Keynote, PLenary & Workshop Speakers

*The following speakers have been confirmed for the EconoUs2017 program. More speakers to be announced soon!

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

Chief Dr. Robert Joseph

Chief Dr. Robert Joseph

Ambassador for Reconciliation Canada

Biography

Chief Dr. Robert Joseph, O.B.C. is a true peace-builder whose life and work are examples of his personal commitment. A Hereditary Chief of the Gwawaenuk First Nation, Chief Joseph has dedicated his life to bridging the differences brought about by intolerance, lack of understanding and racism at home and abroad. His insights into the destructive impacts these forces can have on peoples’ lives, families and cultures were shaped by his experience with the Canadian Indian Residential School system. As one of the last few speakers of the Kwakwaka’wakw language, Chief Joseph is an eloquent and inspiring Ceremonial House Speaker. He shares his knowledge and wisdom in the Big House and as a Language Speaker with the University of British Columbia, an internationally recognized art curator and as co-author of “Down from the Shimmering Sky: Masks of the Northwest Coast”.
Shaun Loney

Shaun Loney

Author and Social Enterprise Developer

Biography

Shaun is a longtime member of the Canadian CED Network, an Ashoka Fellow (first in Canadian Prairies) and an Ernst and Young‘s Entrepreneur of the Year (2014). He has co-founded and mentored 11 social enterprises including BUILD Inc (2011 Scotia Bank EcoLiving Green Business of the year and 2013 Manitoba Apprenticeship Employer of the Year). Shaun was Director of Energy Policy for the Government of Manitoba (2002-2008 and political advisor to Gary Doer’s NDP (1997-2002). Shaun lives in Winnipeg, with his partner Fiona. Between them they have three teenage boys. Shaun is proud to be part of a strong and visionary social enterprise team that is flourishing across the country. Shaun recently published An Army of Problem Solvers, his second book following BUILD Prosperity: Energizing Manitoba’s Local Economy.
Deron Bilous

Deron Bilous

Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Government of Alberta

Biography

Deron Bilous was sworn in as Minister of Economic Development and Trade on October 22, 2015. Prior to this, he served as Minister of Municipal Affairs and as Minister of Service Alberta.

He was first elected as the Member of the Legislative Assembly for Edmonton-Beverly-Clareview on April 23, 2012, and again on May 5, 2015.

Mr. Bilous was born and raised in Edmonton and is very proud of his Ukrainian ancestry. He graduated from the University of Alberta with a bachelor of education degree in 2001.

Prior to his election in 2012, Mr. Bilous taught and mentored students at Edmonton’s Inner City High School and was active in his community of Beverly Heights.

Between 1995 and 2005, Mr. Bilous was involved in a number of projects with the Canada World Youth program, a volunteer youth program focusing on international development. His work with Canada World Youth took him to Quebec, Tunisia and China.

Mr. Bilous lives in the Beverly area in northeast Edmonton with his wife Rose and his stepchildren.

Chris Corrigan

Chris Corrigan

Process Artist, a Teacher and a Facilitator of Social Technologies

Biography

Chris Corrigan is a process artist, a teacher and a facilitator of social technologies for face to face conversation in the service of emergence. His business is supporting invitation: the invitation to collaborate, to organize, to find one another and make a difference in our communities, organizations and lives.

Chris works with organizations seeking to improve their work, communities seeking to improve their future, people looking to improve their lives. He holds and cares for process – the ways in which we work together – to encourage people to make their best possible contributions. He has an unflagging belief that the answers and leadership we need arise out of collaboration and conversation. By facilitating skillful dialogue, he does his best to hold space for futures to emerge.

Dave Mowat

Dave Mowat

President and CEO, ATB Financial

Biography

Dave Mowat is a banker. That sounds pretty straightforward. And it is, in the sense that he deals with a lot of big numbers, understands the confusing world of banking, leads a lot of creative team members, and continually thinks about how to serve hundreds of thousands of customers across the province of Alberta. But he’s also a banker who’s not afraid to talk about love. He loves the idea of transfor​ming banking to make it work FOR people and to do that; he’s not afraid to be a bit different.

Dave used to be VanCity’s CEO and was known for the organization’s commitment to corporate social responsibility. He brought this passion forward to ATB Financial, the largest Alberta-based financial institution in 2007. As President and CEO Dave has helped ATB achieve a #2 ranking in Great Place to Work Canada’s large and multinational category (2017), be named one of Canada’s Top 50 Best Workplaces for Women (2016) and make the Aon Hewitt list of Canada’s 50 Best Employers (2015). Dave himself was at the top of Glassdoor’s list of Highest Rated CEOs in 2016 and was also recognized by Alberta Venture as one of the Top 50 Most Influential People.

Dave serves on the boards of Telus, STARS, Alberta Blue Cross, the Citadel Theatre in Edmonton, and the National Music Centre in Calgary. He is also a staunch supporter of Dogs with Wings, a service agency working with blind and autistic children. Dave has an Honorary Doctor of Law degree from the University of Alberta. He and his wife Sandy have raised three children and now enjoy traveling and riding road bikes together.

