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.

2022 Board Slate

TechConnex members elected the 2022 Board Slate at our Annual General Meeting on October 6, 2021.

Prasad Rao
Chair

Prasad Rao, VP Product 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.

Maureen Campbell
Vice Chair

As a transformational advisor with over 25 years of business experience, I help leaders and human resource professionals implement insurance solutions that protect organizations, their employees and families. My background as an executive leader and line-manager within entrepreneurial organizations in Canada provides first-hand knowledge of managing a business and supporting winning teams. I combine this experience with valuable understanding of products and services to create inspired workplaces and support individual well-being.  Maureen is the Founder of Flashlite Benefits.

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.

I-Cheng Chen
Treasurer

I-Cheng Chen is the Director of Engineering for AMD. AMD delivers unique and unmatched computational capabilities in order to create natural, intelligent and innovative ways for people to interact with the devices they love. AMD designs and manufactures graphics cards and microprocessors that power millions of the world’s personal computers, tablets, gaming consoles, embedded devices and cloud servers.

Stephen Wise photo

Stephen Wise
Secretary

Stephen Wise is the President of Integration Professionals. Stephen delivers strategic projects requiring team innovation, out of the box thinking, and continuous relationship building. He combines 30 years of insights to guide initiatives in all sectors using Project Management good practices. When initiatives use repeatable processes to increase business value there is less chaos and improved results. Stephen is proud to serve as Techconnex Member of the Board and Executive Committee and believes the educational and peer-based programs grow the inherent value of the association and it’s value for all members.

Amir Asif

Amir Asif is the Vice President, Research and Innovation and Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at York University, Toronto. He has more than 15 years of experience serving in senior university leadership positions, including the founding Dean (2014-2020) of the Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science at Concordia University, Montreal, QC. As a specialist in signal processing and communications, his research interests are focused on developing next generation technologies for every-day applications, including health and medical devices, radar and sonar applications, distributed multiagent networked systems, and electrical power grids.

Amir is rethinking how to unlock the full potential of the higher education institutions for greater social impact through academic innovation, research partnerships, and entrepreneurship, by transcending traditional boundaries of conventional approaches and disciplines, and by addressing systemic issues that have been holding the Canadian institutions back. Amir received his education and professional training from Carnegie Mellon University and Harvard University. He is a registered professional engineer in the province of Ontario.

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 in 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.

Nigel Fonseca

Nigel Fonseca is the Senior Vice President of Alithya. Formerly the Chief Executive Officer of Systemware Innovation Corporation (SWI), Nigel has a strong reputation for driving continuous results through his exceptional leadership skills, deep technical knowledge, and innovative thinking. Prior to his appointment to CEO of SWI, he assumed the position of Vice President Engineering at SWI, where he successfully delivered on strategic projects in the energy and financial industries spanning the globe, while ensuring SWI’s adherence to sound IT and engineering practices. Nigel has held the position of Vice-President, Ontario and Western Canada since Alithya’s acquisition of SWI in April 2017.

Dharmesh Gandhi

Dharmesh Gandhi is a Senior Manager in the Quantitative Services 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.

Samir Kabbani

Samir is a Senior Manager in KPMG’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications practice with extensive experience leading multi-disciplined teams on a variety of assurance and advisory engagements across several high-growth companies as well as global SEC registrants and Canadian-listed companies. He has deep experience in US GAAP, IFRS and ASPE accounting frameworks and OSC and SEC financial reporting matters. Samir is well versed in the software and technology sectors, having been a dedicated member of KPMG’s TMT practice for over 11 years.

Christina Kakaflikas

Christina has 18+ years’ experience in Investment Attraction, Business Development, Policy Development, Marketing, and Research.

Christina identifies and develops relationships with strategic stakeholders to advance The City of Markham’s economic development priorities including building a supportive ecosystem for entrepreneurship and innovation, and strengthening Markham’s international reputation as a business and investment destination.

Christina represents the City on the Boards of TechConnex, Markham’s Regional Innovation Centre and ventureLAB, a regional tech industry association. Christina has also served for several years as Director on the Board of the Economic Developers Council of Ontario and in 2017 served as President. Christina is a graduate of the University of Waterloo’s Master of Applied Environmental Studies in Local Economic Development program and has an undergraduate degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Ryerson 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.

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.

Marc Lijour

Marc Lijour is the Vice-President leading Capacity and Innovation Readiness initiatives at the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC), a national centre of expertise on the digital economy.

Marc started his career as an Educator, teaching Mathematics and Information Technology across Europe and the Americas. He played a leading role at the Ontario Ministry of Education during the revision of the Technological Education curriculum in 2009, and the launch of the Ontario e-learning Strategy. In recent years, Marc worked for top IT companies leading the 4th Industrial Revolution, such as Cisco Systems, Savoir-faire Linux, and ConsenSys, before launching his own consulting practice focusing on Blockchain for the Financial sector.

For the last 15 years, he worked closely with startups in a variety of roles to create exponential business value driving economic and social growth. Marc is passionate about new technologies and (more importantly) about helping people and organizations extract the value of innovative tools, processes and methodologies. He chairs the industry program advisory committee for the Blockchain Developer Certificate at George Brown College, which he helped develop, the first of its kind in Canada.

Marc holds degrees in Mathematics, Computer Science, and Management (MBA in Technology and Innovation). He serves on the board of multiple not-for-profit organizations in the Tech industry, such as French Tech Toronto, TechConnex and the Toronto French Business Network. His writings have been published by CPA Canada and industry journals.

Peter McCabe

Peter McCabe, Account Executive & Technology Practice Leader 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.

Lan Nguyen

Lan Nguyen is the founder/CEO of CIOs Beyond Borders Group located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada,  a non-profit organization dedicated in IT leadership development and advisory with a goal to provide training, coaching, tools and resources to IT and business leaders who are seeking to gain further leadership advancement and strategic perspective under uncertainty while driving innovation and transformation within their organization.

In her former role of the Deputy Chief Information Officer with the City of Toronto, Lan responsible for a diversified enterprise digital transformation portfolio to support city’s service modernization agenda. Previously, she was Vice President of Innovation & Partnership/CIO at Centennial College and held various IT executive positions with the Ontario government.

She founded the Vietnamese Canadian Business Council to promote a local business community supporting network. Lan has a keen interest to promote women leadership in technology and launched the Women in Technology Network, the mentorship program at the City of Toronto and at the CIO Association of Canada.

Brenda Osler

Brenda is the Coordinator of Economic Development Programs 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.