Skip to main content

The Telfer School of Management Alumni Breakfast Speaker Series is specifically targeted for the Telfer School of Management's alumni, the University of Ottawa alumni and the growing Ottawa business sector. The objective of this series is to provide a networking forum as well as a discussion from a variety of leaders on current and emerging issues in the business world. The Alumni Breakfast Speaker Series is held two times annually.

For more information on the Alumni Breakfast Speaker Series or the Telfer School of Management, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Past Speakers

On Wednesday, March 8th, the Telfer School had the pleasure of welcoming David Ross, CEO of Ross Video, at this edition of the Telfer School's Alumni Breakfast Speaker Series.

Ross, the recipient of the Ottawa Business Journal/Ottawa Chamber of Commerce 2016 CEO of the Year, addressed an audience of Telfer students, alumni and members of the Ottawa business community, discussing innovation and leadership and drawing upon lessons from his company’s huge success.

In his talk, he provided advice on what it takes to be a successful leader, and how to constantly improve in a competitive market and industry. According to him, it is crucial for companies to give back to their communities: "Companies, whether they know or not, have the responsibility to make sure that their community and city thrive". 

The audience was also privy to particularly insightful advice on leadership. When asked what it takes to be a great leader, Ross indicated that, for him, the basics are to "make a great product, market it, hire people smarter than you and listen to them".

Speaking about the role of a CEO in an organization, he emphasized the importance of CEOs being “Chief cheerleaders”: that CEOs must be genuinely excited about their product and get their team excited.

We thank David Ross for his valuable insight and for all who attended and participated in what was a fruitful discussion.

To view photos from the event, click here.

Paul Loucks has more than 25 years of experience in high technology. He joined Halogen Software in January 2000, became President in August 2000 and assumed the CEO role in November 2006. Under Paul’s guidance, Halogen has emerged as a leader in the employee performance and talent management market. The company has achieved consistent revenue growth and has built a strong global customer base.

In recognition of his leadership, accomplishments and community building efforts Paul was named CEO of the Year by the Best Ottawa Business Awards in 2013 and received a "Top Forty under 40" award from Ottawa Business Journal in 2001. Prior to joining Halogen, Paul was founder and President of NeoDyne Consulting, a custom software development firm that was named one of Canada's 100 Fastest Growing Companies by Profit Magazine and named an "Up and Comer" by The Globe and Mail's Report on Business. In 1997, NeoDyne Consulting was acquired by Compaq Canada.

Paul holds a Bachelor of Computer Science, with Distinction, from the Technical University of Nova Scotia.

On November 12 we welcomed Justin Kingslsey as a speaker at our annual Alumni Breakfast Speaker Series.  Not only was Justin named by Marketing Magazine as one of Canada’s 25 most creative people in 2009, he is also a New York Times bestselling author of The Way of the Fight.  Justin shared his take on marketing strategies, public relations (or rather, people relations) and branding. Everyone was captivated by his firsthand experience in the industry, his anecdotes and his thought advice; including “creativity takes hard work and preparation” and that there is something interesting about every story, a lesson he learned in the early days of his journalism career.

Louise Wendling is Senior Vice President and Country Manager – Canada, Costco Wholesale Canada Limited. She joined Costco in 1986 where she held senior titles such as Vice-President, Foods & Non-Food Merchandising and Senior VP for Eastern Canada before being appointed Country Manager. 

Prior to joining Costco, Louise held positions with the public service and with the Hudson’s Bay Company. 

Louise Wendling serves on a number of boards, including those of Opérations Enfants Soleil, Conseil Québecois du Commerce de Détail, the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and the Retail Council of Canada. She is also a Board Director with Costco Wholesale Ltd. 

In 2002, Louise received the “Prix d’Excellence – Dirigeante Entreprise Privés ou Publique” from the “Regroupement des gens d’affaires (RGA)”. In 2009 she received the award of “Grand Gestionnaire” from the organisation “Les Nouveaux Performants” and the“Distinguished Canadian Retailer of the Year” from the Retail Council of Canada. In 2012, Louise was named Ottawa Business Journal / Ottawa Chamber of Commerce CEO of the year. 

Click here to see pictures from the event.

