CIOCAN’s Impact Award Winners

The CIO Association of Canada (CIOCAN) is pleased to announce the winners of our 2020 Impact Awards.

New this year, the awards shine a light on our devoted members, who make it possible for technology leaders to problem-solve, share know-how and develop as leaders of Canada’s economy.

“Each member brings their own strengths to the table” says Humza Teherany, Chief Technology and Digital Officer Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, and President CIOCAN,  “their leadership skills are what makes our association as strong and vibrant as it is. Our members’ enthusiasm has built a momentum that allows the CIO Association of Canada to get better every year.”

Congratulations to all the winners, and thank you to all the nominees and everyone who participated – we couldn’t do what we do without the exceptional support from our members.

2020 Impact Award Winners

Presidents Award
The Presidents Award recognizes a board member who leads by example, holds themselves and others accountable, makes volunteering enjoyable for others and sets the standard for all other members.

Winner: Shaun Guthrie, Senior Director, Information Technology, Alberta Urban Municipalities Association

Shaun’s enthusiasm is infectious, first as President of the Edmonton Chapter and now for his role as National Membership Director.  He is often the catalyst to move from idea to action. Shaun has been a tireless supporter and promoter of the Association. His passion to build the community in Edmonton as well as across the country has resulted in numerous individuals joining the association. He is ready to support other chapters as required and always jumping in Nationally when required.
Connect with Shaun on LinkedIN


Mentor of the Year Award
The Mentor of the Year Award recognizes someone who is seen as a true leader and teacher and has made a meaningful impact on those around them – by always being willing to share their time and experience with others.

Winner: Lan Nguyen, CIO Association of Canada, Toronto Chapter

Lan is a natural leader and mentor.  She prides herself in connecting people and assisting everyone she knows to further their career, expand their knowledge and share experiences.  Her mentees find her openness and her willingness to share insights to be extremely valuable to them. Lan also helps facilitate connections throughout CIOCAN and beyond if it will assist in someone’s professional or personal development. She gives her knowledge and shares her experiences willingly and is a fantastic role model and leader in every sense of the word.
Connect with Lan on LinkedIN


CIO Association of Canada Lifetime Achievement Award
The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes someone who has led by example and propelled the CIO profession forward with innovation and dedication – they are a model CIO and inspire greatness in others.

Winner: Alex Buhler, Chief Technology Officer, Indochino Apparel Inc.

Soon after joining CIOCAN in 2005, Alex became a board member of the CIOCAN Vancouver Chapter and remains the longest active serving board member of the Vancouver Chapter.  During this time, Alex became the Vice President of the Vancouver Chapter in 2010 and then President for four years 2012 to 2016.  He continues as a board member and provides experience and continuity for the board.

As part of CIOCAN, Alex has pushed for development of the IT profession in our community, advocating support for ten years of sponsorship of the CIOCAN & SFU CaseIT international competition and volunteering as a judge on multiple occasions.

Alex has worked together with other board members to be an advocate of the CIO Association to facilitate networking, sharing of best practices and executive development, and to drive advocacy on issues facing IT Executives and CIOs.  He is known in our CIOCAN community as a safe and experienced ‘sounding board’ when peers are looking to exchange ideas or a for a friendly perspective.
Connect with Alex on LinkedIN

Member of the Year Award
The Member of the Year award recognizes a CIO Association of Canada member who goes above and beyond with their contributions. This is someone who regularly attends events, shares ideas and recruits new members and volunteers.


Calgary Chapter
Todd Kennedy, Director of Technology, Golden Hills School Division no. 75

Todd has been an outstanding member of the Calgary Chapter for 2 years bringing his positive energy to everything he does.  When he is at events, he brings a balance to every discussion.  He has similar technology challenges like everyone else and is helpful to make suggestions of what he has experienced relative to the topic.  Gentle, friendly and easy to talk to tees up an engaging opportunity for anyone that is lucky enough to sit beside Todd.
Connect with Todd on LinkedIN


CISO Division
Omid Hamid, CISSP, Senior Manager, Cybersecurity, BC Hydro

Omid has been a committed member of the CISO division for 11 years and was instrumental in launching this division of CIOCAN in its infancy.  Omid is a positive, pragmatic person who loves cybersecurity and likes to give back to the community. He is a perennial CISO ambassador, both recruiting new members, spreading the word about their work, and making connections within the larger CIOCAN community, especially within the Vancouver Chapter’s network.
Connect with Omid on LinkedIN


Vancouver Chapter
Dr. Peter Holowka, Director of Educational Technology, West Point Grey Academy

Dr. Holowka has been an stalwart member of the Vancouver Chapter for 18 years.  Peter believes in the values of the CIO Association of Canada and is the most consistent participant to Vancouver Chapter events with a strong passion for the education and networking events. Peter has recently finished a PhD thesis on the use of ICT in elementary schools. He has given lectures around the world on this topic. Peter is a model CIOCAN member!
Connect with Peter on LinkedIN



“Working with the technology leaders of the CIO Association of Canada is impressive to me every day and these inauguarl Impact Awards are just another way that we’re giving voice to the technology leaders of Canada’s economy,” added Tracy Blyth, CAE, Executive Director.

The CIO Association of Canada received a total of 19 nominations this year. The awards were adjudicated by a group of committees and approved by the Board. The high number of nominees and participants is just another example of the active community of CIOs and the mutual respect we have for each other as peers.

Follow us to keep up with more Impact Award updates, and keep your eye out for our 2021 nominations: