2021 AGM & Annual Conference


Join CME for our virtual 2021 Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Manufacturing Conference from November 30th to December 3rd.

AGM & Manufacturing Outlook

Featured Speakers - November 30th (12pm – 2pm EST)

CME's Annual General Meeting Chaired by:

David McHattie, Vice President, Institutional Relations, Tenaris

Manufacturing Outlook and presentation of CME’s Business Outlook Survey with a specific focus on the impact of labour shortages by:

Elise Maheu, First Vice-Chair, CME’s National Board of Directors and Vice-President of Government Affairs and Markets, 3M Canada Company

In her current role, based in Ottawa, Canada, Ms. Maheu is responsible for Government Affairs for United States Manufacturing & Supply Chain Operations and for 3M Canada across all jurisdictions. Her responsibilities include government affairs strategic planning and execution in the areas of government outreach, advocacy, messaging, policy monitoring, and issues management creating and enhancing value for the company covering files including but not limited to trade, export control, competitiveness, taxation, infrastructure, health, environment, energy and labour. She is part of Canada’s executive team and 3M global government affairs team.
She has extensive experience in 3M both in North America and in Europe where she held a number of international leadership positions within Western Europe, Eastern Europe and Middle East in the areas of Business and Supply Chain Management.
Elise represents 3M is various Canadian think tanks and industry associations. She is the Fist Vice-Chair of the National Board for the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters , Vice-Chair of the American Chamber of Commerce, part of Canadian Chamber of Commerce and MedTech Medical Devices Trade Association.

Alan Arcand, Chief Economist, CME

Alan is a member of the National Policy team where he is responsible for developing and executing CME’s major national research projects, conducting CME’s macroeconomic analysis to support the organization across the country, leading our tax policy efforts, and be a leading voice representing the interests of the association and members with government and with the public.
Before joining CME, Alan spent 19 years at The Conference Board of Canada where he held multiple roles, including the Associate Director of the Centre for Municipal Studies. Alan’s background includes expertise in municipal, regional, and national economic matters including economic forecasting and analysis.

Moderation by:

David Linton, Partner, National Manufacturing & Distribution Industry Leader, BDO Canada

David Linton is a Partner at BDO Canada and leads BDO’s National Manufacturing & Distribution Industry team. David’s career started with a manufacturing technology solutions provider in Europe, working with clients in Europe, Asia, Australia and North America. He moved to Canada in 2000 where his career has continued to be focused on manufacturing. As a Partner in BDO’s Consulting group, his role includes advising manufacturing clients on Technology, Management Consulting and Risk Advisory services. David holds an honours degree In Psychology and is APICS CPIM certified.

Featured Speakers - December 1st (12pm – 2pm EST)


COVID-19 has speeded the adoption of automation and digital technologies, with many companies accelerating the digitization of their customer and supply chain interactions. These changes are expected to be long-lasting, implying that manufacturers will need to adapt to stay competitive in this new business environment. What lessons must we take from the pandemic to better understand the opportunities and challenges ahead?


Paula Cruickshank, Senior Vice President, Ontario, and Digital Transformation Lead, BDC

Paula is Senior Vice President, Ontario, and Digital Transformation Lead. She oversees BDC’s financing and consulting services across that province, while also ensuring digital investment decisions and strategies for segmentation, omni-channel and client teams are aligned and continue to serve BDC’s clients.
Paula brings more than 20 years of experience in the banking industry to these roles, including most recently as BDC’s Senior Vice President, British Columbia and North, successfully growing the bank’s financing and consulting services throughout that region.
She joined BDC in 2009 as Vice President, Securitization, taking over the management of the Canadian Secured Credit Facility, a $12 billion program by the Government of Canada to help restart the asset-backed securities market following the 2007–2009 financial crisis. She also launched BDC’s Funding Platform for Independent Lenders (F-PIL) to provide capital to smaller financing and leasing companies. In 2015, she assumed responsibility for both Syndicated Financing and Indirect Financing (formerly Securitization), rebranding the unit as Wholesale Financing in June 2016.
Before joining BDC, Paula spent more than 11 years with the Scotiabank Group, where she gained broad experience in structured finance and corporate finance.
Paula holds an International MBA from the Schulich School of Business and an LL.M in Banking and Financial Institutions from Osgoode Hall Law School.


Industry 4.0 and Going Lean and Green – Panel Discussion
Moderated by: David Linton, Partner, National Manufacturing & Distribution Industry Leader, BDO Canada

Dan Wicklum, Ph.D, President and CEO, The Transition Accelerator

As President and CEO Dr. Wicklum is responsible for setting the organization’s strategy for the future, building a strong national brand, and explaining Transition Pathway activity across Canada in a range of sectors.
Dr. Wicklum has 25 years of experience managing research, driving innovation, and fostering collaboration in and among industry, government, academia and civil society. He was CEO of Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance for seven years, was Executive Director of the Canadian Forest Innovation Council, and has been a senior manager at Environment and Climate Change Canada and Natural Resources Canada. His initial career was football, as a linebacker for the Calgary Stampeders and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Simon Drexler, P.Eng, MBA – General Manager, Automation Products, ATS Automation

Simon Drexler is the General Manager for the Products Division at ATS Automation in Cambridge Ontario. With over 12 years’ experience in industrial automation, Simon has earned himself a spot on Plant Magazine’s “Top 40 Engineering Leaders Under 40,” and was named Supply & Demand Chain Executive Magazine’s “Pro to Know.” With a passion for technology, Simon continues to drive innovation in the world of industrial automation. Along with leading the SuperTrak Team, Simon currently sits on the Board of Advisors for Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters. When not in the office, Simon spends his time being active in the outdoors with his wife and two children.

