Helen Jackson | Director, HR & Organizational Development | Vancouver Fraser Port Authority
Helen Jackson is the Director, Human Resources and Organizational Development at the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority. She is UBC certified coach, with experience leading culture change with leadership teams, managers and employees. Helen’s educational journey has been unusual in that she started her career as an early childhood educator and later while working full time completed a bachelor of general studies at SFU. Helen has a wealth of business management experience with a practical, creative and flexible approach, drawing from her experience in the corporate sector for the last thirteen years, as well as her early career in the not for profit sector. Helen has a genuine enthusiasm for her work and endless curiosity. She believes in leading by example and endeavors to be a credible positive influence and change agent.
Colleen Baxter | VP, HR | J. D. Irving
Colleen Baxter is J. D. Irving, Limited’s Vice President of Human Resources and is based in Saint John, New Brunswick. Colleen is responsible for setting the strategic direction of HR in the areas of Talent Acquisition, Talent Management, Total Rewards, and Health and Wellness for 10,000 employees across a diverse group of companies including Forestry, Retail, Transportation and Construction. Colleen has held a number of roles throughout over 30 year career with JDI and has made significant contributions with the focus on building, aligning and engaging the workforce.
In addition, Colleen has actively participated in advisory councils for the New Brunswick Business Council, the Human Resources Association and Conference Board of Canada with focus on strategic human resource issues.
The company has also been nationally honored as a Top Employer of Youth by the Conference Board of Canada and recognized by Canada's National Institute of Disability Management and Research (NIDMAR) for proactive disability management and return to work programs for employees.
Colleen is an active volunteer in Saint John community initiatives related to education, and economic development. A native of Saint John, New Brunswick, Ms. Baxter earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of New Brunswick and holds a Master of Business Administration from the Richard Ivey School of Business - University of Western Ontario.
Eric D’Amours | Managing Director Canada, Client Services and Solutions | Willis Towers Watson
Eric helps organizations optimize cost, productivity and experience of their workforce through their people strategy, employee programs and technology platforms, with close to 30 years of experience in Canada and abroad.
In his leadership role as Managing Director, Client Services and Solutions for the Canada region, his mission is to ensure clients have access to the best combination of services and solutions to accelerate their path to efficiency improvement, risk mitigation and revenue growth. This has never been more important as the cycle of change generated by both technology developments and demographic shifts is accelerating. Organizations are forced to transform at a pace faster than ever, introducing both risks and opportunities for themselves and their employees.
In addition to his leadership role, Eric directly manages relationships with a number of global organizations. Previously, he has served in other roles including leading Willis Towers Watson’s Canadian M&A practice for more than a decade. As such, he has been involved in more than 100 transactions and corporate reorganizations assisting clients with due diligence review, synergy capture, global employee platform implementation and culture alignment.
Nicola Meyer | Director | Willis Towers Watson
Nicola leads Willis Towers Watson’s Communication & Change Management practice in Canada. She has over 16 years’ experience leading large-scale projects and providing strategic advice to a wide range of public and private sector clients on both customer and employee experience.
Nicola has a significant track record supporting organizations to manage the employee experience across a variety of initiatives. Specific areas of expertise include Talent Value Proposition development, the introduction of HR programs, change communications and engagement activities.
Prior to joining Willis Towers Watson Canada, Nicola was responsible for leading all communications activities and managing projects for the Royal Bank of Canada’s global HR Compensation and Benefits Centre of Expertise.
Originally from Ireland, Nicola was the Communication & Change Management practice leader at WTW in Dublin from 2014 to 2016. Nicola is a PROSCI certified change management practitioner, holds a BA in Sociology from University College Dublin and a higher Diploma in Public Relations from the Fitzwilliam Institute in Ireland.
Brent Carey, ABC, is a senior communications leader with nearly 25 years of experience at leading organizations, across a wide range of communications disciplines, including employee communication and engagement, issues and reputation management, media relations and marketing communication. He is currently Vice President, Communications, at Mattamy Asset Management, where he manages the corporate communications function across North America. Previous to joining Mattamy in 2011, Brent held communication leadership roles with KPMG International, Deloitte Canada, CIBC, TD Bank, and Imperial Oil. Brent graduated from York University with an honours degree in Communications and English, and is also an accredited financial planner.
Andrew Calderon | CEO | Intrideo
Andrew is the CEO and Founder of Intrideo. He was responsible for the vision and development of an technology based staffing solution focused on the service industry. His company has worked with diverse companies in Canada, New Zealand, Greece and the United States and with leading brands such as Cara, McDonald’s and Tim Hortons.
His passion is in continual discovery and improvement especially with regards pairing complex business challenges with technology based solutions. Global business experience across much of the EU, and Africa has helped broaden his vision.
