TCBC: 2015/2016 Steering Committee Members

The Toronto Cloud Business Coalition wishes to thank the following GTA cloud community leaders who have agreed to help guide TCBC in 2015/2016:


Ambrose Matt - no tie - croppedMatt Ambrose
Technology Advisory Leader, Private Company Services, PwC

For more than 18 years, Matt has been advising clients on effectively planning and managing their technology investments, ensuring their IT directions are aligned with strategic plans and current and projected operational realities.  Matt has worked cross-industry with public, private, and not for profit organizations. He is currently focused on the middle-market where he is helping clients leverage technology and remain competitive by delivering technology strategy, governance, outsourcing, process improvement, service delivery, and project management services. Before joining PwC’s Consulting Practice as a Technology Advisory Leader, Matt previously worked at another ‘Big 4’ in Technology Advisory, where he lead  the Canadian Cloud Community  of Practice. His international experience includes living in  Bermuda where he worked with the leading professional services/hosting/managed services suppliers with global clients.


Sylvia Bauer
Director, Marketing, CenturyLink Technology Solutions

Through a 13 year career as marketing director for CenturyLink, Savvis and Fusepoint Managed Services, Sylvia has established herself as a leader in cloud marketing as service demand has evolved from helping clients to embrace hosting to management of complex, interconnected systems. She has been part of the growth of both cloud suppliers and the customers who rely on cloud for an ever-wider range of business-critical workloads. In her current role, Sylvia works with the Canadian and Americas/headquarters teams to build and deliver programs advancing CenturyLink’s presence in high-growth segments. Prior to joining Fusepoint, Sylvia was Canadian marketing manager for SAP.


JoeBelinsky200Joe Belinsky
Vice President, Technology Infrastructure Services, Moneris Solutions

Joe is responsible for supporting Moneris’s core payments technology business. Key areas include high availability design, technology strategy, BYOD, technology operations, merchant escalations, data centre management, end-user management, technology security evolution and network and telecom service management. Before Moneris, Joe worked with AGF Management Limited and CIBC, and acted as a consultant to Cancer Care Ontario.




AJ Byers
Executive at Large

AJ Byers is currently the President of JEDTech Group, which assists emerging technology organizations with accelerating growth and scaling businesses operationally.  Prior to this role, he was President of Rogers Data Centres, where he assembled one of Canada largest Data Centre services organizations, and President of BlackIron Data, Canada’s most certified data centre company.

AJ spent 8 years as an executive at Primus where he assisted them in transitioning their business from a legacy telecom provider to a full solution technology services organization, and assisted in the sale of Primus’ global assets across 5 continents. Prior to Primus, AJ ran one of Canada’s largest independent Internet Services companies for business, Magma Communications. Magma built one of Canada’s first Internet Data Centres, were the first to offer DSL services to the business market, and were the first multi-homed ISP in Canada.


LizClarke-LILiz Clarke
Member of the Faculty, School of Business, Centennial College

Since August 2000, Liz has been a full-time member of the faculty at the School of Business, Centennial College. Liz has focused on emerging educational and business technologies, business communications and project management across a variety of both graduate and undergraduate programs. In particular, the graduate “Capstone” course for both the Marketing Management and E-Business Graduate Certificate programs call upon her skills in managing multiple stakeholders, conducting needs assessments with industry partners, and mapping skills and competencies to available resources.

Capstone course clients have included Bank of Montreal and CIBC, Cisco and IBM, the ALS Society of Canada, Médecins Sans Frontiéres (MSF), TTC/Wheel-Trans and Metroland Papers.


JeffCohen200Jeff Cohen
Manager, IT Engineering, Shoppers Drug Mart

Jeff manages a diverse set of IT associates responsible for creation of IT solutions, standards and specifications throughout all portfolios at Shoppers Drug Mart. Technologies include platform, networking, database and middleware (WLS, WAS, WMB, MQ and DataPower).

Prior to working for Shoppers Drug Mart, Jeff was Associated Director, Unix Infrastructure for LoyaltyOne. From late 2008-2010, Jeff acted as the North American IT Manager for StatPro, responsible for the successful implementation and management of StatPro’s North American cloud services platform providing portfolio management and analytic services to financial institutions.


Collings200Dave Collings
IT Systems Manager, Exco Engineering

Dave is the IT Manager for Newmarket, Ontario-based Exco Engineering, a world leading builder of large high-pressure aluminum die casting dies and a major tooling supplier for tier-one OEMs such as GM, Ford, and Chrysler LLC in North America and Daimler AG in Europe.

While working in IT, Dave has deep understanding and background in manufacturing, including NC programming, post processing and, connecting CNC machines to the network for data communication, from RS232 to TCP/IP. This background skill is valuable to understand the storage requirements and graphic requirements of CAD workstations, enabling Dave and his team to organize and manage data logically such that it can be saved and utilized effectively and efficiently.



