Our Speaker Lineup

We are very excited that we have been able to engage the services of some of the best international and local speakers to motivate, educate and entertain for our general sessions and optional workshops.

Our speaker's include:


Michael “PINBALL” Clemons

Canadian Sports Hall-of-Famer & Founder, Pinball Clemons Foundation

Few people exemplify the qualities of personal excellence, teamwork, community leadership, and overcoming the odds better than CFL legend Michael “Pinball” Clemons. Pinball joined the National Football League in 1987, and the Toronto Argonauts in 1989. In 1990, he was honoured with the CFL’s “most outstanding player” award, after setting the single-season record for all-purpose yards. He played his last game as an Argonaut in 2000, before becoming head coach of the team. He was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2008 and in 2016, Pinball was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.

Keynote Address | June 12 | 9:00 - 10:15 AM | Great Room BC

David Baskin

Founder and President, Baskin Wealth Management

David founded Baskin Financial Services Inc. in 1992. The firm, now operating as Baskin Wealth Management, has grown from assets under  management of $25 million in 2000 to well over $1 billion today, with about 500 client families in eight provinces. David appears frequently on national television and radio as a commentator on the markets and is frequently quoted in the press. An enthusiastic sailor and traveller, David and his wife  Joan Garson have two adult children. All are actively involved in community and charitable activities.

Lunch & Learn: Economic Outlook

Simon Francis

Partner In the Audit and Assurance practice at Fuller Landau

Simon is a partner in the Audit and Assurance practice at Fuller Landau. In this role, he manages a variety of client engagements with an emphasis on helping companies achieve their growth plans. As the firm’s IFRS specialist, Simon helps private enterprises understand how these new accounting standards may affect them. Simon is also an active faculty member at the School of Accountancy and the University of Ontario, Institute of Technology. Simon has experience working with clients in the Manufacturing and Distribution, IT, Services and Food & Beverage industries.

Breakout Session: Cash Flow Management Matters & Obtaining Financial Information

Anna Esposito

Partner at Pallett Valo LLP, with practice concentrated on Construction Law

Anna’s practice is focused exclusively on construction law, representing all players in the construction industry, including owners, contractors, subcontractors, materials suppliers, owners, developers, sureties and insurers, mortgagees, trustees in bankruptcy and industry associations. She has appeared before all levels of the Ontario Courts, including the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and the Ontario Court of Appeal. She also has extensive experience in the mediation of construction related disputes, and as a construction claims officer. As a certified specialist in construction law, Anna advises and represents parties in connection with all types of construction disputes, such as liens, breach of trust, performance bonds, labour and material payment bonds, and delay and impact claims. Anna also assists clients with construction contract preparation, and has experience handling bankruptcy and insolvency matters in the context of the construction industry.

Breakout Session: Construction Liens Act & Prompt Payment Legislation

Maria Ruberto

Partner at Pallett Valo LLP, with practice concentrated on Construction Law

She has a specialized practice focusing on the resolution of disputes in the construction industry, representing all players in the construction industry including owners, contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and bonding companies. Maria appears regularly before all Courts in the Province of Ontario, including the Construction Master’s court in Toronto, on motions, applications and trials, and represents clients in various forms of alternative dispute resolution including mediation and arbitration. Maria provides legal advice and representation on a wide variety of construction matters. She is typically involved in complex multi-party proceedings where liability is hotly contested. Her practical advice is regularly sought in the areas of liens, breach of trust, performance bonds, labour & material payment bonds, contract preparation and the resolution of all types of construction disputes whether by way of litigation or by other dispute resolution mechanisms. Maria has been appointed as carriage counsel representing multiple subcontractor lien claimants on complex construction lien litigation matters.

Breakout Session: Construction Liens Act & Prompt Payment Legislation

Sharon Malsen

Branch Manager, Robert Half

Sharon Malsen is a branch manager with Robert Half, the world's first and largest specialized staffing firm, in Burlington, Ontario. With more than 12 years of experience in the recruiting industry, she started with Robert Half in 2007 as a division director and was promoted to branch manager in 2010. She has helped support the growth and success of countless businesses and professional careers in that time. Sharon has witnessed all phases of the job market cycle first-hand. She is thoroughly familiar with the staffing skills that are currently in demand and is an expert in employment trends within the accounting and administrative field. Having earned numerous internal accolades for her contributions, what Sharon enjoys most about working at Robert Half is the high-performing, collaborative team she works with everyday.

