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Meet the Leadership in Tech 2023 Speakers

Meet the 16 stellar leaders who will share tactics for succeeding in an era of uncertainty.

Please join us on March 3, from 12:00 to 1:30 PM EST, for a complimentary virtual summit: Priorities for Turbulent Times. Expect 90 minutes of insipiration and strategies to help you on your leadership journey.





Catherine Chick is the Chief Technology Officer at Canada Goose, where she sets the strategic roadmap for technology and manages the delivery of services that support business growth and global operations. Before Canada Goose, she held senior leadership roles in technology, professional services, manufacturing and research/higher education organizations in Canada and the United States. Her strategic vision centers on using technology innovatively and effectively to differentiate a business and foster transformative change. She recognizes that technology success relies as much on organizational change management as it does on delivery and operations. Catherine is an active member of the CIO community and was previously a National Board Member for the CIO Association of Canada.

Ernest Solomon is a dynamic C-Suite technology executive with more than 20 years of success in transforming enterprises and directing IT operations to achieve exceptional business outcomes. He brings extensive leadership experience in the insurance, healthcare and financial services industries, managing a portfolio of digital transformation, organizational change management, and modernization initiatives. Ernest holds an Ivey MBA from Western University and a CCISO Certification from the EC-Council.


Farhad Keramati is a serial entrepreneur, with a career focused on designing and developing technologies related to smart homes, IoT, and their uses in health care. He earned a master's in computer engineering from the University of Toronto, where he used edge technologies to collect and analyze large-scale IoT data from sensory devices using multiple communication protocols. Farhad is currently CTO of SmartONE solutions overseeing the design and build of intelligent solutions that change how people live in communities.


Julie Hansen is an award-winning business counsellor who has helped transform hundreds of organizations over the last 25 years. As VP & Global Executive Advisor at Salesforce, she helps simplify complex problems to identify actionable paths to realize growth and scalability. A strong supporter of ESG and DEI initiatives, Julie coaches women leaders globally and serves on the board of Forward Together, which focuses on advancing women. She holds degrees in Business, Computer Science and Psychology and certifications from Arizona State University, MIT Sloan and Harvard.


Helen Polatajko is an accomplished independent board director in the financial services, energy, health care, education and arts sectors, serving as chair and member of risk, governance, audit and technology committees. She is on the boards of CDSPI, WSIB, the Board of Governors for York University, The Salvation Army, and the Advisory Board of the IT Media Group. Helen has over 35 years of technology executive experience in the private and public sectors across Canada and the US. She has been recognized as one of the Top 100 Women in Computing, acknowledging her achievements and contributions to information services and technology.

John Comacchio is the Senior Vice President and CIO at Teknion Corporation, where he is responsible for providing enterprise-wide technology vision, leadership and management. Previously, he was a Principal at KPMG Consulting, General Manager of US Interactive Toronto, the Information Technology Officer at Nissan Canada, and a Nissan North America CIO Council member. In addition, John sits on a series of Advisory Boards, bringing external strategic insights into view through his expertise, skills, and knowledge. He holds an Ivey MBA from Western University.


Kurt John is the Global Chief Security Officer at the Expedia Group, where he oversees governance and execution of cybersecurity, physical security and privacy. He is also a non-resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, where he addresses the most relevant cybersecurity challenges at the intersection of geopolitics, business and security. His work helps to shape recommendations for policymakers that bolster the security of our way of life. In addition, Kurt holds multiple board positions in private and public organizations, including the Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority, an initiative that drives the innovation of the tech economy.

Maria Aiello is the Global Head of Real Estate and Mortgages Technology at Manulife Investment Management. She is responsible for all corporate, real estate investment and real estate debt technologies. With 25+ years of experience as a CIO of Real Estate organizations and a consultant to the Real Estate industry, Maria has established a reputation as a passionate and strategic IT leader with a deep understanding of technology and its transformative power. In addition, Maria held senior IT roles at Morguard Investments, Regal Lifestyle Communities, and PwC.


Melissa Carvalho is RBC Global Cyber Security Vice President, leading cybersecurity strategic initiatives, the planning office, and the bank’s identity and access management. Her teams provide security solutions and services for RBC’s 86,000 employees and 17 million clients. Melissa is also the Vice Chair for the Women in Identity (WiD) Global Board of Directors, a non-profit organization focused on breaking bias to create a world where “Digital identity solutions built for everyone are built by everyone.” With WiD, Melissa combines her two passions, advancing people and advancing technology.


