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Halifax Chapter

Past Events







October 31, 2018

9:00 am - 12:00 pm


Brightwood Golf & Country Club
227 School Street
Dartmouth, NS


The SimplyCast Story:  The speedbumps of developing a global technology company in Nova Scotia

Many companies in Canada are focused on developing SaaS (Software as a Service) businesses, but SimplyCast decided instead to develop a PaaS (Platform as a Service) business where the team could create many SaaS solutions under the same platform. This approach has a 97% chance of failure compared to small, singularly focused technology businesses.

SimplyCast has grown to become a global provider of multi-channel automation capabilities and now has clients in over 175 countries. SimplyCast was and continues to be proudly 100% Nova Scotian-owned and has had no external funding other than from ACOA and IRAP.

SimplyCast has had plans from the beginning to go IPO and has been working very hard over the past nine years to develop the internal processes and guidance to support this objective.

Saeed El-DarahaliSaeed El Darahali 1

Founder and President/CEO, SimplyCast

Saeed El-Darahali, MBA, BSc, CHR, is the president and CEO of SimplyCast, a leading provider of multi-channel communication services that empower organizations to create, manage, and track their campaigns.

Under Saeed's leadership, SimplyCast was awarded the 2017 Consumer Choice Award for Digital Online Marketing, the Game Changer Award for Best Youth Employer, and two bronze 2016 Halifax Business Awards (Business of the Year and Innovative Business of the Year). Saeed was the 2016 bronze recipient of Business Person of the Year.

Saeed volunteers on the Black Business Board, Immigration Services Association of Nova Scotia, Halifax Chamber of Commerce, Between the Bridges, Sobey's School Business Advisory Board, EduNova, Women of Excellence Awards, and One NS Coalition. Saeed is also an advisor with the Federal Innovation Round Table.

Saeed has spoken at many conferences including NAWeb, CABI, 7th World Congress of e-Business, Enterprise Atlantic, ARCN, IEEE Young Professional Seminars, and was the guest speaker at Saint Mary's University's convocation in Jan '17. He was also a part-time lecturer at Saint Mary's, teaching a computer information systems course.

Saeed is an alumni, coach, and supporter of Junior Achievement Nova Scotia as well as a mentor for various organizations including The Canadian Youth Business Foundation, The Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Network, Bank of Canada - High Growth ICT Business Consultation, Government of Canada - Pre-Budget Consultation. Saeed was also a board member for Startup Halifax, a celebrity judge with Junior Achievement of Nova Scotia, a guest speaker on Eastlink TV, and the 41st speak at the Annual Sobey school of Business Commerce Society Dinner.

Surita MaddoxMaddox Surita Headshot 2

Regional Executive Director for Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) Canada

Surita Maddox became the Innovation Science and Economic Development (ISED) Atlantic Regional Executive Director in January 2018.

This new appointment is in many ways a return home for Surita who was born and raised in Newfoundland and Labrador, and who has spent more than 17 years working at ISED.

Surita first joined the public sector in 2000 as a commerce officer with Industry Canada, ISED's predecessor department. Since then, she's held various policy and program positions with increasing responsibilities within the department, including: Senior Advisor to the Assistant Deputy Minister, Industry Sector; District Director, Spectrum Management; Deputy Executive Director, Atlantic Region; and A/Senior Director with the Industrial Technologies Office. Surita recently returned to the Department fromInfrastructure Canada where she worked as the Senior Director of the Canada Infrastructure Bank Transition Office.

She holds a Bachelor of Science from St. Francis Xavier University, and a Masters in Business Administration from Memorial University of Newfoundland.

During her off time, Surita enjoys yoga, running and taking spin classes, as well as traveling to Newfoundland to spend quality time with her family. 

May 23, 2018

9:00 am - 1:00 pm

Brightwood Golf & Country Club
227 School Street
Dartmouth, NS


The FMI Maritime Chapters are hosting four half-day sessions on the use of data analytics to identify and assess fraud risk and test key controls. During these sessions, Dave Coderre, President of CAATS, will look at how data analysis can support and inform these activities.  The course includes theory and group exercises (accounts payable and payroll) and more than 60 fraud-related analytical tests you can perform.  At the end of the course participants will:

1.  Be able to link objectives, fraud risks and controls.
2.  Be able to apply approaches and tools to better use data analysis for continuous monitoring and the assessment and management of fraud risk.
3.  Know the key steps to identifying and assessing red flags of fraud.
4.  Understand how to identify the required data and the necessary analytics.
5.  Know more than 60 analytical test you can run to assess fraud risk.

