Vanessa Serra Iarocci is currently an Executive-in-Residence at the Rotman School of Management.
Vanessa has spent two-decades in progressively senior leadership roles at PwC, TD Bank Financial Group and later became the CEO & President of Canada’s largest public sector uniform manufacturer & distributor, McCarthy Uniforms, where she successfully led the company out of insolvency to stability and record profitability. Most recently, she took on the CEO role for Brain Power, a leading provider of after-school programs for high potential K-12 students, in which she marries her love for business with her love for education.
Vanessa is exceptionally passionate about innovation, having applied cutting-edge frameworks like business design, Google sprint and lean start-up methodologies to transform both large and small companies. She also recently designed the ‘Scale-Up’ Program for the MaRS Discovery District, a playbook for Canadian CEOs seeking to scale companies globally. Vanessa is often engaged by large and small organizations to advise on growth and transformation including Start Up Canada, Fresh Squeezed Ideas and the Propeller Experience.
Vanessa is passionate about contributing to her community. She is currently on the Board of Directors of Raising the Village, a not-for-profit that partners with last-mile, rural communities in Uganda to help them move out of ultra poverty, as well as member of Young Presidents Organization, where she participates on the membership committee and is a forum moderator. At Rotman, Vanessa is actively engaged with the Institute for Gender and the Economy (“GATE”) where she has co-developed curriculum, coached students on business case writing and mentors students through both the GATE fellowship program and the Flexible Internship Program.
Vanessa holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Toronto and a Chartered Accountant designation. She recently spent over one year working with senior executives from 54 countries to earn a diploma in Corporate Innovation from Stanford Graduate School of Business.