The Honourable Victor Fedeli

Ontario Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade

Vic Fedeli was born and raised in North Bay. His grandparents chose to come to Ontario from Italy with ambitions of a far better life and more opportunity for their young families.

In his 20s he opened Fedeli Advertising, the first ad agency north of Toronto. As a young entrepreneur, he developed the company into a global agency doing work all over the world, from their base in Northern Ontario. One of the proudest moments of his business career was when Fedeli Advertising was named 34th in the Top 50 Best Places to Work in Canada.

In 1992, Vic sold the firm and devoted the next 11 years to managing three non-profit ventures. He founded Air Base Property Corporation, a local development agency that took over the airside assets of CFB North Bay. Vic used his business experience to write the business plan that attracted Voyageur Airways, which now employs over 350 people involved in repair and overhaul of aircraft from around the world.

In 2003, Vic ran for mayor of North Bay and as a first-time candidate was elected with 75% of the vote. He was re-elected in 2006 in another landslide. As mayor, Vic transformed the city, restoring both hope and solvency. Moody’s Investors Service took notice, increasing the city’s credit rating five times to their highest possible rating – substantially reducing the city’s debt interest payments.

Internationally, Vic was one of only two North American mayors invited to the prestigious Government Leaders Forum hosted by Bill Gates and had the pleasure to discuss a municipality’s role in governing, with former U.S. Secretary of State, Madeline Albright.

He made news on both sides of the border when he successfully launched a grassroots campaign to reverse the U.S. ‘Buy American’ provision, earning special acknowledgment from then U.S. Ambassador to Canada, David Jacobson.

In 2011, after keeping his promise to step down as mayor after serving two terms, Vic was elected to serve the people of Nipissing at Queen’s Park. In 2014, Vic was re-elected as Nipissing MPP. He served as Energy and Finance Critic in the Official Opposition shadow cabinet.  He was re-elected in 2018 and was appointed as Ontario’s Finance Minister and Chair of Cabinet by Premier Doug Ford.  In 2019, he was named Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade.

Vic and his wife Patty live in North Bay.


Victoria Smith

Senior Manager, Strategic Initiatives, Strathcona Regional District

Victoria Smith is the Senior Manager, Strategic Initiatives for the Strathcona Regional District. Victoria has led inter-governmental planning, policy and infrastructure projects through senior public-sector appointments across local and state governments in Canada and Australia. Prior to joining the public sector, Victoria worked in business development and product management in the financial services sector. 

Growing up in small town Ontario, Victoria is a passionate advocate for rural and remote communities and has spent a number of years working to shift the rural connectivity landscape in British Columbia. She is currently co-lead for the Connected Coast project, a new subsea fibre-optic network that aims to bring new or improved connectivity to as many as 154 BC coastal communities.

Victoria holds a Masters degree in Environment (Sustainable Regions) from Melbourne University and a Bachelor of Design from RMIT University as well as certifications in project management, finance and local government administration.


Rob McCann

President, Hamilton Technology Centre and Founder, Clearcable Networks

Rob McCann is the founder of Clearcable Networks and the President of the Hamilton Technology Centre. He has been working with advanced broadband service deployments in mid-market and rural cable and telephone systems since 1998. He is responsible for building and maintaining technical, network, and application intelligence. Rob works closely with several carriers, cable systems, municipalities, and network service providers in Canada, the US, and the Caribbean providing them with the technology, integration, and business practices required to effectively operate voice, video, and data services in the changing broadband service provider industry.

Most recently Rob represented Clearcable as an inaugural board member of The Intelligent Community Forum Canada, a current member of the Seneca College Communications Advisory Committee, and previously has served as a Director with the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers Ontario Chapter, a contributor to the CRTC Interconnection Steering Committee, and a frequent keynote speaker at the Canadian Cable System Alliance, Canadian Independent Telephone Association, and National Cable Telephone Cooperative annual trade shows. 

Rob’s active projects include work with ICF recognized Intelligent Communities by chairing the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce Digital Infrastructure Working Group and providing technical insight to Sarnia’s Bluewater Regional Network. He was named the Canadian Independent Telephone Association’s 2016 Supplier of the Year and holds degrees in Mathematics from the University of Waterloo and Economics from McMaster University.

By combining his practical experience in both traditional information technology and service provider networks with his formal background, Rob provides a unique perspective on matching emerging technology with sound business principles to establish successful strategies for new product and service deployment.

Rob has lead the Clearcable team since 2004, named three times as one of Canada’s Fastest Growing Companies by PROFIT Magazine, as a team that prides itself on providing expert help to enable appropriate technology and services for advanced communications by augmenting the existing or building the internal engineering support for its client base. With proven experience and relevant industry references, Rob understands the unique requirements of a truly connected life and building better broadband for communities of all sizes.