PLENARY PANELISTS

Thursday Morning Breakfast Plenary – Building Thriving Communities:

Béatrice Alain

Béatrice Alain

Director of Partnerships and Head of International Relations, Chantier de l'économie sociale

Biography

Béatrice Alain is the Director of Partnerships and head of International Relations at the Chantier de l’économie sociale. The Chantier de l’économie sociale has a long tradition of engaging in international dialogue, both to learn from best practices and to share experiences that have made Quebec an internationally recognized ecosystem that enables the development of the social economy. In recent years, Mrs. Alain has been particularly interested in ways and strategies that facilitate dialogue between stakeholders from different sectors and countries in order to strengthen the development of the social economy. From 2011 to 2016, she helped create and coordinate the RELIESS, an international transfer and liaison center on public policies for the social economy. More recently, she directed the organization of the Global Social Economy Forum-GSEF2016, an international event co-organized by the City of Montreal and the Chantier de l’économie sociale focusing on collaborations between local governments and actors of the social economy that took place in September 2016 and gathered more than 1500 people from 62 countries. Ms. Alain holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science and a master’s degree in international relations.
Dr. Gordon Slade

Dr. Gordon Slade

Chairman, Shorefast Foundation

Biography

Dr Gordon Slade is recognized as a global leader for his innovative expertise in the sustainable economic development of some of the world’s most unique and economically significant regions. Dr. Slade has been awarded the highest recognitions nationally and internationally for his work in preserving the unique cultural heritage of North America’s oldest region –the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Dr. Slade is particularly successful in delivering global multi-disciplinary projects that have significant and positive international outcomes from economic, cultural, environmentally sustainable and heritage perspectives. Dr. Slade’s latest project is the renaissance of the remote northern region of Fogo Island and Change Islands with the Shorefast Foundation in Newfoundland. He is developing partnerships with governments, communities, and local residents to preserve local traditions and knowledge, while developing a model for the sustainable management of rural communities internationally.
Nadia Kidwai

Nadia Kidwai

Journalist and Radio host, CBC Manitoba

Biography

Nadia was born and raised in Cardiff, Wales and graduated from Oxford University with a B.A/ M.A. in Politics & History. Since arriving in Winnipeg in 2004, she has worked in various sectors with a passion for diversity, multiculturalism, and community empowerment through grassroots community development, policy planning and research in the Government of Manitoba, journalism (CBC Manitoba, Winnipeg Free Press), and co-founding the Canadian Muslim Leadership Institute. Previously, Nadia was Chair of the Manitoba Women’s Advisory Council, advising the Minister Responsible for the Status of Women, and council member of Immigration Partnership Winnipeg.

Currently Nadia is a journalist and radio host with CBC Manitoba.

Most importantly, she is the mother of 2 young boys and therefore well versed in Star Wars, Minecraft and other equally important cultural phenomena.

Fred Khonje

Fred Khonje

Community Development Manager, Affinity Credit Union

Biography

Fred Khonje is the Community Development Manager at Affinity Credit Union, a values based financial co-operative based in Saskatchewan. He is a long time resident of Saskatoon and loves to be involved in all things to do with community economic development, and social enterprise. His 14 year career path engaging in the social economy has covered a variety of areas including non-profit housing, community economic development, co-op and social enterprise business development, housing policy development and social financing.

Fred holds two undergraduate degrees from the University of Saskatchewan (Bachelor of Arts Psychology and Sociology) and received his MBA in Community Economic Development from Cape Breton University. His greatest work is serving as a husband and proud father of two.

Wayne Chiu

Wayne Chiu

Founder and CEO, Trico Homes

Biography

Wayne Chiu is a highly respected Canadian business leader and philanthropist. A mechanical engineer, educated in both Winnipeg and Hong Kong he founded Trico Homes (B Corp) in 1992 which has been named as one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies and Best Places to Work in Canada since 2004.

Wayne and his wife and business partner, Eleanor, founded the Trico Charitable Foundation in 2008 which focuses on provoking innovation and building capacity in social entrepreneurship, through influencing public policy, conducting research and thought leadership initiatives in the space of created share values and B-Corp. In addition to his passion for engendering social change, Wayne is ardent about supporting lifelong, accessible learning, and sat on the board of Calgary’s Bow Valley College for eight years. In 2014, Mr. Chiu put forth $3 million towards that belief in the largest donation ever for the college, which resulted in the institution renaming its School of Business after him.

Chiu has been recognized with numerous awards, most recently being appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada, a Canadian national order within Canada’s honours system, and one of our country’s highest civilian honours. Wayne has also been awarded with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. Other awards of note are the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of Year Award, the SAIT President’s Partnership Award, the Immigrant of Distinction Award, the Generosity of Spirit Award, and the Calgary Citizenship Award.

Chiu holds an Institute Certified Director Designation and has extensive board governance expertise in both the public sector and business community. He served on of the Board of Directors of Resverlogix Corporation, a leading biotechnology company engaged in the development of novel therapies for important global medical markets; the United Way of Calgary, the Libin Foundation, the Calgary Stampede Foundation and the Telus Community Boards.

