Catalyst Women On Board

Director Database

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Charyl Galpin FICB ICD.D

Executive Vice President and Managing Director, Chief Regulatory Officer, BMO Wealth Management BMO Financial Group

Board Value Proposition: 

A seasoned financial services executive recognized for strong strategic, leadership, and operational capabilities, and for ability to influence and execute large-scale change, inspire followership, excel under pressure, and for an outstanding commitment to advancing women in and outside of the workplace. Also known as a collaborator who can build consensus in challenging circumstances, including turnarounds, and for deep risk management experience in a heavily regulated securities environment.

Visionary Leader and Change Agent

  • Developed and implemented significant organizational restructurings. Most recently spearheaded a new operating model and structure at BMO Nesbitt Burns.
  • Challenged and eliminated the “traditional patriarchal” way of working, replacing it with a model based on sound understanding of industry trends, client experience, and needs, representing the most significant large-scale change at Nesbitt Burns in over 15 years.
  • Net result has been a significant change in client loyalty metrics, with Nesbitt Burns moving from worst to first in Canadian loyalty rankings between 2012 and 2013, measured by Ipsos Reid, and being named Best Full Service Investment Advisory Canada 2014 and 2015 by Global Banking and Finance Review.

Financial Performance

  • Made significant contributions to the financial success and profitability of BMO Nesbitt Burns.
  • Championed a disciplined approach to expense management which, combined with strong revenue growth, led to net income growth of 30% in Fiscal 2013.
  • Strong 13% increase in fee-based revenue, making PCD the fastest growing in this key industry driver among the bank owned brokerage firms.

Strong Collaborator

  • During 30 years of not-for-profit board work and leadership, have led positive change for board relations and guided boards through very difficult change, including significant leadership and governance change, which resulted in a more positive impact on the communities they served. 

Geri K. Prior FCPA ICD.D

Board Value Proposition: 

A seasoned CFO with experience in the highly regulated property and casualty insurance industry.

C-Level Experience

  • Over 15 years as CFO, has worked with a number of Board Chairs, directors, multiple CEOs, and two governments.
  • as a member of the executive committee, made significant contributions to strategic planning and execution.
  • Interim CEO for 7½ months during high-profile investigation with media coverage. Successfully led company through crisis.

Change Management and Major Projects

  • CFO throughout $400 million transformation program of 38 projects over the past six years, delivering a claims system, rating engine, portal, upgraded infrastructure, new data warehouse, and security, and currently finishing the last project, which is the policy and administration system.
  • Led ICBC’S financial framework, which involved cost reductions of 25%, including a 20% reduction in staffing, while maintaining control of claims costs and service levels. While CFO, total operating costs have not increased for the last three years, with overall rate increases averaging approximatley 1% per year over the last 10 years, in a full tort system with increasing legal representation and claims costs.
  • Introduced corporate risk management framework to organization and board, and worked through risk idenfitication/assessments, aligned risk tolerances, and built "deep dives" of key risks into board meetings. 

Governance and Audit Committee Experience

  • Experience serving on audit, finance, risk management, and governance committees
  • In-house instructor for both the ICD’s Audit Committee Effectivenes and Boardroom Financial Essentials over for the past three years.

Character and Integrity

  • Work collaboratively with others, clear communicator, ask probing questions regarding key assumptions and facts leading to decisions, and known for integrity and transparency.     

Benita M. Warmbold FCA FCPA ICD.D

Former Senior Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer Canada Pension Plan Investment Board

Board Value Proposition: 

A seasoned executive with a wealth of senior-level experience, both strategic and operational. Strong personal values, including high ethics and integrity. Experienced in dealing at management, executive, and board levels in the private sector, the nonprofit sector and government. Strategically focused with considerable knowledge of governance issues.  Good intellectual insights coupled with a high level of business acumen.  Managed numerous capital activities, including acquisitions, divestitures, mergers, and share and debt issuance and reorganizations.

Susan Watts

Board Value Proposition: 

Strategic Planning and Implementation

  • At Chubb, developed and deployed a global service strategy which supports a multi-million dollar growth plan for the business unit and is ensuring profit margins and service standards are met or exceeded.

Risk Management

  • At Zurich and Chubb, managed risks to protect both our corporate and our customer’s brand, while controlling financial exposure during multiple cross-border multimillion dollar litigations.
  • Effectively managed complex cross-border multimillion dollar bankruptcy litigation while at Zurich.

Vendor Management

  • Expertly retained and managed vendors to meet performance measures and operating efficiency, resulting in a significant reduction in costs both to the company and its customers at Aviva Canada and Zurich.

