It's All About Community

Welcome Class of 2019

Your Rotman Kickoff is all about commUNITY!

Over the next 6 days (and 2 years!) you’ll be surrounded by incredibly inspiring people who will be your classmates, network, and friends through it all.

You’ll be in classes with world-class researchers, attend phenomenal events and conferences but the bonds you make in your teams, sections of 70 and across sections (and years) will be some of the most memorable of your life. It all starts at our Program Kick Off. We hope you’re ready for a transformational experience — we can’t wait to get started!


Day 1   Thursday, August 24

Day 2   Friday, August 25

Day 3   Monday, August 28

Day 4   Tuesday, August 29

Day 5   Wednesday, August 30

Day 6   Thursday, August 31


Michael Hyatt

Co-Founder, Bluecat
"Dragon" on CBC's Next Gen Den

Michael Hyatt became a self-made millionaire by building two highly successful tech firms that he sold for $500 million dollars. Today, Michael ranks as one of Canada’s top entrepreneurs, and was a celebrated “Dragon” on CBC’s online sensation Next Gen Den. He is also is a weekly business commentator the CBC’s The Business Panel and previously on The Exchange and On the Money. Speaking on leadership, innovation, entrepreneurship, the future of tech, and managing change, Hyatt believes that no matter what the topic, we need to embrace change, because, as he says, "change is good" and "our future is great".

Hyatt is currently on the Board of BlueCat, one of the largest private software companies in the country, focused on the internet of things. Prior to his current role, he led the company since its inception as CEO and Executive Chairman, where his leadership philosophy was to focus on strategy and empower his employees to execute.

A Founding Partner at the Rotman School of Management’s prestigious Creative Destruction Lab, Hyatt acts as a coach for venture founders to set business and technical milestones to increase the ventures’ chances of success. He is also on the CEO Board of Advisors at Georgian Partners, one of Canada’s leading venture capital firms, was a finalist for Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and was a recipient of the Top 40 Under 40 Award.

Tiff Macklem

Dean, Rotman School of Management

Tiff Macklem served as senior deputy governor of the Bank of Canada, sharing responsibility with the governor and four deputy governors for monetary policy and the Bank’s role in promoting financial stability. In that role, he was also the Bank’s chief operating officer and a member of its board of directors, overseeing strategic planning and coordinating the Bank’s operations. Macklem has also played a leading role in efforts to ensure stable financial systems worldwide through the Financial Stability Board.

Prior to his appointment at the Bank, Macklem served as associate deputy minister of the federal Department of Finance and Canada’s finance deputy at the G7 and G20. He also served as chair of the Standing Committee on Standards Implementation of the Financial Stability Board. In that role, he worked to establish an international system of peer review to promote and assess the implementation of new financial standards across the 24 most financially important countries in the world.

Born in Montréal, Quebec, Macklem graduated from Queen's University in 1983 with a bachelor’s degree in economics, and completed a master’s degree and a PhD in economics at the University of Western Ontario. Bilingual in French and English, Macklem brings with him a broad international network of colleagues in the most important global trade and finance organizations in the world. He and his wife relocated from Ottawa to Toronto and have three children.

Mihnea Moldoveanu

Vice-Dean of Learning, Innovation and Executive Programs, Rotman School of Management

Mihnea Moldoveanu is the Desautels Professor of Integrative Thinking, Professor of Business Economics, Vice-Dean of Learning, Innovation and Executive Programs and Director of the Desautels Centre for Integrative Thinking and the Mind Brain Behavior Hive at the Rotman School. He is the founder and Academic Director of the Self-Development Lab and the Leadership development Lab.

His work on managerial algorithmics, the cognitive super-structures of problem solving, decision theory, and discourse analysis has been published in leading academic (Psychological Review, Management Science, Strategic Management Journal) and practitioner (Harvard Business Review) journals. He is the author of six books, including the recent The Design of Insight: How to Solve Any Business Problem (Stanford University Press, 2015), co-written with McKinsey Director Olivier Leclerc. He is a serial high technology entrepreneur, and Founder and past CEO and CTO of Redline Communications, Inc. (TSX:RDL) a leading global manufacturer of wireless broadband networks. He was selected as one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 in 2008 for his contributions to academia and business.

