Marc-James Abi-Jaoude (MBA '11)

UX-Focused Content Strategist, Watson Analytics, IBM


Marc is a lifelong enthusiast of innovation. He specializes in how to integrate technology into complex business environments to create efficiencies and competitive advantage. Prior to joining IBM, Marc was the Director of Innovation at Sartrex Power Control Systems Inc., a Canadian company that designs and manufactures control and safety instrumentation for the nuclear industry. He was one of the youngest committee members of the Organization of Canadian Nuclear Industries and was recognized for his passion, dedication, and contributions to the field.

Marc holds a computer engineering degree from Queen’s University and an MBA from Schulich School of Business. He recently joined Lisa at IBM to help activate content strategy through data-driven tactics and user-focused experiences for Watson Analytics.

Paul Alofs (MBA ’83)

President and CEO, The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation


Paul is a leader, a builder, and a Passion Capitalist.

Paul Alofs joined The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation as President and CEO in September 2003 after a family experience with cancer. Since joining The Foundation, Paul has helped raise over $1 Billion for The Princess Margaret. The Creed or Belief of The Princess Margaret is To Conquer Cancer In Our Lifetime. The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre is ranked as one of the top 5 cancer centres in the world. In April 2012, Paul helped launch a One Billion Dollar Campaign for Personalized Cancer Medicine, which was successfully completed January 11, 2017, ahead of schedule.

After graduating from the University of Windsor in his hometown, Paul joined Colgate-Palmolive Canada in 1978. He obtained his MBA from Toronto’s York University, then worked with a marketing firm called The Marketing & Promotion Group. In 1989, Paul was named President of HMV Music Stores Canada, and during his tenure with the music retailer, increased the company’s annual revenue from $30 million to over $200 million. Joining BMG Music Canada as president, Alofs was named Music Industry Executive of the Year in 1996.

On accepting an executive position with The Walt Disney Company, Paul relocated to Southern California and oversaw 500 Disney Stores and 15,000 employees throughout North America. He left Disney to contribute to the initiation of In his role as President, Strategic Business Units, Alofs helped launch one of the more successful IPOs of the Internet age. After selling his shares in November 1999, he became a private investor, board member and not-for-profit volunteer.

Through his extraordinary career in both the private sector and the social enterprise sector, Paul has earned a succession of accolades. He was named one of Canada's Top 40 Under 40TM business leaders in 1995, and in 2005, was voted one of the ‘Best of the Best’ by his fellow Top 40 alumni. He has received the Outstanding Progress and Achievement Award from the Schulich School of Business at York University. Paul serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council for the Schulich School of Business.

The Retail Council of Canada named Paul Innovative Retailer of the Year, and he also served on the Board and Executive Committee of that organization. In 2005, Alofs was an inaugural inductee into the Canadian Marketing Hall of Legends. Paul is the author of Passion Capital: The World’s Most Valuable Asset, which is a national bestseller and was published May 2012 by Random House in Canada and in the U.S. The book is in its fourth printing. Paul speaks widely on the subject of Passion Capital.

The University of Windsor honoured Paul in 2002 with the Alumni Award of Merit, and in 2007, he was awarded an Honorary Ph.D. from his alma mater. He also received the Bryden Alumni Award from York University in 2007. Paul has been a member of the board of the International Cancer Foundation in Geneva and was previously Board Chair for Covenant House in Toronto. The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation was awarded “Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures” three times. Paul was named to the “Top 45 Canadians Over 45” by Zoomer Magazine in 2012.

Paul resides in Toronto and is married to Sheila, who is a volunteer in the chemo-daycare of The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.

David Bell

Executive Director, Development & Alumni Relations, Schulich School of Business


David Bell is the Executive Director, Development & Alumni Relations at the Schulich School of Business. At Schulich, he is responsible for coordinating a team of fundraising and alumni relations professionals dedicated to building and enhancing long term relationships between the Schulich School and its key stakeholders, including more than 29,000 alumni living and working in more than 90 countries around the world.

David joined the Schulich School in July 2009. Prior to his arrival at Schulich, David worked in senior fundraising roles at the Royal Ontario Museum Governors, Nipissing University and the University of Windsor.

David is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada and practiced environmental law and litigation with Ferguson Barristers and Saxe Law Office, prior to pursuing his career in advancement. David holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from Nipissing University and an LL.B. from the University of Windsor.

Lisa Marie Chen (MBA '11)

Lead Content Strategist, Watson Analytics, IBM


Lisa recently joined IBM to lead content strategy for Watson Analytics, a cognitive data discovery tool changing the way people look at data. Her team is responsible for creating the content that blends technical and marketing content into a unified user experience. She has always enjoyed using the power of storytelling to creatively solve problems for clients, consumers and businesses alike. Prior to joining IBM, Lisa worked at Saatchi & Saatchi overseeing the strategy, development and execution of branded content for clients designed to build community, engagement and advocacy among existing and prospective customers. An entrepreneur at heart, she began her career in strategy as an independent consultant for Toyota to help launch the Scion brand in Canada, while earning her MBA at Schulich School of Business.

