Keynote Speakers and Dignitaries

Governor James Blanchard
Partner, Chair Emeritus, Government Affairs Practice Group, DLA Piper; fmr. U.S. Ambassador to Canada; Advisor to Hillary for America, Washington, D.C.

Governor James Blanchard joined DLA Piper upon the conclusion of his duties as United States ambassador to Canada in April 1996. In recognition of his outstanding performance as ambassador, Secretary of State Warren Christopher presented Governor Blanchard with the Foreign Affairs Award for Public Service in a ceremony at the Department of State, making him one of only a handful of ambassadors to receive this prestigious award.

James was named ambassador to Canada in May 1993, after serving two terms as governor of Michigan (1983 – 1991) and four terms as a member of the United States Congress (1975 – 1983). In 1992, he chaired President Bill Clinton's successful campaign in Michigan. Governor Blanchard is also former chairman of the Democratic Governors Association and the National Democratic Platform Committee, as well as a former member of the National Governors Association's executive committee.

During his tenure as ambassador, James managed a broad range of trade, natural resources, environmental and national security issues between the United States and Canada, providing support critical to the passage of both NAFTA and the Open Skies Agreement. Commenting on James's role in the Open Skies Agreement, Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien said, "Tomorrow, we will show the world that even the sky is not the limit for our relationship as we sign an open skies agreement. It will enhance what is already the largest bilateral air relationship in the world. Ambassador Blanchard has played a key role in these negotiations, and he has done a fantastic job here in Ottawa. I want to take this opportunity to salute him."

Governor Blanchard's eight years as Michigan's chief executive were notable for his success in turning around Michigan's finances, working with the private sector to attract business investment and trade from around the world. He won national acclaim for his innovative approaches to economic development, education, crime fighting, environmental protection and helping children and families.

On January 1, 1983, he took over what was described as "the toughest governor's job in America." His state faced a $1.7 billion deficit, the threat of bankruptcy, record high unemployment of more than 17 percent and the worst credit rating in America. Working with leaders of business, labor, education and local government, the governor put together a strategy for Michigan's future and made the tough decisions necessary to keep it on track. James Blanchard completed his work as Michigan's 45th governor having balanced eight consecutive state budgets, boosted the state's credit rating to AA, established a $422 million "rainy-day fund" and produced a solvency dividend of more than $1 billion in savings from reduced borrowing costs. His aggressive small business and economic development efforts helped create more than 650,000 net new jobs, improve the business climate, increase companies' global competitiveness and make Michigan's economy 35 percent more diversified than it had been a decade earlier. He was reelected 1986 by the largest margin of any governor in Michigan history.

Newsweek credited Governor Blanchard with leading "one of the most dramatic economic turnabouts in the recent history of state government," and national publications such as US News and World Report listed him among the best governors in America, one of the innovators and energizers who made things work in an era of declining federal aid.

Before running for governor, he served in Congress. During his four terms in Congress, he distinguished himself for his work to save the Chrysler Corporation, restore America's economic competitiveness, and oversee financial, monetary, trade and energy issues. Major assignments included the House Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs Committee, including its subcommittees on Economic Stabilization, Housing and Urban Development, International Trade and Domestic Monetary Policy, and the Science and Technology Committee. He performed oversight of the Federal Reserve Board and participated in meetings of the International Monetary Fund.

Prior to his election to Congress, from 1969 to 1974 Governor Blanchard was assistant attorney general of Michigan.

Jim Blanchard remains active in Michigan and in US-Canada relations. In 2010, he was named co-chair of the Canada-United States Law Institute, a forum where the two countries' governments, business communities, legal professionals, academics, non-governmental organizations and the media address issues confronting US-Canada relations. In 2008, at the invitation of Jean Chrétien, he was a special guest at the InterAction Council’s 26th Annual Plenary Meeting in Stockholm. The InterAction Council brings together former world leaders who look beyond the immediacy of current issues and the limitations of national interests to focus on the long-term structural factors driving the global agenda. Its three priority areas are peace and security, world economic revitalization and universal ethical standards.

In 1997, Governor Blanchard authored Behind the Embassy Door, a book highlighting his experiences as ambassador. He serves on the board of directors of several corporations and, in February 2005, co-chaired the American Assembly project on US-Canada relations, hosted and sponsored by Columbia University. Governor Blanchard served on Senator Hillary Clinton's national finance committee.

Matthew J. Borges
Chairman, Ohio Republican Party, Columbus, Ohio

Chairman Borges brings more than 20 years of political experience to the Ohio Republican Party. In addition to being a veteran participant and advisor to many successful political campaigns at the local, state, federal and national levels, he has built a strong political network throughout Ohio and the United States. He is a graduate of the Ohio State University.

Chairman Borges served as Executive Director for the Kasich-Taylor New Day Inaugural Committee and managed Dave Yost's successful 2010 campaign for Ohio Auditor of State. Previously he served as Chief of Staff and Campaign Manager for Treasurer of State Joseph Deters. He was also a lead representative for Senator John McCain and Sarah Palin's Presidential bid in 2008, and worked with the Office of the Vice President, Dick Cheney, where he acted as Lead Advance Representative from 2001 to 2007. Additionally, he ran the successful 2010 primary bid for Bob Gibbs for Congress and served as a local Ward Committeeman from 1992 to 2010.

Borges was elected Chairman of the Ohio Republican Party in April 2013, and was sworn-in on May 31, 2013. He resides in Bexley with his wife Kate, their daughter Lucy, and sons Drew and Spencer.

Senator Capri Cafaro
Senator, 32nd District, Ohio Senate, Hubbard, Ohio

Capri S. Cafaro is a fourth generation resident of Ohio’s 32nd Senate district, an area she has had the honor to represent since January 2007. Now entering her ninth year of service, Cafaro is the dean of the Senate Democratic caucus. During her tenure, Cafaro has established track record of legislative effectiveness and leadership, advocating for economic growth and for the voices of the vulnerable.

In 2009, Senator Cafaro was elected by her peers to serve as the Minority Leader of the Ohio Senate, a position she held for 3 years. During her term as Leader, Senator Cafaro was on the front lines of some of the toughest budget negotiations Ohio had seen in decades due to the national economic crisis at the time. As Leader, she also led the fight to protect collective bargaining rights of public employees.

Over the last several years, Cafaro has passed numerous bills into law, focusing her efforts on economic development, health care and victim’s rights. She has authored a law that creates a state bio products procurement standard to stimulate the development of goods derived from the agriculture sector , implemented Tourism Ohio, a dedicated program to promote the tourism economy in the state, and established a revitalization district for the largest city in her area aimed at growing small businesses .

Senator Cafaro drew upon her extensive experience in health care policy and social service delivery to author Ohio’s Medicaid reform law . The bill created a legislative oversight body to hold the Medicaid program accountable. It also established benchmarks to slow the growth of Medicaid spending without removing people from the program. Through payment innovation, creating incentives for improving health outcomes, and a focus on prevention and population health management, Cafaro believes this law has set the foundation for a sustainable, value driven Medicaid system that would be able to serve the newly eligible Medicaid expansion population even if the federal government walks away from providing financial support to the states for this service in the future.

Finally, Cafaro is proud to be the sponsor of the law that establishes the protocol to clear the rape kit backlog in Ohio . With its implementation, Ohio becomes the 12th state to have such a law on the books.

Cafaro has received numerous awards including being recognized as Legislator of the Year for the Ohio Association of Advanced Practice Nurses, The Ohio Speech and Hearing Association, The Ohio Association of Area Agencies on Aging, The Ohio AmVets and The Ohio Soy/Corn/Wheat Association.

Currently, Senator Cafaro serves as the ranking member of the Senate Medicaid Committee, the Joint Committee on Medicaid Oversight (JMOC) and the Senate Transportation, Commerce and Labor Committee. She is Vice Chair of the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Higher Education, and is also a member of the Senate Ways and Means, Agriculture , Energy/Natural Resources and the Joint Legislative Ethics (JLEC) Committees .

Cafaro is a graduate of Stanford University with a degree in American Studies, and earned two masters degrees: an MALS with a concentration in International Studies from Georgetown University, and a Master’s in Social Work (MSW) with a concentration in health and administration from The Ohio State University. During her MSW training, Cafaro spent three years in the Humility of Mary Health Partners system that provides care to her local community. Cafaro blended her academic and professional experience as part time faculty at Youngstown State University where she taught a course on U.S. social welfare policy in their MSW program.

Prior to her service in the Ohio Senate, Cafaro, 37, worked with several non-profit and advocacy agencies focusing on the needs of older adults including The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, and Global Action on Aging, an NGO with consultative status at the United Nations.

Consul General Douglas George
Consul General of Canada for Ohio

Consul General Douglas George is the Consul General of Canada in Detroit, and is responsible for the States of Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. He is a career diplomat with over 30 years of experience, and most recently served as Canada’s Ambassador to Kuwait.

Recognized as a trade policy expert, Mr. George has worked in numerous economic posts at Global Affairs Canada, including the Commercial Policy Division, the GATT Division, and the US Trade and Economic Policy Division. He served as Senior Departmental Advisor to Canada’s Minister of International Trade as well as Director of the Softwood Lumber Division, the Intellectual Property Trade Policy Division, and the Tariffs and Goods Market Access Division.

Abroad, Consul General George has directed trade policy issues at the Canadian Mission to the European Union in Brussels as well as serving as a negotiator at the Canadian mission to the GATT/World Trade Organisation in Geneva. He also served in Kingston, Jamaica.

He has a Bachelor of Science Degree (Zoology) from the University of Toronto and his Masters of Business Administration from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.

Ambassador Bruce A. Heyman
U.S. Ambassador to Canada

Bruce Heyman was confirmed as President Obama’s personal representative to Canada on March 12, 2014. He is a 33 year veteran of Goldman Sachs, where he served as the managing director of the Private Wealth Management Group from 1999 until December of 2013.

Mr. Heyman has served as a board member for the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and the Northwestern Memorial Hospital Foundation. He also served as an advisor to the Fix the Debt CEO Council of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. He has been a member of The Economic Club of Chicago, The Executives’ Club of Chicago, and the Facing History and Ourselves Chicago Advisory Board.

A magna cum laude graduate with both a BA and an MBA from Vanderbilt University, Mr. Heyman continues to maintain close ties to his alma mater. He is past president of the Alumni Board and a former member of the Board of Visitors at the university’s Owen Graduate School of Management.

He is married to the former Vicki Simons of Ashland, Kentucky. They have three grown children, David, Liza, and Caroline, and three grand-children, Emma, Clara, and Brooks.

Senator Frank LaRose
Senator, 27th District, Ohio Senate, Copley Township, Ohio

Senator Frank LaRose is currently serving his second term in the Ohio Senate representing portions of Summit County. A decorated Army veteran, LaRose brings energy and passion to the Ohio General Assembly. As a member of the legislature, LaRose believes it’s important to be good stewards of taxpayers’ dollars in order to lessen the financial burden on Ohio’s families.

For the 131st General Assembly, LaRose was named Chairman of the State and Local Government Committee and as a member of the Finance Committee, Government Oversight and Reform Committee, Insurance Committee, Financial Institutions Committee, Transportation, Commerce and Labor Committee, and the Finance Workforce Subcommittee. In addition, LaRose serves on the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review, which is comprised of members of both the Senate and House and is responsible for reviewing administrative rules proposed by state agencies, departments, boards and commissions.

Senator LaRose developed his strong work ethic and sense of responsibility at a young age while working on a small family-owned farm in northeastern Ohio. Following his graduation from Copley High School, he fulfilled his life-long dream by enlisting in the United States Army with the 101st Airborne and eventually serving in the U.S. Special Forces as a Green Beret. During his decade in uniform, in which he was stationed throughout the globe, Senator LaRose received numerous commendations and honors, including the Bronze Star.

LaRose continues to give back to his community since leaving the Army. An Eagle Scout himself, he is also a member of the executive board for the Great Trail Council, Boy Scouts of America.

Senator LaRose graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in consumer affairs and business. He and his wife, Lauren, live in Copley Township with their three daughters.

