Giadha Aguirre de Carcer is Founder and CEO of New Frontier Data, the leading cannabis big data and analytics reporting provider in over 80 countries around the world. An entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in business execution, management, and strategic business development, Aguirre de Carcer has worked in investment banking and as a senior consultant in multiple industries across commercial/government sectors domestically and abroad.
Having launched and operated four successful data-driven businesses, including disruptive technologies such as the original patent application behind Progressive’s Snapshot and Verizon’s Hum, Aguirre de Carcer is considered an expert in strategic positioning and risk management in emerging high-growth markets, investment banking, and government and commercial intelligence data collection and analysis. These core skill sets, along with dynamic entrepreneurship, have defined Aguirre de Carcer’s career and drive her vision forward for New Frontier Data.
Aguirre de Carcer is an official member of the Forbes Technology Council, and her work has been featured in Forbes, Fortune, CNBC, Fox News, CNN Money, Bloomberg, WSJ and other top news outlets, as well as in documentaries and books, including “Mary Janes,” “The Marijuana Show,” “The Great Green Gold Rush,” and “Breaking the Grass Ceiling,” among others.
Number Seven on the list of the 20 Most Influential Women in Cannabis by greendorphin, Aguirre de Carcer also has been designated one of The Most Powerful Women to Watch in D.C. and is a Stevie Awards Maverick of the Year award recipient. Her reputation of building a company that is considered the most reliable, trusted and unbiased cannabis big data company, has positioned her at the center of the 116thCongressional discussion on federal legalization, providing hard data to leaders as they study the reality and impact of cannabis legalization.
Her passion for trusted and unbiased data extends well beyond U.S. borders; in 2018, Aguirre de Carcer created the InterCannAlliance (ICA). The ICA is a New Frontier Data-led effort to foster best practices by sharing lessons learned to newly emerging cannabis stakeholders from leaders in each of the Nine Foundational Pillars of a healthy cannabis market. Her passion for education and sharing of knowledge stems from her many mentoring and volunteer efforts including the creation of the Women Entrepreneurship Reinforcement (WeR), a program to mentor and coach women starting their own businesses.
Although not the first woman to enter this space, she is the first immigrant woman and the first female to launch a FINTECH company in cannabis. She is also first to raise over $15M for a company operating in this industry.
New Frontier Data, headquartered in D.C., has been recognized in DCINNO as one of 17 D.C. area startups to Watch. PC Mag named the company one of just 15 Blazing Hot Weed Tech Companies to Watch. Having long since moved from being a startup, New Frontier Data now has the largest earned media of any other company in cannabis with 85% of the share of voice and over 6 billion in earned media reach.
Giadha Aguirre de Carcer is fluent in five languages: English, French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. Born in Italy and raised in France and Spain, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations & Trade from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Arts in International Security from Georgetown University.
Aharon Aharon is the CEO of the Israel Innovation Authority, an independent public entity that operates for the benefit of the Israeli innovation ecosystem and Israeli economy as a whole. Its role is to nurture and develop Israeli innovation resources, while creating and strengthening the infrastructure and framework needed to support the entire knowledge industry.
Prior to his role at the Authority, Aharon served as the VP of Hardware Technologies and General Manager of Apple Israel. Aharon joined Apple in 2011, as its first Apple employee in Israel, and managed the R&D activities of Apple’s Hardware Technologies in Israel.
In 2004, Aharon co-founded Camero, a startup company developing through-the-wall micro-power radars for the defense and HLS markets. He served as the CEO and Chairman of the company, which was acquired by the SK group in 2010.
From 2003 till 2010, Aharon served as an active Chairman of the Board at Discretix, a startup company providing solutions for data security in mobile phones and hand-held devices. Discretix was acquired by ARM in 2014.
Aharon managed Seabridge, a wholly owned subsidiary of Siemens.
As CEO, he oversaw the successful turnaround of the company.
Aharon served as COO of Zoran (NASDAQ: ZRAN) in Silicon Valley, managing all aspects of company activities along with the financing of development of chips for consumer electronics markets.
Aharon began his professional career at the IBM Research Division in Haifa, Israel, where he spent 14 years and held a number of senior management positions including Deputy Manager of IBM Research’s Haifa operations.
Aharon holds a B.Sc and M.Sc in Computer Engineering and Electrical Engineering respectively from the Technion, where he lectured for more than 15 years (1983-1999).
Luis Almagro Lemes was elected Secretary General of the Organization of American States on March 18, 2015, with the unanimous support of 33 of 34 member states, and one abstention. Upon taking leadership of the OAS, he announced that one of the central themes of his mandate will be “more rights for more people,” and that he would work to bring the Organization closer to the new realities in the Hemisphere and contribute to ensuring more democracy, security and prosperity for all.
A career diplomat, Almagro was Foreign Minister of Uruguay from 2010 to March 1, 2015, and has extensive regional and international experience. In addition, he was elected Senator in the national elections in Uruguay in October 2014.
His time at the head of Uruguayan diplomacy was characterized by activism in defense of human and civil rights at the regional and global level, the insertion of Uruguay into non-traditional markets, the diversification of these markets, and the strengthening of the image of Uruguay as a democratic, fair, tolerant, and diverse society, with ever increasing rights for more Uruguayans.
As Foreign Minister for President José Mujíca, he defined several emblematic initiatives that put the small South American country on the global map, from receiving former prisoners from Guantanamo, to welcoming dozens of Syrian families who had been victims of the country´s conflict, to building support in the United Nations so that, beginning in 2016, Uruguay will become part of the Security Council.
Moreover, Uruguay has maintained its presence in Haiti to ensure the continuity of the process of reconstruction in the country following the devastating earthquake of 2010.
Knowledgeable about the new regional alignments, Almagro was an active participant in the consolidation of UNASUR and CELAC and as member of the special UNASUR delegation to Venezuela in 2014 he was recognized as an advocate of dialogue between the government and the opposition to stop the violence at that moment.
As a consensus builder in the region and at the same time a driver of new initiatives, during his term at the head of the country´s diplomacy, he achieved the long-desired entry of citrus products into the United States, a key market for the sector, while moving forward with bilateral cooperation programs in areas of scientific-technical innovation.
For its part, Uruguay developed specific programs of cooperation for development with Bolivia, Paraguay, and several African nations in the context of the vision of international solidarity that characterized the term of the former Foreign Minister.
The candidate for Secretary General of the OAS was also Ambassador to China for five years, after occupying senior diplomatic posts in the Foreign Ministry of his country, and in the Embassies of Uruguay in Germany and Iran.
In 2014 Foreign Policy magazine named him a Leading Global Thinker, one of ten decision-makers in the region granted this international distinction.
Almagro, a lawyer by profession, is married and has seven children. In addition to Spanish, he speaks English and French.
Martin “Marty” Baron became executive editor of The Washington Post on January 2, 2013. He oversees The Post’s print and digital news operations and a staff of more than 800 journalists.
Newsrooms under his leadership have won 14 Pulitzer Prizes, including seven at The Washington Post. The Post during his tenure has won four times for national reporting, and once each for investigative reporting, explanatory reporting and public service, the latter in recognition of revelations of secret surveillance by the National Security Agency.
Previously, Baron had been editor of The Boston Globe. During his 11 ½ years there, The Globe won six Pulitzer prizes—for public service, explanatory journalism, national reporting and criticism. The Pulitzer Prize for Public Service was awarded to the Globe in 2003 for its investigation into a pattern of concealing clergy sex abuse in the Catholic Church, coverage portrayed years later in the Academy Award-winning movie “Spotlight.”
Prior to the Globe, he held top editing positions at The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and the Miami Herald. Under his leadership, the Miami Herald won the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Coverage in 2001 for its coverage of the raid to recover Elián González, the Cuban boy at the center of a fierce immigration and custody dispute.
His honors include Editor of the Year by the National Press Foundation (2004), the Al Neuharth Award for Excellence in the Media (2017), the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press Award (2017), and the Award for Public Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government (2016). In 2012, he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is the recipient of honorary doctorates from George Washington University, George Mason University, and his alma mater, Lehigh University.
He began his journalism career at the Miami Herald in 1976, serving as a state reporter and later as a business writer. In 1979, he moved to the Los Angeles Times, where he became business editor in 1983; assistant managing editor for page-one special reports, public opinion polling and special projects in 1991; and, in 1993, editor of the newspaper’s Orange County Edition, which then had about 165 staffers.
In 1996, Baron moved to The New York Times; he became associate managing editor responsible for the nighttime news operations of the newspaper in 1997. He was named executive editor at the Miami Herald at the start of 2000.
Born in 1954 and raised in Tampa, FL, Baron speaks fluent Spanish. He graduated from Lehigh University in 1976 with both BA and MBA degrees.
Dominic Barton is the Global Managing Director of McKinsey & Company. In his 27 years with the firm, Dominic has advised clients in a range of industries including banking, consumer goods, high tech and industrial. Prior to his current role, Dominic was based in Shanghai as McKinsey’s Asia Chairman from 2004 to 2009 and led the Korea office from 2000 to 2004.
Dominic is an active participant in international fora including Davos, the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Les Rencontres Économiques d’Aix-en-Provence, the Asia Business Council and the China Development Forum. He has authored more than 80 articles on the role of business in society, leadership, financial services, Asia, history and the issues and opportunities facing markets worldwide. Dominic is a co-author, with Roberto Newell and Greg Wilson, of Dangerous Markets: Managing in Financial Crises (Wiley & Sons, 2002), and his most recent book is China Vignettes: An Inside Look at China (Talisman, 2007).
Dominic leads McKinsey’s work on the future of capitalism, long-term value-creation and the role of business leadership in society. This is a set of research initiatives and projects to convene organisations and leaders for constructive action. One such project was a task force on Inclusive Capitalism, which Dominic co-led with Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild (sponsored by the Henry Jackson Society, a London-based think tank). The task force – comprised of business and public leaders in the US and UK – developed approaches for engaging and scaling business actions to address issues that create both social and economic value.
He is a Trustee of the Brookings Institution, a member of the Singapore Economic Development Board’s International Advisory Council, an advisor to the Asia Development Bank, a member of the Advisory Board for the China Development Bank Capital Group and a Board Member of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada. Dominic has received multiple awards for his business leadership and contributions to the communities in which he has lived – for example, in February 2013 Dominic received the Order of Civil Merit (Peony Medal) from former President Lee of South Korea. He is a Rhodes Trustee and an Honorary Fellow at Brasenose College, Oxford. Dominic is also an Adjunct Lecturer at Tsinghua University, Beijing.
The Honourable Perrin Beatty is the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the 200,000-member Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Canada’s largest and most representative national business association. Mr. Beatty is the principal spokesperson advocating the policy positions of the Canadian Chamber’s members to the federal government, international organizations, the media and the general public. Prior to joining the Canadian Chamber in August 2007, Mr. Beatty was the President and Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME).
A descendant of one of Canada’s most prominent manufacturing families, Mr. Beatty grew up in Fergus, Ontario and graduated from the University of Western Ontario in 1971. In 1972 he was elected to the House of Commons as a Progressive Conservative and in 1979 he was appointed Minister of State (Treasury Board) in the government of Joe Clark. He held six additional portfolios in subsequent Progressive Conservative governments, including National Revenue in 1984, Solicitor General in 1985, National Defence in 1986, Health and Welfare in 1989, Communications in 1991, and Secretary of State for External Affairs in 1993.
