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IAAO Sept 25-27 2019, Toronto, ON


Welcome to Toronto, Canada and the IAAO Conference 2019! On behalf of OCAS and the OUAC, we are pleased to welcome you to this year's conference at the beautiful Royal Canadian Military Institute in downtown Toronto.

The International Association of Admissions Organisations (IAAO) is an international community of practice for admissions professionals, bringing together senior colleagues from centralized higher education admissions services around the world. This year's event in Toronto will provide an informal forum for discussion on the challenges and opportunities, and sharing of good practice, related to the delivery of higher education admissions.

Proudly Hosted by OCAS / OUAC

About the IAAO

The International Association of Admissions Organisations (IAAO) was founded in 2008 by centralized postsecondary education admissions organizations from all over the world. The association, made up of the heads of the centralized admissions organizations, provides a forum to exchange information and insights that can aid the further development of centralized admissions. 

This event is by invitation, and is aimed at current and prospective members of the IAAO. The event will benefit those working in senior positions at organizations delivering centralized or shared admissions services for higher education, with an interest in sharing experiences and understanding how shared admissions services are managed in different settings around the world. 

The event was first hosted in London, England in 2008 and has since been hosted in Australia, Oman, Canada, Germany, Croatia, and Sweden before returning to it's roots for the 2018 conference in the United Kingdom.


There is one conference registration option for this year's event. The price of the conference is $100 CAD + HST and includes the following:

  • All conference sessions (Sept 25 & 26)
  • Lunches and refreshments (Sept 25 & 26)
  • Networking reception (Sept 25)
  • Group dinner (Sept 26)
  • Toronto CityPASS
  • Ontario Universities' Fair (Sept 27)


8:30 - 9:15 Registration
9:15 - 9:45 Welcome Remarks
9:45 - 10:45

Service Diversification Panel 
Karen Creditor, OCAS
Additional speakers TBC

10:45 - 11:15 Networking Break
11:15 - 12:30 Membership Updates
12:30 - 13:30 Lunch
13:30 - 14:30

Increasing Admissions in the Skilled Trades and Technologies Panel 
Darryl Spector, Promation Nuclear
Gayleen Gray, McMaster University
Additional speakers TBC
Moderated by: Karen Creditor, OCAS

14:30 - 15:00 Membership Updates
15:00 - 15:30 Networking Break
15:30 - 17:00

Highlights of the Ontario College System 
Linda Franklin, Colleges Ontario

17:00 Day One Conference Concludes
17:00 - 19:00 Networking Reception

9:00 - 9:15 Opening Remarks
9:15 - 10:45

Understanding Applicant Behaviours and Trends
Melissa Fritz, OCAS
Additional speaker TBC

10:45 - 11:00 Networking Break
11:00 - 12:00

Credit Transfer Panel 
Yvette Munro, Ontario Council on Articulation and Transfer
Additional speakers TBC

12:00 - 13:00 Lunch
13:00 - 14:30

Modernizing Admissions Technology - AI, Blockchain, Credentials & Security 
Ali Hijri, Durham College
Additional speakers TBC

14:30 - 15:00 Networking Break
15:00 - 16:00

Tales of a Postsecondary Education Recruiter
Liz Henriques, George Brown College
Sonia Cianfarani, York University

16:00 Day Two Conference Concludes
18:00 - 20:00 Closing Dinner - Fifth Events

10:00 - 12:00 Ontario Universities' Fair
12:00 - 17:00 Explore Toronto with your CityPASS


Karen Creditor

Karen Creditor - President & CEO, OCAS

In her role as CEO of OCAS, Karen has blended the “go fast” philosophy of the technology world with a thoughtful, communal approach, engaging the collaborative nature of the college system to improve the experience for students transitioning to postsecondary education. She is also a passionate speaker and promoter of shifting institutional culture toward embracing innovation and continues to spread the message of seeking out technology opportunities to advance the needs of students and college administrators.

Under her leadership, OCAS continues to create new and innovative pathways and support for both college applicants and explorers, while also delivering leading-edge systems, dependable technology, and cost-effective solutions across the Ontario college system.