Brian Golden

Vice Dean, MBA Programs, Rotman School of Management

Brian Golden is the Vice-Dean of MBA Programs, the Sandra Rotman Chair in Health Sector Strategy at the University of Toronto and The University Health Network (joint appointment Faculty of Medicine), Professor of Strategic Management at Rotman, Co-Academic Director of the Global Executive MBA for Healthcare and the Life Sciences and Executive Director for Collaborative For Health Sector Strategy.

Brian conducts research and teaches in the areas of strategic change and implementation, health system integration and funding, governance, organizational strategy and leadership.

In 2006, Brian became founding Executive Director of The Collaborative for Health Sector Strategy, a policy, research and leadership development institute funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health. He has been a faculty member at Insead (France), The Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario (Canada), The University of Texas (USA), and Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management (USA). He received his PhD from Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University.

Richard Powers

National Academic Director, Directors Education Program and Governance Essentials Program, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream

After receiving his MBA and LLB from Queen's University, Rick worked as a corporate lawyer for a major Canadian law firm and later served as Corporate Counsel for Honda Canada Inc., before joining The University of Toronto in 1992.

An internationally recognized expert in both corporate and not-for-profit governance, Rick is the National Academic Director of The Directors Education Program (DEP) and the Not-For-Profit Governance Essentials Program (GEP). He teaches in Rotman’s Executive MBA, OMNIUM, MBA and Executive Education Programs. He is a director and committee member of several not-for-profit organizations and frequently comments on legal and governance issues in various media across Canada.

Rick teaches the Ethics course to the first year MBA students.

Kathleen McGinn

Research Assistant, Rotman School of Management

Kathleen is a Research Assistant at the Rotman School of Management, with specific responsibility for the 1st Year MBA Business Ethics course. She is also enrolled in Rotman’s Executive MBA Program and is a 2016 graduate of the NFP Governance Essentials Program.

Kathleen is also the Founder and Executive Director of EMPWR, a charitable foundation devoted to the advancement of concussion recovery. Kathleen leads a team of professional athletes, researchers, corporate leaders and creatives to build a better understanding of the recovery process. Prior to establishing EMPWR, Kathleen co-founded a food service enterprise and a specialty beer venture that was successfully monetized in 2013.

Niki da Silva

Managing Director, Full-Time MBA Program

Niki da Silva is the Managing Director of Rotman’s Full-Time MBA Program - a role responsible for building and leading Program strategy and delivery. Niki oversees the program experience from application to graduation via Admissions, Program Services, Student Life and Careers while supported by an incredibly talented team. She has experience in a variety of business-school roles over the past 14 years, having started her career as a Lecturer for the Ivey Business School teaching Introduction to Business, then transitioning to recruiting where she led the Ivey Admissions team prior to joining the Rotman School in 2012. Niki is currently a member of the GMAT Advisory Board and has served in a number of leadership roles presenting and facilitating at various GMAC industry and leadership conferences.

Niki holds her HBA degree from the Ivey Business School and will be starting the Executive MBA Program at Rotman this fall. Beyond the business school world, Niki serves as a member of a local not-for-profit board in her community, loves soccer and skiing, and enjoys travelling. She is a huge fan of all things Toronto, and when not at Rotman, enjoys spending time exploring the city with her husband and two young children.

Jan Mahrt-Smith

Academic Director, Full-Time MBA Program
Associate Professor of Finance

Jan Mahrt-Smith is Associate Professor of Finance and the Academic Director of the Rotman FT MBA Program. He teaches MBA, MFin, PhD, and Executive Education courses in Corporate Finance, M&A, and Behavioral Finance and has won several of the highest teaching awards from the MBA students and the Dean. He is also passionately involved in developing Rotman’s blended learning and technology capabilities to support the teaching mission. Jan has consulted with Citibank, Scotia, Corus Entertainment and others.

He has published in the Journal of Financial Economics, the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, and others outlets. Jan holds a PhD from MIT (1998) and was on the faculty of the London Business School from 1998-2002.

