A university isn’t the first place one thinks of visiting when travelling to a new city. But it’s top of the list, ahead of museums and art galleries, for Stéphane Brutus, the new dean of the Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa.
“I like to walk on campuses, I like to get the vibe of the place, I like to talk to professors and to the students,” says Brutus. “I’ve travelled the world and, for me, I’ve always been fascinated and energized and curious about universities.”
Brutus, 54, officially became head of uOttawa’s business school on March 9, following a 23-year career at Concordia University, where he was most recently a professor in motivation and employee performance at its John Molson School of Business.
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He replaces professor François Julien, who served as dean at the Telfer School of Management for two terms, from 2010 to 2020. Professor Wojtek Michalowski had been interim dean since summer 2020.
“I’m super excited,” Brutus said of his new job. “Professionally, it’s a fantastic opportunity. Telfer is a really, really good school in terms of its research, in terms of its student experience and impact on the community.”
Telfer is home to some 4,300 students, 200 faculty members and more than 25,000 alumni. It’s one of only two business schools in Canada to hold the prestigious Triple Crown accreditation.
While it’s well known and respected in Ottawa, it needs to reach a broader audience, Brutus believes.
“I’d like to bring more of a spotlight to the strengths of the school beyond the local market,” said Brutus, who will be looking at branding and marketing, increasing international enrollment and creating stronger alliances with other reputable business schools.
“The challenge is not to strengthen the school (although I’m going to do that) – the challenge is to make the school better known.”
Brutus was born and raised in a French-speaking family in Montreal, to a Haitian father and Québécois mother. He studied psychology at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver before earning his MA and PhD in industrial organizational psychology at Ohio’s Bowling Green State University. It runs one of the top I/O psychology programs in the U.S.
He spent two more years south of the border completing his post-doctoral fellowship at the internationally respected Center of Creative Leadership in Greensboro, N.C. before returning to his hometown to join the faculty at Concordia.
Brutus’s accomplishments include being interim dean when he renewed the John Molson Business School’s AACSB accreditation. He also served as associate dean of graduate professional programs, chair of the department of management and director of the Bell Research Centre for Business Process Innovations.
“If you think of a university, what is it? Well, it’s buildings, it’s infrastructures but, at the core of universities, it’s people,” explained Brutus, whose expertise is in HR management and people management. “It’s professors, it’s staff and it’s students.
“It’s really kind of a knowledge-based organization. It’s all about people, it’s all about what people know, how they transfer that knowledge and how they create that knowledge through research, or how they disseminate that knowledge through teaching.”
Brutus said he’s looking forward to becoming better acquainted with Ottawa. His hobbies include cycling, tennis and the fast-paced game of ultimate frisbee.
“I’d love to find a team that can play at my speed, which is an old man speed,” he joked.
Brutus is also trilingual, with his third language being Spanish. He did a one-year stint as a visiting prof in Spain, as well as in Brazil, while on sabbaticals.
Before joining Telfer, Brutus had recently started co-chairing a new task force on anti-black racism at Concordia. As well, he was previously board chair of KANPE, an organization that brings support to the most vulnerable communities in Haiti to help them achieve autonomy.
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John Kumhyr has joined RBR as vice-president of sales. One of the region’s most experienced sales executives, Kumhyr has nearly 35 years of international business experience in North America, Europe and Asia. He has held senior leadership roles in world-leading technology companies including Siemens, Infineon and AMCC.
Conrad Bellehumeur has been named vice-president of communications and government affairs at Innovative Medicines Canada. Bellehumeur has more than 15 years’ experience at the executive committee level and has lead teams across geographies, cultures, functions, and business lines. He previously worked with CMA CGA as its head of communications
Laura Paul has taken on the role of head of operations for Baird. Prior to joining this coastal engineering innovator, she worked in sustainability and operations roles with PCL, Morrison Hershfield and Tiree. She has established herself as a thought leader on the intersection of diversity, sustainability and engineering.
People on the move across Ottawa
Nanometrics’ board of directors has appointed Ian Talbot – currently chief financial officer and vice-president of operations – as the company’s new chief executive officer. Following the sudden and tragic death of long-time CEO Neil Spriggs, the board has shared that Talbot’s appointment is part of an ongoing succession plan put in place over a year ago as Spriggs prepared for his retirement.
Romy Bowers has been appointed president and CEO of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. for a five-year term, effective April 6. Bowers, currently CMHC’s senior vice-president of client solutions, is taking over for Evan Siddall.
Matthew Schultz has joined the management team of Merkburn Holdings Ltd. as general manager, following 13 years as a sales representative with Avison Young Commercial Real Estate.
Carrie Gillis has been named vice-president and general manager of Gusto Worldwide Media. She will oversee operations, sales and marketing at Gusto TV’s Ottawa-based studio and master control facility. Most recently, Gillis held the role of managing director of events and marketing at St. Joseph Communications, Media Division.
Jerome Dwight has joined the management team of financial technology company Brane Capital as president. He brings extensive experience in the financial services and technology sectors, including serving as CEO of Bank of New York Mellon’s Canadian operations. He also worked as global market head at RBC. Executive chairman Adam Miron, formerly of HEXO Corp., will serve as interim CEO and remain as chairman of Brane’s board of directors.
Josh Zaret is moving on up at Gemstone, taking over as president from his father, company founder Neil Zaret, at the family-owned real estate development business. Josh has been at the company for 10 years, serving as vice-president. Josh’s brother Adam Zaret has recently joined the company as vice president. Neil will remain actively involved in the strategic direction of Gemstone.
Shauna White has joined Solink, a subscription-based video surveillance software, as its new vice-president of marketing, following 12 years with DNA Genotek.
And finally, Colin Noble has left BDC to join KPMG as vice-president of deal advisory services.
People on the Move is a monthly feature highlighting Ottawa-based professionals, managers and executives starting new positions. Want to see your appointment featured? Share your news with email@example.com.
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