Ross Emerson (MBA ’97)

Managing Director, Executive Coach & Leadership Facilitator, R.E. Leadership Coaching & Consulting


Ross is an executive coach and consultant well positioned to support senior leaders facing complex challenges. With over 30-years of business experience drawing from international roles in Canada, Japan, United Kingdom, Monaco, and India along with his breadth of global experience, Ross was selected to be part of a Global Expert Coaching Team for senior executive leaders at some UN Agencies. In addition to owning his own private client coaching business serving clients around the globe, Ross provides senior executive coaching and consulting services through the LHHP International Center for Executive Options and the Senior Directors Unit EMEA hub in London; and he also coaches senior executives in the Schulich-Kellogg EMBA programme, which in 2016 was rated by the Economist as the #1 EMBA programme in the world.

During a successful career in financial services spanning over 25-years, Ross held senior roles in banking strategy, operational risk management, learning and development, global payments products, corporate sales, wealth management, and enterprise leadership. In 2013 and 2014, Ross won Royal Bank of Canada’s Private Banking Gold Award given to the top enterprise leaders across Canada. Prior to that in 2009 and 2011, Ross won the Barclays Chairman’s award for Individual Contribution to the Monaco and to the Europe regions respectively. In 2002 Ross was privileged to be part of the World Youth Day team organising the visit of Pope John Paul II to Toronto. In 2003 Ross relocated to England and worked as Deputy Fundraising Director at the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and after several years, Ross was headhunted by the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain to join its Executive Committee as Development Director.

Ross has served as Non-Executive Director on the boards of two UK charities in the past, and served on the board for the Canadian Centre for Diversity between 2012 and 2014 as Chair of its Development Committee as well as being Treasurer for a short period. Ross has coached senior professionals across Canada, the UK, and Continental Europe.

Ross is currently enrolled in INSEAD’s Executive Master Degree programme in Consulting & Coaching for Change. Ross already holds an MBA in strategy and marketing, BA (Hons) in International Politics, and a Graduate Certificate in International Business Management. Ross successfully completed his UK Investment Management Certificate, the Canadian Securities Course, and holds the Personal Financial Planner designation in Canada. In his spare time, Ross enjoys traveling, writing, cooking, soft jazz, and going to the cinema.

Kate Erickson (LLB ’89)

Founder and Managing Partner, Organization Design Consulting


Kate has over thirty years experience in professional services including organization design consulting, human resources leadership and law. Kate was VP Human Resources for Coca Cola Canada where she led the organization through a four-year period of planned change and business improvement.

She also led the HR start-up for Virgin Mobile and has acted as interim Chief People Officer in high growth businesses to design, develop and implement strategic talent initiatives.

Kate’s expertise is in aligning everyone in the organization against overall strategy in order to get the results needed to grow and prosper. She has a proven track record in developing and implementing best in class programs in areas such as:

Organization capability planning
Talent strategy & execution
Talent and succession planning
Career assessment and & employee development
Organization structure & design
Change leadership
Employee analytics designed to drive business results
Employee engagement and culture
Performance improvement
Leadership development & coaching; and
Building high performing, collaborative teams.

In Boston University’s Business undergraduate program, Kate focused on Organization Behaviour. She is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School and the Rotman School of Business program Advanced Human Resources Management at the University of Toronto.

Kate is a Certified Management Consultant (CMC); an Approved Tribal Leader and a Certified Cultural Architect. She is also certified to interpret and use the Assess suite of performance-building tools through Optimal Assessments and Consulting Inc.

Kate brings all of these disciplines together to serve clients as they reach for the highest levels of success in their organizations.

Naeem Farooqi (BBA ’08)

Senior Consultant, WSP Canada Inc.


Naeem Farooqi is a Senior Consultant with WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff’s Canadian Strategic Advisory group. Naeem is an expert in asset management, fleet KPIs & AODA compliance, supply chain and goods movement, fleet procurement, fleet emissions, project development and strategy support services across various transit functions. Naeem is also completing a PhD in vehicle lifecycle and maintenance reliability modelling at the department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at the University of Toronto. Naeem research is at the forefront of examining reliability and various propulsion impacts on overall lifecycle. Naeem brings a proven track record of project innovations that have received national awards including the 2012 PMAC Supply Chain Excellence Award and Supply Chain and Logistics President’s Award. Prior to joining Parsons Brinckerhoff, Naeem worked at Metrolinx in the development and growth of its Joint Transit Procurement Initiatives. Naeem has also held positions with the Canadian Urban Transit Association and has extensive senior level experience with supply chain sourcing and business development optimization in the North American transit industry. Naeem sits on the international bus committee as a research observer on vehicle operations, lifecycle and reliability matters by UITP, this committee is composed of the 50 largest public transit fleets around the world.

