Lisa Kimmel is general manager of the Toronto office of Edelman, the world’s largest independent public relations firm. Edelman was named Advertising Age’s top-ranked PR firm of the decade, and one of its “2010 A-List Agencies” and “2010 Best Places to Work.” In her role, Lisa is responsible for the recruitment and retention of talent, client servicing, new business development and reputation management. She also oversees the operation and financial performance of the office. Lisa has extensive experience in consumer marketing communications, working with high-profile clients including Labatt, Unilever, Kraft and Johnson & Johnson. She has a particular passion for employee engagement, overseeing the successful local execution of the firm’s The Little Give, a charitable initiative to help make a real difference in the lives of children and youth.
Brenda Stasuik is Director, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at Farm Credit Canada, the country’s leading agricultural lender and a self-sustaining federal Crown corporation. FCC provides financing, insurance, software, learning programs and other business services to producers, agribusinesses and agri-food operations.
In her role at FCC, Brenda is accountable for the development and execution of the national CSR strategy, including Community Investment. FCC’s award winning flagship community investment program is Drive Away Hunger, a unique annual food drive that focuses on rural Canada. Since its inception in 2004, Drive Away Hunger has collected more than six million pounds of food for food banks across the country.
Brenda is a member of the Adaptation Advisory Committee of the “Climate Change Adaptation Project: Canada”, and her role at FCC has recently expanded to include accountability for measuring, managing and reducing the impact of FCC's internal operations on the environment.
Prior to joining FCC in 2000, Brenda worked for Brown Communications, Labatt Breweries and the Conexus Arts Center where she gained experience in public and media relations, advertising and promotions, special events and corporate sales. She presents at the national and local level about implementing CSR strategy and developing community investment programs that create social impact, while engaging employees and building an organization's reputation as a good corporate citizen. She holds certificates in Corporate Social Responsibility, Corporate Community Involvement, Public Relations and a diploma in Business Administration.
While Brenda is passionate about her work, she enjoys spending time with her two young boys, Noah and Lucas. She is an avid volunteer and can often be found helping out on a school field trip or managing and coaching her boys’ sports teams along with her husband Darcy.
Petra Cooper served for 18 years in the publishing industry in a series of progressive positions in Toronto and New York including Marketing Manager, Product Manager, Acquistions Editor (Management and Marketing lists) and finally V.P. Sales for John Wiley & Sons in New York. In 1997 she moved back to Toronto and served as President, Higher Education Group for McGraw-Hill Ryerson ($47M, Whitby). In 2005, she left McGraw-Hill to pursue her dream and founded the Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Company. Fifth Town is focused on making artisan goat and sheep milk cheese using locally produced from selected, LFP certified farms in Prince Edward County. The 4800 sq ft dairy on a 20 acre site is Canada’s first Platinum LEED manufacturing facility and the only Platinum LEED certified dairy in the world. In its first 18 months, Fifth Town cheeses has won critical acclaim and several awards including Grand Champion Goat Cheese at the Royal Winter Fair in 2009 and Grand Champion Specialty Cheese 2009 at the British Empire Cheese Competition.
Petra has a B. A. Honours in Journalism & Mass Communication from Carleton University (1985) and an EMBA from the University of Toronto (Before it was called Rotman). A serious life long learner, Petra also completed several courses in Magazine Design & Production at Ryerson, and has taken several courses in Art History & German (NYU), Communication Studies (McLuhan Institute, U of T), plus Leadership training at the Centre for Leadership Studies in North Carolina, Integrated Learning Executive Seminar (Rotman), and the Artisan Cheese and Affineur programs at the University of Vermont & University of Wisconsin. Also Food Chemistry and Cheese Making at the University of Guelph, Ontario.
