Willa Black

Vice-President, Corporate Affairs
Cisco Canada

WILLABLACK isthe Vice-President, Corporate Affairs and CSR forCisco Systems Canada Inc.  Willa Black is responsible for strategies designed todrive Cisco's external brand relevance and transformational impact across keyconstituencies.  She leads initiatives insupport of CSR, building strategic partnerships and reinforcing the company’srole as an organization committed to social advancement across governments,non-governmental organizations, and communities of all kinds with a focus onEducation and Healthcare.  Named one ofCanada’s Top 25 Women of Influencefor 2011, Black has held Marketing and CSR leadership roles at Cisco Canadasince joining in 1999.  She has developedand led award-winning programming including the “25 Transformational Canadians”campaign to mark Cisco’s 25th anniversary, in partnership with CTV and TheGlobe and Mail; and the One Million Acts of Green campaign in partnership withthe CBC. Thousands of Canadians participated in this national challenge todrive personal commitment towards environmental sustainability, logging inexcess of 1.8 million “green acts” and saving 105, 695, 538  kgs of Green House Gas emissions.  In 2014, Black led the development and launchof Connected North a ground-breaking virtual program showcasing innovations inthe field of learning with the aim of reducing Aboriginal drop-out rates. Theprogram connects students and classrooms in under-served, remote Aboriginalcommunities with students in Canada’s south via Cisco Telepresence Technologydriving cultural exchange and mentoring. Connected North also provides realtime Experts-on-Demand in the classroom, and teacher training and support viahigh definition video. After the success of the pilot in Aqsarniit MiddleSchool in Iqaluit, Connected North is now scaling across Nunavut and the NWT.