Executive Director, Human Resources City of Toronto
Bruce Anderson is executive director of HR for the City of Toronto. He leads 330 professional staff providing HR leadership and strategic advice as a business partner with the City of Toronto's more than 40 corporate and division clients. He joined the City of Toronto in 2007 as director of employee and labour relations, and in 2008, he was promoted to executive director of HR reporting directly to the city manager.
Previously, Anderson was executive director of HR with Simon Fraser University (SFU) where he was responsible for employee relations, collective bargaining, recruitment and selection, pension and benefits, learning and development, organization development, compensation and job evaluation, return to work, disability management, and wellness for staff. As chief negotiator at SFU and previously at the universities of Alberta and Guelph, he was responsible for the negotiation and administration of multiple collective agreements with unions and professional associations.
Anderson holds a master of arts in labor and industrial relations from the School of Labor and Employment Relations at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a bachelor of commerce from the University of Alberta. Since 1994, he has held the designation of certified human resources professional.
CEO One Million Acts of Innovation
As CEO of One Million Acts of Innovation, Jerry Boyer is responsible for setting and achieving the strategic vision and goals of the organization in Canada and growing the movement globally. OMAI is a global not-for-profit focused on fostering acts of innovation in the world with a vision of Canada being a world leader in innovation.
Previously, Boyer was the head of IT in Canada for GlaxoSmithKline Inc., where he was responsible for setting strategic direction and day-to-day operations for IT. Boyer is well known for his leadership, vision and guidance in leading high performance teams and the delivery of business and information systems, solutions and services. He joined GSK in 1991 and throughout most of his 20-plus years with the company was an IT director with experience supporting a broad range of business units, including R&D, manufacturing, consumer healthcare, and sales and marketing.
Also heavily engaged as a community volunteer, Boyer serves as a director and chairman of the board for Victoria Park Community Homes Inc., Canada’s second-largest privately held social housing provider.
Michael Bungay Stanier
Author & Thought Leader "Do More Great Work"
Michael Bungay Stanier is an author, thought leader and the senior partner of Box of Crayons, a company that helps organizations do less good work and more great work.
Stanier has written a number of books, the best known of which is “Do More Great Work;” created a series of short internet videos, such as “The Eight Irresistible Principles of Fun,” that have been seen by millions; and designed a wide range of training programs that are being used around the world.
On the way to founding Box of Crayons 10 years ago, Stanier lived in Australia, England, the U.S. and Canada. As an innovation expert he helped invent new products and services, and as a change management professional, he supported companies as they evolved.
Mgr. Comp and Benefits Russel Metals Inc.
Beverley Downer is the manager of compensation and benefits at Russel Metals Inc. She joined Russel Metals in 1992 and has held various positions during the 22 years of her tenure. She graduated from McGill University with a bachelor of arts in industrial relations and a minor in computer science. She then went on to attain her certification in human resources. She currently leads a team of HR analysts and advisors in the functional areas of compensation, pensions, benefits and disability management, and provides support to the various business operations across North America.
Beverley is an active member of her community and engages in various fund raising activities. She is currently a board member of the MWCC Board.
VP, Customer Success Globoforce
As Globoforce’s VP of customer success, Chris French is responsible for customer success and engagement while delivering strategic and social recognition at some of the world’s largest organizations. He joined the company in 2012 and has spent the past 10 years focused solely on helping clients engage their employees on a global scale. Prior to Globoforce, French was SVP at Prinova Inc., a software leader in customer communications management market. Previously, he was the U.S. market leader for Buck Consultants' global HR technology and administration practice. French has also held senior roles in client services, marketing and consulting at PwC, Cognicase and Mastech.
He is a graduate of McMaster University where he earned a B.S. in psychology.
President & CEO Parmalat Canada Inc.
