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2017 MONTREAL VANGUARD
HOST COMMITTEE

To view the Steering Committee page, click here.


Celine Cooper Celine Cooper

Celine Cooper is a columnist for the Montreal Gazette. Her writing about global cities, Canada’s urban shift and Montreal’s revitalization has appeared in some of Canada's most widely read policy publications and popular press.

She has worked at the intersection of academic research, journalism and public affairs for over 15 years, and is currently applying her skills as a Policy Analyst with the federal Office of the Commissioner for Official Languages.

Cooper sits as an executive board member of the Association for Canadian Studies, the Montreal Press Club, and is an ambassador with the Contact MTL Greater Montreal Ambassador’s Network.

She holds degrees from Queen's University (Kingston) and York University (Toronto) and is pursuing her PhD at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. Her doctoral research focuses on interculturalism, multiculturalism, language and nationalism in Quebec.


Béatrice Couture Béatrice Couture

Béatrice Couture is the General Manager of InnoCité MTL, the first smart city startup accelerator in Canada. Prior to InnoCité, she gained a solid experience with municipal sales and infrastructure project management as a team member of BIXI business development team managing the bike share system implementation in major Canadian and American cities.


Carmela Cucuzzella Carmela Cucuzzella

Carmela Cucuzzella holds a Concordia University Research Chair in Integrated Design and Sustainability for the Built Environment (IDEAS-BE). She has a background in various facets of design, holding degrees in Computer Science, Design Art, a Masters in Design and Complexity and a PhD in Environmental Design.

Her research work is framed within the broad domain of design studies where she investigates questions of sustainable design.  Her research focuses on the challenges of accommodating sustainability diagnostic or rating tools alongside the creative conceptual exploration that takes place during the design process. She studies these as a means to gain a complex understanding of social, cultural and environmental repercussions of design practice today.


Silvano De la Llata Silvano De la Llata

Silvano De la Llata is an architect, urbanist and educator. He teaches at Concordia University, after having taught at Cornell University, and universities of Tamaulipas and Anahuac in Mexico.

He directs CitiesXCitizens, which focuses on the democratization of city-making through participatory design and open-source systems. Bridging research, pedagogy and design practice, he developed methodologies, open planning and planning-in-situ, to redesign interstitial spaces in Montreal through collaborative community engagement. 


Julie Favreau Julie Favreau

Julie Favreau is a 2016 Vanguard and specialist in urban revitalization and real estate development. She leverages real estate and urban planning to create shared value that benefits citizens, businesses and cities alike. Her goal is to transform the way we live together through real estate.

With her background as a lawyer and in strategic management, she currently works as a project manager at Société d’habitation et de développement de Montréal, a non-profit para-municipal corporation devoted to social and economic revitalization.


Stéphane Goyette Stéphane Goyette

Stéphane Goyette is chief smart and digital city officer for the City of Montreal. Named to this position in 2014, he has since built a dynamic team of smart city specialists and launched strategic and action plans comprised of 70 projects divided into six programs.

These projects were co-created with citizens and community stakeholders on the basis of their direct impact on the population. In recognition of these accomplishments, as well as of the quality of its ecosystem, the Greater Montreal was named ICF 2016 Intelligent Community of the Year.

In the course of a career spanning over 20 years, Goyette has held senior positions with Astral Media (now Bell Canada), Cogeco, Inter.net (PSINet), Sid Lee, Medialinx (Bell Canada). One of Canada’s eBusiness pioneers, Goyette has vast experience in the fields of digital transformation, innovations, marketing and IT.


Nantali Indongo is a storyteller and an artist. She is a member of Nomadic Massive, a multilingual hip hop supergroup based in Montreal, and the co-founder of Hip Hop No Pop, an educational and interactive workshop series that uses hip hop as a tool to encourage storytelling and foster confidence in youth.

She sits on the board of the Maison des Jeunes Côte-des-Neiges. Since 2010, Nantali Indongo has been a broadcaster and producer at CBC Montreal.


Félix-Antoine Joli-Coeur Félix-Antoine Joli-Coeur

Félix-Antoine Joli-Coeur is the founding partner of IdeesFX, an entrepreneur and consultant in strategy, innovation and social innovation. He is also involved with Amplifier Montréal. He worked for McKinsey & Company, where he was the leading consultant for the first International Summit of Cooperatives, and was advisor to the premier of Quebec.

