President and Chief Executive Officer
John founded Desire2Learn in 1999, at the age of twenty-two, while attending the University of Waterloo as a Systems Design Engineering student.A strong believer in community involvement, John devotes both his personal and business efforts to supporting young entrepreneurs who are developing and applying technology to improve society worldwide. He was a Waterloo Region Top 40 Under 40 award recipient in 2009, and was also inducted into the Waterloo Region Hall of Fame as an Intrepid Entrepreneur that same year. A four-time recipient of the Deloitte Technology Fast50 award in consecutive years (2006-2009), he was named the Waterloo Region’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2008 and received the University of Waterloo Young Alumni Achievement Medal in 2010. In February 2013, John was appointed to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). As a prominent voice for both education and technology, he serves as Chairman of the Board at Communitech and also sits on the boards for both the National Ballet School (in Canada) and Canada’s Technology Triangle (CTT). Additionally, he is an affinity board member for Memorial University and a University of Waterloo Alumni Council member. John graduated from the University of Waterloo with an Honours B.A.Sc. in Systems Design Engineering, with First Class Honours and an option in Management Sciences.
Chief Strategy Officer
Jeremy is responsible for formulating and supporting alignment on corporate strategy within Desire2Learn. Jeremy also provides leadership and management of corporate development, mergers & acquisitions, government relations, and intellectual property strategy.With a strong commitment to client success and a desire to constantly evolve the state-of-the-art, Jeremy joined the Desire2Learn team when the company was founded and continues to take a leadership role in driving the organization’s success within its key industries. Prior to joining Desire2Learn, Jeremy came from a strong technical and business background involving work with numerous high-tech companies throughout North America. Specifically, he has been actively involved with eLearning and technology companies for over twenty years. Jeremy participates in a number of boards and committees, including serving as Chair of the Economic Development Advisory Board for the City of Kitchener, as an elected board member for the IMS Global Learning Consortium – a global technology standards body, and serves in a number of other for-profit corporate advisory roles. Jeremy graduated from the University of Waterloo with an Honours Bachelor of Mathematics (Computer Science), specializing in Information Systems. He also earned a Master of Science in Management from Wilfrid Laurier University.
Chief Financial Officer
Brandon oversees all financial and administrative functions at Desire2Learn as Chief Financial Officer.Prior to joining the company in 2010, he served as Chief Financial Officer at Descartes Systems Group, a publicly traded software company. He was also an Executive in Residence at Communitech, acting as a coach, mentor, and advisor to both start-up and established tech companies. Brandon holds an Honours Business Administration degree from Wilfrid Laurier University and obtained both his Chartered Accountant (CA) and Certified Professional Accountant (CPA) designations at KPMG LLP.
Chief Operating Officer
Dennis joined Desire2Learn’s senior executive team in January 2012 as Chief Operating OfficerPrior to joining the company, Dennis was a key member of the senior executive team at Research in Motion (now BlackBerry) for fifteen years – beginning in 1995 – serving as Chief Financial Officer and, subsequently, Co-COO. During that time, the Research in Motion staff grew from twenty to more than fifteen thousand employees and revenue increased from $2 million to over $15 billion as BlackBerry created and shaped the global wireless data and smartphone industry. Dennis has previously lectured at Wilfrid Laurier University, teaching courses in management accounting and financial analysis. He is a founding director of The Kavelman-Fonn Foundation, which supports education, health, and children’s initiatives in Canada and internationally. In 2005, Dennis received Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 award. Dennis holds a BBA from Wilfrid Laurier University and obtained his Chartered Accountant (CA) designation at KPMG. He also completed the Director’s Education Program at the University of Toronto (Rotman School of Management).
General Counsel and Corporate Secretary
Anna joined Desire2Learn’s legal team in 2013. Anna brings nineteen years of experience in corporate leadership, technology advocacy, business development, negotiations, and strategic planning. She oversees all legal and regulatory matters for Desire2Learn worldwide. Her responsibilities include directing company transactional, intellectual property, litigation, acquisitions, and compliance matters. Prior to joining Desire2Learn, Anna served as General Counsel Americas for Open Text Corporation and Assistant General Counsel for Geac Computer Corporation. Anna was also a founding executive of Telephony@Work. Anna is an engaged community leader and holds various directorships for non-profit organizations, The Canadian Children’s Opera Company and Bannockburn Montessori School.
Anna holds a J.D. Degree from Osgoode Hall and has been a Member of the Bar in the province of Ontario since 1994.
Vice President, Product Development
Nick brings over twenty years of design and enterprise-level software experience to his role with Desire2Learn as Vice President, Enterprise Product Engineering. He’s responsible for guiding our product team as they continue to scale and develop the company’s industry-leading learning solutions.
During his previous fifteen-year tenure at another Waterloo-based software company, Nick supervised an engineering organization of more than one thousand employees distributed globally across forty offices. He worked extensively with customers and sales support teams around architecture, SaaS enablement, technical analysis of systems integrations, and optimization of deployments and implementations. Beginning in 2005, he took responsibility for the organization’s enterprise products. This included overseeing technical design and architecture evolution, overall product strategy, and further expanding the product portfolio with complimentary offerings.
