The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal

Board of Directors of The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal

Chair of the Board, Martine Turcotte*
First Vice-Chairman, Pierre Pomerleau*
President and CEO and Secretary of the Board, Michel Leblanc*
Retiring Chair of the Board, Kim Thomassin*
Treasurer, Alain Côté*

* Member of the executive committee

Martine Turcotte, Ad. E., B.C.L., LL.B., MBA*

Vice Chair, Québec, Bell

Martine Turcotte

As Vice Chair, Québec, Martine Turcotte is responsible for driving the company’s business, government and community investment initiatives across Québec.

Appointed to this role in July 2011, Ms. Turcotte is an accomplished leader with more than 20 years of strategic, legal and regulatory career achievements at Bell.

In 1999, Ms. Turcotte was the first woman to be named Chief Legal Officer of Bell and the youngest to join the ranks of the executive team.

Ms. Turcotte is a member of the Boards of Governors of McGill University and MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE and of the Boards of Directors of Empire/Sobeys and CIBC. She is also Chair of the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal and Chair of Théâtre Espace Go.
Ms. Turcotte graduated from McGill University with Bachelors in Civil Law and Common Law and holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the London Business School. She was the first winner of the “Lifetime Achievement Award” of the 2005 Canadian General Counsel Awards. In addition, she was named as one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada in 2005, 2006 and 2007 and in 2008 was inducted to the Top 100 Hall of Fame. She received the title of “Advocatus Emeritus” from the Québec Bar Association in 2009 for professional excellence and success in her career.


Pierre Pomerleau, Eng., MBA*

President and CEO, Pomerleau Inc.

Pierre Pomerleau

Pierre Pomerleau holds a Bachelor of Civil Engineering from the École Polytechnique de Montréal, and a Master of Business Administration from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario. His career at Pomerleau began in 1989. From the start, he was involved in managing the company and its real estate and manufacturing subsidiaries, before succeeding his father, Hervé Pomerleau, as President in 1997.

Today, Pierre Pomerleau heads companies respectively specializing in the construction of large-scale projects, wind farms, and architectural woodwork. From the moment he became President, he brought a new business vision to the group, which has continued to experience tremendous growth.

Mr. Pomerleau is supported in his efforts by his brother Francis and some 3,500 other members of the team, whose talents are in evidence in every province across Canada and in numerous American states.
Mr. Pomerleau is active in a number of associations, including the World Presidents’ Organization, the Cercle des présidents du Québec, and the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal, among others. He also sits on the boards of directors of a few other businesses and charity organizations.

Mr. Pomerleau is also called on to give talks and to share his vision of the business milieu and entrepreneurial management. Also worthy of mention is his involvement as an entrepreneur-trainer at the École d'Entrepreneurship de Beauce.

Mr. Pomerleau is a dedicated athlete, and it is in this spirit that he sets a sports-specific goal for himself every year. He lives by an old saying, in which he firmly believes: “A healthy spirit in a healthy body.”

Michel Leblanc*

President and CEO, Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal

Michel Leblanc

Michel Leblanc is President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal, Quebec’s leading private economic development organization. In this position, he is the official spokesperson of the organization, and is responsible for planning, managing, coordinating and monitoring all its operations.

With extensive experience in the public and private sectors, Michel Leblanc has an in-depth knowledge of metropolitan issues. A trained economist, he has a clear understanding of economic questions and the challenges facing the business community.

Recognized expert in strategy and in economic development, Michel Leblanc was an Associate Partner at SECOR. He had previously occupied senior-level positions at Génome Québec, Montréal International, and the Institute for Research on Public Policy. He has also worked as an economist for the Department of Finance Canada.

Michel Leblanc received a Bachelor of science in economics in 1987 and a Master of science in economics in 1992 from Université de Montréal. He has been named the 2009 honorary graduate of the Université de Montréal’s Economics Department. In October 2012, he was honoured by the Université de Montréal’s alumni association for his professional achievements.

Michel Leblanc chairs the board of directors of MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE. He also sits on the boards of directors of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal Foundation, the Institut des troubles d’apprentissage (Institut TA) and C2 Montréal. He chairs the Steering Committee of the Stratégie commune d’intervention pour le Grand Montréal 2013-2015 for francization issues. He is also a member of the Conseil emploi métropole, of the Comité directeur sur la mobilité des personnes et des biens dans la grande région de Montréal (Mobilité Montréal), and of the Steering Committee of Montréal, Cultural Metropolis. He is also ambassador of the Quartier de l’innovation (QI).

Kim Thomassin*

Managing Partner, Québec Region, McCarthyTétrault LLP

Kim Thomassin

Kim Thomassin is McCarthy Tétrault's Managing Partner for the Québec Region, one of very few Canadian women to hold such a position at a major national law firm while continuing to practice.

Ms. Thomassin’s practice is focused on project financing in the areas of energy and infrastructure, acquisitions, financing and commercial transactions. She has been involved in the implementation of income trusts and debt and equity investments in connection with energy (hydroelectric, wind power, biogas, biomass, etc.) and infrastructure projects. She has also represented various public institutions and developers in connection with public-private partnerships.

Ms. Thomassin has acquired in-depth knowledge of the renewable energy and infrastructure sector. Over the last few years, she has been involved in some of the most prominent Canadian and international transactions in this sector. She has been recognized as a leading lawyer in energy law in Lexpert’s special edition Canada’s Leading Energy Lawyers (November 2014). She is also listed as a leading practitioner in banking law in the last edition of Best Lawyers in Canada. Ms. Thomassin has been "consistently recommended" since 2011 in the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory as a leading practitioner for corporate mid-market work and in energy law.