Under Secretary of State Catherine A. Novelli
Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment

Catherine A. Novelli was sworn in as Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment on February 18, 2014. In this capacity, she leads the State Department’s efforts to develop and implement economic growth, energy, oceans, environmental, and science and technology policies to promote economic prosperity and address global challenges in a transparent, rules-based, and sustainable system. She is also the State Department’s Senior Coordinator for International Information Technology Diplomacy.

Prior to assuming her current duties, she was Vice President, Worldwide Government Affairs at Apple, Inc. In that role, Ms. Novelli headed a multinational international team responsible for Apple’s federal, international, and state and local government relations and public policy.

Formerly Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Europe & the Mediterranean, Ms. Novelli coordinated U.S. trade and investment policy for the over 65 countries of Western Europe, Central Europe, Russia, the NIS, the Middle East and Northern Africa. She has taken a leading role in many of the most important U.S. trade negotiations in Europe, Russia, the Middle East, and North Africa. As the point person for the $1 trillion economic relationship between the United States and Europe, Ms. Novelli led efforts to ensure access to the European market for U.S. manufactured and agricultural products.

Ms. Novelli was the lead strategist in creating the United States’ free trade agenda with the Middle East. She led free trade agreement negotiations with Jordan, Morocco and Bahrain, Oman and United Arab Emirates. She chaired the Trade and Investment Framework Councils with a number of countries in the region, including Turkey, Egypt, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Algeria. As the Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Central and Eastern Europe and Eurasia, she negotiated most of the bilateral trade and investment agreements that underpin our economic relationship in that region.

Ms. Novelli is a graduate of Tufts University, holds a law degree from the University of Michigan and a Master of Laws from University of London (with concentrations in international and comparative law at the London School of Economics and School of Oriental and Asian Studies).

Panelists and Chairs

William (Bill) Adams

William (Bill) Adams is vice president and senior international economist for The PNC Financial Services Group. His responsibilities include forecasting economic conditions and exchange rates, covering emerging Asia, the Eurozone, Canada and Latin America. Adams serves as the principal spokesperson on global economic issues for PNC, and frequently presents to PNC clients on the international economic outlook.

Adams joined PNC in July 2011 after serving as resident economist for The Conference Board China Center from 2009 to 2011. In that position he served as spokesman on the Chinese business cycle and was a designer of The Conference Board Leading Economic Index for China®, a widely-followed, market-moving economic indicator. Adams lived in China for five years and is fluent in Mandarin Chinese. In March 2015, he was named vice president.

He is a member of the Economics Advisory Council of the Duquesne University Palumbo Donahue School of Business, is an advisory board member and center associate of the University of Pittsburgh Asian Studies Center, and was a 2014 American Council on Germany Young Leader. He serves on the board of directors of the Economic Club of Pittsburgh - the local chapter of National Association of Business Economics (NABE).

Adams is co-author with Damien Ma of In Line Behind a Billion People: How Scarcity Will Define China's Ascent in the Next Decade, published in 2013 by the Financial Times Press, and translated into Chinese in 2014 by Gusa Publishing (Taiwan).

Adams holds a master degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and is a graduate of Harvard College.

Dr. Dennis Andersh

Dennis Andersh joined the Wright State Research Institute in December 2013 as the Chief Operating Officer to direct the growth of its use-inspired and applied research portfolio. His leadership role is to connect the University’s research to new markets, while also leveraging the Institute’s existing commercial and healthcare business. Mr. Andersh was named Chief Executive Officer of the Wright State Applied Research Corporation within six months of joining the organization, and in 2015 he added the title Executive Director, Wright State Research Institute.

With more than 20 years of documented leadership, management, and technical innovative successes, Mr. Andersh’s expertise lies in basic research, laboratory research and development (R&D), system concept development, system and platform development, and the fielding of air, ground and space mission critical systems. He is highly respected for building collaborative partnerships of academia, industry, government, commercial, congressional, and local entities to create strategic growth across multiple new markets in the federal, state, and local government.

Before coming to Wright State, Mr. Andersh held several leadership positions at Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). He led the Dayton region as Senior Vice President where he was responsible for SAIC’s business with Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB), Springfield Air National Guard, and the Dayton region. In this role, he increased revenue at the Dayton operation by 20 percent year-over-year and grew the employee base from 235 to 450. His other previous SAIC roles included reconnaissance and surveillance operation Senior Vice President in Arlington, Va., and Vice President and Associate Operations Manager in Champaign Illinois.

Mr. Andersh earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Arizona and his Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology. He is also an accomplished researcher, winning multiple awards from the Air Force when he directed radar research programs for the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). In his spare time, Mr. Andersh has been a major supporter of STEM programs throughout the Dayton region. He also serves as the secretary of the Dayton chapter of the National Defense Industrial Association and has served as the chair of the Dayton March of Dimes Walk.

Bill Anderson

Bill Anderson joined the University of Windsor as the Ontario Research Chair in Cross-Border Transportation Policy in 2008. He was formerly on the faculties of McMaster University, where he was Director of the McMaster Institute for Energy Studies and Boston University, where he was Associate Director of the Center for Transportation Studies.

An economic geographer, his interests include the Canada-US border; economic analysis of transportation infrastructure investments; Canada-US economic integration; urban and regional economic development; transportation and border security; international trade and transportation planning. He is author of the textbook Economic Geography and co-author of the recently published Knowledge Economy in the Megalopolis. He has conducted research for numerous federal, state and provincial agencies in Canada and the US and has been a consultant to the World Bank.

At Windsor, he founded the Cross-Border Institute, which conducts research on the movement of goods and people across the Canada-US border and the economies of the border regions. His report The Border and the Ontario Economy is available from the CBI website:

Tom Bainbridge

Tom Bainbridge currently serves as the Export Assistance Program Manager for the Ohio Development Services Agency. In his role, he works closely with the Ohio Small Business Development Centers Export Assistance Network and Ohio foreign offices to help Ohio small businesses export their goods and services.

Tom has more than 20 years’ experience in international business and economic development ranging from small business to Fortune 500 companies. He has worked for companies such as America Online (AOL), Compuserve and Compaq Computers where his job responsibilities included negotiating contracts, managing strategic partnerships and developing international relationships in Latin America.

Tom graduated from Miami University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. He is also a NASBITE Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) which demonstrates strong knowledge in international trade and global business at the professional level.

Gabe Batstone

Gabe Batstone is the co-founder & CEO of Contextere; an ‘Internet of Things’ software company developing an intelligent personal agent that delivers curated insight to the industrial worker at the point of service. Using human-centric machine learning and intelligent context generation contextere answers the simple question - Now What?

Gabe has 19 years of experience in software development across multiple industries around the globe. This has included initiatives in the digital oilfield, intelligent vehicles, virtual reality, augmented reality and big data. Gabe has worked for technology leaders in the aerospace & defense, automotive and energy markets including NAVTEQ, CAE and NGRAIN.

Gabe serves on the Board of Directors of the Canadian American Business Council (CABC) promoting continental trade policy. Gabe also founded Teagan’s Voice a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting children’s rights following the murder of his 8-year-old daughter in December 2014.

Gabe holds a Bachelor of Applied Arts, specializing in Geographic Information Systems, from Ryerson University in Toronto and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Baltimore. Gabe is a frequent public speaker, published writer and has completed postgraduate studies at the United Nations Institute for Training & Research, University of Chicago and Harvard Law School. D.C.

Dr. Mike Benzakein

Dr. Mike Benzakein received his engineering diploma from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, his Masters of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University, and his Ph.D. from Wayne State University. He started his industrial career at General Electric in 1967 with research on jet engine noise reduction followed by the launch of the CFM56 program with SNECMA.

His CFM career (1973-1993) was very productive with the certification leadership of the CFM56-2 and its installation on the DC8 and the KC135, the certification of the CFM56-3 and its installation on the Boeing 737-300, the certification of the CFM56-5C and its installation on the A340-300 as well as the launch of the CFM56-7.

From 1993-2004, he was responsible for the certification of the GE90-85B and the GE90-115B and its installation on the Boeing 777 aircraft. He was responsible for launching the GEnx for the Boeing 787. In his last 5 years, he was responsible for the development of all commercial and military engines. Dr. Benzakein started his academia career at The Ohio State University in 2004, where he occupied a number of positions.

  • Head of the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics
  • Director of the Propulsion and Power Center
  • Assistant Vice President for Research in Aerospace and Aviation
He is responsible for a strong cooperation with NASA and United States Air Force. He is also responsible for the cooperation with other universities in the US, Europe, China and Japan.

Dr. Benzakein has received a number of nominations:
  • Docteur Honoris Causa, University of Poitiers
  • Member of the US National Academy of Engineers
  • Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society
  • Recipient of the Gold Medal of the Royal Aeronautical Society
  • Recipient of the Reed Medal for Aeronautics of the American Society Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

Leslie Blakely

Leslie Blakey is Principal, Blakey & Agnew, LLC and President, Coalition for America’s Gateways and Trade Corridors.

Leslie has a diverse background in public outreach, communications, policy development and government affairs. She has overseen projects and clients primarily in transportation and the freight industry over the past 19 years with Blakey & Agnew LLC, based in Washington DC.

During twelve years as founder and executive director of the Coalition for America’s Gateways and Trade Corridors, Leslie helped to unite a large number of public and private organizations around the need for policy support and federal investment in multimodal goods movement infrastructure.

In April 2014, under the Coalition’s banner, Blakey & Agnew organized and hosted the NAFTANEXT Summit, which gathered industry and government leaders for discussions on the new opportunities in freight mobility, energy and environment for the North American countries as an integrated trading bloc.

In 2012, Leslie was appointed to the U.S. Department of Commerce Advisory Committee on Supply Chain Competitiveness and she served as an alternate to the vice chair of the National Freight Advisory Committee at the U.S. Department of Transportation. From 2013 to 2016, she was a member of the Eno Center for Transportation Board of Advisors. In 2014-15, she served on the National Infrastructure Advisory Council Transportation Resilience Study Group and has conducted surveys and workshops on business resiliency for the Department of Homeland Security.

Leslie holds a B.S. in Sociology and a M.S. in Public Administration from Florida State University. D.C.

Scott H. Buehrer

Scott is the Vice President of Sales for Bionix Development Corporation, a manufacturer of proprietary disposable medical devices and Radiation Therapy positioning products headquartered in Toledo, Ohio. His sales leadership at Bionix contributed to the company being named a recipient of the President’s “E” Award for U.S. Exports, the highest award given by the U.S. Department of Commerce for export success.

Early in his career Scott was a consultant with McKinsey & Company, Inc., the premier international management consulting firm, where he worked on engagements involving Technology and Market Assessment, Manufacturing Strategy, and Organizational Structure for large corporations serving the food packaging, banking, insurance, and home appliance industries.

Prior to joining Bionix, Scott held several management positions with Tenneco Automotive, a global multi-billion dollar manufacturer of chassis components/systems to the automotive, truck and specialty vehicle markets. During his 9-year career with Tenneco, he directed various teams responsible for sales, engineering, advanced technology commercialization, and research & development. This included being the Business Unit Director responsible for sales and engineering of all company products supplied to DaimlerChrysler. Under Scott’s leadership, Tenneco Automotive was named the sole recipient of Chrysler Corporation’s 1998 Supplier Role Model Award in Technology.

Scott’s business career includes management positions in sales, marketing, engineering, and operations with several small to medium sized privately held companies serving the medical, electrical controls & enclosures, and truck & bus markets where he worked directly under their entrepreneurs. At one of these companies, he co-authored the business plan used to raise financing needed to acquire the company.

Scott’s educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, summa cum laude, from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, and a MBA from Duke University. While at Stanford and Duke, intrigued by nearby Silicon Valley and Research Triangle Park, he started an Entrepreneurship Conference that brought together established entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, attorneys, and accountants to offer advice to prospective entrepreneurs. These were highly successful conferences which subsequently became annual events at both universities.

