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From Black History to Black Future - BPTN’s BHM Kick Off Celebration! - Presented by TD

Start Date: 2/4/2021

Start Time:6:30 PM EST

Duration:90 minutes


   We are excited to kick off Black History Month 2021 with a panel discussion featuring some of our community’s best and brightest! Join us for a night of celebration, honouring Black excellence and imagining the future of Black tech.

As tech companies chart a path to scale, harnessing the expertise and grit of Black tech professionals must become a key part of their strategy. While doing so, Black voices and success stories must continue to be amplified as a means of paving the way for generations to come.

In partnership with TD, we are excited to tell the stories of Black tech leaders, their journeys, and the experiences that have shaped them along the way.

We’ll also be setting our sights on the years ahead by building a collective vision for the future of Black tech.
● Let's acknowledge Black tech leaders making moves
● Let’s build a collective vision for the future of Black tech
● Let’s celebrate our trendsetters and budding changemakers
● Let’s build community and foster new relationships

It is time to amplify our stories and to scream from the rooftops: THE FUTURE OF TECH IS BLACK!

Let's celebrate and kick off Black History Month together! Join us!

About BPTN
Black Professionals in Tech Network (BPTN) bridges the talent gap in the tech industry by providing Black technical and business professionals with access to senior executive sponsorship, skill development and a strong peer network to support their career growth


If you're already registered for the From Black History to Black Future - BPTN’s BHM Kick Off Celebration! - Presented by TD webcast, click below:



Lekan Olawoye

Founder & CEO


A passionate advocate for organizational change and lasting progress, Lekan Olawoye is a leader who is equally comfortable offering high-level business advice as he is passionately speaking about how to be an effective ally. His organization, the Black Professionals in Tech Network (BPTN), is the largest of its kind in Canada and the third largest in the US with an organization spanning over 10,000 members. Olawoye’s cross-sector experience gives him the skills to foster transformational change and provide critical guidance on harnessing the power of meaningful diversity. Olawoye honed his expertise across roles spanning from local non-profit organizations to government advisory boards to executive boardrooms. As lead executive, Talent Development at the MaRS District, Olawoye helped ensure workers had the skills and adaptability needed to thrive in modern work environments. Throughout these roles, Olawoye has earned a reputation for effective leadership and peerless vision, resulting in industry awards and accolades. With his proven insight and tireless dedication to inclusivity, Olawoye’s perspective is sought by people across many fields. He’s been published in The Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star and TechCrunch, and the annual BPTN summit is the largest virtual Black tech summit globally, with thousands of attendees in person and online.

Colleen Ward

Vice President, Technology Solutions


Colleen Ward is a top Tech Executive in the financial industry and a sought after key note speaker on Black professionals and women in technology. She is currently Vice President of Delivery Shared Services in the Customer Platforms & Enterprise Tech Enablement Group at TD Bank. Her executive career began when she was recruited by HSBC, after which she went on to lead several global technology teams at American Express and later become Chief Technology Officer at JPMorgan Chase before joining TD in 2014. Since joining the Canadian multinational banking and financial services corporation, she has successfully delivered innovative technology solutions, demonstrating strength and leadership in strategic planning, business architecture and transformational change. Her accomplishments have fueled her progressive career at TD as Head of Merchant Solutions, Vice President of Canadian Credit Cards Technology Solutions and most recently as Vice President of Delivery Shared Services. Canadian born of Jamaican descent, Colleen is passionate about diversity and inclusion in the tech industry and demonstrates her executive leadership and commitment through TD's Black Employee Network and Women in Technology steering committees, and is a trusted advisor to many organizations including the Black Professionals in Tech Network. Determined to succeed and contribute to her family, she landed her first job at age 7 and later attended the University of Toronto where she studied economics and math. Daughter, sister and mother to a competitive swimmer, Colleen can often be found at the pool in the early morning hours cheering on her teenage son, or participating in wellness activities such as cycling, hiking or yoga in her spare time.

