Advisory Board

Meet The Team

Meet the Universal Womens Network™ Advisory Board

The Universal Womens Network™ Advisor Board is a diverse leadership team committed to the advancement of women. The Advisory Board works closely with our CEO on strategies to support the vision to grow a sustainable and profitable global network. The team brings expertise from diverse industries with experience leading global workforces, managing and raising multi-million dollars in capital, strategic planning, technology, development of environmental and sustainability initiatives and producing high-profile world-class events.

Each of our esteemed leaders is a changemaker and trailblazer. They have launched companies, led companies and teams of thousands, created movements, scaled businesses, exited companies and individually achieved mammoth success. They all have one thing in common, they believe in the Universal Womens Network™, our mission, values, and vision to advance women in business together with our allies who SupportHER™ to make a more equitable world.

Katherine (Katie) Dudtschak, IDC.D

Senior Executive, Corporate Director, Advisor and Community Builder

Katherine (Katie) Dudtschak is an experienced business and thought leader in the areas of multi-horizon growth strategies; transformational leadership and inclusion. As former Executive Vice President at RBC, since 2015 she has led the country’s largest advisor force with more than 20,000 employees. In this role, she has undertaken a significant transformation of the retail bank’s distribution model and played a key role in the development of RBC’s Purpose and Collective Ambition as well as its strategy as a digitally-enabled relationship bank. During this time, her team achieved multiple years of industry-leading client experience, employee engagement, client and business growth results as well as efficiency gains, without incurring a restructuring charge. In the last six years, RBC has received unprecedented industry recognition including top honours for four of those years in J.D. Power’s Retail Banking Satisfaction Study, top honours in Ipsos Financial Service Excellence Awards and Retail Banker International’s Global Retail Bank of the Year award.

Katie’s 35 year corporate career spans a number of disciplines including front line Banking, Operations, Risk, Human Resources and Strategy. She has deep expertise successfully leading complex transformations. Prior to her current role, Katie was CEO of RBC’s Caribbean business and led a regional restructuring across 19 countries, returning the business from a loss position to sustainable profitability. Engagement of government leaders, regulators, clients and employees were central to this success. Though two countries were divested and 40 per cent of the workforce was reduced, employee engagement rose by 11 per cent.

Katie is a woman with gender transition experience, revealing her journey to embrace her true self to friends, family and thousands of RBC colleagues in 2019. While facing her true gender was the hardest experience of her life, it provided her with a unique and powerful view on society and the role and practices of business leadership moving forward. Katie grew up with learning challenges as a child to humble farmers in southwestern Ontario; her parents having survived WWII camps to arrive as post-war newcomers to Canada. Her life includes being an incredibly proud parent of four children.

Katie believes deeply that sustainable practices must include business, customer and societal progress on environmental and social sustainability. Known for her strategic mindset as well as her authentic care and candor, Katie uses her voice and experiences to carry the message of what it means to be a purpose-driven and inclusive leader.

Maya Mirt

Senior Director of Strategic Accounts, CPG, The Krazy Coupon Lady

Maya boasts 27 years of pioneering experience in the technology sector, dedicated to both educational technology and the consumer promotions spaces. Maya's hands-on work alongside CPG brands and grocery retailers has fostered a holistic approach, addressing the needs of the consumer, the brand, and the retailer alike. Throughout the past decade, Maya has collaborated closely with brand marketing, shopper marketing, and customer/field sales teams, helping brands effectively convey their value proposition. A true Bay Area native, she cherishes moments spent with her husband, two daughters, son-in-law, and their four-legged friends Buddy and Henry (aka her dogs of course!).

Michael Burns

Executive Chair, Canada’s Valour Games

Burns was the CEO of the Invictus Games Toronto 2017. The Invictus Games are the largest international adaptive sport competition in the world featuring ill and injured soldiers and veterans. Burns led the execution of the Games, including building the organization from the ground up, which took more than two years. Under his leadership, the Games secured support from all three levels of government and more than 100 corporate and community partners and recruited more than 1,800 volunteers. The Toronto Invictus Games were completely sold-out and generated the highest national and worldwide viewing audience ever for the Games.
Burns brings more than 20 years of experience in marketing, financial services, technology and entrepreneurship. Burns is co-founder of the True Patriot Love Foundation, which supports Canada's military, veterans and their families by funding programs for mental health, physical rehabilitation, career transition and family services. He is Past Chair of the Michael Garron Hospital Foundation Board (formerly the Toronto East General Hospital Board Foundation). He successfully led the team that secured the Garrons' $50-million donation. Burns is also on the Board of the Canadian Institute for Military & Veteran Health Research and is a member of the Board of Directors of two world-class entertainment venues in Toronto: Roy Thomson Hall and Massey Hall. Burns received an honorary Doctor of Laws from Dalhousie University. In 2016, Canada's Governor-General, on behalf of the Queen, awarded Burns The Meritorious Service Cross for his work with military families. In 2012, he was awarded the Canadian Forces Medallion for Distinguished Service, the military's highest honour for a civilian. That year, he was also awarded a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal honouring significant contributions and achievements by Canadians. In 2010, he was named one of Canada's Top 40 Under 40.