Bill Graham (MBA '86)

President, Global Alumni Network, Schulich School of Business; CONNECT 2017 Co-Chair and Program Advisor

Bill Graham is a renowned business leader with more than 40 years’ experience across the automotive, technological, investment and financial services industries. He currently serves as Chair of the national board of the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA), representing their more than 6.2 million members across Canada.

Mr. Graham also has a long history of supporting education and future generations of business leaders at York University’s Schulich School of Business. He serves as an executive-in-residence for the International MBA Program, is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council and is the president of the Schulich Global Alumni Network. Mr. Graham also served on the board of the York University Alumni Association.

Previously, Bill was the founding President and CEO of Proponix Inc. (now part of CGI), a global technology and process outsourcing company, a role he entered after a significant career at Citibank N.A., where he served in various senior executive positions in Canada and Asia.

Bill holds an MBA (with distinction) in international finance and business from the Schulich School of Business and a BSc in mechanical engineering from Queen's University.

In 2013, Bill received the Schulich Alumni Recognition Award for Outstanding Contribution to the School and in 2016, he received the Bryden Alumni Award for Outstanding Contribution to York University

Louisa Greco

Former President & Managing Director, Johnson & Johnson Inc.


Louisa has worked across healthcare for more than 20 years, bridging science and strategy to develop innovative and market leading solutions. She has served both the Consumer and Pharmaceutical sectors of Johnson & Johnson, most recently serving as President & Managing Director of the Johnson & Johnson Consumer Group of Companies in Canada. Under her leadership, the Canadian business achieved number one ranking in the Advantage Survey, an external customer evaluation ranking, in 2015 and 2016. In 2015 the business was recognized as a Top 100 Employer in Canada and one of the Top 10 Brands in Canada, both first time achievements. Louisa has also developed and led teams across large and small molecule pharmaceuticals and enabled the accelerated growth of the largest biotech product in the Canadian marketplace. She has been a member of Johnson & Johnson’s Canadian and North American Leadership Teams and served on multiple regional and global teams.

Louisa has held roles as a board member on multiple industry associations and served as Honorary Chair for the Princess Margaret Weekend to End Women’s Cancers in 2013 and 2014 and the inaugural OneWalk in 2015. She currently serves as a member of 30% Club Canada Advisory Committee and the Women in Philanthropy for Providence Advisory Team.

Louisa received her degree in Pharmacy from the University of Toronto, her MBA from the Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario and completed the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD) Directors Education Program at the Rotman School of Business.

Bern Grush

Autonomous Fleet Strategist, Grush Niles Strategic


Bern Grush (@TransitLeap) is a founder of Grush Niles Strategic and He is an innovator, speaker, and author on automated and autonomous vehicles as well as parking reform and road pricing. Since 2000, he has published hundreds of papers and articles on transportation demand management issues, most recently detailing opportunities to re-think and re-deploy urban transit in the lead up to vehicle automation and to advance preparation for fleets of self-driving taxis and buses.  His current project (with GNS partner John Niles) involves developing a governance framework needed to coordinate massive fleets of autonomous transit shuttles, taxis, trucks, and private vehicles while preserving the preferred social equity values now offered by urban transit such as mobility access, availability and affordability, inclusive of populations physically, economically or geographically challenged.

Bern has developed telemetrics patents and technologies for autonomous road tolling, autonomous parking, HOT tolling and usage-based insurance. His work with ISO standards included the innovation and launch of the charging-performance standard for autonomous road and parking tolling systems (ISO-TS-17444). Bern holds degrees in Human Factors and Systems Design Engineering from the Universities of Toronto and Waterloo. He lives in Toronto.

Valeri Hall Little

Business Efficiency Designer, intandem productivity solutions


What I Do
I’m known as the business efficiency designer. My business is intandem productivity solutions and I help overwhelmed and overstretched entrepreneurs + executives create organized, streamlined and efficient operations. Putting you in control of your workload is my focus. I do this by:
Designing workflow systems to streamline routine tasks.
Choosing tech tools to put things on auto pilot.
Pinpointing what can be delegated to leverage your time.

I am also an author of two books: Automate Your Business and Get Out Of the Grind.

Why I Do It
I believe running your business doesn’t have to be so hard. By making simple, practical and sustainable changes to the way you work, your business will operate more efficiently and your teams will work more productively. My passion is showing you how to stop doing the boring busywork that distracts you from building a profitable and productive business.

