Schulich Executive Education Centre (SEEC) hosts virtual ‘fireside chats’ with top experts

Seec fireside chat FEATURED
Seec fireside chat FEATURED

Each day we are faced with uncertainty and disruption. COVID-19 has turned the world upside down in just a matter of months. Businesses have to be nimble and resilient to survive. With these new business challenges come new opportunities for to transform and succeed.

Given the new world we live in, the Schulich Executive Education Centre (SEEC) is presenting a series of virtual fireside chats: “Leadership Lessons in Troubled Times.” A fireside chat is an informal yet structured interview between a moderator and a guest, often a high-profile speaker, that involves the audience by way of asking questions.

These free, 30-minute online events will feature thought leaders and influencers from top organizations across a variety of industries. The Zoom fireside chats are designed to be informal, engaging and interactive.

  • Each virtual fireside chat will start with a one-on-one interview where SEEC’s Executive Director, Alan Middleton, will interview the fireside chat speaker about his/her leadership style during uncertain times, strategies for managing remote teams, overcoming resistance to change and improving collaboration and stakeholder relations during a crisis.
  • Half the session will be dedicated to participants asking the fireside chat speaker questions related to his/her leadership lessons in troubled times. Participant’s questions are submitted via the Zoom chat function directly to Middleton, who will consolidate the questions to identify common themes, which he will then ask the fireside chat speaker.
  • The 30-minute fireside chat will end with closing remarks from the fireside chat speaker. After the session, each participant will receive a SEEC thank-you email, including a video recording of the virtual fireside chat for future reference or to share with colleagues.

SEEC is hosting these industry experts as part of its virtual fireside chat speaker series. The executives will share their insights on leadership lessons learned and how they might apply to your business or organization. For more information about the Leadership Lessons in Troubled Times series, contact SEEC Associate Director Robert Lynn by email to

Register for Leadership Lessons from COVID-19

Thursday, April 16, 1 to 1:30 p.m.

Michael Gardam Healthcare Leadership DevelopmentDr. Michael Gardam, chief of staff, Humber River Hospital

In the first of a new online speaker series, Dr. Gardam will talk with SEEC Executive Director Alan Middleton from 1 to 1:30 p.m. about leadership lessons gained during his work on the current COVID-19 pandemic and also the SARS outbreak of 2003.


Register for Leadership Lessons: A View from the Top

Monday, April 27, 11 to 11:30 a.m. 

Ronnie Miller, president & CEO, Roche Pharma Canada

Miller will share leadership insights from his 20 years as head of Roche Pharma Canada. He will discuss innovation and how the industry has moved from a “one-size-fits-all” philosophy of drug treatment to a much more personalized approach.


Register for Leadership Lessons from Scotiabank

Wednesday, May 6, 2 to 2:30 p.m. (EDT)

John Doig, Scotiabank executive vice-president, head of Branch Banking

Doig will share his leadership insights from his 22-year career at Scotiabank. He currently oversees all of Canadian Branch Banking and Small Business Banking. Previously, he was Executive Vice-President and Chief Marketing Officer, responsible for all global marketing, sponsorship, philanthropy, and corporate social responsibility activities, including securing the 20-year partnership between Scotiabank and Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment and the naming of Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. He is also the Chief Executive Officer of SCENE.

Register for Leadership Lessons from the Boardroom

Thursday, May 21, 2 to 2:30 p.m. (EDT)

Lisa K. Conway, executive vice-president & general counsel, InnVest Hotels

Conway will discuss boardroom leadership and her role as Executive Vice-President & General Counsel of InnVest Hotels, the largest owner of hotels in Canada. InnVest’s portfolio includes Hilton, Fairmont, Holiday Inn, Sheraton, Hyatt, Marriott, St. Regis and Homewood Suites hotels across the country. Conway is the former CEO of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and has also held executive roles at HSBC, Toronto Stock Exchange, Citibank and BlackRock.

Register for Leadership Lessons from Walmart

Thursday, June 4, 11 to 11:30 a.m. (EDT)

John Bayliss, Walmart Canada, senior vice-president, Logistics & Supply Chain

Bayliss, who leads Walmart Canada’s logistics and supply network, will talk about the unique challenges in ensuring the shelves are stocked at both retail stores and online as part of the supply chain of food, clothing, electronics, hardware, services and other retail goods from coast-to-coast.


Register for Leadership Lessons and the Future of Work

Wednesday, June 24, 11-11:30 a.m. (EDT)

Zabeen Hirji, global adviser on the Future of Work, Deloitte

Hirji is Deloitte’s Global Adviser on the Future of Work, Board Chair of CivicAction, adviser to the Clerk of the Privy Council for the Government of Canada and former Chief Human Resources Officer at RBC. She will share her insights on trends in the workplace, work/life integration, up-skilling and leadership lessons from her own executive career.