Dr Suhayya (Sue) Abu Hakima

Founder, Alstari Corp

Dr. Suhayya (Sue) Abu-Hakima is the co-founder/CEO of Alstari Corporation, her third and most recent tech start-up in AI. She is an entrepreneur, innovator, inventor and author. Her 35-plus years in tech have included running an AI lab at NRC, start-ups AmikaNow! and Amika Mobile. She has served on the National and Ontario Centers of Excellence. She has been granted 48 international patents in AI, messaging, security and emergency communications authored in her two successful AI startups. She had published over 100 papers in AI and given hundreds of invited speeches on entrepreneurship, AI and tech. She has won numerous awards for innovation and entrepreneurship and was vested into the Order of Ontario and holds the Queen’s Jubilee Medal for her contributions to public safety and Canada. She is deserving of a Women of Inspiration 'Legends' Award.

Patricia Ziegler

Board Chair, Drayton Theatre, Founder and Lead Consultant – Patricia Ziegler Consulting Group

Patricia is an entrepreneur and change management expert working to help people understand the importance of believing in themselves, standing behind their beliefs, and finding a way out of sadness, depression, and life’s ruts. Through her vast work experience spanning franchising and the C-Suite; corporations and family-run enterprises; start-up, growth mode and revenue-generating businesses, Patricia has learned the valuable lesson of believing in herself – and the value of standing behind those beliefs no matter what is thrown her way. Equipped with this experience – as well as a Master’s degree in business administration and a degree in psychology – Patricia has set out on a journey to help organizations and individuals alike reach their full potential.
Patricia has been awarded the Sunlife Financial CEO Award of Excellence, and has been named one of Canada’s most influential women in the financial services industry. Well-known for her work in leading organizations through change and culture shifts, Patricia’s expertise is in creating lasting change by engaging employees.

Through her first book, The Tingle Effect, Patricia has helped countless people reach their potential. Specialties include: leadership | strategy | marketing | business development | results|

Marc Bombenon

Founder and Chairman – SureCall Contact Centers Ltd. | 2020 Women of Inspiration™ SupportHER™ Award

Born in Montreal, Marc moved to Calgary after completing his bachelor of administration to start his first company at the age of 24. An adventurer and entrepreneur, he seeks new and exciting fields of technology. His primary passion is communications, but he is also passionate about aviation, clean source electrification and supporting children globally to obtain a better level of education and self-confidence.

Marc Bombenon started multiple companies in telecommunications, aviation and multi-family housing. He also served on public and private boards including not for profit and health related boards, such as the Young Presidents Organization, World Presidents Organization, Alberta Cancer Foundation and Bordeaux Properties Inc. Marc has been asked to speak to Presidents and CEO's on specific leadership roles in Canada, US, Singapore and Istanbul Turkey. Additionally, Marc Bombenon served as Vice- Chair on a successful "sellout" CFL franchise lottery. Authored/co-wrote a global mentorship program for YPO-WPO.

Personal specialties include being a fixed wing jet and rotary wing pilot. Trained in martial arts and a PADI certified rescue diver. Mother tongue is French, conversational in German and Spanish. Personal Commitments: Philanthropic support of key organizations that make big differences in the community. Organizations support include A.A.R.C (Alberta Adolescent Recovery Centre), CUPS (Calgary Urban Projects Society), The Mustard Seed, Easter Seals Canada, Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Alberta Cancer Foundation.

Fred Fishback

President and CEO, Javelin Learning Solutions

President and CEO of Javelin Learning Solutions. Demonstrated history of working across industries including healthcare, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, aerospace, law enforcement, and more. Educational background in industrial psychology, learning science, and IT. Graduated from Virginia Tech Graduate School.

Rooted in industrial psychology, learning science and technology, Javelin’s inception dates back to the early 1980s, just as the PC revolution was beginning to transform industry and our society. From the beginning, Javelin leveraged its expertise in psychology, learning and technology to help build and accelerate the people side of business. In the early days, Javelin built leading edge technology systems for human resources and training that by today’s standard look primitive. We would test people’s knowledge and other attributes using a floppy disk and then transmit the results via modem to a central server. At the time, people thought it was so cool. No more paper answer sheets with bubbles to hand score or put in the scanner. Back then, floppy disks, 300 baud modems and 10MB hard drives were the bleeding edge. Technology has come a long way since then and so has Javelin. From rural health care systems to pharmaceutical multinationals, no team or organization is too small or too big for a Javelin transformation. Companies that have relied on Javelin to develop solutions and deliver results: NASA, GSK, Universities and Medical centers across North America.

Corporate Partners