A Better Way Forward? I Say We Need a Revolution!

Thursday, February 3, 2022
12:00 PM-1:00 PM EST

A conversation with BDC’s President & CEO Isabelle Hudon and Jan De Silva, President & CEO, Toronto Region Board of Trade

The past two years have accelerated the pace of disruption. And going back is not an option. Join us in a discussion with Isabelle Hudon, recently appointed President and CEO of the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), about how it is the perfect time to re-imagine the future of Canada’s economy – creating one that is resilient enough to endure and adapt to whatever challenges the future will bring our way. Isabelle will share her thoughts on the social responsibility of businesses and how BDC plans to be the partner of choice of entrepreneurs looking to create value and build a more sustainable and inclusive economy. This conversation will be moderated by Jan De Silva, President and CEO of the Toronto Region Board of Trade. 


Isabelle is BDC’s first woman President and CEO and was also Canada’s first woman Ambassador to France and Monaco. Previously, she was President and CEO of Sun Life Financial Quebec and Senior Vice President of Sun Life Financial Canada. She is a champion of diversity, gender equality and the green economy, leading BDC’s 2,500-person team in its effort to do more and better in helping Canadian SMEs thrive.

Isabelle Hudon
President & CEO
Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)
Isabelle Hudon was appointed President and CEO of BDC, the bank for Canadian entrepreneurs, in August 2021.

Ms. Hudon brings a deep business background and a clear vision for an inclusive economy to support growth for Canadian entrepreneurs. She is a champion of diversity, gender equality and the green economy, leading BDC’s 2,500-person team.

From 2017 to 2021, Ms. Hudon was Ambassador of Canada to France and Monaco. She also served as the Personal Representative of the Prime Minister of Canada for La Francophonie. Previously, she was President and CEO of Sun Life Financial Quebec and Senior Vice President of Sun Life Financial Canada.

Ms. Hudon has also held seats on numerous boards of directors, including those of Hydro-Québec, Groupe Marcelle, Holt Renfrew and the Canada Council for the Arts. She is the co-founder of The A Effect and co-chair of the Ordre de Montréal’s Council.

In 2021, Ms. Hudon received the insignia of the Commander of the Legion of Honour from the French government. She has also been honoured with the Medal of the National Assembly of Québec for her commitment to the cause of women’s ambition and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her contribution to culture in Canada. Ms. Hudon was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Law by Concordia University.
Jan De Silva
President & CEO
Toronto Region Board of Trade
Jan De Silva is President and CEO of the Toronto Region Board of Trade, one of the largest and most influential business organizations in North America. She is spearheading efforts to make Toronto one of the most competitive and sought-after business regions in the world.

Jan brings to the role more than 14 years of international CEO experience building ambitious, high-growth organizations. Anchored in her leadership is her belief in the power of economic development to lift communities.

Prior to joining the Board, she served as CEO of Sun Life Financial’s Hong Kong and Mainland China businesses and co-founded and later sold Retail China Limited. Jan also served as Dean of Ivey Asia for Ivey Business School of Western University.

Highly respected for her business advocacy and government engagement, Jan has been Chair of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, Chair of the Canada China Business Council in Beijing and served on the Board of the Asian Corporate Governance Association. In 2019, she was appointed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to represent Canada on the APEC Business Advisory Council. Jan also sits on the board of Intact Financial Corporation, listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.