Excelerate 2017 Coming Soon

Save Your Space by June 1st, 2016 and You Could Win!

Meet the Expert Speakers

Adrian Davis

President, Whetstone Inc.

Adrian, the author of Human-to-Human Selling, is a sales strategist and trusted advisor for chief executives and sales leaders with over 25 years of experience in strategic sales. As President & CEO of management consulting firm Whetstone Inc., he has worked with some of the world’s largest corporations. He is a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), a certified Professional in Business Process Management (P.BPM) and a Certified Competitive Intelligence Professional (CIP). He is an internationally recognized and thought-provoking speaker and is frequently called upon to address executive teams and sales groups on the subjects of competitive strategy and sales excellence.



“Change Ahead: Navigating Turmoil, Transformations &  Outcomes” Thursday 3:00pm – 4:30pm May 4th
“My Big Idea (MBI): Reflect. Refuel. Results.” Friday 10:30am – 12:00pm May 5th

Ann Gomez PhotoAnn Gomez

Founder & President, Clear Concept Inc.

Ann Gomez is a productivity consultant and the founding president of Clear Concept Inc. Her mission is to help busy professionals take more control over their day. Ann is an engaging and inspiring speaker, with compelling talks about productivity and leadership. Ann and her team at Clear Concept work with several industries, including law, finance, healthcare and consumer goods. Recent clients include several top law firms, Royal Bank of Canada, Bank of Montreal, Sun Life Financial, Johnson & Johnson, Rotman and Queen’s School of Business. Ann is an active blogger and has served as a spokesperson for several clients. She is often quoted in the Globe & Mail and has appeared on both ROBtv and BNN. Prior to founding Clear Concept, Ann was a Management Consultant with A.T. Kearney for more than three years. During this time, she worked on strategic initiatives with multiple Fortune 500 companies across many industries in both Canada and the U.S. Ann also spent more than four years in the pharmaceutical industry as both a pharmaceutical medical representative and a research coordinator. Ann obtained an MBA from Queen’s University, where she was the President of the MBA class and was the recipient of the Finance Award. Prior to this, she obtained an Honours Bachelor’s Degree in Science (Biology and Psychology) from McMaster University. When not working, she can be found spending time with her family and generally enjoying life.


“Focus Your Time to GroYourBiz” Thursday 10:30am – 12:00pm May 4th

Anne C. Graham

Best-Selling Author, Speaker, and Accelerator 

Anne massively changes profitability mindsets in minutes, and results follow.  Because the biggest lesson Anne learned during 30 years of leadership and turnaround experience with Fortune 50 companies, smaller companies where things actually get done, and her own successful entrepreneurial business is this: Profitability is driven by behaviors, not bookkeeping!  A resident of beautiful Vancouver for 25 years, Anne is a #1 best-selling author, international speaker, and creator of the Profit Adrenaline Blueprint™ and ProfitU™.  Her favorite spots are Whistler’s ski hills and quiet bays in the Gulf Islands.



9 Massive Mindset Shifts that Pave the Path to P.R.O.F.I+T Friday 10:30am – 12:00pm May 5th

Ashley Wray

Co-Founder & CEO of Mala Collective

Ashley Wray is the co-founder and CEO of Mala Collective.

The Vancouver-based company works with artisans in Bali and India to create products supporting mindfulness and meditation.

Since founding in 2011, the triple-bottom-line company has grown its ecommerce and wholesale streams to service customers globally.

As the market leader in a growing niche, Mala Collective has partnered with such brands at Lululemon, and been featured at the Oscars.

Becoming vertically integrated in 2015, they have set the stage to scale in the billion-dollar market of meditation while supporting sustainable manufacturing overseas.


Making Foreign Less Foreign” Friday afternoon: May 5th, 2:30 to 4:00

Athena Taddei

President, Little Fish Big Pond 

Athena Taddei has been successfully impacting companies through her expertise in marketing and business development for over 20 years, but is best known for DESIGNING AMAZING CUSTOMER EXPERIENCES, through her company, Little Fish Big Pond Inc. This unique approach has won her many opportunities to work with companies from top to bottom and from inside-out, to create sustainable corporate cultures, effective employee ambassador programs, processes, sales and customer service training, branding, design, and custom digital solutions, from a customer’s perspective.

Through her successful journey as a third generation entrepreneur, Athena also discovered that most small companies are more in love with what they sell, than how to sell and run a company. This led her to develop a product owned by Little Fish Big Pond, called The Fish Tank. This all-in-one, CRM and Business Management Tool helps small businesses work ON and IN their businesses at the same time, in the simplest and most efficient way possible without any cryptic charts or graphs to figure out. It provides instant, real-time data reports on client demographics, sales pipeline, cash flow at-a-glance, and project management at the click of a button. With Little Fish as her focus, she even designed The Fish Tank with a process in mind, so clients can confidently understand their businesses quicker and easier, enabling them to DELIVER AMAZING CUSTOMER EXPERIENCES


“Living Your Strategic Plan” Thursday 3:00pm – 4:30pm May 4th

Headshot-Bob11-300x300Bob Lawrence

President, VEER Business Advisors

After earning his CA designation in 1987, and since leaving public practice accounting in 1992, Bob has served in executive management positions with companies in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, retail, resource extraction and software development. With his hands-on operations and management experience, he can identify with the challenges facing business owners, especially as they look 5-7 years down the road at their inevitable business exits.

