Excellence Canada - Board of Directors

 Colin Brown
 Vice-President of Operations & Projects
 Engineers Canada




Colin Brown is the Vice-President of Operations & Projects for Engineers Canada. In that role, Colin provides business transformation and innovation expertise to staff and external stakeholders in business planning, project management, change management, continuous improvement and monitoring and reporting. He leads the development of multi-year operational plans, oversees operational, financial and risk management processes and builds the organizational enablers that support staff, volunteers and stakeholders in achieving the business goals and change agenda of Engineers Canada.

Prior to joining Engineers Canada, Colin held the position of Vice-President, Centre for Business Excellence & Project Management Office at Alterna Savings, Ontario’s second largest Credit Union. In that role, he had overall responsibility for the complete portfolio of change projects within the organization. The portfolio included new product launches, business process improvements, technology infrastructure upgrades, facilities, technology application upgrades and regulatory changes. Colin also had responsibility for the delivery of change projects and management of the change-related risk. He led the ongoing development and improvement of the corporate project management methodology, business process methodology and business analysis practice. 

Throughout his career Colin has gained in extensive experience in several different sectors including workplace automation, software development, telecommunications hardware manufacturing and telecommunications operations and internet service operations. 

Colin serves on the Board of Governors for Excellence Canada, a not-for-profit dedicated to advancing organizational performance across Canada. Colin is also a Certified Professional Coach specializing in leadership.



 Neil Crawford
 Aon Hewitt



Neil is a partner of Aon Hewitt, leads the Canadian Talent and Engagement business, and is a member of the Aon Hewitt Canadian Regional Business Council. He is also the leader of the annual Best Employers in Canada study, conducted by Aon Hewitt and published nationally in Maclean’s Magazine. He has over 30 years of experience as an HR consultant.

Neil is a member of Aon Hewitt’s Global Engagement Council which oversees the company’s global engagement business. Neil has worked extensively with many national and international organizations to define business-aligned people and rewards strategies, measure and improve employee engagement, track cultural change and improve the effectiveness of their HR functions.

Neil is a frequent speaker on employee engagement, leadership, aligning people and reward strategies with business strategy and creating great workplaces.

Neil is a mathematics graduate of the University of Waterloo and is a qualified actuary. He is a member of BC HRMA and has earned the CHRP designation. He is also a member of the Board of Governors of Excellence Canada.




 Dr. Hugh A. Drouin
 Commissioner of Social Services
 Regional Municipality of Durham




Previous to coming to the Region of Durham in 2003, Dr. Drouin was the C.E.O. for Family Service Ontario.

Dr. Drouin has a varied and rich background having served as a clinician, college and university professor, administrator, consultant, and seminar leader. He has conducted extensive research in the area of nurturing workplaces and their impact on the stress and morale of employees.

Dr. Drouin holds a Master's Degree in Social Work from the University of Windsor, and a Ph.D. in Social Work Administration from Laval University in Quebec City. He has also attended post graduate clinical studies at Adelphi University in New York City.

He has conducted numerous seminars and workshops for such diverse organizations as General Electric, Canada Post, Royal Bank, Ministry of Health, school boards, District Health Councils, churches, hospitals, social agencies and a variety of professional groups such as teachers, nurses, social workers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and a variety of administrators.

He has been on part-time faculty at the School of Social Work McMaster University. He received the McMaster teaching award for his exceptional contributions to teaching in the School of Social Work.




 Allan Ebedes
 President & CEO
 Excellence Canada




Allan immigrated to Canada from South Africa in 1973 to study for an MBA degree at the University of Toronto. He also qualified as a Chartered Accountant (CA) while articling at Coopers & Lybrand (now PWC).

Allan became a partner in a small furniture and appliance chain, Stuarts Furniture & Appliances, which grew significantly during his ownership, and was subsequently sold to The Brick. In 1979 Allan started the Toronto School of Business (TSB), a private career college. Under the holding company, International Business Schools (IBS), the school grew to become the largest private career college in Canada, with 50 locations coast-to-coast across Canada, training adult-students for new careers in business, computers, health care and hospitality. In 1989, IBS did an IPO on NASDAQ. By the time IBS was sold in 2001, the colleges had trained over a quarter of a million adult students.

In 2002, Allan founded Management Mentors International (MMI), a company dedicated to corporate training & development, coaching and mentoring. He also was appointed President of Academy of Learning, a chain of 100 computer learning centres across Canada. Allan has served on the faculty of York University at Atkinson College and at the Schulich Executive Education Centre.

In 2005, the Board of Governors of the National Quality Institute (NQI) appointed Allan as President & CEO. In 2011, he rebranded NQI as “Excellence Canada”. Working with the Board of Directors, Allan is responsible for setting the strategic direction of Excellence Canada and delivering on its business plan and mission: “helping organizations improve performance and recognizing excellence". Excellence Canada is home to the prestigious Canada Awards for Excellence program under the patronage of the Governor General of Canada.

In 2012, Allan earned a Masters of Law degree in Global Business (GPLLM) through an evening program at the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto. He is a Certified Director with the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD.D) and serves on the Board of Excellence Canada. He is a member of the World Presidents’ Organization (WPO).



 Mohsen Mortada
 Cole Engineering Group




Mohsen Mortada is President of Cole Engineering Group in Ontario, Canada.

Mr. Mortada started his career in the public sector working with Tucson Water department operations. After several years with Tucson Water, Mohsen moved into consulting with a focus on strategic planning, utility business optimization and large infrastructure projects throughout North America and the Middle East.

Mohsen relocated back to Canada to work with Cole Engineering Group as Chief Executive in 2014. Mohsen currently serves on Water For People Board as an independent director.





 Laura Nashman
 Chief Executive Officer
 British Columbia Pension Corporation




Laura Nashman is the chief executive officer of the British Columbia Pension Corporation and has been in the role since December 2008.

