Heather Chalmers, President and CEO of GE Canada

CEO Speaker Series

Heather Chalmers, President & CEO of GE Canada, was a guest speaker for the CEO Speaker Series in January 2020.
Photo: Owen Egan & Joni Dufour


CEO Speaker Series

The CEO Speaker Series provides an interactive opportunity for Desautels MBA & Masters students to learn more about the businesses and life philosophies of prominent leaders.

To suggest speakers for the series, please contact Professor Karl Moore.

2021 / 2022

Frantz Saintellemy (EMBA’20)September 9, 2022: Frantz Saintellemy (EMBA’20)

CEO, LeddarTech
Chancellor of the Université de Montréal

Mr. Saintellemy is currently President and Chief Operating Officer at Leddartech.

LeddarTech is a leader in environmental sensing solutions for advanced driver assistance systems and autonomous vehicles. LeddarTech delivers an end-to-end environmental sensing solution that solves critical fusion and perception challenges across the automotive value chain.

In addition to his current functions at LeddarTech, he has been appointed the 14th Chancellor and Chair of the Board of Université de Montréal. He holds an EMBA from McGill University and HEC (Montreal).

Groupe 3737 is a not-for-profit accelerator and incubator focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion, with an emphasis on gender agnostic, women, youth, and migrant entrepreneurs.

2020 / 2021

André GremilletOctober 29, 2021: André Gremillet, MBA’00

President and CEO, The Cleveland Orchestra

André Gremillet began his tenure in January 2016 as the ninth Executive Director of The Cleveland Orchestra and was appointed its first President & CEO in 2018. Under his leadership, The Orchestra celebrated its 2018 Centennial with critically-acclaimed performances in Cleveland, New York, Tokyo and Vienna, and reached an audience of 2.3 million through two live streamed performances from Bejing in 2019. Since Gremillet began his tenure, The Cleveland Orchestra has gained even wider recognition, being referred to by The New York Times as “America’s most understatedly amazing orchestra” (2018) and “America’s Finest, Still” (2020). Gremillet has also overseen a significant expansion of the Orchestra’s education programs, the creation of the Orchestra’s own record label, and the launch of its new streaming platform. Prior to joining The Cleveland Orchestra, M. Gremillet served as Managing Director of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO), and as President and CEO of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. Born near Montréal, and a conservatory-trained pianist, Gremillet holds a master’s degree from the Mannes College of Music and an MBA from McGill University.

Jordan OwenMarch 26, 2021: Jordan Owen, BCom'16

Co-Founder & CEO of SquareFeet.ai

Jordan Owen is the Co-Founder & CEO of SquareFeet.ai, a Proptech startup that provides dynamic tools based on real time data to various players in the real estate sector, revolutionizing the way developers and brokers work.

Fascinated by the real estate industry, Jordan began his career as a broker at Colliers. He quickly migrated to real estate development, working for his family business, one of the largest developers in Montreal. Here, Jordan acquired critical expertise in the development of multi-residential projects, and created a model to optimize pricing that generated tremendous value for the business. Realizing the potential technology could have in enhancing real estate practice, he decided to continue his studies in the field. Jordan recently launched his entrepreneurial career with two startups: Bien Aller & SquareFeet.ai.

Jordan has a Bachelor of Finance from McGill University, a Masters in Real Estate Development at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and is currently completing a Masters in City Planning at MIT.

Tabatha BullFebruary 19, 2021: Tabatha Bull

President & CEO, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business

Tabatha Bull is the President & CEO of Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, working with Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal businesses to help strengthen a prosperous Indigenous economy and Canadian market. Also, a member of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce board, Tabatha is committed to working with members to improve business competitiveness across all industry sectors.

Tabatha joined CCAB in the fall of 2018 as Chief Operating Officer. Prior to this, she led the First Nations and Métis Relations team at the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), Ontario’s electricity system operator. She continues to support Canada’s energy sector as a member of the Positive Energy Advisory Council and the C.D. Howe Institute’s Energy Policy program.

Tabatha is Anishinaabe and a proud member of Nipissing First Nation near North Bay, Ontario. She has a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Waterloo.

Maria Della PostaJanuary 22, 2021: Maria Della Posta, BCom’85, MBA’91

President, Pratt & Whitney Canada

Maria Della Posta is the President of Pratt & Whitney Canada and has served in this role since June 2019. She leads all global operations, engineering, customer service, sales, marketing, and business development organizations, and a team of more than 10,000 employees worldwide.

Maria joined Pratt & Whitney in 1985 and progressed through roles of increasing leadership in various functions including supply chain, finance, and customer service. She was named Vice President, Customer Support in 2001, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing in 2010, and Senior Vice President, Pratt & Whitney Canada in 2012.

