Juno Award-Winning Musician, Creativity & AI Expert
David Usher is an award-winning musician, bestselling author, and founder of the artificial intelligence creative studio: Reimagine AI. As Creativity & AI Expert, David defines the path an organization can follow to reboot its creativity amidst this brave new world of disruptive change. David helps innovative companies, like Google, Pepsi, and Rogers, re-inspire creativity in both employees and executives. Because David Usher doesn’t just talk creativity and artificial intelligence — he lives it.
Head of Marketing, Google Canada; TEDx speaker, Marketing Magazine's "30 under 30"
Fab Dolan is Head of Marketing at Google Canada, and a regular guest lecturer at some of Canada’s top universities. He draws on his experience leading iconic brands, like Cheerios and Green Giant, and revolutionary upstarts, like Android and YouTube at work and during his talks. Dolan also teaches Fortune 500 business leaders how emerging technologies can redefine the way they do business, exploring the challenges and opportunities facing individuals and companies in this age of innovation.
President, AmberMac Media
Named one of DMZ’s 30 inspirational women making a difference in tech, Amber Mac started her career during the dot-com boom. After leaving the startup world to join Microsoft, she eventually started her own successful digital agency in 2006. In 2010, Amber wrote the bestselling book, Power Friending, and later co-authored the Amazon bestseller, Outsmarting Your Kids Online . In 2019, her podcast The AI Effect won Best Technology Series. She is a regular business host and expert on radio and TV.
Serial Entrepreneur, Co-Founder Clearbanc; Co-Founder SnapSaves (acq by Groupon), Dragon on Dragons' Den
An engineer and serial entrepreneur, “tech titan” Michele Romanow started five companies before her 33rd birthday. Michele is also a “Dragon” on CBC’s hit show Dragons’ Den , an angel investor, and a co-founder of Clearbanc — a growth capital business that gave entrepreneurs more than $100 million in funding in 2018. Named in WXN’s “100 Most Powerful in Canada” and listed as the only Canadian on Forbes’ “Millennial on a Mission” list, Michele brings her incredible entrepreneurial savvy to every stage.
CPA (Alberta), Innovation Strategist; General Partner of Queen & Rook Capital; Top 40 under 40; Inc. Magazine's 100 Most Innovative Leadership Speakers in 2018
A strategist recognized nationally and internationally for his work in the innovation space, Shawn Kanungo operates at the intersection of creativity, business, and technology. As General Partner of Queen & Rook Capital, Shawn uses concepts — like behavioural economics, user-centred design, crowdsourcing, artificial intelligence, drones, and film — to help organizations along their digital transformation journey. Shawn has been featured in Forbes, The Globe and Mail, The Guardian, CBC, and CTV.
CPA, CA, Partner, LiveCA LLP
Josh Zweig is Partner and Co-Founder of LiveCA, a virtual CPA firm that gives Josh and his colleagues the opportunity to work from anywhere. Before launching LiveCA in 2013, Josh graduated from the Richard Ivey School of Business. He spent several years in public practice at both a national and mid-size CPA firm, where he received his CPA and CA designations, as well as a public accounting license. Now he works while exploring the world — challenging the accountant stereotype everywhere he goes.
CPA, Partner, Consulting and Deals, PwC Canada
Ramy Sedra is Canada’s AI & Analytics Consulting Leader and a co-founder of the $1B AI innovation program: Scale. An accomplished speaker and author on the topic of data and analytics, Ramy recently presented on the topic of AI Transformation at the AI Summit held by the Montreal Metropolitain Chamber of Commerce. He discussed his expertise on the sharing economy as a guest on TVA Canal Argent, and has been interviewed on Smart Cities, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence for CPA Magazine.
CPA, CA, Chief of Staff, Deloitte Canada
Michael Cherny is Chief of Staff to the National Audit Public Practice at Deloitte, where he uses a risk-based approach to financial and non-financial assurance with clients across multiple industries. Michael recently received the CPA’s Emerging Leader Award, and the Notable Life – LGBTQ Leader Award. He currently serves as National Chair of the Deloitte Pride Community, and previously as Treasurer on the Board of Pride Toronto, Director on the Board of Start Proud, and Advisor to The Ten Oaks Project.