Louis Frenette joined Parmalat Canada as president and CEO in April 2014. Parmalat Canada is a leading food company whose brands include Lactancia, Astro, Balderson and Black Diamond. Before joining Parmalat, Frenette was president and CEO of Bonduelle North America and until 2011, he was president and CEO of Danone Canada. He worked in marketing and sales at Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson in Montreal and Toronto. He earned degrees in marketing from the University of Quebec in Montreal and in public relations from the University of Montreal. Frenette is active in various initiatives such as Breakfast Club of Canada and the McGill Centre for Convergence of Health and Economics.
National VP, Human Resources Parmalat Canada Inc.
Scott Goodman joined Parmalat Canada in 2007 and was appointed National VP of HR in 2009. In his current role, Goodman has responsibility for the HR function, which includes talent and performance management, total rewards including pension and benefits, organizational development, employee and labor relations, internal communications, organizational structure and health and safety practices.
Prior to joining Parmalat Canada, Goodman worked at University Health Network as counsel and manager of labour relations. He also was an associate lawyer with Ogilvy Renault, practicing labour and employment law after his call to the Ontario Bar in 2000.
Goodman graduated from York University in 1993 with a B.A., completed law school in 1998 at the University of Western Ontario where he earned an L.L.B. and completed his M.B.A. in 2006 at Royal Roads University in Victoria, B.C. Goodman also completed the UHN-Rotman Leadership Development Program in 2004.
Goodman is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada and serves on the board of Street Health, a not for profit community health organization in Toronto.
VP, Organizational Development Tim Hortons Inc.
Stephanie Hardman joined Tim Hortons Inc. in 2008 and is currently VP of organizational development and team Tim Hortons. Prior to joining THI, Hardman held progressive leadership roles in HR, learning and organizational development with McCain Foods Limited and Canadian Tire Corporation Limited.
Hardman holds a bachelor’s degree from Queens University and a master’s degree from the University of Waterloo.
VP HCM Transformation Oracle
Jeffrey Haynes has more than 20 years of broad HR-related skills, with interests in HR technology, reward systems, performance measurement, incentives and job structure. His work has strengthened workforce commitment and motivation, increased labor competitiveness and improved performance.
As VP HCM Transformation, Haynes assists clients with connecting talent strategies and business strategy, staying on top of current trends and best practices, and serving as a thought leader and advisor to senior HR practitioners and executives.
Prior to Oracle, Haynes worked in both corporate and consulting settings as diverse as telecommunications, high-tech, energy, healthcare and higher education. Most recently, Haynes was a human capital principal consultant with Aon Hewitt and Mercer, and has also led the global total rewards organization for Micron Technology, a global, high-tech manufacturing firm. Haynes also led the compensation function of Qwest Communications, a major telecommunications corporation.
Haynes holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Colorado at Boulder and an MBA with a concentration in Management from Colorado State University.
VP, Human Resources, Americas Epson America, Inc.
Michele Hoff is the VP of human resources for Epson America, Inc., a leading manufacturer and innovator in the printer, projector, scanner, and systems devices categories. She originally joined Epson in 1997 and today is responsible for the overall HR strategic direction in North and Latin America. She oversees all aspects of organizational development, talent acquisition, compensation, and benefits for the region. Prior to joining Epson, Hoff received her master's degree in organizational psychology from California State University, and a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles.
SVP, People Resources & Chief People Officer McDonald's Restaurants of Canada Limited
Len Jillard, SVP of people resources and chief people officer for McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada, has recently accepted the role of chief people officer for McDonald’s APMEA. In his new role, he will be responsible for 38 countries and approximately 10,000 employees.
Jillard is an experienced HR professional and a seasoned member of the McDonald’s system. Since joining McDonald’s Canada in 1972 he has held a variety of positions. He is no stranger to international and regional work experiences, having held the role of senior director of operations for McDonald’s Mexico from 1995—1997. More recently he was the regional VP for Western Canada from 2002—2005. In his current role, he was responsible for carrying out McDonald’s people vision to become the employees’ favourite place and way to work. Under his leadership, the company has received the honour of being named one of AON Hewitt’s Best Employers in Canada 13 times.
