Distinguished Leader

The Distinguished Leader Lecture Series honours leaders from the business community and offers students the opportunity to learn from these outstanding individuals.

The Distinguished Leader Lecture Series is supported by the D.G Willmot Lecture Fund

Headshot of Michele Boudria

2023 Distinguished Leader

Michèle Boudria

President & Chief Executive Officer, McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada

Michèle Boudria, President & Chief Executive Officer, McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada, is responsible for the business operations across more than 1,400 McDonald’s restaurants from coast to coast to coast. A people-first leader, Michèle is focused on driving business results and creating a bigger impact to deliver on McDonald’s purpose of feeding and fostering communities.

As McDonald’s Canada’s first woman President & CEO who started her career behind the front counter more than 38 years ago, Michèle is committed to using the organization’s scale to realize its purpose of feed and foster communities.  She will ensure McDonald’s lives up to its promise to be a leader of positive change here in Canada.

Michèle began her career with McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada Limited in 1984 as restaurant crew in Aylmer, Quebec. From there, she moved on to regional, national, and international leadership roles of increasing responsibility, including West Regional Vice President in 2018, and most recently, Managing Director of McDonald’s Netherlands in 2021.

Passionate about DE&I and community, Michèle sits on the Catalyst Canada and Ronald McDonald House Charities Boards. She is the former Chair of the Canadian McDonald’s Women’s Leadership Network and a former Vice-Chair for the US Women’s Leadership Network.

2021Margaret KenequanashCEO of Wataynikaneyap Power
2020Bonnie Lysyk 13th Auditor General of Ontario
2019Michael Lee-ChinFounder and Chairman, Portland Holdings, and Chairman and CEO, Mandeville Private Client Inc.
2018Julia DeansCEO, Habitat for Humanity
2017Deepak ChopraFormer President and CEO, Canada Post
2016Martine IrmanVice Chair, TD Securities and Senior Vice President, TD Bank Group
2015Rossana MagnottaFounder and CEO, Magnotta Winery
2014Len PennachettiPresident and Founding Partner, Cave Spring Cellars
2013Ned GoodmanFounder and CEO, Dundee Corporation and Dundee Wealth, Chancellor, Brock University
2011Donald ZiraldoChairman, Ziraldo Estate Winery
2010Galen G. WestonExecutive Chairman, Loblaw Companies Limited
2009Michael McCainPresident and CEO, Maple Leaf Foods Inc.
2008John McCall MacBainFounder and President, McCall MacBain Foundation
2007Paul HouseChairman, CEO and President TDL Group Corp (Tim Hortons)