He was the first Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA) in BC, became a Chartered Business Valuator (CBV) in 2016, and launched VEER Business Advisors (formerly Breakaway Business Transition Ltd.) in 2013. He is active in the community, serving as Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of Access Youth Outreach Services Society.


“Business Exit Strategy:  A Roadmap to Successful Transition” Friday 10:30am – 12:00pm May 5th

Camilita Nuttall

Founder, Event of Champions®, and Business Mentor

Known as the World’s # 1 ‘Rock Star’ International Speaker – www.camilitanuttall.com, Camilita Nuttall is the founder of Event of Champions – www.eventofchampions.com, a 7 Times Award Winning Corporate Sales Expert, Executive Business Mentor, Entrepreneur, Author & Property Investor.

Mentioned in FORBES and Quoted in Think & Grow Rich for Women, Camilita works with multiple 5, 6 and 7 figure business owners, Publicly Traded Companies, SME’s and Individuals to create Bigger Sales and Increase their PR and Business Turnover through Online Training, 1-2-1 Mentorship, In-House Group Training, One Day Workshops and Bespoke Systems Analysis to create lasting solutions.

Camilita has spoken to thousands around the world including at South by South West, has been featured in Celebrate Magazine 4 times and has appeared on SKY TV and the BBC Business News. Dr. J B Hill, Napoleon Hill’s grandson quoted Camilita in front of 20,000 people as saying ‘There is no better time than the present to take action to succeed’.

In the face of extreme adversity Camilita rose against all odds to become a dynamic powerhouse of success and inspiration. Her Story alone is motivating, but it is her straight-forward advice and larger-than-life personality that helps others to reach their full potential. Camilita is a brand entrepreneurs across the globe trust to take their business to the next level and Live Like a Champion!


“If It’s Not Making Money, It’s Not Making Sense!” Thursday 10:30am – 12:00pm May 4th

catherineCatherine Grosz

Manager, Supplier Diversity at BMO Financial Group/  BMO Harris Bank

As the overseer of BMO Financial Groups Supplier Diversity program across Canada and the United States, Catherine Grosz is actively involved with local, national and global diversity organizations. Outreach and accessible to advocacy groups, trade associations and community organizations to proactively identify certified diverse businesses with potential to become suppliers to the Bank. Board Memberships with WBE Canada and Board Chair for the Canadian Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (CGLCC).




“Schmooze with Big Brands” Wednesday 1:00pm-4:00pm May 3rd

chalaChala Dincoy

CEO & Founder, The Repositioning Expert

Chala Dincoy is the CEO and Founder of The Repositioning Expert (division of Coachtactics), www.repositioner.com. She’s a Marketing Strategist who helps service providers to the F&B industry reposition their marketing message to successfully intercept more ideal F&B clients.

In her former life, Chala was an award winning marketer at companies such as Pepsi, Pizza Hut, Frito Lay, Diageo, Playtex and BIC Inc for 20 years. Now she’s a successful entrepreneur, the author of Gentle Marketing: A Gentle Way To Attract Loads Of Clients, a speaker featured on major television networks such as ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, as well as a writer in the National Post, and the Ottawa Citizen.



“Strategies for Profit Through Sales & Marketing Tips” Thursday 10:30am – 12:00pm May 4th

christina-adamsChristina Adams

Owner & CEO, Antenna Social Media & Design

Christina has been creating digital media since the early days of the Internet and honed her online expertise while creating the Vancouver 2010 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games education programs website. She’s the owner and CEO of Antenna Social Media & Design, a business that grows your online community through creating branded content and providing social media management.

She has a Master’s degree in Gender Studies where she explored how girls are represented in advertising and mass media. While earning her degree, she also acquired a Graduate Teaching Certificate and has taught at various institutions such as: The Art Institute of Vancouver, Memorial University of Newfoundland, and Emily Carr University of Art + Design.

Christina is passionate about championing women and people of minority groups in creative and tech leadership. She leads her team to award winning results and does it with her inimitable sunny disposition.


“Best Practices in Communication” Friday 2:30pm – 4:00pm May 5th


corina-walshCorina Walsh

CEO & Founder, Shift People Development and Chair of GroYourBiz St. John’s

In 2014 Corina Walsh made the bold choice to leave her secure job behind to venture out into the uncertain world of entrepreneurship. Having worked in both the private and public sector for 12 years Corina was feeling unfulfilled and needed a new challenge that would make her heart sing! She started her company, Shift People Development, with the mission to help professionals build meaningful careers and companies create happy, engaging workplaces.

