and been an invited guest to the Rideau Roundtable. He has served as a judge in many communications and video contests. Ian sits on the boards of director’s for Forum for Young Canadians, is an active advisor to LeadNow.ca and chairs Ottawa’s LGBTQ Village committee. He was recognized as one of Ottawa’s Forty Under 40 for his contribution to the community.

His opinion work has been published in the Ottawa Citizen, The Globe and Mail and PostMedia newspapers across Canada. He has been featured on CTV National News, CBC’s The National and was on Global’s national election coverage team in 2011.


Joe Troxler

President, Troxler Communications

Joe Troxler is an experienced, independent and progressive communications/media relations consultant who has worked for multiple clients in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors, as well as with key professional associations for over twenty-five years.
He is also well-versed in media analyses and has provided personalized media training, developing and implementing communications and information strategies.

Joe has worked effectively in the NCR as well as in various regions across the country. Within the federal government, he has often consulted with regional and district offices displaying an acute awareness and unique approaches for dealing proactively with sensitive issues away from the national capital.

He is bilingual (English/French) and started his career in radio, television and cable television initially in Ottawa, then spent six years in Sudbury covering all of North-eastern Ontario, followed by an extended period of time in Alberta both in Edmonton and Calgary.
In the Alberta capital, he covered both the Edmonton Oilers and the CFL Eskimos at the height of their respective dynasties. He was a legislative reporter during the Peter Lougheed era and his successor Don Getty. In addition, he did sports and public affairs talk and subbed as a music host/jock.

Joe began his career as a consultant in both Alberta cities providing media training for political parties, municipal candidates, employees at the City of Edmonton, aspiring Alberta entrepreneurs and a broad spectrum of not-for-profit agencies.
A key assignment was providing effective media training for technical spokespersons with Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) during the Westray Crisis.

Since returning to Ottawa, he has worked primarily with the federal government on numerous multi-faceted assignments often working directly with Minister’s Offices.

A critical and strategic thinker, Joe is pragmatic, passionate about his subject matter, well-informed, and offers novel solutions to traditional problems. He provides a value-added dimension to each assignment, whether it be creative writing, tactical and strategic communications planning, as a content provider or in proactive media relations, all with proven results.


Jonathan Simon

Marketing Director, Magmic

Jonathan Simon is a mobile marketing strategist and the Director of Marketing at Magmic – a leading publisher / developer of mobile social games including global brands like Scattergories, Rubik’s Cube, Phase 10, and Skip-Bo.  He works with partners like Apple, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Mattel, and Hasbro, while leading the marketing team; responsible for marketing strategy, brand management, data analytics, content marketing, user acquisition and ad monetization.


Jonathan holds an M.B.A. with a specialization in Management from the University of Ottawa and is also a part-time instructor, teaching Digital Marketing Strategy, Tactics & Execution for the Advertising and Marketing Communications Management Program at Algonquin College.


Julie Beun

CEO at JBeun Media

She’s interviewed international celebrities and heads of state, written two books, and lived and worked around the world as a journalist, but for Julie Beun, there’s always one common thread.

“People have two stories: the one they’re telling and the one they should be telling. Often, the latter is far more interesting, more honest. And far more extraordinary than they realize. My interest, as a writer, has always been to explore the untold story and present it in a way that fascinates, excites and moves the reader.”

The same is true of her work as a publicist and influencer.  Whether it’s developing media and communications strategies or hosting events, she tries to address issues by looking several steps beyond them.

“I put things in the Big Picture, the overall context, by using those amazing details, nuances and minutiae that others think are irrelevant, but actually are the building blocks of a person or product. Those are the things that makes even the ordinary, extraordinary.”

above biography care of: http://www.ottawamediagroup.com/julie-beun/

Krissie Harrigan

Krissie Harrigan

Head of Marketing & Demand Generation, ConceptShare

A B2B Marketer for over a decade, her obsessions with the internet, data, marketing, and customer experience has allowed Krissie to work with enterprises like Google, American Express, The Yellow Pages Group and Chase Bank on demand gen and marketing campaigns. In 2011, she took a leap of faith with an early stage tech startup (acquired in 2013) and never looked back. She currently heads up marketing at ConceptShare in Ottawa, while working on her own projects like JustReply.

