Connect with Your Board

The Board of Directors plans and implements TechConnex strategies and activities to enhance member learning, networking and information sharing opportunities. The TechConnex Board of Directors are busy professionals and active volunteers. They serve on the Board in a volunteer capacity, representing the interests of all members of the Association, advancing the business climate for the region’s technology sector and the service industries that support it.

With input from members, the Board develops programs to meet your specific needs. The Board also provides operational direction and support for the Association.

As mentors, advisors and, as your peers, members of the Board provide a wealth of technical and executive experience. Drawing upon their knowledge you can accelerate your own business success.

2024 Board Slate

TechConnex members elected the 2024 Board Slate at our Annual General Meeting on September 28, 2023.

Prasad Rao

Prasad Rao, COO of inField Solutions Inc., has more than 25 years of customer-oriented experience in sales, marketing, and IT. He has developed sales and marketing strategies, collateral and training programs, and has delivered the training to organizations focused on both the SMB and enterprise markets. Prasad has worked in many industries including advertising, publishing, and eBusiness, as well as many large enterprise organizations including Microsoft, Bell Canada, Yellow Pages Group, and other international entities.

Barry Fairhurst
Past Chair

Barry Fairhurst is Senior executive with multi-level management experience in sales, operations, business development, product development and finance. Expertise in: developing and providing leadership to top performers, developing/running hybrid sales organizations, managing cross functional teams, start-up to Fortune 500 experience. CEO at F2 Technologies – An Arista, Quantum, Elemental, Source Digital partner.

Jayne Huhtanen

Jayne Huhtanen

Jayne leverages over 35 years of corporate and entrepreneurial experience to help professionals, entrepreneurs and companies optimize their performance, overcome obstacles, and achieve professional and personal growth. A Business and Executive coach, she has owned FocalPoint Coaching of Toronto since 2012.
A TEDx speaker on the topic of daring to live the life you want, Jayne mentors start-ups at McMaster University’s incubator, The Forge, and advocates for and supports entrepreneurs and professionals as the TechConnex “Your Mind at Work” peer group co-facilitator and through previous work on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Association of Women Executives and Entrepreneurs. A Chemical Engineering and Management graduate from McMaster University, Jayne spent 26 years at Procter & Gamble, leading business and organizational growth in Canada, across North America and globally.

Dave Clark

Dave has recently joined Carbon60 assisting with their rapid growth as one Canada’s Globe and Mail Fastest growing Companies. Carbon60 was also recently awarded ASW’s Professional Services Company of the year. Dave is focused on assisting customers in their journey to the cloud and cyber security related services. He previously sat on the TechConnex Board with the membership of his two previous organizations.

Christopher Ferguson

Chris is a Technology, privacy and IP lawyer at Fasken.  Corporate/commercial practice is focused on technology, privacy, intellectual property, and regulatory matters.

Chris regularly advises on IT and technology matters, including negotiating and drafting services, outsourcing, and license agreements, along with legal and regulatory developments in the technology sector.

Chris has advised on key strategic partnerships. He has advised and negotiated services and cloud agreements for essential systems and mission critical outsourcing agreements. He has advised on consumer protection, privacy, the Canadian anti-spam legislation (CASL), and data protection and practices.

Dharmesh Gandhi

Dharmesh Gandhi is a Partner in the National Quantitative Services Private Leader Group at EY.  EY is a multinational professional services firm, with 190 000 employees in over 700 offices around 150 countries.  The firm provides Assurance, Tax, Advisory and Transaction Advisory Services.

Since 2005, Dharmesh has been fully dedicated to developing SR & ED and Business Tax Incentives (BTI) practice.  He has worked with a wide range of clients, including start-ups and Fortune 500 companies in a variety of industries such as High Tech Manufacturing, Automotive, Aerospace, Bio-Tech, IT software and hardware.

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Ryan Gor

Ryan Gor is the Managing Director of Alora Labs, a product design and development consultancy based in Toronto focused on helping SaaS and IoT companies build impactful products.
He’s experienced in leading product vision, strategy, planning and execution focusing on driving business outcomes. He’s also held leadership positions at various startups, helping scale products to millions of users.