Jillard has always made it a priority to dedicate his time and expertise to McDonald’s charitable efforts, serving on the board of Ronald McDonald House in London, Ontario, for more than seven years and as a member of the Society for Ronald McDonald House in Vancouver.
National Manager, Human Resources Toyota Canada, Inc.
Kylie Jimenez is a results-oriented, strategic, human resources leader with a record of accomplishments in leadership development, change management, organizational effectiveness, talent development, organizational design and engaging employees through a high-performance work culture. She has held a number of positions in some of the world’s leading organizations such as Johnson & Johnson, General Mills and Toyota Canada Inc. As head of HR for Toyota Canada, she is valued for her ability to strategically evaluate and influence sophisticated human resources programs and initiatives to drive organizational success.
SVP, People & Culture Ontario Power Generation Inc.
Barb Keenan is SVP of people and culture and chief ethics officer at Ontario Power Generation Inc. Keenan was appointed to her current position in March 2010. She is responsible for the development of HR strategies that support OPG’s business goals, including enhanced employee engagement, employer of choice through recruiting, succession planning, and building successful relationships with OPG’s unions and partners. Keenan is also responsible for strategies and programs supporting safety, learning and development, and employee wellness.
As chief ethics officer, Keenan is accountable for implementation of OPG’s code of business conduct, and for ensuring accessibility and responsiveness to employee concerns.
Keenan joined Ontario Hydro in 1989 and has held various roles in HR at OPG and Ontario Hydro (the predecessor company of OPG). Prior to her current role, Keenan was the VP of nuclear HR and employee safety, and VP of corporate HR and employee safety. From 2000—2006, Keenan worked with Capgemini Canada as VP of HR for outsourcing, and eventually VP of HR for the broader organization.
Keenan is an honours arts graduate from the University of Toronto, a certified HR planning professional, and a certified HR and compensation committee director.
VP, Human Resources Air Canada
Arielle Meloul-Wechsler has been at Air Canada since 1997. She is currently VP of HR, a position she has held since 2013. Her primary responsibilities are to set the strategy for all aspects of HR, notably talent acquisition, retention, compensation and benefits, pensions, talent development, and customer service training for the airline. She is also responsible for occupational health and wellness and disability management as well as linguistic services and diversity.
Prior to holding this function, Meloul-Wechsler was assistant general counsel and director of legal services. While in the legal department, her practice groups included advising Air Canada on corporate financing transactions, reorganization or M&A transactions, business outsourcing arrangements, strategic purchasing and intellectual property. While in the legal department, she was seconded to Aeroplan in 2005 where she led the external legal team through Aeroplan’s initial public offering.
Meloul-Wechsler received her civil law degree from the Universite de Montreal and has been a member of the Quebec Bar since 1993. She also holds a bachelor of science in psychology from McGill University. Prior to joining Air Canada, she practiced at Davies, Ward, Phillips & Vineberg.
SVP, Human Resources & Facilities Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan
Marcia Mendes-d’Abreu is SVP of HR and facilities with the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. Mendes-d’Abreu and her staff are responsible for all aspects of the organization’s HR, including recruitment, compensation and benefits, learning and development, labor relations, and premises. She has more than 25 years of experience in HR management and strategy in the retail, apparel, pharmaceutical and high-tech sectors. Mendes-d’Abreu joined Teachers’ in 2008 from the Canadian Tire Corporation, where she was VP of HR, corporate and diversified businesses.
Mendes-d’Abreu earned a master’s degree in organization development from Pepperdine University and a bachelor’s degree in labor relations from McGill University.
SVP, Human Resources & Org. Dev. University Health Network
Emma Pavlov is SVP of human resources and organizational development at University Health Network since 1997. Her responsibilities include all aspects of strategic human resources management, organizational development and culture. In a unique collaboration, she has also led the HR functions at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, The Scarborough Hospital, and currently Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care. Prior to joining the University Health Network, Pavlov has held various senior human resources leadership positions in both the public and private sectors including Xerox, Levi Strauss Canada, and Imperial Oil Ltd.