Passionate about helping startups and entrepreneurs with growth and marketing strategies & execution, Krissie is also a Global Facilitator for Startup Weekend (Up Global / TechStars), and a self-prescribed ambassador for projects and programs that encourage entrepreneurship & gender-­ratio equality (Startup Weekend, Ladies Learning Code, Code for Kids).

Liam McGuire

Liam Maguire

Host-on-Air, Rogers Media

Liam Maguire bills himself as the world’s number one NHL historian and trivia expert.

“There is nobody on the planet who knows more history, anecdotes, statistics and trivia on the NHL than Liam Maguire.” –Yvan Cournoyer, former captain of the Montreal Canadiens, ten time Stanley Cup winner, HOF.

Liam is a three time published author, with his last book coming out in 2012, titled, ‘Next Goal Wins’ published by Random House and with a forward written by Wayne Gretzky. His first two books were published in 1994 and 2001 and the forwards were written by Dick Irvin and Bobby Orr respectively. The books were trivia based with history and anecdotes on the NHL, more comprehensive and detailed than any other publication ever published. This is in keeping with Liam’s ability to add to the ‘rest of the story’ regarding great NHL players, moments and games.

Liam has worked in the radio industry for more than 30 years including a show he’s currently hosting on Rogers 1310am in Ottawa, Saturday’s, 11am-1pm called the Ultimate Hockey Show. He has worked countless events coast-to-coast in Canada and the United States with 65 Hall of Fame players including Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr, Gordie Howe, Rocket Richard, Jean Beliveau, Guy Lafleur, Mike Bossy, Denis Potvin and many others.

He has appeared on numerous national radio and TV shows including Hockey Night in Canada, Sportsnet, TSN’s Off the Record and radio shows in every province of Canada plus numerous States.

Liam still plays hockey, he has two children including a son who he coached in minor hockey for twelve years. He’s an ardent supporter of the Canadian military, local law enforcement and our first responders.


Shelley Maclean

Principal, C2 Strategy

Shelley is an accomplished strategic communications executive with over 15-years of public affairs and government relations experience. She has been successful in creating and executing strategies instrumental in managing and enhancing the global reputation of public and private companies. She aided in the development of comprehensive communications strategies for multiple divestitures including that of an over $800M (US$ revenue) publicly traded global health care company. With extensive experience in issues and crisis management she has managed some of the toughest corporate issues in Canada and abroad. A believer in offering high quality products and services that drive growth, she understands the complexity and necessity to conceptualize and deliver communication and marketing programs that can increase business value, change public policy and build goodwill with corporate stakeholders. A trusted leader and certified coach, she’s an advocate in building highly productive teams and purposeful brands that align to business goals with corporate social responsibility. With a contagious enthusiasm she continues to inspire people to realize their potential and align organizations for continued improvement and success. As a result of Shelley’s desire to drive business results and give back to the community she has been awarded a number of accolades including Forty Under 40 in 2014.

Non Profit

Barbara Cartwright

Barbara Cartwright

Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Federation of Humane Societies

Barbara Cartwright, Chief Executive Officer

An award winning leader in animal welfare, conservation and education, Barbara’s work has spanned five continents and 20 years. Her extensive experience in developing and facilitating relationships with stakeholders including governments, corporations and NGOs has led to innovative programs with dynamic results including working with First Nations to initiate community based companion animal welfare, partnering with the BC government to implement the first grizzly bear rehabilitation program, supporting east coast fishermen to protect the endangered right whale and mobilizing African communities across the continent to conserve chimpanzees. Barbara is sought after for her knowledge of policy and public affairs. She has secured amendments to federal legislation including updates to the Criminal Code, the Migratory Bird Act and the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. Barbara has advised some of the top organizations in the world on animal welfare policy direction including working with eBay INC to end the illegal ivory trade on its site worldwide.

