Schulich ExecEd holds Virtual Fireside Chat Series with experts on leadership

Posted on April 13, 2020
Schulich ExecEd holds Virtual Fireside Chat Series with experts on leadership

Each day we are faced with uncertainty and disruption. COVID-19 has turned the world upside down in just a matter of months. Businesses have to be nimble and resilient to survive. With these new business challenges come new opportunities for your organization to transform and succeed.

Given the new world we live in, the Schulich ExecEd (Schulich ExecEd) is pleased to present a series of virtual fireside chats: Leadership Lessons in Troubled Times. A fireside chat is an informal yet structured interview between a moderator and a guest, often a high-profile speaker, that involves the audience by way of asking questions.

These free, 30-minute online events will feature thought leaders and influencers from top organizations across a variety of industries. The Zoom fireside chats are designed to be informal, engaging and interactive.

  • Each virtual fireside chat will start with a one-on-one interview where Matthias Kipping, professor of policy and Richard E. Waugh Chair in Business History in the Schulich School of Business, will interview the fireside chat speaker about his/her leadership style during uncertain times, strategies for managing remote teams, overcoming resistance to change and improving collaboration and stakeholder relations during a crisis
  • Half the session will be dedicated to participants asking the fireside chat speaker questions related to his/her leadership lessons in troubled times. Participant’s questions are submitted via the Zoom chat function directly to Matthias Kipping, who will consolidate the questions to identify common themes, which he will then ask the fireside chat speaker
  • The 30-minute fireside chat will end with closing remarks from the fireside chat speaker. After the session, each participant will receive a Schulich ExecEd thank you email, including a video recording of the virtual fireside chat for future reference or to share with colleagues

Schulich ExecEd is delighted to host these industry experts as part of our virtual fireside chat speaker series. The executives will share their insights on leadership lessons learned and how they might apply to your business or organization.  For more information about the Leadership Lessons in Troubled Times series, please contact Robert Lynn, Schulich ExecEd Associate Director,

View Previous Chats in the Series

‘Leadership Lessons from COVID-19’

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Michael Gardam Healthcare Leadership DevelopmentDr. Michael Gardam

In the first of a new online speaker series, Dr. Gardam spoke with Schulich ExecEd Executive Director Alan Middleton about leadership lessons gained during his work on the current COVID-19 pandemic and also the SARS outbreak of 2003 and other health emergencies.

View a Recording of the April 16 chat.

‘Leadership Lessons: A View from the Top’

Monday, April 27, 2020

Ronnie Miller, President & CEO, Roche Pharma Canada

Ronnie shared leadership insights from his 20 years as head of Roche Pharma Canada. Miller will touch on Roche Canada’s new “COVID-19 Open Innovation Challenge”, a funding program launched this month to support the Canadian community to bring forward innovative ideas and solutions to address some of the biggest challenges created by the pandemic.

View a recording of the April 27 chat.

‘Leadership Lessons from Scotiabank’

Wed May 6, 2020

John Doig, Scotiabank Executive Vice President, Head of Branch Banking

John will share his leadership insights from his 22-year career at Scotiabank. John currently oversees all of Canadian Branch Banking and Small Business Banking. Previously, he was Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, responsible for all global marketing, sponsorship, philanthropy, and corporate social responsibility activities, including securing the 20-year partnership between Scotiabank and Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment and the naming of Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. He is also the Chief Executive Officer of SCENE.

View a recording of the May 6 chat.

‘Leadership Lessons: The Future of Branding Post-Covid-19’

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

David Kincaid, Founder and Managing Partner, Level5 Strategy, and Ian Gordon, Senior Vice President, Loblaw Brands Ltd.

COVID-19 has turned the world upside down and disrupted the marketplace. The consumer and retail sectors are reeling from social distancing and self-isolation measures that have impacted restaurants, stores, hotels, schools, sports and entertainment venues, airlines and other industries. What is the future of businesses and their brands post-pandemic? How can we future proof our business and strengthen our brands both today and tomorrow, in case of possible future waves of the coronavirus? David Kincaid (left), among the most recognized and respected opinion leaders in the field of North American brand management, and Ian Gordon (right), who for the past 12 years led the development and innovation behind four of Canada’s largest consumer brands, will discuss the impact of the pandemic and how to adjust in the days ahead.

