Abdul-Aziz Garuba Jr., CPA, CMA, is a seasoned finance professional and inspirational leader. He has a passion for community and is the host and creator of the podcast Made to Lead, which tells the personal and professional stories of amazing leaders of African descent. Aziz is a dynamic finance and management consulting professional with experience driving change and delivering improvements to business performance, management reporting, financial forecasting, planning and analysis (FP&A), and strategy.
Blake Phillips is the Director of the School of Accounting and Finance at the University of Waterloo and Co-Director of the Bachelor of Sustainability and Financial Management jointly offered by the School and the Faculty of Environment. Blake received a Bachelor of Science from the University of British Columbia, a Master of Forestry and Master of Business Administration from the University of Alberta, and a PhD in Finance also from the University of Alberta.
Dr. Leanne Keddie, CPA, CMA, has worked in various industry sectors for over a decade, including commercial finance, private company business valuation and accounting education. She holds a PhD in Accounting from Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business and her current research examines the use of corporate social responsibility (CSR) performance-based incentives in executive compensation contracts. Her work has been published in Advances in Environmental Accounting & Management and Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal.
Connie E. Carras, CPA, CA, GCB.D, CCB.D, is the founder and president of CEC Enterprises Consulting, a trusted Board Leader and Executive who focuses on leading and shaping “Innovation for Good”. Experienced working across Canada, the US and the UK and leading strategic change and innovation using the levers of technology and ESG, Connie brings together ideas, partnerships, and capital that strategically accelerates innovation and transforms markets. Passionate about climate and the environment, the future of housing, and DE&I at the governance level, she speaks regularly and consults on how businesses can better address ESG in their strategy and governance agendas—especially to see beyond risk management and to target opportunity.
Ani Hotoyan-Joly, FCPA, FCA, ICD.D, GCB.D, CCB.D, is an independent Corporate Director with experience in chairing committees for public, crown and not-for-profit organizations with special skills in ESG and climate change risks. She is on the Board of Directors at organizations including the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting and the Armenian Relief Society of Canada.
Sarah Keyes, CPA, CA, is an ESG and climate change expert with over a decade of work experience as a thought leader, consultant, facilitator, and auditor. She regularly presents to Executive teams and Boards of Directors on the link between ESG and climate change with financial and operational performance and long-term value. Sarah helps her clients establish ESG and climate change strategies that align with strategic priorities, enabling effective integration with existing risk and strategy processes.
Katie Blum, CPA, is the Director of Climate Solutions at Persefoni, a leading Climate Management & Carbon Accounting Platform. Much of her role involves supporting customers by way of her technical knowledge across the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHGP), Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF) standards and broader sustainability topics.
Robert Bilott is a prominent environmental attorney, author of the critically acclaimed book, Exposure, the inspiration behind the film Dark Waters, starring Mark Ruffalo, and lecturer at Yale School of Public Health. To date, as a partner at Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP, Robert has helped secure over $1 billion in benefits for his clients exposed to contaminated drinking water. He was selected as one of the best lawyers in America for several years running and in 2017 received the Right Livelihood Award, commonly known as the “Alternative Nobel Prize.”