A panel of executives from the CIO Association of Canada (CIOCAN) will assess all nominations and identify the finalists in each category. A second judging panel led by Ronan McGrath and made up of five other senior CIOs and CEOs, including a representative from the CIO Association of Canada, will select the final winners in each category.
The initial judging panel
President, CIO Association of Canada
Gary is the President of the CIO Association of Canada (CIOCAN) which represents approximately 330 CIOs across Canada through networking, sharing of best practices, executive leadership development and advocacy as the “voice of CIOs”. He has extensive experience as a senior executive within both the telecommunications and retail sectors and has successfully run large scale IT operations and delivered complex business transformation initiatives.As Vice-President of Information Technology at Allstream Inc. from 2006 to 2014, Gary significantly reduced IT costs while at the same time dramatically improving service levels, delivered hundreds of projects, launched a major business system transformation program and built a team of dedicated IT professionals focused on improving core capabilities in a very competitive and regulated telecommunications industry.Prior to joining Allstream, Gary spent his career within the retailing industry working for the Hudson’s Bay Company. During his last seven years at HBC as VP of IT and then as CIO, he led the transformation of one of Canada’s largest and most complex IT operations. In 2004, HBC’s progress was recognized with the winning of 5 prestigious IT industry awards in a 12 month period.Gary has participated on many North American and European CIO Councils and also served as a Director on various not-for-profit Boards. He currently serves on the Information Technology Infrastructure Round Table (ITIR) for Shared Services Canada and the Program Advisory Board for the Ted Rogers School of Business at Ryerson University.
CIO, Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba
A graduate of Red River College (RRC), Stu began his career in Information Technology with the Canadian Wheat Board in 1979. After spending 17 years with the CWB he decided he’d like to try the world of consulting, working for SmartHealth and EDS before he joined the WCB of Manitoba in May of 2000 as Manager, Application Development. In September of 2001 he took over as Chief Information Officer a position from which he retired in 2017. A strong advocate for innovative use of technology as an enabler for business change, he helped lead the WCB in various business transformation initiatives in his time with the organization. Stu maintained his strong ties to RRC where he served as an advisor for their IT programs for over 25 years. He was a member of the Board of Directors for the Information Communication Technology Association of Manitoba (ICTAM) and a member of the Board of Directors for the Manitoba Chapter of the CIO Association of Canada. Stu is now pursuing his passions in life: food, wine, and travel.
CIO Alberta School Employee Benefit Plan
Tarick Ahmad is a Chartered Professional Accountant and is the Chief Information Officer for the Alberta School Employee Benefit Plan which provides health, life and disability insurance benefits to Alberta’s education sector. Previously, Mr. Ahmad held the title of Chief Technology Officer and has experience working in large international organizations in the construction and energy sectors as well as founding a start-up technology company.
Associate Professor, Ted Rogers School of IT Management, Ryerson University
In the almost 20 years that he has worked with Siemens, Mike has moved steadily into more senior positions. His current position, which he has held since 2013, is Vice President and CIO. With a background in governance and infrastructure, and an international perspective on the company, gained through positions held in Germany and the US, Mike brings a collaborative leadership approach to strategic management of IT.
CIO, Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba
A graduate of Red River College (RRC), Stu began his career in Information Technology with the Canadian Wheat Board in 1979. After spending 17 years with the CWB he decided he’d like to try the world of consulting, working for SmartHealth and EDS before he joined the WCB in May of 2000 as Manager, Application Development. In September of 2001 he took over as Chief Information Officer. A strong advocate for innovative use of technology as an enabler for business change, he has helped lead the WCB in various business transformation initiatives in his time with the organization. Stu maintained his strong ties to RRC where he served as an advisor for their IT programs for over 25 years. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors for the Information Communication Technology Association of Manitoba (ICTAM) and a member of the Board of Directors for the Manitoba Chapter of the CIO Association of Canada
CTO, Patient News
Michael Issaev is a senior IT executive with experience in leading technology teams in a variety of industries at companies ranging from start-ups to large international corporations. Throughout his career, Michael has been successful with digital technology transformation, realigning IT with business strategies, completing major expansion and system implementation projects, introducing modern technologies and methodologies such as agile, cloud, business intelligence, mobile, and social networking.
Michael’s expertise spans a number of industry sectors, including supply chain, retail, travel, manufacturing, SaaS, financial services, and marketing.
Currently, Michael is the CTO at Patient News, a leading healthcare marketing company.
