Vancouver, BC CHRO Virtual Executive Summit

December 15, 2020 | 8:00am - 1:15pm PST

December 15, 2020 | 8:00am - 1:15pm PST

Collaborate with your peers

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

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

HR leaders discuss how their strategies, teams and structures are transforming in a new era of work.

Decisions made now will have long-term impacts on how employee experience is defined in the future.

CHROs must drive digital initiatives that support fundamental shifts in the workplace.

Governing Body Co-Chairs

Todd Gilchrist

Alberta Health Services
VP, People

Marlene Higgins


Chad Hiley


Chris Taylor

Best Buy Canada

Kim Toews

HSBC Canada
EVP & Head of Human Resources


December 15, 2020

8:00am - 8:45am  PST Virtual Summit Keynote

Keynote Case Study — Partnering with the CEO to Drive a Culture of Inclusion and Belonging

Carolynn Ryan headshot

Carolynn Ryan

Chief Human Resources Officer

BC Hydro

Chris O'Riley headshot

Chris O'Riley


BC Hydro

2020 opened the world’s eyes to the vital and fundamental importance of diversity, inclusion and belonging – to society as a whole, and within our own organizations. A backdrop of social injustice, combined with increasing polarization of political and social views, has accelerated the need for corporate DE&I programs to move beyond diversity quotas and other standard metrics to focus instead on meaningful change to create cultures of inclusion and belonging. Join this BC Hydro case study presented by the CEO and the CHRO, who will discuss:

  • Identifying different populations and disparities in your workforce and involving the entire company to foster a culture that values uniqueness over sameness
  • Developing a strategic roadmap, and advancing with decisive intention and tangible objectives and tactics
  • Operationalizing guiding principles and authentic leadership from the top down

10:00am - 10:45am  PST Virtual Summit Keynote

Crafting an Employee Wellbeing Strategy to Foster a Culture of Resilience and Belonging

Gillian Whitebread headshot

Gillian Whitebread


Morneau Shepell

Stephen Liptrap headshot

Stephen Liptrap

President and CEO

Morneau Shepell

We don’t have to imagine the crisis. It’s already here, a trifecta of forces affecting every organization: the pandemic, economic uncertainty, a social justice movement against systemic racism. Now imagine a company reporting the highest levels of employee satisfaction during this period. And that’s the story of Morneau Shepell. In this session we’ll discuss practical strategies for creating a workplace culture of organizational resiliency where people, regardless of external stressors, both feel and perform at their best. 

Join this session to learn about:

  • Normalizing and destigmatizing mental health services across the organization through authentic and transparent leadership

  • Optimizing and improving your well-being strategy to maximize returns and deliver the most value to employees

  • Linking well-being to employer brand, customer experience, innovation and financial outcomes

8:45am - 9:00am  PST Break

10:45am - 11:00am  PST Break

9:00am - 10:00am  PST Virtual Town Hall

Employee Experience and Engagement During a Crisis and for a Better Normal

Brett Addis headshot

Brett Addis

Global Head, Customer Transformation

SAP SuccessFactors

Kim Toews headshot

Kim Toews

EVP & Head of Human Resources

HSBC Canada

Annabelle Donovan headshot

Annabelle Donovan

Vice President, Human Resources


Greg Conner headshot

Greg Conner

VP, People and Culture & Corporate Secretary

BC Transit

As the business response shifts from survival and recovery to renewal and redesign, understanding and crafting a new and more meaningful employee experience will be at the top of every CHRO’s agenda.  Reimagining employee experience and engagement will see HR breaking down silos and setting in motion a snowball of organizational courage to embed employee connectedness, belonging and well-being into the DNA of organizational culture. 

Join this community Townhall to learn:

  • How the employee journey and the moments that matter are changing

  • How to operationalize care, well-being and connection in an organization

  • Crafting your new employee experience strategy and metrics for the next normal

9:45am - 10:00am  PST Break

9:00am - 10:00am  PST Virtual Summit Boardroom

Driving Leadership Bench Strength and Succession Planning for Turbulent Times

Kate Parker headshot

Kate Parker

VP, People

Technical Safety BC

Jeff Starnaman headshot

Jeff Starnaman

Vice President, Human Resources

London Drugs

Chad Hiley headshot

Chad Hiley



The health crisis has forced boards of directors and their leaders across all industries and sectors to take decisive action and make leadership bench strength and succession planning a critical corporate governance issue, ensuring their companies can function effectively in both ordinary and in turbulent times. The risk of an unanticipated CEO or executive leadership transition is also now significantly increased due to rapidly changing market and economic conditions, increased health risks and the emergence of new expectations and requirements from leadership.

