Change Leadership 2021 Speakers - The Change Leadership

Rola Dagher

President & CEO, Cisco Canada


Leadership is not simply a role that you fill; it is an action that you take each day. It is this philosophy that guides Cisco Canada President & CEO, Rola Dagher. Over her career of more than two decades, Dagher has worked with some of the brightest minds in the technology industry while honing her natural leadership style.

Dagher joined Cisco from Dell EMC where she held a variety of leadership roles in sales, channels and IT. Prior to this, she also held various sales leadership roles at Bell Canada for 15 years.

Since joining in 2017, Dagher has led Cisco Canada to quickly emerge as one of Cisco’s top globally performing regions. Yet Dagher will be the first to say that her success is a direct reflection of the dedication and drive of the entire Canadian operation. Dagher believes in diversity of thought and has made it her mission to empower and nurture employees, regardless of gender, culture, orientation or age.

Her commitment to empowering women is shown through her role as Americas President for Women of Cisco, a program that encourages more female participation in the technology industry, and through a range of additional work that defines her as a leader far beyond the technology sector.

Most recently, she was recognized by WXN as one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100™ and by Women in Communications and Technology (WCT) as the 2019 Woman of the Year. She was selected as one of RBC’s Top 25 Canadian Immigrant winners for 2019, was named the “Lady of the Cedar” by the Lebanese Embassy, and received a 2018 Leadership Award from the Lebanese Chamber Business of Commerce.

As an active member of the Business Council of Canada and a member of the U.S.-Canada Innovation Partnership, Rola helps shape policy around the workforce of the future and promotes the adoption and acceleration of emerging technologies, innovation, and research.

Yet, through all of her accomplishments, Dagher firmly believes that no one achieves greatness in a silo. She believes that you have to “learn it, earn it, and return it.” And this process is one that she continues to work through at every stage of her career.

Michael Anthony Eubanks

Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, LCBO


Michael is currently the Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO). His former roles and responsibilities include CIO for the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS), Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer for One Inc., Vice President, Architecture and Technology Strategy for Canadian Tire Corporation, and other Executive technology roles at Best Buy International and the T. Eaton Company LTD.
Michael is the Founder of LCBOnext Innovation lab and a current Board member of Communitech and York University Alumni Board. Michael is a graduate of York University, University of Toronto Rotman School of Business Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD) Program and the Harvard Business School Executive Program.

Dr. Wendy Cukier

Professor and Founder of the Diversity Institute at Ryerson University


Dr. Wendy Cukier is a Professor of Entrepreneurship and Strategy, and Founder of the Diversity Institute at Ryerson University. She is the co-author of the bestseller, Innovation Nation:Canadian Leadership from Java to Jurassic and former VP of Research and Innovation. The Diversity Institute has 50 research staff, 100 research associates from around the world, 200 industry partners and focuses on dimensions of diversity and inclusion in the workplace, future skills, and entrepreneurship and innovation. Harnessing the power of innovation, it promotes the advancement of underrepresented groups. The Diversity Institute is also a research lead for the $300 million Future Skills Centre and the $8.6 million Women Entrepreneurship Hub.

Wendy has been recognized with the Harry Jerome Diversity Award, the Bob Marley Award, the Canada-Pakistan Business Council’s Female Professional of the Year, the Metropolis ResearchAward, the CATA Alliance, Sara Kirke Award for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and 100 MostPowerful Women by WXN. She has been named a YWCA Woman of Distinction, a Woman of Influence and one of the "100 Alumni who shaped the Century" by the University of Toronto. Wendy holds a PhD, an MBA, an MA, and honorary doctorates from Laval and Concordia.

Mohammed Chahdi

Head of Americas HR Operations Services, Dell Technologies


Mohammed is a Global HR Director with Dell Technologies driving business value through Human Capital Management Strategies, he currently leads a global team focused on delivering best-in-class HR services and offerings utilizing innovation and emerging technologies in alignment to Dell’s vision and business strategies.

With his 20+ years Technology experience and passion for people and leadership, Mohammed is continuously exploring how Technology has shifted the nature of work and the critical role the HR function plays with people and culture strategies to enable business success in a digital economy.