Today, as a certified coach Corina works with professionals, teams, and businesses everyday to advance leadership, communication, and engagement. With expertise in emotional intelligence and personal branding, Corina delivers keynotes, presentations, and interviews on how we can all leverage what makes us unique to be better leaders.

Corina holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Memorial University and a Master of Education in Lifelong Learning from Mount Saint Vincent University, where she received the Senate Award of Distinction upon graduation. Corina is the St. John’s Chair of GroYourBiz, a business mastermind for women entrepreneurs. Corina is a featured blogger for the Huffington Post, a member of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers, and was named as one of the Top 50 Leaders Under 40 in Atlantic Canada by 21 Inc.


“Best Practices in Communication” Friday 2:30pm – 4:00pm May 5th

daphne shih photo copyDaphne Shih

Director, Sponsorship & Marketing Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council (CAMSC)

Daphne Shih is a Director of Sponsorship and Marketing at Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council (CAMSC) in Toronto. She is a passionate advocate for diversity and multiculturalism.

Daphne has over 20 years of experience in media, marketing and public relations. She previously served as a Press Secretary at the Ministry of Citizenship & Immigration in the Government of Ontario; Senior Advisor at Communications & Marketing, Corporate Communications & Community Engagement in the City of Markham; Director of Asian Programs at Canadian Liver Foundation; Journalist and Public Relations for the Ming Pao Daily News in Toronto.

Prior moving to North America, Daphne was a TV anchor in Asia. She is fluent in English, Mandarin and Cantonese. She holds a Master’s degree in media communications from Webster University, Missouri.


“Schmooze with Big Brands” Wednesday 1:00pm-4:00pm May 3rd

DianeDiane McCurdy

CEO of McCurdy Financial Planning LLC

Diane McCurdy is a founder, visionary, innovator educator, speaker and financial advisor. She is CEO and founder of McCurdy Financial Planning Inc. – one the largest independent financial planning firms in Canada.

Diane is also the author of best seller book “How Much is Enough” (Wiley 2013). She is a leader recognized as one of the top financial planners in North America. She is considered a leader in strategic thinking.

Diane McCurdy has held leadership roles in numerous financial planning associations and financial industry forums.

Diane is frequently interviewed as a financial expert on television stations throughout Canada such as CTV, CBC, BNN and Global TV , including the U.S. media on NBC, ABC News, CNN, CBS and Good Day New York. She is often quoted in the National Post, Canadian Business, Money Sense, Macleans, the Globe and Mail, MoneyTalks, Chatelaine, USA Today, the New York Times, Family Circle and Readers Digest, to name a few as well as numerous radio stations across North America.


“Business Exit Strategy:  A Roadmap to Successful Transition” Friday 10:30am – 12:00pm May 5th

Eva-Sun-200x300Eva Sun

CEO, The Rice People

Eva Sun, CEO and President of The Rice People, emigrated from Taiwan in 1976 helping her father manage grocery stores and later establishing her own rice business. Known as the “Rice Lady”, she shares her knowledge not only in the world of rice, but also influences the food industry as whole. Eva is committed to community and to helping others in the industry. She is on the BC Premier’s Women’s Economic Council, a board member of BC Food Processors Association (BCFPA) and GroYourBiz. She is also a member of International Women’s Forum (IWF), WBE Canada, WEConnect International, Canadian, Australia & New Zealand Business Association (CANZBA), Taiwan Chamber of Commerce in BC (TCCBC), and GroYourBiz Executive Advisory Board. Eva provides mentorship, support, empowerment, inspiration and practical solutions for other women in the food industry. Her support for supplier diversity has gained her recognition with a variety of global buyers. She promotes and advocates the importance of global trade organizations and businesses helping businesses. She also supports various charitable and philanthropic events. Eva’s achievements were acknowledged with the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur of the Year Award for “Trailblazer”, Star Women in Grocery Award, BMO’s Community & Charitable Giving Award, BC New-Canadian Entrepreneur Award, and Richmond Chamber of Commerce’s Business Leadership Award. Eva is a leader focused and driven to foster proactive changes within all communities that she touches. Eva envisions and builds and makes a difference. She is engaging, insightful with an entrepreneurial drive to get things done. She believes in fairness and inclusiveness. She has a generosity in sharing lessons learned, her knowledge and expertise with others. Through her passionate belief in the value of people she brings hope, develops confidence and self-worth.


“Business and Innovation in Agrifood: Raising the Bar on What We Buy and Eat to Aid the Planet and Ourselves” Friday 10:30am – 12:00pm May 5

Archer-JenniferJennifer Archer

Partner, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP

Jennifer is a partner in the Vancouver office of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, a leading, national, full service Canadian law firm with more than 725 lawyers and patent agents across the country.  Jennifer represents and advises clients on a wide range of corporate and commercial matters, with a particular focus in the areas of mergers & acquisitions, domestic and international corporate reorganizations and electricity transactions.  With well over 10 years of experience, she also regularly advises clients in connection with the start-up phase of their business, shareholder agreements, procurement matters, and governance-related matters, particularly in the co-operative sector, having served as acting chief governance officer in the Vancouver office of a large co-operative. Jennifer also served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of British Columbia Faculty of Law from 2010 until 2014.  In her practice, Jennifer focuses on providing clients with practical legal solutions and advice for their often complex business issues.