Stephen Eyre

Vice President, Calix Partner Ecosystem at Calix

As Vice President, Calix Partner Ecosystem at Calix, Stephen is responsible for sales of the Calix Cloud product family and the Calix Smart Home & Business platform.  His teams work in partnership with the Calix Cloud & Smart Home product groups to refine their strategies and product evolution.

A veteran of many aspects of the ITC industry including 10 years in banking, 7 years in telecommunications and 15 years at Microsoft,  Stephen's 25+ year career has encompassed phases as varied as expert system programming, IT and capital markets consulting, systems architecture, alliance creation and management,  and, most recently, two years sourcing and selling IoT Solutions at TELUS in Canada.  

Stephen has three wonderful daughters aged 26, 33 & 35, plays as much soccer and golf as possible, and is an avid supporter of the Toronto Blue Jays & Raptors, the New York Islanders, and most of all, Chelsea FC.


John G. Jung

Executive Director ICF Canada and Chairman & Co-Founder Intelligent Community Forum

John is a professional, award-winning urban planner, urban designer, economic developer, author, visiting professor and global speaker on planning, development, urban design and economic development related issues, especially related to Smart Cities and Intelligent Communities. John is a pioneer in the Smart City movement, having worked in it since the early 1980’s.

John is the former President and CEO of several of Canada’s largest economic development organizations in Greater Toronto, Calgary and Waterloo Region; a former senior urban planner, urban designer and developer in many cities in Canada and abroad, including leading the planning and development of Toronto’s waterfront area for many years; marketing the GTA to the world; and as an advisor on urban development and economic development to global leaders around the world for over the past three decades. 

In addition to initiating, co-founding and chairing the global think tank, the Intelligent Community Forum, in NYC, following the success of the world’s first smart city event he organized in 1995, John also founded the Canadian national non-profit, ICF Canada, in 2015, and acts as its inaugural Executive Director. He also created the Ontario Tech Corridor and helped to form Consider Canada Cities Alliance, among other collaborations. He was involved with the Smart Cities Challenge in Canada and its related Support Program, Future Cities Canada and the Community Solutions Network. He is also an advisor to ICF’s Institutes globally and their related national organizations. In addition, he is leading a major international program on creating a new smart city in Asia. His last efforts in Asia helped to create Cyberport in Hong Kong.

John regularly speaks globally at conferences, symposiums, corporate gatherings as well as to city councils and universities in Canada and around the world. He has been a keynote speaker at significant gatherings and events including at Ted Talks, APEC, ICF Summits and at the Global Forum for the past two decades. 

John has extensively written on topics related to planning, economic development and international smart cities for Canadian and global publications such as MyLiveableCity and Public Sector Digest. He is an author and co-author of reports, books and articles widely read on these topics, including Brain Gain and a new book coming out soon called Innovative Solutions for Creating Sustainable Cities (Cambridge Scholars, UK). He has also extensive exposure in national and international television broadcasts, radio and in international journals and newspapers. 

John’s extensive global exposure leading significant initiatives and evaluating cities globally on behalf of ICF and his own consulting firm, S2I Inc., have helped to raise awareness of the Smart City and Intelligent Community movement and helped communities around the world to become better, more livable cities for their citizens. 


Dr. Reza Rajabiun

Research Fellow, Ted Rogers School of Information Technology Management, Ryerson University

Reza Rajabiun (MA, LLM, PhD) is a competition policy and telecom strategy expert with research interests in expanding Internet access infrastructure, assessing the quality of broadband networks, and improving rural connectivity. Dr. Rajabiun’s work on the design of competition regulation and the development of broadband Internet infrastructure has appeared in various peer reviewed scholarly journals, including Competition Law and Economics, Indiana Law Journal, Telematics and Informatics, Information Policy, and Telecommunications Policy. 

He is a Research Fellow at the Ted Rogers School of Information Technology Management at Ryerson University in Toronto and at the Algorithmic Media Observatory at Concordia University in Montreal. He serves as a member of the advisory team of the Regional & Rural Broadband project at the University of Guelph. Dr. Rajabiun works with a variety of public-sector entities evaluating economic and financial aspects of broadband infrastructure development initiatives and with non-profit organizations trying to improve Internet connectivity in under-served rural communities and accessibility of affordable communications services available to people with disabilities. 