Carl Oxholm

Partner and Emotional Intelligence Subject Matter Expert , PwC


Carl has been with PwC for more than 27 years and has enjoyed a variety of senior leadership roles. As a partner for the last 16 years, Carl has led service teams with an exceptional track record spanning multiple industries. Due to high demand, Carl now spends his time as a Lead Partner on some of PwC’s largest national (and global) priority clients. He is a member of PwC’s Culture and Values leadership team, has held extensive Human Capital leadership roles and is the developer of PwC’s service offering around enhanced Emotional Intelligence – helping PwC, and its clients, gain a stronger understanding about how to increase one’s capacity to cope (given the ever growing external demands and the never ending quest to do more with less) and empowering us to thrive in our chosen areas of focus. He has been PwC’s National Partner Coaching Leader (from 2005-2009) where he led a faculty of professional external coaches, has sat on several of PwC’s global steering committees and was a founding member of both the PwC Charitable Foundation and PwC’s Women in Leadership programs. Carl’s coaching leadership role afforded him the opportunity to work with some of the Olympic athletes that they sponsor (and in turn, some of their coaches)…all of which led to his compulsion to want to share what he has learned in this space (regarding leadership development and Emotional Intelligence). Carl is also PwC’s National Client Experience leader and responds, when he can, to the numerous ongoing requests to be a keynote speaker (around emotional intelligence and its importance to effective leadership). Carl has travelled the world providing talks and facilitating workshops that involve culture change, emotional intelligence and leadership acumen. Having helped numerous global companies, not-for-profit organizations and Professional Associations alike, he has travelled all across Canada and the United States and to Rome, Switzerland, Germany, London, Chile, South Africa and Australia. As he often says, it is his privilege and pleasure to serve wherever needed.

Barbara A. Trautlein

Change Catalyst, Founder


Barbara A. Trautlein, PhD is author of the best-selling book Change Intelligence: Use the Power of CQ to Lead Change that Sticks, principal and founder of Change Catalysts, and originator of the CQ System for Developing Change Intelligent Leaders and Organizations. For over 30 years, Barbara has coached executives, trained leaders at all levels, certified change agents, and facilitated mission-critical change management initiatives - achieving bottom-line business and powerful leadership results for clients. In 2015 she had the honor of being awarded Change Management Consultant of the Year by the Association of Change Management Professionals (ACMP) Midwest Chapter. She is gifted at sharing strategies and tactics that are accessible, actionable, and immediately applicable. Her blend of research and real-world expertise makes her an in-demand speaker at conferences in around the globe. Barbara has a unique ability to connect with her audiences, from C-level executives in Fortune 500 organizations to front line employees, and across industries, from steel mills to sales teams, refineries to retail outlets, and healthcare to high tech. Clients served include Abbot Laboratories, Ascension Healthcare, BP, Cisco, Deloitte Ford, the NYPD, Northwestern University, and Save the Children. Barbara holds a doctorate in Organizational Psychology from the University of Michigan.

Ayleen Farnood

Disruptor, The Knowledge Society


Ayleen is a 16-year-old artificial intelligence (AI), brain-computer interface (BCI), and virtual reality (VR) developer. She has built a BCI that allows its users to spell out words by blinking and has built multiple VR and AI applications. She’s worked as an intern at Microsoft where she built a chatbot and data-visualization software for their finance/education sectors that was eventually deployed to thousands of the company’s employees on an international scale. She’s spoken at conferences such as ConnectIT AI, been featured in media outlets such as the Globe and Mail and CTV, and is an advocate for women and girls in technology. She is currently an intern at one of the world’s leading research labs in cybersecurity at the University of Toronto, where she is applying machine learning to improve autonomous vehicle control.

Mishaal Lakhani

Activator, The Knowledge Society


Mishaal Lakhani is a 17-year-old machine learning and virtual reality developer. She began her journey developing neural networks and virtual reality programs and is now deep diving into the future of food. She has worked with companies like CIBC, Sidewalk Labs, Wealthsimple and has spoken at conferences, including Microsoft’s DigiGirlz conference and Women in Data Science AI for Good advocating for women and girls in technology. Her mentors and advisors represent some of the leading companies in the AI and VR/AR space. Last summer, she interned at CIBC Digital.

Seyone Chithrananda

Innovator, The Knowledge Society


Seyone Chithrananda is a 16-year-old machine learning and genomics researcher. Over the past year, he’s worked at the intersection of machine learning and drug discovery, and recently presented some of his work at the Re-Work Deep Learning Summit in Montreal alongside leading researchers from Google Brain, Facebook and DeepMind. This summer, Seyone worked at Integrate.ai, an SaaS company building a customer intelligence platform powered by AI that helps consumer businesses make precise predictions about customer needs so that they can deliver more meaningful and relevant digital interactions. He worked on the Machine Learning Science team, where he built machine learning models for churn prediction and internal tools to detect issues across their machine learning pipeline. Seyone is an Activator at The Knowledge Society.

Soula Courlas

Management Consulting Executive, Talent, Organization and Human Dynamics


An experienced senior leader and seasoned consultant with 25+ years of experience from across Canada’s Fortune 100 private and public sector companies advising C-suite executives undertaking complex organization transformations bringing a passion for driving alignment between the work ‘environment’ and work ‘force’ to achieve strategy, navigate complex human dynamics, elevate the workplace experience, and deliver results. Soula has held senior and leadership roles within both corporate and consulting organizations and has honed her personal brand as a leader, influencer, and builder of all things related to advancing the human experience in the world of work.