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Meet Our Team

Dianne Williams
 
Dianne Williams
Associate Director, Strategy and Operations
Dianne is the Executive Team lead for the new Strategy and Operations team at the Conference Board of Canada and is responsible for creating a more standardized and centralized approach to many aspects of our business with a goal to increased effectiveness and optimization. Dianne joined the Conference Board in 2011 as a Senior Manager, Executive Networks, was promoted to Associate Director, Strategy and Engagement in 2015, and took on the role of Acting Director, Public Policy Division in April 2018 with a move to her new role following an organizational restructure in November of that same year. Prior to joining the Conference Board, Dianne spent 14 years with Progress Media Group in Halifax working with many of the most senior executives in Atlantic Canada. Dianne brought with her an extensive range of experience in business strategy and planning, marketing, event management, business development and sales management, and customer relationship management. Dianne holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Marketing from Dalhousie University and a certification in Business Communications from Saint Mary's at the World Trade Centre.
Marianne Fotia
 
Marianne Fotia
Manager, Executive Networks
Marianne Fotia has been with The Conference Board of Canada since 2001 and has responsibility for leading the Technology and Innovation Policy's Executive Networks, which include the CIO Council, Council for IT Executives, Council on Innovation and Commercialization, Centre for Business Innovation and Council for Chief Data and Analytics Officers.

For several of these Executive Networks, Marianne leads agenda development, content management, customer experience, finance and budgeting, CRM, logistics, recruitment and retention.

Marianne is a people person with exceptionally strong skills in event management, a solid understanding of logistics, social media and technology that all come together to create an enriched learning environment and custom experience for each Council participant. With an energetic attitude and focused approach, she consistently delivers value for customers.

Previously, Marianne held positions in finance and customer service in organizations like TD Bank, Enbridge and Bell Gardium. She holds two degrees, a Bachelor of Communications and a Bachelor of English Literature from the University of Ottawa, a diploma in Human Resource Management from Algonquin College, and as a true events industry representative, she proudly displays her Certified Meeting Professional certification.
Darren Gresch
 
Darren Gresch
Research Associate II, Technology and Innovation Policy
Darren is a graduate of the University of Ottawa's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (MA) and Queen's University (BA, Economics). He has spent time as an economist at the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Economic Development; an investment officer at Global Affairs Canada; and a research assistant at the University of Ottawa. With a background in economics, psychology and public policy, and with strong quantitative and qualitative research skills, Darren is a great fit for our team, and the Conference Board more generally.
Vanessa Thomas
 
Vanessa Thomas
Senior Research Associate, Technology and Innovation Policy

Vanessa Thomas is a Senior Research Associate, Technology and Innovation Policy at The Conference Board of Canada. Vanessa is an interdisciplinary researcher and designer, with a background that spans computer science, mathematics, physics, human security, peace building, intercultural communication, graphic design, leadership, feminist studies, and public policy analysis, amongst other topics.

Vanessa acted as a Research Associate with the nascent Institute for Social Futures at HighWire Centre for Doctoral Training at Lancaster University. Most of her mixed methods research has examined the social and environmental effects of digital technologies; however, she has also published work related to research evaluation, urban development, and playful or artistic methods.

In the past fifteen years, Vanessa has been privileged enough to work with several private, public, and non-profit organizations in Canada, Ecuador, Bolivia, the United States of America, the United Kingdom and Denmark.


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Dianne Williams
Associate Director, Strategy and Operations
613-526-3090 x330
Email imagewilliamsd@conferenceboard.ca

Marianne Fotia
Manager, Executive Networks
613-526-3090x446
Email imagefotia@conferenceboard.ca

Darren Gresch
Research Associate II, Technology and Innovation Policy
613-526-3090
Email imagegresch@conferenceboard.ca

Vanessa Thomas
Senior Research Associate, Technology and Innovation Policy
613-520-8487
Email imagethomasv@conferenceboard.ca