Conference Agenda

Pre-Conference: Sunday, August 25, 2024

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.


Sponsored by:


Welcome Reception and Opening Dinner & Entertainment: (5:00 PM - 9:30 PM)
Opening of the conference and exhibitor hall.

Day One: Monday, August 26, 2024

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) 


Networking Break with Exhibitors (10:00 AM - 10:30 AM)
PLENARY SESSION: (10:30 am - 12:00pm):


The world of governance has changed significantly in the last 30 years, and GPC has been there every step of the way, as governance has evolved from compliance to shaping the future, and from process-oriented to dynamically navigating a complex and rapidly evolving world. The expectations on governance professionals have never been greater and will continue to grow as boards navigate in an uncertain world.

Our expert panel will lead an engaging discussion reflecting on the legacy of the last 30 years, and what the next 30 years will bring. Through real life stories, perspectives, and experiences, we will celebrate the role of the governance professional while creating a call to action for the future, sharing what governance professionals now need to think about and how they can make a difference as we prepare for the next 30 years of change.

Participants will walk away with:

  1. An understanding how to support and strengthen the board of the future, as it navigates a changing world
  2. Practice points for collaborating with the board and management team to strengthen governance effectiveness and future preparedness
  3. An understanding of the changing board’s role and what this means for the governance professional of the future
  4. An appreciation for the trajectory of the role of the governance professional and developing excitement and commitment around the future contributions of the role
Manijeh Colabella, Partner, Watson Board Advisors

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: Shifting priorities in boardroom diversity

The results of Diligent’s biannual Board Diversity Gaps report which looks at the state of boardrooms diversity, including gender, race/ethnicity, nationality, age, tenure and skillsets for directors around the world, will be presented and discussed.

We will share some of the findings of the report and have a panel discussion on how the shifting political tensions and financial pressures have changed the picture on boardroom diversity efforts, and what CoSecs and Nom/Gov committees need to do now.

Speakers: TBA

Sponsored By:

Track B: Let’s Stop Calling Them Board Evaluations

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

In their current construct, most board evaluations fall short of capturing the true essence of understanding board performance and unlocking opportunities for improvement. Board evaluations, like any evaluation, are often met with feelings of discomfort and apprehension.

Nobody wants to be evaluated, assessed, or judged. Much less does “evaluation” create a setting where candor and problem solving can thrive.

This session will discuss reevaluating the terminology and shifting the focus of board evaluations, and how Boards can increase transparency, improve feedback, create a learning mindset, and ultimately improve the odds of the Board offering increased value and being a strategic asset.

Speaker:  TBA

Sponsored by:


Track C: Key Trends in Governance

Session 1C: Breaking through the routine: balancing the Board’s need for both compliance and strategy discussions

Effective governance requires determining, preparing, and providing the right information and inputs for decision-making and results.

Most Boards spend their time and focus on backward-looking activities (as opposed to forward-looking discussions), for example reviewing quarterly financial results, receiving presentations on annual reports, internal audit reports, compliance reports, results of Board evaluations etc. This information ends up taking most if not all of the time set on Committee and Board agendas.

This engaging session will discuss:

  • How do you “break through the routine” and balance the Board’s responsibilities regarding compliance with the desire of Board members to be more involved in strategy and forward-looking discussions?
  • How should directors handle new complex subject-matters and risks (i.e., COVID, AI) and the evolving reputational risks from the impact of social media?
  • What have other corporate secretaries done in this regard over the past few years?
  • Exploring meeting environments and restructuring meeting agendas.
  • Reviewing and streamlining compliance-related materials prepared for meetings
  • Looking at how new directors are onboarded and how longer-standing directors are reminded of past decisions

Speakers:  Matt Fullbrook; Frederic Duguay

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: Is your Board prepared to navigate an Organizational Crisis

Few boards are prepared to navigate a crisis and this presentation would outline key themes and planning that can and should be done ahead of time, in lock step with the corporate secretary or other governance professional, to ensure that when a crisis arises, navigation is as efficient and seamless as possible.

The role of boards in overseeing culture and risk is becoming increasingly important – This session will touch on not only the structures and practices organizations must put in place to prepare for challenges both known and unknown, but also on the less tangible human elements that inform these efforts - from the board level to the front line employee level.

