Logistics of a COVID-19 Vaccine for Canada

Air Date: January 20, 2021
Webinar: 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM EST
Join your peers later in the day for a discussion of the learning and a chance to network from 4:15 PM - 5:00 PM EST.

Register for the webinar here
You'll need a free CITT account to attend if you are not a CITT-Certified Logistics Professional or CITT student.

Registration is free, but spaces are limited - please only register if you will be able to attend. A recording will be made available to all afterwards. Program subject to change. 

CITT, in collaboration with the Canadian Society of Customs Brokers, will be presenting a comprehensive webinar on the challenges across the supply chain of getting the COVID-19 vaccine into the arms of Canadians. It will feature the perspectives of professionals in customs, trade, security and logistics/distribution. The first half will focus on getting the vaccine into Canada, while the second half will examine the logistics challenges of distributing the vaccine in a timely and safe manner.

This webinar will run from 12:00 PM EST to 2:00 PM EST with a brief intermission. A segment for discussion and networking will occur later in the day.

International Deployment  

Distribution of COVID-19 vaccines has already begun. With none being manufactured in Canada, the movement of shipments of vaccine into Canada has to be both expedited and carefully controlled.  International organizations have been hard at work identifying guidance of use to both business and governments, and these have been put into practice by border agencies worldwide. Hear about the work of the World Customs Organization (WCO) and IATA, and how that work has been reflected in the response of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to move vaccines across borders.    



Deployment in Canada

Graciously sponsored by:


Once a COVID-19 vaccine is in Canada, there is still much highly specialized work to be done from many different stakeholders. This part of the presentation will offer perspectives from organizations directly involved in various aspects of delivering the vaccine. You'll hear about the unique challenges - and their solutions - for the final leg of this extraordinary undertaking. That discussion will cover both the challenges in logistics as well as the complex administrative obstacles. 

Discussion and Networking (4:15 PM EST - 5:00 PM EST)

Join us later in the day for a follow-up discussion and networking session with many of the speakers. It's a chance to pose questions, talk shop, and network with your industry peers.


Register for this webinar now


Presenter Profiles

Vyara Filipova, Technical Attache - World Customs Organization
Ms. Vyara Filipova is a Technical Attaché at the WCO Compliance and Facilitation Directorate. She joined the WCO Secretariat in April 2016 and deals with a broad range of trade facilitation topics. Her work portfolio includes the role of Customs in natural disaster relief, E-Commerce, transit, the Customs Convention on Containers, and the WCO’s work towards the development of a global Non-Intrusive Inspection data format. She’s been providing technical assistance and capacity-building support to WCO Members on the Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC), relief consignments and transit. Before being seconded to the WCO Secretariat, Ms. Filipova worked for more than 15 years at the Headquarters of the Bulgarian Customs Administration, where she was responsible for multilateral cooperation and the management of Customs modernization projects.

Fred Gaspar, Director-General, Commercial Programs - Canada Border Services Agency
Fred Gaspar is the Director-General responsible for the Commercial Program Directorate, Commercial and Trade Branch, of the Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA). Mr. Gaspar joined the CBSA in January 2019 from the Canadian Transportation Agency, where he served as the Chief Compliance Officer/Director General from April 2016 to January 2019, where he held corporate responsibilities for various industry determinations and that constitute Canada transportation regulatory regime. Prior to that, he held senior positions, including the National Capital Commission, InterVISTA Consulting, Air Transport Association of Canada, Air Canada and the Department of Canadian Heritage. Mr. Gaspar graduated from the University of Western Ontario and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Planning.

Andrea Gruber, Head, Special Cargo - IATA
Mrs. Gruber is Head, Special Cargo at the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and is responsible for the regulations related to the transport of live animals, perishables and pharmaceuticals and for delivering international standards and business processes for the air cargo supply chain. Mrs. Gruber is leading IATA’s Cargo governing bodies, comprised of airlines and air cargo supply chain stakeholders that provide the regulations for the air transportation of Live Animals, Perishables and Healthcare Products. She is secretary to the IATA Live Animals and Perishables Board and the Time and Temperature Working Group. Mrs. Gruber developed and implemented for the industry three Center of Excellence (CEIV) quality audit programs certifying the handling and transport of pharmaceuticals, live animals and perishable products based on IATA, national and international requirements and standards. Prior to working with IATA Mrs. Gruber worked at the International Road Transport Union (IRU) as head of a division implementing, at the Customs and business level, tools to assist the application of risk management. Mrs. Gruber studied in Geneva at the University and at the Graduate Institute of International Studies (I.U.H.E.I.) and holds a Master of Sciences in International Relations.

