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.

MICHAEL CONWAY

Michael Conway is a corporate director and seasoned bilingual business executive with global experience. Michael has strong strategic, financial and governance acumen, and thrives on coaching
people to help develop and achieve their organization’s goals.

 

Michael’s board experience includes over 25 years of close association with corporate boards and Audit Committees of organizations in diverse industry sectors, such as manufacturing, technology, financial services, and not-for-profits. Michael is and has been a director and Audit Committee Chair of several TSX-listed corporations including Decisive Dividend Corp. (TSX-V: DE), where he provided oversight for its 2013 IPO, its transition from Capital Pool Corp. status via its 2015 Qualifying Transaction and its subsequent four acquisitions to date. Michael is also Chair of the Institute of Corporate Directors – Okanagan Branch and director of ICD’s BC Chapter, and he has served as a director of many community organizations, including the Montreal Children’s Hospital and its Foundation and the McGill University Alumni Association.

 

Michael is a corporate director and management consultant who provides business strategy, governance and performance management advice to Boards and CEOs of mid-market companies, helping them attain their next level of development. This consulting has included start-ups, strategic redesigns, business planning and financing, due diligence / M&A work, and a volunteer assignment with World Vision, where Michael led a team that developed their global corporate governance manual and delivered this training across Africa.

 

Michael was President & Chief Executive Officer of Financial Executives International Canada, leading this national professional association of CFOs and senior financial executives for a decade. Notable accomplishments at FEI Canada included building a respected research institute, establishing an executive leadership program with the Smith School of Business of Queen’s University and impactful government relations on behalf of its members across Canada.

 

Michael’s prior business experience in Canada and Europe has spanned large publicly listed multinational corporations and private mid-sized enterprises in various industries, including roles as VP & Chief Accountant at RBC Financial Group, VP Controller at BCE Inc., VP Finance with Sprint Canada and Senior VP & Chief Financial Officer at Psion Teklogix, a global IT solutions provider, where he closely partnered with the CEO to run its operations.

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.

CHRIS HUEBNER

Chris Huebner came to Lloyd Sadd in 1995 as a recent graduate from the University of Alberta. Originally thinking this would be a stepping stone to another career, he became intrigued with insurance and risk management and has worked hard to become a partner and an integral member of the Lloyd Sadd team. In 2015, Chris was named President of Lloyd Sadd. He believes the success of Lloyd Sadd is based on their desire to support initiatives to enhance customer service at all levels and by providing an exciting work environment for employees.

Chris thrives on knowledge and continuous improvement and has achieved his Fellow Chartered Insurance Professional and Canadian Risk Management designations. Outside of work, he is very active with family, fitness, and volunteering for mental health and his kids’ sports. He is an active runner and cyclist and has competed in numerous triathlons and marathons. He is also a member of TEC Canada.

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 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.

WINNIE LEUNG

As Chief Financial Officer, Winnie Leung is responsible for the overall financial strategy, reporting and Treasury operations of Moneris including making investment and borrowing decisions, providing financial analysis to support business goals, and assessing acquisition targets.

Winnie is a strategic, results-oriented leader with over 20 years of experience. Over the course of her career, she has led the development for improved reporting, corporate governance, operations, administration, and internal controls.

Prior to Moneris, Winnie was a KPMG Audit Partner, servicing the technology sector. Winnie worked closely with both public and early-stage companies to help build and manage their businesses.

Winnie graduated from the University of Waterloo with a B.A. in Accountancy Studies and a Masters of Accounting. She holds the Chartered Professional Accountant, Chartered Accountant designation from the Province of Ontario and Certified Public Accountant designation from the State of Illinois. Winnie also founded the Inclusive Workplace Council and is the Executive Sponsor of Wellness@Moneris.

FRANK SNYDERS

Frank Snyders is a leader with a strong business acumen and a common sense direct approach to delivering collaborative business successes. With twenty years in financial management and with proven record of supporting functional leadership, Frank ensures regulatory compliance and delivery of timely financial information. Frank possesses strong technical skills to deliver financial information and the ability to understand, interpret and communicate results, issues and opportunities. An ethical and trustworthy professional with the ability to connect with individuals at all levels of the organization engendering trust, confidence and respect.

Specialties: Financial Leadership. Corporate Governance, Strategic and Financial Planning, Acquisition & Integration, Regulatory and SOX Compliance

AMANDA VELLA

Amanda is Senior Director, Business Advisory and Transition Consultant with ATB Financial and is responsible for ATB’s business transition offering. Amanda’s previous roles include Managing Director, FP&A at ATB Financial, VP Finance at SCM Insurance Services Inc and advisory/valuation roles with Grant Thornton and EY. Amanda is on the Board of Directors for the CBV Institute and the Lung Association of Alberta and NWT.

Amanda’s diverse experience in business valuation, transaction advisory, finance leadership, management consulting and executive coaching has proven to be quite valuable in the all the complexities that come with owner succession planning.  In addition, Amanda produces significant amounts of educational content on succession planning to support both clients and advisors.

JONATHAN WEEKES

As Marsh Canada’s Cyber Growth Leader, Jonathan’s responsibilities include developing client-specific product solutions, advising clients on issues related to cyber risk, negotiating with insurers and educating clients & colleagues emerging trends. In collaboration with the global growth leaders, Jonathan is also responsible for the development and deployment of creative solutions for Marsh clients across Canada and North America.

Experience

Joining Marsh in 2018 from a leading global insurer, Jonathan brings extensive experience in underwriting Cyber Liability, Technology Errors & Omissions and Architect & Engineers professional liability risks. His experience working with clients in several industry groups including retail, real estate,agriculture, construction, financial institutions, manufacturing and education enables him to engage clients and colleagues across Marsh’s various specialty groups.

Jonathan began his career in 2008 working in personal lines broker, transitioning into commercial insurance with a focus on Property, Casualty and E&O insurance in 2009.  In 2012, Jonathan transitioned into underwriting with a concentration in E&O and Cyber Insurance and now dedicates his time exclusively to advising Marsh clients on their cyber/technology exposures and risk transfer options.

Education
• Business Marketing – Seneca College of Applied Arts & Technology

• Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC) – ISACA