Director Database

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Sarah B. Kavanagh ICD.D MBA

Board Value Proposition: 

A seasoned financial executive, senior advisor, director and audit committee chair bringing a high-level view and a broad set of experiences and expertise to bear on major strategic decisions for companies in a broad variety of industries.
 

Financial and Risk Management Expertise and Audit Committee Chair Experience

  • Former CFO and senior leader in investment banking with experience in several roles.
  • As Chair of the Audit Committee of Hudbay Minerals, oversaw implementation of ERM and expanded internal audit across the organization.
  • As Chair of the Audit Committee at American Stock Transfer, successfully impemented comprehensive internal audit program to exceed the expectations of NY regulators. 
  • Actively involved in the implementation of enterprise risk-management programs at WPT, Industrial REIT, OSC, and Canadian Stock Transfer.

Mergers and Acquisitions, IPOs, Financings and Restructurings

  • Diverse sector experience and hands-on capital markets role add perspective and expertise to transformational transactions, including direct involvement in two CCAA restructurings.
  • As Chair of the Audit Committee of Hudbay Minerals, have overseen transformational activities including completion and operationalization of a $1.7 billion open pit copper mine in the Andes region of Peru and the hostile acquisition of Augusta Resources, including the US$1 billion in capital raised to fund pre-production projects.
  • As Director of American Stock Transfer, oversaw numerous tuck-in acquisitions and integration of operations to increase bottom line by over 50%. 
  • At WPT Industrial REIT, successfully competed $100 million IPO in 2013. Raised a further $150 million in public equity, and acquired over $250 million of industrial property since the IPO. Member of special committee for strategic review.
  • A recognized expert in IPOs at both Scotia Capital and Lehman Brothers. At Scotia Capital led the team in charge of eight IPOs valued at approximately $2.2 billion, and led numerous equity and debt financings. At Lehman Brothers, on team that led over 10 IPOs and other financings valued at over US $4 billion. At Peoples, was part of the team, working with the board, that led its financial restructuring.

Debra J. Finlay LLB

Partner, Business Law Group McCarthy Tetrault LLP

Board Value Proposition: 

Senior Partner in a national law firm with over 20 years of experience in advising domestic and international companies on a broad range of business matters including: mergers and acquisitions, complex commercial transactions, incorporations and reorganizations, and restructurings. 
 

Corporate Governance Practice

  • Significant experience with alignment of business objectives, strategic management, board communications, and reporting.

Risk Analysis and Management

  • Strategic assessment of corporate risks (legal, operational, environmental, financial, industry, and reputational).
  • Consideration of corporate risk tolerance in connection with business transactions.

Business Transactions

  • Experienced in all manner of corporate transactions (structuring, tax considerations, incorporations, reorganizations).
  • Experienced in negotiating and documenting complex commercial transactions in a broad range of industries (business process outsourcing, manufacturing contracts, supply contracts, distribution contracts, IP licensing contracts, impact benefits contracts).

Angela Francolini HBA

Global Head of Consumer & Marketing Strategy McCormick & Company Inc.

Board Value Proposition: 

Strategic Planning and Execution

  • Lead strategic planning and business unit alignment delivering annual total shareholder return of 17% consistently over five years.

Global Marketing and Brand Experience

  • Established global best practice and centers of excellence for digital, big data analytics, and innovation, delivering five-year revenue CAGR of 7% to $2.6 billion. Achieved ROI accretive marketing spending of $250 million by leveraging consumer insights globally powered by robust data analytics and digital assets.

International Mergers and Acquisitions and Joint Ventures

  • Strategy architect of over $1 billion in EVA accretive acquisitions that secured global leadership, accelerated growth, and scale efficiencies.

Suzanne Gouin ICD.D MBA

Board Value Proposition: 

CEO Leadership and Bottom-line Performance

  • Led the transformation of TV5 Québec Canada from an underperforming regional broadcaster into one of the most recognized brands in and outside its Quebec market, and a high-performing company with a 100% increase in revenues over a ten-year period.
  • Launched a new network, UnisTV, which ensured the financial viability of the organization with its mandatory distribution across Canada.
  • Negotiated three collective agreements without any work disruptions.
  • Introduced an innovative programming series that won national acclaims in drama and documentaries series.
  •  Implemented an effective process to assess the regulatory and political environment.

Digital Marketplace

  • Launched a variety of web applications (apps) in the digital marketplace (TV5 IOS, TV5 Android, Francomobile, and 10 Destin) that significantly increased the network’s presence and mobility, and expanded its customer base.

