Board of Directors of The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal
Chair of the Board, Pierre Pomerleau*
First Vice-Chairman, Vacant
President and CEO and Secretary of the Board, Michel Leblanc*
Retiring Chair of the Board, Martine Turcotte*
Treasurer, Nathalie Bernier*, FCPA, FCA
* Member of the executive committee
Dean and Professor of Finance,
Desautels Faculty of Management
Isabelle Bajeux-Besnainou has served as Dean of the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University since September 2015. Under her leadership, a new strategic plan was established to define future initiatives, which promotes four pillars: Research Excellence, Student Centred, Community Impact, and Financial Sustainability.
Guided by these objectives, the Faculty has launched several new programs, including a Masters of Management in Finance program, a new MBA concentration in Data Analytics, and a series of interdisciplinary minors in Entrepreneurship for undergraduate students. Professor Bajeux-Besnainou has also managed the expansion of the MBA program through the acquisition and renovation of a new building, which will open in spring 2018.
Prior to joining Desautels, Professor Bajeux-Besnainou was Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs at the George Washington University School of Business for three years after serving as the Chair of its Finance Department. During this time, she developed a new Bachelor of Science degree program and reformed the Bachelor of Business Administration. As a firm believer in the value of interdisciplinary studies, she designed these two programs to respectively mandate the selection of a double major and a minor outside of the Business school. She also revised the First Year Development Program to foreground integrity, ethics, civility and social entrepreneurship.
Professor Bajeux-Besnainou is an alumnus of the École normale supérieure in Mathematics and earned a doctorate in Mathematics Applied to Finance in 1989 from Université Paris-Dauphine. She has taught extensively at various universities and her research interests relate to asset pricing, portfolio management, and credit risk, among other topics.
Nathalie Bernier, FCPA, FCA*
Senior Vice President, Strategic and Business Planning and Chief Financial Officer
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 as well as 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.
Director General and Chief Curator
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
Nathalie Bondil is the Director and Chief Curator of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. She was appointed Chief Curator in 2000 and Director in January 2007.
When Ms. Bondil took over the helm, she initiated innovative programming with exhibitions designed, produced and circulated by the MMFA that have distinguished the Museum on the international scene. For example, she invited fashion to the Museum with the first retrospectives on Yves Saint Laurent and The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier. The Gaultier exhibition is on a world tour to twelve museums and has generated outstanding media coverage and reviews. She also revamped contemporary art programming with Peter Doig in 2013 and opened the Museum up to world cultures with exhibitions like Peru: Kingdoms of the Sun and the Moon.
Ms. Bondil also introduced music to the Museum with a programme of original multidisciplinary exhibitions like Warhol Live: Music and Dance in Andy Warhol’s Work; Imagine: The Peace Ballad of John & Yoko; “We Want Miles”: Miles Davis vs. Jazz; Lyonel Feininger: From Manhattan to the Bauhaus and Splendore a Venezia: Art and Music from the Renaissance to Baroque in the Serenissima. The Museum undertook the daring conversion of a heritage church decorated with Tiffany stained glass windows into a 462-seat concert hall. Inaugurated in 2011, the Museum’s Bourgie Concert Hall presents some 200 concerts and welcomes 50,000 spectators each year.
With the addition of a fourth pavilion to the Museum complex in 2011, Ms. Bondil and her team undertook the study, restoration and reinstallation of some 4,000 works from the Museum’s encyclopedic collection, from world cultures to Old Masters and Canadian and contemporary art. This “reinvented Museum” includes an impressive Pavilion of Decorative Arts and Design that was recently reinstalled and an expanded sculpture garden. This expansion project was made possible through a major campaign that raised $100 million.
In 2012, Ms. Bondil led the expansion of the Museum’s new educational facilities for school groups and families – the Studios Art & Education Michel de la Chenelière – with the goal of doubling attendance, from 100,000 to 200,000 schoolchildren per year by 2017. This goal was reached after only 18 months of operation! The Museum has seen a sharp increase in membership – it now has approximately 94,000 members – and is the only Canadian museum to have welcomed over 1 million visitors in 2013 and again in 2014.
