Toronto CHRO Virtual Executive Summit

December 2, 2021 | 8:00am - 3:30pm EST

December 2, 2021 | 8:00am - 3:30pm EST

Collaborate with your peers

Come together with your peers virtually to tackle top business challenges through peer-driven content and discussions at the Toronto CHRO Virtual Executive Summit.

Join your peers to discuss the most critical issues impacting CHROs today:

Creating meaningful and actionable initiatives that drive diversity, equity and inclusion

Initiating programs that engage whole-person wellness

Transforming purposeful leadership in the new era of HR

Governing Body Co-Chairs

Sonia Boyle

Gore Mutual Insurance Co.
Chief Human Resources Officer

Cathie Brow

SVP, Human Resources & Communications

Barb Keenan

Chief People Officer

Marcia Mendes-d'Abreu

Foresters Financial
Global Chief Human Resources Officer

Rashid Wasti

Weston Group of Companies
EVP & Chief Talent Officer

Tova White

Giant Tiger
SVP and Chief Human Resources Officer

What to Expect

Connect with your CHRO community through a variety of different session formats at the upcoming Virtual Executive Summit. You'll have the opportunity to listen, engage and create lasting relationships with like-minded peers.


Hear from CHRO practitioners and thought leaders on how they’re approaching and solving critical challenges impacting your role today.


Discuss current topics and critical priorities in an intimate and interactive format.

Peer-to-Peer Meetings

Connect with like-minded peers in a private, one-on-one setting. You will be matched with peers in your community based on your shared interests and priorities.


December 2, 2021

8:00am - 8:45am  EST Keynote

Psychological Climate Change in Today’s Workplace

Stephen Liptrap headshot

Stephen Liptrap

President and CEO


Gillian Whitebread headshot

Gillian Whitebread



Now in the second year of COVID-19, the reality of pandemic-related fears and trauma have initiated a new form of climate change: a worsening psychological climate in the workplace. Many experts believe that employee wellbeing – a key factor in engagement and productivity – will take a long time to fully recover in a workplace that may look and feel far different than before.

Join this session with the CEO and CHRO of LifeWorks where they will discuss their partnership in:

  • Orienting workplace culture more meaningfully around a corporate purpose that values employee wellbeing as an ESG priority.
  • Ensuring mental health and wellbeing issues are addressed from a C-suite perspective to better support HR leaders on the front lines. 
  • Strategies that reflect DEI factors, given the mental health challenges that marginalized populations have experienced in the pandemic.

9:15am - 9:30am  EST Break

9:30am - 10:30am  EST Executive Boardroom

Evolution of the Employee — The Future of Whole Person Wellness

Dr. Joby McKenzie headshot

Dr. Joby McKenzie

Managing Director

Teladoc Health

Nicole Desloges headshot

Nicole Desloges

SVP, People


Gordana Terkalas headshot

Gordana Terkalas

SVP, Human Resources


Workforce needs and expectations around well-being solutions have vastly and permanently changed. Employees now expect well-being programs that support all dimensions of their lives, and organizations are looking to create sustainable health and well-being strategies that go beyond the typical norms of care and drive the broader business objectives.

Join this session to discuss:

  • Accurately identifying gaps and understanding whole-person wellness needs in a hybrid environment
  • Developing inclusive and engaging wellness programs for current and future workforce
  • Understanding key data and insights around whole-person benefits to enable recruitment, retention and employee productivity

10:30am - 11:15am  EST Keynote

The New Era for Leadership — The Evolving Role of the CHRO

Nancy Nazer headshot

Nancy Nazer

Chief Human Resources Officer


Helena Pagano headshot

Helena Pagano

Chief Human Resources & Communications Officer

Sun Life

Prompted by the pandemic, social issues and a new hybrid workplace, CHROs are in the spotlight now more than ever. HR leaders are now tasked with greater accountability for driving business success, shepherding the workforce through change and ensuring culture and connection are in place across the organization. How can CHROs navigate the complexities of this new world of work; while also balancing their own personal well-being?