Marcus Cziesla
Director of Cloud Solutions, Red Hat

Marcus is currently leading the team responsible for taking the Red Hat cloud portfolio to the North American market. His team works with organizations to develop and execute hybrid cloud strategies utilizing Red Hat and open source technologies to deliver business value through increased IT agility. His areas of solution expertise include Cloud, Virtualization, Systems Management, IT Operations, and App. Dev. Infrastructure software. Marcus came to Red Hat through the acquisition of ManageIQ, where he help launch the ManageIQ product and built the team that implemented cloud and virtualization solutions at numerous enterprise customers. Prior to ManageIQ, Marcus held leadership roles at Network Associates, Sterling Commerce, Novadigm, and Hewlett Packard.


Gaertner200Jerrard B. Gaertner
Senior Vice President, Compliance, Security and Standards, Managed Analytic Services, Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Ryerson University, and co-developer, Enterprise Analytics certificate programme. University of Toronto

Jerrard Gaertner is a chartered professional accountant (CPA) designated by the CICA as a specialist in information systems auditing and information technology. He is certified in the Governance of Enterprise IT (CGEIT), as an Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Information Privacy Professional *(CIPP/IT), Internal Auditor (CIA), Forensic Investigator (CFI), Information Systems Professional (I.S.P.) and Information Technology Certified Professional (ITCP).

Jerry is currently a Senior Vice President with Managed Analytic Services, a firm he co-founded. Prior to MAS, he held national responsibility for the systems assurance and computer audit activities of a Big 4 accounting firm. He is an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Ryerson University, and co-developed and teaches University of Toronto’s Certificate Programme in Enterprise Analytics.


PaulGragtmansLIPaul Gragtmans
Principal, ET Group, and member of the Board of Directors, TechConnex

Paul is a principal with ET Group, which focuses on the design, sourcing, installation and service of all aspects of corporate video infrastructure. Working from a foundation rooted in a 30 year history as an corporate AV partner to corporations, ET Group has extended its capabilities to incorporate IT know-how into its collaboration system knowledge base. ET Group integrates total solutions for video conferencing, digital signage, control/operations centers, mobile corporate video, CCTV & IP TV.

Prior to joining ET Group, Paul had an extensive career with IBM Canada, including a role as General Manager for Education and Training and Chairman of PBSC Computer Training. He is currently a member of the board at TechConnex, the GTA IT association.


Tracey-cropped-200Tracey Hutchison
Director, Distribution Sales, Cisco Systems Canada

Tracey is responsible for Cisco Canada’s largest distribution relationship, generating more than $250 million in annual revenue. In this role, he is responsible for building a vision/strategy/execution/measurement plan to accelerate above-market growth, and for management of a 9 member product and services sales team and multi-million dollar marketing and incentive programs. In previous Cisco assignments, Tracey has had responsibility for driving data centre adoption of advanced products, equipping Canadian production data centres with server and networking technology.

Prior to joining Cisco, Tracey built the sales team at IDC Canada, and held sales positions with Bell.


Brandon Kolybaba
Co-founder, Cloud A

Based in Halifax, Brandon is the co-founder of Cloud A, Canada’s pioneering OpenStack-based IaaS provider. Cloud A addresses the needs of Canadian organizations seeking a combination of open standards, Canadian data residency, and advanced capabilities (such as automation, scalability and disaster recovery) that are built into the IaaS solution. The company’s tremendous growth speaks to the importance of its core platform design.

Prior to launching Cloud A, Brandon was co-founder of Sheepdog, a pioneering ecosystem partner which helped customers to embrace industry-leading products like Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform, and which was at one point the only Premier Google Apps reseller in Canada. Brandon has also launched other cloud/web focused companies, including Norex (web application development) and Cloud Brewery (a new firm focused on OpenStack security and ecosystem development).


jeff-lamboy-200Jeff Lamboy
Industry Strategy, Market Insights and Product Marketing, GoDaddy-Advanced Hosting

Jeff is a key member of the GoDaddy corporate team, responsible for expanding GoDaddy’s relationships with SMB customers looking to increase productivity and streamline business processes by embracing hosted solutions. In this role, he works with a wide range of internal experts, business partners, customers and influencers to identify ways that GoDaddy can use its advanced capabilities, such as its managed WordPress hosting service and cloud-native applications to help small businesses drive better business results.

Prior to joining GoDaddy, Jeff was responsible for technology evangelism, industry strategy and analyst relations at PEER 1 Hosting. Jeff has also worked with Rackspace and with the Digett Interactive Agency.


Craig McLellan
Founder, ThinkOn

Craig is the founder of ThinkOn, which delivers secure, fast, scalable – and Canadian – Infrastructure as a Service to support business-critical workloads for applications such as enterprise applications, Big Data analytics, and disaster recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS). ThinkOn is unique in several respects: it delivers its virtual data centre services exclusively through ecosystem partners, and it has developed a set of “recipes” that enable these partners to work effectively with products from vendors such as Microsoft, CommVault and Veeam to deliver best practices to Canadian clients.

In addition to being an entrepreneur, Craig is a cloud-savvy CTO who has worked with Fortune 500 customers and as a technology executive on both sides of the border with and SunGard Canada.