The final installment of the 2011-12 Alumni Breakfast Speaker Series took place on February 15, 2012 and welcomed as guest speaker Jean Laurin, President & CEO, ENCON Group Inc.

Mr. Laurin took part in a leadership discussion that was led by Dean François Julien and Kim Rogers, Senior Consultant at Knightsbridge.

Last October, Mr. Laurin was named the 2011 Ottawa Business Achievement Awards CEO of the year.

About the Speaker:

Jean Laurin joined ENCON’s Research and Development department in 1985, where he assumed the position of assistant to the Vice-President. Over the next 16 years, he held several management positions throughout ENCON.

In 2001, Jean assumed the role of President of ENCON Group Inc., one of Canada’s leading managing general agents, with offices in several major cities across Canada. In his role as President, Jean has been asked to speak on market trends and professional liability at various events. Additionally, Jean is the past chair of the Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS) Canadian Chapter and participates annually on the association’s CEO panel.

In November 2007, Jean was appointed President and CEO of The Schinnerer Group Inc., the largest underwriting management firm in the United States. Jean still maintains his role as President of ENCON Group Inc.

Prior to joining ENCON, Jean was a Senior Chartered Accountant with a national accounting firm responsible for public company audits. His work with insurance companies sparked his interest in the industry and led to his present position with ENCON.

Jean graduated from the University of Ottawa with a B.Adm., B.Comm. He is a member of the Ontario and Canadian Institutes of Chartered Accountants, as well as a member of various professional accounting and insurance organizations. Jean is fluently bilingual in English and French.

"Costco: Who we are and what we stand for"

This presentation provided an overview of the company’s history, philosophy and people, as well as taking a look at the present status and the future challenges of Costco Wholesale Canada.

About the speaker

Louise Wendling is Senior Vice President and Country Manager – Canada, Costco Wholesale Canada Limited. She joined Costco in 1986 where she held senior titles such as Vice-President, Foods & Non-Food Merchandising and Senior VP for Eastern Canada before being appointed Country Manager.

Prior to joining Costco, Louise held positions with the public service and with the Hudson’s Bay Company.

Louise Wendling serves on a number of boards, including those of Opérations Enfants Soleil, Conseil Québecois du Commerce de Détail, the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and the Retail Council of Canada. She is also a Board Director with Costco Wholesale Ltd.

In 2002, Louise received the “Prix d’Excellence – Dirigeante Entreprise Privés ou Publique” from the “Regroupement des gens d’affaires (RGA)”. In 2009 she received the award of “Grand Gestionnaire” from the organisation “Les Nouveaux Performants” and the“Distinguished Canadian Retailer of the Year” from the Retail Council of Canada.

The final installment of the 2010-11 Alumni Breakfast Speaker Series took place on March 8, 2011 and welcomed as guest speaker Don Smith, former CEO of Mitel. 

Mr. Smith took part in a leadership discussion that was led by Dean François Julien and Margo Hoyt, Principal for Knightsbridge in Ottawa. Last October, Mr. Smith was named the 2010 CEO of the year by the Ottawa Business Journal.

About Don Smith

A “reformed engineer” who spent the first 8 years of his career at BT Research Labs, which led to a move to Canada in the late 70’s to begin the marketing and general management phase of his career with Mitel. At Mitel he was an Executive Vice President from 1981, with global responsibility for Sales and Marketing when he left in 1986.

He then became President of AIT Corporation a company that was focused on the market niche of automated border control which he led to a 90% share of the world market, and took public in 1993.

In 1996 he founded Cambrian Systems Corporation, where he was President and CEO, to focus on Metro Optical Systems. He became VP & GM of OPTera Solutions when the company was acquired by Nortel Networks in December 1998. Committed to taking Nortel’s product leadership to a global market share leadership in Metro systems, Don was promoted to President - Optical Internet in January 2000.

In April 2001, Don returned to Mitel Networks as CEO. Don lead the transition of Mitel from a traditional communications company to an industry leader that leverages the convergence of voice, video and data to address the emerging market for unified communications, collaboration and mobility in a virtualized environment. While Don retired in January 2011 after a decade at the helm, he remains a member of the Mitel Board.