During the Obama presidency, Scott has been a regular participant in White House Business Council Meetings organized by Business Forward. He is a member of Trine University’s Department of Chemical Engineering Industrial Advisory Board

David Caplan

Elected to the Ontario legislature in 1997, David Caplan was appointed to several high-ranking portfolios including Deputy Government House Leader, Minister of Public Infrastructure Renewal, and Minister of Health and Long-Term Care during his 14 years as Member of Provincial Parliament for Don Valley East.

As Minister of Public Infrastructure Renewal, David was responsible for leading the modernization of the Ontario's infrastructure and planning for future population and economic growth. He released Ontario’s first long-term infrastructure investment strategy called ReNew Ontario, which used a private financing model expanding and building new hospitals, schools, colleges and universities, and transit and transportation systems. David was also responsible for the Places to Grow Act, which allows for a better way of accommodating growth across the province through the development of growth plans.

After leaving public service in 2011, David joined Global Public Affairs, a privately-held Canadian firm that provides integrated government relations, strategic communications and issues management consulting services. David is the Vice Chairman for Global Public Affairs’ Toronto office.

Harry Chana

Harry brings over 15+ years of experience on various international tax issues impacting public, multi-national and private enterprises. In his previous and current roles, he has spent a considerable amount of time dealing with a wide variety of clients in the manufacturing, technology, distribution and real estate industries. Harry has also assisted clients in the areas of corporate and personal tax planning, inbound and outbound structuring, cross-border tax planning, and partnership structures.

Harry is a frequent speaker at various industry events, as well as several BDO client events, on a wide range of tax topics. He is also a group study leader at the In-Depth Tax Course sponsored by The Canadian Bar Association and The Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada. Finally, Harry is also a member of various professional associations.

Cyndee Todgham Cherniak

Cyndee is a Canadian-licensed lawyer with a Canadian law degree (LL.B. degree), U.S. law degree (J.D. degree) and a masters of laws in international trade and competition law (LL.M. degree). Cyndee is the founder of LexSage, a boutique international trade and sales tax law firm in Canada.

Cyndee’s practice includes: i) international law, including export controls pursuant to the Export and Import Permits Act and regulations thereto and similar laws, economic and trade sanctions under the Special Economic Measures Act and the United Nations Act (Canada), controlled goods under the Defence Production Act; anti-bribery laws; customs duties, NAFTA verifications, value for duty, tariff classification, NEXUS confiscations; anti-dumping and countervailing duties, safeguard actions; government procurement; investor-state disputes; the Foreign Extraterritorial Measures Act; and compliance programs/codes of conduct; and (ii) commodity tax (goods and services tax, harmonized sales tax, Ontario retail sales tax).

Cyndee has recently been appointed to the Judicial Advisory Committee for the Tax Court of Canada. Cyndee is recognized in Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business (2006–present), The International Who’s Who of Trade & Customs Lawyers (2010-present), The Legal Media Group Guide to the World’s Leading International Trade Lawyers (2007-present), The Legal Media Group Guide to the World’s Leading Women in Business (2010-2013), as well as The Legal Media Group Guild to World’s Leading China – International Trade Lawyers (2007-present).

Cyndee is frequently contacted by media organizations to share her views on issues of the day. She appeared as a guest on TVO’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin, the CBC’s Lang & O’Leary Exchange, Midday Markets, Headline on BNN - Business News Network, iChannel’s @issue, Today on China Radio International (CRA), The Rutherford Report on Corus Radio, and the CBC. Cyndee has been quoted in numerous newspapers and magazines, such as The Globe and Mail, the National Post, The Vancouver Sun, Law Times, Canadian Lawyer, Lawyer’s Weekly, Canadian Business, The Hill Times, Embassy Magazine and the CBA National Magazine. Cyndee is a founder of

Chris Conrardy

Mr. Chris Conrardy is the Chief Technology Officer and Vice President for Strategic Initiatives at EWI. Technical innovation is absolutely essential to the competitiveness of advanced manufacturing sectors.

EWI is a nationally recognized, non-profit organization that develops and commercializes innovative manufacturing technologies to bridge the gap between basic research and practical application of emerging technologies. Established over 30 years ago, EWI has a financially sustainable, market-driven business model to deliver technical innovation services to clients across all manufacturing sectors.

With over 25 years’ experience in technology development and commercialization, Mr. Conrardy is responsible for identifying emerging industry needs, investing in development of advanced manufacturing technologies to address those needs, and implementing technology commercialization strategies.

EWI has operations in Ohio and New York and is planning for a new operation in Colorado. Over the past six months, Mr. Conrardy has led a team to engage over 100 Colorado manufacturers, industry groups, academic institutions, and economic development organizations to develop a business plan for a Colorado operation with nationally-leading capabilities in targeted manufacturing technology areas. EWI plans to open its Colorado operation in 2016.

Wendy Cukier

As Vice-President of Research and Innovation at Ryerson University, Wendy Cukier leads the strategy to grow research and to promote innovation and commercialization. Previously, she was the Associate Dean of the Ted Rogers School of Management, Canada’s largest AACSB accredited business school with more than 8000 students. She has written more than 200 papers or reports on enabling technologies and innovation including the recent report called Transformation of Work, which explores the role of mobile technologies in the Canadian workforce and is the coauthor of the bestseller “Innovation Nation: From Java to Jurassic Park”. She has recently been named the incoming President and Vice Chancellor of Brock University in St. Catharines.

Wendy has served on the Board of Directors of the Consortium for Aerospace Research and Innovation in Canada (CARIC), NPower and the Environics Institute. She currently serves on the boards of NPower, ReMAP refined manufacturing acceleration process, Women’s College Hospital and several hi-tech start-ups. She is a recipient of the Governor General's Meritorious Cross, one of Canada’s highest civilian honours and was named one of the University of Toronto's 100 Alumni Who Shaped the Century. In 2010 was selected as one of 25 Transformational Canadians by The Globe and Mail.

She holds a PhD in management science (York); an MBA and an MA (Toronto) and honorary doctorates from Laval and Concordia.

Greg Dandewich

Greg Dandewich is the Senior Vice-President of Economic Development Winnipeg Inc. and has been in the field of economic development for over twenty-five years.

Greg has been tasked with the development of strategic partnerships and alliances between communities and business sectors including life sciences, aerospace, ICT, transportation and distribution, and advanced manufacturing. He is responsible for guiding the development of economic development strategies reflective of Winnipeg’s broad and diversified economy and manages north/south trade activities related to the Mid-Continent Trade Corridor. In addition, Greg is responsible for liaising and brokering partnerships between senior levels of government and industry within the City of Winnipeg and Province of Manitoba.

Greg is responsible for Foreign Direct Investment activities and holds director positions on a variety of bi-national and tri-national business development boards including the Canadian/American Border Trade Alliance (CAN/AM BTA) and NASCO (North American Strategy for Competitiveness).

Greg has a Master’s Degree in City Planning from the University of Manitoba and has his Economic Development certification through the University of Waterloo.

Laura Dawson

Laura Dawson is Director of the Canada Institute. Named one of Canada’s Top 100 foreign policy influencers by the Hill Times in 2014, Dawson is a speaker, writer, and thought leader on Canada-U.S., NAFTA, TPP, and international trade issues. Previously, she served as senior advisor on economic affairs at the United States Embassy in Ottawa and taught international trade and Canada-U.S. relations at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs. Dawson continues to serve as Emeritus Advisor at Dawson Strategic, which provides advice to business on cross-border trade, market access and regulatory issues. She is a Fellow at the Canadian Defence & Foreign Affairs Institute and serves on the board of the Council of the Great Lakes Region. Dawson holds a PhD in political science. - See more at:

Jim Dickmeyer

Jim Dickmeyer is the North American Competitiveness Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars. Detailed from the U.S. Department of State, he works with the Center’s Canada and Mexico Institutes to develop programs that support the North American Leaders Summit initiatives. More broadly, Jim advises the Wilson Center programs on collaborative opportunities with public and private sector stakeholders who have an interest in developing North American competitiveness.

Mr. Dickmeyer served as Consul General of the United States of America in Toronto from 2012 to 2015. He was Minister Counselor for Public Affairs at the U.S. embassy in Mexico, where he served from 2002 to 2007. A career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Mr. Dickmeyer has served in six countries – Brazil, Guatemala, Paraguay, Bolivia, Mexico and Canada – during his 31 years of diplomatic service. In his domestic assignments, Jim was a faculty member at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C., where he taught national security studies; director of the Office of Policy, Planning and Resources of the Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs; and director of the State Department’s Foreign Press Centers located in Washington, D.C. and New York City, serving over 3000 foreign journalists based in the United States.

Jim earned a Masters degree in History from the Ohio State University and completed his undergraduate studies at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He is married to Heather Dickmeyer. They have two grown sons.

Ryan Eickmeier

Ryan Eickmeier is the Senior Director, Public Affairs at GS1 Canada, the world’s leading supply chain standards organization. Ryan brings a wealth of experience in the field of government and stakeholder relations, with his current work spanning various industry sectors including digital/open data, agriculture, border and healthcare.

In addition to his position at GS1 Canada, Ryan is also the Vice President of the Public Affairs Association of Canada (PAAC), Canada’s leading association for public affairs practitioners, and a Board member of Canada’s Digital Policy Forum (CDPR), an independent and distinct roundtable devoted to substantive discussions of digital policy issues. Ryan is recognized as being a strategic leader with proven ability to build consensus at senior levels and bring about positive, financially sound growth to organizations.

In his career, Ryan has led multiple industries through proactive and reactive advocacy campaigns ranging from natural resources and environmental issues to infrastructure development and international trade. Prior to joining GS1 Canada, Ryan was the Director, Government Relations & Policy at the Real Property Association of Canada (REALpac), Canada’s senior national industry association for owners and managers of investment real estate. Ryan was also an Associate at the Washington, DC based public affairs firm Greener and Hook, LLC where he worked on both the political and corporate side of the company. Ryan worked extensively with political candidates at all levels on messaging, strategy, research, and social media communications. On the corporate front, Ryan worked with trade associations, corporations, and various companies to develop complete government relations advocacy plans as well as ad hoc risk management projects to mitigate the impacts of forthcoming public policy issues. Before Greener and Hook, Ryan was a research assistant at The Center for Terrorism and Intelligence Studies (CETIS) where his deliverables helped formulate the Global Terrorism Database (GTD), now the largest open source intelligence database in the world. In the fall of 2007, Ryan accepted a key staff position within United States Senator Fred Thompson’s Presidential Campaign. As an advance and field representative for the State of New Hampshire, Ryan was responsible for the planning and execution of campaign events, grassroots advocacy efforts, and ensuring maximum visibility for the candidate at all times.

Ryan earned his Bachelor of Arts (B.A) in political science from New England College, Master of Public Policy (M.P.P.) from The American University School of Public Affairs, Master of Law (LL.M) at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School, and is currently completing his Executive Master of Business Administration (e.M.B.A) at the University of Fredericton’s Sandermoen School of Business.

Scott Ellsworth

Scott Ellsworth is the Principal and Owner of Scott Ellsworth Consulting and currently serves as MSSC Senior Advisor to OH. In this role he works with government entities, trade associations, community colleges, career tech centers, and employers to understand the value of the MSSC program and CPT credential for their clients, students, and themselves. In his role as a manufacturer, Scott has experience with implementing a regional MSSC credentialing program, embedding it into current curriculum at the CTC level, and the success of hiring employees that have received the credential.

Scott is the former Director of Business Leaders United for Workforce Partnerships (BLU). BLU is Washington DC based advocacy and education organization that strives to bring employers into the workforce and skills gap discussion. BLU has had significant impact on the workforce landscape and in 2014 Scott left his successful career in manufacturing to focus on closing the skills gap and making sure the US workforce system is more effective today and into the future.

Prior to BLU for 12 years, Scott was GM and Vice President of US operations for Tipco Punch, Inc, a Hamilton Ohio company. Tipco is a multinational manufacturer and distributor of tooling components and special small lot, close tolerance machined parts.

Scott holds a BS in Industrial Engineering from the University of Louisville and has over 25 years of experience at a variety of manufacturing firms both large and small. His career began as an Advance Manufacturing Engineer at GE Appliances and progressed to include management positions at a variety of companies including Danaher Tool Group, Elliott Turbomachinery, Siemens Energy and Automation, and Danly IEM. Having spent his entire career in manufacturing companies first as an engineer, then working through the supervisory ranks to his role at Tipco, Scott has a keen interest in keeping American manufacturing strong.

