Fall 2019 Graduation and Networking Event

Grad Email Header 09_19

Event Details 


Wednesday, September 18, 2019

McMaster University
DeGroote School of Business
Ron Joyce Centre
4350 South Service Road 
Burlington, ON L7L 5R8


  • Check In—4:00 pm
  • Convocation—4:30 pm
  • Cocktail Reception—5:30 pm
  • Dinner and Panel Discussion—6:30 pm

Wednesday, September 18th will be an evening to celebrate and network with senior leaders and directors who are forward thinking, values-driven and change enabling! 

Graduates and guests will also have the opportunity to engage with DeGroote’s Executive MBA in Digital Transformation students, alumni and faculty in addition to peers from The Directors College. 

Recommended dress: Formal

Panel Discussion - Digital Transformation in the Boardroom

Moderated by Dr. Michael Hartmann, Principal, The Directors College 


Alfredo Tan
Chief Digital & Innovation Officer, WestJet
Industry Professor, EMBA in Digital Transformation, DeGroote School of Business

Before joining WestJet as Chief Digital and Innovation Officer in 2018, Alfredo Tan was an Executive at Facebook & Instagram in Canada. Tan joined Facebook in Canada in early 2009 as one of the founding team members. He was responsible for leading the teams responsible for the high growth verticals in the Canadian market, working closely with agencies, marketing executives, and the C-suite at Fortune 500 companies.

In 2016, he was the part of the launch team for Facebook and Instagram in the Philippines and the founding Country Manager. He continued his leadership work through the rest of South East Asia mentoring the teams in Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. He then continued his management and leadership assignments in Latin America, working closely with the Facebook and Instagram executives in Colombia, Brazil, Mexico, Miami and Argentina, helping to re-accelerate revenue growth in the emerging markets.

He started his career in information technology and engineering at Mastech Quantum & Bell Nexxia, before moving into enterprise marketing and strategy at Bell Canada. He also held roles as Director of Strategic Alliances at Sympatico MSN, and as a Senior Director at Yahoo!, before joining Facebook Canada.

Brian Cowan, C.Dir.
Governance Consultant and Independent Director

Brian Cowan is semi-retired and is currently active consulting in the areas of corporate governance and strategic planning along with helping start-up enterprises succeed in their new business ventures. Brian has worked in the information technology field for more than 30 years and has been President and COO as well as holding senior leadership roles in marketing, sales, government relations and mergers and acquisitions. This has included one of Canada’s largest P3 ventures along with multi-national companies in Canada, the US and Europe.  Brian uses this expertise today to mentor many new entrepeneurs primarily in the areas of fintech and cleantech ventures.

Brian is also active as a corporate director with a number of organizations and has chaired Boards in the Electrical Utility, Telecommunications, Healthcare and Regional Innovation Hub industries amongst others.  He is also on the faculty of The Directors College.

Michael Castro, C.Dir.
Risk Executive Advisor and Founder, RiskAware Group

As an IT leader with over two decades of experience building and leading information security, cyber risk and compliancy programs at the enterprise level, Michael is a veteran vanguard for protecting sensitive data. Michael’s multi-faceted portfolio includes a rich mosaic of work ranging from security strategy to architectural development to cybersecurity training. Michael’s previous work includes serving as Head of Information Security and Risk Management at Loblaw Companies Limited and numerous Senior Info and Cyber Security roles in the areas of Oil & Gas, Finance, Health Care and Retail.

Today, Michael provides controls guidance and consulting to numerous companies, and acts as a Risk Executive Advisor to various Boards.

Michael Holds a Bachelor’s degree from McMaster University and a Masters in Business Administration and IT Management from Athabasca University. He also carries designations for CISSP, CISA, C|CISO and Chartered Director.



  • Complimentary for faculty and new graduates of The Directors College.
  • Alumni and guests are welcome to attend the convocation at no cost. The fee to attend the celebration dinner is $179.00 per person.
  • Registration closes September 11
Registration is now closed.  

Nearby Hotels  

Waterfront Hotel Burlington
Holiday Inn Burlington Hotel & Conference Centre
Courtyard by Marriott Burlington
Best Western Plus Burlington Inn & Suites
Homewood Suites by Hilton Burlington

Contact Us  |  About Us  |  Brochure  |  Privacy Policy  |  Accessibility

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).

Logos of The Directors College and the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University

The Directors College is a collaboration between The Conference Board of Canada and the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University.
© Copyright 2019 The Directors College, Ron Joyce Centre, 4350 South Service Road, Burlington, ON L7L 5R8 Canada

Follow Us