SPEAKER BIOS

GEORGINA BLANAS

As Executive Director of FEI Canada, Georgina’s mandate is focused on expanding FEI Canada’s national presence and enhancing the value that the association provides to Canada’s senior financial executives.

 

Georgina leads a team that focuses on meeting the increasingly complex needs of its members through research, guidance and thought-leadership on a broad range of matters that currently impact financial executive or will impact them in the future.

DR. JARIK CONRAD

SPHR, SHRM-SCP VP, Human Insights and HCM Advisory Executive Director, Equity at Work Council

 

Dr. Jarik Conrad, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, is the VP of the Human Insights and HCM Advisory team at UKG, one of the world’s most innovative human capital management and workforce management companies. Dr. Conrad also serves as the Executive Director of the UKG-sponsored Equity at Work Council (EWC), an interdisciplinary group of experts and practitioners dedicated to providing you with evidence-based strategies to eliminate workplaces inequities.

 

Immediately prior to joining UKG, he led The Conrad Consulting Group, where he served as an executive coach, keynote speaker, and management consultant. He has held human resources leadership roles in the private, public, and non-profit sectors. He has also been a research collaborator with the Mayo Clinic and an adjunct professor at Jacksonville University.

 

Dr. Conrad earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois, two master’s degrees from Cornell University, and a Doctor of Education degree from the University of North Florida. He holds certifications in intercultural sensitivity, emotional intelligence, plant-based nutrition, personal training and weight management.

 

He is a sought-after speaker in the areas of leadership, health & wellness, emotional intelligence (EI), and diversity, equity, inclusion & belonging (DEIB) and has been recognized as one on of the world’s top people practitioners on HRD’s 2021 Global 100. He is also the author of the Amazon best-seller, The Fragile Mind. His next book, In Search of Humanity, will be published later this year.

STACEY LITWIN-DAVIES

Stacey Litwin-Davies is a principal at Cresa, responsible for managing major client accounts and is a known thought-leader in the fields of work, workplace, workforce and transformation.  

 

She has more than twenty-five years of experience managing complex multi-regional and global real estate strategy projects for small and large corporate occupiers, real estate developers, landlords, and public sector organizations both in Canada and Europe. Her subject matter expertise includes real estate portfolio strategy, workplace strategy, real estate data analytics, change management, corporate identity and workplace experience. More recently, Stacey has helped clients focus on the changing landscape of work from home, work from the office, co-working, and the broader landscape of alternative work arrangements.  

 

Stacey has a reputation for creative solutions, working with clients in unique ways to simplify the process and engage leadership, management and staff in developing solutions that best fit their culture and brand. 

Email: sdavies @cresa.com 

MIKE FARRELL

Mike Farrell joined Euler Hermes Canada in February of 2000. Over a 10-year span and as VP of Sales, he built a book of business insuring approximately $120B in domestic and foreign receivables.  In 2013, he was promoted to Assistant Regional VP of Sales for Eastern Canada, where he managed the top 15 customers, as well as trained and expanded the largest trade credit insurance sales force in Canada over the course of 4 years. 

 

As VP of National Accounts and Strategic Advisor, Mike continues to actively guide new customers by customizing their programs to maximize working capital from accounts receivables and inventory. He ensures companies leverage the information Euler Hermes derives from insuring $1T in global trade to fuel their sales growth. 

 

Mike is bilingual (English and French), and his primary interests are basketball, hiking, yoga and fishing. Most of all he enjoys travelling with his wife, Monika and 10 year old son, Sean. 

JOHN FORESTER

John is CFO of DBG Canada Limited (a supplier to the Truck, Automotive, Military, Agriculture sectors as a Tier One and Tier Two provider). John’s previous positions include CFO of Nucap Industries (a supplier of brake technologies and components to OEMs) and Director Corporate Planning, Director Finance, and Treasurer / Controller for Nissan Canada.

John has been a member of FEI Canada for over 10 years, most recently as Chair of the Treasury and Capital markets committee.

 

John has extensive international experience in financing, capital markets, M&A, growing & restructuring businesses as well as HR, IT and change management. As an FEI member John’s desire is to share his experience as well as learn from the experience of others to allow members to maximize success in their respective endeavours.

 

John is also one of four members of FEI’s Private Company Steering Committee and is Chairing its Private Company Finance Thought Leadership Group.