Director of Technology and CIO, Vancouver School Board
Brian Kuhn is Director of Technology and CIO for the Vancouver School Board, where he is responsible for developing and promoting vision and strategy leading to the adoption of technology to support new ways of learning, teaching and conducting the business of education. As a senior leader, he oversees the department responsible for technology architecture, development, implementation and support services. He actively pursues the integration of diverse information systems, portals, and online teaching and learning spaces. In his previous role, at the Coquitlam School District, Brian had the privilege of contributing to new school design and leading initiatives designed to transform learning and work. Brian presents regularly at conferences and in workshops on topics related to education, technology, and the future.
CIO, Environmental Monitoring and Science Division
Rita Lazar-Tippe is the Chief Information Officer at Environmental Monitoring and Science Division (EMSD) responsible for monitoring, evaluating and reporting on key air, water, land and biodiversity indicators.
With more than 24 years of Business Technology experience, Rita is currently responsible for the overall IT strategy and operational management at EMSD. Her intuitive business sense and her multifaceted IT approach allows her to drive best practice data management and data services initiatives forward to best meet the needs of the organization. Her experience consists of leading various corporate wide projects that improved process efficiencies, enabled new revenue streams, reduced operating expenses and provided strategic corporate alignment.
Rita was selected to the Top 20 Most Innovative Midmarket CIOs, a group of IT executives that have contributed to the advancement of their organization through the innovative use of technology solutions and have demonstrated business value.
Richard has spent over 25 years working with others to technology to work in new businesses, new markets, new products and new processes. His career in IT has not been anything but traditional. In a recent assignment, he was not only responsible for Information Technology, but also headed innovation, operational efficiency and new business development. He led several startup companies, raising millions of dollars to get them off the ground. He also worked a “Company Creator” with the Western Technology Seed Investment Fund, a seed stage venture capital fund. Prior to that, he spent over 15 years in product management, business development and R&D in the global telecommunications market. His achievements include building worldwide annual sales of a new system to over US$ 30M.
Richard is a Professional Engineer in Alberta and holds an MBA from the Ivey School of Business. He volunteers as a mentor with APEGA, Futurpreneur.ca and the UC Haskayne School of Business
Director, Information Systems & Technology, Condrain Group
Ian McLeod is a seasoned IT management professional with over 35 years of experience managing and directing a wide range of application and infrastructure environments. He has extensive, specialized knowledge and experience in the education sector, both post-secondary and K-12. Ian has participated in numerous advisory and consulting roles, and has presented at a number of recent conferences. He is committed to ongoing career development and is active in the support of the IT community in BC and across Canada.
With extensive background and success in operational management and client service, Ian has led and managed departments as large as 100, and supported large and diverse client groups. In his current position as CIO at Douglas College, Ian is responsible for administrative and academic technology services and infrastructure, including servers, SAN storage, wired and wireless networks, and telephony, along with applications development and support, client and helpdesk support services, and enterprise reporting.
Senior Director, Information Systems, Chartwell Retirement Residences
Currently the Senior Director, Information Systems, at Chartwell Retirement Residences, John Pinard is an accomplished, innovative, results-oriented IT visionary with 25 years’ experience and broad business knowledge. Through positions in health care and manufacturing sectors, John has developed strong leadership, technical, communication and organizational skills, demonstrated by his successful track record of developing high performance teams that have implemented strategic, technology-based solutions to improve business performance.
Senior Strategic I&IT Advisor, Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority (RPRA)
Robert Pope has over 30 years business and IT leadership experience. Robert was most recently Chief Information Officer at Technical Standards and Safety Authority where he was accountable for IT strategic and tactical planning, development, evaluation, and coordination of all enterprise and knowledge IT systems. Earlier in his career, Robert gained extensive IT leadership experience with Certified Management Accountants of Ontario, Canada Post, and Air Canada.
Robert is a member of several professional organizations including the CIO Association of Canada, the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA), and the Council of Chief Information Officers with the Conference Board of Canada. He previously served on the board of the CIO Association (Toronto Chapter) as the Director, Communications, and on the Advisory Committee for the Council of IT Executives with the Conference Board of Canada. Robert holds an MBA from the Rotman School of Business, and a CMA professional designation from Certified Management Accountants of Ontario. He has completed additional studies in technology at Queen’s University, the Interac Association and SAP Canada.
IT Assistant Manager, Operations and Service, Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver
Volker Seidel’s 20 plus years of experience in IT and IT service has been gained through large, multinational IT companies in Europe and Canada. He specialized in IT support, IT Security, budget and strategy plan optimization. His passion for sustainability has led him into Green IT, moving organizations to virtualization-based operations and Cloud Computing.
In his current position of IT Assistant Manager for Operations and Service at the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, Volker is leading initiatives for data security, virtualization, and innovative technologies that will impact the success of Board members.
An innovative and results-oriented IT leader, Volker works to stay up to date on all new developments in IT. He recently graduated from the CIOCAN Leadership Development Program at the Beedie School of Business and holds a Master’s degree from Royal Roads University where he received the Royal Roads University’s Founders Award in 2013.
