Board of Directors

Jim Watson (Co-Chair)
Mayor, City of Ottawa

Jim Watson was elected Mayor of the City of Ottawa on October 25, 2010.

Mayor Watson had dedicated most of his career to public service in Canada’s Capital.

First elected as a Councillor in 1991, he was re-elected in 1994. Three years later he was elected as the youngest Mayor in Ottawa’s history with 82% of the popular vote.

Following the amalgamation of Ottawa and surrounding communities, Mayor Watson was appointed the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Tourism Commission, a federal crown corporation.

In 2003, he was elected as the Member of Provincial Parliament for Ottawa West-Nepean and immediately appointed to cabinet as Minister of Consumer and Business services.

In 2005, he was appointed as Ontario’s first Minister of Health Promotion and he successfully implemented the Smoke Free Ontario Act.

Re-elected as MPP in 2007, he was promoted to Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

In that portfolio, Watson signed the largest Federal-Provincial Housing agreement in Ontario’s History. In addition he co-authored an historic agreement between the province and Ontario’s 444 municipalities that saw over $1.5 Billion in social service costs removed from local property taxes.

An active member of his community, Watson has also served on the boards or as honourary chair of several community organizations, including the Riverside Hospital, the National Arts Centre, the Christmas Exchange of Ottawa and the Forum for Young Canadians. He served as chair of United Way’s 2002 campaign, which raised a record $21 million.

An avid volunteer with several groups, he has helped serve meals at the Shepherds of Good Hope, a local soup kitchen. His commitment to those less fortunate was evident when, in August of 2000, he contributed his entire municipal severance payment of $31,000 to Ottawa’s Union Mission for Men.

His years of active involvement and community service have made him the recipient of several awards and accolades, including Maclean’s magazine’s “100 Young Canadians To Watch,” Carleton University Honours Award, the City of Ottawa’s highest civic honour, the Key to the City; the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal; the Visionary Award by the Ontario Pharmacists’ Association, and the National Leadership Award by the Canadian Council for Tobacco Control for his role in implementing the Smoke Free Ontario Act.

David Ritonja (Co-Chair)
Vice President Broadband Access Business Unit North America, Nokia Networks

David has responsibility for Nokia’s market leading Fixed Access product lines within North America.  David had held various executive product business responsibilities over his 17 years with Nokia helping to advance broadband technology solutions to North American telecommunication operators.

David has over 23 years’ experience successfully bringing technology products to market in both entrepreneurial (start-up) and large multi-national corporations while employed respectively with Neuma Technology Corporation, Lockheed-Martin, Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia.

Prior to his commercial experience, David served as an Aerospace Engineering Officer with the Canadian Forces.

David holds a degree in Engineering Management from the Royal Military College of Canada.

Lise Bourgeois
President, La Cité collégiale

Since March of 2010, Lise Bourgeois, President, has led La Cité, the largest French-language college of applied arts and technology in Ontario. Ms. Bourgeois has worked in the field of education for over 30 years, from the classroom all the way to senior management positions. Ms. Bourgeois has a bachelor and a master’s degree in education, as well as a Supervisory Officer’s Qualification.

From 2003 to 2010, she headed the Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est (CECCE), the largest French-language school board outside of Quebec. Under Ms. Bourgeois’ leadership, the organization attained an exceptional level of performance, without parallel in the province, thus making a significant contribution to the development of French-language education: CECCE enrolment increased by over 2,000 students, five new schools were opened, and construction began on two more.

In her capacity as President of La Cité, Ms. Bourgeois pursues the development of French-language education, and makes the success of every student central to the College’s educational decisions. Under her leadership, La Cité’s enrolment has surpassed 5,500 students, and is consistently ranked among the best colleges in the province. A true visionary, she secured the necessary funding to develop a new infrastructure that will position the student experience at La Cité into a new experiential and multidisciplinary dimension: Place La Cité, to open in September 2018.

