Chair: To be announced
Joining BNOTIONS in 2011 as a Partner leading growth, Paul assumed the role of Managing Partner in 2014. He works closely with the world-class Product and Engineering teams to ensure BNOTIONS’ clients — from innovative start-ups to Fortune 100 organizations — achieve their goals through the launch and optimization of mobile products, and strategic-innovation initiatives such as rapid prototyping, R&D, and product strategy. Paul’s career began in the digital advertising world in the early 2000’s, helping some of Canada’s and the world’s largest brands to step into the digital space for the first time. Whether evolving brands’ CRM programs into data-driven eCRM programs, launching websites, building eCommerce sites, or assisting brands in understanding and creating a presence in the world of social, he guided organizations to succeed. During this time he not only began to understand the value of quality engineering, user-centric design, and a product-focused mindset, but he also began to understand that ad agencies were neither equipped to deliver the quality of work he aspired to, nor were they as focused on mobile as he believed they should be. This realization led him to leave the industry in late 2010 and find a home at BNOTIONS. Beyond his role at BNOTIONS, Paul dedicates much of his time and energy to the community. He co-founded TEDxToronto in 2009 and sits on many advisory boards, including: the City of Toronto Innovation and Technology Advisory Board, ITAC (Information Technology Association of Canada, Interactive Ontario, CMA/Marketing Magazine’s Mobile Day, AndroidTO, The Humber School of Business, The Humber School of Media Studies and Information Technology and advises and invests in a number of Toronto-based start-ups.
KAREN FRANKLIN – 2nd Vice Chair
Director, Individual Donor Relations
United Way – Toronto and York Region
An accomplished business, relationship and marketing communications executive, Karen has extensive experience in public and private sectors holding senior positions at Bell, Rogers and CGI. She is a proven leader with a passion for customer excellence and leverages her strong technical and business background to create, lead and integrate high performing multi-disciplinary teams for critical engagements. Karen has been an active member of ITAC for over 10 years and participates with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and Toronto Board of Trade.
John Breakey is a serial entrepreneur in the Information Technology industry. John founded UNIS LUMIN Inc., a systems integration company that grew to 5 offices across Canada and $75m in revenue before he sold the company in 2011. In 2002 John founded Genuit, a software company that developed PROMYS, the first comprehensive PSA+ software package to be based 100% on web technology. The product is sold internationally. In 2012 John founded Fivel Systems Corporation, an online learning company, that specializes in the effective adoption of technology we use everyday. Today, John oversees the growth of his companies, invests in emerging companies and serves as an advisor and consultant to growth companies. John is a regular speaker at industry trade shows and webinars, and frequently contributes topical articles for publication in trade journals. John became a member of the Information Technology Association of Canada in 1998. He was initially elected to the Board of ITAC Ontario in 2003. In 2005 John was elected a Chair of ITAC Ontario, serving 2 years in that position. During his tenure as Chair, he assisted in ITAC’s integration of its Ontario and Canadian financials, worked closely with the Ontario Government to improve their procurement contracts and participated in the birth of ITAC Health. He continues to serve on ITAC Ontario’s Board Executive. John has served on the Board of a number of other community and industry associations.
ROBERT WATSON – ITAC President and CEO
Robert Watson is a widely respected senior executive with over 35 years in the Canadian technology industry. Robert Watson brings extensive experience in both the telecommunications and energy sectors serving as CEO of SaskTel and the Bermuda Regulatory Authority and led the technology transformation as CEO of SaskPower. Currently, Robert serves as an independent director on a number of technology and non-profit organizations and on the Dean’s Council of the Ted Rogers School of Management. Throughout his career, Robert has gathered the skill set to take on the important role to ensure government incorporates the transformation of technology to make Canada’s infrastructure environment more efficient and powerful. He has a solid understanding of ITAC and how it operates as he has been both an ITAC Board member and past Chair.
FAWN ANNAN – Director
President & Group Publisher
Fawn Annan is President and Group Publisher of IT World Canada, moving into this role in 2010. She has been with IT World since 1995, starting her tenure as the first GM of Executive Programming, moving then to VP & Publisher, Government to Chief Strategy Officer until taking over as President. She is one of three female Presidents in the IDG family that has publishing interests in 96 countries. Fawn is an active community leader sitting on the Ontario ITAC board, the iCanada Advisory Board; the Crowdfunding Board, CataWIT and previously she sat on the Advisory Board for Athabasca, and the Municipal Information Systems Association’s Board. In October 2012, Fawn became a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubiliee Medal Recipient. The award honours Canadians who have made a significant impact on society and business through the application of technology.
