What does it take to be a valued and effective Board member?

October 13, 2021

ONLINE WEBINAR: Join us for an exceptional opportunity to hear from 3 highly experienced Board Members and their insights on how to be an effective Board member. Our panelists will provide actionable advice that will benefit all Board members – NFP, Crown, Public and Private.

Our Fireside Chat Features:

Heather Culbert

Co-Founder/Board Chair – Board Ready Women & Axis Connects
Vice Chair – Export Development Canada
Director – Whitecap Resources
Board Chair – United Way World Leadership Council

Joan Hertz

 Board Chair – ATB Financial                                                          Interim President and CEO as well as VP of External Affairs and  Corporate Counsel – NorQuest College
Public Member – National CPA Canada Board

Elizabeth Cannon

Director – Canadian Natural Resources Ltd (CNRL)
Director – PureWeb
Past member of the federal Minister of Innovation, Science and  Economic Development

Moderated by:

Jennifer Koury

 Co-Founder / Director –  Board Ready Women
Board Advisor –  Bird Construction
Corporate Director – Crescent Point Energy
Board Member – Women in Mining Canada

OCTOBER 13, 2021 AT 4:00 – 6:00 PM


We are thrilled to be hosting another excellent panel discussion moderated by Jennifer Koury and 3 highly experienced Board members, Heather Culbert, Elizabeth Cannon and Joan Hertz, on the topic of What does it take to be a valued and effective Board member? Our panelists will provide actionable advice that will benefit all Board members – NFP, Crown, Public and Private.

Heather Culbert
Co-Founder / Board Chair – Board Ready Women and Axis Connects
Vice Chair – Export Development Canada
Director – Whitecap Resources
Director – Fraser Institute 
Board Chair – United Way World Leadership Council

Joan Hertz
Board Chair – ATB Financial
InterimPresident and CEO as well as VP of External Affairs and Corporate Counsel – NorQuest College
Public Member – National CPA Canada Board
Board Director – Silvacom Ltd.

Elizabeth Cannon
Director – Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNRL)
Director – PureWeb
Director – Gairdner Foundation
Director – Rideau Hall Foundation
Board Chair – The Mancal Group
Past Member of the Federal Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Some Of Your Comments:​

  • Panelists have excellent real life experience and are very committed and passionate about sharing with others – this came through in a very authentic way – really liked the three sector perspectives, this avoided duplication in answering questions.

  • Moderator was excellent with clear questions and nicely thought out and divided

  • Three great speakers with solid experience led by a great moderator.

  • Thank you to the astute panel! Really good questions, considered input and sharing of real life situations!
  • I wish I had joined this organization sooner!

  • I liked the coverage of most types of boards.  Interesting to hear the different perspectives.

  • Facilitation by Jennifer Koury was good, kept dialogue flowing, good questions. Like the profit versus non-profit perspectives on board service/accountabilities.

  • I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was finishing my work and watching/listening, but then I started to hear these great tidbits of things to watch out for and insights and wished I’d been making notes – there were up to a half dozen good points that I wish I’d captured.

Post-event Notes

What a great afternoon conversation with our panelists Heather Culbert, Elizabeth Cannon and Joan Hertz!  We cannot thank you enough for joining us and sharing your experience with our Board Ready Women Network! Thank you everyone who attended our event for your insightful questions and comments.

Speakers' Bios:

Heather Culbert,

Co-Founder / Board Chair of Board Ready Women and Axis Connects, Director of Whitecap Resources, Vice Chair of Export Development Canada

Heather Culbert is the former Senior VP of Corporate Services of Enerplus Corporation, a mid-sized oil and gas company. Over her 27 years in the oil and gas sector, Ms. Culbert has held senior management positions at Cody Energy, Suncor and for clients of her own IT Management Consulting firm. During Heather’s tenure at Enerplus, she developed significant expertise in all aspects of the oil and gas business, including a specialization in merger and acquisition integration, strategic planning and corporate performance.

Heather currently serves as Board Vice Chair and Chair of the HR Committee for Export Development Canada,  as  Chair of ARIAC (Alberta Research and Innovation Advisory Council), as a Director of Whitecap Energy, as Chair of United Way Worldwide Leadership Council and is past Board Chair of the SAIT Board of Governors.

Ms. Culbert was most recently appointed as a Board Member of the Fraser Institute and as a co-fellow of the Jarislowsky Foundation, benefiting the MBA program of the Haskayne School of business at the University of Calgary.

