Introducing Mark Rigley


Mark is a seasoned leader of product teams, with experience in consumer electronics, automotive, and product design. His work has won international awards, including Best in Show in Automotive at CES 2012. He is a frequent presenter at technical and design conferences in Europe and North America.

He is fascinated both by emerging technologies and by the design challenges that these new technologies pose. His role as Playground Director at Fuel Industries in Ottawa gives him plenty of opportunity to stay ahead of the curve technologically, while staying grounded in human centered design principals.

Introducing Sue Abu Hakima


Sue is Co-Founder/CEO of her second start-up Amika Mobile focused on situational awareness, communications and control in critical and emergency situations. Sue is a rare woman technology CEO who has a reputation for excellence and innovation. As a two-time founder/CEO and entrepreneur for 15 years, she has formed boards of directors and advisors. As CEO, she directs business strategy; ensuring product development matches customer pain points. Her leadership is pivotal in securing financing and forming effective management, business and technical teams.

Sue holds a McGill University B.Eng. and has honors M.Eng. (thesis) and Doctorate degrees from Carleton University in AI. Sue is adjunct Professor at the University of Ottawa and has mentored countless students. She served as a Director and Vice Chair for Ontario Centres of Excellence for 8 years, and was on the Private Sector Advisory Board for National Centres of Excellence for 7 years and continues to consult to the National Centers of Excellence overseen by NSERC. She was recently invited to the Big Data Institute Advisory Board of Dalhousie University as well as the Advisory Board on Innovation at McGill University.

During her 33 years in technology, she has established an exemplary record as an Industry leader, employer and a technology pioneer. Sue holds 29 International patents in automatic content analysis and communications as related to critical and emergency messaging. As many as 35 Global Companies have cited her pioneering patents including Google, IBM, Xerox, Yahoo!, etc.

Sue’s companies have won dozens of awards including the Top 10 companies to watch by IDC, ASIS Accolades for Critical and Emergency communications and situational awareness and Top 10 Angel Backed Company Nationally and Top 5 in Ontario by the NACO. She has published and presented over 125 papers, she authors the Amika Mobile Blog and writes the @AmikaAlert Twitter feed. Sue is often an invited speaker and has spoken at ASIS, RSA, Inbox, NetSeC, CTIA and Burton Catalyst. She has also contributed to the Prime Minister’s Task Force on Women Entrepreneurs and been asked as a witness to Parliamentary Committees on small business and government procurement strategies. Sue is an avid Ottawa Senators hockey fan. Sue was invested into the Order of Ontario in 2011 and was given the Queen Elizabeth II Medal for Service to Canada in June 2012. Sue was also named as a Top 25 by the Women of Influence in September 2014 sharing a position with only 5 other in the Business Category.

For more info. see , @AmikaAlert on Twitter.

Introducing Lieutenant-Colonel Jeremy Hansen


As a young boy growing up on a farm in Southern Ontario, Jeremy Hansen turned his tree house into a spaceship. At the age of 12, he joined the Air Cadets and later became a CF-18 fighter pilot. A modern-day explorer, Jeremy has lived in underground caves, did geological training expeditions in the High Arctic and just generally craves adventure. On May 13, 2009, he was recruited by the Canadian Space Agency as one of two new astronauts after a year-long process.

While waiting for a flight assignment, LCol Hansen works as Capcom at NASA’s Mission Control Center—the voice between the ground and the ISS. He has recently acted as Lead Capcom for Expedition 39 as part of his current duties with the Training and Capcom branches. His responsibilities have also focused on establishing a new training program where astronauts simulate a week onboard the ISS to strengthen their expeditionary skills. In 2011–2013, he was assigned as Crew Support Astronaut for Expedition 34/35.

In addition to his day-to-day work, LCol Hansen remains committed to building and maintaining his skills; he takes training in spacewalk and robotics while continuing to learn Russian. He has taken part in geological expeditions in the High Arctic and participated in the European Space Agency’s CAVES program, during which he lived underground for six days. LCol Hansen also continues to fly the CF-18 fighter jet with the Royal Canadian Air Force and had the privilege to inspire young Canadians by flying the historical Hawk One F-86 Sabre jet.

