Meet our operations team:
Sandra Wear is a two-time entrepreneur who now helps other tech entrepreneurs get investment read & fit product-to-market. Sandra brings an impressive 15-year track record of building companies that capitalize market opportunities. Previously she was Founder of DocSpace, a SaaS company that was acquired for $568M at close. She was also CEO & Founder of Atalum, a SaaS cleantech company, first-to-market with a standardized platform for managing controlling ZigBee wireless networks.
Sandra has held executive positions in North America & Europe while playing a critical role in defining and executing market-driven corporate strategies. She has led marketing and business development efforts to diversity the customer based. She has worked with Fortune 500 companies at the CXO or VP level to identify opportunities for new products and markets.
Sandra is actively engaged in the business sector and community endeavours. She wants to see a robust entrepreneurial culture built on innovation in Canada and gender parity achieved in North America. She takes on leadership, advocacy and volunteer roles for organizations that she believes will help her achieve this vision. She is Chair of the Science World Equity Committee, Vice-Chair of Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland and Member of the National Leadership Council for the Canadian Advanced Technology Association (CATA).
Fun fact: Sandra is a big foodie and opts for bourbon cocktails or simply neat over wine. She opts against doing the cooking and mixing though in favour of organizing and planning. In fact, she loves organizing events, small and big to connect interesting people and fuel dynamic dialogue to drive action. Whether it be a poker game, dinner or amp'ed up fireside chats to 400 people she makes sure to deliver memorable experiences.
Dr. Catherine Aczel Boivie joined CanWIT as its CEO and Chair in the summer of 2012 to provide governance and leadership expertise with the aim of taking CanWIT to the next level. She is a widely respected executive with more than 20 years of experience in the leadership of information technology, most recently as the Senior Vice President of Information Technology and Facility Management for Vancity Credit Union. Previously, she was Sr VP of IT and CIO at Pacific Blue Cross and CAA British Columbia. Catherine is the Executive in Residence at the Beedie School of Business at Simon Fraser University. She is also an experienced board member having served on several boards, including those of Insurance Corporation of B.C. (ICBC), Certified General Accountants Association of Canada, the Burnaby Board of Trade and is the Founding President of the Chief Information Officers Association of Canada (CIOCAN). Catherine has a strong understanding of Board Governance and Oversight and received the ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors.
Fun fact: Catherine professes that while not being great at it, she enjoys quilting. She even belongs to a local quilt guild where she admires all of the other women's beautiful quilting skills.
President, Relate Consulting Co as well as Partner~ Strategy, Allegory Partners
As global Marketing Operations and Communications executive, Nicole Whittle's primary focus includes working alongside Marketing, Operations and Sales teams to establish, communicate or implement sustainable strategic sales and marketing initiatives and business operations planning which deliver measurable objectives clients of both Relate Marketing Communications and Allegory.
Nicole has 18 years of marketing experience through a variety of advertising and marketing agencies including 11 years helming two of her own agencies. As a brand strategist and operations consultant, Nicole works directly with global clients to develop planning and insights using a disciplined approach as President of Relate Marketing Communications. As a Partner at Allegory Partners, she co-developed a proprietary branding process that allows clients to see their company or brand from a consumer's perspective. As an agency veteran, she designs and implements marketing communications strategies for clients in Europe, US, Can and Mexico in a broad range of disciplines including healthcare, banking, technology and packaged goods. Her work has garnered awards from London International Advertising, New York Festivals Advertising and the Canadian Marketing Association and included guest lecturer positions on marketing at the College level. Nicole has also had 7 years in various roles within 2 national employee benefits firms and another 4 years running 2 employer-centric healthcare companies. In addition to working with Junior Achievement, Nicole has sat on the Boards of Ernestine's Shelter for Women, Girls Inc and of course CanWIT. Nicole also has a three year Business Administration- specializing in Marketing and another three year BA in Human Resources. By focusing on experience, engagement and environment Nicole connects the dots between
Fun fact: After turning 40, Nicole decided she wanted to learn how to play cello and tennis which is an ongoing struggle in perseverance. She also LOVES her hubby and 9 year old twin girls ("can't wait for them to be teenagers" lol), cottage "camp" life, and the brand Life is Good.
Executive in Residence
Liza Medek is a graduate of McGill University with a B. Sc. Arch., B. Arch. (Professional Degree) and M. Arch. Liza studied at the Kunstakadamie in Düsseldorf and received her Laureate II Degree from l’École du musique Vincent-d'Indy in Montreal. She has practised Architecture in Montreal, Toronto, Düsseldorf, Hannover and Ottawa and has worked on worldwide projects.
Some of Liza’s current positions include Chairman of the Ontario Association of Architect’s Honours and Awards Committee, Mentor/Guest Critic for the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada - RAIC - Syllabus, Advisory Committee Member of Algonquin College's Architectural Technology Program and Advisory Council Member for Canadians for Properly Built Homes – CPBH.
