Juno Award-Winning Musician, Creativity & AI Expert
David Usher is an award-winning musician, bestselling author, and founder of the artificial intelligence creative studio: Reimagine AI. As Creativity & AI Expert, David defines the path an organization can follow to reboot its creativity amidst this brave new world of disruptive change. David helps innovative companies, like Google, Pepsi, and Rogers, re-inspire creativity in both employees and executives. Because David Usher doesn’t just talk creativity and artificial intelligence — he lives it.
Head of Marketing, Google Canada; TEDx speaker, Marketing Magazine's "30 under 30"
Fab Dolan is Head of Marketing at Google Canada, and a regular guest lecturer at some of Canada’s top universities. He draws on his experience leading iconic brands, like Cheerios and Green Giant, and revolutionary upstarts, like Android and YouTube at work and during his talks. Dolan also teaches Fortune 500 business leaders how emerging technologies can redefine the way they do business, exploring the challenges and opportunities facing individuals and companies in this age of innovation.
President, AmberMac Media
Named one of DMZ’s 30 inspirational women making a difference in tech, Amber Mac started her career during the dot-com boom. After leaving the startup world to join Microsoft, she eventually started her own successful digital agency in 2006. In 2010, Amber wrote the bestselling book, Power Friending, and later co-authored the Amazon bestseller, Outsmarting Your Kids Online . In 2019, her podcast The AI Effect won Best Technology Series. She is a regular business host and expert on radio and TV.
Serial Entrepreneur, Co-Founder Clearbanc; Co-Founder SnapSaves (acq by Groupon), Dragon on Dragons' Den
An engineer and serial entrepreneur, “tech titan” Michele Romanow started five companies before her 33rd birthday. Michele is also a “Dragon” on CBC’s hit show Dragons’ Den , an angel investor, and a co-founder of Clearbanc — a growth capital business that gave entrepreneurs more than $100 million in funding in 2018. Named in WXN’s “100 Most Powerful in Canada” and listed as the only Canadian on Forbes’ “Millennial on a Mission” list, Michele brings her incredible entrepreneurial savvy to every stage.
CPA (Alberta), Innovation Strategist; General Partner of Queen & Rook Capital; Top 40 under 40; Inc. Magazine's 100 Most Innovative Leadership Speakers in 2018
A strategist recognized nationally and internationally for his work in the innovation space, Shawn Kanungo operates at the intersection of creativity, business, and technology. As General Partner of Queen & Rook Capital, Shawn uses concepts — like behavioural economics, user-centred design, crowdsourcing, artificial intelligence, drones, and film — to help organizations along their digital transformation journey. Shawn has been featured in Forbes, The Globe and Mail, The Guardian, CBC, and CTV.
CPA, CA, Partner, LiveCA LLP
Josh Zweig is Partner and Co-Founder of LiveCA, a virtual CPA firm that gives Josh and his colleagues the opportunity to work from anywhere. Before launching LiveCA in 2013, Josh graduated from the Richard Ivey School of Business. He spent several years in public practice at both a national and mid-size CPA firm, where he received his CPA and CA designations, as well as a public accounting license. Now he works while exploring the world — challenging the accountant stereotype everywhere he goes.
CPA, CA, Chief of Staff, Deloitte Canada
Michael Cherny is Chief of Staff to the National Audit Public Practice at Deloitte, where he uses a risk-based approach to financial and non-financial assurance with clients across multiple industries. Michael recently received the CPA’s Emerging Leader Award, and the Notable Life – LGBTQ Leader Award. He currently serves as National Chair of the Deloitte Pride Community, and previously as Treasurer on the Board of Pride Toronto, Director on the Board of Start Proud, and Advisor to The Ten Oaks Project.
CPA, CA, Founder & CEO, Luminari
Michael Kravshik is Founder and CEO of Luminari, a platform that helps CPAs progress in their career by providing them with customized career services, volunteer opportunities, and mentorship matches. Luminari recently launched LumiQ, a professional development podcast app that highlights practical skills and features industry experts. Michael began his entrepreneurial journey when he joined a technology startup as CFO/COO, helping the founders grow their business by raising $2 million in financing.
CPA, CA, Founder, OMERS Ventures; Co-Founder, Council of Canadian Innovators
John Ruffolo is Founder of OMERS Ventures, a company that has invested more than $500 million in disruptive North American technology companies, like Hootsuite, Shopify, and Wattpad. John is also a co-founder of the Council of Canadian Innovators, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping high-growth Canadian technology firms scale up globally. Comprised of CEOs from Canada’s most promising technology companies, the council’s role is to optimize the growth of Canada’s innovation-based sector.
CPA, CA, Founder & CEO, Audacious Futures
As Founder and CEO of Audacious Futures, a global launchpad for “audacious innovation,” Hamoon Ekhtiari is passionate about unlocking an organization’s potential to re-imagine the future. Previous roles in the innovation space include Director of Strategy and Innovation for the Executive Vice-President at TELUS and Founding Director of Studio [Y], a leadership and innovation academy at MaRS. Hamoon also founded a social enterprise that raised $1M in its first year, and is a Canada Millennium Scholar.
Co-Founder & Managing Director, StandUp Ventures; Senior Investment Director, MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund
As Co-Founder and Managing Director of StandUp Ventures, Michelle McBane has invested in more than 40 early-stage technology companies started by women. A seasoned executive with more than 19 years of venture capital experience, Michelle sits on the board at tealbook and is a board observer for portfolio companies like Sampler, Nudge Rewards, and Bridgit. She also contributes to the ecosystem as a volunteer advisor for organizations that include Ryerson DMZ, Techstars, NEXT Canada, and #MoveTheDial.
