2019 Judging Panel
President, CIO Association of Canada
Gary is a results-oriented Chief Information Officer (CIO) with extensive executive leadership experience in a variety of industries where he has run large scale IT operations and delivered many complex business transformation initiatives. He is currently serving as an independent management consultant providing CIO mentoring and strategy development services for a variety of clients across Canada.
Gary is the Past-President of the CIO Association of Canada (CIOCAN), which is a not-for profit and vendor independent organization representing over 400 CIOs from across Canada through networking, sharing of best practices and lessons learned, executive leadership development and advocacy as the “voice of CIOs” in Canada. Gary was CIOCAN’s National President from 2011 to 2016.
Gary has actively participated on many North American and European CIO Councils and as a Director on various not-for-profit Boards. He is currently serving as a Board member for the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC), as a Board advisor for the Canadian Channel Chiefs Council (C4) and is the Chair of the Program Advisory Board at the Ted Rogers School of Business Information Technology Management program.
Manager, Application Services, Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba
Brent Adair is an Information Systems and Management professional with over 34 years of experience, including 17 years in consulting. Currently a Manager of Application Services at the Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba, Brent has experience with both public and private sector IT departments, including with a number of Fortune 75 companies. Brent has led the design and development of a variety of new products and services both for his own company and others. Brent has shown to be a strong team builder, mentor, architect, and problem solver for a wide variety of projects in a wide variety of business sectors and who relishes in utilizing his past experiences to plan, direct, and oversee the delivery of business and technology projects for the benefit of both his internal and external customers. A visionary leader who really enjoys determining a course of action designed to achieve the organizational goals, Brent’s plans recognize and are inclusive of all areas of the organization.
Vice President, Excelleris Technologies
His focus is on improving the availability and adoption of connected health information across all Canadian care constituents: governments and health authorities, health care providers and patients. In addition to his responsibilities with Excelleris, Francois is also a member of Lifelabs’ Management committee.
Francois has a decade of electronic information distribution experience, most recently having worked as Vice President Operations with a payments company and Chief Operating Officer with an international transaction processing company. He also spent eleven years with Rogers Communications where he led various IT and operations portfolios.
Francois holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from the University of Quebec, Montreal, Canada and a Master of Business Administration from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. He is a trained executive coach and spends most of his free time coaching soccer with the North Vancouver Football Club and the North Shore Girls Soccer Club, as well as and field hockey with the West Vancouver Field Hockey Club.
Catherine Chick is the Chief Information Officer at Mitacs. Mitacs is an organization that supports Canadian innovation through skills development and research collaborations. As CIO, Catherine oversees the technology, enterprise projects and programs portfolios. Prior to joining Mitacs, Catherine accumulated over 25 years of experience working in various strategic and technology management roles across a broad range of industries in both the US and Canada. She has spearheaded initiatives in strategy & governance, digital transformation, program development and data analytics. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from the University of British Columbia and a Master of Business Administration from McMaster University.
Shaun Guthrie is the Senior Director, Information Technology at the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association, a dynamic and evolving association that advocates for the interests of members to the provincial and federal orders of government and other stakeholders. With almost 20 years of Information Technology experience, Shaun’s leadership focuses on continuous development of innovative, robust, and secure business technology solutions with executive leadership roles in professional services, engineering, automotive, retail and government industries.
Shaun is very active in the local IT community, serving on the National and Edmonton Chapter Boards of the CIO Association of Canada, and also advisory board member for the Electronic Recycling Association. Shaun is a graduate of the U of A School of Business Executive Program and Northern Alberta Institute of Technology Computer Systems Technology Program.
Senior VP of IT and Project Delivery, Princess Auto
Bryan Harder is Senior VP of IT and Project Delivery at Princess Auto. An IT Management professional with 23 years of experience including 18 years in SVP level leadership roles, Bryan has demonstrated his ability to communicate to Senior, Peer and Project level audiences. He is responsible and detail-oriented with strong technical, analytical, problem solving, communication, and relationship/vendor-management skills. With experience in retail, telecom and software industries, Bryan’s breadth of experience and understanding of team dynamics have made him a strong business leader.
Dr. Peter Holowka is passionate about digital transformation and technology leadership, particularly in education. His doctoral research was in cloud computing adoption and organizational leadership in K-12. His professional work and academic research aim to support teaching and learning by transforming the educational environment. He has received multiple awards for leadership and academic excellence. Beginning his career as a network and web design specialist, Dr. Holowka also advises a number of independent/private schools, businesses, and not-for-profit organizations. Outside of professional and academic pursuits, his passions include hockey, motorcycles, the performing arts, and travel.
Brian Kuhn is Director of Technology and CIO for the Vancouver School Board, where he is responsible for developing and promoting vision and strategy leading to the adoption of technology to support new ways of learning, teaching and conducting the business of education. As a senior leader, he oversees the department responsible for technology architecture, development, implementation and support services. He actively pursues the integration of diverse information systems, portals, and online teaching and learning spaces.