CPA, CA, Founder & CEO, Luminari
Michael Kravshik is Founder and CEO of Luminari, a platform that helps CPAs progress in their career by providing them with customized career services, volunteer opportunities, and mentorship matches. Luminari recently launched LumiQ, a professional development podcast app that highlights practical skills and features industry experts. Michael began his entrepreneurial journey when he joined a technology startup as CFO/COO, helping the founders grow their business by raising $2 million in financing.
CPA, CA, Founder, OMERS Ventures; Co-Founder, Council of Canadian Innovators
John Ruffolo is Founder of OMERS Ventures, a company that has invested more than $500 million in disruptive North American technology companies, like Hootsuite, Shopify, and Wattpad. John is also a co-founder of the Council of Canadian Innovators, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping high-growth Canadian technology firms scale up globally. Comprised of CEOs from Canada’s most promising technology companies, the council’s role is to optimize the growth of Canada’s innovation-based sector.
CPA, CA, Founder & CEO, Audacious Futures
As Founder and CEO of Audacious Futures, a global launchpad for “audacious innovation,” Hamoon Ekhtiari is passionate about unlocking an organization’s potential to re-imagine the future. Previous roles in the innovation space include Director of Strategy and Innovation for the Executive Vice-President at TELUS and Founding Director of Studio [Y], a leadership and innovation academy at MaRS. Hamoon also founded a social enterprise that raised $1M in its first year, and is a Canada Millennium Scholar.
Co-Founder & Managing Director, StandUp Ventures; Senior Investment Director, MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund
As Co-Founder and Managing Director of StandUp Ventures, Michelle McBane has invested in more than 40 early-stage technology companies started by women. A seasoned executive with more than 19 years of venture capital experience, Michelle sits on the board at tealbook and is a board observer for portfolio companies like Sampler, Nudge Rewards, and Bridgit. She also contributes to the ecosystem as a volunteer advisor for organizations that include Ryerson DMZ, Techstars, NEXT Canada, and #MoveTheDial.
Chief People Officer, Coinsquare
A People Experience strategist, Christine Song has led Talent and Employee Experience for both large corporate environments and early stage startups for more than 16 years. As the Chief People Officer at Coinsquare, her goal is to approach the function of People Experience by aligning the people strategy with the business strategy. Christine is also an Advisory Board Member for BioConnect, where she provides personal leadership counselling to CEOs and executives within the startup space.
Co-Founder and Chief Revenue Officer, Luminari
Adam Bercovici is Co-Founder and Chief Revenue Officer at Canada's largest career management platform for CPAs: Luminari. Adam started his career in advertising before joining the startup world with his best friend and business partner, Michael Kravshik. Since its launch in 2016, Luminari has grown to over 15,000 users and has built a suite of services for CPAs, including job and volunteer opportunities, mentorship matching, and continuing professional development via their new podcast, LumiQ.
CPA, CA, CIRP, LIT, Joint Managing Partner & Founder, Farber Group
Since 1979, Alan Farber has been a driving force in transforming his firm into one of the leading independent providers of financial and business advisory services in Canada. An entrepreneur at heart, Alan Farber has assembled a dynamic group of people at Farber, where they deliver exceptional results, provide responsive client service, and offer innovative, practical insight. Alan is a big believer in organizational culture, and speaks extensively on the topic of "Culture as a Competitive Advantage."
CPA, CA, Speaker, Career Strategist, and Coach
After receiving her CPA designation and working at a Big Four accounting firm, Linda Raynier became a top performing head hunter in Toronto, placing more than 200 job seekers in permanent positions. Since then, Linda has coached thousands of clients with a variety of designations across Canada and worldwide. With a YouTube channel that focuses on career-related insights and reaches millions of viewers, Linda is establishing herself as a thought leader in the career and professional development space.
Country Manager, Xero Canada
An accounting leader with experience in new and emerging ventures, Will Buckley is driven by his desire to create inclusive and meaningful outcomes — and a positive impact on the world. His passion for small business success comes from seeing how entrepreneurs affect change in communities. Will is Country Manager at Xero Canada, a member of the Technology Advisory Council at CPA Canada, and was a founding partner at buckleybrown, a modern accounting service for Australian small business owners.
Director of Investments and Partnerships, Sidewalk Labs
A dynamic member of the Toronto startup community, Nicole LeBlanc has more than 10 years of experience as an investment professional, with a focus on early-stage financing opportunities and ecosystem development. Before joining Sidewalk Labs, Nicole was a Director at BDC Capital, where she managed seed stage investments and associated portfolios. Previous to this, Nicole held initial finance and operational roles in several early stage startups.