Governance professionals support boards to do their jobs. A half-dozen programs in Canada educate directors. So, who supports and provides certified education to governance professional? GPC does!
  • The program equips corporate secretaries and other governance professionals to excel in delivering on their boardroom accountabilities.
  • The program is indispensable for corporate secretaries and other governance professionals who need relevant and practical skills to succeed in the boardroom.
  • The program dispels the mysteries of the boardroom by equipping participants with the practical, expert insights and skills they need to excel as governance professionals.


Guy Bridgeman, Ph.D., ICD.D

Guy is CFO for EPCOR Utilities Inc., an Edmonton based utility that provides electricity and water/wastewater utility services in Western Canada and the Southwest United States. The company has an asset value of approximately $6.2 billion, 2016 net income of $309 million and 2,800 employees in Canada and the United States.

Guy was a Director of RuggedCom (RCN: TSX) from 2003 – 2012; an Ontario industrial communication technology firm that was founded in 2001, went public in 2007 and was taken private in 2012. Guy was a member of the Compensation, Governance and Nominating Committee.

Guy currently serves as a Vice-Chair of the River Valley Alliance (RVA) and is Treasurer and Chair of the Finance Committee. The RVA is a municipally owned corporation that promotes the development of the park trail system along the North Saskatchewan River in the Edmonton Capital Region. Current capital funding under management is $110 million.

Guy also serves on the Executive of the Edmonton Chapter of the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD) and on the Board for the Centre for Applied Business Research in Energy and the Environment (CABREE) at the University of Alberta.

Guy has over 28 years of experience in the Alberta energy industry. He played a leading role in the Province's first round of electric industry deregulation in 1996.

Guy joined EPCOR in 1995 as Director Regulatory Affairs and has served in a variety of capacities including oversight of the Electricity Distribution & Transmission, and Customer Service operating units. Guy has played a leading role in the growth of EPCOR since its creation in 1995 through the development and acquisition of Power Purchase Arrangements and EPCOR entry into energy retailing. Guy led the transformation of EPCOR’s corporate service delivery model prior to being appointed CFO in 2013 and is currently leading the transformation of EPCOR’s finance functions.

Guy is active in the community having served on the United Way’s Alberta Capital Region Campaign Cabinet and as a Director of the Citadel Theatre from 2005 – 2013. Guy was a member of the Finance Committee and chaired the Strategic Review Committee in 2012.

Guy holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Western University, is a graduate of Harvard’s Advanced Management Program and holds an ICD.D. Guy is a frequent speaker at conferences and recently taught the Financial Valuation module for the ICD Director Education Program.

John Dinner,
President, John T. Dinner Board Governance Services

For the past 15 years, John Dinner has been consulting to boards of directors across sectors and across Canada. He provides valued counsel, guidance and support to boards who want to govern well. Prior to his highly successful career as a consultant, John provided management support to the board of directors of a leading Canadian financial institution. During this time, his work was recognized with the National Award in Governance.

Sara Gelgor, BA, LLB, LLM, MBA, ICD.D
Head of Regulatory Compliance, Retail Banking and Wealth Management, HSBC Canada

Sara Gelgor is an experienced legal, compliance and governance professional.

She is Head of Regulatory Compliance, Retail Banking and Wealth Management at HSBC Canada. Sara is a member of the University of Toronto Governing Council Business Board and is the former Vice President, Enterprise Programs Compliance and Chief Privacy Officer at Scotiabank. Sara has served on a number of corporate and not-for-profit boards and is a frequent speaker at conferences. She is a past speaker at GPC’s Annual Corporate Governance Conference and will be speaking at the 2017 Conference.

Sara holds a BA from the University of Toronto, an LL.B. from Queen’s University, an LL.M. from Cambridge University, and an MBA from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. Sara also holds the ICD.D designation and has completed the Osgoode Certificate in Regulatory Compliance and Legal Risk Management.