Andrew holds a BA: Economics and Labour Studies from York University along with a Masters Certificate: Tourism and International Business Development from the MIB School of Management in Trieste.
His volunteer work reflects his ongoing efforts to support Innovation and he is an Executive in Residence at the Northern Ontario Innovation Center as well as serving as an Advisory Board member for Confederation College.
Greg De Koker | Chief Engagement Officer | Sandboxx Corp.
Greg De Koker, Chief Engagement Officer for Sandboxx Corp., brings an exceptional range of talent to the Company – from high-level creativity to brand strategy that breaks through the clutter to his relentless dedication to purpose, passion, clarity, consistency and the truth. Demonstrating his entrepreneurial spirit, Greg created his own program of study, International Trade, while at The University of Michigan. Five years later, in 1993, he founded Imagine That! Communications, a brand strategy and design firm. In 2006, he merged with Instinct Brand Equity Coaches and became Managing Partner. In 2012, Greg founded Evolation, a brand strategy firm that builds brands from the inside out. Since then, Greg has been helping organizations clarify and live their Essential Truth – describing precisely who they are, why they do what they do, what they stand for and how they act. In doing so, he helps these companies build trust, their brand, their culture, their success and the difference they’re making.
Kerri Smiley | SVP, HR | Mattamy Homes
Kerri Smiley is a highly seasoned and experienced HR professional, and is currently the Senior Vice President, Human Resources, for Mattamy Homes Canada – the country’s largest builder of new homes. In this role, Kerri is responsible for providing strategic advice to the CEO and senior leadership team as well as leading the HR function across Canada, including managing an eight-person HR team and supporting business leaders of 1,500 employees with their staffing and recruitment, onboarding and employee relations needs. She was previously the Vice President, HR, Ontario and Corporate for Mattamy Homes. Before joining Mattamy, Kerri was with LabCorp Inc. as their VP Global HR. Kerri has a BA from the University of Toronto and a Masters of Leadership Studies from the University of Guelph.
Angelo has been a senior executive with Workplace Medical Corp. (WMC) since 2002 and is responsible for leading the accounting/finance, human resources, and operations departments, as well as spearheading mergers and acquisitions. Angelo also acts as WMC’s Senior Consultant in absence management and engages with WMC’s large absence management and disability management clients across Canada and the U.S.
Prior to his role with WMC, Angelo held several senior positions in commercial and corporate banking throughout Canada, and has been a professor at the college level teaching labour economics and industrial relations.
Angelo holds an MBA, an accounting designation, as well as a certificate in Human Resources.
Bill Baetz, Ph.D | Vice President | Perceptyx, Inc.
Bill Baetz, Ph.D. is Vice President, Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness for Perceptyx™. Bill advises senior leaders on how to improve employee engagement and organizational effectiveness. Over his career, he has served in L&D, consulting, and line management capacities, including extensive experience in training, marketing, sales, engineering, R&D, and manufacturing roles for General Electric, Hewlett-Packard, and Eastman Kodak. He has worked with a broad range of organizations globally to help build their organizational effectiveness. He is a thought leader in this area, presenting and facilitating sessions on strategic HR and organizational effectiveness at many conferences. Perceptyx provides an innovative organizational survey approach and industry-leading technology to millions of employees in over 80 countries.
Brad Gerard | Program Director | UPnGO with ParticipACTION
Brad is the Program Director of UPnGO with ParticipACTION an innovative program that helps deskbound workplaces seamlessly integrate fun, rewarding, and healthy behaviour programming into the workday to help employees be at their best.
With only 18% of adults are getting the required amount of physical activity each week and spending an average of 10 waking hours per day being sedentary there are great risks to our physical and mental health, our productivity, and overall happiness. UPnGO is a program designed to disrupt the workday in a positive way serving up behaviour change challenges, nudges and tools designed with experts in behaviour economics at the University of British Columbia and University of Toronto, to help employees be at their best. ParticipACTION’s overall mission to contribute to 10% of Canadians sitting less and moving more by 2020.
Brad has over 10 years’ experience promoting sport programming and physical activity in Canada, and has worked with iconic sport brands like Sport Chek, Canadian Tire, the Canadian Olympic Committee, Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, Jumpstart Charities and ParticipACTION.
Bronwyn Ott | Manager, Benefits & Wellbeing | Unilever Canada
Bronwyn Ott has over 15 years of experience leading benefits and wellbeing programs in both public and private sector organizations in Canada. In her current role as Manager, Benefits & Wellbeing at Unilever, Bronwyn is evolving the wellbeing program - which includes physical, mental, emotional and purposeful wellbeing – to help employees and leaders build resiliency and thrive in an environment of change and disruption. Through innovative, integrated programs and policies, Bronwyn is creating a culture where employees can bring their best selves to work.