Thursday Evening Plenary – Celebrating Doing Business Differently:

Colin Stanfield

Colin Stanfield

Executive Director, Potluck Café Society

Biography

With a passion for social justice, resilient local economies and the hard-fought right to party, Colin is a charismatic champion of all things ‘social’. Currently serving as Executive Director of Potluck Café – a registered charity and award winning social enterprise located in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES) – Colin is on a mission to demonstrate the competitive advantage of pursuing ethical practices.

Potluck Café Society owns and operates Potluck Café & Catering which creates jobs for neighbourhood residents facing barriers to traditional employment and to earn revenue to support its community programs. The organization envisions a DTES community where people enjoy opportunities for employment and self-determination despite obstacles, and have access to quality, nutritious food with dignity. Potluck Café & Catering was a recipient of the Trico Social EnterPrize in 2011.

Dan Overall

Dan Overall

Executive Director, Trico Charitable Foundation

Biography

Dan Overall is Executive Director of the Trico Charitable Foundation which seeks to close gaps in society by provoking innovation and building capacity in social entrepreneurship. In Alberta, Trico Charitable Foundation is providing local capacity building tools and funding for non-profit social enterprises. On a national scale its biennial Social EnterPrize awards celebrate mature Canadian social enterprises while its work with the JW McConnell Family Foundation on RECODE nurtures social innovation and social entrepreneurship in Canada’s post-secondary institutions. And at the international level Trico Charitable Foundation is host to an annual Calgary-based event coined the World of Social Entrepreneurship which brings some of the best and brightest examples of social entrepreneurship from around the world to its local community.
Matthew Smedley

Matthew Smedley

Executive Director and CEO, Mission Possible

Biography

Rev. Matthew Smedley currently serves as the Executive Director & CEO of Mission Possible in Vancouver, BC. Matt has served as a pastor in the inner city and has over 5 years of experience working in the trades. He holds a graduate certificate from SFU in Community Economic Development, has done coursework in theology and sociology, and has a B.S. from Cairn University.

Over the past 10 years, Matt has helped Mission Possible transition its programming from offering basic street-level care to being a leading community economic development organization in Vancouver’s downtown eastside. Through its employment readiness program and social enterprises (MP Maintenance and MP Neighbours that employ an average of 50 individuals per year in transitional jobs) Mission Possible is transforming lives by helping people experience a renewed sense of dignity and purpose through meaningful work. Mission Possible was a recipient of the Trico Social EnterPrize in 2011.

Friday Morning Breakfast Plenary – Creating Good Jobs:

Colette Murphy

Colette Murphy

Executive Director, Atkinson Foundation

Biography

For Colette Murphy, philanthropy has always been more about the power of people than the power of money to change the world.

A Canadian who was raised in the US, Colette cut her teeth as an activist working alongside refugees who found their way to Toronto in the 90s. Since then, she’s earned a North American reputation as a reliable ally, a tenacious advocate for social and economic justice, and a creative collaborator across traditional lines. Best known as an organizational capacity builder at United Way Toronto and a champion for inclusive local economies at the Metcalf Foundation, she has also worked behind-the-scenes on innovative poverty reduction, anti-racism and leadership development initiatives over the course of her career.

As the Executive Director of the 75-year old Atkinson Foundation, Colette focuses on strengthening movements for decent work, shared prosperity and democratic renewal.  These efforts are inspired by the example set by Joseph Atkinson who knew poverty before he knew wealth as the publisher of Canada’s largest daily newspaper, the Toronto Star.  To this day, the foundation’s public policy agenda and investment strategies reflect Mr. Atkinson’s deep personal concern for the lives and livelihoods of working people, and his pragmatic vision of a just society.

Sylvain Giguere

Sylvain Giguere

Head, Local Economic & Employment Division (LEED), OECD

Biography

Sylvain Giguère is Head of the OECD division for local economic and employment development (LEED), based in Paris. The group’s mission is to contribute to the creation of more and better quality jobs across the OECD and beyond. The team is composed of around 25 economists, researchers, statisticians and assistants, and includes a unit in Trento (Italy) training policymakers.

A Canadian national, Sylvain Giguère joined the OECD in 1995, first to work in the Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs (DELSA). In 2002 he was appointed Deputy Head of the LEED Programme, where he developed a policy research agenda to help governments achieve better results by improving their ability to coordinate and target policy. The work has produced policy lessons on a broad spectrum, from employment, skills and inclusion to innovation, entrepreneurship and migration. LEED reports to a governing board of 36 countries and works extensively with emerging economies and practitioners around the world to get the broadest feedback.

Sylvain’s work has been published widely by the OECD and other publishers such as Palgrave Macmillan and Nikkei, and translated into many languages. He studied at University of Quebec at Montreal and Queen’s University (Kingston, Ont.), obtaining a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in economics, specialising in labour demand modeling, and holds a Ph.D. in economics (Paris I Pantheon-Sorbonne), on economic policy in conditions of interdependence.