Valérie Jean-Louis, Vice President of Operations, Mailhot Industries

Valérie Jean-Louis is Vice-President of Operations for Mailhot Industries, a manufacturer of hydraulic cylinders known for their innovative and high-quality products. Since 2021, she has been coordinating production activities for both Canadian and Mexican facilities, representing over 200 employees. With Mailhot’s team and support from Investissement Quebec, she is also leading the Digital Transformation efforts to improve core processes of the organization.
Bachelor of Industrial Engineering from École Polytechnique of Montreal (2008) Valerie started her career in California, implementing a Project Management application built around the TOC (Theory of Constraint). She then gained experience managing operations at IML Labels (Quebec, Chicago), a printing company where she supported their important growth for 10 years.

Featured Speakers - December 2nd (12pm – 2pm EST)


Global trade has been completely upended over the past 2 years, impacting the movement of goods and supply chains. Is this the new normal? Will everything revert back to the way it was in 2019? How do manufacturers cope?


A Fireside Chat with: Mathew Wilson, SVP, Policy, Government Relations & Ontario Operations, CME

John Layton, Minister (Economic), Embassy of Canada to the United States

John joined the Canadian Embassy as Minister (Economic) in September 2021. In this capacity, he will oversee the Embassy’s trade, economic and business development programs. Prior to that, John was Executive Director of Trade Remedies at Global Affairs Canada, serving as Canada’s NAFTA negotiator for Chapter 19 dispute settlement and working on a variety of subsidy issues, including WTO Fisheries Subsidies Negotiations and strengthening international rules for industrial subsidies.
John started his career at Canada Customs and Excise in the Anti-Dumping Directorate. He then continued on for 15 years at the Department of Finance’s International Branch. As Director of the General Trade Relations Division, John was heavily involved in the implementation of the Canada-U.S. Beyond the Border Agreement. As Director of the Trade Rules Division, John was Canada’s lead negotiator for the WTO Rules Negotiating Group and Canada’s Head of Delegation for the North American Steel Trade Committee.
John has had two foreign postings: at the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo (1997-2000) and at Canada’s Mission to the WTO in Geneva (2002-2005).


Managing Trade Today – Panel Discussion

Birgit Matthiesen, Director, North American Manufacturing, Arent Fox LLP

Birgit’s career was launched as a Customs inspector at the US/Canada border. Today, from Washington, DC, Birgit brings to Arent Fox a deep and broad understanding of trade policy and its implications for the corporate sector. That insight can be read in her numerous articles and media interviews over the years but is truly demonstrated in corporate conference rooms across North America.
“What is over the horizon?” is a common question she addresses when delivering updates for business leaders. Birgit knows that certainty and transparency can drive a company’s competitive advantage. Understanding how trade policy is negotiated and regulated is one of her particular strengths. “Connecting the dots” of fast paced trade rules is a task for which Birgit is known.

Neil Forster, Director, Investor Relations and Corporate Development, Martinrea International Inc.

Since January 2020, Mr. Forster’s responsibilities include coordinating and managing communications with investors and analysts, as well as assisting in the Company’s strategic planning process.
Mr. Forster is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Charterholder, with many years of experience in the institutional investment industry. Prior to joining Martinrea International Inc., Mr. Forster served as Research Analyst for Franklin Templeton Investments, where he was responsible for providing analyst coverage of small-capitalization equities across various sectors and investment recommendations for inclusion in the Franklin Bissett Small Cap Fund. Prior to this, Mr. Forster was Equity Research Analyst, Industrial Products at Scotiabank Global Banking and Markets, where he provided analyst coverage of Canadian-listed industrial companies, including Martinrea International Inc.

Thomas Uhr, Senior Vice-President, Product Engineering & Manufacturing Operations Powersport Group, BRP

A global citizen, Thomas was born in Hachenburg, Germany, and has lived and worked in various countries, such as Germany, Spain, Japan and Canada, leading technological innovation and engineering teams for major companies. He holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from RWTH Aachen University, Germany. Since 2018, he is heading BRP’s global R&D and Manufacturing operations as Senior Vice President, Product Engineering and Manufacturing Operations for Powersports.
Thomas’s over 25 years’ experience in the automotive industry, mainly at Mercedes Benz, along with his hard work and dedication, earned him several recognitions. He joined Daimler AG in 1994 and subsequently held various positions with increasing responsibilities (amongst others heading a team to work on the first Fuel Cell for mass production at Ballard Power Systems, leading the Mercedes Berlin plant, serving as founding General Manager of MDC Power then a JV between Mercedes & Mitsubishi, and leading the R&D Prototyping and Testing activities for Mercedes Cars).

