Hélène Desmarais, holder of a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in finance from HEC Montréal, is president and chief executive officer of the Centre d’Entreprises et d’Innovation de Montréal, Canada’s largest incubator of technology companies. Ms. Desmarais chairs several other boards, including those of the Chambre de commerce du Montréal métropolitain, HEC Montréal, the Société de développement économique Ville-Marie and the Société d’investissement jeunesse. She also heads the advisory boards of the faculty of medicine of the University of Montreal and of the Conference of Montreal.
Nathalie Elgrably-Lévy has taught economics at HEC Montréal since 1992. She also taught economics for several years at the University of Montreal and at UQAM. She is the author of La face cachée des politiques publiques, published in 2006 by Les Éditions Logiques, and she produced a Quebec adaptation of the 6th edition of Microeconomics, by Pyndick and Rubinfeld. Nathalie Elgrably-Lévy is also a columnist with Le Journal de Montréal and Le Journal de Québec. She worked during part of 2008 as a senior economist with the Fraser Institute. She holds a master’s degree in management from HEC Montréal, with a specialization in applied economics and a thesis on the federal budget deficit. Her research interests focus on assessing public policy.
Vincent Geloso is an Assistant Professor of Economics at George Mason University. He held prior appointments at Texas Tech University, Bates College and King’s University College. Mr Geloso holds a PhD in economic history from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a master’s degree in economic history from the same institution. He has published more than 70 scientific articles in journals such as Economic Journal, Research Policy, European Journal of Political Economy, Public Choice, Economics & Human Biology, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Contemporary Economic Policy, and the British Medical Journal: Global Health. He is also associate editor at Structural Change and Economic Dynamics and Essays in Economic and Business History.
Philip Infilise is the Chief Executive Officer at Octium. Before, he was with Quadra and was promoted to SBU Management, Mining in 2011 and became Business Manager for the newly created Mining Group in 2014. Philip Infilise is also a Board member and shareholder of Infilise Holdings Inc., a member of the Quadra Leadership Team, and has served on the Board of Hydro Technologies (Canada) Inc. since 2007.
Michel was one of the cofounders of the Amis de la Liberté (Friends of Liberty) in the mid-1990s, and helped relaunch the MEI as of 1997, notably thanks to his skills as a fundraiser. After having been head of the MEI from 1999 to 2006, Michel was president of the Quebec Employers Council from March 2006 to December 2008, and came back at the helm of the MEI from January 2009 to April 2023. Early in his career, he practised law and then became an entrepreneur in the field of specialized business training. He served on the executive committee of the board of directors of the Quebec Workers Compensation Board (CSST) from 2006 to 2009. He was one of six Quebecers honoured in Canada’s Top 40 Under 40™ 2008 awards. The winners were chosen from among 1,100 nominees.
Over the years, he has served on several boards of directors, including that of the Canada Foundation for Innovation, which disburses several hundred million dollars a year in order to finance Canada’s scientific research infrastructure. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Atlas Network and a member of the board of directors of The John Dobson Foundation, which supports the teaching of entrepreneurial and free enterprise thinking to the general public. Michel is Founding President of the MEI since April 2023.
Tasha Kheiriddin is a principal at Navigator Ltd., a national issues management and strategic communications firm. A political opinion leader, Ms. Kheiriddin has written two bestsellers, Rescuing Canada’s Right and The Right Path. Based in Toronto, she is also the national political columnist for the Postmedia chain of newspapers and a lecturer at McGill’s Max Bell School of Public Policy.
With a humanities degree from Brébeuf and a law degree from McGill University, Ms. Kheiriddin practised law in Montreal and worked as legislative assistant for the Attorney General of Ontario. She then hosted and produced news shows for CBC Newsworld, CPAC, CTV News Channel, and Global News Radio, and was a political analyst for Radio Canada and a member of the editorial board of the National Post. Ms. Kheiriddin has also worked for the Montreal Economic Institute, the Fraser Institute, and the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, and ran her own communications consultancy. In 2016, the Women’s Executive Network named her one of Canada’s “Top 100 Most Powerful Women” in the media and communications sector.
Ms. Kheiriddin has served on numerous boards of directors, including for the Old Port of Montreal Corporation, the Manning Centre for Building Democracy, Apathy is Boring, Resources for Exceptional Children and Youth, and the COVID-19 Social Impacts Network. She currently serves on the boards of directors of Centre Ice Canadians and of 2 Intelligence Company Senate.
Guillaume is Partner, CFO at Diagram Ventures, a venture capital fund backed by Power Financial Corporation. Prior to Diagram, he was working in the United Kingdom in the investment banking division of HSBC in its Financial Institutions Group. Before that, Guillaume was based in Germany as part of Rocket Internet, the world’s largest incubator of technology start-ups, where he was CFO of a fintech portfolio company. He previously spent five years at PSP Investments, in Montreal, in its direct private equity group and in its internal hedge fund. Guillaume is a CFA, a CAIA, and holds a Masters in Finance from London Business School. He also sits on the board of directors of the Opéra de Montréal and the Mount Royal Club.
For the past 25 years, Mr. Meunier has been the President and CEO of Groupe Formatrad Inc., a firm specializing in customized on-the-job training. He studied law at the Université de Sherbrooke and economics at Bishop’s University. After his studies, Mr. Meunier prepared a course on the economic analysis of law, to be jointly taught at Université de Sherbrooke with Professor Michael Krauss, now at the George Mason University School of Law. Mr. Meunier was called to the Quebec Bar in 1985. He was Director of Legal Services at the Quebec Chamber of Commerce, and practised law at Byers Casgrain, which has since become Dentons. It is around this time, in 1987, that he joined a group of businessmen in order to co-found the Montreal Economic Institute. He translated into French for the Paris publisher Les Belles Lettres some of the core texts of Ayn Rand’s moral philosophy, a work which appeared in 1993 and was reissued in 2008. Mr. Meunier also holds a master’s degree in music from the Vincent d’Indy School of Music and the Juilliard School of Music in New York, and has taught music at the college level.
Caroline is an Investment Counsellor and Vice President at Burgundy Asset Management, where she manages portfolios for the firm’s private clients and foundations, and oversees the firm’s private wealth activities in the province of Quebec. Previously, Caroline was an Institutional Relationship Manager in the United States, with a special focus on university endowments and private foundations. Prior to joining Burgundy, Caroline was Director of Investor Relations and Marketing at Clairvest Group Inc., a private equity firm.Caroline holds an Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree (Finance) from the University of Ottawa and an MBA (Investment Management) from Concordia University. She also completed a Certificate in Personal Financial Planning at HEC Montréal, and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. Caroline is a member of the Women of Influence executive committee at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, and of Anges Québec. She has completed the Not-for-Profit Program of the Institute of Corporate Directors.
François Morin is VP, Corporate and Business Developpement, Quebec for the multinational First Hydrogene. He has over 30 years of experience in management, marketing, and corporate and government communications. He was Director General, Operations and Public Affairs, Quebec and Atlantic, for BMO Financial Group, and has worked for several global companies, including IBM, National RP, BRP, and Bell Business Markets. Over the years, he has collaborated on numerous fundraising campaigns carried out by charitable organizations, and he currently sits on the board of directors of the YMCA Foundation.
Guillaume Pelegrin is a partner at Fasken. His practice covers all aspects of public and administrative law. He helps his clients achieve compliance in complex regulatory environments, assists them in obtaining permits and authorizations, and represents them in litigation before all levels of court in civil, administrative, criminal, and expropriation matters. His practice focuses mainly on environmental, municipal, constitutional, access to information, and transportation issues for businesses in the natural resources, shared economy, waste management, transportation, and real estate sectors.
