Annual Graduation and Alumni Event

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A Night of Celebration for New Graduates, Alumni and Governance Award Winners

The Directors College was pleased to celebrate its Chartered Director program graduates and recognize their achievement at the 15th Annual Graduation and Alumni Event on June 7 at the Ron Joyce Centre, DeGroote School of Business in Burlington, Ontario. 

image of the graduating class of 2019

The 2019 Chartered Director program graduates represent the most diverse group of graduates in The Directors College history, including the first graduate from our scholarship program, Chris Hope, who was awarded the Board Diversity Scholarship in 2017. Those in attendance were happy to connect with peers and receive their university-accredited C.Dir. designations from The Directors College, a collaboration between The Conference Board of Canada and the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University. 

The Directors College was also delighted to present Meredith Low with the Gil Bennett Gold Standard Award and Andy Poprawa with the Outstanding Achievement in Governance Award. These awards recognize the dedication of esteemed graduates and alumni in raising the bar for professional standards in corporate governance.

“Expectations placed on today’s board members have become ever more challenging; Meredith and Andy have both fully embraced this challenge,” said Michael Hartmann, Principal of The Directors College and the evening’s master of ceremonies. “These individuals have raised the art and impact of directorship by bringing wisdom, strategic thinking, curiosity, and integrity to the board table.”

2019 Gil Bennett Gold Standard Award

Meredith Low is the 2019 recipient of the Gil Bennett Gold Standard Award, presented to a graduate who has received a top grade on the Chartered Director exam and has demonstrated, over the course of the program, the technical and personal characteristics needed to be an effective board director.  

Ms. Low, a management consultant focused on strategy for professionals and trade organizations, was an active contributor throughout all five modules of the Chartered Director program and recognized for asking insightful questions and engaging fellow participants and faculty. 
 
In accepting this award at the graduation ceremony, Ms. Low began by quoting science fiction author William Gibson “The future is already here — it’s just not evenly distributed.” She then thanked her fellow graduates for being people that “help distribute the future by walking into boardrooms prepared to ask the right questions and advocate.” Ms. Low also thanked the faculty for their “impressive wisdom” and called the Chartered Director program “an incredible program that improves the future of governance.” 

image of Gil Bennett Gold Standard award recipient Meredith Low
From left to right: Dr. Leonard Waverman, Dean, DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University, Meredith Low, Gil Bennett Award Recipient, Dr. Michael Hartmann, Principal, The Directors College.

2019 Outstanding Achievement in Governance Award

Andy Poprawa was presented with the Outstanding Achievement in Governance Award for his work in furthering good governance in Canada. The Outstanding Achievement Award is presented to an alumnus who has displayed the core values and strategies taught in The Directors College and whose achievements have been proven to be forward thinking, values-driven, and change enabling.
 
Andy is an accomplished individual who demonstrates outstanding leadership as an Independent Corporate Director and Regulatory Consultant. He serves on numerous boards and approaches his role as a director with knowledge, integrity and dedication. He is also a staunch supporter of director education and plays a key role within the Chartered Director Program’s Module 5: The Board Simulation. Andy received several nominations from peers for his insightful and collaborative approach to strategy, risk and governance. 

Mr. Poprawa was elated as he accepted his award and thanked colleagues and those who nominated him for the 2019 Outstanding Achievement in Governance Award. Andy also thanked The Directors College for helping him “learn about doing things the right way” and providing him with “the opportunity to share his lessons in governance with others”.  Mr. Poprawa told new C.Dir. graduates they were now “well prepared” and encouraged them to “have the conviction to do the right thing, and to speak up in the boardroom” in order to “make the world a better place.”

Image of Outstsanding Achievement in Governance Award winner Andy Poprawa
From left to right: Dr. Michael Hartmann, Principal, The Directors College, Andy Poprawa, Outstanding Achievement in Governance Award Recipient, Peter Gardiner-Harding, Faculty of The Directors College and Executive Director, playsthatwork inc.

Keynote Speaker

The evening’s celebration featured a thought-provoking keynote address on Disruptive Innovation, Advisory Boards, and Organizational Culture from Neil Cawse, CEO of Geotab, one of North America’s fastest growing tech companies.

image of keynote speaker, Neil Cawse, CEP Geotab

"Directors should be educating themselves, challenging and validating ideas, and working with integrity to help create organizational cultures that can better embrace risk and innovation." Keynote speaker, Neil Cawse, CEO of Geotab. Mr. Cawse also raised the concept of “digital morality” and shared that in his view “the next disruption is not technology, its data.”

It was a truly enjoyable evening where graduates, faculty, alumni, and guests came together to recognize those committed to strong leadership and to advancing the state of governance in Canada.   

To view all our 2019 graduates, and past alumni, please visit our Alumni page.

Founded in 2003, The Directors College is the original university-accredited director education program in Canada. The College’s mission—to advance transformative governance for the benefit of business and society—is at the heart of its Gold Standard in Governance Education. 

The Directors College is a collaboration between The Conference Board of Canada and the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University.


Thank you to our Event Sponsors

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Canada’s Gold Standard in Governance Education

Our mission is to advance transformative governance for the benefit of business and society, enabling our alumni to be forward thinking (Know), values-driven (Be), and change enabling (Do).

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The Directors College is a collaboration between The Conference Board of Canada and the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University.
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