Conference Agenda

Pre-Conference: Sunday, August 13, 2023

Pre-conference Optional Activities
Local tours

Registration Open - 12:00PM

GPC.D Alum Insight & Appreciation Event (12:00 PM - 4:30 PM)
An exclusive free event for GPC.D Alum only.


GPC.D Alum represent the most professional, proficient, and accomplished governance professionals in Canada. You also represent our most engaged and passionate members. We are therefore offering this special event prior to the kick-off of the Conference. The event is title “Insight and Appreciation” and will be a facilitated workshop from 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm and a celebration to appreciate your awesomeness 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm.

The celebration portion will include complimentary food, drinks, and special entertainment. Peter Wright from The Planning Group will provide a few tips to get us started and facilitate the workshop with a focus on your experiences and best practices to:

  • Keep Boards out of the weeds and achieve the best level of guidance and oversight.
  • Improve Board engagement and active participation.
  • Successfully implement Board assessment results
  • Effectively oversee strategy and manage performance.
  • Transition Director skills and Board composition to adapt to a changing operating environment.

The findings from our workshop will be shared with all conference attendees and published on the GPC website.

This free event is made possible through sponsorship of The Planning Group and registration is open exclusively to GPC.D Alumn. Attendees will receive an extra 6 Governance Education Credits (GEC) in addition to the 11 conference related credits.

Sponsored by:


Welcome Reception: (5:00 PM - 6:30 PM)
Opening networking reception of the conference.

Day One: Monday, August 14, 2023

Breakfast in the Exhibitor Hall (7:30 AM - 8:15 AM)

GPC Annual General Meeting (8:15 AM - 8:45 AM)

Opening Remark by Lynn Beauregard, President, GPC (8:50 AM - 9:00 AM)

Keynote (9:00 AM - 10:00 AM)

Given the rapid changes occurring in the Canadian and US economic landscapes, Canadian Boards need to be prepared now more than ever, to navigate in increasingly uncertain times. Learn more about what the latest trends in Canada and internationally are, and how these affect Canadian boardrooms and their decisions around managing ongoing and emerging risks.

Douglas Porter,
Chief Economist & Managing Director, Economics, BMO Financial Group


Sponsored By:

Networking Break with Exhibitors (10:00 AM - 10:30 AM)
PLENARY SESSION: (10:30 am - 12:00pm):
Professor Chris Nicholls, Director of Business Law at Western Law, Co-Director of Western University's Interdisciplinary Centre for Financial Innovation and Risk Management (CFIRM); Honorable Justice Thomas Cromwell, C.C, Senior Counsel, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, Former Justice, Supreme Court of Canada ;
Sarah Keyes, FCPA, FCA, Chief Executive Officer, ESG Global Advisors; Barbara Stymiest, Corporate Director 

Sponsored By:

Networking Lunch in the Exhibitor Hall (12:00 PM - 01:15 PM)
Multiple Tracks  (1:15 PM - 2:15 PM)

Track A: Effective Governance Professionals

Session 1A: Crafting an Effective Board Agenda

The Board Agenda design is often overlooked and undervalued- it is the first step in setting the tone and expectations for Board meetings. It can: encourage (and easily discourage) Director/CEO engagement, promote operational or strategic thinking, assist in addressing issues identified in meetings, and help to support Directors fulfil their fiduciary responsibility.

The Board’s commitment to improving the Board Agenda design will ultimately help to create and protect value for your business and its key stakeholders.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will be able to articulate the value of a well-designed Board Agenda.
  • Participants will learn how to make their Board Agenda more effective.
  • Participants will learn best practices from other professionals through interaction

Speakers: Miranda V. Flury, President, Hawkeye Strategies

Track B: Effective Boards and Organizations

Session 1B: The Boardroom Agenda: The Role of Boards in Overseeing Culture

Boards across Canada know and understand that organizational culture is a key role in driving performance and as a result, culture is appearing more frequently on board agendas. However, many boards are grappling with how to truly understand culture, how to oversee it from the Boardroom, and how to incentivize culture change that drives performance. In this session, we will explore:

  • The connection between culture and performance
  • How Boards are overseeing culture
  • The role of Management and the role of the Board in culture change
  • How boards are incentivizing culture change

Speaker:  Reanna Dorscher, Partner, Hugessen Consulting Inc; Ciara Wakita, Principal, Hugessen Consulting Inc; Ian McArthur, Chief People & Governance Officer, Innovation Federal Credit Union; Russ SiemensBoard Chair, Innovation Federal Credit Union

Sponsored by:


Track C: Key Trends in Governance

Session 1C: Cybersecurity and the Role of the Board: Interactive Board Cyber Incident Simulation

Data breaches and cyber attacks are in the news much too often and the likelihood that your organization may be a target keeps increasing. Do you know what your role is if your organization suffers an attack? Do you know what the role of your board is?

Learn what steps you and your board need to take in real-time by participating in this interactive cybersecurity incident tabletop exercise, facilitated by breach coach and data law expert Molly Reynolds, consumer and health data leader Robin Sooklal, and Board Director and governance expert Sara Gelgor.

The focus will be a real-time experience in identifying appropriate decision-makers for critical questions such as public communications, ransom payments and insider leaks. Following the simulation exercise speakers will provide a debrief on the decisions and challenges identified by each small group after each stage and will share best practices for both governance professionals and board members.

Participants will actively participate in a real-time cyber simulation and learn what’s involved. Focus will be on governance and board implications, and not an IT tabletop exercise.

Speakers:  Sara Gelgor, Director, Human Rights & Sustainability, RBC; Molly Reynolds, Partner, Cyber & Data Privacy, Torys LLP ;  Robin Sooklal, Senior Director, Enterprise Privacy & Data Trust, Loblaw

Networking Break with Exhibitors (2:15 PM - 2:30 PM)
Multiple Tracks  (2:30 PM – 3:30 PM)

Track A: Effective Governance Professionals

Session 2A: Co-operative Governance: Balancing Member Elected & Competency Based Boards

Co-operatives, Credit Unions and community organizations are becoming increasingly complex and the nature of the organizations require Directors to have an established level of experience and competencies. At the same time, many of these organizations have requirements or principles that require community or member elected boards of directors. This panel will discuss opportunities to balance the expectations to have competency-based boards while honoring the electoral rights of community and members.

This session will help you:

  • Understand importance of competency-based boards.
  • Learn of ways to identify competencies required and plan director succession.
  • Understand how to incorporate director succession and competency-based boards that are democratically elected.

Speakers: Ian McArthur, Chief People & Governance Officer, Innovation Credit Union; Leslie Castellani, Chief Governance and Corporate Affairs Officer, First West Credit Union; Chelsey Berrecloth, Associate Vice-President, Regulatory Policy and Prevention, Credit Union Deposit Guarantee Corporation; Sheldon Stener, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Legal Compliance and Governance, Federated Cooperatives Limited


Track B: Effective Boards and Organizations

Session 2B: Privacy and the Board – Responsibilities and Liabilities

Data Privacy compliance is crucial. Regulators are not the only ones watching. Today, organizations are routinely being rated by their privacy (and cyber) practices under the governance category of ESG scoring. 

It is more important than ever for organizations to have appropriate privacy compliance programs in place to mitigate significant privacy related risks. This session is designed to help governance professionals (GPs) understand the basics of privacy and data protection so that they can better support the board in fulfilling their obligations in that area.

Learning objectives:

  • What data privacy is and why the Board should take it seriously
  • The data privacy risks that should be on the Board’s radar
  • What an effective privacy program should look like
  • The benefits of incorporating privacy and data management into an ESG reporting framework
Speakers: Tiana Khan, Managing Partner & Founder, Privacy HQ

Track C:   Key Trends in Governance

Session 2C: Beyond EDI: A Focus on Human Capital Issues

In July 2022, Millani published its semi-annual institutional investor ESG sentiment study. Since then, Millani has observed a rise in interest for human capital issues among Canadian investor groups. We have seen investors move beyond EDI (equity, diversity and inclusion) to paying attention to topics such as human rights, labor rights, supply chain management, Indigenous reconciliation, etc.

