Keynote Speaker and Host

Tony Chapman_webTony Chapman is one of the youngest individuals to be inducted into the Marketing Hall of Legends, a testament to a career where he spent three decades founding and building two internationally renowned advertising agencies and a research firm. Tony has delivered inspirational talks to audiences in China, Spain, Brazil, Warsaw, Mexico and throughout North America.

Four television documentaries, including ones produced in Australia and England, feature his philosophy on marketing and sales. You might also recognize Tony when he was the Judge on Food Network’s  Recipe to Riches, the Host of Nissan Innovation Challenge, or his ‘Cause and Reaction’ segments that run weekly across Bell Media.


Keynote: Lane Merrifield – Listen Up: What We Learned from 350 Million Kids

Lane Merrifield web

Lane Merrifield has a passion for the convergence of creativity and technology, which has fueled his life long journey of entrepreneurship.

In 2013 Lane founded Wheelhouse, an organization that supports early stage technology companies and entrepreneurs through mentorship, access to early stage investment capital, and connections to global business networks and executive expertise.  To help further this initiative, Lane led a group of community leaders, entrepreneurs, and civic leaders in the creation of the 120,000 sq.ft. Innovation Centre in downtown Kelowna. This beautiful, state-of-the-art facility was created to foster and encourage growth in technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship as a means of supporting sustainable, long-term economic development in the region.

His teams have won dozens of awards including a BAFTA Award and a Webby Award. Lane has received an Honorary Fellows Award, several leadership awards, and was listed as one of The Hollywood Reporters Top 35 Executives under 35.

Lane has served on several private and public company boards, the University of British Columbia’s Board of Governors, and was most recently appointed to the Premier’s Technology Council.

Keynote: Dr. Karyn Gordon – 5 Generations in the Workforce / Future of Work

Presented by Payworks

Karyn Gordon web

Dr. Karyn Gordon’s mission is to inspire people to dream their best life, learn the tools and do it! A bestselling author and media personality, Dr. Karyn has worked with hundreds of organizations, from Fortune 500 corporations to small non-profits, to help them foster the necessary communication skills for creating strong workforces and customer relationships.

Dr. Karyn is a regular expert for the USA’s #1 morning show Good Morning America, Canada’s #1 talk-show Cityline, and Toronto’s #1 morning show Breakfast Television. In addition, she writes a regular column for New York Parenting and Chatelaine magazines. Previously, she was the resident expert for The Mom Show, hosted a radio talk-show on CFRB, and produced her own music talk-show, Spill Your Guts, where she interviewed celebrities to share lessons they learned as teenagers. Dr. Karyn is a producer of Success Stories on Rogers television.

As a writer, Dr. Karyn is the bestselling author of Dr. Karyn’s Guide To The Teen Years, and has written three additional resources for parents, teachers and counselors. She has a Bachelor in Psychology, a Masters in Counseling, and a Doctorate in Marriage and Family. She has also done extensive studies in generational differences, personalities, leadership and emotional intelligence.

Keynote: Commander John Herrington – Living Your Dreams

John HerringtonDr. John B. Herrington, Ph.D. was the first member of a federally recognized tribe to travel to space. Like many children in the 1960s, he dreamed of becoming an astronaut. His historic mission to the International Space Station was the culmination of years of experience and training with men and women with diverse cultural and technical backgrounds, and provided Herrington with a unique perspective that he enjoys sharing with audiences worldwide. “From lift off to completing three space walks, mission STS-113 was more exciting and challenging than I could have imagined.”

Herrington’s work didn’t stop when he returned to earth.  He returned to university and earned a doctorate in Education. With humility and humor, Herrington shares his stories of challenge, leadership, motivation, and mentorship with diverse audiences. His multimedia presentations inspire and entertain, and Herrington challenges people to seek out the best in themselves and in service to others.


Keynote: Jennifer Riel – Creating Great Choices – A Leader’s Guide to Integrative Thinking


Jennifer Riel is an adjunct professor at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, specializing in creative problem solving. Her focus is on helping everyone, from undergraduate students to business executives, to create better choices, more of the time.

Jennifer is the co-author of Creating Great Choices: A Leader’s Guide to Integrative Thinking (with Roger L. Martin, former Dean of the Rotman School of Management). Based on a decade of teaching and practice with integrative thinking, the book lays out a practical methodology for tackling our most vexing business problems. Using illustrations from organizations like LEGO, Vanguard and Unilever, The book shows how individuals can leverage the tension of opposing ideas to create a third, better way forward.

An award-winning teacher, Jennifer leads training on integrative thinking, strategy and innovation at organizations of all types, from small non-profits to some of the largest companies in the world.