Learning outcomes will include:

  • Framing issues and identifying practical approaches to prepare to address them
  • Centring the role of the governance professional in assisting both boards and management teams with navigating complex issues
  • How to make best use of a board's limited time to ensure oversight of critical and cross-cutting issues, whether anticipated (climate change) or unexpected (organizational crisis)

Speakers: Amy McCallion, Corporate Secretary, BC Hydro


Track B: Effective Boards and Organizations

Session 2B: Get ready for out of the ordinary: The fundamentals of effectively working with special committees

A special committee is an important way for a board to appropriately and nimbly manage an out of the ordinary challenge. But because special situations do not arise every day and yet can involve time-sensitive crises, knowing beforehand the fundamentals of working with a special committee is key preparation for governance professionals and boards in any organization.

This session will provide participants with a guide to special committees and the tools for working with them:

  1. when and why a special committee should be formed, for example to manage investigations, transactions and crisis responses;
  2. who should form the special committee, including issues of independence;
  3. how a special committee should operate such as its mandate, responsibilities, and engagement with the full board; and
  4. What support and resources a special committee may need, including external counsel and advisors.

The session will provide an overview of key principles and practical tips, and analysis of case studies to illustrate these principles and tips in action.

 Speakers: Eric Morgan, Partner, Kushneryk Morgan LLP

Track C:   Key Trends in Governance

Session 2C: Social Purpose in Action: How Governance, Risk and Internal Audit Operate in Social Purpose Companies

This session will examine how the governance, risk and internal audit functions can become equipped to operationalize an organization’s social purpose. It also provides key recommendations for senior leadership, governance professionals, internal auditors, and risk managers seeking to embed a lens for social purpose into their policies and procedures.

‘Social Purpose in Action’ leverages the real-life experiences of governance, risk and audit professionals at B.C. Lottery Corporation, as well as the results of a collaborative study between Deloitte and BCLC titled “How Risk and Audit Operate in Social Purpose Companies” (see link below).

Audience participants at this panel will learn how to:

  • Embed purpose into decision-making frameworks
  • Elevate the advisory role of governance, risk and internal audit
  • Focus the governance, risk and internal audit teams on stakeholder value creation

Speaker:  Christine Carter, Corporate Secretary & Director of Governance, B.C. Lottery Corporation; Jennifer Barbosa, Director of Enterprise Risk Management Services, BCLC; Rao Wandawasi, Director of Audit Services, BCLC

Networking Break with Exhibitors (3:30 PM - 4:00 PM)
Multiple Tracks  (4:00 PM – 5:00 PM)

Track A: Effective Governance Professionals 

Session 3A:

Track B: Effective Boards and Organizations

Session 3B

Track C: Key Trends in Governance

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

ATB has been out a pretty good program for ESG integration using organizational governance methodology that has been successful in rolling out and embedding ESG principles in decision-making throughout the company.

We will use this program as an example in how to build out an organization-wide, multi-division, program using governance principles and documentation

Speakers: Aaron Friedenthal, VP Legal Services & Assistant Corporate Secretary, ATB Financial; Barb Sundquist, VP ESG, ATB Financial

Free Night and Exhibitor Hall

Day Two: Tuesday, August 27, 2024

Breakfast in the Exhibitor Hall (8:00 AM - 8:45 PM)

Opening Plenary: (8:45 AM - 9:45 AM)

Helle Bank Jorgensen, the author of the Amazon Bestseller: Stewards of the Future: A Guide for Competent Boards, will lead us through the transformation journey to become the boardroom of choice- instead of leaving it to chance.

Helle Bank Jorgensen

Multiple Tracks (9:50 AM to 10:50 AM)

Track A: Effective Governance Professionals

Session 4A: The State of ESG: Regulation, Implementation, and Trends

Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) principles have become mainstream expectations but what ESG means can vary in importance across different sectors. A rapid acceleration of ESG prominence in past years has shifted the baseline in terms of expectations from investors, creditors, consumers, government, employees, Indigenous rightsholders, environmental and other stakeholders.

As a tool, ESG is used to assess an organization’s behaviour and evaluate its performance based on risks and opportunities. This expert panel will provide an overview of the changing landscape in ESG amidst global and domestic risks, including a discussion on evolving corporate law and regulation, international trends, and potential blind spots in the ESG lens that governance professionals may want to ensure are priorities for their organization.

