Debra's mix of experiential and conceptual insights uniquely qualify her to advise organizations on their governance. She serves on Boards of Directors, has chaired a high technology start-up, and has been CEO of two full service community credit unions. She is an acknowledged and sought-after thought leader in corporate governance, authoring over two dozen major research articles published in Canada and internationally. Comfortable and confident with both boards and executives, Debra has led Brown Governance Inc. since 1991.
Debra is editor of Governance Matters, the Canadian Co-operative Association’s governance periodical. She has planned and facilitated global, national and multi-stakeholder governance conferences and seminars, and spoken on a variety of corporate and personal development issues. Brown Governance works across sectors – private, public and not-for-profit.
On the national level, Debra has been a participant in the Public Policy Forum’s roundtable on the governance of Crown Corporations and has been featured in connection with her corporate governance work on Canada’s national business news produced by The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). Internationally, Debra and Brown Governance have worked with the Chinese Government's State Enterprise Ministry, Russian executives enrolled in the Yeltsin Democracy Fellowship Foundation study tour, Batelco, the Kingdom of Bahrain’s largest private sector corporation, and with the Malaysian Central Bank, among others.
Brown Governance has developed and tested a comprehensive principle-based governance system that has been adopted and adapted by award-winning, leading governance organizations including The Conference Board and BMO Financial Group (Bank of Montreal) in Canada’s private sector, federal and provincial governments in the public sector, and numerous not-for-profit organizations and associations. It is also the foundation on which they created the program and curriculum for The Directors College.
Prior to forming Brown Governance, she spent several years in the Canadian financial sector, working most recently as CEO. Debra holds a Master of Divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.
Peter is the Partner that leads MNP LLP’s Enterprise Risk Services Practice in British Columbia. He has over 19 years professional experience providing audit, risk management and consulting services. Adept in environments that span from the Boardroom to the shop floor, Peter has delivered assignments involving governance, risk management, people, systems and processes. Prior to joining MNP, Peter was a partner at a Big Four chartered accountancy firm, where he led the Systems and Process Assurance, Controls and Financial Services Consulting practices in BC.
From financial information, IT systems, business processes and controls, Peter has completed projects for credit union, bank, insurance, government, retail, distribution, mining, forestry, manufacturing, technology and life science organizations. Successfully delivering regulatory compliance; enterprise risk; project oversight and governance; privacy; and threat and risk assessments, he has assisted a number of clients in enhancing their business processes, IT and internal controls, and risk practices. During the course of his professional work, he has established and enhanced Enterprise Risk Management, Internal Audit and Compliance functions. In particular, Peter has experience working on large organizational IT implementations, where he delivered benefits realization programs, as well as enhanced project risk management and oversight for senior executives and Boards. Active in the community, Peter is a frequent contributor and guest lecturer, and works tirelessly with post-secondary and high school students and instructors on technical topics, career management and personal coaching. Peter has a commitment and passion for diversity and inclusion as it relates to enhancing human capital in organizations, and for the competitiveness of Canada. Peter also actively volunteers in a number of children’s sports clubs. Living in Vancouver, he and his wife have a happy and busy household with four children.
Michelle Manary brings a depth and breadth of knowledge and experience in the areas of organizational effectiveness and strategic human resource management. As the owner of the Manary Group and a partner in ReframeHR, Michelle works with organizations in the areas of strategic planning and board governance, leadership development, organizational design, financial and risk management, systems analysis, stakeholder communications and human resource management. Prior to becoming an independent consultant in 2007, Michelle was a member of the executive management team at Assiniboine Credit Union, responsible for developing HR systems to align with corporate strategies. She also spent a number of years in management at a major national bank.
A life long learner, Michelle has earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Brandon University, Business Administration Diploma from Assiniboine Community College, Certificate in Human Resource Management and Certificate in Organizational Development from Queens University, and Certificate in Participative Management from the University of Manitoba. She is also a Certified Master Coach from the Behavioural Coaching Institute.
Since 2007, Michelle has developed and facilitated courses across Canada, on behalf of knowledge network.
