Event Image Details - multi_panelists
Wednesday, April 26, 2023
11:45 AM
 - 1:30 PM
Fairmont Royal York Hotel

CEO Activism: Is Now the Time?

Tabatha Bull (Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business), Dr. Wanda Costen (Smith School of Business at Queen’s University), Meghan Roach (Roots Corporation) & Jim Stanford (Centre for Future Work), in conversation with Andy Willis (The Globe and Mail)
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According to a recent study conducted by Smith School of Business, 81% of Canadians feel it is the role of the CEO of a company to take a firm position on important social issues.

Perhaps in response, many executives have recently spoken out publicly on social and environmental issues. Is this trend a distraction or even a risk, especially now that many firms are facing greater pressure to improve core performance?  Or is this the exact moment we distinguish the true visionaries from the rest of the group?

Join Canadian Club Toronto on April 26 for a timely discussion on the leadership implications and the risks and rewards of being an Outspoken CEO. This panel will be moderated by Andy Willis (Business Columnist, Report on Business, The Globe and Mail) and will feature:

  • Tabatha Bull – President & CEO, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business
  • Dr. Wanda Costen – Dean, Smith School of Business at Queen’s University
  • Meghan Roach – President & CEO, Roots Corporation
  • Jim Stanford –  Economist and Director, Centre for Future Work

*For virtual attendees, please note that the live stream will begin at approximately 12:40pm ET & the link will be provided closer to the event date*



Tabatha Bull

President & CEO, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business

Tabatha is Anishinaabe, a proud member of Nipissing First Nation. Awarded CEO of the Year for 2022 by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Tabatha as CCAB’s president and CEO is committed to help rebuild and strengthen the path towards reconciliation and a prosperous Indigenous economy to benefit all Canadians. As an electrical engineer, Tabatha is committed to supporting Indigenous inclusion and diversity in Canada’s energy sector.

Serving the Indigenous community through CCAB’s commitment to support the Indigenous economy, Tabatha is an appointee to many boards, including the Dexterra Group, Wigwamen Inc., CN’s inaugural Indigenous Advisory Council, and Catalyst CEO advisory board in Canada to name a few.

Tabatha is dedicated to diversity and removing systematic barriers to improve opportunities for Indigenous business and women across all industry sectors.


Dr. Wanda Costen

Dean, Smith School of Business at Queen’s University

In July 2021, Dr. Wanda Costen began a five-year term as Dean of Smith School of Business at Queen’s University. Dr. Costen earned a Ph.D. at Washington State University, an EMBA from Pepperdine University, and Bachelor of Science from the United States Military Academy at West Point. With previous experience in the US military, the private sector and academia, she brings a diverse background and skillset to Smith School of Business.

At Smith, Dr. Costen is ushering in a new transformative, innovative and inclusive approach to business education, with the ambitious goal of impacting global business education, and in turn, global business itself. Dr. Costen’s change agenda includes new approaches to student and faculty recruitment, curricula, teaching and research and, not least, a focus on how Smith can have positive societal impact.


Meghan Roach

President & CEO, Roots Corporation 

Prior to joining Roots, Ms. Roach was a Managing Director at Searchlight Capital Partners, a private equity firm with operations in North America and Europe, and a member of the private equity investment team at the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. She began her career with KPMG. Meghan served on the Roots Board of Directors from 2015 to 2017 and rejoined in 2020. She has previously held board roles with M&M Food Market and Hunter Boot Limited. Ms. Roach is currently a Vice-Chair of the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation and previously held a role on its Investment Committee. Meghan holds an MBA from the University of Oxford, an Honours Bachelor of Commerce from Queen’s University, and a CPA/CA designation.


Jim Stanford

Economist and Director, Centre for Future Work

Jim Stanford is Economist and Director of the Centre for Future Work. He divides his time between Vancouver, B.C., and Sydney, Australia.

Jim is one of Canada’s best-known economists. He served for over 20 years as Economist and Director of Policy with Unifor, Canada’s largest private-sector trade union (formerly the Canadian Auto Workers). He is quoted frequently in the print and broadcast media, and contributes regular commentaries to the Toronto Star, Global National news, and CKNW Radio. He is also the Harold Innis Industry Professor in Economics at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, and an Honorary Professor in the Department of Political Economy at the University of Sydney.

Jim received his Ph.D. in Economics from the New School for Social Research in New York.  He also holds an M.Phil. in Economics from Cambridge University, and a B.A. (Hons.) in Economics from the University of Calgary. Jim is the author of Economics for Everyone: A Short Guide to the Economics of Capitalism (second edition published by Pluto Books in 2015), which has been published in six languages.  Stanford has written, edited or co-edited six other books, and dozens of articles and reports in both peer-reviewed and popular outlets.

He has provided research and advice through numerous federal and provincial government panels and inquiries on economic policy, innovation, jobs, and social policy. Jim is recognized for his ability to communicate economic concepts in an accessible and humorous manner.


Andrew Willis

Business Columnist, The Report on Business, The Globe and Mail

Andrew Willis is a business columnist for the Report on Business at The Globe and Mail, based in Toronto.

He has been in business communications and journalism for three decades. From 2010 to 2016, he was senior vice president of communications for Brookfield Asset Management, a leading global alternative asset management company.

Andrew’s career in journalism included stints at a number of publications, including writing the Streetwise column at the Globe and Mail from 1995 to 2010. He also worked at The Financial Post, The Financial Times of Canada, Dow Jones/Wall Street Journal, and Maclean’s magazine.

Andrew co-wrote a book, The Bre-X Fraud, with Report on Business colleague Douglas Goold.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Western Ontario and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from University of King’s College, Halifax.