David Salerno is the Founder and President of Solpak Packaging Solutions, a leading meal packaging and transport solutions provider. Solpak caters to nationwide non-profit, governmental, retail and food services organizations with eco-friendly and all-in-one packaging systems. Before founding Solpak, he operated a Student Painter Franchise and then managed different teams at Canadian Facts, a national marketing research firm, as well as at Microcell Solutions (Fido).
He also is a mentor, coach, and the author of the book The Sherpa Method, 9 Steps to Business Freedom, based on a method he developed while growing his seven-figure self-managed business. His recent start-up, Entrepreneur Sherpa, helps fellow entrepreneur colleagues attain Entrepreneurial Freedom.
David is an active board member of the MEI and a past member of boards for organizations such as Aecopaq and the Sailing Club of Two-Mountains. He also is the Head Mentor at Réseaux, a partner of Réseau Mentorat in the greater Montreal area. Individual liberty and entrepreneurship are the focus of his interest in all his activities. David studied Science and Human Affairs and Business Management at Concordia University. He is happily married and the proud father of two amazing kids.
Mr. Simard is President and Managing Member of Champlain Financial Corporation (Canada), based in Montreal, Canada and is a co-founder and Managing Director of Champlain Capital Management LLC in the U.S., a merchant banking firm with offices in San Francisco and Boston. Prior to co-founding Champlain Capital Management and founding Champlain Financial Corporation, Mr. Simard spent over fifteen years working in investment banking and corporate banking with Lazard Frères & Co., Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette, Lancaster Financial Corp and CIBC. Mr. Simard is currently on the Board of Directors of Genivar Inc. as well as on the Board of a number of private companies. He is also the Chairman of the Board of Miss Edgar’s & Miss Cramp’s School (ECS) in Westmount and of the Giant Steps School Foundation. Mr. Simard received a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from Laval University, a Graduate Degree in Management from the Université Catholique de Louvain, and an MBA from the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University where he regularly teaches as a visiting executive.
Claude Thibault is Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the Alithya Group. Mr. Thibault has more than twenty years of experience serving as CFO for a variety of companies, both private and publicly-traded, active in Canada and internationally. He has worked in a variety of sectors, including high-tech, manufacturing, distribution, and services. Previously, Mr. Thibault worked in financial advisory services for a decade at KPMG, and for five years as Vice President, Investment Banking, at Midland Walwyn/Merrill Lynch Canada. He has served on the boards of directors of two Crown corporations, and is a member of the advisory committee of a high-tech start-up. He is a Chartered Professional Accountant, with the Corporate Finance qualification (CPA, CA-CF), and a Chartered Business Valuator (CBV). Mr. Thibault holds an MBA and an ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors.
Magatte Wade is a serial entrepreneur, inspirational speaker, and visionary business leader with a passion for creating positive change in Africa. She is the founder and CEO of SkinIsSkin.com, “the lip balm with a mission,” and is dedicated to reducing racial discrimination while creating jobs and prosperity in her home country of Senegal.
Throughout her career, she has created successful high-end retail brands inspired by diverse African traditions. She is a Forbes “20 Youngest Power Women in Africa,” a World Economic Forum at Davos “Young Global Leader,” a TED Global Africa Fellow, and a Global Wellness Summit “Leading Woman in Wellness” award winner.
Ms. Wade serves as the Director of the Atlas Network’s Center for African Prosperity. She is a member of the board of Directors of Conscious Capitalism Inc. She also serves on the Advisory Board of Whole Foods Market’s Whole Planet Foundation. She has written for The Guardian, HuffingtonPost.com, and Barron’s, and has been profiled by The New York Times. She has spoken at numerous high-profile venues including the U.N., The Clinton Global Initiative, the Aspen Institute, TED, Conscious Capitalism, Capitalism, and many dozens of universities including Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Cornell, MIT, UC Berkeley, Dartmouth, and the Wharton School of Business.