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Board of Directors
 
Founded in June 2006, the GTA Rewards Association is a not-for-profit, volunteer-based entity comprised of over 350 members. The Association is led by a Board of Directors with the collaboration of an Advisory Board. A team of volunteers support the Board to ensure our membership represented as initiatives are planned. All members are welcome to attend and participate in the Annual General Meeting held each year. Decisions made by the Board follow the policy guidelines set out in governing articles.
Board of Directors

Nadia Cerisano Nadia Cerisano
President, Board Member
Email: president@gtarewards.ca

Nadia has been an active member of the GTA Rewards Association since 2005, prior to its inception, and became a member of the Board of Directors in 2011 when she took on the Membership portfolio. Currently in the role of President, Nadia leads the Board in setting the strategic direction and ensuring the GTARA delivers on its objectives to help members succeed in their current and future careers by providing opportunities for networking and knowledge building through seminars and courses. Prior to Membership she ran the Events portfolio. An active member in the WorldatWork community, Nadia has co-chaired the bi-annual Total Rewards Conference in Toronto since 2010.

Nadia has over 20 years of Rewards and HR experience across multiple organizations and in many areas including: HR strategy, strategic workforce planning, organization design, compensation, benefits, pension, HRIS, recruitment and talent management. Nadia earned an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto and the post-graduate Certificate in Human Resources Management. She is also a Certified Compensation Professional and Certified Employee Benefits professional.

Nadia is currently the Global Director, Incentives and Sales Compensation with Xerox Inc.


Heather Finnerty Heather Finnerty
Past-President, Board Member

Email: pastpresident@gtarewards.ca

Heather has been an active member of the GTA Rewards Association (GTARA) for several years and became a member of the Board of Directors in 2011. Currently in the role of Past-President, Heather supports the President and works with the Board to set the strategic direction and to ensure the GTARA delivers on our objectives.

Heather has over 19 years’ experience in Total Rewards, mostly in the financial services sector, in roles with responsibility for plan design, governance, market intelligence, research and analytics. Over the last few years this has expanded to include Pension and Benefits, Global Mobility, Reward & Recognition programs, Payroll and HR Operations.

Heather has a B. Comm from McMaster University and obtained the Chartered Director (C.Dir.) designation from The Directors College (a joint venture between The Conference Board of Canada and McMaster University) in 2016.

Heather is currently the Vice President, Total Rewards and HR Operations at OMERS.


Chris Lee Chris Lee
Director/Vice President, Board Member
Portfolio – Communications and Social Media
Email: communications@gtarewards.ca

Chris is Vice President, Marketing & Communications at Accompass, an independent human resources company with expertise in Executive & Broad-based Compensation, Benefits & Health, and Investment & Retirement. Chris plays a key role in keeping Accompass’ clients up to date on the latest industry trends, news, and developments that matter to their clients. He is also responsible for managing the firm’s brand, communications, digital marketing and social media, thought leadership, PR and media relations, advertising, sponsorship, event management, design, presentations, and email marketing.

He has 20 years of experience in the financial services industry, most recently as Director, Corporate Brand & Marketing at Sun Life Financial, where he was for six years, before joining Accompass in 2014. He managed an in-house creative team, and played a leadership role in building and managing the brand and its standards. He has also been an account director for CIBC at Toronto-based creative agency Ariad Communications.

Chris has also completed the Canadian Securities Course, and in addition to the GTA Rewards Association, is a member of the Toronto Region Board of Trade. He is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario.


Katharine Liu Katharine Liu
Director/Vice President, Board Member
Portfolio – Education
Email: education@gtarewards.ca

Katharine has been a member of the GTA Rewards Association (GTARA) for several years and joined the board in 2015. Katharine has over 20 years’ experience in the development, implementation and ongoing measurement of total rewards programs for companies within the financial services industry. She has held leadership roles with responsibility for the design of employee and executive compensation programs, variable sales incentive programs, compensation governance, market intelligence, research and analytics.

Katharine is currently Director, Compensation at Scotiabank.


