Scroll to Top

Todd Hirsch

The Modern Economist

For more than 25 years, Todd Hirsch worked as an economist for such renowned institutes as ATB Financial, the Canadian Pacific Railway, the Canada West Foundation, and the Bank of Canada. Having had a front row seat to the key issues and trends impacting and transforming our world, Hirsch delivers dynamic, clear-eyed talks on the economy, adaptability, and creativity.

Hirsch served as the vice president and chief economist for ATB Financial for over 15 years. He also previously taught economics at the University of Calgary and for the executive education program at the University of Alberta. In recognition of his work, Hirsch has received the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum (2022) and Diamond (2012) Jubilee Medals, the University of Alberta’s Alumni Honour Award, and an honorary degree from Mount Royal University.

The author of four books, Hirsch’s latest, Spiders in COVID Space: Adapting During and After the Pandemic, captures the inspiring and compelling stories of businesses and not-for-profits that reinvented themselves during the pandemic. He was also the host of the award-winning podcast, The Future Of, for three seasons, where he explored what the future might look like for work, communities, art and culture, leadership, and other compelling topics.

A strong advocate of arts and culture, Hirsch currently serves on the board of Calgary’s Glenbow Museum. He previously served on the University of Calgary Board of Governors, was chair of the Calgary Arts Academy, and was a director on the board of the Alberta Ballet.

Elder Charlie Crowchild

Tsuut'ina Nation

Elder Charlie Crowchild of Tsuut’ina (Pronounced as “Soot-innah) Nation neighboring along the SW border of Calgary.

Tsuut’ina is a very forward thinking indigenous community that despite its success in modern society, Economic Development, Gaming and hospitality & tourism, still holds the traditional values, language and culture passed down from generation to generation in the highest of regards.

Charlie is a red seal trades man and has been over seeing the residential builds in the community for many years. He was raised traditionally and a very respected man among the Nation.

Charlie represents Tsuut’ina Nation in giving blessings and prayers for the organization, its friends/partners, families and loved ones. 

David Boyce

CEO, North America

Schroders Greencoat

David Boyce is CEO, North America of Schroders Greencoat. David joined Schroders Greencoat in July 2021 to head Schroders Greencoat’s US business. David has worked in the US power generation industry since 1997 and full time in renewables since 2007. Since 2012, prior to joining Schroders Greencoat, David has held CEO roles at both Wind Capital Group, a fully integrated US wind generation business and Conifer Power, a US wind, solar and storage developer. Prior to that, David held senior finance and commercial roles at Wind Capital Group, Airtricity and SkyGen/Calpine. He also ran the project finance group of CoBank from 2002 to 2007, which covered the energy sector with a focus on power generation. David holds finance and accounting degrees from the University of Illinois and an MBA from the University of Chicago.

Justin Bourque


Athabasca Indigenous Investments
Âsokan Generational Developments Ltd

Justin Bourque is the President of Athabasca Indigenous Investments – a landmark partnership of 23 First Nation and Métis communities partnered with Enbridge to invest in seven pipelines that make up the Trunkline of the oilsands, that move critical energy resources from their traditional lands to global markets and deliver significant economic impacts for these 23 communities.

Justin is also the Founder and President of Âsokan Generational Developments Ltd., a consultancy focused on building bridges between industry and Indigenous communities. Âsokan supports Indigenous resilience and economic sovereignty through negotiation and management of meaningful Indigenous-led industry partnerships, while building an understanding of corporate responsibility and enhancing opportunity through the development of Indigenous ESG frameworks that localize economic benefits for current and future generations.

Justin’s multi-faceted history in Alberta’s energy industry and community building, paired with his traditional upbringing as a Métis trapper in Northeast Alberta, has instilled a deep respect for governance, environmental stewardship, and cultural integrity while creating opportunity today with tomorrow in mind. In recognition of his leadership, Justin was named one of Canada’s Top 20 Dynamic CEOs, one of the 10 Most Innovative Business Leaders to Follow in 2022, and received Junior Achievements’ 2022 Innovator Award. 

Rod Babineau


Senior Leader, Investments

The City of Calgary

Rod Babineau is currently the Senior Leader, Investments for The City of Calgary where he oversees the City’s $6 billion investment portfolio. Prior to joining the City in 2018, Rod oversaw the Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund and other endowments for the Province of Alberta. In addition, Rod has been a member of many boards and investment advisory committees, including pension plans and not for profits.