Speakers:  Christie Stephenson, Executive Director, Peter P. Dhillon Centre for Business EthicsDr. Carol Liao, Associate Professor and UBC Sauder Distinguished Fellow, Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia; Shona McGlashan, McGlashan Consulting Inc. (GPC Governance Professional of the Year)

Track B: Effective Boards and Organizations

Session 4B: Challenges and Trends in Non-Profit Governance

Some of the questions the panelists will answer will be:

  • How does non-profit governance differ from for-profit companies?
  • What are the current trends in Canadian charities and NGOs?
  • What are some unique challenges in non-profit governance?

A challenge for non-profits is recruiting talent to the board and management. How can governance professionals help overcome that?

Also, board members can be less strategic, thinking that their mere presence on a charitable board is good enough. Governance professionals have a unique role in addressing those kinds of issues. Board engagement, succession planning, not holding EDs accountable, etc. would be other challenges that will be discussed.

Speakers:  Graeme Esau, Advisor, Governance and Planning | Green Municipal Fund, Federation of Canadian Municipalities

Track C:   Key Trends in Governance

Session 4C: Governance and reconciliation

This session will provide an elevated understanding of what reconciliation means for organizations and individuals in Canada. It will also discuss how to create more exposure to Indigenous perspectives on leadership and governance, and how to develop an appreciation of the importance of reconciliation for organizational legitimacy.

The speakers will also outline models and frameworks for leadership and board actions that can be taken to support reconciliation.

Speakers: Shona McGlashan, Principal, McGlashan Consulting IncBrandi Halls, Chief Impact Officer, Lush Cosmetics

Networking Break with Exhibitors (10:50 AM - 11:50 PM)
Multiple Tracks (11:50 AM to 12:50 PM)

Track A: Effective Governance Professionals

Session 5A: Effective Board Meetings Tips

Board meetings can be either cumbersome slow-moving vehicles where members can’t wait until the meeting is over… or they can be agile and strategic events where board members can effectively provide foresight to an organization, while maintaining an objective perspective with all board members having something to contribute to the table.

This session provides perspectives from seasoned board members from various sectors to share what best practices work well in their respective environments.

Attendees will learn:

  • Effective strategies to improve board members’ fiduciary duties
  • Strategies regarding efficiency to improve quality of board meetings
  • How to identify strategies that works best in different board environments

Speakers: Ruby Philip-Katyal, Senior Counsel, Ministry of the Attorney General

Track B: Effective Boards and Organizations

Session 5B: Implementing Fiercely Practical Governance

This fast-paced and interactive session explores how directors and governance professionals can implement Fiercely Practical Governance in their organizations.

Fiercely Practical Governance focuses on:

  1. Ensuring organizational fit
  2. Enhancing board effectiveness, and
  3. Create legacy governance

The session explores key principles of Fiercely Practical Governance and how to implement them to add value for the organization today and for years to come. The heart of the presentation will set out the most valuable and timely projects that organizations can take on to truly improve governance.

PLUS key considerations to get started on each of the projects and a tool to help prioritize what to take on first.

Speakers: Sylvia Groves, President, Governance Studio Inc.

Track C: Key Trends in Governance

Session 5C: Navigating the Future: Unleashing the Power of Generative AI with Responsible Governance.

While many organizations do not yet have formal AI Governance, many employees are using free, web-based AI applications for work purposes, creating increasing data privacy, confidentiality and other risks for the organization.

As AI regulations evolve globally, there's an urgent need to address this 'Wild West' era of AI technologies. The newness and complexity of generative AI does not absolve Boards of their fiduciary duty or duty of care. This session aims to empower Governance Professionals to assist Boards and Management in effectively overseeing AI implementations, ensuring responsible and compliant use of these transformative technologies.

The session will discuss:
  • What has changed since the AI discussion in 2023
  • Hands on actions that Governance Professionals can take
  • Understanding of the latest AI Landscape
  • Regulatory and litigation update
  • Opportunities/Benefits
  • Hands on takeaways for organizations

Speakers: Richard Barber, CEO, Mind Tech Group Inc.

