Michelle graduated from Queen's University in 1981 and joined KPMG that fall. Michelle has over 29 years of public accounting experience, including extensive experience in auditing public sector and not-for-profit organizations. This experience involves all aspects of audit planning, control and reporting, including liaison with audit committees and boards of directors for large public sector clients including hospitals, universities, colleges and municipalities.
While at KPMG, Michelle was seconded for two years to a university to assist in setting up and establishing an internal audit function. Over the years, she has participated in recruiting for both new and experienced hires. Currently Michelle is a member of the Board of Directors for KPMG Canada.
Michelle contributes a significant amount of time to volunteering. Her current activities include the Museum of Health Care, Anna and Edward Churchill Foundation and Bay of Quinte Conference of the United Church of Canada. She enjoys hockey, reading and traveling.
Senior Manager, Audit
Brent joined KPMG in September 1989 after completing his B.Comm at Queen's University. Brent started with KPMG as an auditing student and has worked in a number of areas in Kingston's Audit practice and KPMG Enterprise group. Brent obtained his CA designation in 1991 and obtained his Certified Financial Planner designation in 2000.
While at KPMG, Brent has been involved in numerous human resources initiatives including being involved with recruitment and acting as a UFE Coordinator and Performance Counsellor for a number of years.
Brent's current focus is split between the Audit practice and running Kingston's KPMG Enterprise group, which focuses on small to medium sized private companies. Brent enjoys baseball, golf, and attending his two children's many sporting events.
Sadaf joined the firm in September 2006 after completing her Bachelor of Commerce with Honours, and since that time has been working in the Audit group. The Kingston office is exposed to several industries, and so Sadaf's clients range from construction, real estate and manufacturing to hospitals, utility providers and universities.
Some of Sadaf's most memorable moments with KPMG involve volunteer activities in the community, in particular, participation in the KPMG Easter Seals Beach Volleyball Tournament. Also, the travelling opportunities that have come with some clients have taken Sadaf from locations like Nashville, Tennessee to London, England.
Sadaf's hobbies revolve mostly around sports, in particular cycling, volleyball, ultimate Frisbee, softball, and running. She's involved in several leagues year-round, and enjoys the physical and social benefits that come with it.
Senior Accountant, Audit
Rebecca joined the KPMG Kingston audit team in October 2009 after completing her B.COMM at Queen's University the previous spring. Rebecca has experience in the MUSH sector (municipality's, universities, school boards, and hospitals) as well as with for-profit clients in the hospitality, food processing, and real estate industries.
Upon completion of her CA exams this past year, Rebecca has spent time as a UFE mentor, on the KPMG United Way Campaign Team, and recently joined the recruiting team.
Beyond work, Rebecca is in her fifth year as a volunteer with the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation as the Kingston Chapter Treasurer. Rebecca is also an avid equestrian having competed all over North America, she enjoys travelling and will add Ireland and Greece to her destinations this summer, and couldn't imagine life without a good book or two and a great group of friends.
Grant J. McDonald
Office Managing Partner
Grant joined KPMG in 1982; he is currently the Office Managing Partner as well as lead Tax partner for a number of significant multinational clients. He provides Canadian and international income tax advice to both public and private companies in a variety of industry sectors. He is also the Sector Leader for the Aerospace and Defence Industry Group for KPMG in Canada, as well as a member of KPMG's Global A&D Industry Group.
Grant was previously involved in on-campus recruiting at Queen's and stays connected with the university through his involvement to support the Centre for Responsible Leadership at the Business School. Earlier in Grant's career he enjoyed a transfer to work with KPMG in the US, spending nearly a year in the South Florida region.
Outside the office Grant enjoys his volunteer board activities, including the National Arts Centre Foundation, Thirteen Strings Chamber Orchestra, Viennese Opera Ball, and the Village of Rockcliffe Park Foundation. Grant also enjoys cycling, travel and fine wine.