Today, as the CEO of the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CFHS), Barbara convenes and represents the largest animal welfare community in Canada working to end animal cruelty, improve animal protection and promote the humane treatment of all animals. She leads the CFHS in fulfilling its mission to create a humane Canada through the successful execution of strategic and business plans. Over the past five years Barbara has launched the National Animal Welfare Conference, the National Centre for the Prosecution of Animal Cruelty, and the first empirical sector wide research project. She is consulted by all political parties on issues of animal welfare including updating legislation and consulting on policy documents such agricultural and food policy.

Barbara has presented to audiences around the world including to the House of Commons and the Senate of Canada, the all-party International Conservation Caucus, the UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) as well as at the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Congress. She holds a Master’s in Environmental Education and Communication, is a published author, lecturer and received the Governor General’s Gold Medal, as well as the National Environmental Excellence Award. She is the former President of the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada, an Advisory Council Member for the Pan-African Sanctuary Alliance and currently sits on the PetSmart Charities of Canada Board of Directors. Barbara is a member of Women’s Executive Network, the Council of Women Executives and part of the Distinctive Women network.

Chelby Marie Daigle

Chelby Daigle

Front-line Worker, Community Activist & Public Educator

Chelby Marie Daigle has gained most of her education from her experience as a front-line community worker and her personal history as an “at-risk youth” coping with poverty, lack of school engagement, family violence, and mental illness. She has grown to become a respected community activist and public educator on a variety of topics related to the empowerment of marginalized communities.
She is currently the Editor in Chief of Muslim Link, Ottawa’s Muslim Community Website, and is a facilitator with the City for All Women Initiative (CAWI).
Colleen Mooney

Colleen Mooney

MBA, Executive Director, Boys & Girls Club of Ottawa


Colleen Mooney has been the Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa since November 2013.

Colleen has a passion for working with youth and ensuring that they have access to education and services that will enable them to be successful in school and life. An experienced and energetic senior leader, her strengths include general management, strategic planning and relationship building. 

Colleen was most recently the General Manager of Mountain Equipment Co-op in Ottawa, a position she held for fifteen years. As well, she has had senior roles in health care management and has undertaken a variety of consulting engagements throughout Canada. 

Colleen has been active in the governance of non-profit organizations having served as a board member for Centretown Community Health Centre and as a National Trustee of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society. She is currently involved with the I am Powerful Council for CARE Canada. 

Colleen holds a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy degree from Queen’s University and a Master’s in Business Administration from the Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario. She lives in central Ottawa with her husband and daughter.

– See more at: http://www.bgcottawa.org/about/bgco-executive-team#sthash.XwuopIV0.dpuf

Lee Rose

Lee Rose

Director, Community Knowledge, Community Foundations of Canada

Lee leads Community Foundations of Canada’s work in the field of knowledge philanthropy – working across the organization, our network of 191 community foundations, and the broader philanthropic sector to mobilize and activate non-financial capital (i.e. data, research, knowledge, networks) in the pursuit of social change. He is also the Sherpa for the Community Knowledge Exchange, a platform that seeks to catalyze and curate fundamental shifts in how individuals, institutions and communities build and share community knowledge.

Lee’s connections to the philanthropic and community sector are both pan-Canadian and local. He currently sits on the board of Imagine Canada, and is also the past-president of the Ten Oaks Project, an organization that connects and engages children and youth from LGBTQ+ communities in activities rooted in play.

When he’s not catching up on what’s new in the world of community knowledge and social innovation, Lee can usually be found spending time with this three kids, chasing after his runaway dog, or wishing he was tipping a canoe on Lake Temagami.

Paloma reworked 2015

Paloma Raggo

Assistant Professor, Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership, Carleton University

Dr. Paloma Raggo is an assistant professor at the School of Public Policy and Administration and teaches in the Master of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership (MPNL) program. Carleton University’s new Master of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership is the first and only program of its kind in Canada. Dr. Raggo has a PhD in political science with a dual specialty in public policy/administration and international relations from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. Prior to pursuing her doctorate, she worked with the Fairtrade movement in Canada and at the Fairtrade Advocacy Office in Brussels. From 2011 to 2013, she served as the associate director of the Institute for Qualitative and Multi‐Method Research (IQMR) of the Consortium for Qualitative Research Methods held at Syracuse University. She has received several research related awards from the Canadian Association of Nonprofit Research and Social Economy Research (ANSER‐ARES) (Best Thesis 2015), the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) (Emergent Scholar Award 2014), the Society for Political Methodology and the Inter‐university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) (John Garcia Award 2011).