WORKSHOP LEADS

Laurie Cook

Laurie Cook

Director, Strategic Development and Custom Learning, Community Sector Council of Nova Scotia

Biography

Laurie Cook has had a varied career in journalism, film and television and now community development. She has worked as a community developer with the city of Halifax, and now works as Teawith the United Way Halifax on a project to strengthen neighbourhood hubs and increase their number. She is also co-founder of several community organizations in Musquodoboit Harbour including the re-development of an old school into a hub.
Kaitlin Lauridsen

Kaitlin Lauridsen

Senior Consultant, Centre for Race and Culture

Biography

Kaitlin is an educator with the Centre for Race and Culture. A passionate, young facilitator, Kaitlin is dedicated to asking the uncomfortable questions and encouraging her audiences to dig deeper and get curious. Kaitlin completed her Master’s in Public Health where her researched examined racism as a determinant of health. She continues her anti-racism work through a social determinants lens.
Sahar Ibrahim

Sahar Ibrahim

Educator and Project Administrator, Centre for Race and Culture

Biography

Sahar recently joined the Centre for Race and Culture as an Educator and Project Administrator after completing her B.A. in Medical Anthropology focusing on mental health and social wellness. Sahar is also one of Canadian Roots Exchange’s Youth Reconciliation Initiative (YRI) Leaders, and works with a team to create and facilitate spaces that aim to build bridges between Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth. Sahar is a young, racialized woman.
Seth Leon

Seth Leon

Manager of co-operative services, Alberta Community and Co-operative Association

Biography

Seth Leon is the manager of co-operative services at the Alberta Community and Co-operative Association. He volunteers in his community as a volunteer tool librarian, and as a board member for Calgary Can. He is waiting patiently for the Montreal Canadiens to win their 25th Stanley Cup.
Colin Rioux

Colin Rioux

Director, Alberta Solar Co-op

Biography

Energy professional focusing on sustainable energy solutions

As a registered Professional Engineer with the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA), Colin Rioux’s career started in natural gas production and business development with EnCana Corporation (formerly PanCanadian) in Drumheller, Alberta, and progressed to reserves and M&A evaluations on Canadian deep basin assets.

Liora Sobel

Liora Sobel

Social Enterprise Director and Founder , All About Kindness

Biography

Liora Sobel is the Social Enterprise Director and founder of ‘All About Kindness’, a social enterprise aimed at improving access to equitable employment opportunities for mothers, while improving the improving women’s experiences through life stages cycle. Liora brings over 10 years of management experience in not-for-profit organizations serving women and children and is a current board member of a VAW organization in Toronto, ON.

Jeff Loomis

Jeff Loomis

Executive Director, Momentum

Biography

Jeff Loomis is the Executive Director with Momentum, a Community Economic Development (CED) Organization in Calgary. Momentum partners with people living on low-incomes to develop sustainable livelihoods and works to develop local economies with opportunities for all. He serves in a number of volunteer capacities, including as a Board member of Prosper Canada and Vibrant Communities Calgary.
Bronwyn Oatley

Bronwyn Oatley

Associate Consultant , Eco-Ethonomics

Biography

Bronwyn is an Associate Consultant with Eco-Ethonomics, a top Canadian social innovation consulting firm. Formerly, she served as a Policy Advisor to the Social Enterprise Branch within Ontario’s Ministry of Economic Development and Growth. Prior, Bronwyn served as a Senior Associate at the MaRS Discovery District, Canada’s largest urban innovation hub.
Ryan Turnbull

Ryan Turnbull

President, Eco-Ethonomics Inc.

Biography

Ryan founded Eco-Ethonomics in 2008 with the vision of transforming the economy by bringing social responsibility, impact and innovation to business, organizations, government and communities. Since that time, Ryan has consulted on over 250 projects with partners in the non-profit, for-profit and social enterprise sectors. Ryan holds a M.A. and B.A. in philosophy from Carleton University.
Carla Leon

Carla Leon

Manager, New Initiatives for EDGE

Biography

Carla Leon is the Manager of New Initiatives for EDGE – A Network for Ministry Renewal & Development within The United Church of Canada. EDGE works to spur innovation and impact within the network of United Churches across Canada, including through stimulating social innovation and social enterprise activity. Carla is the President and CEO of Small Business Solver, a enterprise that supports small business owners to grow their businesses.
Stephanie Jackman

Stephanie Jackman

President and Founder, REAP Business Association

Biography

With a vision to create a greener local economy, Stephanie Jackman founded REAP Business Association in 2008. Today this network of 150 Calgary businesses represents $21 billion in revenue and 8,300 jobs. Together they are localizing procurement and using business as a force for change. REAP has received extensive recognition for its innovative approach to local economic development and its self-financing business model.
Chad Zelensky