Introducing John Zelenski


John Zelenski is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada where he has lived and worked for the last 12 years. He completed psychology degrees at Northwestern University (B.A.), the University of Michigan (M.A.), and Washington University in St. Louis (Ph.D.).

As a researcher and director of the Carleton University Happiness Laboratory (CUHL), he studies individual differences in happiness, and how personality manifests itself ‘in the moment’ as emotional and cognitive processes. Recent work has focused on the causes and consequences of social behaviour (e.g., in relation to the personality trait of introversion-extraversion), and the links among nature, people’s sense of connection to nature, happiness, and sustainable behaviour.

His research is supported by SSHRC, ORF, and CFI, and is published in journals such as Psychological Science, Emotion, Environment and Behavior, and Journal of Happiness Studies. His expertise in the science of happiness makes him a regular source for media.

As an educator, he has taught university courses on personality, happiness, abnormal and positive psychology at Carleton and ‘around the world’ as part of the University of Virginia’s Semester at Sea program, consistently earning exceptional student evaluations. More information available at his web page:

Introducing Marco Pagani


Following upon a long, illustrious career as a senior executive in Ottawa’s high-tech sector, Marco Pagani became President & CEO of the Community Foundation of Ottawa in January 2014. A seasoned and respected leader in both the corporate and not-for-profit sectors, Marco Pagani began his career with Nortel Networks in 1985 (then Bell-Northern Research), progressively working his way through the ranks over close to two decades to President of a number of Nortel Business Units. From managing more than 2,000 employees and over $1-billion in revenue in that capacity, to serving as Chair and CEO of various successful start-ups, Pagani has also led the boards of several local charitable organizations.

Most notable of these was his 4-year tenure as President of Villa Marconi, during which time he oversaw a remarkable economic turnaround and drove a “Residents First” philosophy. Marco has also worked closely with such organizations as the Canadian Cancer Society, Knights of Columbus, St Anthony’s Church, the Terry Fox Run, School Box, and Foundations for Farming. Along with playing a governance role, he has developed strategies, run fundraising campaigns, and acted as a long-time weekly volunteer with both the Ottawa Food Bank and the Ottawa Hospital’s Cancer Centre.

Known as a passionate and energetic leader, Marco is recognized as a strategic thinker who has consistently guided companies and organizations through difficult but critically necessary turnarounds, leading to significant economic gains for stakeholders. Moreover, he is respected for placing a strong emphasis on ethics and corporate governance in building the corporate culture of the organizations he leads and advises.

Since taking over the helm of the Community Foundation of Ottawa, Marco has set and met a series of ambitious targets for the organization, including bringing in close to $25 million in his first year, as well as improving the Foundation’s brand profile and reputation for innovation. Under his leadership, it launched the city’s first New Leaf Community Challenge, providing a $125 thousand grant to address critical issues around food security and access to healthy, affordable food in the capital. He has also become a key player in a variety of community development and city-building initiatives that will help shape the Ottawa of the future.

Introducing Janice McDonald


Janice McDonald is an award-winning serial entrepreneur with expertise in the music industry & apparel/accessories with She has Leadership training from Harvard & INSEAD and was appointed to the Women’s Leadership Board of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

WXN recognized Janice as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women in 2013 and 2014. She was awarded a World of Difference 100 Award in Washington from The International Alliance for Women and a National Leadership Award in 2011 from Canadian Women in Communications.

Janice is a connector and a storyteller who sees the path ahead and engages others to come in the new direction. She is a sought after speaker on Leadership & Entrepreneurship and had a successful radio show for many years.

She has a B.A. Communications, M.A. Canadian Studies, Board Director training and certification from The Canadian Institute for Conflict Resolution. She is Chair – National Board Women in Communications &Technology and President- International Women’s Forum Ottawa Chapter. She received her ICD.D designation from The Institute of Corporate Directors.

She is a successful consultant with The Beacon Agency and an Advisor for Cornell Queens EMBA program & works with international executives on New Venture/Management Consulting Projects. She is a formal/ informal mentor for women in communications & in business and serves on numerous volunteer boards. She is also Advisor for Centre for Research & Education on Women & Work- Sprott School of Business Carleton University. Her latest start up is called is