Kin Lee-Yow is the CIO of the CAA Club Group which is an merger between CAA South Central Ontario and CAA Manitoba. Since 2012, Kin has successfully lead his team through several large technology implementations such as SAP, Avaya telephony system, Guidewire property & casualty system, and the replacement of the Emergency Roadside system.
Kin has over 25 years of experience in the technology field. He started his career at Royal Bank of Canada where he was part of the team that launched the Bank’s online system. He led the technology team that built the retail internet presence at Sears Canada. At Moneris Solutions, he was the head of infrastructure and support services and the General Manager for their white label ATM Gateway services.
Kin is a graduate of the University of Waterloo in Computer Science and Information Systems. He completed his Executive Master of Business Administration at Kellogg (North Western University) and Schulich (York University).
CIO, Royal Canadian Mint
Debbie Lewis is a results-oriented technology industry leader and collaborator, senior transformation leader, and strategic thinker with proven decision-making skills. Currently the CIO at the Royal Canadian Mint, Debbie and her team are leading the digital transformation program at RCM to deliver the capabilities and services to support the overall business strategy. Leadership of our Digital Technology Foundation Program focused on delivering CRM, E-Commerce and Omni channel business capabilities. In her previous positions, including: CIO of The North West Co, CIO of Forzani Group and Deloitte Consulting, Debbie consistently demonstrated leadership for Business and Technology transformation through excellence in Program delivery, Project risk advisory, IT Team and talent specialist, complex project management and organizational change management.
Vice President, Information Technology and Operations, United Way Greater Toronto
Robert Pope is currently leading digital transformation and innovation for United Way Greater Toronto. The Greater Toronto organization recently completed two mergers resulting in an expanded mandate for services, now delivered by working with communities in Peel, Toronto and York region. Enabling mobile capabilities, creating a data-driven culture and strengthening delivery of community services through cost efficiencies and operational excellence are at the core of the technology modernization strategy. Robert has over 30 years of business and IT leadership experience centred on IT strategy, IT operations and innovation. Most recently, Robert provided CIO Advisory Services for a major Biotech (Stem Cell Therapy) start-up and a newly formed Government of Ontario Authority. Previously, Robert was a CIO with Technical Standards and Safety Authority. He has also held IT leadership roles with Certified Management Accountants of Ontario, Canada Post, and Air Canada. Robert earned an MBA from the University of Toronto, and a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) professional designation from CMA Ontario (now CPA Ontario). Additional studies in Information Technology were completed at Queen’s University, the Interac Association and SAP Canada. Robert currently serves as a board member with the CIO Association of Canada (Toronto Chapter) and previously contributed on the Advisory Committee for the Council of IT Executives (CITE) with the Conference Board of Canada.
Elizabeth Rhodenizer is the Chief Information Officer (CIO) of the Public Service Commission of Canada. Elizabeth is a sitting member on the Government of Canada CIO Council and the CIO Strategy Council. She is the Board Director of Affiliate Services and Engagement for the not-for-profit association DPI (dpi-canada.com) and is a member of the CIO Association of Canada. Elizabeth has also been on the advisory board of a Silicon Valley start-up.
With over 17 years of experience in cyber security and critical infrastructure protection in the public and private sectors, Elizabeth has been recognized for her work with the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) and has previously advised on technical standards for the American Bar Association and NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization). Prior to her current position, she advised the CIO of Canada within the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat. She holds a Bachelor of Computer Science from the Technical University of Nova Scotia (Dalhousie) and an Executive MBA from the University of Ottawa.
Volker Seidel’s 20 plus years of experience in IT and IT service has been gained through large, multinational IT companies in Europe and Canada. He specialized in IT support, IT Security, budget and strategy plan optimization. His passion for sustainability has led him into Green IT, moving organizations to virtualization-based operations and Cloud Computing.
In his current position of IT Assistant Manager for Operations and Service at the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, Volker is leading initiatives for data security, virtualization, and innovative technologies that will impact the success of Board members.
An innovative and results-oriented IT leader, Volker works to stay up to date on all new developments in IT. He recently graduated from the CIOCAN Leadership Development Program at the Beedie School of Business and holds a Master’s degree from Royal Roads University where he received the Royal Roads University’s Founders Award in 2013.
Director of Digital Business Transformations, Avaleris Inc.
Raj Thukral is an experienced IT leader, having led a number of modernization and digital transformation projects. Over the last 20 years, he has worked with various large and small companies across North America to help them get the most out of their information technology investments. In his role as VP of Infrastructure and Development at Pythian, he led the creation of their Security and Compliance program and oversaw the development and launch of their internal Privileged Access Management system “Adminiscope.” As Director of IT at Smart and Biggar, he led an ambitious transformation program that saw the law firm move from a 20+ year old IT system and paper files to a modern, automated and paperless collaboration software in just 12 months. He is currently Director of Digital Business Transformation at Avaleris, where he consults with clients to help create their transformation strategies and roadmaps.