“Business Exit Strategy:  A Roadmap to Successful Transition” Friday 10:30am – 12:00pm May 5th

Jessica PautschJessica Pautsch

Founder & Visionary, MESHX

Jessica is a 4x entrepreneur, a certified B Corp consultant, and strategist for leaders in business innovation.  For over 12 years, Jessica has consulted for Fortune 500 corporations, start ups, non profits, and all four levels of government, including the United Nations, in areas of community economic development and sustainability.   As a facilitator, Jessica has successfullybrokered multi-stakeholder agreements between governments, First Nations, international organizations and businesses.

Jessica has helped build over a dozen social enterprises, including her own: EcoTrek Tours and Social Impact Technology Accelerator (SITA).  For 9 years, Jessica has also served as the Vice-Chair ofKASOW, a Kenyan based charity focusing on entrepreneurial pursuits in areas of food security, health and education.  She loves potlucks, DIY projects, and exploring the great outdoors.


“Business and Innovation in Agrifood: Raising the Bar on What We Buy and Eat to Aid the Planet and Ourselves” Friday 10:30am – 12:00pm May 5

Dr. Kaouthar Darmoni, PhD

Founder & Director, Kaouthar Feminine Capital & Goddess Belly Dance, and Assistant Professor in Gender & Media, department of ‘Media Studies’ at the University of Amsterdam (UvA)

Kaouthar Darmoni (PhD) is Assistant Professor in Gender & Media, department of ‘Media Studies’ at the University of Amsterdam (UvA). She is the founder and director of ‘Kaouthar Feminine Capital & Goddess Belly Dance’ in Amsterdam where she teaches women empowerment and Goddess Belly Dance with passion and dedication. Kaouthar is regularly featured as a keynote speaker at some of the largest conferences, as well as being on television, radio, and various internet programs. In addition to being the cover story in many magazines and newspapers as NRC, Volkskrant, Opzij, Utopia, Psychologie, Red, Jan, Cosmopolitian, Margriet, Libelle, and more.

Lead by her passion for the oldest women dance in the world, the Goddess Dance, she thoroughly investigates the many aspects of this ancient art. By traveling to various Middle Eastern and North-African countries and through gender research, observation and practice, she developed her own concept, ‘Feminine Capital & Goddess belly Dance’, a unique women empowerment mixture based on brain/gender theories and body/arab dances.

Kaouthar is passionate about creating bridges of communication and exchange between both Western and Arab cultures, using the spirit of the music and the dance. Her wish is to preserve and present these ancient goddess dances before they disappear, due to modernisation and/or fundamentalism. It’s a valuable human heritage that must be saved from extinction!


“Feminine Capital and Feminine Leadership Friday 2:30pm – 4:00pm May 5th

Kari Yuers PhotoKari Yuers, FACI

President & CEO

Prior to joining EDC, Mr. Hall directed the economic forecasting activities of the Conference Board of Canada. Mr. Hall has served as president of both the Canadian Association for Business Economics, a 600-member national association of professional economists, and its largest local chapter, the Ottawa Economics Association. He has also been a volunteer board and committee member for two Ottawa area private schools. Mr. Hall has degrees in economics from both Carleton University and the University of Toronto.

As President and CEO of Kryton International Inc., a Vancouver-based international manufacturing company, Kari Yuers, FACI, is recognized for her ability to build organizations and affect change. Under Kari’s leadership, Kryton has flourished from a family-run business to a company with offices and distribution in over 40 countries. Benefiting from over 25 years of experience in the global construction industry, Kari was instrumental in defining the new category of integral crystalline concrete waterproofing.

Kari is the winner of the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award (2003), Awards of Merit and Professional Achievement from the American Concrete Institute (2005) and Construction Specifications Canada (2002 and 2004), an Influential Woman in Business Award (2012) and for 4 consecutive years, Kryton was named one of the Best Companies to Work For. In 2010 she was appointed a Fellow of the American Concrete Institute (FACI), and serves as Chair of ACI’s International Advisory Committee. Through this position, Kari helps to implement strategies which continue to foster relationships with the global concrete community.


