Monica Rok is Vice President, Strategic Initiatives of CentriLogic Inc., a premier global provider of managed infrastructure and cloud solutions. Monica joined CentriLogic after it acquired Advanced Knowledge Networks Inc. (AKN) in November 2015, a company she co-founded and which she lead as President since 2007.
During AKN's the early years, she held executive positions in finance and corporate administration, and then ultimately assumed the role of President. During her time with AKN, Monica provided solid financial, systems and organizational guidance to the company. She was involved in all aspects of corporate growth, operations and management. Under her guidance, AKN grew actively and steadily to its current position as one of Canada’s top IT network and infrastructure providers.
As President of AKN, Monica provided oversight and direction to all aspects of corporate operations, sales, marketing and administration. Her vision shaped and guided AKN’s corporate strategy. Her leadership focus was to deliver high quality, high touch services to clients in all industry sectors. Over the years, Monica attracted, motivated and directed a strong executive team that reflected her corporate values, executed her strategy and continuously delivered solid results. In 2010, Monica was recognized as a top Canadian Female Entrepreneur by PROFIT/Chatelaine W100, a ranking and awards program that is Canada’s largest celebration of entrepreneurial achievement by women.
During her early career, Monica acquired practical, hands on experience in finance and operations through her time at TD Bank. She was involved in commercial finance, account management and corporate operations.
In 1990, Monica graduated from Queen’s University with an Honours BComm. In 1992 she graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University as a gold medalist MBA.
Monica is also the founder and President of The Andrew Rok Foundation, a charitable organization established to honour the legacy of her late husband, Andrew Rok. After Andrew’s sudden and unexpected passing, Monica decided that his memory could never fade – that he must live on by making a difference in the lives of smart, passionate young people who embody Andrew’s values of innovation, leadership and perseverance. The purpose of the Foundation is to provide financial support and mentorship to high performing university students who have embarked on a post-secondary education in the fields of computer science or computational mathematics.
With over 40 years in the industry, Frank Koelsch is an expert in IT and business transformation. Frank has held a range of senior executive and CEO level positions. In 1984, he was one of three founders of Gartner Group Canada. He grew the company to be Canada's largest and most highly regarded provider of industry leading research and analysis services. During his time with Gartner, he created a thriving executive consulting practice. focused on harnessing the transformative power of information technology to achieve breakthrough business results.
After Gartner Group, Frank was invited to found and lead the Everest Group's Canadian business. The Everest Group (Dallas, TX) is the world's leading outsourcing advisory firm, serving Fortune 1000 clients globally. As President and CEO, Frank successfully established Everest as Canada's premier outsourcing consultancy.
In 1995, he successfully published his first book titled The Infomedia Revolution. It quickly became a bestseller and was widely acclaimed for its insight into how advances in computing technology have revolutionized business activity in every industry sector. Top executives around the world have used it to help shape their strategic thinking and advance their corporate goals.
Throughout his career, Frank has actively promoted continuous learning, career development and mentoring. He participated in the original committee that founded Kingsway College School in Etobicoke (Toronto). It is a privately funded not-for-profit school serving children from Nursery to Grade 8. It creates a motivating, engaging environment where students can learn, grow and reach their full potential as individuals and contributing members of society.
Jeff McMillan is a gifted teacher who has touched the lives of many students. His creative teaching methods and his personal passion for education shows that when providing learning conditions that fully engage the learner, a teacher can reach the hearts and minds of all students in a profound and life-altering way. His innovative teaching practices and his ability to connect classroom learning to the real world provides students a classroom that resembles the rich experiences that life has to offer. Jeff believes that school is not “preparation for life”, but rather “participation in life”. He is an exemplary leader whose sphere of influence extends far beyond the walls of the classroom, impacting principals, school leaders and administrators throughout the province.
Jeff is an award winning teacher who has been recognized for his use of cutting edge teaching practices with disenfranchised youth. In 2005 and 2006, Jeff received the Upper Canada District School Board distinctive Award for Innovative Teaching based on his unique teaching practices with at risk youth at an inner city school. Working as a lead teacher he pursued authentic and experiential learning opportunities through the creation of a program called the “Current Experience”. Upon retirement, Jeff was nominated by his colleagues for a Life Time Achievement Award with the Province of Ontario. He has continued to share his passion for education as a College supervisor for student teachers at the State University of New York in Potsdam New York and as an international speaker and workshop presenter.