Denise is the Founder and President of The Learning Edge Inc. As a professional facilitator, she leverages the Inscape Publishing Everything DiSC® suite of products in the areas of team building, leadership, management, and change.
Knowledge network partnered with The Learning Edge to provide credit unions with the opportunity to experience the Everything DiSC suite of products and to participate in their cornerstone program, Managing Things…Leading People, a 3 day leadership program. This partnership offers credit unions exposure to additional curriculum in key development areas.
Denise's previous career experience includes management positions with the Business Development Bank of Canada, where she facilitated training sessions for hundreds of businesses throughout Canada.
Denise holds a Diploma in Adult Education from St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia. She is a certified facilitator for Franklin Covey programs including “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” In addition, she is a certified trainer for Inscape Publishing, focusing primarily on DiSC training.
Fazila Nurani, Founder of PrivaTech Consulting, is a privacy and information security consultant, lawyer and trainer. She has a unique blend of legal training, IT consulting and records management experience, and has served both the public and private sectors.
Driven by her passion to assist organizations create privacy conscious environments, Fazila advises businesses in a range of industries on privacy and security best practices. Her clients include marketing firms, the insurance and health sectors, debt collectors, technology companies, retailers, the staffing industry and financial service providers. Fazila’s ability to lead engaging privacy training sessions and workshops is highly commended by PrivaTech’s clients. By conducting detailed privacy assessments and gap analyses; developing strong data protection policies and procedures; and raising privacy awareness, Fazila has assisted many organizations reduce the risk of a privacy breach.
Prior to pursuing a career in law, Fazila worked with various consulting firms, including Right Management Consultants and GSA Consulting Group Inc. Fazila designed information management systems and customized data security procedures for numerous entities.
Fazila’s legal experience began in the Information Technology Group at the law firm of Gowling Lafleur, Henderson LLP, where she worked on technology financing deals, software licensing, online advertising issues, domain name disputes and other Internet-related legal matters.
Fazila worked with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada in 2000 before founding PrivaTech Consulting. She responded to public inquiries about the new private sector privacy legislation, which was heavily involved in establishing complaint-handling procedures, and assisted investigators in interpreting the law. Fazila continues to work extensively with policy advisors and legal counsel in the Federal and Ontario governments, providing direction on the implementation of initiatives with privacy implications.
Fazila holds degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Waterloo and Law from the University of Toronto. She is also a Certified Information and Privacy Professional with the International Association of Privacy Professionals, and a Certified Information Systems Auditor with the Information Systems Audit and Control Association. Fazila has authored a number of papers relating to privacy and information security issues. Fazila has appeared on CTV numerous times to discuss privacy news items and her articles, which have been published in Enterprise Magazine, The Lawyers Weekly, and various industry publications. She currently authors a monthly e-newsletter called PrivaTips. Subscribers include privacy commissioners in Canada and abroad, and other leading privacy practitioners, including law firms and privacy officers of multi-national corporations.
Alisdair Smith is one of the most sought after coaches, speakers and workshop leaders in Canada. Alisdair brings wisdom, experience, humour to his practice. He has been serving boards and senior leaders of credit unions large and small from St. John’s to Victoria for over 20 years. He challenges people with respect and humour and is known for helping groups drive to outcomes. Some of his most important work has been in helping teams and boards of directors work through challenging and difficult decisions and issues, such as mergers, intra-team conflict, dramatic change in direction, ethical dilemmas and fragmenting board/CEO relationships. That he is consistently invited back to work with these groups is a testament to his work. He is passionate about the future of credit unions, and especially enjoying his work with the next generation of leaders across Canada.
Alisdair is Deacon & Business Chaplain at Christ Church Anglican Cathedral in Vancouver, serves as a facilitator for the Dalai Lama Centre, the SFU Community Square Dialogues, both in Vancouver. He has worked with NGOs in Australia, Solomon Islands, Ghana and South Africa and is committed to building community where ever he works.
Alisdair holds an MA in Theology and Ethics and is an Accredited Canadian Credit Union Director.