In 1994, Mr. Beatty joined a number of private sector boards and worked as a consultant in the field of communications. He was a Honourary Visiting Professor with the Department of Political Science, University of Western Ontario. He wrote a weekly column on government and politics for a major Canadian newspaper. From 1995 - 1999, Mr. Beatty was President and CEO of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).
Mr. Beatty has served on a number of Canadian government advisory committees, is a member of the advisory council of the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian International Council. In 2008, Mr. Beatty was named Chancellor of the University of Ontario Institute Of Technology. In 2012, Mr. Beatty became a member of the Board of Directors of Mitsui Canada.
Jean-Christophe Bédos is currently the President and CEO of Birks Group Inc., formerly Henry Birks & Sons, Canada’s 140-year-old premier luxury jewelery brand.
Mr. Bédos came to Birks from the high-end jeweler Boucheron International (Kering), in Paris, France where he served as President and CEO, following a distinguished career with the Richemont Group in Paris and London and with the iconic jeweler of Cartier.
In July 2018, Birks was prized with the prestigious Brand Of the Year Award. The prestigious World Branding Awards are the premier recognition programme of the UK-based World Branding Forum. Birks is the only brand to receive the award in the Retail Jewellery category, surpassing the impressive competition for its dedication and passion behind the fine jewellery brand.
He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Birks Group Inc., the Montreal General Hospital Foundation. Mr. Bédos is a Member of the London Business School Global Advisory Council. He is an active participant on the committee for “the Future of Sainte-Catherine Street” Project and has participated as co-chair for fundraising campaigns of the McCord Museum and l’Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal.
Mr. Bédos is a skilled brand builder within the luxury retail sector, who brings a very relevant background having spent his entire career for more than twenty-nine years within the high-end watch and jewelry industry. Mr. Bédos earned a MSc in Business Management from London Business School – Sloan Fellowship Masters Program, with Distinctions in Marketing and Brand Management; a BA in International Commercial Law from University of Paris Pantheon-Sorbonne; BA (Honors) in European Business from Trent University, Nottingham, England; BA in Business Administration from Toulouse Business School, Toulouse, France.
Yoshua Bengio (computer science PhD, 1991, McGill U; post-docs at MIT and Bell Labs, computer science professor at U. Montréal since 1993): he authored three books, over 300 publications (h-index over 108, over 112,000 citations), mostly in deep learning, holds a Canada Research Chair in Statistical Learning Algorithms, is Officer of the Order of Canada, recipient of the Marie-Victorin Quebec Prize 2017, he is a CIFAR Senior Fellow and co-directs its Learning in Machines and Brains program. He is scientific director of the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms (MILA), currently the largest academic research group on deep learning. He is on the NIPS foundation board (previously program chair and general chair) and co-created the ICLR conference (specialized in deep learning) and scientific co-director of IVADO. He pioneered deep learning and his goal is to uncover the principles giving rise to intelligence through learning, as well as contribute to the development of AI for the benefit of all.
Stefano Buffagni (Milan, 6th September 1983) is a Chartered Accountant, Statutory Auditor and an Italian politician of “Movimento 5 Stelle”.
June 13th 2018 - Undersecretary to the Presidency of the Council of Ministers. March 4th 2018 – Deputy of the Republic of the 18th parliamentary term - Member of the Committee on Budgetary Control. From 2013 to 2018 – Regional Councilor of Lombardy during the 10th parliamentary term – Member of the Committee on Budgetary Control, Productive Activities and Employment, Trade and Tourism.
Chartered Accountant and tax Advisor - He deals with budgets, business assessments, tax planning, international taxation, due diligence, M&E and, in particular, with evaluation of multiannual works and tenders procedures, acting as Advisor for important engineering design activities.
Master's Degree in Economics and Management for Business at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Milan.
Degree in Economics and Business Management from the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Milan.
Stephen Cannon was named chief executive officer of AMB Group, LLC effective February 2016, assuming the day-to-day leadership of the company’s for-profit businesses. Cannon leads all business operations of the National Football League’s Atlanta Falcons; Atlanta United of Major League Soccer; Mercedes-Benz Stadium; and PGA TOUR Superstore.
Prior to joining AMB Group, Cannon served as president and chief executive officer of Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) and was responsible for leading operations that generated record sales with annual revenues exceeding $20 billion. During his tenure, MBUSA achieved a first-ever No. 1 ranking on the American Customer Satisfaction Index and was also lauded as one of the best places to work by Fortune Magazine five years in a row. Cannon oversaw MBUSA’s successful headquarters relocation from New Jersey to the metro Atlanta area, in addition to crafting a sports sponsorship strategy that closely aligned the premium brand with properties reflective of its category leadership and brand position.
Cannon began his automotive career in 1991 as executive assistant to the president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz of North America (predecessor to MBUSA). From there, he moved to Stuttgart, Germany and joined a small team tasked with the development, manufacturing and launch of the M-Class, the first Mercedes-Benz SUV ever made in, and for this market. Following his time in Germany, Cannon served as director of marketing for Debis Financial Services (later Daimler Financial Services). He also served as principal for The Richards Group, one of the largest independent full-service advertising agencies in the U.S. before re-joining MBUSA in 2007 where he served as the vice president of marketing for MBUSA from June 2007 until he was promoted to president and CEO in 2012.
Cannon graduated with honors from the United States Military Academy at West Point (B.S., Economics). He is Airborne Ranger qualified and served as 1st Lieutenant inWest Germany during the fall of the Iron Curtain. During his time in the Army he also served five years as an artillery officer.
Cannon and his wife, Ann, reside in Atlanta and are the parents of nine children.
Binod Chaudhary is the chairman of CG Corp Global, a multi-dimensional conglomerate with a complementary business portfolio that comprises over 80 businesses on five continents and in 30 countries — including the United States, Rwanda, Serbia, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, India and China.
He has controlling shares in the largest bank in Nepal and numerous hotel investments, joint ventures and brands worldwide — like Taj Hotel and Resorts, Zinc Hotels and the ultimate wellness destination, The Farm at San Benito.
Chaudhary is a global player in Fast-Moving Consumer Goods and the brain behind Wai Wai, CG’s iconic brand that earned him the epithet “Noodle King.” Thanks to Wai Wai, he has 2 percent of the world’s shares in the noodle market.
His other business interests include Telecom, education and financial services, which are among the 11 business verticals he runs within CG.
Chaudhary’s drive and dedication are his intrinsic strengths. And contrary to popular belief, he proved that an entrepreneur can do business in Nepal and still emerge a billionaire — the only one from the Himalayan republic listed by Forbes.
In 1995, Chaudhary established the Chaudhary Foundation for philanthropic activities that focus on improving the lives and strengthening the communities of Nepal. Through the Foundation, he is dedicated to creating socially responsible businesses and the sustainable development of Nepal.
After the 2015 earthquake, the Chaudhary Foundation provided immediate response and aid to the communities most affected. They have committed to providing homes and schools around the country.
Beyond his business and philanthropic endeavors, Chaudhary is an avid trekker and a fitness enthusiast.
Below are some of Chaudhary’s most notable positions:
- Honorable Member of Parliament, Nepal (February 2018–Current)
- Honorable Member of Constituent Assembly, Nepal (April 2008–April 2012)
- President Emeritus of Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) (2013–Current)
- Member of World Presidents Organization (WPO/YPO) (2005–Current)
- Advisor to Rt. Hon. Prime Minister of Nepal (April 2000)
- World Economic Forum’s Global Leader for Tomorrow (1995)
- President of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FNCCI) (1993–1995)
Guy Cormier has been President and Chief Executive Officer of Desjardins Group since April 2016. Desjardins is the leading cooperative financial group in Canada and sixth in the world, with assets of over $248 billion. It is one of the 20 largest employers in the country, supported by the skills of its 47,000 employees and the commitment of more than 5,000 elected officers. Drawing on the strength of its caisse network in Quebec and Ontario and its subsidiaries across Canada, Desjardins Group offers a full range of financial products and services to its millions of members and clients. Desjardins specializes in wealth management, life and health insurance, property and casualty insurance, personal services, and business and institutional services.
Mr. Cormier has been with Desjardins since 1992, and was General Manager of several caisses in the network. He was Vice-President of Cooperative Network Finance from 2009 to 2012, before being appointed Vice-President of Cooperative Network, in 2012, and then Senior Vice-President of Cooperative Network and Personal Services in 2013.
Mr. Cormier has always encouraged audacity, agility and innovation to improve the experience of members and clients. Under his leadership, the organization's AccèsD Services earned their 11th Customer Operations Performance Center (COPC) certification, making Desjardins the only financial institution in the world to hold the certification that long. It was also under Mr. Cormier that new innovative technology-focused service centres were launched, earning several awards internationally.
In 2014, he was invited to give lectures and take part in round tables for events organized by the World Health Organization and the International Summit of Cooperative.
In 2013, the Quebec MBA Association recognized Mr. Cormier as one of 40 Quebecers with a major influence on business in the province.
Jan De Silva is a seasoned international business executive with a proven track record of excelling in on-the-ground leadership roles.
As President & CEO of the Toronto Region Board of Trade, Jan is spearheading efforts to make Toronto one of the most competitive and sought after business regions in the world.
Prior to joining the Board, Jan was CEO of Sun Life Financial Hong Kong and co-founded Retail China Limited, which was acquired in 2010. She’s also served as Dean of Ivey Asia, part of Western University.
Highly respected for her business advocacy and government engagement efforts, Jan has been named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women, a Woman of our Time by Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post and made the Canadian Board Diversity Council’s inaugural Diversity 50 list. She currently sits on the boards of the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance, Intact Financial Corporation and Blue Umbrella Limited.
Jerry Dixon is the Chief Information Security Officer at CrowdStrike, with more than two decades of cybersecurity experience on the front lines of incident response, cyber crisis management, national cybersecurity policy and critical infrastructure protection.
Previously, he served as vice president, cyber threat intelligence and incident response at American Express, where he spearheaded the creation of forward-looking strategies to operationalize threat intelligence, incident response, and computer network defense.
Jerry has held multiple leadership positions at top-tier security companies and government agencies, including director-level positions at the Department of Homeland Security National Cyber Security Division and United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team. He is considered one of the foremost industry experts on risk mitigation, incident response and proactive security.
Jerry earned a Master of Science degree from Norwich University in Information Assurance.
Bart W. Édes has served as the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB’s) Representative in North America since October 2017. In this capacity, he mobilizes financing for ADB’s developing member countries; shares development knowledge and experience; establishes and deepens partnerships with public, private and nonprofit organizations in North America; and raises public awareness of ADB in Canada and the United States.
His earlier ADB experience includes leading teams responsible for knowledge management, social development, gender equity, the social sectors, civil society engagement, ICT for Development, inclusive business, governance, and public sector management. He guided the formulation of ADB’s Public Communications Policy, which set a new global benchmark for transparency and information sharing among the international financial institutions. Mr. Édes has also served as Alternate Chairperson of ADB’s Appeals Committee, and Member of the ADB Integrity Oversight Committee.
Between 1994 and 2000, Mr. Édes managed communications at SIGMA, a joint initiative of the European Union and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development providing support to public governance reform in Central and Eastern European countries. Mr. Édes has also worked as a journalist, researcher, policy analyst, and specialist on international trade and foreign direct investment.
He has a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the University of Michigan, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Government (cum laude) from Georgetown University. Mr. Édes is a dual national of Canada and the United States.
Nicola Farinetti was born in Alba, Italy. He is currently the CEO of Eataly North America.
Growing up, Nicola learned about running a business while working with his father and brothers at UniEuro, which his father Oscar grew into Italy’s largest consumer electronics company. While attending college in Turin, Nicola studied political science, and soon after graduating, discovered his passion for the food industry while spending time working as a waiter.
