2020 Conference Speakers
Kevin Page, Founding President and CEO, Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy at the University of Ottawa
Kevin Page is a Canadian economist and first ever Parliamentary Budget Officer for Canada. He was appointed to the position on March 25, 2008,and his term was completed on March 22, 2013. He now teaches at the University of Ottawa. In 2013, Page was named as the Jean-Luc Pepin Research Chair on Canadian Government. In 2016, Page became the head of the newly created Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy (IFSD), a think tank with a focus on public finance and policy at the University of Ottawa.
Enid Slack, Director, Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance (IMFG), Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto
Enid Slack is the Director of the Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance (IMFG) at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto. IMFG focuses exclusively on the fiscal health and governance challenges faced by large cities and city-regions. Enid has written extensively on property taxes, municipal fiscal health, intergovernmental transfers, development charges, financing municipal infrastructure, metropolitan governance, and municipal boundary restructuring. Recent co-edited books include Financing Infrastructure: Who Should Pay and Is Your City Healthy? Measuring Urban Fiscal Health. Enid consults on municipal finance and governance issues with governments and international agencies such as the World Bank, IMF, UN Habitat, Asian Development Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, and International Growth Centre. She has consulted in Canada as well as Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, India, Jordan, Mongolia, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda. Enid is a member of the Board of Advisors of the International Property Tax Institute (IPTI). In 2012, she was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for her work on cities.
James Marple, Senior Economist and Director with TD Bank Group
James Marple is a Senior Economist and Managing Director with TD Bank Group. In his role, he leads a team of economists to provide economic analysis and forecasts to TD clients and stakeholders. The team delivers on a wide scope of research, covering the Canadian, U.S., and global economies.
As a respected commentator, James travels across North America speaking on economic and financial trends and has been quoted by media outlets including the Wall Street Journal, Globe & Mail and the Associated Press. He is frequently interviewed on the radio and television.
James received his Master of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Toronto in 2005 and his Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the University of Alberta in 2004. In October 2020, he will celebrate his thirteen-year anniversary with TD Bank Group.
Michael Puskaric, Director, Public Sector Accounting Standards, Public Sector Accounting Board
Michael Puskaric is the Director, Public Sector Accounting Standards for the Public Sector Accounting Board. His role is to be the champion for improving public sector accounting practices across Canada by sharing knowledge, encouraging collaboration and leading the development of standards.
Michael has a broad base of experience based on more than 15 years working in public, private and not-for-profit sector organizations. He is a Chartered Professional Accountant and a Certified Management Accountant. He holds a B.Comm from Ryerson University and a MBA from the Schulich School of Business at York University in Toronto.
Jamie Black, President, F.H. Black & Company Incorporated
Jamie Black is President of F.H. Black & Company Incorporated. For the last 20 years, he has consulted and trained finance officers, auditors & accountants in government, higher education, and corporations throughout Canada and the U.S. His work focuses on increasing efficiency & effectiveness through the implementation of technology & best practices to ensure that finance departments do more with less, do it better than it was done before and do it in less time.
Drew Buhr, Lead, National Cyber Security Assessments, MNP
Based in Edmonton, Drew is MNP’s national cyber security assessments lead. With over 15 years of years of practical experience, he specializes in cyber security risk assessments, security audits, penetration testing, security strategy and governance, as well as network security architecture design and operations. He tackles difficult technical security challenges while effectively communicating results to senior management in understandable business language. Drew has a strong technical networking background but focuses his attention on helping clients solve their cyber security challenges related to strategy, governance, risk management as well as compliance.
Drew works extensively with clients in the public and private sector to help them better understand their cyber security risk posture, increase their security maturity and reduce risk. This includes clients in a variety of industries, including post-secondary, financial institutions, provincial and municipal government, oil and gas, professional, healthcare, property management, insurance and construction.
Andrew Carricato, Lawyer, Lidstone and Company Barristers & Solicitors
Andrew completed his law degree from the University of Ottawa’s French Common Law Program. He began his legal career with one of Canada’s leading labour and employment law groups in Toronto in 2012 and later for a firm where he advocated on behalf of employees and employers alike. Andrew joined Lidstone & Company in 2017. He advises and advocates for clients on a wide range of workplace, privacy and human rights law issues in both unionized and non-unionized environments.
