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.

Susan Richards, Co-Chair
Managing Partner, Numbercrunch & 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 in 2012 and 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 Kanata North Business Association. 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.

Dr. Benoit-Antoine Bacon
President, Carleton University
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.

Claude Brulé
President, Algonquin College

“Claude Brulé was appointed as Algonquin College’s ninth President and Chief Executive Officer in August 2019. Prior to taking on this leadership role, Claude served the College at every level of its leadership team from Department Chair, to Faculty Dean, to Senior Vice President Academic where, for the past twenty years, he has been a champion for student success and an innovator in the higher education sector, providing leadership to the advancement of digital learning.

Prior to joining the College, Claude served 22 years in the Canadian Armed Forces, in the Air Force occupational branch of Communication and Electronics Engineering, retiring at the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. Among his many tours of duty, he was an instructor at the Canadian Forces School of Communications and Electronics (CFSCE), and subsequently, its Senior Staff Officer for Strategic Planning and Chief of Staff. Between tours at CFSCE, he lectured in the Mathematics and Computer Science department as an assistant professor at the Royal Military College.

He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering Physics and a Master’s of Science degree in Mathematics from the Royal Military College in Kingston. He is also a graduate of the Command and Staff College, and holds a certificate in Management and Leadership in Education from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education.

Claude is an active member of the community and serves on several boards, including Invest Ottawa, the Ottawa Network for Education (ONFE) and the Ottawa Community Loan Fund (OCLF). He is also a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and was promoted to Senior Member in 2018 for his significant contributions to the profession.

Rob Cameron
Vice President, Strategic Transformation, Nokia
Jennifer Francis
High Tech Mentor, Advisor and Investor

Jennifer is a technology mentor, advisor and angel investor with over 25 years of experience in the high technology industry. She was a former executive in the information technology and services industry, with experience in Enterprise Software, SaaS, Go-to-market Strategy, and Strategic Partnerships. Jennifer is an advocate for girls and women in STEM.

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.

Shavonne Hasfal-McIntosh
Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Wealthsimple
Shavonne Hasfal-McIntosh is the Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Wealthsimple. With a career in human resources spanning over fifteen years, Shavonne brings to the board expertise in workplace diversity and inclusion and understands what it takes to establish a sense of belonging within an organization.
Shavonne believes the importance of work comes from the ability to connect with and impact people. She is a developer who recognizes the potential in others and a relater who finds deep satisfaction in working collaboratively towards a collective goal. Over the past six months, Shavonne has been an invaluable member of the Female Founders and Women-Owned Business Sub-Committee of the board.
Brendan McGuinty
Principal, Strategies 360 Inc.

Brendan McGuinty is an active community leader with nearly two decades of experience as an entrepreneur, public policy leader and manager. His career has spanned both the public and private sectors and he is currently a Principal with Strategies 360, a public affairs consulting firm he founded with a unique focus on the real estate, land development and infrastructure sectors. He develops strategies designed to bridge the gap between government, businesses and the community and executes on the timely delivery of projects that embrace smart and sustainable growth practices while insuring maximum results and profitability. He is called upon to provide senior level counsel and strategic advice to C-Level executives on complex and highly sensitive issues relating to: government and media relations; crisis and corporate communications; stakeholder management and strategy development.

Previously Brendan served as Chief of Staff at the newly amalgamated City of Ottawa for three years where he was a member of the city’s management committee and acted as the mayor’s most senior advisor on all public policy matters. Similarly, from 1997 to 2000 he was Chief of Staff at the Regional Municipality of Ottawa Carleton where he helped drive institutional change and led communications strategies that enabled the successful reform and amalgamation of local government.

Brendan has chaired or managed over a dozen political campaigns, and has served as Co-Chair of the government of Ontario’s and the Mayor of Ottawa’s transition committees. He is an active community volunteer with past involvement as a member of the University of Ottawa’s Advisory Board, Christie Lake Camps, the Canada Green Building Council Market Development Committee, the Invest Ottawa Transition Team, and currently as a board member of the Ottawa Airport Authority where he serves as Chair of the Governance Committee. He is married with three children and makes his home in the nation’s capital.

Dobrila Rancic Moogk
VP, Marketing, Giatec Scientific

Dobrila Rancic Moogk is VP, Marketing at Giatec Scientific, an Ottawa IoT company revolutionizing the construction industry by bringing smart testing and AI technologies to every job site.  Through her work in and with startups and scale-ups on strategy and business models, customer development and strategic marketing, Dobrila’s passion for accelerating commercialization of innovation results in significant growth and scale-up.  This is combined with her drive to lead her undergraduate and graduate students to stellar career starts by passing on her cutting-edge marketing skills to the next generation of business leaders.

Over her career, Dobrila has contributed to over a dozen boards and committees.  She is a member of the Community Impact Cabinet at United Way Ottawa, past chair of Volunteer Ottawa, and past vice-chair of the Women in Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Ottawa.

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.

Michael Tremblay
President and CEO, Invest Ottawa and Bayview Yards

Michael Tremblay joined Invest Ottawa as President and Chief Executive Officer in March of 2017. Mike’s mandate was later expanded to include Bayview Yards. Prior to joining Invest Ottawa, he was the Vice President of Public Sector for Microsoft Canada from April 2007. Mike has 34 years of sales, marketing, operations and general management experience, with considerable experience serving public sector clients. Mike has also held senior executive positions with SAP, Fujitsu Consulting, JDS Uniphase, EDS Systemhouse and Digital Equipment Corporation – principally across Canadian, American and Latin American markets. He has an MBA from Concordia University in Montreal and is a graduate of Computer Technology from Algonquin College. Michael completed the Directors Education Program and is ICD.D certified with the Institute of Corporate Directors. Mike was appointed as a director with the Institute on Governance in 2017. From 2004-2017, Michael served as a member of Algonquin College’s Board of Governors and served as Chair of the College’s Foundation Board. Michael is an active member of the Audit and Corporate Services Committee and has previously served on the Advocacy Committee with the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario.