Bruno Dragani is a value-based leader with 25 years of financial co-operative experience. He serves as an executive for Coastal Community Credit Union and holds the Chief People & Administration Officer position. His areas of oversight include Information Technology, Human Resources, Centralized Operations, and Premises. He has been instrumental in leveraging people and technology to create strategies and programs that support the credit union.
Mr. Dragani holds a Master in Business Administration from Royal Roads University (MBA) and is a Chartered Professional in Human Resources (CPHR) and he is currently completing the (ICD) Institute of Corporate Directors designation. He serves as a director for the Nanaimo Port Theater and is a past chair for Community Futures Central Vancouver Island. He has also volunteered for the Canadian Co-operatives Association internationally and has served in Mongolia and Indonesia.
Michele Aasgard is the Vice-chairperson of the Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada. Ms. Aasgard is a former Executive Director of the Alberta Community and Cooperative Association (ACCA) in Edmonton, Alberta. The ACCA seeks to foster a healthy and vibrant co-operative sector; to provide a forum for co-operatives to associate and network with other provincial and national co-operatives; to promote the co-operative model; to support the development of strong Alberta communities through co-operation; to foster the development of community leaders through education; to provide youth education and leadership; and, to foster a healthy agriculture sector through co-operation and education.
Before joining the ACCA, Ms. Aasgard worked for the Alberta Fish and Wildlife Division of the Alberta Government, developing and delivering training programs for staff and the private sector. She has extensive experience producing educational resource materials and has completed her Certificate of Adult and Continuing Education from the University of Alberta with distinction.
Tracey Kilesch is co-chair of the Co-operative Management Education Co-operative (CMEC), the umbrella organization overseeing the work of the International Centre of Co-operative Management (ICCM) at Saint Mary’s University.
Tracey Kilesch is the Manager of Member Relations at Central 1. Before Central 1, Tracey held roles at Concentra and Vancity, working in strategy, partnerships, change management, community investment and member experience.
She holds a Master’s degree in Co-operative and Credit Union Management from Saint Mary’s University. Outside of work, she teaches Sustainable Business Models at BCIT in the Advanced Sustainable Business Leadership Diploma Program.
Tracey is one of the co-founders of CanadaDE, a credit union development education program that is offered through the ICCM. CanadaDE brings credit union professionals from across the globe to Halifax to learn and share strategies that operationalize values to unlock the potential of their financial co-operatives to serve their members meaningfully.
Neil Cooper’s analytical mind and focus keep Conexus in the winning column to ensure it is properly equipped for and understands what success looks like. As Chief Financial Officer, Mr.Cooper leads the accounting, finance and treasury functions for Conexus. With a focus on organizational financial sustainability and stewardship, he is willing to make thoughtful, tough decisions for the greater good of Conexus, its members and employees.
Mr. Cooper’s experience in the financial industry is supplemented by a Master of Business Administration Degree and Bachelor of Science Degree, both from the University of Saskatchewan. He currently serves on the boards of the Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada and APEX I and II Limited Partnership. He has enjoyed volunteering with the Canadian Co-operative Association, Canadian Cancer Society and MS Society of Canada.
Mark Needham of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, is the President of Arctic Co-operatives Limited and Arctic Co-operative Development Fund and has been an active member for over fifteen years. A resident of Yellowknife for 30 years, Mr. Needham serves on the Board of Yellowknife Direct Charge Co-op, first from 1992 -1994 and 1996 onward, holding all executive positions.
Mr. Needham served on the Canadian Co-operative Association (CCA) and Co-operative Development Foundation (CDF) Board in 2013. In 2014, he was elected to the Board of Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada (CMC).
Mr. Needham has previously served on the Resolutions Committee, the Finance and Audit Committee, and as the CMC representative on the CCA Board Nomination Committee. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of British Columbia, a Master of Business Administration Degree from Queens University, and is very active in his community.
Jeanette Wakelin is the Director of Product Solutions at Atlantic Central and is responsible for the oversight and execution of product and services strategies supporting over 45 credit unions in Atlantic Canada. Having worked in the financial cooperative sector for more than 30 years, Ms. Wakelin has developed a strong passion for the co-operative way of life.
She has served on the PEI Co-operative Council, the Credit Union National Benefits Committee, the Credit Union National Risk Management Committee, and the Charlottetown Chamber of Commerce. She currently is on the National Committee in support of a co-operative financial literacy program and works with over 50 certified trainers in Atlantic Canada.
Ms. Wakelin is a Certified Change Management Practitioner from ADPRO and has a Sales and Service Training Certification from MOHR Development Group, a Performance Management Certification from the Hay Group, and her MBA designation specializing in Human Resource Management. Jeanette was the National Chair of the Children’s Wish Foundation and now serves on its National Board as Chair of the Human Resources Committee.
Julie Breuer is Vice President, Member Relations & Stakeholder Engagement, Central 1 Credit Union. She joined Central 1 in February 2016, bringing more than a decade of experience in the credit union system. She is responsible for all member/owner-related aspects of relationships with Class A members of Central 1 to maximize value between member credit unions and Central 1.
Prior to joining Central 1, Julie was the Director of Engagement with the Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada building relationships with credit union leaders from across Canada to engage them in the building and strengthening credit unions and other co-operatives around the world.
