Panelist: Emma Purdy, CA/CPA (UTSC alumna) is a Management and Governance Consultant with Global Governance Advisors. Her expertise in management consulting includes advising global organizations on digital business transformations and aligning value creation with effective risk management, governance and compliance practices. Her experience on transformation projects includes ESG benchmarking and rating analytics, technology implementations, business process and risk reviews, data analytics and creation of data assets, data governance and security, international tax structuring and tax risk management and cyber risk mitigation strategies. She brings her experience to transforming Board mandates and processes to be strategic and forward looking, using data analytics and technology. Emma has over 22 years of combined experience at PricewaterhouseCoopers and Ernst & Young with 18 of those years as a Partner and has worked with the largest North American and global Financial Institutions and Technology companies. Emma became a world leading expert in Transfer Pricing and has worked with senior management and Boards on transitioning transfer pricing from a compliance exercise to a strategic approach and managing the relationships with governments and regulators. In her role as the Global Digital Tax Leader, Emma helped companies understand the business and financial impact of evolving global tax policies and how to establish the related governance and reporting. Emma worked with clients to communicate how they were “paying their fair share of tax” with their external stakeholders in their CSR reports. She pioneered innovative business solutions incorporating data analytics and artificial intelligence. Emma is an Independent Director on public and private boards.
Panelist: Laura Williams, LLB, CSP is founder and managing partner of Williams HR Law LLP and President and CEO of Williams HR Consulting Inc., which respectively provide proactive HR law and HR consulting advice designed to minimize workplace law challenges, maximize employee engagement and boost bottom line performance. Laura is also a seasoned workplace investigator, routinely engaged to conduct complex workplace investigations, and organizational reviews and is recognized for specific expertise in investigations related to equity, diversity and inclusion. As a professional speaker and leader/corporate educator, Laura regularly delivers keynotes and training on topics relevant to entrepreneurs, business leaders, HR professionals, and lawyers. She boasts more than two decades of experience providing strategic advice and legal representation to organizations on a full range of labour, employment law, and human rights matters. Laura is also regularly engaged as a workplace investigator and has conducted investigations across virtually all industries and sectors. She has specific expertise in conducting investigations and organizational reviews related to equity, diversity, inclusion, and systemic discrimination issues. Laura is passionate about providing her clients with proactive advice designed to minimize workplace law challenges, maximize employee engagement, and boost their bottom line performance. She is widely recognized as a leader in helping organizations leverage innovative strategies to reduce liability and costs derived from ineffective and noncompliant workplace practices. As a speaker, achieving the Certified Professional Speakers designation conferred by the National Speakers’ Association, Laura frequently chairs, educates, and keynotes at legal, association, and business conferences, and conducts customized in-house corporate training to help organizations identify and address legal risks, implement equity, diversity and inclusion strategies, restore culture, and optimize people management strategies. As a recognized thought leader, Laura has been featured in various industry magazines, business and human resources publications. Laura has also been featured in various publications including Canadian Lawyer, Lawyers Weekly, Law Times, HR Professional Magazine, Canadian HR Reporter, Canadian Employment Law Today and Canadian Labour Law Today. In addition, Laura has appeared in various national broadcast and print media including CTV News, Global News, BNN, CBC Radio, The Globe and Mail, National Post, Canadian Business Magazine and Chatelaine. In addition to her work, Laura is a member of various professional organizations and community service associations. She has been appointed as an advisor on the University of Western Ontario’s newly formed Equity Council and to the Adidas United Against Racism Accountability Council. Laura also has many years of service on various Boards of Directors, including most recently for Canadian Society of Association Executives and is the Chair of the 360Kids Board of Directors.
Panelist: Vania Sakelaris, MBA, CHE (U of T alumna) is Founder/Principal of VAS & Associates and an Executive in Residence with the Department of Management at the University of Toronto Scarborough. Vania specializes in catalyzing, supporting and advancing change. She is a respected and collaborative leader that facilitates issue identification and resolution and who empowers systems, organizations, and leaders to shape and advance their defined priorities. As a skilled strategist, she supports planning and implementation at both the corporate and individual levels building on over 25 years of progressive senior leadership. Her business acumen and seasoned experience leading and influencing positive change is reflected in her work. She ensures a values-based approach is deployed in the achievement of optimal performance and impact in her work with her national and international clients. Vania has established and demonstrated effective knowledge of good governance through her work with boards in the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors for over two decades. This includes working in the capacity of CEO, as a member of various boards and in her role as provincial planner and funder. Her extensive experience has been complemented by formal training in not-for-profit and corporate governance. Vania has a passion for empowering leaders and emerging leaders. She is committed to lifelong learning and provides mentorship to university students and entrepreneurs based on her professional and transformational journey. Her motivation for capacity building has been reflected throughout her career and inspired her coaching and leadership development work. Her knowledge mobilization efforts include public speaking and university lectures. They also include the development and publishing of case studies for use by global business schools.
Panelist: Christine Arsenault, MA (UTSC alumna) is the Managing Director for the University of Toronto Scarborough's Management Department, where she is focused on maximizing the academic experience for students, faculty and staff. Leading a team of 40, Christine supports the curricular and co-curricular programming for over 3100 business students. Under her leadership, the Department has launched numerous innovative initiatives including Canada’s first undergraduate degree to require international study and work, North America’s first Masters of Accounting and Finance and UTSC Management became the first department at U of T to guarantee every graduate a work-integrated learning experience. She has been involved in co-operative education nationally and internationally for over 20 years including leading the Canadian Association for Co-operative Education (CAFCE) as President in 2012/13, as a board member of the World Association for Co-operative Education and previously chairing the Canadian co-op research committee. In 2015 she was a recipient of the Canadian Co-op Service Award for her contributions toward designing a national statistical database that assists with co-op policy and advocacy. In 2018 she received the U of T Scarborough’s Principal’s Accomplished Leader Award.
Moderator: Sabrina Fanelli, BBA (UTSC alumna) is a Senior Associate, National Accounts with BMO Global Asset Management (GAM). Sabrina joined BMO GAM in 2019, working on various teams including Advisor and Institutional Mutual Fund Distribution Channels, ETF Portfolio Management, and Global Strategic Initiatives. Prior to joining GAM, Sabrina also held positions in Retail Banking and Anti-Money Laundering at BMO. Sabrina graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration with High Distinction from the University of Toronto Scarborough and is a CFA Level III Candidate. Sabrina is also passionate about leading and participating in women advancement initiatives and has been an active member of Women in Capital Markets since 2016, Girl Guide Leader since 2012, and founded the Women in Business Association student group at the University of Toronto in 2017.