CEO, TableRock Media
Jeffrey Elliott has over thirty years of strategic and creative experience in broadcasting, production, and digital media – and always at the forefront of emerging technologies in broadcasting and new-media and is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of TableRock Media.
Jeffrey was also the founder and CEO of GlassBOX Television. Glassbox Television became one of Canada’s leading multiplatform media companies. One of GlassBOX channels; Bite TV, the world’s first Interactive and multiplatform television channel, was awarded an International Emmy for Interactive Broadcasting and won the best in Cross Platform Broadcasting at the DIGIS (Canadian New Media Awards). Glassbox Television was purchased in 2012 by Blue Ant Media. In 2015 Jeffrey received the Digital Media Trailblazing Award by the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television.
Jeffrey lives in the country with his family and tries to find as much time for his passions of photography and flying, having been a pilot for thirty years.
Partner, Redwood Performance Group
Lydia Sani has spent over 20 years in the corporate communications industry since graduating from Concordia University’s Communications Faculty. Her early career featured positions at Du Pont in their internal training group and later at Ogilvy & Mather in their communications division. In 1988 Lydia founded Invisions Productions. Since that time she has guided the company to its current position as one of the pre-eminent players in the Canadian communications industry. She started up Redwood e-Learning Systems in 2003 specifically to address the online learning market. With a sole focus on training, Redwood’s mission is to advance skills through a new level of e-learning by having learners engage with immersive environments and social media. Lydia is on the board of CeLEA, the Canadian e-Learning Enterprise Alliance and IO’s E-Learning Committee. She has presented many papers on soft skills E-learning and other high performance learning initiatives.
Partner, Technology & Life Sciences, BDO Canada
Associate with Stohn Hay Cafazzo Dembroski Richmond LL (Officer, Secretary)
CEO of SHG Studios
Colin is lead of SHG Studios, the award winning studio with multiple million dollar titles including www.starpirates.net.
Colin became Senior Account Director for a major Ad Agency at the tender age of 28, and went on to found multiple successful companies in the intersection of marketing and digital media. He has two honours degrees (Commerce and Economics) and has studied at the top universities in Asia and Latin America. Having lived and worked in the hotbeds of technology around the world he has a solid network of contacts to quickly resolve most issues.
He is comfortable working in French with some Spanish. He is a board member of Interactive Ontario, and co-chair of the Membership and Marketing Committee.
Principal, Denise Cooper Legal
Denise Cooper is a lawyer and strategic advisor for media, entertainment and technology clients, with expertise in the areas of corporate/commercial, mergers and acquisitions, film and television production and distribution, employment, broadcast, telecom, e-commerce, privacy and intellectual property law. Prior to entering private practice, Denise was Vice President and General Counsel for Virgin Mobile Canada. Prior to that, she spent 14 years at CHUM Limited, where she served as Vice President, Business & Legal Affairs, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary.
Denise received her Bachelor of Laws Degree from Osgoode Hall at York University (Toronto) (1990) and a Masters of Law Degree from Columbia University (New York) (1993). She is a member of both the Ontario and New York State Bars.
Immersive & Documentary Media Producer and Storyteller
With over 20 twenty years in the factual and documentary industry and an MFA in documentary media from Ryerson University, Joanne has begun to focus on integrating documentary narrative in immersive and interactive forms. Her latest immersive production was SESQUI, a non-profit venture producing a 360 degree full dome film and VR programme that reached 1.5 million Canadians in over 60 different communities in 2017 for the Canada/Ontario 150 year. Nominated in many immersive categories, content from the programme has gone on to exhibit internationally at Epcot Walt Disney and for Expo Dubai 2020.
Joanne serves as industry mentor at Ryerson’s TransMedia Zone, steering committee member for Space Place – a team of educators and advocates for a new immersive planetarium in Toronto, and on Interactive Ontario’s board representing the independant producer’s community within the industry.
Vice President, Game Pill & VRGEN
As Vice President of Game Pill, Mary oversees finance, business affairs and production, ensuring her teams stay motivated, and client care remains paramount. As a CPA, Mary spent the first half of her career providing business and tax advice to some of Canada’s most successful enterprises before finding her place in the interactive space in 2011. She has over a decade of experience leading teams and managing projects from concept to final deliverables. Mary has a love for learning and is always looking to get involved. She has earned a producer certificate, sits on Interactive Ontario’s board of directors, and chairs its’ Advocacy Committee, helping ensure that the IDM industry has a strong voice.
CEO, AVARA Media
Vikas Gupta is a charismatic leader who defines himself as a seasoned executive with an entrepreneurial DNA. He has an insatiable passion for start-ups and emerging growth tech companies. Vikas is the co-founder & CEO of AVARA Media, a company focused on the creation of an immersive Augmented Reality technology platform that experientially connects people to the biggest environmental and ecological issues our planet is facing. Formerly as the CEO of Big Blue Bubble, Vikas established the company as the largest independent mobile gaming company in Canada and ranking among the 50 fastest growing technology companies in the nation.
In addition to his professional activities, Vikas enjoys working with entrepreneurs and does a great deal of mentorship and coaching work. He also sits on a variety of boards ranging from the University of Waterloo, University of Waterloo Stratford Campus, Interactive Ontario, and was on the former Premier’s digital advisory board. Vikas is also a member of the prestigious YPO (Young President’s Organization) and served as the Chapter Chair for YPO Toronto.
William Zhou is the CEO of Chalk, an education technology company that utilizes data to help K-12 schools. Zhou has been passionate about entrepreneurship from a young age, founding his first company in high school. He launched his first Internet business in 2010, which he sold at the age 18 during his first year of computer science at the University of Waterloo. To pursue the bigger challenge of changing education, Zhou founded Chalk to create data-driven education. Forbes named Zhou top 30 under 30. From small, independent schools to large, national school networks, Chalk is behind the academic strategies influencing millions of students.
