People

2010/2011 Fellows

Terry Beech

Terry Beech is an entrepreneur and an educator from Vancouver, BC. He is the CEO and Co-Founder of HiretheWorld.com, a crowdsourcing design marketplace with customers in 142 countries. The company won the prestigious 2010 New Ventures BC competition and the Global Oxford business competition before being named as one of British Columbia’s most innovative companies by BC Business in 2012. Terry teaches entrepreneurship and finance as an adjunct professor at the Beedie school of Business at Simon Fraser University (SFU) and the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia (UBC). Terry holds an MBA from Oxford University and an economics and business degree from SFU. Terry completed the Private Equity and Venture Capital executive program at Harvard University and is the recipient of several awards including the Volunteer Vancouver Award. He holds the distinction of being Canada’s youngest ever elected official, and has been featured as one of Canada’s top entrepreneurs on the Business News Network.

Maclean’s magazine previously named Terry as one of their top 10 “30 under 30” Canadian leaders. He is a previous Action Canada Fellow, where his task force focussed on “A National Strategy for High Growth Entrepreneurship in Canada. Terry is a Director of Lift Philanthropy Partners, Canada’s largest Venture Philanthropy Fund, which invests capital and knowledge into scaling successful non-profit enterprises. He is a founder of Twinbro, a non-profit which has helped over 35,000 students attend university and win millions of dollars in scholarships. Terry is a sought after speaker on the subject of start-ups and entrepreneurship and invests in several companies through his company Beech Partners. He is married and enjoys travelling, politics and playing hockey when he is not engaging in his various entrepreneurial adventures.

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Brenna Donoghue

Brenna’s passion for community development, both in Canada and abroad, has shaped her career and positioned her in leadership roles in Canadian civil society. In 2009, Brenna became the Director of Operations for Engineers Without Borders. Harnessing her passion for international development and her formal management education, Brenna is a key leader of the EWB management team. Prior to joining EWB as the Director of Communications (2005-2008), Brenna worked for the World Economic Forum in Switzerland. Brenna is also engaged in her local community and is currently a member of the Nazareth House Board of Directors.

Brenna holds a Master of Business Administration (2009) and a Master of Arts in Political Studies (2004) from Queen’s University, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Political Economics (2003) from Bishop’s University. She has received a number of awards and scholarships including First Prize at the UCLA Global Leadership Business Competition (2009), the Tom Burns Prize in International Business (2009), and the QSB-MBA Class of 1981 Scholarship for academic excellence and social contribution (2008). When she isn’t working, Brenna is an avid runner, tri-athlete, and painter.

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Derek Dunfield

Derek Dunfield holds a Doctorate in neuroscience from the University of British Columbia and an M.Sc. in physics from Queen’s University. He is currently a Visiting Scholar in behavioural economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management. A relatively new discipline, behavioural economics combines neuroscience and experimental psychology to understand economic decisions and how these decisions affect financial markets. This research can help us identify specific policies that Canada can champion to regulate the core issues behind unacceptable financial risk-taking, including identifying hard-wired systematic irrational or emotional behaviours that promote unacceptable risk-taking.

Dr. Dunfield’s Ph.D. and Master’s work has resulted in publications in the some of the best academic journals and recognition via numerous awards and scholarships, such as the British Columbia Industrial Innovation Scholarship, the NSERC Canadian Graduate Scholarship, the CIHR Brain Star award, and the Michael Smith Foundation Senior Trainee award. Outside of academia, Dr. Dunfield is an active member of the Canadian International Council (CIC), a non-partisan organization promoting research and dialogue on international affairs. Dr. Dunfield’s background offers a unique perspective to this year’s Economic Transformations theme.

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Kulvir Gill

Kulvir Singh Gill was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta. He graduated from the University of Calgary with undergraduate degrees in biology and commerce. Kulvir then relocated to Toronto and started off his career with Oliver Wyman (then known as Mercer Management Consulting) as a management consultant. From there, he moved on to Barrick Gold Corporation, spending seven years as part of their global Organizational Effectiveness team, working on strategic planning, organizational design, post-merger integrations and business performance management. Specifically, he played a key role in the establishment of Barrick’s global supply chain practice, developed a turnaround plan for the African business unit and managed the post-merger business integrations of Placer Dome and Cadence Energy. Late last year, he left Barrick and has launched his own independent management consulting and coaching firm.