Michelle Joliat is the Senior Vice President, Product and Delivery at Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, where she leads business analysis, process transformation, and delivery of all major digital technology applications. Previously, Michelle held executive positions at BMO Financial Group and RBC, where she focused on process and digital transformation. In addition, Michelle’s contributions resulted in being named a Canada Tech Titan Top 19 in 2019 and Top 20 in 2022, Outstanding Achievement of the Year at the Women in Finance Awards Canada, and Woman of the Year by Women in IT Awards Canada.


Monique Allen is the Executive Vice President, Data & Technology at OMERS, with overall accountability for technology strategy and execution. She has more than 20 years of experience as a FinTech and global technology leader. Before joining OMERS, Monique held executive roles at Finastra, HP, and P&G. An advocate for leadership in equity, diversity and inclusion, Monique serves on the boards of Hackergal - a not-for-profit organization that encourages coding for girls, WCM, and Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences. In addition, she is a founding member of CILAR, the Coalition of Innovation Leaders Against Racism. Monique holds an Honours Bachelor of Science from the University of Waterloo and a Schulich MBA from York University.


Nasheen Liu is a Partner and SVP of CIO Program Strategy at the IT Media Group, where she oversees strategic initiatives that impact the IT executive community. In addition, she chairs a cross-industry CIO Advisory Board that provides guidance on compelling issues and topics for senior IT leaders and the vendor community. Nasheen has more than 20 years of technology industry experience driving marketing mandates for companies ranging from start-ups to large enterprises. Furthermore, she is an avid advocate for women in technology and leadership, giving back by providing pro-bono coaching, mentoring and sponsorship to aspiring candidates at all career levels.

Negin Aminian is the Senior Manager of Cybersecurity Strategy at Menlo Security, where she helps enterprises build out their product and go-to-market security blueprints. Before joining Menlo Security, Negin focused on machine learning to stop data breaches and security threats caused by human error. In addition, she researched and advised organizations in areas related to intelligent cloud, risk ratings, and email security.




Paul Bellack is the CIO of Magna International, responsible for global IT and digital transformation. He is accountable for designing and implementing a multi-year transformation of the enterprise’s core IT capabilities. Paul’s prior roles include Practice Leader with EY, IBM, and Karabus Management (now part of PwC). In addition, he was the CIO of Hudson’s Bay Company, Northern Reflections, Sobeys, Press Relay, and Speedy Muffler King International. Paul is a proponent of using analytics for business decision-making and actively coaches and advises other CIOs in all aspects of enterprise IT.


As CTO, Paul Lewis drives Pythian’s technology strategy, helping enterprises leverage and scale their data and cloud assets to deliver valuable business outcomes throughout their digital transformation journeys. As a 25+ year global CTO and technology executive, Paul is well-known in the industry for his dynamic technology evangelism, client executive advocacy, and technological and business acumen. In addition, Paul serves on the Master of Business Analytics (MBAN) and Master of Management Artificial Intelligence (MMAI) advisory boards at the Schulich School of Business, the IT Media Group advisory board, a Technical Advisor to the board of WSIB, and as an executive analyst at GigaOm.


Dr. Peter Carr is a lecturer for the Department of Management Sciences in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Waterloo. In addition, he is the author and instructor of the University’s Watspeed Digital Transformation Certificate Program. This course, jointly offered by the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers, focuses on overcoming challenges to realize successful technological change. Peter specializes in practical approaches to digital transformation that benefit organizations and society.


Participation at ITMG Tech Summits is complimentary. Inquiries about this event may be made by emailing: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or using this link to subscribe to our VIP members list to be notified of future Summits and Workshops.

The IT Media Group's events are some of the most successful event programs for IT leaders, bringing together scores of senior-level peers for thoughtful discussions around the top issues facing enterprise IT. For a better understanding of these events, please visit our Video section.

The IT Media Group is an award-winning producer of events and content for senior IT executives. Based in Toronto, our leadership team includes some of the most experienced and well-respected media, technology and business professionals serving the IT executive community in Canada.

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