PETER GOLDSZTAJN

Peter is the Director of Corporate Data Analytics and is a key member of the Finance Leadership team at Moneris Solutions where he leads a team of Data Analysts and Data Scientists.  With over 18 years at Moneris in various positions, he has become a trusted advisor, recognized leader and source of data analytics and science expertise.  Data driven decision support employing leading edge methodologies and solutions is a daily routine for Peter and he has also championed the development of strong data governance policies, standards and processes at Moneris.  

 

Peter has a proven track record of delivering value by translating data into insights, optimization and transcribing business activities to the bottom line by using machine learning, advanced forecasting, descriptive, diagnostic, and predictive analytics. Peter has developed techniques and models that have become invaluable to the finance team and the rest of the organization as there is an increasing need for faster and more precise forecasts.   

 

Peter is happily married to his lovely wife Camille and has a beautiful daughter, Mia.  When away from his passion for data, he enjoys spending time at the cottage with family and friends. 

 

SEYED HEJAZI

Seyed Hejazi is a Director in RSM Canada’s Security and Privacy Risk practice.

 

Having more than 16 years of experience in Cybersecurity and I.T., Seyed possesses deep knowledge of cybersecurity and privacy risks, governance models, frameworks, technologies, and leading practices. Seyed’s knowledge of security operations, cyber threat intelligence, incident handling, digital forensics, and the cybersecurity related regulations has enabled him to help organizations transform their cybersecurity practices to protect confidentiality, preserve integrity and promote availability.

 

Seyed holds a Master’s degree and designations including CISSP, PMP, GCIH, GREM, CFE. He teaches Cybersecurity courses at the University of Toronto. 

ANDREW HLADYSHEVSKY Q.C.

Andy’s primary focus is to provide corporate and commercial advice to Alberta businesses whether operating locally, nationwide or internationally. He is experienced in a variety of corporate transactions, including public equity and debt offerings, transfers of ownership of companies, international financing transactions and acting as general counsel for companies listed on the Alberta, Vancouver, Toronto, U.S. and NASDAQ Stock Exchanges. Andy has lectured extensively, appeared on the Global and CTV Television Networks, CBC Radio and provided interviews to print media. 

 

Recognition 

 • Recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his extensive pro bono work 

• Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished BV Peer Review Rating 

• Awarded the International Award of Merit from the Republic of Ukraine 

• Awarded a University of Alberta Alumni Association Honour Award 

• Appointment as Queen’s Counsel, January 2000 

 

Activities & Affiliations 

 • Member, Law Society of Alberta, Corporate Commercial Advisory Committee Past-Chairman, Law Society of Alberta, Business Corporations Act Advisory Committee 

• Member, Edmonton Bar Association, Canadian Bar Association 

 

Community Involvement and Pro Bono 

Edmonton Symphony Orchestra – Served on  the Board of Directors of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra  for 10 years and for 3 years served as Chairman of the Board of Governors and has held a variety of positions within the organization 

• Canadian Race Relations Foundation – Founding Director of the CRRF having been appointed in October 1996 and served as an active Director. He acted as Vice-Chairman and represented the Province of Alberta. 

• Christmas Bureau of Edmonton (18 years) which raises funds in order to provide a festive meal for Edmonton’s less fortunate 

• Centre for Race and Culture – Board Member and Former Chairman for CRC 

 

Teaching Roles 

 • Faculty of Extension, University of Alberta – Sessional Instructor “Commercial Law” 

 

Beyond Law 

 • Lifetime Member, Canadian Authors Association 

 

Advisory Groups 

 • Grant MacEwan University – Chairman of School of Business Advisory Council 

• University of Alberta – Member of Academic Advisory Council to the Kule Institute of Advanced Studies 

EPSIT JAJAL

MBA CPA CMA
Virtual CIO – Ricoh IT Services 

 

Epsit has over 25 years of consulting and leadership experience across a broad spectrum of industries including operational and leadership roles in finance, IT, service delivery, and professional services with organizations such as Deloitte, Dana Corp., Canada Life, Royal Bank, Startec Global, Town of Caledon, CSDC Systems, and the City of Toronto. He is a versatile executive that has led major digital and business transformation initiatives in roles across the public and private sectors. Epsit is well respected for his digital leadership regarding the design and delivery of innovative, organizationally transformative, and high-impact solutions for clients across Canada, the UK, USA, and various Caribbean Islands. 

Epsit has a BA in Economics, and a MBA from the Ivey School of Business at Western University and is also a licensed chartered professional accountant (CPA).  In his spare time, he volunteers as a board member and mentor for organizations such as Achev, The Centre for Education & Training, The Change Foundation, Woodgreen Community Services, and Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council. 