Partner, Audit, Consumer Markets (CM)
Heather joined the firm back in the days of green / yellow working papers and calculators . . . before the introduction of computers, into the everyday life of a staff accountant (suffice to say, it was a long time ago). She has been an audit partner in the Consumer Markets audit practice since 2000 (previously I was in various other audit and enterprise practices around the GTA). Heather now works primarily in the food and beverage sector. With the global reach of these clients, Heather practices in Canadian GAAP, US GAAP and IFRS.
While she has been with KPMG for her entire career, during a year and half as a senior manager, Heather was on secondment to the CICA as the Secretary of the Emerging Issues Committee. It was a terrific opportunity to develop her research skills and learn from the distinguished members of the EIC, but she was glad to return to her clients at the end of her term. She is now the “Senior People Leader” for the Consumer Markets Audit practice, and also participates in various learning activities.
Outside of work Heather spends most of her “free” time running around with my school-aged children. Together, they’ve discovered dance studios, ball diamonds, cub camps and hockey arenas around the GTA, and learned to make the most of whatever opportunities come along each day. Heather is also involved as a finance volunteer for Sleeping Children Around the World, and Women in Food Industry Management.
Partner, Audit, Financial Institutions & Real Estate (FIRE)
Kathy is a Partner in KPMG’s insurance practice and has an extensive experience in auditing and advising companies, including multinationals and large Canadian companies with complex financial reporting and accounting issues. She is working with both life and property and casualty insurers and reinsurers, including public companies, subsidiaries and Canadian branches and has had extensive experience advising both Canadian and US public companies.
Prior to joining the Financial Services group, Kathy was a partner in our Information, Communications and Media group, where she worked with large communications companies, broadcasters, and equipment manufacturers, and was the National Communications and Media Sector Leader. Kathy has also been the partner on various audit engagements of public and non-public companies in the not-for-profit, telecommunications, broadcasting and entertainment, and advertising industries.
Kathy has advised clients on issues relating to public company reporting in Canada and the U.S., including OSC and SEC regulations, U.S. GAAP, IFRS, and the auditing standards of the PCAOB. She is highly experienced with securities engagements, including equity offerings, private placements of debt, and subsequent registrations of debt with the SEC.
Partner, National Assurance and Professional Practice
Marilyn joined KPMG in 1984 after obtaining her Bachelor of Commerce degree from Queen’s University. Marilyn began her career with KPMG in the North Toronto Audit practice working on clients in various industry groups including Publishing, Automotive, Health Care and Energy. Marilyn obtained her Chartered Accountancy (CA) designation in 1986 and was the Gold Medalist on the 1985 Uniform Final Exam.
As a new manager, Marilyn participated in a two year secondment to KPMG’s National Assurance and Professional Practice group. She returned to the North Toronto Audit practice in 1991 and became a partner in 1996 in our Information, Communication and Entertainment practice. Marilyn worked part-time for a seven year period spanning her time as both a Senior Manager and Partner. In 2006, Marilyn was asked to transfer back to our National Assurance and Professional Practice group to develop KPMG’s IFRS go-to-market strategy. Since then Marilyn has been responsible for the development and delivery of KPMG’s IFRS training strategy as well as training financial executives, corporate directors, lenders, analysts, rating agencies and regulators.
While working with KPMG Canada, Marilyn has been involved with recruiting and training and has she has been a People Leader for over 7 years. Marilyn maintains involvement in a number of advisory client engagements and is responsible for assisting teams in the resolution of complex IFRS accounting and reporting matters. Marilyn is a member of the CICA’s IFRS Discussion Group and an active speaker a numerous IFRS conferences. Marilyn volunteers each week serving food at the “Out of the Cold” program, which provides hot meals and support to some of Toronto’s most vulnerable citizens. In her spare time Marilyn enjoys walking, gardening and travelling.