Huyen Hare

Huyen Hare is a Sr. Business Development Officer at The City of Markham.  Huyen has 24 years of public sector experience and specializes in regional and local economic development.    As a Sr Business Development Officer at the City of Markham, her role focuses on business expansion through supporting clients (land developers, realtors, site selectors) navigate the municipal planning process, and major industrial /commercial development projects achieve critical development timelines.  She leads the work to attract foreign direct investments and support the integration of new investments into Markham.  Huyen works closely with ecosystem partners including private, public, industry networks, and local accelerators to promote/nurture Markham’s innovation corridor, talent pipeline, and key growth sectors (ie. ICT, autotech, greentech, semiconductor, advanced manufacturing, fintech, professional services).  And she also engages in collaborative and strategic projects to help build Markham’s competitiveness (ie. York University Campus in Markham’s new downtown, Smart City, Regional Broadband Network, Regional Supply Chain Study, Markham Centre – downtown project, etc..).

Prior to the City of Markham, Huyen assumed various roles in the area of policy research and analysis that focused on regional economic issues at the Federal Department of Industry Canada-Toronto Region Office and the Policy Research Initiative (PRI) – a federal research arm of the Privy Council Office in Ottawa.

Huyen obtained her professional economic development designation from the Economic Development Association of Canada (EDAC) /University of Waterloo, a Masters Degree in Public Administration (MPA) from Dalhousie University, and an Honours Bachelor’s Degree in Urban Studies and Sociology from York University.

Arik Kalininsky

Arik Kalininsky is the founder and CTO of Dalikoo, a born-in-the-cloud software company. Dalikoo utilizes the Serverless computing cloud execution model to provide business functions such as CRM, Sales Management, Project Management, and Document Management in a centralized, configurable environment. Prior to Dalikoo, Arik, an experienced executive, lead various IT groups, and maintained an active leadership role as part of several senior management teams.

Arik utilizes a forward-thinking approach to implementing innovative technology solutions for addressing business needs, while ensuring strict adherence to compliance and regulatory requirements presented by government agencies, and various other governing bodies. His passion for technology combined with his keen business sense keeps Arik’s teams motivated and goal-oriented.

Arik holds a Bachelors degree from York University and a certificate for outstanding achievement from the Queen’s Executive Leadership Program.

Arik has over 20 years of experience in diverse managerial and architectural roles that span many facets of industry, including hardware, software development, telecommunications, manufacturing, and logistics. Since 2011, Arik had the privilege of speaking at numerous leading industry events such as the Canadian Leadership summit, Microsoft’s global SharePoint conference, and many other leadership and CIO events throughout North America.

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John Kitchen

John Kitchen is a Strategic Advisor at Esri Canada, which provides enterprise geographic information system (GIS) solutions to customers in the private and public sectors.  He is responsible for developing business strategies to achieve the company’s objectives and optimize new business opportunities.

Radha Krishnan

Radha Krishnan is the CIO of Seneca College with over 27 years with global experience in various industries like higher education, non-profit, supply chain, distribution, retail, manufacturing, dealership management, hospitality, travel and consulting. Radha has diverse experience in architecting, implementing and managing core IT functions in complex, multi stakeholder environments.

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Marc Lijour

Marc Lijour is an entrepreneur, researcher, and educator on a mission to unlock human potential in a world increasingly governed by data and software.

After a career in education spanning several continents, Marc led innovative technology policies and programs at the Ontario Ministry of Education, such as the revision of the Technological Education curriculum (2009), the launch of e-learning services for 2 million students, and building capacity in French-language school boards. He was instrumental in revising the provincial Intellectual Property Directive and launching the first RFP toolkit to procure Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) for the Broader Public Service in Ontario.

Marc joined the private sector to accelerate the digital transformation of every single industry, starting at Cisco’s Innovation Centre, helping industry leaders create value while supporting tech entrepreneurs with their go-to-market initiatives, and then as Acting CEO at Prepr and as an advisor with several startup incubators. He spent 5 years consulting and working for a venture production studio before joining ICTC to lead government-funded programs helping every Canadian build a great career in the digital economy.

