MLT Aikins Presents

The Walrus Talks Success in the West

Vancouver 7:30 p.m., June 8, 2017

The Walrus Talks is a national series of events about Canada and its place in the world. Each event offers thoughtful, inspiring thinking from scholars, writers, performers, scientists, artists, and business leaders.

General admission: $15
Students: $10

Vancouver Art Gallery
750 Hornby St.,
Vancouver, BC

Leadership perspectives on building success for the next century. Why the west is the key to Canadian success, and how the west will be won. Covering business, technology, resources, community, and much more.


  • Jessie Adcock, Chief Technology Officer, City of Vancouver
  • Janet Austin, CEO, YWCA Metro Vancouver
  • Stewart Beck, President and CEO, Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada
  • Kim Jonathan, Chief of Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations
  • Stephen Murphy, Executive Vice President, Banking, Canadian Western Bank
  • Susannah Pierce, External Relations Director, LNG Canada
  • Roy Ratnavel, Executive Vice-President, CI Investments

event logos


Jessie Adcock


Jessie Adcock Jessie Adcock is currently the City of Vancouver’s chief technology officer, having stepped into the role after three years as the city’s chief digital officer. As one of the first public sector CDO’s in Canada, Jessie led the execution of a multi-year digital strategy focused on the growth of direct channels, enhancing citizen services and engagement, improving the city’s data and technology infrastructure, enabling a more digital workforce, and creating opportunities for the innovation economy. She is now leading Vancouver’s wider transformation as it navigates the era of Smart City technologies. Prior to entering the public sector in 2013, she held global roles on information technology, marketing, and digital teams.

Janet Aust

Janet Austin is CEO of the YWCA Metro Vancouver and former chair of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade. She has served on TransLink, the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, the Canadian Paediatric Society, the Council for Early Child Development, Mosaic, and the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation. She has received the Queen Elizabeth II Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals and was appointed to the Order of BC in 2016. In 2008, the Women’s Executive Network listed her as one of Canada’s 100 Most Powerful Women, and in 2016 Business in Vancouver named her CEO of the Year.

Stewart Beck

Stewart Beck is president and CEO of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada. Previously, he served as the Canadian high commissioner to the Republic of India. He joined the department of External Affairs and International Trade in 1982 and served abroad in the United States, Taiwan, and the People’s Republic of China. In Ottawa, he was director general of the North Asia Bureau and assistant deputy minister for international business development, investment, and innovation. He has also been consul general in Shanghai and San Francisco.

Kim Jonathan is the first female chief of the Saskatchewan Indian Nations. Kim takes pride in her Dakota and Cree heritage and believes in preserving culture, languages, traditional values, and the voices of her ancestors. She advocates for treaties-which can improve the health and housing conditions of First Nations communities-and for youth welfare, particularly through education and training. In 2012, Kim was recognized as one of Saskatchewan’s First Nations Women in Leadership. Kim has served on the boards of the First Nations University of Canada as well as Indian Child and Family Services. She is the first Indigenous person to be named to Habitat for Humanity Canada’s board of directors.

Stephen Murphy

Stephen Murphy is Canadian Western Bank’s executive vice-president of banking, responsible for the branch network, equipment financing, and corporate lending. Stephen oversees three of CWB’s partner companies: Optimum Mortgage, CWB Maxium Financial, and CWB Franchise Finance. He holds an MBA from the Ivey Business School and has extensive experience in banking and leadership. Stephen is a director of Lions Gate Hospital Foundation and the Highlands Little League baseball association.

SLP Headshot Women of InfluenceSusannah Pierce Susannah Pierce is the external relations director of LNG Canada, a joint venture of Shell, Mitsubishi, PetroChina, and Kogas. Susannah is responsible for the environment, regulatory, First Nations, community consultation, social performance, communications, and government relations aspects of the project. Prior to this position, Susannah served as vice-president, value chain integration, at Shell Canada, where she was responsible for identifying and driving commercial opportunities along the value chain between Shell’s multiple businesses in the country. Susannah lives in Vancouver and serves on the boards of Gemini Corporation, the BC LNG Alliance, the Coastal Ocean Research Initiative, the Terry Fox Centre, the Business Council of British Columbia, and various initiatives supporting Canadian military veterans.

Roy Ratnavel

Roy Ratnavel is executive vice-president of CI Investments, where he directs retail sales teams across Canada and develops sales strategies and initiatives for CI’s diverse investment products. Roy has over twenty-five years of experience in the financial-services industry. He is Sri Lankan by birth, an unapologetic Tamil by heritage, and a proud Canadian by choice. He lives in Toronto with his wife and son.