My Background
In 2008, I burnt out of my web consulting business. Although I didn’t know it at the time, I had become overwhelmed by the business I had created. I was bored and everything about it felt hard. That’s when I discovered the power of having systems and tech tools to help streamline the back end of my business. Since then, I refocused my path to help entrepreneurs escape the grind so they can build a business that works predictably, effortlessly and profitably each day.

Rob Hines

Executive Director, Career Development Centre, Schulich School of Business


Robert Hines is the Executive Director of the Career Development Centre at the Schulich School of Business, York University.

Mr. Hines has held a number of senior leadership roles in the executive search industry including: Managing Partner, Canada, Heidrick & Struggles (Toronto), Managing Partner, Global Operations, Heidrick & Struggles (Chicago) and Senior Advisor to the Board Services practice of Korn Ferry Canada.

Before joining the executive search industry, Mr. Hines held a number of senior leadership positions in investment banking including: President and Chief Executive Officer, Credit Suisse Canada; Vice-Chairman, Merrill Lynch Canada and Managing Director, CIBC World Markets.

Mr. Hines is Chair of the Independent Review Committee of Mackenzie Investments Mutual Funds. He is also a member of the International Advisory Council of the Schulich School of Business.

Mr. Hines began his career practicing law with Aird & Berlis where he specialized in corporate finance and securities law. He completed his undergraduate studies at York University and received his JD from the University of Windsor.

Dezsö J. Horváth, CM

Dean & Tanna H. Schulich Chair in Strategic Management; CONNECT 2017 Program Advisor

Dezsö J. Horváth is the Dean and Tanna H. Schulich Chair in Strategic Management at the Schulich School of Business, York University. On becoming Dean in 1988, Dr. Horváth worked with internal and external stakeholders to position Schulich as Canada’s Global Business School™. The School operates a Joint Center for Executive Education at Beihang University in Beijing and has satellite centres in Mumbai, Shanghai, Beijing, Seoul, Mexico City and São Paulo. In 2010, Schulich became the first leading international business school from outside India to deliver an MBA degree in that country, and in 2014 opened a new campus in Hyderabad as part of a twinning arrangement with GMR School of Business.

Under Dr. Horváth’s leadership, Schulich has risen steadily in global rankings and is rated among the world’s top tier of business schools by The Economist, Forbes, Financial Times, Corporate Knights and CNN Expansión in their most recent global MBA surveys.

In addition to his role as Dean, Dr. Horváth is a director of a number of companies and organizations and serves on the advisory boards of various business schools around the world. He was named 2004 Dean of the Year by the Academy of International Business (AIB), the world's leading association of scholars in the field of international business, in recognition of his "outstanding leadership in various aspects of internationalization, including programs, research and curriculum development, and outreach." In 2008 he was made a Member of the Order of Canada, the country's highest civilian honour, for his academic leadership and sustained commitment to business education. In 2014, he was selected by The Toronto Star as one of the 180 most important people, past and present, who have helped shape the City of Toronto since its founding.

Sherena Hussain (BBA '08, MBA/JD '12)

Assistant Professor, Brookfield Centre in Real Estate and Infrastructure


Sherena Hussain is an Assistant Professor in the Program in Real Estate and Infrastructure at the Schulich School of Business, York University. Professor Hussain is also an accomplished legal professional having practiced tax and infrastructure law at a first-tier North American business law firm. Professor Hussain holds a combined Juris Doctor-Master of Business Administration degree, Graduate Master Diploma in Real Estate and Infrastructure, and Bachelor of Business Administration. She is the recipient of numerous accolades including the Hennick Medal for academic excellence and multiple prizes in the areas of tax, contract, commercial/corporate, real estate, trust and estate law.

Matthias Kipping

Professor of Policy, Richard E. Waugh Chair in Business History and Academic Director of the Kellogg-Schulich Executive MBA Program


Matthias Kipping is Professor of Policy, Richard E. Waugh Chair in Business History and Academic Director of the Kellogg-Schulich Executive MBA Program at the Schulich School of Business, York University in Toronto, Canada. He has Masters degrees from the Sorbonne in Paris and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, obtained his doctorate at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, Germany, and held previous academic positions at the University of Reading in the UK and Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain. He has also been a visiting professor at various universities in France, Italy, and Japan. His research has examined the global evolution and role of the management consulting business as well as the international dissemination of management knowledge. Its results have been published widely in business history and management journals as well as edited volumes. He recently co-authored, with Lars Engwall and Behlül Üsdiken, Defining Management: Business Schools, Consultants, Media (New York: Routledge, 2016). He has also been very active in furthering the dialogue between business historians and management scholars through the organization of workshops and conference sub-themes as well as his own work, including various handbook chapters and an article, co-authored with Behlül Üsdiken, in The Academy of Management Annals. And he recently co-edited, with Dominic Barton and Dezsö Horváth, Re-Imagining Capitalism (Oxford University Press, 2016).