With the major gift of Michal and Renata Hornstein’s collection of Old Masters, the Museum is expanding once again with the addition of a fifth pavilion, the Pavilion for Peace, devoted to international art and education, which will entail the reinstallation of another 3,000 works. It will be inaugurated November 2016, in time for the launch of the celebrations surrounding Montréal’s 375th anniversary.
Born in 1967, a dual citizen of Canada and France, Ms. Bondil is an art historian by training. She graduated from the École du Louvre and the Institut national du patrimoine in Paris. She has curated many of the exhibitions presented by the Museum, including Hitchcock and Art: Fatal Coincidences; Picasso Érotique; Voyage into Myth: Gauguin to Matisse, the French Avant-Garde from the State Hermitage Museum; Catherine the Great: Art for Empire; Maurice Denis: Earthly Paradise; Van Dongen: Painting the Town Fauve; ¡Cuba! Art and History from 1868 to Today; Once upon a Time… Impressionism: Great French Paintings from the Clark, as well as Marvels and Mirages of Orientalism: From Spain to Morocco, Benjamin-Constant in His Time and Metamorphoses: In Rodin’s Studio.
In 2016, Nathalie Bondil was awarded the Medal of the National Assembly (Québec). In 2015, she was appointed Member of the Order of Canada and was the recipient of the Prix Camille-Laurin (Office québécois de la langue française) and of an honorary doctorate from the Université de Montréal. In 2014, she received the Médaille du Centre Jacques Cartier, in 2013, she was awarded an honorary doctorate from Montréal’s McGill University and in 2012, she received the Samuel de Champlain Prize from the France-Canada Institute. In 2011, she was awarded the Insignia of Merit from the Université de Montréal’s Faculty of Arts and Science and the title of Knight of the Ordre national du Québec. In 2008, she received the insignia of the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of the French Republic (promoted to Officier in 2016).
Ms. Bondil is Vice-Chair of the Canada Council for the Arts and Vice-president of the Society for the Celebrations of Montréal’s 375th Anniversary.
Executive Vice-President, Business Outreach
Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec
Michèle Boisvert is Executive Vice-President, Business Outreach. 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.
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 Montréal 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 Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal. Ms. Boisvert has received several awards over the course of her career, including the YMCA’s Woman of Distinction in Communications award in 2009.
Executive Vice-President, Business Services
Marie-Claude Boisvert is the Executive Vice-President of Business Services at Desjardins Group.
Ms. Boisvert’s role is to oversee the strategies for the caisses and their business centres, and help them serve companies of all sizes by providing an adapted service offer. She is also responsible for monitoring the overall performance of business services as well as the leadership demonstrated by specialized teams working in capital markets, financing, international trade, asset custody and payroll services.
Ms. Boisvert has close to 30 years’ experience in business financing. She joined Desjardins in 1994, and has held a variety of positions. Before her appointment to Senior VP of Business Services, she was Chief Operating Officer of Desjardins Business Capital régional et coopératif. Throughout her career, Ms. Boisvert has made a name for herself in the capital development sector and through her contribution to supporting entrepreneurship and bolstering the community’s economic development.
She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Université du Québec in Montréal and is a member of the Quebec order of chartered professional accountants (CPA). Ms. Boisvert shares her expertise with the boards of a number of organizations, including the Montreal Port Authority, the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal and École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS). She is also involved with several community organizations.
Ms. Boisvert has ranked among Canada's 100 Most Powerful Women in the Corporate Executives category since 2010. In 2014, she was named Fellow of the Quebec order of CPAs. The prestigious designation is awarded to CPAs who promote the profession through their outstanding achievements. In 2016, she received the Inspiration Andrée Corriveau award from the Quebec association of women in finance.
John Charalampopoulos, CPA, CA
Hellenic Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
John Charalampopoulos is a Partner at Richter. He has over 20 years of experience providing audit and business advisory services to a wide range of entrepreneurial clients. Working closely with business owners, he has developed significant expertise in a variety of sectors, including the food and beverage, manufacturing and distribution, automotive and healthcare industries. He is one of Richter’s market team leaders for the manufacturing and distribution industry.