Craig currently holds the position of Account Manager, with the Enterprise Development Unit at the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), Nova Scotia. Previously, he was the Manager of Commercial Lending, with a 7-branch Credit Union system in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Prior to entering the credit union system, Craig started his lending career in Halifax in 2001, with the Business Development Bank in there Entrepreneurship Centre, as an Account Manager.
Committed to learning and development, Craig has a certification as a Small Business Counselor (CBC) through the P.J. Gardiner Institute, Memorial University, holds his Commercial Lending Accreditation through CUIC®, is a certified lean productivity level one Yellow Belt through Canadian Manufactures and Exporters, and also has his CUDA® Accredited Credit Union Director Designation. As a seasoned presenter, trained as a certified Dale Carnegie instructor, he has facilitated programs both within the credit union system and externally in the business and academic community. Craig is deeply motivated in working with credit union professionals, to facilitate their skills, growth and development, with the aspiration of advancing the success of credit union members throughout the country.
In addition to the facilitation work with Cusource, Craig is an active volunteer, as past Chair of the Board of East Coast Credit Union, current Chair of the Credit Committee and executive committee member and past Board Chair with Supportive Housing for Young Mothers (SHYM) in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.
Craig Williams, was born and raised in St. John’s Newfoundland and currently resides in Dartmouth Nova Scotia, and is blessed with a wonderful wife and two wonderful children.
David is sought out by the media for his experience in governance and leadership and is a keynote speaker to sold-out audiences across North America. Over the past decade, David has worked directly with the boards and CEOs of over 100 leading corporations, from one-time evaluation, selection and strategy assignments, to ongoing intensive development, governance reviews and coaching. During a typical year, David will speak to over 60 different gatherings, ranging from a dozen board members and executives to several thousand delegates. His presentations are well received both for content and delivery. A co-founder, faculty member and Executive Director of the Directors College, David has authored a number of nationally and internationally published works on a wide range of subjects. His governance insights have been published in Corporate Secretary, Professional Administrator, Le Gouvernance, CA Magazine and HR Reporter, among others.
Internationally, he has written research articles and presented to the Chinese Government's State Enterprise Ministry (Deputy Premier delegation) and Russian executives enrolled in the Yeltsin Democracy Fellowship Foundation study tour. David is perhaps best known for his series of Practical Guides and leading edge full length business reports on corporate governance, multi-stakeholder alliances and public policy published by The Conference Board of Canada, a leading “think-tank”.
Prior to forming Brown Governance with his wife and partner, Debra, David worked for several years in Canada's financial sector. This included senior commercial credit positions in Alberta with two of Canada's major banks and as CEO of one of Ontario's leading community credit unions. David also has public sector experience as a member of a project team for Ontario's Crown agency insuring deposits.
Bill Falconer has 35+ years of financial institution experience - over 22 years with a chartered bank and more than 13 years with Valley Credit Union in Nova Scotia. Bill’s experience includes branch routine, commercial credit, consumer loans & mortgages, branch management, marketing, human resources, financial planning, mutual fund sales and branch compliance. Bill knows first-hand what’s required for part time studies while working full time and balancing family life. That’s because he has accumulated the following impressive list of designations, mostly through part time studies:
BBA from the University of New Brunswick
Fellowship of Institute of Canadian Bankers (FICB)
3 ICB Specialized Studies Program Diplomas (Accounting & Finance, General Management, and Management Sciences)
Investment Funds in Canada
ICB Branch Compliance Manager (BCM)
Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP)
Competent Toastmaster (CTM)
Fellowship of Credit Union Institute of Canada (FCUIC)
Bill latest roles was as VP Organizational Development at Valley Credit Union, where he supervised 8 branches and a Credential Financial Strategies unit. He also had Human Resources responsibilities and was a Branch Compliance Manager.
Bill has participated in several committees at Credit Union Central of Nova Scotia, and is a member of HRANS. Over the years, Bill has been involved in church positions/functions such as treasurer, SS teacher, board member, committee member and numerous other activities.
