Panel 3: Transforming Vertical Markets Through Connectivity

Moderated by Claudia Krywiak

Organizations across all industries are becoming increasingly dependent on ICT technologies. In fact, organizations outside the ICT sector employ more ICT professionals than the ICT sector itself: according to the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC), as of 2017 60% of ICT professionals were employed outside the Canadian ICT sector. This is not surprising: digitization, ubiquitous connectivity, mobility, cloud computing, and Internet of Things, among other next generation technologies, are revolutionizing how traditional vertical industries operate and serve their customers. This panel will look at how advancements in ICT and networking are moving these industries forward, and what organizations must do to take full advantage of the transformational potential of these technologies.

Claudia Krywiak

Claudia Krywiak

VP, Corporate Development, Planning and Strategic Initiatives, OCE

Claudia Krywiak is Vice President, Corporate Development, Planning and Strategic Initiatives at the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), a not-for-profit organization that works with industry, government, and academia to accelerate the commercialization of new technologies and drive job creation. 

At OCE, Claudia is responsible for the development and implementation of initiatives that bring together multiple levels of government, large corporations, academia and SMEs to fuel growth in emerging technology areas, such as advanced computing and artificial intelligence, connected and autonomous vehicles, 5G and next generation networks, cybersecurity, and clean technologies. 

Prior to joining OCE, Claudia held the position of Vice President, Business Development (Ontario) at Mitacs, a national research organization that funds research and training programs.

Claudia received an Hon.B.Sc. and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Toronto.

Claudia serves on the Board of Directors for IBI Group Inc. a Canadian-based international professional services company consulting in the fields of architecture, engineering, planning, landscape architecture, transportation, and technology. 

Don Duval

Don Duval

CEO, NORCAT

As Chief Executive Officer, Don Duval is responsible for the strategy and operations of NORCAT’s global operations.  He is regarded as one of Canada’s leading thinkers on innovation, commercialization, and entrepreneurship working with jurisdictions around the world to development regional innovation and economic ecosystems / districts.  Prior to NORCAT, Don served as the Vice President of Strategy / Operations for the MaRS Discovery District, one of the world’s pre-eminent innovation centres working in a variety of sectors to accelerate the growth of innovative technology ventures to drive sustained job and wealth creation for the Canadian economy.

In addition, Don sits on a variety of Boards, including the Board of Governors for the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Canada’s only dedicated STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) university focused on commercialization of early-stage intellectual property by accelerating the connections between the corporate business and venture capital community and researchers.  He has worked globally in the strategy group with Deloitte on mergers / acquisitions, procurement, and innovation policy projects and successfully founded and exited from a start-up supply chain technology venture.

Don served as an engineering professor at the University of Toronto, developing and delivering engineering curriculum with special attention to new teaching and learning methods to ensure desired outcomes were achieved.

Academically, Don has an undergraduate degree in Chemistry from Queen’s University and a Masters of Applied Science and Engineering from the University of Toronto.

Lastly, Don was a Top 40 under 40 recipient, a two-time TEDx speaker, and is a member of the YPO Toronto chapter.

Samer Geissah

Samer Geissah

Director, Technology Strategy, TELUS

As a member of TELUS’s CTO office and as  Director, Technology Strategy, IoT and Emerging Technologies, Samer is leading a team of Principle Technology Architects to define the strategy, business model and technology options of TELUS’s future strategy.

Previously Samer was the Vice President of Innovation at du. Samer was responsible for all new product and service initiatives including digital products and services, digital partnerships, du video strategy du digital channels as well as entertainment and lifestyle products.

With over 23 years of experience in the IT and telecommunications world, he was a telecom developer his early career in Vancouver and in Munich, as the Director of Technical Sales for Siemens, eventually becoming Director of Technical Sales in Dubai.

Samer holds a double major, a Bachelor’s of Science in Computer Engineering and in Computer Science (Telecom) from North Carolina State University.

Avvey Peters

Avvey Peters

Chief Strategy Officer, Communitech

Avvey Peters is Chief Strategy Officer with Communitech. She focuses on strategic planning, communications, advocacy, and partnership development to advance the Waterloo Region tech sector. Avvey is also cross appointed as Managing Director of the Canadian Digital Media Network – a group of 26 innovation hubs across Canada, which focus on supporting the growth and success of small and mid-sized digital companies across the country.

Before joining Communitech in 2007, Avvey spent seven years working in external relations at the University of Waterloo, where she held various roles, including senior director of government relations, associate director of communications and public affairs, and speechwriter and strategic communications officer for the president of the University. She has also worked as a news writer for CTV Southwestern Ontario. Avvey is a former executive director of the Business & Education Partnership of Waterloo Region, a charitable organization that connects youth to careers, with particular emphasis on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. She is a member of the boards of directors of Waterloo Economic Development Corporation, and the Technology Councils of North America.

Avvey holds a Master of Journalism degree from Carleton University in Ottawa, and a degree in Rhetoric and Professional Writing from the University of Waterloo. She has also completed the Ivey Executive Program at the Richard Ivey School of Business.

Mari Teitelbaum

Mari Teitelbaum

VP of Provincial Programs and CIO, CHEO
VP of Provincial Programs and CIO, CHEO

Mari Teitelbaum is the Vice President of Provincial Programs and Chief Information Officer at CHEO. Her unique background and her vision for applying technology to improve health care systems make her an asset to pediatrics in Ontario. Mari started her career as an electrical engineer before getting her Masters of Health Administration at the University of Ottawa. With a career covering information security, big data, and their impact, Mari is thrilled to be using these skills to help clinicians care for kids.