As a founding member and Chairman of the Southwest Ohio Manufacturers Consortium, Scott has been heavily involved in working with local manufacturers to develop a program to improve the quality of entry level employees in Southwest Ohio. This partnership between local Southwest Ohio Manufacturers and Butler Tech was successful in providing a pool of qualified workers to member companies. This work earned Tipco a 2009 Investing in People Award from the Workforce One Investment Board of Southwest Ohio. In addition, Scott is the past chairman of the Partners for a Competitive Workforce’s Advanced Manufacturing Career Pathway team.

Over the years, Scott has shown leadership in and been very involved with the community through work, church, and the chamber of commerce. As a past chairman and 10 year board member of the Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce and the Hamilton Economic Development Committee (and current interim President/CEO), he has a strong understanding of the needs of business.

Denis Faubert

Denis Faubert is CEO of the Consortium for Aerospace Research and Innovation in Canada (CARIC) and the Consortium for Research and Innovation in Aerospace in Quebec (CRIAQ).

Mr. Faubert earned his Ph.D. in Laser Physics from Université Laval. He has had an impressive career at a number of provincial and federal institutions, including the position of General Manager for the Hydro-Quebec Research Institute (IREQ) from 2007 to 2014. Within Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC), he served as Director General of the Valcartier Research Centre from 1998 to 2005 and Director General, R&D Programs at DRDC's Ottawa Research Centre for two years.

Mr. Faubert has become a recognized expert in laser physics. He has received many distinctions, including the National Research Council’s prestigious Centennial Award, Deputy Minister of National Defense’s Innovation Award (2005) and Université Laval’s Faculty of Science Summa-Carrière Award (2008).

Mark Fisher

Mark Fisher has been an elected school board trustee with the Ottawa Carleton District School Board since 2009 and was appointed President and CEO of the Council of the Great Lakes Region by the Council’s board in 2014.

He is a seasoned professional with extensive knowledge of the public policy making process, board governance, strategic business planning, corporate communications, stakeholder engagement, advocacy, and issues management.

Mark has a wealth of experience in international affairs with a focus on advancing the United States-Canada relationship in the areas of trade, security, natural resource development and environmental protection.

He also has extensive experience providing advice to key decision-makers and influencers, including the Prime Minister of Canada, provincial premiers and ministers, parliamentarians, and c-level executives from the private and not-profit sectors.

Mark is the recipient of the Royal Canadian Legion Cadet Medal of Excellence and is a director on the boards of the Clean Water Foundation and Easter Seals Ontario.

He lives in Ottawa with his wife Claire and three children – Andrew, Caroline and Fiona.

Nicole Foster

Nicole manages the Global Public Affairs team in Toronto, providing senior public affairs counsel to a diverse range of clients, including both the private and not-for-profit organizations. Nicole has over 10 years of experience working with clients in a variety of sectors including natural resources, health, infrastructure, retail, consumer and gaming.

Prior to joining Global in 2004, Nicole worked for a number of years as the Legislative Assistant to the Minister of the Environment and has an exceptional knowledge in the area of legislative processes. She managed several legislative stakeholder groups and parliamentary activities, including overall strategy and tactics for question period, major pieces of environmental legislation and the activities of parliamentary Standing Committees on behalf of the minister. Having also worked previously as a Special Assistant in the Office of the Secretary of State (Rural Development), Nicole has a strong understanding of rural issues, community development and the importance of grassroots communication and applies this to her work at Global.

Nicole has been active in numerous political campaigns and events. She currently serves on the National Board of Directors of Equal Voice, a multi-partisan group dedicated to raising the issue of women’s under-representation in Canadian legislatures and creating a climate in which more women will be elected. She is a former Director on the Board of both the Design Exchange Museum and the Government Relations Institute of Canada. She is a current member of the Women’s Executive Network and the Canadian Study of Parliament Group. Nicole holds a Bachelor of Arts in Art and Culture Studies with an extended minor in Political Science from Simon Fraser University.

Kathryn Bryk Friedman

Kathryn Bryk Friedman is a Research Associate Professor of Law & Policy at the University at Buffalo. A multi-disciplinary scholar and practitioner, Friedman is a recognized expert on the CA-US relationship in both Canada and the United States. Her research and teaching focus on binational regional economies; Great Lakes law and policy (the science-policy nexus); CA-US trade; and border security issues. Friedman communicates research results using various media, including radio, newspapers, peer-reviewed journals, and policy papers; presents findings publicly at conferences, workshops, and forums; and briefs public officials at policy workshops held regionally and nationally. She regularly collaborates with public, private, academic, and non-profit stakeholders to frame, facilitate, and execute strategic planning and consensus-building processes, most recently spearheading the strategy for internationalizing research for the SUNY system (64 campuses) and co-leading a strategic planning process for cross-sectoral stakeholders across the Great Lakes Basin. A former Fulbright Fellow, she serves as a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (Canada Institute); an Executive Committee member of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership Can Am Business Council; a Fellow of the Foreign Policy Association; and Board Member of the Alliance for the Great Lakes (Chicago) and the Clean Air Coalition (Buffalo). Prior to her work in higher education, Friedman served as a confidential law clerk to two New York Court of Appeals judges and was an associate in the cross-border practice group at a large New York law firm.

Gilles Gauthier

Gilles Gauthier joined the Canadian Embassy in Washington in April 2013 as Minister for Economic Affairs. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Gauthier held several positions related to international trade policy, including Chief Agriculture Negotiator at the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), Director General, Multilateral Trade Policy at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, and Chief, Trade in Services, at the Department of Finance. Mr. Gauthier also served four years at the Canadian Mission to the WTO in Geneva. During his career in trade policy, he led negotiations on agriculture in the Canada-EU FTA and at the WTO, led investment treaty negotiations with China and India, and was a member of the Government of Canada negotiating team for the NAFTA and the GATT Uruguay Round. He also was appointed on 5 dispute settlement panels at the WTO.

Mr. Gauthier holds a degree in economics from the University of Ottawa, a master’s degree in economics from the Université de Sherbrooke and a diploma in international economic relations from the Université de Paris-IX Dauphine.

Maryscott Greenwood

A recognized thought-leader in the public policy field, Maryscott “Scotty” Greenwood is a Principal in Dentons' Public Policy and Regulation practice in the Washington, DC office. Ms. Greenwood is co-leader of the firm's US federal practice as well as Canada/US Initiative. Dentons is the world's first "polycentric" law and public policy firm with over 6,600 professionals in 55 countries. This approach means that we do not have a single global headquarters or dominant national culture. Rather, we attract talent from diverse backgrounds and countries with deep experience across many geographies. With a background in the US State Department, Ms. Greenwood is well suited to this new global platform.

Ms. Greenwood is a government relations practitioner, assisting clients with legislative and public policy challenges in the US and Canada. Her experience in federal, state, and local postings over the years has positioned Ms. Greenwood well to serve corporate and association clients navigating complicated policy issues. Ms. Greenwood has over two decades of government relations experience in the energy, life sciences and cross border policies sectors.

Ms. Greenwood is also Senior Advisor to the Canadian-American Business Council and a frequent commentator on US-Canadian relations. She was recognized by The Hill Times in its listing of the “Top 100 Most Influential People in Government and Politics" in 2010, and on the "Top 100 People Influencing Canadian Foreign Policy” in 2014. Ms. Greenwood currently serves on the Boards of Directors of: the World Affairs Council of Washington DC; the Foundation for Art &

Preservation in Embassies; and the G(irls) 20 Summit Advisory Committee. Before joining the firm in 2001, Ms. Greenwood was appointed by President Clinton to serve in the US foreign service at the United States Embassy in Canada. During her four-year diplomatic posting, she received the US Department of State Meritorious Honor Award for her innovation of an outreach program to governors to foster cooperation on US-Canada issues.

From 1993-1997, Ms. Greenwood was Director of Intergovernmental Affairs for the City of Atlanta, handling state and federal relations. Ms. Greenwood served on the White House Interagency Task Force on Olympic Security and worked on various other projects related to the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games. Ms. Greenwood’s civic involvement includes the Advisory Board of the Urban Study Institute and Chairmanship of the Tax & Finance Committee of the Georgia Municipal Association.

Prior to her position with the City of Atlanta, Scotty was Executive Director of the Democratic Party of Georgia. An honors graduate of the University of Vermont, Scotty participated in the John F. Kennedy School of Government Program for Senior Executives at Harvard University. Scotty lives in Arlington, Virginia with her husband, three children and hound dog.

Ilene K. Grossman

Ilene Grossman is assistant director of the CSG Midwestern Office, and staffs the Midwest-Canada Relations Committee. It is one of the policy committees of the Midwestern Legislative Conference, and includes legislative members from through the Midwest, as well as from the Canadian provinces of Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Ilene works on other state public policy issues as well. She is a frequent contributor to Stateline Midwest, the CSG Midwestern Office magazine. Ilene was awarded a Fellowship in Trade and Comparative Domestic Policy by the German Marshall Fund of the United States in 2006 to study rural economic development and agricultural trade policy in the European Union. Prior to that, Ilene was selected by the European Commission to participate in the European Union Visitors Programme, where she studied and wrote about technology transfer programs in Austria and Italy, and spent time in Brussels.

A native of Chicago, Ilene holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, and a master’s degree in government from American University in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining CSG, Ilene spent more than four years as a congressional aide.

Bruce Hayne

Bruce was elected to Surrey City Council in 2011 and as a resident and business owner since 1993; he brings an entrepreneurial approach to the City of Surrey and is committed to establishing Surrey as a premier investment location with a vibrant urban economy.

As a past President of the Surrey Board of Trade, he believes that Surrey’s innovative approaches to job creation are working – Surrey was the first city in BC to establish economic investment zones and the Real Estate Investment Network recently named Surrey the Best Place to Invest in BC and the 4th in Canada. In 2015 Surrey was named to the Top 7 Intelligent Communities in the world by the independent think tank Intelligent Communities Forum (ICF in New York)

Bruce chairs the Investment and Innovation Committee which oversees the City’s Economic Development strategies including Innovation Boulevard (Medical Technologies) and the Clean Tech sector. The committee also spearheads the City’s Smart City strategies and Open Data initiatives. Bruce also chairs the Parks Recreation and Sport Tourism Committee which is responsible for overseeing over two hundred parks and award-winning recreation facilities in the city.

  • Committees: Finance; Development Advisory; Audit; Police; Investment & Innovation (Chair); Parks Committee (Chair); Sustainability - Clean Energy/Technology & Innovation; Surrey Board of Trade (Liaison);Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association
  • Metro Vancouver Committee Appointments: Board of Directors; Regional Parks; Zero Waste
  • Executive Member of Lower Mainland Local Government Association (LMLGA)
  • Executive Member of Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM)
His community involvement includes: Board Member Sources Community Resource Society, Board Member Cornerstone Care Society, Director, BC Summer Games Organizing Committee, Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation Patrons Council, Past President of the Surrey Board of Trade, and the Board of Trade’s Education Advisory Committee.

Bruce also is a regular contributing writer to several business and trade publications such as InnFocuss and The Publican.

Michael L. Heil

Michael L. Heil is the President and Chief Executive Officer Ohio Aerospace Institute.

Michael was appointed in January, 2007 to oversee and lead the OAI strategic initiatives, as well as serve as ambassador for the organization’s economic development efforts. Previous to OAI, Michael had a long and distinguished military career and most previously served as Director, Center for Space Studies and Research at the Air Force Institute of Technology. His experiences include serving as Director of the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Propulsion Directorate with responsibilities for propulsion and power research facilities both at Wright-Patterson and Edwards Air Force Bases. He oversaw facilities valued at more than $2.1 billion, while leading the efforts of more than 1,000 scientists, engineers and staff. His responsibilities included ensuring the directorate’s $300 million annual budget produced cutting edge technology results for the Air Force and the nation.

