Meet the mentors
Hashim Ahmed, CPA, CA
Chief Financial Officer
Jaguar Mining Inc.
Hashim joined Jaguar Mining in 2014 as Vice President, Controller and was later appointed to the position of Chief Financial Officer in 2016. Hashim has over 20+ years of experience, with the past 12 years focused in the mining industry, and expertise in financial management, strategy, corporate turnaround, and capital markets. He obtained his CA designation with PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP and later worked with Ernst & Young LLP in their mining advisory practice.
Prior to Jaguar, Hashim worked with Barrick Gold for over 7 years, where he held progressively senior positions in finance functions in Canada, and with site finance teams in South America. At Jaguar, he oversees financial and non-financial aspects of the business, including economic strategy and business planning, treasury and tax management, human resources, supply chain and systems. Hashim is a member of the Institute of Internal Auditors USA and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales. Hashim is also a board member of Stratabound Minerals Corporation, a TSX listed junior mining explorer.
Catherine Allard, CPA, CA
President of the Board
Catherine Allard, Corporate Director, has more than 30 years of international experience in business and management and in all aspects of financial management. From 2011 to 2018, she held the position of Chief Financial Officer at Acceo Solutions Inc., which specializes in the design, implementation, integration and support of management software, e-business development and the provision of electronic banking services.
She also held similar positions at Stingray Digital, where she completed several acquisitions and financing projects, as well as Mediagrif Interactive Technologies Inc., a world leader in solution management. Prior, she pursued an international career by holding strategic positions at Telesystem International Wireless Inc. in both Montreal and Bucharest. She is currently president of the board of Munvo Solutions Inc, director and president of the governance and HR committee of Novexco Inc and director and president of the audit committee of Searchlight Pharma Inc.
Gerhard Barnard, CPA, CMA
Chief Financial Officer & Vice-President, Finance
Olympia Financial Group Inc.
Gerhard joined Olympia Financial Group Inc. in 2007 as CFO and Vice President, Finance. Prior to joining Olympia, Gerhard worked in South Africa in industries ranging from auditing, pathology, banking, shared services, pension fund administration and investment management as part of the senior management team.
With 25 years of experience in financial and regulatory reporting, financial management of multi-disciplinary environments, risk management and an in-depth understanding of processes, people and strategic value drivers Gerhard leads Olympia’s Financial Services team. Gerhard holds a Masters degree in Financial Management and is a CPA, CMA.
Roger Bissoondatt, CPA
Chief Financial Officer
British Columbia Liquor Distribution Branch
Roger Bissoondatt is the Chief Financial Officer at the British Columbia Liquor Distribution Branch – the sole wholesaler of beverage alcohol and non-medicinal cannabis in BC. Roger is a seasoned finance leader and is known for his ability to work with diverse stakeholders and balance public-policy initiatives and private sector interests. He is passionate about community volunteering and has supported many organizations through service that spans over 30 years.
Roger is a Director in the Board of Directors of the FEI National and is the Chair of the FEI Vancouver Chapter Membership Committee. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Columbus Residence in Vancouver. He received a BC CFO Award in 2017 from Business in Vancouver for his financial leadership and was recognized as a Fellow CPA in 2018 by the Chartered Proffessional Accountants of BC. In 2020 he also became a Chartered Director (C.Dir).
Brett Bourgon, CPA CMA
B Inspired Leadership
After a successful corporate career in finance, operations, and sales (HP, Cisco) Brett decided to pursue his passion of helping finance professionals and teams develop their leadership skills by co-founding B Inspired. B Inspired is a leadership coaching and consulting organization that is uniquely focused on helping finance professionals excel in this challenging profession.
Combining the NASA 4-D approach with practical experience has allowed Brett to have an impact on organizations that range from mid-size to global in nature. Brett believes that building leadership skills at all levels of a finance organization is the key to creating strong value-added finance business partners that elevate their value by driving profitable growth.
Brett holds an Economics BA from The University of Western Ontario, a CMA/CPA designation, a Registered Corporate Coaching Designation from WABC and is a Certified 4-D Consultant. Brett always welcomes a connection on LinkedIn and also can be reached directly at Brett@BInspiredFinance.com.
Danny Chiarastella, CPA
Head of Finance, Americas
Danny Chiarastella is Head of Finance, Americas for 3P Learning, a global leader in online education. Prior to that, he was the CFO of an oil and gas services company. He is a Chartered Professional Accountant with over 20 years of experience in various senior finance roles mainly with public companies. Danny credits his passion for learning with his career advancement. He offers extensive experience in financial reporting, corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, corporate tax and treasury management.