SheldonPollack-200Sheldon Pollack
Founder and Vice-Chairman, OnX Enterprise Solutions; Chairman of the Board, AcuityAds; Board Member, Engagement Labs

Sheldon is an active member of the Canadian cloud community. Under his leadership, OnX became a pioneer in bridging the gap between traditional channel business activities and cloud requirements, winning recognition as the Top Technology Practice: Cloud from global channel publication CRN in 2012. Since that time, Sheldon has expanded his focus into applications that leverage the unique capabilities of the cloud. He is the chairman of the board for AcuityAds, which has developed a Programmatic Marketing Platform to intelligently connect digital advertisers to consumers across online display, mobile, social and video advertising channels. He is also a board member at Engagement Labs, which provides social engagement technology to extract business intelligence from social content, provide analytics linked to social data, and support social marketing.

Sheldon is currently active in entrepreneurial mentoring, venture investing, private equity investing and as a champion of crowdfunding.


Shawn Rosemarin
Executive Director, Architecture and Professional Services, VMware

As the executive director of architecture and professional services at VMware Canada, Shawn is responsible for technical strategy and services delivery. He is also the field Chief Technology Officer for VMware’s Canadian business, working closely with customers to help them navigate everything from the hybrid cloud to end-user computing transformation. Over the past 18 years, Shawn has gained experience with various technology organizations, including IBM, Dell and Hitachi Data Systems. An active seminar presenter, Shawn enjoys sharing experiences, simplifying complex concepts and highlighting best practices.


Patrick Shaw
Executive Director, TechConnex

Pat is the executive director of TechConnex, the only industry association entirely focused on the growth of small and midsized technology businesses in the GTA. With over 200 member companies and a unique focus on peer-to-peer networking, TechConnex – which offers forums focused on many different aspects of corporate management – is an invaluable resources for GTA-area firms in the cloud community.

Prior to, in addition to and as part of his role at TechConnex, Pat has built extensive expertise in public affairs and investor relations management, with extensive background in both the technology and oil and gas industries.


Alex-2-200Alex Sirota
Founder and Director, NewPath Consulting

Alex is a pioneer in orchestrating cloud-based systems to meet the needs of small and medium sized business (SMBs). His company, NewPath Consulting, provides business-relevant technology advice and education to prepare SMBs for optimizing business activities through the cloud. NewPath Consulting delivers a curated and integrated suite of cloud-based products to help clients become more productive and profitable.

Prior to launching NewPath, Alex worked with the Ontario government as an information management advisor and team lead within the Ministry of Consumer Services and Ministry of Economic Development and Trade. Alex is also an active participant in many online technical forums, including the GoDaddy community supporting WordPress and Mad Mimi and the Formstack and TypePad user groups.


WilStassen-200Wil Stassen
Business Development Manager, Data Center Advisory, Cushman & Wakefield

Wil plays a central role in helping to develop the data centre community supporting the GTA (and Canadian) cloud. He works with a wide range of clients – service providers like AT&T Global Services, Bell, CenturyLink, Cogeco, Rogers and Wind Mobile, corporate clients ranging from CIBC and HP to the City of Markham and GFL Green for Life, and facilities giant Cologix – to develop strategies for data centres, IT architecture, cloud, managed services and data communications.

Before working at Cushman & Wakefield, Wil worked with two leading GTA cloud suppliers: he was a business development executive with Blackiron Data (now part of Rogers), and has also worked with Lucent Technologies, Group Telecom, Sprint and Cogeco Data Services.


JoelSteacyLIJoel Steacy
Software Defined Enterprise Strategist, VMware

As the concept of Software Defined takes over the enterprise, Joel’s role at VMware has evolved from focusing on automation, management and financial insight to taking a more holistic approach to helping clients become brokers of services. In his role as software-defined enterprise strategist, Joel helps customers understand, plan and execute on solutions like network visualization, hybrid clouds and hyper-converged infrastructures, positioning IT as a partner with the business rather than as a cost center.

Before joining VMware, Joel worked with Hitachi Data Systems, Metafore and IBM as a storage specialist, and with Calgary-based Pivot Data Centres, which was subsequently acquired by Rogers.



Derek van der Plaat 200
Derek van der Plaat
Managing Director, Veracap M&A International

Derek started his career in Investment Banking with CIBC Mergers & Acquisitions where he specialized in technology growth company financing and M&A.  In 2000, Derek co-founded a digital media company called Moontaxi Media Inc., which, by way of a partnership with Microsoft’s Windows Media group, grew to become a leading internet broadcast network.

In 2003 Moontaxi launched the Puretracks music download service, the first in Canada to legally sell music online in association with the recording industry and leading distribution partners such as TELUS, MSN and AOL.  Moontaxi secured financing from strategic investors such as Universal Music, Entertainment One and Standard Broadcasting.

Derek has over 20 years of corporate finance and M&A experience, both as an advisor and as an owner-entrepreneur and has guided start-ups and early stage digital media companies in the roles of CEO, CFO and Board Member.