Sylvia Groves, FCIS, Acc.Dir.
President and Creative Director, Governance Studio

Sylvia, a self-proclaimed “governance nerd”, believes in the power of transparency, diversity, engagement and continuous improvement to add value. She created Governance Studio from her award-winning work with one of Canada’s foremost governance leaders. Directors and Corporate Secretaries from all sectors appreciate working with Sylvia to enhance organizational governance and benefit key stakeholders. Sylvia listens to each client’s unique needs and applies her decades of expertise to build the right program for each organization. “There is no one size fits all – to be effective, governance has to fit the company and its culture,” notes Sylvia.

Sylvia’s work includes consulting, professional speaking and board facilitation sessions. She is the author of the highly acclaimed book: AAA+ Minutes™ – The Three Must-Do Fundamentals And 100s Of Practice Tips For Writing Minutes That Protect Your Organization And Its Directors. She is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators and received the 2014 Excellence in Governance Distinguished Contribution Award from the Canadian Society of Corporate Secretaries. Visit www.GovernanceStudio.ca to learn more.

Heather Laxton,
Chief Governance Officer & Corporate Secretary, Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd.

Heather has over 20 years of corporate secretarial, corporate governance, and securities regulation experience with a focus on the mining sector in Canada, Europe, Russia and West Africa. She has served in several senior management and executive roles for companies listed on the TSX and Venture Exchanges, London - AIM and NYSE AMEX. She is currently Chief Governance Officer and Corporate Secretary with Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd., and prior to that, she was Corporate Secretary with Kirkland Lake Gold Inc., Chief Governance Officer and Corporate Secretary with Northern Gold Mining Inc., and Governance Manager and Corporate Secretary with European Goldfields Ltd. and High River Gold Mines Ltd. During her career, she has worked extensively with boards and senior management teams on both simple and complex governance matters, and has led the evaluation, design, implementation and monitoring of governance programs for several junior mining companies. She began working as a professional law clerk in multi-national law firms including Torys LLP and Smith Lyons LLP, obtained an honours diploma from the Law Clerk Program at Seneca College, and completed the Canadian Securities Course in 2000. Ms. Laxton is currently a member of the Education Committee of Governance Professionals of Canada. 

Steve Mallory, ICD.D, FCIP, CRM,
President, Directors Global Insurance Brokers Ltd.

Stephen (Steve) Mallory is President, CEO and founder of Directors Global Insurance Brokers Ltd., a Toronto based firm which provides commercial and directors insurance brokerage services along with enterprise-risk-management counsel for organizations located across Canada and internationally. Previously, he served as CEO and Region Head within two of Canada’s largest insurance brokerages.

From 2012-2017 he served on the board of VIA Rail Canada Inc. a Canadian Federal Crown Corporation and Chaired the Governance, Risk and Strategy Committee and was a member of the Pension/Investment Committee. Previously he served from 2008-2012 as a director with the Standards Council of Canada, also a Federal Crown Corporation.

Steve has served since 2011 as a member of the CSA Canadian Risk Management Mirror Committee TC 262, providing input on risk and safety standards for Canadians.

He has completed the Directors Education Programs at the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD.D) and at the Government of Canada. He holds the CRM (C

anadian Risk Management) and FCIP (Fellow, Chartered Insurance Professional) designations, and a BA from the University of Western Ontario.

Steve is an instructor teaching Board Risk Oversight to participants of the Institute of Corporate Directors, DEP/ICD.D program, and delivers the session at the Rotman Business School/ University of Toronto and at other participating universities across Canada. In September 2017, he commences instructing risk management to students enrolled in the Masters, Financial Accountability program at York University.

Steve authored a chapter on D&O and commercial insurance in “The Handbook of Board Governance” (2016), by Richard A. Leblanc, and he is regularly quoted in Canadian business and risk industry publications.

David Masse,
Principal, Governance View

David Masse is a lawyer and member of the Bar in Quebec, and a governance consultant based in Toronto. His areas of expertise include corporate governance, corporate and securities law, mergers and acquisitions, and ethics. He was formerly Senior Legal Counsel and Deputy Corporate Secretary of CGI Group Inc. where he was responsible for that company's corporate secretariat. Prior to CGI, he held a similar position at BCE Inc. David has published numerous articles on subjects ranging from directors' liability and corporate governance to technology law issues.