Author, Innovator, Adjunct Professor, Ryerson University
Dr. Salah Sharieh is a senior technical Innovator with extensive experience in business, technology and digital transformation.
Salah holds the degree of Doctor of Philosophy from McMaster University. He has more than twenty peer-reviewed publications and has contributed to several books. He also is a technical reviewer for several journals and conferences and is a member of the CIO Association of Canada, IEEE and ACM.
Recently Salah led the National Occupation Standards for Cyber Security.
In the last 20 years, Salah Shariah has delivered high-profile solutions and provided vision and leadership to several industries including financial, telecommunication, manufacturing, and the public sector. Salah is a member in the Yeates School of Graduate Studies at Ryerson University where he supervised Ph.D. and Master Student. One of his areas of research is the new role of CIOs in the new Digital Economy.
Director, IT and Business Systems, Active Exhaust
An experienced senior IT leader, with close to 25 years of experience, Kevin Tucker currently holds the position of Director of IT & Business Systems at Active Exhaust. He has Global responsibility for setting the path of the company’s technology ecosystem toward a heightened collaboration and knowledge management.
Kevin’s experience includes public, private, government and not-for-profit organizations, across numerous industry verticals. Within IT, Kevin’s experience includes both the Application and Infrastructure side of the IT function. Kevin’s executive-level experience also includes leading profit centers, thus providing him with critical knowledge of the challenges that cost constrained business units face on a daily basis.
Combining his wide array of education and Strategic Management, Kevin keeps organizations focused on leveraging technology to not only support business objectives, but to encourage innovation and development of new products, services, and collaborative structures that drive effectiveness in support of revenue growth.
A second judging panel led by Ronan McGrath and made up of five other senior CIOs and CEOs, including a representative from the CIO Association of Canada, will select the final winners in each category.
Ronan McGrath, leader of the final selection committee for the 2011 Ingenious Awards, is a strategic consultant with a global practice whose client list includes many Fortune 500 companies, including some of the world’s most prominent ICT firms. Ronan is a distinguished former CIO. In 2009, he retired as CIO of Rogers Communications Inc., and President of Rogers Shared Services, Canada’s national wireless carrier, and largest provider of cable services. In that role, he rebuilt the entire IT infrastructure of the Rogers Group, and led the work to replace the major systems that manage the provision of billing of all services in the wireless and cable businesses. He was also responsible for the purchasing, real estate and administrative services of the Rogers Group, and he was the leader of the team that restructured the alliance between Rogers and Microsoft announced in July 1999.
Ronan was previously CIO of Canadian National Railways, Canada’s largest railroad, and was responsible for the complete rebuild of CN’s IT capability, the workforce downsizing of one third of CN’s personnel, and the development of the initial strategic review of the company’s future that led to the privatization of the company. He was also responsible for the controllership, real estate and consulting activities of CN.
He has also been a Senior Manager with Arthur Andersen & Co. in various European countries, specializing in workout strategies for companies with financial challenges.
He was awarded the CIO of the Year award in Canada in 1995, has served in the past on the advisory boards of a number of technology companies, including Compaq Computer and Lotus Development, and is a frequent public speaker. He is a Past Chair of the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC).
Ronan is a graduate in Business Administration at Trinity College, Dublin, and is also a Chartered Accountant.
Chief Executive Officer, 1GO Media Ltd.
Alizabeth is currently the Chief Executive Officer of 1GO Media Ltd., a technology start-up and IBM partner, delivering the digital commerce platforms for Waterfront Toronto as part of a globally recognized Intelligent Communities initiative. She has been a strategic advisor to CIOs, CEOs and Boards, since 2006, and has been successful in both C-Level roles and consulting activities. Her professional experience includes IBM, Canada Trust and KPMG, including successfully navigating the IBM Global Services outsourcing portfolio as the COO. She has delivered transformational technology strategy as the CIO at CML Healthcare and the Loyalty Group (Airmiles), and has executed world class business transformation with clients including TD Bank and CP Rail. Alizabeth is a member of the Institute for Corporate Directors, and has an MBA from the University of Western Ontario (Ivey Business School, 1982).
Senior Deputy Minister, Industry Canada (SITT)
Corinne Charette was appointed to the position of Senior Assistant Deputy Minister of Industry Canada’s Spectrum, Information Technologies and Telecommunications (SITT) sector on March 16, 2015.
In her role as Senior ADM, Ms. Charette supports Canada’s transition to a digital economy by promoting the development and use of world class information and communications technologies and infrastructure for the economic, social and cultural benefit of all Canadians. Her oversight responsibilities include managing the radio spectrum (including spectrum auctions, licensing and compliance), supporting the security and protection of the telecommunications infrastructure, ensuring the availability of telecommunications during emergencies, increasing the availability of broadband Internet, improving Canada’s online privacy and data protection framework, and research in communications technologies in support of government mandates and policy development.