View a recording of the May 13 chat

Leadership Lessons from the Boardroom

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Lisa K. Conway, Executive Vice President & General Counsel, InnVest Hotels

In this 30-minute chat, Lisa discussed boardroom leadership and her role as EVP & General Counsel of InnVest Hotels, the largest owner of hotels in Canada. InnVest’s portfolio includes Hilton, Fairmont, Holiday Inn, Sheraton, Hyatt, Marriott, St. Regis and Homewood Suites hotels across the country. Conway is the former CEO of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and has also held executive roles at HSBC, Toronto Stock Exchange, Citibank and BlackRock.

View a recording of the May 21 chat

Leadership Lessons from University Health Network

Thursday, May 28,2020

Dr. Kevin Smith, President & CEO, University Health Network (UHN), Toronto

In this 30-minute chat, Dr. Smith discussed how COVID-19 has impacted operations, research, education programs, patient and family services at UHN and lessons learned from battling the pandemic. The University Health Network is Canada’s largest academic health sciences centre and named one of the 10 best hospitals in the world by Newsweek. UHN encompasses five organizations: the Toronto General and Toronto Western hospitals, the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, and The Michener Institute of Education.

View a recording of the May 28 chat

Leadership Lessons from Walmart

Thursday, June 4, 2020

John Bayliss, Walmart Canada, Senior Vice President, Logistics & Supply Chain

John, who leads Walmart Canada’s logistics and supply network, spoke with Schulich ExecEd Executive Director Alan Middleton about the unique challenges in ensuring the shelves are stocked at both retail stores and online as part of the supply chain of food, clothing, electronics, hardware, services and other retail goods from coast-to-coast.

View a recording of the June 4 chat

Leadership Lessons from Toyota

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Larry Hutchinson, President & CEO, Toyota Canada Inc.

Larry Hutchinson, President & CEO of Toyota Canada Inc., shared his insights on leadership lessons in troubled times. He discussed COVID-19 and its impact on Toyota’s employees, customers, suppliers and stakeholders. During the fireside chat, Larry also discussed the disruption caused to Toyota’s manufacturing, distribution, vehicle sales, dealerships and customer service and steps taken by the company to adapt to the pandemic and the new normal.

View a recording of the June 11 chat

Leadership Lessons from a Canadian Fashion Icon and Entrepreneur

Wednesday, June 17, 2020, 2-2:30pm (EDT)

Linda Lundström

Linda Lundström is one of Canadian fashion’s most respected names and a successful entrepreneur. She chatted with Alan Middleton about leadership as an entrepreneur, how she built several successful fashion lines and how she views the challenge of leading during the COVID-19 pandemic.

View a recording of the June 17 chat

Leadership Lessons: The Heart of Resilient Leadership – The Future of Work is Human

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Zabeen Hirji, Executive Adviser on the Future of Work, Deloitte

Recovering  from Covid-19 requires resilient leaders who are able to shift mindsets, navigate uncertainties and seize opportunities for their organizations to grow and thrive. This requires even greater followership, which is catalyzed by building more trust. Join the conversation as we explore what leaders are doing to build a Future of Work that is Human and one that works for all. Zabeen is Deloitte’s executive adviser on the future of work, where she advises the firm and clients and she also advises governments and academia. As the former Chief Human Resources Officer at RBC, she brings a unique blend of practical experience and thought leadership.

View a recording of the June 24 chat

Leadership Lessons from the Front Lines

Thursday, July 9, 2020

LGen (Ret) Andrew Leslie, former Commander/Chief of Staff of the Canadian Army, business leader, and former Member of Parliament

General Leslie, a board director and former senior vice-president at a large company, has successfully led organizations in both peace and war. He will share his leadership insights from the front lines of business, government and military during his distinguished 40-year professional career.

View a recording of the July 9 chat

Leading Front Line Hospital Workers in a Health Crisis

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Ru Taggar, Executive Vice-President, Chief Nursing and Health Professionals Executive at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Ru provides professional leadership to nurses and other regulated health professional across the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in her role as Executive Vice-President. Ru will discuss her leadership lessons learned from collaborating across silos (internal and external) while managing the front-line workers during the pandemic. She will comment on some processes she may change moving forward, or keep in place, to support Sunnybrook’s ambitious plan to invent the future of health care.

View a recording of the July 16 chat

Leadership Lessons from Medavie Blue Cross

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Anita Swamy, Vice-President Operations, Medavie Blue Cross

Anita Swamy, vice-president at Medavie Blue Cross, has more than 20 years of executive experience in business transformation, operations, complex project management and process optimization. How do you keep employee engagement and morale high during difficult times? What can a leader do to increase collaboration to improve individual, team, and organizational performance? She will answer these and other questions, as well as discuss the impact of COVID-19 on Medavie Blue Cross’s 1 million card holders and how the company ensured uninterrupted customer service during the pandemic. She will share her insights on best practices in leadership during disruption and effectively managing remote teams.

