Founded Specialisterne (Danish for The Specialists) in Denmark in 2004 after his youngest son was diagnosed with autism. The purpose was to create an environment in the work place where autistic people can excel.
Prior to Specialisterne, Thorkil was an IT professional and chairman of a local branch of Autism Denmark.
Based on overwhelming international interest for Specialisterne, Thorkil founded Specialisterne Foundation with the goal to enable one million jobs for autistic people by 2025. The foundation is associated with the UN Department of Public Information and the World Economic Forum.
Thorkil has promoted “the autism advantage” through speeches in 24 countries.
Thorkil relocated with his family to Delaware in 2013 to lead the efforts of creating a momentum of interest among employers for “the autism advantage”.
President and CEO of Toronto-based ad agency, john st. a communications and design firm he founded with four partners in 2001. In 2013 john st. became part of the global marketing services network, WPP and has been named Agency and Digital Agency of the Year by Strategy Magazine.
As the father of an adult daughter with autism, Arthur became active in public outreach, education and advocacy in the late 1990s. In 2012 he and his daughter authored the book Carly’s Voice about her life experience. Carly’s Voice became a national best seller and has been published in 8 languages.
As Chair of the Specialisterne board, Arthur aims to assist the organization accomplish its vision of helping businesses understand the value of recruiting neurodiverse staff and to create meaningful employment opportunities for adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President, Finance of NexJ Systems Inc., a TSX listed company that provides enterprise customer management solutions to the financial services industry. Errol is also the Chief Financial Officer of NexJ Health Inc., that provides solutions for patient activation designed to empower patients to proactively manage their own health and wellness.
Errol served as Senior Director Canada, Finance at Siebel Systems Inc., an enterprise CRM company from 2000 to 2001. From 1996 until its acquisition by Siebel Systems Inc. in November 2000, he served as the Chief Financial Officer of Janna Systems Inc., a TSX listed CRM company.
Ann Marie MacDougall
Ann Marie began her career in the Canadian Banking Industry where she successfully managed national and diverse teams (Functional, Cultural and Demographic) through high intensity innovation and change initiatives. She inspires leaders to contribute well beyond their perceived limits and to rally around a strategy that demonstrates values, business ethics and generates measurable bottom line impact.
Ann Marie’s passion is to empower leaders, communities and teams to see a bigger picture perspective on complex challenges and to identify solutions to overcome them. In 2012, she founded her company, LeaderBoom Inc., with a goal to support organizational leaders to actualize their full potential by presenting a road map for inner sustainability, and by aligning their behaviours to essential human values. She has an MBA from The Rotman School of Management in Toronto where she received the Directors Award for Women Managers and a global executive MBA from St. Gallen University in Switzerland.