Chad Zelensky

Owner, Lowen's Skincare

Biography

Chad Zelensky is the Creative Mastermind behind Lowen’s Skincare – a Calgary based niche cosmetic company. The company got its start when Chad, who happens to be a pharmacist with a pharmaceutical compounding background, devised a 100% natural diaper balm for his daughter Lowen to treat her persistent rash. The product line has expanded since, always keeping clean, healthy ingredients at the forefront of each formulation.
Louisa Ferrel

Louisa Ferrel

Co-owner, True Buch

Biography

Louisa Ferrel is the co-owner of True Buch, a Calgary-based kombucha company. Having lived the corporate life for over a decade, and gained many valuable life skills, Louisa is now working to build a socially responsible company and learning so much more along the way. Louisa is a strong believer in collaborating with other like-minded local businesses and is a passionate advocate for the Sunnyside community.
Megan Solamillo

Megan Solamillo

Community Social Worker, City of Calgary

Biography

Megan Solamillo, community social worker (CSW), City of Calgary, supports the CSW program’s CED plan for place based poverty reduction in targeted neighbourhoods. She has her BSW from the University of Western Ontario and MSW specializing in International and Community Development from the University of Calgary. Megan is not only passionate about CED in her work but also lives in Co-op housing and serves on her Co-op housing board.
Courtney Robertson

Courtney Robertson

Community social worker, City of Calgary

Biography

Courtney Robertson, community social worker (CSW), City of Calgary, has led the development of the CSW program’s CED plan for place-based poverty reduction in targeted neighbourhoods. Courtney holds a BA in development studies, a BSW and an MSW all from the University of Calgary. She also completed the Simon Fraser University CED program. Courtney serves as a board member for CommunityWise Resource Centre and Calgary Scope Society.
Philip Lozano

Philip Lozano

Thrive Community Economic Development Coordinator, Momentum

Biography

Phillip Lozano is passionate about connections and the surfacing of local knowledge, abilities, assets and resources within a community to create financial and social impact. Philip works with Thrive, where he has been partnering with community champions, entrepreneurs and local economy leaders around Calgary to catalyze place-based business ideas that build a resilient and inclusive economy for all. In a nutshell, he works with people who love their neighbourhood and want to utilize business to create more happiness. Philip believes the success of any sustainable enterprise is rooted in authenticity and knowing your true and total impact.
Brooks Hanewich

Brooks Hanewich

Co-founder of MatchWork and the current Executive Director of Gateway Association

Biography

Brooks is a co-founder of MatchWork and the current Executive Director of Gateway Association. He has worked in the social sector for over ten years focusing on employment services, business development, innovation and social enterprise. He is currently completing his MBA in Community Economic Development from Cape Breton University.
Karen McDonald

Karen McDonald

Co-founder of MatchWork and Executive Director at the Sage Seniors Association

Biography

Karen is a co-founder of MatchWork and Executive Director at the Sage Seniors Association. She recently completed her MBA at the University of Alberta and has worked on several social enterprise startup projects. Karen was recognized in 2011 by Avenue Magazine as a Top 40 Under 40 in recognition of her professional and volunteer work in the community.
Kenya Kondo

Kenya Kondo

Co-founder of MatchWork, founder of GetNeighbour.com and co-founder of MyNewly.com

Biography

Kenya is a co-founder of MatchWork and founder of the peer to peer marketplace GetNeighbour.com and co-founder of MyNewly.com. He currently is the Director of Tech Ecosystem and Industry Development at AEC. Kenya attained his MBA from Cornell University in 2015 and his BSc. in Math & Physics from the University of Alberta in 2005.
Stacey Gellatly

Stacey Gellatly

Director of Economic Development Programs, Ministry of Economic Development and Trade

Biography

Stacey Gellatly is the Director of Economic Development Programs at the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade. She oversees three new funding programs announced through the Alberta Jobs Plan in 2016: the Alberta Investor Tax Credit (AITC), the Capital Investment Tax Credit (CITC), and the Community and Regional Economic Support Program (CARES). These programs encourage investors to provide entrepreneurs with greater access to the capital they need to innovate and expand, encourage timely large-scale capital investments, and assist regions and communities in attracting investment, supporting industries that provide diversification, and improving local business environments. Together they aim to encourage investment, support diversification, and create  jobs.
Christina Fowler

Christina Fowler

Executive Director, the Saint John Learning Exchange

Biography

Christina Fowler is the Executive Director of the Saint John Learning Exchange, a nonprofit organization working to reduce poverty through innovative education and employment programs.  She is passionate about finding ways to equip individuals with the skills and experiences they need to provide a better future for themselves and their families.  Christina is an authentic leader who thinks outside the box and takes calculated risks in order to respond creatively to social issues.  Only by taking risks can we see the greatest reward and increase impact.  Under her leadership three social enterprises, Voila! Cleaning Services, Stone Soup Catering and Express Cafe and the Impact Market have been launched and scaled.  Christina believes that in order to effect great change you must not be afraid to fail, but learn to pivot and be flexible in order to meet the changing needs of your community.
Yvon Poirier

Yvon Poirier

Member of the Board, CCEDNet

Biography

Yvon has been a member of the CCEDNet since 2003 and he has been involved at the international level with the Network since 2003. He is a member of the Board since 2012 where he now acts as the Secretary and international delegate. He is also a member of CCEDNet’s Governance Committee and was Elections Officer from 2008 to 2012. He represents the CDÉC de Québec in CCEDNet.