Rosa van den Beemt


Director, Stewardship, Responsible Investment

BMO Global Asset Management

Rosa leads BMO GAM’s Stewardship approach, such as engagement with investee companies, proxy voting and public policy advocacy on ESG topics to create positive long-term change on behalf of end clients. She actively represents BMO GAM at industry collaborations and memberships, including on the Advisory Council of the Investor Alliance for Human Rights, the Environmental & Social Committee of the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance, the Steering Committee of Climate Engagement Canada and the Leadership Council of the Responsible Investment Association. Prior to BMO GAM, Rosa worked at NEI Investments where she led their proxy voting program and various corporate engagement initiatives. With approximately 10 years in the responsible investment space, Rosa has extensive experience in North American corporate governance, human rights and investments, and engaging public issuers’ management and board members on ESG. She holds a BA in Political Science and an MSc in International Development Studies from the University of Amsterdam.

Sarah Butcher

Head, Private Markets Distribution Canada

Fiera Capital

Sarah Butcher is responsible for generating new business opportunities amongst Canadian institutional investors for Fiera Capital’s private credit strategies and leading Fiera Capital’s growth in global private credit.

Sarah’s career in the institutional asset management industry spanned nearly two decades before joining Fiera Capital in 2022. Before joining the firm, she was a Dealing Representative assisting global investment management firms cultivate new relationships with institutional investors in Canada. Prior experiences include roles within the Institutional Client Group at Neuberger Berman and BlackRock.

Sarah holds a Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) – Finance from the University of British Columbia and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from York University. 

Derrick Chow


Managing Partner, Western Canada


As Managing Partner at Boyden, Derrick Chow has worked with a wide range of organizations from large public companies to high-growth entrepreneurial private firms. Derrick leads Boyden’s Real Estate and Asset Management Practice in Canada and as a member of the Global Financial Services Practice where his clients have ranged from large institutional investment managers and wealth managers to private family offices and private equity/infrastructure investors. He is known as a trusted advisor who takes a personalized approach to the delivery of search and understanding the business as well as the vision and culture of an organization.

In addition to his work experience, Derrick is passionate about community service. He currently serves on the Board of the Kwantlen Polytechnic University Foundation and previously has served on the Board of the Association of Neighborhood Houses of BC, Coast Capital Savings Foundation and as the Vice Chair of the Board of S.U.C.C.E.S.S, a $50 million social service agency. He has been recognized with a Medal of Merit award for community service and leadership and is a past member of Leadership Richmond.

Derrick holds a Bachelor of Political Science and a Master of Business Administration in Finance & Strategy from the University of British Columbia. He is also a Certified Human Resource Professional (CHRP).

Shannan Corey

Executive Director

Saskatchewan Pension Plan

Shannan Corey is an authentic, effective and seasoned professional with a diverse background; from a math degree at U of S, to an Associate Actuary designation, and ultimately rounding out her experience by becoming a CPHR. Shannan brings 30 years of industry experience, including over 28 years in consulting and 5 years as a Director of Total Rewards for a large company in the private sector.

Most recently, Shannan’s role as Executive Director of the Saskatchewan Pension Plan since June of 2021 allows her to pursue her passion of enhancing retirement security and member experiences for a large, diverse membership base. Shannan’s prior experience serving on the Board of the Co-operative Superannuation Society Pension Plan, as well as currently serving as an independent Board Director on the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation Pension & Benefits Board, allows her to bring innovation and best practices to improved member experiences and operational effectiveness while connecting to her community values. Shannan is pleased to be able to support the noble and worthy cause of being able to offer a professionally managed pension plan and quality, trusted member services to everyone who chooses the Saskatchewan Pension Plan. 

Paul Frecon


Manager, Pensions

Suncor Energy Services Inc.

Paul Frecon is the Pensions Manager at Suncor Energy where he oversees the pension investments. Prior this he held similar roles at Canadian Pacific Railway and The Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation. He is a finance graduate from the University of Saskatchewan and has completed the CFA, CAIA and the CFA Certificate in ESG Investing.

