VP, Digital, Finning International
Gary Agnew is the VP of digital at Finning International and leads Finning Digital, the global digital transformation strategy. Finning Digital primarily focuses on the development of advanced e-commerce and digital marketing capabilities, the creation of a digital innovation incubator, delivering a step-change in the connectivity of assets and equipment operators, and most importantly, monetizing these vast amounts of data.
Agnew’s additionally retained the strategic and operational responsibilities for the Cat Rental Store in Western Canada. Agnew joined Finning Canada in 2013 as VP of customer solutions, joining from Finning U.K. and Ireland. He began his career with H. Leverton Limited, a Cat dealership that Finning acquired. Agnew progressed through various sales and marketing roles until he became GM of Finnpave, He was then the CRM project manager for DBSi program for three years before becoming the regional GM for the Central East region in the U.K. He later moved into the role of general sales manager, followed by being appointed to have executive responsibility for the equipment solutions division. In 2013, he joined Finning Canada as VP customer solutions and subsequently led business development, rental and used through to his recent appointment to his current role.
Area Manager, Security Market, Splunk
Rene Aguero is currently the area manager of security markets at Splunk. Prior to Splunk, he was at Rapid7. At Rapid7, he helped architect Rapid7 deployments and services ranging from vulnerability management, penetration testing, user threat actor detection and attribution. Prior to Rapid7, Aguero worked in the financial sector in Southern California as an IT manager where he designed networks and security solutions to keep PII and credit card data secure through the use of FWs, IPS/IDS and various encryption methods.
Aguero received a master of science in business administration with emphasis in IT security, IT audit and computer forensics from California Polytechnic University, Pomona. Aguero has appeared on Associated Press and their consuming news agencies on topics like the end of XP and the Anthem healthcare breach.
Interim CIO, TransLink
Gerry Akkerman is a senior leader with more than 27 years of experience in business transformation. Currently he leads the business technology services division in supporting TransLink and its operating companies to keep metro Vancouver moving. With a strong technical background, Akkerman has spent the past 16 years in leadership roles and continues to demonstrate a passion for technology with an eye for business.
Through Akkerman’s leadership, Vancouver was the first city in Canada to introduce Google Transit. Following this, he led the introduction of a leading digital communications system which brought real time transit information to Vancouver. He is an advocate for open data, and through this TransLink offers a cloud-based, real-time transit feed for the developer community.
Akkerman enjoys encouraging and developing future leaders. He is active within TransLink’s mentoring program and volunteers on the Simon Fraser University’s business technology management advisory board. Akkerman’s other volunteer activities include membership in the metro Vancouver transportation technology advisory board and he chairs the City of New Westminster Innovation Subcommittee.
TransLink’s IT security department has reported to Akkerman over the past several years. Through this time the security practices have matured commensurate with increased industry and legislative requirements.
Enterprise Systems Strategist, Catalyst Paper Corporation
As chief information officer at Catalyst Paper Corporation from 2007—2014, Balzer built a strong systems team and delivered key improvements in governance, cost-effectiveness and the application portfolio. In 2014, Balzer returned to the consulting world to seek out fresh challenges, but has returned to help Catalyst with an acquisition that has roughly doubled the size and complexity of the company and its systems portfolio.
Balzer began his career at MacMillan Bloedel Limited as an application developer and architect before broadening his repertoire to include management and business improvement, most notably as manager of IT architecture and strategy and as IT lead on the business re-engineering team. Starting with Weyerhaeuser’s acquisition of the company in 1999, Balzer played key roles in multiple corporate integration and business improvement efforts in the forest and paper industry and then served as director of business solutions at Catalyst prior to accepting the CIO role. As an independent consultant Balzer has created solutions for organizations in the public safety, healthcare and transportation industries. Balzer is a graduate of the University of British Columbia.
Dr. Alma Barranco-Mendoza
CIO, Canadian Space Society
Alma Barranco-Mendoza oversees the comprehensive technology needs of the Canadian Space Society since 2013, including the fully cloud-based enterprise architecture and back-office systems, the national e-commerce website, the Canadian space asset map, and leads the program management, cloud, security and social media strategies as part of the CSS senior executive team, in addition to chairing the Vancouver chapter of the CSS.
Prior to this role, Barranco-Mendoza has held senior leadership roles at NerdForce, a global technology and cloud solutions provider, as chief marketing and information officer and VP of business development for Canada, and at Trinity Western University as CIO. She is a sought-after speaker, academic, and, amongst other awards and merits, she is the recipient of the Frost & Sullivan 2015 CIO Impact International Award in enterprise social networking, and is a finalist in the 2015 YWCA Women of Distinction Award in the technology, science and research category.