The morning of October 20, 2010 marked this year’s launch of the Alumni Breakfast Speaker Series. The Breakfast was themed "Corporate Social Responsibility: The new spectrum of opportunities" and featured guest speaker: Andreas Souvaliotis, Chief Impact Officer & General Manager, AIR MILES for Social Change

About the presentation

For the majority of corporations sustainability is still just a matter of compliance – simply keeping up with regulations, consumer expectations and media scrutiny. To a growing minority, however, it’s becoming an issue of strategic leadership - adjusting business models to the coming realities of a low-carbon economy. And then, there are those few who have adopted a truly transformative approach that actually influences and inspires a meaningful shift well beyond their own corporate boundaries.

Start the day by hearing about a unique Canadian example of truly transformative environmental leadership. The Chief Impact Officer of LoyaltyOne, the company that “makes” AIR MILES, will explain how reach, trust, engagement and authenticity, mixed in with a good deal of corporate courage, can deliver a sustainability program that inspires broad changes both within and outside the organization. He’ll share how LoyaltyOne now collaborates with government agencies across our entire country while also building its own brand and bottom line. And he’ll explain the critical role of employees – as brand ambassadors – in promoting a corporation’s social responsibility values.

The last installment of the 2009-10 Alumni Breakfast Speaker Series took place on February 4, 2010 and welcomed as guest speaker Karen Kinsley, FCA, President and Chief Executive Officer, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

Ms. Kinsley took part in a leadership discussion that was led by Dean Micheál Kelly and Carole Morris, Principal for Knightsbridge in Ottawa. Last October, Ms. Kinsley was named the 2009 CEO of the year by the Ottawa Business Journal.
For more information on the Alumni Breakfast Speaker Series, including a list of past speakers, click here.

Biography

Karen Kinsley was reappointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) in April 2008. She was first appointed in June 2003.

Ms. Kinsley joined CMHC in 1987. She was appointed Vice-President, Finance in 1990 and Treasurer in June 1995. In November 1996, Ms. Kinsley became the Vice-President, Corporate Services and Chief Financial Officer, and in May 2000, was appointed Vice-President, Insurance and Securitization.
Prior to joining CMHC, Ms. Kinsley was Vice-President and Treasurer with two real estate development companies.

Ms. Kinsley received the Award of Excellence in 2004 from the Canadian Home Builders' Association in recognition of service to Canada's home building industry. In 2006, she was inducted into the Canadian Mortgage Hall of Fame by the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals in recognition of her service to the Canadian mortgage industry. She also received a 2008 Women’s Executive NetworkTM Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award.

Karen Kinsley holds a bachelor of Commerce from the University of Ottawa and is a member of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants. She has also recently been elected a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario (FCA) and awarded the 2009 CEO of the Year by the Ottawa Business Journal. 

The Telfer School of Management in association with the Faculty of Science is pleased to invite you to the next BioTech themed breakfast. “From Bench to Box - a genetic testing biotech start-up journey”

The morning of October 21, 2009 marked this year’s launch of the Alumni Breakfast Speaker Series. The Breakfast was themed “Ottawa Senators Business of Sport: Local Commerce with a Global Perspective”.

The keynote speaker was Cyril Leeder, President of Ottawa Senators Sports and Entertainment. Mr. Leeder spoke to several topics including how the Ottawa Senators business is almost entirely dependant on the Ottawa-Gatineau community for suppliers, employees and revenue. However, the Senators must play on a world stage and manage a number of global issues such as: Canadian foreign exchange risk, player scouting and development around the world, antitrust and collective bargaining.

Allan Rock, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Ottawa presented “Canada’s university in the service of the world” on February 11, 2009.

The second installment of the 2008-09 Alumni Breakfast Speaker Series took place on November 18, 2008. The Biotech themed breakfast was entitled “BioTech Entrepreneurship: How to succeed faster”.

The guest speaker, Paul Lem M.D., CEO and Founder of Spartan Bioscience Inc., discussed “The Theory of Disruptive Innovation”, “Ready, Fire, Aim” and “How to assemble an "A" team”.