Joli-Coeur has a MBA from INSEAD and was the architect of “je vois mtl” (now “je fais mtl’), a broad initiative aimed at transforming Montreal and its economy. 


Jonathan Lapalme Jonathan Lapalme

Jonathan Lapalme holds a Master’s in Design and Urban Ecologies from Parsons The New School for Design in New York and is the principal at Les interstices, a strategic design workshop based in Montreal. He has been working for nearly 10 years in the design of processes and strategies related to different types of urban challenges. Recently, he co-founded Entremise, a non-profit organization aimed at facilitating transitory uses in vacant buildings.

He has led the creation of a collaborative web platform to identify vulnerable sites with Heritage Montreal and produced a documentary on the housing crisis in New York for the Uneven Growth exhibition at MoMA.

He has and worked to re-conceptualize the role of street vendors in times of crises in order to increase urban resilience with the Street Vendor Project in New York City. As a consultant, he also contributed as a strategist on several initiatives related to smart city, circular economy, urban agriculture and landscape architecture.


Guillaume Lavoie Guillaume Lavoie

Nominated Vanguard 2015, Guillaume Lavoie is a Montreal City Councillor. He is particularly interested in accountability measures, mobility, bikenomics, the sharing economy and the role of urban art.

Before entering politics, Lavoie worked in public diplomacy, public policies and international relations. Having lived and worked on abroad continents and visited more than 30 countries, he has been a consultant for the public, private and associative sector in Canada and overseas.

A lecturer at the National School of Public Administration (Énap), a member of the Raoul-Dandurand Chair and an international observer, Lavoie has been a frequent commentator and analyst in the media on international current events and American politics. An innovative social entrepreneur, he is the founder of Mission Leadership Québec and co-founder of the Collège néo-classique.

He holds a MPA (Énap) and a BA in industrial relations and certificates in administration, and law (Université Laval). A public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C, Guillaume is also a Fellow of the Forum of federations, Action Canada, the Jeanne-Sauvé Foundation and Next City. He is fluent in French, English and Spanish.


Michael Lenczner Michael Lenczner

Michael Lenczner has more than 15 years of experience working at the intersection of technology and the nonprofit sector. He divides his time between serving as the CEO of Ajah, a Montreal-based company that develops online tools for fundraisers, and being the director of Powered by Data, a nonprofit initiative launched by Ajah that helps the nonprofit sector use data to increase its impact.

In 2003, Lenczner founded Île Sans Fil, a community wireless group now operating over 500 public hotspots in the Montreal area

Working in open data since 2005, he has co-founded national, provincial and municipal lobbying groups such as Montréal Ouvert, as well as coordinated numerous hackathons on issues such as sustainability, corruption and municipal services.

He is a frequent collaborator on academic-community partnerships and has published peer-reviewed articles in the areas of epidemiology and public policy. He also serves on several nonprofit boards and advisory groups related to technology, democracy, and civil-society. 


Kyle Matthews Kyle Matthews

Kyle Matthews is the executive director of the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies (MIGS) at Concordia University. He is a Fellow at the Canadian Institute for Global Affairs, a Research Fellow at the Canadian Research Institute on Humanitarian Crises and Aid and past president of the Canadian International Council in Montreal.

He has worked closely with the mayors of Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal in advancing human rights at the municipal level. He is a member of the University Club of Montreal, the Montreal Press Club, and the Montreal Council on Foreign Relations.


Zachary Patterson Zachary Patterson

Zachary Patterson is associate professor in the Department of Geography, Planning and Environment at Concordia University. He is also Tier-II Canada Research Chair in Transportation and Land Use Linkages for Regional Sustainability. His research has three main thrusts: the use of emerging technologies in data collection, GIS, and statistical analysis. Recent research concentrates on the processing and inference of information from locational data collected from smartphones.


Matthieu Salou Matthieu Salou

Matthieu Salou is a passionate advocate for communications and innovation. After 10 years working in a web agency, commercial architecture, marketing and branding consultancy, he became a partner in Novae in 2011.

As a marketing director, he is fueled by passion, guided by a strong desire to change things and to break down barriers in sectors that too often operate in silos.


