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Advisory Board

Our advisory board provides guidance on compelling issues and topics for CIOs and the vendors that serve them, ensuring that we remain relevant and valuable to both communities.

Maria Aiello

Maria Aiello is Global Head of Private Markets & Real Estate Technology at Manulife. She joined Manulife from PwC, as Vice President leading the Real Estate Technology Advisory practice. Prior to joining PwC, Maria held CIO positions at Morguard Corporation and Regal Lifestyle Communities (acquired by Revera in 2015).

Maria is a strong advocate of the CIO and real estate communities and was active in the initial launch of the One Million Acts of Innovation. Her previous positions include: Vice President of the Toronto Chapter of the CIO Association; chair of the Real Estate CanTech Conference; panel moderator for the Homebuilder and Renovator Expo; and advisor for the Realcomm Conference. She was nominated one of the Top 35 People to Watch by Realcomm. Maria has been featured in CIO Magazine and has appeared in interviews produced by IT Canada, The IT Media Group, and IT World Canada. In addition, for most of her career, Maria has either participated or led various peer groups in North America for Real Estate. As a result, she has strong relationships with peers globally and most of the technology vendors and service providers in the industry.

Maria is a graduate of McMaster University with Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and French. Maria has also completed Innovation and Project Leadership Executive courses with Queen’s Business school along with Leadership and Strategy Education with the Rotman School of Business.

Monique Allen

Monique is the Executive Vice President, Data & Technology at OMERS. Reporting to the President and Chief Pension Officer, she is accountable for defining and implementing the data and technology strategic vision of the organization. Prior to joining OMERS, Monique was the Senior Vice President, Technology Enabled Managed Services at Finastra. Monique brings 20 years of experience in technology, product management and P&L roles in the financial technology industry.

Monique is an advocate for giving back to the community through volunteerism and mentorship where she has held community leadership roles for the United Way, D+H's Women's Network, and Junior Achievement of Central Ontario.

Monique holds an Honours BSc from the University of Waterloo, an MBA from the Schulich School of Business at York University, and is an Executive Development alumni of the Rotman School of Business.

Dr. Peter Carr

Peter Carr Ph.D. is a professor in the Department of Management Sciences in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Waterloo, Canada’s leading university for science and technology. Peter is author and director of three online certificate programmes from the University of Waterloo in Project Leadership, Technology Entrepreneurship and Social Media for Business Performance and researches and consults in these areas. The certificates are delivered online to students in countries throughout the world. He has also authored a Masters project management course that involves students working in virtual teams with the world’s major aid organisations on projects involving technology-based third world development.

Peter acquired his PhD from Cranfield University in the UK where his studies focused on Manufacturing Systems Engineering and particularly the implementation of lean operations and supply chain environments in both the manufacturing and service sectors. He lives in Toronto, Canada.

Melissa Carvalho

Melissa is RBC’s Global Cyber Security Vice President, leading the Cyber Security Planning Office and the bank’s Global Identity and Access Management group, a large team of security professionals providing cyber solutions and services for RBC’s 86,000 employees and 17 million clients.

Melissa is internationally recognized for successfully delivering critical, high-impact initiatives for large organizations. Throughout her career, she has developed and implemented identity strategies to promote organizational growth and improve operational efficiency, including implementing identity programs at Canada’s five major banks and consulting on over 50 IAM programs across North America. Known as an adept and innovative leader with extensive experience in managing all aspects of information technology, she consistently leads and motivates individuals to maximize productivity while managing relationships with diverse stakeholder groups.

Melissa is part of several groups that look to create a more diverse and inclusive environments within RBC and outside the organization. Within the bank, Melissa is the RBC Technology and Operations Co-lead for the LGBTQ+ leadership team and is known for promoting an environment of equality for all where everyone is comfortable to bring their ‘true self’ to work. Melissa is also the Canadian Ambassador for Women in Identity, a global non-profit organization focused on breaking bias to create a world where “Digital identity solutions built for everyone are built by everyone”. With Women in Identity, Melissa combines her two passions, advancing people and advancing technology. She looks to bring people together and create new opportunities for a future without biases.

John Comacchio

John is Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Teknion Corporation. He is a member of the IDC CIO Research Review Board, Masergy Customer Advisory Board, OKTA CIO Advisory Board, and the Institute of Corporate Directors. Previously, John was a Principal in the e-Integration Practice of KPMG Consulting, General Manager of the Toronto office of professional services firm US Interactive, and Information Technology Officer at Nissan Canada.

John is responsible for providing enterprise-wide technology vision, leadership and management, and for the planning, development and implementation of information technology initiatives. He has also served on the Board of Directors of the Ability Online Network, a non-profit organization that helps kids with disabilities or chronic illnesses accomplish great things by connecting them to a supportive online community for friendship, support and skill development opportunities.

John holds a Master of Business Administration, granted by the Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario.