In addition to bringing substantial technical and leadership skills to the direction of the firm, Mr. Charalampopoulos provides his clients with results-oriented advice on their business strategies and with their important day-to-day decisions.
As a leader of Richter’s audit practice, he has assisted many entrepreneurs plan and manage the growth and future of their companies, whether through mergers, acquisitions, operations, the sale of their business, or succession planning. He also has significant experience with public entities, having assisted many organizations in developing and implementing key controls to ensure compliance with regulations.
In addition to his mandates in the private and public sectors, John Charalampopoulos works for numerous clients in the not-for-profit area, including charities and foundations. He also sits on the audit committee of a healthcare organization and is President of the Hellenic Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, as well as a member of the Board of Directors and of the Executive Committee.
Langlois lawyers, LLP
A native of the city of Québec, Pierre-Luc Desgagné holds a Bachelor of Law degree from Université Laval and has been a member of the Québec Bar since 1992. That same year, he joined the firm Grondin, Poudrier, Bernier, where he specialized in commercial and civil litigation.
He then joined the Québec government, working for the Ministère de la Métropole (1996) and in the Premier’s Office (fall 1997).
After joining Hydro-Québec in 2001, he held several management positions within the Groupe Affaires corporatives et secrétariat général in the areas of public affairs, the environment and government affairs. He was appointed Senior Director – Strategic Planning in 2007 and, in that capacity, he coordinated the production of the company’s Strategic Plan 2009–2013. 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 May 2013, he was appointed Vice President – Public and Government Affairs. Two years later, in May 2015, he was promoted Vice President – Corporate Affairs and Secretary General. In February 2017, he joined as a partner in business law at Langlois lawyers of Montréal.
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 Montréal and on the boards of Pro Bono Québec and TM4, a Hydro-Québec subsidiary that develops and manufactures electric motors.
Pierre Dumouchel, born in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, holds a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from McGill University, as well as a Master's and a Doctorate degree in Telecommunications from the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS). He joined the École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS) as a professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering in 1995, following which he transitioned to the Software and Information Technologies Engineering Department, which he helmed for nearly three years before his appointment as Director General. He also founded and managed the Master's program in Information Technologies Engineering program from 2005 to 2011. He became ÉTS Director General in February 2014.
Previously, Pierre Dumouchel served as Vice President, Research and Development, and Vice President, Scientific Affairs, at the Centre de recherche informatique de Montréal (CRIM); he was also principal researcher of the CRIM's Speech Recognition team, and a scientific columnist on Radio-Canada's Les années lumière radio show.
His research interests focus on speech recognition for subtitling applications, speaker verification for electronic eavesdropping applications and emotions detection for health and call centre applications.
President and CEO
Vision7 in Quebec
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 Quebec operations. She is also Chairman of Vision7 in Quebec and a member of the Vision7 International Executive Management Team. With Cossette for the past 14 years, she was also General Manager at Blitz, a unit that specialized in relationship marketing and promotions, as well as at the helm of Cossette Montréal. 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).
Founder and President
PUR Vodka and Romeo's Gin
Jeune Chambre de commerce de Montréal (JCCM)
Nicolas Duvernois holds a Bachelor in Political Science from Université de Montréal. He founded PUR Vodka in 2006.
Today Mr. Duvernois is the head of PUR Vodka, one of the world’s most awarded vodka, and Romeo’s Gin. PUR Vodka group is Quebec’s biggest spirits producer.
Author of the best seller Entrepreneur à l’état PUR, featured columnist of Les Affaires newspaper and an extremely popular speaker, nothing stops Nicolas Duvernois from attaining his goals.
President of the Jeune Chambre de commerce de Montréal and co-founder of Adopt Inc., which offers a unique entrepreneurial experience that aims to give the next generation of business leaders a helping hand, Nicolas Duvernois is very involved in next generation of businesspeople.
Winner of the Young Entrepreneur of Quebec 2014 ARISTA contest sponsored by the Jeune Chambre de commerce de Montréal, he is also a coach at the École d’Entrepreneurship de Beauce and spokesperson of the Association des clubs d’entrepreneurs étudiants du Québec (ACEE).