Heather Lane

Heather Lane - Executive Director, OUAC

Heather Lane has been the Executive Director of the Ontario Universities Application Centre since January 2018. Prior to this she has spent her career working in the area of student affairs and services at three different Ontario universities. Her most recent appointment was as Vice Provost, Students at Ryerson University in downtown Toronto, a position she held for over 9 years. In this role Heather was the senior leader reporting to the Provost responsible for the Registrar’s Office, Undergraduate Admissions and Recruitment, all the Student Affairs and Services units and Athletics and Recreation. Heather holds a doctorate in Higher Education Administration from Bowling Green State University in Ohio and is a former President of the Canadian Association of College and University Student Services.


Darryl Spector - President, Promation Nuclear

Darryl is the President of Promation Nuclear Ltd. Since joining Promation in 2004, Darryl has established himself as a strategic Operations professional and Executive leader. Coupling his strong and engaging communication style with his previous Engineering, Manufacturing, and Project Management experience, Darryl has been instrumental in driving growth and development evolutions within Promation.

On a personal level, Darryl is a very passionate and active advocate for promoting an awareness of the skilled trades at an early stage. He instills a deep and personal appreciation for the skilled trades, as well as articulating a clear and cohesive argument for the real and tangible benefits of engaging in the skilled trades at an early stage, and the substantial benefits it generates for an individual’s career prospects and horizons.

Darryl holds the seat of Vice-Chair of the Board for Skills Ontario, and also acts as the Chair of the Education and Skills Committee of the Organization of Canadian Nuclear Industries (OCNI). Darryl is also an alumni of the Skills Ontario program from his time participating in the Precision Machining competition, having medaled in the Regional, and Provincial competition, and competing at the National competition.

Gayleen Gray

Gayleen Gray - AVP and Chief Technology Officer, McMaster University

Gayleen has 20 years of experience in Higher Ed IT and oversees McMaster University's technology, information systems and services, including Information Security. She launched the McMaster IT Strategic Plan in 2019, provides leadership across all campus technology priorities and is responsible for the institution's IT Governance processes. Gayleen sits on the ORION Board of Directors, the Hospice Wellington Board of Directors, and is an active member of CUCCIO and the Higher Ed IT community.

Linda Franklin - President & CEO, Colleges Ontario

Linda Franklin joined Colleges Ontario as President and CEO in 2007. She has spearheaded a system wide marketing campaign on the value of college education, brought public attention to the impending skills shortage and led advocacy efforts to improve pathways for students.

Previously, Linda was CEO of the Wine Council of Ontario.  There, she worked with government on legislation that dramatically improved the economics of the industry, allowing the number of wineries to rise from 20 to almost 200 today.

Linda’s early career included time as a partner in a consulting company, the head of communications for a regulatory body and for government MPPs, and Chief of Staff to an Ontario cabinet minister.   She has an MA in journalism from Western University.

Melissa Fritz

Melissa Fritz - Research & Data Analyst, OCAS

Melissa Fritz is a Research and Data Analyst on the Research and Insight Services team at OCAS. During her time at OCAS she has been involved in a wide range of data-focused projects researching various intended to provide insight into the Ontario college ecosystem. Some of these projects include examining institutional transfer analyses, partnering with ONCAT and OUAC, in depth multi-year application trend analyses with both system-wide and institution-specific reporting made available, and administering the OCAS Applicant Experience Survey. 

Ali Hirji

Ali Hirji - AI Hub Project Manager, Durham College

As the AI Hub’s project manager, Ali Hirji has over 12 years of experience working on a variety of technology implementations in the government, academic and not for profit sectors. With a specific interest in broadband communications, Ali has held senior roles in projects to enable remote connectivity, implement technical trainings, bolster cyber security frameworks and enhance access to mission critical applications. He has also taken a lead role in securing funding for over 15 related projects and established numerous public private partnerships. Ali is completing his PhD in communications and holds multiple research and teaching positions.