Operational Transformation and Efficiency

  • Successfully executed multiple business transformation mandates at Zurich and at Chubb.
  • While at Canadian Insurance Consultants, managed run-off of insolvent insurance companies.

Joan E. Dunne CA CPA ICD.D

Board Value Proposition: 


  • A founder of Painted Pony, growing from initial $12 million IPO in 2007 to intermediate TSX oil and gas company, with proved plus probable reserves, discounted at 10%, from nil to $1.5 billion plus $4.7 billion best-estimate contingent resources by year-end 2013.

Corporate Structuring/Positioning

  • Leading executive role in the reverse take-over by True Energy Inc. of TKE Energy Trust, conversion to a distribution-paying trust and  subsequent spin-out of Vero Energy. Coordinated financial, organizational and tax modelling, due diligence, securities and regulatory filings, and transaction implementation, through to post-integration.
  • Implemented rigorous financial controls and detailed budgeting, reduced debt leverage and credit facilities costs. Resulted in significantly improved share trading prices, non-dilutive bought deal financings and a successful expanded drilling program.

Capital Structure—Credit Facilities and Share Issuances

  • At Painted Pony, negotiated demand and syndicated credit facilities up to $125 million.  Responsible for all banking functions. Coordinated securities and legal documents and filings for 10 share financings, raising $551.7 million and stock options, SEDI filings.
  • At True Energy, negotiated syndicated loans up to $150 million. Monitored covenant compliance, maintained banking relationships, coordinated all legal documents, cash management, and treasury functions, including the issuance of an $86 million convertible debenture.

Securities and Governance

  • Coordinated initial IPO and long-form prospectus, three private placements, six short-form prospectus filings, including all documents and regulatory filings at Painted Pony.
  • Responsible for Corporate Governance, CSOX, SEDAR, Annual and Quarterly Reports, Annual Information Form, Statement of Reserves, Information Circular, and Material Change Reports.

Financial and Taxation

  • Responsible for corporate and excise tax, auditors and financial statements, budgets and forecasts. 

Shauneen E. Bruder FICB ICD.D MBA

Executive Vice President of Operations for Canadian Banking Royal Bank of Canada

Board Value Proposition: 

Transformational Business Leadership, Operations, Strategy, and Bottom-Line Growth

  • As Head of RBC’s Commercial Business in Canada, responsible for revenue and profitability for one of RBC’s largest businesses ($2.5 billion in revenue), developed and implemented a transformational agenda to drive revenue growth and cost re-engineering, resulting in consistent double-digit bottom-line growth over five years and a first in market share earned across every product category. 
  • As Chair of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, chaired a successful G8/G20 business summit attended by the Prime Minister and business leaders from key partner nations. 
  • As Head of Operations for Retail Banking for RBC, led  all operations supporting Royal Bank of Canada’s retail banking business in Canada, (revenues of $11 billion, net income of $3.5 billion and 10,000 employees), successfully transforming complex operating environments through automation and digitization to ensure reliable, flexible, and responsive service for 11 million personal and business clients in Canada through mobile telephone, branch, on-line, direct mail channels, and strategic vendor relationships. 
  • As a member of the group operating committee for RBC, oversee day-to-day management of RBC globally.

Strategic Risk and Business Management in Regulated Environments

  • Have successfully executed numerous transformational change programs which delivered significant business results in highly regulated environments, with strong risk oversight and mitigation

Mary Ann Turcke ICD.D MBA P.Eng.

President, Digital Media and NFL Network NFL

Board Value Proposition: 

Business Unit Leadership, Strategy, and Innovation

  • As President of Bell Media, leading the strategy to build on the company’s leading position as the country’s top multimedia company.
  • Innovating TV and on-demand content by investing in primetime programming, coverage of live events, news, and sports on TV, radio, and digital platforms.

Operational Expertise, Organizational Transformation, and Service Improvements

  • As Executive Vice President of Field Services at Bell Canada, ($1.5 billion budget, 12,000 technicians), led significant transformations within organization to improve service while reducing costs, including several modernization and efficiency improvements, e.g., streamlining service and delivery processes, and amending response protocol to provide rapid service to customers in an intensely competitive environment.
  • Reduced costs by more than $100 million while improving customer service. Challenged underlying operational assumptions to transform a large, traditional team into a flexible organization driven by a performance-based culture.
  • Created a more flexible cost structure for field services, enabling the team to readily adapt to an evolving marketplace and changing customer needs. Also implemented a culture of accountability for frontline managers, rewarding those who continually refine processes and find opportunities to increase efficiencies. 
  • As general manager of Canadian Operations for Internet Pictures Corporation (IPIX), successfully managed the exponential growth of the operation while this virtual home-tour product went from something new and original to something expected on any online real estate listing.