Corporate Services and Chief Legal Officer
Sean Finn was appointed Executive Vice-President, Corporate Services and Chief Legal Officer in December 2008. He is responsible for a wide array of legal, government, regulatory, public affairs, risk mitigation and security matters.
Mr. Finn joined CN in January 1994 and led the Company's corporate tax function while being involved extensively in CN's privatization in November 1995. He was appointed Treasurer and Principal Tax Counsel in August 1996, Vice-President, Treasurer and Principal Tax Counsel in January 2000, Senior Vice-President, Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary in December 2000, and Senior Vice-President Public Affairs, Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary in February 2003. As Corporate Secretary, he is actively involved and responsible for CN's Corporate Governance Practices and the implementation of the CN Business Code of Conduct. Prior to joining CN, Mr. Finn was the managing tax partner with the Montréal law firm Lavery, de Billy, where he was involved in domestic and international tax planning, crossborder financing, and corporate financing and reorganizations.
Sean 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 StLambert (1994-2009). He 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.
Partner and Executive Producer
Eric Fournier joined Moment Factory in 2007. As partner and Executive Producer, he has, among other accomplishments, developed the studio’s strategic vision which not only helped increase the company’s staff from 15 to more than 200 but was also instrumental in opening new studios in Los Angeles, Paris and London and establishing the studio’s reputation as a world leader in the industry.
Prior to joining Moment Factory, Mr. Fournier was Vice President of New Ventures and member of the Executive Committee at Cirque du Soleil where he supervised the development of Entertainment, Music, Television and Cinema activities as well as Events and other products activities.
He was also Vice President of Strategic Planning at Bombardier where he took an active part in the company’s expansion and overall positioning as a world-leading train equipment manufacturer. Éric Fournier holds an MBA from McGill University and a BAA from the Université du Québec à Montréal.
He is a member of the Boards of Directors of the Conseil des arts de Montréal and of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal.
Managing Partner, Montréal
Shahir Guindi is the Managing Partner of the Montréal office of Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, and a former member of the firm’s Executive Committee. He is a Board member at the Business Development Bank of Canada, sits on the boards of several other companies and was Co-Chair of Réseau Capital (Québec’s private equity and venture capital association) between 2010 and 2013.
His practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and private equity/venture capital (including in the areas of technology and life sciences). He acts for many private equity funds in their portfolio investments and divestitures and for corporations and investment banks in connection with corporate finance transactions. Mr. Guindi has extensive expertise in cross-border M&A and private equity fund formation.
Shahir Guindi has received significant industry recognition, including top rankings in various legal publications, such as Best Lawyers, Chambers, and Lexpert.
Anne-Marie Hubert, FCPA, FCA
Québec Managing Partner
January 1, 2016, Anne-Marie Hubert was appointed Québec Managing Partner. She was previously Managing Partner for Advisory Services from 2009 to 2015. She built the EY consulting business and made Advisory Canada the second fastest growing region of the 28 regions in EY world.
Ms. Hubert provides board members and senior management teams with strategic advice on governance, performance and risk management. For over 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 2006, she received the EY Rosemary Meschi award, in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the advancement of women in the Americas. Anne-Marie Hubert believes that helping everyone achieve their full potential is fundamental to the success of 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. In December 2011, she was recognized for the fourth time as one of Canada’s 100 Top Most Powerful Women by the Women’s Executive Network and in June 2012, she was selected as one of three Champions of Women in Business leaders chosen by Catalyst Canada. In June 2015, she received 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 from 2009 to 2015, 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 Public Policy Forum, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal, the Institute of Corporate Directors, Quebec Chapter, and the Society for the Celebrations of Montréal’s 375th Anniversary.
President and CEO
Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal
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), C2 Montréal and GoodnessTv. 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).
RBC Wealth Management
Mr. Loffreda has been appointed as Vice-Chairman at RBC Wealth Management on November 1, 2016.
He previously held the position as the Regional Vice-President and Commercial Financial Services Head – Quebec Headquarters. 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.
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.
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 numerous awards over the course of his career.
