Keynote Speaker: Dr. Robyne Hanley-Dafoe
Expert on Resiliency and Workplace Wellness

Dr. Robyne Hanley-Dafoe is a multi-award-winning psychology and education instructor who specializes in resiliency, navigating stress and change, and personal wellness in the workplace. Described as transformational, engaging, and thought-provoking, Hanley-Dafoe’s keynotes provide practical strategies, grounded in global research and case studies, that help foster resiliency within ourselves and others.

As the senior educational developer for the Centre for Teaching and Learning at Trent University, Hanley-Dafoe focuses on providing professional development for the teaching community and cultivating student engagement. She is committed to finding innovative solutions for creating positive learning relationships and environments for both students and teachers. Hanley-Dafoe has also been a psychology instructor and researcher at Trent for more than 13 years.

Hanley-Dafoe’s work is inspired by her interest in resiliency and wellness including the intersections of stress, optimal challenge, navigating change, goal-setting, and personal alignment.

 

 
Keynote Speaker: Todd Hirsch
Chief Economist, ATB Financial | Author
For more than 20 years, Todd Hirsch has been a sought-after economist working for renowned institutions including the Canadian Pacific Railway, the Canada West Foundation, and the Bank of Canada. As the Vice President and Chief Economist for ATB Financial, a financial institution that serves 600,000+ clients, he has delivered dynamic, clear-eyed talks on the economy, creativity, and the future of work to organizations across Canada.

Todd is a frequent contributor to many Canadian and global media outlets including CBC, CTV, the Globe and Mail, and the BBC and is the author of three books — Spiders in Space: Successfully Adapting to Unwanted Change, The Boiling Frog Dilemma: Saving Canada from Economic Decline, and Halfway Home: Fifty Years in Fifty Chapters. He previously taught economics at the University of Calgary and is currently a sessional instructor for the Executive Education program at the Alberta School of Business. 

Named one of Alberta’s most influential people, Todd recently received the University of Alberta’s Alumni Honour award and an honorary degree from Mount Royal University. Todd has a BA Honours in economics from the University of Alberta and an MA in economics from the University of Calgary. 
 
Keynote Speaker: Steve Patterson
Host of CBC's The Debaters | Award-Winning Comedian

Familiar to hundreds of thousands of Canadians as the host of CBC Radio One’s hit show The Debaters, Steve Patterson’s material combines razor sharp wit and meticulously crafted, up-to-the-moment social commentary, with a measure of musicality thrown in where appropriate.

Patterson has appeared on numerous nationally-televised comedy specials over the past two decades, and twice earned the title “Best Male Stand-up Comedian” at the Canadian Comedy Awards (2011 and 2013).

His work has received considerable praise over the years, but none more poignant than at a Just For Laughs Festival gala when he shared the stage with comedy icon Steve Martin who proclaimed of Patterson, “If I’d known he was going to be THAT good, I would have cancelled him.”

In an effort to continue to prove he is THAT good, Patterson has toured his one-man show called This Is Not Debatable in theatres nationwide and released a comedy recording of the same title in 2014 which earned him another Canadian Comedy Award nomination.
In 2016, he also added author to his credits, with the publication of his first book, The Book of Letters I Didn’t Know Where to Send, and created and co-produced his latest media project, The Smartass-ociates with Steve Patterson, which combines topic-specific experts with top comedians to make smart people funnier and funny people smarter.

 

 
Speaker: Bailey Rivard, CPA, CA, IFA, CBV, CFE, CFF
Partner - Valuations, Forensics & Litigation Support Services, MNP LLP

Bailey conducts financial investigations and loss quantification calculations on behalf of individuals, corporations, owner-managed businesses, government agencies and not-for-profit organizations. She has authored expert reports and has qualified as an expert in forensic accounting and financial investigations in the Supreme Court of British Columbia, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench, the Social Security Tribunal, and in private mediations and arbitrations. She is a frequent speaker presenting on various forensic accounting and other financial topics, which has included professional ethics, across Canada as well as in the U.S.  She also co-authored a four-part article series on employee fraud considerations in 2021.

Bailey earned a Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com., Honours) in accounting from the University of Saskatchewan in 2005. She is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), qualifying as a Chartered Accountant (CA) in 2008. Bailey is a CA-designated specialist in Investigative and Forensic Accounting (CA IFA), a Chartered Business Valuator (CBV), Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) and is Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF). She is a Director and Treasurer of Women+Power Electricity Society and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners Calgary Chapter, Board Chair of the Alberta Law Libraries, as well as a volunteer with DirectHer Network.