Committed for many years to enhancing the vitality of the Franco-Ontarian community and extending its influence, Ms. Bourgeois is a member of various organizations, including the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce, the Regroupement des gens d’affaires de la capitale nationale (Association of business people of the National Capital), the Consortium national de formation en santé (National healthcare training consortium) (CNFS), the Réseau des cégeps et collèges francophones du Canada and Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan). She is also a member of the Board of Directors of Invest Ottawa and has co-chaired the Association des collèges et universités de la francophonie canadienne (ACUFC) since April 1, 2015.

Over the years, Ms. Bourgeois has shown a great capacity for taking care of business and for obtaining the support required to implement initiatives associated with the development of the organizations she has headed. In recognition of her achievements in this area, the Regroupement des gens d’affaires de la capitale nationale has given her its award Dirigeante de l’année dans le secteur parapublic (Leader of the year in the parapublic sector), and she has received first prize in the “Education” category at the Prescott-Russell gala honouring women. These marks of distinction are a testimony to her leadership and to her passion for making a difference in the social, economic and cultural development of the larger community.

Ms. Bourgeois is a woman of action with a gift for bringing people together. She has developed a vast network both within the structures of government and in the community to make a difference to the social, economic and cultural development of her community at large.

Michael Crockatt
President & CEO, Ottawa Tourism

Michael is a recognized leader in tourism and aviation in Canada. Prior to joining Ottawa Tourism, Michael served as Senior Vice President with InterVISTAS Consulting, where he was responsible for the firm’s airline, air service development, and tourism practices in Canada. Michael has over 15 years experience at the management level with two of Canada’s major airports, the Winnipeg Airports Authority and the Ottawa International Airport Authority.

Michael is very active within the tourism and transportation industries and other business groups. He is a Board member with Ottawa 2017 and Invest Ottawa, and has served as Chair of the Board of Directors with the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC), Chair of the Board of Directors of Ottawa Tourism and Chair of the Tourism Development Council of Ottawa Tourism.

In 2013, Michael was named one of Airport Business Magazine’s Top 40 under 40. In 2012, he was a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, recognizing his contributions to Canada. At the 2011 Ottawa Tourism Awards, Michael was named Tourism Volunteer of the Year, and in 2010, he was a recipient of the Ottawa Business Journal Forty Under 40 Awards.

Michael has a Master’s degree in Geography from the University of Manitoba.

Jason Flick
CEO, Youi.tv

Jason is a veteran in the world of enterprise growth and management, having founded and scaled a number of successful software companies in the past, most notably Flick Software, Eftia, and N-Able. Jason believes in disrupting the status quo, which is what led him to start You.i TV with co-founder Stuart Russell. Jason is currently a sitting member of the board for Turner Ad Labs, Invest Ottawa, and Flick Software.

Jacques Frémont
President & Vice-Chancellor, University of Ottawa

Jacques Frémont is Professor Emeritus at the University of Montreal and former President of the Quebec Human Rights and Youth Rights Commission. Prior to this appointment by the Quebec legislative assembly in 2013, he was Director of the International Higher Education Support Program of the Open Society Foundations in New York.

Within the University of Montreal, Mr. Frémont was Dean of the Law school, as well as Provost and Vice-Rector (Academic Affairs) until 2010. Mr. Frémont is author of numerous books, articles and chapters of books in constitutional law as well as in public law.

Throughout his career, Mr. Frémont has acted as expert in issues of Human rights, of good governance and democracy with Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) as well as consultant with World Bank financed projects. He has also acted as director of major international cooperation projects in the fields of Human rights and judicial training.

Mr. Frémont is a graduate of Laval University (Quebec City) and has pursued graduate studies at York University (Toronto). He has received prizes and honors, including that of member of the Order of Academic Palms of the French Republic in 2009 and received a Ph.D. Honoris Causa from the Université Paul Cézanne (Aix-en-Provence) in 2010. He has been made professor emeritus of the University of Montreal in 2012. Mr. Frémont has been a visiting professor at many Quebec, Canadian, European and Asian universities.