Finally, Jan is very proud that his daughter chose to attend the University of Toronto which ensures his lifelong personal and professional commitment to this great institution.

Bill McEvily

Professor of Strategic Management

Bill McEvily is a Professor of Strategic Management at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. His research explores social networks as an organizational and strategic resource. Professor McEvily has published research articles in leading academic journals in the fields of management, psychology, sociology, and economics. Thomson-Reuters named Professor McEvily to its list of “Highly Cited Researchers” in 2014 and again in 2015. He served as a Senior Editor at Organization Science for 10 years and previously served as guest editor for special issues of Management Science and Organization Science.

Professor McEvily teaches courses on social networks and strategic change and implementation in MBA and Executive programs, and courses on organizational theory in the PhD program. Prior to joining Rotman, Professor McEvily was on the faculty at Carnegie Mellon University and he earned his Ph.D. in Strategic Management and Organization from the University of Minnesota.

Nicola Woods

Director, Academic Services, Full-Time MBA Program

Nicola brings more than 20 years of U of T experience to her role at Rotman. A graduate of U of T (BA, Near Eastern Studies and MA, Egyptology), Nicola has a broad spectrum of experience in registrarial services at U of T, having been the director of recruitment and admissions for the Faculty of Arts & Science (U of T’s largest faculty with more than 27,000 students) and currently as the Director, Academic Services and Registrar here at Rotman, where she has been for the last year.

On a more personal note, Nicola is a passionate tennis fan and is a former competitive player, both at the junior and adult levels. She also enjoys travel, reading, music and – as her academic background suggests – is keenly interested in all things historical. Fun fact: she can write your name in hieroglyphs!

Neel Joshi

Director, Student Life & International Experience, Full-Time MBA Program

Neel Joshi is a culture hacker, community enabler and a practitioner of experiential based learning. As Director of Student Life and International Experience he is responsible for managing and fostering positive relationships with all Student Clubs, Associations and the Graduate Business Council. He provides advice, direction and support to these groups with the goal of ensuring that Rotman MBAs are highly satisfied with their student experience.

Neel is a founding member of TEDxToronto, a past board member of Regent Park Focus and has launched several innovative programs at Rotman including; Rotman OnBoard Fellowship, Global Consulting Projects (with BCG & Cuso International) and the now infamous Culture Eats Series. He is a proud East Ender (Scarborough Side) and father of two and is passionate about supporting marginalized communities.

Zania Mauricette

Acting Director, Career Centre, Full-Time MBA Program

Zania has recently taken on the role of Acting Director, Careers. Prior to her current role, Zania had been in the role of Associate Director, Career Coaching for the last year and brings deep experience in the FT MBA Career Centre to the role. She first joined Rotman in 2010 and has held a variety of roles: Assistant Director of Career Coaching, and Assistant Director on the Finance/Banking portfolio.

Prior to joining Rotman, Zania worked at CIBC, Thompson Reuters, UTSC, and WSIB in the areas of campus recruitment, co-op, human resources, relationship management, project management and product development.

Maja Djikic

Associate Professor & Executive Director, Self-Development Laboratory

Maja Djikic, Ph.D. is a Senior Research Associate and the Director of Self-Development Lab at Rotman School of Management. She is a psychologist specializing in the field of personality development. She has been a post-doctoral fellow with Desautels Centre for Integrative Thinking (Rotman School of Management) and Psychology Department at Harvard University. She has published more than 25 articles and book chapters in the area of personality development. Her research has been published in Journal of Research in Personality, Psychological Science, Creativity Research Journal, New Ideas in Psychology, Journal of Adult Development, and many others.

Scott Rutherford

Lead Faculty, Self-Development Laboratory

Scott teaches in all of Rotman's Degree programmes including practicum courses in Leadership Development, Business Problem Solving, and Management Consulting. He is also the Executive Director of the Weider Foundation Leadership Development Lab and Lead Faculty within the Self Development Laboratory.

Scott was previously with McKinsey & Company as an Expert within the Leadership Mindsets and Capabilities Practice, and still works with McKinsey and its clients on topics of Leadership Development, Organization and Top Team Strategy & Alignment.

