avatar for Willa Black

Willa Black

Cisco Canada
Vice-President, Corporate Affairs and CSR
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
As Vice-President, Corporate Affairs and CSR for Cisco Canada, Willa Black is responsible for strategies designed to drive Cisco's external brand relevance and transformational impact across key constituencies. She leads initiatives in support of CSR, building strategic partnerships and reinforcing the company’s role as an organization committed to social advancement across governments, non-governmental organizations, and communities of all kinds with a focus on Education and Healthcare.

Since joining Cisco in 1999, she has developed and led groundbreaking, award-winning programming including the Globe and Mail Business Incubator and the One Million Acts of Green campaign in partnership with the CBC. Thousands of Canadians participated in this national challenge to drive personal commitment towards environmental sustainability, logging in excess of 1.8 million “green acts” and saving 105, 695, 538 kgs of Green House Gas emissions.

In September, 2010, Black developed and launched “25 Transformational Canadians” to mark Cisco’s 25th anniversary. Working in partnership with the Globe and Mail and CTV this campaign challenged Canadians to nominate those citizens who are transformational in the areas of Business, the Environment, Community, Business, Healthcare and Science and Technology. This marked the most successful customer content campaign ever executed by the Globe and Mail with 200,000 visitors to the site in just three months.

A 30-year veteran of the public relations and marketing industry, Black began her career at Ogilvy & Mather Advertising in Toronto. This was followed by 14 years at Royal Trust/Royal Bank where she was Director, Public Affairs for the Wealth Management division, RBC.

Black sits on the Board of Dignitas International, the Canadian Club, the Toronto Civic Action Steering Committee, the Board of Trustees for the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation and was a Founding Member of the Children’s Book Bank in Regent Park. She is also a member of the Partnership Forum, launched in 2010 by the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, dedicated to enhancing the relationship between the Ontario Government and Not-for-profit sector.

Named one of Canada’s Top 25 Women of Influence for 2011, she has also participated in many IT industry initiatives including the Canadian e-Business Initiative, the Information Technology Association of Canada InGenious Awards Steering Committee and is a frequent speaker at various industry and association events.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Williams College in Massachusetts, USA. A resident of Toronto, Willa is married and a mother of three.

My Speakers Sessions

Friday, October 4

2:00pm MDT