This session will discuss findings from Millani's latest study as well as what the firm has been seeing as top of mind topics in the human capital space. We will also explore S-211 Canada’s new supply chain transparency ESG reporting law what it means for Boards of Directors when it comes to addressing and reporting on The risks of forced labour and child labour in their business operations and supply chains.

Speaker:  Milla Craig, CEO and President, Millani; Stephen Pike, Partner, Gowling WLG; Annie Laurenson, Director Governance & Corporate Secretary, Lundin Mining Corporation; Jenene Wooldridge, Executive Director, L’nuey & First Person Contributor, CBC

Networking Break with Exhibitors (3:30 PM - 4:00 PM)
CLOSING PLENARY SESSION: (4:00 pm - 5:15pm):

Dr. Martin Brokenleg states the following, "to a considerable extent, resilience can be taught or cultivated. In that respect, adults bear direct responsibility for creating environments where positive growth and resilient outcomes can occur" (Brokenleg, 2003, p.23)

Within our session, we encourage all individuals working in all sectors in our systems to participate with others in a safe and respectful space, to share and reflect on their personal role within reconciliation in Canada today. We incorporate music and drumming to help our participants move through their emotions and we create a very safe place where we can have uncomfortable conversations.


Carole Shankaruk, Indigenous Education Facilitator/Clinical Social Worker; Wade Houle, Indigenous Education Coach; Patty Goodine, Classroom Teacher; Jade Erlendson, Clinical Social Worker; Rolanda Chartrand, Knowledge Keeper; Candace Demeria, Traditional Drum Keeper

Cocktail Reception (6:45 PM - 7:15 PM)


Day Two: Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Breakfast in the Exhibitor Hall (8:00 AM - 8:30 PM)

Opening Plenary: (8:30 AM - 9:30 AM)

Boards worldwide have undergone dramatic changes over the past 25 years – an evolution that continues into the 3rd decade of the 21st century as boards shift from the Reporting Out mode that characterizes 70% of the S&P1500 today to a far more collaborative and value-adding approach.

We’ll discuss the five board archetypes model - a practical framework to help you determine where your board currently stands on this spectrum, how you got there and where you’re going so that you can optimize your impact in guiding your board’s continued evolution. We’ll introduce some of the latest tools in board-building direct from the Fortune 500, including Board 2.0, the best board succession planning tool on the planet. We’ll also use case studies from the Silicon Valley to global companies whose boards today are hitting it out of the park – and share their secrets. We’ll even tackle the thorny issue of director performance management – the biggest shortcoming in corporate governance today – and how to stop it from eroding your board’s credibility.

Join Beverly Behan, Amazon #1 international best-selling author, whose worked with over 200 public company boards worldwide, for a practical, fun and thought-provoking session with plenty of Q&A.  

Beverly Behan is one of the foremost global experts on board effectiveness, having advised nearly 200 boards (largely S&P1500s) on a range of board effectiveness issues dating back to 1996. She continues to work with boards across the US and around the world. Bev is the author of Great Companies Deserve Great Boards (Palgrave MacMillan, 2011) named Governance Book of the Year in 2012, Becoming a Boardroom Star (2021) which debuted as the #1 New Release in Corporate Governance on Amazon worldwide.

Beverly Behan, Board Advisor and Author

Multiple Tracks  (9:35 AM to 10:35 AM)

Track A: Effective Governance Professionals 

Session 3A: Governance & Generative AI: Excited, Afraid, or Both?

Emerging technologies provide both risks and opportunities, and generative AI has the potential to fundamentally impact the way we work and live. For some, these changes represent a source of great potential benefit; others are focused on understanding the potential harm generative AI could cause. Many of us feel ill-equipped to handle (or even understand) the impending changes generative AI will bring to the world of governance, and it can be hard to determine the path forward. Join our panel of experts for a governance-friendly, “non-techie” conversation about generative AI, the potential impact on governance roles and processes, and how to think about AI-related risk, strategy and compliance.