Caroline Grandoit


Global Head of Total Portfolio Solutions

Fiera Capital

Caroline Grandoit leads the Total Portfolio Solutions group. In this role, she is responsible for structuring, implementing and monitoring customized multi-asset mandates and pooled funds as well as risk-targeted and immunized liability driven portfolios. Furthermore, she oversees the research and development supporting Fiera’s MACS model (multi-asset class solutions), the proprietary risk factor-based asset allocation tool and is a frequent speaker at industry conferences. She works closely with all segments of the firm to offer the best solutioning capabilities to our global institutional and private clientele.

Caroline joined the firm in 2017. Her career in the financial industry spans over 15 years working both in the United States and Canada, helping clients in her portfolio management, financial strategy and actuarial roles. She specializes in asset-liability modeling, portfolio projections and customized strategic asset allocation optimization.

Caroline graduated from Concordia University with a bachelor’s degree in Actuarial Mathematics and Finance. She is also a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charterholder, a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries (FSA) and a Certified Enterprise Risk Analyst (CERA). 

Susan Golyak


Director, ESG | Public Markets

British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (BCI)

A responsible investing professional over with 20 years’ experience in the institutional investment industry, Susan joined the public markets team at BCI in 2016. BCI’s public markets program manages a global portfolio of fixed income and public equity investments representing $137.8 billion in assets under management. The consideration of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) matters is an essential part of BCI’s investment beliefs and Susan’s responsibilities include overseeing ESG analysis and integration for portfolio companies, conducting engagement with corporate issuers, regulators, and external investment managers on ESG risks, developing public policy submissions on ESG matters and educating and assisting BCI’s clients on ESG. Prior to joining BCI, Susan was a responsible investing analyst at The Ontario Public Service Employees Union Pension Trust (OPTrust). She holds an MBA from the University of Fredericton’s Sandermoen School of Business, focusing on Social Enterprise Leadership.

Susan also serves on the Board of Directors of the Pension Investment Association of Canada (PIAC), chairs PIAC’s Investor Stewardship Committee, and is a member of the Research Committee for the SDI Asset Owner Platform.

Luke Hawthorn

Associate Director

Cortland Credit

Luke started his career in the UK, advising corporations and High-Net-Worth Individuals at a global financial services firm. Since joining Cortland in 2019, Luke has been responsible for key sales and marketing initiatives that have given him a deep understanding of Cortland’s business and client needs.

He is currently completing the CAIA Charter and holds a BA (Hons) from the University of Manchester, where he studied Politics and Economics.

Brittany Jones


Director, Investment Strategy

Government of Alberta | Department of Treasury Board and Finance

Brittany Jones is Senior Manager of Portfolio Analytics and Research within the Capital Markets Branch of the Government of Alberta. Her branch is responsible for the oversight of more than $40 billion in investable assets, including Government specialty accounts, long-term disability management plans, defined benefit pensions, and endowments. Previously, she was a Trader on the debt and derivatives desk, where one of her main accomplishments was starting a U.S. Commercial Program and growing it to USD $6 billion. Prior to that, she worked in Client Management for a multi-client asset manager with roughly $130 billion in assets under management. Brittany has more than a decade of experience in institutional asset management and government financing. She is a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst and has a Bachelor of Business Administration, Northern Alberta Institute of Technology.

Jeff Kim


Specialist, Pension Investments

Enbridge Inc

As a Specialist for the Pension Investments group, Jeff oversees the manager selection/evaluation process and the investment strategy for Enbridge’s DB and DC Pension Plans. He has 10+ years of institutional portfolio management experience and is currently the chair of the PIAC Calgary Regional Council. He holds a B.Comm degree from the University of Alberta and is a CFA charterholder.

Martin Kholmatov

Senior Manager, Responsible Investment


As part of AIMCo’s Responsible Investment department since 2016, Martin is responsible for ESG and sustainability integration efforts & Analytics across assets classes, including investment and post-investment management. Prior to joining AIMCo, Martin had worked for provincial government being part of the Alberta Energy’s International Energy Policy branch and had spend over a decade in various roles with the World Bank, one of the leading international financial institutions primarily covering Europe and Central Asia countries

Myra Khanna

Founder and CEO


Myra has spent most of her career in private equity and has been one of the largest asset allocators in Europe. She is now the founder of a successful tech business that helps employees thrive and companies meet their objectives through professional coaching. With a vision to foster inclusive work environments, she’s prioritizing equitable access to hyper-tailored development opportunities. As the founder of Sama, Myra combines her passion for technology and social impact to create innovative products that transform lives and shape the society we strive for.