Mr. Breuer is a graduate of the University of Guelph and holds a post-graduate certificate in Management Skills from the Sprott School of Business at Carleton University. She has traveled the globe, having lived, worked, or played in more than 65 countries worldwide.
Jean-Pierre (JP) Gagnon is the President & Chief Executive Officer of Farm Mutual Re and a strong advocate for the Canadian mutual insurance community.
JP has extensive experience in the property and casualty insurance industry and has held senior leadership roles in actuarial, risk management and underwriting in Canada and France. He was Vice President of Personal Insurance at Travelers Canada from 2010 until joining Farm Mutual Re in 2019.
He was also a founding director on the board of Collectivfide Insurance Group, a broker acquisition company formed by the mutual community.
A number of insurance industry committees have benefitted from JP’s leadership over the years. He was a director at the Canadian National Insurance Crime Services (CANATICS), now part of Equité Association — an industry organization created to help combat insurance fraud; and a member of the Insurance Bureau of Canada’s (IBC) Ontario Committee.
JP has a bachelor’s degree in actuarial sciences from Laval University and is a Fellow of both the Casualty Actuarial Society and the Canadian Institute of Actuaries.
Jack Wilkinson joined The Co-operators board in April 2007. He serves as chairperson of the Member and Co-operative Relations, Democratic Structure Review* and Resolutions committees. During his tenure on the board, he has been vice-chairperson and a member of the CEO Search, Sustainability, and Executive committees. He was a delegate to The Cooperators representing the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) from May 2002 to April 2007.
Mr. Wilkinson serves as chair of the Nipissing-Sudbury Co-op and is also The Co-operators representative on the Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada board. He served as president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, the International Federation of Agriculture Producers and the Canadian Federation of Agriculture.
Mr. Wilkinson is self-employed as a grain and oilseed producer on his family farm. He is a retired Captain from the Canadian Armed Forces and the recipient of an Honours Doctorate of Laws from the University of Guelph.
With over twenty-five years in the credit union system, Ian McArthur has a deep and intimate knowledge of credit unions and an undeniable commitment to the credit union community. Ian McArthur joined Innovation Credit Union in April 2015 and currently holds the role of Chief People & Governance Officer.
In his current role, Ian McArthur is a member of the Executive Team and provides leadership to the functional areas of People, Governance and Strategy. During his 15-plus years at SaskCentral, Ian McArthur gained a wealth of operational experience and earned a reputation for being an innovative leader and trusted and effective facilitator. Mr. McArthur was responsible for credit union operations such as internal audit, risk management, training, operational compliance, deposit and lending support, cash and armoured car services, HR consulting and strategic planning. Ian McArthur has worked with credit union boards and executive teams across Canada.
Ian graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of Saskatchewan and followed that up with a Fellow of the Credit Union Institute of Canada designation. Through Queen’s University Smith School of Business, he has obtained his Executive Education Certificate in General Management.
Ted Pahl is the Chief Executive Officer at North Peace Savings in Northeast BC. He is responsible for oversight of the credit union, board relations, and key internal/external stakeholder relations. He has over 25 years of working in the credit union system and has worked in credit unions from coast to coast.
Prior to joining North Peace, Ted Pahl was the CEO of credit unions in Atlantic Canada and Saskatchewan. Mr. Pahl is an experienced board member serving on such boards as Regional District, Hospital Foundation, League Data, Atlantic Chamber of Commerce, he was the chair of the Atlantic Credit Unions CEO advisory board. He was also an active member of the fundraising committee for the Ronald MacDonald Children’s charity in Halifax. Ted Pahl served one term as the Mayor of the town of Warfield in BC and spent 10 years serving as a firefighter.
Mr. Pahl holds a postgraduate certificate in executive coaching from Royal Roads University.
Annie Joyal works as Senior Director, Team Development at the Cooperation Council of Ontario (CCO). Cooperatives and the development of collective enterprises have been close to her heart since she became aware of the cooperative movement during her university studies. She is proud to be able to lead the development efforts of the CCO.
Annie Joyal received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Laurentian University with a specialization in marketing and human resources. She was Project Manager — Jeunes en action, at Association canadienne-française de l’Ontario — région Témiskaming, a mandate during which she helped young cooperators start the first youth services cooperative for this region. She also worked for one of North America’s leading metal foundry producers for 18 years.
She was Inside Sales Manager during her last 4 years with this company.
Annie Joyal is part of various boards such as the Timiskaming Funeral Cooperative, Festival des Folies Franco Fun, the Centre culturel ARTEM, the Village Noel and the Comité local en immigration francophone (Timiskaming, Timmins, Corridor de la route 11), the Témiskaming population discovers, promotes and exudes cooperation, francophone pride and the joy of living in French. Annie Joyal has had a positive impact in various small remote communities in northeastern Ontario for several years.
Michael Hatch is the Canadian Credit Union Association’s Vice President of Government Relations. Mr. Hatch manages the team that runs CCUA’s advocacy and policy work at the federal and provincial levels on behalf of credit unions. Before joining CCUA in 2018, Mr. Hatch spent a decade at a government relations consulting firm working primarily for national associations. During that time, he also served as chief economist to a large retail trade association and was their national media spokesperson, conducting well over 2,000 media interviews in all formats over ten years. He worked on Parliament Hill for three years as an economic policy advisor. Originally from Newfoundland, Mr. Hatch has a degree in Economics from the University of Toronto.