Breakout Session: Turning Corporate Culture into a Competitive Advantage

Michael O'Leary

Regional Vice President of Quebec, Robert Half

Michael O'Leary est Vice-président régional pour Robert Half, chef de file mondial en services de recrutement spécialisés et de consultation, étant responsable des opérations et des initiatives stratégiques d'affaires de l'entreprise au Québec. Michael O'Leary possède plus de 24 années d'expérience en recrutement et en services professionnels. Il a parcouru les différentes phases du cycle du marché du recrutement et possède une connaissance de première main quant aux tendances du marché de l'emploi. Michael partage son expertise en matière de carrière et de gestion en donnant des présentations sur les dernières tendances et mouvements présents sur la scène professionnelle lors d’événements spéciaux et dans les médias. Sous sa direction, Robert Half a réalisé de grands succès au Québec, s'établissant comme un fournisseur principal de professionnels spécialisés, hautement qualifiés dans les domaines de la finance et de la comptabilité.

Breakout Session: Faire de la culture organisationnelle un avantage concurrentiel

Neil Thornton

The Thornton Group

When you come to see Neil speak, you better be ready to pull out your parachute and safety equipment, because you’re going to need them! As President of The Thornton Group and author of his upcoming second book Presence, Impact and Influence, Neil brings 20 years of experience to business development, coaching and entrepreneurship. A hands-on consultant, he’s met clients everywhere from job sites to shop floors, boardrooms and everywhere in between. Whether he’s giving a keynote address at a conference for 300-plus or speaking to a team on a job site, Neil is well known for his highly energetic, dynamic speaking style and in-depth knowledge on topics ranging from strategic execution to the new reality of business development, branding, speaker and leadership development and communications. Committed to turning employees into business thinkers and asking the tough questions, Neil demands honesty and authenticity in every interaction, from himself and his clients. In return, he throws away the traditional management handbooks to help them get s@#! done by turning ideas into action, holding them accountable and bringing them measurable results that dramatically improve their performance.

Connect with Neil on LinkedIn or visit thorntongroup.ca.

Breakout Session: Impact & Influence-How to stand out in a crowded workplace

Lou Brzezinski

Partner at Blaney McMurtry LLP

Lou Brzezinski is a partner of the firm’s Commercial Litigation Group and practices in all areas of business reorganization, insolvency, liquidation and bankruptcy. He has consistently argued complex cases before all levels of courts and tribunals, including the Supreme Court of Canada, Court of Appeal for Ontario, Federal Court of Appeal, and Divisional Court. Variety in representation, Lou has acted for creditors, debtors, court-appointed monitors and trustees in bankruptcy. Lou has acted for a number of high profile insolvencies in Canada, including Sears Canada, Target Canada, Coopers & Lybrand, Crystallex, US Steel Canada Inc. and Essar Steel Algoma Inc. Commercial litigation high profile clients include Greenwin Property Management Limited and Burger King Canada in critical business issues. Also noteworthy is Lou’s extensive experience in the investigation of fraud on behalf of major financial institutions and with Canada’s largest security and investigation. As Chair of the firm’s Fraud, Investigation, Recovery and Enforcement (FIRE) group, Lou Brzezinski often times employs Mareva injunctions and Anton Piller orders. Much of this expertise has been derived from dealing with bank fraud including significant cheque kiting cases, Ponzi schemes and breaches of internet protocol and security. Notably, his broad-based experience has extended itself to many varied clients such as international manufacturers and suppliers, residential and corporate managers of brokers (real estate) and defence contractors. He has acted as legal counsel in many alternative dispute processes, including mediation. Lou is a certified arbitrator.