Jeff has written several educational articles and is the author of two books, "Thirty Years of Mondays" and "What If: Learning For The Twenty First Century". Jeff is presently expanding his knowledge of education through his role as School Board Trustee and Vice Chair of the Upper Canada District School Board. He continues to work with at risk students in local high schools. Jeff will stop at nothing to do whatever it takes, one student at a time. He believes strongly that we build our students from the inside out. Engaging the heart is the first step to engaging the mind.
Robert Offley is Founder & CEO of CentriLogic Inc. a global provider of managed hosting, cloud computing, and advanced IT outsourcing solutions. Since founding CentriLogic in 2006, the company has achieved a 5-year revenue growth rate of 1,217% and has recently been named one of Canada’s fastest growing companies. Robert was also named one of Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneurs of the Year in 2013’s Emerging Entrepreneur category.
Robert holds over 20 years of experience in growing and managing successful North American and Global technology companies. Prior to founding CentriLogic in 2006, Robert was President and CEO of Fusepoint Managed Services, where he expanded the company out of Vancouver to become a national provider of managed services. In the three years Robert was with Fusepoint, he grew the business to achieve sustained 170% year-over-year growth.
Before joining Fusepoint, Robert held managerial responsibility at PSINet, one of the first Internet service providers. Robert first joined the company as European Director before being appointed CEO of PSINet’s Canadian operations. Under Robert’s leadership, PSINet Canada became a leading provider of hosting services in Canada.
Robert holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Electronic Engineering from Birmingham City University.
Eric Marinko leads the Applications Development team at Advanced Knowledge Networks Inc. (AKN). Over the past 14 years, he has developed many business systems serving industries ranging from Telecom, Food Services, Occupational Health and Safety to eLearning. Eric has a deep and thorough understanding of application development methodologies. He is an expert in system development. These systems embody leading edge architecture, enabling them to be highly flexible, scalable and responsive to rapidly to changing business needs. Throughout his career, Eric has led small, high calibre development teams to produce outstanding business impact through the creation of mission critical applications within tight timelines.
Eric is a fully committed life-long learner who is enthusiastic about software development and the evolution of the profession. Most notably, Eric was a protégé of Andrew Rok, Founder of AKN, whom he credits as having a profound impact upon his outlook and modes of thinking. Eric first began working with Andrew while he was a second year student at the University of Toronto, and continues to implement Andrew’s vision to this day.
Eric graduated from the University of Toronto in the class of 2000 with an Honours B.Sc. in Computer Science. He is a musician by hobby and has performed regularly since the age of 18. Eric has also served three consecutive terms as vice-president of his local Parish Council.
Angela Edmunds is the Manager, Provisioning & Service Delivery at Advanced Knowledge Networks Inc. (AKN). Angela oversees the prioritization of all AKN projects and the management of the Project Coordinators and Customer Care team, with clear focus on customer satisfaction. Angela has a passion for implementing project management best practices, continuous process improvement and ITIL methodology to ensure the best Client experience possible. She has been recognized throughout her career for her expertise in developing and implementing rollouts for IT projects, facilities changes, and client service management.
Angela had the pleasure of working with Andrew Rok on several cutting edge technology deployments at the beginning of her tenure with AKN. During these project, Andrew instilled a life changing appreciation for technology and solutions based designs that maximized client experiences. Angela is honoured to be part of the Foundation honouring Andrew's legacy.
Angela graduated from Saint Mary’s University with a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Marketing. Currently she is enjoying the challenge of re entering the work force after the birth of her son and all the joy that comes with parenthood.
Pam Mihailoff, B.A., C.H.R.L.
Pam Mihailoff is Director, Human Resources at CentriLogic Inc., a premier global provider of managed infrastructure and cloud solutions. Pam joined CentriLogic after it acquired Advanced Knowledge Networks Inc. (AKN) in November 2015. Prior to the acquisition, Pam worked as Director of HR with AKN since 2010. In her role at AKN, she was responsible for both designing and implementing strategic HR initiatives and managing all aspects of the day-to-day HR operations.
Prior to joining AKN, Pam provided outsourced HR and consulting services to high growth, entrepreneurial organizations in the SME market. She has directed Human Resources initiatives for companies operating in all provinces and is familiar with workplace legislation and practices in these areas. Combined, she has over 18 years of experience as an HR practitioner.
Pam has a B.A. from the University of Western Ontario in addition to a Post-graduate diploma in Human Resource Management from Sheridan College. In addition, she is a Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL) with the Human Resources Professional Association (HRPA).