Michelle Dennedy

Michelle is a start-up CEO, Author and Privacy “Jedi” having served as the Vice President and Chief Privacy Officer at Cisco and the Founder of The iDennedy Project, a consulting and advisory company helping to bring privacy and security products to market and to advance small information based companies’ business objectives. Michelle is also a founder and editor-in-chief of a new media site——that was started as the ultimate source for individuals and companies who wish to debate, learn, lead, innovate and drive the concept of Identity in all its forms and facets.

Previously, Michelle was the Vice President and Chief Privacy Officer at Intel after serving as Vice President of Security & Privacy Solutions for the Oracle Corporation. Before the Oracle acquisition of Sun Microsystems, Inc, Michelle was Chief Data Governance Officer within the Cloud Computing division at Sun.

Michelle has a JD from Fordham University School of Law and a BS degree with honors from The Ohio State University. In 2009, she was awarded the Goodwin Procter-IAPP Vanguard award for lifetime achievement and the EWF – CSO Magazine Woman of Influence award for work in the privacy and security fields.

Paul Lewis

Paul is the Chief Technology Officer of Pythian, where he drives long term technology strategy and helps customers realize business outcomes throughout their digital transformation journeys. In addition, Paul steers technical innovations that continue to expand partner relationships in cloud and data. Before Pythian, Paul managed multidisciplinary teams as CIO/CTO and Senior Executive Technologist at Basi100, Filogix, D+H, and Hitachi Vantara.

Paul is passionate about technology evangelism, executive advocacy, and strategy related to digital transformation and IT operations. Interested parties can find his thought leadership in various technology and industry publications, including Forbes Insights and Edge Computing Association.

In addition to the IT Media Group, Paul serves as a member of the Masters of Business Analytics (MBAN) and Masters of Management in Artificial Intelligence (MMAI) advisory board at the Schulich School of Business, providing guidance on compelling issues and topics.

Ted Maulucci

Ted Maulucci is the President at SmartOne Solutions, a company committed to enhancing the living experience for communities through technology. Ted was previously Chief Information Officer for the Tridel Group of Companies and was named "Private Sector CIO of the Year" in 2016.

Ted is passionate about contributing and advancing innovation across Canada through partnerships and collaboration. He has been recognized with several international and local awards for IT leadership, IT application development for the real estate industry, smart buildings, and innovation. Some notable awards are the “Top Ten Best in Class CIO’s in North America” by Computerworld, CIPA Gold Award of Excellence for application development in the real estate industry, Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for promoting Canadian innovation, and the Mid-Career Award from the University of Toronto for industry and social contribution in an engineering career.

Ted has an undergraduate degree from the University of Toronto in Mechanical Engineering and a Masters in Business Administration from the Schulich School of Business with a specialization in Real Property Development.

Frances Newbigin

Frances is a senior executive in the technology industry having served as Vice President Transformation Solutions at OnX Enterprise Solutions. Previously she held the role of Vice President of Enterprise Software for Canada at Hewlett-Packard Canada. Prior to joining HP, Frances was Vice President of Sun Microsystems of Canada’s software and technical sales, successfully driving market penetration and revenue growth for Sun’s enterprise software solutions.

Prior to joining Sun, Frances held Country Manager positions at Bachman Information Systems, Logic Works, and NetDynamics – all successful Canadian divisions of US-based software firms. She has been instrumental in supporting a number of these software organizations in their successful pursuit of an IPO.

Frances has more than 20 years of stellar leadership experience in the software technology industry and holds an Economics/Commerce Honours B.A. from the University of Waterloo. Outside of her professional pursuits, Frances’ chief enjoyment is spending time with her family.

Helen S. Polatajko

Helen is a highly sought-after Board Director at a number of organizations in the public and private sectors. Previously, Helen served as Vice President, Information and Technology at Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and she was Senior Vice President, Chief Information Officer at CIBC Mellon. Prior to joining CIBC Mellon, she was CIO at a former Mellon subsidiary in Houston,Texas.

In 1996, Helen was recognized by the McGraw-Hill group of companies as one of the Top 100 Women in Computing, acknowledging her achievements and contributions to information services and technology. In May 2003, she was featured on the cover of CIO Canada for an article entitled “Fusing Business and Technology.” Since 2004, Helen has served on the judging panel of the Canadian Information Productivity Awards (CIPA). In 2005, she joined the CIO Executive Council as an advisory board representative.

Helen received her education from The University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and graduated from The Stonier Graduate School of Banking at the University of Delaware.

Ernest Solomon

Ernest is the Chief Information Officer with LAWPRO bringing two decades of experience directing technology services and business management plans for the financial services, insurance, and healthcare industries. His proficiency in digital transformation, technology innovation, and the development of customer-focused service cultures drives the technology strategy for the company.

Previously, he served as the Head of IT Americas at Roche where he led IT operations and the vendor management office for Canada, US, and Latin America. Prior to joining Roche, he held positions at BMO as Head of Service Delivery and HP Enterprise, where he was an Account Delivery Executive.

Ernest holds a Master of Business Administrationfrom the Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario.