2018 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.
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.
Catherine Chick is the Chief Information Officer at Mitacs. Mitacs is a Canadian not-for-profit organization that builds partnerships between universities and companies through research and training programs which support industrial and social innovation. As CIO, Catherine oversees the information and communications technology (ICT) strategy and operations. Prior to joining Mitacs, Catherine accumulated over 20 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 been involved in many initiatives around digital transformation, process redesign, data analytics and solution architecture. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from the University of British Columbia and a Master of Business Administration from McMaster University.
Manager of Information Technology, City of Sarnia
Mark Dillon is currently the Corporate Manager of Information Technology for the City of Sarnia. Mark started out as a software developer during Y2K. Since then, Mark has been a driving force in municipal broadband, SCADA information security and fiber optic networks across Ontario Canada. As a longtime supporter of the Intelligent Community Form, Mark brings a unique perspective when it comes to innovation surrounding smart communities, internet of things and the social effects of the ever-growing intrusion/benefits technology has in our day to day lives.
Lead Digital Transformation Consultant, Accenture/CMHC
Ranil is the Lead Digital Transformation consultant at Accenture , working with CMHC on Enterprise Biz apps transformation. Ranil has an MBA from Bridgewater University in UK. Also reading for MBA in Banking and Finance at Bangor University and Chartered Banker Status. He is certified ITIL professional and have completed the Certified digital leader program at University of Reading, UK.
Ranil Fernando is an IT and business manager/ leader with 20+ years of Global experience in large multi-national corporations. Having worked for HSBC, Standard Chattered Group, British Petroleum, Citi Group, Virtusa, World Vison, Accenture in Asia, Dubai, UK, US and Canada, Ranil brings in diverse expertise in Business Transformation, Enterprise applications and Digital consulting.
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, artificial intelligence, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
VP, Corporate Services & Risk Management, PointClickCare
Arlene McDonald is proven team builder, executive sponsor and advocate for her team and for her business partners. In her current role Arlene oversees the Corporate Technology services team, Business Intelligence, Risk Management (including Security and Business Continuity Management) and Facilities Management. She possesses a very strong ability to think about technology from a business impact perspective and not just from a technology view. Arlene is a true people leader with a proven ability to manage change across an organization.
In the past few organizations she has been with, Arlene has succeeded in changing the organizational perspective of the IT/IS teams. Identifying the goal of improving internal NPS measurements, Arlene encouraged her teams to improve the levels of services provided, resulting in significant increase in respect for the department.
As well as being a successful IT leader, Arlene’s strong communication skills and confidence make her an effective executive.
John Pinard has over 30 years business and IT leadership experience gathered through a variety of roles. As part of the Executive Leadership team and head of IT, John is currently responsible for the successful implementation, maintenance and support of all computer and telephony systems within the Authority allowing them to achieve their mandate in accordance with the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act, 2016 (RRCEA) and the Waste Diversion Transition Act, 2016 (WDTA).
Prior to joining RPRA, John was the Director, Research and Advisory in the Vendor Management and CIO practice at Info-Tech Research Group where he focused on the development and delivery of research and advisory services to the organizations’ members. Before Info-Tech, John spent three and a half years as Senior Director, Information Systems, for Canada’s largest retirement home organization where he was responsible for the negotiation and management of cloud and on-premise licensing and vendor management for all major systems within the organization. Additionally, John spent 17 years as the Head of Information Technology for one of Canada’s leading name-brand pharmaceutical manufacturers where his key focus was making users more productive and the business more profitable through the use of technology.
John has also worked in the Consumer Products industry for companies like Coca-Cola Ltd. And Makita Power Tools and also in a consulting role with one of IBM Canada’s largest AS/400 Business Partners for the sales and support of IBM mid-range hardware, business application software, and support services.
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.
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 of Digital Business Transformations, Avaleris Inc.
Raj Thukral is an experienced IT leader, having led a number of modernization and digital transformation project. 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 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 own transformation strategies and roadmaps.
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.
Chief Information Officer, City of Burnaby
Shari Wallace is CIO for the City of Burnaby with responsibility for IT strategy, business transformation projects, asset lifecycle management and day-to-day operations.
Shari has served as Director of Strategic Planning & Program Management for the City of Vancouver. She was responsible for IT and business transformation initiatives from the ideas stage through to benefits realization, as well as strategic planning and IT standards and policies.
Shari worked for the City of Vancouver for 10 years in a variety of roles, including acting CIO, applications development and support, service management and director of the corporate IT group.
Shari has also spent 15 years in the private sector in a number of IT positions across a wide-range of industries including telecommunications, banking and oil and gas.
Senior Manager, IT Services, District of West Vancouver
Kristin Wilkes is currently the Senior Manager of IT Services at the District of West Vancouver where she is responsible for the delivery of business-enabling technology services and setting the District’s strategic technology and digital direction. Her professional experience includes extensive municipal government experience alongside private sector experience in both the mining and manufacturing industries. Kristin has a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Information Systems (University of the Fraser Valley, 2003) and is pending completion of her Masters of Public Administration (University of Victoria, 2018).