With Nicola and his brothers’ desire to create a place that housed the best regional ingredients of Italy and their father’s inspiration from the bazaars of Istanbul, the concept of Eataly was born. Nicola’s father sold UniEuro in 2003 to focus full-time on the Eataly concept, which joins the elements of a lively European open market with an educational center, creating a unique culinary experience where eating, shopping, and learning co-exist and celebrate Italian culture. In 2007, Oscar founded the first Eataly in his hometown of Turin, Italy.
Nicola helped bring the now largest Italian marketplace in the world to the U.S., starting with N.Y.C. Flatiron in 2010, Chicago in 2013, N.Y.C. Downtown in August 2016, Boston in November 2016, Los Angeles in November 2017, and Las Vegas in December 2018. There are currently locations planned for Toronto and other regions throughout the U.S.
Deborah Flint serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) with oversight of Los Angeles International (LAX) and Van Nuys (VNY) general aviation airports.
Flint’s ambitious leadership is responsible for returning LAX to iconic status, improving this world-class airport for the modern traveler and building a transportation system that will give passengers a firstclass, swift, convenient, and reliable way to access the airport.
Flint’s responsibilities involve managing more than $14 billion in contracts to transform LAX. Flint also oversees the largest airport police force in the United States, and works with her public safety team and outside government stakeholders to ensure the protection of the public and property.
Flint is committed to leading edge innovation and design, while continuously improving environmental and social sustainability, creating new jobs and opportunities for small, local and diverse business.
Flint continues to position VNY, one of the world’s busiest general aviation airports, as a vital community partner, which contributes more than $1.3 billion each year to the Southern California economy. Under her leadership, VNY is leading the country in sustainability efforts, including being the first general aviation airport to offer sustainable alternative jet fuel to its tenants and installing more solar panels than any airport in California.
Flint came to LAWA from the Port of Oakland, where she had held the position of aviation director since 2010, being the primary executive responsible for management, business development and operation of Oakland International Airport (OAK).
Since June 2002, Lady de Rothschild has been the Chief Executive of E.L. Rothschild LLC, a private investment company with investments in media, information technology, agriculture and real estate. Holdings include The Economist Group (U.K.), Weather Central LP (U.S.), real estate and financial instruments. Lady de Rothschild has been a director of The Estee Lauder Companies since December 2000 and The Economist Newspaper Limited (member of the Audit Committee) since October 2002-2017. She is a director of the Peterson Institute of International Economics and an active member of the Council on Foreign Relations (U.S.), Chatham House (U.K.) and the Institute for Strategic Studies (U.K.). She is a graduate of Pomona College and has her J.D from the Columbia University School of Law.
Michael Friisdahl is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE). MLSE is one of the world’s premier sports and entertainment companies as owners of the Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL), Toronto Raptors (NBA), Toronto FC (MLS), the Toronto Argonauts (CFL), as well as each franchise’s development team, and hosts more than 3.8 million fans each year at its venues. In addition to its sports franchises, MLSE’s LIVE division (a joint venture with Live Nation) has established the Scotiabank Arena as one of the leading music and entertainment venues in the world. MLSE’s entertainment properties include popular restaurant destinations Real Sports Bar & Grill and E11even. As part of the company’s facilities management, MLSE owns and operates Scotiabank Arena, and has also invested in and manages five of Toronto’s sports facilities — Coca-Cola Coliseum, BMO Field, Lamport Stadium, the MasterCard Centre for Hockey Excellence and the Raptors training facility. The very successful MLSE Foundation works to continue to change young people’s lives through the power of sport.
Michael previously served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Canada’s Leisure Group since it was formed in 2012 where he led the launch of Air Canada rouge, the company’s successful leisure airline. Combined with Air Canada Vacations tour operation, the Air Canada Leisure Group was an important contributor to Air Canada’s very successful transformation. Prior to joining the Air Canada executive team, Michael was CEO of Thomas Cook North America and a member of the international Group Executive Board of Thomas Cook Group plc. As a partner and President and CEO of The Holiday Network, he continued to grow the business until its acquisition by Thomas Cook Group plc (formerly MyTravel plc).
Michael currently serves on the board for Entertainment One (eOne) as well as the SickKids Foundation cabinet. In addition, Michael is also on the fundraising committee at SickKids, responsible for raising $1.3 million to build a new Hospital building. Michael also serves as a member of the Mercedes-Benz Canada Advisory Council.
Roy Gori was appointed President of Manulife on June 5, 2017 and Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board on October 1, 2017. He is also Chair of the Company’s Executive Leadership Team.
Ryan is Principal of RGL Strategic, a Berlin-based consultancy working in the fields of impact investing, social innovation, technology for good, and corporate social responsibility. His work ranges from startup acceleration through to impact investment strategy. Previous roles include leading the social finance practice at the BMW Foundation, and co-founding StormFisher Biogas, one of the earlier energy-from-organics companies in North America. He is co-founder of and advisor to CanadaHelps, a donations platform that has facilitated more than $700 million in charitable donations, for which he was awarded E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year (Social Enterprise, Canada) in 2016. He holds an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario.
Katherine Hamilton is Chair of 38 North Solutions, a public policy consultancy specializing in clean energy and innovation. Her firm also manages a non-profit organization, Project for Clean Energy and Innovation. Previously, she ran the GridWise Alliance, was policy director to the Energy Storage Association, and served as an advisor for Good Energies, a private equity company with a clean energy portfolio. Katherine directed American Bioenergy Association, developing renewable portfolio standards in states legislatures, including Maryland and New Jersey. At the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Katherine worked in buildings research and government relations. Katherine spent a decade at an investor-owned utility, designing electrical systems for commercial and residential developments. Katherine holds degrees from Cornell University and the Sorbonne. Katherine is Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Advanced Energy Technology and is part of The Energy Gang podcast.
Geoffrey Hinton designs machine learning algorithms. His aim is to discover a learning procedure that is efficient at finding complex structure in large, high-dimensional datasets and to show that this is how the brain learns to see. He was one of the researchers who introduced the backpropagation algorithm and the first to use backpropagation for learning word embeddings. His other contributions to neural network research include Boltzmann machines, distributed representations, time-delay neural nets, mixtures of experts, variational learning, products of experts and deep belief nets. His research group in Toronto made major breakthroughs in deep learning that revolutionized speech recognition and object classification.
Geoffrey received his BA in Experimental Psychology from Cambridge in 1970 and his PhD in Artificial Intelligence from Edinburgh in 1978. He did postdoctoral work at Sussex University and the University of California San Diego and spent five years as a faculty member in the Computer Science department at Carnegie-Mellon University. He then became a fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research and moved to the Department of Computer Science at the University of Toronto. From 1998 until 2001 he set up the Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit at University College London and then returned to the University of Toronto. From 2004 until 2013 he was the director of the program on “Neural Computation and Adaptive Perception,” funded by the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. In 2013, Google acquired Hinton’s neural networks startup, DNNresearch, which developed out of his research at U of T. He is a Vice President and Engineering Fellow at Google where he manages Brain Team Toronto, which is a new part of the Google Brain Team.
Frank Holder leads BRG's Global Investigations & Strategic Intelligence (“Global.i”) practice as well as the Latin American region. With over 25 years of experience, he has directed corporate investigations and security consulting assignments across the globe. The investigative matters include large-scale internal fraud and public corruption investigations, product protection, litigation support, due diligence, and hostile takeovers. As a security expert, he has designed the security for international airports, seaports, and complex multijurisdictional distribution networks.
As a strategic consulting industry leader, Frank draws on decades of client service experience to provide cutting edge strategies and integrates investigative skills with technology and financial expertise to address and resolve critical problems. Frank has assembled and experienced international management team strategically located in financial centers around the world to work with BRG’s clients to mitigate risks and take advantage of opportunities as they arise.
Before joining BRG, Mr. Holder was the chief executive officer of Holder International, which was acquired by FTI in 2007. Before founding Holder International, he was the president of Kroll Inc.’s Consulting Services Group, responsible for operations in more than 35 countries. Prior to that, he was the head of Kroll’s Latin America and Caribbean region. Before joining Kroll, he was the president of Holder Associates in Buenos Aires, a risk mitigation and business intelligence firm.
Mr. Holder began his career with the U.S. Air Force as a political-military analyst for the U.S. embassy in Argentina and as a special agent for the Office of Special Investigations at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia, with responsibilities in areas including counterintelligence and force protection.
Mr. Holder is fluent in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. He is an accomplished public speaker with numerous presentations throughout the United States, United Kingdom, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, and Brazil on a broad range of topics such as money laundering, risk management, homeland security, and operational risk. He has written articles on similar topics for U.S. and Latin American newspapers and professional journals. He has taught courses in political science and law on the Inter-American system at the Universidad del Salvador, Buenos Aires.
Ms. Dörte Höppner joined Riverside in 2017, bringing extensive experience in European private equity. She serves a multifaceted role, leading Riverside’s initiatives in Europe and working closely with the Global Talent Management and Fundraising & Investor Relations teams. Ms. Höppner came to Riverside from P+P, a leading German law firm. Prior to that, Ms. Höppner was Chief Executive and Secretary General at Invest Europe and Managing Director at the German Private Equity and Venture Capital Association. Ms. Höppner began her career in financial journalism and communications. She earned her diploma in economics from the Freie Universität Berlin. Ms. Höppner has been recognized by a number of trade publications for her contributions to private equity, among them Most Influential Person in European PE and Best PE Personality of the Year.
Born 17 November 1951 in Wuppertal (Germany)
Married, two children
Since 1 January 2012: President of the European Investment Bank and Chairman of its
Board of Directors
2009-2011: Minister of State (Deputy Foreign Minister) at the German Foreign Office,
responsible for Political and Security Affairs, European Affairs, United Nations and Arms
Control; Commissioner for Franco-German Cooperation
2002-2009: Deputy Chairman and Foreign Affairs Spokesman of the FDP (Free
Democratic Party) parliamentary group
2000-2005: President of the European Liberal Democratic Reform Party (ELDR),
1994-1998: Minister of State (Deputy Foreign Minister) at the Foreign Office
1993-1994: Secretary General of the FDP
1990-1994 (and from 1999-2009): Deputy Chairman of the German-American
Parliamentary Friendship Group
1990-1994: Security Policy Spokesman of the FDP Parliamentary Group
1989-1993: Whip of the FDP Parliamentary Group
1987-2011: Member of the German Bundestag
1985-1987: Director of the Economics and Information Department of the Carl Duisberg
1978-1993: Associate lecturer in international economic relations at Cologne University
1974-1984: Senior research assistant in economics at Cologne University
1978: PhD in economics (Cologne University; research at UCLA)
1970-1974: Diploma in economics (Cologne University)
An entrepreneur, investor and operator of successful businesses, Steven K. Hudson has a distinguished track record across several business sectors. Mr. Hudson is currently Chief Executive Officer of Element Financial Corporation, North America’s leading fleet management and equipment finance company serving the North American market.
Mr. Hudson made his initial investment in Element in early 2010 through Cameron Capital, his private holding Company; with the objective of positioning Element to seize opportunities for growth in the North American market for equipment financing that had emerged following the 2008 global financial crisis. After his appointment as Chairman and CEO of Element in April 2010, Mr. Hudson began assembling the senior management team, administrative resources and financial backing that would be required to support the Company’s growth. In the four and a half years since his appointment, Element has grown its financial assets from $5 million to more than $23 billion.