Since 2008, Ms. Thomassin has been a member of McCarthy Tétrault’s National Leadership Team, where she contributes to the firm’s regional and national management, while strengthening the firm’s national presence. As Managing Partner and a member of the National Diversity Committee, Ms. Thomassin is a great ambassador for one of the firm's highest priorities—the professional advancement of women lawyers.

In January 2015, together with four remarkable Quebec women executives, Ms. Thomassin formed the first cohort of L’effet A, an innovative program designed to offer women practical tools to propel their professional ambitions.

Ms. Thomassin was Chair of the Board of Directors — for 2014-2015 — of The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal. She previously served as First Vice-Chair of the Board.

In 2010, Ms. Thomassin received Lexpert’s Rising Stars: Leading Lawyers Under 40 award. In 2012, the Women's Executive NetworkTM (WXN) named her one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100. In 2013, she was honoured with a Lexpert Zenith Award as a "Leading Woman Lawyer."

As a recognized leader in her field, Ms. Thomassin is a regular guest speaker at conferences and other events organized by various organizations such as Les affaires, Insight, The Canadian Institute, CanWEA (Canadian Wind Energy Association) and Energy Forum. Ms. Thomassin has authored numerous articles on renewable energy, infrastructure, project finance and PPP for both Canadian and US publications.

Ms. Thomassin received her BCL/LLB from Université Laval in 1996, after completing a Minor in Psychology at McGill University. She also studied at the University of Western Ontario’s Faculty of Law. Ms. Thomassin was called to the Quebec Bar in 1996.

Alain Côté, ICD.D, FCPA, FCA*

Partner, Deloitte LLP

Alain Côté

Alain Côté has more than 35 years of experience providing audit and advisory services to companies of all sizes, particularly financial institutions. As a Deloitte partner for over 25 years, Mr. Côté has assumed many responsibilities and held a number of key positions at the firm, in particular as a member of the Deloitte Canada executive committee from 2007 to 2015, as Quebec Region Managing Partner from 2012 to 2015, as Montréal Office Managing Partner from 2007 to 2012, and as Co-Director of Operations of the Assurance and Advisory practice from 1999 to 2003. He also spent four years assisting Deloitte’s Grand Duchy of Luxembourg office as an auditor and consultant for international financial institutions.

His areas of expertise include audit services, public and private financing, due diligence reviews, and reviews of internal control and risk management systems.

Having developed extensive expertise in the financial sector, Mr. Côté continues to serve as advisory partner or as lead client service partner, particularly for clients such as the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, National Bank of Canada, the Fonds de solidarité des travailleurs du Québec (F.T.Q.), Investissement Québec, RGA Life Reinsurance Company of Canada, Société Générale (Canada), Société générale de financement du Québec, the Public Sector Pension Investment Board, and the Banque Nationale de Paris-Paribas. He also led Deloitte’s Financial Services industry group in Quebec from 2003 to 2007.

For several years Mr. Côté has contributed to the activities of Quebec’s order of chartered accountants (the Ordre des comptables professionnels agréés du Québec), serving on both the board of directors and the board’s executive committee. He was also a member of the order’s finance committee and served as chairman of the board from 2009 to 2011. He is now the Chairman of the Board of CPA Canada and he sits on the board of directors of the CICA. Alain is also a member of the board, executive committee, and finance and audit committee of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal and a member of the executive committee of the Mount Royal Club.

In October 2011, Mr. Côté was named honorary consul of Luxembourg in Montréal with jurisdiction throughout the entire province of Quebec. He was honoured at the 35th edition of the Hermès awards gala and was a 2012 Hermès award recipient. In November 2012, he was awarded a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and, in November 2013, he received the Award of Merit of the Quebec Interprofessional Council (QIC) at the ambassadors gala of the Ordre des comptables professionnels agréés du Québec.

As a volunteer with various not-for-profit organizations, Alain Côté was honorary president and governor of the benefit gala for the Educaid educational assistance fund, honorary patron of the Institut Pacifique fundraising campaign, a member of the fundraising campaigns for Maison des Greffés Lina Cyr and for FBA National Bank Centre of Université Laval, and a member of the campaign cabinet for Université Laval foundation. He also participates in fundraising as part of Centraide’s major donors campaign.

Stéphane Achard

Senior Executive Vice-President and General Manager, Business, Card and Payment Services, Desjardins Group

Stéphane Achard

Stéphane Achard is Senior Executive Vice-President and General Manager, Business, Card and Payment Services for Desjardins Group, Canada’s leading cooperative financial group. He is also President and CEO of Desjardins Trust, Co-Chief Operating Officer of Desjardins Securities, and a director of Desjardins Venture Capital.

As head of Business and Institutional Services, Mr. Achard oversees business strategies and the overall service offer to the 400,000 businesses of all sizes that make up the Desjardins caisse and Desjardins Business Centre clientele. Mr. Achard’s responsibilities involve all business services, including capital markets, financing activities, venture capital, international services, asset custody, and payroll and human resources services.

Mr. Achard also oversees Desjardins Card and Payment Services, a sector with 1,600 professionals serving millions of individuals and businesses across the country. This group is responsible for developing payment services between consumers and retailers, including an upcoming mobile payment service.

Mr. Achard has an MBA from Concordia University and is recognized as a seasoned and dynamic leader. He is an excellent communicator and has worked in the business and finance community for over 25 years, during which time he held various positions at major financial institutions in Quebec City, Montréal and Toronto.

Mr. Achard actively supports entrepreneurship and gives back to the community by acting as board member, and sitting as an honorary chairman of foundations and charitable fundraising campaigns.