Murat Kristal

Associate Professor, Operations Management and Information Systems; Program Director, Master of Business Analytics, Schulich School of Business


M. Murat Kristal, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Operations Management and Information at the Schulich School of Business, York University. He is also the Founding Director of the Master of Business Analytics program at Schulich. His research areas include adaptive enterprise, agile manufacturing, buyer-supplier relationships, management science – modeling and analysis, mass customization, statistical research methods in operations management and supply chain management.

Professor Kristal completed his Ph.D in Operations, Technology and Innovation Management in 2005 at the Kenan-Flagler Business School at The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, U.S.A.

Since 2007, Professor Kristal has published articles in leading refereed academic journals, including Decision Sciences, Management Science, Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, International Journal of Operations and Production Management, Production and Operations Management Society Journal, International Journal of Production Economics, Decision Sciences, and The Journal of Supply Chain Management. In 2011, he was presented with the Outstanding Paper Award Winner for the article titled “The effect of quality management on mass customization capability,” with X. Huang and R.G. Schroeder at the Literati Network Awards for Excellence and he was a JOM 2011 Best Paper Finalist for the article titled “The effect of an ambidextrous supply chain strategy on combinative competitive capabilities and business performance” with X. Huang and A.V. Roth. Recently, Professor Kristal was chosen as one of the top professors in 2016 under 40 by Poets and Quants

Professor Kristal is a Senior Editor for Production and Operations Management Journal, as well as a Member of Editorial Review Boards for Decision Sciences, and Journal of Supply Chain Management.

In 2012, Professor Kristal served as Associate Program Chair at the DSI Annual Conference.
Aside from his academic work, Professor Kristal works as a private consultant to provide solutions in Business Analytics to various organizations.

Pamela Laycock (MBA ’89)

Senior Vice President Strategy & Digital, Metroland Media Group; Executive-in-Residence, Schulich School of Business; CONNECT 2017 Co-Chair and Program Advisor

Pam Laycock is Senior Vice President, Strategy and Digital at Metroland Media Group, a division of Torstar Corporation, where she is working with the leadership team to transform Metroland from a community newspaper business to a community-focused media and marketing solutions organization. She has been with Torstar for 25 years, working in all of the divisions within Torstar and working on the Canadian, US and UK businesses.

Pam began her career at Torstar with Harlequin Books, where among other responsibilities she launched Harlequin’s e-commerce business in 1996 and e-book business in 2005. In 2007, Pam moved to Torstar’s media business, taking on roles of Chief Operating Officer for Torstar Digital, VP Digital for Star Media Group and SVP Corporate Strategy and Development for the Torstar corporate group before joining the Metroland team.

Pam has an MBA from the Schulich School of Business and a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Toronto. She also holds the ICD.D certification from the Institute of Corporate Directors. She sits on the Executive Council for the Ontario Chapter of the ICD. In 2014, Pam was appointed to the Canadian Board Diversity Council’s Diversity 50. She is Vice Chair of board of directors for the Toronto Public Library Foundation. She is actively involved with the Schulich School of Business where she is an Executive in Residence and chair of the Schulich Toronto Alumni Council. In 2012 she received the Alumni Recognition Award for Outstanding Contribution to the School.

Howard Lichtman (JD '79, MBA '82)

President of The Lightning Group; Partner at Ethnicity Multicultural Marketing and Advertising; CONNECT 2017 Program Advisor


Howard Lichtman is President of The Lightning Group and Co-Founder of Ethnicity Multicultural Marketing + Advertising.

Ethnicity is a dynamic, integrated, full-service multicultural marketing and advertising agency dedicated to driving new growth and sales by engaging Canada’s fastest growing, big-spending ethnic communities. Clients include CIBC, Infiniti, Telus, Canada Dry, Wrigley’s, Kruger, Entertainment One, CAA, to mention a few.

The Lightning Group finds paths to new revenue and provides Virtual Chief Marketing Officer services and “go-to-market” strategies for blue chip corporations. Clients range from the Ottawa Senators to Express Scripts (a Fortune 20 company), to Taste of the Danforth. For Taste of the Danforth he transformed the three-day event into the largest street Festival in Canada, welcoming 1.6 million attendees.

Prior to The Lightning Group, Howard was Executive Vice President of Marketing & Communications for Cineplex North America. In addition to his CMO role, he was responsible for investor relations on Bay Street and Wall Street. He also redefined the cinema industry from being solely in the movie and popcorn business into being an advertising medium, launching programs now taken for granted, such as screen advertising, in-theatre sampling, meeting rental programs, etc. He was also responsible for creating the American Express Front-of-the-Line Program, that continues to be a pivotal marketing platform for AMEX.

