President, HPE Canada
9:30 - 10:00am
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Paula Hodgins is President of HPE Canada. Based in Toronto, Paula has national accountability for the P&L of HPE Canada and is the senior leader to the employees, customers, partners, government and media for Canada. In this role, Paula is accountable to develop business strategy, lead sales, business operations, marketing, finance, legal and employee engagement. This is a high growth hybrid cloud business that spans all customer segments from large enterprise to SMB. Paula's team is at the center of helping customers digitally transform and modernize their business.
Paula joined HPE Canada in December 2018 from Microsoft Corporation where she worked for over 13 years. In her varied successful career at Microsoft, Paula held several key management roles. Most recently, Paula served as the General Manager of Azure Sales for Canada. In this position she was responsible for cloud sales in the enterprise account segment and focused on cloud infrastructure, applications, data and artificial intelligence solutions. In this capacity Paula consistently doubled Cloud revenue year over year.
Previous to this role, Paula served as the Chief Operating Officer of Sales for both the Commercial and Public Sector group at Microsoft Canada. Paula also spent time working in the Business Applications Group (Dynamics) at Microsoft where she held sales management positions both in Canada and the United States. Paula has international experience having worked as a WW Sales Leader for Microsoft's ERP and CRM solutions. In this capacity, she was accountable to develop sales and go to market strategy resulting in increased focus on strategic markets and customers.
Prior to joining Microsoft, Paula worked at several leading technology companies including BEA Systems (Seattle, WA), SAP (Vancouver, BC), LoudCloud (Sunnyvale, CA) and Compaq Canada (Toronto, ONT).
Paula has participated in various leader development programs including "Leader Pad" (2016) and "The Judy Project for Executive Women" (Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, 2017). Paula is very passionate about mentoring and supporting women in technology and is a mentor for the "Girls E-Mentorship Program" which is a charitable organization offering mentorship for female youth facing multiple barriers.
When Paula is not working she enjoys spending time with her husband and two children in Toronto, Ont. Paula holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Media and Communications from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada.
NetApp VP & GM America's Commercial Business
11:00 - 11:30am
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Jon Mellon is the Vice President and General Manager of NetApp's US Commercial and Canada Area's having served in divisional sales leadership roles since joining the company in June of 2008. Jon has been a leader in the technology industry for 30 years and has competed among the most hotly-contested markets in the industry during that time. His experience covers Finance, Logistics, Sales, Marketing and Business Development concerns.
At NetApp, Jon worked as a Founding Member of the team chartered to build the Americas service provider GTM strategy and lead it from its' inception in 2010. Growth in this segment has been sustained at over 20% annually since it began and remains a target for accelerated investment for the company. In addition, Jon has lead teams that support the largest and most demanding customers across the US and Canada, including the most significant brands in Financial Services, Manufacturing, Healthcare, Hi-Tech, Communications, Transportation, Retail, and Energy. In his new role leading the Americas Commercial business, Jon will guide the team focused on serving this high growth segment through a high velocity and Channel - lead GTM model.
Prior to joining NetApp, Jon was a Senior Vice President with Copan Systems (storage start-up) leading that company from $2M in revenue to over $30M in his first two years at the company. He ran sales, marketing and business development during his tenure. Copan was sold to SGI in 2008. He also led the America's sales team at Akamai Technologies (an Internet Services company) during which time they achieved positive FCF, positive EBIDTA and the growth required to achieve sustained profitability. Jon was also a successful sales leader at EMC managing large segments of the US market during their "rapid growth" era between 1997 and 2002. Jon started his career at NCR Corporation as a Financial Analyst and spent 11 years building his career through the ranks of finance, logistics, business development and sales.
Jon has an undergraduate degree in Business Analysis from Indiana University ('85), an MBA from the University of Dayton ('92) and completed the Aresty Executive Development program at the Wharton School of Business ('97). Jon has been married for 30 years and has two children. His son (Andrew) is a Junior at Oklahoma University and his daughter (Erica) is a Sophomore at the University of Texas. He and his family live in Frisco, TX and enjoy sports, outdoor activities, travel and charity work.
Vice President, Enterprise Sales BlackBerry Canada
1:30 - 2:00pm
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Aaron Axworthy is Vice President, Enterprise Sales BlackBerry Canada. Aaron joined BlackBerry in August 2018 from Oracle Canada where he served as Regional Vice President, Infrastructure and Cloud Sales. Aaron has more than 20 years of IT experience in sales leadership, consulting and business development roles with technology companies including Oracle and IBM.
As Vice President, Enterprise Sales BlackBerry Canada, Aaron has leadership responsibilities for Sales, Marketing, Partner and Operations functions. Aaron's team is focused on working with Canada's largest corporations in emerging technology areas such as IOT, Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity and Digital transformation initiatives.