She holds a Ph.D. in computing science, specialized in artificial intelligence and analytics, from Simon Fraser University and M.Sc. and B.Sc. honors in computer science and mathematics from Trent University. She also completed independent courses in business administration, marketing and sales from Trinity Western University.
VP of Technology for the Emerging Technologies Division, EMC Corporation
Josh Bernstein recently joined EMC as the new VP of technology for the emerging technologies division. Prior to EMC, Bernstein ran the Siri deployment and infrastructure architecture team at Apple for more than four years. As a member of the small team, Bernstein and his colleagues successfully took Siri from launch to 60, 000 servers, deploying in 17 locations worldwide.
Prior to working at Apple, Bernstein was the senior software engineer at Penguin Computing, specializing in design and implementation of large-scale distributed systems management software. In addition, he has worked on many high-profile NASA missions, including the design for the image processing pipeline of the HiRISE Camera currently on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Bernstein is a large contributor to the open source community, contributing to multiple projects including Mesos, HDFS, HBASE, Zookeeper, Samba, OpenMPI, Torque and the Linux Infiniband Stack. Bernstein studied computer engineering at the University of Arizona.
Management Consultant, Digital ID & Authentication Council of Canada
Joni Brennan recently joined the Digital ID & Authentication Council of Canada to address their mission of identifying and developing opportunities for Canadian prosperity based upon national access to economic growth opportunities both at home and via the international digital economy. Brennan builds diplomatic and collaborative relationships within and across communities of interest. She has participated in international organizations and industry standards committees including OECD ITAC, ISOC, IEEE, OASIS SSTC, ISO SC27 WG5, and ITU-T SG17 Q6. She has served as the NSTIC/IDESG Trust Framework WG chair. She has provided testimony regarding trusted identity and access management systems for the U.S. Office of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Standards Panel as well. Brennan is recognized internationally as a subject matter expert leader who formalizes strategic cross-domain and jurisdictional partnerships toward successful trustworthy innovative services.
CIO, Mountain Equipment Co-operative
Bio coming soon.
Vice President, Business Services & Technology, Seaspan
Catherine Chick is the vice president of business services and technology at Seaspan ULC. Seaspan’s head office is located in north Vancouver and operates divisions encompassing marine transportation and shipbuilding. In 2011, Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards was selected to build the noncombat vessels under the Government of Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy.
Chick has a background in management consulting, technology strategy and program management. She has worked in a broad range of industries including technology, higher education, financial institutions and retail. As part of Seaspan’s senior leadership team, Chick provides vision and leadership for developing and implementing information technology initiatives in support of the company’s short- and long-term business strategies.
CIO, Catalyst Paper Corporation
As CIO, Paul Einarson is accountable for all aspects of IT strategy and delivery at Catalyst Paper Corporation. The information systems and technology group at Catalyst is currently heavily focused on governance and strategy reformation in the wake of acquiring two mills in the U.S. in early 2015. Catalyst IT is a customer-focused organization dedicated to providing fit-to-purpose IT at the lowest possible cost given the brutal competitive environment of the pulp and paper industry.
Einarson has been with Catalyst Paper and its predecessor companies for 19 years and has held senior roles across the enterprise including in finance, sales and marketing, strategy, M&A, and human resources. Einarson is a graduate of the MBA program at the Richard Ivey School of Business at Western University.
Director of AWS Canada, Amazon Web Services
Eric Gales joined Amazon Web Services in 2015, and is responsible for all elements of AWS commercial sector business. In this role, Gales oversees all aspects of customer engagement, including business development, sales, partner alliances, solutions architecture, support, education and marketing.
Before joining AWS held a number of senior roles in Canada and the U.K., including VP and general manager at VMware Canada, president of Microsoft Canada, and general manager at Compaq U.K.
CIO, The Provincial Health Services
Oliver Grüter-Andrew brings more than 20 years experience in IT strategy, governance and service management, in both the public and private sectors. In his current role as CIO at the Provincial Health Services Authority he leads several hundred professionals in serving the IT needs of PHSA, as well as Vancouver Coastal Health and Providence Health Care. Previously as CIO at the University of British Columbia, he led the transformation of the information technology function and worked with senior leaders to establish a road map for the evolution of the university's major information systems. Earlier in his career. He spent 16 years with Accenture where he led large cross-functional teams and multiyear international transformation initiatives involving changes in staff culture, process and technology. He was born and raised in Germany, obtained his university qualification in England and has extensive cross-industry work experience, including in financial markets, energy, consumer retail, post-secondary education and healthcare.