BOB BECKER – Director
Bob Becker is Principal of SMA providing business development and marketing services to technology firms. In 1985, Bob started SMA with a mandate to generate profitable sales revenue for technology firms. Now, having celebrated almost 30 years in business, Bob and his team continue to help clients engage with their markets through an ever evolving line-up of marketing services. He leads the ITAC Marketing and Sales Executive Think Tank and Roundtable events. Before establishing SMA, Bob worked as a Brand Manager at Colgate Palmolive, and was a partner in GLA Computer Systems, a Canadian software company.
MARCIA CUSHING – Director
Marcia is a senior leader in the Digital Integration practice at Deloitte with over 15 years of experience. She is a results-driven leader delivering successful transformational initiatives across both private and public sector. She combines strategic planning with deep technological expertise to deliver innovative initiatives that achieve targeted outcomes. Marcia is passionate on building highly effective teams, across a broad spectrum of capabilities and geographies to solve her clients’ complex challenges. Marcia is a relationship focused leader
MICHAEL DI VERDI – Director
Director, Ontario Public Sector
Michael Di Verdi is responsible TELUS’ Ontario Public Sector business including the Government of Ontario, ministries, agencies, provincial utilities, municipalities and health care customers. With over 16 years of Telecommunications experience, Michael leads a team of account professionals focused on putting their customers first by helping those customers transform their business through digital initiatives that support their business goals. Michael and his team endeavour to simplify the complex delivery of IT solutions spanning across Data Networking, IT Security, Unified Communications, Cloud Services, Internet of Things and Mobility solutions. Prior to becoming the Director of the Ontario Public Sector team, Michael served as Account Executive for 10 years supporting key public sector initiatives including the delivery of network infrastructure and IT security services for the provincial government enabling better outcomes for the citizens of Ontario; and the IT security and cloud services needed to empower the PRESTO farecard public transportation system. Michael is active in the community volunteering to support numerous charitable initiatives and committed to TELUS Days of Giving campaigns aimed to drive positive social outcomes in the areas of health, education and the environment.
TAREK EMARA – Director
Tarek is senior Director at Pricewaterhouse Coopers. He dedicated his career to helping clients leverage technology to enable business transformation across industries. Tarek developed a broad set of skills throughout his 20 years Career starting in systems sales, passing by Technology Consulting as a Senior Managing IT Consultant, and in various leadership roles in IBM and Pricewaterhouse Coopers in Canada. During his 20 years, Tarek developed several Technology Trends papers and built successful technology service offerings and strategies that resulted in significant benefit to clients across industries including banking, insurance, telecom, technology, public sector, and healthcare. In the past 6 years Tarek focused his time working with public sector clients across a wide variety of provincial and federal sector agencies, ministries, and departments. His client base included eHealth Ontario, Public Health Agency of Canada, DND, City of Markham, Regional Municipality of York, TTC, City of Toronto, Toronto Police Services, Victorian Order of Nurses, Ministry of Attorney General, among many others. Tarek gives back to his profession through coaching consultants and helping them with consulting certification. He also delivered a number of speaking engagements in Canada, United States, and Japan with focus on Technology Trends, IT best practices and IT Strategy.
JEREMY ERLICK – Director
Vice-President Sales, Central Region
Jeremy Erlick is a business executive with over 15 years of sales and business development experience in the Information Technology industry. He currently leads the entire Central Region sales organization at Compugen Inc., a large and national Canadian based IT solution provider – that over many years has developed a prominent market share position in the government sector in Ontario. Previously Jeremy has held a number of roles in direct sales and sales management. From 1999-2005 he was a sales executive dedicated to the government sector where he was instrumental in building and growing Compugen’s business and relationship with the Ontario government and various other broader public sector verticals. Following this between 2006-2012 he ran Compugen’s Central Region government branch, over which time the business doubled in size. Jeremy has a deep understanding of the government sector including unique business challenges, policies, procurement guidelines, operations and the history of organizational transformations in various government verticals. Because of the nature of Compugen’s business model, he also understands the various government sales and marketing strategies and operational models of the large IT manufacturers and publishers. Jeremy holds a B.A. degree in Sociology from York University.