Keynote: Dr. Catherine Zeisner – Class of 2030 

Catherine Zeisner web

Dr. Catherine Zeisner is a proud Canadian scholar practitioner who believes the best in education is right around the corner. As an assistant professor at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, Catherine teaches both Masters and Doctoral students, recently had a chapter published in The Reader Leader (2018), and teaches online Masters and Doctoral students at Western University in London, Ontario where she won the 2017 and 2018 Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

Catherine believes in the power of resiliency and positivity as demonstrated with her conquer over cancer in 2011, completing 3 Chicago Marathons, and a successful 25 year marriage.

Having taught French, Phys-ed, multiple grade levels and special education, Catherine believes all students can learn and all teachers can thrive in our very diverse educational settings. As an ADHD program teacher, vice-principal, and principal, Catherine proved that relationships are the key to school success by bridging the gaps between what’s needed and what’s possible.

Blessing: Elder Don Robertson

Don Robertson web

Don Robertson is a Cree from Norway House. He received his education at the Cook Christian Training School, Phoenix Junior College in Arizona and at Union College in British Columbia, where he was ordained as a United Church Minister. His subsequent theological training concentrated on clinical counseling at Brandon General Hospital and the Calgary Pastoral Institute.

Accomplishments in the field of education include, Director of the Brandon University Northern Teachers Education Program (BUNTEP), and Coordinator of Community and Program Liaison for Special Projects; Coordinator of Program Support Services and Education for the Core Area Training and Employment Agency for the Province of Manitoba, Department of Education; Director of Education for Island Lake Tribal Council; Chair of the Council on Post-Secondary Education; and Chair of the Implementation Team for the University College of the North.

Don received an honorary doctorate from Brandon University in 1992 and from the University of Manitoba in 2007; the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2002; and received the Order of Manitoba in 2004. On January 13, 2004, Don was initiated into the fellowship of the Elders of Northern Manitoba.


Panel: “When We Rule the World” 

Moderator: Adam Garry

Adam Garry webAdam Garry is a former elementary school teacher and is now Dell’s Director of Global Education Strategy. He has presented at conferences around the world and published many articles on technology integration for several education magazines and has a strong following on Twitter. Over the past seventeen years, he has consulted in school districts on school transformation, professional learning, one-to-one, the shift from print to digital, personalized learning, curriculum and instruction, and leadership. He is the author of “Teaching the iGeneration” (2nd edition published July 2015), and “Personalized Learning Thorough Voice and Choice” (published Nov. 2017).



Payton Klassen web

Payton Klassen is a grade 10 student at Balmoral Hall who has an interest in IT and computer engineering.









Sophia Abolore web

Sophia Abolore is a student from Fort Richmond Collegiate in the 11th grade with a passion for computer science and math. Sophia plans to study computer science at university in hopes of becoming a cloud architect.








Samuel Rosales web

Samuel Rosales is in grade 9 and is currently attending Pembina Trails Early College (PTEC), an integrated program that blends together high school and post secondary technology curriculum, certification, and work experience.








Serena Northmore web

Serena Northmore is a grade 8 student at John Pritchard School. Serena is an avid reader, and is looking towards a career in soccer or in teaching.










Panel: Fake News – From Theory to Solutions

Presented by Library and Archives Canada and Canadian Museum for Human Rights

Moderator: Dr. Guy Berthiaume

Guy Berthiaume web 2

Dr. Guy Berthiaume assumed the position of Librarian and Archivist of Canada on June 23, 2014. Prior to joining Library and Archives Canada, he was the Chair and Chief Executive Officer of the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec between 2009 and 2014, following a 30‑year career in academia. Dr. Berthiaume holds a Doctorate in History (University of Paris VIII).

In addition to serving as a professor of Ancient History at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), he held administrative positions focusing on research and university development. Previous roles include Vice-President, Development and Public Affairs, Université de Montréal, and Vice-President, Research and Creation, UQAM.





Michele Austin is the Head of Government, Public Policy and Philanthropy at Twitter Canada. She works closely with government partners and policy stakeholders to help create good public policy and meaningful content on Twitter.

Michele has been helping organizations work with government for more than 20 years.  In 2006, she became the first female Chief of Staff at Industry Canada. Michele is also a well-known commentator in Ottawa on conservative political strategy, having appeared on CTV’s Power Play for 10 years.

Michele is a first generation Canadian. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Waterloo and a Masters in Public Administration from Dalhousie University. She lives with her husband and three unruly teenagers in Kanata, Ontario.




Kevin Chan webKevin Chan is a Global Director and Head of Public Policy at Facebook Canada, and engages in ongoing dialogue and partnership with the policy community on issues that impact the Internet sector, including election integrity, misinformation, freedom of expression, safety, and Indigenous culture and content online. A Governor of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and a member of the 2017 Selection Board of the Canada Excellence Research Chairs, he also sits on the advisory council at McGill’s Max Bell School of Public Policy and serves on the boards of MediaSmarts and Kids Help Phone.