Estelle Métayer advises CEOs and boards of directors on their strategic and competitive efforts, to avoid strategic blind spots.
Entrepreneur, trend spotter and speaker (Davos in 2012 on identifying weak signals). Leader of strategic workshops on future trends and industry disruptions. Adjunct professor, McGill University (Canada). Guest lecturer, IMD (Switzerland) and joint programs with MIT (U.S.), the IMB (India) and INSEAD (France). Professor, Institute of Corporate Directors (Canada). Formerly with McKinsey & Company (Canada); CAE (Canada); ING Bank (the Netherlands, Poland); Bouygues (France, U.K.). Board member, audit committee member, BRP Inc. ($DOO-Canada). Board member, compliance, governance and compensation committee member, Zag Bank (Calgary, Canada). Advisory board member, Ricardo Media. Former board member, chair of the compensation committee, Ubisoft Entertainment SA ($UBI-France, 2012 to 2016), board member for the Grands Ballets Canadiens (Canada); Canada World Youth (Canada). MBA and doctorate, Nijenrode University, the Netherlands. Arista Sunlife Award for Entrepreneur of the Year (2000). Speaks French, English, German, Italian and Dutch and is learning Arabic. Commercial pilot and flight instructor. When not flying, she can usually be found on Twitter (www.twitter.com/competia).
Senior Vice President, Strategy and Innovation
Simon Olivier is responsible for Agropur’s innovation and strategic positioning in the North American market to accelerate the cooperative’s growth. With almost 20 years of experience at General Electric, Mr. Olivier has held a number of management positions, including his most recent as Senior Vice President, Strategy, Innovation and Mergers & Acquisitions.
He was previously President and CEO – Renewable Energy for Canada and the Northeastern U.S., building a multi-billion dollar company. Before joining GE Canada, he spent five years working for Air Canada as an engineer.
Simon Olivier holds an engineering degree from École Polytechnique and an MBA in finance from McGill University. He was recently a board member for the Canadian Wind Energy Association and is a member of a McGill University group of experts on leadership and global strategy. In 2009, he received the Jeune leader d'affaires du Québec award. Simon Olivier is a sports enthusiast, who takes part in triathlons and marathons.
Pierre Pomerleau, Eng., MBA*
President and CEO
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 the management of the company, its real estate and manufacturing subsidiaries before succeeding his father, Hervé Pomerleau, in 1997, as President and CEO.
Mr. Pomerleau heads companies specializing in construction of large-scale or complex projects, architectural woodwork and wind farms, all leaders in their respective fields. From the moment he became President, his new business vision led the group to experience tremendous growth and today, Pomerleau is one of Canada’s leading builders in the institutional, industrial, commercial, infrastructure and civil works sectors. Its sales have risen substantially, from $200M in 1997 to more than $600M in 2004, and then to over $1.7B in 2016. Today, more than 50 years since its founding, the company employs up to 4,000 people at its nine regional offices and more than 150 worksites across the country. Since 2004, Pomerleau has been recognized by Deloitte among Canada’s 50 best managed companies. Mr. Pomerleau is active in a number of associations, including the World Presidents' Organization, the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal and the Cercle des Présidents du Québec, among others. He sits on many boards of directors.
Involvement in the community is important to Mr. Pomerleau both personally and for the company. He participates in numerous fundraising campaigns, and the company supports many organizations across Canada. Priority is given to health and education.
Mr. Pomerleau is a dedicated athlete and it is in this spirit that he sets a sports-specific goal for himself that often benefits a charity. He lives by the time-honored saying: “A healthy mind in a healthy body.”
Canadian Personal & Commercial Banking, BMO Bank of Montreal
Mario Rigante is Senior Vice-President, Quebec Division, Canadian Personal & Commercial Banking. In this position he is accountable for the overall results for the Personal and Commercial Banking business within Quebec. 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 his most recent appointment as 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 President of the Quebec Committee of the Canadian Bankers Association. He is also actively involved in the community and sits on various boards, including the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal and the board of the En Coeur Foundation, an organization that supports children with heart conditions and their families.
