Are you a student or emerging professional? Join PAAC's speed mentoring event! This is a unique opportunity to meet with successful senior professionals working across the public affairs industry. Those currently working in public affairs are also welcome to attend and network amongst peers.



Are you a student or emerging professional? Join PAAC's speed mentoring event! This is a unique opportunity to meet with successful senior professionals working across the public affairs industry. Those currently working in public affairs are also welcome to attend and network amongst peers.

Don't miss dynamic discussions covering a variety of topics, including career path recommendations and job changes, work-life balance, and experiential requirements to name but a few.


Luca Bucci, VP of Government Relations and Public Policy

CPA Ontario

Luca is the VP of Government Relations and Public Policy at CPA Ontario. He has close to a decade of progressively responsible government relations experience, acquired through work in multiple levels of government, agency, and industry. Luca served as a Chief of Staff to three Ministries in the Ford Government: Ministry of Transportation, Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. At the Federal level, he served as an Advisor to Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Luca also has experience working in the private sector. He was a Senior Consultant at Hill and Knowlton Strategies, Canada's largest government relations consulting agency, and spent a year advising the executive leadership team at Hydro One on matters of government relations and corporate affairs. Luca studied Math and History at the University of Waterloo, and has a passionate connection to his hometown, Hamilton, and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

Beckie Codd-Downey, Manager, Special Projects

Canada Health Infoway

Beckie manages special projects for the CEO of Canada Health Infoway, a not-for-profit, federally-funded health agency that focuses on improving the health of Canadians through digital health solutions.  She provides the Infoway executive team with strategic advice and supports several public affairs initiatives within the organization. Prior to Infoway, Beckie worked at Queen’s Park, catching the political bug early on as a Page, she went on to work for both Premier McGuinty and Premier Wynne and served as Chief of Staff to the Government House Leader.  Beckie’s specializations include media relations, issues management, legislative procedure, public affairs and communications.

Harvey Cooper, Deputy Executive Director

Ontario Region of the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada

Working both in Canada and overseas, Harvey Cooper has honed an expertise over the last 3 decades in assisting the non-profit, co-operative and voluntary sectors effectively represent their interests to government at all jurisdictional levels. He currently serves as the Deputy Executive Director of the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada.

The Federation represents some 100,000 non-profit housing co-operative residences, home to over a quarter million Canadians. In his current role, Harvey oversees a full range of public affairs and communications responsibilities including government and media relations, strategy development, and directing many grassroots advocacy campaigns.

Clara Chan, Director, Funding Administration Branch

Ontario Ministry of Economic Development Job Creation and Trade

Since starting in the Ontario Public Service in 2000, she has demonstrated considerable expertise and leadership in policy development and program administration, in the Ministries of Community and Social Services, Education, Economic Development and Growth and Treasury Board Secretariat/Ministry of Finance. She is currently responsible for the delivery of MEDJCT business support programs. Clara has a B.A. (Honours) in Economics from McMaster University and a Masters in Public Administration from Queen's University.

Mitch Davidson, Executive Director

StrategyCorp Institute of Public Policy and Economy

Mitchell Davidson is the Executive Director of the StrategyCorp Institute of Public Policy and Economy, a new venture designed to contribute to thought leadership on important public policy issues in Ontario and Canada.

Mitchell brings a unique cross-section of public policy experience and political expertise from his nearly six years at Queen’s Park, culminating as Executive Director of Policy to the Premier of Ontario. In government, Mitchell served as the government’s lead policy architect, including responsibility for the 2019 Budget and 2018 Fall Economic Statement. Prior to that, Mitchell was the policy lead and co-author of both recent Ontario PC Party Platforms – The Plan for the People and The People’s Guarantee.

Mitchell also serves as a visiting lecturer at the University of Waterloo's Master of Public Service Program and is an Expert Adviser to Ryerson University's Leadership Lab. Mitchell hails from the small town of Oro-Medonte, Ontario and holds a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master of Arts in political science from the University of Western Ontario.

Alex Greco, Director, Manufacturing Policy

Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters

Alex Greco is the Director, Manufacturing Policy at Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME), Canada’s largest trade and industry association, and the voice of manufacturing and global business in Canada.

Sarina Rehal, Senior Consultant

Crestview Strategy

Sarina Rehal is a Senior Consultant in the Government Relations practice at Crestview Strategy's, a public affairs agency. With specific experience in CSR and stakeholder management, Sarina leads large national coalitions, associations, and multinational consumer brands in navigating public affairs and reputation opportunities and challenges with governments at all levels. Sarina has her BA in Political Science from the University of British Columbia, and her MBA from the Schulich School of Business. She has appeared as a panelist and contributor on television and radio commenting on a wide range of political issues for CTV, CBC and other media outlets.

James Rilett, Vice President, Central Canada

Restaurants Canada

James Rilett is a political veteran with a wide range of experience in various portfolios. He has held a senior position at Restaurants Canada as Vice President, Central Canada for six years. In this role he has led government relations and communications campaigns as well as acting as a spokesperson for the association and the industry.

He spent 17 years working in political Opposition and serving in seven different ministries in Government. He worked in policy and communications roles as well as Chief of Staff for three Ministers. He also spent 2 years in the Premier's Office with responsibility for Stakeholder Relations.

At Restaurants Canada, Rilett is responsible for representing the association's views at to the provincial government and to the public as spokesperson on industry issues.

Jennifer Tidmarsh

President, Transmission - Canada for NextEra Energy Transmission

Jennifer Tidmarsh is the President, Transmission - Canada for NextEra Energy Transmission.  Jennifer also works as the Project Director of NextBridge Infrastructure – a partnership between affiliates of NextEra Energy Canada, Enbridge and OMERS.  NextBridge has been chosen by the Ontario Energy Board and the Government of Ontario to construct the East West Tie transmission project in Northwestern Ontario.  Before joining NextEra, Jennifer was the Director of First Nations and Métis Relations at the Ontario Power Authority – now the Independent Electricity System Operator.  She was responsible for facilitating and integrating all aspects of Indigenous involvement into the work of the organization.

Date: Thursday, November 7, 2019

Location: Samara Canada - 33 Prince Arthur Avenue, Toronto


5:15pm - 5:45pm Registration and Networking

5:45pm - 6:00pm Opening comments and introductions

6:00pm - 8:00pm Short discussions will be conducted on a rotational basis

8:00pm - 8:15pm: Closing Comments

Registration Fee:

Members $15 + HST

Non-Members $25 + HST

Student Members $15 + HST

OLIP Interns $15 + HST

Register Now
Event Sponsorship

Become A Member

Gain the skills and connections you need to excel in your field

Join paac today

Join our email list

Receive news, event notices and more

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Corporate Partners

No items found.