Mag Stewart, CA
Partner, National Assurance and Professional Practice
Mag is a partner in KPMG’s department of National Assurance and Professional Practice (NAPP) where she focuses on resolving complex technical accounting matters for clients across Canada. Mag joined KPMG in the Consumer Markets group in 2001, after obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree from Queen’s University and an MBA from McMaster. Mag is a member of KPMG Canada’s national Technical Topic Team for Leasing, Financial Instruments, Revenue and Financial Statement Presentation, and has been extensively involved in navigating issues arising in these areas for Canadian companies transitioning to IFRS.
After returning from maternity leave in 2004, (with three children under the age of two), Mag transitioned into an audit and accounting role in NAPP where she gained exposure to a variety of private and public clients practicing US and Canadian GAAP. In this role Mag has had the opportunity to facilitate training across the country, in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco; write articles for internal and external publications; and speak at external conferences.
Mag hung up her soccer cleats at Queen’s and is now carting her kids to soccer games and learning to hold her head high at charity runs where her 11 year old son clearly smokes her time. Mag lives in a great community, has a fantastic book club, a welcoming yoga studio and a patient pilates instructor that make defeat on the track sting a little less.
Senior Manager, Audit, Energy Mining & Industrial (EMI)
Heather Cheeseman joined KPMG in September 2005 as part of the Consumer Markets Audit practice after graduating from Queen’s Commerce and has since transferred to the Energy, Mining and Industrials Audit practice. Heather focuses on the mining industry and also has had clients in the retail and beverages industries. In addition, Heather has assisted several clients with their conversion to IFRS, in conjunction with KPMG’s Advisory practice.
While at KPMG, Heather has participated in a 3-month exchange to KPMG in South Africa’s Johannesburg office as part of the Global Opportunities program. Heather has also been a part of KPMG’s UFE Study Buddy program and is currently the People Leader for her audit practice.
Heather has travelled regularly for her clients and extensively in her personal time. This has lead to many memorable experiences, most notably while in South America, Russia, Africa, and Europe. When she is back at home, Heather enjoys fitness activities and nights out with friends.
Senior Manager, Audit
Candice joined the firm in 2008 from Deloitte as a project manager on some of the largest engagements in the Canadian firm. Candice was part of the firm’s Operational Excellence which assisted audit teams to improve their efficiency by implementing project management techniques to their engagements. Candice is currently completing a 24 month secondment in the National Risk Management where she assisted in implementing the firm’s internal quality initiatives including Quality and Performance Reviews and managing regulatory matters.
Candice was Social Committee Director of Financial Institutions practice in 2009 where she helped plan and organize group socials and team building events. These events helped build camaraderie between co workers outside of the workplace and provided venue for fun after a hard days work.
Candice will be rejoining the audit practice in the fall of 2011 as part of the Consumer Market’s group. She will also be assisting with GTA risk management and outsourcing initiatives. Outside of work her interests include dog rescue, travel, cooking and weight lifting.
Brenna Dickison joined KPMG in September 2007 after graduating from Queen’s University. Brenna works within the Technology, Media, Telecommunications audit practice where her clients are mainly within the software and on-line advertising industries.
In addition to being involved with on-campus recruiting, Brenna is an active member of the Women’s Interchange Network, organizing events aiming to address the unique issues that women in client-facing roles at KPMG experience as they progress through their careers, and the Social and Community Committee, organizing regular social and volunteer events within her practice. In the summer of 2010, Brenna participated in a four month secondment to Johannesburg as part of a short term exchange program with KPMG South Africa, working within their Energy and Natural Resources audit group while also taking the opportunity to explore southern Africa. Outside of work, Brenna enjoys travelling and outdoor activities such as skiing, hiking and kayaking.
Dave is a Manager in our Audit practice. Dave joined KPMG in September 2006 after completing his BCom at Queen’s University and a summer internship in 2005. He started with KPMG as a staff accountant in the Consumer Markets (“CM”) audit group, where he continues to practice.
During his time at KPMG, Dave has travelled to various cities across the globe, including those in China, the US and Canada for client work. Dave is an active member of CM’s social committee, and has participated in various office running-race events over the years.
When not at the office, Dave enjoys running, having participated in a variety of races, including several half marathons. Dave is an avid movie-watcher and enjoys travelling, working on his golf game and the odd game of dodgeball.
