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Meet the Leaders

Julian Barling

Professor of Organizational Behaviour and Borden Chair of Leadership, Smith School of Business

Julian Barling is a Professor of Organizational Behaviour and Borden Chair of Leadership at Smith School of Business, where his research and teaching focus on the development of transformational leadership and employee well-being. Julian, who holds a Ph.D. from The University of the Witwatersrand, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the author of the books The Science of Leadership: Lessons From Research for Organizational Leaders and Brave New Workplace: Designing Productive, Healthy and Safe Organizations.

Christine Bergeron

President & CEO, Vancity Group (at publication)

Christine Bergeron (President and CEO of Vancity Group – at publication), where she is working to merge community impact, social justice and environmental sustainability with the financial well-being of members. Under her leadership, Vancity has committed to a net-zero portfolio of mortgages and loans by 2040, and placed first on Corporate Knights and The Banker’s global 2022 Sustainable Banking Revenues Ranking. Christine has earned a number of awards (including BC Business’s top Corporate Woman Leader), sits on several boards (including that of InBC Investment Corp., which she chairs) and bikes to work every day that she can.

Tabatha Bull

President & CEO, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business

As President and CEO of Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, Tabatha Bull works with businesses of all types to strengthen the Indigenous economy in Canada. Trained as an electrical engineer, she currently sits on CN’s Indigenous Advisory Council and the C.D. Howe Institute’s Energy Policy Council, as well as the Advisory Board for the Institute for Sustainable Finance, headquartered at Smith School of Business. Tabatha is Anishinaabe and a proud member of Nipissing First Nation near North Bay, Ont.

Wanda Costen

Dean, Smith School of Business

Wanda Costen is Dean of Smith School of Business at Queen’s University. Drawing from extensive academic expertise and management experience, she leads the school’s mandate to help students meet changing expectations for what business can—and should—do. A collaborator at heart with a passion for inclusiveness in business, Wanda sits on the boards of the Kingston Economic Development Corporation and the Business Schools Association of Canada.

Mohamad Fakih

Founder & President, Paramount Fine Foods

Mohamad Fakih, Founder and President of Paramount Fine Foods, is an entrepreneur and philanthropist working to bring “kinder capitalism” to the mainstream. His businesses place a priority on direct actions that benefit local communities, providing jobs for more than 150 Syrian refugees and donating thousands of meals to people in need during the pandemic, among other initiatives. Mohamad’s work to integrate philanthropy into the core of commerce has earned him numerous awards, including the Ontario Chamber of Commerce’s CEO of the Year honour in 2021.

Alvin Michael Hew

Group Managing Director, Southgate Ventures

Alvin Michael Hew, BCom’86, is a veteran leader, having held executive roles for such major corporations as L’Oréal and Procter & Gamble around the world. His contributions to business earned him the title of Chevalier de l’Ordre Nationale du Merite, one of France’s most prestigious honours. Today, Alvin is based in Singapore, where he sits as Group Managing Director of Southgate Ventures and an Independent Non-Executive Board Director at Malaysian telecom Maxis and oil and gas giant Petronas.

Rania Llewellyn

President & CEO, Laurentian Bank

When Rania Llewellyn was appointed President and CEO of Laurentian Bank in 2020, she became the first woman to lead a major chartered bank in Canada. Born in Kuwait, Rania immigrated to Canada from Egypt in 1992, where she earned a Bachelor of Commerce and an MBA before starting a career in finance that has spanned more than 27 years. Her work to advance customer experience, shareholder value, and organizational growth has earned her many accolades, including being named on Maclean’s 2022 Power List and as one of Canada’s Top 25 Women of Influence in 2021.

Connie Lo

Co-Founder, Three Ships Beauty

In 2017, Connie Lo, BCom’15 and GDA’15, and Laura Burget co-founded Three Ships Beauty, a new skincare brand built on transparency: all products are made with natural, sustainable, and vegan ingredients. The purpose-driven mandate of Three Ships has earned the brand a fiercely loyal fanbase and its founders a number of accolades, including Forbes 30 Under 30 and the 2022 EY Entrepreneur of the Year award for Ontario.

