Sylvain A. Girard (BCom’92) will begin the next chapter of a distinguished financial career when he is appointed Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Resolute Forest Products Inc. in March. Over the past two decades, Girard has established a proven track record of spearheading successful finance-related initiatives at General Electric and SNC-Lavalin.
Alumna Julie Desharnais (EMBA’19) recently accepted a new role as the executive director of the Fondation de l’Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont. Desharnias spent eleven years as Deputy Director General of the Dr. Julien Foundation before rising to the position of Vice President of Canadian Strategic Initiatives at the Canadian Cancer Society. Desharnais brings a strong body of professional work and strategic expertise in the fields of health and philanthropy to her new role.
As a French-speaking Catholic from small-town St. Alban, Quebec, Jean E. Douville, (BCom’58) overcame religious and linguistic barriers to thrive in Accounting at McGill. Experiencing great success in his subsequent diverse financial career, he made regular donations to his alma mater. In 2019, he funded the creation of Jean E. Douville Bursaries, which provide $60,000 in awards to students without the financial resources to pursue their education and career goals.
When alumnus Jade Dagher (MBA’95) realized the pressure placed on over 300 Lebanese students studying at McGill by the tragic Beirut explosions on August 4, 2020, he moved into action. An active volunteer mentor and guest lecturer, Dagher contacted Desautels senior development officer, Joy Bennett, and jumpstarted a support fund by donating $12,000 and calling on McGill alumni to contribute.
A team of Desautels students and alumni has reached the semifinal round of impact200, McGill’s Bicentennial Sustainability Challenge for students and recent alumni. The winning team, which includes analytics BCom students, Master of Management in Analytics (MMA) students, Desautels alumni, and a software engineer student, created a platform that leverages artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance food security in Montreal. They will join 29 other teams for the semifinal round of the competition on March 16-18, 2021.
The experiential, real-world focus of McGill’s Master of Management and Analytics (MMA) program has catapulted the program to the top of the rankings list, marking it as one of the 10 best analytics programs in the world.
David Torralbo (BCom’93) was recently appointed to the position of Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary for Nouveau Monde Graphite, a Quebec-based sustainable energy company that provides graphite-based material solutions to the lithium-ion and fuel cell markets. Torralbo moves into his new role with substantial legal experience under his belt, having specialized in corporate and securities issues as the Chief Legal Officer of Atrium Innovations Inc. and a member of the corporate group at Davies, Ward, Phillips & Vineberg.
After two decades at Autodesk, Diana Colella (EMBA’11) has risen through the ranks to become the new Senior Vice President of Autodesk’s Media & Entertainment vertical solutions group, which oversees the collection of tools that video game developers and film and television producers use for visual effects, simulations, and rendering. In a Q&A session, Colella shares her business philosophy and looks back at the milestones along the road to success.
This year’s virtual Canada, Meet McGill event organized by the Desautels Career Services team helped students, staff, alumni and employers connect over the Faculty Blackout Period from November 18th to 20th, 2020.
More 50 years have passed since Terry (BCom’69) and Bonnie Jackson (BA’69, BEd’70) graduated from McGill, but they maintain close ties to the McGill community through their generous giving. In recent years, they played a significant role in supporting the Faculty expansion into the Donald E. Armstrong Building.
Now, they’re responding to McGill’s 200 for 200 Legacy Challenge by committing a legacy gift that will make an impact long after their passing.
Tanya Taylor (BCom’07) has taken the New York fashion world by storm, designing fashions for A-list celebrities and becoming the first designer to launch a collection at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. She credits McGill for equipping her to build a successful enterprise and Montreal’s thriving arts scene for sparking creative ideas. Now, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Taylor’s company has launched a #MakeAMask campaign to produce nearly 30,000 face masks for healthcare workers.
The Desautels Faculty of Management congratulates Sonya Branco (MBA’06) for being named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women of 2020 in the “C-Suite Executives” category. Released by the Women’s Executive Network (WXN), this year’s Top 100 Award Winners list recognizes 106 Canadian women who advocate for workforce diversity and make an impact in their sphere of influence. Branco was appointed Executive Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer, for CAE in 2016. She oversees the company’s operations in more than 35 countries.
Congratulations to Michael Richardson (GCPA'18, 2018 CFE Honour Roll and Gold Medal in Quebec) on receiving the Graduate Certificate in Professional Accounting Teaching Award for Guest Lecturers.
This award recognizes excellence in teaching by guest GCPA lecturers. Excellent teaching can be demonstrated through a well-designed course, engaging in-class activities and materials, use of innovative teaching strategies, and a commitment to improving one's courses through feedback.
Congrats to Carmela Gumelli (BCom’87) for her recent appointment to the position of Interim Academic Dean of Dawson College in Westmount, Quebec. Gumelli joined Dawson College in 2005, rising through the ranks to become the Dean of Academic Systems in 2014.
A McGill-born event platform startup has found a way to weather the COVID-19 pandemic and raise venture financing in hopes of returning to in-person events in 2021. Co-founded by Desautels alumnus Marc-Antoine Bonin (BCom’19) and Emeric Noël, Planned offers a unique tool for event planners to connect with a curated list of venues and suppliers in one place. This week, Planned announced that it had raised $4.7 million in venture financing led by Inovia Capital, with participation from Telegraph Hill Capital and N49P, bringing its total capital raised to $7 million.