 

 
Speaker: Mark Hall 
Vice President, Elevate Global Insurance
Mark is a licensed Insurance Professional (RIBO) specializing in Accounts Receivable (Credit) Insurance for the last 23 years.  He has been on the Board of Directors of the Receivables Insurance Association of Canada for the last four years and has been on several committees including the Membership and the Nominations Committees. He is currently the Secretary/Treasurer of the association.
Prior to working in the A/R Insurance industry Mark was the National Credit Manager of Globelle Corporation, a North American distributor of Hi-Tech Computer products.  He oversaw an A/R valued at $60 million with a staff of 19.
 
Speaker: Glen Hickerson, Q.C.
Commercial Litigation Lawyer

Glen is a commercial litigation lawyer with over 27 years of experience.  He summarizes his work as 'One person says “Pay my bill”, someone else says “No.” and somewhere in there, you’ll find me'.

Because going to court is so expensive and so risky, negotiating great solutions is Glen’s ultimate goal.  He has a Masters’ degree in law focusing on litigation and conflict resolution.  Glen has published in both scholarly and popular publications on many topics related to his work, including Harvard University’s Negotiation Journal where he is also a peer reviewer.  He has taught courses to other lawyers on negotiation, persuasion, witness preparation, and debtor-creditor law through such institutions as the Canadian Bar Association and the Legal Education Society of Alberta.  Outside of professional work, Glen is a proud father and grandfather and he and his wife have the good fortune of living with the friendliest Yorkshire Terrier you ever met.
 
 
Speaker: Howard J. Sniderman, Q.C.
Partner - Witten LLP, Barristers & Solicitors

Howie Sniderman is a partner with the law firm of WITTEN LLP in Edmonton and served for many years as chair of the firm’s Litigation Department. His undergrad studies were at the University of Calgary and the University of Manitoba. He received his law degree from the University of Alberta in 1981 and was admitted to the Alberta Bar in 1982. Howie has a commercial litigation practice with an emphasis on Commercial Landlord/Tenant lease litigation with supporting areas of practice in Bankruptcy & Insolvency; Security Priorities & Enforcement; and Builder’s Lien and Construction litigation. 

He acts for numerous national and local developers, property managers, landlords and tenants. He has appeared before all levels of court in Alberta on trial and appeal matters. He was a Sessional Lecturer on Trial Advocacy at the University of Alberta Faculty of Law for 17 years and
is a past chair of the Commercial Leasing Section of the Canadian Bar Association. Howie has lectured extensively on all aspects of the landlord & tenant relationship; insolvency; and trial advocacy for the Law Society of Alberta; Legal Education Society of Alberta; International Council of Shopping Centers; Building Owner Managers Association; Canadian Association of Insolvency & Restructuring Professionals; and the Canadian Bar Association. He has been a member of the board of the Edmonton Chapter of the Credit Institute of Canada for many years, serving as chair of the Bylaws & Legislation Committee. Howie has participated in numerous seminars on a variety of topics for the Credit Institute locally and nationally over the years.
 
Speaker: Joycelyn Spurr
Talent Development Consultant
Jocelyn is recognized as an exceptional relationship builder and known for her strong presentation skills.  She possesses a solid HR background with almost 30 years of experience in the areas of; leadership development, professional learning and development, career coaching and job search practices, communication, and change management. Her experience spans a variety of industries including: post-secondary education, professional services and warehousing.  
 
Jocelyn is passionate about professional development for leaders, managers and employees that focuses on exploring self-awareness and personal effectiveness.  Her goal is to work with individuals and organizations that prioritize their people by encouraging career growth and continuous learning while promoting, engagement, curiosity, equity, diversity, and inclusion. An authentic facilitator of professional competence programs encouraging individual, and team growth, aligned with business objectives. Proven ability to build and sustain key stakeholder relationships through collaborative conversations and trust. 
 
Speaker: Rhonda T. Fox-Miles, LIT RSW CIRP
Founder, Fox-Miles & Associates Inc.

Rhonda obtained her diploma in Social Work and General Arts & Science in 1992 from Grant MacEwan Community College and is a Registered Social Worker. She is a Licensed Insolvency Trustee operating in Northern Alberta.
She has a broad range of insolvency experience, with an emphasis in personal bankruptcies.

- Managed all aspects of a personal bankruptcy practice
- Has conducted investigations of reviewable transactions and initiated legislation to trace and recover assets
- Has successfully drafted and negotiated proposals to settle and work out debtor financial difficulties using proposal provisions of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act
- Has dealt with a variety of corporate insolvencies, including engagements in the forestry, real estate, employment agency and retail industries
- Provides money management counseling to debtors
Speaker: Gabriel Joshee-Arnal
Barrister & Solicitor
NEUMAN THOMPSON, Labour & Employment Law

Gabriel (Gab) practices in all areas of labour and employment law. Gab has extensive litigation experience. He has appeared on behalf of clients at all levels of Court in Alberta, as well as before the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal and the Federal Court of Canada. He has also represented clients in Grievance Arbitrations, as well as in matters before the Alberta Labour Relations Board, Alberta Employment Standards, Alberta Occupational Health and Safety, the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta, the Alberta Human Rights Commission and in proceedings under the Saskatchewan Employment Act and Canada Labour Code. 