Mr. Hudson’s roots in the commercial finance industry began in 1984 when he founded Newcourt Credit Group. Between 1984 and 1999, as CEO of Newcourt, Mr. Hudson brought together the people, the capital and the vision to build Newcourt into the world’s second largest commercial finance company. Through this 15-year period, Newcourt grew organically and through acquisitions from fewer than 50 employees to more than 5,000. At the time of its sale in 1999 to CIT, Newcourt had a market capitalization of more than $4 billion and provided an annual return to its original investors of over 70 percent.
In 1999, Mr. Hudson co-founded Borealis Capital, a merchant bank with a mandate to serve the private equity requirements of institutional investors across a number of asset categories. Borealis had more than $2 billion under management.
In 2002, Mr. Hudson partnered with EdgeStone Capital to acquire Hair Club for Men and Women, the U.S. leader in hair restoration. His experience with this company began as an investor through Cameron Capital in 2000, at which time he became an active Board member. Following the acquisition in 2002, Mr. Hudson assumed the position of CEO and led a successful restructuring of the company. Hair Club was sold in 2004 to Regis Corporation for $210 million producing an annual return exceeding 90 percent for investors. Mr. Hudson remained as Hair Club’s CEO and also served as a member of Regis’ senior management team through May 2005, gaining valuable insights into the domestic and international personal care market.
In 2006, Cameron Capital established the second phase of its personal care investment strategy. After investigating numerous operating platforms, Cameron acquired BeautyFirst and PureBeauty, which when combined, would form the fourth largest beauty retailer and service provider in the U.S. Mr. Hudson assumed the position of CEO of the combined group. During the next 18 months he integrated the two businesses, reduced annual costs by $20 million while growing revenue by over 10 percent and drove the combined group to profitability. In early 2008 the combined group was profitability sold to Regis Corporation in advance of a recession in the U.S. retail industry.
In August 2008, after integrating BeautyFirst and PureBeauty into Regis, Cameron Capital launched the third phase of its personal care investment strategy with the formation of Cameron Capital III Private Equity Fund. This fund, under the leadership of Steven Hudson is focused on investment opportunities in the domestic and international personal care market.
In February 2009, Cameron Capital launched the latest phase of its personal care strategy with a significant investment in Herbal Magic, Canada's leading operator of commercial weight loss centers with over 330 locations in Canada. Mr. Hudson assumed the position of CEO in charge of driving continued growth and brand awareness and currently serves as non-executive Chairman.
In addition to his business interests, Mr. Hudson is an active community leader and philanthropist. He has served as Chairman of the Toronto Community Foundation, chaired the City of Toronto’s bid to host the 2008 Olympic Games and is a contributor to the Schulich School of Business, Crescent School, Spectrum of Hope, and University Health Network.
Past directorships consisted of CHC Helicopter Corporation (the world’s largest helicopter operator, then NYSE and TSX listed), First International Asset Management as well as Altamira Investment Services (two large mutual fund companies), and AGRA (a large construction company).
Mr. Hudson received his Fellowship with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario in 2000 and graduated from York University in 1981 with an Honours Bachelor of Business Administration degree.
In 1996, Mr. Hudson was recognized as one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 leaders.
Denise C. Johnson is a group president of Caterpillar Inc. in Deerfield, Illinois. She has responsibility for Resource Industries, which includes– Innovation and Technology Development, Material Handling & Underground and the Surface Mining & Technology Divisions.
Johnson joined Caterpillar in 2011 and initially served as the general manager of Specialty Products within Caterpillar's Reman & Components Division, where she had global responsibility for wear component products and facilities. She previously had a career with General Motors, where she built deep expertise in operations and product management. In 2012, the Caterpillar Board of Directors named Johnson vice president of the Diversified Products Division. In 2013, Johnson was named vice president of Integrated Manufacturing Operations, and in 2014, she was named vice president of Material Handling & Underground Division. She was named group president of Resource Industries in April of 2016.
Johnson, a native of Portland, Michigan, graduated from Michigan State University in 1989 with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. She earned dual master's degrees in mechanical engineering and business administration from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1997 as a Fellow of the MIT Leaders for Global Operations program.
Johnson is a member of numerous outside boards, including National Mining Association, National Association of Manufacturers, The Mosaic Company, MIT Leaders for Global Operations Governing Board, and the President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa (PAC-DBIA.) Johnson also serves as the executive sponsor of the Caterpillar Women in Leadership initiative.
Robert Steven Kaplan has served as the thirteenth president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas since September 8, 2015. He represents the Eleventh Federal Reserve District on the Federal Open Market Committee in the formulation of U.S. monetary policy and oversees the 1,200 employees of the Dallas Fed.
Kaplan was previously the Martin Marshall Professor of Management Practice and a Senior Associate Dean at Harvard Business School.
He is the author of several books, including What You Really Need to Lead: The Power of Thinking and Acting Like an Owner; What You're Really Meant To Do: A Road Map for Reaching Your Unique Potential; and What to Ask the Person in the Mirror: Critical Questions for Becoming a More Effective Leader and Reaching Your Potential.
Prior to joining Harvard in 2006, Kaplan was vice chairman of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. with global responsibility for the firm's Investment Banking and Investment Management Divisions. Previously, he served as global co-head of the Investment Banking Division. He was also a member of the firm’s Management Committee and served as co-chairman of the firm’s Partnership Committee and chairman of the Goldman Sachs Pine Street Leadership Program.
During his 23-year career at Goldman Sachs, Kaplan served in various other capacities, including head of the Corporate Finance Department, head of Asia-Pacific Investment Banking as well as head of the high-yield department in Investment Banking. He became a partner in 1990. Upon joining Harvard in 2006, Kaplan became a senior director of the firm.
He serves as chairman of Project A.L.S. and co-chairman of the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, a global venture philanthropy firm that invests in developing non-profit enterprises dedicated to addressing social issues. He is also a board member of Harvard Medical School.
Kaplan previously served on the boards of State Street Corporation, Harvard Management Company, Bed Bath & Beyond and Heidrick & Struggles International, Inc. He was also a trustee of the Ford Foundation, co-founding board chair of the TEAK Fellowship, co-founder and chairman of Indaba Capital Management, LP and chairman of the Investment Advisory Committee at Google, Inc.
Kaplan was appointed by the Governor of Kansas as a member of the Kansas Health Policy Authority Board.
Born and raised in Prairie Village, Kansas, Kaplan received a bachelor of science degree in business administration from the University of Kansas and a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard Business School.
Greg (Grzegorz) Konieczny is one of three founding partners of Mobius Capital Partners LLP, with over 25 years of experience in financial markets. He spent 22 years at Franklin Templeton Investments where he was recruited by Mark Mobius to research and manage Templeton Emerging Markets Group investments in Emerging Europe in 1995. In 2010 he became the fund manager of Fondul Proprietatea, the largest Romanian closed-end investment fund and one of the largest London listed funds with USD 2.7bn in NAV. The fund portfolio included significant minority positions in both private and state-controlled Romanian blue-chips. During his seven year engagement Greg and his team in Bucharest successfully transformed corporate governance standards in the portfolio companies, which resulted in significant improvements to their financial results and valuations. In his additional role as the Director of Specialty Strategies for the Templeton Emerging Markets Group he was responsible for specialised country and regional strategies across Emerging Markets, as well as GEM private equity strategies. Greg successfully led a team focused on engaging with large portfolio companies in order to improve their governance across different sectors and regions. Prior to joining Franklin Templeton, Greg worked for 3 years at Bank Gdanski, one of the largest financial institutions in Poland at the time. He holds a master's degree in economics and foreign trade from the University of Gdansk (Poland) and an investment advisor license from the Polish Financial Supervision Authority. He speaks Polish, English and Russian. Greg is married with two children. An avid football player Greg was selected for Poland’s junior national football team in 1988. A knee injury ended his career when he was 17 years old and stopped him from winning the silver medal with his team at the Olympics in Barcelona in 1992.
Dr. Tolga Kurtoglu is CEO of PARC, a Xerox company, which is in "the business of breakthroughs.” Practicing open innovation since being incorporated in 2002, PARC provides custom R&D services, technology, specialized expertise, best practices, and intellectual property to Xerox’s business groups, Fortune 500 and Global 1000 companies, startups, and government.
Dr. Kurtoglu oversees PARC’s R&D investments for Xerox and its innovation portfolio for commercial clients and government agencies in a diverse set of focus areas and competencies including human-centered innovation services, intelligent agents and systems, clean energy, smart packaging, machine learning and analytics, security and privacy, printed electronics and digital manufacturing.
Motivated by his passion for bringing innovations to market, Dr. Kurtoglu specializes in leading cross-functional teams to apply science and technology to develop creative solutions to real-world problems. Since joining PARC in 2010, he has held various leadership roles focusing on R&D management, product strategy, and technology commercialization. In his early years at PARC, he pioneered the formation of PARC’s digital design and manufacturing (DDM) program. Later he created and led the System Sciences Laboratory by building a technology portfolio across hardware, software, and process technologies. In both roles, he managed multi-million-dollar R&D investments and product strategy encompassing several platforms and market offerings, and led successful transition of inventions from an R&D output to commercial software systems and services. Prior to PARC, he was a researcher at NASA Ames Research Center, and a mechanical design engineer at Dell Corporation.
Dr. Kurtoglu’s own research was focused on computation and artificial intelligence applied to design and manufacturing of complex systems, and application of preventive and predictive analytics techniques to engineered systems. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin and M.S. from Carnegie Mellon University, both in Mechanical Engineering. He holds a bachelor’s degree in the same field from Orta Dogu Technical University (ODTU).
He has published over 80 peer-reviewed articles and papers in leading journals and conferences in his field, and regularly serves in organizational leadership roles for the ASME, AIAA, AAAI, Design Society, and Prognostics and Health Management Society. He is the recipient of the IEEE Best Professional Paper Award at the Prognostics and Health Management Conference, IEEE Best Application Paper Award from IEEE Robotics and Automation Society, NASA Ames Technical Excellence Award, PARC Excellence Award, PARC Golden Acorn Award, and the Best Design Award in “Dexterous Robot Hand” Design Competition.
Hans Peter Lankes is IFC’s Vice President of Economics and Private Sector Development. In this capacity, Mr. Lankes is responsible for ensuring that IFC’s strategies and projects have a consistent focus on development results. He also provides independent economic analysis and oversight to all IFC’s operations, and ensures coordination with the World Bank and other international financial institutions on private sector development issues.
A German national, Mr. Lankes previously served as the Managing Director of Corporate Strategy at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. He was also a member of the EBRD’s Executive Committee. As Managing Director, he advised the EBRD President on the institution’s strategy and was responsible for designing and achieving shareholder support for its priorities. He also led the EBRD’s expansion into the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean region.
Previously, Mr. Lankes served as the EBRD’s Acting Chief Economist, reorganizing the department into the bank’s research hub. As Acting Vice President for Policy from 2012 to 2013 and again in late 2014, he established the department as a focal point for the in-country delivery of policy reforms.
Prior to joining the EBRD in 2007, Hans Peter worked at the International Monetary Fund in Washington, D.C., where he was Chief of the Trade Division and Adviser in the Policy Development and Review Department. His earlier career includes positions at the Central American Business School, the Nicaraguan Ministry of Economy, and the German-Thai Chamber of Commerce, before a first period of employment at the EBRD between 1993 and 2000.
Mr. Lankes holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy and a Master of Public Administration from Harvard University, as well as economics degrees from Albert Ludwigs Universität Freiburg and Université de Grenoble.