George Alexopoulos

Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Belden Inc.

George Alexopoulos

George Alexopoulos has more than 25 years of experience in a broad range of skills including sales management and operations, contract negotiations, sales force effectiveness planning, public speaking and resource management in the telecom and aerospace industries.

George is currently Vice President of Business Development for Belden Canada’s Enterprise Connectivity Solutions. Belden is a global leader in signal transmission systems that manufactures and sells a comprehensive portfolio of connectivity and networking products into a variety of global markets including the enterprise, broadcast and industrial segments. Belden is publically traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:BDC).
Prior to joining Belden, George served as Vice President of Marketing and Business Strategy at Air Canada Technical Services and was responsible for the creation and implementation of a targeted marketing plan aimed at growing the maintenance, repair and overhaul business by expanding the service offering to third party airlines in the Americas through strategic alliances and partnerships.

He has also held various key management positions including Director of Global Business Development at NORTEL/NORDX responsible for global brand awareness creation and channel marketing partner programs. He successfully signed trade agreements with large system integration and distribution partners in the United States, South America, Europe and the Middle East/Africa regions. He was also responsible for the creation and opening of the company’s first MEA regional office in Dubai, UAE.

George sits on the board of directors of the Hellenic Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal and is currently serving as President and Chairman of the Board. He is also serving as Secretary and member of the board of Skyview Consulting Partners.  

He studied Mechanical Engineering at Concordia University and has been a longtime supporter of the University in its efforts to help raise funds for scholarships and bursaries to support students who are in financial need as well as retain and attract the best minds to study at Concordia. He has also been involved with other worthy causes including the promotion of youth engagement of exceptional students in Quebec high schools, CEGEPs and universities with Forces Avenir.

Nathalie Bernier, FCPA, FCA

Senior Vice President, Strategic and Business Planning and Chief Financial Officer, PSP Investments

Nathalie Bernier

Nathalie Bernier is Senior Vice President, Strategic and Business Planning and Chief Financial Officer with the Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments). In this role, she provides leadership to PSP Investments’ Finance and Administration, Strategic and Business Planning, Internal Audit and Compliance, Taxation, Treasury, and Communications and Government Relations teams. She is also responsible for PSP Investments’ global expansion.

Ms. Bernier has over 30 years of experience in finance. After more than 15 years with the firm Arthur Andersen, she joined KPMG in 2003 as Partner and Canadian Industry Leader for TMT (technology, media and telecommunications). In 2007, she was appointed Managing Partner of KPMG for the Quebec region by the national management committee, becoming the first woman in Canada to hold such a position at a professional services firm. Under her leadership, KMPG carried out the 2012 acquisition of SECOR, Canada’s largest independent strategy and management consulting firm at the time.

Ms. Bernier serves on the boards of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal, Centraide of Greater Montreal, Musée Pointe-à-Callière and Finance Montréal, and is a member of the Advisory Board of McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management. Her career and her achievements have been recognized with many awards and honours, including the first position in Business Review Canada’s 2015 ranking of Canada’s Top 10 Women in Business, the Talentueuses “Leadership” Award from the Association of Quebec Women in Finance (AFFQ) in 2014, and the 2012 Women of Distinction Award in the Business and Professions category from the Women’s Y Foundation of Montréal. In 2010, the Ordre des comptables professionnels agréés du Québec named her a Fellow in recognition of her outstanding dedication and her achievements, which have helped raise the profile of her profession.

Ms. Bernier graduated from McGill University with a Bachelor of Commerce (Major in Accounting) and completed the Advanced Management Course at that same university. She has been a chartered accountant since 1988.

Michèle Boisvert

Executive Vice-President, Business Outreach, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec

Michèle Boisvert

Michèle Boisvert is Executive Vice-President, Business Outreach, of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. In her role, she oversees all of the Caisse’s entrepreneurial initiatives and ensures that the Caisse is present in all regions of Québec, in support of the investment teams. Ms. Boisvert sits on the Executive Committee of the Caisse.

An economist by training, Michèle Boisvert pursued a career in journalism for more than 25 years. She first worked at Radio-Canada and later joined La Presse in 2002, where she covered economic news as a reporter, then as an editorialist and as a columnist. In January 2007, she was named director of La Presse Affaires, the business section. In addition to her role at La Presse, Michèle Boisvert delivered a daily economic segment on Radio-Canada radio for seven years. She joined the Caisse in 2012 and held the position of Executive Vice-President, Public Affairs and Strategic Communications from 2012 to 2015.

Michèle Boisvert serves on the Board of Directors of Canada’s Public Policy Forum and on the Advisory Board of the Montreal Centre for International Studies (CÉRIUM). She is also President of the Board of Directors of the Fondation de la Place des Arts and a member of the Positioning Committee of Les Violons du Roy chamber orchestra. Ms. Boisvert has received several awards over the course of her career, including the YMCA’s Woman of Distinction in Communications award in 2009. She is a member of the International Women’s Forum.

Gabriel Bran Lopez

President, Jeune Chambre de commerce de Montréal
Founding President, Youth Fusion
Co-founder, FIRST Robotics Quebec

Gabriel Bran Lopez

Gabriel Bran Lopez was elected President of the Jeune Chambre de commerce de Montréal—the largest youth chamber in the world—in 2015. He currently sits on the boards of Concordia University and the J.A. Bombardier Foundation.