Breakout Session: Cryptocurrency and Bankruptcy

Anna Valente

Directrice principale, TD Bank

Anna s'est jointe à la Banque TD en 1986 et compte plus de 30 ans d'expérience dans le secteur de la banque commerciale. Elle a occupé divers postes dans la banque commerciale; la gestion de portefeuilles de placement, la gestion de comptes commerciaux et la gestion de trésorerie. Elle est titulaire d'un baccalauréat en commerce de l`université Concordia avec une majeure en statistique et une mineure en finance. En 2018, elle a commencé un nouveau poste dans le département des Comptes nationaux comme Directrice principale, Gestion de Trésorerie. En tant que directrice de la gestion de la trésorerie, Anna est en charge de fournir des solutions bancaires intégrées et sophistiquées aux entreprises de la banque commerciale pour les aider à gérer efficacement leurs besoins bancaires quotidiens, notamment: • Structure de compte ; Solutions de gestion des dépôts • Préparer et présenter des solutions de gestion de trésorerie • Prévention de la fraude • Services internes aux partenaires TD: services de change, services aux Commerçants, investissements, cartes d'achat, gestion de patrimoine, etc. Anna est passionnée par la qualité des services dédiés et le développement de relations avec de grandes entreprises privées et publiques ayant des besoins sophistiqués en matière de gestion de trésorerie. Dans ses temps libres, elle aime passer du temps avec sa famille ainsi que s'entrainer et cuisiner.

Breakout Session: Protéger son entreprise contre la fraude


Declan Flood

Chief Executive of Irish Credit Management Training

Declan is a lifetime credit professional who has written hundreds of articles on the topic and provides education & training in all aspects of credit management in Ireland and beyond. Declan offers unique insights into the untapped potential that exists within the Credit function of every company. He challenges conventional wisdom to give an entirely different view on everyday issues. Declan spoken at conferences from Helsinki to South Africa and from London to Mexico and Canada

Keynote Address-Reduce Your Workload; Increase Your Results
Breakout Session- How to get the very best out of your credit team

Anthony Scriffignano

Senior Vice President, Chief Data Scientist, Dun & Bradstreet

Anthony Scriffignano is an internationally recognized data scientist with experience spanning over 35 years in multiple industries and enterprise domains. Dr. Scriffignano has extensive background in anomaly detection, computational linguistics and advanced inferential algorithms, leveraging that background as primary inventor on multiple patents worldwide. Scriffignano was recently recognized as the U.S. Chief Data Officer of the Year 2018 by the CDO Club, the world's largest community of C-suite digital and data leaders. He is routinely invited to provide thought leadership for senior executives and high-level government officials globally. Recently, he briefed the US National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee and contributed to three separate reports to the President, on Big Data Analytics, Emerging Technologies Strategic Vision, and Internet and Communications Resilience. Additionally, Scriffignano provided expert advice on private sector data officers to a group of state Chief Data Officers and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. He recently provided similar counsel to members of the Canadian Government. He also served as a forum panelist and keynote speaker at the World Internet Conference in China hosted by President Xi Jinping and the China Development Forum, as well as other major world events. He was recently published or quoted in various publications including CIO.com, Forbes Insights, Huffington Post, Business Insider, InformationWeek, China Daily, Xinhua, PCWeek Russia, Taiwan News, Bangkok Post, Mint (India), The Hill, and others. Scriffignano serves on various advisory committees in government, private sector, and academia. He is considered an expert on emerging trends in advanced analytics, the “Big Data” explosion, artificial intelligence, multilingual challenges in business identity and malfeasance in commercial and public-sector contexts.

Keynote Address-Convergence of Disruption: The Impact of Digital Everything on Financial Decision-Making

Blair DeMarco-Wettlauferi

Kingston Data and Credit

Blair DeMarco-Wettlaufer has worked in the credit and collections field for over 28 years. H started in credit management, and ended up in the collections industry. He has trained over 300 collection agents, registered an agency under ISO 27001 certification, and worked with a number of companies as a partner and advisor to help them build a better business. He is the president of the Southwest Chapter of the Credit Institute of Canada, and is the managing partner of Kingston Data & Credit, a national collection agency.