Chief Economist, ATB Financial
Todd Hirsch is ATB Financial’s chief economist. For more than 20 years he’s worked as an economist at Canadian Pacific Railway, the Canada West Foundation and the Bank of Canada. For almost a decade, Hirsch taught economics at the University of Calgary.
He released his first book, “The Boiling Frog Dilemma: Saving Canada from Economic Decline,” in 2012. Hirsch provides economic commentary for several Canadian media outlets and is a regular columnist for The Globe and Mail. He currently serves on the University of Calgary board of governors and is the chair of the Calgary Arts Academy. Hirsch recently received the University of Alberta’s Alumni Honor Award. He also writes an economic update that is sent to thousands of subscribers around the world everyday called The Owl.
He holds a B.A. honors in economics from the University of Alberta and an M.A. in economics from the University of Calgary.
Chief Technology Officer, Robinson Solutions
Kent Hoskin has managed the evolution of Robinson Solutions information technology since 1997, developing and applying Internet-based information systems to operations and communications. Hoskin’s vision reaches beyond the status quo to future technologies as he continuously investigates the forefront of information technology. By weaving business drivers with emerging technologies in a dependable consistent way he combines operations and technology to bring value to our customers. Hoskin’s focus is on people, resulting in the creation of approachable, usable frameworks that place Robinson Solutions at the leading edge of the industry using technology as a keystone for linking people, processes and operations. He has a solid understanding of the evolution and direction of Robinson Solutions and is actively involved in applying his keen understanding of the industry and the evolving world of technology to shaping its future direction.
Hoskin has a joint major degree in sociology and computer studies, and has been involved in the building support industry for more than 25 years.
Associate Deputy Minister & Government CIO, Government of the Province of British Columbia
Bette-Jo Hughes has been the associate deputy minister and chief information officer for the Province of British Columbia since 2012. Her current responsibilities include executive oversight of ServiceBC, and the office of the chief information officer.
The office of the chief information officer leads strategy, policy and standards for information technology, IT security and the management of the IM/IT investment portfolio for the province.
Hughes also has experience in the oversight of strategic partnerships with the private sector, alternative service delivery agreements, and information and privacy management. She started her British Columbia public service career more than 25 years ago working at the provincial and community level in the field of community economic development. She served in several progressively senior management positions, and became the ADM of ServiceBC in 2009, leading cross-government service delivery initiatives to improve services to the citizens of British Columbia.
Hughes is involved in many national organizations, and is currently the British Columbia representative for the Public Sector Chief Information Officers’ Council, the FPT DMs Committee on Service Collaboration, Cybersecurity Committee and the IT Infrastructure Roundtable with Shared Services Canada.
Director of Technology & CIO, Vancouver School Board
Brian Kuhn is director of technology and CIO for the Vancouver School Board. In this dual role, he is responsible for developing and promoting vision and strategy leading to the adoption of technology to support new ways of learning, teaching, and conducting the business of education. As a senior leader, he oversees the department responsible for technology development, implementation and support services. He actively pursues the integration of diverse information systems, portals, and online teaching and learning spaces.
Prior to his current role, Kuhn served as manager of information services for the Coquitlam School District where he had the privilege of contributing to new school design and leading initiatives designed to transform learning and work in his region.
Kuhn presents regularly at conferences and in workshops on a variety of topics involved with education, technology and the future.
Director, Information Security, Teck Resources Limited
Rob Labbé joined Teck Resources in 2013 as the manager of cybersecurity. In this role, Labbé is responsible for the global cybersecurity practice including information security policy and compliance, cybersecurity risk management, security operations, and user awareness.
Prior to joining Teck, Labbé worked as a security program manager in Microsoft’s global information security team.
CIO, British Columbia Institute of Technology
Stephen Lamb is the chief information officer of the British Columbia Institute of Technology, serving a team of 120 IT professionals in support of 48,000 students and 2,200 faculty and staff. Lamb serves on both the board of BCNET and the CIO Association of Canada. His career spans 25 years in public sector information technology, serving in social services, K-12 and postsecondary education. Lamb has a master of science in information management from Strathclyde University, Scotland.
Senior Manager, Information Security, Coast Capital Savings
Michael Leung is a cybersecurity risk, governance and management professional with more than 20 years of professional experience. Leung currently heads up the information security function at Coast Capital Savings. He has a diverse background, knowledge and experience of enterprise-level information security, operational risk, enterprise architecture, IT services, systems development life cycle, cloud computing, e-commerce, and core business systems, with a traditional engineering discipline and a focus on the business.
