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.
2019 Board Slate
TechConnex members elected the 2019 Board Slate at our Annual General Meeting on September 20, 2018.
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.
Prasad Rao 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.
Nigel Fonseca is the CEO of SWI. Prior to becoming CEO, Nigel served as SWI’s VP Engineering, ensuring SWI’s adherence to sound engineering practices and design integrity principles. Nigel is a control systems expert with extensive experience in both nuclear and oil movement I&C as well as other areas. Over the course of his 15 years with the SWI Group of Companies, Nigel has always and continues to be a driving force behind SWI’s growth and continuous innovation.
Gerry’s focus is to help the TechConnex organization in any way possible grow and expand in their work to help businesses and entrepreneurs succeed in the new Digital Economy. As a senior accounting and consulting professional and entrepreneur, Gerry has over 30 years of experience, 16 years working in both the public and private sector and 14 years’ running his own accounting and advisory firm.
Gerry holds a Master of Science degree, majoring in Operations Research and Supply Chain Management, from the University of British Columbia, and an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Wilfrid Laurier University. Gerry is a designated CPA in good standing with CPA Ontario and CPA Canada.
Nevzat is responsibile for the finance, information technology, human resources, facilities management, college services and major capital projects for Seneca College.
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.
John Cameron has been a senior level executive in the high tech sector for over 25 years. Recently, he has been involved with a number of venture capital firms focused on start-up organizations and turnaround opportunities. He was CEO of Aizan Technologies, an on demand voice application service provider specializing in solutions for intelligent call routing and dynamic call management. He also owned his own company, a network systems organization that was sold to Geac Computers. In his 16 year involvement with the telecommunications industry he has held positions as President of Lucent Technologies and President of Avaya Canada.
Ron McKenna is a partner in the Business Law Group of Wilson Vukelich LLP. In addition to providing general corporate/commercial law advice to clients, Ron has extensive expertise advising start-ups and growth-stage companies in negotiating and implementing commercial transactions including corporate finance structures (debt, equity and alternative financing structures), shareholder arrangements, acquisitions, dispositions, mergers and reorganizations. Ron also has extensive expertise in negotiating shareholder and partnership disputes.
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 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 ventureLAB, Markham’s Regional Innovation Centre and Techconnex, 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.
John Kitchen is the Vice President and General Manager of 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.
Lan is the Deputy Chief Information Officer of the City of Toronto responsible for a diversified enterprise portfolio to support city program operations and service delivery to Toronto citizen and businesses. Her mandate is to create business value through business transformation enabled by IT innovation and resource optimization to support city’s customer service agenda.
Lan has accumulated over 40 years of experience spanning a diverse discipline of strategic planning, partnership development, organization development and service transformation in various executive, managerial and consulting roles in both public sector, academic and corporate setting.
Brenda is the Coordinator of Economic Development Programs at the Town 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.
Caroline Yang works at IBM as an HR Program Manager. She has over twenty years of experience in various HR functions in several industries. Caroline has a master’s degree in human resources management and is the co-author of the book, Danger and Opportunity: Bridging Cultural Diversity for Competitive Advantage. Caroline is actively engaged in the community.
She presented on the topic of Work-life Balance at TechConnex and at an IBM internal forum. She was on the Board of Directors at HRPA York Region and chaired the Professional Development Committee and presented at several of HRPA’s annual conferences. She is currently on the Board of Art Starts, a non-profit community organization promoting art engagement in under-serviced Toronto neighbourhoods.
Marc Lijour helps individuals and organizations realize their full potential, leveraging technology and freedom to innovate. He fights for a Free and Open world when technology and people work well together. Marc Lijour supports organizations in their digital journey with technical and business expertise at ConsenSys, the largest Blockchain company with 800 employees in 30 countries, to bring Ethereum to the enterprise market. Marc is in Solutions at ConsenSys and is the Co-founder of ColliderX.
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.
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.
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.
Dr. Robert Haché
Robert Haché is Vice-President Research and Innovation at York University. Professor Haché previously held the position of associate vice-president research at the University of Calgary, as well as appointments in the university’s Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy in the Faculty of Medicine, and in the Department of Biological Sciences in the Faculty of Science. Previously Prof. Haché spent 18 years at the University of Ottawa serving in research leadership positions and culminating with a term as vice-dean, research for the Faculty of Medicine.
Susa Jovanovic is the Director of Business Development at Omega Network Solutions. Omega is a managed technology service provider, partnering with businesses to deliver affordable, enterprise-class IT.
Joining Omega in 2012, Susa is responsible for planning and implementing marketing strategies, cultivating business partnerships, as well as developing relationships with new and existing clients. Susa’s background in education includes instruction and curriculum development for learners of all ages at the University of Toronto and the Toronto District School Board. Leveraging her teaching experience, Susa enjoys assisting clients employ technology to benefit their businesses.
Eric LeBlanc is Vice President, Commercial Financial Services – Knowledge Based Industries (KBI) for RBC. In this capacity, Mr. LeBlanc is responsible for leading the specialized KBI Commercial Financial Services teams based in Toronto, Mississauga and Kitchener-Waterloo in information technology and life sciences and healthcare services markets.
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.
Tracey is a founder and Chief Operating Officer of TGO Consulting. Tracey formed TGO Consulting with partners Orgad Gratch and George Braun, with a mandate to build the best possible financial systems implementation team in the industry. Since TGO’s inception in 1988, Tracey has been involved in many implementations in a variety of roles including needs analysis, providing business recommendations, project management, training and support.
Dave is proud to have recently joined the Techconnex Board. Dave is Director Cloud Backup and DRaaS at Mid-Range Computer Group Inc. The relationships we have built and the knowledge we have gained from our time with this association has been invaluable to our growth as a company.