Vanessa Lewerentz Vanessa Lewerentz
Director/Vice President, Board Member
Portfolio – Events
Email: events@gtarewards.ca

Vanessa has been an active member of the GTA Rewards Association. She is deeply committed to the ongoing development of the total rewards and human resources profession through fostering continuing learning, building networks of professionals and knowledge sharing.

Vanessa has extensive HR and Total Rewards experience, across the financial services and entertainment sectors. She has had progressive roles with responsibility for compensation, pensions, benefits, governance, market intelligence, research and workforce management and analytics.

She also brings with her volunteer experience from a diverse range of professional and nonprofit agencies, including being an active member the Standards Council of Canada ISO 260, board member of Durham Mental Health Services and former board member for Hearth Place Cancer Support Centre.

Vanessa is currently Director, Workforce Strategy at Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) with the primary focus of enabling human capital management routines and evidence-based management.

Asuncion Dorotheo Asuncion Dorotheo
Director/Vice President, Board Member
Portfolio – Finance
Email: finance@gtarewards.ca

A member of the GTA Rewards Association since inception, Asuncion has been a volunteer on both the Membership and Communications Committees prior to joining the Board as Treasurer in 2012.

Asuncion has over 15 years of experience as a rewards professional in both consulting and financial industry firms. Her experience includes executive compensation, policy and program design, job evaluation, global mobility, market assessments, compensation tool re-design and governance activities.

Asuncion is currently Director, Compensation at the Royal Bank of Canada.


Kate Beckett Kate Beckett
Director/Vice President, Board Member
Portfolio – Member Engagement
Email: membership@gtarewards.ca

An active member of the GTA Rewards Association since 2009, Kate heads up the Member Engagement portfolio where she is focused on driving member engagement as well as overseeing the annual membership campaign. She previously served as Board Secretary from 2011-2013.

Kate Beckett has over 15 years of rewards and HR experience across a variety of industries in Canada and the United States. Her specialties include compensation strategy, incentive plan design, executive compensation, benefits, retirement and recognition. Kate holds a B.A. in Psychology from Canisius College in Buffalo, NY, a Master’s in Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University and is a Certified Compensation Professional (CCP).

Kate is currently the Sr. Director, Total Rewards and HR Technology with Indigo Books & Music.


Kate Beckett Ali Akgunes
Director/Vice President, Board Member
Portfolio – Secretary
Email: secretary@gtarewards.ca

Ali has strong volunteer experience across multiple organizations, having served as a Trustee and Co-Chair of the Board at the University of East London. He is passionate about the total rewards profession and how he can contribute to its advancement. Ali is originally from the UK and relocated to Canada in 2015. His experience is predominantly in financial services with a consultancy background, including global rewards as well as UK and Canada-centric compensation practices. His experience in total rewards spans 3 organizations in progressively senior roles with local and global remits and, is currently the AVP, Performance & Reward at HSBC Canada.

Ali holds a B.A. in Politics from University College London, UK, a Master’s in Human Resources from University of East London, UK, and is former member of CIPD (UK Professional HR Association).


Domenico D`Alessandro Domenico D`Alessandro
Director/Vice President, Board Member
Portfolio - Strategic Initiatives
(Ex-officio – Past President, Treasurer, Co-VP Membership)

Email: development@gtarewards.ca

A member of the GTA Rewards Association since its inception, Domenico has held various roles and currently sits on the Board in a leadership capacity providing continuity and counsel on direction and programs. He is responsible for the Strategic Initiatives portfolio that is accountable for providing leadership and operational direction on our key initiatives throughout the year. His portfolio also includes corporate sponsorship. Domenico is passionate about the Total Rewards profession and is committed to expanding awareness in the field, and amongst future work candidates.

With over 19 years of experience as a Human Resource professional at HayGroup, Watson Wyatt, Manulife, and McDowall Associates, Domenico provides clients with strategic advisory services in respect of compensation strategy, policy and program design, job measurement methodologies, market assessments, executive and director compensation, and governance structures at Gallagher McDowall Associates.

Domenico holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario in Business Administration.

Domenico is currently a Sr. Consultant at Gallagher McDowall Associates.



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