On the personal & family side, Bill is married and has 2 grown daughters and a son-in-law, all who have completed 9 or more years at universities, mostly at Dalhousie University. Bill & his wife Carol reside in Kingston, NS.
Annette Kuckartz, CA is a Partner in MNP’s Saskatoon office. As the National Credit Union Leader, Annette works primarily with credit unions and related corporate entities across Canada. Annette draws upon her extensive experience to deliver effective assurance, advisory and IFRS services to her clients and helps them to improve the performance and transparency of their business. Annette also regularly facilitates internal assurance courses and training within MNP, mentoring other practitioners on the unique nature of credit unions.
In addition, Annette has facilitated external training to the business community to assist business owners and professional advisors in understanding “Where do you want your business to be?” Throughout the last 14 years, Annette has worked with over 20 credit unions, both large and small in varying capacities. In doing so, Annette has an in depth understanding of the issues credit unions face. Annette obtained her Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) from the University of Saskatchewan in 1999 before obtaining her CA designation in 2002. She is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Saskatchewan (ICAS) and the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA).
Joan McAulay is a Senior Personal Trust Specialist located at the Concentra Trust corporate office in Saskatoon. Twenty-one years with Concentra Trust has strengthened Joan’s belief that all Canadians need to understand the benefits of estate planning. With millions needing to plan for their own wealth transfer, understanding personal trust and the services available is critical.
Educating credit union and system partners about estate and trust solutions is an important part of Joan’s work. Over the past number of years it is estimated that over 10,000 staff have had the opportunity to learn more about personal trust, what it is and why it’s important.
Concentra Trust is a credit union company, delivering estate and trust services nationwide for over 60 years. It possesses the same powers as other national trustees but has the heart and soul of a co-operative. The Concentra team of professionals are experts in dealing with estates of any size or complexity and are committed to providing exceptional service.
Sherry is an exemplary facilitator, trainer, and consultant with over 30 years of experience in the credit union system. Her expertise in commercial lending and management has made her a reputable and highly regarded resource. She is extremely methodical in her teaching methods, yet passion driven, humorous, and understanding.
Sherry develops and delivers new course material in applied commercial lending and financial statement analysis. She often consults and collaborates with a number of credit unions and affiliated organizations to deliver tailor-made training programs specific to the needs of the organization.
Sherry has served on a number of boards, including the Mortgage Investment Association of British Columbia (BC), National Lenders Advisory Committee, and the Credit Counseling Society of BC. She has been involved in the success of many industry and community events, demonstrating her talent for organization and detail.
Ed is a career credit union and co-operative professional, with expert-level knowledge in corporate governance and financial institution management. As a facilitator with knowledge network since 2004, Ed has worked on the development of course content in the areas of balanced scorecard, CEO performance planning and evaluation, human resources planning, and merger planning and evaluation.
Ed combines post-graduate business study with over 30 years of experience and perspective that includes 10 years with a provincial central, over 10 years as a credit union chief executive and more than 10 years as a facilitator/advisor. His work with credit unions and co-operatives includes the development and implementation of business applications and solutions.
Ed’s background is further rounded-out in serving as a Director, Vice-Chair and member of the Executive Committee of Home Ownership Alternatives, a financial not-for-profit organization dedicated to the development of cooperatively produced and affordable ownership housing.
Jeanette is an energetic facilitator, with a professional background in Human Resource specializing in training and development. She is described by her peers as passionate, caring and creative. Having worked in the credit union system for over 30 years, Jeanette has seen first-hand the benefits of taking a personalized approach to learning and development and believed there is nothing better than a good story to illustrate a point.
Jeanette has worked closely with employees in support of professional development; having developed, facilitated and supported various programs in sales, service, operations, finance and risk management. She has also been involved in the development and implementation of the Credit Union Director Achievement Program; having developed additional programs for directors to support provincial/regional needs.
Jeanette has a Change Management Practitioner Certification from ADPRO, a Sales & Service Trainer Certification with the MOHR Development group and Performance Management Certification from the Hay Group. She has her BBA from the University of Prince Edward Island and, in 2008 received her MBA, specializing in Human Resource Manager, from the University of Phoenix.