Howard’s educational background includes an MBA from the Schulich School of Business, and a Law Degree from Osgoode Hall. He is still involved with many programs at Schulich, and he teaches a course at Ryerson University on “How to Launch an e-Business”. He has co-authored a book entitled “Why Choose You in Seven Words or Less”, and he serves and has served on too many non-profit Boards and Advisory Councils to mention. In his spare time, Howard is an angel investor and a mentor to a number of individuals and start-ups.

Nancy Marcus

Corporate Vice President, Marketing, Kruger Products L.P.


Nancy Marcus has been a trailblazer since the start of her marketing career at leading companies including Phillip Morris and RJR MacDonald as one of the few female VP’s to have a seat at the Executive level. Now as Corporate Vice President of Marketing at Kruger Products (KPLP) and the only female on the KPLP Management Team for more than a decade, Nancy has successfully contributed to the changing CPG landscape by redefining how companies embrace marketing to deliver bottom line profitability.

Her keen insights and intuition position her as a “change agent” by demonstrating how brands can talk to a consumer form a women’s perspective with intelligence and respect. By applying this strategy, she has gained prominence as a brave marketing pioneer by developing breakthrough marketing and trade strategies within the dynamic grocery environment and her credible longevity has contributed to the success of KPLP as Canada’s brand powerhouse and market leader in the consumer tissue industry.

A recipient of the 2014 WXN Top 100 Award and the Star Women in Grocery 2014 Award and Vice Chair of Advertising Standards Canada, Nancy has been an active and dedicated participant in the industry and community, particularly those focused on the advancement of women in the workplace.

Dirk Matten

Professor of Strategy; Hewlett-Packard Chair in Corporate Social Responsibility; Associate Dean, Research


Dirk Matten is a Professor at the Schulich School of Business where he holds the Hewlett-Packard Chair in Corporate Social Responsibility. He has a doctoral degree and the habilitation from Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf in his native Germany. He is also a Visiting Professor at the University of London, the University of Nottingham and at Sabancı University in Istanbul.

Dirk currently serves as Schulich’s Associate Dean, Research. He is also the Co-Founder and Director of the Centre of Excellence in Responsible Business (COERB) at the Schulich School of Business.

Dirk has taught and done research at academic institutions in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Britain, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, India, Italy, Turkey, and the USA. He has published 24 books and edited volumes as well as more than 80 articles and book chapters which have won numerous prestigious awards. His work has appeared in many international journals including Academy of Management Review, California Management Review, Human Relations, Journal of Management Studies, and Organization Studies.

Dirk is a co-editor of the journal Business & Society (SAGE). He is frequently cited and interviewed for newspapers and TV and writes Op-Eds for papers such as Der Spiegel or The Globe and Mail. The Cambridge based think tank CSR International ranks him among the ‘Top 100 CSR Leaders’.

James McKellar

Professor of Real Estate and Infrastructure; Director, Brookfield Centre for Real Estate and Infrastructure; Executive Director, External Relations


James McKellar, FRAIC, FRICS is Professor and Director of the Brookfield Centre in Real Estate and Infrastructure Schulich School of Business, York University, Toronto, Canada. Prior to joining York University, he was a faculty member at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and served as the first Director of the Center for Real Estate at MIT. In addition to MIT, he has held faculty appointments at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Calgary. He was also Adjunct Professor at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, D.C. He has lectured at universities in North America, Asia and Europe and addressed various industry and government groups across the world.

Professor McKellar has both a Master in Architecture (M. Arch) and Master in City Planning (M.C.P) from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Toronto. Professor McKellar has a life‐long involvement in the real estate industry and has consulted to businesses and governments in many parts of the world on real estate matters covering housing, development, finance and investment, asset management, and market performance. In past several years his teaching and research has focused on the emerging field of infrastructure and the business models driving large-scale public infrastructure projects as well as topic of sustainable cities as it pertains to the challenges of urbanization across the globe. He is a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (FRAIC) and the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (FRICS).

Alan Middleton (MBA '77, PhD '97)

Executive Director, Schulich Executive Education Centre, Assistant Professor of Marketing, Schulich School of Business, York University; CONNECT 2017 Program Advisor


His 25 year practitioner career includes marketing roles with the Universal Oil Products Company (UOP Inc.) in Chicago, USA, Esso Petroleum in Oslo, Norway, and a career in advertising with the J. Walter Thompson (JWT) advertising agency in the UK, Canada and Japan concluding as President/CEO of JWT Japan and Executive Vice President and a Board Director of the worldwide company.

