2019 Sessions

In this section, you will learn more about the various sessions and speakers that took place at the 2019 Forum. 

Click here to access the summary of each of the sessions, including speakers' bios and PowerPoint decks!

In keeping with the theme of "Good Governance," the following topics were discussed at this year's conference:

Also included in this year's programming is the Directors' Forum Welcome Reception and Annual General Meeting. 

Learn more about the individual sessions below. 

Please note: Session dates, times, titles and speakers are subject to change. 

FSRA: Ontario's New Principles Based Regulator

Date: Friday, October 4, 2019 (9:00 - (9:15am)

Presenter: Mark White, CEO, Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA)

Description: Mark White will welcome the delegation and share some highlights on how things have changed with the transition from DICO to FSRA – and what this means for credit unions. He will address what the relationship goals are for FSRA, as well as the current regulatory landscape.


Date: Friday, October 4, 2019 (9:30am - 10:45pm)

Presenter: Cindy Dopson (MBA, CPHR), Consultant, Central 1 People Solutions

Description: A number of elements suggest a leadership continuity risk for credit unions. In this session, Cindy will outline and discuss contributing factors, such as the demographics of current leaders and continuing requirements, changing skills and competencies needed for the GM/CEO role, and the pipeline and readiness for the next generation of GM/CEO candidates, as well as the importance of the CEO/Board relationship to the success of the credit union. Finally, she will introduce mitigation strategies - both as a system and individual credit unions - including what the board can do to assess and increase their own readiness for leadership transition, GM/CEO candidate identification and executive development planning, alternate leadership models, and things boards can do to set new CEOs up for success through effective onboarding, network support and performance expectations. 


Date: Friday, October 4, 2019 (11:00am - 12:00pm)



  • Anthony Piscitelli, Vice-Chair, Your Neighbourhood Credit Union & Vice-Chair, DF Executive (Moderator)
  • Patricia McLeod, Chair, Calgary Co-op
  • Sean Geobey, Assistant Professor, University of Waterloo
  • Tim Foster, Director, Northern Credit Union & Directors' Forum Executive

Description: This session will explore how we as Board Directors are engaging with our members, and the importance of really knowing our members and what they want and need from their credit union/caisse populaire. The panel will include an explanation of the theory behind the board's role in engagement and practical discussions of how to ensure credit unions are being responsive to the membership.


Date: Friday, October 4, 2019 (1 - 2:30PM)



Description: Hindsight, oversight, foresight. These are pillars to the roles of directors and boards, and critical to fulfilling these roles is the use and practice of risk management. This session will expand on last year's "Update on Directors' Liability and Pitfalls" with Annette Dueck, and explore the practices and methods key for boards to understand, mitigate and embrace risk, and where various risk conversations take place between the audit or risk committee, the board and management. 


Date: Friday, October 4, 2019 (2:45 - 4:15PM)



  • Donna Bailey, Director, Client Solutions & Research, Canadian Credit Union Association (Moderator)
  • Julie Breuer, VP Member Relations, Central 1 Credit Union
  • Marc-André Pigeon, Director and Strategic Research Fellow in Co-operatives Centre for the Study of Co-operatives, U of Sask.
  • Stéphane Trottier, Board Director, Desjardins; President, Federation des caisses populaires de l'Ontario

Description: The landscape for Ontario's credit unions is shifting and we need to evolve along with it if we are to succeed. This session will explore some of the strategic governance questions that Boards should be asking themselves (e.g., size, capacity, etc.) in order to face and survive these inevitable changes - in other words, we need to reimage our credit unions in this new era. Marc-André will explore the impacts on the system with some credit unions going federal and others merging, and the importance of remembering our co-operative roots in this evolving landscape. Stéphane from Desjardins will share some of the different ways that the caisses populaires have evolved to improve their efficiency, and Julie will share some membership trends in the credit union system.


Date: Friday, October 4, 2019 (4:30 - 6PM) - Breakout Session for Board Chairs & Vice-Chairs (pre-registration required as space is limited)



  • Tim Foster, Board Director, Northern Credit Union & Directors' Forum Executive 
  • Cindy Dopson (MBA, CPHR), Consultant, Central 1 People Solutions

Description: Succession planning is a key issue for credit unions. This session will consider what we are looking for on our boards, as well as nominations and Director recruitment strategies. Culture is an important element that will also be explored. Time will be set aside for an "Open Forum" discussion.  

NOTE: This breakout session is designed for Board Chairs and Vice-Chairs. Pre-registration is required as space is limited. 


Date: Friday, October 4, 2019 (4:30 - 6PM) - Breakout session for all other Directors (space is limited)



  • Korinne Collins, VP, Professional Development & Education, Canadian Credit Union Association (CCUA)
  • Guy Hubert, Executive VP, Credit Union & Prudential, Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA)

Description: There is a desire to support credit unions with clarity about how expectations have shifted in examining good governance capability at the board. Several credit unions have indicated that there is a much more prescriptive response by the examiner and little to no tolerance for directors not meeting the competency framework. There are several questions to be answered including: 

  • What does FSRA expect in terms of documentation to demonstrate they are meeting the competencies?
  • Exploration and definition of best practices for evaluation of the board competencies
  • How might the DNA research provide indicators to the board of its collective make up and to be positioned as a balanced board? 

NOTE: All other delegates are invited to join this breakout session. Pre-registration is not required. 


Date: Saturday, October 5, 2019 (8:00 - 8:15am)

Speaker: Martha Durdin, President & CEO, Canadian Credit Union Association (CCUA)

Description: Martha will share a brief update on what is happening at CCUA and an overview of the national credit union landscape. 


Date: Saturday, October 5, 2019 (8AM - 12PM)

Facilitator: Debra Brown (DMin, MDiv, Pro. Dir), President & CEO, Governance Solutions Inc. 

Description: Proactively shaping a culture based on the best of all possible cultural norms should be the aspiration of any boardroom. So how does your credit union fare? Despite best efforts in time, money and relationship building to get just the “right” people to serve on the board, that “perfect’ high performing board remains elusive. Through research, both anecdotal and academic, the puzzle can be solved be adopting and embedding 10 cultural norms. Learn what they are and score yourself to know where your opportunities are to improve.

NOTE: Participants who pre-register and sign in for this session will receive a 1/2 CE credit through CUDA.