Senior Vice-President, Corporate Development and Strategic Investments
CGI Group Inc.
Born in Montréal, Quebec, 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 and various strategic projects.
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 was Deputy Finance Minister of the Province of Québec 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, QG100 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.
With a B.A.A. in finance from the Université Laval and a law degree (LL.B) from the Université de Montréal, Richard Speer founded Attraction in 2002. Today the head of a leading company with recognized expertise in television and film – advertising production, distribution, content delivery and radio broadcasting – Richard Speer undeniably possesses the qualities of inspirational leaders who surround themselves with others who share their vision and their passion for their profession.
Since its creation in 2002, Attraction and its divisions have some 3,000 advertising campaigns for such major companies as the National Bank, Coca-Cola, Hyundai and Rogers; 5,000 hours of television productions; 13 feature films; and 50 digital projects to their credit.
In addition to his responsibilities at Attraction, Richard Speer has been the President of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television in Quebec from 2012 to 2015. A member of the Cercle des présidents du Québec, the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) (he was President of the Quebec chapter from 2011-2012), Richard Speer won the Young Entrepreneur of Quebec 2013 Artista contest sponsored by the Jeune Chambre de commerce de Montréal and was named EY Entrepreneur of the Year in 2014.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Quebecor Media Group and TVA Group Inc.
Julie Tremblay has been President and CEO of Quebecor Media Group and TVA Group Inc. since July 30, 2014. The group is an umbrella for a number of sectors, including television broadcasting, magazines, newspapers, books, music, MELS Studios and out-of-home advertising.
Since 1989, Ms. Tremblay has held a variety of management positions with Quebecor and its subsidiaries, including Vice President, Human Resources for Quebecor Inc. and Quebecor Media Inc., a position she held for over eight years. From June 2011 to September 2013, she was COO of Sun Media Corporation. In September 2013, she was promoted to President and CEO of Sun Media, the activities of which are now part of Quebecor Media Group. Before joining Quebecor, Ms. Tremblay practiced law with a major law firm.
Ms. Tremblay has been a board member for TVA Group Inc. since July 2014, director for the Fondation Montréal Inc. since May 2015 and director of the Society for the Celebrations of Montréal’s 375th Anniversary since April 2016.
Julie Tremblay has been a member of the Barreau du Québec since 1984 and holds a bachelor of arts with a minor in political science from McGill University.
Vice Chair, Québec
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 Chair of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal and Théâtre Espace Go, as well as a member of the boards of directors of Empire / Sobeys and CIBC. She is also a member of the Board of Governors of McGill University, Montréal’s 375th anniversary and MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE.
Ms. Turcotte graduated from McGill University with Bachelors in Civil Law and Common Law and holds a Master 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.
Hélène Desmarais, C.M., LL.D.
Chair of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer
Centre d’entreprises et d’innovation de Montréal (CEIM)
Since it was founded in 1996, Ms. Hélène Desmarais has been Chair of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of the Centre d’entreprises et d’innovation de Montreal (CEIM), the largest and one of Canada’s most successful technology incubators-accelerators. The CEIM, as an integral component of the science, technology and innovation ecosystem in Canada, has made significant contributions, in the last 20 years, in concert with others to translate innovation into application across key sectors of the Canadian economy. The CEIM has catalyzed the development of many thriving Canadian enterprises and also world-class enterprises.
Ms. Desmarais holds directorships in a number of companies and organizations in both the public and private sectors and has led initiatives in the areas of economics, post-secondary education and healthcare. She has been Independent Director of Christian Dior SE since 2012 and President of the company’s Nominating and Compensation Committee since 2015. Christian Dior SE is the world’s largest luxury holding and is the first shareholder of LVMH. Christian Dior SE is listed on Euronext Paris and in the CAC40 Index. Ms. Desmarais has been Director of Garda World Security Corporation since 2006. She is a Member of the Company’s Audit Committee and is also a Member of the Nominating, Compensation and Governance Committee. Garda is a Canadian-based multinational company ranking among the world’s largest security services providers.