Born in Prince Edward Island, Aaron holds a degree in Computer Engineering from Holland College. Aaron has participated in various leadership programs as well as completing an executive management program at Harvard Business School. Aaron is based in Toronto and in his free time enjoys outdoor activities, sporting events and travelling. He is also an active supporter of charitable organizations such as the Women College Hospital Foundation.
President, Cisco Canada
3:30 - 4:00pm
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Rola Dagher joined Cisco in June 2017 as President of Cisco Canada, an organization that consistently ranks among Cisco's top country revenue producers globally and which acts as a proving ground for some of the company's most advanced and innovative technologies. Dagher oversees all facets of Cisco Canada's business including sales operations, engineering, services, finance, and marketing.
Dagher brings a proven record of success and a broad understanding of the company's business to the Cisco Canada team. She also brings a strong emphasis on diversity and has made it her mission to empower and nurture employees, regardless of gender, culture, orientation or age. Dagher does not shy away from varying opinions and encourages her people to challenge themselves and each other constantly - a recipe she is adamant leads to an adaptable work force and a successful business.
Dagher joined Cisco from Dell EMC where she held a variety of leadership roles in sales, channels, and IT. Most recently, she served as Vice President and General Manager of the Canadian Infrastructure Solutions Group for Dell EMC and was responsible for leading their server, storage, networking, solutions, and systems engineering businesses, delivering innovative and disruptive technology solutions.
With over 25-years of technology experience in the server, storage, and networking markets, Dagher is a seasoned professional and a highly-respected sales leader. Her successful career can be attributed to the energy and passion she has for people, combined with a contagious "can do" attitude. She believes in only being as strong as your weakest link and considers this the foundation of her management style; one that is inclusive of building teams that are customer-centric, strategic, highly-motivated, and empowered.
Her people-first mindset and determination to continuously develop has enabled her teams to drive growth, establish impactful partnerships, and achieve aggressive targets year over year. It's all about the customer as she strives to provide unique solutions which are impactful, innovative, and disruptive.
President, Microsoft Canada
4:30 - 5:15pm
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Kevin Peesker is President of Microsoft Canada responsible for leading a world class team who delivers transformative outcomes for Canadians. Through Microsoft's partner ecosystem, citizenship efforts and employee engagement programs, Kevin's objective is to empower every person and organization across Canada to achieve more.
A proven transformational leader with more than 28 years of experience in technology that has taken him to over 70 countries, Kevin has held leadership roles in finance, marketing, operations, sales, and general management. Kevin is passionate about the development of teams, building customers for life and driving collaboration between government/industry and technology. He focuses his time with Microsoft's customers, partners and teams, traveling extensively so he can hear first-hand how Microsoft can better serve each stakeholder as a true technology partner.
Most recently, the President of Dell EMC Canada, Kevin held multiple senior leadership roles spanning every customer/industry segment over his 14 years with Dell including leading the UK & Ireland Consumer, Small and Medium Businesses (CSMB), and leadership of the CSMB business units spanning Europe.
Born in Western Canada, Kevin holds an MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management. He resides in Toronto with his wife Karen and is active in the community, volunteering his time coaching youth and serving on boards. Kevin is the Chair of the Board of the Information Technology Association of Canada.
Chief Correspondent for CBC News and Anchor of The National for 29 Years
6:45 - 7:05pm
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Peter Mansbridge is one of Canada's most respected and recognizable figures. For five decades, including 29 years as anchor of CBC's The National, he has guided us through the political, economic, and cultural events that have shaped the country. Unsurprisingly, he's also a great public speaker. In keynotes, he highlights the very real contribution of Canada, and its citizens, in building a better world.
Mansbridge's sterling career at the CBC is without precedent. He served as the chief correspondent of CBC News, helmed its flagship show The National, anchored all CBC News specials, and hosted the intelligent interview show Mansbridge: One on One. For his work, Mansbridge has received over a dozen national awards for broadcast excellence—yet for all the accolades, he remains an astoundingly grounded individual, with a gentle humour and trademark integrity. Reflecting back on his journalism career, which has taken him across the country and the planet, he told CBC's The Current, "When you hear from others about their perceptions of Canada, it opens your eyes about the country you live in. You learn things about yourself you didn't know."
Away from the news desk, Mansbridge has been recognized by leading universities in the United States, the United Kingdom, and, of course, Canada. He's been a Fellow at Yale, has lectured at Oxford, was named Chancellor of Mount Allison University, and is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. Mansbridge has received 13 honorary doctorates, including his latest from McMaster University, where he told graduates that, "We need to face disagreements and divisions head on, but with passion and conviction and respect." Mansbridge was also named an Officer of the Order of Canada - one of the country's highest civilian honours—for his "contributions to broadcasting, for his commitment to helping Canadians better understand their country and the world, and for his dedication to literacy and Canada's youth."
Known for his trademark voice and unflappable onscreen presence, Mansbridge has also found success as an author. His book Mansbridge: One on One was a national bestseller, and he's penned contributions to The 100 Photos That Changed Canada, Canada's Great War Album, and the ambitious essay collection 100 Days That Changed Canada.