He has participated in many RIPESS activities and gatherings, on various continents, from 2005 until today. Yvon took part in numerous World Social Forums including the last one in Montreal in 2016. Since October 2013, he has been a member of RIPESS’s Board and he acts now as Vice-Coordinator, he also is a member of a number of committees. Yvon is the head of RIPESS’s delegation at the UN Inter-Agency Taskforce on Social and Solidarity Economy. He also represents the RIPESS at the International Leading Group of the SSE, an organization led by France and a few other countries.  Through this latest involvement, he had the chance to speak at various events, including a UN meeting in September 2016. Yvon is RIPESS’s representative on the GSEF, Global Social Economy Forum Board.

Dayna Lutes

Dayna Lutes

Coordinator, The Saint John Learning Exchange

Biography

Dayna has been working in nonprofit since 2013 and currently serves as Coordinator of The Saint John Learning Exchange. She provides individual coaching and group facilitation as clients work towards specific education and employment goals. She is responsible for program development and ongoing process evaluation in efforts to maintain responsive programming clients.

Dayna holds a Bachelor of English and a Master in Adult Education and believes grassroots community level work is an essential element in poverty reduction. She is also an entrepreneur and owns her own yoga business providing accessible classes to the general public and has a special interest in the role of yoga in mental health and addictions.

Thulasy Lettner

Thulasy Lettner

Equity Framework Coordinator, CommunityWise Resource Centre

Biography

Thulasy Lettner is the Equity Framework Coordinator at CommunityWise Resource Centre. She is currently leading an Anti-Racist Organizational Change (AROC) project to strengthen CommunityWise’s capacity to address structural racism and create greater racial equity, diversity and inclusion. She also works as an independent process consultant, a mother of two, and a part-time farmer, raising chickens on pasture with her partner in Black Diamond, AB.
Khalil Alomar

Khalil Alomar

Co-Founder, VOICES: a Coalition of Queer and Straight People of Color

Biography

Khalil Alomar is a Lebanese Canadian who has a background in Early Childhood Development. He is a mentor to Queer identified youth through Camp fYrefly and is one of the founders of VOICES: a Coalition of Queer and Straight People of Color. He aspires to create a community based non-profit dedicated to the education, facilitation, and promotion of Queer and anti-racist initiatives. He is also a critically-acclaimed stained glass artist.
NITIKA REWARI

NITIKA REWARI

Manager, Workplace Mental Health, Mental Health Commission of Canada

Biography

Nitika Rewari is Manager, Workplace Mental Health at the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC). In her current role, she works with community stakeholders and policy makers to eliminate employment barriers for individuals living with a mental health problem or illness and to advance promising practices and recommendations outlined in MHCC’s 2013 report, The Aspiring Workforce: Employment and Income for People with Serious Mental Illness.
Melanie Mitra

Melanie Mitra

CEO, Prospect Human Services Society

Biography

Melanie Mitra is CEO of Prospect Human Services. She specializes in the design/delivery of innovative employment solutions that integrate stakeholder priority objectives. She consults with stakeholders, including governments, on system level solutions – governance, systems transformation, mandate alignment, collaboration, integrated service design/delivery, performance management, resource allocation, and policy and accountability frameworks.
David LePage

David LePage

Co-founder and Managing Partner,Buy Social Canada and Co-founder, Social Enterprise Institute

Biography

David’s is the co-founder and Managing Partner of Buy Social Canada and a co-founder of the Social Enterprise Institute. He is the Chair of the Social Enterprise Council of Canada and Chair of the Social Enterprise World Forum Board. He is a Program Adjunct for the Sandermoen School of Business, facilitator for the Groundswell Social Venture Program and sits on several other boards and advisory groups, including the Vancouver Farmers Market.
Aatif Baskanderi

Aatif Baskanderi

Commercialization Manager for Kinetica Ventures, Innovate Calgary

Biography

Aatif Baskanderi is a Newfoundlander who received both his electrical engineering bachelor & innovation management master degrees at Memorial University, and a social policy & international development MSc degree at the London School of Economics & Political Science. He has worked and volunteered his time with various engineering, government, and not-for-profit organizations across Canada, UK, and Sierra Leone. He is passionate about the potential of society for positive change through collaboration with a relentless pragmatic optimism. With lifelong interests in social justice, global development and STEM, volunteering with Engineers Without Borders was a natural fit… getting to about 10 years now. He currently works as a Commercialization Manager for Kinetica Ventures for Innovate Calgary, as well as serving as the Sustainable Development Goals Coalition Team Lead with the Engineers Without Borders Calgary City Chapter. His goal over the next year is to build collaboration across Calgary engineering community towards the SDGs, #YYCSDG. He also loves playing basketball/soccer/ball hockey, dancing, and nerding out on any topics with passionate people.
Bob Miller