He has been the lead subject matter expert representing Ontario’s rural regions, Media Access Canada (MAC)/Access 2020 Coalition of Canadians with disabilities, and consumer advocacy groups before the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Selected works available at:


Greg O'Brien



Greg O’Brien has been a journalist for nearly 30 years, the last 20 of which have been spent exclusively covering the Canadian cable, radio, television and telecom sectors. is the industry’s news leader – the place where thousands of professionals working in these once separate, but now undeniably intertwined, industries turn to for breaking news, in-depth feature stories, analysis and opinion about their industry.


Mike Marcolongo

Senior Program Advisor, OMAFRA

Mike Marcolongo is a policy-maker with the Province of Ontario. He is currently with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs in Guelph but previously worked for the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade and the Ministry of Tourism and Culture. 

Mike facilitated the delivery of a number of broadband projects including leading the Duty-to-Consult obligations for the North Western Ontario Broadband Expansion Initiative (NWOBEI) project.


Allan Thompson

Mayor, Town of Caledon & Chair, Rural Ontario Municipal Association

Mayor Allan Thompson brings a unique brand of passion to municipal leadership and a strong commitment to citizen engagement, collaboration and service delivery innovation. His vision is a connected, sustainable and inclusive community.  

He was first elected to public office in 2003 as a Caledon area Councillor and then elected as a Regional Councillor in 2006. On December 2, 2014 he was sworn in as the seventh Mayor of the Town of Caledon and is currently serving his second term. 

Mayor Thompson is the Regional representative on the Board of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) and is the Chair of the Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA), advocating for and providing leadership to, 444 municipalities across Ontario. 

Mayor Thompson is a lifelong resident of Caledon, a proud husband, father and multi-generational farmer. 


Chris Seidl

Executive Director, Telecommunications Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission

As the Executive Director of Telecommunications, Chris leads most telecommunications regulatory activities at the CRTC.

Chris has over thirty years of experience in the telecommunications industry, including over 16 years of regulatory experience in various leadership roles at the CRTC. He has led the policy development for key regulatory areas including universal broadband access, competition, net neutrality, digital media and emergency services.

Prior to joining the CRTC, Chris worked in the private sector, including fourteen years in various engineering and management positions for Nortel Networks. He also has experience as a corporate consultant and executive coach specializing in leadership skills and change management.


Laura Bradley P.Eng.

General Manager, YorkNet


Laura is the General Manager of YorkNet since operations commenced January 1, 2018. YorkNet is a company owned by The Regional Municipality of York which operates and maintains a dark fibre network which offers connectivity to Municipal facilities. 

Additionally, YorkNet collaborates with private sector companies to expand reach and connectivity for them to offer services to residents and businesses. YorkNet is currently expanding its footprint from 200 km to over 750 km throughout York Region.

Laura has more 30 years of experience in the telecom industry in Canada working for carriers, manufacturers, ISPs and as a consultant. She brings a wealth of knowledge in business management, network deployment, strategic planning and collaboration to her position. For more than 15 years, Laura focussed on programs and projects which helped deliver broadband networks to rural areas, ensuring that users outside of urban communities were preparing for the digital century. 

Laura has worked with all three levels of government on various programs and initiatives to further the deployment of broadband networks and initiatives. She believes fibre is the key infrastructure for the future of Smart Community and a necessary foundation for businesses. Laura has developed numerous strategies for Municipalities and was a key contributor to the Eastern Ontario Regional Network development including the delivery of a project valued at over $250M to enhance broadband across 50,000 square kilometers. 

Laura is dedicated to advancing broadband networks into communities to ensure there is adequate and cost effective access to meet current and future demands.

Laura holds a Bachelor of Applied Science from Queen’s University at Kingston and is a Professional Engineer.


Melanie Pilon

Economic Development Officer, Community and Economic Development Corporation of Dubreuilville

Melanie has a strong background in economic and community development and is committed to affecting positive change in northern Ontario. She is proud to be the lead of the Northeast Superior Regional Broadband Network (NSRBN) whose mission is to improve broadband connectivity to ten rural communities located in northern Ontario – five First Nations & five Municipalities. In September 2019, the NSRBN was awarded the Ontario Association of Community Futures Development Corporations (OACFDC) Excellence in Community Development & Innovation. Currently, she holds the position of Economic Development Officer in Dubreuilville, Ontario where she works closely with both Corporation du Développement Économique et Communautaire de Dubreuilville (CDEC) and the Corporation of the Township of Dubreuilville 

Melanie is an active volunteer and is a member of many non-profit organizations including the Superior East Community Futures Development Corporation and the Wawa & Area Victim Services. Considering herself a lifelong learner, she is currently a student at the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia and is a graduate of Laurentian University’s Business Administration program. She is also a proud alumni member of the Governor Generals Canadian Leadership Conference (GGCLC). 