Maria holds a BCom and an MBA degree from the Desautels Faculty of Management and a Desautels Management Achievement Award.

Mirko BibicNovember 13, 2020: Mirko Bibic

President & Chief Executive Officer
BCE Inc. and Bell Canada

Mirko Bibic is the President & Chief Executive Officer of BCE Inc. and Bell Canada, and has served in this role since January 2020. He leads the Bell group of companies with a strategy to deliver the best networks, drive service and content innovation, operate with agility and efficiency, and champion customer experience. 

Prior to his current post, Mirko was the Chief Operating Officer from October 2018, and was responsible for all operations of Bell Mobility, Bell Business Markets, and Bell Residential and Small Business. From 2012 to 2018, he served as Executive Vice President, Corporate Development & Chief Legal and Regulatory Officer. He joined Bell in 2004 as Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs. Before entering the telecommunications space, Mirko was a Partner at Stikeman Elliott LLP, a global leader in Canadian business law. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from McGill University and a Law degree from the University of Toronto. 

Dominique AngladeOctober 23, 2020: Dominique Anglade

Leader of the Quebec Liberal Party and
Leader of the Official Opposition of Quebec

Dominique Anglade has more than twenty years of experience working across different industries in various leadership roles, before she became leader of the Quebec Liberal Party on May 11, 2020.

Dominique holds a Bachelor of Industrial Engineering from l’École Polytechnique de Montréal and an MBA from HEC Montréal. She began her career in 1996 as an engineer with Procter & Gamble and was promoted shortly thereafter to head a business unit. From 2000 to 2003, she worked for Nortel Networks as Senior Manager, then in 2004, was named Director of External and Governmental Affairs for Quebec. From 2005 to 2012, she worked at McKinsey & Company leading organizational transformation project teams in aerospace, not-for-profit, and finance sectors. Between 2012 and 2015, Dominique served as President and CEO of Montréal International, an economic development agency, until her election as Member of the National Assembly for Saint-Henri-Sainte-Anne.

Dominique is the first woman to lead the Quebec Liberal Party and the first black woman to lead a provincial party in Quebec.

Benjamin SmithSeptember 11, 2020: Benjamin Smith

Chief Executive Officer, Air France-KLM

Benjamin Smith is a senior airline industry veteran, having spent twenty years at Air Canada before joining Air France-KLM as Chief Executive Officer.

In 1990, while at university, he started part time as a Customer Service Agent at Air Ontario. In 1992 he followed an entrepreneurial path and established his own retail corporate travel agency, successfully running this business for eight years. In 2002 he joined Air Canada, envisioning and subsequently leading its Tango subsidiary.

Benjamin later became Vice President, Network Planning, followed by Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer in 2007, and subsequently President, Airlines (Air Canada, Rouge, Express, Cargo) and Chief Operating Officer in 2014. He assumed overall responsibility for commercial, operations, and customer service functions, and spearheaded their commercial growth strategy, resulting in impressive financial performance.

In August 2018 Benjamin Smith was appointed CEO of Air France-KLM, and in December, a member of the Air France-KLM Board of Directors.

Louis VachonFebruary 14, 2020: Louis Vachon

CEO of National Bank

Mr. Louis Vachon is CEO of National Bank, the sixth largest bank in Canada. Named CEO of the Year by Canadian Business magazine, as well as Financial Personality of the Year, 2014, by Quebec business publication Finance et Investissement, Mr. Vachon began his career in 1985 at Citibank. He joined Lévesque Beaubien Geoffrion in 1986. From 1990 to 1996, he worked for Bankers Trust, where he was ultimately appointed President and CEO of the Canadian subsidiary, BT Bank of Canada. Mr. Vachon is a Member of the Order of Canada and the Ordre de Montréal as well as a recipient of the Global Citizens Award from the United Nations Association in Canada. Mr. Vachon also serves on the Boards of Molson Coors Brewing Company and Groupe CH Inc. and is involved with a number of social and cultural organizations.

Heather ChalmersJanuary 17, 2020: Heather Chalmers

President & CEO, GE Canada

Heather Chalmers is the CEO of GE Canada and Country Leader for GE Healthcare, one of Canada’s iconic names. She has been with GE for over 23 years and has led high-performing teams that are industry leaders in innovation to solve complex challenges both locally and globally. Heather joined GE Plastics in 1995 where she took on multiple commercial roles. In 2007, she took a leadership role at GE Healthcare and was promoted to Country Leader of the Healthcare business in 2014. In addition, Heather is Vice-Chair of the MEDEC Board and Treasurer of the St. Elizabeth Foundation Board.

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