Heather also has the distinction of being the co-founder of Board Ready Women and Axis Connects,  both organizations whose purpose is to the advancement of women – one focused on boards and the other to advance career opportunities for women through network connections.   

As a recipient of the Governor General Award for volunteerism, she is proud to have the privilege of being a presiding judge for Canadian Citizenship Ceremonies.

Heather is a graduate of the Institute of Corporate Directors and has achieved the ICD.D designation.

In 2014 Heather was awarded a SAIT Honorary Bachelor of Science Degree. She is a graduate of the Queens Executive Program, SAIT Computer Technology and  technology management courses at Northeastern University.  She has also completed her Not for Profit Governance course through ICD.


Elizabeth Cannon,

Board Chair of Canadian Natural Resources Ltd (CNRL), Director of PureWeb, Past Member of the Federal Minister of Innovation

Dr. Elizabeth Cannon is president emerita of the University of Calgary after serving as president and vice chancellor from July, 2010 until December, 2018. Prior to her term as president, Dr. Cannon was dean of the Schulich School of Engineering at the University of Calgary. An expert in geomatics engineering and a Professional Engineer, Dr. Cannon’s research has been on the forefront of Global Positioning Systems (GPS) since 1984 in both industrial and academic environments, and she has commercialized technology to over 200 agencies worldwide. Dr. Cannon’s work has been recognized with many national and international honours including the Johannes Kepler Award from the U.S. Institute of Navigation, an NSERC Steacie Award and the Gold Medal Award from Engineers Canada.

Dr. Cannon is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Canadian Academy of Engineering as well as an elected foreign associate of the National Academy of Engineering. She served as co-chair of the Business-Higher Education Roundtable, was a past chair of Universities Canada, and was a member of the federal Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development’s Science, Technology and Innovation Council (STIC) in addition to many other boards and advisory councils. Currently, she is a member of the Board of Trustees the Aga Khan University, a Fellow of the Creative Destruction Lab – Rockies and a Director of the Gairdner Foundation and the Rideau Hall Foundation. She is a corporate director on public and private company boards, and is a seed-stage investor, particularly in female-founded companies.

In 1998, Dr. Cannon was selected as one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 and in 2006 was named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women by the Women’s Executive Network. She has received five honorary degrees. In June, 2019, she was named an Officer of the Order of Canada and in 2021, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Axis Connects Calgary Influential Business Awards.


Photo - Joan Hertz

Joan Hertz,

Board Chair of ATB Financial, Interim President and CEO as well as VP of External Affairs and Corporate Counsel of NorQuest College, Public Member of National CPA Canada Board

Ms. Hertz is an executive, lawyer and strategic consultant who has served as Interim President and CEO as well as Vice President, External Affairs and Corporate Counsel for NorQuest College. She built and practices in her own private practice of law and strategic consulting; served as Corporate Counsel, Strategic Affairs for Capital Health, as well as in private practice at McCuaig Desrochers LLP. A proven executive comfortable in the private and public sector, she has a passion for innovation and the building of winning strategies in transforming enterprises

She has a diverse professional experience in leadership positions, private law, in-house corporate counsel, strategic consultancy, and board experience which combine to make her a strong advocate and strategic thinker. She has worked with many organizations in the establishment, development, and execution of successful strategies and governance structures.

Ms. Hertz is the Chair of ATB Financial Board of Directors, and previously served as a director at ATB Financial from 2008 – 2018, and as Chair of the Governance and Conduct Review Committee. She currently serves as Chair of the Board for Edmonton International Airport and former Chair of the Audit Committee and Governance Committee.  She is Vice Chair of Covenant Health and chairs the Growth and Innovation Committee.  She also sits as a public member on the national CPA Canada Board, a private company board, Silvacom Ltd., the Board of Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (AMII) as well as Canadian Accelerator and Incubator Network (CAIN).

She teaches Legal and Fiduciary Duties of Directors at the Institute of Corporate Directors, and for over 25 years has provided governance, legal, and strategic advisory services to private sector and crown clients ranging from small to large institutional firms.

She has served as a public member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Alberta Council, the Alberta Accountants Unification Agency and the Provincial Judicial Council.  She is the former Chair of the Provincial Court Nominating Committee. She has also served on Alberta’s Promise and was formerly with Kid’s Kottage Foundation, and Edmonton Catholic Cemeteries Board, as well as numerous other boards.

Joan graduated from University of Alberta Law School with an LL.B., and Georgetown University in Washington D.C. with a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service degree (Magna Cum Laude) in International Politics, Law and Organization.

She’s also a wife, mom and a soccer player who believes whatever we do, we should have fun every day.