Danny is the Calgary Chapter President of Financial Executives International and the Board Chair of the CanLearn Society. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting from the University of Calgary.
Mark Denham, CPA, CA
Chief Financial Officer
Mark is an experienced finance and operations leader. With proven success in developing and executing organic and acquisitive growth strategies, Mark has worked on a variety of start-up, carve-out and restructuring opportunities. At WatServ, Mark leads Accounting, Finance, HR and Legal, where he believes in building teams that have a deep understanding of the business and enabling collaboration to achieve growth.
Prior to joining WatServ, Mark spent more than 15 years working for various Brookfield Business Partners portfolio companies. His career also includes experience as Director of Finance of an Internet start-up and several years at Ernst & Young and Grant Thornton. Mark is a CPA, CA and holds a BBA from Wilfrid Laurier University.
Sunil Gandhi, CPA, CA
Chief Financial Officer
Sunil Gandhi joined Trophy Foods as their CFO in 2015. Since that time, he has focused his efforts on driving organizational change initiatives aimed at building the company to achieve profitable and scalable growth in the years ahead.
Sunil possesses over 20 years experience in both large public company and high growth entrepreneurial environments and is a financial leader known for extending the reach of his role beyond finance, championing organizational growth, and building teams to achieve results.
His previous experience also includes senior finance roles at the Mark Anthony Group, Corby & Wine, Nortel Networks, and EY.
Carl Gauvreau, FCPA, FCA, MBA
Accomplished executive with more than 35 years of experience leading finance, accounting and operational teams at large private and public companies in Canada, the US and internationally at the following organizations: KDC, Garda World, Hartco, and Quebecor World. He started his career at KPMG and is currently the president of Gauco a consulting company in strategy and finance also invested in a resourcing business North of Montreal. FEI Member originally in NY (2002) he is currently Ambassador and Board Member, he served as Chair of FEI Canada as well as President of the Quebec Chapter and in various not-for-profit organizations throughout the years. He is the author of an OCPAQ training guide for young CFO’s: ‘le passage au rôle de CFO: les premiers 90 jours.’ He holds a Bachelor degree from HEC and a MBA in International finance from McGill. He is also a private pilot and enjoys playing golf and hockey. He is married and the proud father of 4 young adults.
Jason Gonsalves, CPA
Global Chief Financial Officer
Solutions 2 GO Group
Jason is an accomplished Senior Finance and Technology Executive with over two decades of international and domestic experience holding progressive roles at major multi-national firms across varying industries. Throughout his career he has established a reputation as an energizing, yet steadfast leader, undeterred by obstacles and committed to furthering standards of excellence. His expertise is highlighted by his extensive experience in all facets of an organization, including Human Resources, Legal, Compliance, Information Technology, Finance, Risk Management and Operations, leading transformational change and growth through influence. He has been instrumental in the development of control and compliance frameworks, including several ERP implementations.
Jason has led large corporate finance transactions and acquisitions, including an International IPO, across financial services, fintech, retail, entertainment, telecommunications, manufacturing and distribution. His passion for higher education and keen interest in fostering continued learning for future leaders is demonstrated in his professorship spanning nearly 15 years, coupled with various speaking engagements.
James Leung, CPA, CGA, FCCA (UK)
Director of Finance & Corporate Controller
Land Title and Survey Authority of British Columbia
James is the Director of Finance and Controller of the Land Title and Survey Authority of British Columba (“LTSA”). The LTSA is a publicly accountable, statutory corporation responsible for operating the land title and survey systems of BC. These systems provide the foundation for all real property business and ownership in the province.
He is a seasoned finance leader with over 20 years of international experience with financial leadership roles in Canada, the UK, and US. His area of expertise include change management, multi-national forecasting, and organizational mergers. In addition, he has served on several not-for-profit boards.
Winnie Leung, CPA, CA
Chief Financial Officer
Rohit Milhoutra CPA, CA, MBA
Rohit is a business and finance executive with over 20 years of diverse and global leadership experience. More recently, he served as the Vice President, Finance at Samuel, Son and Co. (Divisional CFO for its largest division – a 3 billion $+ processing operation where he led a large finance-accounting team). Over the last 15+ years, he has served in executive roles with upper mid-market and large, private or private-equity-backed CPG, manufacturing/automation and distribution businesses, including as CFO at Castrol Canada (Wakefield) – a Deloitte-listed ‘Top 50 Best Managed’ business.
Rohit has served as a strategic advisor and partner to executive teams and boards – executing strategy, leading transformations, building agility and high-performance teams, while developing strong alliances with operating and commercial teams. Rohit believes that leadership is a continuous process of building new leaders. He is a CPA, CA, MBA, and member of Financial Executives International since 2010.