In addition to supporting local startups as part of Communitech’s Hyperdrive incubator, Nick has also mentored young entrepreneurs through the University of Waterloo’s VeloCity program. He was a 2013 recipient of the Region of Waterloo’s Top 40 Under 40 Award in recognition of his contributions to the local arts and technology communities.
Nick studied Computer Science and Physics at the University of Waterloo.
Vice President, Human Resources
Nancy’s unique background has spanned all strategic areas of human resources: recruiting, employee relations, learning and development, human resources consulting, and talent management. She has held roles at the business unit, divisional, corporate, and global levels.
Prior to joining Desire2Learn, Nancy was Vice President, Human Resources for Princeton Holdings. She provided a full range of strategic and tactical human resource services to their group of companies, focusing on the development of a high performance culture, talent management, high potential development and succession planning. Before that, Nancy was President and Founder of Talent Outfitters, a consultant and advisory firm specializing in human capital strategy.
Nancy also held a number of executive human resources positions at Manulife Financial Corporation. As Vice-President, Global Talent Management, she was responsible for executive and pipeline talent management, succession planning and executive development, and for the design of both an integrated global talent management model and a global leadership development strategy.
Nancy is a Master Human Capital Strategist (MHCS) and holds SHRP, CHRP, and HRPS designations, as well as FLMI and ACS (Life Insurance) designations. She is a graduate of St. Francis Xavier University in Adult Education and has additional certificates in Business Management Studies and Human Resources Development.
Vice President, Platforms and Architecture
Brian has been integral in the development and evolution of Desire2Learn products and underlying platforms as one of the company’s founding members. He strives to ensure Desire2Learn is always at the forefront of learning technology, reflecting his own passion for teaching, learning, and innovation.
Brian has a strong software development background with years of experience in the tech industry specifically building software for the educational sector. This includes extensive research and development in web-based technology design, enterprise architecture, usability, security, and privacy. He is actively involved in the IMS Global Learning Consortium, helping to advance the global state of learning standards and specifications. Previously, Brian worked in education and large-scale e-commerce.
Brian graduated from the University of Waterloo with an Honours Co-op B.A.Sc. in Computer Engineering.
Vice President, Market Strategy
Kenneth is responsible for overseeing the implementation and delivery of Desire2Learn solutions as part of the company’s Product Development Leadership. He manages a team of dedicated and talented product and technology leaders committed to transforming teaching and learning.
Kenneth has extensive experience in customer service and functional design as a result of his work to support and implement web and client server applications at Sybase Inc. Since arriving at Desire2Learn in 2003, Kenneth has played a major role in shaping the company’s products and their functionality. He manages all aspects of those products and their release cycles, taking great pride in the amount of client input that goes into any new release and the strong reputation Desire2Learn enjoys with its customers.
Kenneth graduated with distinction from the University of Guelph, holding an Honours Co-op Bachelors in Mathematics & Statistics and Computer Science. He has subsequently achieved certifications in product management and project management disciplines.
Vice President, North American Sales
Adam is responsible for overseeing both the sales and account management teams at Desire2Learn. He is focused on expanding Desire2Learn’s presence throughout North America in the higher education, K-12, corporate, and government segments while ensuring the highest level of customer commitment, satisfaction and retention.
Adam brings over twenty years of leadership experience to Desire2Learn, having held senior positions with a number of fortune five hundred companies as well as smaller, mid-market, high growth organizations including Purolator Courier, Ryder, and Descartes Systems Group.
Adam graduated from Bishop’s University with a Bachelor of Business Administration.
Vice President, Services and Support
Craig joined Desire2Learn in 2012 as an innovative and entrepreneurial senior technology executive with an in-depth understanding of what it takes to build successful customer and partner relationships.
He brings with him more than twenty years of experience in developing and managing customer support and professional service organizations, including fifteen years at the senior management level. This experience has afforded Craig a proven track record in international operations, professional services, customer and technical support, information technology, and sales.
Prior to joining Desire2Learn, Craig held the role of Vice President, Support and Services, at Equitrac Corporation, a global provider of print management and cost recovery. Before Equitrac, Craig served as Vice President, Channel Sales and Customer Support, for Avotus Corporation. He also spent time at Switchview, a global provider of call center and telecom management solutions, as Vice President of Customer Support and Professional Services.
A graduate of the University of Western Ontario, Craig holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Economics. He earned a postgraduate diploma in Telecommunications Management from Sheridan College and has also completed numerous management programs at Wilfrid Laurier University.
Vice President, Global Sales
Michael joined Desire2Learn in 2007 to lead the company’s sales team and expansion into the global marketplace. He is a results-oriented sales executive with over twenty-two years of progressive experience in building and leading high performance global sales and business development teams in the enterprise software and solutions industries.
Michael has a passion for new technologies and emerging markets and worked with a number of successful start-up and mature organizations in building their global businesses. Prior to Desire2Lean, he held leadership positions at WebCT Inc., Media100 Inc., EMC, Epoch Systems, and LTX Corporation.