Making Foreign Less Foreign” Friday afternoon: May 5th, 2:30 to 4:00

High_Res_Digital_Image_20170110-Hodgson-9573-Edit-3Kate Hodgson

Founder of 9to5 Narrative

Kate Hodgson is a master storyteller who believes that everyone has a story to share. She is the founder of 9to5 Narrative, a communications consultancy that offers individual story coaching and group workshops designed to help professionals discover and develop personal experiences into compelling narratives.  As a member of the Centre for Social Innovation, Kate has helped other social innovators, entrepreneurs, and C-suite Executives craft powerful narratives from their unique life story in a way that naturally engages and connects with their audience. Clients of 9to5 Narrative include the Ontario Government, Avanti Women, and Rouge Valley Hospital. Kate is also the producer of the 9to5 Narrative program, a live storytelling show that features the personal stories of professionals and individuals. Kate has also enjoyed working with entrepreneurs and other speakers, including for Ted Talk, to coach them to be their best in front of their audience.  Her latest project includes working with One Laptop Per Child, traveling to remote indigenous communities across Canada to teach local youth how to use technology to capture and express their culture and language by creating their own digital narratives. Kate has performed in shows such as True Stories Told Live, Raconteurs, Awkward, Confabulation and Dare, as well as performing at The Moth in Detroit. Her background includes Toastmasters, Second City improv, and stand-up comedy. She holds an Honours BA from Guelph University in Art and Culture. In pursuit of her degree, Kate studied in France for a year and is fluently bilingual.  She holds a certified training professional designation from OISE at U of T.  Kate draws upon both her education in adult learning and personal performance experiences to help others create their unique stories.


“What’s Your Story? Craft a Compelling Founders That Inspires Others Friday 2:30pm – 4:00pm May 5th

Kelly-Lovell picKelly Lovell

Youth Mobilizer and CEO, Lovell Corporation

Kelly Lovell is an acclaimed Youth Mobilizer and Social Entrepreneur, sought out her expertise in engaging Millennials and Generation Z. She is a 14-time award-winning thought leader, two time TEDx Speaker and CEO to Lovell Corporation. As one of Canada’s premier youth consultancy firms, Lovell Corporation helps Fortune Global 500® companies build effective youth marketing and millennial employee retention strategies. Lovell is also the Founder and CEO of MyEffect, a people data company that helps organizations increase return on their community investments by tracking the skills-based volunteering and social impact achievements of their people.

Featured by FORBES, INC, Globe & Mail, FOX News, and Entrepreneur, Lovell’s work continues to receive public recognition for bridging the gap between youth, business and community. She is ranked among the top 0.1% of online influencers on the topics of entrepreneurship; innovation; and youth mobilization, and was named 2016’s Top Millennial Influencer in Entrepreneurship by LinkedIn. With international networks that reach youth influencers across 59+ different countries, Lovell is dedicated to providing clients the best to tap into youth-led innovation and retain their interest.

From becoming the youngest of Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100 at 21-years-old to most recently, meeting Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Kelly is well recognized for her commitment in helping leaders achieve their greatest potential. Her other accolades including His Excellency Governor General of Canada’s 2014 Caring Canadian, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal recipient and Canada’s Top 20 Under 20 further demonstrate Kelly’s ability to inspire and create impact.


“Bridging the Gap: Executive Training to Engage Millenials Thursday 10:30am – 12:00pm May 4th

Kindi Dulai-Gill

Founder & CEO, Spark Expansion Ltd.

Kindi Gill, a former CEO responsible for 3000 people, understands intimately the demanding pressures and grueling stress of managing corporate life with home life. She is a Chartered Accountant with over 30 years of experience in leadership and change management, and today is a sought after Professional Speaker and Transformation Catalyst.  She is the founder of Spark Expansion Consulting, a board director for the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers -Vancouver Chapter and a Facilitator of the Groundbreaking Self Empowering Dalian Method.

Kindi specializes in bringing revolutionary improvements in psychological health and wellbeing into the workplace, so that peace and fulfillment can be felt within. She helps people to achieve lasting personal transformation for human wholeness through increased self-awareness, elimination of unconscious bias and  improved emotional intelligence.

Kindi’s workshops teach you how to build bridges where relationships need nurturing. She awakens you to a new form of communication in your head, that drives trustworthy & authentic connections.  Kindi teaches you how to tap into your most productive, energized and co-operative self, all whilst transforming stress, worry, guilt and fear forever. Bringing peace to your life is the overall objective, along with total fulfillment!

When not helping her many clients, Kindi enjoys spending time with her constantly transforming family of three children and husband of 30 years. She chooses to refresh and have fun behind a camera taking photographs, or on a dance-floor moving to the beat. In her quiet reflective moments Kindi enjoys writing poetry and spending time meditating. Kindi now lives in Vancouver and travels worldwide helping people to evolve into greater consciousness and self-awareness expansion.


“Revolutionary Ways to Wholeness and Life Changing Leadership Thursday 10:30am – 12:00pm May 4th


laural_carr-1x1-aLaural Carr

Owner & Creative Director, Impagination Inc.

Laural Carr is an award-winning, 30-year creative business development expert at her Toronto-based firm, Impagination Inc. She works alongside successful service businesses who want to increase results by improving the three “R’s”; revenue, reputation and (ROI) return on investment.

She is the creator of the Persona Maker™ Approach and the Impact Formula™, proprietary tools for building marketing and branding strategies with guaranteed impact.

Laural is passionate about helping smart, savvy businesses to be recognized and rewarded for their unique ability in the marketplace. She loves to share her tried-and-true tips on “How to find your next ‘best’ client” because that’s where marketing your business starts!