Robert is a recognized pioneer in the industrial security incident response and threat intelligence community. He gained his start in security as a U.S. Air Force Cyber Warfare Operations Officer tasked to the National Security Agency where he built a first-of-its-kind mission identifying and analyzing national threats to industrial infrastructure. He went on to build the industrial community's first dedicated monitoring and incident response class at the SANS Institute (ICS515) and the industry recognized cyber threat intelligence course (FOR578).
Forbes named Robert to its 30 under 30 (2016) list as one of the "brightest entrepreneurs, breakout talents, and change agents" in Enterprise Technology. He is a business leader but also technical practitioner. Robert helped lead the investigation into the 2015 cyber attack on Ukraine's power grid, he and his team at Dragos helped identify and analyze the CRASHOVERRIDE malware that attacked Ukraine's grid in 2016 and the TRISIS malware deployed against an industrial safety system in the Middle East in 2017.
Robert is routinely sought after for his advice and input into industrial threat detection and response. He has presented at major security conferences such as SANS, BlackHat, DefCon, and RSA and has testified to the Senate's Energy and National Resources Committee. As a non-resident national security fellow at New America, Robert works to inform policy related to critical infrastructure cyber security and is regularly asked by various governments to brief to national level leaders.
Chris Levesque joined TerraPower as president in 2015 and became CEO in 2018. Levesque started his career as a nuclear submarine officer, rising to chief engineer. He later worked for AREVA in multiple roles, including Board chairman and president of their joint venture with Newport News Shipbuilding. Prior to joining TerraPower, Levesque directed a project for one of America’s first new reactor builds in decades at Westinghouse Electric. He earned his M.S. in mechanical engineering and Naval Engineer degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Paul Lightfoot, BrightFarms’ founder and CEO, leads the company on its mission to provide consumers with the freshest, tastiest and most responsibly grown local produce.
Through his vision, BrightFarms is creating the first national brand of locally grown produce. In four years, Lightfoot has led the company from a proof-of-concept to operating four greenhouses in key markets like Washington, D.C., Chicago, Cincinnati and Philadelphia. BrightFarms was named 235th on the 2017 Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing private companies, ranking 10th among all food companies and the only produce company featured on the list.
A healthy and sustainable food zealot, Lightfoot has delivered keynote speeches at a myriad of conferences, such as Forbes AgTech, Groceryshop and the Partnership for a Healthier America Summit, and has been featured multiple times in national publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and The Washington Post. Lightfoot is an active member of YPO and received its CSR Award for Environmental Sustainable Business Practices. He currently sits on the Board of Directors for The United Fresh Produce Association.
Lightfoot has been recognized by Chain Store Age magazine as a "Rising Star in Retail" and was featured by Fast Company on its list of “1000 Most Creative People in Business.”
José Luis Manzano is an Argentine businessman with a deep understanding of Latin American public policy and global emerging markets. He possesses significant experience in the investment, media, energy and distress industries. He speaks frequently across the world on these issues.
Dr. Manzano founded the international firm Integra Capital, a private equity and merchant banking firm. Integra also provides services such as mergers and acquisitions, financial structuring, IPOs, due diligence procedures, debt and company restructuring, among others.
Dr. Manzano and his family are relevant shareholders of Phoenix Global Resources, a company engaged in the exploration and production of oil with activity in Argentina. PGR is listed on the London Stock Exchange, AIM Market, and the Stock Exchange of Buenos Aires, produces 10.000 barrels of oil per day and has more than 60 million barrels of proven reserves and 300 million barrels of unconventional resources. Dr Manzano is also a relevant investor in Interoil, an exploration and production company listed in Oslo stock exchange that produces 1600bopd in Colombia.
Dr. Manzano is the major shareholder of Integra Oil & Gas, an oil production company that produces 4000 bopd in Venezuela. He is also a major shareholder in Integra Gas Distribution in partnership with Mercuria Energy Trading. Integra Gas Distribution is a significant shareholder of Metrogas, the gas distribution company of Buenos Aires serving more than 10 million people. He is also a relevant shareholder of Edemsa, the distribution electricity company of the province of Mendoza, HIDROELECTRICA AMEGHINO, a hidroplant producing 60 megas and Altus, a winery producer of premium wines in Argentina.
In relation to the media industry, Dr. Manzano is a major shareholder of Grupo America, the second by size argentine media group he co-founded in 1996. The group owns TV stations, news channels, radios and newspapers, including America Tv, the national leader on live television, La Capital, the oldest newspaper of the country and El Cronista Comercial, the more prestigious business and finance newspaper of Argentina.
Prior to his business career, Mr. Manzano was active in the Peronist party where he was Secretary General. He served as majority leader in the lower house of Argentina’s National Congress from 1983 to 1991 and was appointed as Homeland Security Minister under President Carlos Menem.
Dr. Manzano is a relevant donor to several educational organizations and charities. Dr. Manzano is the President of Universidad de Congreso, where he is actively involved in academics and research activities. He has developed activities with the climate change organization of Novel Awards Al Gore and the Clinton Global Initiative. He is also active with the UK Argentinean Chamber of Commerce and the Cámara de Comercio Argentino Norteamericana. He is a sponsor of the Chinese House of Culture in Buenos Aires and was a member of the B20, the business group in support of the G20 Argentine presidency. Dr Manzano is a regular participant of the activities of the Council of The Americas and the Americas Society and is a member of the Energy Steering Committee of the Institute of The Americas.
Mr. Manzano received his Medical Doctorate and his Post Degree specialization in Occupational Health from the National University of Cuyo. He has been a Visiting Scholar at both Georgetown University and the University of California at San Diego. He has received an International Business Certificate and an International Finance Certificate from Georgetown University. He has received a diploma in leadership from Oxford University and lectured at prestigious universities in Argentina, Japan, Europe and the United States.
Joy McBrien is a global learner who is passionate about creating opportunities for women and girls. She is the Founder and CEO of Fair Anita, a social enterprise that strives to build a more inclusive economy for women by providing economic opportunity and dignified jobs through beautiful fair trade jewelry and accessories. She has worked with thousands of women around the world, using her empathetic nature to understand circumstances and develop creative solutions, including having built a battered women’s shelter in Peru and working at a girl-focused middle school in St. Paul. Joy has been recognized for her leadership in this space, giving a TEDx talk and receiving awards including: Top Ten Outstanding Young Minnesotans 2015, Open Hands Initiative Fellow 2016, Minnesota Business Magazine’s 35 Entrepreneurs Under 35, CauseArtist's 35 Entrepreneurs to Watch, and the Real Power 50 Award. Joy is a member of the Global Shapers Community, and has spoken on women's issues at various events with the World Economic Forum, including the Annual Meeting of New Champions (aka Summer Davos) and the Sustainable Development Impact Summit. Beyond acting on her passions for women's rights and ethical supply chains, Joy spends much of her time travelling, working with young people, and performing as a professional dancer.
Corey McCarthy is an entrepreneur, marketer, and speaker with twenty years’ experience in the hospitality industry. As Beekeeper's VP of Global Marketing, Corey dances on the fine line between art and science to share Beekeeper's mission to connect the world's 2 billion non-desk workers. In her former life, Corey ran the media assets for Lodging Hospitality, part of a $1.56B publishing company, and has extensive insights into all facets of hotel, retail, and real estate businesses.
Stephen Megyery is a Partner in the New York office of Greentech. He has over 14 years of experience advising companies and investors in a variety of sustainable infrastructure sectors. Stephen focuses on private placements, project finance and financial structuring.
His recent transaction experience includes advising OVO Energy, UK’s largest independent energy technology company, on its growth equity financing from Mitsubishi Corporation. Other transaction experience includes advising Layne Christensen on financing as part of its sale to Granite Construction, Stem on its growth equity capital raise, Smart Drive on its growth equity capital raise from Michelin, and Clean Energy Fuels on its sale to BP.
Stephen joined Greentech from Coady Diemar Partners where he worked on M&A and private placements for companies across the sustainable infrastructure sector. Previously, he was a member of the Credit Suisse energy group and prior to that a project engineer at SNC-Lavalin working on international project development.
Stephen holds an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Queen’s University Canada. Stephen speaks French and Hungarian.
Steve Morriss is Group President, Design and Consulting Services, Americas at AECOM (NYSE:ACM), a premier, fully integrated infrastructure firm that designs, builds, finances and operates assets for governments, businesses and organizations in more than 150 countries.
In this role, Mr. Morriss leads the group's technical services business, numbering more than 20,000 employees across the United States, Canada and Latin America. The capability of the business includes master planning, design, environment, planning, cost management, engineering, and project management for a range of market sectors including transportation, water, defense, power and energy, sports and leisure, education and healthcare.
He is a member of AECOM’s Executive Leadership Team at the enterprise level. Previously, Mr. Morriss served as President and Chief Executive of AECOM’s EMIA geography, which includes the U.K., Continental Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa.
Mr. Morriss joined AECOM in January 2011 from Mouchel where he served as Managing Director of Government and Business Services. Additionally, his 28-year career includes senior executive roles with Serco PLC and WS Atkins. A Civil Engineer, he also served in the Royal Engineers and Royal Marines Reserve.
Pierre Moscovici is the Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs. Before his designation, he served in the European Parliament and in the French National Assembly, mainly working on economic issues. He has been Minister for European Affairs (1997-2002) and Minister for the Economy and Finance (2012-2014) in France. As Commissioner, he is in charge of the application of the Stability and Growth Pact, as well as ensuring the economic soundness of Commission proposals and deepening the Economic and Monetary Union to create the conditions for jobs, growth and investment, and encouraging further structural reforms. On taxation matters, Commissioner Moscovici is responsible for developing a value added tax system at EU level, improving the functioning of the internal market in both direct and indirect taxation and fighting tax fraud and tax evasion. His responsibilities also include the development and management of an efficient EU customs union.
Susan Nickey is a managing director at Hannon Armstrong (NYSE:HASI), a leading capital provider focused on sustainable infrastructure markets that address climate change.
Susan Nickey is a managing director at Hannon Armstrong (NYSE:HASI), a leading capital provider focused on sustainable infrastructure markets that address climate change.
Previously, she founded and served as chief executive officer of Threshold Power. Prior to Threshold, Ms. Nickey was the chief financial officer of ACCIONA Energy North America from 2007-2010 and was a managing director of investment banking in the project finance group of Mesirow Financial before that. She currently serves on the board of directors of the American Wind Energy Association and its finance committee and the board of directors of the American Council of Renewable Energy and its executive committee. Ms. Nickey is a frequent speaker at renewable energy events, particularly on topics related to capital markets and financing trends for clean energy, including wind, solar and storage. Ms. Nickey holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Notre Dame and a Master of Science in foreign service from Georgetown University.
Ray O’Farrell joined VMware in April 2003 and currently serves as executive vice president and chief technology officer. His main focus areas is to ensure VMware’s long term technology leadership through research and innovation programs, with the primary goal of positively impacting and shaping the future of VMware, its ecosystem and its customers. He is also responsible for ensuring VMware’s successful partnerships across the industry with a focus on the Dell Technologies family of businesses.
Prior to his role as Chief Technology Officer, O’Farrell co-led the Software-Defined Data Center Division comprising the vSphere, networking, management and storage businesses and was responsible for the division’s strategy, business and product planning and engineering execution.