Discussion Topics:

  • What is AI, and more specifically generative AI?
  • What are the opportunities from generative AI?
  • What are the risks from generative AI?
  • How should we govern generative AI?
  • Should we be excited or afraid or both?

Moderator: Dottie Schindlinger, Executive Director, Diligent Institute & Co-Host The Corporate Director Podcast;

Speaker: Richard Barber, Consultant to Boards & Management for AI Governance and Growth Strategy, C-Suite Growth Leader and Board Director - Governance Professionals of Canada; Dr. Jodie Lobana, Governance of AI Scholar; Board Member, International Internal Audit Standards Board; Chair of Advisory Board, McMaster Artificial Intelligence Society

Sponsored By:

Track B: Effective Boards and Organizations

Session 3B: Innovation Governance in a Transformation Environment 

From a governance practitioner’s first-hand experience, learn how to lead your organization’s next generation governance work, and how it was managed in an environment that was experiencing a high degree of change and transformation.

A key concept that the speaker developed in the process of evolving the corporate governance model, is a "spectrum of oversight" which incorporates elements of decision-making at the employee level (i.e. innovation) with more traditional forms of oversight/governance at the executive level. Applying this concept to a new corporate governance structure which empowers and enables decision-making at various levels of the organization, contributes in a meaningful way to the transformation agenda.

Learn first-hand, alongside challenges, cultural barriers and insights along the way, and glean some key lessons and takeaways to implement in your own organization.

Speakers: Karen Medeiros Flannagan, Senior Change Manager, Enterprise Portfolio Management Office, Strategic Management Branch, Public Safety Canada

Track C: Key Trends in Governance

Session 3C: Reconciliation: Cultural Safety and Humility in Governance

The speakers will each share their organizations journey towards cultural safety and humility with Indigenous Peoples. While from different sectors with different mandates, the two organizations have shared a similar journey and learned from similar teachings as they have engaged in work in this space. In addition to the journey, the presentation will speak to the changes in governance practices that have come about – i.e. engagement with the board, meeting guidelines, competency matrices, code of conduct, increased diversity, and so on. Both will share how they have incorporated Indigenous ways of knowing and being into their governance practices including examples of ceremony.

The session will discuss:

  • Culturally safe and humble governance practices
  • Examples of engagement with Indigenous Peoples
  • Building diversity and inclusion in governance
  • How to build reconciliation into your strategic planning
  • How to integrate Indigenous ways of knowing and being in your governance practices

Speakers: Louise Aerts, Chief Officer, Strategy, Governance and Reconciliation, BCCNM; Argiro Kotsalis, Chief Governance Officer and Vice President, Legal & Supply Management; Office of the CEO; Vancouver Airport Authority

Networking Break with Exhibitors (10:35 AM - 11:05 PM)
Multiple Tracks  (11:05 AM to 12:05 PM)

Track A: Effective Governance Professionals

Session 4A: Grant Agreements - understanding governance, legal, and risk implications.

Many, if not most, not-for-profits apply for and receive grant funding from public bodies. A grant agreement is a unique legal transaction, with specific legal, risk and governance implications. These implications are not frequently appreciated or understood by grant applicants, their legal counsel, or their boards. The purpose of this session will be to de-mystify grant agreements, to highlight several of the key clauses and why they may look different from clauses in a typical commercial transaction (eg. liability and indemnities, confidentiality, reporting, termination) and to arm and empower legal and governance professionals with the skills they need to navigate grant agreement negotiations and provide value to their CEOs and boards.

Learning outcomes:

  • Gain a practical knowledge and understanding of the legal and governance context of a grant transaction
  • Get a better appreciation for the standard clauses seen in most grants and how to negotiate or understand same
  • Insight into how to advise management and their boards on the legal, governance, and risk implications of applying for or entering into a grant

Speakers: Paul Osbaldeston, Director, Legal Affairs, Alberta Innovates

Track B: Effective Boards and Organizations

Session 4B: Ethical dilemmas in time of turbulence: How to prevent, manage, and recover

The media is replete with stories of corporate ethical scandals. But the seeds of ethical crises are sown long before they hit the headlines, and the scars they leave persist long after the media firestorm has subsided. A reputation that has taken years to build can be destroyed in minutes when a company is deemed to be unethical. The challenge for executives is being ethical in a world characterized by moral relativism, where guidelines for behaviors are being consistently blurred such that absolute right and wrong no longer seem to apply.

