Providing the highest standard of service and delivering excellence in professional development.


Cambridge forums are the apex of professional development.

We create and host specialized meetings where only the most accomplished legal advisors and senior executives are invited to share their experiences and learn from each other.
Most of Cambridge’s customers are regular speakers at the leading industry conferences. They are generous in sharing their knowledge with others. But where do they go to learn?

Cambridge was founded to provide unique learning opportunities for the most seasoned experts in specific specialty areas. These experts don’t need to learn the law; they know it. What they do need is the opportunity to explore the gray areas where there is no clear-cut answer, and where their clients will expect a recommendation. Who better to go to than your peers to explore possibilities and test hypotheses?

Since 2004, Cambridge has hosted more than 900 forums across Asia, Europe, and North America. Our team works with senior advisors to create meetings that deliver real value to each participant. The proof is that people return year after year to reconnect with their peers, gain fresh perspectives, and expand their professional circles.

  • Senior Management

    Seasoned leaders with a wide range of expertise and experience.

  • Rob Ross
    Rob Ross Chairman

    Rob has been working in the professional development field since 1979, when he founded Insight Information Inc. Since then, he has been active in developing various conferences, seminars, as well as interactive television and publishing projects. In 2004, Rob founded Cambridge Forums Inc. to meet the professional growth needs of top-tier professionals and was instrumental in developing the exclusive forum format. Today, as Chairman of the firm, Rob focuses on strategy and spearheading new forums. In his spare time, he spends as much time as possible at his country home north of Toronto with his wife and four adult children.

  • Rob Ryan
    Rob Ryan Chief Executive Officer

    Rob has an MBA from the University of Toronto and is both a CA and CPA. He has decades of experience in senior management positions for both private and public companies and was the co-owner and COO of one of Canada’s largest conference providers. Rob’s diverse background spans executive education, defense, technology, media, and entertainment. His area of expertise lies in guiding companies through periods of turnaround or rapid growth. Outside the office, Rob is a fitness enthusiast with a passion for the outdoors through all four seasons.

  • Karen Darnell
    Karen Darnell President

    Karen has decades of experience in a variety of operational roles across industries such as training and talent management, recruiting, corporate events, hospitality, retail. A seasoned mentor who leads by example, she stays sharp with ongoing executive development through the Queen’s Smith School of Business. Karen oversees the day to day operations of Cambridge Forums Inc., including all aspects of forum development, administration, sponsorship, customer experience and onsite logistics. In her spare time, Karen enjoys cooking, traveling and spending time with friends and family.

  • Varugis George
    Varugis George President, Cambridge Executive Connections, Inc.

    Varugis is the President of Cambridge Executive Connections (CEC), a subsidiary of Cambridge Forums Inc. Since 2003, Varugis has held sales, production and management roles at three global conference and business information providers. Prior to joining Cambridge Forums in 2015, he was the Director of Conference Development at Insight Information, the Canadian subsidiary of ALM Media, LLC. In 2019, CEC was established as a specialised provider of sophisticated learning and networking experiences for private clients, family offices, institutional investors, and corporate leaders. Along with the flagship Forums, CEC builds Communities for members to engage and develop meaningful connections with their peers globally. As President, Varugis is responsible for the overall strategy, growth, and delivery of all services under the CEC banner.

  • Jessica Baker Ellis
    Jessica Baker Ellis Senior Vice President, Dispute Resolution

    Jessica has a Bachelor’s Degree from McMaster University in Art History, Criticism and Conservation. A seasoned event and marketing manager, she has executed live engagements globally in the legal, technology, financial, not-for-profit and consumer products industries for many of the world’s leading organizations. Prior to joining Cambridge Forums, Jessica worked in conference management, specializing in executive events for C-Suite executives, Board members and VIP clients. A fluid communicator, Jessica utilizes her leadership skills and passion for creating flawless participant experiences as a Forum Director, focusing on programs in private wealth and antitrust. A food & wine aficionado, Jessica is also accredited with the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Level 2 Award in Wine & Spirits. When she’s out of the office, Jessica enjoys hot yoga, skiing and travel.

  • Kristina K. Govan
    Kristina K. Govan Senior Vice President, Private Client

    Kristina is a graduate of the University of Toronto and is accredited as a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP), a globally recognized badge of excellence in the meeting and event industry. Prior to joining Cambridge Forums, Kristina worked for the Toronto International Film Festival where she successfully planned and hosted events for high-level donors, corporate clients and film stars. Outside the office, Kristina is passionate about learning new things, being outdoors, trying new cuisines and exploring the world one country at a time.

  • Leanne George
    Leanne George Managing Director, Brand & Strategic Ventures, Cambridge Executive Connections, Inc.

    Leanne has 20 years of experience in marketing, sales and corporate event management. Her passion lies in helping people and organizations connect with their audiences and build meaningful business relationships.

    Throughout her career, Leanne has had the opportunity to work with executives from leading professional services, finance, technology, and hospitality firms.

    As Managing Director, Brand & Strategic Ventures, Leanne is responsible for building relationships with our partners and managing the operational strategy and corporate culture.

    In her free time, Leanne loves to travel the world and experience new restaurants and wineries.

  • Forum Team

    Our Forum Team works closely with our Steering Committees and forum participants to ensure success from start to finish.

  • Forum Directors

    Forum Directors work with Steering Committees to develop and plan each forum, as well as oversee the details of the meeting.

  • Monica Churchill
    Monica Churchill Forum Director

    Monica holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology and Media Studies from Western University in London, ON. Before joining Cambridge Forums, she spent five years working as a Senior Production Manager; leading agenda/program development and speaker acquisition for corporate conferences across North America. With a passion for project management, client relations, and event development, Monica looks to deliver and achieve great success in the Forum Director role. Outside of the office, Monica can be found at her local Spin studio doing a workout class, planning her next travel adventure, and enjoying time with her family and friends.

  • Shóna Fox
    Shóna Fox Vice President, Enforcement

    Shóna holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Spanish Literature from University College Dublin. Relocating to Canada from Ireland in 2018, Shóna joined Cambridge Forums, where she sparked a passion for event planning and management. Leveraging her extensive experience in client relations from previous roles in insurance and finance, Shóna thrives in orchestrating high-profile events and delivering memorable experiences for her clients. When not travelling around the world hosting Cambridge events, Shóna is based in Vancouver where she enjoys getting out in nature as much as possible – hiking the local trails, running along the seawall, or taking her paddle board out on the water.

  • Caity Giles
    Caity Giles Forum Director

    Caity is an MBA graduate from the Schulich School of Business in Toronto. Prior to joining Cambridge Forums, she worked for the Government of Canada in various communications, website and research analyst positions. She has a passion for continuous learning, strategy development and relationship building. In her spare time, Caity enjoys hiking, being in nature and spending time with her Australian Shepherd pup.

  • Brenna Knought
    Brenna Knought Senior Forum Director

    Brenna joins Cambridge Forums with 20 years of experience in events, fundraising, and development. She has spent most of her career in the music industry, working for the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, overseeing the planning of high-profile events like the JUNO awards. Most recently, she launched a successful national advocacy campaign for the live music sector resulting in significant relief funding from the federal government. Her early career involved raising funds and executing events for non-profit organizations and foundations, including the University of Toronto and the Ireland Fund of Canada.  Brenna looks forward to her role as Forum Director to blend her experience and passion for bringing people together and fostering meaningful connections.  She is a mother of two, a fitness enthusiast, and is best known for her sense of humour.

  • Yeonah Park
    Yeonah Park Forum Director

    Yeonah Park is a seasoned professional with extensive experience in managing international events for one of the largest professional services of accounting and consulting firms. With a bachelor’s degree in Commerce from the Toronto Metropolitan University, she has honed her skills in event management and thrives in dynamic environments. Yeonah is a CMP Certified Meeting Professional, demonstrating her commitment to excellence in the field.


    Yeonah brings her passion for learning and dedication to excellence, poised to make significant contributions to the team’s success. Outside of the office, she enjoys road cycling, travelling, and spending quality time with family and friends.


  • Emma Phillips
    Emma Phillips Senior Forum Director, Global Capital Markets, Cambridge Executive Connections, Inc.

    Emma is Senior Forum Director and Financial Services Lead at Cambridge Executive Connections (CEC), a subsidiary of Cambridge Forums, Inc. Naturally curious and a lifelong learner, Emma has developed and managed a variety of meetings in both the profit and non-profit sectors. Before joining Cambridge, Emma was Assistant Vice President, Global Marketing at State Street in Canada, where she spent close to two decades of her career, offering her a great depth of knowledge and understanding of the financial and investment sectors. In Emma’s current role, she leads CEC’s Financial Services portfolio, including programs for institutional investors, banking, private funds, risk, and governance professionals.

  • Kate Ross
    Kate Ross Forum Director

    Kate has a background in social services where she treated youth with complex mental health and addictions issues. Her role involved developing detailed, treatment-focused program plans and seeing them through to completion. Kate brings many years of experience in the service industry to her role at Cambridge Forums. In her spare time, Kate enjoys good food and wine, all things true-crime related, and dance parties with her kids.

  • Emily Scott
    Emily Scott Vice President, Regulatory & Emerging Markets

    Emily holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Queen’s University. Before joining Cambridge Forums, Emily spent ten years working as an event manager; from leading full-scope event production of gala fundraisers in Toronto, to travelling the world as a destination wedding planner, managing each event from concept to onsite execution. Armed with deep expertise in relationship management and event logistics, Emily looks to deliver standout participant experiences as a Forum Director. Outside of the office, Emily can be found scouring Spotify for new music, hosting dinner parties for her friends and family, and perfecting her golf swing.

  • Forum Coordinators

    Forum Coordinators work with our participants to ensure their experiences are seamless.

  • Miruna Brincoveanu
    Miruna Brincoveanu Manager, Venues & Client Experience, Cambridge Executive Connections, Inc.

    Miruna is the Manager of Venues and Client Experience at Cambridge Executive Connections (CEC), a subsidiary of Cambridge Forums, Inc. As a driven and results-oriented professional, Miruna has gained invaluable experience in all aspects of event management. Prior to joining Cambridge Forums in 2018, she was the Marketing and Sales Coordinator at Ainsworth Inc. where she supported the national sales team, managed customer relations and coordinated corporate events and trade shows. In Miruna’s current role, she manages relationships with venues and focuses on organizing Forums that deliver a personalized, valuable client experience.

  • Mikayla Cilia
    Mikayla Cilia Senior Associate, Venues & Client Experience, Cambridge Executive Connections, Inc.

    Mikayla is the Senior Venues & Client Experience Associate at Cambridge Executive Connections (CEC), a subsidiary of Cambridge Forums, Inc. She graduated from Ryerson University with a Bachelor of Commerce in Hospitality and Tourism Management. Mikayla brings to the position a diverse customer service orientation with her most recent role at City Cruises Toronto as the Assistant Restaurant Manager, where she facilitated the execution and management of private charter events while ensuring a memorable experience for all guests onboard.  When she’s not working, she loves travelling, walking her dog Tito and exploring new restaurants in the city.

  • Emma Cowie
    Emma Cowie Manager, Forum & Event Coordination

    Emma has a Bachelor’s Degree in History from York University and a Diploma in Event Management from George Brown College. Previously, Emma worked for several notable arts organizations such as the Toronto International Film Festival and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Emma has had the opportunity to individually and cooperatively produce a broad spectrum of events; from intimate dinners with exclusive access to high-profile artists to keystone brand events and industry conferences. Outside the office, Emma enjoys traveling, crafting, baking, and discovering new brunch spots.

  • Charlyne dePass
    Charlyne dePass Forum & Event Coordinator

    Charlyne has a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from Wilfrid Laurier University and a Diploma in Event Marketing from George Brown College. Through her past roles, Charlyne has helped plan and execute several corporate and social events over the years. Charlyne is driven by a desire to build meaningful connections and impact the lives of others through engaging experiences and looks to deliver such experiences as her role as a Forum and Event Coordinator. In her spare time, Charlyne loves taking fitness classes, enjoying good food, and spending quality time with family & friends.

  • Manuela Downey
    Manuela Downey Senior Forum & Event Coordinator

    Manuela holds an Honours Bachelor Degree in Business Administration and a Diploma in Event Planning from Ryerson University. She has led a successful career in the continuing education field as an Event Planner/Coordinator, using her multifaceted skill set to pull together hundreds of events and manage her own firm. Outside of the office, Manuela is a proud mother of three daughters and enjoys travelling and exploring new sights.

  • Alejandro Duran
    Alejandro Duran Senior Forum & Event Coordinator

    Alejandro has many years of experience in the hospitality and corporate meetings industry and holds a university degree in Hotel Management. His career in corporate event planning started while attending university in Margarita Island, Venezuela. He is fully bilingual, speaking both English and Spanish.


    In his spare time, Alejandro enjoys practicing yoga, biking around Toronto, and travelling around the world to learn what makes each culture unique.


  • Raluca Franciuc
    Raluca Franciuc Senior Forum & Event Coordinator

    Raluca is a former “Big Four” accountant turned corporate event planner with over 10 years of experience in client services. She graduated from York University with a Bachelor of Business Administration and completed courses at Humber College as part of the Event Management graduate program. Raluca is a detail-oriented professional who enjoys planning and executing events and creating memorable experiences for her clients.

    Outside the office, you can find Raluca at a yoga studio, a new restaurant in the city, or hiking or snowboarding in the mountains.

  • Natalia Perruzza
    Natalia Perruzza Vice President, Vendor Relations & Procurement

    Natalia holds Bachelor’s Degrees in History and Communication Studies, with a postgraduate in Project Management. Prior to joining Cambridge Forums in 2015, Natalia worked at TD Canada Trust and Accenture, specializing in client relations and project development. She excels in working with distinguished clientele and thrives in the social environment afforded by her role as the Vice President, Vendor Relations and Procurement. Outside of the office, Natalia finds pleasure in traveling the world and immersing herself in different cultures, art and history.

  • Ailish Usher
    Ailish Usher Forum & Event Coordinator
    +1 437 996 7843

    Ailish’s professional experience in operational roles spans a range of industries including hospitality, food service, event planning and real estate. She sits on the Board of Directors for a non-profit summer camp, planning fundraising and alumni events. Ailish is detail-oriented and service-focused; she is passionate about applying these skills through her work as Forum and Event Coordinator. In her spare time, Ailish enjoys discovering new restaurants in Toronto and abroad and spending time with family, friends, and her dog Hank.

  • Sponsorship

    Sponsorship secures sponsors on our Forums and oversees the execution for each sponsored meeting.

  • Shannon Lewis
    Shannon Lewis Vice President, Forum Coordination & Enhancements

    Shannon has a Bachelor’s Degree in History and Classics from Queen’s University. She leads the sponsorship department at Cambridge Forums, working with Forum Directors and sponsors to develop curated opportunities for each Forum. Prior to Cambridge, Shannon has a decade of experience working in events and hospitality, including organizing international scientific and patient conferences for non-profit organizations and international sporting events, including the 2014 U-20 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Outside of the office, Shannon can be found enjoying the outdoors with her family, biking, hiking and trying new experiences.


Connect With Us Today

Please contact us if you have any questions or would like more information about our forums.

Mandy Ngai


+1 437 239 9248


[email protected]Email Mandy

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