His 25 year academic career includes teaching at the Rutgers Graduate School of Business in the US, leading business schools in Argentina, China, India, Russia and Thailand, and currently the marketing faculty at the Schulich School of Business. In 2001 he took over as Executive Director of the Schulich Executive Education Centre which runs non-degree programs for over 10,000 executives and managers a year domestically and internationally.

Alan co-authored the books “Advertising Works II”, and “Ikonica – A Fieldguide to Canada’s Brandscape”, and has numerous papers and book chapters published
He is a co-founder of the ‘Cassie’ advertising awards, is a member of the Canadian Marketing Hall of Legends , a holder of the ACA Gold Medal for contribution to the marketing industry, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for service to the literacy movement, and International Association of Business Communicators Toronto Communicator of the Year award.

Stacey A. Mowbray (MBA ‘88)

President of the Americas, Weight Watchers International, Inc.


Ms. Mowbray is the President of the Americas for Weight Watchers International, a global consumer brand that is a leader in the health and wellness segment. This appointment follows a six-year tenure as CEO and president of Second Cup Ltd., a publicly-traded Canadian company in the specialty coffee business.

Prior to Second Cup, Ms. Mowbray had roles with Molson Canada as CMO and Cara Operations, where she was the president of Milestone’s and, prior to that, the SVP of Branding and Marketing. Earlier in her career, Ms. Mowbray held the position of VP of Marketing for Pepsi Canada and held several sales and marketing positions at Weston Bakeries.

She is a director of the board and vice chair of the Governance Committee for Trillium Health Partners, one of Canada’s largest regional hospitals. She recently completed a 2 year term as Board member for the LCBO, where she also sat on the HR/Governance Committee, as well as Chair of the Coffee Association for a 2 year term. She is an advisor and Board member to a startup through funding from the MaRS organization.

Stacey graduated with a BBA from Wilfrid Laurier University and has since been recognized as Laurier’s inaugural CEO in residence, as well as, one of Laurier’s Top 100 Alumni. She received her MBA from the Schulich School of Business in 1984 and has recently played a role as a member of the International Advisory Council.

Ms Mowbray has been recognized for her contributions, having been named a 2012 Women of Diversity Champion, and Women’s Executive Network’s Top 100 women in 2011. She has been a speaker at numerous conferences and events.

James O'Sullivan (MBA/LLB '90)

Group Head, Canadian Banking, Scotiabank


James O’Sullivan is Group Head, Canadian Banking. He was appointed to this position in June 2015. In this role, he is responsible for all retail, small business, commercial banking, wealth management and insurance operations in Canada, as well as the Bank’s administrative function of shared services.

James has been with Scotiabank since 1990, and has held senior leadership roles in Investment Banking, Mergers & Acquisitions, Finance and Asset Management. Most recently, he served as Executive Vice President, Global Wealth Management.

James holds a Specialized Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics from York University, a Juris Doctor degree from Osgoode Hall Law School, and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Schulich School of Business, York University. He is a past Chair of the Board of Directors at Humber River Hospital and current board member of Soulpepper, Toronto’s largest not-for-profit theatre company.

James and his wife, Lucie, have two sons.

Andris Pone (MBA ’03)

President, Coin Branding Inc.


Andris Pone believes that all people and organizations have unique gifts and the right to share them.

As a world-class wordsmith, he has 14 years of experience helping corporations and individuals express precisely what those differentiating factors are – by building compelling brand foundations and names for clients at Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Sun Life Financial, BMO Nesbitt Burns, RBC Wealth Management, Canadian Tire, Purolator, Revera and many others.

Andris is co-author of the #1 Globe and Mail bestselling Brand: It Ain’t the Logo. His upcoming book is entitled Attract: Embrace the power of your gloriously different personal brand. He appears as a branding expert on CBC’s The National, CBC Radio One, the National Post and the Globe and Mail. He graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Political Science from Saint Mary’s University in Halifax and also holds an MBA from the Schulich School of Business.

Guy Reichard (MBA '00)

Personal and Executive Coach, Coaching Breakthroughs


Guy Reichard is an Executive Life Coach & Personal Growth Partner working with individuals looking for more meaning, purpose, fulfillment and peace in their lives. He helps his clients discover their authentic selves, and connect with their deepest values to guide them in actualizing their fullest expression of the change they wish to see in the world. Working with the whole person, and their whole life, coaching partners learn how to lead themselves and others in more effective and empowering ways. He lives by his motto, which is to dissolve all limits holding us back from authentic living & leadership, while expanding our range of possibilities and options for growth and fulfillment.

Prior to his role as a coach, as a new Schulich MBA graduate (2000), Guy launched his own Web Development & Internet Marketing consulting firm, which he ran for 15 years, specializing in helping professional service firms and business-to-business organizations generate new business online.

