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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

An Experienced C-suite Executive and Corporate Director
with strengths in Finance, Strategic Planning, Operations and Governance

Guy retired from EPCOR in 2020 after serving as a member of the EPCOR Executive Team for 14 years.

Guy joined EPCOR in 1995 as Director Regulatory Affairs and has served in a variety of Executive roles including SVP of Water Canada, Chief Financial Officer for EPCOR. SVP of Strategic Planning & Development, and SVP of Distribution & Transmission and Energy Services, (EPCOR’s energy retail and customer care business).

Guy played a leading role in the growth of EPCOR since its creation in 1995 including the development and acquisition of Power Purchase Arrangements in Alberta, EPCOR’s entry into energy retailing, the transformation of EPCOR’s corporate service delivery model and the recent transfer of the City of Edmonton’s Drainage Operations to EPCOR.

Guy has over 30 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 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 is a Faculty Member for the ICD Director Education Program and the Governance Professionals of Canada Governance Education Program.

Guy currently serves on four Boards:

  • University of Alberta Board of Governors - Vice Chair and Chair of Governance Committee
  • River Valley Alliance Board of Directors - Chair
  • Edmonton Chapter of the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD) Executive Committee - Member and Chair of Governance & Nominating Committee
  • Rohit Advisory Board - Member

Guy previously served on the Board of RuggedCom (RCN: TSX) an Ontario industrial communication technology firm that was founded in 2001, went public in 2007 and was taken private in 2012.  Guy also served on the Board of the Citadel Theatre in Edmonton for eight years.

Nicholas F. Cheung, CPA, CA, GPC.D, CIPP/C
Professor, School of Accounting and Financial Services at Seneca College

Nick is currently a professor with the School of Accounting and Financial Services at Seneca College. Prior to Seneca College, Nick was the Vice-President, Member Services at the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada), one of the largest accounting bodies in the world with over 200,000 members. He directed their member value strategy through a portfolio of revenue-generating publications and services to support member needs, and oversaw strategy and operations of CPA Magazine, one of Canada’s most-widely circulated business magazines. As CPA Canada’s chief privacy officer, Nick was also responsible for the management and protection of member information.

A strong advocate for financial literacy and privacy, Nick has been featured on numerous TV/radio programs and newspaper articles. He was a contributor to the award-winning A Canadian’s Guide to Money-Smart Living and a contributing author of the Canadian Privacy and Data Security Toolkit for Small & Medium Enterprises. He has also served as a member of the Advisory Board for IAPP Canada, the Canadian arm of the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP).

Previously, Nick has worked at Deloitte & Touche, ADP Investor Communications (now Broadridge), Ontario Power Generation and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board

Patrick Cormier

Patrick Cormier is the Chief Operating, Legal & Financial Officer of the Digital Identity Laboratory of Canada. In the period 2011 to early 2014, he was Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Centre for Court Technology - Centre canadien de technologie judiciaire (CCCT-CCTJ). He also currently served as Chair of the Innovation Experts Committee of DIACC - the Digital ID & Authentication Canadian Council. Mr. Cormier is a regular conference speaker on digital transformation, information management and the law. He also provided continuous legal education to judges and members of the Justice sector across the country.

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
Chief Compliance Officer at Concentra Bank

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

She is the Chief Compliance Office at Concentra Bank. Sara is a member of Board of The Financial Advisors Association of Canada and has sat on 6 boards, including the University of Toronto Governing Council Business Board and Toronto Hydro. Sara is also active in Sustainability Initiatives at Concentra Bank and is completing her Graduate Diploma in Corporate Social Responsibility at the University of Toronto. She is a frequent speaker and has presented at past GPC Annual Corporate Governance Conferences.

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.

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

Heather Laxton is a seasoned governance professional with over 20 years of corporate secretarial, 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 Toronto Stock Exchange, TSX Venture Exchange, London - AIM and NYSE AMEX.

During her career, Heather has been involved in numerous transactions and financings, and has extensive experience working with management teams and boards of directors on both simple and complex governance matters. She has led the evaluation, design, implementation and monitoring of governance programs for several junior and emerging companies, and specializes in governance crisis recovery.