Leung also served on ISACA International’s relations board and as chair of the enterprise advocacy committee, as well as on the Vancouver chapter for eight years as president and in various executive and nonexecutive board positions and committees. A nonprofit, global membership association for IT and information systems professionals, ISACA consists of more than 140,000 professionals in 180 countries, with more than 200 chapters established in more than 80 countries worldwide. ISACA provides its members with education, resource sharing, advocacy, professional networking, and a host of other benefits on a local level. Leung has received CRISC, CGEIT, CISM, CISA, CISSP-ISSMP and C|CISO industry certifications, and actively participates in the local, national and international information security, IT governance and risk community.
Chief Cloud Officer, TriNimbus
Jarrod Levitan is the chief cloud officer of TriNimbus, Canada’s leading Amazon Web Services consulting partner, which supports organizations as they migrate to and take advantage of the cloud. As an entrepreneur with former experience building an enterprise SaaS company, Levitan understands what it takes to change culture and strategically adopt progressive technologies. Serving customers and making them successful is at his core, and when combined with his extensive financial and technological background he provides immeasurable strategic insight.
Born in South Africa, Jarrod’s first business success came as he built a nutritional supplement distribution company into multimillion dollars in sales. He immigrated to Canada in 1998 and co-founded online music initiative Popnuvo before joining the Feldman Agency as CFO in 2001. Following this, he co-founded Beanworks, a cloud-based accounts payable automation solution, where he currently serves on the board. Levitan holds a bachelor of commerce from the University of Witwatersrand and a chartered financial analyst designation from the CFA Institute.
CIO, Langara College
Jag Madan is currently CIO at Langara College and on the board of directors at BCNET. With more than 20 years of international work experience, which began in systems engineering, technology and operations management consulting, Madan progressed to senior director and executive positions at a Fortune 10 technology company, where he was responsible for developing global strategies, implementing change, improving operational efficiencies and enterprise technology systems. He is well-versed in leading cross-functional teams in a variety of industries and has worked in both the private and public sectors.
Madan is committed to coaching and mentoring others in the community and professionally. He is on the board of directors of Richmond Youth Services as treasurer, is a nationally certified coach through Canada’s NCCP program, continues to mentor MBA students, and has coached technology entrepreneurs in British Columbia and abroad. Madan holds an MBA from the University of Western Ontario's Ivey School of Business and a graduate degree from the University of Western Australia. His undergraduate studies were in systems and human factors engineering. Madan is also a certified professional ergonomist who has focused on improving end-user experiences, interfaces and usability.
Director, Enterprise Engineering Canada, Salesforce
Chris Makkreel leads the Canadian engineering team at Salesforce, responsible for advancing the company’s cloud computing strategy, customer success and growing the customer base in regards to technology. As the leader in enterprise cloud computing with a proven track record of social and mobile innovation, Salesforce is empowering companies to connect with their customers, partners, employees and products in entirely new ways. Through a combination of domestic and international assignments, Makkreel has gained valuable insight into the cloud computing architecture frameworks that are now driving our industry. Makkreel has a deep understanding of Salesforce.com's real-time, multitenant architecture, and the company's platform and apps that give customers the tools to create a social front office and revolutionize the way they sell, service, market, collaborate, work and innovate.
Makkreel joined Salesforce in 2005 from IBM, where he served in a variety of roles focused on delivering IT solutions for enterprise computing. He graduated from the University of Western Ontario and Nipissing University with bachelor’s degrees in computer science and business administration.
Vice President, Transformation and Information Services, BC Pensions Corporation
Dave Marecek joined BC Pension Corporation in 2012 from private sector IT consulting. He is accountable for transformation and information services.
Marecek has deep strengths and extensive experience in enterprise business transformation, management consulting, information management, information technology and human resources. Marecek is a broad-thinking leader who likes to challenge the process and help employees succeed in their endeavors.
He is a people person who takes pride in developing strong relationships with his staff and peers. As a passionate leader, he brings excellent operational and executive leadership skills to achieve consistent business results.
Marecek holds a master of arts in leadership from Royal Roads University and has a bachelor of science in electrical engineering from the University of Calgary. Marecek is also an ex-Canadian Navy lieutenant.
CIO, Teck Resources Limited
Kalev Ruberg has been active in the information systems arena for more than 38 years. He is the CIO at Teck and is responsible for the overall information technology services and projects for this global mining company.
Previously, he was the executive general manager for information services at Placer Dome, one of the largest gold mining enterprises in the world. Additionally, during the millennium transition he was the CIO and deputy minister for the Government of Manitoba. He was also the lead of technology development as CIO of a B2B e-commerce company and as VP at TELUS.