Lunch, Joyce Borden Reed Award and GPC.D Graduation (12:50 PM - 2:00 PM)
Multiple Tracks (2:00 PM – 3:00 PM)

Track A: Effective Governance Professionals 

Session 6A: Racism at board and committee tables: How to create safe spaces

BCCNM worked with a First Nation consulting company and 8 other health regulatory colleges in BC to conduct research to answer the question: “What is required to address Indigenous-specific racism and ensure cultural safety within regulatory boards and committees?” We recognized that our boards and committees’ work was not always safe for Indigenous members but were not sure how or why.

This presentation will share our findings where brave Indigenous board and committee members shared their experiences of unsafety; college staff engaged in learning around how racism and white privilege and supremacy are currently hardwired into regulatory governance structures, policies, practices, norms, and values; and an audit was conducted of the nine colleges governance polices.

The presentation will share the experiences of participants, the learnings obtained throughout the series, Indigenous teachings that were gifted during the research, examples of racist behaviours or triggering incidents that occurred during the sessions, a summary of the policy audit, as well as the six expectations for action which are articulated in the final deliverable: Playbook to Eliminate Indigenous-Specific Racism & White Supremacy in BC Health College Governance.

Speakers: Louise Aerts, Chief Officer, Strategy, Governance and Reconciliation, BC College of Nurses and Midwives; Joe Gallagher, Principal, Qoqoq Consulting, from Tla'amin Nation; Rhianna Millman, Indigenous Cultural Safety and Humility Consultant, BCCNM


Track B: Effective Boards and Organizations

Session 6B: Crisis management and communication - learning from SDTC's missteps

Track C: Key Trends in Governance

Session 6C: Aligning compensation with stakeholder expectations

The right compensation plan can attract and retain executives who will boost profits and gives the street confidence in the company. However, with the increased complexity of and the demand for improved transparency around executive compensation paramount, getting the balance between different stakeholder needs and expectations is an increasingly difficult task. This session will explore how to approach, structure, and communicate compensation plans in 2024 and beyond, specifically focusing on:

  1. How the expectations around compensation are evolving on both sides of the table
  2. A discussion regarding which metrics are most meaningful for shareholders
  3. Understanding different compensation structures and considerations around risks and rewards for management retention
  4. Learning how to communicate compensation with all stakeholders.

Speaker: Glenn G Keeling,

Sponsored by:

Mini-Networking Break in the Exhibitor Hall (3:00 PM - 3:15 PM)
Multiple Tracks (3:15 PM – 4:15 PM)

Track A: Effective Governance Professionals

Session 7A: Grounded Leadership in Turbulent Times: Strategies for Governance Professionals

This presentation is designed to provide the audience with valuable insights on maintaining resilience and staying true to oneself in times of stress and uncertainty.

Leveraging the speaker's unique expertise as a Governance Professional and Leadership/Executive Coach, the session will explore practical strategies for enhancing leadership skills, developing self-awareness, employing grounding tools, and mastering communication/conflict resolution skills for a more balanced and effective professional journey. The discussion topics will include:

  • Understanding of how stress impacts work behaviors
  • Self-awareness tools
  • Grounding Tools/Practices
  • Communication Skills
  • Constructive Conflict resolution techniques

Speakers: Suzanne Anton, Founder, Suzanne Anton Leadership Coaching & Governance Consulting

Track B: Effective Boards and Organizations 

Session 7B: Keeping Boards Current – The role of governance professions in keeping Boards on top of emerging risks and threats

With increasing challenges faced by companies in a complex time, the role of the governance professional as evolved to be much more strategic, more collaborative and more solutions-based.

It's not just the role of recorder of information, it's about bringing the right information forward and contributing to excellent conversations. This impacts presentation quality, time dedicated to certain topics, communication skills, etc.

Speakers: Karen Uehara, Vice President, Corporate & Corporate Secretary, Enbridge Inc

Track C: Key Trends in Governance

Session 6C:  Corporate Purpose in an Age of Uncertainty

This panel presentation will provide an overview of purpose governance, including the role of the board and governance professional, both in developing a purpose and providing oversight of the purpose. It will include perspectives from a director, governance professional and purpose expert. Panelists will discuss:

  • The benefits and challenges of purpose and purpose governance
  • How to overcome the challenges
  • Business benefits of purpose
  • Best practices in purpose governance
  • Challenges in purpose governance and how to overcome them
  • The role of the board and governance professionals in purpose oversight

Speakers:  Coro Strandberg, President, Strandberg Consulting

End of Conference!

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