Ms. Desmarais chaired, from its launching in 1990, Gestion Bio-Capital, the first and leading venture capital fund specializing in the start-up and development of biotechnology enterprises in Quebec. She served on its Audit Committee, its Compensation Committee, its Science Committee and on its Investment Committee until the sale of the Fund, in 2001. Gestion Bio-Capital played a key role in the start-up of twenty biotech companies and the IPOs of ten of them, and today remains one of the most important and effective biotech venture funds ever created in Canada. Ms. Desmarais also sat on the Investment Committee of Hydro-Québec CapiTech – Innovation Fund, one of the leading venture capital funds specializing in the development of new promising energy technologies. Ms. Desmarais serves as Chairwoman Founder of Société de développement économique Ville-Marie (SDEVM), since 1998, which became PME-Mtl centre-ville in 2015, and of the Société d’Investissement Jeunesse (SIJ), a public body which she privatized and has chaired since 1999. Both organizations have micro finance funds that have supported hundreds of promising start-ups and entrepreneurs over the last 18 years.
Ms. Desmarais has also served Canada by participating in the study and formulation of public policy options with the following organizations: the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal as its Chairman and Independent Director, the Canadian think tank C.D. Howe Institute as an Independent Director and Chair of its Quebec Regional Committee and its Canadian regional committees, and also, the Quebec think tank Montreal Economic Institute as its Chair. Since it was founded in 1995, Ms. Desmarais has served the International Economic Forum of the Americas as a Governor and the President of its Steering Committee. This forum has developed into one of the preeminent economic forums in the world with annual events in Montréal, Toronto, Miami and Paris. Ms. Desmarais is regularly published in a variety of newspapers and journals. Her articles deal with the economic challenges facing Canada.
Hélène Desmarais has also served Montréal universities, particularly HEC Montréal, for the last 30 years. As early as in 1988, she has been actively involved in enhancing the international visibility of HEC Montréal, and set out a strategic plan aiming to turn the institution into a major French‑speaking business school with a trilingual curriculum. As a result, HEC Montréal became the first post-secondary educational institution in North America enabling students to acquire business management training in three languages. She also sets up, in 1990, an International Advisory Board for the school, on which she has served for 26 years as Deputy Chair. In 2003, Hélène Desmarais is the first woman in the 97-year history of HEC Montréal to be elected Chair of the Board of Administration.
Ms. Desmarais holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from HEC Montréal, a Doctor of Laws honoris causa from St. Francis Xavier University in 2009, a Doctor honoris causa from Université de Lyon in France in 2009, the Order of Merit of the Université de Montréal in 2007 and the Medal of Honour of the Faculty of Medicine of the Université de Montréal in 2009. She was named Grande Montréalaise (economic sector) by the Académie des Grands Montréalais and the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal in 2010 and received the Prix entrepreneurship of the Conseil du Patronat du Québec in 2010. She was recipient of the Order of Canada, Chancellery of Honours, in 2009, and the Queen Elizabeth II’s Jubilee Medals in 2002 and in 2012. She became Officer of the Ordre national du Québec in 2013.
Vêtements Peerless Clothing Inc.
For the past 45 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 Trade 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 boards 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, and holds 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
Erik J. Ryan is Executive Vice President, Marketing, Strategy and External Relations at SNC-Lavalin. He is responsible for strategic planning, marketing and corporate communications, government and Indigenous affairs and mergers and acquisitions.
Originally from Quebec, Mr. Ryan was Senior Vice President, Communications and External Relations at Rio Tinto Alcan, responsible for managing the group’s international reputation and stakeholder engagement strategy. He joined Rio Tinto Alcan in 2002 as part of the strategic management support team and was given increasing responsibility in other positions, particularly in the area of mergers and acquisitions, strategy and government negotiations.
Mr. Ryan used to work for the Monitor Group in Boston in global strategy consulting. He has more than 25 years of experience in different facets of corporate external relations, such as contract negotiations, business development, community relations and developing and implementing strategy.
Mr. Ryan holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering from McGill University and an MBA from Harvard University. He is a board member for a number of Canadian non-profit organizations and has chaired many boards, including those of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal and the Association des Manufacturiers et exportateurs du Québec.