Note: the course will use ACL and SAP data for all demos; however, the tools and techniques are applicable to all analytics software and financial systems.

David Coderre PhotoDavid Coderre

President, CAATS www.caats.ca

David Coderre is the President, Computer Assisted Analysis Techniques and Solutions (CAATS).  With over 30 years of internal audit experience he has led numerous audits of IT, operations and financial nature. He is an expert in the development and use data analytics for fraud risk assessment, testing of internal controls, and continuous monitoring.  Dave is the author of four books on data analytics: Data Analysis for Internal Controls, Fraud Detection, Monitoring and Audit (2017); Computer-Aided Fraud Prevention and Detection: A Step by Step Guide (2009); Fraud Analysis Techniques Using ACL (2009); and Internal Audit: Efficiency through Automation (2008).  He is also the author of the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) Global Technology Audit Guide - Continuous Auditing: Implications for Assurance, Monitoring and Risk Assessment; and contributed to the data analytics portions of the COSO Fraud Risk Management Guide (2016). Mr. Coderre contributes to various professional journals and is a frequent speaker at conferences around the world.

April 4, 2018
9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Brightwood Golf & Country Club
227 School Street
Dartmouth, NS


Download Anne-Marie Gammon's presentation


Download Joyce Carter's Presentation


You will hear presentations from Joyce Carter,  President and Chief Executive Officer of the Halifax International Airport Authority (HIAA) and Anne-Marie Gammon, President and Chief Executive Officer of CPA Atlantic School of Business.  

Joyce Carter's session is entitled "Effecting Change Through Collaboration".  Halifax Stanfield International Airport is managed and developed by Halifax International Airport Authority. The airport is worth over $2.8 billion annually to the Nova Scotia economy, and employs over 5,600 workers. It is a catalyst for economic and social growth in the region, and has significant plans for growth. So much of what it does enables growth, through tourism, trade, economic prosperity, immigration, and business to business connections. Hear from President & CEO Joyce Carter on how a collaborative leadership style is key.

Anne-Marie Gammon's session is entitled "Resilience and Women in Leadership". Innovation. Disruption.  An increasingly complex world. More than ever, resilience matters. This interactive session explores the resilience of women in leadership.  Resilience will be defined as a critical leadership trait and how it is borne from trials and tribulations. We will then explore how resilience can be developed and sustained individually and organizationally as we adapt to the constant challenges of contemporary leadership.

Membership with fmi*igf is included when you attend one of our sessions. It also provides reduced rates for professional development workshops, online access to the fmi*igf e-Journal and the opportunity to be eligible for a draw that provides free registration and travel subsidy of $1,500 to a national fmi*igf event. Another benefit of membership is the Chapter's Annual Scholarship for a member or dependent of a member in a full-time study at university or community college.  Details are available on the Chapters web page at www.fmi.ca

A fmi*igf Halifax Chapter Professional Learning Session...



Joyce CarterJoyce F. Carter, FCPA, FCA, ICD.D

Halifax International Airport Authority

Joyce Carter is President and Chief Executive Officer of Halifax International Airport Authority (HIAA). Joyce joined HIAA in 1999, and since then she has been integral in HIAA's growth and development, becoming Chief Financial Officer in 2006, Chief Strategy Officer in 2008, and President & CEO in 2014.

Joyce is a Board Member of the Canadian Airports Council and is Chair of their Large Airports Caucus and Governance Committee. In 2016, she was appointed President of the Board of Directors for the Atlantic Canada Airports Association, and to the Board of Directors of the Airports Council International (ACI) World Governing Board.

She is past Chairwoman of the Halifax Gateway Council, a public/private group formed to pursue multi-modal transportation opportunities in the region, and served as a Board Member of the Board of Trustees of the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia for nine years. She serves as a member of Dalhousie University's Board of Governors and is Chair of the Finance, Audit, Investment and Risk Committee, and a member of their Executive Committee, and is Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the Waterfront Development Corporation Ltd.

Joyce has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Saint Mary's University and is a graduate of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nova Scotia. In 2012, Joyce was awarded the prestigious designation of Fellow Chartered Accountant (FCA). She obtained the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD.D) designation in 2015, and in 2017 was named one of Atlantic Canada's Top 50 CEO's by Atlantic Business Magazine.


