31st Annual JA Central Ontario Governors’ Dinner

2019 Program Participants

This year’s dinner program promises to be packed with entertaining speakers, inspiring stories, JA highlights…and a few very special surprises! Take a look at some of the individuals who’ll be on the JA stage at this year’s event:

Master of Ceremonies

BRUCE SELLERY
// Financial Journalist and Best-selling Author of Moolala
Business journalist and television host Bruce Sellery is on a mission to help people get a handle on their money so they can live the life they want. He speaks, writes, consults and uses every media format to engage audiences in a smart, fun, high energy way. Bruce is the author of two bestselling books, including Moolala: Why Smart People Do Dumb Things with Their Money (and What You Can Do About It). He’s also the national Money columnist for CBC Radio, a regular contributor to the hit TV show Cityline, the host of the weekly Moolala radio show and podcast on SiriusXM, and is often a featured guest on media outlets across North America including Breakfast Television, Canada AM, CNN, and MSNBC.

Previously, Bruce was the host of The Exchange on CBC Television, and the reality TV show Million Dollar Neighbourhood on the Oprah Winfrey Network. He also spent 10 years as an anchor for BNN Bloomberg in Toronto and as the network’s Bureau Chief in New York City. Now, Bruce delivers insightful keynotes, emcees leading business conferences, facilitates meaningful discussions, and frequently consults to regulators, financial institutions, and large corporations. Bruce is a graduate of the Queen’s University School of Business in Kingston, Ontario, where he majored in marketing and international business, and currently serves on its advisory board.


JA Impact Panel

JENNIFER CUTAJAR
Jennifer is a talented and skilled executive with two decades of experience in cloud software, services and consulting.  She brings a wealth of knowledge with particular strengths in areas such as digital transformation, operational best practices, and talent development.

Currently, Jennifer operates a private coaching firm, Clear The Noise Coaching Inc., which she founded in 2019.  Prior to forming Clear The Noise Coaching Inc., Jennifer has worked at organizations such as Queen’s University, PeopleSoft, SAP, and Microsoft.  Over the last two decades, she has been dedicated to developing top-performers and empowered teams resulting in exceptional business results.Jennifer has been a long-time volunteer and supporter of Junior Achievement of Central Ontario.  She has hosted many in-class programs, been a board member, and co-chair of the Company program.

ZABEEN HIRJI
Zabeen is a Strategic Advisor to business, government and academia, and a director on not-for-profit 
and corporate boards.  As Executive Advisor, Future of Work at Deloitte, Zabeen advises the firm and its clients on issues key to the transformation agendas of business and government. Her areas of focus include leadership, talent, culture, workforce transformation, lifelong learning and reskilling, diversity and inclusion and purposedriven organizations. She Chairs Civic Action, a civic engagement organization that brings together established and rising leaders to develop city-building solutions.    

As a proponent of inclusive growth and prosperity through investment in people, Zabeen advises senior levels of government and academia on diversity and inclusion, talent, culture, and future of work.  In 2017, Zabeen retired from RBC after a distinguished career, including 10 years as Chief Human Resources Officer and member of RBC’s Group Executive. She was also Chair of RBC Foundation.  Over the years, Zabeen has received numerous recognitions for her leadership in Human Resources and Diversity and Inclusion. Born in Tanzania to entrepreneurial parents, Zabeen immigrated to Canada with her family as a teenager and participated in Junior Achievement programs in Vancouver.   

SAM MASRI
As Chief Operating Officer 
for SAP Canada, Sam is responsible for the development and consistent execution of SAP Canada’s overall go-to market sales strategies across its on-premise software and cloud solutions, and along with an ecosystem of stakeholders, is a driving force behind the digital transformation of SAP customers across the country. He also ensures the region achieves its revenue and profitability objectives, and the highest levels of customer and employee satisfaction. 

Sam has a track record of delivering on large-scale business transformation programs across North America, EMEA and Asia. He joined SAP Canada in 2013 and led its Industry Value Engineering team, where he became a champion for digital transformation and helped the region establish a leadership position in this space. His career history prior to SAP includes trusted advisor roles with Booz & Company, Johnson & Johnson, and Oracle corporation. Sam holds an MBA from Cass Business School at London City University in the UK where he was a Chevening Scholar, and a bachelor of science in computer engineering from the University of Jordan. He also studied driving corporate performance under Harvard University’s executive education program. Passionate about global youth inclusion, diversity, education development, and empowering millennials to take on leadership roles in technology, he has volunteered as a facilitator and mentor with the United Nations University International Leadership Development program (UNULDP) and with Junior Achievement International. 

BENJAMIN TAL
Benjamin is responsible for analyzing economic developments and their implications for North American fixed income, equity, foreign exchange and commodities markets. He also acts in an advisory capacity to bank officers on issues related to wealth management, household/ corporate credit and risk. Well-known for his ground-breaking published research on topics such as labour market dynamics, real estate, credit markets, international trade and business economic conditions, Benjamin not only contributes to the conversation, but frequently sets the agenda.

He has close to 20 years’ experience in the private sector advising clients, industry leaders, corporate boards, trade associations, and governments on economic and financial issues. National and global media regularly seek him out for his insight and analysis on economic issues that impact financial markets, consumers, corporations and public policy. He is also a frequent lecturer in the economic programs of various Canadian universities. Benjamin is a member of the Economic Committee of The Canadian Chamber of Commerce, The Economic Development Committee of the Toronto Board of Trade. He is also a member of the board of Governors of Junior Achievement of Central Ontario, and a board member of the Toronto Financial Services Alliance.


JA Alumni Speakers

KARAM BAMBAWALE
A non-conformist and ardent freethinker, Karam is a passionate sixteen-year-old student entrepreneur from Upper Canada College. Immersed in the JA Company Program for over two years, Karam is eternally grateful for the integral startup skills he has learned that have enabled him to compete in a highly competitive entrepreneurial environment in Toronto. Captivated by the prospect of making a positive impact on the lives of others, Karam is currently working on his newest project, DreamAI, which looks to optimize the potential of future economic immigrants in Canada.

KRISHNA BAMBAWALE
Krishna is a motivated 16 year old student and lifelong learner. With passion in exploring entrepreneurship, Krishna has been an eager participant of JA’s Company Program during the past two years. Already as a founder of three successful startups, he has accumulated rich experience as an entrepreneur and a very diverse set of expertise including in Finance, Sales, Marketing, and Technology. Having lived in four different countries, Krishna has gained a global perspective which allows him to think bigger than just himself and his community. Currently, Krishna is working on his immigration AI startup, DreamAI, that was incubated in the DMZ at Ryerson University this past Summer.  Krishna is excited to take on any challenge, disrupt the norm and make a tangible difference in the world in all that he does, with whomever he is tasked with.


JA Company Program Student Presentation

ACORN TALENT was the recipient of our Company of the Year award in 2018/2019. This student-run company focused on helping STEM students get their first job in data science through digital quizzes, hackathons and recruitment events.

AcornTalent Presenters:
Erica Wang, CEO
Naomi Junatas, Director, Marketing
Serena Beddoe, CMO
Petar Mijacevic, Director, CSR

Thank you to our sponsors