peter robinson

Associate Vice President – Credit Risk Management | Wealth Credit & Market Risk Management


Peter Robinson is currently Associate Vice President, Wealth Risk Management and responsible for managing the credit risk of Ultra High Net Worth clients within the Wealth business. Peter is a strategic leader with demonstrated credit / product / risk / sales management experience honed across a variety of roles at TD. Peter is known for developing strong relationships to achieve creative solutions, strong business results and positive work environments. Peter takes an active role in promoting inclusion and diversity, mentoring and development of talent, in addition to building and executing strategic enterprise initiatives throughout the TD organization, in his role as Co-Chair of the TD Black Employee Network.

Naki Osutei

Associate Vice-President, Social Impact


Building on her track record of sparking transformation for institutions and individuals, Naki joined TD in 2017 to help develop the TD Ready Commitment, the bank's global corporate citizenship platform. Today as Associate Vice President, Social Impact (Canada) for the Global Corporate Citizenship department at TD Bank, she continues her transformation efforts by bringing The Ready Commitment to life through innovative approaches to corporate philanthropy, and employee and business engagement. A long-time advocate for equality and equity, Naki has worked with organizations like CivicAction and the TORONTO2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games and CIBC to create leadership, career development and executive talent programs that have directly impacted the lives of more than 2500 people. She is an avid volunteer currently serving as a member of the Board of Governors of University of Guelph and is a member of the United Way's Community Impact Committee. She has previously served on the Boards of Seneca College, West Neighbourhood House, was the Co-Director, Coaching and Curation for TEDxToronto and is an alumna of BMW Foundation’s Responsible Leaders Forum. At TD she co-chairs the Black Employee Network and is a member of the Black Executive Steering Committee. In 2020, Naki was named to WXN's Top 100 Canada's Most Powerful Women.

Et’Chane Towers

Director, Value Advisory

SAP Ariba

Since 2016, Et’Chane Towers has served as a Value Advisor in SAP’s Intelligent Spend Management practice.  As an experienced Sourcing & Supply Chain professional with over 18 years of related experience, he helps customers identify and realize their Source to Pay business objectives and outcomes. Throughout his career as a Leader and Change Agent, he’s had the opportunity to work with C-Level executives to deliver on major cost reduction/supply rationalization efforts, managed teams on major Procurement and Supply Chain transformations, and implemented critical and compliant Small Business Administration processes. His industry background includes consulting (Accenture and IBM), consumer products (Georgia-Pacific), retail (the Home Depot), and energy (GE Energy and Direct Energy). He has been a key leader in digital transformation strategy for customers and has also lived through those transformations, bringing an intimate knowledge of how to drive business change.

Julius Farrington

Head of Enterprise Marketing, Americas

Amazon Web Services

Julius Farrington is a Marketing executive at Amazon Web Services (AWS), where he serves in dual roles as Head of Enterprise Marketing for USA, Canada, and Latam as well as Head of Marketing for the US Southeast area. Julius received his BBA in Finance at Howard University and his MBA in Marketing Strategy at Georgia State University. Julius is a Board member of Westside Atlanta Charter School and Atlanta Beltline’s AB67 organization, while also serving as a member of the 100 Black Men of Atlanta, Georgia State University’s 40 under 40, LEAD Atlanta, and Outstanding Atlanta.

Kalina Bryant

Head of Customer Advocacy


Kalina Bryant is a customer advocacy executive, podcaster, writer, and speaker in Silicon Valley. She is an accomplished customer advocacy and marketing executive with extensive experience with SaaS software companies. Currently, she leads the customer advocacy segment at Asana. She has a successful track record of building and leading global teams, developing customer advocacy programs, program management, marketing events, budget management, customer and executive relationships, and customer engagement processes. She has been recognized by Adobe as one of the 50 Fearless Marketers in the world. She is the founder of UnapologeTECH, an advisor, and a life coach to women in tech.
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