Heather began working as a professional law clerk in multi-national law firms including Torys LLP and Smith Lyons LLP. She obtained an honours diploma from the Law Clerk Program at Seneca College, completed the Canadian Securities Course (CSC) in 2000 and obtained a Masters Degree in Law (Business) in 2021 from Osgoode Hall Law School. She is a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD) and the Governance Professionals of Canada (GPC), and is a member of the faculty of the GPC Education Program. She is also an active public speaker, course lecturer and passionate governance advocate.

Steve Mallory, ICD.D, FCIP, CRM,
President, Directors Global Risk Consulting Inc.
Advisor, Benson Kearley IFG

Steve has close to 10 years of experience on two Federal Crown Corporation boards. He served from 2012-2017 on the Board of VIA Rail Canada, including as Chair of 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 and served on the Audit Committee. On both boards he led board risk oversight.

He and previously served as CEO and Region Head within two of Canada’s largest insurance brokerages, and in 2007 started his own brokerage which he sold in 2018. He currently leads Directors Global Risk Consulting Inc., and is a senior advisor at Benson Kearley IFG.

Since 2011 he has served as a member of the CSA Canadian Risk Management Mirror Committee TC 262 which provides input on ISO risk and safety and other standards for Canadians.

He has completed Directors training at the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD.D) and at the Government of Canada (CSPS-Canada School of Public Service). He holds the CRM (Canadian 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 held at Rotman School of Management in Toronto and at other participating universities across Canada. He also instructs on risk to students across Canada enrolled in the Governance Professionals Canada (GPC) accredited education program, and to students participating in the Masters, Financial Accountability (MFAc) program at York University in Toronto.

He is quoted in Canadian business and risk publications, and in 2016 authored a chapter in “The Handbook of Board Governance” (2016), by Richard A. Leblanc.

In 2015 and 2018, Steve led “Team Change the World” and “Team Aqua”, two humanitarian projects involving over 30 business people, volunteers and musicians who have raised funds to drill fifteen water wells in Africa, supplying 15,000 people with fresh, clean water.

Neil Puddicombe
Associate General Counsel and Director of Bank Board Governance, Legal, Corporate & Compliance Group, BMO Financial Group

Neil Puddicombe is the Associate General Counsel, Bank Board Governance at the BMO Financial Group. He provides governance support to the Bank’s Board of Directors, and manages the Bank’s Annual General Meeting, Management Proxy Circular and shareholder support services. He also acts as the Assistant Corporate Secretary to the Bank’s Board of Directors.

Mr. Puddicombe previously spent 7 years as BMOFG’s Director of Subsidiary Governance (Canada and International), where he designed the subsidiary governance framework for the Bank’s Canadian, European and Asian subsidiaries. He provided transactional support for the Bank’s corporate reorganizations and proprietary mergers and acquisitions transactions. Bank of Montreal was awarded the Governance Professionals of Canada’s Excellence in Governance Award for Best Practices in Subsidiary Governance in 2017, 2018 and 2019, and Best Use of Technology in 2016. In 2018 Mr. Puddicombe was named Governance Professional of the Year by the Governance Professionals of Canada.

Previously, Mr. Puddicombe was Senior Counsel in the Bank’s Capital Markets legal team supporting 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 Mergers and Acquisitions and Corporate Finance Groups in the Paris and New York offices of French law firm Gide Loyrette Nouel LLP.  Mr. Puddicombe joined Gide after having spent four years in the Business Law Group in the Toronto office of a major Canadian Law firm.

Mr. Puddicombe serves as an Adjunct Professor of Business Associations at Osgoode Hall Law School, is a faculty member of the Governance Professionals of Canada’s Education Program and is a member of the Stakeholder Consultation and Practice Group of the International Finance Corporation, World Bank Group. He was named In-House Counsel of the Year by the South Asian Bar Association in 2013 and served as the Board Chair of the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario from 2008 to 2014.

Mr. Puddicombe holds a Master of Laws (Securities) from Osgoode Hall Law School and a Bachelor of Laws from Windsor Law School.  Mr. Puddicombe was called to the Ontario Bar in 1997.

Janis Riven, BCL, LLB, MBA, FCIS, Acc.Dir
Principal, governance and compliance solutions
Adjunct Professor, John Molson School of Business

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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