Dave Gerwing, Adèle Malo, Alain Doucet, Nicholas Armour

The morning of October 9, 2008 marked this year’s launch of the Alumni Breakfast Speaker Series. The Breakfast was themed “Low Carbon - The New Reality for Business” and featured three speakers:

  • Nicholas Armour, Canadian Director, UK Trade & Investment
  • Adèle Malo, Executive VP & general counsel, Direct Energy
  • Dave Gerwing, President, Menova Energy

Mr. Armour began by stating that that climate change and environmental issues are an integral part of the 21st century global economy, a statement agreed upon by the other speakers as well. He also advanced that Canadian industry is lagging behind other developed economies, many of which now enjoy a regulatory framework that encourages low-carbon. Despite the benefits of regulation, it is detrimental for companies to wait and react to regulatory changes. It is in their best interest not only to stay ahead of the regulatory curve, but to stay ahead of the market curve. By doing so, companies are able to gain investor confidence, reduce risk and generate increasing profits.

Mrs. Malo highlighted that not only is Direct Energy committed to providing low-carbon energy solutions to clients, but is also taking steps to reduce its own carbon footprint. For example, Direct Energy purchases carbon offsets to mitigate the footprint of employee travel. Direct Energy aims to be carbon neutral by 2013. The fact that a company that derives its profits from selling energy is an advocate of reducing its use, speaks volumes about the true costs environmental negligence.

Mr. Gerwing concluded the presentation by discussing innovative technologies and alternative sources of energy. He conceded that a barrier to their widespread adoption lies in the long payback periods of investments into such technologies and added that increased participation between the public and private sectors would yield favorable outcomes.

Despite ongoing debate in the public sphere regarding the impacts of climate change and especially the ways in which to manage them, the message from these three speakers was unanimous: climate change is material to business strategy and low-carbon is the only ticket to the future for companies today.

Mr. Christopher Henderson
Chair, Ottawa Clean Energy Cluster
President, Lumos Energy
Executive Chairman, The Delphi Group

“Course Correction: Navigating Towards a Sustainable Energy Future”.

The Honourable Perrin Beatty
President and Chief Executive Officer
Canadian Chamber of Commerce

“Skills: The Key to Canada's Competitiveness.” 

Mike S. Zafirovski, President and CEO, Nortel  - "Changing the Trajectory of a Global Economy"

The Honourable Tony Clement - "Information Technology as a Cornerstone of Patient Wait Times Guarantees”

On October 12, 2006, the School of Management was pleased to welcome Terry Matthews to launch this year’s Alumni Speaker Series. Instead of a breakfast, this presentation was an evening at the National Arts Centre.

Sir Terence Matthews is Chairman of Mitel and March Networks, two companies active in developing Internet Protocol (IP) systems for enterprise applications. He is also Chairman of Wesley Clover.

Sir Terry gave his candid views on the global business landscape, technology trends and the role of managers in the next 5-10 years.

On February 9, 2006, the School of Management Alumni Breakfast Speaker Series was pleased to welcome our two speakers: Pauline Rochefort, President of the Canadian Wood Council and Carl Grenier, Executive Vice-President and General Manager of the Free Trade Lumber Council. The topic for this event was: "Canada’s Softwood Dispute: How Canada’s Wood Industry is Competing and Winning!"

The School of Management was pleased to welcome Bill Green, Principal & Partner at Live Work Learn Play LLP as guest speaker at the November 17 Alumni Breakfast. Mr. Green, formerly Regional Vice President, Resort Development Group, Northeast Region at Intrawest (Mont Tremblant), discussed "Resort Development meets New Urbanism: Creating a Live Work Learn Play Environment".

The School of Management was pleased to welcome Michael Decter, Chair, Health Council of Canada to the October 13, 2005 Alumni breakfast. Mr. Decter discussed "Renewing Canadian Health Care: Accelerating Change".

Biography

Michael B. Decter is a Harvard trained economist with over two decades of experience as a senior manager. He is a leading Canadian expert on health systems, with a wealth of international experience. In 2003, he was appointed as founding Chair of the Health Council of Canada.

As a senior manager in the public sector, Michael served as Deputy Minister of Health for Ontario. He also served as Cabinet Secretary in the Government of Manitoba.
Michael is the author of several books, including Four Strong Winds – Understanding the Growing Challenges to Health Care, published in June 2000.

As a consultant, Michael has lead major assignments, including reengineering, mergers, and strategic planning for many of Canada's leading teaching hospitals and health systems.