Gab supports clients with several other labour and employment-related matters. He acts as lead spokesperson for employers in collective bargaining with unions and provides strategic advice related to collective bargaining. He also advises clients on day-to-day labour and employment-related matters, including with respect to policy drafting, organizational changes, and employment contracts.

Gab has worked with a range of clients in both the public and private sector, with operations across Canada. He has supported and continues to support a number of Alberta’s public post-secondary institutions in labour and employment-related matters. 

Gab graduated with a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Alberta (Campus Saint-Jean) in 2009, and with a B.C.L. and an LL.B. from McGill University in 2012. Gab is fluently bilingual, and is able to offer legal services to clients in both French and English. 
 
 
Speaker: Jack Stecher, PhD
Winspear Assoc Professor, Alberta School of Business 
Department of Accounting and Business Analytics 

Jack Stecher has a PhD from University of Minnesota and a bachelor's degree from University of Pennsylvania.  Before coming to University of Alberta, he was at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and at NHH in Bergen, Norway.  In addition to his work in academe, he has over a decade of experience in industry.

Jack’s research is primarily focused on the effects of information and disclosure on capital markets and on private debt, with additional interests in more general questions related to decision making under risk and uncertainty. His research collaborations span numerous academic disciplines, including grants received related to finance and to cognitive neuroscience. Jack has published in top accounting and business journals, and also in economics, operations research, computer science, and analytical philosophy.

Jack’s overall teaching philosophy is to focus on the connection between accounting and other core and functional disciplines. He emphasizes to his students the interdisciplinary aspects of learning, connecting his classes to what the students cover in the rest of their overall program. 

Jack believes that students should see financial accounting as essential for understanding finance and financial economics. Similarly, when he has taught managerial accounting, he has stressed connections to operations, as well as links between cost measurement issues and financial reporting issues. Through learning the details of how accounting works (and it by nature involves details) in part of a broader context of the students’ overall coursework, the students develop an appreciation for and interest in the subject. 
 
 
Speaker: Devika Pandey, MA 
Senior Manager, Learning and Knowledge Solutions 
Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion 


Devika Pandey brings over nine years of professional experience in recruitment, research, stakeholder engagement, and, learning and development. With a background in psychology, human resources management, and leadership studies, Devika brings a wealth of knowledge on legislation and leading practices in diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace. She brings content expertise and has facilitated workshops, panels and webinars on a myriad of topics, including building safe and brave spaces, cultural competence, and inclusive leadership. Devika has also managed and developed large-scale government funded programs, is an experienced facilitator, and a certified administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI). 

Outside of work, Devika mentors and supports newcomers, immigrant women, and youth in their leadership and career development. She also spends her time skiing, reading, and exploring cuisines of the world.  

 
Speaker: Trina Casey-Myatt
Regional Director, Robert Half at Alberta

Trina Casey-Myatt is a Regional Director with Robert Half, the world’s first and largest specialized talent solutions firm. In her role, she oversees Robert Half teams and practice groups across the Alberta market.  

Trina has been active in the recruitment industry for more than 20 years, with the majority of that time spent at Robert Half. During her tenure, she has held various leadership positions within the organization and has been instrumental in building and maintaining key relationships with many of Robert Half’s top clients, particularly in Western Canada. Trina is a passionate advocate for the individuals and businesses her teams serve, and works closely to ensure the best possible experience for clients and candidates. She takes a keen interest in developing relationships on behalf of Robert Half, and has been recognized on a global platform for her teams’ accomplishments.

Trina is actively involved with several of the associations that Robert Half partners with, including CPA Calgary, the Credit Institute of Canada and several post secondary institutions.  Trina’s knowledge of the employment market is highly sought; she is frequently asked to speak at industry events and to share her insights with local and national media outlets.
 
 

 

 
Speaker: David de Groot
Partner, BD&P Law

Practice Focus - Construction Litigation 

David acts for owners, general contractors and subcontractors in a variety of industrial, commercial and institutional construction projects. He has provided advice on drafting construction contracts and on disputes arising during construction, including bid/tender disputes, surety bonds disputes, delay claims, faulty workmanship claims and lien claims. David is familiar with the pressures that clients in the construction industry face, including those arising from the need to maintain project schedules, ensure quality workmanship and meet project budgets. He provides practical advice enabling his clients to respond to the legal challenges that arise in relation to these pressures.