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On this page you will find a description of the speakers who presented at the 2020 WGCC National Conference. 

Self-Advocacy and Negotiation Workshop

In this eye-opening keynote, Fotini will demonstrate how we are constantly negotiating with those around us in all sorts of situations, and it rarely looks like a pay-per-view main event.

Learn how to recognize different types of negotiations and explore subtle ways to get what you want more effectively. Just as useful at home as in the boardroom, the techniques you learn in this session will assist in all types of negotiations (without any of the battle scars).

Fotini Iconomopoulos

Nicknamed “the negotiator” as a child, Fotini has been honing her skills her entire life.

For the last decade, she’s been empowering Fortune 500 executives and their teams to achieve their objectives through her expertise in negotiation, communication, and persuasion. She guides clients through high-stakes scenarios and creates customized intensive negotiation workshops for clients who want to further develop their teams across all industries.

When she’s not strategizing with clients, Fotini is a frequent guest on CBC & CTV Television, an instructor of MBA Negotiations at the Schulich (pronounced Shoe-lick] School of Business and offers her experience to non-profit initiatives. 

She was recently recognized with a Greek America Foundation Top 40 under 40 award for her achievements and philanthropic work and was the recent recipient of the Network of Executive Women’s national Inclusion award.

“Life-Changing Book Club” Panel: Books that Help Make You Better – At Work, at Home and in Life

Colleen Moorehead, Chief Client Officer, Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP

Colleen Moorehead is Chief Client Officer, Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP responsible for implementing Osler’s client-focused business development strategy. She was co-founder of ETRADE Canada. Colleen has extensive experience building successful companies and valuable brands. She is a respected business leader with senior management experience in financial services, technology, business and web-based services. Colleen has held a variety of corporate leadership positions and has a deep understanding of business development strategy in the services sector.

Since 2003, she has been a founder and current business director of The Judy Project, one of Canada’s leading leadership forums.  It is uniquely designed for executive women ascending to C-suite positions at the University of Toronto’s Joseph Rotman School of Management.

Colleen has been recognized with the 2015 Catalyst Canada Honours – Business Leader recognizing champions and the Canadian Marketing Hall of Legends, Business Builder 2010 Award.

Minal Upadhyaya, Vice President, Policy and General Counsel, IFIC

Minal Upadhyaya joined The Investment Funds Institute of Canada on March 19, 2018 as is Vice President, Policy & General Counsel.  She leads the team responsible for the development of policy positions and responses to regulatory proposals on behalf of the investment funds industry.  She is also responsible for the day to day legal needs of the organization. Minal has extensive experience advising investment fund manufacturers, mutual fund dealers and investment dealers on a wide variety of matters.  Prior to her role with IFIC, she was with a national wealth management firm for over 13 years, where she managed a team providing advice to senior management, registered representatives and operations groups.  Prior to that, Minal was in private practice with firms in Toronto and Halifax.   

Sarit E. Batner, Partner at McCarthy Tétrault LLP

Sarit E. Batner is a partner in McCarthy Tétrault LLP’s Toronto Litigation Group, and is a member of the firm’s Board of Partners. She maintains a significant trial and appellant litigation practice, with a focus on complex commercial litigation and arbitrations.

Sarit has extensive trial and appellate experience in cases considering breach of contract, shareholder disputes, taxation, oppression, professional negligence and breaches of fiduciary duties. Sarit has experience before courts of appeal, including as lead counsel before the Supreme Court of Canada, and trial courts with juries, arbitration panels, administrative and regulatory tribunals. She has a particular interest in professional liability matters, having acted as counsel for doctors as well as engineers, accountants and lawyers, in a wide variety of cases.

Sarit has a record of success before all levels of courts in Ontario and often speaks and writes on matters of substantive law and procedure. She also teaches Trial Advocacy to both students and lawyers at the University of Toronto Law School and at Osgoode Hall’s annual Intensive Trial Advocacy Workshop. She is frequently invited to speak at legal conferences.

