Info Session - Abiodun OKE
Entrepreneurial Journey of Indigenous Business - Barry PAYNE
Opening Speech - Ayo Owodunni, DEI Expert
Presentation - Gloria PIERRE
The Power of Effective Communication and Networking for Newcomers and BIPOC ProfessionalsDone
Breakout Session Round 1 (Room 3) - Presentation Session
Leveraging Branding For Career SuccessDone
Introduction by Gloria
Digital Transformation in Supply Chain Management - Presentation Session
Overcoming Bias and Discrimination in the Hiring Process - Brian ROCHAT
Career Transition StrategiesDone
Breakout Session Round 2 (Room 1) - Indigenous Procurement Discussion
Ayo Owodunni is a management consultant with over a decade of experience in coaching, training, and strategic direction. His goal is to help enterprise-level clients achieve big-picture goals while prioritizing diversity, inclusion, and cultural understanding in the workplace. Ayo's approach combines subject matter expertise, personal stories, and humor to break down barriers and facilitate better communication within organizations.
His impressive client list includes companies such as Spotify, Canada Life, Microsoft, Thomson Reuters, CIBC, TMX Group, and Hydro One. Originally from Lagos, Nigeria, Ayo shares his immigrant experience and provides tips for establishing oneself in Canada through his radio segments on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and CityNews Kitchener.
Ayo is the author of two books, "Values, Culture, Period - Redefining the Value of Values to Drive Business Results" and "Inclusive Leadership: The Immigrant View - Helping Immigrants Thrive and Soar in Your Organization." He is also the co-creator of "The Ring: 4 Steps to Transforming Your Organization through the Power of Your Values & Culture."
Ayo holds an MBA in Entrepreneurship, a Life Coach certification, and serves on several organization boards, including immigrantnetworks.com, Leadership Waterloo Region, Expedier.co, adventure4change.org, and Emergency Response Africa. He is a member of the Canadian Association of Management Consultants.
Hugh Lawson is currently the Head Of Business Development at EHN Canada. As a member of the Senior Leadership Team for Canada’s largest privately run network of addiction and mental health treatment facilities, his current responsibilities include:
Leading and implementing national teams and strategies for business development and organizational growth. Providing oversight, guidance, support and mentorship to EHN Canada's business development, veteran affairs, and first responder service teams. Leading and implementing annual business development plans that identify the approach, sectors and activities for exploring growth and expansion. Identifying, developing and nurturing relationships with key contacts including corporate representatives, disability management, benefits and insurance providers, healthcare professionals and other providers that can impact admissions (inpatient and outpatient). Overseeing the development and implementation of programs for measuring referral source satisfaction using technology as an enabler to analyze such information.
From 2009 to 2022 he was the Director of Business Development for Staples Promotional Products (SPP), a subsidiary of Staples Inc. with offices in The United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia. He led strategic teams for global new business prospecting, competitive intelligence, future-trends identification, and business enhancement initiatives. He was also a Member of SPP’s Senior Leadership team that oversees organizational strategic plans and growth objectives for the Canadian division.
Outside of work, Hugh is very passionate about community investment, volunteerism, mentorship, student-athletics and social justice. Along with being a member of several boards for workforce development and advocating for racialized communities, he is also the Chief Development Officer of HILCO - The Hugh Sr. & Ilene Lawson Charitable Organization. HILCO was established in honour of his parents with the stated mission of creating expansive, and inclusive educational opportunities for young men and women who do not have the financial resources to pursue their higher educational aspirations.
Hugh is a Devoted “Dance Dad”, who lives on the outskirts of Toronto with his wife Nadine, daughters Renée, Nia and Miles; a mischievous Bichon Poodle.
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