Jeanette has been highlighted in “Must Thinking”: a book written by Paul Kearley, Managing Partner with the Dale Carnegie Business Group, which highlights key professionals who have been successful in achieving results.
She currently serves as Chair of the National Board of the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada and also serves on the Cusource National Board and the PEI Cooperative Council Board.
Kevin E. Yousie is President of Crosswater Partners, a company he established in 1997. Crosswater Partners helps senior leaders and boards deliver value to investors, customers, members and employees through facilitation of strategy, enhanced organizational alignment, and leadership development. Specializing in the financial services sector, his clients are diverse and have included Fortune 500 companies, international banks, pension funds, insurance companies, brokers, regulators, credit union organizations, various government departments, and not-for-profit organizations.
Prior to Crosswater Partners, Kevin had a career in banking with BMO, TD, and TD Securities Inc. including positions in Corporate and Investment Banking where his clients were the top 100 banks in the eastern United States, and the largest banks and central banks across Asia.
Kevin has also been recognized with the rank of Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto where he teaches Strategic Management and International Business on a part-time basis to graduate and undergraduate students. He teaches in four of the Institute for Management & Innovation’s five graduate programs well as fourth year Commerce / Management. He has been recognized with the MMPA Faculty Award.
Kevin has served on a number of boards. He currently serves on the board of CHCO, an organization that supervises the governance of twenty-one hospitals and other health care facilities across Ontario. He is also Past Chair of the Southdown Institute, a residential mental health and addiction treatment facility located just north of Toronto. Kevin has served on the Board of the Richard Ivey School of Business, was Chair of the Ivey Alumni Association Board, and is a recipient of the Ivey Distinguished Service Award. He has been an Institute of Corporate Directors certified director (ICD.D) since 2005. He is a Certified Management Consultant (CMC), and a Fellow of the Institute of Canadian Bankers (FICB). Kevin is also a passionate sailor and outdoor enthusiast.
Vivian is a practiced facilitator, trainer, and consultant with over 20 years of credit union experience. As Manager, Credit Union Consulting Services, Vivian works with credit unions in the areas of strategic planning and relationship management. As a human resources consultant, she has been instrumental in developing and implementing performance management programs for various credit unions.
She joined Credit Union Central of Nova Scotia in 1988 as the Director, Training and Education, where she was responsible for the design and delivery of many employee and director training programs throughout Nova Scotia. She was also a member of the national Credit Union Director Achievement (CUDA) Program Advisory Committee, and was actively involved in the design of the director training program.
Prior to working in the credit union system, Vivian was with the Extension Department of St. Francis Xavier University, working in the area of co-operative housing and social housing. During that period, she served as a director and national chair of the board of directors of the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada.
Vivian holds an undergraduate degree and Masters degree in Adult Education from St. Francis Xavier University.
Dianne Dunn is a valued specialist in the areas of Registered Plans and Estate Planning. Her extensive 34 years of experience is matched by her enthusiasm and articulate presentation skills. Dianne’s profound ability to communicate complex subject matter in easy-to-understand terms make her a valuable resource to the credit union system.
Her experience and knowledge in credit union operations translates well in her course curriculum. She spent 10 years at Concentra Financial Services Association. As a Deposit Services Manager, she was responsible for Registered Plans, Estate Administration, Training, and Credit Union Support. Dianne was also responsible Back Office Administration and Canada Revenue Agency liaison for the Regional Office. As an independent consultant, Dianne has been instrumental in various operational projects including Privacy, Money Laundering, Data Conversions, ATM Cards, Fraud Prevention, Disaster Planning, and Credit Union Back Office Functions.
Dianne graduated from York University where she received a Bachelor of Administrative Studies and received a Certificate in Business Administration from Ryerson University. Dianne has completed Personal Financial Planning, Financial Management, and Taxation courses with the Canadian Institute of Financial Planners.