O’Farrell joined VMware to lead the ESX Storage team during the early development of the ESX platform. He helped build a large ecosystem of partners in storage and helped expand the portfolio, which today includes products such as VMFS (Virtual Machine File System) and VMware vSAN. During his tenure at VMware, O’Farrell built and managed a global R&D organization and held engineering responsibilities across the entire VMware portfolio. His responsibilities spanned management of all of the components of VMware’s flagship vSphere and suite products, including core compute, networking, storage and Cloud management. O’Farrell also spearheaded the Dell Technologies IoT division.
O’Farrell has over 20 years of software engineering and product delivery experience. Before VMware, he developed and shipped development tools and operating systems for real-time, embedded and DSP systems at a number of companies including Industrial and Scientific Imaging (Ireland), Ashling Microsystems (Ireland), Improv Systems (United States) and Microtec/Mentor-Graphics (United States).
O’Farrell holds a bachelor’s of engineering in electronics and a master’s of engineering in computer science, both from the University of Limerick in Ireland.
As executive vice president and president for Product, Innovation and Supply Chain for Levi Strauss & Co., Liz O'Neill is responsible for the entire product lifecycle, including design, merchandising and product development. In addition, she’s accountable for all supply chain operations which consists of sourcing, end-to-end planning, distribution, logistics and sustainability. Liz also leads companywide innovation managing our internal start-up capabilities and offsite design lab while simultaneously working closely with our vendor partners to execute our latest product creations. Liz reports to the president and CEO, Chip Bergh, and is a member of both the company’s global leadership team, which guides the strategic direction for LS&Co., and sits on the company’s executive committee.
Prior to joining LS&Co., Liz spent 13 years at Gap Inc. in both the San Francisco and New York headquarters. While at Gap Inc., Liz held leadership roles in Gap brand and Old Navy, overseeing sourcing and production management for Gap Inc.’s global brands.
Prior to joining Gap Inc., Liz spent several years at The Disney Store in Los Angeles and Abercrombie & Fitch in Ohio, holding positions in both merchandising and product management.
Liz graduated with a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Tulane.
Paul is a results-oriented Canadian leader with a strong track record of more than 20 years in the payments industry. He is focused on building on PayPal’s successful 12-year history in Canada, and driving the next phase of growth for the company and its 6.5 million active customers in the country.
Paul plays a pivotal role in identifying strategic partnerships and bringing payment innovations to the Canadian market. He leads his team to help more than 250,000 Canadian small businesses and large retailers grow their sales locally and internationally. An engaging speaker with a passion for innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership, Paul brings a unique perspective on how financial services companies can collaborate to make money more accessible to people and businesses.
Prior to PayPal, Paul was vice president and general manager of global commercial payments at American Express Canada. During his tenure at American Express, he developed and drove business strategy for corporate payments and small business services and held several key leadership positions across sales, account management, e-procurement and travel. A global sales leader, Paul has lived and worked in Canada, the U.S. and the U.K.
Paul has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Guelph.
Emily Paxhia is a co-founder and Managing Partner of Poseidon.
Emily has reviewed thousands of companies in the cannabis industry and has worked with countless founders in many capacities. She had helped to shape founders' pitch preparations, their go-to-market strategies/ product launches, and advised on day-to-day business operations. Emily has held board seats for three portfolio companies and participates as an adviser to multiple teams.
Extremely active in the investment decision making and ongoing investment oversight processes, she works closely with her partners to create meaningful deal structures, ensuring that proper governance is carried out at the company level. Further, Emily has dedicated time and energy to supporting policy groups and has served on the Board of Directors of the Marijuana Policy Project. She also currently serves on the Board of Athletes for CARE.
Emily has over 10 years of experience working as a consultant and researcher, and as such, has become an expert at extracting actionable insights from research and applying them to make corporations function more efficiently and successfully. She also leverages this experience to engage in detailed market analysis for determination around product-market fit and potential scalability.
Emily graduated from New York University with an M.A. in Psychology in 2008. She graduated from Skidmore College with a B.A. in Psychology in 2002.
Mary Powell is nationally recognized as an energy visionary, positioning Green Mountain Power as a leading energy transformation company. Delivering clean, cost-effective and highly reliable power to customers all across Vermont, GMP offers cutting-edge products and service to reduce costs and carbon. In 2017, GMP was named one of the top 10 energy companies in the world by Fast Company. GMP has also achieved the top score for mid-sized utilities in the East Region in J.D. Power’s 2016 electric utility residential customer satisfaction study.
Mary has served as president and chief executive officer for GMP since 2008. She initiated and implemented a strategic and comprehensive restructuring of the company that dramatically transformed GMP, and she has been the backbone of a cultural transformation and service quality improvement. Fast, fun, and effective is her motto. Under Mary’s leadership, GMP became the first utility in the world to become a member of B Corp, showing a commitment to use energy as a force for good.
Mary has delivered on an ambitious energy vision to provide low-carbon, low-cost and highly reliable power to Vermonters. As a result, GMP became the first utility to offer to help customers go off-grid, built Vermont’s largest wind farm, made Rutland, Vermont, the Solar Generation Capital of New England, and installed smart grid technology across GMP’s service territory.
In 2012, Mary led the acquisition of Central Vermont Public Service, with a promise to generate $144 million in savings for customers. GMP has grown from serving 88,000 customers in 2008 to serving over 260,000 customers, with revenues of more than $640 million and $2 billion in assets.
In 2014, Mary announced a new partnership with NRG Energy, Inc. to make Vermont a leader in sustainable energy. And in 2015, Mary led another partnership with Tesla, with GMP becoming the first utility anywhere to offer customers the Tesla Powerwall battery.
In 2014, Mary was recognized by Powergen as the Woman of the Year, in 2015 The Burlington Free Press named her Vermonter of the Year, and in 2016, Fast Company named Mary one of the 100 most creative people in business.
Raised in rural Idaho, Dan Price founded Gravity Payments from his university dorm room at just 19 years old. His mission--which remains the core of Gravity to this day--was to help the thousands of hard-working small business owners who are consistently overcharged and underserved by their credit card processors.
Dan built his company on the values of honesty, integrity, and transparency instilled in him during his rural upbringing. These simple values have set Dan and his company apart from others in the industry, making Gravity the most trusted name in payments. Today, nearly 20,000 independent businesses across all 50 states trust Gravity to save them millions in fees and hours in frustration by making it easy for them to accept payments.
Dan captured national attention in 2015 when he decided to raise the company's minimum salary to $70,000 a year. Since then, he has become an outspoken advocate of income equality and, through speeches, articles, and media appearances, has consistently encouraged other business owners to take responsibility for the well-being of their employees. Although he's been criticized for what some consider his radical policies on pay and equality (Rush Limbaugh famously derided him as "socialist"), Dan believes businesses have enormous power to promote social good, regardless of what industry they're in, by serving communities instead of shareholders and putting people over profits. His leadership has earned him many awards, most notably Entrepreneur Magazine’s “Entrepreneur of 2014” and the 2010 SBA “National Young Entrepreneur of the Year,” awarded to him by President Obama. In addition to these formal awards, Dan has been credited by other business owners who have decided to raise the minimum salaries at their own organizations.
Edi Rama was born in Tirana, on July 4, 1964. He is married to Ms. Linda Rama and they have three children, Greg, Rea and Zaho.
With a remarkably rich and diverse career path, Edi Rama counts his contribution in arts, sports and teaching, as a publicist and politician. He used to be a professor of painting at the Academy of Fine Arts, a player of the national basketball team, and authored two books, namely, Refleksione (Reflections), together with Ardian Klosi, which was published immediately after the collapse of the dictatorship and Kurban, published in 2011. Additionally, Edi Rama has published two art books containing his works in collaboration with the distinguished artist Anri Sala. He has also been author and participant of many worldwide art exhibitions.
Edi Rama’s involvement in the public and political life of the country starts with the movement for democracy that led to the dismantling of the communist regime in Albania, with Rama being one of the most publicly outspoken members and a key leader of the students’ movement at the Academy of Fine Arts.
Following a hiatus of several years in which he left Albania to dedicate to the artistic life, although he remained a staunch critic in the press of the first post-communist government, Edi Rama entered politics in the capacity of the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, in 1998. During all his tenure he won the support and wide appreciation of the Albanian public opinion for his creative and efficient ways of promoting art and culture in Albania.
In 2000, Edi Rama ran for mayor of Tirana Municipality, with the support of the Socialist Party and marked a landslide victory against his rival. Upon taking over, he set off on a campaign aimed at transforming and regenerating the capital city by restoring public spaces that were, until then, usurped by illegal buildings and increasing the green areas, while instilling a new spirit and vision in the administration of the Capital. Under Edi Rama’s leadership, Tirana Municipality turned into a modern European institution. His projects to introduce colour in public spaces, amongst the ruined facades of residential buildings of the communist era, the rehabilitation of Lana Riverbed, the increase of recreational parks and green areas in the city, as well as the reconstruction of Tirana’s road network based on entirely new standards found international recognition, counting a series of awards, amongst which, World Mayor Award (2004) and European Hero Award by Time Magazine. Edi Rama was re-elected as Mayor of Tirana in 2003 and 2007 and led the Albanian Capital for 11 years.
In 2005, Edi Rama was elected Chair of the Socialist Party of Albania, leading this force through the difficult opposition years and into the overwhelming victory of 23 June 2013.
GM Rao, a Mechanical Engineer, is the Founder Chairman of the GMR Group, the global infrastructure developer.
Born in a small village in India, GM Rao ventured into business starting with a single jute mill in 1978. Since then, till before India’s economic liberalization, circumstances compelled him for opportunity driven business building.
He entered 28 businesses as a serial entrepreneur and exited most of them with the opportunities thrown up by the opening up of the Indian economy in the early 1990s. As a part of the post-liberalization generation of entrepreneurs, his moves became entirely strategy driven and focused on long term objectives. Eventually, his single-minded focus on the core infrastructure sector resulted in GMR Group exiting some of the highly attractive businesses of banking, insurance, software, breweries, jute and sugar.
In his long journey, GM Rao evolved from a student leader, to a trader, to a manufacturer, to a banker, to eventually an infrastructure developer.
Over the last 5 decades he has successfully established GMR Group, as one of the most recognized brands in the country, creating national infrastructure assets of global scale and world-class quality, creating new benchmarks. The Group is now well diversified and professionally managed infrastructure developer with focus on Airports, Energy, Transportation and Urban Infrastructure including Special Investment Regions.
While business grew rapidly, GM Rao laid special emphasis on long term prosperity by focusing on institution building as well. The GMR Group Vision states “GMR Group will be an institution in perpetuity that will build entrepreneurial organizations making a difference to society through creation of value.” A set of seven core Values & Beliefs was arrived at, to define the GMR Group’s distinct organization culture. This was further strengthened by a Code of Conduct for all employees, emphasizing on ethical and professional behaviour.
Rao believes that “Family must be run like Business and Business must be run like Family”. He made the pioneering effort in formulating a Family Constitution which is now formalized into a legal document. He says “Strong family governance ensures strong corporate governance”.
GM Rao’s vision in 3 dimensions of business building, institution building and family governance had a 4th dimension built into it, that of giving back to society. This, he started very early on, in his career. Eventually, he set up an independent, professionally run, company, GMR Varalakshmi Foundation, to channelize funds for social causes for the benefit of the under-served in society. Currently, Foundation is working in about 300 villages/urban communities across 27 locations including 2 in Nepal and 1 in Philippines. Its 4 areas of activity are education, healthcare, livelihood and community development and it has received wide national recognition for its impact in the sections of society it serves.
To ensure that his legacy lives on beyond his lifetime, he made an endowment of the entire portion of his personal wealth to the GMR Varalakshmi Foundation in March 2011.
