Co-Chairs

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Matthew Thomas

Matthew Thomas is the founder and chief executive officer of Paddle HR (www.paddlehr.com), a cloud-based enterprise talent platform that helps large organizations identify and retain their best talent.

Prior to founding Paddle, Matthew founded The Intersector Project and co-hosted the The White House Forum on Cross-Sector Leadership. His research on cross-sector leadership has been published by Harvard Business Review (“Triple Strength Leadership”) and Oxford University Press (“The Gifts of Breadth”). Previously, Matthew was a consultant with McKinsey & Company, where he served clients across the financial, natural resources and retail sectors. He also contributed to McKinsey’s efforts on Long-Term Capitalism, Canada in the Pacific Century and Cross-Sector Leadership. Matthew started his career at Morgan Stanley and Department of Finance Canada. He graduated with distinction from the Schulich School of Business at York University.

Currently, Matthew also serves as a David Rockefeller Fellow of the Trilateral Commission, an unofficial policy group of prominent businesspeople, academics and politicians from North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, and is a member of the World Economic Forum and Banff Forum communities. Matthew formerly served as Practitioner-in- Residence at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business, and as chairman of Young Diplomats of Canada, Young Canadians in Finance and CanLeads. He has delivered remarks on leadership to audiences at The White House, Corporate Executive Board, Maytree Foundation, and TEDxWesternU.


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Lisa Deacon

Lisa co-organizes Datafest Ottawa, a social enterprise which connects the diverse skills and experience of community to spark innovation in the social change sector. She spends her days mobilizing content, data and research insights with the Canadian Bureau for International Education, a member-based national non-profit. Lisa has a growing family and recently co-founded momfriends.ca, an e-commerce startup on a mission to support women and address stigma around birth and postpartum. She volunteers her time as a career mentor with Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization. Lisa is a grateful alumna of Bishops University and Ryerson University.