View a recording of the July 21 chat

Leadership Lessons from Cadillac Fairview

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Jose Ribau, Executive Vice President, Digital and Innovation, Cadillac Fairview

Jose chats with Alan Middleton, Schulich ExecEd executive director, about how Cadillac Fairview took the opportunity during the pandemic to pivot and accelerate CF’s use of innovation to improve the client experience for retail post-COVID 19, including new tools for both consumers and property managers.

View a recording of the July 22 chat

Leadership Lessons from the Mining Industry

Thursday, July 30, 2020

David Garofalo, Chairman & CEO of the Marshall Precious Metals Fund and Chairman of the Board, Great Panther Mining Limited

Canada is a global leader in the mining sector. How has COVID 19 impacted the industry and its operations? What steps are mining companies taking to deal with the challenges caused by the pandemic to ensure safety both below and above ground? David will share his insights as a mining executive for 30 years and discuss how mining companies are transforming their global operations and business due to the disruption.

View a recording of the July 30 chat

Leadership Lessons from COVID-19 Part Two: Road to Recovery

Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020

Michael Gardam Healthcare Leadership DevelopmentDr. Michael Gardam

In Part 2 of his series, Dr. Gardam talks with Matthias Kipping, professor of policy and Richard E. Waugh Chair in Business History in the Schulich School of Business, about COVID-19: Road to Recovery. He will discuss the phased-in strategy of reopening businesses, schools, government offices as part of the next normal. What long-term impact will the pandemic and social distancing have on schools, hospitals, recreation, home and work? What measures will be in place for a second or third wave of corona virus, how will various sectors adjust this year and next (airlines, manufacturing, education, restaurant, retail, convention, sports and entertainment), and are continued travel restrictions and self-isolation a possibility until a vaccine is developed?

View a recording of the Sept. 16 chat

Leadership Lessons from Indigenous Businesses

Thursday, Sept. 24

JP Gladu, founder and president of Mokwateh, former president and CEO of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business

What are some of the challenges and opportunities for indigenous businesses in Canada? How can indigenous businesses grow and collaborate with other businesses, communities, government, other organizations and stakeholders to promote a new economy based on mutual respect and shared prosperity? What are some of the leadership lessons from Indigenous businesses? These and other questions will be answered during our virtual fireside chat with JP Gladu, founder and president of Mokwateh, and former president and CEO of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal business. Anishinaabe from Thunder Bay, JP is a member of Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek located on the eastern shores of Lake Nipigon, Ontario. JP serves on the Board of Ontario Power Generation and Noront Resources as well as the Canadian Electricity Association Public Advisory Panel. He has most recently been appointed as the Chancellor of St. Paul’s University College Waterloo.

View a recording of the Sept. 24 chat

Leadership Lessons from a Volunteer-Based Organization

Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020

Mina Mawani, President & CEO of Crohn’s and Colitis Canada

Crohn’s and Colitis Canada has invested more than $130 million in inflammatory bowel research since its founding in 1974. Mina Mawani, President and CEO of Crohn’s and Colitis Canada, will discuss the impact of Covid-19 on the charity’s research, fundraising, business operations, national volunteers, patient programs and the 270,000 Canadians living with these chronic bowel diseases.

View a recording of the Oct. 8 chat

Leadership Lessons: Building a Winning Customer Experience for Crisis and Beyond

Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020

David Kincaid, Founder and Managing Partner, Level5 Strategy

In today’s evolving business landscape, many companies have shifted their approach to become more customer centric – meaning the ability to understand and manage customer experiences is becoming an important business skill. This is becoming increasingly more important in a COVID-19 and post-COVID-19 environment where the need to understand and adapt customer experiences rapidly to meet changing market dynamics is even more critical. To create customer experiences that align with new low-touch expectations and drive growth, it is important to focus on the moments that deliver measurable outcomes for both you and your customers alike. In this fireside chat, leaders from Level5 Strategy discusses how to understand, measure, and improve your customer experiences in a results-orientated and pragmatic fashion.

View a recording of the Oct. 29 chat

The Schulich ExecEd is committed to working in partnership with organizations adapting to the demands of doing business in a virtual world. For more information on how Schulich ExecEd can help your organization respond in troubled times, visit our web page, Schulich ExecEd: Your Business Continuity and Learning Partner.