Dr. Raggo’s research interests include international NGO/nonprofit leadership, accountability, and research methodologies relevant to the philanthropic and nonprofit sector. Her research addresses important questions for the sector: what does accountability mean in international nonprofit organizations? What does it take to be a good leader in a nonprofit organization? What does “data” mean for the sector and how do we assess outcomes rather than outputs?

At Carleton University, Dr. Raggo teaches courses on the Globalization of Philanthropy, Philanthropy and Nonprofit Research Methods, Qualitative Research Methods, Leadership and Governance, and the Capstone community‐partner seminar. She received an Excellence in Teaching with Technology Award from Carleton University in 2014. She currently serves on the board of directors of the ANSER‐ARES, co‐founded the Global Issues and Transnational Actors (GITA) interest group of ARNOVA, and is now part of Carleton University’s Strategic Working Group on Online and Blended Learning.


Vinod Rajasekaran

Co-Founder & Lead Strategist, HUB Ottawa

Vinod Rajasekaran is obsessed with building things that can help us do good better. He is Co-Founder and Lead Strategist with HUB Ottawa, the city’s fastest-growing professional community and social innovation environment for people working to better the world. Vinod was also the founding Managing Director of Rideau Hall Foundation, which helps to catalyze and align ideas, people and resources to move the Canadian spirit forward.

Vinod has co-founded multiple social ventures that touch international development, entrepreneurship, social innovation, philanthropy, talent development, and public policy. He is an Advisor to Imagine Canada and The MATCH International Women’s Fund.

Vinod has taught and lectured for various institutions including: University of Ottawa, Aga Khan Foundation, University of Waterloo, Carleton University, Ideas Festival, Algonquin College, and MaRS. He has led discussions on social innovation, systems change, platform design, civic innovation, institution design and public policy at various forums including: Social Enterprise World Forum, G20 Young Entrepreneur Summit, World Economic Forum, Public Policy Forum, Startup Canada, among others.

His background includes a B.Eng. in Aerospace Engineering from Carleton University and a M.Sc. in Public Policy from the University of Bristol in the UK. Vinod is a recipient of The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contribution to advancing social innovation.

Property Development, Management, Sales

Jeff McMahon, Senior Property Manager with Paramount Property Management

Jeff McMahon

Senior Property Manager, Paramount Property Management Inc

Jeff’s 17­-year career path in the Real Estate Investment & Property Management field has lead him to his current position as Senior Property Manager with Paramount Property Management, one of Ottawa’s largest Property Management companies with over 7500 units within its portfolio. Highly dedicated to increasing profitability while minimizing operational expenses and maintaining the highest of standard for his clients is his daily directive. With a proven reputation as clear & concise Manager Jeff has built strong relationships within his industry and gained high praise from his peers & business partners alike. He prides himself on his hands on approach working closely with the trades of the industry in meeting all project deadlines to avoid potential cost overruns. Fluctuating market conditions offer a continued challenge within the industry and require committed individual to recognize the trend early to compete effectively. Fundamentally devoted to the future growth of the company Jeff’s philosophy is to continuously take what you do well & strive to do it better, daily!


Julie Westeinde

Founder of Breakthrough Learning Associates & Consultant to Windmill Development Group

Julie Westeinde, Founder of Breakthrough Learning Associates

Consultant to Windmill re: First Nations and Community Engagement in Zibi

Zibi is a OnePlanetLiving community development project by Windmill and a context in which Windmill continues to transform conventional development practices both in terms of social and environmental sustainability. With many passionate people working together from diverse cultures and areas of expertise to develop Zibi, Julie facilitates social systems innovation and conflict transformation with respect to First Nations and community engagement.

Julie has 25 years of experience catalyzing transformative learning for social innovation with individuals, teams, and organizations in Canada, Europe, and Asia in roles as executive coach, strategist, meeting designer and facilitator, conflict facilitator, thought leader and consultant in culture and organizational design and development.