He graduated from the Harvard Kennedy School, the Ivey Business School and the Royal Conservatory of Music, and is the recipient of the Public Service Award of Excellence, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, and the Meritorious Service Medal, which recognizes Canadians for exceptional deeds that bring honour to our country.




Tim Fontaine web

Tim Fontaine is the Editor-in-Grand-Chief of the satirical website, Walking Eagle News. He is a former journalist who has worked for CBC, CPAC, and APTN National News. He also hosts The Laughing Drum, a parody of news and talk shows that airs on APTN.








Trevor LockhartTrevor Lockhart is the Branch Head Librarian of the Louis Riel Branch at Winnipeg Public Library (WPL). He has worked in libraries for over 25 years, beginning in high school. He graduated with a Master of Library and Information Science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2006. Some of his professional interests include libraries and social media, educating the community on digital (media) literacy, and connecting library users with reliable and relevant information on a daily basis. He is a co-creator of WPL’s Media Literacy and “Spotting Fake News” Information Guide. He is also a regular contributor to WPL’s Reader’s Salon blog and is one of the creators and hosts of WPL’s monthly book-club podcast Time to Read.



Panel: Skills & Work Integrated Learning

Presented by SkipTheDishes

Moderator: Sandra Saric

Sandra Saric webSandra Saric leads initiatives that promote diversity, inclusion, and collaboration with industry, government and education on strategies and actions to leverage talent and build capacity in Canada’s digital economy at the Information and Communications Technology Council. As an inclusion advocate in Canada and globally, Sandra has particularly focused on initiatives that involve the recruitment, integration and advancement of global talent, women, Indigenous persons and youth in ICT.

In this capacity, in 2015, Sandra received a Women in Communications and Technology Leadership Excellence Award for Diversity and frequently speaks on topics that address inclusiveness, digital skills and education, and the digital labour market and in 2017 was named as one of 150 Canadian women in STEM. At ICTC, she has been instrumental in launching a Canadian Cyber Security Youth and Education initiative – CyberTitan – to prepare youth with cyber security skills. Sandra also serves as an advisor on the Planning for Canada Advisory Group; Hire Immigrants Ottawa Employer Council of Champions, and the WEC/IOE Global Forum for Migration and Development Business Mechanism.


Noa Aiken-Klar webNoah Aiken-Klar is the Director of Youth Social Impact at RBC. RBC’s purpose is to help clients thrive and communities prosper. Noah leads a team that brings our purpose to life through RBC Future Launch, making strategic investments in charitable programs that help young people gain skills, grow their networks, and get practical work experience and support for mental wellbeing. Before RBC, he was Regional Director at the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF), a provincial agency and grantmaker. Noah is a bilingual lawyer, the former ED of PBSC – a national youth leadership and access-to-justice organization, an active community volunteer, and an award-winning singer, performer and writer. He has degrees from McGill and UofT, and lives in downtown Toronto with his wife and two kids, Delilah and Isaac.





Jake Hirsh Allen webJake Hirsch-Allen furthers LinkedIn’s vision to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce via its Economic Graph data. He works with students, staff and faculty at Canada’s colleges and universities and trainees and trainers at Canada’s workforce development organizations to leverage LinkedIn Learning Solutions to achieve their academic and professional goals.

Jake teaches at McMaster University, is on the advisory boards of Code for Canada and the Hot Docs cinema and founded Lighthouse Labs, Canada’s foremost software development bootcamp. A former intellectual property and international criminal lawyer, Jake was also Chair of the Technology Committee of the Global Education Platform and clerked at the Supreme Court of Israel.





Terry Mirza web

Terry Mirza has more than two decades of experience in the Canadian IT sector. Since joining Compugen 16 years ago, Terry held multiple roles in the sales organization before becoming VP of Sales Canada West and United States in late 2014.

In his role as VP, Terry has played critical roles both in Compugen’s initial and ongoing expansion into the U.S., as well as in the company’s acquisition of Metafore. Terry’s strength is his ability to create specific business outcomes through innovative technology solutions. Terry has built a world-class team and a business valued at more than $300 million in sales across North America, garnering 13 President’s Club Awards in recognition of the success he has helped his customers obtain.

Terry also sits on multiple boards, including C21 Canada, a non-profit supporting Canadian educators in preparing young Canadians for 21st-century life, and Kamloops Innovation, an incubator of technology start-ups. He is a member of the Canadian Cloud Council.



Kimberly Puchala web

Kim Puchala is a talented and seasoned Human Resources professional with over 20 years of global experience in the technology and consumer goods industries. Her past experience includes a role as International HR Director for a Fortune 500 company.

As SkipTheDishes’ new Director of Talent Management and Total Rewards, she’s using her background in talent management and her knowledge of organizational development to accelerate Skip’s efforts in becoming one of the best places to work.

Puchala has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Dayton and a Master of Arts in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Xavier University in Ohio. Puchala also holds Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) designations.