This session will cover:

  • Recent cases of corporate misconduct and their long-term impact.
  • How to prevent, manage, and recover from serious ethical crises.
  • How to build a sustainable culture of integrity.

Speakers: Marc Tasse, Professor, University of Ottawa

Track C: Key Trends in Governance

Session 4C: Stakeholder engagement and corporate governance: Pitfalls and must-do’s

Organizations operate in a world where they must ensure that all stakeholders are listened to and communicated with. Long gone are the days where a company’s sole responsibility lies with ensuring shareholders make a profit. Today, all levels of management and the board need to ensure that all stakeholders, including shareholders, partners, employees, and the larger community, have their concerns addressed in order to build long term value. Both traditional corporate governance and ESG play a critical role in this outreach to mitigate risk, drive investment and ensure consistent messaging.

The session will discuss:

  • Understanding the stakeholders
  • The distinction between institutional and retail shareholders, and what they deem appropriate engagement.
  • Communicating ESG and corporate governance strategies effectively to internal and external stakeholders
  • Board education on dealing with stewardship teams and how to increase comfort around disclosure.
  • How to respond to active investors vs activist investors
  • The need to engage before filing proxy/MIC


Speakers: Glenn Keeling, Executive Chairman, Alliance Advisors, Emmanuelle Palikuca, Managing Director, Head of sustainability Advisory, Alliance Advisors; Paul Schneider, Director, Corporate Governance at Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan; Ivy Lumia, CEO & Founder, Best in Governance Inc.

Sponsored by:

Sit Down Lunch – GPC.D Graduation (12:05 PM - 1:30 PM)
Multiple Tracks  (1:30 PM – 2:30 PM)

Track A: Effective Governance Professionals 

Session 5A: Canadian multinationals navigating overseas complexity and expansion

Every year TMF Group produces a Global Business Complexity Index report based on exhaustive proprietary research of over 22,000 data points. Our report provides an authoritative view on the complexity of establishing and operating business around the world. Through this report we are able to dive deeper and understand the complexity for Canadian multinationals companies endure while operating locally and abroad.

Understand key trends that affect areas of business administration for multinational companies

  • What’s driving simplification for global business, and what are the barriers that are making things more complex?
  • How is the increasing adoption of ESG practices in government legislation, guidance and corporate behaviour intersecting with business complexity?

Speakers: Lisa Wilcox, Market Leader North America, TMF Group; Jenn Takahashi, Senior Legal Entities Manager, Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.; Ben Fielding, Market Leader, UK ; Michael Lichti, Country Leader, Canada, TMF Group

Sponsored by: 

Track B: Effective Boards and Organizations

Session 5B: Preparing Your Board to Oversee Risk in 2023

Elevated levels of disruption in 2023 include dangers from digitalization, talent shortages, the war in Ukraine, high energy prices and inflation, geopolitical and economic uncertainty and other risks putting strains business models. Never before have boards needed to employ a best practices approach to overseeing risk. But Are boards equipped, and do they understand enterprise risk management? Can boards oversee a risk program which has not yet been implemented by management? How can management assist boards in being more prepared? Attend this session to understand why boards fail in risk oversight, and learn Key Actions boards can take to implement and practice proper risk governance.

Speakers:  Stephen J Mallory, Principal, Directors Global Risk Consulting Inc.

Sponsored by:

Track C: Key Trends in Governance

Session 5C: Setting the Stage for Board Diversity: What to know and what to do before you recruit

A large majority of directors agree that diversity brings unique perspectives to boardroom discussions and enhances board performance. However, the number of directors from equity-deserving groups remains far too low. Some assume this means there is a lack of qualified candidates. But it is usually due to a lack of diversity in the board’s network and under-preparedness for the recruitment process.