A distinguished engineering graduate from the U.S. Air Force Academy, class of 1975, Michael was commissioned and immediately pursued his master’s degree in flight structures at Columbia University on a Guggenheim Fellowship. He received a doctorate in aerospace engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology in 1986. His service to the nation includes engineering duties on the F-15 and program management on the C-17 and Advanced Cruise Missile. Michael held the positions of Deputy Director of the Astronautics Laboratory, Commander of the Phillips Laboratory and Arnold Engineering Development Center, Commandant of the Air Force Institute of Technology, and Special Assistant to the Commander of the Air Force Research Laboratory. In addition to his current position, he has served in two Air Force acquisition centers, four defense laboratories, a test center, a major command staff, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and the faculties of the Air Force Academy and Air Force Institute of Technology.

Mark R. High

Mark R. High is a member in the Detroit, Michigan, office of Dickinson Wright PLLC, a commercial firm with of 400 attorneys with offices in six states, Washington, D.C., and Ontario. He practices in the areas of business law, corporate finance, corporate governance, and international transactions. Mr. High has been practicing law for more than 30 years and represents both public companies and closely held businesses, as well as the domestic operations of Canadian and other foreign companies. Mr. High received a B.A. degree with honors from The College of Wooster (Ohio) and his J.D. degree from Duke University School of Law.

Mr. High is currently President of the Canada-U.S. Business Association, based in the Detroit-Windsor area. He is a past chairperson of the Business Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan, and is active in the American Bar Association's Section of Business Law. He has spoken at American Bar Association, Institute of Continuing Legal Education, Ethics Compliance Officers Association, and Michigan Business Law Section events, and various commercial seminars, and has published numerous articles in ABA, IBA, State Bar, Practical Lawyer, and other legal publications.

Mr. High serves on the ICLE Business Law Advisory Board and is a co-author of the Michigan section of Practical Law’s Corporate Law: State Q&A Tool. He is listed among the Top Business Lawyers in the Chambers, Best Lawyers, DBusiness, and SuperLawyers publications.

Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson serves as the Deputy Director of the Conference of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers. The Conference unites eight U.S. Governors and two Canadian Premiers working together to grow the region’s $5 trillion economy and protect its world-class environment.

Peter helped facilitate the negotiation and served as primary draftsman of the “Great Lakes Compact” and the companion cross-border Agreement--historic agreements and legislation that allow the eight U.S. Great Lakes States, Ontario and Québec to cooperatively manage water use in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Basin. Peter was instrumental in implementing the accords into law, providing testimony, presentations and expert counsel to State, Provincial and Federal legislators, and stakeholders. He now serves as the Secretary to the Governors’ Compact Council.

Peter helps coordinate the Governors’ broader regional efforts to protect and restore the Great Lakes. He was recognized for his leadership in fostering partnerships with the C.D. “Buzz” Besadny Award from the Great Lakes Fishery Commission in 2012. Separately, Peter helps lead the Council’s economic development program including its maritime initiative which promotes the region’s ports and shipping industry; its tourism initiative which promotes the region to international visitors; and its international trade program which includes ten shared trade offices around the world.

Peter formerly practiced commercial litigation with the law firm of Bischoff, Maurides & Swabowski, Ltd. He appeared frequently in both Federal and State courts throughout the Chicago metropolitan region on a wide variety of issues ranging from industrial pollution to antitrust defense. Peter also taught law and business at the Guangdong University of Foreign Studies located in Canton, China. He also worked at Trudy Nichol and Associates, a grassroots and fundraising consulting firm. In addition, Peter has served as a campaign worker on two U.S. Senate races in Illinois.

He has a B.A. in Political Science from North Park University, a J.D. from Boston College Law School, and has been a member of the Illinois Bar since 1991. He is also a member of the American Bar Association’s Section on Environment, Energy and Resources.

Kelly D. Johnston

Vice President – Government Affairs, Campbell Soup Company, Camden, New Jersey

Dunniela Kaufman

Dunniela Kaufman is a Canadian trade lawyer, practicing at Kaufman Trade Law in Washington, DC. Qualified and knowledgeable in both the Canadian and American legal systems, she maintains a professional profile in both countries. Dunniela has a law degree from the University of British Columbia and a LLM in international regulation from the Georgetown Law Center. In addition to an educational background in both countries, she is qualified to practice law in 4 jurisdictions, Ontario, British Columbia, New York and the District of Columbia and is active in legal associations on both sides of the border. She is a member of the Executive of the International Law Section of the Ontario Bar Association, as well as a Vice Chair of the Canada Committee of the International Law Section of the American Bar Association. In addition, Dunniela serves as co-chair of the Trade Committee of the International Law Section of the New York State Bar, as well as the co-editor of the Practicum, for the Section.

Dunniela’s practice focuses primarily on assisting clients moving goods, services and technology into Canada from the US. Complimentary to her substantive practice in trade regulation, Dunniela provides strategic advice to clients navigating cross border jurisdictional and political challenges on both sides of the border.

Dan Kolundzic

Dan Kolundzic is Vice President – North America at Nanos Research Corporation, a full service public opinion and market research firm specializing in numbers-driven counsel to senior executives and major organizations in both the United States and Canada. Prior to joining Nanos Research, Dan was with the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs & International Trade as Political & Economic Relations Officer at the Consulate General of Canada in Buffalo New York. Managing a wide range of political and economic files pertaining to the Canada-U.S. relationship, Dan has particular expertise in agriculture and energy issues, cross-border economic development and commerce, and the on-going development of the Canada-U.S. border management regime. Dan has established a number of Canada-U.S. initiatives including the Binational Executive Seminar on Canada-US Relations, Canadian participation in the Legislative Agricultural Leader’s Summit, the Thousand Islands Energy Research Forum, and the recently launched Binational Research & Innovation Corridor, amongst others. Dan operates professionally at the intersection of the academic, public and private sectors, within the broader Canada-U.S. context.

Marta Leardi-Anderson

Marta Leardi-Anderson, Executive Director, Cross-Border Institute, University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario

Ms. Leardi-Anderson has worked primarily in infrastructure and border policy development and implementation. With over ten years of experience at executive levels in both the private and public sectors where she has provided strategic policy direction to the most senior levels of industry, the Canadian federal government and public service. She has played a leading role in establishing the programs and strategic direction of CBI. She currently concentrates her efforts on a cross-border health care initiative, which is focused on expanding and formalizing cross-border medical research with respect to clinical trials and data collection. Another area of focus of her medical research and policy interest is centered upon the challenges of the movement of medical devices, tissue samples and individual patients across the border.

Elise Maheu

Elise Maheu is the Director of Government Affairs for 3M Canada Company. Prior to joining 3M Canada in 2003, Ms Maheu had extensive experience in 3M in Europe where she held a number of international leadership positions within Western Europe, Eastern Europe and Middle East in the areas of Business and Supply Chain Management including European Supply Chain Planning Manager for Medical Devices managing the total European Inventory, Service Levels and Manufacturing Planning in the German Operations. Her last role was Country Market Leader, Consumer & Office Markets for 3M Belgium.

In her current role, based in Ottawa, she is responsible for Government Affairs across all jurisdictions and markets. Her responsibilities include government affairs and markets strategic planning and execution across Canada in the areas of business development, government relations, advocacy, research, procurement and issues management in order to create and enhance value for the company.

Elise is a national board member of the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, a board member of the American Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce Ottawa Liaison Committee and Special Issue Committee, a member and past chair of the Canada’s Medical Technology Association federal affairs committee and active in several other industry associations representing 3M’s interest.

Ms Maheu holds a BBA from the Montreal University (HEC) in Marketing and studied at the University of Hasselt in Belgium in a Master in Business in Transport and Logistics program.

At 3M, we apply science in collaborative ways to improve lives daily. With $30 billion in sales, our 90,000 employees connect with customers all around the world. 3M Canada, established in 1951 is one of the first subsidiaries of 3M and is headquartered in London Ontario. 3M Canada operates manufacturing, training and R&D centres across the country.

Éric Marquis

Eric Marquis began his mandate as Québec Government Representative in the Midwest on October 31, 2011. He is responsible for developing Québec’s trade, investment and political relations with 12 Midwestern states and represents Québec on multilateral forums like the Great Lakes Commission and the Council of Great Lakes Governors. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Marquis was Director for Asia-Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, at the Ministère des Relations internationales du Québec. A graduate from the University of Victoria in British Columbia and Concordia University in Montréal, he taught American history and American foreign policy in various Québec universities. Mr. Marquis has been working for the Québec government since 1999, and his work has generally focused on Québec-United States relations. He has held a number of positions both in Québec and abroad, including a three-year mandate as Director of the Québec Government Office in Washington from 2004 to 2007.

Lauren T. McGarity

Lauren T. McGarity is Ohio’s Globalization Liaison and Director of Policy Projects for the Ohio Department of Higher Education. She facilitates the collaborative efforts affecting state-wide postsecondary education policy and strategic planning. Lauren serves as a lead for Ohio’s education reform, its policy development, legislative and regulatory process and statewide implementation.

Chancellor John Carey appointed Lauren as Ohio’s first Globalization Liaison. In this capacity, Lauren works with international governments, state policymakers, Ohio’s more than 200 accredited institutions of higher education, national experts, other state agencies and business leaders, as the architect, director of Ohio’s Global Reach to Engage Academic Talent initiative, “Ohio G.R.E.A.T.”.

Ohio’s G.R.E.A.T. initiative is an economic development strategy to improve Ohio’s global economic competitiveness through higher education talent engagement.

Prior to joining the Ohio Department of Higher Education, Lauren was the executive director of an nonprofit organization nationally recognized for its demonstrated innovation and development of education models for both children and adults that improved children’s social and academic success, and reduced criminal and anti-social behavior through education.

Lauren graduated from The Ohio State University in 1981 and earned her Juris Doctorate degree from Capital University Law School, and is a practicing Ohio attorney.

Mary A. McVicar

Mary graduated from Ohio Northern University in 2002 with a Bachelor of Business Administration and received her Master of Accountancy from The Ohio State University in 2003.

Upon graduation, Mary served as a small business development volunteer through the U.S. Peace Corps in East Africa until she started her public accounting career at GBQ in 2006. In 2013, Mary and her family relocated to Tallahassee, Florida. While Mary still resides in Tallahassee, she re-joined the firm in 2015 and is happy to be a part of the GBQ team once again.

As a Tax Senior Manager, Mary is a part of GBQ’s international tax practice. She serves clients in the manufacturing, service, wholesale/distribution and real estate industries. Mary’s focus at GBQ is to provide consulting and compliance services for closely-held businesses with an international tax presence.

Mary is actively involved in the community and serves on the Board of Directors as Finance Chair for a local non-profit organization, Refuge House. Refuge House is based in Tallahassee and provides services and resources to all people affected by domestic and sexual violence across eight counties in the Big Bend region of Florida.

Mary is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants

Paul Meade

Paul is the current President of the Canadian Business Association of North Carolina. This organization has a membership of over 500 Canadians and some Americans in North Carolina involved in conducting business either in the U.S, Canada, or both.

Paul is also the President and Founder of Thought Leader Select, a North Carolina-based healthcare consulting firm, conducting business in the U.S., Canada, and across the globe. Paul also spent 25 years in the Pharmaceutical Industry with Merck and GlaxoSmithKline.

Paul has a Master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences from Acadia University in Nova Scotia, and a Masters in Public Health, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also holds a Certificate in Public Health Ethics from UNC.

Tiffany Melvin

Tiffany is the original Executive Director of NASCO – North American Strategy for Competitiveness – and has served in that capacity for 18 of its 22 years. She was named President of NASCO in January 2015 by the NASCO Board of Directors.

Under her vision and leadership, NASCO has grown into a widely respected, tri-national coalition focusing on freight logistics, energy and the environment, and skilled workforce certification programs. She directs NASCO with an aggressive, far reaching, cooperative approach to solving critical issues impacting the efficient, secure and sustainable movement of freight throughout North America.