In addition to his career, Kulvir has been actively involved in his local community. He has served in leadership roles with the Sikh Centennial Foundation, Spinning Wheel Film Festival, and Toronto Sikh Youth Retreats. Currently, he’s mobilizing a group of second-generation Sikh-Canadian youth to simultaneously launch several new non-profit organizations including the Sikh Arts Council and the Seva Food Bank. Kulvir also serves on the Board of Directors for the William Osler Health System Foundation and Habitat For Humanity – Brampton. Kulvir currently lives in Brampton, Ontario.

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Adam Goldenberg

Adam Goldenberg is a J.D. Candidate at Yale Law School, where he is a Kirby Simon Human Rights Fellow. Between 2008 and 2011, Adam served as Chief Speechwriter to the Leader of the Opposition in the Parliament of Canada and as a Senior Advisor in the Government of Ontario. His writing has appeared in The Globe and Mail, The National Post, Slate, Maclean’s, The Ottawa Citizen, The Yale Journal of International Law, and The Michigan State International Law Review. He appears weekly on CBC News: The National, as a member of the Sunday evening “3 to Watch” panel.

Together with Kyle Hill ’10, Adam is the co-founder of Teach For Canada, a new charitable organization that will work with schools in remote, rural, and Aboriginal communities across Canada to recruit, prepare, and retain outstanding classroom leaders. Born and raised in Vancouver, Adam holds a B.A. in Social Studies with high honours from Harvard University, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa with an Adjunct Citation in French.

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Kyle Hill

A 2010 Action Canada Fellow, Kyle Hill is a strategy consultant at the Boston Consulting Group. At BCG, he has completed projects in the health care, retail, and consumer packaged goods industries, and he is a core member of the health care practice area. Kyle is also the Toronto node for BCG's global education practice area. Outside of BCG, Kyle is Co-Founder of Teach For Canada, an organization that will make education more equal by helping schools in rural, remote, and Aboriginal communities recruit, prepare, and retain outstanding educators.

Kyle currently sits on the Nova Scotia Minister's Panel on Education, which is undertaking a once-in-a-generation review of the province's public education system. He is also on the Board of Directors of SEVEC, which funds 5000 youth exchanges throughout Canada each year. Prior to joining BCG, Kyle completed a Ph.D. in medical physics at the University of Oxford, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. His research enabled early-stage diagnosis of lung diseases such as emphysema and pulmonary fibrosis. He also completed work terms at NASA and Google, was a 2010 Sauvé Scholar in Montreal, and has done volunteer teaching in Jamaica and Ukraine. Kyle is a proud Nova Scotian who was born and raised in Yarmouth. In his free time, he can be found traveling with wild abandon and cheering on the Blue Jays and the Habs.

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Geordie Hungerford

Geordie Hungerford is a lawyer with a broad background in finance, technology, Asian business, and Aboriginal issues. He acts as senior legal counsel for the British Columbia Securities Commission in corporate finance where he creates and advises on securities policy and legislation. He was formerly a lawyer at a national law firm where he practiced corporate/commercial and Aboriginal law, a technology investment banker in Silicon Valley, and a management consultant in Greater China, where he lived for 4 years.

Geordie holds an MBA and MA (East Asian Studies) from Stanford University, an LLB from the University of British Columbia, a BEng (Electrical and Computer Engineering) from Queen’s University, and a certificate in Mandarin Chinese from IUP at Tsinghua University, Beijing. He speaks and reads Chinese proficiently. He also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation. A fifth generation Vancouverite, Geordie volunteers and serves on numerous educational and non-profit boards and committees. He is a Gwich’in (Northwest Territories/Yukon Dene/Métis) and is active in the Aboriginal legal community.

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Tiara Létourneau

Tiara Letourneau is an independent strategist and innovator for the financial services industry. She recently completed a Master of Finance at Cambridge University, and has a background in international development, corporate strategy, and commercial and retail banking. Before completing the Masters in Finance, Tiara held the position of Manager of Strategy at Royal Bank of Canada for their Small Business and Commercial markets.

Prior to 2008 she worked in international development, specializing in microfinance and business-development training for street-traders. She also holds a Masters of Development Studies from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal. In 2010 Tiara became an Action Canada Fellow and chaired the Action Canada Task Force on Canadian Household Debt. She has held leadership positions in a variety of organizations including the think tank Canada25 and the Compassionate Eye Foundation. She also held the position of Senior Editor for Economics at The Cambridge Globalist, Cambridge University’s foreign affairs magazine. Tiara currently works as a consultant to financial services industry on a range of topics including Islamic Finance, governance in banking, regulatory policy, and revolutionizing the customer experience in banking.