For the last eight years, Marc has particularly drawn his attention to blockchain technologies and the promise of Web3. He contributed to building the consulting arm at ConsenSys, launched the first college program for Blockchain Developers in Canada, co-founded DeFi Toronto, and took the lead of IEEE Blockchain in Canada. He participates in several industry program advisory committees (PACs) at leading Canadian post-secondary institutions.

Marc is currently focusing on several initiatives supporting entrepreneurs in the DeepTech sector, and building up a mindset of Permissionless Innovation to rapidly build effective solutions to the world’s biggest challenges.

Marc holds degrees in Mathematics, Computer Science, and the Management of Technology and Innovation (MBA). He serves on the board of multiple not-for-profit organizations in the tech industry, such as TechConnex. He is a Founding Member and Secretary of the Board at La French Tech Toronto.

Jennifer MacLean

Jennifer MacLean is Assistant Vice-President Innovation and research partnerships at York University. She is a thought leader with 15 years of experience working in the Canadian innovation ecosystem. Jennifer has extensive experience in fostering impactful and collaborative partnerships across industry, academia and community partners in Ontario and Canada, having served in key leadership roles at Mitacs, SOSCIP, and NGen prior to York University.

Peter McCabe

Peter McCabe, Assistant Vice President, Technology Practice at PROLINK – Canada’s Insurance Connection is a registered insurance broker and a specialist in providing industry leading insurance and risk management services to Canada’s knowledge-based industries and technology companies. Peter is committed to helping build resilient businesses through performance based insurance solutions.  Peter works with his clients to build insurance and risk management strategies that align with their strategic objectives and desire to control costs.

Brenda Osler

Brenda is the Senior Economic Development Officer at the City of Richmond Hill where she provides a leadership role in the development and implementation of business development programs, including the retention and expansion of existing businesses as well as the attraction of new industry to Richmond Hill. Her specific areas of focus include the ICT and health sectors. Her background includes 15 years in the private sector marketing business-to-business products and services in a variety of industries including ICT.  

Brenda is a Member of the Executive Management Committee of the Board of Directors at a not-for-profit organization, and is actively involved in various committees at the Richmond Hill Board of Trade.

Ivka Starcevic

Ivka practises financial services and commercial real estate law at Wilson Vukelich, LLP. Ivka’s practice encompasses a broad range of real property related issues, with an emphasis on secured financing and mortgage lending, commercial and industrial acquisitions and divestitures as well as leasing. She has represented financial institutions, limited partnerships, developers, investors and corporate lenders and borrowers. Ivka continues to provide legal advice on many issues, including banking and secured lending as well as the acquisition, sale, financing and leasing of commercial, office, industrial, retail and multi-residential properties.

Rukhsana Syed

Rukhsana Syed

Rukhsana Syed is the Diversity & Inclusion Acceleration leader for North and Latin Americas, with 24 years with global experience in various positions/projects at IBM. Two decades plus of experience include leading IBM’s flagship programs specific to Indigenous People, Women, & People with Diverse Abilities. Rukhsana is a proud certified LGBT+ Ally since May 2014. She takes pride in creating and delivering 100+ IGN.I.T.E. Technology camps for Indigenous students from coast to coast to coast (Halifax to Vancouver to Resolute Bay) for past 16 years.

Rukhsana takes pride in being an upstander for equity and equality by serving as a Civilian Co-chair of the Muslim Consultative Committee and on Chief’s advisory Committee with Toronto Police Services. She mentors within & outside her community globally and works closely to promote education & women rights. Also engaged with 2 other boards as the Treasurer at her local religious by the Women for the women mosque/community center and Secretary for feeding homeless Torontonians.

Her efforts were acknowledged by the former Lieutenant governor of Ontario, Honorable James K. Bartleman for her contributions to his Aboriginal Literacy program. She also received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal from the Honorable David Onley in 2012.

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Stella Wong

Stella is a Sr. Manager at AMD, leading execution of Graphics programs from concept to full deployment.   AMD believes in changing the world for the better by building great products that accelerate next-generation computing experiences – the building blocks for the data center, artificial intelligence, PCs, gaming and embedded.

Stella has 18+ years of semiconductor industry experience in various engineering and management roles at ATI and AMD.   She’s passionate about knowledge sharing to help people connect, perform better, and grow as professionals.