Participating Schools

Oct/Nov 2018 Session

Judging Panel

Eileen Mercier: Chair, Canadian Payments Association

Ms. Mercier is a professional director, and completed her term as the Chair of the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board in 2014. She is currently the Chair of the Canadian Payments Association, a post she  took up in July, 2015.


Her career encompasses over 45 years of general management experience in the financial services, communications, integrated oil and paper and forest products sectors. From 1995 to 2003, Ms. Mercier headed her own management consulting firm. Prior to that time, she was Senior Vice-President and CFO of Abitibi-Price Inc. Ms. Mercier is currently the Chancellor of Wilfrid Laurier University and serves on the boards of Teekay Shipping Corporation, Intact Financial Corporation, and the Royal Conservatory of Music.


She holds an MBA from York University, and a Masters' degree from the University of Alberta. In 2010, Ms. Mercier received an honorary LLD from York University and in 2011 was named as one of Canada's Top 25 Women of Influence. In 2012, 2015 and 2017 she was named one of Canada's Top 100 Most Powerful Women and in 2013 was awarded an honorary LLD from Wilfrid Laurier University. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Corporate Directors of Canada. 

John Cowan: Senior Vice President: Enterprise Payments Technology and Operations, CIBC

John Cowan leads the Enterprise Payments team and is a part of the CIBC Technology and Operations group, where he is responsible for payments solutions for clients. He also leads the specialized teams that support the Canadian payment modernization initiatives at industry and senior level engagement with Payments Canada, Bank of Canada, and his peers.  

Mr. Cowan recently joined Enterprise Payments from the Technology group at CIBC where he held responsibility as CIO for Business Banking, Payments and Wealth Management Technology. He also acted as CIBC representative for technology to CIBC First Caribbean Bank.

Throughout his career in both consulting and banking Mr. Cowan has focused on creating and executing successful strategies to drive business transformation and growth. 

Mr. Cowan holds a Bachelor of Business from Charles Sturt University, is a graduate with a Master Certificate in Risk Management and Business Performance from Schulich School of Business, a Certificate in Business Sustainability Management from University of Cambridge and a Certificate in Fintech Innovation Future Commerce from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). 

Mr. Cowan is the chairman of CMI Mortgages Inc, member of the Board of Directors of Intria, a senior member of Advisory Council of Payments Canada and executive council member of Canadian Bankers Association.  

Register for March and July Sessions!

To register or get more information, please contact Murtaza Tawawala

 (Head of School Programs at the Blockchain Learning Group) at:

Phone: +1 (416) 500-8518