Dale Oldford, Vice President Product Management and Marketing, Ocean Choice International LP

Dale has over 30 years of experience in the seafood industry that started with the largest Newfoundland seafood company, Fishery Products International. Through fishing moratoriums, industry upheavals and many company restructures, he held various positions in a variety of departments within the company. Through these positions Dale gained a wide range of experience including harvesting/quota analysis, sourcing seafood products from international suppliers, selling decommissioned equipment and marketing and selling seafood products to the global market.
In 2007, Dale joined Ocean Choice International and now plays a key role in leading the product management, logistics, and sales and marketing efforts for all of the company’s seafood categories. He oversees profit maximization, product management, and market prioritization along with having a leadership and oversight of sales activities for Ocean Choice’s Asian sales team. He is also a member of the management board for Ocean Choice’s Europe division which provides strategic direction to all of the company’s European activities.

Featured Speakers - December 3rd (12pm – 2pm EST)


The Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) era is here. This new paradigm in ushering in a major realignment of the corporate world as a way to address some of the biggest societal challenges of our time. How can manufacturers navigate this sink or swim transition? Better yet, how can manufacturers unlock the potential of ESG to reduce their carbon footprints and access the workers they need for today and for the future?


Geraldine Huse, President, P&G Canada

As President of P&G Canada, Geraldine is responsible for the Company’s business and operations of one of the Company’s Top 10 Focus Markets. She has oversight of almost 2000 employees across a manufacturing site in Belleville, a distribution center in Brantford, and a general office located in Toronto.
Since joining P&G in 1986, her career has spanned across various Sales, Marketing and General Management positions including senior leadership roles across Europe, Asia, IMEA and America. Geraldine has led P&G Sales in UK & Ireland, followed by a position of Senior VP Global Sales with responsibility for a key customer account in 12 markets, and most recently, she was the CEO and Chairman of the Board for P&G Central Europe.
During her career, Geraldine has championed Equality & Inclusion efforts by addressing the gender balance in leadership roles and promoting inclusive leadership as the unique way to succeed in the age of disruption. UK’s top trade magazine identified Geraldine as one of the top 100 influential women in business and Canadian Grocer named Geraldine a 2021 Star Women in Grocery.


ESG – Panel Discussion
Moderated by: Véronique Proulx, SVP Public relations and Quebec Leader, CME

Penny Wise, President and Managing Director, 3M Canada

Penny Wise was appointed President of 3M Canada in January 2020. She brings over 20 years of global brand and marketing experience to the role, most recently as the Global Marketing Director of the Safety and Industrial Business Group (3M’s largest business), based out of the 3M global headquarters in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Originally from Canada, Penny began her 3M career at the Canadian head office based in London, Ontario. She has held a variety of progressive senior leadership roles in business, commercialization, brand and corporate marketing including the former Executive Director of the Canadian Consumer business group.
In 2010, after relocating to 3M global headquarters as the 3M International Marketing Director and Chief Branding Officer, Penny led the team to successfully launch a new global tagline for the company known as “3M Science. Applied to Life™.”

Rhonda Barnet, President & COO, AVIT Manufacturing

Recently appointed as President & COO, Rhonda spent the past 10 years as VP of Finance for AVIT Manufacturing (formerly known as Steelworks Design Inc.) where she managed the day to day operations as well as finance and business development portfolios. Rhonda has taken AVIT Manufacturing from its original concept of servicing the automotive industry with custom automation, to a full-service R&D firm which is now sought after by researchers and inventors around North America. Rhonda is actively expanding the company to include highly innovative projects from the energy, pharmaceutical, waste treatment and general manufacturing industries. At AVIT, Rhonda has cultivated a dedicated team with a small-town work ethic, supported by a global vision.
Rhonda was the first female Chair on the National Board of the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, she has served on the regional boards of Kawartha Manufacturers Association, Start-up Peterborough (to support Canadian Entrepreneurship), and WRAIN looking at the demonstration of water and waste-water innovation in the City of Kawartha Lakes.

Jean-Paul Deveau, President, Acadian Seaplants Limited

Jean-Paul Deveau is the President of Acadian Seaplants Limited, a multinational company specializing in the manufacturing, cultivation and processing of marine plants for agri-chemical, animal feed, food and specialty ingredients markets. Acadian Seaplants exports innovative seaweed-based products to over 80 countries. It maintains significant research partnerships with the National Research Council (Canada) and academic institutions throughout the world. The company operates six manufacturing facilities in Canada, Ireland and Scotland, and a R&D Center and head office in Nova Scotia, Canada. It has 400 employees in 13 countries, including 35 research scientists, 16 of whom hold PhDs, and provides seasonal employment to ~600 fisher-harvesters throughout Maritime communities in Canada, USA, Ireland and Scotland.




November 30 to December 3, 2021,
from 12 – 2pm EST, daily


Free (Advanced registration is required)



Ashley Stevens | Ashley.Stevens@cme-mec.ca