Other Information: Past Directorships: Vice-Chair, Board of Governors, Ontario College of Art and Design (to Oct, 2006); Access Copyright, Dorothy Ley Hospice (Finance Committee, Fundraising), Central Ontario Cheese Makers (COCMA), Current Directorships: Director, Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), Director, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, Director, Albert College, Co-Founder & Chair, past Chair, Ontario Cheese Society (160 members), PEC Slow Food Convivium founder and Past Convivium Leader; Current Professional Memberships: GET Toronto (Green Enterprise Toronto), SWITCH Kingston (green energy consortium), American Cheese Society, Ontario Cheese Society, TASTE, PEC Chamber of Commerce; Past Professional Memberships: Canadian Publishers Association, Rotman School of Management Volunteer IMS Board, Personal Interest Memberships: Verity Club, International Women’s Forum, Design Exchange, Royal Ontario Museum, Art Gallery of Ontario, Soulpepper Theatre Company, Royal Canadian Yacht Club, Canadian Opera Company, Albert College Parent Guild, Books/Authorship: Wrote and published the Artisan Cheese Lover’s Journal of Taste in 2005. Sold over 2000 copies to date. Have written for several cheese related newsletters and industry/trade magazines. Awards: Terry McGraw Leadership Award (McGrawhill Companies) in 2004, Outstanding Contribution to Agriculture Award, Fall, 2008, Government of Canada, Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation (April, 2009). Profiled in Fortune Magazine in Feb, 2010 as well as American Online in May, 2010.
Petra Cooper has a 10 year old daughter, Augusta Cooper who is in grade 5 at Albert College.
Mikaël Henry, Senior Vice-President, General Manager of the Professional Products Division of L’Oréal Canada was born in Brest (Brittany) France in 1971. Mr. Henry began his 15-year career with L’Oréal as a Product Manager with Kérastase in Germany. He was then promoted to Project Manager with L’Oréal Professionnel and International Marketing Director in Paris. Soon after that, Mr. Henry became the European Zone Coordinator for 6 countries, including Turkey and Israel and in 2004 was appointed General Manager of the Professional Products Division in Austria. Back in France in 2007, he launched the American brand, Matrix, and in 2009 was appointed Vice-President, General Manager of the Professional Products Division in Canada.
Mr. Henry has an extensive expertise within the Professional Products Division, with prestigious brands such as L’Oréal Professionel, Pureology, Kérastase, Shu Uemura, Art of Hair, Matrix, and Redken. He manages a division with continuous growth and has overseen the implementation of many projects such as the creation of the Canadian chapter of Haute Coiffure Française, which promotes artistic creation, discovers future talents and ensures the commercial success of its member salons.
Mr. Henry has been involved in promoting the Hairdressers Against Aids campaign for the past ten years, implementing it in all the countries where he was in charge. He also oversaw the creation of the L'Oréal Studio University, one of two L'Oréal Academies in Canada. This is both a training academy and a technical centre where capillary products are tested on an ongoing basis.
He has a degree from L’École Supérieure de Commerce in Toulouse (France) and obtained his marketing degree at the Berlin University. He is married with two sons aged 4 and 7. He enjoys our Canadian winters and when possible escapes to Bromont for some skiing with the family.
With over 14 years of corporate experience, Catherine Hughes is a seasoned communications professional with experience in global public relations, brand definition and positioning, employee relations, M&A, corporate restructuring, crisis communications and change management. During her years at Corel, Catherine has demonstrated a keen understanding of the effects of change on employee motivation and morale and has played a leadership role in developing and driving employee programs to foster improved engagement .
Catherine obtained her Honors Degree in Communications and Sociology from the University of Ottawa in Canada. She has chaired numerous executive and employee focus groups and has participated in panel discussions including “The Changing Face of Communications”, hosted by Canadian Women in Communications. With her extensive background and concrete experiences navigating a frequently changing corporate landscape, Catherine brings a real-world perspective that is both informative and refreshing.
As Vice President, Community Affairs, Jill Schnarr leads national community investment at TELUS including community cause marketing, employee & retiree volunteerism & donations, and community sponsorships & grants.
