Speaker Series -

In Conversation with Canada’s Most Powerful Female CEOs

Event Details:

Ever wonder how many female CEOs there are in Canada? Even though women make up just over half the Canadian population and nearly 48 per cent of the workforce, men still dominate the top tiers of business and government. According to Catalyst.org, only seven of the 249 companies listed on the main index of the Toronto Stock Exchange in September 2017 were run by women. However, women are slowly but steadily breaking through the glass ceiling and while few head up large corporations in Canada, a growing number are CEOs of NGOs and smaller companies, often which they started themselves.


8:00 am – 8:40 am – Registration, Breakfast & Networking

8:40 am – 10:00 am – Panel discussion

10:00 am – 10:30 am – Extended Networking


Judith Bobbitt
President, Oceans Ltd.

Judith Bobbitt portrait

Ms. Bobbitt, President of Oceans Ltd. since the company’s inception in 1981 is a Physical Oceanographer with a B. Sc. (Honours) in Physics from Sir George Williams University in Montreal and a Master of Science Degree from McGill University.  Ms. Bobbitt’s Masters Degree concentrated on physical oceanography, meteorology, and ice physics.  Her Ph.D program in physical oceanography was discontinued due to being injured at sea offshore Labrador during the early oil exploration period.  Her main scientific expertise is in ocean circulation and coastal oceanography.  Ms. Bobbitt has 37 years of experience in managing oceanographic projects dealing with data collection programs, data analysis, development software, and report preparation.

Ms. Bobbitt has prepared numerous current analysis reports for various oil industry clients and established the environmental design criteria for the White Rose production platform and for other potential projects.  Her scientific work has been mainly in the area of ocean circulation on the Labrador shelf and Grand Banks and estuarine circulations in bays and fjords in Labrador, Gulf of St. Lawrence, and Newfoundland.  She has worked on the drift modeling of life rafts and the validation of CANSARP, a search and rescue drift model.  She is currently working on environmental design criteria for potential structures in Baffin Bay, characterization of icebergs, ocean circulation on the Grand Banks and Scotian Shelf and the physical oceanography of Minas Basin, Nova Scotia for the tidal energy project.  She has been involved in many Environmental Reviews and Assessments with LGL for Orphan Basin, South Whale Basin, Grand Banks, Laurentian Sub-basin, offshore Labrador, Placentia Bay and Western Newfoundland.  She has been involved in oceanography programs in the Strait of Belle Isle, Cabot Strait, and Minas Basin to support energy projects.

Charlene Brophy
President and CEO, FONEMED

Charlene Brophy portraitCharlene Brophy is President and CEO of FONEMED, an international tele-medicine company, providing technology and tele-medicine support and remote bio-metric monitoring to over 2300 client groups and 12 million individuals globally. Charlene has brought her hands-on knowledge of our health care system into developing countries and communities which otherwise would not have access to medical care.

Charlene has been the recipient of four Business Excellence Awards from The St. John’s Board of Trade. She was awarded the Atlantic Canada CBC Innovator of the Year Award by Atlantic Business Magazine in 2017 and recognized in 2017 and 2018 as one of the Top 50 CEO’s in Atlantic Canada.  In addition to her business commitments, Charlene has a profound sense of community. She supports and is an active board member for several non-profit organizations and is a member of the provincial innovation advisory council and board chair for the NL Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Charlene is a proud Newfoundlander and although spends a great deal of time traveling outside the province, remains very proud to call NL home.

Kendra MacDonald
CEO, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster

Kendra MacDonald portrait

Kendra MacDonald is the inaugural CEO of Canada’s Ocean Supercluster responsible for driving innovation and growth in the ocean economy.

Kendra was previously a Partner in Deloitte’s Risk Advisory practice and the Chief Audit Executive of Deloitte Global. Kendra has worked with a number of clients across multiple industries, small and large, public and private in the areas of governance, risk management, cyber security, internal and external audit.

Kendra is a frequent speaker and facilitator on the topics of innovation, future of work and disruptive technologies and is the Past-Chair of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Technology Industries.

Kendra has had the opportunity to live and work in Ottawa, Montreal, Australia and Hong Kong before moving to St. John’s in 2010 where she now resides with her husband and two children.

Anne Whelan
Chief Executive Officer, Seafair Capital

Anne Whelan portraitOriginating from Placentia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ms. Whelan is principal shareholder and Chief Executive Officer of Seafair Capital, a growth-focused company with investments in community and behavioural health, wellness and safety. Guided by the core values of integrity, entrepreneurship, community, action, and fun, the Seafair team aims to ‘do well while doing good.’

In addition to leading her group of companies, Ms. Whelan chairs the board of directors of Newfoundland Power, a subsidiary of Fortis Inc. (TSX:FTS). She is also a director of CSA Group, and the Bank of Canada. She has previously served as a board director for the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Newfoundland & Labrador Oil & Gas Industries Association (NOIA) and the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council.   Ms. Whelan brings her down-to-earth style and entrepreneurial passion to every conversation, contributing her time and talent to various other regional boards and community service initiatives.

Ms. Whelan has received many accolades for entrepreneurship and leadership at the national level. In 2017, she was named Startup Canada’s Entrepreneur of the Year for an outstanding impact in Canadian entrepreneurship and was awarded the P.J. Gardiner Entrepreneurship Award from Memorial University. She was named one of Canada’s 100 Most Powerful Women by the Women’s Executive Network (WXN) in 2016, named Atlantic Business Magazine’s CEO of the Year in 2014, and inducted into Atlantic Business Magazine’s Top 50 CEO Hall of Fame in 2015.  In 2012, she was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for her contributions to home care.

Ms. Whelan holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Memorial University. She also completed advanced studies in Alternative Dispute Resolution and holds the ICD.D designation from the Directors Education Program of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Business.


Nancy Healey
Chief Executive Officer, St. John’s Board of Trade

Nancy Healey portrait

Nancy Healey is the Chief Executive Officer of the St, John’s Board of Trade a position she has held for the past 11 years.

In this capacity Nancy works with a dedicated group of staff and volunteers to help business succeed.  The Board is known for its advocacy work at the municipal, provincial and federal level.  As well, as for hosting stellar events like the Business Excellence Awards, the Business Outlook Conference and Trade Show.

Prior to returning to the Board in 2008, Nancy was the Executive Director of the Tourism Industry Association. As well, she has worked as a government relations and public relations consultant.

Nancy recently completed the Director’s Education Program from the Rotman School of Business and has achieved the designation of ICD.D.  Nancy was recently awarded the Chamber Executive of the Year from her peers in the Chamber of Commerce movement.

Nancy is the Chair of the Board of St. Bonaventure’s College, a private catholic school in the Jesuit Tradition. She is an Aide de Camp to Her Honour Lieutenant Governor Judy Foote.  She serves on the Board of Directors of the Newfoundland and Labrador Credit Union, and is a Member of the Newfoundland and Labrador Chapter of the Canadian Forces Liaison Council, a member of the International Women’s Forum and a Past President of the Chamber of Commerce Executives of Canada and a past Director of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

Nancy is an avid hockey fan and lives in hopes of her team (the Toronto Maple Leafs) winning the Stanley Cup once again in her lifetime.  In addition, she plays hockey every Friday night and has done so for the past 20 years.


Delta Hotels by Marriott St. John’s Conference Centre
120 New Gower St,
St. John’s, NL A1C 6K4

Silver Partners:

      Loblaw Companies Ltd logo     Scotiabank logo


July 9, 2019
8:00 am - 10:30 am
St. John's, NL