Mr. Bran Lopez was named spokesperson for the Quebec Entrepreneurship Contest in 2014, Personality of the Week by La Presse/Radio-Canada (CBC) in 2013, Social Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young and Ashoka Fellow in 2011. He is the Founding President of Youth Fusion, an award-winning charity that works to lower dropout rates, that employs over 180 people, and that works on a weekly basis with 10,500 at-risk youth across the province of Quebec, including: Greater Montréal, Québec City, Bas-Saint-Laurent, Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean, Estrie, and Aboriginal communities in the James Bay and Nunavik (Cree and Inuit).

Mr. Bran Lopez is also the co-founder of FIRST Robotics Quebec and of the annual Robotics Festival, two initiatives implemented in collaboration with Bombardier that actively prepare and inspire young, emerging science and technology leaders through hands-on experiences. Moreover, he created a fashion design project with ALDO Group, and contributed to the development of the I see mtl and Je fais mtl.

Mr. Bran Lopez graduated from Concordia University in Communication Studies. In 2013, he was awarded the prestigious Michel-Perron Award by Réunir Réussir (an entity of the Chagnon Foundation) for his innovative work in education at a province-wide conference on school perseverance. His work was also recognized by the Public Policy Forum of Canada, The Globe and Mail, the YMCAs of Quebec, the Jeanne Sauvé Foundation, the Association pour le développement de la recherche et de l'innovation du Québec (ADRIQ), the Forum Jeunesse de l’Île de Montréal, and the Quebec Latin-American Chamber of Commerce.

A former director on the board of Oxfam-Quebec, Gabriel Bran Lopez has been for many years an active member of Quebec’s taskforce on student retention and success.

Eva Carissimi

President & Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Electrolytic Zinc Limited

Eva Carissimi

Eva Carissimi, president and CEO of Canadian Electrolytic Zinc Limited, has 25 years of experience in the field of metallurgy and strategic business management. This challenge-driven McGill University metallurgical engineering graduate began her career in Abitibi at Xstrata Copper's Horne Smelter in 1989. A development engineer at heart, she pursued her career as a production engineer, chief metallurgist and operations superintendent. She was appointed the smelter's director of operations in 2003.

In 2005, Ms. Carissimi moved to Xstrata Nickel, in Sudbury, Ontario, where she held a variety of management positions, including as director of smelter operations, director of the Craig Mine and director of the smelter.

While employed by the mining company Xstrata, Eva Carissimi accepted the position of vice-president of operations of Canadian Electrolytic Zinc Limited (CEZinc) in February 2012. Just five months after her appointment, she was promoted to company president and CEO.

In addition to a distinguished career, Ms. Carissimi has been a member of different boards of directors. She is also actively involved in the community, leading to her being named one of the 100 most powerful women in Canada in the category “Trailblazers and Trendsetters” in December 2011. This award, bestowed by the Women's Executive Network, was presented for her community involvement and professional accomplishments.

The Noranda Income Fund is an income trust whose units trade on the TSX under the symbol “NIF.UN”. The Fund owns a zinc electrolytic processing facility and related assets in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Quebec. This processing facility is the second largest zinc processing facility in North America and the largest on the Eastern Seaboard, where the majority of its customers are located. The processing facility produces refined zinc and by-products from zinc concentrate from mining operations in Quebec, Ontario and Australia. The processing facility is operated and managed by Canadian Electrolytic Zinc Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Xstrata Canada Corporation. Currently, 75% of the shares of the Noranda Income Fund are publicly held (priority units) and 25% are held by Xstrata Canada Corporation (common units).

Pierre Dion

President and CEO, Quebecor

Pierre Dion

Pierre Dion has been President and Chief Executive Officer of Quebecor since April 2014. He joined TVA Group in 2004 as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, and was appointed President and CEO of TVA Group in January 2005.

Since becoming President and CEO of Quebecor, Pierre Dion and his team have completed eight major transactions aimed at maximizing the Corporation’s profitability, including the acquisition of MELS, Canada’s largest film and television-related services provider. During his tenure at TVA Group, he increased TVA Network’s lead in the ratings and spearheaded an expansion strategy that saw the creation of eight specialty channels in order to maintain TVA Group’s dominance of Quebec’s television landscape. In September 2011, the TVA Sports channel was launched under his leadership. After only three years, TVA Sports became the NHL’s official French-language broadcaster in Canada. Previously, Pierre Dion held various management positions with Videotron from 1990 to 1996 and then served as President and CEO of a major Canadian publisher.

Pierre Dion graduated from Bishop’s University in Lennoxville with a BBA in 1988 and completed the Executive Business Program at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario in 1999. He is actively involved in the community and has served as chairman of the board of the Canadian Marketing Association as well as campaign chair of numerous fundraising drives. Pierre Dion has received many honours from his peers, including Bishop’s University’s Award of Merit in 2003. He is currently a director of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal and the Society for the Celebrations of Montréal’s 375th Anniversary.


Mélanie Dunn

President and CEO, Cossette, Chairman, Vision7 Quebec

Mélanie Dunn

A highly accomplished businesswoman, Mélanie Dunn has close to 20 years of experience in marketing communications and business management. As the President and CEO of Cossette Canada, she assumes overall responsibility for Cossette’s operations. She is also Chairman of Vision7 in Quebec and a member of the Vision7 International Executive Management Team. Recognized for her strong leadership skills and excellent business sense, Ms. Dunn has greatly contributed to the company’s expansion through her integrated communications approach and strategic direction.

Ms. Dunn is actively involved in several professional and community organizations. She sits on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Marketing Association, the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal and the CHU Sainte-Justine Foundation.

Mélanie Dunn has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and a Marketing Certificate from the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM).