This session will identify what needs to be done before a recruitment process with an eye for diversity can even begin. Setting clear business goals around diversity and inclusion is the first step to creating a winning strategy. By ensuring the appropriate policies are in place and the stage is effectively set for diversity boards can save time and other valuable resources in the recruitment process as well as attract the high caliber talent to enhance board performance.

Key takeaways from the session include:

  • How to construct business-focused diversity goals and coherent targets.
  • An understanding of policies and practices that must be introduced to ensure successful recruitment processes.
  • How to evaluate and design an inclusive interview process

Moderator: Diana Nicholls Mutter, Lawyer, SkyLaw Professional Corporation.

Panelists:  Wendy Cukier, Professor, Entrepreneurship and Strategy, Ted Rogers School of Management, Director, Diversity Institute; Professor Lisa Fairfax, Presidential Professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School; Mante Molepo, CEO & Founder, Mante Molepo Consulting; Dexter John, Chief Executive Officer, Canada, Morrow Sodali

Sponsored by:

Networking Break with Exhibitors (2:30 PM - 3:00 PM)
Multiple Tracks (3:00 PM – 4:00 PM)

Track A: Effective Governance Professionals

Session 6A: How can Governance Professionals adapt in a dynamic environment?

A data-based session exploring the impact on the Corporate Secretary as boards take on more oversight responsibility for their organizations. Governance Professionals of Canada recently completed their 10th Annual Corporate Governance Survey and the results are in! The data was analyzed by Compensation Governance Partners and WATSON who will be discussing the results in this session.

The discussion will include a review of the key trends highlighted in the survey and answer questions such as:

  • What do the results mean for the governance professional?
  • What are the challenges and opportunities?
  • How can the governance professional guide or influence the board’s approach to these topics?
  • Should governance professionals be responsible for guiding the board to address new topics?

Speakers: Christopher A Chen, Managing Director, Compensation Governance Partners; Manijeh Colabella, Senior Governance Consultant, Watson Advisors Inc.; Janice McNeil, Executive Director, Governance, New Brunswick Power Corporation; Aaron Friedenthal, VP, Legal Services & Asst. Corporate Secretary, Sustainability Relationships & Impact, ATB Financial.

Track B: Effective Boards and Organizations 

Session 6B: New CEOs: A Unique Opportunity for the Corporate Secretary to Shine

Join #1 Amazon best-selling author Beverly Behan to discuss her latest book New CEOs and Boards: How to Build a Great Board Relationship - and a Great Board, so that you can become the trusted advisor on boardroom issues that your new CEO needs and values.

We’ll help you get the CEO/board relationship off to a great start by making the most of an opportunity most new CEOs squander. We’ll share the silver boardroom bullet that corporate secretaries are uniquely positioned to help a new CEO take advantage of.

We’ll also show you how to make changes to the board without risking the CEO’s political capital – or yours, as corporate secretary. And we’ll use case studies from our work with new CEOs in the S&P1500 to show you how they successfully made important boardroom changes and won raving boardroom fans.

Speakers: Beverly Behan, Board Advisor and Author

Track C: Key Trends in Governance

Session 6C:  Board Assessment – Preparing and Implementing the Next generation of Board Oversight

Institutional shareholder expectations regarding the board of directors have evolved to a level of new heights. Boards today face more scrutiny on composition, focusing on skills and diversity, over-commitment levels, engagement, attendance, and tenure. Adding to this, the ESG agenda is clearly top of mind as corporate boards are challenged to implement and communicate policies on diversity and climate change with clear goals.

This increased focus on composition by all company stakeholders has forced corporate boards to address change more methodically by ensuring that their board assessments consider their expectations. The session will be led by corporate governance experts sharing their perspectives on how directors can consider how to navigate this heightened pressure from shareholders and all stakeholders.

Topics will explore

  • Evolving expectations and demands of the board evaluation process; 
  • Emerging issues discussed by boards such as climate change, diversity, and cybersecurity; 
  • How the emerging governance expectations and challenges affect Board composition; and 
  • New stakeholder expectations of board composition. 

Speakers: Tony Spizzirri, Principal, Global Governance Advisors; Paul Gryglewicz, Senior Partner, Global Governance Advisors Inc.


End of Conference!

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