Organizational Transformation

  • Through a variety of initiatives, transformed the culture of TV5 to become entrepreneurial.
  • After a thorough review of the governance mode, installed new human resources policies and processes and a new compensation program to be in line with the cultural transformation.
  • Worked with the Audit Committee of the Board to design and implement a risk-assessment process that was incorporated throughout the company’s operations.
  • Implemented a digital-based working environment at TV5.

Georgette Habib

Independent Energy Regulatory Advisor

Board Value Proposition: 

Energy and Utilities Regulation Expertise

  • Extensive experience in regulation of energy and utilities industries. As former board member of the National Energy Board (the NEB), had responsibility for adjudication and governance, including setting strategic direction.  A seasoned regulator who effectively shaped the regulatory framework for pipelines and other midstream-industry oil and gas activities in Canada’s north, as well as LNG exports.
  • In-depth knowledge of energy-related laws and regulations and general business law.   
  • Founding member of committee of energy regulators across Canada to share best practices.

Strong Knowledge of Good Governance Practice and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

  • A member of an expert panel that reviewed certain Alberta Government agencies related to energy and environment. The review focused on governance structure, succession planning, director appointment process, President/CEO assessment and remuneration processes, risk management strategies, and conflict of interest policies.
  • Promoted CSR by integrating economic, social, and environmental considerations in decision-making, taking into account a wide array of viewpoints and perspectives, including aboriginal concerns. Set expectations for the industry, with an emphasis on corporate safety culture and risk management.

Solid Understanding of Finance and Capital Markets

  • A leader in financial regulation of energy utilities, with landmark decisions on pipelines’ capital structure, return on equity, depreciation, tolls and tariffs, and principles of utilities regulation.

Decision-making Ability in Relation to Deeply Complex and Technical Issues

  • Demonstrated ability to review and test extensive, technical, and complex evidence over wide ranging topics. As board member of the NEB, adjudicated as part of a panel on numerous public hearings rendering reasoned, written decisions on billions of dollars of pipelines facilities, including environmental assessment reports with conditions and mitigation measures to address environmental risks.    

Jane Halford ACC FCA ICD.D

Co-Founder BOLT Transition

Board Value Proposition: 

Experienced CEO, regulator, Chartered Accountant, and entrepreneur with board experience including serving on audit and investment committees.
 

Strategic Management Expertise

  • Instrumental in designing and successfully executing strategic directions for several organizations with a current focus on helping boards, organizations, and individuals transition strategy and knowledge between executives upon retirement or departure.  

Advocacy and Government Relations

  • As CEO of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Alberta (ICAA), raised brand awareness for the CA profession through public speaking, stakeholder meetings, and nurturing a trusted relationship with the Alberta government.

Organizational and Board Transformation

  • Transformed ICAA by developing high-performing teams and modern policies to achieve strategy.
  • As the CEO of ICAA and Executive Director of CA Education Foundation, modernized board governance practices by supporting director education, clarifying board versus management responsibilities and accountabilities, and enhancing risk management practices and disclosure.

Creativity, Innovation and New Programs

  • Co-founded a unique professional service practice supporting executives and organizations facing leadership change.
  • The creative driver of innovative programs designed to build the financial literacy skills of youth for the CA Education Foundation, and help new Canadians achieve success in the CA profession in Alberta. 

Laura Hantho ICD.D MBA

Independent Advisor MaRS

Board Value Proposition: 

Successful Entrepreneur with Strategic Planning and Operations Expertise

  • Co-founded, built, and sold two successful companies: Webhelp, an information technology and business process outsourcing company, and The King West Club, a health services company.
  • As COO of Webhelp, created a unique business model using proprietary technology and services, developed a strong senior leadership team, built strategic global partnerships, and led the development of world-class business processes and enterprise risk-management systems.
  • Achieved industry-leading revenue growth, attracted F500 clients, licensed and sold proprietary technology, secured private equity investment of more than $60 million, created over 2,000 jobs around the world, and successfully sold the business to a private equity firm.
  • Led the development and successful execution of the business plan as CEO of The King West Club. Achieved rapid customer acquisition, realized high customer retention, awarded 5-star rating by National Post, and successfully sold the business to a private investor.

Business Leadership and Bottom-Line Results

  • At IBM, managed product and professional services portfolios ranging from $90 million to $200 million in annual sales, led and negotiated major customer engagements and contracts, and developed innovative business offerings. Recognized for consistently exceeding revenue, expense, and customer satisfaction targets.
  • Built and led an outstanding senior team of marketing and sales professionals, and led the development and successful execution of the brand strategy of a midrange product line as National Brand Manager at IBM. Increased revenue by 30% to $190 million in annual sales, grew market share by 4%, and exceeded all customer satisfaction, business partner satisfaction, growth and expense targets over two years.

