FITT welcomes 4 new board members, appoints new Chair


Board room with empty chairs

Board room with empty chairs

FITT is thrilled to welcome 4 new board members as of June 2022. We are fortunate to appoint a talented and experienced group of professionals to our Board of Directors from a variety of industries including international law, economic development, innovative private ventures and the education sector.

Please join us in offering a warm welcome to:

Incoming Directors

Rob Howard, CITP – Of Counsel – Canada, Givens & Johnston PLLC

Rob Howard, CITP headshot

Rob Howard is an International Lawyer, Entrepreneur, and Director. He works primarily with businesses outside of the U.S. and counsels on issues pertaining to the complexities involved in working with U.S. entities. Rob is also actively engaged with various colleges and universities where he speaks as a guest lecturer on various topics of international business and U.S. law.

Ali Lajevardi, CITP – Senior Managing Advisor, Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)

Ali Lajevardi, CITP headshot

Ali is experienced across a wide spectrum of industries including management consulting, international trade, engineering, advanced medical technologies, manufacturing, high-grade materials processing, logistics and supply chain management. He has been advising businesses at BDC for over seven years.

James Collard, CITP – Director of Planning & Economic Development Director, Iron Horse Industrial Park

James Collard, CITP headshot

James conceived, designed, and is currently developing the Iron Horse Industrial Park, a Foreign Trade Zone on Native American Trust Land. He has extensive experience working with privately held businesses, federal, tribal, state, local officials, and marginalized communities over a wide range of issues, including water resource development and sustainability, infrastructure installation, economic development, urban design, and law enforcement.

Lesley Hillier, CITP – Chief Global Strategy Officer, Thermtest

Lesley Hillier, CITP headshot

Lesley is the Chief Global Strategy Officer at Thermtest, where she leads the company’s future international growth through the development and execution of global corporate strategies, while maintaining a constant business model for innovation. She also serves as the CEO of Archipelago Ventures, where she works with external entrepreneurs and start-up companies on pre-commercial development of new and innovative ideas, ultimately leading to the creation of IP with commercial potential. Lesley took over a board position vacated in 2021.

Denise Amyot, CITP –  President & CEO , Colleges and Institutes Canada

Denise Amyot, CITP headshot

For more than nine years, Denise has served as the President/CEO of Colleges and Institutes Canada (formerly ACCC). She was previously President and CEO of the Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation including three national museums: Agriculture and Food, Aviation and Space and Science and Technology. She has worked both in National Headquarters and in regions in several federal departments including Human Resources Development Canada, National Defense, Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Heritage and the Public Service Commission. Denise was re-elected to the FITT Board and has moved into the Chair position.

Outgoing Directors

FITT would like to extend our sincerest gratitude to outgoing board members:

  • Angela Krauss, CITP – Vice-President of Saskatchewan Trade & Export Partnership
  • Gustavo Zentner, CITP – President of InterPOC – International Point of Commerce
  • Scott Forbes – Senior Advisor at BBCi Performance Management Group


  • Wayne Robson, CITP – High Commissioner, High Commission of Canada in Malaysia, Global Affairs Canada

FITT appreciates all their hard work and will call on these outgoing members for their expertise in the future.

About the author

Author: FITT Team

The Forum for International Trade Training (FITT) is the standards, certification and training body dedicated to providing international business training, resources and professional certification to individuals and businesses. Created by business for business, FITT’s international business training solutions are the standard of excellence for global trade professionals around the world.

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