Shoghig Kulidjian

Managing Director, Institutional Sales,

Trez Capital


Barbara McKenzie


Chief Executive Officer

Metis Settlements Development Corporation

Ms. McKenzie has a long career as a leader, entrepreneur and supporter of small business in Alberta.

She has previously held roles as CEO and Executive Director at Business Link and the Leduc-Nisku Economic Development Association, as well as several senior leadership positions in marketing and brand at Goodwill Industries of Alberta, ATB Financial, and Alberta Pensions Administration.

Ms. McKenzie has an Executive MBA from the Quantic School of Business and Technology, as well as a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Alberta and a Diploma in Marketing from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. She holds several certifications in corporate governance, project management, economic development and more. 

Les Marton

Managing Director

bfinance Canada Inc

Les is the Managing Director and Lead Client Consultant in bfinance’s Canadian institutional investment consultancy practice.

He has worked in financial services for more than 35 years, with more than two decades of experience in asset management. He has extensive experience on the buy-side, having managed the Scotia Alternative Asset Fund from 2001-2003, launched the Scotiabank Canadian Hedge Fund Index and was Head of Operational Due Diligence for Scotia Capital’s alternative assets business. Les has worked extensively with institutional allocators in a range of advisory roles throughout his long and varied career. Prior to joining bfinance in 2017 he held senior roles at Scotiabank including Managing Director, Head of Hedge Fund Consulting & Capital Introduction and Head of the Global Alternative Asset Group. He began his career at Royal Bank of Canada and RBC Capital Markets.

Les has been a frequent speaker at pension investment conferences on a wide range of topics. He has eclectic tastes in literature and music, is an avid sports enthusiast as well as a keen (though unaccomplished) golfer. In the dim mists of time he received an MBA from York University and a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and English from the University of Toronto, Trinity College. 

Tom McCaffery

Executive Director of Policy and Engagement

Emissions Reduction Alberta

Tom McCaffery is the Executive Director of Policy and Engagement with ERA and leads initiatives that build and strengthen communications, foster strategic partnerships, and enhance relationships with federal and provincial policymakers, industry leaders, and other stakeholders. He has extensive experience executing strategy, leading high performing cross-functional teams, and finding innovative ways of creating shared value in manufacturing, aerospace, government, and applied academia. He spent the first 25 years of his career as an industry executive developing successful business strategy and international supply chains from Antarctica to the Maldives. He plans to spend the next 25 helping companies unlock growth in cleantech and clean resources.

Before joining ERA, he was a Senior Advisor for cleantech, agriculture, defence, manufacturing and supply chain with Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan). Prior to that, as President and CEO of Supply Chain Canada – Alberta Institute, Tom developed a growth strategy that stabilized and grew the institute during the pandemic. Tom has authored and co-authored academic papers on competitive advantage, customer value, dynamic management capabilities, and export readiness. He holds a master’s degree, project management credential, has written for Future Shapers, Canadian Manufacturing, and is completing his first book on managing values in complex organizations.

Robert Mugo

MSc, PhD

Director, Green House Gas Environmental Priority Area

(a division of Pathways Alliance)

Robert K. Mugo is the Director, Green House Gas Environmental Priority Area with COSIA, a division of Pathways Alliance. As Director, Robert’s responsibilities at COSIA includes supporting members with the identification, evaluation and launching of activities and projects to reduce the GHG footprint of the oil sands sector, including in the areas of CCUS, electrification, fuel switching and process improvements.

Robert has over 25 years of industry and consulting experience, and during his career has provided technical, stakeholder and regulatory expertise to projects in the oil and gas, mining, water supply and manufacturing sectors. Robert has worked on projects in Canada, USA, Asia and Africa.

Robert holds a bachelors degree from the University of Nairobi, as well as MSc and PhD degrees in environmental chemistry and geochemistry from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. 

Jean Odendall

Portfolio Manager, Special Opportunities Strategy

Tikehau Capital

Jean Odendall joined Tikehau Capital in 2011 and currently serves as Portfolio Manager for Tikehau Capital’s Special Opportunities Strategy. He first joined the Group as part of the High Yield team and was the lead credit analyst for several sectors. Prior to Tikehau Capital, he worked at Jabre Capital in Geneva, where he supported the launch of their special opportunities fund. Jean attended HEC University of Lausanne.

Aaron Pittman

SVP, Head of Canadian Institutional Investments


Aaron is an Institutional asset management executive with a history of applying a multidisciplinary approach to help global asset management firms realize optimal partnership potential with Institutional clients.