Managing Director & Producer, Other Animal
MTS Software Development Engineer, AMD
Professor, Ryerson RTA School of Media; Director, The Creative Innovation Studio
Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Ubisoft
Francis Baillet was Vice President of Human Resources at Ubisoft Divertissements from 2007 to 2013. Since April 2013, Francis has been Vice President, Corporate Affairs. The organization currently employs over 5,000 people in its studios in Canada: Montreal, Quebec, Saguenay, Piedmont, Halifax, Toronto and Winnipeg. Francis has twenty years of experience in human resources management. He was Vice President, Human Resources and Corporate Affairs at Bell Business Solutions (previously known as Nexxlink Technologies). He also was Director of Global Compensation for North America at Rexel, Director of Benefits at Westburne and a pension consultant at Towers Perrin. Francis is a board member of Conseil du patronat du Québec, Montréal International, Entertainment Software Association of Canada, La Guilde du jeu vidéo au Québec and The 7 Fingers Foundation.
Tanya Lahiri – Director, RBC Ventures
With over 10 years in financial services, Tanya’s experience includes project management, portfolio and investment management, budgeting, marketing, Media commercial banking and more recently with RBC ventures. After completing her MBA from the University of Wales, Tanya started her career in financial outsourcing and project management in Cardiff, Wales, leading a team to manage end-to-end execution of projects with large banks and other financial institutions. After moving to Canada in 2006, she started her career in Canada at RBC Dominion Securities. Tanya’s last role was as a Director in RBC’s Media and Entertainment, Commercial Banking team managing a portfolio of companies in this space, building customized banking solutions that were unique to this industry. She also led the Digital Media strategy for the team and positioned RBC as the go-to bank within the IDM industry. She’s currently a Director in RBC Ventures group, where she’s taken over Head of Sales and client relations for a healthcare venture Dr Bill and is also actively involved in developing enablement strategies for their retail venture dipp.
Co-Owner/VP of Marketing and Operations Certain Affinity
Mojdeh oversees the business and operational success of Certain Affinity, the largest independent AAA game developer in Austin, Texas with a second studio in
Toronto, Canada. She ensures CA hits overall business, people and revenue goals as well as long term objectives. An Iranian American who grew up in Austin, she has a diverse background with over 20 years of experience in tech, gaming, advertising and real estate –most of that time focused on sales, marketing and operations at Microsoft. She has a passion for mentoring and empowering others, helping her community and advocating for local businesses and economic initiatives.
CEO of HitGrab Game Labs
Jonathan Stanton-Humphreys is the CEO of HitGrab Game Labs, an award-winning Indie Gaming Studio based in downtown Toronto. He took the helm of HitGrab Game Labs in July 2019 with a goal of leveraging the past successes of the company to open up new opportunities and push the frontier of interactive media. Jonathan is a visionary and strategic leader with a skill for creating agile teams that deliver excellent products. Although he has been an ardent gamer since his first Nintendo Game&Watch in the 1980s, he primarily focuses on his business growth skill set for HitGrab Game Labs. He has a real passion for entrepreneurship and helping others succeed. He is also an ardent advocate for the IDM industry and firmly believes that Ontario has the potential to become the Hollywood of Video Gaming. He originally hails from Chinhoyi, a tiny town in rural Zimbabwe. His long-time passion has been developing organizations that move beyond just making money to building a better society. Jonathan is the proud father of Benjamin and Rachel and recently celebrated 23 years of marriage with Victoria. When not working, Jonathan can be found making beautiful things out of wood, pursuing adventure sports, or enjoying the great outdoors. When not pursuing hobbies, he can be found sipping excellent whiskey while harming his lungs with a good cigar, and reading prose that elevates the mind and soul.
Studio Head of Snowed In Studios Inc.
Jean-Sylvain Sormany is the Studio Head of Snowed In Studios, Ottawa’s largest video game development studio. He studied Computer Engineering at the Polytechnic School of Montreal. Before he co-founded Snowed In, Jean-Sylvain was a team lead at Ubisoft and the Director of Technology at Fuel Industries. In 2017 he was named one of the Ottawa Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 due to his vibrant career in the games industry. Jean-Sylvain’s passion for game production helped him guide Snowed In through a series of milestones. In 2020, the studio was able to open a second location in Ottawa and has reached over 100 employees. One of Jean-Sylvain’s goals is to help Ottawa become an epicentre for Canada’s video game production community. When he isn’t in the studio, he is trying to achieve this goal through his work as Co-Chair of the Industry Advisory Committee for Ontario Creates, as a member of Interactive Ontario’s Board of Directors, and as an Advisory member of multiple specialized academic boards, including those of Algonquin College and St-Lawrence College.
CEO and Owner of Tiny Titan Studios
Jeff Evans began creating hobby games in 1996 before breaking into the industry in 2002. From AAA to Indie development, he has a breadth of experience in nearly every facet of video game creation. Career highlights include the Senior Art Manager position at Digital Extremes and the Chief Creative Office role at Antic Entertainment. In 2014, he founded his second game development studio, Tiny Titan Studios. To date, Tiny Titan has garnered over 25 million downloads spanning over 15 titles, many of which have received multiple features and highlights from Apple and Google. In addition to his professional endeavors, Jeff also enjoys supporting the local development community, regularly organizing developer meet ups and other related industry events. When he’s not busy creating games, Jeff loves to spend time with his growing family in London, Ontario.