“Strategies for Profit Through Sales & Marketing Tips” Thursday 10:30am – 12:00pm May 4th

Lisa Will Photo

Lisa Will

CEO/Founder, Stonz, MBA

“Stonz” is a Vancouver based company born out of necessity. When Lisa Will was looking for warm infant footwear for her young son, she couldn’t find any! This inspired her to create warm infant footwear that stayed on. Stonz now designs, makes and sells high quality outdoor kids gear including booties, mittz, hatz, rain boots and super lightweight winter boots. And coming this fall 2013, the company is introducing a hard soled extraordinary light-weight boot that withstands cold to -58F!

Stonz products adhere to four core values: innovation, high quality, sense of style, and high degree of functionality.



Making Foreign Less Foreign” Friday afternoon: May 5th, 2:30 to 4:00

Liz Radzick

President, Manifest Consulting

As the President of Manifest Consulting, Liz Radzick is an expert in coaching high-achieving executives, managers, entrepreneurs and salespeople to influence and persuade their audiences. For over 20 years she has delivered innovative, engaging workshops and communication skills coaching to thousands of individuals in Canada, the U.S. and Italy.

With a unique background in classical music, dance, and comedy improv, Liz’s approach is both creative and bottom-line.

Among her accomplishments she has

  • Designed and lead workshops for a communication program at Honda for over 1000 management associates across the Sales, R & D and Production facilities in Canada and the U.S.
  • Worked with the world leaders of the Sheraton, Westin, and St. Regis Hotel chains on their multimedia presentations to over 2100 people at their World Sales Conference in Phoenix
  • Advised and coached management executives in medical equipment sales whose presentations involve pitching for deals in the 20-100 million dollar range
  • Coached 2 entrepreneurs on their successful pitches for capital on CBC’s Dragon’s Den


“Best Practices in Communication” Friday 2:30pm – 4:00pm May 5th

madeleineMadeleine Baker

Manager, Technology Strategy, Procurement & Supply Chain at TELUS

Maddy has had a broad and exciting career within the Procurement & Supply Chain field.  Prior to joining TELUS in 2016, she held progressive roles within GlaxoSmithKline in Europe and North America, ultimately holding the position of Head of Procurement, United States, including responsibility for delivering the organisation’s Supplier Diversity commitment.

Within TELUS, Maddy and her team are responsible for leading the future state strategy, processes and policy within the function, in addition to operational management of compliance, risk, offshore support, Supplier Diversity, technology, and data intelligence.

There is a strong commitment within TELUS towards Supplier Diversity, and a recognition that our programme delivers an improved and innovative customer experience by taking proactive steps to provide equal access to a supply base that reflects the diversity of where we live, work, and serve.


“Schmooze with Big Brands” Wednesday 1:00pm-4:00pm May 3rd

marlaMarla Kott

CEO, Imprint Plus

Marla Kott is a Chartered Accountant and Chief Executive Officer of Imprint Plus. She was the 2013 winner of the WeConnect Canada WBE Ambassador award, the 2012 winner of the Bank of Montreal Global Growth Award, and a 2007 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist. Marla’s relationship with Imprint Plus began a $20,000 angel investment and a personal bank guarantee, needed to keep a 7 year old start up afloat for a childhood friend. When the bank called the loan in 2000, she gave up her Chartered Accounting practice, moved across the country to Vancouver, British Columbia, and became the full time CEO of Imprint Plus. Marla arrived to face an unproductive management team, thin capitalization and a balance sheet that sported a debt of $700,000. In the thirteen years that Marla Kott has operated as the CEO of Imprint Plus, she has built the company into a thriving international exporter of name badge systems with a goal to becoming a category leader in this niche market. IP operations head office is in Vancouver, British Columbia. The company also has offices in Florida, Ontario and the UK. Imprint Plus has been listed in Profit Magazine’s as one of Canada’s top 100 women owned businesses for 7 consecutive years. The company today has over 35,000 customers in 75 countries.


“Living Your Strategic Plan” Thursday 3:00pm – 4:30pm May 4th
Making Foreign Less Foreign” Friday afternoon: May 5th, 2:30 to 4:00

marteMarte Belisle

President, SommEvents

Following her passion for travel and wine, Marte has spent the last 3 decades studying wines around the world. Along the way she has also gone back to school to be formally trained.
SommEvents is not Marte’s first business but certainly the one she is most passionate about. Coordinating events, selecting wines and food pairing, creating new ways of presenting wine and sharing her knowledge with clients never feels like work for her.   Niagara is the region she has come to know in depth over the last 20 years and although she makes her base there, no wine region is foreign to her. Using all of her knowledge, Marte helps companies with client retention strategies using wine.

