For information on the Business + Higher Education Roundtable, please contact us at

You can also find us on Twitter at @BHERCanada.

Val Walker

Chief Executive Officer


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.

Hormuz Dadabhoy

Director of Operations


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 Anderson

Director of Work-Integrated Learning


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

Senior Manager, Product Development


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 Afrand

Senior Lead, Business Development and Partnerships


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.

Victoria Chappell

Associate, Corporate Development


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.

Brianna Workman

Associate, Communications


Phone: (613) 695-5138

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.

Deanna Di Vito

Associate, Business Development Partnerships


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. 

Sarah Terpstra

Office Manager & Executive Assistant


Phone: (613) 695-5137

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.

Breenda Shah

Data Analyst


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.

Gabi Trigo

Grants Administration and Liaison


As the Grants Administration and Liaison at the Business + Higher Education Roundtable (BHER), Gabriela works closely with the collaborative grant-based funding initiative between BHER and the Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning (CEWIL) Canada. 

Gabriela previously worked as the Policy and Communications Intern at BHER. She is now completing her undergraduate degree in Global Development at Queen’s University while working at BHER part-time.

Solène Jollivet

Analyst, Product Development and Research


As Analyst, Product Development and Research for the Business + Higher Education Roundtable (BHER), Solène works to develop Product Development initiatives through stakeholder collaboration and communication, research, product design and prototyping.

Solène holds a Bachelor of Knowledge Integration from the University of Waterloo, with specializations in business, psychology, cognitive science and collaborative design.

Andrew Paulley

Associate, Product Development and Research


As Associate, 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.

Anant Garg

Financial Administrator


As Financial Administrator, Anant is responsible for leading the management of  project finance and general financial oversight at the Business + Higher Education Roundtable (BHER). He brings several years of financial and project management experience from the healthcare industry. 

His educational background includes business management, product development and is currently pursuing a Masters in Healthcare Administration.

Luke Statt

Program Associate, Work-Integrated Learning


As Program Associate for the Business + Higher Education Roundtable (BHER), Luke works to support BHER’s Canada Comeback Challenge. Prior to this role, Luke served as the Vice President Operations and Finance for the University of Alberta Students’ Union, discovering a love for non-profit development and innovation related to Canada’s future of work. During his degree, he also held multiple positions with the Alberta Government’s Ministries of Parks and Recreation, Economic Development and Trade, and Advanced Education. 

He holds a Bachelor of Commerce with focuses in strategic management and organization as well as marketing, with a certificate in Community Service Learning.

Marium Hamid

Program Associate, Work-Integrated Learning


Marium is Program Associate, Work-Integrated Learning at BHER. In her role, she coordinates the Canada Comeback Challenge’s employer outreach. Her work involves maintaining relationships with stakeholders and engaging learners through the competition platform.

Prior to BHER, Marium led Canada’s largest student association, The AMS of UBC as President and served as a member of UBC’s Senate and Alumni Advisory. She has an undergraduate degree in economics and anthropology from UBC and was a researcher exploring intersections of culture and institutions.

Emily Wilson

Intern, Communications and Research


Emily is currently participating in the Queen’s Undergraduate Internship Program as Intern, Communications and Research with the Business + Higher Education Roundtable (BHER). During her 12-month internship she will assist in the areas of communications, research and organizational support. 

Emily is a fourth year student at Queen’s University majoring in political studies and minoring in film and media studies. She has previously held internships with the Hamilton Community Food Centre and The Beer Store. 

Fatima Ahmed

Intern, Product Development and Research


As Intern, Product Development and Research, Fatima will support the Business + Higher Education Roundtable’s (BHER) product development initiatives through communications, product research and prototyping. Prior to this role, her past work focused on equity-centered community design. She has also helped develop virtual reality platforms.

Fatima is going into her final year of undergraduate studies, pursuing an Honours Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Toronto.