Scott works with several NGOs including Engineers without Borders and Roots of Empathy where he serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors.

Edy Greenblatt

Visiting Fellow, DCIT & Executive Coach

Dr. Edy Greenblatt is a Visiting Fellow, Desautels Centre for Integrative Thinking & Executive Coach. Dr. Greenblatt is also an author, motivational speaker, entrepreneur, management consultant and scholar. She is managing director of Execu-Care Coaching and Consulting and an Adjunct Faculty, Center for Creative Leadership. Most recently, Dr. Greenblatt was named as one of Marshall Goldsmith’s 100 Coaches and became an advisor for the Science of Happiness at the SP Jain School of Global Management.

Dr. Greenblatt has worked as an Organization practice specialist with McKinsey & Company, and as Assistant Professor at the Center for Effective Organizations at the University of Southern California. She has also had successful careers as a dance ethnologist, television and radio talk show host and performing artist. Edy is the author of numerous books and articles including her most recent book Restore Yourself: The Antidote for Professional Exhaustion.

Dr. Greenblatt earned her Ph.D. in the joint program in Organizational Behavior at Harvard University and Harvard Business School. She has worked with numerous Fortune 500 companies, entrepreneurial ventures, and individuals on leadership, team effectiveness, communications, women's issues, performance improvement and executive coaching engagements worldwide. Edy is also a Founding Fellow at the Institute of Coaching, McLean/Harvard Medical School.

David St. Bernard

Co-Founder of Summit Leaders

David St Bernard is a Toronto native (from Scarborough) and the Co-Founder of Summit Leaders, a non-profit organization that aims to spark an interest in business and entrepreneurship among Canadian Youth. He is also Co-Founder and Chief Regulatory Officer of Vicis Labs a start-up in the finance literacy space that he and fellow classmates launched at Rotman during the Hult Prize competition. He is a graduate of the JD/MBA program and is a former varsity track and field athlete who competed in triple jump and the decathlon and represented Canada as a junior. Prior to Rotman David completed degrees in both Kinesiology and Psychology. He is presenting articling at Bennett Jones LLP, which is a full service Bay Street law firm.

Farhan Thawar

Co-Founder and CTO of

Farhan Thawar is the CTO and Co-Founder of, a video messenger for work. Most recently he was the CTO Mobile at Pivotal and the Vice President of Engineering at Pivotal Labs. Farhan is best known for scaling Xtreme Labs from 10 to 350 people and building the most popular mobile apps in the world. He is an avid writer and speaker and was named one of Toronto’s 25 most powerful people. Prior to Xtreme, Farhan held senior technical positions at Achievers, Microsoft, Celestica and Trilogy. Farhan completed his MBA in Financial Engineering at Rotman and Computer Science/EE at Waterlo.

Tyla Flexman

Manager, Global Partnerships, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment

Tyla was chosen by her classmates as the Valedictorian of the Rotman Full-Time MBA Class of 2017. She has been on an interesting journey from playing high performance sports to now joining the global partnerships team of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment.

She ran the Rotman Sports Business Association, where she, along with her executive committee, organized a number of events, including a sports industry conference that drew successful alumni, thought leaders and people of influence in the industry. Bringing Masai Ujiri, president of the Toronto Raptors, to the Rotman School and raising $4,000 for his charity (which he then in turn donated to Toronto Community Housing) was a huge highlight of her MBA experience.

Tyla completed her undergrad degree in Kinesiology at UBC. She describes herself as the quintessential jock, playing varsity field hockey at university and later on the Canadian national team. Her path to Rotman was influenced by family, managers, and mentors along the way that helped her realize an MBA would complement her skillset.