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Ali Okhowat

Ali Okhowat is passionate about improving access to essential medicines, technologies, and quality healthcare in Canada and around the world. A medical resident and fellow of the Humanitarian Studies Initiative at McGill University and Master’s student in Bioethics at the Université de Montréal, Ali has had a long-standing interest in global health and health policy issues and is a linguaphile, speaking Farsi, Mandarin, Spanish, and French and currently studying Arabic and Russian. As a past Valedictorian at the University of Toronto Medical School and founder of numerous global health and social justice initiatives, Ali has always viewed his participation in student governance and civil society organizations as an integral part of his education.

He is currently an intern at the Institute for Health and Social Policy in Montreal, where he is studying the association between healthcare expenditures by OECD countries and healthcare access, quality and outcomes, in order to discern best practices and ethical principles to guide healthcare spending.

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Phillippe Ouellette

Phillippe thinks it’s time for Canada to begin fulfilling its potential through the dedication and ambition of those who choose to contribute. He’s one of those people. Through his work as a director with the Government of New Brunswick’s Population Growth Secretariat, he’s making a much-needed contribution by helping develop the province’s plans to recruit and retain more people. Phillippe holds a Master of Arts in Political Studies from Queen’s University, where he focused on the relationship between the Canadian Charter of Rights and minority language communities. Phillippe was also elected to the highest post of the Canadian student movement as the National Director for the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations. His leadership and advocacy qualities resulted in positive outcomes for the over 300,000 students he represented when the federal government reviewed and expanded existing financial aid programs.

Mr. Ouellette currently resides in Fredericton, New Brunswick, where he continues to develop his community leadership abilities. On his spare time, Phillippe can be found practicing his drumming, rock climbing, volunteering for local organizations, or looking through his camera lens. Through the Action Canada experience, Phillippe hopes to gain insight from the other participants and to partake in a pan-Canadian discussion on pertinent public policy issues.

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Mark Podlasly

Mark Podlasly, member of the Nlaka’pamux First Nation in South Central British Columbia, is a senior advisor to the BC First Nations Energy and Mining Council on extractive industries and their impact on indigenous lands and communities. A graduate of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, Mark has considerable experience in corporate strategy, strategic partnerships and global markets related to the energy and mining sectors. Frequently invited to speak on extractive industry impacts, Mark is a regular contributor to the executive energy and mining leadership programs at Northwest University’s Kellogg School of Management in Chicago.

Mark is also the co-founder and CEO of North Pacific Energy Ltd., a Canadian wood biomass energy company servicing Japan and Korea’s electricity and industrial power sectors. Prior to co-founding North Pacific Energy, Mark ran a successful executive education and consulting practice in Asia, Europe and the USA, designing corporate strategy, leadership, and globalization programs for clients including GE, Unilever, General Mills, Clorox, Goldman Sachs and Praxair. He serves his First Nation as Lead Trustee for the Nlaka’pamux Legacy Trust, a mining revenue sharing fund dedicated to community and skills building for eight band communities in central BC. Mark is married with two young children and makes his home in Vancouver.

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Scott Robertson

Born and raised in Yellowknife, Scott’s nursing career has taken him throughout the Northwest Territories and Nunavut working in the emergency department and remote community health centres, even on a Coast Guard icebreaker as a health researcher. In his four years as the Territorial Chief Nursing Officer, Scott provided strategic policy leadership to the nurses in the Northwest Territories and advised senior government policy on the design, delivery and implementation of sustainable quality healthcare. In 2010 he was a team recipient of the Premier’s Award of Excellence for the territorial pandemic action team.

He holds a Master’s in Health Economics and Policy from the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics where his thesis work focused on quantifying the differences in hospitalization rates between urban and rural Aboriginals in northern Canada. He is currently a Senior Project Manager in the NWT’s Heath System Innovation division and completing a fellowship with the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement. Scott lived completely off the grid for 5 years in the floating home he built on Yellowknife Bay and is an instrument-rated pilot.

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Samir Sinha

A passionate advocate for the needs of older persons, Dr. Samir K. Sinha is the new Director of Geriatrics at Mount Sinai and the University Health Network Hospitals in Toronto. A Rhodes Scholar, after pursuing his undergraduate medical studies at the University of Western Ontario he obtained a Masters in Medical History and a Doctorate in Sociology at the University of Oxford’s Institute of Ageing. After returning to pursue postgraduate training in Internal Medicine at the University of Toronto, he went on to the US where he most recently served as the Erickson/Reynolds Fellow in Clinical Geriatrics, Education and Leadership at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Dr. Sinha’s breadth of training has contributed to his growing expertise in health policy and the delivery of services related to the care of the elderly. Dr. Sinha has consulted with hospitals and health authorities in Britain, Canada, the United States and China around the implementation and administration of unique, integrated and innovative models of geriatric care that reduce disease burden, improve access and capacity and ultimately promote health.