President & CEO LoyaltyOne
With more than two decades experience developing meaningful customer relationships for some of the world’s leading companies, Bryan Pearson is an internationally recognized expert and author in the fields of enterprise loyalty and coalition marketing. As president of LoyaltyOne, a pioneer in loyalty strategies and measured marketing, he leverages the knowledge of 120 million customer relationships from more than 20 years to create relevant communications and enhanced shopper experiences. Pearson is the author of the bestselling book “The Loyalty Leap: Turning Customer Information into Customer Intimacy” as well as “The Loyalty Leap for B2B.” He has presented in North and South America, Europe and Asia at Loyalty World, Card Forum and the Economic Club of Canada. He also is a frequent speaker at conferences hosted by the Direct Marketing Association and the Canadian Marketing Association.
Pearson has been quoted in more than 150 news outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, BusinessWeek, the Los Angeles Times and MSNBC. He is a regular contributor to Fast Company, RetailWire, Retail Customer Experience and Customer Think. He serves as a member of the executive committee of Alliance Data, owner of LoyaltyOne and was recently elected vice chair of the Canadian Marketing Association’s board of directors.
EVP, People & Culture WestJet Airlines Ltd.
Brigid Pelino is EVP of people and culture at WestJet Airlines Ltd. Pelino joined WestJet after 13 years with Tim Hortons, where she was EVP of HR. Pelino joined Tim Hortons in 2001 as VP of HR with responsibility for all aspects of HR strategy for Canada, the U.S. and internationally. She was promoted to SVP of HR in 2008, and then named EVP of HR in 2012. Prior to Tim Hortons, Pelino held increasingly senior HR roles in Canadian Tire Corporation, Honeywell Aerospace and General Electric.
Pelino holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and accounting and a master’s degree in industrial relations, both from the University of Toronto.
Principal arc Health Management Solutions of Canada
Roselle Piccininni is a principal at arc Health Management Solutions of Canada Inc. She graduated from the University of Toronto with a bachelor of science and has held her CCRC certification since 2006 and CVP since 2010. She has experience in mental health both in private and public sectors. She specializes in vocational counseling — development of return to work programs, healthcare resource and cost containment solutions, product development, project development, customer service, and account management.
Piccininni has extensive employment experience in the area of disability management. She has additional training in negotiation skills, team building and crisis intervention counseling. She was a panel speaker on episodic disabilities VRA conference Victoria, British Columbia, in 2008. Currently she is president of the College of Vocational Rehabilitation Professionals and is past national president and Ontario president of the Vocational Rehabilitation Association of Canada.
Assistant Deputy Minister, Centre for Leadership and Learning Province of Ontario
Kerry Pond joined the Ontario Public Service in 1997 and was appointed assistant deputy minister of the Centre for Leadership and Learning in 2010. Pond and his team help lead the efforts of the OPS to build a strong culture of continuous learning and recruit and support exceptional leaders. His enterprise responsibilities include executive recruitment, talent management, learning and leadership development, internship programs and building and strengthening organizational culture through employee engagement, green transformation and service excellence programs. He also directly supports the secretary of the cabinet with senior executive human resource matters.
In 2009, Pond was appointed assistant deputy minister of accessible public service at the OPS Diversity Office. From 2006—2009, he was the first chief learning officer for the OPS. Before moving to his enterprise roles, Pond held a variety of senior staff and management roles at the Ministry of Education.
Beyond his ADM responsibilities, Pond is also currently an executive sponsor of the OPS Pride Network and is appointed to the board of the Niagara Parks Commission.
Pond is a graduate of Sheridan College and the Rotman School’s advanced program in human resource management.