He worked with the Architecture Machine Lab and continued with simulation research first at the National Bureau of Standards in Washington, D.C. and Berkeley Labs in California, then at Georgia Tech as an assistant professor. At the National Research Council in Ottawa he developed a number of machine learning algorithms in the artificial intelligence field. As an executive consultant with IBM Global Services, he designed large innovative systems at IBM Manufacturing and for clients worldwide.
Ruberg has a bachelor of science in architecture and a master of architecture from MIT.
SVP & CIO, Ledcor Group of Companies
Sr. Manager Enterprise Information Protection, Best Buy Canada
Jo-Ann Smith has more than 18 years of experience as an information security professional in North America. She is currently a senior manager for the Best Buy Global Enterprise Information Protection team. Smith supports information security, compliance and forensics for the Canadian region in the corporate and retail environments. Her experience covers many aspects of security and privacy, with a focus on both assessing risks and designing and implementing risk mitigating security solutions. She has extensive implementation experience with many forms of wireless, cryptographic and security infrastructures. She has also provided security and privacy consulting services to a variety of industry sectors including the financial, insurance and public sectors.
VP, Information & Business Analytics, A&W Food Services of Canada Inc.
Bio coming soon.
IT Director & CIO, Powerex
Jories Timmers is the IT director and CIO at Powerex, the energy trading arm of BC-Hydro, where he leads a team of 65 personnel in Vancouver, British Columbia. He has worked as a member of a global IT management team as a chief information security officer for companies spanning 40 to 220 countries.
His specialization in IT strategy and security, project management, compliance, audit and governance has been gained over 25 years, and he has worked internationally in the Netherlands, Italy, France, Spain, Switzerland and Canada. He has degrees from the Delft University of Technology in computer engineering, an MBA from McGill, and holds the PMP, CISA, CISM and CISSP certifications.
Director IT & Continuous Improvement, Norbord Inc.
John Tolkamp is director of information technology and continuous improvement at Norbord Inc. Tolkamp has worked in manufacturing and capital intensive industries for more than 20 years as a senior business and technology manager. In this role he has overall responsibility for delivering technology solutions and continuous improvement programs and has lead organizations through major economic and business challenges as well as corporate mergers and acquisitions. Outside of work, Tolkamp is very active in the world of cycling where he has been on the board of Cycling Canada Cyclisme for 11 years and is the current president. . He also sits on two commissions for the International Cycling Federation and Union Cyclist International, which is based in Switzerland.
Senior Director, IT, Canfor
David Trent has been an IT professional for more than 20 years with experience as a consultant, services vendor and CIO. Trent is currently the senior director of IT for Canfor Corporation, one of the world’s largest producers of sustainable lumber, pulp and paper. In his role he has a mandate to integrate and transform the organization’s business systems and its IT organization.
Prior to Canfor, Trent was director of IT and CIO for Methanex Corporation, a delivery manager for Avanade, director of sales technology at Intrawest, and operated a mid-sized digital consultancy serving clients across North America. Trent holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Simon Fraser University and is a CPA.
Executive Director, IM/IT Capital Investments, Office of the CIO, Government of the Province of British Columbia
Philip Twyford is a professional accountant and is currently the executive director of IM/IT capital investments in the office of the CIO.
Since joining the BC Public Service in 2003 he has held a number of positions in different ministries. Prior to joining the BC Public Service, he worked for the United Nations. Twyford is the board chair of the Pacific Montessori Society and is a government appointee on the Municipal Pension Plan.
Twyford received a B.A. from the University of Western Ontario and an MBA from Henley College in the U.K.
CIO, City of Burnaby
Shari Wallace is CIO for the city of Burnaby. Prior to assuming this role in 2013, she served as director of strategic planning and program management for the city of Vancouver. She was responsible for IT and business transformation initiatives from the ideas stage right through to implementation and benefits realization. Wallace also managed results and expectations with the business, and oversaw strategic planning and IT standards and policies. She worked for the city of Vancouver for 10 years in a variety of roles, including acting CIO, applications development and support, service management and director of the corporate IT group.
Previous to her work for the city of Vancouver, Wallace spent 15 years in the private sector in a number of IT positions across a wide range of industries including telecommunications, banking, oil and gas, and industrial catering.
IT Manager, Tolko Industries Ltd.
Trish Watson serves as the IT leader at Tolko Industries Ltd. Watson brings more than 25 years of information technology experience to the role and has held senior information technology positions at Shaw Communications as director of technology transformation; G4S Securicor, formerly Loomis, as VP of IT; and Rogers Communications Inc. as director of special projects. Watson is a certified project management professional and a founding member of the Association of Change Management Professionals.