Aaron brings extensive leadership experience with a focus on Institutional knowledge, acumen, and strategic and tactical initiatives which are applied to solidify an investment management company’s reputation as a high quality, globally competitive entity.

At Equiton, Aaron oversees capital raise and servicing as it relates to the distribution of the firm’s investment strategies to Institutions. 

Christopher Pinto


Director - Investments


Relevant Experience/Specialization

Christopher Pinto is a Director in the Investment line of business of WTW.

Christopher has over 20 years of investment industry experience across both institutional and retail/high net worth markets, covering traditional and alternative investment strategies. He has worked within the pension plan, investment consulting and asset management industries, primarily focusing on asset allocation, investment strategy, portfolio construction and manager oversight.

Most recently, Christopher was a Portfolio Manager overseeing the public market investments at a Toronto-based pension plan and prior to that, was Head of Canadian Portfolio Management for the delegated offering at an investment consulting firm. Christopher is based out of our Vancouver office.

Education and Credentials

Christopher graduated from McGill University with a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance & Marketing). He is a CFA Charterholder and a member of the CFA Institute. 

Sam Roach


Portfolio Manager

The City of Calgary

Sam is a portfolio manager with over a decade of institutional investment experience. Currently Sam oversees The City of Calgary’s $4.5 billion external manager investment program, covering a diverse portfolio of equities, fixed income, real estate, private equity, infrastructure, private credit and mortgages. Prior to his career as a portfolio manager, Sam was an institutional equity research analyst for two of Canada’s top-ranked research teams. Sam graduated from the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business with distinction, and is a CFA Charterholder.

Sean Rogister


Cortland Credit

Sean has more than 20 years of experience leading investment teams in fixed income strategies that included private lending exposures in emerging and developed countries around the world.

Having built and led investment management businesses at world-class financial institutions, most notably managing the fixed income asset class for Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan ($100 billion plus fund). Sean possesses a global and institutional perspective as well as possessing the unique knowledge base of how to manage a successful debt-based investment strategy.

Vikram Rajagopalan

Senior Managing Director, Capital Strategy and Distributions

Trez Capital

Vikram Rajagopalan is an integral part of Trez Capital’s Investment Sales team, serving more than 30,000 retail investors and many of Canada’s largest pension funds.

With nearly 20 years of experience in the investment management industry, Vikram joined Trez Capital in 2013. During his time at Trez Capital, his main focus has been on developing and maintaining relationships with leading investors. In 2016, he was promoted to the role of Vice President, Retail Sales and National Accounts, then, to Senior Vice President, Head of Retail Markets in 2020, and finally, to Senior Managing Director, Capital Raising in 2023. In this role, he is responsible for raising capital on behalf of Trez Capital’s private debt and equity investment funds and opportunity funds.

Prior to joining Trez Capital, Vikram was Vice President of Client Relations at a boutique private wealth management firm serving high-net-worth clients. He started his career in sales with one of Canada’s largest independent mutual fund firms.

Vikram is a CFA charterholder and has a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Economics from York University. He is also a seasoned conference speaker and panelist and often speaks with press on market and industry insights. He lived in 11 countries prior to his immigration to Canada and brings a global perspective to his mentorship of the next generation of professionals at the firm.

Graham Sheppard


Associate Director

UBC Investment Management

Graham holds several key responsibilities at UBC Investment Management, chief among them being a primary relationship contact for our internal partners to ensure their priorities are well understood and being supported as well as leading our responsible investing priorities. Within the investment team, Graham oversees total portfolio asset allocation, including rebalancing and cash management activities, total portfolio strategy research and investment policy development, and leads oversight of public fixed income investments. Prior to joining UBC Investment Management, Graham was a Portfolio Manager within the Investments Division of the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC), managing the group’s macroeconomic, financial market, and fixed income research efforts for the company’s $20 billion insurance fund and $1.2 billion pension plan for management employees. Prior to joining ICBC, Graham was an Analyst at ERA Research, a boutique investment research firm specializing in equity and high yield investment opportunities in the global Forest Products sector. Graham is a CFA charterholder and a proud alumnus of the UBC Thunderbirds.

