VA O'ConnerAs a part of the assistance program of the Canadian Executive Service Organization (CESO), Volunteer Adviser Gerry O’Connor came to DMMMSU on September 9-27, 2013.

VA O’Connor is a seasoned business executive/consultant with a significant record of accomplishment in diverse businesses and corporate functions including human resources and labour relations; group pensions and benefits business development business integration; project and operations management; sales and marketing; acquisitions and divestitures; related financial and legal protocols; corporate planning; and e-business development.

He was born in Dublin, Ireland. Following graduation from University College, Dublin, He immigrated to Toronto, Canada, in 1971. During his successful Canadian business career, he has held a number of senior positions including Director and Company Secretary, Canada Starch Company Inc. and AVP, Business Development with Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada. He is currently the Chairman, Investment Review Committee, Propel Funds Canada and President, Blackrock Corporate Services, a private company he founded in 2003 that specializes in the provision of defined benefit and defined contribution services to Canadian corporate pension plan sponsors. He is a past member of the Board of Directors, The Toronto Region Board of Trade, Canada’s largest local Chamber of Commerce with more than 10,000 members, providing a broad range of services to corporate and small business entrepreneur members.

As a member of CESO, he completed ten consulting assignments as a CIDA-funded overseas aid volunteer in Russia (3), Republic of Georgia (5); and Serbia (2). These assignments provided corporate consulting services to a number of large, medium and SME organizations. He has also delivered successful business workshops to the following: a) group of professors and lecturers at a Russian University; b) students in the Tbilisi State Institute, Republic of Georgia; and c) SME’s in the City of Surgut, Siberia, Russia.

His presence with NARTDI is VA O’Connor’s eleventh CESO international volunteer assignment, having completed prior CESO assignments in Russia, Republic of Georgia and Siberia. With this, DMMMSU-NARTDI is very grateful for the opportunity to acquire additional knowledge and skills in the areas of entrepreneurial approaches, organization, development and management.

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