VP, Human Resources Molson Coors Canada
Bree Ranieri joined Molson Coors Canada in 2010 as HR director, overseeing talent acquisition and HR business partner services. Since then she was promoted and has assumed responsibility for the overall delivery of all HR services across Canada. Prior to joining Molson Coors Canadian business unit, Ranieri worked in the U.S. and internationally for Molson Coors, most recently serving as senior HR business partner for Molson Coors international business, leading HR services for new and developing markets in Europe, Asia and Latin America. Ranieri started with Molson Coors U.S. business unit as a compensation and benefits leader and played a key role in HR integration of the U.S. joint venture between Molson Coors and SAB Miller. Before joining Molson Coors, she spent seven years in various roles with Delaware North Companies, a privately held food and beverage/hospitality company, primarily in the compensation and benefits areas of HR. Previous to this, she worked in HR generalist roles in manufacturing and healthcare organizations.
Ranieri has an undergraduate degree in business from the University at Buffalo and an MBA from Canisius College.
SVP, Talent Management & Chief Talent Officer Bank of Montreal
Lynn Roger is chief talent officer for BMO Financial Group. She holds company-wide accountability for BMO’s talent strategies and practices, including organization design, diversity and inclusion, talent planning and recruitment, employee engagement, career planning and development, executive succession and employee relations. Roger joined BMO in 1979. Her career has spanned various roles in front-line banking, operations and human resources, giving her a unique perspective on the role HR plays in effectively supporting business strategy.
As chief talent officer, Roger is a trusted advisor to BMO’s top leaders, balancing the needs of today with the future strength of the company. She has a reputation for action and excellence, with a relentless focus on linking people strategies to the business and customers. She is known for her candour and humour, using her authentic style to drive transparency, straight talk and fresh ways of thinking.
Roger holds an MBA, financial services from Dalhousie University, and she is a fellow of the Institute of Canadian Bankers.
Samer Saab is the CEO of eXplorance, a Montreal-based company that offers innovative solutions to facilitate and encourage improvement in organizations. He believes that organizations can achieve sustainable growth by ensuring an ongoing comprehensive learning and development process for each and every one of their employees through the learning experience management methodology. He has implemented his vision at eXplorance which resulted in 500 percent revenue growth over the last five years, 97 percent customer retention and 97.5 percent employee retention over the past 10 years. eXplorance’s client base includes several major organizations such as NASA, Fidelity, loanDepot and Aramco, as well as renowned institutions including the University of Pennsylvania, University of California at Berkeley and the University of Toronto.
Before founding eXplorance, Samer held various positions in different companies including Bombardier, Nortel, Sycamore Networks and Nakisa. He developed his management skills as part of a specialized MBA program from McGill University. He is a frequent guest speaker and a judge at the Dobson Cup of McGill University. Samer is also involved as a mentor at McGill University and at the Fondation Montréal inc.
Director, Employer Insights Indeed
As director of employer insights at Indeed.com, Kevin Walker works directly with employers to deliver actionable insights through recruitment data analysis, best practice sharing and industry trend exploration. Prior to joining Indeed, he spent time in the hospitality and technology industries.
Walker holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington and an MBA from Booth School of Business at The University of Chicago.
Karie Willyerd, Ph.D.
VP, Learning & Social Adoption SuccessFactors, an SAP Company
Karie Willyerd is SVP for learning and social adoption in the SAP cloud. Prior to that she was the co-founder and CEO of Jambok, a video social collaboration platform acquired by SuccessFactors in 2011 and now part of the SAP Jam platform. While Willyerd was chief learning officer for Sun Microsystems, she and her team won more than 35 awards for learning excellence including being named by ASTD as the No. 1 BEST in the world. She is the co-author of the bestseller, “The 2020 Workplace: How Innovative Companies Attract, Develop & Keep Tomorrow’s Employees Today” and has written dozens of articles, including a feature in Harvard Business Review on mentoring millennials. She blogs for Harvard Business and Forbes and is an advisor to the business school at Colorado State University and the Center for Effective Organizations at USC. She serves on the board of City Year, Silicon Valley.