Life is a collection of moments….gather as many of the good ones as you can


“Strategies for Profit Through Sales & Marketing Tips” Thursday 10:30am – 12:00pm May 4th

mary-anderson-bMary Anderson

President of WBE Canada

In her role as president of WBE Canada, Mary Anderson brings with her a wealth of experience. During her career, Mary has worked in corporations, non-profit organizations, academia, and has also been an entrepreneur. She was the first woman president to be appointed in the 75-year history of the Canadian Association of Importers and Exporters (I.E. Canada), a position she held from 2005 to 2009. She was also President of the Brazil Canada Chamber of Commerce and served as the chair of the board of the Forum for International Trade Training (FITT) from 2008 – 2010 where she encouraged young women to enter the field of international business. In 2003 and 2004, she was Co-President of the Toronto Chapter of the Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT-Toronto).

Mary serves on many boards and advisory committees, including: the Supplier Diversity Advisory Council to the organizing committee for the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games and the Supplier Advisory Committee with Public Works and Government Services Canada. She was recognized as one of the top 18 Influential Women in Diversity and HR in 2013.


“Schmooze with Big Brands” Wednesday 1:00pm-4:00pm May 3rd

Ratana Stephens copy cropRatana Stephens

CO-CEO & Co-Founder of Nature’s Path Foods Inc.

With an MA in English Literature and a BA in Psychology, Ratana began her career in India as a college lecturer. She met and married her life-partner, Arran Stephens in 1969 and moved to Canada, soon joining his then small, but growing vegetarian restaurant enterprise.

In 1984, she and Arran started Nature’s Path Foods with very little capital, out of the back of their restaurant. Nature’s Path not only survived the challenges that all small businesses invariably go through, but in due course became North America’s largest organic breakfast foods manufacturer/brand, currently operating state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Washington State and Wisconsin, employing an exceptional team of hundreds of talented individuals. As Co-CEO, Ratana is often described as the ‘heart’ of the company and is at the center of every development. With acumen and practicality, she has helped lead and inspire significant successful growth. In 2015, Ratana was recognized as one of BC’s 50 Most Influential Women, in 2009 she was honoured with the YWCA Woman of Distinction Award, she is a board member for United Way Lower Mainland and holds several other awards for community service.

Nature’s Path operates on the triple-bottom line of social responsibility, environmental sustainability and financial viability. With a clear, long-term vision of independence, uncompromising organic integrity and growth, the company is not for sale.

Ratana and Arran are parents of three daughters and a son, who are passionately involved in various aspects of the enterprise. A role model for entrepreneurial women, Ratana is committed to opportunities that meet the needs of people and planet.


“Business and Innovation in Agrifood: Raising the Bar on What We Buy and Eat to Aid the Planet and Ourselves” Friday 10:30am – 12:00pm May 5

Roger Haskett

Owner, Artistic Director, Engagement Unlimited

Roger Haskett helps to make meetings, organizations, and individuals be more engaging. In his award winning career as a speaker, actor, emcee and entrepreneur, Roger developed a unique formula for maximizing audience engagement and influencing employees, members, participants, and everyone he meets to be more engaged and authentic individuals. Roger consistently delivers entertaining, interactive, and relevant experiences that help participants learn and network to their full potential. His unique storytelling style and incredible energy foster interactive, positive, and thought-provoking experiences. As the owner of Engagement Unlimited, Roger leads an event supplier/planner team with a focus on team building, education and entertainment. He is an iconic thought leader in the meetings industry and regularly donates his time and talents to meeting associations (MPI, PCMA, ISES, etc.) Roger holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting and a Master of Arts in Education. He has acted in over 150 films, TV shows and commercials. You might have seen him in shows like X-Files, Supernatural, Stargate, I Robot, or Wayward Pines.


“Power of Play” Thursday 3:00pm – 4:30pm May 4th

rone de beauvoir photoRone de Beauvoir

Founder & CEO, Livestreaming World Summit LLC

Roné de Beauvoir is a modern day Renaissance woman with success as a Celebrity Chef, International Award Winning Speaker, Author, Brand Strategist, Independent Filmmaker, Empowerment Lecturer, Entrepreneur and Global Humanitarian with a passion for outreach to the world’s most impoverished citizens. The Domestic DIVA has lived in 22 countries such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Beijing, Japan, Indonesia, Africa and Malaysia to name a few – and is known for her Savoir-faire in the world of global cuisine. Her food company Omega Farm Foods, produces gourmet food and beverage products distributed in countries in Europe, US, Middle East and soon in Asia. She is also Founder/CEO of JOY LUXE IPTV, a new exciting android based television platform that delivers diverse and highly personalized content to your home TV through a broadband or WIFI Internet connection in Africa, Europe, USA and various parts of Asia and soon the Middle East. As a Fashion Designer, she creates luxury custom made python, crocodile and ostrich handbags in various designs and colors with a sleek modern and elegant style to meet the demands of today’s global women in business and the socialite jet setting super star. Corporately as a Brand Strategist/Consultant Roné consults businesses and entrepreneurs how to build powerful brands that will resonate with their target market providing visual elegance and tremendous visibility. Hailed as European Business Woman of the Year in October 2007 (BIBA Awards), and IOC Guirlande d’ Honneur Film Awards in October 2002; she has received, countless additional awards for outstanding achievement and business development over the past twenty years.