Tiffany also serves on the U.S. Department of Commerce Advisory Council on Supply Chain Competitiveness and is the Chairman of its Information Technology and Data Subcommittee, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Advisory Council’s Border Infrastructure Task Force, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Advisory Committee on Commercial Operations to Customs and Border Protection (COAC) North American Single Window Vision Working Group (NASWVWG), the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) Leadership Council, the Eno Center for Transportation Freight Working Group (as the alternate representing Texas), the North Central Texas Council of Governments’ Regional Freight Advisory Committee, and the Bi-national Board of the U.S. Mexico Chamber of Commerce.

Tiffany is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin, holding a BBA in International Business, with minors in Marketing and Spanish. She received her Juris Doctor degree from St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio in 1995, and is a certified mediator and arbitrator.

Deborah W. Meyers

Ms. Meyers is Director for Canadian Affairs and Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for North America. In this position, she coordinates DHS engagement with Canada in support of the Department’s goals and Department-wide efforts in support of the North American Leaders’ Summit. Her portfolio covers the full range of DHS missions, including counterterrorism, law enforcement, border management, immigration, information sharing, critical infrastructure protection, cybersecurity, and emergency preparedness. Ms. Meyers played a leading role in the development of the 2011 Declaration by President Obama and Prime Minister Harper Beyond the Border: A Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness, and she now leads DHS efforts to implement the Action Plan. She has focused particular effort in recent years on the Preclearance Agreement and the Immigration Information Sharing Treaty/Agreement, as well as on the Implementation Reports and outreach.

Previously, Ms. Meyers served as Senior Policy Analyst at the Migration Policy Institute and as a Policy Analyst at both the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform. Her work over the last two decades has focused on immigration, refugee, visa policy, and border issues, with particular focus on Mexico, Canada, and the United States. She has done consulting work for the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, Inter-American Dialogue, and RAND, and is the author of approximately 40 published reports, articles, chapters, and policy briefs. Ms. Meyers earned her MA from the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University and her BA from Brandeis University (Phi Beta Kappa). She also completed Georgetown University’s Nonprofit Management Executive Certificate Program, is proficient in Spanish, and is a member of the Association of Canadian Studies in the United States and Association of Borderlands Studies.

Eric Miller

Eric Miller is President of Rideau Potomac Strategy Group, a cross-border consultancy that advises clients on government affairs, trade issues, technology challenges and geopolitical developments. He previously served as Vice President of Policy, North America and Cybersecurity at the Business Council of Canada, which represents the CEOs of 150 of Canada’s leading companies. He led the Council’s policy work in cybersecurity and technology issues. He was also responsible for leading its work in the United States and Latin America and on border/supply chain issues, transportation policy, and anti-corruption rules.

Before joining the Council in 2013, Mr. Miller represented Industry Canada at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, DC. He was responsible for advising senior Canadian officials on U.S. economic, political, and technology issues. He also served as a member of the Canadian negotiating teams that designed Canada’s 2009 investments in the restructuring of the Chrysler and General Motors and the 2011 Canada-U.S. Beyond the Border Action Plan.

Mr. Miller has extensive international experience, having advised 40 governments in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Asia-Pacific on trade and economic policies. He worked for 8 years in the Integration and Trade Division of the Inter-American Development Bank and served as a USAID Chief of Party in Panama. Mr. Miller has testified before the U.S. Congress and the Canadian Parliament.

Separately, Mr. Miller is Chair of the Cybersecurity Advisory Board of Ridge Canada Cyber Solutions Inc., a leading provider of cyber insurance solutions and cyber advisory services.

He is a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center, a Fellow with the Canadian Global Affairs Institute and a Non-Resident Fellow with the Stimson Center’s Trade in the 21st Century initiative. He also serves on a number of advisory boards, including the Canadian Cyber Threat Exchange.

A native of rural Nova Scotia, Mr. Miller holds a Master’s Degree in International Affairs from Carleton University, a Graduate Diploma from the Bologna Center of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and a Bachelor’s Degree (Honors) from Saint Mary’s University. He is fluent in Spanish and French.

Duane Morrison

Duane Morrison is the Vice President-Deal Originations. Duane joined the Callidus Capital Deal Origination Team in May, 2011. He was previously with Roynat Capital, the merchant banking group of Scotiabank, for 10 years where he was responsible for leading Roynat's Southwest Ontario, Canada office and with expanding Roynat's presence in the U.S. Midwest marketplace. He is an active member of the Toronto, Chicago and New York City chapters of both the Association for Corporate Growth and Turnaround Management Association. He holds an MBA in Finance from Wilfrid Laurier University and a MAES in Economics from the University of Waterloo. He actively participates in sports including golf, baseball and skiing and enjoys spending time with his family including watching the sports teams of his two children.

Jeff Musson

Jeff Musson is a leading figure in the Canada-U.S. technology, innovation, and entrepreneur communities. He is the founder of the grass-roots entrepreneurial tech organization, Northof41 , that has over 12,000 members across North America. An accomplished entrepreneur, Jeff launched the Maple Leaf Lounge at SxSw that draws more than 3,500 Canada-U.S. technology companies to Austin, Texas each year, and has fostered Entrepreneur Exchanges between Toronto, Chicago and NYC. Jeff established the “Tech Day on Parliament Hill” and “Tech Day at Queen’s Park” advocacy events that draw the leading technology companies in Canada and the U.S. for several days long of interactions with policymakers and regulators. Jeff organized the AT&T Hackathon in Toronto and founded the Cross-Border Hackathon addressing border management and streamlined movement of goods across the Canada-U.S. border.

As president of, a leading software development company, Jeff specializes in the area of automotive apps and connected car technology. He is an accomplished speaker and commentator regarding entrepreneurship. (SxSW, Los Angeles Venture Assoc, Silicon Beachfest, Globe & Mail, National Post, Techvibes).

Jayson Myers

Jayson Myers is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, Canada’s largest industry and trade association.

Mr. Myers is Chair of the Canadian Manufacturing Coalition, a coalition of 52 industry associations that have come together to speak with a common voice on priority issues for Canada’s manufacturing sector. He is also Chair of the Enterprise Canada Network, a network of private and public sector agencies working together to identify qualified leads for technology partnership opportunities for small Canadian businesses. He is Vice-Chair of Canada’s Roundtable on Workforce Skills and of the Ontario and Great Lakes Manufacturing Councils.

Mr. Myers is a well-known economic commentator, and is widely published in the fields of Canadian and international economics, technological and industrial change. He is an advisor to Canada’s Minister for International Trade, Minister of Industry, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Employment and Social Development Canada, and the Canadian Border Services Agency. He sits on the boards of Auto21 and ReMap Canada (national centres of excellence for automotive and electronics research) and Era-Can+ (a network dedicated to promoting international research opportunities in Canada). He is also an advisor to Canada’s National Research Council.

Mr. Myers studied at Queen's University, Kingston and the University of British Columbia in Canada, and at the London School of Economics and Oxford University in the United Kingdom. He has held appointments as a research fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford and a lecturer in international studies at Warwick University, also in the U.K. He is a consultant on Canadian and international business affairs for Oxford Analytica, an international consulting group based at Oxford University.

Sheetal Maya Nanda

Sheetal Maya Nanda is the founder and principal lawyer at Toronto-based SN Legal ( She specializes in both immigration and entertainment law. Sheetal previously practiced at a prominent Toronto immigration law firm and also worked at a boutique entertainment law firm in Toronto where she gained legal experience on all aspects of film, television and new media projects. Deciding to combine her unique knowledge in these two areas of law, she is able to assist foreign nationals who wish to come to Canada and work in entertainment and technology. Sheetal is particularly passionate about supporting the legal needs of emerging entertainers, technology start-ups and digital creators as they navigate their careers.

Sheetal is highly experienced in Canada’s new Start-Up Visa program. The first of its kind in the world, the program links qualified international business immigration entrepreneurs with experienced private sector organizations. Sheetal has partnered with designated investors in Canada to assist international entrepreneurs in starting a new venture in Canada.

Sheetal also serves as Canadian Of Counsel to D’Alessio Law Group (, a full-service boutique immigration law firm practicing exclusively in the area of U.S immigration law.

Sheetal holds a J.D. from Osgoode Hall Law School and is admitted to the Bar of Ontario. She is also a graduate from the University of Toronto where she received her Bachelor’s of Science degree with honours in Developmental Biology and Genetics.

Nik Nanos

Nik Nanos is Chairman of Nanos Research Corporation, a Research Associate Professor at SUNY (UB), a Global Fellow at Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (Washington, DC) and a Senior Fellow at the University of Ottawa’s Collaboratory on Energy Research and Policy.

A trusted researcher and strategic advisor, Nik is regularly called upon by senior executives to provide counsel on a wide range of issues including corporate mergers, public advocacy campaigns, reputation management and regulatory issues.

Nik Nanos leads Nanos Research, one of Canada’s most distinguished research companies. The Nanos Research Group of Companies includes Signal Leadership Communications, a social public relations firm with images to create, issues to manage, relationships to build and reputations to protect in a digitally disrupted era. It also includes Nanos Rutherford McKay Company which delivers online media training courses, and Nanos-dimap Analytica, an analytics and targeting research practice which is a joint venture with dimap, one of Germany’s top research organizations.

He is the Chairman of Nanos Research, a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington DC, a research associate professor at the State University of New York at Buffalo, and a Senior Fellow at the University of Ottawa’s Collaboratory on Energy Research and Policy. Nik has also been elected a Fellow of the MRIA (FMRIA), the highest professional designation in the marketing research industry in Canada.

In addition to his weekly Nanos Power Index which charts the strength of the federal political parties, Nik leads the team behind the weekly Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index, considered a must-have resource for senior executives.

Nik is also featured in a weekly segment on CTV’s PowerPlay, Nanos on the Numbers, which focuses on the latest political, business and social trends. He currently serves on the Editorial Board for the Canadian Journal of Professional Communication at McMaster University. In addition to his experience in research and communications, he is a former president of a leading national government relations firm. The unique combination of advanced research skills, communications expertise, and his knowledge in advancing client interests make Mr. Nanos one of Canada's leading strategists.

He is the pollster for CTV News, Canada’s largest private broadcaster, the Globe & Mail, Canada’s national newspaper, and Bloomberg News in Canada.

Ahmad Nassri

Ahmad Nassri is the VP of Engineering at Mashape, a San Francisco based startup, focused on powering API driven software.

He is the Founder at Tech Masters, Canada's biggest Online Slack Community, He Mentors Software Developers at Node School Toronto, and serves as Director at both Full Stack Toronto Conference, and The Open API Initiative, a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project.

In his spare time, Ahmad blogs on Technology & Leadership, mentors early stage startups, and builds open-source projects used by thousands of developers world wide.

Prior to joining Mashape, Ahmad lead large development teams across various industries in delivering global scale projects. Most recently as the Development Manager of Digital Operations at the CBC where he oversaw the launch of two Digital Olympics and many digital projects accessed by millions of Canadians at home and overseas.

Ahmad started an initiative to redefine Software Development Methodologies, dubbed the “Open Development Methodology” and is currently traveling around the world speaking at conferences to evangelize and fine-tune this new approach to software development.

Joy Nott

Joy Nott is President of the Canadian Importers and Exporters Association (I.E.Canada). Joy brings over 25 years of experience in customs compliance to the I.E.Canada team. Joy started her career in Montreal and worked for over 10 years for well known customs brokers/freight forwarders giving her hands on operational experience.

Prior to joining I.E.Canada, Joy was a Vice President and Managing Consultant for JPMorgan Global Trade Management Services based in the Toronto, Ontario area and specialized in matters of customs and international trade for both Canada and the U.S. based clients.

Prior to the above, Joy spent a number of years developing her expertise employed as a Senior Manager with public accounting firms of KPMG LLP and Deloitte & Touche LLP as a Customs and International Trade consultant. The accounting firm environment provided her with extensive experience related to advising multinational clients in terms of meeting import and export requirements while minimizing costs. Her experience with professional tax and supply chain advisers has given her a background rich in understanding how customs and trade issues play an important role in developing corporate strategies. Her experience in advising how matters such as income tax transfer pricing and customs valuation fit into complex international restructuring plans have been key to her success as a consultant.

Joy sits on various committees as advisors to Federal Ministers and has testified before both the House of Commons and Senate Committees on International trade on matters directly impacting Canadian importers and exporters.