 

Finance and IT might not always be seen as natural bedfellows but forming a strong partnership between the two departments can be hugely beneficial for any organization. 

 

As a Ricoh vCIO with strong experience in senior Finance roles, Epsit provides innovative and nuanced leadership to our customers.  vCIOs develop change roadmaps, design, and manage process improvements within the IT organization and implement forward-thinking solutions for today’s technology challenges. 

 

Work with a Ricoh vCIO and get: 

• A leading authoritative voice in the IT industry

• An advocate for innovation and change

• A strategic and disruptive thinker

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DR. HOWARD JOHNSON

Howard is a Managing Director and Canada Market Leader at Duff & Phelps (one of the world’s largest independent valuation and corporate finance firms). He advises business owners and executives on acquisitions, divestitures, financing and shareholder value matters.  Howard’s previous positions include Chairman of M&A International Inc (an investment banking alliance that provides financial advisory services), Managing Director of Veracap International Inc. (a mid-market investment bank) and Managing Director of Campbell Valuation Partners. (Canada’s longest established and largest independent consultancy specializing in business valuation).  He has also held senior positions in industry and has served on the board of public, private and not-for-profit organizations.

 

Howard is the author of several books on the subjects of business valuation, M&A and corporate finance primarily published by CPA Canada. 

 

Howard has been a member of FEI Canada since 2002.  He is the past President of the Southern Golden Horseshoe Chapter and was a member of the inaugural Board of Directors for CFERF. Howard was the recipient of the Frank S. Capon award in 2019.

 

Howard is also one of four members of FEI’s Private Company Steering Committee and is Chairing its Private Company M&A Thought Leadership Group.

DAVID KING

David King is a Senior District President with Robert Half, the world’s first and largest specialized talent solutions firm. In his current role, he oversees both the Canadian and South American Robert Half business. 

 

For more than 25 years, David has led a successful career with Robert Half, having held senior management positions in both Eastern and Western Canada. His perspectives and knowledge on workplace issues and labour trends are often featured in major media outlets and executive keynotes, and he provides curriculum guidance to leading educational institutions across the country. Under David’s direction, Robert Half has established itself as a leading advisor to businesses internationally, helping companies in all stages of growth establish talented teams and thriving organizations.   

 

 About Robert Half 

 

Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialized talent solutions firm that connects opportunities at great companies with highly skilled job seekers. Robert Half offers contract, temporary and permanent placement solutions, and is the parent company of Protiviti®, a global consulting firm. Visit roberthalf.ca

MARY BETH KYER

CPA CMA 

 

Mary Beth is the Chief Strategist and Founder of Euphoria Interactive focused on helping organizations leverage technology to better communicate with their people and clients. 

 

For over 20 years, Mary Beth and her team have managed strategic projects in strategy development, change management, e-learning and strategic outsourcing. Known for large IT systems integration including Workday, Clarity, Oracle, JDA, SAP, Ariba, Fieldglass, Remedy, Tango, UKG and Infor, Euphoria’s work has provided solutions to Fortune 500 companies across the globe. 

 

Mary Beth has a passion for technology and social purpose. She holds a Master Diploma of Learning and Technology, is a CPA and is active mentor in the start-up community. She is the Treasurer & Board Member with Festivals & Events Ontario. 

 

BRAD McCABE

Brad is passionate about the sponsorship and not-for-profit industries.  

 

With over 20 years’ experience working with attractions, events and not-for-profits, Brad applies his sponsorship and brand activation knowledge to serve an array of brands, events and causes. Supporting FEI Canada’s partnerships program, Brad aims to solve a common issue found in the industry – cutting through the noise to find the right sponsorships to deliver on strategic objectives. 

 

Brad has been integral in leading organizations through transformative changes in structure, engagement and revenue development. In his spare time, he sits on CNE’s Strategy & Policy Committee and coaches youth rugby. 

MARTY MURRAY

Marty Murray is a Director with Protiviti where he is the Canadian Lead for the Business Performance Improvement and Managed Business Services practices. Marty’s work focuses on supporting executives in their business and finance transformation aspirations. 

 

Marty’s project experience is broad and he has assisted clients with a wide range engagements including back office and finance process improvement, systems and ERP enablement, shared services and outsourcing.  Marty has worked with a number of non-profit organizations over the last 2 years to help revamp their strategy and target operating models, turnaround underperforming functions, implement technology and develop and execute significant business and digital transformation initiatives.

GUILLAUME NERON

As a senior leader in cyber security, Guillaume Néron brings over 20 years of experience during which he held positions such as Security and Resiliency Practice Leader, CISO, Director of Professional Services and Consultant.