Jacky Shen


Treasurer and Director of Investment

Simon Fraser University

Jacky Shen is the Director of Treasury at Simon Fraser University, where he provides the treasury, investment and responsible investing leadership by supporting the university’s investment governance
duties, implementing investment decisions and responsible investing initiatives, as well as managing debt and operating cash flows.
Jacky has managed SFU’s endowment portfolio to consistently outperformed its benchmarks for all annualized period on a rolling 10-year basis, and to consistently ranked in the top decile for the ten-year
annualized return within the balanced manager universe, as well to consistently ranked among the top performing Canadian universities in the Canadian University Investment Survey. He also successfully
implemented the university’s investment decarbonization plan and guided the investment portfolios toward the university’s 2025 divestment commitment.
Jacky is a trustee of both SFU Academic Staff Pension Plan and SFU Administrative/Union Staff Pension Plan. He is also a Treasury and Investment Committee member of Canadian Association of University
Business Officers (CAUBO).
Jacky has accumulated more than 30 years of experience of investment management, corporate finance, credit analysis, marketing and product development for various organizations including
managerial roles in leading global firms such as HSBC and AIG. Jacky joined Simon Fraser University in 2007.
Jacky earned an MBA degree from University of Pittsburgh, a Master of Global Assets and Wealth Management from Simon Fraser University, and he is a CFA Charter holder. 

Teresa Troy



Placemore Capital Inc

Terri Troy, CFA, ICD.D is Co-Founder of Placemore Capital Inc., an advisory firm that works closely with investment managers/GPs and accredited investors to match the right solutions with the right partners. In 2018 Terri retired as CEO of the Halifax Regional Municipality Pension Plan. She has more than 25 years of experience in investment management, pensions, corporate strategy, and mergers and acquisitions. As CEO of the Halifax Regional Municipality Pension Plan, she transformed the governance structure, investment strategy, and customer service function. Innovative investment strategies implemented included factor investing, portable alpha, and a significant emphasis on private investments including co-investments, syndications/club deals with other large institutional investors, and direct investments, etc.

While CEO, Terri was a Board member of a UK based energy company and a Board member of a Canadian financial services corporation. She was a member of Investor Advisory Committees for various global private investments including UK, European and US private equity; UK, Australian and Canadian infrastructure; European, UK, Asian, US and Canadian real estate; and European, UK, and US private debt.

Prior to the CEO role, Terri was responsible for the investment strategy for RBC’s 33 global pension plans between 2000-2006. Prior to RBC, Terri held various roles at CIBC including corporate strategy, mergers & acquisitions, and wealth management.

Terri has held various leadership roles in the pension industry including being a Board Member of the Pension Investment Association of Canada (PIAC), Chair of PIAC, Chair of PIAC’s Investment Practices Committee and Chair of PIAC’s Government Relations Committee.

Terri was a member of the International Limited Partnership’s Association’s Education Committee 2016-2018 and is currently on ILPA’s Teaching Faculty.

Over the course of her career, Terri has received many awards including the Leading Pension Plan Sponsor Award and the Top 25 Most Influential Plan Sponsors.

Terri has an MBA from York University and an HBBA from Wilfrid Laurier. She also holds the CFA charter and completed the ICD Rotman, Directors Education Program 

Donya Vahidi

Legal Counsel

Boughton Law

Donya practices corporate commercial law with a focus on negotiating and structuring indigenous equity ownership of major projects. Donya’s practice includes acting as corporate counsel to indigenous communities with respect to economic development, the negotiation and implementation of partnerships and joint ventures, and structuring tax efficient corporate structures for indigenous communities for the purpose of entering into commercial arrangements. Notably, Donya worked on the East Tank Farm transaction, which at the time of closing, was the largest business investment by a First Nation entity in Canada. In 2021, Donya jointly represented eight First Nations and Metis communities in their acquisition and financing of 15% equity in the Northern Courier Pipeline Limited Partnership. More recently, Donya jointly represented the consortium of 23 indigenous communities in their partnership with Enbridge and their acquisition of a minority interest in seven Enbridge-operated pipelines in northern Alberta. In addition to her corporate commercial practice, Donya advises on indigenous governance and the legal issues impacting indigenous communities, including with respect to self-government processes.

Jia Wang

Deputy Director, China Institute

University of Alberta

Jia Wang is the Deputy Director and Senior Research Fellow who served as the Interim Director (Jan 2021 – Aug 2023) of the China Institute at the University of Alberta, where she manages research, programs, and government and media relations since 2011. A senior fellow at the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada and the Centre for Asia Pacific Initiatives at the University of Victoria, Jia is also a member of the Canada-US Commission on China convened by Wilson Centre in Washington D.C.