Dan Seligman Dan Seligman

Dan Seligman is founder and creative director of Pop Montreal. He has managed Stars, The Unicorns and Socalled. Most recently, he co-founded the record label Club Roll Music.

Seligman has travelled and lectured at various festivals around the world including Bylarm in Norway, Goiania Noise in Brazil, Spot Festival in Denmark, SXSW in Austin Texas, the ECMAS in Moncton, Spring Scream in Taiwan and Green Zoo in Poland.

He won a Quebec Notable award for his contribution to Arts and Culture in 2012.


George Stamatis George Stamatis

George Stamatis is a globally-respected children rights activist since the age of 14, and an entrepreneur and consultant. He has dedicated his life to give children a fair chance in life by fighting and advocating for the rights of children around the world.

At 14, he read a newspaper article about children being abused in The Chapel, a Quebec government center. After months of standing up, the government shut down the center. At 14, he convinced United Nations (UN) Member States to include more youth representatives to the UN General Assembly.

At 17, he co-founded Global Youth Action Network (GYAN), one of the largest networks of youth organizations ever created to empower youth to be actively engaged and participate in global decision-making processes at the UN. GYAN also co-organizes Global Youth Service Day in April, the world's largest annual celebration of young volunteers. More than 1 million people participate annually from nearly 150 countries.

In 2005, he successfully got the Service de Police de la Ville de Montréal and the Service de sécurité incendie de Montréal (fire department) to translate their website into English.

In September 2006, he successfully led and coordinated a spontaneous 26-person response team following the tragic shooting at Montreal’s Dawson College, providing food, blankets, transportation and specialized counselling to traumatized students, staff, families and individuals directly affected by the tragedy.

At 31, Stamatis saved a 15-year-old rape survivor who was sentenced by the Maldives Court to be whipped 100 times in public for “sex outside marriage” by building a huge petition campaign on social media that was shared (87,000) and got 2.1 million people to sign the petition. This led the court to overturn and quash the flogging sentence.

He is the co-founder of Trendr, a professional networking mobile app to bring back human interactions via face-to-face meetings in real-time.

He is a senior advisor for the Hope for Children UNCRC Policy Center and advisor member on the Harvard Business Review Advisory Council.

He received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2013 and the UNICEF Unique Global Children’s Rights Champion Gold Medal in 2015 for being a champion for children's rights around the world over the years.


Ion Valaskakis Ion Valaskakis

Ion Valaskakis is president of Portfolio IV Media and Consulting, a management consulting practice started in 2008 with clients in North America, Europe and Australia. In this role, he has served as a strategic advisor to both individuals and organizations, helping them accelerate their development, reinvent themselves periodically and transform their errors into magnificent mistakes.

He brings a combination of entrepreneurial and executive experience in the public, private and plural sectors. He has worked as a press secretary on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC; helped launch and run a ground-breaking international media initiative for the world’s largest mobile phone company in London; and served as a senior executive in a fast-growing technology start-up in Montreal.

Valaskakis has an MBA from London Business School, a Master of Arts in Political Science from University of Western Ontario and a bachelor’s degree from McGill University.


Natalie Voland Natalie Voland

Natalie Voland has been thinking outside of the “traditional” real-estate box for more than 20 years of hands-on management. With her social work background, she has created a unique vision that uses real estate projects as a tool for economic development and urban regeneration. Her projects have led to the creation of over 3,000 new jobs.

Voland is passionate about taking single-use, historical buildings and retrofitting them for entrepreneurial purposes. As a Quebec leader in social innovation through “Benefit Corporation Certification” based on triple bottom-line practices, she works collaboratively with strategic partners to redevelop communities.

She holds a portfolio of approximately 1.5 million sq. ft. with over 500 small and medium businesses, including start-up incubators and advocates for leadership of inclusions.

Her latest creation is retrofitting of one of Montreal’s oldest churches into a hub of social innovation called Le Salon 1861, which uses business skills and contacts to help integrate residents of Little Burgundy, non-profit community groups, universities, with business leaders to use collective experiences to rebuild Montreal.


Sandenga Yeba is coordinator for International Organizations with Montreal International, a public-private corporation tasked with attracting foreign direct investment and international organizations to the city with the objective of boosting Montreal’s global reputation and economy. He liaises closely with the United Nations and the more than 60 international organizations that have established a presence in the city.

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