Bob Miller

Regional Economic Prosperity Lead and Manager, Calgary Regional Partnership, Calgary Region Economic Development Alliance

Biography

Bob’s passion for ideas around economic justice and Jane Jacobs carried him through a B.A. in Economics (Honours, UofC), though he promptly got distracted to become an Urban and Regional Planner in Calgary for 35 years. On the side, he immersed himself in community-based groups and actions.  Along the way, Bob obtained an MA in Community and Regional Planning (UBC) and, more recently, completed the Community Economic Development program at Simon Fraser University.  As it turned out, he retired into another career to merge economics and regional planning in his role as the Regional Economic Prosperity Lead for a voluntary collaboration of municipalities (whose Board is a dozen Mayors).  Bob has provided leadership to the Calgary Region’s broadband and fibre initiative over the past three years, working closely with municipalities, other regions and the Province.
Mark van Engelen

Mark van Engelen

Co-Founder and Director, Earth Educators

Biography

Mark is the Co-Founder and Director at Earth Educators. He has 15+ years of experience in educating, business change, implementation, improving operations and entrepreneurship. He has helped set up foundations and grow businesses through planning, consulting, impact measurement and optimising use of resources. 
Seema Jindal

Seema Jindal

Co-Founder and Director, Earth Educators Inc

Biography

Seema is the Co-Founder and Director of Earth Educators Inc. and got a M.Sc. in Sustainable Development from Haskayne School of Business. She has experience in providing solutions for CSR, Inclusive Growth and Social Innovation. Seema has worked with NGO’s to develop and execute effective stakeholder consultation, sustainable social enterprise business model and return on investment to engage variety of stakeholders.
Amy Robinson

Amy Robinson

Founder & Executive Director, LOCO BC

Biography

Amy has 18 years experience working with businesses ranging from SMEs to big industry, regional government and the UN to embed sustainability into operations. She founded LOCO BC to support local businesses and advocate for increasing local spending, highlighting how independent businesses strengthen communities, build resilience and foster innovation. 
Martin Garber-Conrad

Martin Garber-Conrad

Chief Executive Officer, Edmonton Community Foundation

Biography

Martin Garber-Conrad is the Chief Executive Officer of Edmonton Community Foundation, the fourth largest community foundation in Canada, with assets of more than $500 million.

After a brief stint designing resource industry training programs, Martin has spent most of his career leading non-profit organizations.  His accomplishments include several social housing projects, restoring/repurposing historic buildings and starting a social enterprise—Kids in the Hall Bistro–in Edmonton’s City Hall.

At the Foundation, Martin’s interests include their nine-year old Social Enterprise Fund—started in partnership with The City of Edmonton. The SEF has successfully loaned $30 million to 50 charities and non-profits in Edmonton and takes a leadership role in the developing social finance movement in Canada.

Martin’s current passion and preoccupation is Edmonton’s new Community Development Corporation, in response to the End Poverty Edmonton strategy.

Wes Regan

Wes Regan

Social Planner Responsible for Community Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Initiatives, City of Vancouver

Biography

Wes Regan is the City of Vancouver’s Social Planner Responsible for Community Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Initiatives. Wes has worked in sustainable community economic development, communications, and community engagement since 2009, and up until September of 2015 he was the Executive Director of the Hastings Crossing Business Improvement Association, Canada’s first Social Innovation BIA. Wes was the Green Party of Canada’s Candidate for the riding of Vancouver East in the 2015 Federal Election. Finishing in the top 10 for Green candidates nationally in terms of vote percentage received, he still serves as Party Critic for Urban Affairs and Housing. He holds degrees in geography from both Langara College and Simon Fraser University, where he is currently completing his Masters in Urban Studies. Wes is also a Graduate of the Centre for Sustainable Community Economic Development at SFU where he is a part-time Instructor.

Passionate about environmental and urban sustainability he is a founding Director of the Vancouver Urban Farming Society and was a founding partner at Urban Stream Innovation, a food systems technology startup. Wes has experience serving on the Executive and advisory boards of several other advocacy organizations including Conversations for Responsible Economic Development (CRED BC), LOCO BC (Past Chair), the SFU Urban Studies Graduate Student Society, and the BC Partners for Social Impact, a Provincial policy think tank examining ways to support and enable social innovation in communities and regions in British Columbia.

Anna De Paoli

Anna De Paoli

President, De Paoli & Associates Inc.