Bruce Lourie

President, Ivey Foundation

Bruce Lourie, President of the Ivey Foundation, is one of Canada’s most influential experts on climate change and the transition to a net-zero economy. His long history of changemaking includes initiating Ontario’s phase-out of coal-powered plants and helping to establish the province’s Greenbelt, which protects ecosystems and communities from development. He is the co-author of two bestselling books on the impact of toxic chemicals on everyday life, and sits on the Advisory Board of the Institute for Sustainable Finance, headquartered at Smith School of Business.

Colin Lynch

Managing Director and Head of Global Real Estate Investments, TD Asset Management

Colin Lynch, BCom ’07, is Managing Director and Head of Global Real Estate Investments at TD Asset Management, and sits on the boards of several organizations devoted to enhancing communities, including Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Black Opportunity Fund, an organization he co-founded in 2020 to combat anti-Black racism and invest in Black businesses and communities across Canada.

Mounir Nasri

Co-Lead, Techfugees Canada

Mounir Nasri, MMIE ’20, is a social entrepreneur and community development advisor who serves as Co-Lead of Techfugees Canada, which helps explore how technology can facilitate the inclusion of displaced people. He led several social impact projects in Syria before coming to Canada as a refugee, earning a Master of Management in Innovation and Entrepreneurship from Smith School of Business and a BA in Global Development Studies from Queen’s University after studying computer science in Lebanon. Mounir’s work focuses on city-building, diversity and inclusion, digital technology, arts and culture, and sustainable innovation.

Bobbie Racette

Founder & CEO, Virtual Gurus and askBetty

Bobbie Racette is the Founder and CEO of Calgary-based Virtual Gurus, a platform that connects remote assistants to the organizations, and askBetty, a Slack app that helps users efficiently complete administrative tasks. Racette’s visionary approach to building a growing tech business, as well as her baked-in prioritization of diversity and inclusion, have earned her several honours, including the 2022 RBC Entrepreneurial Icon title at the Indigenous Entrepreneurship Awards.

Meghan Roach

President & CEO, Roots Corp.

Meghan Roach, BCom ’05, is President and CEO of Roots Corp., where she is working to reinvigorate one of Canada’s most beloved brands while advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion, in both what the company does and how it does it. Meghan specializes in strategic transformations, having worked for years in private equity. She has an MBA from the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford and is vice-chair of the board of the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation.

Jim Stanford

Economist & Director, Centre for Future Work

Jim Stanford is an internationally renowned economic commentator and the Director of the Centre for Future Work, which conducts research and proposes policies related to the broad range of economic issues affecting working people. For more than two decades, Jim was Economist and Director of Policy with Unifor, Canada’s largest private-sector trade union. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the New School for Social Research in New York, an M.Phil. from Cambridge University, and a B.A. (Hons.) from the University of Calgary.

Hakeem Subair

CEO, 1 Million Teachers

Hakeem Subair, MMIE’17, co-founded 1 Million Teachers—which he leads as CEO—after he and his wife struggled to find good teachers when starting their own school in his native Nigeria. Today, 1 Million Teachers is addressing a shortage of qualified educators globally by equipping individuals to teach with excellence. Hakeem sits on the boards of several social justice organizations, particularly in the education space. He is an adjunct professor at St. Lawrence College, and served as a Student Advisor at Smith School of Business’s Master of Management Innovation and Entrepreneurship program.

Explore Another Chapter

01: Changes

This is business now

The world is facing some big problems. How do these issues affect businesses? And what’s their role in creating solutions?

Learn More
02: Expectations

It's a hard time to be in business

Not only must leaders understand the scope of problems not traditionally in the purview of commerce, they must be prepared for their organizations to play active roles in solving them.

03: Impact

How to contribute with impact

It’s now extremely important—strategically and practically—for business organizations to get involved in causes. But it’s rarely as straightforward as it might seem.

04: Influence

Why silence isn't an option

When something big happens, people want to know what business leaders have to say about it. Sometimes that’s an easy call. But often it’s not.

05: Redefining

What tomorrow's leaders need

The redefinition of commerce and the roles of the people who lead it carries tremendous promise of a brighter, greener, fairer future.

06: Future

Who is the leader of the future?

Expectations facing leaders change with the times. Agile, authentic, dependable—what should the leader of the future be?

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