Pina Melchionna, BA, LL.B, MBA, ICD.D - President & CEO, CITT
Ms. Melchionna has served as CITT's President and CEO since 2017.  Ms. Melchionna has a Juris Doctorate Law Degree from Osgoode Hall Law School and a specialized Master of Business Administration in Financial Services from Dalhousie University. She completed the ICD-Rotman Directors Education Program and was awarded the ICD.D designation in 2015. Ms. Melchionna is a member in good standing of both the Ontario and Saskatchewan Bar Associations and is also a member of the Professional Financial Planning Council and the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners. She also currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Royal Canadian Mint.  Most recently, Ms. Melchionna was Executive Vice President at Concentra Bank where she led the operations of Concentra Trust, its wholly-owned subsidiary and was responsible for the strategic delivery of trust and estate solutions as an integral part of wealth management.

Nissa Mohomed Shariff, Sr. Director, Health Strategy - PwC
Nissa Shariff is a Senior Director with Strategy& PwC, with over 12 years of strategy consulting, industry and transformation experience. She advises numerous C-suites and Board of Directors of global healthcare clients around strategic planning and operations improvement, specializing in innovative health care delivery models, strategic partnerships and structuring target operating models. More recently, she has been leading PwC’s work with provincial governments around COVID-19 testing, contact tracing and vaccines, and has developed multiple thought leadership pieces on these topics. Nissa holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, a BA from Duke University and previously worked at JP Morgan.

Janet Wallace, Director, Cargo Transformation - Air Canada Cargo
Janet is an experienced Transformation Director with a demonstrated history of working in the airlines/aviation industry. Skilled in Operations Management (Call Centres, Airports, Inflight & Cargo) focused on SOPs, Regulatory, Training, Procurement, Quality Assurance and Safety. Janet is a highly motivated strategic planner, having graduated from McGill University with a bachelor's, and a GE certified Six Sigma Black Belt. In Spring 2021, she will receive a Masters in Transportation Sciences and a degree in Supply Chain from the University of Denver.

Carol West, President & CEO - Canadian Society of Customs Brokers
Carol West is the President and CEO of the Canadian Society of Customs Brokers as well as the Secretary of the International Federation of Customs Brokers Associations (IFCBA).  An academic background in political and policy studies have provided a solid foundation for her lifelong interest in the world of government-business collaboration, especially related to border security and management, and trade facilitation.

Carol has led and participated in many Canadian and international discussions on harmonization of data requirements, Customs processes, border management, supply chain security and trade facilitation.  She understands and articulates the important role of business in the successful implementation of change in government policy and programs. In addition to her leadership and knowledge on Canadian issues, she is a former chair of the World Customs Organization Private Sector Consultative Group (WCO PSCG), and was the private sector co-chair of the WCO SAFE Working Group and a joint working group on Customs-Business Partnership. Carol has contributed to WCO and World Bank capacity-building work in Latin America and Asia and has also supported the implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement through work with the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation in Zambia and Malawi. She is a strong advocate for the value and importance of customs brokers and is a committed supporter and promoter of government-business partnership, in Canada and worldwide.

Valerie Khalemska - Senior Account Manager, Drone Delivery Canada

Valerie Khalemska is the Senior Account Manager at Drone Delivery Canada, responsible for creating and executing defined marketing and business development strategies for the organization. Valerie is passionate about innovation and emerging technologies, and draws on her experience in supply chain and software to assist clients transform their business by deploying commercially viable drone delivery systems in verticals like medical, pharma, remote communities, mining, oil & gas, and others. At DDC, her areas of responsibility include business development, marketing, and commercial partner relations. Valerie earned her Bachelor’s Degree in International Law and completed a post-graduate program in Marketing Management.

International Deployment  


President & CEO - Canadian Society of Customs Brokers 


Vyara Filipova
Technical Attache, World Customs Organization 


Director-General, Commercial Programs
 Canada Border Services Agency


Head, Special Cargo


Deployment in Canada


President & CEO



Anonymous CSIS Speaker

Anonymous RCMP Speaker


Sr. Director, Health Strategy



Director, Cargo Transformation
Air Canada Cargo


Senior Account Manager
Drone Delivery Canada



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