She works in diverse contexts including global corporations, complex multi-stakeholder health and community development initiatives, transformation of approaches re: gender and peacekeeping, and environmental and social sustainability in the global textile industry.

Her ways are informed by a Bachelor in Bio- chemical Engineering Science from the University of Western Ontario, an International MBA from ISG in Paris, her practice in non-violent communication(NVC) of Dr. Marshal Rosenberg (cnvc.org,), energy healing, and NIA dance. She is a recipient of Ottawa’s 40 under 40.


Steve Grandmont

Chief Operating Officer, Richcraft Group of Companies


Warren Wilkenson

Associate Vice President and Sales Representative, Colliers International

Warren Wilkinson, a Senior Sales Representative at Colliers International, has over a decade of real estate experience. Warren began his career in research and marketing in 2002, and has since concentrated his efforts on the industrial and investment market in Ottawa. Warren is committed to providing his clients with the best customer service, while also providing them with in-depth market knowledge.

Warren’s success within the industry can be attributed to his upbeat attitude, strong work ethic and market knowledge. Warren is always looking for new and positive ways to help grow his business while maintaining strong relationships with past and present clients.

Warren’s distinctive role with Colliers International has resulted in him being named a top producer in the Ottawa office. Warren’s reputation in the market continues to grow, as demonstrated by his various speaking engagements at local and regional conferences, such as BOMA lunches or the RBC breakfast series.

The experience, knowledge and completed transactions that Warren has achieved through Colliers International has given him a strong reputation and respect of his peers in the Ottawa commercial real estate industry.

Sport and Fitness

M Palmer

Merrick Palmer

Owner/President Capital Courts Training Centre

Merrick is a familiar figure in the basketball world having positioned himself as one of the top basketball trainers in Canada.

He is the owner of the Capital Courts Training Center in Ottawa Canada and serves as the Technical Director for the Gloucester Cumberland Basketball Association. Merrick was a former standout at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia Canada winning a national championship in 1993 as a rookie and multiple all-star awards in 1995 and 1996. He then signed a professional contract in South Africa where he won a Premier League title in 1997 and several all-star awards while averaging over 30 ppg. In 1999, he returned home to start a family and pursue his goal of strategically changing the culture of Canadian basketball.


Milt Palacio

Former NBA Basketball player

In a seven-year NBA career, from 1999 to 2006, Palacio played for the Vancouver GrizzliesBoston CelticsPhoenix SunsCleveland CavaliersToronto Raptors and Utah Jazz, with a career scoring average of 4.8 points per game.


anna lambert

Anna Lambert

Director of Talent Acquisition, Shopify

Anna is the Director of Talent Acquisition at Shopify. Since joining Shopify in 2011, she’s helped build the company from 150 employees to over 1000. Anna is the co-founder of an apparel company called Caged Collective, an avid snowboarder, and a one-time* marathon runner.

Anna has completed one marathon and has committed to “never doing that again”.


Dominira Saul

Partner & Chief Experience Architect, Akendi

Dominira Saul possesses a great deal of formal training in both the study of human behaviour and the design of human – machine interfaces. From his studies in Psychology Mr. Saul has gained an extensive knowledge of research and experimental methodology as well as statistical analysis. During the completion of his Bachelors and Masters degrees Mr. Saul increased his understanding of principles of Human Computer Interaction, Information Architecture, User-Interface Design, Requirements Capture and Usability Evaluation. Over the past fifteen years, these learned skills have been put into practice in a variety of situations. Mr. Saul has had the opportunity to hone and perfect his skills as well as garner new techniques during his career with Macadamian Usability, Maskery & Associates, as an independent UX consultant, and at his own consultancy in the London, England.

Mr. Saul has designed user interfaces for products in a variety of domains, including web applications, web sites, desktop software on various platforms, public access kiosks, healthcare devices, telephones (PBX, VoIP and mobile), tablets, embedded devices and other consumer electronics. He has conducted usability evaluations on, among other things, websites, web applications, kiosks, healthcare devices, stand-alone and embedded software as well as mobile phone, tablet and telecommunications devices, hardware and consumer electronics.