The current edition of Lexpert / American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada lists Sarit as a leading lawyer in the area of Corporate Commercial Litigation. She is also listed as a leading lawyer in the current edition of Chambers Canada in the area of Litigation: General Commercial (Ontario). She is listed as Most Frequently Recommended in the current edition of Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory in Professional Liability, Litigation: Corporate Commercial, Medical Negligence - Represents Defendants and Repeatedly Recommended in Class Actions. She is also listed as a litigation star in the current edition of Benchmark Litigation: Guide to Canada’s Leading Firms and Attorneys. Sarit is recognized by Best Lawyers in the areas of Corporate and Commercial Litigation and Medical Negligence and was names “Lawyer of the Year” in 2020 in the area of Medical Negligence.

In 2018, Sarit was named a winner of the Lexpert Zenith Award. This prestigious award recognizes leaders in the legal profession who have achieved mid-career excellence. Benchmark Canada named Sarit as one of the Top 50 Trial Lawyers in Canada, as well as, one of the Top 25 Women in Canadian Litigation for six consecutive years. In 2013, she also received the Rising Star in Litigation Award at Euromoney Legal Media Group’s Americas Women in Business Law Awards and was selected by Lexpert as one of the Rising Stars – Leading Lawyers under 40.

Sarit obtained a B.Sc. with Distinction in Mathematics and was awarded the Gold Medal in Sciences from the University of Western Ontario in 1995. She obtained a JD from the University of Toronto in 1998, was called to the Ontario bar in 2000 and was made a partner in 2006.

Shannon O’Hearn, Vice-President & Chief Operating Officer - Legal & Regulatory Compliance, BMO Financial Group

Shannon O’Hearn is Vice-President & Chief Operating Officer for the Legal & Regulatory Compliance group at BMO Financial Group. She oversees all aspects of the group’s operations including human resources, finance, real estate, communications, knowledge management as well as BMO’s external counsel program. Prior to this, she supported BMO’s personal wealth businesses across Canada and Asia as Associate General Counsel and Managing Director. Before BMO, Shannon spent 12 years with the Ontario Securities Commission where she held senior positions in the Corporate Finance and Mergers & Acquisitions Branches. Shannon started her career as a securities lawyer on Bay Street.

Suzanne Hathaway, SVP, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary, Maple Leaf Foods Inc.

Suzanne Hathaway is Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at Maple Leaf Foods Inc. As a member of Maple Leaf Foods's senior executive team, Ms. Hathaway has responsibility for a diverse portfolio, including legal affairs, records management and corporate governance matters. Prior to joining Maple Leaf Foods, Ms. Hathaway was Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of a large Canadian midstream energy company. Earlier in her career, she spent over 10 years in communications and government relations, working with municipal, provincial and federal levels of government.

Ms. Hathaway is a Member of the Law Society of Alberta and the Law Society of Ontario. She also sits on the Independent Review Committee of Alberta Treasury Branches Investment Management. 

Ms. Hathaway holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, a Master of Communications Studies and a Bachelor of Laws, all from the University of Calgary.

Take Your Leadership to the Next Level by Channeling Your Inner Hercules AND Your Inner Buddha

Being Hercules involves telling people how things are to be and ensuring they understand. Being Buddha involves coaching, guiding and encouraging and is built on a foundation of the leader’s confidence earned from the hard work it took her to become a leader.  Global coaching expert Martha Maznevski, will explain how the most innovative and effective leaders use their own version of each style.

Martha Maznevski, Ph.D, Professor of Organizational Behaviour and Faculty Director for Executive Education at Ivey.  

Ms. Maznevski is an expert in global teams, global leadership, culture and identity, and empowering individual differences. She has published widely on these topics in academic and management arenas, and also works closely with leaders and their companies around the world on innovative approaches to leadership at all levels in today’s highly complex global environment.