Join this Keynote session to explore how CHROs can:

  • Align with the C-Suite and Board on critical issues to sustain progress made and advance business objectives
  • Embrace a flexibility-first approach to empower employees and foster a culture of belonging
  • Lean into continual change, build personal resiliency and manage leader burnout

11:15am - 11:30am  EST Break

9:30am - 10:30am  EST Executive Boardroom

The Power of Recognition in Changing Times

Meghan Stettler headshot

Meghan Stettler


O.C. Tanner Institute

Laura Mably headshot

Laura Mably

Chief Human Resources Officer

Co-operators Group Limited

Norm Sabapathy headshot

Norm Sabapathy

EVP, People

Cadillac Fairview

After a year and a half of challenges, disruptions, and change, HR leaders across Canada are increasingly turning to their organization’s total rewards and recognition programs to build a strong workplace culture that can weather the storms of the Great Resignation, keep their teams connected in a hybrid environment, and foster a greater sense of belonging. 

In this boardroom session, HR leaders will share research and insights into:

  • Bringing authentic employee experiences to life
  • Creating connected teams in a hybrid environment
  • Fostering a more inclusive culture of belonging

9:30am - 10:30am  EST Executive Boardroom

Doubling Down on DE&I

Dahabo Ahmed-Omer headshot

Dahabo Ahmed-Omer

Executive Director

BlackNorth Initiative

Barb Keenan headshot

Barb Keenan

Chief People Officer


Rashid Wasti headshot

Rashid Wasti

EVP & Chief Talent Officer

Weston Group of Companies

Driven by social responsibility, diversity, equity and inclusion efforts have soared. Organizations can no longer sit on the sidelines as employees now expect a workplace with an inclusive culture, equitable development opportunities and a strong sense of belonging. What can be learned from progress made thus far, and how can CHRO’s level up their DE&I efforts to empower employees and create sustainable, lasting change?

In this session, HR leaders will discuss how to:

  • Unify independent initiatives across the organization to create a cohesive and collaborative approach to DE&I
  • Develop programs to elevate underrepresented talent and increase diverse representation in leadership
  • Create accountability beyond the HR function to help drive DE&I initiatives across all aspects of the business

8:45am - 9:15am  EST Networking

The Passion Project Exchange

Kelly Davis headshot

Kelly Davis

Chief People Officer

Sunwing Travel Group

As we come upon the end of 2021, what initiatives are you most proud of as a leader? What are your passion projects in your professional and personal lives? Join this interactive and collaborative session to connect and celebrate the bright spots in a demanding career — and year.

9:30am - 10:30am  EST Executive Boardroom

Transformation With Purpose — Data-Led Reorganization and the “What-If” Mindset

Rupert Morrison headshot

Rupert Morrison

Founder & Deputy Chair


Mike Annable headshot

Mike Annable

Senior Vice President, Human Resources & Information Technology

Greenwin Corp.

Nancy Kennedy headshot

Nancy Kennedy

SVP, People & Culture

Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation

Today’s organizations have had to adapt to a wide range of market challenges and the transformations on which CHROs tend to focus are the large, strategic initiatives. But more often than not, businesses need to transform on many levels, continuously, and with an operational focus on driving ever-greater efficiencies.

Join this interactive session to explore:

  • HR’s role in transformation and organization design and how CHRO’s can play a more integral part in the business
  • How HR leaders can spot trends and take a proactive, rather than reactive approach to transformation initiatives
  • Leveraging data and technology to deliver more effective change

11:30am - 12:30pm  EST Executive Boardroom

Roadmap to Resilience — Mental Health in the Workplace

Dave Jones headshot

Dave Jones


Sun Life Health

Lora Haak headshot

Lora Haak

Senior Vice President Human Resources

McKesson Canada

Sebastian Calvo headshot

Sebastian Calvo

VP, Human Resources - Global Business Human Resources


In any given week, 500,000 employed Canadians cannot work due to mental health issues. Facing one of the greatest health challenges of our time, CHROs must find new ways to build the innate resilience of employees to help reduce absence and burnout, improve productivity and increase retention. How can leaders take tangible steps to better support employees’ mental health and thereby increase overall organizational resilience?