Annie MarieAnne-Marie Gammon, MBA, FCPA, FCMA

Atlantic School of Business

Anne-Marie Gammon, MBA, FCPA, FCMA is the President & Chief Executive Officer of CPA Atlantic School of Business. Bringing over 25 years of senior financial management experience within diverse industries, including education, real estate, automotive, aerospace and oil, Anne-Marie is also the past Director, Education Services with the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada, Vice-President, Program Development for CMA Canada, and was previously Vice-President, Financial Reporting for ING Real Estate Canada. An experienced educator with over 20 years of experience, Anne-Marie has served as past co-Chair of the national CPA Certification Steering Committee established to develop the new national accounting education program.

Actively involved in her community as a volunteer, Anne-Marie is the Past-President of Financial Executives International Canada - Atlantic Chapter. She is also Past President of CMA Nova Scotia, past Chair of the CMA Canada Research Foundation and past Vice-President, At Large with the Canadian Academic Accounting Association.

A chartered professional accountant, Anne-Marie has a BBA from the University of New Brunswick and subsequently received her CMA designation in New Brunswick in 1990. She was awarded the Fellow of the Society of Management Accountants' designation in 2003 followed by the Fellow of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Nova Scotia. Anne-Marie received her Master of Business Administration from Edinburgh Business School in 2012 and is currently pursuing part-time doctoral studies there. 

Anne-Marie resides in Bedford, Nova Scotia with her husband, Blake, and son, Jonathan.

February 22, 2018
8:30 am - 11:30 am



Brightwood Golf and Country Club
227 School Street
Dartmouth, NS

A fmi*igf Halifax Chapter Professional Learning Session...



MarthaThomas.jpgMartha Okot Thomas, CPA, CA


Everyday we face ethical decisions in our work lives and our home lives.  As a country that values diversity, ethical decisions can be more complicated.  In a world of increasing polarization, these decisions become more important.  This discussion will introduce some of the broader concepts of ethics and diversity while asking some provocative questions.

Martha works in the Internal Audit Department of the British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (bcIMC), a change of pace from her past 17 years working for the BC public service.  Martha is currently responsible for providing both audit and advisory services throughout the organization, based on the current Audit Plan.

Martha brought a significant amount of experience to her new role at bcIMC. She previously worked in a variety of different roles across many different sectors of the BC Government.  Starting in Internal Audit and Advisory Services with the Ministry of Finance, Martha gained a great deal of knowledge of the government's financial processes and controls.  She was able to continue her skills development in a number of different leadership roles.

As the Manager, Finance Administration and Audit, she led a team of 20-25 people, oversaw facilities, human resources, and financial planning and reporting.  Moving to the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, Martha was able to effect positive change across the Ministry in the development of revenue and accounts receivable processes.  After a period in budgeting for the Ministry of Environment, she moved to the Ministry of Finance where she became Director of Finance, and eventually serving as the Chief Financial Officer and Executive Director for the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation.

Martha has been a dedicated member of the FMI Victoria Chapter.  She filled the roles of program director, vice-president and president before she was elected as vice-president (2015-16) and president (2016-17) of the fmi*igf National Board of Directors. When she is not at work, Martha loves to spend time with her family.  If she and her husband are not out golfing, she can be found cavorting with her daughters or hiking some of Vancouver Island's beautiful trails.

January 24, 2018
8:30 am - 11:30 am


Brightwood Golf and Country Club
227 School Street
Dartmouth, NS



A fmi*igf Halifax Chapter Professional Learning Session...



Schattenkirk Dale 9608 SmDale Schattenkirk


In today's fast paced global market that relies heavily on people interacting with technology to achieve results we can easily lose focus that everything is still a process.  Dale's presentation will centre on understanding the short history of Lean in the public sector versus a lengthy run in private enterprise and how this is not a bad thing.  He will also delve into the misconceptions, paradigms, and stigmas attached to full Lean deployments and how organizations can appropriately move past them in a timely manner to acheive true operational excellence.  Dale's story telling manner with bring to life, using real case studies, a practical approach to transforming any organization to becoming world class. 

Dale is a Director with KPMG's Strategy and Operations practice.  With 25 years of experience, Dale has worked extensively within both public and private sectors across Canada concentrating on organizational change and design.  His focus is engaging staff to achieve results through the use of process and quality improvement methodologies.  While working with the Saskatchewan Health system and creating the provincial quality program, for this effort, Dale and his team were awarded the Lieutenant Governor's Award.

He also is responsible for helping three manufacturing facilities achieve the prestigious Industry Weeks Top Ten award.  Prior to KPMG, Dale founded Learning to See Consulting, a boutique consultancy firm focused exclusively on process improvement in private and government based organizations.  Dale also has over 70 published articles on quality improvement and implementation in numerous sectors and is a regular presenter at municipal conferences across Canada and the USA.

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