Gord Nelson, MBA, CPA, CA
Chief Financial Officer
Gord is the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Cineplex Entertainment. He joined the company’s predecessor, Cineplex Odeon Corporation, in 1988 and has held various successive financial roles since that time. In 2004, he was appointed CFO and continued in this role following the company’s conversion to Cineplex Entertainment in 2011. Gord oversees the finance, purchasing, communications, risk management and business development areas of the corporation. He is also a member of the Finance and Audit Committee of the Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care.
He graduated from the University of Toronto with an MBA and holds a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation. Most recently, Gord was named Canada’s CFO of the Year for 2016.
Jeff Shickele, CPA, CGA
Vice-President, Corporate Finance & Technology
Jeff is the Vice President, Corporate Finance and Technology at the Amacon Group. Jeff is responsible for overall financial strategy, accounting, tax, shareholder matters and technology. The Amacon Group is a family owned real estate company involved in real estate development and managing its own large commercial and residential real estate portfolio in Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto and Denver.
A member of FEI since 2008, Jeff is currently Chair of the Board of Directors for FEI Canada and among other roles, was previously the Vancouver Chapter President and Chair of the Whistler Conference 2017.
Jeff is committed to a mentor approach that focusses on developing the individual both professionally and personally. His approach is direct and supportive, rather than a cheerleading style approach. He takes great satisfaction from watching people grow and prosper and loves the opportunities that mentoring provides for his own professional and personal growth.
Shane Siva, CPA, CA, CPA (IL)
Shane Siva, CPA, CA, CPA (IL) is a business Leader with over 20 years of experience in Canada and United States. Shane is a Managing Partner at Goldbear Capital and previously he held two significant CFO roles for multinational companies in Western Canada.
Shane is a Director in the Board of Directors of the FEI’s Toronto Chapter and is the Chair of the FEI Toronto Mentorship Program Committee, as well a member in the FEI Toronto Career Management Committee.
Throughout his career, Shane benefited firsthand from great mentors and enjoyed an accelerated career at Big-4 firms and at General Electric (GE). His developmental mindset and drive for success led him to be nominated into several leadership programs during Big-4 career. In addition, Shane is a graduate of GE’s Experienced Financial Leadership Program (30-month intensive GE Crotonville Management Training Program for Executives).
Shane has been passionate about developing others at Big-4 and GE’s Financial Management Program as well initiated the CA Training Office (CATO) program at GE Canada. Shane has been involved with FEI from initiating this program in 2018 and looks forward to being actively engaged with the FEI Mentor Advantage Program.
Vivian Tong, CPA, CA, CISA
Igor Zaks, CFA
Founder and President
Igor Zaks, CFA, founder and the President of Tenzor Ltd., focusing on all aspects of working capital management and financing. Igor is a seasoned finance professional, combining experience in banking, blue-chip corporate, and consulting. Igor started his career in 1990, first in consulting, and then as Finance Director for a high tech company. He subsequently moved to Citibank, initially working in project finance before setting up and running its first research department in Russia. After moving to Citibank London in 1996, Igor established market strategy research for Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
In 2000 Igor moved to Dell to design many innovative structures, working with credit insurers, banks, and other finance providers. Igor then moved as a director to Eurohypo / Commerzbank, undertaking traditional public finance transactions and driving expansion into new asset classes, such as receivables, leases, and export credit agencies. From 2006 to 2009 he was a Managing Partner in SCF Capital, a specialized boutique in supply chain financing and its applications. He set up Tenzor Ltd. in 2009, firstly in the UK and from 2016 in Toronto. Igor has Sloan Fellowship MSc (with distinction) from London Business School and GPLLM (Global Professional Master in Laws) from the University of Toronto. He holds a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) qualification.
WHY BECOME A MENTOR?
Mentoring gives you the opportunity to guide and facilitate a protégé’s personal and professional growth by sharing the knowledge you learned through your years of experience.
While the primary intent of your mentoring role is to challenge the protégé to think in new and different ways, the protégé is not the only one who gains from the arrangement.
- Contribute to the development of the finance community
- Raise your personal profile across Canada
- Attend and participate in networking events to meet other successful business mentors
- Gain the personal satisfaction of knowing you’ve made a difference while building your advisory and leadership skills
If you’re interested in becoming a mentor in the FEI Canada Mentor Advantage program, please register your interest using the following links below:
We thank everyone for their interest, but, please note, only FEI Canada members in good standing can participate as mentors in the FEI Canada Mentor Advantage program.