Jill also is the national chair of Connections – the TELUS women’s network. With her leadership of Connections, Jill has helped to foster a culture of learning and development, growth, engagement, recognition and well-being for women. She has trained over 100 women colleagues at TELUS in Taking the Stage.
Since joining TELUS in 1992, Jill has managed a variety of portfolios and held leadership positions including marketing analyst, product manager, customer service manager, executive producer, business manager; marketing director; acting Vice President, Corporate Communications; acting Vice President, Customer Marketing; Director, Community Engagement; and Executive Director, Connections.
Jill earned her Honours Business Administration degree from the Richard Ivey School of Business, and has completed several Executive Education programs at leading universities including INSEAD; Rotman School of Business; University of British Columbia; Banff Executive Leadership and the Sauder School of Business.
She was recognized for her outstanding contributions to TELUS and the community by Canadian Women in Communications (CWC) with a Leadership Excellence Award in the Innovator category in 2011.
Jill is a Director on the boards for the BC Women’s Hospital Foundation, the Women’s Leadership Circle as part of the Vancouver Board of Trade, the TELUS Foundation, and the TELUS Vancouver Community Board.
She is the youngest of eight children and lives in Vancouver, BC with her husband, Dave and her two young sons, Dylan and Andrew. In her spare time, she loves to play golf and watch hockey
As Microsoft Canada’s Director of Corporate Citizenship, Gavin Thompson works with community organizations, corporate partners and governments to implement and sustain various corporate citizenship initiatives and community programs. Gavin oversees Microsoft Canada’s position on various public policy issues related to technology and society and he manages Microsoft’s Canada’s Citizenship portfolio, which includes: technology skills training, creating economic prosperity and a skilled workforce, online safety and interoperability.
Many of the programs led by Gavin have been adopted nationally, including I Volunteer, Child Life Computers for Kids (CLICK), and the Pro Tech Media Centre. Gavin is also involved in the newly created Green IT Environmental Technologies Committee and the Diversity Council at Microsoft Canada. He is a member of the Volunteer Canada Corporate Council on Volunteering, the Children’s Miracle Network Corporate Advisory Group, the City of Toronto Safe Community Task Force and the Merry-Go-Round Children’s Foundation Corporate Board.
Prior to joining Microsoft Canada, Gavin was the Senior Manager of Community Relations at TD Canada Trust where he was also the Director of National Operations for the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation. Gavin has a degree in Political Science from the University of Victoria.
Microsoft Canada is recognized as a responsible corporate citizen, using innovative technologies and partnerships to impact the public good. It is considered a leader on public policy issues related to technology and society.
Dan Thompson is no stranger to sport. In the late 70’s and 80’s, Dan spent seven years as a member of the Canadian National Swim Team. He was a gold medalist in the 100 metre butterfly at the 1978 and 1982 Commonwealth Games, attended two World Championships and was a member of the 1980 Boycotted Moscow Canadian Olympic Team.
Dan graduated from the University of Toronto in 1981 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physical and Health Education and then proceeded to launch a career in marketing. Over a 25 year period, Dan worked in various marketing capacities most recently at MacLaren McCann Inc., one of Canada's largest integrated marketing firms. At Maclaren, he was the President of Momentum where he led the development of experiential marketing and integrated sponsorship programs for some of Canada’s largest corporations.
With his competitive swimming days behind him, Dan re-entered the sporting world in 2004 to help rebuild the sport he loves by serving as Volunteer President of Swimming Natation Canada for four years and an additional two years as Vice President.
In 2007, Dan joined Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities™ as President. In this capacity, Dan has used his sport and business acumen to develop a strong brand and successful program delivery system for Canadian Tire Jumpstart®. Canadian Tire Jumpstart provides financially disadvantaged kids, ranging in age from 4 to 18, the opportunity to participate in organized sport and recreation. To date, the program has 300 Chapters and has helped more than 300,000 kids across Canada ‘get in the game’.