Jakob Ripshtein (BBA '95)

CFO, Diageo NA


Jakob Ripshtein is the Chief Financial Officer of Diageo North America. He was appointed to this post in January 2016 and is a member of Diageo North America’s Executive team.
As CFO, Jakob oversees management of the financial risks, planning and record-keeping and reporting for Diageo Canada, Diageo Beer Company USA and Diageo North America’s U.S. spirits divisions. Diageo North America is the company’s largest market, responsible for more than 30% of global net sales and 45% of global operating profit.

For a two year period between 2014 and 2016 while he was the Diageo North America CFO, Jakob also served as the President of Diageo Canada. In this capacity, he led Diageo’s Canada business and was responsible for implementing and developing the vision for Diageo’s iconic brands in Canada, managing the company’s overall operations and resources and continually improving Diageo’s relationships with its critical stakeholders.

Since first joining Diageo in 2008, Jakob has held a variety of finance roles across the company and has been based in in Canada, the United States and England. Before he came to Diageo, Jakob oversaw business, sales and tax functions in the Canadian spirits, pharmaceutical and financial sectors.

In addition to a CPA and International Tax designation, Jakob holds a Bachelor of Business Administration Honours Degree (with distinction) from York University.

Pauline Shum Nolan

Professor of Finance, Schulich School of Business


Dr. Pauline Shum Nolan is a Professor of Finance at the Schulich School of Business, where she teaches investments and advanced portfolio management. She was the Founding Director of the Master of Finance programme, and a former Director of the PhD programme. She has served on the York University Pension Plan investment committee since 2004, and had taught for the Mercer School of Pension Investment Management.

Pauline is also the President and Co-Founder PW Portfolio Analytics (PWPA), a Fintech company that leverages her expertise in financial data analytics, portfolio risk management, financial planning and education.

Pauline's research has focused on exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in recent years, and her work has been presented at international industry and academic conferences. She was the winner of the Toronto CFA Society-Hillsdale research award in 2011 for her research on leveraged ETFs. Her work has been published in prestigious journals such as the Journal of Finance, Journal of Monetary Economics, and Review of Finance.

Pauline received a B.A (1st Class Hons) in economics from the University of British Columbia, and a PhD in economics from the University of Toronto. 

Matthew Thomas (BBA ’07)

Co-Founder & CEO, Paddle


Matthew Thomas is the founder and chief executive officer of Paddle (, a career advancement technology platform for individuals and employers. Paddle helps millions of individuals find their purpose and navigate the non-linear future of work.

Prior to founding Paddle, Matthew founded The Intersector Project and co-hosted the The White House Forum on Cross-Sector Leadership. His research on cross-sector leadership has been published by Harvard Business Review (“Triple Strength Leadership”) and Oxford University Press (“The Gifts of Breadth”). Previously, Matthew was a consultant with McKinsey & Company, where he served clients across the financial, natural resources and retail sectors. He also contributed to McKinsey’s efforts on Long-Term Capitalism, Canada in the Pacific Century and Cross-Sector Leadership. Matthew started his career at Morgan Stanley and Department of Finance Canada. He graduated with distinction from the Schulich School of Business at York University.

Currently, Matthew also serves as a David Rockefeller Fellow of the Trilateral Commission, an unofficial policy group of prominent business people, academics and politicians from North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, and is a member of the World Economic Forum and Banff Forum communities. Matthew formerly served as Practitioner-in-Residence at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business, and as chairman of Young Diplomats of Canada, Young Canadians in Finance and CanLeads. He has delivered remarks on leadership to audiences at The White House, Corporate Executive Board, Maytree Foundation, and TEDxWesternU.

D. Eleanor Westney

Professor Emerita


D. Eleanor Westney is Professor Emerita at the Schulich School of Business and at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and a Visiting Professor of International Business at Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland. After completing a B.A. and an M.A. in Sociology and Japanese studies at the University of Toronto, she received a Ph.D. in Sociology from Princeton University. In 1982 she joined the faculty of the M.I.T. Sloan School of Management, where from 1997 to 2007 she held the Sloan Fellows Chair in the Strategy and International Management group. From 2007 to 2014 she was the Scotiabank Professor of International Business and Professor of Organization Studies at the Schulich School of Business at York University in Toronto. She has written extensively on the organization of multinational corporations, on Japanese MNCs, and on the internationalization of research and development, and with Richard Ross co-authored the chapter on Responsible Mining in Re-Imagining Capitalism. She has been a visiting researcher at Hitotsubashi University and the University of Tokyo in Japan, a visiting professor at the University of Michigan, a Fellow of the Academy of International Business since 1997, Chair of the International Management division of the Academy of Management, and Dean of the AIB Fellows from 2008 to 2011.