Dr. Maznevski completed her Ph.D. at Ivey with research on multicultural teams, and has expanded that research stream throughout her career. She publishes the popular textbook International Management Behavior, now in its 7th edition, with Ivey professors emeriti H. Lane and J. DiStefano. Her research has been published in leading journals including Journal of International Business Studies and Strategic Management Journal. Her current research unlocks the performance dynamics of lateral teams – teams that coordinate across multi-unit organizations such as global key account teams or matrixed product or function groups. 

TEDTalk: The Happy Secret to Better Work

Author Shawn Achor advocates that the lens through which you view the world shapes your reality.  By changing the way we perceive ourselves, our team and our work, we can dramatically improve our results.  Hear practical examples from leading women lawyers of how reversing the formula for happiness and success can create lasting positive change.

Anne Fitzgerald, Chief Legal Officer and EVP, Real EstateCineplex Inc.

Ms. Fitzgerald oversees all legal, corporate affairs, real estate, lease administration and insurance matters relating to Cineplex and its subsidiaries; she also serves as Corporate Secretary.  She has practiced law in both Canada and the United States, primarily in litigation roles in areas of corporate-commercial, securities, criminal, tax and entertainment.  Ms. Fitzgerald is currently a member of the Board of Directors for each of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, the National Association of Theater Owners, the Movie Theatre Association of Canada and the Global Cinema Federation.  Ms. Fitzgerald volunteers her time and expertise as a member of the Board of Directors of Outward Bound Canada and serves on the Duke University Divinity School Board of Visitors. She was inducted as a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society in 2012 and was honoured in 2014 as a National Post/ZSA General Counsel of the Year.  She holds a BA in Public Policy as well as a Juris Doctorate in Law, both from Duke University and holds the ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors of the Rotman School of Management.

Anne Drost, Partner at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

Anne Drost is a Partner at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP. Her practice focusses on energy and transportation infrastructure with an emphasis on land and environmental matters, regulatory compliance and commercial contracts. She is recognized as a leading lawyer in Canada in Energy Law and Aboriginal Law in Best Lawyers in Canada, The Legal 500 Canada and Canadian Legal Lexpert. Anne is a regular Sessional Lecturer at the McGill University Faculty of Law where she has taught course on Energy Law & Climate Change, Environmental Law and Law and International Development.

    Stephanie Vaccari, Managing Partner at Baker McKenzie

    Stephanie Vaccari is Managing Partner in Baker McKenzie’s Toronto office and a member of the Intellectual Property Practice group. She leads the Toronto office Industrial Design and Transactional IP team and co-leads its IP Portfolio Management and Trademark Enforcement teams. Stephanie also serves as co-chair of Baker McKenzie's Toronto Consumer Goods and Retail Group, its Baker Women's Networking Group and is spearheading the Toronto office's Luxury and Fashion Group.  In 2008, Stephanie was recognized by the global Firm on International Women's Day for her contributions in this regard.  

    She graduated from the University of Western Ontario Law School and received a Bachelor of Sciences degree (Biology Specialist) from the University of Toronto, where she graduated with distinction.

    Heidi Reinhart, Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP

    Heidi Reinhart’s practice covers all aspects of securities and corporate law, with an emphasis on public and private mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and providing corporate governance and securities regulatory advice. Ms. Reinhart is a member of our special situations team, which focuses on shareholder activist and defence mandates and complex M&A and reorganization transactions.

    Ms. Reinhart has represented both purchasers and vendors (public and private corporations) in a number of friendly and hostile M&A transactions, including plans of arrangement, takeover bids and statutory restructurings. Ms. Reinhart has also represented both public companies and underwriters in connection with public offerings and has acted on behalf of issuers and investors in numerous private placement transactions.

    Ms. Reinhart has been named a "Leading Lawyer to Watch - Corporate Finance & Securities" in The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory.

    Ms. Reinhart worked at our Toronto office as a summer student in 2004 and articled with us in 2006. She was awarded the Board of Governors’ Medal in Law upon graduation from the University of Windsor's faculty of law.

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