Mr. Saul has presented many influential research outcomes to individuals at all levels in the private and public sector. Whether the results of a hierarchical task analysis or the user’s mental model of an information space, a usability walkthrough or suggestions for objective metrics to measure success following a redesign, Dom remains focused on ensuring clear transfer of findings, recommendations and most importantly, rationale to our clients. With an engaging manner, Dom is open to questions and is committed to working closely with our clients to ensure their success.

Mr. Saul is a very proficient communicator in both English and French. A passionate educator, Mr. Saul is also a lecturer in the School of Interactive Multimedia Design at Carleton University. He develops and delivers many of the Akendi UX certification training courses. Mr. Saul is as comfortable in a usability lab as he is in a classroom. He is an analytical thinker and an adept problem solver.

Mr. Dominira Saul holds an M.Sc. in User Interface Design from London Guildhall University, a BA (Hons.) in Psychology from Carleton University and has over 15 years usability research and interaction design experience in the UK and Canada.

Erin Stearns, VP, Business Development, Nonlinear Creations

Erin Stearns

VP, Business Development, Nonlinear Creations

Erin is the Vice President of Enterprise Business Development at Nonlinear Creations. She is a solutions focused leader with over 20 years of experience in the technology sector, creating market distinction in a competitive market. She has worked within big and small corporations positioning hardware, software, consulting services and large multi-million dollar infrastructure projects at companies like Sun Microsystems, Third Brigade, and Plasco Energy Group. One of her special talents is coming into an organization, creating order out of chaos, taking that to market and securing/growing market share. This is a skill she learned throughout her career by going through many market ups and downs and working within the start-up/innovation world in Silicon Valley North. Interesting fact about Erin, she has perfected the art of business travel and looks at life as an adventure.


Jeff Parks

Co-Owner, Kina'ole

I am a senior management consultant specializing in Service Design. Most recently I delivered the opening keynotes for World IA Day (Montreal), UX Poland (Warsaw), and for booking.com’s professional development conference (Amsterdam). I served as a member of the board of directors for the IA Institute from 2010 to 2013 and was part of the team that launched the first annual World Information Architecture Day, a global event that has grown to include 70 locations in 34 countries on 6 continents. I have guest lectured at universities and colleges across Canada, the US, and Europe. In addition, I have mentored over 100 designers and business leaders from around the world over the past decade. Through my most recent start­up, Follow The UX Leader, I had the pleasure of training leaders from Fortune 500 companies, start­ups and the public service on cutting edge.


Jon Christie

Founding Partner, CSO & Principal Consultant, Hubspoke Inc.

Active in the IT community for over 20 years, his diverse career accomplishments include incubating technology startups and leading a number of high stake and large scale client projects as both the Project Manager and Senior Technical Lead. A past VP of Service Delivery with MindWire Inc., Jon played an instrumental role in the company’s overall success leading up to acquisition. Jon brings a world of technical depth and knowledge to the organization, some of which include certifications such as: PMP, CISSP, CEH, MCSE, MCITP and ITIL.

lynsey thornton

Lynsey Thornton

Director of Research & Content, Shopify

Lynsey is the Director of Research & Content at Ottawa’s own local success story, Shopify. With a multi-disciplinary background in design, project management and business, her career to date has focussed on advancing UX and design practices in high-growth tech companies. Her true loves are ethnographic research, and developing women in tech.


Marc Gagné

Senior Technical Evangelist, Microsoft Canada

Marc Gagné is a Senior Technical Evangelist with Microsoft Canada who’s passionate about startups, the cloud & the web. The best part of his career is getting to work with the vibrant technology startup & ISV communities across Canada and in particular in his hometown of Ottawa.


Tom Camps

President, ChangeJar

Tom Camps is founder, president and CEO of ChangeJar Inc., his third startup. ChangeJar is focussed on increasing consumer preference for cash payments in retail. ChangeJar leverages Camps’ deep industry relationships and experience with large-scale retail, including QSRs and multi-brand locations.

He previously founded BOLDstreet Wireless (sold in 2014), which operated retail Wi-Fi networks across North America on behalf of AT&T, Bell Mobility, Rogers and Telus.


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