Alumni Association Board of Directors
Front row (left to right): Liliane Lê, Carole Theauvette, Elias Hage, Elizabeth Rody, Alexandra Bissinger, Emma Bédard
Second row (left to right): Fares El Sabbagh, Linda Assad - Butcher, Charles-Antoine St-Jean, Jaime Seidner, Shaunt Tokmakjian, Rajinder Narula, Brad Ryder.
Back row (left to right): Philippe Beaulieu, Jean-Paul Bédard, Diane Plouffe Reardon
Absent: John Gitas
If you wish to communicate with the Board, contact alumni.president@uOttawa.ca
Elizabeth Rody, BA ’83
Chief of Protocol, Parliament of Canada
In 2004, Elizabeth Rody was named Chief of Protocol within the International and Interparliamentary Affairs Directorate at the Parliament of Canada. In this position, Ms. Rody is responsible for the success of official visits by heads of State, heads of governments, foreign ministers, speakers and all state ceremonies, national events and parliamentary conferences held in partnership with Canada’s Parliament.
Liliane Lê, BSocSc ’97
Senior Manager, Government Relations , CBC
Ms. Liliane Lê joined the public broadcaster in 2011 after working in the financial and policy side of the industry, namely with film, digital and interactive media, video game companies, and community radio stations. Liliane is a seasoned professional with extensive governance, strategy and public affairs experience. As a trusted advisor, she has worked with senior executives and board members in highly sensitive and fast-paced environments. Liliane has also led multilingual and multidisciplinary teams through successful change management strategies. Formerly, she held several senior positions with Telefilm Canada and the Department of Canadian Heritage.
Rajinder Narula, BASc ’80
Rajinder Narula is the founder and CEO of InCa Synergies. For over ten years, he has focused on accelerating Canadian Technology Solutions entry into the Indian market and spends half his time in that region. Mr.Narula has helped launch numerous start-ups and altogether, has secured over $40 million in early and mid-stage funding for his start-up, TenXc Wireless and others. He has also organized mergers and acquisitions between Canadian and Indian firms. Mr.Narula is also the co-founder and a charter member of the Ottawa chapter of TiE (the Indus Entrepreneur), a global organization focused on fostering entrepreneurship through mentoring, networking and education. He is also co-founder of the Maharaja’s Ball, an Ottawa-based charity.
Jean-Paul Bédard, BSc ’86 Cert ’90
Vice President, Public Affairs, Canadian Blood Services
Jean-Paul Bédard is responsible for several functions at Canadian Blood Services, including strategic development and implementation of fundraising, stakeholder and government relations, creative services, communication, and corporate reputation and health policy. M. Bédard has over 20 years of proven success in government relations and public affairs in the biopharmaceutical sector. Over the years, he has served on various industry boards, committees and not-for-profit organizations. He is currently a member of the Board of Governors of the University of Ottawa.
Carole Theauvette, BSocSc ’79, MA ’83
As a senior public sector executive for over 25 years, Carole has acquired a wealth of experience, including positions in a Crown corporation, provincial government, a national association and a variety of federal departments and agencies. At the international level, she has represented Canada in multilateral organizations, namely with the United Nations’ World Food Program, and has also led humanitarian and commercial missions to numerous countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia, and participated in various summits (G7, la Francophonie and the Commonwealth). Ms. Theauvette is currently an executive coach with the Public Service Commission and has undertaken some consultancy work. She continues to actively volunteer for various organizations.
Philippe Beaulieu, BSocSc ’91, MBA
Philippe Beaulieu is the co-founder of LetsShare, a new educational company, and is a partner in Avistra International, a consulting firm. Although he was born in Montreal, he has lived 26 years abroad and has implemented and managed the American and international operations of Canadian technology firms ranging from start-ups to companies with annual budgets exceeding $400 million. Mr. Beaulieu has several years’ experience in B2B e-commerce, and has worked with major government organizations and companies to negotiate business contracts with strategic and distribution partners in every corner of the globe.
Alexandra Bissinger, BASc ’09, MEng ’13
Team Leader of Programs, Defence Construction Canada
During her time at uOttawa, Alex Bissinger was actively involved with Engineers Without Borders and volunteered for many Faculty of Engineering events. Ms. Bissinger is a Team Leader with Defence Construction Canada, on rotation between Chilliwack and Comox. On the weekends, you can find her hiking, biking or surfing in Tofino!