Before joining Industry Canada, Ms. Charette was the Chief Information Officer of the Government of Canada, Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS), a position she held since May 4, 2009. She came to the TBS from Transat A.T. Inc., where she was Vice-President and Chief Information Officer from 2006 until 2009. Previous to that, Ms. Charette was Deputy Director and Chief Information Officer of FINTRAC. She also served as Senior Vice-President, Internet Channel, for the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, was a Partner with KPMG Consulting, leading their e-Business practice, and worked for IBM Global Services and Via Rail Canada.
Ms. Charette holds a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering from Concordia University and is a professional engineer. On June 21, 2011, she received an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from Concordia University, in recognition of her distinguished career and achievements.
President, CIO Association of Canada and Vice-President, Information Technology, MTS Allstream Inc.
Gary is the President of the CIO Association of Canada (CIOCAN) which represents approximately 330 CIOs across Canada through networking, sharing of best practices, executive leadership development and advocacy as the “voice of CIOs”. He has extensive experience as a senior executive within both the telecommunications and retail sectors and has successfully run large scale IT operations and delivered complex business transformation initiatives.
As Vice-President of Information Technology at Allstream Inc. from 2006 to 2014, Gary significantly reduced IT costs while at the same time dramatically improving service levels, delivered hundreds of projects, launched a major business system transformation program and built a team of dedicated IT professionals focused on improving core capabilities in a very competitive and regulated telecommunications industry.
Prior to joining Allstream, Gary spent his career within the retailing industry working for the Hudson’s Bay Company. During his last seven years at Hbc as VP of IT and then as CIO, he led the transformation of one of Canada’s largest and most complex IT operations. In 2004, Hbc’s progress was recognized with the winning of 5 prestigious IT industry awards in a 12 month period.
Gary has participated on many North American and European CIO Councils and also served as a Director on various not-for-profit Boards. He currently serves on the Information Technology Infrastructure Roundtable (ITIR) for Shared Services Canada and the Program Advisory Board for the Ted Rogers School of Business at Ryerson University.
After a distinguished 28-year career with Hewlett-Packard, a leading global technology solutions provider, in June, 2012, Paul decided to take an early retirement from operational leadership, enabling him to expand his work as a seasoned board director.
Tsaparis was appointed Hewlett-Packard’s (HP) Vice-President of Technology Support, Americas in March 2010. He led the Americas organization to maximize support services on all HP products, create differentiated support offerings and help the company deliver a superior client experience. Paul also developed and implemented end-to-end, best-in-class programs through HP’s channel partner network, optimizing market penetration and high-value service delivery.
Before taking on the Americas leadership role, he was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Hewlett-Packard (Canada) Co. from September 1998 to April 2010, assuming leadership for all aspects of the company’s operations in Canada, adding distinctive value to the customers, partners and communities it served. As President & CEO, he was a key player in several major acquisitions and divestitures of both corporate and industry significance globally, serving as a catalyst for several integration initiatives while still leading the company to 15 consecutive quarters of exceeding revenues, gross margins and operating profit targets during a period of extraordinary change.
Tsaparis joined HP in 1984 and has held progressively senior appointments including Telecommunications General Manager, General Manager for HP Consulting and, prior to his CEO appointment, Vice-President, Computer Organization. He also worked and studied internationally, attending the Co-operative Japanese and Business Society Program in Tokyo with the Council of International Educational Exchange.
Paul’s board service work and community leadership has been wide-ranging. He is Past Chair of the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC) and Past Chair of the ITAC Board of Governors. He is also a board member of Indspire, formerly the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation, a past member of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, and Past Chair of Third Brigade, a security software company. He is a member of the WPO/YPO and Dean’s Advisory Council of the Schulich School of Business at York University, where he was honoured in 2004 with an alumni award for his contributions to the School, and is also a member of the York University Board of Governors. In January, 2013, Paul was appointed, ‘Executive-in-Residence’ at the Schulich School of Business.
He holds an MBA from York University in Toronto and an undergraduate degree in science and economics from the University of Toronto. In addition, Paul was honoured in the University of Toronto’s 175th Anniversary ‘Great Minds for a Great Future’ Campaign as one of 100 people recognized with this special distinction.
He is a past recipient of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 Award – a national program that honours Canadians under the age of 40 who have achieved a significant level of success. In February, 2013, Tsaparis has recently begun to share his leadership perspective as a business columnist with the Globe and Mail, contributing to the national conversation on Canadian business in a global economy.