Join us for an enriching day of discourse and discussion, focusing on the pivotal themes of adaptability, resilience, innovation, and collaboration. This event is a cornerstone for those aspiring to lead in an ever-evolving business landscape.
Mike hails from London, Ontario and attended The University of Western Ontario where he received his HBA from the Richard Ivey Business School in 1981. Upon graduation he joined Loblaws Supermarkets and found himself in the food business to stay. In 1989, Mike and a fellow business school grad founded Give and Go Prepared Foods, a baked goods manufacturing business most notable for its Two-Bite Brownie, which grew into one of Canada's leading bakeries. The year 2003 marked the completion of the sale of this business and after a year of transitional consulting for the new owners, Mike felt he was ready to commit more time to a variety of other interests.
In the last 20 years Mike has been involved in various fundraising initiatives in the not-for-profit sector and has devoted a great deal of energy to the development and growth of tennis in our country both from a philanthropic point of view and a hands-on ten year stint on the board of Tennis Canada.
Mike and his wife Nicole have two children, both of whom completed their university education in The United States where they also played baseball at the D1 NCAA level. The family’s passion for that game led Mike and Nicole to investing and operating one of Canada’s finest baseball training and coaching facilities for 8 years until 2023 when full retirement finally took hold.
As an avid sportsman, Mike now has more time to pursue his passions for tennis, golf and fly fishing with Nicole, both locally and abroad.
Founder - Reign Wellness
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Gillian McIver is the founder of Reign Wellness, an intimate wellness company focused on making responsibly sourced, sustainable, and positively impactful period products accessible. A company that started as an Ivey MBA class project and launched last fall, Reign Wellness has grown to have distribution across Canada. Prior to being in the entrepreneurial space, Gillian worked in compliance and product management, specifically within the insurance industry. Post MBA, she has stayed involved with Ivey as a member of the LEADER Program Advisory Board. Now based in Collingwood, Gillian has lived in Colorado, Paris, Vancouver, Montreal, and Toronto for different educational and professional endeavours.
Director - FC Sports & Social Club
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Dave Ward is the Director of the Forest City Sport and Social Club and co-founder of Summit Sports, where he leads a team catering to nearly 4,000 weekly participants in adult sport leagues in London, Ontario. His journey in leadership and innovation began with a 12-year tenure as a senior manager at the YMCA of Southwestern Ontario, where he developed a groundbreaking membership model that significantly changed the organization's engagement approach.
Holding degrees from Western University, including a BA ('09), M.Ed ('14), and MBA ('19), as well as a B.Ed ('10) from Nipissing University, Ward has successfully balanced academic pursuits with entrepreneurial ventures. Notably, he founded the Beach Hangar, a pioneering indoor beach volleyball facility set to be the first of its kind in Canada, indicating his commitment to fulfilling community needs through innovative projects.
In addition to his business achievements, Ward has significantly contributed to the non-profit sector, playing a key role in the amalgamation of multiple organizations and volunteering in leadership roles, including as Board Chair for Humana Community Services. His work exemplifies a unique blend of entrepreneurial spirit, leadership, and community service, making him a notable figure in both the business and non-profit worlds.
Lead, Data Analytics & AI - Accenture
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Inka Skinner has distinguished herself in the fields of data, analytics, and artificial intelligence, becoming a renowned advocate for women in this traditionally male-dominated sector. Her recognition includes being a recipient of Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Awards. With an academic foundation in Computer Science and Mathematics, complemented by an Executive MBA from Ivey Business School at Western University, Inka's career is marked by her passion for data-driven decision-making and a knack for analytics.
Inka's journey is characterized by her determination to challenge the status quo and foster opportunities for women in tech, propelling her into leadership roles where she champions gender equality and the empowerment of women. Her efforts extend beyond professional achievements; Inka actively engages in mentorship, contributing to the development of aspiring female professionals in STEM fields.
Her leadership and advocacy have not only paved the way for other women but have also enhanced innovation and business outcomes through a commitment to diversity and inclusivity. Inka's role as Chair for Women of Ivey and a Board member of the Ivey Alumni Association underscores her dedication to supporting women professionally and personally. Furthermore, as a Board member of the Central Ontario Junior Achievement, she continues to impact the broader community positively.
Inka is also known for her commitment to wellness and mental health, embracing activities such as running, tennis, golf, and meditation. Her approach to leadership includes promoting mental well-being and flexibility in the workplace, reflecting her belief in the importance of a balanced life. Inka Skinner's achievements and ongoing efforts to drive change make her a formidable figure in technology and an inspiration for women everywhere.