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.

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.

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.

Alastair Summerlee
Interim President and Vice-Chancellor, Carleton University

A passionate humanitarian, dedicated teacher, and internationally renowned researcher, Alastair Summerlee is the interim president and vice-chancellor of Carleton University.

Previously, he served as president and vice-chancellor of the University of Guelph (2003-‘14) and professor of Biomedical Science (1989-2017). He spent six years on the board of the World University Service of Canada where he became involved in humanitarian issues in the refugee camps in Kenya. His work to raise funds to support education and women and girls in the campus attracted international investment from the governments of Canada and the United Kingdom and from private individuals.

Summerlee is part of the international movement to unite universities worldwide in fighting hunger and poverty known as the PUSH Initiative (Presidents United to Solve Hunger) and was the International Quality of Life Laureate at the United Nations in 2012.

Summerlee has published numerous scientific articles and book chapters, written about teaching and teaching practice, advocated in the media for better conditions for people in refugee camps and is regularly invited to speak on teaching, research, accountability, community engagement and fundraising.

His current research focuses on iron deficiency and a simple innovation, known as the Lucky Iron Fish® which has the capacity to alleviate the condition for almost two billion people worldwide.

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.

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 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 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.

Jason Flick

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.

Cyril McKelvie

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.

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.

Steve West
President Westmax Group Inc.

Steve West is President of Westmax Group Inc., a strategic advisory practice launched on the heels of his successful 11-year tenure as the Chief Executive Officer of Nordion Inc. (formerly MDS Inc.), a global health science firm with market leading products for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease. As a leading provider of sterilization technologies and medical isotopes, Nordion benefits the lives of millions of people in more than 40 countries around the world.

Undertaking the role of Nordion CEO in 2003, Mr. West led the company for more than a decade, helping to facilitate its acquisition by Sterigenics, a global provider of innovation and safe sterilization solutions, in 2014. This landmark deal created the first vertically integrated sterilization company in the world, and enabled Nordion to operate as a standalone business within the Sterigenic’s portfolio.

Prior to joining MDS Inc. and Nordion Inc., Mr. West served as senior partner with MDS Capital Corp., providing support to more than 70 portfolio companies. He also held the role of President of DiverseyLever Canada, and served on the Board Directors of Unilever Canada. His background includes senior management assignments in Africa and CEO positions in Asia Pacific, as well as leading global portfolio management, technology-transfer programs and international business development responsibilities in the field of specialty chemicals.

Mr. West is an active member in the regional and national community who Steve served as the inaugural Chair of Bayview Yards; Chair of the Ottawa Hospital Foundation; and as a member of the Ottawa 2017 Task Force. Mr. West has a degree in Zoology, specializing in Genetics, from the University of London (U.K.), and completed post-graduate research in Biotechnology at the University of Westminster (U.K.).

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.

Nancy Meloshe
Principal Meloshe & Associates

Nancy Meloshe received her Master’s Degree in Environmental Studies from York University in 1979. She has been a practicing registered professional planner for over 32 years in the Province of Ontario and has worked in both the public and private sectors.

Nancy has considerable experience in land development. She has expertise in the coordination and management of the complete planning and development approvals process and has participated in major planning studies including the Downtown Ottawa Urban Design Strategy, Canada’s Capital Core Area Sector Plan, 530 Tremblay Road Lands, Booth Street NRC Lands, and the Ottawa Hospital/National Defence Medical Centre Lands.

Nancy’s relevant Ottawa urban planning studies include:

CFB Rockcliffe Community Design Plan – City of Ottawa and Canada Lands Company

Downtown Ottawa Urban Design Strategy – City of Ottawa/National Capital Commission

Hospital Lands Planning Study – City of Ottawa

530 Tremblay Road: Development Options Study – BMO Capital World Markets/PWGSC

Redevelopment Plan Study: Booth Street – PWGSC/NRCan

Commercial Real Estate Development Plan – Ottawa International Airport

LRT Station Integration Study – City of Ottawa

Ian Fraser
Founder and Partner, Cyclelogik

Ian Fraser is an entrepreneur, founder and co-owner of Hintonburg’s Cyclelogik, Canada’s premiere multi-sport boutique, an events management consultant, a coach, athlete, and is active in and passionate about his community. He has also served on two Boards of Directors, including current Vice-Chair of the Wellington West Business Improvement Area (WWBIA) and past treasurer of the Ottawa Carleton Immigrant Services Organization (OCISO), a non-profit housing corporation, both Hintonburg-based organizations. He was also a member of the Canadian National Triathlon Team from 1993 to 1997. He is a level 2 running coach, and currently coaches athletes of all abilities, from recreational to elite level.