Digital Innovation Summit

June 10 - 11, 2024

It’s time to scale New Brunswick’s digital innovation movement. The McKenna Institute’s third annual Digital Innovation Summit will convene global experts, tech leaders and change-makers to define and accelerate New Brunswick’s digital future.

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Keynote speaker

Chief Growth & Strategy Officer at McCain Foods

Peter Dawe

Peter Dawe joined McCain Foods Limited in August 2019 as Chief Strategy Officer and effective September 2020, he added responsibility for Global marketing & sales, research & development and external affairs & sustainability. Currently, as Chief Growth and Strategy officer he retains that remit, as well as oversight of global supply chain.

Originally an engineer, Peter spent over 18 years with Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and held successive positions from Associate (post-undergrad) through Managing Director and Senior Partner. While at BCG, Peter’s practice was focused in the Food sector; working with global food producers and grocers on topics across the value chain. During his time at BCG, Peter worked with McCain on a consulting basis from 2011 engaging deeply in the corporate strategy efforts in 2013/14 (which yielded SCA disciplines) and 2018/19 (the Sustainable Share Growth plan which has seen a reversal of ~20 years of frozen potato share declines).

Peter represents McCain on the Board of Directors of Good Leaf Farms and Strong Roots, two of the investments in our equity portfolio. He is also involved as a Board member in the JaysCare Foundation (the charitable arm of the Toronto Blue Jays) and The Beer Store (a Canadian retail and distribution business owned by brewers).

Peter holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (Chemical Engineering) from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. He lives in Toronto with his wife, Samantha, and two boys, Henry and Freddie.


This year’s exclusive event begins with a round of golf at the beautiful award-winning, nationally renowned Algonquin golf course. Throughout the event, we are looking forward to championing the adoption of AI technologies, and working together to discuss how it can enhance productivity and competitiveness in business operations across any sector. Day one is about creating connections, partnerships, and opportunities. Day two is about accelerating action, innovation, and growth.

9 a.m. | Golf: Algonquin Golf Course (tee times available until 10:50 a.m.)

3 p.m. | Check-in: Algonquin Resort

4:30 p.m. | Networking Reception: Passamaquoddy Room

5:30 p.m. | Dinner: Shaughnessy Room (Sponsor: Opportunities NB)

8 p.m. | Post-Dinner Networking: Passamaquoddy Room; Carleton Rotunda

8 a.m. | Breakfast and Plenary Session

9 a.m. | Panel Discussion: AI in Action

11 a.m. | Closing Remarks by Frank McKenna



Frank McKenna

Frank McKenna is a politician, ambassador, lawyer and businessman whose relentless pursuit of New Brunswick’s best interests has been a constant across the remarkable trajectory of his life and career. As premier of New Brunswick from 1987 to 1997, he advanced a contemporary vision for New Brunswick predicated on state-of-the-art technology, progressive programs and pride. New Brunswick became a global leader in e-government and achieved national acclaim for its technology prowess.

Frank was the first premier in Canada to have an email address and a computer in his office. An early adopter, he has long understood the power of technology to make us more connected, successful and contemporary. During his three terms in office, he advanced a revolutionary vision of moving New Brunswick to a knowledge-based economy based on “bandwidth and brain-width.”

Following three whirlwind terms, Frank kept his promise to step down after ten years. He went on to influential roles outside of his home province, first as Canada’s ambassador to the U.S. in 2005. The following year, TD Bank named him deputy chairman, a position created for Frank that he still holds.

Frank is the Chair of Brookfield Asset Management, a global asset manager with $750 billion in assets. Additionally, he is a Director of Canadian Natural Resources (CNRL), Canada’s largest oil and gas producer.

Frank McKenna holds 15 honorary degrees, an Order of Canada, an Order of New Brunswick, a King’s Counsel, Member of the King’s Privy Counsel, a Vanier Award recipient and a Fellow of the Institute of Corporate Directors. He is a former Chancellor of the Canadian Business Hall of Fame.

He holds degrees from St. Francis Xavier University and University of New Brunswick Faculty of Law, where he earned a prestigious Lord Beaverbrook scholarship and graduated second in his class.

Through it all, Frank has never lost his abiding connection and commitment to his home province, where he lives in Cap Pele with his wife, Julie. The McKennas have three children and seven grandchildren.

President, University of New Brunswick

Paul Mazerolle

Dr. Paul Mazerolle is the 19th president and vice-chancellor of the University of New Brunswick. Prior to his appointment in July 2019, Dr. Mazerolle was previously the pro vice chancellor (arts, education and law, 2009-2019), campus provost for Mount Gravatt campus (2009-2019), director of the Violence Research and Prevention program (2006-2019), and director of the Key Centre for Ethics, Law, Justice and Governance (2007-2009) at Griffith University in Queensland, Australia. He was also director of Research and Prevention at the Queensland Crime and Misconduct Commission (2002-2005) and head of the criminology program at the University of Queensland (2000-2006).

Dr. Mazerolle received his bachelor of arts degree in sociology from the University of New Brunswick (1989), his master of science in criminal justice from Northeastern University (1990), and his PhD in criminology from the University of Maryland at College Park (1995).

Dr. Mazerolle has led and participated in several major initiatives. While at Griffith, he chaired the university-wide Safe Campus Taskforce and chaired the sub-committee on Changing Attitudes and Behaviour regarding Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault. Since 2014, Dr. Mazerolle led and chaired the Griffith Integrity 20 program. Dr. Mazerolle was a member of the Premier’s Youth Violence Taskforce and the Seniors Taskforce in Queensland, Australia. He was also Board Chair and Director at Open Minds, a leading non-government organization addressing mental illness and disability. Dr. Mazerolle is a past editor of the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology and is the founding co-editor (with Tara McGee) of the Journal of Developmental and Life-Course Criminology.

An active scholar in criminology, Dr. Mazerolle has led several funded research projects. His research examines processes that shape offending behaviour across the life-course. His primary focus is in building knowledge on violence to inform theories, advance understanding, and improve policy and practices to reduce or prevent violence.

Paul is a proud native of New Brunswick, having grown up in Fredericton. He returns with his wife Amanda, and their two border collies, Maya and Gaby, to enjoy the four seasons.

Executive Director, McKenna Institute

Adrienne Oldford

Adrienne Oldford brings deep leadership experience and a passion for economic and social development in New Brunswick to her role at the helm of the McKenna Institute. Over more than 25 years in senior management positions in the public and private sectors, she has served as president and CEO of the New Brunswick Business Council and COO of Atlantic Lottery Corp., among other roles.

Adrienne serves on the Board of Assumption Life and is the Chair of the UNB Faculty of Management Advisory Board. She regularly volunteers to facilitate strategic planning engagements with local community organizations.

Adrienne holds an MBA from the University of New Brunswick and a BSc from Dalhousie University. She has also completed several programs through the Institute of Corporate Directors and Queen’s University’s Executive Education Program.

In 2018, Adrienne was recognized by the Ottawa-based Public Policy Forum with the Frank McKenna Award for Public Policy, presented to distinguished Atlantic Canadians who have built bridges between sectors, contributed to public policy, and shown exceptional leadership. UNB’s Faculty of Business Administration has awarded her the Certificate of Achievement.

This invigorating event is made possible by our sponsors. Please note that invitations are non-transferable.

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See the highlights from our 2023 event.