Cheryl Jensen
President and Chief Executive Officer, Algonquin College

Cheryl Jensen is the eighth president of Algonquin College. She joins Algonquin from Mohawk College, where she held the title of Vice President, Academic for five years. Cheryl first joined Mohawk as a Chemical Engineering Technology professor in 1983 and has served as Dean, Executive Dean, and Vice President of Engineering Technology, Apprenticeship and Corporate Training.

Cheryl serves on the Boards of Ottawa Network for Education, Invest Ottawa, the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship, and the Ottawa Beechwood Cemetery and Beechwood Cemetery Foundation. She is also a Board member for Polytechnics Canada and a member of the Business/Higher Education Roundtable. She is the recipient of a Hamilton YWCA Woman of Distinction award and a national leadership award from the Association of Canadian Community Colleges.

Cheryl graduated from McMaster University with an Honours Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and a Certificate in the Metallurgy of Iron and Steel, and holds a Master of Education in Organizational and Administrative Studies from Brock University.

Dr. Jack Kitts
President and CEO, Ottawa Hospital

Dr. Jack Kitts received his medical degree from the University of Ottawa in 1980 and completed a tour of duty with the Canadian armed forces prior to joining the medical staff of the Ottawa Civic Hospital. In 1998 he was appointed Vice President of Medical Affairs and led the medical staff during a complex restructuring of the Ottawa hospitals. He received his master’s degree in business administration from the University of Ottawa in 2001 and was subsequently named President and CEO of the Ottawa Hospital, a position he continues in today. The Ottawa Hospital is one of the largest and most productive research and teaching hospitals in Canada. Dr. Kitts’ roots are firmly anchored in the Ottawa Valley and his wife and three children have all chosen careers in the health sector.

Tobi Lütke
Founder and CEO, Shopify

Tobi Lütke is the Founder and CEO of Shopify. He founded the company in 2004 after moving to Ottawa from Germany to open Snowdevil, an online store for snowboarding equipment. After trying a series of existing ecommerce software packages, he decided to create his own not being able to find a product that matched Snowdevil’s needs. Being a programmer by trade, he built Snowdevil in Ruby on Rails and realized soon after that selling the software was a better idea. In 2006, Shopify, a cloud-based commerce platform officially launched with the mission to make commerce better. Today, Shopify powers more than 300,000 stores in approximately 150 countries.

Prior to launching Shopify, Tobi was in an apprenticeship role at BOG Koblenz – a subsidiary of Siemens Germany. He has worked on the core team of the Ruby on Rails framework and has also created many popular open source libraries such as Active Merchant.

Cyril McKelvie
CEO of AOC

Cyril McKelvie is CEO of AOC, Jabil’s optical business unit, where he is responsible for all aspects of the AOC offering of sales, R&D and manufacturing execution. Mr. McKelvie is a well-seasoned executive with over 25 years of senior management experience in research and development, new product development and operations. Prior to his position at AOC, Mr. McKelvie was a consultant with Marlin Equity and was the lead on the restructuring of the operations, supply chain functions at Marlin’s acquisition of Coriant Networks. Prior to his position at Marlin, Mr. McKelvie was President and CEO of Marport Technologies, a world leader in sonar equipment for the commercial fishing industry.

Previous executive positions include Executive Vice President of Sanmina’s optical microelectronic business—a leading global electronics manufacturer; prior to that, President CEO and a Founder of BreconRidge, one of Canada’s largest contract manufacturer.

Prior to that position General Manager of GSI Lumonics Optics, VP of Operations of JDSU, and various senior management positions at NewBridge Networks.

A native of Nova Scotia, Mr McKelvie has a B. Sc in Chemical Engineering from Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia.

Dr. Roseann O’Reilly Runte
President and Vice-Chancellor, Carleton University

Dr. Roseann O’Reilly Runte is President and Vice-Chancellor of Carleton University.