Michael has also worked for health associations and religious orders with works in the health field. Clients have included the Catholic Health Association of Canada, Les Soeurs de Charité de Montréal, the Grey Nuns of Manitoba, and the Catholic Health Association of Ontario.

Most recently, Michael was the Chair of the Canadian Institute for Health Information. He continues to serve as Chair of St. Elizabeth Healthcare, and the Ontario Cancer Quality Council. He is a Board Member of The National Ballet of Canada and George Brown College as well as part of the Advisory Council at the School of Policy Studies, Queens University.

In 2004, Michael was awarded the Order of Canada.

The School of Management was pleased to welcome Clent Richardson, Chief Marketing Officer, Nortel, to the March 8, 2005 Alumni Breakfast Speaker Series. He discussed "Changing the Game at Nortel".

The School of Management was pleased to welcome Mark R. Bruneau, Executive Vice-President and Chief Strategy Officer, Bell Canada Enterprises, to the February 10, 2005 Alumni Breakfast Speaker Series. He discussed "The North American Telecom Industry at the Crossroads of Opportunity".

On November 18, 2004, Mr. Gustavson discussed "What's Keeping Marketers Awake at Night" to a crowd of 120 business professionals, alumni and students.

John Gustavson has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Canada’s largest marketing association since 1990.  Mr. Gustavson is a past-Chair of the Canadian Society of Association Executives and a member of the Board of Directors of Advertising Standards Canada.

He participates in several industry and professional associations and is the author of articles on public issues management for corporations and competition law for association management.

On October 6, Colleen Moorehead discussed "Managing a High Growth Business" at a breakfast jointly organised with CATA's Springboard event.

As president of E*Trade Canada Securities, Ms. Moorehead has helped shape the landscape of retail investing in Canada. Under her leadership, e*Trade Canada has been repeatedly ranked by Gomez Advisors as "the number one online brokerage firm in Canada for active traders and serious investors." She has made it her mission to provide individuals and institutions with the information, tools and trading technology needed to achieve success in the financial markets.

The School of Management was pleased to welcome the Hon. Mauril Bélanger (Ottawa-Vanier), Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Chief Government Whip, to the March 31, 2004 Alumni Breakfast Speaker Series. He discussed "Democratic reform: toward modern governance".

Topic: Canada's economy and the Kyoto protocol

Mitel CEO Don Smith addressed a crowd of 200 students, alumni and members of the business community on the issues of IP telephony at the February 5th edition of the Alumni Breakfast Speaker Series.

Following the breakfast, Mr. Smith treated a class of 60 top MBA students to an hour long open discussion on leadership, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Don Smith

Don Smith is CEO of Mitel Networks, a leading edge provider of next generation IP telephony solutions focused on voice and data convergence for next generation broadband networks. Mitel Networks was created in February 2001 after Mitel Corporation sold its Communications Systems division to Terry Matthews, company co-founder.

Mr. Smith is a BSc. Engineering Graduate of Imperial College, London. His international experience spans more than 30 years deeply involved in identifying new business opportunities, making markets and coupling vision with execution.

Topic: The Securities Industry: After the Bubble Burst

Topic: Canada's economy and the Kyoto protocol

Paul Cellucci, United-States Ambassador to Canada spoke about "Canada - U.S. Trade Relations" on October 10, 2002.

Denis Desautels is also an Executive-in-Residence at the University of Ottawa School of Management.

Topic: The Thin Bottom Line: Lessons from the Enron Debacle

Joseph Caron, Canadian Ambassador to the People's Republic of China spoke about "China’s entry into the WTO and the opportunities it presents for Canadian Business" on February 14, 2002.

Pierre-Paul Allard - Managing Director, Cisco Systems Canada Topic: Canada and the Internet; Connectivity, Productivity

Gordon Thiessen - Former Governor of the Bank of Canada (1994-2001), and Executive-in-Residence with the University of Ottawa School of Management.

Topic: The economic aftermath of the Sept. 11th terrorist attack in the U.S.

Rod Bryden - President and CEO of World Heart Corporation, Co-chair of The Ottawa Partnership (TOP) and majority owner and Governor of the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club. Topic: The impact of growth on Ottawa's economy

© 2018 Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa
Policies  |  Emergency Info

Close