Chad West

Manager of IT, Municipality of the County of Kings

Chad lives with his wife and two children in the beautiful Annapolis Valley region of Nova Scotia where he serves as the Manager of IT for the Municipality of the County of Kings and as a part-time instructor for the Master of Computing and Data Analytics program at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax.  Previously Chad spent 14 years in various roles at IBM.


Mitch Thomson

Executive Director, Olds Institute

Intelligent, Creative and Entrepreneurial are three descriptions used to reference Olds, Alberta. 

Mitch Thomson is the Executive Director of the Olds Institute an enterprising not profit society devoted to growing and enhancing the community of Olds and surrounding area. He leads a team of collaborators and volunteers that have found much success.

“OI” is recognized for the pioneering work it has done to develop community based broadband services. They have created their own ISP and offer gigabit internet, IPTV and Voice Over internet Phone services. They retail electricity, natural gas and green energy to consumers in over 50 communities and use the profits from their social enterprises for community and economic development. Mitch leads a creative staff team that empowers and develops capacity in volunteers, entrepreneurs and non-profits. 

Mitch is an active Rotarian and Mason. He has been happily married to Jennifer for 25 years. He is the father of two sons and two daughters. His role at home and in the community is to ensure that those around him succeed. Mitch enjoys motorcycles, outdoor adventures and authentic people.


David Bernardi MA

Manager of Business Excellence & Analytics at OEC

David Bernardi, M.A., is the Manager of Business Excellence & Analytics at OEC, a parent company with subsidiaries in the telecommunications, energy, infrastructure and utility industries. He is responsible for continuous improvement across the OEC group of companies, as well as post-acquisition corporate integrations and the execution of service expansion projects.

As the Manager of Huron Geomatics Inc., an OEC subsidiary, David oversaw a team of GIS specialists and project managers, delivering high-tech geospatial data to major telecom, engineering and municipal clients.

David is a member of the Board of Directors for PHARA, a local organization providing services and housing opportunities to people with physical disabilities. 


Nick Riddel

Program Manager, UTS Consultants, an OEC Company

Nick Riddell is a program manager at UTS Consultants, an OEC company, with over 10 years of experience in delivering Fibre-To-The-Home projects. His portfolio includes both urban and rural  projects with diverse stakeholder requirements. Nick’s success is rooted in his firsthand experience with each stage of the FTTH process, from proposal writing and pre-engineering survey to CAD design and permitting. Nick is a graduate of Fanshawe’s Civil Technologist Program.


Matt Stein

CEO Distributel and President & Chairman of the Canadian Network Operators Consortium (CNOC)

Matt has a wealth of experience in telecommunications, information technology and business management and a true passion for developing innovative service offerings. In addition to his leadership and business development skills, he has frequently appeared before the CRTC and the Canadian Parliament, as well as the US Senate, on industry matters.  Matt was honoured to be the recipient of the Top Canadian Telecom CEO Award for 2019, which recognizes leadership in communications, innovation and social responsibility.

Before joining Distributel as CEO in 2014, Matt was the Chief Technology Officer of Primus Telecommunications Group. Matt’s prior roles include Vice-President at CallNet and Principal Consultant at ArQana Technologies. He is an active member of YPO, a global leadership organization of chief executives across 130 countries with more than 28,000 members.  Matt is also currently the President & Chairman of the Canadian Network Operators Consortium (CNOC). 


Amedeo Bernardi

President, Amedeo Bernardi Consulting Inc. Conference Organizer

With his roots in Northern Ontario and having the privilege of helping clients in rural regions, Amedeo was inspired to create Canada's Rural & Remote Broadband Conference as a way to collaborate and innovate with community and industry leaders.

Amedeo has operated in rural and remote regions most of his career.  As an executive with the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission, he lead Ontera, their 100+ year old telecommunications division as General Manager.  Ontera's territory stretched north along the coasts of James and Hudson Bay and from Sault Ste. Marie across to the Quebec border. He was Chief Operating Officer of Bruce Telecom, a small incumbent telecommunications company serving rural communities along the shores of Lake Huron in Southwestern Ontario .  Amedeo had the privilege of leading wireless deployment teams across Canada for several companies including Clearnet.

Amedeo was honoured to have been selected from thousands of leaders from across Canada to participate in the 2012 Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference themed "Leadership and Sustainable Communities". Held every four years, the Conference was created to broaden the perspectives of leaders in business, unions and public administration. This experience further enhanced his ability to make decisions that are based on a practical understanding of the influence our organizations have on the general welfare of our communities and Canada as a whole. 

Amedeo is a registered Project Management Professional (PMP).