Dr. Runte graduated with a BA summa cum laude in French from the State University of New York and obtained her MA and PhD from the University of Kansas. She has previously served as president of l’Université Sainte-Anne, principal of Glendon College, president of Victoria University and of Old Dominion University.

Dr. Runte is the author of numerous scholarly works in the fields of French, comparative literature, economic and cultural development, higher education and the importance of research. In addition, she is a creative writer and has received a poetry prize from the Académie française.

Dr. Runte has been awarded the Order of Canada and the French Order of Merit and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. She has also been awarded the Palmes Académiques and several prizes for her work on the environment, for community and national service. In addition, Dr. Runte holds a number of honorary degrees.

Dr. Runte has served on numerous boards and commissions in both Canada and the United States. She was president of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, president of the Humanities Federation of Canada, a member of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Foundation for International Training, the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art, the Virginia Industrial National Development Authority and the Virginia Advanced Shipbuilding Integration Center. She currently serves on the advisory board of SunGard SGT, the board of the National Bank of Canada, the executive of the Royal Society, the non-profit LifeNet Health Board, the board of Fulbright Canada-U.S. and the Ontario-Quebec Private Sector Advisory Committee. She is a member of both the European and the World Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Runte took up her duties at Carleton University on July 1, 2008.

Susan Richards
Contract CFO and Co-Founder, Givopoly

Susan Richards is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and Certified Management Accountant (CMA). Susan holds the prestigious designation of Fellow awarded by the Society of Management Accountants of Canada for demonstrating excellence in management accounting, commitment to and pride in the profession, and a civic mindedness.

Susan has over 20 years of accounting experience in the knowledge-based industry having served the last 12 years as Chief Financial Officer to a number of Ottawa small and medium sized companies in the knowledge-based industry. Since 2013, Susan has been serving Ottawa entrepreneurs on a part-time, contract and casual basis. With a passion for business strategy, Susan enjoys helping local entrepreneurs increase their sustainable profits, generate increased cash flow, streamline operations, and ensure they have the necessary information to make key decisions. An entrepreneur at heart, Susan Co-Founded Givopoly.com in 2012 and Numbercrunch.ca in 2014 and has an increased appreciation of the variety of challenges faced by local entrepreneurs.

Susan is a member of the Board of Directors for Equal Voice, serving as National Treasurer. She has served as a member of the Board of Governors for The Society of Management Accountants of Ontario. Susan was previously involved in the OCRI Dollars and Sense serving as a member of the Steering Committee.

Jim Roche
President & CEO, Stratford Managers

Jim Roche, President & CEO of Stratford Managers Corporation, founded the company to positively impact society by helping organizations and their leaders achieve their full potential. He is a charismatic leader with impressive accomplishments in privately-owned and public companies as well as not-for-profits. As a seasoned executive and corporate director with over 30 years of experience, Jim is a strong advocate for small- and medium-sized companies and an active angel investor. He provides clients C-level advice on governance, strategy and operational matters, and serves in interim CEO roles.

Jim began his career as a founding member of Newbridge Networks where he helped grow the company to over $1B in annual revenue. He then co-founded Tundra Semiconductor, took it public and, as President & CEO, achieved double-digit average annual revenue and profit growth and over $1.5B in market value.

Over his career Jim has sat on over forty boards and committees. He is currently a corporate director on the boards of Ballard Power Systems, Aonix and ThinkRF. As a community builder, Jim also sits on the boards of CHEO and Invest Ottawa and champions innovation on the boards of Ocean Networks Canada, NRC-IRAP and the Innovation Centre at Bayview Yards. Previous board assignments include Wi-LAN, DNA Genotek and Youth Services Bureau.

David Ross
CEO, Ross Video

David Ross is the CEO and majority owner of Ross Video, having R&D and head office based in Ottawa, manufacturing in Iroquois Ontario, with additional significant manufacturing and sales offices in London, Singapore, Virginia Beach, California, and more. Since David graduated as a Computer Engineer and joined the company in 1991, it has grown from a small analog switcher company with about 25 employees to a global company with over 650 employees that has made 12 acquisitions in the past 7 years.