Pierre-Luc Desgagné

Vice President – Corporate Affairs and Secretary General, Hydro-Québec

Pierre-Luc Desgagné

Pierre-Luc Desgagné took office as Vice President – Corporate Affairs and Secretary General in May 2015. In this capacity, he is notably in charge of legal affairs, communications, public and government affairs, community relations, environmental issues and transportation electrification. He also acts as Secretary for the boards of directors of Hydro-Québec and its subsidiaries.

After joining Hydro-Québec in 2001, Mr. Desgagné held several management positions in the areas of public affairs, the environment and government affairs. In 2007, he was appointed Senior Director – Strategic Planning. In 2009, he also assumed responsibility for Hydro-Québec’s initiatives in the field of transportation electrification, including roll-out of the Electric Circuit, which rapidly became Québec’s largest public charging network. In 2013, he was appointed Vice President – Public and Government Affairs.

Pierre-Luc Desgagné holds a Bachelor of Law degree from Université Laval. A member of the Québec Bar since 1992, he began his career in the firm Grondin, Poudrier, Bernier, where he specialized in commercial and civil litigation.

He then joined the Québec government, initially working for the Ministère de la Métropole (1996) and then for the Premier’s Office (1997), where he became Deputy Chief of Staff.

In 2007, Mr. Desgagné received the Arista award from the Jeune Chambre de commerce de Montréal in the Young Manager of the Year – Québec category.

He sits on the Board and the Executive Committee of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal and on the boards of Pro Bono Québec and TM4, a Hydro-Québec subsidiary that develops and manufactures electric motors.

Sean Finn

Executive Vice-President, Corporate Services and Chief Legal Officer, CN

Sean Finn

Sean Finn was appointed Executive Vice-President, Corporate Services and Chief Legal Officer in December 2000. He is responsible for CN’s legal affairs, regulatory, public and government affairs, risk mitigation and security matters and is Corporate Secretary of the CN Board of Directors. Prior to joining CN in 1994, he practiced law with the Montréal firm Lavery De Billy and led the Tax practice group.

Mr. Finn is former Chairman of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (2006-2007), the Quebec Chamber of Commerce (2002-2003), and the Railway Association of Canada (2005-2006). As well, he is a former city councillor and mayor of the City of St-Lambert (1994-2009). Sean Finn is currently a board member of CANAM Group, the Montreal Children's Hospital Foundation as well as Swimming Canada and Tree Canada. He is also RAC Co-chair of the FCM/RAC Proximity Steering Committee.

Éric Fournier

Partner and Executive Producer, Moment Factory

Éric Fournier

Eric Fournier became partner at Moment Factory in 2007. He has contributed to the overall growth of the company on many different levels. Going from 15 to 150 employees to new offices opening in Los Angeles and London, Mr. Fournier has helped Moment Factory achieve an industry leading position at an international scale by offering a creative and strategic vision. As an Executive Producer, he has been involved on numerous multimedia productions; Sagrada Familia, LAX, and has been overseeing new product launches such as Moment Factory’s in-house X-Agora software.

Prior to joining Moment Factory, Mr. Fournier was senior Vice President, New Ventures and member of the Executive Committee at Cirque du Soleil (2002-2006), where he led the development of events, media, hospitality and arena shows. He was also Vice President, Strategic Planning at Bombardier (1996-2001), where he significantly contributed to the growth of the company into one of the world’s leading manufacturers of railway equipment. Eric Fournier holds an MBA from McGill University and a BBA from the Université du Québec à Montréal.

Anne-Marie Hubert, FCPA, FCA, LLD

Managing Partner, Quebec, EY

Anne-Marie Hubert

As Managing Partner, Advisory Services for EY Canada, Anne-Marie Hubert provides board members and senior management teams with strategic advice on governance, performance and risk management.

Focused on opportunity and results, she leverages the knowledge, experience and talent of key individuals from client teams and the global firm to drive change. She has a track record of helping clients successfully re-think business models to create more solid foundations for growth and long-term competitive advantage, while managing the risk of not attaining results.

Anne-Marie is well known for her positive outlook and ability to bring people from diverse backgrounds together to achieve common goals. For 30 years, her primary objective has been attracting, developing, and helping the best people achieve their full potential.

From 2002 to 2006, she led EY Canada's gender equity initiatives and served as the Canadian representative on the Americas Gender Equity Task Force. In December 2006, she received the Rosemary Meschi award, in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the advancement of women in the Americas. Anne-Marie believes that helping everyone achieve their full potential is fundamental to the success of a business or economy. Tapping into her gender equity experience at work, at speaking engagements and with not-for–profit organizations, she helps business leaders understand the missed opportunities and the adverse impacts associated with stereotypes and prejudice, and how to address systematic biases by providing development opportunities, performance feedback and by nurturing ambition among women and cultural minorities. She was recognized in 2009, 2010 and 2011 as one of Canada’s 100 Top Most Powerful Women and has joined the WXN Hall of Fame in 2012. In June 2012, she was selected as one of three Champions of Women in Business leaders chosen by Catalyst Canada. In June 2015, she was the recipient of an honorary doctorate from Concordia University in recognition of her exceptional contribution to the advancement of women in business.

A member of the EY Global Advisory Council from 2007 to 2009 and EY Canada’s Executive Committee since 2009, Anne-Marie has established a reputation for challenging the status quo to make it easier for all our people to offer quality service and positively impact our economy and our communities. She serves on the boards of the Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec (FCCQ), the Public Policy Forum, the Chamber of Commerce of Canada and on the Société des célébrations du 375e anniversaire de Montréal.

