Phone: (613) 325-9820
Val Walker leads the Business + Higher Education Roundtable (BHER). As CEO of this member-based not-for-profit organization, she sets BHER’s strategic direction and leads a strong team focused on building new opportunities in Canada’s skills and innovation ecosystem through collaboration. Beyond this, 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 BHER, Val was the Vice President, Innovation and Skills, at the Business Council of Canada and 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.
As Director of Operations for the Business + Higher Education Roundtable (BHER), Hormuz is responsible for leading BHER’s overall strategy and corporate development. His primary duties include board and membership engagement, governance and product development.
Hormuz comes to BHER from RBC Ventures. Prior to that, Hormuz was with RBC’s personal and commercial banking group and the Aga Khan Foundation Canada. He holds an Honours Bachelor or Arts from the University of Toronto and a Masters degree from Oxford University.
Malcolm is the Director for the Business + Higher Education Roundtable’s (BHER) Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) initiative. He comes from a career in work-integrated learning, evaluation, performance measurement, and organizational reviews.
Malcolm worked previously with various organizations in the WIL ecosystem such as Toronto Finance International, the Mining Industry Human Resources Council, Venture for Canada, and Mitacs. He also previously conducted research and was a member of the faculty at Queen’s University. Malcolm’s doctoral research focused on collaborative integration in Canadian industry.
Jennifer Schenkel is the Senior Manager for Product Development at the Business + Higher Education Roundtable. Jennifer works with a range of stakeholders to develop and promote tools to advance Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) in Canada. She draws upon a dynamic career in communications, stakeholder engagement and program evaluation.
Prior to joining BHER, Jennifer held senior roles in the health care and work integrated learning sectors. She has a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University.
Samira is the Senior Lead for Business Development & Partnerships for Business + Higher Education Roundtable’s Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) initiative. With over a decade of partnership and business development expertise, Samira has a robust track record of identifying opportunities and bridging the gap between organizations.
In her previous roles, Samira delivered relationship management, technology and research expertise by working with various players such as post-secondary institutions, government sectors, and private entities.
As Associate, Corporate Development for the Business + Higher Education Roundtable (BHER), Victoria works to support BHER’s member relations and governance.Prior to this role, Victoria served as the Undergraduate Student Trustee on the Queen’s University Board of Trustees, finding interest in institutional governance and organizational management. During her degree, she also undertook a professional research position in epidemiology.
She holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Life Sciences from Queen’s University, specializing in Epidemiology.
As Associate, Communications for the Business + Higher Education Roundtable (BHER), Brianna manages BHER’s strategic communications. This includes brand management, event preparation and government relations. Prior to this role, Brianna served on the St. Thomas University Students’ Union, New Brunswick Student Alliance, and Canadian Alliance of Student Associations, where her passion for work-integrated learning (WIL) was fostered.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from St. Thomas University and is currently pursuing a Masters in Political Management at Carleton University.
As Associate, Business Development and 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 worked with Parks Canada and eCampus Ontario. She also volunteered with Scouts Canada. She holds a Bachelor of Knowledge Integration (Honours) from the University of Waterloo, specializing in mathematics, geography and tourism, and collaborative design.
As Office Manager, Sarah oversees the continued set-up, daily functions, and long-term planning of Business + Higher Education Roundtable’s (BHER) growing office. She also supports BHER’s CEO, Valerie Walker, as Executive Assistant.
Prior to this role, Sarah worked in communications at Innovative Medicines Canada where she supported the Executive Director and communications team. She comes to BHER with 13 years of sales, client support and administrative experience in her portfolio. Sarah holds a diploma in Biotechnology from St. Lawrence College.
As a Data Analyst for the Business + Higher Education Roundtable (BHER), Breenda works to develop a data strategy to collect, store, manage and analyze data in order to evaluate the impact of the Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) Initiative among stakeholders.
Outside of work, you can find her baking, dancing and cooking. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Economics from University of Western Ontario and a Master of Arts in International Economics and Finance from Ryerson University.
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, 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 previously was a a public policy advocacy intern with CARE Canada.
As Intern, Research and Partnerships, Emma will support the Business + Higher Education Roundtable’s (BHER) research and business development agenda. Prior to this role, Emma was the Coordinator for the Horizons Leadership Conference 2019 at McMaster.
Outside of work, you can find her cooking and baking or hiking. Emma will begin her studies in the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto in the fall. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Integrated Science (Honours) from McMaster University.
As Intern, Product Development and Research, Solène will support the Business + Higher Education Roundtable’s (BHER) Product Development initiatives through communications, product research and prototyping. Prior to this role, she managed a student-run coffee shop and completed internships in the banking and cable industries.
Solène is a recent graduate from the University of Waterloo holding a Bachelor of Knowledge Integration and specializations in Business, Psychology, Cognitive Science and Collaborative Design.
As Intern, Product Development and Research, Andrew will support the Business + Higher Education Roundtable’s (BHER) Product Development initiatives through communications, product research and prototyping. He has spent the last six summers working with YMCA Camping. His hobbies include chess, sailing, and curling as part of his university’s varsity team.
Andrew is going into his final year at the University of Western Ontario, pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science after recently finishing a degree in Economics.