John Gitas, BSc ’00, BA ’01
Director, Healthcare and Life Sciences Advisory Services, KPMG LLP, New York, NY
John Gitas has over 14 years’ experience in advising health care and life sciences organizations. His management consulting experience is in project management, regulatory compliance, contract compliance, promotional and non-promotional activity reviews and future state process design. Mr. Gitas also has assisted clients in preventing, detecting and responding to incidences of domestic and international fraud and misconduct issues, which has led to him assisting clients in enhancing their compliance programs and controls to mitigate bribery, corruption and general fraud risks.
Jaime Seidner, BSocSc ’94
Partner, PwC Canada- Tax Services, Customs and International Trade
Jaime Seidner has over 25 years of experience in a range of positions within government, a "Big 4" accounting firm, consulting and law firm, and in indirect tax, customs and export controls positions. He specializes in customs and export controls compliance planning and duty-saving strategies. He regularly advises on the customs impact of matters concerning accounting, transfer pricing and taxation. Mr. Seidner also consults extensively on Canadian non-resident importer issues, customs appeals, customs audits, seizures and ascertained forfeitures, voluntary disclosures/entry corrections, import admissibility, U.S. customs issues and matters concerning excise. In addition to his vast experience in Canada, Mr. Seidner has worked on a wide range of customs projects in the United States, Mexico, Latin America, Europe, Australia and Asia.
Diane Plouffe-Reardon, BA ’70
Diane Plouffe Reardon is a former Vice-President, Marketing and Communications at the Royal Canadian Mint. She has over 35 years experience in the field of corporate communications and marketing both, in the private and public sectors. Throughout her career, she has always been responsible for the management of public issues, developing the brand and sustaining the corporate reputation at the local, national and international levels. Prior to joining the Mint, she spent several years at the National Capital Commission, at Ogilvy & Mathers in Brussels, and at the City of Ottawa. Since her retirement, Mrs. Plouffe Reardon has served on the boards of several local community groups and continues to be an active member of the Advisory Committee on Arts, Culture, Heritage and Recreation of the City of Ottawa.
Shaunt Tokmakjian, JD ’14
Shaunt Tokmakjian is a proud graduate of the University of Ottawa who recently earned his Juris Doctor degree. He is an entrepreneur at heart who aims to develop new and creative opportunities. During his time as a student, Mr. Tokmakjian co-founded the Strokes for Stroke Charity Golf Tournament and the Business Law Clinic at the Faculty of Law.
Linda Assad-Butcher, BScN ’70, MEd ’86
Linda Assad Butcher is an experienced executive with extensive management experience in the public and not-for- profit sectors. From 1989 to1990, she was a member of the transition team that created La Cité collégiale, where she later served as Dean of Health Sciences and Community Services, a position from which she retired in 2006. Mrs Assad-Butcher is a dedicated volunteer with significant governance experience on boards in the health care, education, community and social services sectors. In 2003, she was the recipient of a Capital Educators’ Award.
Elias Hage, BCom ’07
Manager, Advisory Services, Ernst & Young
Elias Hage is a proud alumnus of the University of Ottawa who obtained his BCom, with a specialization in accounting, from the Telfer School of Management. Since his graduation, he has also obtained the CPA – CA, CISA and PMP professional designations. He provides advisory and assurance services to clients in both the public and private sectors, with a focus on business transformation and performance improvement. Mr. Hage is fond of the Ottawa community and keeps in touch through volunteer activities: he has served on the local leadership council for Autism Ontario, been a guest lecturer at the University of Ottawa, volunteered for local charitable organizations, including United Way and the Ottawa Food Bank, and contributed to leadership seminars across the city.
Emma Bédard, BA '11
First enrolled in biosciences, Bédard discovered a passion for communications through a haphazard elective course choice. Then, the University of Ottawa’s CO-OP program opened doors to positions within the federal government, at the National Research Council and at Aboriginal Affairs (now Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada), among others. In 2013, she joined the CBC where she continues to hone the style, sharpness, clarity and emotions of her rhetoric to affect other people with her words. Now, in Toronto, she plays a leadership role in issues management, audience relations and employee communications at the public broadcaster. When she’s not at work, you’ll likely find Bédard in the water, in a campervan or lost in the woods.
Fares El Sabbagh, BCom '07
Fares Elsabbagh is a business development professional with many successful ventures in his portfolio, including expanding North America’s largest student travel company into Western Canada and expanding a design-build firm into Ottawa and Vancouver. Elsabbagh is an internationally recognized entrepreneur. He made the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s (NKBA) top 30 under 30 list in 2013, chosen from a list of applicants across the United States and Canada. As one of the founders of Canadian General Contractors Group, Fares Elsabbagh is a very dedicated and passionate person who leads a team of young, energetic individuals in the fast-paced and high-pressure design-build industry. He has grown the company to include nearly 100 employees and contractors. The company now has an annual revenue of $15,000,000.