Join this interactive boardroom to discuss:

·   Leading the CEO succession planning process for the board

·   The type of leadership and characteristics needed in CEO’s for the next normal

·   Mobilizing your board to identify and develop the next crop of CEO’s and strengthen the leadership bench

12:00pm - 12:45pm  PST Virtual Summit Keynote

Servant Leadership in a Large Complex Organization

Santa J. Ono, Ph.D. headshot

Santa J. Ono, Ph.D.

President & Vice Chancellor

University of British Columbia

Large complex organizations are difficult to steer even in the best of times, as they often consist of disparate communities with varying missions, competing siloes and entrenched cultures and beliefs.  Our current times, characterized by not only a health crisis but also unprecedented technological change, dynamic complexity, ambiguity, paradox, and constant disruption, demands a different type of leadership.  One that fosters agility, adaptability and resilience in even the most complex, traditional and largest of organizations.

Join Dr. Santa Ono, one of Canada’s most esteemed and respected servant leaders to learn:

  • The twists and turns of moving from teaching and research to administration and leading one of Canada’s most respected institutions
  • How Dr. Ono uses the principles of servant-leadership to steer the University of British Columbia through turbulent and unprecedented times

12:45pm - 1:15pm  PST Networking

CHROs Helping CHROs — Community Discussion

Kerrie Shakespeare headshot

Kerrie Shakespeare

Chief Purpose Officer

O2E Brands

Chris Taylor headshot

Chris Taylor


Best Buy Canada

Join this virtual gathering to network and meet other CHRO's in your BC community.  You will also have the opportunity to share a challenge you currently have with other HR leaders in the community, and discuss possible approaches and solutions to your challenge with your peer CHRO's.  

11:00am - 12:00pm  PST Virtual Summit Boardroom

Developing a People Success Strategy for the New World of Work

Will Stoughton headshot

Will Stoughton

Director of Business Development


Brad Boyd headshot

Brad Boyd

SVP, Corporate Resources

Methanex Corp

Marcia Buchholz headshot

Marcia Buchholz

Vice President, Human Resources

University of British Columbia

Jacquie Pylypiuk headshot

Jacquie Pylypiuk

SVP, People, Culture and Technology

Capital Power

Organizations and employees alike have largely embraced the wide-ranging flexibility that has come with the new world of work. But people leaders now face a new set of challenges. Chief among them: How do we help our employees maintain the connections that are vital to workplace success? How do we create a sense of belonging among employees working in a virtual environment? How do we help them avoid burnout?  

Bring a spirit of collaborative problem solving to this interactive boardroom to discuss:

  • Responding rapidly to your organization’s changing needs
  • Enabling managers to help employees do their best work and be their best selves
  • Using your employee engagement strategy to set up your organization for long-term success


11:00am - 12:00pm  PST Virtual Summit Boardroom

Workforce Planning, Hybrid Models and Talent Strategies for Volatile and Uncertain Times

Giri Rajamahendran headshot

Giri Rajamahendran

SVP, Human Capital

SilverBirch Hotels & Resorts

Tina Lai headshot

Tina Lai

Chief Human Resources Officer

Atlas Corp. & Seaspan Corporation

Jenine Ellefson headshot

Jenine Ellefson

Vice President, Human Resources - North America


The current crisis has thrown workforce planning and hybrid workforce models into the spotlight while previous talent strategies now need to be reimagined.  In turbulent and uncertain times workforce and talent plans have to be able to quickly pivot and respond to changes necessitating a more agile and scenario based approach. As many move to a permanent hybrid workforce model, combined with a need to be able to quickly and continuously adapt, this has necessitated some to reevaluate existing organizational structures, roles and work design.  Join this thought provoking boardroom to discuss:

  • What does an agile workforce and talent strategy look like in practice and how to use scenario planning to be more agile

  • Implications, opportunities and risks of unconstrained talent and the opportunity to rightsize your talent footprint

  • Capturing competitive advantage from new talent scenarios and opportunities

December 15, 2020

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Community Program Manager

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

Catherine Nitz

Program Manager