He was conferred with the honorary Doctor of Laws by York University, Toronto, Canada in 2011, the honorary Doctor of Letters by the Andhra University, India in 2010 and honorary Doctor of Letters by the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad, India in 2005. He received the award for the ‘First Generation Entrepreneur of the Year’ from CNBC TV18 in 2009. In the same year, he received the Infrastructure Person of the Year award at the Infrastructure Journal Award Ceremony held in London. He was also chosen as the ‘Entrepreneur of the year’ at the Economic Times Awards for Corporate Excellence 2006 – 07, apart from numerous other awards and public recognition throughout his career. He has served on the very prestigious Central Board of Directors of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) from year 2011 to 2015.
He has been a global inspiration, as he was the only Indian chosen by the world renowned writer Rhonda Byrne, acclaimed author of the world’s bestseller ‘Secret’, for her book ‘Hero’ as a motivation and inspiration for the people across the globe. Rhonda finds him a perfect protagonist of hero from the entire Indian continent.
Kimberly A. Reed was appointed by President Donald A. Trump to serve as President of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM), a position that includes being Chairman of EXIM’s Board of Directors. Reed is serving for a term expiring on January 20, 2021. Reed is a senior executive with a 23-year career across a variety of sectors and has led efforts focused on American job creation, trade, economic development, and government reform. She is a noted international speaker and has testified before the United States Congress, United Nations, and American Medical Association.
Reed most recently served as President of the International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation where she collaborated with the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and State to increase acceptance of U.S. exports in emerging market countries. At the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Reed headed the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund, where she oversaw the award of $4 billion in tax credits, loans, and grants to financial institutions and economic development groups investing in distressed communities across the nation. Reed also served as Senior Advisor to U.S. Treasury Secretaries John Snow and Henry Paulson. As counsel to three committees in the U.S. House of Representatives—the Ways and Means, Government Reform and Oversight, and Education and the Workforce Committees—she focused on oversight and reform of federal agencies. She was Vice President for Financial Markets Policy Relations at Lehman Brothers in New York. Recognized as one of the “100 Women Leaders in STEM,” Reed serves on the boards of the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement and American Swiss Foundation and was the first woman elected as Chair of the Republican National Lawyers Association. She previously served the boards of the Alzheimer’s Association, Tax Coalition, National Coalition for Food and Agriculture Research, and West Virginia Wesleyan College.
Originally from Buckhannon, West Virginia, Reed earned her J.D. from West Virginia University College of Law and B.S. from West Virginia Wesleyan College. She is a Certified Association Executive (CAE), earned a Professional Certificate in Finance from the New York Institute of Finance, and has spent time in more than one hundred countries.
Heather Reisman is the founder, Chair and CEO of Indigo, Canada’s largest book, gift and specialty toy retailer, and co-founder of Kobo, a leading global eReading company. Ms. Reisman was born in Montreal and educated at McGill University.
For the first 16 years of her career Ms. Reisman was Managing Director of Paradigm Consulting, the strategy and change management firm she co-founded in 1979. Paradigm was the world's first strategic change consultancy and pioneered many organizational change strategies still in use today.
Heather is a former Governor of McGill University and of the Toronto Stock Exchange. She has served on many North American boards and continues to serve as a Director of Onex Corporation and Mount Sinai Hospital.
Ms. Reisman is the recipient of several awards including the Order of Canada; the WXN Top 100 Most Powerful Women; Waterloo Entrepreneur Hall of Fame, University of Waterloo; International Distinguished Entrepreneur Award, University of Manitoba; John Molson School of Business Award of Distinction, Concordia University; and the Desautels Management Achievement Award in recognition of her outstanding contribution to Canadian business and society. She is the recipient of Honorary Doctorates from Ryerson University (2006), Wilfrid Laurier University (2009), Mount Allison University (2010), St. Francis Xavier University (2013), McGill University (2017) and the Weizmann Institute of Science (2017). Ms. Reisman was inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame in 2015.
Ms. Reisman is married to Gerald Schwartz, Chair and CEO of Onex Corporation. She has four children and nine grandchildren.
Born in Hull (Gatineau) on November 25, 1944, son of Carmel Rémillard and Jeannine Desjardins, Gil Rémillard is married to Marie DuPont. They have one son, Nicholas-Philippe, and two grandchildren, Matthieu-Gil and William, whose mother is Élizabeth Côté. Gil has two brothers, Jean and Martin and a sister, Sylvie.
Gil Rémillard holds degrees in Philosophy (1965), Political Science and Economics (1968), was called to the Québec Bar (1969), and has a PhD in Law (1973). He has worked in the fields of university teaching, private law and politics.
From 1965 to 1969, when he was studying at the University of Ottawa, Gil Rémillard worked as a freelance journalist for Radio-Canada on Parliament Hill.
Professor and lawyer (1973 – 1985)
Upon returning from Europe in 1973, where he completed his PhD, Mr. Rémillard began teaching constitutional and administrative law in the Faculty of Law at Laval University in Québec City; he also taught in several other universities. During this time, he also practiced law at the Chouinard, Rémillard, Bussière & Robinson law firm and acted as advisor to the Québec and Ottawa governments on reforming administrative bodies and on certain constitutional issues, among them cable distribution. In 1983, he became a special constitutional advisor to Brian Mulroney, then Prime Minister of Canada, and an advisor to the United Nations Canadian delegation in New York. He has appeared before all levels of the Canadian court system, including the Supreme Court of Canada. From 1981 to 1985, he organized and chaired the Québec Constitutional Conferences at Laval University, which included a number of high-profile speakers, among them Prime Ministers Trudeau and Mulroney, as well as Javier Pérez de Cuéllar (former Secretary-General of the United Nations), Mother Teresa and Marguerite Yourcenar.
Politician (1985 – 1994)
On December 2, 1985, Mr. Rémillard was elected as the MNA for the Québec City riding of Jean-Talon; 10 days later, he was sworn in as a member of Premier Robert Bourassa’s Liberal government. Within that government he held several positions, being successively Minister for Canadian Intergovernmental Affairs, Minister of International Relations, Minister of Public Security, and Minister of Justice. As Québec’s Minister of Justice for nearly six years, Mr. Rémillard was responsible for implementing the new Civil Code of Québec, which came into effect January 1, 1994. In 1990, he presided over the creation of the Human Rights Tribunal of Québec and, on June 4, 1990, convened a major Justice Summit and created the Prix de la justice Award. Each year, the award recognizes the outstanding achievements of individuals who have worked to ensure and promote the quality, universality and accessibility of justice.
As Minister of Canadian Intergovernmental Affairs, Mr. Rémillard headed the negotiations which led to the Meech Lake (1987) and Charlottetown (1992) Accords. While not officially part of the Canadian Constitution, these two agreements had a considerable impact on Canadian federalism, primarily because the Parliament of Canada recognized the “Québec nation.” In addition, the distinct nature of Québec and the principles of cooperative federalism that were central to the Meech Lake Accord are now recognized by the Supreme Court of Canada as points of reference for interpreting the Canadian Constitution.
As Minister of International Relations for the Bourassa government, Mr. Rémillard negotiated the agreement that would lead to the creation of the International Organisation of the Francophonie (OIF). As the Minister responsible for International Relations and La Francophonie, in 1987, he hosted the organization’s second summit in Québec.
Professor and Lawyer (1994 – the present)
In January 1994, Mr. Rémillard left the political arena. From February 1, 1994 until March 1, 2016, he taught at the École Nationale d’Administration Publique (ÉNAP), where he lectured on administrative and international law and gave a course on the principles and issues involved in public administration. He also served as counsel to the law firm Fraser Milner Casgrain, now Dentons Canada LLP.
In 1995, along with his wife Marie DuPont and his son Nicholas Rémillard, he founded the International Economic Forum of the Americas, which annually presents the following events: the World Strategic Forum in April in Miami; the Conference of Montreal in June; the Toronto Global Forum in September; and the Conference of Paris in November. The primary goal of these forums is to promote understanding of the major issues involved in economic globalization.
From 1996 to 2002, Mr. Rémillard acted as an advisor to the governments of the Czech Republic, Romania and Bulgaria concerning the reform of their Civil Codes, as part of the preparation for their entry into the European Union.
From 2008 to 2011, he served as Chair of the Board of Governors for the Université de Sherbrooke. From 2009 to 2012, he acted as a negotiator for the Québec Government and Secretary General of the Québec-France Mutual Recognition Agreement that establishes equivalency of professional qualifications for many trades and professions on both sides of the Atlantic. From 2010 to 2013 he sat on the roundtable of the International Monetary Fund (IMF); in December 2015, the Government of Canada appointed him Chair of the Judicial Compensation and Benefits Commission. As Founding Chairman of the International Economic Forum of the Americas, in partnership with HEC Montreal, Sciences Po Paris, the University of Seoul, the University of California in San Diego, and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), in 2017 he created the International Institute of Economic Diplomacy.
Mr. Rémillard is the President and publisher of the economic magazine FORCES and IEFA Magazine, the official magazine of the International Economic Forum of the Americas. He is also the author of several books and articles, among them: Le fédéralisme canadien, et Le fédéralisme canadien, Éléments constitutionnels de formation et d’évolution, Volumes I and II. He has edited a number of collections, including Global Economy: The Foundation for the Next Era of Growth, which was published in 2014.
In 1992, he was made Doctor Honoris Causa by the Faculty of Law and Political Science of Aix-Marseille University, France. In 1994, he was awarded the Mérite du Barreau by the Québec Bar for his assistance in creating the new Civil Code of Québec. In 2001, he was appointed to the Order of Canada and, in 2002, was awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. In 2004, he received the Ordre national du Québec and, that same year, was made a Knight of France’s Légion d’honneur by then-President Jacques Chirac; in 2017, he was made an Officer of that same organization by then-Prime Minister Manuel Valls.
In May 2007, he was granted the honorary title of Advocatus Emeritus by the Québec Bar. In 2013, he was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal and the France-Canada Institute’s Samuel de Champlain prize. That same year, Ottawa’s Saint Paul University named him Alumnus of the Year and established a fund in his name to help children with learning disabilities. On June 11, 2017, he was awarded the 50th Anniversary Medal by the Québec Ministry for International Relations and La Francophonie (MRIF), in recognition of his years of service as Minister.
A dyslexic himself, Mr. Rémillard devotes his efforts to supporting organizations that help children with learning disabilities. He serves on a number of Boards of Directors, one of which is the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, co-chaired by former Governor General of Canada Adrienne Clarkson and John Ralston Saul, that helps welcome new citizens and integrate them into Canadian life.
Nicholas Rémillard, President and Chief Executive Officer, International Economic Forum of the Americas (IEFA), is responsible for the direction and strategy of the IEFA’s four major economic events: the Conference of Montreal, the Toronto Global Forum, the World Strategic Forum and the Conference of Paris.
Since the organisation’s inception over 20 years ago, Nicholas Rémillard has held a variety of management roles, ultimately serving as President and CEO from 2010. His contribution led to the rapid expansion of the organization where he launched the Toronto Global Forum and the Palm Beach Strategic Forum in 2007 and 2011, respectively. The latter event is now held in Miami under its new appellation: the World Strategic Forum. In addition to these North American conferences, the IEFA has announced its shift towards Europe and will be hosting its first edition of the Conference of Paris in December 2017.
Beyond his role at the IEFA, Nicholas Rémillard also serves as Honorary Consul General of Iceland in Montreal and President of RDÉE Canada’s working group, the Economic Corridor of La Francophonie.
Nicholas Rémillard holds a law degree from the University of Ottawa.