An industry expert with impressive international experience, René has the global vision and expertise to drive growth strategies for Atrium and its family of companies around the world.
René has been involved in the nutritional health industry throughout his entire 20-year career – a career that has taken him around the world, from Albuquerque to Johannesburg to Montreal.
Recognizing his incomparable industry and international experience, Atrium approached René in 2008 to become its Vice President of Marketing Strategy. René seized the rare opportunity to be part of an ambitious public company dedicated to building the credibility of the entire industry through science, research and education, while taking Atrium and its brands to a new level.
René focuses his attention on business development. He also plays a key role in special collaborative projects that fall into the category of ATP topline (Atrium Top Priorities), which involves creating organic growth within and between the different member companies by tapping into what has made each one so successful. The thrill lies in seeing where these best-in-class companies can go on their own – and together as part of Atrium.
Originally from Switzerland, René speaks three languages, is well-traveled and believes in the power of good communication, qualities that are especially valuable to an international company such as Atrium.
A strong leader who inspires and motivates others, René has confidence in the future of the industry and is proud to see how far Atrium has come, and how fast. Then again, Rene does like action, pursuing his passion for outdoor adventure, hiking, skiing, scuba diving and mountain biking at home and in more exotic locations around the world.
Mr. Dunderdale is a Global Alliances Manager for Business Analytics software firm, SAS. He is responsible for the creation and management of some of SAS’ largest international partnerships. His business background includes roles in software development, education, project management, senior departmental management and alliances.
In 2006, Mr. Dunderdale volunteered his time to create the SAS Canada Corporate Social Responsibility team. Over the years, the team and its mandate have grown to become an integral part of SAS’ workplace culture. He currently co-leads this team.
Outside the office, Ewan is an avid skier, cyclist, runner and community volunteer. He currently holds a seat on the Board of Directors for the St. Lawrence Business Improvement Area in Toronto. Ewan lives in Toronto with his wife, their dog and are eagerly expecting their first child this summer.
Ms. Stansfield is a Principal Consultant for Business Analytics software firm, SAS. She is responsible for building relationships within customer and prospective client accounts in order to align their analytical goals with appropriate consulting services. Her business background includes roles in account management, project management, senior departmental management and consulting.
Ms. Stansfield joined SAS in 2009 and immediately became involved by volunteering her time for events and activities that the SAS Canada Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) team created. In 2010, Ms. Stansfield joined the CSR team and is currently volunteering her time as a co-lead for this team.
Outside the office, Janet is an avid runner, skier and community volunteer. Janet is actively involved in other non-for-profit activities such as the Kidney Foundation. Janet lives in Toronto and enjoys spending time with her boyfriend and his two children.
In her role as Chief Sustainability Officer, Debbie is responsible for developing and maintaining a formal program of Corporate Social Responsibility at LoyaltyOne. She spearheads a range of initiatives to “green” all business operations, helping the global leader in loyalty marketing take the lead on environmental issues as well. Debbie recently led the project to build a double gold LEED certified call center that features the largest rooftop solar panel installation in Canada.
Prior to joining LoyaltyOne, Debbie was Chief Operating Officer with Green Rewards, an innovative, eco-conscious loyalty business that is now integrated into the AIR MILES Reward Program. Debbie has been trained by former US Vice President and Nobel laureate Al Gore to help raise public awareness of the impact of climate change. Debbie is a member of Partners in the Project Green steering committee, the Greening Greater Toronto taskforce and sits on the board of both the Nature Conservancy of Canada and Stewardship Ontario.
Steve is a founding partner of Better The World (bettertheworld.com) – a certified B-Corporation that develops innovative, technology-based, fundraising and corporate social responsibility initiatives that drive engaging stakeholder experiences.
Steve is an Ivey MBA and known as a strategic and creative thinker with a passion for social innovation and technology. He is a frequent speaker and blogger on topics ranging from Social Innovation to Entrepreneurship. He spends his free time between travel, photography, staying active and playing with his two young children.