Breakout Session: Social Media and Collections

Constable Jonathon Coleman


Constable Jonathan Coleman has been working in the RCMP Financial Crimes Unit for the past 5 years. The Financial Crimes unit, is a Federal Policing unit which investigates money laundering, organized crime and fraud. Prior to working with the RCMP, Constable Coleman obtained an Honours Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of Guelph. He has over ten years of experience working in the Financial Sector with Manulife Financial. (Summary) Fraud Impacting Senior's and New Emerging Criminal Trends - In the Hamilton- Niagara area there is an increasing population of retiree's and senior citizens. In today’s presentation, Constable Coleman will touch on frauds targeted toward this demographic as well as highlight some of the new criminal trends.

Breakout Session: Current Fraud Activites

Ross Prusakowski

Senior Economist and Country Risk Analyst, EDC

Ross Prusakowski is a Senior Economist and Country Risk Analyst with Export Development Canada. A key source of global perspective, Ross is a senior member of EDC Economics’ forecasting committee and the primary analyst for Canada and global energy markets. In his nearly six years with EDC, Ross has also covered the Middle East and North Africa as well as the aerospace and forestry sectors. Prior to joining EDC, Ross previously worked as an economist for the Conference Board of Canada working on the Energy, Environment and Transportation Policy team and as an economist with the Government of Alberta’s Department of Finance. Ross holds a master’s degree in economics from the University of Ottawa as well as an undergraduate degree in economics and history from the University of Alberta.

Breakout Session: Exporting to the United States Beyond NAFTA- The USMCA and what it means for Trade

Mervyn D. Abramowitzi

Blaney McMurty- en français

Mervyn D. Abramowitz est associé chez Blaney McMurtry LLP à Toronto. Il est spécialiste agréé par le Barreau de l’Ontario et dans le litige civil et dans le droit de l’insolvabilité et de la faillite. Il exerce sa profession depuis 32 ans (déjà!) et consacre beaucoup de temps à redonner de lui-même et à la profession juridique et aux organisations qui y sont reliées. Il est l’ancien président de la section nationale du droit de l’insolvabilité de l’Association du Barreau Canadien, et l’ancien président de la section du litige civile dans l’Association du Barreau de l’Ontario (l’ABO). Il a aussi été membre du conseil de l’administration de l’ABO, et membre dans plusieurs rôles dans la section de l’ABO sur le droit de l’insolvabilité. Mervyn est membre également du comité des usagers du Rôle Commercial – la cour à Toronto qui traite des causes en droit commercial et de l’insolvabilité. Le comité est compose de juges et d’avocats assaisonnés qui travaillent pour peaufiner les pratiques et les services de cette cour spécialisée et reconnue comme étant un des chefs de fils au pays.

Breakout Session: Cadre légal de l'industrie financiére, conventions de crédit, remédes judiciaires

Dr. Graham Taylor

Associate Professor of Engineering at Univerity of Guelph

Graham Taylor is a Canada Research Chair and Associate Professor of Engineering at the University of Guelph, and a member of the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence. His research aims to discover new algorithms and architectures for deep learning: the automatic construction of hierarchical algorithms from high-dimensional, unstructured data. He is especially interested in time series, having applied his work to better understand human and animal behaviour, environmental data (climate or agricultural), audio (music or speech) and financial time series. In 2016 he was named as one of 18 inaugural CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars. In 2018 he was honoured as one of Canada's Top 40 under 40.  Graham co-founded Kindred, which was featured at number 29 on MIT Technology Review's 2017 list of smartest companies in the world and CB Insights AI 100 list, highlighting the most innovative artificial intelligence companies for 2018.

Breakout Session


Tim Arnold

Author, The Power of Healthy Tension: Overcoming Chronic Issues and Conflicting Values.

Leaders and teams are often in a tug-of-war, facing competing demands such as planning vs. action, structure vs. flexibility, change vs. stability, and work vs. home. In order to thrive, they must tackle these tensions head on. Tim Arnold provides his audiences with powerful tools that help them understand and breakthrough the chronic issues they face in both their professional and personal lives. Tim Arnold has spent over two decades helping organizations unite teams, spark change and get unstuck, with clients that include The United Nations, Citibank, KPMG, Toyota, and Siemens. He provides his clients with a real-world perspective through his experience launching successful for-profit and not-for-profit businesses, overseeing community outreach and healthcare programs, and managing international development partnerships in four continents.

Keynote Address-Leadership Development & Team Building