Craig Ryan is Director, Social Entrepreneurship at BDC. He has more than 20 years of experience providing strategy and policy advice to executive decision-makers in government, business and civil society. His focus is on creating a more inclusive, prosperous and green Canada. He leads the BDC that helps grow Canada’s movement of certified beneficial corporation (B Corp) entrepreneurs, holds a Master’s in Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School and is a member of the board of directors of Rise Asset Development.
Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, CFP®, is a leading advocate for financial literacy and one of America's most trusted sources for financial advice. She has devoted her career to helping men and women from all walks of life achieve financial security. In addition, she oversees Schwab's corporate philanthropy and employee volunteer programs, which aim to strengthen the communities where Schwab operates.
Schwab-Pomerantz has served two White House administrations on financial capability policy. In 2010, she was appointed by President Obama to the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability, where she chaired the Partnership Committee until early 2013. In that role, she led the Council’s efforts to strengthen coordination between the public and private sector. She also advised the Council on Financial Literacy under President George W. Bush. In 2017, she was appointed to the San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women, which fosters the advancement of women and girls through policies and programs throughout the city.
Under her leadership, Charles Schwab Foundation has made important strides in promoting financial literacy. Through its national partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the Foundation createdMoney Matters: Make It CountSM, a best-in-class financial education program that has been completed by nearly one million teens nationwide. With AARP Foundation, Charles Schwab Foundation developed a program to improve financial outcomes for low- and moderate-income seniors. And most recently, the Foundation has partnered with DonorsChoose.org to support financial education in classrooms across the United States.
Schwab-Pomerantz speaks and writes extensively about personal finance. Her latest book, The Charles Schwab Guide to Finances after Fifty (Crown Business, 2014), was described by The New York Times as “overwhelmingly appealing” and “an excellent personal finance book.” With her father, Charles R. Schwab, she co-authored It Pays to Talk: How to Have the Essential Conversations with Your Family about Money and Investing (Crown Business: 2002). She also writes a weekly column, Ask Carrie, which appears on schwab.com and schwabmoneywise.com, and is syndicated through Creators News Service, Business Insider, and Parade. She is on Facebook and Twitter (@CarrieSchwab), and is a LinkedIn Influencer, offering insights on personal finance, leadership and philanthropy to a worldwide audience.
For more than ten years, The San Francisco Business Times named her one of the Bay Area’s 100 Most Influential Women in Business, and in 2015 included her in its “Forever Influential” Honor Roll. In 2011, Schwab-Pomerantz received the William E. Odom Visionary Leadership Award, Jump$tart Coalition’s highest recognition for contributions to financial education. And in 2015, she was nominated by the San Francisco Chronicle for its inaugural “Visionary of the Year” award, recognizing Bay Area leaders who drive social and economic change through innovation. She was also recognized by SIFMA Foundation in 2018 with its Education Champion award in recognition of her efforts to advance youth financial education.
Schwab-Pomerantz serves as director and board chair of Schwab Charitable, one of the country’s largest donor-advised funds. She also serves on the national board of governors of Boys & Girls Clubs of America and has chaired the board of trustees for the Pacific region.
Schwab-Pomerantz earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MBA from George Washington University. She holds FINRA Series 7, 23, 63 and 8 securities registrations, and is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certificant. She lives with her husband, author Gary M. Pomerantz, in the San Francisco Bay Area. Together they have three grown children.
Rodney’s background in equities, financial research, investment banking and venture capital makes him an unconventional but authoritative champion for impact investment. Joining Wall Street in 1980, he rose to become the number one ranked financial services analyst at PaineWebber and then held senior management posts at Lehman Brothers and Paribas, before leaving the sector in 1997 to found the venture capital firm Catalyst.
At Catalyst, Rodney became passionate about innovative businesses that earn a living by trying to make the world a better place. A pioneer in this impact investment marketplace, he transformed Catalyst into a social business consultancy and in 2008 launched ClearlySo, a business designed, “to help create 100 Justgivings”. This seemed an exciting new style of company, which achieves significant impact as well as great financial returns. The firm raises investment for high-impact businesses, charities and funds. Today, ClearlySo is Europe’s leading impact investment bank and has helped more than 130 clients raise more than £230 million in investment capital by leveraging its extensive network of high-net-worth individual and institutional investors.
Rodney also teaches Impact investing at the Said Business School (Oxford) and the ESMT (Berlin), and is Former Chair of Shelter, The Green Thing, Spacehive and Justgiving, in addition to having served on many fintech boards. He holds an MBA and BA from the University of Rochester and has four adult children.
A serial disrupter, Mihir founded Automation Anywhere. A visionary in the Robotic Process Automation (RPA) category, Mihir pioneered the Digital Workforce—software bots that automate business processes with both cognitive capability and embedded analytics—driving unprecedented human productivity while dramatically reducing processing costs for the world’s largest enterprises. Under Mihir’s leadership, Automation Anywhere has become a global leader in this rapidly growing industry generating more revenue, with more employees, and a greater market share than its top three competitors combined. Prior to Automation Anywhere, Mihir held leadership roles in internet, e-commerce, and wireless companies at the forefront of innovation such as E2Open, Kiva, ISN, Netscape, Infoseek, and Omnisky.
Ian Siegel is CEO and co-founder of ZipRecruiter, a leading online employment marketplace that uses AI-driven matching technology to actively connect millions of businesses of all sizes and job seekers across all industries to their next great opportunity. Since the company’s inception in 2010, more than 1.8M employers have used ZipRecruiter to find their next great hire and over 500 million job applications have been submitted through the site. Prior to co-founding ZipRecruiter, Ian held executive product and technology leadership roles at companies including CitySearch, Stamps.com, and Rent.com. He received his B.A. in sociology from Oberlin College and is based in Santa Monica, California.
As the general manager of eBay Canada & Latin America, Andrea Stairs leads the regional strategy and operations for one of the world’s largest online marketplaces. In this role, Andrea is responsible for delivering buy- and sell-side services to eBay’s community of Canadian and Latin American users – from individual consumers to established brands and retailers – and for overseeing eBay’s Canada & Latin America’s functions, including marketing, product management, business development, and public and government relations.
Most recently, Andrea was the managing director of eBay Canada where she reoriented the business to support acceleration in the Canadian market. Prior to that, Andrea was the Canadian head of marketing, managing eBay’s marketing strategy and execution across the country. She was also instrumental in launching eBay’s French-Canadian website and in leading the eBay Motors team in Canada.
After receiving a BA from McGill University, Andrea obtained LLB and MBA degrees from the University of Toronto.
Andrea sits on a number of boards including Export Development Canada, Canada’s National Ballet School, The Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC), and Ontario’s Panel for Economic Growth & Prosperity. She is also the recipient of the Women’s Executive Network’s Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award, in the Corporate Executive category.
A native of Montreal, Andrea lives in Toronto with her husband and young son and daughter.
Mary Ann Turcke is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the National Football League (NFL). She oversees all facets of the operation including marketing, technology, NFL Films, NFL Network and NFL Digital Content and Operations. She also oversees the corporate functions including Human Resources, Public Relations, and Government Relations. Prior to her promotion to (COO) she was the President of the NFL Network.
Mary Ann Turcke was formerly President of Bell Media, Canada’s premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio, out-of-home advertising, and digital
media. Renowned for a wide breadth of executive leadership roles and team building skills, Ms. Turcke was previously Group President, Media Sales, Local TV and Radio, where she leveraged Bell Media properties and brands across all platforms to support its strong position in the competitive advertising marketplace.
Under her leadership, Bell Media built on its position as the country’s top multimedia company, with innovations in TV and on-demand content as well as continued investment to ensure Canadians have the very best choice in primetime programs and coverage of live events, news, and sports on TV, radio, and digital platforms.
Prior to joining Bell Media, Ms. Turcke was Executive Vice-President of Bell Field Operations, leading Bell’s team of 12,000 installation and service technicians in delivering Fiber TV, Internet, and other Bell residential and business services. Ms. Turcke joined Bell in 2005 as VP, Customer Experience and Operations for Small and Medium Business.
Recently, in 2018, she was named one of Adweek’s most Powerful Women in Sports. She has also been named one of Toronto Life’s 50 Most Influential People of 2016, a member of the Women’s Executive Network Hall of Fame, and named the 2015 Woman of the Year by Women in Communications and Technology. Ms. Turcke serves on the advisory board of the Queen’s School of Business and on the capital campaign for Queen’s Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science.
Ms. Turcke is a Director, SickKids Foundation. Ms. Turcke holds a Bachelor of Civil Engineering from Queen’s University, a Master of Engineering from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Business Administration from Queen’s.
Chris Viehbacher is the Managing Partner of Gurnet Point Capital. Gurnet Point is a Boston based investment fund associated with the Bertarelli family and has a $ 2 billion capital allocation. He is also a member of the boards of a number of companies including PureTech Health plc. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Northeastern University and a member of the Board of Fellows of the Stanford Medical School. Chris is the former CEO and Member of the Board of Directors of Sanofi, a Fortune 50 Biopharmaceutical company based in Paris. He was also the Chairman of the Board of Genzyme in Boston.
Prior to joining Sanofi, Chris spent 20 years with GlaxoSmithKline in Germany, Canada, France and, latterly, the US as President of GSK North America. Current and past advocacy roles include: Former Co-chair with Bill Gates, the CEO Roundtable on Neglected Diseases Chairman of the CEO Roundtable on Cancer. Chairman of the Board of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America in Washington President of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations in Brussels. Chair of the Health Governors at World Economic Forum and Co-chair of a WEF initiative to create a Global Charter for Healthy Living. Member of the International Business Council. Chris has in the past served on various advisory groups at MIT, Duke University and Queen’s University at Kingston, Ontario. Chris has received the Pasteur Foundation Award for outstanding commitment to safeguarding and improving health worldwide. He has also received France’s highest civilian honor, the Legion d’Honneur.
Darryl was appointed Chief Executive Officer of BMO Financial Group in November 2017. He chairs the bank’s Executive Committee and serves as a director of BMO Financial Group, as well as its U.S. subsidiary, BMO Financial Corporation.
Darryl joined BMO’s investment and corporate banking business in Toronto in 1994, and in 2006 returned to his hometown as Head of Montreal Investment & Corporate Banking for BMO Capital Markets. In 2014, he was named CEO, BMO Nesbitt Burns and Group Head, BMO Capital Markets. In 2016, Darryl was appointed Chief Operating Officer, BMO Financial Group before assuming his current role as CEO.
Darryl is a member of the Ottawa-based Business Council of Canada and Washington, D.C.-based The Business Council. He also serves as a member of the Mayor of Beijing’s International Business Leaders Advisory Council.
A longstanding community builder with strong ties to United Way Centraide, Darryl has volunteered with both organizations in Montreal, New York, Chicago and Toronto. In 2018, Darryl became Co-Chair of the Inclusive Local Economic Opportunity Roundtable, a partnership between BMO and United Way Greater Toronto that brings together business and community leaders to develop approaches to reduce economic disparity in the region.
A strong advocate for BMO’s efforts to ensure a diverse and inclusive workplace, Darryl serves as a member of Catalyst Canada’s Advisory Board and has volunteered on the Advisory Council of Women in Capital Markets.
Darryl is a director of the National Hockey League’s Montreal Canadiens and serves as a director of the amalgamated network of hospitals that includes Toronto’s St. Michael's Hospital, St. Joseph’s Health Centre and Providence Healthcare.
Darryl holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario and has completed the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School. He is a past recipient of Canada’s Top 40 under 40® Award.