BHER Team

For information on the Business/Higher Education Roundtable, please contact us at info@bher.ca.

You can also find us on Twitter at @BHERCanada.

Val Walker

CEO, Business/Higher Education Roundtable

Email: Valerie.Walker@bher.ca

Phone: (613) 325-9820

Val Walker leads the Business/Higher Education Roundtable (BHER). Made up of Canadian companies, post-secondary institutions, BHER works to support young Canadians as they transition from education to the workplace, strengthen research collaboration between industry and institutions, and help Canadian employers and workers adapt to the economy of the future.

Beyond this work, Val serves as co-chair of the  Future Skills Council – a group established by the Government of Canada to advise on national and regional skills development and training priorities. She also speaks and advises regularly on innovation and talent.

Prior to taking over BHER, Val was the Director of Policy at Mitacs. She holds a PhD from McGill University and is an alumna of the Government of Canada’s Recruitment of Policy Leaders Program.

Isabelle Duchaine

Director of Operations

Email: Isabelle.duchaine@bher.ca

Phone: (416) 220-4191

As Director of Operations for the Business/Higher Education Roundtable (BHER), Isabelle leads BHER’s external communications, governance and policy initiatives. Her ongoing research includes reports on the hiring trends of major employers, employment barriers for older Canadians, and post-secondary/private sector research partnerships.

Prior to BHER, she worked in policy and communications at the Business Council of Canada, as a research fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation, and at The Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia. An Action Canada Fellow, Isabelle holds a BAH in history and political studies from Queen’s University and a Masters in Global Governance from the University of Waterloo.

Malcolm Anderson

Acting Director of Work-Integrated Learning

Email: Malcolm.Anderson@bher.ca

Malcolm is the acting Director for the Business/Higher Education Roundtable’s (BHER) Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) initiative. He comes from an extensive career in work-integrated learning, evaluation, performance measurement, and organizational reviews. He has worked as a consultant for federal and provincial governments, national and local organizations, and conducted research while teaching as a member of the faculty at Queen’s University.

In addition, Malcolm has worked with several organizations in the WIL ecosystem, with the primary focus of his work surrounding the development of evaluation frameworks and the conduction of program evaluations. These organizations have included the Toronto Finance International, the Mining Industry Human Resources Council, Venture for Canada, and Mitacs. In 2018, he developed a national evaluation framework for WIL for BHER. He holds a PhD in economic geography, with his doctoral research examining collaborative integration in Canadian industry.

Victoria Chappell

Associate, Policy and Executive Support

Email: Victoria.Chappell@bher.ca

As Associate, Policy and Executive Support for the Business/Higher Education Roundtable (BHER), Victoria works to support BHER’s internal organization and external relations, as well as business development. This includes policy analysis, stakeholder relations, strategic planning, growth and development support, as well as logistics and internal communications.

Prior to this role, Victoria served in a number of positions on groups and committees at Queen’s University, gaining invaluable experience through extracurricular involvement. In particular, she served as the Undergraduate Student Trustee on the Queen’s University Board of Trustees, finding interest in institutional governance and organizational management. She was involved in discussions about partnerships between higher education and industry and preparing post-secondary institutions for the future of work. During her degree, she also undertook a professional research position in epidemiology.

Victoria is passionate about supporting both businesses and post-secondary institutions as they work to prepare individuals for success in an evolving job market. She hopes to support the cultivation of skills and talent that drive the Canadian economy and build research capacity. She holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Life Sciences from Queen’s University, specializing in epidemiology.

Deanna Di Vito

Associate, Work-Integrated Learning

deanna.divito@bher.ca

As Associate, Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) Partnerships for the Business/Higher Education Roundtable (BHER), Deanna works to engage and align stakeholders around talent development and innovation as common interests, to help make the vision of WIL a reality for young Canadians.

Prior to this role, Deanna’s passion for WIL and skill development was fostered through her own experiences at university, where she developed collaboration, critical thinking, and problem solving skills throughout her degree. She put these skills into practice during various work opportunities with organizations like Parks Canada and eCampus Ontario. Deanna has also volunteered with Scouts Canada for many years where she ran leadership camps and advocated for youth. She helped to create opportunities for youth to develop skills and to prepare for successful futures.

Deanna is excited to cultivate and expand partnerships that will help create WIL opportunities for young Canadians. She believes in providing students with the tools for success in an evolving job market and knows that creating WIL opportunities is an important first step towards making this reality.

She holds a Bachelor of Knowledge Integration (Honours) from the University of Waterloo, specializing in mathematics, geography and tourism, and collaborative design.

Gabi Trigo

Intern, Policy and Communications

Email: Gabriela.Trigo@bher.ca

Gabriela is currently participating in the Queen’s University Internship Program as an intern for the Business/Higher Education Roundtable (BHER). During her 12-month internship at BHER, Gabriela will be assisting in the areas of policy development, organizational and business support, and communications.

Gabriela is a fourth-year student at Queen’s University majoring in Global Development and minoring in Environmental Studies. She has volunteered previously with CARE Canada as a public policy advocacy intern. Gabriela began her work and training in the realm of experiential learning when she worked with the Queen’s Cares program, both as a participant and as a project leader. Gabriela is excited to channel her passion of helping the community around her into BHER’s mission of contributing to the future of talent and skill development in Canada. Her hobbies and interests include travelling, hiking, reading, and going to the gym.

Brianna Workman

Associate, Communications

Email: Brianna.Workman@bher.ca

As Associate, Communications for the Business/Higher Education Roundtable (BHER), Brianna works to manage BHER’s broad-level communications. This includes brand development and management, as well as engaging with BHER’s members, partners, and stakeholders within the business and post-secondary education sectors.

Prior to this role, Brianna’s passion for work-integrated learning (WIL) and connecting young Canadians to enriching opportunities was fostered at the provincial level in New Brunswick. Here she worked with the New Brunswick Experiential Learning Steering Committee through her capacity with the New Brunswick Student Alliance, where she served as Chair of the board of directors. In addition, her roles as President and Vice-President Education of the St. Thomas University Students’ Union, allowed Brianna to be closely connected to the WIL ecosystem and skills space, both on her home campus and federally with the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from St. Thomas University and is currently pursuing a Masters in Political Management at Carleton University.