Media Releases Jul 14, 2021

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce announces BIPOC Leadership and Inclusion Council

(OTTAWA) – July 14, 2021 – Diversity initiatives across the country are playing a part in creating a more socially inclusive economy. Small businesses on every Main Street in Canada can play an important role, but they often don’t know where to start. The Canadian Chamber’s new BIPOC Leadership and Inclusion Council is here to help them.

The new Council will inform the Canadian Chamber’s initiatives in supporting BIPOC, drive meaningful action to address the identified challenges BIPOC face in participating in the Canadian economy, share and recognize best practices, and advocate for changes that facilitate diversity and inclusion.

The Council is part of a broader National Inclusive Growth Initiative at the Canadian Chamber, which also focuses on women’s advocacy, mental health, accessibility, and immigration.  The Initiative provides a platform for sharing information and resources to empower members from businesses of all sizes, sectors and regions.

“The Canadian Chamber has the ability to make a unique and lasting contribution to promoting diversity and inclusion because we’re the largest business association in Canada,” said Gayla Brock-Woodland, Chief Operating Officer, Canadian Chamber of Commerce. “That’s why the BIPOC Leadership and Inclusion Council is so important.  Through Council members we’ll gain insights from BIPOC leaders with the breadth of expertise, perspectives and lived experience to help us have the biggest impact through our advocacy work and also in helping businesses to take action.”

The members of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce BIPOC Leadership and Inclusion Council are:

  • Carol Anne Hilton, CEO, Indigenomics Institute – Co-Chair
  • George Wamala, Director, Regulatory and Government Affairs, Royal Bank of Canada – Co-Chair
  • Shauna Archibald, Executive Director, Head of Client Delivery, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
  • Leanne Bellegarde, President and CEO, Akawe Technologies
  • Cheryl Carver, Associate VP, People and Resources, University of Saskatchewan
  • Nick Crighton, Director of Indigenous Engagement, Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce
  • Carol Ferguson, Chief Human Resources Officer, AGF Management Limited
  • Paul Gruner, President and CEO, Det’on Cho Management LP
  • Sundeep Hans, Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, University of the Fraser Valley
  • Sonia Johal, LR and Inclusion Advisor, Vancouver Fraser Port Authority
  • Leanne Johnson, VP, Human Resources, BGC Engineering
  • Azfar Karimuddin, Senior VP, Information Services, Canadian Western Bank
  • Scott Knox, President and CEO, Institute of Communications Agencies
  • Jennifer McCarron, CEO, Thunderbird Entertainment
  • Bob Fleet, VP, People & Services, Tolko Industries
  • Kevin Michael, VP Commercial Banking, First Nations Bank of Canada
  • Melissa Morrow,  VP, Human Resources,  The Trico Group
  • Cecil Munkoh, Area Manager, Business Banking, TD Banking Group
  • Arthur Nicolet, CEO, Transdev Canada Inc.
  • Lindsay Osmond, Partner, Edmonton, Boyden
  • Kerri Rudnicki, Manager, Engagement and Inclusion, Cenovus Energy Inc.
  • Shakiba Shayani, President and CEO, Guelph Chamber of Commerce
  • Rachel Wade, Manager, Global Diversity and Inclusion, Culture and Engagement, Parkland Fuel Corporation
  • Marian Gayed, VP, External Relations and Partnerships, NorQuest College
  • Bruce Williams, CEO, Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce
  • Cathy Wouterse, Director, Culture and Change, Concentra Bank

The Council’s work will be supported by Canadian Chamber staff, led by:

  • Gayla Brock-Woodland, Chief Operating Officer
  • Mark Agnew, Senior Vice-President, Policy
  • Leah Nord, Senior Director, Workforce Strategies and Inclusive Growth
  • Rose Kattackal, Diversity and Inclusion Advisor

The Canadian Chamber has repeatedly advocated that inclusion is a key economic driver. According to the Conference Board of Canada, improved participation rates could add 2.2 million workers to the labour force by 2040, including more women, Indigenous peoples and persons with disabilities, thereby growing our economy by $101 billion.

For more information about the Canadian Chamber’s National Inclusive Growth strategy, click here.

About the Canadian Chamber of Commerce – Because Business Matters

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce helps build the businesses that support our families, our communities and our country. We do this by influencing government policy, by providing essential business services and by connecting businesses to information they can use, to opportunities for growth and to a network of local chambers, businesses, decision-makers and peers from across the country, in every sector of the economy and at all levels of government, as well as internationally. We are unapologetic in our support for business and the vital role it plays in building and sustaining our great nation.


For more information, please contact:
Phil Taylor