2017 Judging Panel
President, CIO Association of Canada
Gary is the Past-President of the CIO Association of Canada (CIOCAN) which represents approximately 350 CIOs across Canada through networking, sharing of best practices, executive leadership development and advocacy as the “voice of CIOs”. He has extensive experience as a senior executive within both the telecommunications and retail sectors and has successfully run large scale IT operations and delivered complex business transformation initiatives.
As Vice-President of Information Technology at Allstream Inc. from 2006 to 2014, Gary significantly reduced IT costs while at the same time dramatically improving service levels, delivered hundreds of projects, launched a major business system transformation program and built a team of dedicated IT professionals focused on improving core capabilities in a very competitive and regulated telecommunications industry.
Gary has participated on many North American and European CIO Councils and also served as a Director on various not-for-profit Boards. He currently serves on the Information Technology Infrastructure Roundtable (ITIR) for Shared Services Canada and the Program Advisory Board for the Ted Rogers School of Business at Ryerson University.
Manager, Application Services, Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba
Brent Adair is an Information Systems and Management professional with over 32 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, 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.
CIO Alberta School Employee Benefit Plan
Tarick Ahmad is a Chartered Professional Accountant and is the Chief Information Officer for the Alberta School Employee Benefit Plan which provides health, life and disability insurance benefits to Alberta’s education sector. Previously, Mr. Ahmad held the title of Chief Technology Officer and has experience working in large international organizations in the construction and energy sectors as well as founding a start-up technology company. Passionate about optimizing business through innovative technology, Tarick was honoured to receive a global innovation award with the successful delivery of a disability claims management system project. Mr. Ahmad is a graduate of the University of Alberta and brings a strong technical, financial and analytical background to his work.
Associate Professor, Ted Rogers School of IT Management, Ryerson University
In the almost 20 years that he has worked with Siemens, Mike has moved steadily into more senior positions. His current position, which he has held since 2013, is Vice President and CIO. With a background in governance and infrastructure, and an international perspective on the company, gained through positions held in Germany and the US, Mike brings a collaborative leadership approach to strategic management of IT.
CIO, Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba
A graduate of Red River College (RRC), Stu began his career in Information Technology with the Canadian Wheat Board in 1979. After spending 17 years with the CWB he decided he’d like to try the world of consulting, working for SmartHealth and EDS before he joined the WCB of Manitoba in May of 2000 as Manager, Application Development. In September of 2001 he took over as Chief Information Officer a position from which he retired in 2017. A strong advocate for innovative use of technology as an enabler for business change, he helped lead the WCB in various business transformation initiatives in his time with the organization. Stu maintained his strong ties to RRC where he served as an advisor for their IT programs for over 25 years. He was a member of the Board of Directors for the Information Communication Technology Association of Manitoba (ICTAM) and a member of the Board of Directors for the Manitoba Chapter of the CIO Association of Canada. Stu is now pursuing his passions in life: food, wine, and travel.
CTO, Patient News
Michael Issaev is a senior IT executive with experience in leading technology teams in a variety of industries at companies ranging from start-ups to large international corporations. Throughout his career, Michael has been successful with digital technology transformation, realigning IT with business strategies, completing major expansion and system implementation projects, introducing modern technologies and methodologies such as agile, cloud, business intelligence, mobile, and social networking.
Michael’s expertise spans a number of industry sectors, including supply chain, retail, travel, manufacturing, SaaS, financial services, and marketing.
Currently, Michael is the CTO at Patient News, a leading healthcare marketing company.
Director of Technology and CIO, Vancouver School Board
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.
In his previous role, at the Coquitlam School District, Brian had the privilege of contributing to new school design and leading initiatives designed to transform learning and work. Brian presents regularly at conferences and in workshops on topics related to education, technology, and the future.
CIO, Environmental Monitoring and Science Division
Rita Lazar-Tippe is the Chief Information Officer at Environmental Monitoring and Science Division (EMSD) responsible for monitoring, evaluating and reporting on key air, water, land and biodiversity indicators.
With more than 24 years of Business Technology experience, Rita is currently responsible for the overall IT strategy and operational management at EMSD. Her intuitive business sense and her multifaceted IT approach allows her to drive best practice data management and data services initiatives forward to best meet the needs of the organization. Her experience consists of leading various corporate wide projects that improved process efficiencies, enabled new revenue streams, reduced operating expenses and provided strategic corporate alignment.
Rita was selected to the Top 20 Most Innovative Midmarket CIOs, a group of IT executives that have contributed to the advancement of their organization through the innovative use of technology solutions and have demonstrated business value.
Richard has spent over 25 years working with others to technology to work in new businesses, new markets, new products and new processes. His career in IT has not been anything but traditional. In a recent assignment, he was not only responsible for Information Technology, but also headed innovation, operational efficiency and new business development. He led several startup companies, raising millions of dollars to get them off the ground. He also worked a “Company Creator” with the Western Technology Seed Investment Fund, a seed stage venture capital fund. Prior to that, he spent over 15 years in product management, business development and R&D in the global telecommunications market. His achievements include building worldwide annual sales of a new system to over US$ 30M.
Richard is a Professional Engineer in Alberta and holds an MBA from the Ivey School of Business. He volunteers as a mentor with APEGA, Futurpreneur.ca and the UC Haskayne School of Business
Director, Information Systems & Technology, Condrain Group
Ian G. McLeod is a seasoned IT management professional with over 35 years of experience managing and directing a wide range of application and infrastructure environments. He has extensive, specialized knowledge and experience in the education sector, both post-secondary and K-12. Ian has participated in numerous advisory and consulting roles, and has presented at a number of recent conferences. He is committed to ongoing career development and is active in the support of the IT community in BC and across Canada.
With extensive background and success in operational management and client service, Ian has led and managed departments as large as 100, and supported large and diverse client groups. In his current position as CIO at Douglas College, Ian is responsible for administrative and academic technology services and infrastructure, including servers, SAN storage, wired and wireless networks, and telephony, along with applications development and support, client and helpdesk support services, and enterprise reporting
Senior Director, Information Systems, Chartwell Retirement Residences
Currently Research Director and Executive Advisor, Vendor Management at Info-Tech Research Group, John Pinard is an accomplished, innovative, results-oriented IT visionary with 30 years’ experience and broad business knowledge. Through positions in health care and manufacturing sectors, John has developed strong leadership, technical, communication and organizational skills, demonstrated by his successful track record of developing high performance teams that have implemented strategic, technology-based solutions to improve business performance.
Senior Strategic I&IT Advisor, Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority (RPRA)
Robert Pope is currently providing I&IT leadership for the complex multi-year transition of Waste Diversion Ontario into a newly created Government of Ontario Authority (RPRA). Robert has over 30 years’ business and IT leadership experience centred on IT strategy, operations and innovation. Previously, Robert was 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. Additional studies in IT 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.
IT Assistant Manager, Operations and Service, Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver
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.
Author, Innovator, Adjunct Professor, Ryerson University
Dr. Salah Sharieh is a senior technical Innovator with extensive experience in business, technology and digital transformation.
Salah holds the degree of Doctor of Philosophy from McMaster University. He has more than twenty peer-reviewed publications and has contributed to several books. He also is a technical reviewer for several journals and conferences and is a member of the CIO Association of Canada, IEEE and ACM.
Recently Salah led the National Occupation Standards for Cyber Security.
In the last 20 years, Salah Shariah has delivered high-profile solutions and provided vision and leadership to several industries including financial, telecommunication, manufacturing, and the public sector. Salah is a member in the Yeates School of Graduate Studies at Ryerson University where he supervised Ph.D. and Master Student. One of his areas of research is the new role of CIOs in the new Digital Economy.
Director, IT and Business Systems, Active Exhaust
An experienced senior IT leader, with close to 25 years of experience, Kevin Tucker currently holds the position of Director of IT & Business Systems at Active Exhaust. He has Global responsibility for setting the path of the company’s technology ecosystem toward a heightened collaboration and knowledge management.
Kevin’s experience includes public, private, government and not-for-profit organizations, across numerous industry verticals. Within IT, Kevin’s experience includes both the Application and Infrastructure side of the IT function. Kevin’s executive-level experience also includes leading profit centers, thus providing him with critical knowledge of the challenges that cost constrained business units face on a daily basis.
Combining his wide array of education and Strategic Management, Kevin keeps organizations focused on leveraging technology to not only support business objectives, but to encourage innovation and development of new products, services, and collaborative structures that drive effectiveness in support of revenue growth.