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Erin Spink

Over the past 15 years, Erin has been passionately involved as a volunteer, advocate and employee in the social profit sector spanning work with animals, Special Olympic athletes, seniors and more. Her current role is Senior Coordinator, Volunteer Engagement for the Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division. There she is involved with a team to lead a program of approximately 65,000 volunteers across the province. Spink completed an Honours Sociology Degree, participating in the Ontario-Rhône Alpes exchange to L’Université Pierre Mendes France, working towards a License de Sociologie, before receiving her Certificate with Distinction in Volunteer Program Management from Conestoga College. She later joined the faculty and has been Associate Faculty for the past 4 years.

In 2008, Erin completed an M.A. (Leadership), submitting a major research project which was the first ever academic work to quantify the concept of ‘Volunteer Engagement’. Through this program she was one of two students awarded the Co-operators Insurance Scholarship. Erin’s research has been published in both Canadian and international journals. She is currently involved on the Board of Directors for her professional association as Director, Strategic Partnerships, which includes leading advocacy strategies across Ontario. Spink’s interest in volunteers began at the age of six, when she pronounced that while it was wrong to eat animals, hamburgers at McDonald’s came from “volunteer cows,” and therefore an exception could be made. Spink currently lives in Toronto, no longer believes in eating volunteers and hopes neither is held against her.

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François Vincent

François Vincent is Director, Provincial Affairs, Quebec, with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). His responsibilities include coordinating legislative activities, carrying out research and analysis, acting as a spokesperson and lobbying on issues affecting small- and medium-sized businesses. He also manages Quebec’s Business Resources team (Member Services). He joined CFIB in 2009, starting as a policy analyst, then working as a senior policy analyst before moving to his current role. François has been in government relations for more than 10 years. He started in 2002 with the Université de Montréal Student Associations Federation and went on to become president of the Quebec Federation of University Students (FEUQ) in 2005-06. From 2004 to 2009, he also served as president and then coordinator of the Comité consultatif, Jeunes de la Commission des partenaires du marché du travail (Youth Advisory Committee, Labour Market Partners Board). In 2008, he did an internship with the French National Assembly.

His passion for politics has led him to take part in many parliamentary simulations, including the Simulation du Parlement européen Canada-Québec-Europe (SPECQUE), where his peers voted him best negotiator (2007) and best speaker (2008). François holds a BA in Communications and Public Policy, and a Certificate in Law from l’Université de Montréal. He also holds a specialized degree in Management (Honourable Mention) from HEC-Montréal.

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Suzanne von der Porten

Suzanne von der Porten is a post-doctoral scholar with Hakai Network for Coastal People, Ecosystems and Management at Simon Fraser University. Her area of scholarship is in the field of environmental governance as it relates to Indigenous peoples. Suzanne holds a PhD in Environment and Resource Studies from the University of Waterloo, and a B.Sc. and an MBA from the University of Victoria. For four years she taught Economics at Selkirk College in rural British Columbia. She also spent three years working as a “helitack” forest fire fighter in northern British Columbia, and later worked as a lead Fire Information Officer for the BC Ministry of Forests and Range during the peak fire season.

In 2015, Suzanne will celebrate the 15 year anniversary of her all-women’s Powershift cycling trip across Canada to promote alternative transportation.

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Shannon Wells

Shannon Wells is a Recruitment of Policy Leaders inductee in the federal public service and since 2009 has served in the Privy Council Office, Treasury Board Secretariat and Finance Canada, where she currently leads strategic policy and planning for the establishment of a national securities regulator and advises on global capital markets trends and international financial sector reforms. Prior to joining government, Shannon was strategic advisor to the President of the Institute for Research on Public Policy, to the founders of Samara Canada and participated in the prestigious Parliamentary Internship Programme.

Shannon is a Banff Forum Member, 2010 Action Canada Fellow and Chairperson of the Action Canada Taskforce on High Growth Entrepreneurship whose work on innovation and economic policy has been published in the Globe and Mail, Policy Options and MacLean’s, and presented to senior leaders across Canada. She is founder of the Walter Gordon Massey Symposium on Public Policy, a fellow of Massey College and Green College, and holds graduate degrees from the University of Toronto, the University of British Columbia and a First Class Honours BA from Dalhousie University.

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