Joy’s credentials include a Bachelor of Arts from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec in 1987. She later sought and received honours when writing for her qualified customs brokers’ status in 1990. In 1993, Joy gained her professional customs brokerage status. In 2011, Joy gained her P.Log designation (Professional Logistician).

David Olsen

Mr. Olsen is an experienced financial services professional with over 20 years in the industry. He currently serves as the Regional President and Principal Officer for PNC Bank Canada Branch in Toronto, Ontario.

Working across a broad spectrum of banking in the United States and Canada, Mr. Olsen has developed a deep-seeded knowledge of corporate banking, treasury management, business banking, retail banking and risk management. During his tenure with PNC, he has held a number of leadership roles. Prior to his current position, Mr. Olsen served as chief operating officer in Canada; regional sales director for the regional president organization; division manager in treasury management, with responsibility for corporate banking product management (deposits, loans, check, vault and pricing); corporate banking relationship manager; workout loan officer; business banking underwriter; and retail branch manager.

Mr. Olsen serves on the Public Affairs Committee of The Canadian Bankers Association. He is the chairman of Select USA in Toronto, and is also a member of the board of directors for the Greater Toronto Area Chapter of The American Chamber of Commerce in Canada.

Mr. Olsen has a B. S. from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. His personal interests include running, and cycling.

Hon. Charles Perricone

Charles Perricone graduated Cum Laude from Western Michigan University with a BBA in Accountancy prior to being recruited by Price Waterhouse, one of the world's most respected financial service companies. Subsequently elected to Michigan’s House of Representatives, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from WMU while serving as Michigan's Speaker of the House of Representatives (the first under Term Limits). Upon leaving office, he founded The Perricone Group of companies, served as Chair of the Trade Corridors Conference and assisted the Canadian Consul by leading their section on "What you need to know about U.S. government" for new staff prior to their deployment. He has developed a reputation for discretion and success while serving a number of high profile clients, and is most proud of his record solving tough issues for Canadian entities. Speaker Perricone owns and publishes Dome Magazine, an award-winning, virtual publication featuring a Pulitzer and two Emmy winners along with several other distinguished columnists. He is co-founder of the MI Legislative Bipartisan Caucus and continues to host a highly regarded, bipartiisan conference connecting all newly-elected legislators with their leadership and select public and private-sector expertise following each election. Speaker Perricone has devoted his career to serving as a resource to state and federal officials by providing them with what they need most: Private and public-sector expertise.

James Phillips

James Phillips, distinguished businessman and speaker, holds degrees in Accounting, MBA in Corporate Management and Honorary Doctor of Commercial Science.

President & CEO, 1992 to present, CAN/AM BORDER TRADE ALLIANCE (Can/Am BTA). The Canadian/American Border Trade Alliance, formed in 1992, is a transcontinental, bi-national, broad based organization with participation from all 27 states (Washington to Maine including Alaska) on or near the U.S./Canada Border and the Canadian Provinces. The combined network involves over 60,000 companies and organizations in their individual memberships. Can/Am BTA participants include members from border trade, border crossing and transportation segments including producers, shippers, brokers, mode transportation providers, bridge and tunnel operators, chambers of commerce, business and trade corridor associations and economic development and government agencies. The CAN/AM BTA’s major focus areas are Trade, Transportation, Border Management and Visitation.

There are a number of effective, cooperative, major multi-jurisdictional trade corridor initiatives connecting U.S./Canada. Can/Am BTA members are key participants in each.

He is past President of General Abrasive, where he served as Chief Executive Officer, Executive Vice President, Vice President of Finance, And Vice President in charge of Operations of the Canadian Subsidiary, General Abrasive (Canada) Limited. Prior to his employment at General Abrasive, he was Chief Financial Officer of the Pigments Division of the American Cyanamid Company.

He was appointed by the Senate Majority and the Governor to the New York State Superfund Management Board. He was elected to the Marquis “Who’s Who in American Business in the East” ; “Who’s Who in Finance and Industry” and “Who’s Who in America”. Appeared on Television and Radio in various formats as a spokesperson for Business and Community.

Mr. Phillips has received a number of awards in recognition for his successful leadership in business and was awarded the prestigious Dresser Gold Medal for the most innovative and creative contribution to technology for his patented Furnace Plant Design. He was presented with the Business Council Of New York State award by the Governor.

Liliane Pin

As the Director of Investissement Québec’s Chicago office, Liliane Pin facilitates international investment projects for companies from the U.S. Midwest seeking new business opportunities in North America.

Ms. Pin previously worked as a finance and communication coordinator in the Montréal legal community before holding various public affairs posts for the Canadian and Québec governments in New York and Los Angeles. She holds a master's degree in management from the highly reputed McGill University as well as a bachelor’s degree in communications. She also studied at Université Paris-Sorbonne.

Investissement Québec is an economic development agency and a financing corporation. Its mission is to support international companies that wish to set up operations in Québec and to help established subsidiaries get new projects off the ground. Investissement Québec offers a wide range of financial solutions to support business growth and development. For any business seeking to expand, Investissement Québec is the partner of choice.

Sarah Reid

Sarah Reid is a freelance journalist specializing in trade, business, and economics. Her work appears in publications including The Globe and Mail, the National Post, Boston Globe,, and on radio.

Sarah was a 2015/16 Global Journalism Fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. Prior to her career in journalism, she worked in communications and public policy at the Business Council of Canada (formerly the Canadian Council of Chief Executives) one of Canada’s most prominent business advocacy groups. She also spent several years working for the federal government in research and policy roles, both in Ottawa and at the Canadian embassy in Washington, D.C.

Sarah holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of British Columbia and a Masters of Science in international relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She lives in Toronto.

Glenn Richardson

Glenn Richardson is the Managing Director for Advanced Manufacturing and Aerospace at JobsOhio. He has experience in operations and engineering and has worked in the Aerospace, Automotive, and Energy industries.

Richardson joined JobsOhio after serving as Vice President of the Packaging and Driven Equipment Supply Chain Unit at Rolls-Royce Energy Systems, Inc. Previous to this, he was the Vice President and General Manager, Americas and China, for Dana Holding Corporation in the Off-Highway division. Richardson also worked for Honeywell in a variety of roles and across several business units.

Richardson attended the University of Notre Dame, where he earned an MBA and an MS in Mechanical Engineering. He also earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University.

Matthew Rooney

Matt Rooney is the Director of Economic Growth at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas. He joined the Bush Center in June 2015 from a career as a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State. At postings in Washington and abroad, Matt focused on advocating market-driven solutions to economic policy challenges in both industrialized and developing countries, and on protecting the interests of U.S. companies abroad.

In Washington, Matt was on loan to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to create a high-level private sector advisory body for the Summits of the Americas, working closely with the U.S. private sector and with companies and business associations from throughout the Americas to negotiate an agenda to promote economic integration in the region for presentation to the leaders of the Americas. Previously, he was Deputy Assistant Secretary responsible for relations with Canada and Mexico and for regional economic policy. Prior to this, as Director of the Office of Economic Policy, he led interagency and international negotiations in 2008 that produced the Secretary’s Pathways to Prosperity in the Americas initiative, designed to engage with America’s free trade agreement partners on strategies for ensuring that the benefits of globalization are broadly shared throughout society.

Abroad, Matt was Consul General in Munich, a Consulate General providing a full range of Consular and export promotion services, supporting a permanent presence of 30,000 U.S. forces in two major base complexes, and performing political and economic analysis in support of U.S. diplomatic objectives in Germany. As Counselor for Economic and Commercial Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in San Salvador, El Salvador, he laid the groundwork for free trade negotiations between the United States and the five countries of Central America, and promoted market-based reforms for electrical power. Prior to this, Matt served in various posts in Germany, Gabon and Côte d’Ivoire.

Matt studied Economics, German and French at the University of Texas at Austin and received his Master’s Degree in International Management at the University of Texas at Dallas. With his wife Dianna, Matt has two young adult sons.

Sebastien D. Roy

Sebastien D. Roy was assigned to the Consulate General of Canada in Detroit in September 2014 as Consul and Trade Commissioner covering the states of Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.

In his role, he assists US based companies with their investment and expansion projects in Canada by providing sources of strategic market intelligence, key government & investment professionals contacts engaged to support investment projects, information and advice on sector-specific programs available in Canada, and facilitation of site visits. Sebastien also promotes R&D partnerships across the border, recognizing that these are an essential catalyst for science and technological innovation that often accelerates the pace of discovery and result in improved commercialization for both Canadian and US companies.

Sebastien joined the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development in 2000. Most recently, he served in Kabul, Afghanistan as First Secretary and Consul (Consular/Management). From 2010 to 2013, he worked as a Director within the Inspection and Special Investigation Divisions, reviewing program performance in the entire network of Canadian Missions abroad and providing recommendations for improvements. Prior to that, Sebastien occupied management positions in in the Canadian passport security & integrity program, and also worked in the fields of project management and business analysis.

Sebastien graduated in 2010 from l’École nationale d’administration publique with a Master of Public Administration degree (Management Public). He is originally from Quebec City.

Christopher Sands

Christopher Sands is Senior Research Professor and Director of the Center for Canadian Studies at Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. He is concurrently the G. Robert Ross Distinguished Visiting Professor of Canada-U.S. Business and Economic Relations in the College of Business and Economics at Western Washington University. From 2005 until 2012, he taught in the School of Public Affairs and the School of International Service at American University.

Dr. Sands worked for more than twenty-two years in Washington DC think tanks, starting in 1993 as Canada Project Coordinator at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). At CSIS, Sands served as Director of the CSIS Canada Project from 1995 until 2006, leading the CSIS Congressional Study Group on Canada and chairing the CSIS Smart Border North Working Group. Sands research considered the impact of the North American Free Trade Agreement, the 1995 Quebec Referendum and the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on U.S.-Canadian Relations. In 2007, he became a Senior Fellow of the Hudson Institute where he directed the Hudson Initiative on North American Competitiveness. At Hudson, Sands led studies of the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, alternative energy futures for North America, and automotive industrial policy in the wake of the 2009 U.S. and Canadian bailouts of General Motors and Chrysler. In addition to CSIS and Hudson, Sands’ work has been published by several of Washington's leading think tanks, including the American Enterprise Institute, the Atlantic Council, the Brookings Institution, the Center for the Study of the Presidency, the Migration Policy Institute and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Dr. Sands is a fellow of the Border Policy Research Institute in Bellingham, Washington and a fellow in the Economic Growth Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute in Dallas, Texas. Additionally, he continues to play a role in the work of policy research institutes outside DC, serving on the advisory boards for the Macdonald Laurier Institute in Ottawa and for the Canada-United States Law Institute (a joint venture of the law faculties of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio and Western University in London, Ontario).

Professor Sands began teaching at SAIS as a professorial lecturer in 2009. He earned a B.A. degree in political science at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, and an M.A. in international economics and Canadian studies from Johns Hopkins University SAIS. During the 1999-2000 academic year, he was a Fulbright scholar at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University in Ottawa. He serves on the executive (as treasurer) of the Canadian Politics Section of the American Political Science Association, and is a member of the International Studies Association and the Association for Canadian Studies in the United States.

AnnMarie Schneider

Ann Marie leads the Program Planning and Policy Education Division of Michigan State University’s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research (IPPSR), and is director of the Canadian Studies Center at MSU.

Within her immediate responsibility is the Michigan Applied Public Policy Research Program, a policy-relevant research incentive program, and secondly, an annual forum series showcasing research expertise on pressing policy issues – both intended to nurture dialog between research experts, policymakers, and business practitioners. She has helped to develop and orchestrate keystone policy education programs at MSU, including: the Michigan Political Leadership Program, for citizens interested in appointed or elected office; Michigan’s Legislative Leadership Program, for freshman legislators, and; the State of the State Survey, for gauging public opinion on policy issues.

