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Canadian Leaders Prioritizing Talent, Health and Technology to Emerge Stronger

Thursday, September 16, 2021

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The Empire Club of Canada Presents:
Canadian Leaders Prioritizing Talent, Health and Technology to Emerge Stronger

While the COVID-19 pandemic has not impacted all organizations and industries equally, it has forced all leaders to reassess what is important and prioritize.

Hear how leaders are prioritizing talent and technology to enable agility through disruptions and position their companies for success. Claude Guay and Kevin Strain also discussed how the pandemic has reinforced the importance of the mental and physical well-being of their people.

The role of leaders has become ever more complex –financial and business acumen must be paired with human connection. They shared how leaders in Canada can adapt to this new way of working and help Canada emerge stronger.

Claude Guay – President & General Manager, IBM Canada

Kevin Strain – President & CEO, Sun Life

*The content presented is free of charge but please note that the Empire Club of Canada retains copyright. Neither the speeches themselves nor any part of their content may be used for any purpose other than personal interest or research without the explicit permission of the Empire Club of Canada.*

*Views and Opinions Expressed Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the speakers or panelists are those of the speakers or panelists and do not necessarily reflect or represent the official views and opinions, policy or position held by The Empire Club of Canada.*

headshot of Claude Guay

Claude Guay

President & General Manager, IBM

Claude Guay is the President & General Manager of IBM Canada, where he leads a team that is passionate about delivering value to its clients, and helping Canadian organizations use innovative technology to transform their business.

His team includes thousands of IBMers across the country who offer an industry-driven view that enables clients to harness the power of Cloud, AI and other emerging technologies, to solve their biggest challenges and thrive.

Claude began his career at IBM in 1984 and spent 16 years holding progressively senior positions in systems engineering, sales management, consulting, industry solutions and marketing.
In 2000, Claude left IBM to pursue professional goals related to his entrepreneurial spirit and took on various C-level positions which allowed him to leverage his leadership and consulting expertise and assert himself as a digital pioneer. He returned to IBM in 2012.

Claude is a member of the Business Council of Canada and the United Way Greater Toronto’s Campaign Cabinet representing the Technology and Communications Sector. He is an Advisory Council Member of the DMZ, an accelerator for tech start-ups in Canada and a Board Member of Robotique First Quebec, inspiring young people to pursue interest in Science and Technology.


headshot of Kevin Strain

Kevin Strain

President & CEO, Sun Life

Kevin D. Strain is President & Chief Executive Officer of Sun Life and a member of the company’s Board of Directors.

Kevin joined Sun Life in 2002 and has since held several senior roles, including Vice-President of Investor Relations for Sun Life’s Corporate Office, and Senior Vice-President of Sun Life’s Individual Insurance and Investments division in Canada.

In 2012, Kevin assumed the role of President, Sun Life Asia where he was responsible for Sun Life’s interests in Asia, including identifying opportunities for growth in the region and managing the company’s relationships with its partners.

In 2017, Kevin was appointed Chief Financial Officer, responsible for Sun Life’s worldwide Finance, Taxation, Capital and Investor Relations, Enterprise Services and Corporate Development business groups.

Kevin is a Chartered Accountant and holds a Master of Accounting degree from the University of Waterloo in Canada. He currently sits on the Board of Directors for Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.