“12 Ways to Use Live Streaming: Create Opportunities & Win Clients” Thursday 3:00pm – 4:30pm May 4th

Sarah-Scott-180x200Sarah Scott

Publisher of Barlow Books“Can a Book Grow Your Business?”

Before founding Barlow Books, Sarah Barlow Scott was a journalist for three decades. She was a political reporter at The Montreal Gazette during a tumultuous time when Quebec was deciding whether to separate from Canada. Following that, she wrote for most of Canada’s national magazines. She won two silver medals at the National Magazine Awards, plus a dozen other writing awards in Canada and the United States. Sarah has also helped leading thinkers write groundbreaking books for major publishers. She worked with Internet guru Don Tapscott on his book Grown Up Digital, which won favorable reviews from The Economist and The New York Times. She also helped Dr. Peter Singer and Dr. Abdallah Daar write their inspiring book on global health, The Grandest Challenge. Sarah’s deep experience as a journalist drives her work as a book publisher. Her extensive national network of major media figures can help authors publicize their books, their mission and their brand.


“Living Your Strategic Plan” Thursday 3:00pm – 4:30pm May 4th

Sharon Gilmour-Glover

Chief Implementation Officer, Light-Core Inc.

Sharon is an experienced consultant, speaker and adult educator specializing in leadership, strategy and transformational change. She has unique skills as a business strategist leveraging research in human behaviour and organizational dynamics to help clients achieve transformational break throughs.

With a Bachelor of Education from Brock University, Sharon began teaching business leadership programs based on the work of Stephen Covey. This early experience drove a lifelong interest in human behaviour and organizational dynamics, and finding ways to link them to bottom-line business results.

Sharon undertook graduate research in entrepreneurship, adult education and the science that informs this new economy, complexity. Using this learning and insight, she has helped clients achieve previously impossible aspirational and business outcomes.

In her work with clients, Sharon simplifies complex and seemingly impossible business problems by providing clients with practical, easy-to-use tools that improve their results exponentially.


“The Upside of Crazy – Using Your Big Energy to Sustain Success” Thursday 3:00pm – 4:30pm May 4th

Sheri Spinks picSheri Spinks

Director of Strategic Sourcing & Supplier Diversity, DATA Communications Management

Sheri Spinks is a goal oriented certified Supply Chain Management Professional with over 13 plus years in progressive Procurement, Sourcing, Contract Negotiations, Material Planning, Inventory Control, Logistics and Resource Management.

In her current role as the Director of Strategic Sourcing & Supplier Diversity with the DATA Group of Companies, she is a strategic leader of procurement and sourcing with National responsibility of supplier diversity, procurement and vendor relations and qualification. Sheri represents DATA as the forward facing Corporate Member of WBE Canadaand CAMSC and is an active contributing member of the WBE Canada Business Development Committee.

Rattler Headshot (002)Shayna Rattler

CEO of Corporate Attraction

Shayna Rattler, also known as the Corporate Attraction Coach, is quickly becoming recognized as a highly acclaimed authority in small business development and the ultimate connector between small businesses and Corporate America. As a coach, consultant, and speaker, Shayna has developed and taught tried-and-true strategies, which have enabled small businesses and corporations to connect and prosper together, resulting in hundreds of key partnerships and millions of dollars in profits.

She is the person to turn to if you want to grow your small business by working with corporate clients and sponsors because she has done so herself.  This experience has also given her tremendous insight into corporate purchasing and marketing.

Fresh out of college, Shayna began her journey as an entrepreneur.  By the age of 28, as a single mother, she created two successful businesses, making her an obvious go-to for business and life advice.

Shayna is also a two time published author. She is an instructor for the Steve Harvey Success Institute and was chosen as the National Association of Professional Women 2012 Woman of the Year for her industry. Shayna has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Enterprising Women, Black Enterprise, and dozens of other major media outlets.


“The Most Overlooked Source of Cash Flow” Friday 10:30am – 12:00pm May 5th

Vanessa-Shaw-photoVanessa Shaw

Business Success Coach

Vanessa is a sought-after speaker and expert on business mastery, personal leadership and 6 and 7 figure income strategies. She is the creator of The Boutique Business Model and The Big Bold Event and her zone of genius is helping entrepreneurs have breakthroughs and paradigm shifts around creating more wealth and success in their business and life.

Vanessa is on a mission to eradicate “smallness” from the small business world and stop the financial and emotional roller coaster many entrepreneurs face.

Originally from the UK and having lived across Europe for most of her life, Vanessa brings over a decade of international experience working with top corporate executives and ambitious entrepreneurs from start-ups to billion dollar companies. She has also worked for the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, and has held senior leadership roles within the International Coach Federation. Vanessa now lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, with her husband Robert, their two children and a collection of four-legged friends.


“Top 3 Pricing Mistakes that Keep Even Smart Entrepreneurs Overworked & Underpaid” Friday 2:30pm – 4:00pm May 5th

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