Anne-Marie has also contributed professionally as a faculty member of the Director’s College program, a professor of management, control and corporate governance at the University of Ottawa, the Université du Québec en Outaouais and the École supérieure de commerce de Lyon, and a frequent guest speaker on these topics and on inclusiveness.

After graduating from the University of Ottawa in 1985, Anne-Marie earned her CA (now CPA) designation in 1987 and a fellowship from the Ordre des comptables professionnels du Québec in 2004.

Normand Lebeau

President, Mandrake Vézina Lebeau

Normand Lebeau

Upon completion of a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of West Florida, Normand joined Trans-Canada Glass Inc. as a Marketing Management trainee, focusing on brand image and business development.

In 1986, Mr. Lebeau left Trans-Canada and, along with another partner, founded what was to become one of the largest P.O.S. manufacturing firms in Canada. After successfully growing the business throughout Montréal, Toronto and Ottawa, Mr. Lebeau sold his equity position in 1996 to join Mandrake as the Managing Partner of the company's Montréal office. Since that time, he has developed a multi-specialist executive search practice servicing intermediate and senior levels within the Quebec market.

Mr. Lebeau is Mandrake's executive delegate to the International Executive Search Federation (IESF), where he chaired the Global Pharmaceutical group practice from 2006 to 2008. He now sits on the Business Development committee of the federation. Since September 2012, Mr. Lebeau is President of the Americas and a member of the IESF Executive Committee.  In 2011 and 2013, he was awarded the prestigious trophy "Cross-border Assignment" at the annual congress in Bangkok and Milan.

Mr. Lebeau has attained many accomplishments. He was a finalist for the category of Entrepreneur in the provincial "Arista" contest hosted by the Jeune Chambre de commerce de Montréal (JCCM) in 1988 and 1990. He served as Executive Vice-President of the JCCM in 1991, as well as Chairman of the JCCM's 1989 and 1990 fund raising campaigns. He was also recruited as a Board member for the Montreal Economic Institute and for the “Jeux du Quebec” foundation. Since 2008, Mr. Lebeau has been a mentor in the JCCM program.

Mr. Lebeau has been invited as guest speaker at numerous Human Resources events and conferences in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario in order to discuss topics such as Talent Management, and the HR branding of organizations. Since 2007, he has presented a variety of subjects such as: performance indicators in the executive search sector, company integration strategies for candidates as well as the branding of consulting firms in Canada. He was a guest speaker in Montréal, Ottawa and Toronto along with international cities such as, Atlanta, Dallas, Moscow, Madrid and Hong Kong.

As an avid athlete, Mr. Lebeau was rated one of the top 25 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division 2, singles tennis player throughout his university years in the United States, and top 10 junior singles player in Canada. During this time, Mr. Lebeau also achieved the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) All-American Student Athlete status. He was inducted in the University of West Florida's athletic hall of fame in 2004.

Tony Loffreda, CPA (Illinois)

Regional Vice President - Commercial Financial Services, Western Quebec - RBC Royal Bank

Tony Loffreda

Mr. Loffreda is the Regional Vice-President and Commercial Financial Services Head for the Western Quebec Region. Leading seven vice-presidents and their respective teams covering all general commercial banking, financial services and major specializations including real estate, public sector and knowledge based industries financing (technology, cinema, and health sciences) for the province of Quebec.

He is a member of the RBC Executive Committee, Human Resources, Donations and Piloting Committee for the province of Quebec as well as a member of the National Executive Real Estate Credit Capital Commitments Committee for RBC.

Mr. Loffreda began his career at a reputable accounting firm in 1984 and was a team leader and manager in audit and accounting. He has worked in the financial services industry since 1990 and has made his way through the ranks in the industry having held numerous positions ranging from Senior Director in Corporate Banking for Eastern Canada, to the current executive position he holds in the corporate and commercial banking area at RBC.

He holds a bachelor degree from Concordia University in Commercial studies with a major in accounting and a CPA designation from the University of Illinois.

During the course of his career, which started in 1984, Mr. Loffreda has presided over and participated in numerous boards, has presided over countless fundraising activities and given numerous conferences for chambers of commerce, various hospital and health care foundations, cegep and university business schools. He actively continues to support and participate in various activities and functions.

He has been awarded the Governor General's Caring Canadian Award in 2014 and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 along with many other awards over the course of his career.

Michel Patry

Director, HEC Montréal
Full Professor, HEC Montréal

Michel Patry

Holder of a Ph. D. in Economics from the University of British Columbia and a master’s degree in Business Administration (M. Sc.) from HEC Montréal, Michel Patry is currently Full professor at the Département d’économie appliquée of HEC Montréal and Director of HEC Montréal, a major international business school.
In the past, Mr. Patry has served in other administrative capacities at HEC Montréal, as Associate Director – Academic Affairs and Strategic Planning; Director of the Doctoral Program and Director of Research; and activities outside of HEC Montréal, more specifically as President and CEO of the Center for Interuniversity Research and Analysis of Organizations (CIRANO), an important research, liaison and transfer center dedicated to the improvement of organizations’ and markets’ efficiency and competitiveness; Director of the Romanian-Canadian MBA Program, Director of the Joint Ph.D. in Administration Program offered by the four Montréal universities, and Secretary-Treasurer of the Société canadienne de science économique.
In Canada and abroad, Mr. Patry sits on several Boards such as HEC Montréal (, Fondation HEC Montréal, Université de Montréal (, Bureau de coopération interuniversitaire (, Quebec Employers Council (, Montreal Council on Foreign Relations  (, Revue Gestion,European Foundation for Management Development(, Global Foundation for Management Education(,Canadian Federation of Business School Deans( He was a volunteer of the 2011 and 2012 Campaign Cabinet of Centraide of Greater Montreal and Chair – Government Corporations and Public Organizations of Centraide; member of the Advisory Board for Quebec of TALISMAN (2011-2013); and member of the Association of MBAs (2008-2014). He was a member of the Boards of Collège André-Grasset (2009-2014), Finance Montréal (2010-2013), CIRANO (2001-2006), AACSB International (2009-2015), CEFRIO (2007-2009), and ACFAS (2002-2005).
Mr. Patry is an expert in the economics of organizations and regulation. At the moment, his teaching and research deal with the economic analysis of organizations, the economics and strategic analysis of outsourcing and P3, the economic analysis of regulation, as well as the economics of IT and e-commerce.
Professor Patry has published over a hundred research documents of scientific and professional nature, articles in academic and professional publications, book sections, monographs, research reports, etc., as well as many transfer and public education articles. He has supervised and participated in the supervision of close to a hundred students in Business Administration, Economics and IT postgraduate programs. He also serves as a consultant to many private and public organizations.