Effective Executive Coach and Mentor

  • Mentored CEOs and executive teams of promising early-stage technology companies as an independent advisor at both MaRS and Cambrai Solutions. Provided strategic and leadership coaching and facilitated access to networks and capital.
  • Coached 25 teams of MBA and HBA candidates over six years as an Executive-in-Residence at the Ivey Business School. Advised on all aspects of the consulting engagement process, as well as the development of business plans and investor presentations, enabling teams to enhance their skills and deliver increased value to their clients.

Sue Fawcett CFA ICD.D

Associate Independent Review Inc.

Board Value Proposition: 

Executive and corporate director with over 25 years of experience in financial services with deep expertise in finance and capital markets, and a strong understanding of the macroeconomic dynamics facing a broad range of industries.
 

Capital Markets, Investment and Portfolio Management

  • Managed over $80 million in client investments at CIBC Wood Gundy Canada and as an independent consultant.

Financial Services Industry Governance and Oversight

  • As a member of a number of top Canadian mutual fund review committees, play a specialized governance role particularly related to conflict of interest matters.

Audit Committee Experience

  • As Director on the Board of Business Development Bank and a member of its Audit Committee, oversaw $18 billion in loans and investments.

Sherry S. Cooper ICD.D PhD

Chief Economist Dominion Lending Centres

Board Value Proposition: 

A valued and trusted economic advisor who has a strong ability to see the big picture and the trends that will change our lives, and who has successfully contributed to a number of large global companies.
 

Economic Expert with Foresight

  • In Summer 2008 briefed BMO’s Risk Management Committee of senior executives and the Risk Review Committee of the Board to warn of a potential collapse in the United States and possibly global financial system.
  • First in bank to blow the whistle in August 2008, one month before the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers.
  • Forecasted a deep US recession and continuing volatility and uncertainty.

Experienced Advisor to Corporate Boards, Governments, and Financial Institutions

  • With responsibility for BMO’s country risk and industry risk analysis, briefed diverse corporate boards such as Walgreen’s, Axzo Nobel, Rio Can, and MDC Partners.
  • Met with central banks on almost all continents to discuss financial and economic issues as they affected Canadian government bonds.
  • Thoughout career, have advised and guided businesses, governments, and institutions in Europe, Asia (especially China and Japan), and the United States and Canada.

Strong Leadership Through Difficult Challenges

  • At Burns Fry, as Chief Economist and Co-head of fixed income, was responsible for research and sales at a time when Canadian interest rates were dramatically above US rates.
  • Oversaw company’s huge Japanese business and clients while Japan fell into a very deep recession.

Author and Well-Known Influencer

  • Authored numerous publications in scholarly journals, a biweekly column in the National Post, and three books, including in 2001, Ride the Wave: Take Control in the Acceleration Age, which warned of the dramatic impact of the Internet, but also risks associated with the dot-com bubble. The New Retirement, published in 2008, was a blockbuster best seller.

Ellen M. Costello MBA

Board Value Proposition: 

Former financial services senior executive with diverse capital markets and broad strategic, operational, and geographic experience.
 

C-Level Leadership

  • Proven expertise in leading businesses, developing and executing strategy, and improving talent, customer experience, brand, and financial performance.
  • Built diverse teams, led complex, high-growth businesses, and has M&A, integration, governance, risk management, regulatory, and investor relations capabilities.

Strategic Transformation

  • Developed and led a number of transformational strategies and their implementation, including:
  • Global treasury: developed strategic plan for Asia Pacific that was later executed. Developed and executed derivatives strategy, resulting in enhanced product range; team, market share and customer satisfaction; more effective risk management; improved business performance.
  • Capital markets: co-led the integration of BMO’s global corporate and investment banks. Led the operational integration of an equity research, sales, and trading boutique. Increased size and financial contribution of securitization and credit investment management businesses.

Turnarounds and M&A

  • Led turnaround of BMO’s US personal and commercial businesses by streamlining structure, allocating resources to growth opportunities, attracting and developing talent, cross-selling of wealth capabilities, making channel investments, reducing expenses, and improving discipline and accountability; this resulted in better customer satisfaction and financial performance.
  • Completed and integrated four acquisitions, increasing US retail footprint by 50%, positioning Bank for a 2011 merger of equals, which doubled the size of the US retail bank.

Regulatory Expertise

  • As US country head, BMO Harris, led relationships with key regulators, Federal Reserve Bank, and OCC. Co-led an initiative that resulted in more effective US management and board governance, as well as business and corporate function accountabilities.