JASON GEORGE – Director
Vice-President Business Development
Jason George brings more than 18 years of experience building global sales and operations teams, including oversight of North American, European and Latin American markets. In his role as Vice President of Business Operations at SOTI, Jason is responsible for the company’s global commercial operations process, monitoring and measurement; pricing strategy; and government, university and industry relations. Prior to SOTI, Jason was Vice President of Sales for InteraXon, a Toronto-based startup in wearable technology, and for over a decade, built channel and distribution businesses in the United States, Europe, and Latin America with BlackBerry. Prior to this, Jason was with Synamics Inc. and Nortel Networks. Recognized for his analytical expertise in high-growth technology environments, Jason built an early career as an independent database and marketing strategy consultant for emerging IT companies in Canada. Jason George holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Wilfrid Laurier University. Born in Canada, he’s the father of two young boys, and enjoys playing soccer and hockey.
DENNIS HOFMANN – Director
Regional Sales Director, Major Public Accounts
Dennis Hofmann leads an organization that delivers innovative and practical technology solutions to Dell Canada’s K-12, Higher Education, Provincial, and Municipal government customers in Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. In his 15 years at Dell, Dennis has held various roles within the sales organization, working with customers across Ontario and western Canada. His team continues to make a strong impact on the way their clients serve their students, communities, and citizens. Prior to his tenure at Dell, Dennis worked in the telecommunications industry. He earned his Honors Bachelor of Arts with Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University.
SEAN PINNEY – Director
Director, Consulting Services, OPS
Sean Pinney is a Director at CGI, based out of Toronto responsible for building relationships within the Ontario provincial government and municipalities. He represents all of CGI’s offerings including consulting, system integration, IP and managed services to his Public Sector clients. Sean has been in the IT industry for 20 years working in various roles with CGI, IBM, xwave and Thoughtcorp. He also led the B2B commercial division of Pelmorex Media (The Weather Network) which was acquired by MeteoGroup and subsequently held the position of General Manager for the North American division. During his career Sean’s focus has continued to be on assisting the Public Sector maximize the value of IT to achieve program goals and improve services for their citizens.
CRAIG TAYLOR – Director
Client Executive, Channels
Craig Taylor is a Channel Client Executive with Lenovo who has over 19 years of experience of solution sales in the IT Industry. He has held various leadership roles at Lenovo and IBM with current and past focus on the Enterprise, Midmarket and Public Sectors (including national, provincial, and state/local government) in Canada and the United States. Craig is highly motivated and dedicated to provide the best possible solutions, service and support to customers through direct customer relationships and extensive channel engagements across North America. His commitment to clients and channel partners is evident by the long and established business relationships that have been created and managed.
- Deep understanding of the North American IT Industry
- Managing, creating and maintaining successful business relationships with clients
- Worked with a diverse set of customers and channel partners in Canada and US
- Focused on increasing sales and passionate of selling technology and innovation
- Strategic thinker and action oriented
Craig was educated at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada and holds an undergraduate degree in Business Administration. He is actively involved in his community and volunteers for several non-profit organizations including the Abilities Centre in Ontario, Canada.
GRAHAM WATT – Director
Director, Ontario Public Sector
As Director, Ontario Public Sector Team, Graham leads the team responsible for building relationships with the Ontario Provincial Government, Municipalities, Cities, and Health Care markets. Graham represents all lines of business within the Ontario Public Sector, including consulting, cloud-based services and software solutions. With more than 20 years of experience within the IT industry, Graham has held a number of positions within Digital Equipment, Compaq Computer Inc., E&Y, Amdocs and Microsoft. Throughout his career, Graham has demonstrated his passion for helping clients and partners be successful in maximizing the value for solutions they are either delivering or implementing. He is also a keen supporter of transformational change, helping organizations realize their digital transformation strategies to drive efficiencies and growth, and creates environments that attract top talent.
REGAN WATTS – Director
Government and Regulatory Affairs
Regan Watts is a skilled cross-functional executive with more than 14 years of public and private sector experience in strategy, marketing, communications, and public/corporate/regulatory affairs across a variety of sectors including technology, financial services, capital markets, healthcare, infrastructure, transportation, construction, and industrial manufacturing.
Regan currently leads IBM Canada’s government and regulatory affairs activities at the federal, provincial, and municipal levels.
Prior to joining IBM, Regan served on the Executive Committee of Lafarge Canada Inc. In this role, he led corporate communications, public and regulatory affairs including oversight for environment, and corporate social responsibility.
Regan had an extensive career in public service, serving in leadership roles in the Government of Canada across four federal departments. From 2006 – 2012, he served at Finance Canada, Transport Canada, Health Canada, and Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada.
In 2012, Regan was awarded Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his public service to Canada.
An active volunteer, he serves on the Advisory Council for Earth Rangers, Canada’s largest conservation organization dedicated to educating children and families about biodiversity and empowering them to become directly involved in protecting animals and their habitats.
A resident of Toronto, Regan holds an MBA from the Ivey Business School at Western.