Some of her previous appointments include: Associate Research Professor at Carleton University, School of Architecture; President of the Building Envelope Council Ottawa Region - BECOR; Chair of the Ottawa Regional Society of Architects - ORSA; Assessment Committee Member on the Canadian Architectural Certification Board – CACB; Steering Committee Member of the Information and Communications Technology Council – ICTC; Advisory Council Member on the City of Ottawa's Doors Open.; Director of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada - Syllabus. Liza sat on the RAIC Syllabus National Advisory Council and was Chair of the RAIC Syllabus Review Committee. She sat on the Program Admission Committee and the Program Advisory Committee for the RAIC Centre for Architecture at Athabasca University. As well, Liza taught and has been a guest critic at McGill University`s School of Architecture. She has been published and has received several awards, including the International Institute for Advanced Studies in Systems Research and Cybernetics (in cooperation with UNESCO) Distinguished Service Award.
Emily Boucher took on the role of Executive Director from her former position with CATAAlliance as its Director of Communications, a role she's had since 2008. A gen-Y leader in her own right, Emily is passionate about Canada's technology sector and driven to lead initiatives that support the advancement of women within the tech sector. As a PR and Communications' specialist, she especially loves sharing the inspiring stories of Canada's female leaders in the tech sector. Emily recently led the Atlantic Division of CATAAlliance, where she enjoyed developing new business relationships and leveraging CATAAlliance's resources to assist the business growth of Atlantic Canada's most innovative companies. Emily holds a B.A. (Honours) in Political Science and English Literature from Carleton University, a diploma in Public Relations from Algonquin College, and is currently finishing her Masters in Public Relations part-time from Mount Saint Vincent University's renowned MPR program. She was the winner of the 2008 IABC Rick Green Award.
Fun fact: Emily is a huge fan of professional soccer. During World Cup events she can be found cheering for team France (and Canada, of course). It's advised not to mention anything about the final match of the 2006 FIFA World Cup around her…
Director of Operations
Alice Debroy has been with CATAAlliance since 1993 which has given her the rare opportunity to be part of an association reinventing itself to proudly be the largest high tech association in Canada. As the technology director, maintaining the membership data and communications was a priority. She currently holds the title of Webmaster, responsible for the development and maintenance of the organizations web sites and databases working in html, css, mysql. Her artistic talents are constantly sought after for logos, brochures, signage. She studied Computer Science Engineering Technology at Algonquin College and Flat Pattern Design at Richard Robinsons Academy of Design.
Fun fact: Alice enjoys running with her rottwiler/lab rescue dog named Spike on cold, crisp, sunny winter days and letting her imagination wander to palm trees and warm ocean breezes.
Director of Membership Services
Cathi Malette has been working with CATAAlliance for nearly two decades. In this time she has had the opportunity to challenge her skills and gain experience by working with CATA on numerous projects and events with a wonderful key team as well as having the opportunity to meet and work with new people. Working with CATA means working with the technology issues and advocacy involved in areas such as the
Innovation Nation campaign, First Responders and Interoperabilty, broadband and SRED One of the most interesting of endeavors has been the evolution of CanWIT since 2005. Cathi is currently Manager of Members Services & Sales Associate, leading the customer care and office coordination for CATA and CanWIT. Cathi holds a B.A. hons. in English Literature from Carleton University and and diploma in Licensed Practical Nursing from Algonquin College.
Fun fact: Cathi has recently taken up yoga and in so doing has abandoned all her previous notions about yoga being easy or not strenuous.
Past Vice Chair, i-CANADA
Dr. Cindy Gordon is the Founder of Helix Commerce International Inc., a company specializing in business innovation, collaboration commerce, and social media. Helix also recently announced a new business offering for Virtual World solutions. Select Helix Fortune 500 Clients are: Amdocs, Bell Canada, CIBC, Microsoft, MTS Allstream, RIM, Royal Bank of Canada, SAP, Siemens, TD, Xerox, etc. Helix also works with not for profit leading organizations, like The Canadian Cancer Society and George Brown College. She is also the President of Terra Forum Canada, a subsidiary operation of Terra Forum that develops and implements Microsoft and IBM portal solutions. Dr. Gordon is seeding Terra Forum Canada, and has formed an integrated operating relationship between Helix and TerraForum Canada given their complementary service offerings. Terra Forum is a leading innovation and portal organization headquartered in Brazil, Denmark and Canada, with over 195 FT employees with clients like: Dell Computers, CVRD, HSBS Johnson and Johnson, Vale, etc.. Together, Helix Commerce International and Terra Forum deliver strategy to systems development requirements, extending their innovation and growth service delivery capabilities.