Ross Video designs, manufactures and delivers technology and services that power live video productions seen by billions of viewers around the world every day. Ross Video’s goal is to make it easy for customers to create compelling news, weather and sports broadcasts (like CTV here in town, or the BBC World News), engaging material for sports stadium screens (such as the Canadian Tire Center and the Staples Center), legislative assemblies (such as the EU and the United Nations), entertainment shows and rock concerts (such as the Academy Awards, Grammy’s, or the Foo Fighters), as well as inspiring content for houses of worship.

Ross Video delivers the world’s widest range of products and services for augmented reality and virtual sets, mobile live-event solutions, real-time motion graphics, robotic camera systems, social-media management, production switchers, video routers, infrastructure products, video servers, newsroom systems, and more.

Ross also now creates the video content itself, delivering live sports shows to ESPN, NBC, Fox, and more. This year, Ross Mobile Productions expects to produce over 1000 games and events in its 5 sports production vehicles based in the United States.

David and his team have managed to achieve this growth internally funded, without a single down year in 25 straight years, while maintaining an average growth rate of 17 percent.

David was also the 2016 Ottawa CEO of the Year.

Robert White
CPA CA CMA

Robert White, CPA CA CMA is an independent adviser to and investor in startup software companies. Robert is Chair of the Board of Cliniconex Inc., a company delivering patient engagement solutions to the healthcare sector. He is a member of the Board of LiveQoS, a company focused on the delivery of software defined wide area network solutions. He is a member of the Board and Chair of the compensation committee for Pythian Group, a global provider of professional services. Robert is a strategic advisor to Ottawa based Member365 and Mindbridge AI.

Robert has over 20 year of experience in software industry finance and M&A. Previously he led M&A globally for IBM’s analytics business closing over a dozen acquisitions which include Toronto based Varicent Software, Clarity Systems, and Algorithmics. Robert has also closed a number of divestitures. Previously Robert led the post-merger integration of Ottawa based Cognos into IBM. Robert started his software career with Ottawa based Object Technology International where he was Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer.

Robert focuses his volunteer time on causes supporting education and entrepreneurialism. Robert is Chair of the Board of the Ottawa Network for Education, an organization which works with education, business, government and community partners to develop programs that enrich public education in Ottawa. Robert is also a member of the boards of the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce and Invest Ottawa. Robert is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board at the Telfer School of Management.

Robert holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Ottawa. He graduated magna cum laude in 1992. Robert was awarded the Trudeau Medal by the University of Ottawa in 2014 recognizing his contributions to the school and his community. He was admitted to membership of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario in 1993. He was admitted to membership of the Society of Management Accountants of Ontario in 1994.

Jeff Westeinde (Past Chair)
Lead Partner, Zibi Development

Jeff Westeinde is a successful serial entrepreneur and investor with active businesses interests in the real estate, environmental, renewables and technology sectors. Jeff’s current passion project is the Zibi development in Ottawa-Gatineau which will transform 37 acres of contaminated industrial lands in the heart of the two cities into one of the world’s most sustainable mixed use communities.

Mr. Westeinde has been distinguished as Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst and Young, named one of Canada’s Top 40 under 40 by the Globe and Mail, recognized with the Young Alumni Award from the University of Western Ontario and has been awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal for his distinguished service to Canada. His companies have been recognized as Canada’s fastest growing companies and Canada’s Top 50 Best Managed Companies.

Jeff is active on numerous charitable, civic and industry initiatives including serving as the founding chairman of the Invest Ottawa and vice Chair of Ottawa’s new $30M Innovation Center. Jeff also serves as the Honorary Lieutenant Colonel for Canada’s finest military reserve unit – the 33rd Combat Engineers Regiment.