AnnMarie further bridges state and international policy education while directing the Canadian Studies Center, the longest standing such center in the U.S., and by serving as vice chair of a cross-border communication network, the Great Lakes Trade and Transport Hub (GLITTH) Initiative. GLITTH aims to establish Michigan, its neighboring states and provinces as a vibrant trade region through stakeholder collaboration. AnnMarie also serves as vice president of the Midwest Association for Canadian Studies and on several advisory boards including the Community Economic Development Center and the Center for International Business and Education Research at Michigan State University.

Beth-Anne Schuelke-Leech

Dr. Beth-Anne Schuelke-Leech is Director of Manufacturing Innovation and Policy, Ohio Manufacturing Institute and an Assistant Professor at the John Glenn School of Public Affairs at the Ohio State University. Professor Schuelke-Leech earned her doctorate at the University of Georgia in Public Policy and Finance. She has an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from McMaster University and a Masters of Business Administration from York University. Before undertaking her doctoral studies, she worked for 12 years as a professional engineer in Ontario, primarily in product development and manufacturing. Dr. Schuelke-Leech’s research sits at the nexus of technological innovation, engineering, business, and public policy. Her work focuses on the innovation process and linking industry, academia, and policymakers. She has co-founded three technology-based businesses.

Rohit Shanker

Rohit Shanker is a serial entrepreneur and the founder of Elora Consulting, a Toronto-based boutique digital product development agency. Elora recently acquired Inovex, a company which specializes in developing custom software solutions for the healthcare, energy and transportation sectors. Inovex ( has developed a secure web and mobile software application for healthcare data collection, reporting and analytics called Canvass. Currently, they are enabling CAMH Nicotine Dependence Clinic, Osteoporosis Canada and Cystic Fibrosis Canada manage over 250,000 patients. Rohit was born in India, grew up in the US, and moved to Canada to attend the University of Toronto. He has been actively involved in promoting trade between all three countries for the last 10 years. Rohit's vision is to build outstanding companies with amazing people that engineer purposeful products and deliver incredible customer service... in short be the best.

Brenda Swick

Ms. Swick's practice focuses on government contracting, anti-trust, regulatory compliance, anti-corruption, export controls and economic sanctions, trade remedies, customs and judicial review of government decisions. She also has a practice in international trade and investment law (including WTO/NAFTA dispute settlement).

The Government of Canada has appointed Ms. Swick as an expert arbitrator under Chapter 19 of the NAFTA. She has also received her Certificate in Public Procurement Law and Practice from Osgoode Hall Law School. Early on in her career, she was legal counsel with the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT), Canada's bid review mechanism and the Department of Justice.

Ms. Swick is one of Canada’s leading experts on the law of competitive contracting and on trade agreements relating to government procurement. She has represented clients in numerous government contracting disputes, including before the Canadian International Trade Tribunal, the Federal Court of Canada and provincial tribunals. Ms. Swick advises clients on all aspects of federal, provincial and municipal government contracting in Canada, including bid preparation, contract negotiation, assignment and change of control provisions, regulatory compliance, anti-corruption compliance, suspension and debarment, bid challenges and litigation. She also advises clients on the design and conduct of private procurement.

Having practiced in Ottawa, for two decades, Ms. Swick is well-known in government circles, and brings to clients years of experience in dealing effectively with governments and administrative agencies, in request to a host of regulatory compliance issues.

Ms. Swick has extensive expertise in representing clients in anti dumping and countervailing duty investigations before the Canada Border Services Agency, the Canadian International Trade Tribunal and the Federal Court and Federal Court of Appeal. Her expertise and reported cases can be found here. Trade Remedy Expertise As part of her regulatory practice she advises on Canada’s export controls and economic sanctions regime and all requirements under the Controlled Goods Program and Defence Production Act.

As part of her anti-corruption compliance practice, she has counseled and has written corporate compliance programs and conducted anti-corruption training, audits and investigations for Fortune 500 companies.

As part of her WTO and NAFTA practice, for over 20 years, Ms. Swick has successfully litigated numerous high-profile cases. She advised governments and private sector clients in more than 15 WTO dispute resolution proceedings. Ms. Swick currently represents a provincial government in the WTO Feed-In-Tariff case and for many years represented the Quebec Softwood Lumber industry in the anti-dumping and countervailing duty cases against imports of softwood lumber from Canada, the most commercially significant trade case ever filed under the US trade laws.

In regard to her customs practice, Ms. Swick was formerly counsel to the Canadian International Trade Tribunal which hears appeals of decisions of the Canadian customs authorities on customs matters. She has counselled on customs matters and appeared before the CBSA, CITT and Federal Court. Early in her career Ms. Swick was in-house counsel to a major freight forwarder and distribution company where she had the opportunity to work on a variety of customs-related matters.

Rick Tachuk

As the National Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Canada (AmCham Canada) Rick Tachuk is a leading advocate and spokesperson on the expansion and promotion of U.S. – Canada trade and investment. With over 25 years of experience as an international trade practitioner he is frequently called upon to provide commentary on the views of U.S. business operating in Canada on host of cross-border issues.

Mr. Tachuk is also the Founder and President of Electric Strategies, Inc., an Ottawa-based communications and public affairs agency specializing in crossborder issues management. Prior to founding his company Rick served as an Executive-Vice President of DCI Enable, a publicly traded E-business solutions firm.

Before entering the private sector, Rick served as the United States International Trade Administration’s Senior Commercial Specialist in Canada responsible for export promotion activities and policy development. He was formerly employed as an International Marketing Specialist with the Government of Canada’s Bureau of Management Consulting and a Research Associate in the International Business Research Centre of the Conference Board of Canada.

Rick is a founding Board Member of the Ottawa Software Cluster and has served on several boards of Canadian start-ups. He holds a Masters degree in International Management from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University and a Bachelors degree in Business Administration (Marketing) and Economics from Bishop’s University. He is a frequent guest lecturer at the Sprott School of Business International MBA program in Ottawa and has authored numerous articles on international trade and related business issues in both Canada and the United States.

Robert E. Tanner Jr.

Bob is Vice President of Corporate & Government Affairs for NetJets. He is a graduate of the Ohio State University, received his Juris Doctorate degree from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio and is licensed to practice law in the State of Ohio.

Bob oversees the development and implementation of NetJets political engagement strategies with Federal, State and local elected officials, regulatory agencies and key industry policy makers. In this capacity, Bob is responsible for evaluating pending legislation and formulating advocacy strategies to protect and promote NetJets and the interests of the Business Aviation Industry.

Bob has over 25 years experience as a lawyer and government affairs professional with extensive knowledge of aviation law and policy.

Laurie Tannous

Laurie Tannous is a requested speaker at many trade and industry forums globally. Ms. Tannous has significant hands on experience assisting small, medium and large multinational corporations, foreign governments and industry associations with their business immigration, border security, trade, customs and regulatory compliance matters. She presently holds several concurrent strategic positions including:

  • Vice President Government & Industry Relations at Farrow - Canada's largest independently owned customs broker Farrow is a billion dollar organization handling over one million transactions each year.
  • Senior Advisor at Cross Border Institute dedicated to research, education and public outreach related to the movement of people, goods and services across the Canada-US border (University of Windsor).
  • Adjunct Professor at University of Windsor Law School.
Ms. Tannous worked for seven years for the Canada Border Services Agency as a Customs and Immigration Officer bringing an in-depth experience to her understanding of immigration and customs laws and regulations.

Daniel D. Ujczo

Of Counsel & Cross-Border Business Development Director Dickinson Wright PLLC

Dan is an international trade and customs lawyer who specializes in Canada-United States matters. In addition to his legal practice, Dan has responsibility for coordinating the firm’s innovative Canada-US Platform where he collaborates with more than 400 Dickinson Wright attorneys who regularly assist businesses that are navigating the cross-border regulatory and legal environments. Dan also provides public policy counsel to government officials and industry leaders on Canada-US matters.

A US-licensed lawyer, Dan is one of the few individuals that has served in the US and Canadian governments, as well as private practice and academia. Dan served as an officer in Canada’s foreign ministry and he was the Managing Director of the Canada-United States Law Institute, an organization of cross-border corporate executives and in-house counsel, law firms, public policy experts, scholars and the media housed at Case Western Reserve University and the University of Western Ontario. Dan was a visiting professor of law for nearly a decade and managed a lab that served as a legal adviser to the US Department of Homeland Security and the US Coast Guard. Dan was the co-faculty advisor for the Canada-United States Law Journal and the Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law. Dan’s US government experience also includes serving as a Career Judicial Law Clerk to United States District Judge Peter C. Economus (OHND).

Dan is President of the Ohio-Canada Business Association and was appointed by Ohio Governor John Kasich to the Executive Order of the Ohio Commodores. He is a National Board member of the American Chamber of Commerce in Canada (AM-CHAM Canada) and serves on the Managing Council of AM-CHAM’s Ontario chapter. Dan also serves as board member of the Invest USA committee established by U.S. Ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman to foster Canada-U.S. investment opportunities.

Dr. Lorry Wagner

Dr. Lorry Wagner, an experienced energy engineer, has served as president of the Cleveland-based Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo) since May of 2010.

Previous energy project experience includes nuclear, hydroelectric, solar, as well as wind. Other relevant research was performed in the fields of neural network forecasting, failure analysis, and fault tolerant control systems. He received his degrees from Purdue University and majored in heat transfer technologies for fusion reactors, leading to the development of several new non-dimensional numbers.

Dr. Wagner has developed innovative solutions to industrial sensing challenges as well as building several land-based wind projects across the U.S. He previously served as CEO of Azure Energy, Phillips Electric, Motor Guarantee Corp., Remote Sensors, Inc., as well as Director of Research for Global Asset Management.

Michelle Williams

Michelle Williams is a Product Portfolio Manager – Occupational Certification, with CSA Group. In her role, Michelle works with industry stakeholders in the United States and Canada to develop industry and job-specific occupational certification programs. Michelle has been with CSA Group for nine years. Prior to CSA, Michelle worked with various trade associations and professional societies focusing on membership recruitment and member services. Michelle is from Ohio and a graduate of the University of Toledo.

Ed Wolking Jr.

Ed Wolking Jr., CCE, is executive vice president at the Detroit Regional Chamber and oversees the Detroit Regional Chamber Foundation, grant development, health care and Great Lakes regional groups such as the Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition and the Great Lakes Manufacturing Council. In this role, he works to develop opportunities for Detroit and the broader region and provide solutions in economic development, products, health care, manufacturing and collaborations that will also be of value to the Chamber and its members.

Prior to becoming executive vice president, Wolking was the Chamber’s senior vice president of strategic directions, member services and marketing. Since joining the Chamber in 1986, Wolking has developed and implemented the Chamber’s affinity programs and the tiered dues concept and platform.

In more recent years, Wolking’s responsibilities have included development of the Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition and the bi-national Great Lakes Manufacturing Council in response to the region’s economic challenges, as well as projects including: a study on the impact of offshoring on manufacturing in Michigan; and the Great Lakes Manufacturing Forum. His health care duties have included national and state legislative advocacy; group product design, development, and marketing; leadership in regional and state organizations; regional issues and initiatives to reduce costs and increase quality.

With nearly 40 years of experience in chamber management, Wolking has served as president of the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce, a manufacturing center in Indiana; group executive at the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce; and executive vice president at the Clermont County Chamber of Commerce in Ohio.

Wolking holds Bachelor of Arts and Master of Business Administration degrees from Xavier University and numerous awards from the National Association of Membership Development. He and his wife have four sons and belong to St. Clare of Montefalco Parish.

Dr. Barry Wright

Barry Wright is the Interim Dean in the Goodman School of Business at Brock University. Prior to this he was the Director of the Niagara Community Observatory where he worked in partnership with the Niagara community to foster, produce, and disseminate evidence-based research on current and emerging issues. Dr. Wright’s research centres primarily on leadership issues and change and its influence on organizational members. An award winning educator in the classroom, Barry is also comfortable in the boardroom. He has provided a variety of training and research consultations to Canadian businesses and not-for-profit organizations. Barry is an active volunteer in his community. He has served on several community, provincial, and national boards; most recently, as board chair of the Niagara Health System. With a Ph.D. in Management from Queen's University, Barry enjoys being a father, coaching sports, a trip to the art gallery, travelling, and a good laugh.


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