John Ferguson is an experienced financial planner and change management consultant with over 30 years of knowledge in the financial services industry. His wealth of knowledge and financial expertise in applied consumer lending make him a valuable resource to Canadian credit unions. John takes great pride in pushing his audience to the limits and challenging them to succeed.
Throughout his career, John held positions in various capacities in loans & mortgages, small business lending, private banking, business development and training. Most notably, he spent 10 years as an Area Manager responsible for retail banking operations and spent four years in the Caribbean working as a Bank Manager. Through his consulting practice, John focuses on strategic planning, visioning and change management. Since 2001, John has been teaching part-time at a community college, delivering management and finance courses.
John received an undergraduate degree from St. Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He has a Personal Financial Planning designation and certification in the Canadian Securities course. At age 45, John received his M.B.A. at the University of Windsor.
As the CEO of Magnusson Consulting Group, Brad focuses on commercial training, international and national commodity market analysis, interest rate strategies, and business strategies.
Brad presents seminars, workshops, and courses to businesses and credit unions in every corner of Canada and the U.S. He has been a keynote speaker at the American Bankers Conference and the Credit Union National Banking Conference. He is known for his practical approach and keen sense of humour in his presentations.
Brad has more than 30 years of experience in helping organizations achieve their financial goals. He has held senior positions with multi-national financial institutions and government lending institutions. Most recently, he was the Manager of Business Consulting with the Credit Union Central of Manitoba.
Brad has served as a board member for the Manitoba & National Agrologist Association and the Manitoba Rural Adaptation Council.
Neil has over 30 years of experience in the credit union system, particularly in the areas of consumer, agriculture, and commercial lending. This wealth of knowledge is invaluable when he delivers courses such as Consumer Residential Mortgage Lending and Applied Residential Mortgage Lending. Neil also employs his skills to assist several credit unions with their development of policy and procedures, risk assessment processes, and internal audit and lending processes. He has been involved in several credit union task forces, including risk assessment, retail installment contracts, and credit analysis projects.
He retired in 2001, while holding the position of Lending Services Manager. Shortly after, Neil was approached by Credit Union Central of Saskatchewan to prepare a trainers guide for a CUIC course and attended a university extension business leadership class to learn how to design and facilitate learning. In the same year, he was contracted by Credit Union Deposit Guarantee in Saskatchewan (CUDGC), a system regulator that promotes responsible governance by credit unions and promotes the strength and stability of the system.
In addition to working in the financial industry, Neil serves as an Alderman for the Town of Watrous.
Janice is the cohort facilitator for the CUIC® course Human Resources Management (CUC-325). She has spent over 30 years in leadership roles, both in public and private sectors. The majority of her experience is in the financial and communications fields. Janice's education is extensive and her most recent accomplishments include obtaining an Executive Coaching Certification from Royal Roads University and a Masters of Human Resources Management from University of Regina.
Janice currently works at Conexus Credit Union and loves her job! As the Manager of Organizational Development, she leads her team to deliver human resource/talent management programs along with the development and delivery of training programs. Some of the programs she is responsible for are Succession Management, Leadership Development, Engagement, Performance Development/Management, and Mentorship. Janice focuses a lot of her time on introducing changes, and so change management is an area of expertise for her. Part of her role includes coaching leaders at all levels of the organization to help connect them to their potential and to better understand how they want to be portrayed as a leader.
Connecting leaders to their potential through coaching is Janice's passion. She has witnessed the power that coaching can create both in herself and with other leaders.
Stephanie Sharp provides coaching and training in finance and economics to executives and directors throughout North America. Drawing on over 30 years experience in business restructuring and finance, she works with leaders and their teams to understand and integrate economics, strategy, and finance.
Over the past two decades, Stephanie has held the roles of lead negotiator, and finance and business advisor to both government and business on deals valued in excess of $15 billion. She has advised credit unions on everything from mergers to operations and strategy, and provides in-depth training in finance, economics, and capital markets to credit union directors and executives.
Stephanie has been recognized by the finance industry, winning awards for knowledge and leadership in finance and for excellence in the public sector. She holds an MBA from University of Toronto and a BA from Queen’s University.