Andrew also helps clients navigate various local government issues and litigation processes before the courts, the labour relations board, the human rights tribunal and other administrative tribunals. He regularly advises election officials in communities across B.C in election related matters and appeared as counsel before the Provincial and Supreme Court of B.C. in judicial recounts and election challenges. Andrew also recently intervened in a landmark minority language rights matter before the Supreme Court of Canada.
Brenda Christie, Finance Director (Recently Retired), Rocky Mountain House
Brenda Christie of BEC Innovations Inc. has more than 25 years experience in municipal government, both as an employee and consultant, with the majority of her experience in senior management positions.
Brenda has an extensive knowledge of municipal finance and through her work with various municipalities has picked up best practices that assist with creating efficiencies in organizations.
Adam Crutchfield, Partner, Consulting, Alberta Consulting Leader, PwC Canada
Adam leads PwC Canada’s Alberta Consulting Practice, with a focus on Operational Excellence, Operations Transformation, Operations Due Diligence and Process Re-engineering. Adam has worked across a number of significant public sector entities throughout Western Canada since joining PwC from industry 12 years ago with his most recent experience centered around broad organizational transformations here in Alberta. Adam is a Professional Engineer with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Alberta and currently lives in Calgary with his wife and their four children.
Greg Draper, MBA, DIFA, FCPA, FCGA, CFF, CAMS, ICD.D, Senior Partner and Forensics Services team member, MNP.
Greg helps his clients manage their legal, financial and reputational risks related to fraud and other ethical breaches. He also proactively helps clients conduct anti-money laundering compliance reviews, fraud risk assessments and anti-corruption due diligence. Greg is recognized by the courts, the media and his peers as an expert in his field, with extensive experience conducting investigations and executing civil injunctions, including Anton Piller Orders.
Before joining MNP, Greg served for 10 years in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, where he was a senior investigator of complex international financial crimes.
Greg was the inaugural Chair of the Board of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Alberta and served on the City of Calgary Audit Committee in addition to several other boards.
Greg holds a Bachelor of Human Justice (BHJ) from the University of Regina, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Laurentian University and a graduate Diploma in Investigative and Forensic Accounting (DIFA) from the University of Toronto. He is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF), Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS), and Institute Certified Director (ICD.D).
Tim Duhamel, Founder and President, Bloom Centre for Municipal Education
Tim is a municipal veteran whose municipal career has spanned over 22 years. Tim’s passion is working with municipalities to better their situation, as well as creating educational material and conducting lectures for municipal professionals. He has lectured as far away as Kiev, Ukraine for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. Tim is the lead creator of education material and course delivery for GFOA Alberta and is the leader of a thriving consulting practice.
Wendy Gnenz, Senior Manager, Technology Consulting Practice, MNP
Wendy Gnenz is a Senior Manager with MNP’s Technology Consulting Practice in Edmonton. Drawing on more than 20 years of management consulting, technology transformation and innovation experience, she drives digital transformation through developing, motivating and leadings teams. Wendy helps clients understand the opportunities that today’s digital world provides to improve customer experience, business operational efficiency and achieve strategic outcomes. Her unique combination of technology and financial expertise allow her to provide practical advice and assistance.
Elrose Klause, Controller and Director, Financial Services, Calgary Public Library (retired)
During the twelve years Elrose was in this role, the Library experienced significant growth in every area, including financial reporting and risk evaluation.
Elrose has a broad base of experience based on more than 40 years working and volunteering in public, private and not-for-profit sector organizations. She is a Chartered Professional Accountant and a Certified Management Accountant. She holds a B.Comm and a BA from The University of Saskatchewan.
Craig Lesner, Senior Manager, RCC, GFOA
Craig Lesner joined the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) of the U.S. and Canada in 2017 as a Senior Manager in the Research and Consulting Center. In this role, Craig works with local governments to help navigate the complexities and obstacles that arise through implementing financial best practices and improving business processes.
Prior to joining GFOA, he served for nine years as the Chief Financial Officer for the Village of Oak Park, IL. During his tenure, the Village initiated a performance measurement program and received GFOA’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for the first time.
For the ten years prior, Craig served in several roles in the City of Chicago’s Office of Budget and Management, progressing to deputy director. While with the City, he helped lead the $5.2 billion annual appropriations process and served as a member of the cash management team.