Lionel Laroche

Ph.D., P.Eng, and Owner, Multicultural Business Solutions

Over the past 20 years, Lionel has provided cross-cultural competency training and coaching services to over 100,000 people in 18 countries. His client list includes many Fortune 500 organizations such as Sun Life, Manulife, RBC, TD Bank, Scotiabank, CIBC, BNP Paribas, PwC, Deloitte, EY, Wal-Mart, Engie, Medtronic, P&G, Xerox, Total, ConocoPhillips, Glencore, Sinopec, PetroChina, Shell, Ontario Power Generation, AMD, etc. Lionel has facilitated workshops for the students, staff and faculty members of many business schools in Canada, the US, and overseas. His presentations are usually described as informative, thought-provoking and practical; they build on his own experience of working in multicultural organizations and the experience of the clients who use his services.

Lionel is the first author of three books: Danger and Opportunity: Bridging Cultural Diversity for Competitive Advantage, Recruiting, Retaining and Promoting Culturally Different Employees, and Managing Cultural Diversity in Technical Professions.

Born and educated in France, Lionel obtained his undergraduate degree from the Ecole Polytechnique de Paris and a Ph.D. from Caltech.

Steve Dalton

Author, 2-Hour Job Search

Steve Dalton is a senior career consultant and associate director at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. He holds his own MBA from the same institution and a chemical engineering degree from Case Western Reserve University. Prior to entering the career services industry, Dalton was an associate marketing manager at General Mills and a strategy consultant at A.T. Kearney.

The 2-Hour Job Search shows job-seekers how to work smarter (and faster) to secure first interviews. Through a prescriptive approach, Dalton explains how to wade through the Internet’s sea of information and create a job-search system that relies on mainstream technology such as Excel, Google, LinkedIn, and alumni databases to create a list of target employers, contact them, and then secure an interview—with only two hours of effort. Avoiding vague tips like “leverage your contacts,” Dalton tells job-hunters exactly what to do and how to do it. This empowering talk focuses on the critical middle phase of the job search and helps readers bring organization to what is all too often an ineffectual and frustrating process.

Random House published Dalton’s debut book, The 2-Hour Job Search, in March 2012. His concepts are now taught at over 30 universities worldwide. Dalton is regular contributor at The Huffington Post, and his media appearances include the Financial Times,, and CBS News online among others.

Saygin Yag

President of The Letters, Rotman’s LGBTQ+ Allies group

Saygin Yag is President of The Letters, Rotman’s LGBTQ+ Allies student group. He joined Rotman from Turkey where he worked for two companies operating in very different sectors, Defense and Consumer Goods. He took up a marketing role at Philip Morris International and a planning role at ASELSAN Electronic Industries Inc. for a total of around two years. He spent the past summer in Extreme Blue (IBM’s premier leadership development program) as Product Manager.

Varun Chandak

GBC Director of Diversity & Inclusion

Varun Chandak is the GBC’s Director of Diversity & Inclusion and the founder of Access to Success, a student led initiative which aims to level the playing field for students with visible or invisible disabilities. Varun is a Chartered Accountant and prior to Rotman, he worked in global equity research and private equity in India for four years. He spent this past summer interning with RBC in the Global Valuations group, covering private equity investments.

Seghen Woldai

President of Women In Management Association (WIMA)

Seghen Woldai is President of WIMA and spent this past summer interning in consulting with KPMG. She is a strategic problem solver with a passion for self-development. She has worked in the pharmaceuticals/healthcare space for the last 3 years. Seghen loves sports and is Toronto Blue Jays and Raptors fan. She has visited 16 countries in the last 4 years, most recently enjoying some sangria and tapas in Spain.

Felipe Branco

Founder of Rotman Culinary Club

Felipe Branco is a professionally trained Chef and the founder of Rotman’s newest club, the Rotman Culinary Club where he hopes to bring students together for interesting food excursions and cooking classes. Prior to Rotman he was a Consultant with Business Integration Partners in São Paulo Area, Brazil. He spent this past summer refining his cooking skills while also consulting in the food and beverage space.

The 6ix Squad

This group of enthusiastic upper-year students are here to help ensure your introduction into the Rotman community is a success. Please feel free to ask them for any advice you might need (on housing, careers, international questions, social issues, or anything else on your mind!) on Facebook.

Meet The 6ix Squad

Orientation Camp 2017

Meet your fellow classmates and learn what it means to be part of the Rotman community at Orientation Camp!