Mengbin Wu joined KPMG as a full-time staff in October 2009 after completing a Bachelor of Commerce degree at Queen’s University. She is currently a senior accountant in the Consumer Markets audit group in downtown Toronto, with a client base focused on retail and manufacturing. Prior to starting full-time, Mengbin was a summer intern in 2007 and 2008.
Upon completing the UFE process, she became study mentor to current UFE candidates. Currently, Mengbin is actively involved in Queen’s campus recruiting. Additionally, Mengbin is an active member of the Women’s Interchange Network, organizing events aiming to address issues unique to women in the business environment as they progress through their careers.
In her spare time, Mengbin enjoys traveling to various corners of the world.
Laird MacDonald, CA
Talent Attraction Manager, GTA Campus Recruiting
Laird joined KPMG in 2005 after obtaining his Bachelor of Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University. Laird began his career with KPMG in the Waterloo Audit practice working on clients in various industry groups including Consumer Markets and Energy and Natural Resources. Laird obtained his Chartered Accountancy (CA) designation in 2008.
In the summer of 2008, Laird participated in a four month secondment to Johannesburg as part of a short term exchange program with KPMG South Africa. Laird recently returned from a 36 month secondment to KPMG Amsterdam as part of the Global Opportunities program where he travelled extensively across Europe and Asia for clients gaining knowledge of IFRS.
While working with KPMG Canada, Laird has been involved with recruiting and most recently transitioned to the Talent Attraction Team as Manager of Campus Recruiting. Laird also maintains a client portfolio in the Enterprise practice with a focus on real estate. In his personal time Laird enjoys skiing, swimming and travelling.
Stephen Novalski, CA
Talent Attraction Manager, GTA Campus Recruiting
Stephen Novalski joined KPMG in 2005 after obtaining his BBA from the Schulich School of Business. Stephen began his career with KPMG in the Financial Institutions and Real Estate (FIRE) Audit practice, where he gained experience working with a wide variety of clients and industries including banks, real estate and construction companies.
In 2008, Stephen obtained his Chartered Accountant (CA) designation and that same year accepted a secondment into KPMG's National Campus Recruiting team providing support for offices from coast to coast. This secondment led to a permanent move into Talent Attraction where Stephen joined as a Manager on the Employer Branding team. In over two years in this role, Stephen was responsible for designing and developing national campus recruiting programs including the Ace the Case Competition and Fast Forward Leadership Conference among many others.
Since 2011, Stephen has been in the role of Talent Attraction Manager for GTA Campus Recruiting and has enjoyed the new challenge of being more involved on campuses and in the recruiting efforts of the GTA offices.
Talent Attraction Specialist, GTA Campus Recruiting
Mary Freitas joined the KPMG team in October 2010 after completing her Honours Bachelor of Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University. Mary began her career in the Toronto Audit practice as part of the Financial Institutions audit group where she has worked on clients in various industries including banking, broker/dealers, and funds. She has also had the opportunity to work in several of KPMG's other groups including energy, mining, and private clients.
Mary wrote and passed the UFE in September 2011 and is acting as a UFE mentor for one of this year's writers through KPMG's Study Buddy program as well as a marker for KPMG's internal marking pool. While working with KPMG, Mary has been actively involved with recruiting and has most recently accepted a short-term secondment in Campus Recruiting as a Talent Attraction Specialist.
Outside of work, Mary enjoys baking, reading, and travelling to new places.
Pankita Patel, CA
Talent Attraction Specialist, GTA Campus Recruiting
Pankita Patel joined the KPMG team as a summer intern in 2007 and started full-time in September 2008 with the Enterprise Audit practice, where she specialized in working with non-for-profit organizations and municipalities. Pankita graduated from York University in 2008 with a BBA from the Schulich School of Business. Pankita has worked with a variety of non-for-profit organizations, municipalities, and real estate companies since joining the firm.