Sally Maziarz,
Assistant Corporate Secretary, EPCOR Utilities Inc.

Sally is Assistant Corporate Secretary for EPCOR Utilities Inc., an Edmonton based utility that provides electricity and water/wastewater utility services in Western Canada and the Southwest United States. She occupies a key role in the administration of board business and acts as a conduit between Management and the Board of Directors. Sally also leads policy administration at EPCOR.

Sally is a Director of Governance Professionals of Canada (GPC), Chair of GPC’s Education Committee and a member of The Institute of Chartered Secretaries. She also serves on various not-for profit boards. 

Sally has a combined 30 years of experience in the corporate governance and legal fields. She joined EPCOR in 2004 as corporate paralegal and transitioned to corporate governance in 2007, taking on policy management in 2014. 

Sally is active in the community serving on the Edmonton Thunder Track & Field Board of Directors, the Edmonton Community Foundation Lowry Awards Panel and numerous other volunteer activities including Suzuki Piano and minor soccer. 

Sally has studied business law with the University of Saskatchewan, University of Alberta and ICSA; Certified Financial Planning with MacEwan University; Policy Management with Cornell University and Project Management with The George Washington University School of Business, as well as ongoing governance training and education. She is currently studying for an international masters level designation in corporate governance.

Neil Puddicombe
Associate General Counsel and Director of Subsidiary Governance, BMO Financial Group

Neil Puddicombe is the Associate General Counsel and Director of Subsidiary Governance at the BMO Financial Group. Mr. Puddicombe designed the subsidiary governance framework for the Bank's Canadian, European and Asian subsidiaries. He also provides transactional support for the Bank's corporate reorganizations and proprietary M&A transactions. He has served as the Assistant Corporate Secretary for the Bank’s Audit and Conduct Review, Risk Review and Human Resources Committees. He previously supported the Bank’s Capital Markets' legal team, advising the Investment and Corporate Banking Group, the Structured Products Group and the trading floor.

Mr. Puddicombe joined the Bank after having spent five years in the Cross-Border M&A Group in the Paris and New York offices of French law firm Gide LLP. He joined Gide after having spent four years in the Business Law Group of the Toronto office of a major Canadian Law firm

Mr. Puddicombe serves as an Adjunct Professor of Business Law at Osgoode Hall Law School and is a member of the Stakeholder Consultation and Practice Group of the International Finance Corporation, World Bank Group.

Mr. Puddicombe holds an LLM (Securities) from Osgoode Hall Law School, an LLB from Windsor Law School and a BA (Hons) from Western University.

Bonnie Oakes Charron,
Founder and Principal, Board Concierge

Bonnie Oakes Charron is a specialist in governance, administration, and information management, with over twenty years’ experience working in the Federal government, Parliament, and both the private and not-for-profit sectors. She has served the boards of the Bank of Canada, Canadian Blood Services, and Colleges and Institutes Canada, providing professional secretariat services to directors and executive management. Bonnie is a professional librarian by training, with experience in IM/IT consulting, as well as a decade-long service at the House of Commons delivering procedural services to Members of Parliament. She is currently the Founder and Principal of Board Concierge - a service provider to governance practitioners. Bonnie gains insight into the view from the "Director's Chair" by serving on the boards of several organizations in her personal and professional communities.

Richard Leblanc, CMC, BSc, MBA, LLB, JD, LLM, PhD
Governance advisor, lawyer, author, public speaker, researcher

Dr. Richard Leblanc is one of Canada’s leading experts on corporate governance and accountability. He is an award-winning teacher, researcher, lawyer, public speaker, consultant and specialist on boards of directors. He received a teaching award as one of the top five university teachers in Ontario; was named to Canadian Who’s Who, and is a past recipient of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40™award. Dr. Leblanc is the editor of the recently released, “The Handbook of Board Governance: A Comprehensive Guide for Public, Private, and Not-for-Profit Board Members”, which has sold almost 5,000 copies.