Liz Henriques

Liz Henriques - Liaison & Recruitment Officer, George Brown College

Liz Henriques has been part of the George Brown College community for 24 years. Working as a Student Recruiter and helping high school students (and their parents!) navigate their way through post-secondary options is so important. Liz spends much of her time de-bunking the myths of what people think college is, as well as illustrating how the collaborations between colleges and universities can provide the best educational pathways leading to great jobs.

Her role in Student Recruitment has also led to many projects including, being on the Liaison & Student Recruitment Sub-Committee Executive, planning conferences attended by all Ontario College recruiters, providing input on OCAS projects, and developing College Recruitment presentations used by George Brown as well as other Colleges.

Sonia Cianfarani

Sonia Cianfarani - Assistant Director, Student Recruitment, York University

Sonia Cianfarani has been a fixture at York University for more than 20 years. As Assistant Director of Student Recruitment, Sonia has travelled around the world meeting with students and parents. Much like a tour guide, Sonia helps students map out their academic journeys to York. There is no better ambassador for the school.

In 2014, she received the Bryden Alumni Local Hero Award for her extraordinary contributions to York University. For years, Sonia has built educational pathways for thousands of incoming students from all walks of life.


This year's IAAO Conference will take place at the Royal Canadian Military Institute (RCMI) in downtown Toronto, Canada. 

Royal Canadian Military Institute
426 University Avenue
Toronto, Ontario
Tel: 416-597-0286 / 1-800-585-1072



The following hotels are recommended by the organizing committee due to their proximity to the conference venue and Toronto tourism. Please note that there are no rooming blocks or preferred rates at any of the hotels listed below. Should you prefer to stay at a different hotel, you're more than welcome to do so, just make sure to check the distance from the venue first as transportation to and from the conference will be at your own expense.

Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel
123 Queen Street East

The hotel is located a 7 minute (600m) walk from RCMI.


Double Tree by Hilton Hotel Toronto Downtown
108 Chestnut Street

The hotel is located a 5 minute (350m) walk from RCMI.

Double Tree

Hilton Toronto
145 Richmond Street West

The hotel is located a 7 minute (600m) walk from RCMI.


Fairmont Royal York Hotel
100 Front Street West

The hotel is located a 16 minute walk or 5 minute taxi ride (1.4km) from RCMI.


Intercontinental Toronto Centre 
225 Front Street West

The hotel is located a 16 minute walk or 5 minute taxi ride (1.4km) from RCMI.

Intercontinental Hotel


Arrivals & Transportation

Toronto has two airports – Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) and Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ). Delegates arriving from international locations should land at Pearson Airport, while delegates connecting through Canada or the United States may land at either Pearson or Billy Bishop Airport.

Transportation options to downtown Toronto from Pearson (YYZ) include taxi and the Union Pearson Express train to the city.

Transportation options from Billy Bishop (YTZ) include taxi and the complimentary airport shuttle bus.

Passport & Visa Requirements

All visitors to Canada must have a valid passport upon entry. Please check with the Canadian embassy in your home country to see whether or not you require a visa. You can also check entry requirements by country on the Government of Canada website.

If you are travelling from a country that does require a visa to enter Canada, you will need a letter of invitation from the organizing committee. If you require an invitation letter, please email Tiffany Gard at

If you are travelling from a country that does not require a visa to enter Canada, you will need to purchase an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). This should be completed as soon as possible as some requests can take several days to process. It is recommended to get your eTA prior to booking your flight to Canada. The cost is $7 CAD per person and the application must be completed online.

Explore Toronto

City Pass Toronto

We are pleased to offer the Toronto CityPASS  to all delegates at no charge following the IAAO Conference.  See Toronto's top attractions – incredible views, amazing animals, inspiring culture, fascinating science, and more with the Toronto CityPASS. 

CityPASS admission includes:

The Toronto CityPASS is valid for nine (9) consecutive days, including the first day of use.

CityPASS tickets will be available for pick up on the first day of the conference – Wednesday, September 25, please book your sightseeing time for after the conference.

Contact Us

For any questions or inquiries, please contact:
Tiffany Gard