Laura is recognized as a high-performing senior executive who brings a fresh leadership style to her role. Her focus on, and dedication to, customer service, clear vision and strategic leadership gives her the ability to deliver results. Laura emphasizes the importance of maintaining strong relationships with staff and all key stakeholders.

Since joining the Pension Corporation, Laura’s focus has been on developing, strengthening and improving the corporation. She has paid particular attention to business processes, use of technology and building the foundational elements of a high performing organization to ensure the Pension Corporation continues to provide service excellence to plan boards and plan members.  Above all Laura is reshaping the culture at the Pension Corporation to set the foundation needed to bring the strategic plan to life.

Laura has spearheaded the creation of a new strategic plan for the Pension Corporation called 12|21 Our Way Forward. This nine-year strategy is an ambitious plan for business transformation that ensures the Pension Corporation will meet the changing needs and expectations of plan members, employers, trustees and staff.

In 2011 Laura was named to Vancouver Magazine’s Power 50 list and in 2010 was named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women by the Women’s Executive Network and the Financial Post. Laura is an active volunteer mentor for other women leaders and emerging leaders who look to Laura for guidance and direction on their leadership style and career development.

Laura has participated in the excellence journey as a member of the executive team at Peel Region – an organization that achieved the Order of Excellence and she continues her commitment as BC Pension Corporation is “Going for Gold”.



 Richard Perri
 Chief Financial Officer
 Ricoh Canada



Richard currently serves as the Chief Financial Officer of Ricoh Canada, with over fifteen years of experience in the office technology industry. Having joined Ricoh in 2011, Richard is a key member of the Ricoh Executive Management team, overseeing critical business functions in addition to his financial responsibilities including Operations, IT, Strategic Planning, Business Transformation and Mergers & Acquisitions.

Most recently, Richard was responsible for the Services business, including strategy development and execution of the growth strategy. The Services business represents an exciting new growth area as Ricoh extends into the information mobility market. Over his career, Richard has partnered with the business to help manage all facets of the business and has a proven track record of helping organizations transform to respond to changing market demands.

Prior to joining Ricoh, Richard served as the Vice President of Finance for Pitney Bowes Canada, responsible for a portfolio of Finance, Operations and Business groups.

Richard is a Chartered Professional Accountant, having obtained his designation in 2000, and is a graduate of the University of Toronto. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Avanti Systems and is an active member of the CEO Global Network.




 Shirlee Sharkey, CHE, MHSc, BScN, BA
 President & CEO of Saint Elizabeth
 & Chair of the Excellence Canada Board of Governors and Board of Directors 




Shirlee Sharkey is both a pioneer and a futurist.  It’s this kind of multi-directional thinking that has made her and Saint Elizabeth leaders in the Canadian health care realm. Through her leadership, the organization has enjoyed exponential growth as well as expansion throughout Canada, the United States and beyond. Nationally celebrated and locally cherished, Saint Elizabeth’s staff of 8,000 spreads hope and happiness through people-powered care, delivering 18,000 visits daily. As Canada’s largest social enterprise, and a successful not-for-profit organization, Saint Elizabeth works collaboratively to tackle tough problems, catalyze new solutions and deliver impact. Recognized for its dedication and commitment to quality and service, Saint Elizabeth was awarded the Order of Excellence, their highest commendation available, by Excellence Canada in 2015.

Shirlee’s personal commitment to community advancement is evident in her leadership and involvement on many boards, ranging from health to education. Shirlee is a sought-after speaker and a frequent contributor to Canada’s premier national newspaper, the Globe and Mail.  Internationally recognized, Shirlee is a respected and influential leader in the global innovation community.  




 Marilyn Thompson, BN, MEd, PhD
 Associate Provost, Human Resources
 University of Waterloo 




Dr. Marilyn Thompson oversees the administration and long-term planning of all human resources, organizational and human development, and total compensation activities and programs across the University. She provides vision for university-wide initiatives and human resources leadership to achieve Waterloo's mission. A senior executive leader of the University, Dr. Thompson plays a key role in strategic planning and decisions affecting the employees of the university.

Before joining UWaterloo, Dr. Thompson was Vice President of the Eastern Regional Health Authority (NL) and Policy Director within Cabinet Secretariat, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. She has extensive executive and senior leadership experience in healthcare, government, education, and various business sectors. She has worked with many voluntary sector, community, professional and business companies and associations providing education, human resources and evaluation expertise.




 John Wilson
 Founder and CEO
 CEO Global Network 




After receiving an MBA from the University of Western Ontario (Western University), John began a career with Ultramar Canada where he worked for 18 years, initially as VP of Sales and Marketing, and then as CEO of Ultramar Ontario Ltd., before moving to California to run a billion-dollar business as part of the Ultramar team in the United States. In 1993, soon after a company in the United Kingdom bought Ultramar, John started his own business that developed a network of fleet fueling sites across the southwestern United States. John and his partners built the business up from zero into a multimillion-dollar company before selling it in 1998.

Following the sale, John moved his family back to Toronto and became involved with CEO mentoring. John has since coached hundreds of high-performing CEOs and entrepreneurs to greater success and is the founder and CEO of CEO Global Network, a CEO and senior executive peer group organization that creates opportunities for learning and development through monthly group meetings, targeted one-to-one mentoring, and focused learning events. John is driven by his belief that it is people that form the heart and soul of any organization and is dedicated to fulfilling the mission of CEO Global Network: “To significantly improve the success and lives of CEOs and executives, their families, and their companies.”

John is also the author of the acclaimed business bookGREAT CEOs and How They Are Made and an accomplished and sought-after speaker on the topics of Leading Fast Growth and The Seven Imperatives of Great CEOs