Biography

Anna De Paoli is President of De Paoli & Associates Inc. Her mission is to start, grow and support businesses in rural communities so that these communities become and remain viable. In doing so she will help preserve a rural lifestyle. Anna has been consulting to a range of large Agri-business and not for profit boards and associations since 2010. She helps organizations evaluate projects, manage costs and make transformational change. 
James Stauch

James Stauch

Director, Institute for Community Prosperity

Biography

As Director of the Institute for Community Prosperity @MRU, James connects students to learning opportunities that help them make transformative change in their communities. He has worked in the field of philanthropy, and as a consultant, designing and advising on programs that support the emergence of community leadership and community investment practice, particularly in the Arctic and Far North, and in the Calgary and Greater Toronto regions.
Reva George

Reva George

Founder, REVAMP Marketing

Biography

Possessing an innate passion for social justice and collective impact, Reva developed a strong global background in sustainability and energy. After stints in the corporate world, she founded REVAMP Marketing, an agency instilling triple bottom lines into companies’ DNA. A Global EMBA from Rotman and the University of St. Gallen Switzerland, her life philosophy is that business and community can work together and she is on a mission to prove that.
Raquel Feroe

Raquel Feroe

Board Member, SPICE - Solar Power Investment Cooperative of Edmonton

Biography

A specialist in Internal Medicine, Raquel highlights the systems thinking society needs to appreciate close connections between human health & a healthy environment. She actively advocates for air quality, land conservation & stewardship, & environmental law reform. Her current joy is bringing learnings back to the community-level to focus on local resilience and sustainability. She is the Sustainability Chair of the Riverdale Community League. 
Barb Scully

Barb Scully

Connected Communities Coordinator, Parkland County

Biography

Barb was raised in rural Alberta and has a passion for community economic development. In the past several years she’s worked on a variety of local economy and agriculture related projects. Her current focus is with Parkland County, Alberta, working with the community to have rural broadband accessible for all residents, businesses and producers.
Bob Dyrda

Bob Dyrda

Project Lead, Alberta SouthWest Regional Economic Development Alliance

Biography

Bob grew up in Northern Alberta, moved from Grande Prairie to Grand Cayman at age 30 and enjoyed a lifetime of new experiences during his 7 years of living there. He now resides south of Pincher Creek. His passion is micro business and he has owned and operated three in the past two decades and they are all still operating today. For the past 3+ years he has been researching and learning about true high speed broadband and describes the topic as interesting and challenging.
Peter Driftmier

Peter Driftmier

Baker and Co-founder, The Grain Exchange

Biography

Peter Driftmier is a baker and co-founder of Alberta’s first worker-owned co-operative bakery- The Grain Exchange. His passion for local investment is rooted in a vision for world-class capacity in Alberta for non-extractive finance of democratic, community-controlled enterprises that provide for working-class and marginalized peoples. When outside of the kitchen, he is a community organizer and has a soft spot for Brazilian percussion.
Gail Henderson

Gail Henderson

Assistant Professor, Queen's University Faculty of Law

Biography

Gail Henderson is Assistant Professor at Queen’s University Faculty of Law. Prior to joining Queen’s in July 2016, Professor Henderson was Assistant Professor at the University of Alberta Faculty of Law. Her current research agenda focuses on securities regulation, the regulation of financial institutions and corporate forms for social enterprise. After graduating as Gold Medalist from Osgoode Hall Law School in 2005, Professor Henderson served as law clerk to The Honourable Louise Charron of the Supreme Court of Canada. Prior to pursuing graduate studies at the University of Toronto, she practiced commercial litigation and environmental and municipal law at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP in Toronto.
Sandra Hucaluk

Sandra Hucaluk

Managing Director, Corporate Social Responsibility and Community Investment, ATB Financial

Biography

Sandra Huculak is an experience maker. Her conviction to get on the ground and be in the lived experience of others infuses her approach to the $3+ million corporate social responsibility portfolio she manages with ATB Financial.
Jordan Reiniger

Jordan Reiniger

Director of Programs and Development, ‎Boyle Street Community Services

Biography

Jordan is the Director of Development for Boyle Street Community Services and General Manager of Boyle Street Ventures Inc. He holds a Master’s Degree in Poverty Studies and his career has included work in the public, private and social sectors.
Roselyne Mavungu

Roselyne Mavungu

Executive Director, le Réseau québécois du crédit communautaire (RQCC)

Biography

Roselyne Mavungu is the president and CEO of the Réseau québécois du crédit communautaire. She holds a Masters in Business Law from the Université Paris XII, a joint Ph.D. in Legal Anthropology and African History, as well as a diploma in Conflict Management and Resolution from the Université Paris V – René Descartes. Ms. Mavungu worked as deputy registrar at the Supreme Court of Montreal and was an entrepreneur at the same time. As president and CEO of Éditions Blue Hut, she won the “Homage” award in 2002 from the Corporation de développement de l’Est for her entrepreneurial success. She was the chairperson for the Board of Directors for Investissement Femmes Montréal and also took part in the Conseil des montréalaises, a municipal administration advisory body in charge of any files that have an impact on the living conditions of Montreal women. Ms. Mavungu continues her path as member of the Fonds Afro Investment Committee, which is dedicated to the black community of Montreal. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Chantier de l’économie sociale, a network connecting representatives from social economy enterprises, and is secretary-treasurer for Cap finance, a responsible, united financial network. In 2013, she was given the “Recognition” award for being a female immigrant role model, granted by the organization Place aux femmes, and the “Excellence” award for the Women in Management category from the organization Horizon Nord Sud. 
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