In this session, HR leaders will explore:

  • Key insights surrounding mental health impacts and long-term implications for the business
  • How to understand the unique stressors of a diverse workforce and align programs accordingly
  • Fostering a culture of connection in a hybrid environment to better support employee mental health and build individual resilience

12:30pm - 1:15pm  EST Keynote

Great Attrition to Great Attraction — Talent Trends in the New World of Work

Karen Collins headshot

Karen Collins

Chief Talent Officer

Bank of Montreal

Mohammed Chahdi headshot

Mohammed Chahdi

Head of HR Operations - Americas

Dell Technologies

Steve Knox headshot

Steve Knox

VP of Global Talent Acquisition


The pandemic gave workers the time and motivation to reevaluate work, the relationship with their employer and the trajectory of their lives. As a result, CHROs now find themselves navigating what is truly a great resignation for some organizations, but not all. What can be learned from those who are winning on the talent stage, and how can organizations stay competitive in a candidate market?

In this Keynote session, HR leaders will discuss:

  • How to balance heightened employee expectations and demands with organizational goals and constraints
  • Evolving the employer brand and leveraging employee experience to combat attrition and drive key talent acquisition initiatives
  • Looking beyond traditional talent sources and building a long-term, sustainable talent strategy for the future

1:15pm - 1:45pm  EST Networking Break

1:15pm - 1:45pm  EST Networking

Meet the Speakers

Helen Ashton headshot

Helen Ashton

VP, HR Canada

Campbell Soup Company

Don't miss this opportunity to meet with CHRO practitioners and industry thought leaders who shared their insights on the agenda.
Come with questions from the sessions you attended in this gathering designed to foster peer connections and collaboration in the Toronto community.

11:30am - 12:30pm  EST Executive Boardroom

Solving the People Challenge in Identifying Leadership Potential

Merle Ballaigues headshot

Merle Ballaigues


Thomas International

Deanne Dillon headshot

Deanne Dillon

Chief People Officer

HUB International Ontario

Greg Mackie headshot

Greg Mackie

VP, Human Resources & EHS


Identifying future leaders is a constant struggle for many organizations. There have historically been subjective measurements to evaluate leadership capability and high potentials. Currently, new factors such as hybrid/remote work, resignations, and retirements are leaving employee development pipelines drained and organizations looking for new solutions for leadership development.

In this session, HR leaders will discuss:

  • Identifying and measuring leadership potential, as well as performance readiness
  • Removing historical biases to find the hidden gems within your organization
  • How to be proactive rather than reactive in building a leadership pipeline

11:30am - 12:30pm  EST Executive Boardroom

Leaders vs Laggards — Differentiating the Employee Experience

Mary Ainsworth headshot

Mary Ainsworth

EVP, Chief People Officer


Stephanie Hardman headshot

Stephanie Hardman

Chief People Officer

McDonald's Canada

Steve Majer headshot

Steve Majer

Vice President Human Resources

Ford Motor Company of Canada

Recent studies have shown that employee experience practices greatly influence critical people outcomes such as performance, retention, connectedness and satisfaction. But to truly understand employee needs in this new world, and take measurable action to fulfill them, organizations need a more holistic approach.

Join this interactive session to discuss:

  • Key practices that differentiate EX leaders from laggards
  • Leveraging technology to better understand behaviors and amplify the employee voice
  • Creating opportunities for feedback and action to drive a culture of trust and transparency

11:30am - 12:30pm  EST Executive Boardroom

Bridging the Benefits Gap for a Diverse Workforce

Sonya Lockyer headshot

Sonya Lockyer

Vice President and General Manager

TELUS Health

Janet Joubran headshot

Janet Joubran

Chief People Officer

Yum Brands - KFC Canada

Dorena Quinn headshot

Dorena Quinn

VP, People


The labor shortage has organizations searching for creative ways to attract new talent and prevent attrition. As a result, many CHRO’s are re-evaluating their benefits offerings to maximize flexibility, increase engagement and support a workforce with diverse needs. But between budget constraints, bids for new and improved benefits in addition to increased employee demands, how and where do you compromise?

Join this interactive session to discuss:

  • Key trends in employee expectations vs offerings, and which benefits are considered “deal breakers”
  • Understanding the diversity of your workforce and designing personalized offerings to meet contrasting employee needs
  • Sustainable solutions to help reduce absenteeism, increase productivity and foster a culture of wellness

2:00pm - 3:30pm  EST Peer-to-Peer Meetings

Peer Meetings

Meet virtually for in-depth conversations with your colleagues

December 2, 2021

Your Community Partners

Program Partners

Community Program Manager

For inquiries related to this community, please reach out to your dedicated contact.

Catherine Nitz

Program Manager