Honorary Doctorates and Keynote Speakers

Wednesday, June 20

9:00 a.m.
Sue Paish, Q.C
CEO, Digital Technology Supercluster

For over 35 years, Sue has led transformation and innovation across professional services, healthcare, and technology, driving business growth and leading large-scale organizational change. 

Sue established herself as one of Canada’s foremost employment and labour law lawyers, and was the youngest managing partner ever appointed at her firm. There, she oversaw the growth of the firm to nine offices across three continents, and led it through one of the most significant law firm mergers in the country. She made a seamless transition to corporate executive leadership, first as the CEO of Pharmasave, Canada’s largest chain of independent retail pharmacies. From there, she was appointed as CEO of LifeLabs Diagnostic Laboratories, where she doubled the company’s size through successful acquisitions and integrations to create Canada’s largest diagnostic lab. 

 As of May 2018, Sue has become the inaugural CEO of Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster. She is thrilled to pioneer an exciting new model of technology creation, inter-organizational collaboration, job growth, and economic development. 

Sue and her husband Brad are the proud parents of three daughters, and spend their leisure time exploring the outdoors and hiking. The humanitarian spirit that led her to her first career in law is expressed through her continuing community engagement, and she has been recognized for her service and accomplishments with awards including: UBC Faculty of Law Distinguished Alumni Award, YWCA Woman of Distinction, Queen’s Counsel, Honorary Doctorate Degree in Technology (2018), Hall of Fame for Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women, and an Influential Women in Business Lifetime Achievement Award.

1:30 p.m.
Jill Tipping
President & CEO of BC Tech

Jill Tipping is President & CEO of BC Tech, an organization dedicated to making BC the best place to grow a Tech Company. For 20 years, BC Tech has provided high impact growth, talent, and funding programs as well opportunities for networking and collaboration. BC Tech’s vision is a BC that values technology as a positive force for good – for the economy, for society, for our future.

Prior to joining BC Tech, Jill was Vice President Operations and Chief Financial Officer with Schneider Electric Solar, the Burnaby-based global supplier of solar power conversion solutions and leading player in BC’s thriving CleanTech sector. She started her career as a director with Deloitte in London, U.K., specializing in technology and growth companies. In 2006, Jill joined Xantrex Technologies as Director of Finance, and played a pivotal role in its strategic sale to Schneider Electric.

Jill is a member of the Board of Directors of the Vancouver Economic Commission, the Museum of Vancouver and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. She is also a member of the Climate Solution and Clean Growth Advisory Council, which provides strategic advice to government on climate action and clean economic growth. In 2014, Jill was nominated for the Association of Women in Finance’s PEAK award for Excellence in the Private Sector.

Jill holds an MA in Economic History from St. Andrews University and an MSc in Management from Stanford.

Thursday, June 21

9:00 a.m. 
Rick Cluff
Journalist and Communications Consultant

Rick Cluff is an award-winning journalist who hosted the popular CBC Radio Vancouver morning program “The Early Edition” from 1997 until his retirement in 2018. During his time as host of the show, it’s estimated Rick conducted more than 50,000 interviews and asked more than half a million questions. He has interviewed prime ministers, premiers, presidents and some of the biggest sports and entertainment personalities in the world. His favourite interviews are with people who have a story to tell, and they could come from down the street or around the world. Largely due to his skills as an interviewer, “The Early Edition” soon became the #1 rated morning show in the very competitive Vancouver radio market. 

Prior to coming to Vancouver, Rick was a network sports commentator with the CBC, based in Toronto. For more than 20 years, he traveled the world from the Arctic Circle to the South Pacific reporting on Canadian athletes. He has covered a number of Olympic Games, the Stanley Cup finals, World Series, Super Bowls, the Masters, and dozens of varied world championship events.

Rick holds a degree in political science and economics, an honours degree in journalism and a diploma in municipal administration. He is a member of the journalist section of the Canadian Football League Hall of Fame and was recently honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA).

1:30 p.m.
Brad Smith
President and Chief Legal Officer, Microsoft

Brad Smith is responsible for Microsoft’s corporate, external, and legal affairs and oversees a team of more than 1,400 business, legal, and corporate affairs professionals working in 55 countries.

In this role, he leads the company’s work on a number of critical issues including cybersecurity, digital privacy, public policy and government affairs, intellectual property, accessibility, philanthropy, and environmental sustainability. As president, he has also spearheaded programs and initiatives aimed at increasing economic development and opportunity, ensuring all of society benefits from technological advances. 

Friday, June 22

9:00 a.m
Dave Tuccaro, Entrepreneur
President/CEO of Tuccaro Group of Companies

Dave is a member of the Mikisew Cree First Nation in Fort Chipewyan and is the President/CEO of seven successful companies. 

His commitment and purpose for these companies is to “create opportunities for aboriginal people at every level of education and every level of employment.” 

Dave is also the founder of the Northeastern Aboriginal Business Association, which features over 100-member companies with combined revenues of over $1 billion dollars. A member of the National Task Force on Oil Sands Strategies and the National Aboriginal Financing Task Force, Dave has also served as Chair of the Aboriginal Business Canada Market Expansion Group. He has sat on the Board of the Regional Health Authority, as well as the Alberta Chamber of Resources (ACR). As Board Chair of lndspire, Dave is helping to set strategic direction for the National Aboriginal Achievement Awards and deepen the organization’s support of K-12 education and Indigenous teachers across Canada.

In 2013, Dave was named Resource Person of the Year by the ACR. This award recognizes leaders who exemplify the best of Alberta, and those who stand apart as having furthered the orderly and responsible development of the province's resources in a particularly significant and lasting manner.  

On June 11, 2016, an honorary Doctor of Laws was conferred on Dave from Athabasca University in recognition of his business leadership and dedication to enriching the lives of Indigenous people.   

In November 2017, the Oilsands Banquet presented Dave with their newly formed Builders of Wood Buffalo Award.