Craig received his bachelor’s degrees in economics and political science from the University of Illinois at Chicago and his masters of public policy from the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy.
Jude Pillainayagam, MBA, P. Eng., FEC, MIAM
Jude Pillainayagam is a senior engineer in municipal engineering sector and a Fellow of Engineers Canada. He is involved in Asset Management for nearly 20 years working at Metro Vancouver, City of Surrey and City of Coquitlam.
Jude possesses a diverse educational background and experience. He is also an accountant and a certified Information System Professional. He is a member of the Institute of Asset Management UK (IAM), and the Regional Director of Canadian Network of Asset Managers (CNAM) for BC and Alberta. Jude has carried out extensive work in the area of asset management and presented in many conferences.
Katie Sabo, US Managing Director of Aon’s State and Local Leader, Aon
Responsibilities: Katie is a managing director at Aon and is the State and Local lead within Aon’s Global Public Sector Partnership practice group. In this role, Katie focuses on developing innovation financial and insurance solutions in partnership with state and local governments to fiscal risk to revenues and/or expenditures due to economic and/or natural disaster risks in order to promote recovery and resiliency.
Experience: Prior to joining Aon in 2016, Katie spent 12 years working in different financial roles including directly in government using budgetary, legislative and financial solutions to reduce fiscal risk to general funds and taxpayers on issues such a long-term liabilities, infrastructure, healthcare and natural disasters.
Franco (Frank) Saccucci, Faculty member, MacEwan University
Franco (Frank) Saccucci, MBA (’86) B. Comm (’83) holds an academic position as a continuing faculty member at MacEwan University as well as an adjunct lecturer position with Executive Education at the University of Alberta. Prior to being an educator, his professional experience included public auditing, management consulting with a national company and commercial banking with a major Canadian bank. He has authored four published articles as well as made presentations in the U.S., Europe and throughout Canada.
Lorrie Schmallenberg, Manager, Public Accounting & Reporting, City of Regina
After several years of working in the private sector, Lorrie made the switch to the Public Sector and has been working for the City of Regina since 1995. Her first experience with PSAB was being co-lead of a very small team that moved the City to PSAB compliance back in 1998 and she’s been hooked ever since. (She has even been known to say she loves PSAB).
She has held numerous positions over the years but always manages to keep Public Sector Accounting as part of her portfolio. Even though Finance has often been seen as a supporting area or “in the background” she believes the changing role of the finance officer means that finance officers can be, and need to be, taking a lead role in shaping the future of their public sector organizations.
Lorrie has been involved with accounting boards since 1997 starting with her legacy designation as a CGA, then with the SK Government Officers group, with the CAGFO board since 2010 and now is a member of the recently formed Public Financial Management Advisory Committee.
Venkat Somasundaram, Director, Advisory, Digital Operations, PwC Canada
Venkat has over 12 years of experience managing and delivering transformational engagements within the public and private sector. His focus on supply chain and category management in the Public sector (Crown Corporations, Municipalities and governments), as well as various private sector industries has given him a diverse background. Venkat works closely with his public sector clients identifying process improvements and efficiencies that are pragmatic and assist his clients in meeting their fit for purpose objectives.
Jason Turnbull, Senior Financial Business Partner, City of Saskatoon
Having worked in various industry jobs in Alberta during the early years of his CPA, CMA designation, Jason found himself moving to the City of Saskatoon in 2004 where his career in municipal government began. Working with such a diverse corporation such as the City has allowed Jason to be exposed to all levels of budgeting and dealing with various committee’s and City Council. The budget forum is intended to initiate conversation and share experiences among participants in order to make meaningful connections to bring new perspectives back to the workplace.
Mark Wilson, Comptroller, New Westminster Police Department (NWPD)
Mark Wilson joined the New Westminster Police Department (NWPD) in 2007 and holds the position of Comptroller. Mark manages the financial affairs of the department and is responsible for the administration of budgets, financial planning, internal controls, external contracts and audit management. Before joining the NWPD he worked in finance positions with City of Quesnel, City of Delta, and the Delta Police Department.
In his spare time, Mark sits on the Board of Directors for two charities and volunteers his time with a number of others.