 

In his current role, as Security and Resiliency Practice Leader at Kyndryl, he leads the Canadian strategy and helps customers achieve secure and resilient operations.

 

In his previous position as Director of Professional Services – Security for Bell Canada, he was acting as a trusted advisor to Bell’s major customers on their cyber security journey.

 

Guillaume also worked with Mandiant leading its Proactive Team for Canada.

 

His passion for cyber security has been driving him and has made him a prominent promoter and trusted collaborator in the industry. Above all, his past experience has given him the opportunity to serve the most demanding organisations.

SHAWN OSTHEIMER

Shawn Ostheimer is the founder and president of The Answer Company. Beginning in 1994, Shawn has spearheaded the company’s growth to become the largest Sage provider in Western Canada. With a Masters in Business Administration and over decades of experience with implementing financial and management software systems, Shawn has contributed to every facet of improving clients’ businesses. His experience includes business analysis, system design/analysis, training, implementation, data conversion, software installation, customer support and project management. 

 

Taking an active role in the company’s operations, Shawn helps improve businesses by determining software solution fit that generates substantial return on investment for clients. His emphasis on integrity in customer service has been instrumental in the company’s success and has become a pillar in The Answer Company’s culture. Shawn’s hard work and commitment to seeing projects completed properly and on time, translate into long-term relationships with clients that return to fulfill the needs of their organizations as they grow and change. 

 

Shawn is a leader and guest speaker for the enterprise software industry, focusing lectures on business processes, accounting, and the role software solutions play in attaining organizational objectives.  

 

Presently through The Answer Company Shawn provides financial support to social initiatives like Downs Syndrome Research Foundation, Canucks Autism Network, World Vision and SPARC BC.  

BILL ROSS

Business Executive | Vercerta Inc. 

Mr. Ross is a business executive with Vercerta, a firm that specializes in risk management services, with particular focus on business economics and environmental issues.  In prior roles, Mr. Ross held executive management positions, specializing in Finance and Information Technology, with Enbridge Inc., a leading energy infrastructure manager; W.W. Grainger, a pre-eminent industrial distributor; and, Unilever, a global provider of consumer products. 

 

Mr. Ross is a Chartered Professional Accountant, holds an MBA (with distinction) from the Richard Ivey School of Business, and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Mathematics from the University of Stirling in Scotland.  He is also a Chartered Director, Chair of the Board of Nature Canada, Dillon Consulting and Green centre Canada. Bill is also past Chair of the Board for Financial Executives Canada.  Mr. Ross is the past Chair of the Energy and Environment Committee for the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce, whose mandate is to advocate economic and environment policies to promote sustainable development in the region.

 

  As a keen participant in outdoor activities, Bill has a passion for the preservation of wildlife and their natural habitat.  

JEFF SHICKELE

Jeff is Vice President, Finance and Technology at Amacon.  Amacon is a privately owned large Vancouver based real estate developer and investor with activity in Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto and Denver.  Jeff is responsible for Treasury, Accounting, Tax, Estate Planning and Technology.

Jeff has been extensively involved with FEI Canada for many years and is currently Chair of the Board of Directors of FEI. He has held a variety of positions within FEI including Chair of the Audit & Finance Committee, President of the Vancouver Chapter, Vice Chair, Treasury & Capital Markets and the Whistler Conference 2017 Chair.

 

Jeff is also one of four members of FEI’s Private Company Steering Committee and is Chairing the Multi-Generation Family Business Thought Leadership Group.

DUNCAN STEWART

Director of Research, Deloitte Canada Technology, Media and Entertainment, & Telecommunications 

dunstewart@deloitte.ca  

 

Duncan is the Director of TMT Research for Deloitte Canada, a member of Deloitte’s Center for Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT Center) and is a globally recognized expert on predicting the future of consumer and enterprise technology, media and entertainment & telecommunications. He has been co-author of Deloitte Global Research’s annual Predictions report on trends in TMT since 2008. He meets with hundreds of the top tech, media and telecom companies globally each year, and incorporates their insights into his work. 

 

He presents regularly to companies and at conferences, has a high-profile media presence and is frequently interviewed on the future of everything. 

 

Duncan has 31 years of experience in the TMT industry. As a portfolio manager, he made investments in the tech and telecom sector, and won the Canadian Technology Fund Manager of the Year award in its inaugural year. In his time as an investor he deployed a cumulative $2 billion of capital into global TMT markets, in public and private companies. 

 

He is a CFA® charterholder and holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of British Columbia.