Pankita has been actively involved in recruiting since joining KPMG as a summer intern where she was a campus ambassador and after two years in the audit practice in September 2010 Pankita took on a new role in the Talent Attraction Group as a Talent Attraction Specialist, Campus Recruiting.
Since beginning her career at KPMG, Pankita has had the opportunity to be involved with the UFE process through KPMG's Study Buddy program, allowing her to mentor CA students through their CA exams as well as being a professional marker and seminar leader for the SOA since passing the UFE in 2009. For the past three years, Pankita has also had the opportunity to give back to her university through being a TA at Schulich School of Business for first and third year students.
Through this opportunity, Pankita has been able to keep her passion of teaching and be an active member of the Schulich alumni. Recently in 2012, Pankita joined the Ontario UFE group's internal marking centre and has been actively involved in facilitating CKE and SOA technical sessions.
Pankita is an active participant in KPMG's community initiatives as a key member on the Free the Children steering committee who works to raise internal firm awareness and organize events in support of the organization. In 2012, Pankita took on a new role as the Team Champion for the Talent Attraction Group to support the KPMG GTA World Partnership Walk Team. Outside of work, Pankita enjoys hot yoga, travelling, and baking!
Rory MacPherson, CHRP Candidate
Talent Attraction Coordinator, GTA Campus Recruiting
Rory MacPherson joined KPMG's campus recruiting team in March of 2012. Prior to KPMG Rory worked in campus recruiting for a global reinsurance firm where he assisted in recruiting actuarial science students. Rory's interest in campus recruiting began while working in Vancouver, BC for one of Canada's Big 5 Banks, and decided to move to Toronto for an opportunity to gain experience in the industry. Rory's main goal since joining the GTA team is striving to provide all campus candidates with the best possible recruitment experience.
Despite Rory being new to KPMG, he has enjoyed getting involved with local campus events and planning activities for KPMG's interns and co-ops. Rory's most memorable moment so far has been attending a community leadership workshop that Free the Children facilitated for the KPMG 2012 Summer Interns.
In his spare time Rory enjoys traveling, cycling, volunteering, and learning how to cook!
Talent Attraction Manager, GVA Campus Recruiting
Jaleh joined the KPMG Enterprise practice in September of 2008 as a full-time staff accountant. Throughout the past four years, Jaleh has worked with a variety of private and public business clients including those in the real estate, education, retail, investment industries, and not-for-profit organizations. Jaleh has also been greatly involved with campus recruiting in the last four years and she loved it so much that she decided to take on the GVA Campus Recruiting Manager role in June 2012.
Jaleh earned a bachelor of business administration with a concentration in accounting honours at Simon Fraser University in 2008 and a Master of Professional Accounting (MPAcc) from the University of Saskatchewan in 2010. She wrote the UFE in September 2010 where she earned a spot on the National Honour Roll. Jaleh believes that the key factor to her success on the UFE was the KPMG National UFE and mentorship program.
Jaleh has a passion for giving back and being involved in the community. She was able to pursue this passion by joining the KPMG Burnaby UFE Committee and GVA Mentorship Committee. She was also able to pursue her passion for the community and outdoor activities by completing a triathlon in benefit of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and cycling with the KPMG team for the Ride to Conquer Cancer in benefit of the BC Cancer Society.
Jaleh also enjoys travelling. She has visited over 25 countries and describes herself as an adventurous traveler. Her most adventurous and recent trip was trekking to the Everest Base Camp and a place she will definitely go back to is Greece!
Talent Attraction Specialist, Regions- East Campus Recruiting
Julia Beniusis joined KPMG and the Talent Attraction team in January 2011, overseeing campus recruitment for the firm's Regions East offices. Prior to joining KPMG, Julia held recruitment roles at the University of Guelph and, more recently, with the Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver. Julia holds a Bachelor of Commerce, Human Resources Management Degree, and is a board member with the Hamilton Chapter of the Human Resources Professional Association (HRPA).
Outside of work, Julia can be found enjoying her many favourite active pursuits, including running, yoga, snowboarding, and golf.