Co-Founder and Chief Revenue Officer, Luminari
Adam Bercovici is Co-Founder and Chief Revenue Officer at Canada's largest career management platform for CPAs: Luminari. Adam started his career in advertising before joining the startup world with his best friend and business partner, Michael Kravshik. Since its launch in 2016, Luminari has grown to over 15,000 users and has built a suite of services for CPAs, including job and volunteer opportunities, mentorship matching, and continuing professional development via their new podcast, LumiQ.
CPA, CA, CIRP, LIT, Joint Managing Partner & Founder, Farber Group
Since 1979, Alan Farber has been a driving force in transforming his firm into one of the leading independent providers of financial and business advisory services in Canada. An entrepreneur at heart, Alan Farber has assembled a dynamic group of people at Farber, where they deliver exceptional results, provide responsive client service, and offer innovative, practical insight. Alan is a big believer in organizational culture, and speaks extensively on the topic of "Culture as a Competitive Advantage."
CPA, CA, Speaker, Career Strategist, and Coach
After receiving her CPA designation and working at a Big Four accounting firm, Linda Raynier became a top performing head hunter in Toronto, placing more than 200 job seekers in permanent positions. Since then, Linda has coached thousands of clients with a variety of designations across Canada and worldwide. With a YouTube channel that focuses on career-related insights and reaches millions of viewers, Linda is establishing herself as a thought leader in the career and professional development space.
Country Manager, Xero Canada
An accounting leader with experience in new and emerging ventures, Will Buckley is driven by his desire to create inclusive and meaningful outcomes — and a positive impact on the world. His passion for small business success comes from seeing how entrepreneurs affect change in communities. Will is Country Manager at Xero Canada, a member of the Technology Advisory Council at CPA Canada, and was a founding partner at buckleybrown, a modern accounting service for Australian small business owners.
Director of Investments and Partnerships, Sidewalk Labs
A dynamic member of the Toronto startup community, Nicole LeBlanc has more than 10 years of experience as an investment professional, with a focus on early-stage financing opportunities and ecosystem development. Before joining Sidewalk Labs, Nicole was a Director at BDC Capital, where she managed seed stage investments and associated portfolios. Previous to this, Nicole held initial finance and operational roles in several early stage startups.
Vice President, Artificial Intelligence and Intelligent Automation, Canadian Tire Corporation
Cari Covent uses innovation and people-focused leadership to drive cultural change and deliver positive results. Cari has held multiple leadership roles at IBM Canada and Canadian Tire, earning the reputation of “builder” and “connector.” She is often sought after to build integrated teams with the goal of tackling complex problems. At Canadian Tire, Cari is currently developing an intelligent automation practice that leverages artificial intelligence technology and a human-centred approach.
Managing Partner, Technology & Transformation; Managing Partner, DSpace, Deloitte Canada
As Managing Partner of Deloitte’s technology innovation centre, DSpace, Steve McCaughey is involved in the development of Cloud AI, Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing and Generation, Blockchain, Internet of Things, and Cybersecurity prototypes. Steve is also responsible for managing teams that are conducting research on the Future of Work and the Future of Learning. A frequent speaker on Digital Innovation, Steve sits on the CPA Ontario Council and chairs the Risk Committee.
SVP, People and Culture, Wave HQA transformational executive and change advocate
Ashira Gobrin blends a get-it-done performance style with the ability to bring vision to life. With more than 25 years of experience leading fast-growth technology companies, Ashira fuels enterprise-wide execution that drives employee engagement, retention, revenue, and growth. At Wave, she is focused on building a world-class, award-winning team that drives exponential growth. She previously led Vision Critical’s global operations through 300% growth.
FCPA, FCA, President & CEO, Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario
As President and CEO of CPA Ontario, Carol Wilding leads the qualifying and regulatory body of the province’s more than 92,000 CPAs and 21,000 students. The former head of the Toronto Region Board of Trade, Mount Sinai Hospital Foundation, and Plan Canada, Carol was awarded the Public Affairs Association of Canada’s 2011 Award of Distinction. For her leadership in the not-for-profit sector, she was named one of Canada’s Top 100™ Most Powerful Women in 2010, and made the Top 25 Women of Influence™ list in 2014.
Owner, Wall CPA Professional Corporation & Wall Global Solutions Inc.; CEO, CPA4IT Professional Corporation
As managing partner at a cloud-based accounting firm, Andrew Wall does more than simply measure value — he creates it. A global thought leader, Andrew has appeared on CBC television show “Venture,” and was invited to speak at the International Trade Centre’s executive forum on global outsourcing. He was recognized as one of the top 50 cloud accountants in North America for four years in a row, and his firm has been ranked one of the top 100 cloud brands in the world.
Vice President Operations, MindBridge Ai
With more than 25 years of experience in senior leadership roles in business development, product marketing, sales, sales enablement, channel marketing, and alliances, John Bednarek is a veteran in the high-tech scene. John has worked with major international companies, like Motorola, Avaya, and Nortel, to startups, like C-Port Networks (acquired by Motorola in 2000) and Vayyoo Inc. (acquired by CafeX in 2017).
Partner, AI and Automation, PwC Canada
Annie leads the National Intelligent Automation practice at PwC Canada and brings over 15 years of experience in the planning and execution of complex Analytics, Artificial Intelligence and Automation solutions. More specifically she focuses on responsible AI, leveraging AI techniques to automate, and Robot Process Automation (RPA).