Jia has over 17 years of direct management experience focusing on the economic and political dimensions of contemporary China and Canada-China relations in various capacities. At the China Institute, in addition to overseeing the operations, she leads policy research initiatives examining Canada’s diplomatic, trade, investment and energy linkages with China. Jia also provides strategic and policy advice on China to University senior leaders as well as executives at public and private sector organizations. She is a frequent media commentator, speaker and moderator at international, national and community events.
Before joining the China Institute, Jia worked as a television news reporter, anchor and producer covering major political, business and cultural affairs for OMNI TV network from 2008 to early 2011. She also served as a business consultant for Enbridge Pipelines Inc. and as a conference interpreter for various business, government and higher education institutions at executive-level meetings and major conferences.

Jia holds a Bachelor of Laws (honours) from Peking University and pursued doctoral studies at the University of Toronto. She has written columns for the largest Chinese newspaper and taught business communication and cultural etiquette in Canada.

Born and raised in Beijing and lived for two decades in Canada, Jia is fully bilingual (Chinese and English) and bicultural. She serves on the Board of Directors for Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and Winspear Centre for Music and is an Advisory Board Member for the Canada China Forum. An avid animal and nature lover, she supports animal rescue and nature conservation efforts around the world and enjoys hiking in the Canadian Rockies every summer. 

Ryan Wright



City of Medicine Hat

Ryan is City Treasurer for the City of Medicine Hat. He manages the $750 million investment portfolio of Canadian and Global Fixed Income & Equities, Infrastructure, Real Estate, Private Credit, Commercial Mortgages, and Currency. Ryan manages a team responsible for cash management, banking & borrowing, loans & loan guarantees, insurance & claims, grants, and reserves. Before joining the City of Medicine Hat, Ryan was a Portfolio Manager for the City of Calgary. In that role he managed a $4.2 billion portfolio of Canadian & Global Fixed Income, Infrastructure, Private Credit, Commercial Mortgages, and Currency. Ryan has an MBA from Queen’s University and is a CFA charterholder. 

Rachel Wade

Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion & Employee Experience

Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo)

Rachel is the Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion & Employee Experience at Alberta Investment Management where she is leveraging a decade of experience in advancing Diversity, Equity & Inclusion across a multitude of industries and geographies, 8 years of HR experience, and 15 years of experience in the financial sector. Rachel has obtained her PR Certificate, a BA and Master of Professional Communications, and is a Qualified Administrator for the Intercultural Development Inventory. Additionally, she has won several awards for her contributions towards advancing DEI and Employee Experience including Calgary’s Top 40 Under 40, two Gold Quill awards from IABC, and a Distinction Award from the Advertising Club of Edmonton.   Rachel is a keynote speaker on a range of DEI topics including neurodiversity and has spoken on national and international stages. In her free time, she looks for ways to give back to her local community, including as a Member of the Calgary Library Foundation’s Board of Directors and as a Founding Ambassador for United Way of Calgary.

David Yiptong

Regional Director, Alberta

Foresight Alberta

Technology development, commercialization and community engagement have been at the heart of David’s recent work. He has worked with hundreds of technology startups and entrepreneurs, helping them build their businesses and connecting them with resources and supports in the community. Their successes are what drives David’s passion for the sector in Calgary and Alberta.

David brings a wide range of experience having worked in startups, large corporations, and not-for-profits, in industries ranging from manufacturing, energy, and telecommunications. He continues to volunteer to coach students and entrepreneurs through various programs in Calgary. 

Deborah Yedlin

President and CEO

Calgary Chamber of Commerce

Deborah Yedlin currently serves as President and CEO of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce. She took on the role of stewarding the 131 year old organization in July 2021, bringing with her experience in capital markets gained while working on Wall Street and Bay Street, two decades of covering Canadian Business as a columnist for various media outlets and a unique perspective on the role of post-secondary education in society, having just completed a four year term as Chancellor of the University of Calgary.

Since moving to Calgary in 1992, Deborah has been very active in the Calgary community, serving on the boards of a number of arts and community organizations and is currently one of three co-chairs for the $250 mm Calgary Cancer Centre fundraising campaign.

Subscribe to industry insights and event updates