Mario Rigante

Senior Vice-President, Quebec Division, Canadian Personal & Commercial Banking & Commercial Banking - BMO Bank of Montreal

Mario Rigante

Mario Rigante is Senior Vice-President of Canadian Personal & Commercial Banking, Quebec Division. In that capacity, he is responsible for the results for the Personal and Commercial Banking business within the province. This includes Personal and Commercial business strategies and divisional sales strategies as well as retail and small business payments.

Mario Rigante has more than 20 years of experience in the banking industry. Since joining BMO in 2002, he has held increasingly senior roles, including District Vice-President, Laval & Northwest Quebec, and Vice President, Commercial Banking for the Montréal Metropolitan area. Mr. Rigante’s strong sales leadership has translated into excellent, long term business results during his time at BMO. His focus on enhancing the customer experience has been exemplary, and he has a proven record of leading high-performance teams. Mario Rigante has an MBA from Dalhousie University and a bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Concordia University. He was appointed to his current role in June 2014.

Mr. Rigante is involved in the community and sits on various boards, including the board of the En Coeur Foundation, an organization that supports children with heart conditions and their families, and the St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation. The support of his wife of 21 years and his three children also allows him to be a devoted hockey volunteer.

Gilbert Rozon*

President Founder, Just For Laughs Group

Gilbert Rozon

Gilbert Rozon is the founding president of the world’s largest comedy festival, Just for Laughs, which has been held in Montréal for over 30 years. Through the Just For Laughs Group, Mr. Rozon has diversified his business activities into four main areas: festivals, television productions, performances and artist management. He is also the impetus behind the Regroupement des événements majeurs internationaux (RÉMI) and its English-Canadian counterpart, Major Festivals and Events Canada.

Gilbert Rozon was awarded the 2007 Quebec Tourism Minister Award and the Peter Ustinov Award at the Banff World Television Festival for his leadership. At the request of Minister of Tourism Nicole Ménard, he chaired the Performance Committee on Quebec’s tourism industry, which tabled its report in May 2011. In 2012, he was inducted into the Canadian Tourism Hall of Fame. Gilbert Rozon is the commissioner for the celebrations marking the 375th anniversary of Montréal in 2017.

Claude Séguin*

Senior Vice-President, Corporate Development and Strategic Investments, CGI Inc.

Claude Séguin

Born in Montréal, Claude Séguin joined CGI in 2003 and is currently Senior Vice-President, Corporate Development and Strategic Investments. In his role, Mr. Séguin is responsible for all merger and acquisition activities.

Claude Séguin joined CGI from CDP Capital where he held the position of President of CDP Capital – Private Equity. Prior to this position, he served as Teleglobe Inc.’s Executive Vice-President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer from 1992 to 2000.

Mr. Séguin served as Deputy Finance Minister of the Province of Quebec from 1987 to 1992. In the latter capacity, he oversaw all departmental activities relating to Quebec's budgetary, fiscal and economic policies and was also in charge of financing and treasury operations for the government. Between 1983 and 1987, he was Assistant Deputy Minister for financial policies and Crown corporations for the same ministry.

His previous experience also includes having worked at the Quebec Treasury Board as Assistant Director of Social Programs and subsequently as Director of Planning, along with a brief stint as an economist at the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) in Montréal.

Mr. Séguin is Chairman of the Board of Finance Montréal. He is a member of the boards of HEC Montréal, Centraide of Greater Montreal Foundation as well as EXFO Inc.

Mr. Séguin graduated from HEC Montréal and earned a Master’s and a Ph.D. in public administration from the Syracuse University in New York State.

Alan Shepard

President and Vice-Chancellor, Concordia University

Alan Shepard

Professor Alan Shepard is president of Concordia University in Montréal. Concordia is one of Canada's largest and most innovative urban universities. Its founding institutions, Loyola College (1896) and Sir George Williams University (1926), gave rise in 1974 to the modern Concordia, now home to 46,000 students.

Alan joined Concordia in 2012 from Toronto, where he had served as provost of Ryerson University. While there he led teams developing entrepreneur-based experiential learning, including the Digital Media Zone (DMZ) and the Centre for Urban Energy. Alan has also held academic leadership roles in Virginia and Texas and at the University of Guelph.

His research has focused on the relationships among national security, history, and rhetoric in early modern Europe and on the emergence of a culture of scientific discourse in the early modern world of belles-lettres. He has published books and articles on these topics as well as pieces on the challenges facing universities today.

Alan studied at St. Olaf College, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and at the University of Virginia (PhD 1990), and was a visiting student at the University of Cambridge. He has held senior fellowships at the University of Toronto.