Ellen Pekeles

Board Value Proposition: 

A seasoned senior executive with deep strategic and operational experience in the financials, health care and consumer discretionary sectors.

Board Governance and HR Committee Chair Experience

  • As Chair, Human Resource Committee at Mountain Equipment Coop, governed the creation and implementation of a CEO long-term incentive plan, a human resource strategy with metrics, and a CEO succession plan.

Organizational Transformation and Improvements

  • Led the operational changes and HR information system and payroll innovations that resulted in an increase in Vancity’s  engagement scores in IT from 62% to 73%, and in HR from 40% to 65% in a single year
  • Executive sponsor for Vancity living wage certification and carbon neutrality.
  • Led the diversity and inclusion strategy at Vancity to exceed the local labour rates for people with disabilities, aboriginal descent and visible minorities.

Change Management, Cost Reductions and Improved Efficiency

  • As COO Vancouver Coastal Health, developed and implemented the strategy for reducing costs by 10% while maintaining service levels from 2002 to 2004.
  • At Misericordia Hospital, implemented downsizing of a full-service acute care hospital by 130 beds and 350 positions, on time and on budget. While Chair of the Regional Surgery Program Council reduced costs by 14% out of an $89 million budget.
  • When Vice President, Programs, North Shore Health Region, excelled in several key program performance indicators resulting in the Region’s being rated #1 Health Region in Canada by Maclean’s magazine in 2000, 2001, and 2002. 

Deborah S. Stein CA CPA ICD.D

Board Value Proposition: 

A seasoned executive with public company experience in a variety of industries, in senior level roles that required working closely with board of directors and CEO, including finance, accounting and audit, and investor relations.

Chief Financial Officer Experience

  • As Senior Vice President, Finance and CFO at AltaGas, worked closely with the CEO and Board to enable the company to achieve its strategic goals.
  • Played a significant role in AltaGas growing its energy infrastructure asset base by $7 billion since 2005.
  • Helped raise over $8 billion in the capital to support the growth of the company.
  • Developed several programs within finance to grow and retain staff and reduced staff turnover from annual rate of 20% to just 2%.
  • Implemented project management methodology for managing IT projects, reducing costs, and improving the success rate of implementation.
  • Champion for an ERP solution to meet the needs of a growing company.

Investor Relations and Internal Audit

  • At TransCanada, developed and executed investor relations strategy for both TransCanada Corporation, TC Pipelines LP, and TransCanada Power LP.
  • Specialized in audits of risk management and commodity trading businesses.

Kirstine Stewart

Chief Strategy Officer Diply

Board Value Proposition: 

Leadership Strategy and Execution

  • Extensive C-Level experience, setting and executing corporate strategy, as well as overseeing large and mid-sized business operations. Currently oversees Twitter’s North American media partnerships for the platform across television, film, news, sports, government, and music.
  • Founded Twitter’s Canadian business, establishing and leading its operations and advertising business, building Twitter Canada to the fourth largest country revenue contributor to Twitter overall.
  • As EVP of CBC, was the highest-ranking executive at the organization. As Executive Vice President, CBC English Services, successfully launched the 2012 winter season television schedule, breaking multiple viewing records in its premiere week and concluding as the most successful season for Canadian programming in CBC’s history.
  • Successfully won the bid for the upcoming 2014–2016 Olympics, marking a return of the Games to CBC after an eight-year absence.

Innovative Products

  • Known as a respected expert in digital social media and commerce, with a unique skill-set in Millenial and customer generation.
  • Adept at creating value for public and private sector businesses and working within media and political environments.
  • Launched CBC’s new digitally based music distribution and curation service CBC Music, a ground-breaking initiative formed through successful negotiations of rights agreements with the music industry. Offering 40 audio channels and over 500,000 artist profiles, CBC Music quickly became the number one downloaded application on Apple’s iTunes post-launch. In its first five months, seven million hours had been streamed through the service.

Change Management, Increased Efficiency, and Cost Savings

  • Increased revenues by 8% while cutting $118 million from the CBC operating budget in 2012.
  • Led the reorganization of CBC’s former digital programming and business development group, ensuring the integration of digital operations into programming areas of the organization and creating a new centralized revenue group providing greater efficiencies and maximizing revenue flow into CBC.
  • Delivered improved communications and better engagement with employees, increasing CBC English Services response to 68% from 39%.

Recognized Thought Leader

  • Selected for Young Global Leaders Paris Initiative, one of 40 leaders worldwide advising President Sarkozy when he took the presidency of the next G20 and defined the agenda of the 2013 G8 and G20 Summits.