Dr. Leblanc’s insight has guided leaders of organizations through his teaching, research and direct consultation to government regulators and national and multi-national corporations. He has provided extensive service as an external advisor to boards of directors that have won national awards and peer endorsement for their governance practices. His applied research has been used by, and he has advised, financial and securities regulators, investors, hedge funds, and board and committee chairs. He has been retained to advise on defective boards to implement governance and shareholder accountability reform. He has evaluated boards, board committees, committee chairs and CEOs, and has advised on CEO performance and both director and CEO succession planning and removal.

Janis Riven, BCL, LLB, MBA, FCIS, Acc.Dir
Principal, governance and compliance solutions

Ms. Riven, based in Montreal, has an established consulting practice on governance and compliance matters with clients encompassing publicly listed and closely held companies, as well as various types of not-for-profits, and is currently Adjunct Professor at the John Molson School of Business, Concordia University, where she teaches Corporate Governance. She is a well-known speaker both in Canada and abroad at conferences on corporate governance, and has acted as a facilitator for boards and board committees of a number of different organizations seeking to improve their governance effectiveness.

Ms. Riven was formerly Vice President, Compliance and Secretary for the Canadian and global operations of RBC Insurance. Ms. Riven is Past President of Chartered Secretaries Canada (ICSA), an international teaching organization focussed on governance. She is a member of the Quebec Bar, a Fellow of the ICSA, and currently serves on the boards of the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI), the Facility Association, Worldwide Magnesium Inc. and the McGill University Health Centre where she is also Chair of the Governance and Ethics Committee.

Coro Strandberg,
President, Strandberg Consulting

Coro Strandberg is President of Strandberg Consulting. She has over 25 years of experience coaching companies, governments and industry associations on strategies to embed sustainability into business. She specializes in integrating sustainability into board governance, business models, corporate strategy, human resources, community investment, procurement and finance. Her 20 years of experience as a corporate director, includes as Director and Chair of the Board of Vancity Credit Union, the largest community-based credit union in the world, where she helped establish a sustainability governance system. Coro conducted ground-breaking research for the Conference Board of Canada on the role of the Board in sustainability governance, developed the first national standard for sustainable boards, advises boards and corporate secretaries on sustainability governance and is a faculty member of the Director’s College, training directors on CSR and the role of the board. For the UN Global Compact she developed global guidance for corporate secretaries and governance committees on sustainability governance. Coro is a judge for Governance Professionals of Canada’s Excellence in Sustainability Governance award. She was recognized by Canada’s Clean50 as the top sustainability consultant in Canada in 2015 for her sustainability impacts.

Peter Wright
Association strategist, Association Hub, President, The Planning Group

Peter Wright is a career association strategist and President of The Planning Group. As a respected executive and in his current consulting practice, Peter has successfully developed and executed association and non-profit strategy with remarkable results. His practical approach to strategic and operational association business planning ensures that plans are not only embraced by association management and Boards, but also effectively implemented and measured for the tangible benefit of association members.

As the Director of Strategic Planning at Clarica, Peter Wright led the company's overall operational and strategic planning process. In an environment of complex change, his skillful facilitation of planning sessions with the senior management team was instrumental in the determination of key strategic decisions. In his time at Sun Life Financial, Peter became Vice President of Corporate Accounts, before leaving to begin his consulting and training career.

In his consulting practice, Peter Wright advises association boards and executives on all matters of strategy and association planning across a broad spectrum of trade and professional associations, societies, academies, councils and many other not-for-profit bodies. An accomplished facilitator and trainer, he works with association boards and senior leadership teams to define and develop association strategy, resolve operational issues, and overcome barriers to association performance. By providing planning expertise, process advice and facilitation, Peter helps associations overcome the planning gap. Linking strategy and action, he works with association management to foster true stretch mentality focused on association growth and value for membership.

In 20 years developing non-profit business plans with North America's greatest associations, Peter Wright has created many successful tools, models, and practices that he teaches to clients and other consultants. Peter used his strategic planning and training experience to develop The Association Strategy and Planning Toolkit on Association Hub. The Toolkit helps association consultants add value with clients and it teaches implement leading edge association planning in-house. Peter is a frequent speaker, writer and trainer wherever association executives and association members gather.


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