Bo Peng is one of The Andrew Rok Foundation's first scholarship recipients. Being a recipient of the Andrew Rok Foundation scholarships means a lot to Bo. As he expresses, “I am honored to have received the Andrew Rok Foundation Scholarship because it recognizes my hard work and efforts. Winning this scholarship not only boosts my confidence, but it also drives me to work even harder. This scholarship definitely helps out with my financial situation and provides me with an innovative environment in which I can grow both as a leader and learner.”
In everything that he does, Bo Peng demonstrates his humble intelligence and thoroughness. His very first engineering project was building a paper airplane when he was seven years old. Going above and beyond he made several prototypes in order to win the competition.
Bo really connected in a personal way with the story of Andrew Rok. He saw many parallels between their lives. Born and raised in Liaoyang, China, Bo’s family moved to Canada in 2003. “My parents gave up their elegant lifestyle and white-collar jobs so I could live a better life.”
The transition to a new life, a new country and new language was tough. By learning how to cope with change and make the most out of new opportunities, Bo has shown tremendous perseverance. He went from knowing only a couple of words in English to tackling a third language- French.
Bo Peng founded the Chess Club and Computer Science Club at his school. These subjects were also passions of Andrew Rok's. Bo was also the president of the SAGE Northview, Math Club, Physics Club and the vice-president of Northview’s Prom Committee. Under his direction the SAGE Northview Club was transformed into a prospering business and named National Runner-Up and the Best Start-Up at the SAGE National Competition.
Bo defines innovation as taking a risk outside your comfort zone. By pushing himself to take on leadership roles and tackling big issues, Bo has repeatedly demonstrated his innovative spirit. In the future, he would like to develop mobile and web applications which spreads awareness about problems such as child malnutrition and poverty.
Part of Bo's success can be attributed to the thorough research and preparedness he brings to every task. He recently participated in a Hackathon called “Hacking the Middle East”. He used technological innovation and lateral thinking to create a project for positive social change in the Middle East.
With regards to his future, Bo states, “I am pursuing a Software Engineering degree at the University of Waterloo. My goal is to apply the skills, knowledge, and experiences I will have gained from this five year degree and merge it with my passion for problem solving to become an innovator and entrepreneur. In the future, I aspire to start up my own tech company.”
David Salib is one of The Andrew Rok Foundation's first scholarship recipients. “To be one of the inaugural recipients of the Andrew Rok Foundation Scholarship is a tremendous honour. I think the exciting component about this scholarship is that it focuses on more than just academics. I believe that education is a vital tool, however it is what an individual does with that tool that defines an individual's Self and success. My academics have always been a priority of mine, however there is not a time in my life that I can remember when I was not working on projects outside of school. The scholarship will certainly provide me with financial aid throughout university whilst enabling me to focus my time and resources on developing my passion for computer science. Ultimately, it is a privilege to receive recognition for my academic and professional successes.”
David’s fascination with technology began at the age of two and he has harnessed that passion into a practical means of solving problems. “I adore technology because it provides a blank canvas that has limitless possibilities.” Diverse interests coupled with a strong drive and entrepreneurial spirit made him an ideal candidate for the Andrew Rok Foundation scholarships.
David defines innovation in a way that honours the legacy of Andrew Rok. “I believe that innovation is not just about creating something new, it is about creating something different that better solves a problem.”
When he finds a complex situation he is able to see how to develop technology to simplify the process. For instance, he designed a web application for his high school to manage all the points that are awarded to students for participating in clubs, something that was done manually in the past. Now the school is using the system which has an easy to use interface, automation of certificate creation, and a very easy process for managing students and points.
Another project that David is working on is an accountability management system for the Family Health Teams of Ontario. This web application will solve many problems for the Family Health Teams of Ontario including data management, program planning, program management, and centralization of the Family Health Team’s goals and progress.
Combining his creativity with his technical skills, David entered the Peel Science Animation Festival. His animated short “Electrophilic Substitution of Benzene” won two first place awards. In addition, the film will be featured at the Ontario Science Centre.
Having a diverse range of interests allows David to bring unique approaches to projects. After two years of volunteering at Rogers TV through roles such as camera, audio and graphics, David took the initiative to propose a new show that would highlight technology in the Peel Region. To date, he has filmed two seasons of the show “Hi,Tech :)”
David is pursuing a Computer Science degree at the University of Waterloo. His ultimate goal is “to utilize computer science to develop innovative solutions that would have an everlasting impact on people's lives and change how they interact with technology."