His past and present service includes Stratford Festival of Canada, Public Health Ontario, Centraide (United Way), Fondation Montréal Inc., Les Amis de la montagne, the Montréal Science Center Foundation and the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal.

Marie-Hélène Sicard

Senior Vice President, Corporate Services, Sodexo Canada Limited

Marie-Hélène Sicard

Since joining Sodexo Canada in June 1998, Marie-Hélène Sicard has held several senior positions within Sodexo Canada, such as Senior Marketing Director, before joining Sodexo France in January 2008 as Executive Vice President, Marketing.

Marie-Hélène Sicard came back to her hometown of Montréal in 2011 as Senior Vice President, Operations – Sodexo Canada, in charge of creating and implementing Quality of Life Services, an essential part of the performance and growth of individuals and organizations throughout the Quebec region.

In September 2013, Ms. Sicard was promoted to the position of Senior Vice President, Corporate Services for all of Canada.

Ms. Sicard has served on several Sodexo Board committees such as the Marketing Group Committee, the Better Tomorrow Plan Committee – which guides and coordinates the worldwide sustainable development strategy, as well as the World Market Education Committee. She is also a founding member of SWIFt, Sodexo Women's International Forum for Talent, which brings together 20 senior female leaders from around the world.

Serving on the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal and a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), Ms. Sicard is also proud to be one of the 80 godmothers of Le Chaînon, a self-help organization. She has also recently been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Fondation du Centre des femmes de Montréal.

Ms. Sicard holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from HEC Montréal and has been part of the service industry for twenty years. She is married, with two teenage boys. An avid runner, she regularly participates in 10 and 20 km races.

The board of directors has nominated
three observer members:


Hélène Desmarais

Founder, Chair and CEO, Centre d'entreprises et d'innovation de Montréal

Helen Desmarais

Founder, CEO and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Centre d'entreprises et d'innovation de Montréal (CEIM) since 1996, Ms. Hélène Desmarais holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in finance from HEC Montréal. CEIM is a business incubator, with an emphasis on startups as well as the development of innovative IT, multimedia, industrial technology and biotech companies. CEIM supports the emergence of viable, innovative and successful companies from those sectors which are an economic priority for the Greater Metropolitan Area of Montréal and the province of Quebec.

In 2003, Ms. Desmarais was appointed first female President of HEC's Board of Directors, to which she had been named in 1999. She is Co-President and founder of the International Advisory Board of HEC Montréal (1990); is chair of the Université de Montréal's Faculty of Medicine Advisory Committee (2006); is President of the Advisory Board and member of the Board of Governors of the International Economic Forum of the Americas (1995); and is President of the Board of Directors of The Montreal Economic Institute (2007), where she has held a seat since 2002. She is founder and Chair of the Board of Directors and of the Entrepreneurial Development Committee of the Société de développement économique Ville-Marie (SDEVM) since 1998 and of the Société d'Investissement Jeunesse (SIJ) (1999). She was Chair of the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal and on its Board from 2002-2009. She is Deputy Chair of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and Chair and founder of its Fondation since 2008. She chaired a commission on the health care industry for the Government of Quebec and the Ville de Montréal (1997).

Ms. Desmarais also sits on the boards of directors of the following organizations: Christian Dior SA (Arnault Group) and its remunerations’ selection committee (2012); GardaWorld Security Corporation and its audit committee (2006); C.D. Howe Institute (2005), for which she was president of the Canadian regional committees (2005-2012); the Institute for Governance of Private and Public Organizations (2005); the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal (IRCM) (2005); Génome Québec (2002); VAL-CHUM – Société de valorisation des recherches du CHUM (2004). She was a member of the Conseil des partenaires de l'innovation (CIP), which fell under the aegis of Quebec's Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade (2006-2012); of the Ville de Montréal Economic Orientation Committee (2005-2012); of the advisory board of the Biotechnology Research Institute of (2002-2006) and of the Investment Committee of Hydro-Québec CapiTech - Innovation Fund (2001-2004).

Recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee Medals (2002 and 2012); Order of Merit, Université de Montréal (2007); Medal of Honour, Faculty of Medicine of the Université de Montréal (2009); Doctor of Laws honoris causa, St. Francis Xavier University (2009); Doctor honoris causa, Université de Lyon in France (2009); Order of Canada, Chancellery of Honours (2009); Entrepreneurship Award of the Conseil du patronat du Québec (2010); Great Montrealer (economic sector), Academy of Great Montrealers and the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal (2010).

Elliot Lifson

Vice-Chairman, Vêtements Peerless Clothing Inc.

Elliot Lifson

For the past 35 years, Elliot Lifson has been working in the Canadian apparel industry. He is President of the Canadian Apparel Federation (CAF); Member of the Board of Directors for Export Development Canada (EDC); Member of the Quebec Government Committee for Export Quebec; Member of the Board of Manufacturers and Exporters of Quebec (MEQ); and Past Chairman of the Board of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal – of which he currently sits as an advisor. He is also a Professor at the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University and an Entrepreneur Coach at the École d’Entrepreneurship de Beauce.

He sits on the board of many charitable institutions such as the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation and the Jewish General Hospital Foundation; he is also a member of the Board of the Segal Centre for Performing Arts.

Elliot Lifson is a member of the Barreau du Quebec and the Lord Reading Law Society. He is a graduate in Law from the Université de Montréal, with an MBA from the Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario.

Erik J. Ryan

Executive Vice-President, Marketing, Strategy and External Relations, SNC-Lavalin Inc.

Erik Ryan

Biography will be posted shortly.

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