Dave Phillips | Workplace Mental Health Specialist | TeksMed Services
Dave is passionate about helping individuals and organizations experience greater levels of health. Given his professional and life experience, he is uniquely qualified to come alongside companies and organizations who recognize the importance of psychological safety and to lead in an emotionally intelligent way. He loves to teach, consult and coach managers in leading employees to maximize their potential. He is grounded in current research and is committed to promoting an evidence-based, best practices approach in whatever arena he’s working.
Since 1992 when he first began to see clients with significant childhood and adult trauma, he has been actively connected to the world of PTSD treatment. Today, his field is beginning to recognize traumatic injury as underlying most of the common mental health conditions that show up, both in the workplace and in our personal lives. A strong passion of his, in the light of this, is to help companies (in the development of robust programs and policy), and to equip managers (to effectively manage their employees with mental health problems), from this trauma-informed place. The Canadian workplace is not required to pamper employees or to become “quasi” mental health centers…but can we develop happier and healthier workplaces that allow our employees to thrive? This is the question that progressive companies are asking.
Dave holds 2 Graduate Degrees in counseling psychology and has over 30 years’ experience in the mental health field including working with hundreds of companies in multiple industries. His expertise and certifications include psychological health and safety, management coaching, Mental Health First Aid, Mental Health HR/LR, Respect in the Workplace, Substance Abuse in the workplace.
Dr. Liz Scott | Principal / CEO | Organizational Solutions Inc. (OSI)
Dr. Liz Scott PhD is a Consultant and the Founder and Principal / CEO of Organizational Solutions Inc., a national Disability Management and Workers' Compensation Claims Management firm serving a significant number of clients in Canada and the US. Bringing over 25 years of experience and proven expertise in senior national and international Disability and Risk Management roles, Liz Scott is a national and internationally respected professor, thought-leader, public speaker and author in the field. Dr. Scott is invited regularly to speak at international conferences and sits on national and international panels where her insight and expertise contribute to the advancement of best practices in the field.
Dr. Scott has been honored several times as a finalist in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, is the co-author of the book Comprehensive Disability Management and teaches at McGill, Guelph and Ryerson Universities.
Michael Levy | CEO and Co-Founder | Online Rewards
As CEO of Online Rewards, Michael Levy has helped Fortune 1000 companies improve their employee engagement scores through the design and development of award-winning employee engagement and recognition programs. He is a frequent speaker at HR industry events and has contributed content on the topic of employee engagement to HR Magazine, CNBC, and elsewhere. Beyond a sense of humor and a very, very Southern accent (think kangaroos), Michael brings a unique and refreshing perspective to driving employee engagement with knowledge and expertise gathered across a decade of building employee engagement programs.
Sally Benn | VP, Customer Success | Venngo
Sally Benn is the VP of Customer Success at Venngo Inc., a company which provides the most comprehensive suite of private discount programs (focused on health and wellness) to organizations and member-based groups across North America.
Throughout her career at Venngo, Sally has used her multitude of touch points with HR executives from small and large businesses across Canada to pull relevant insights and track emerging trends in the field. Sally’s areas of expertise include client management plus customer retention and optimization. With over a decade of experience at Venngo, Sally has worked alongside and managed a multigenerational workforce with employees from diverse cultural backgrounds. Sally’s priority is helping her employees develop and reach their goals by tapping into their distinct potential and embracing their age, ethnicity, and unique gifts and talents. She strives to connect, not correct, the differences found in her workplace.
Sally holds a Ph.D. degree from the University of Guelph, Ontario.
Barb Keenan | SVP, People, Culture and Chief Ethics Officer | Ontario Power Generation
Barb Keenan is Senior Vice President, People, Culture and Chief Ethics Officer at Ontario Power Generation Inc. (OPG).
In her current role, Barb is responsible for the development of people strategies and programming that support OPG’s Corporate Strategy and long term goal to be a diverse, healthy engaged workforce and the culture to succeed. This includes: talent, culture, organization development, total rewards, and building successful relationships with OPG’s unions and partners. She is also accountable for strategies and programs supporting safety, employee wellness, and learning & development.
Barb joined Ontario Hydro in 1989. She has held various roles in Human Resources at OPG and Ontario Hydro, including Vice President - Nuclear Human Resources and Employee Safety, and Vice President - Corporate Human Resources and Employee Safety. In these roles, Barb Keenan was accountable for the overall management, leadership, direction and support for providing products and services designed to enhance business performance in leadership development, workforce and succession planning, recruitment, change management, employee communications and nuclear and corporate security. From 2000 – 2006, Barb worked with Capgemini Canada as Vice President – Human Resources for Outsourcing and later the broader organization. From 2011 to present, she has been the SVP People, Culture and Chief Ethics Officer.
Ms. Keenan is an Honours Arts graduate from the University of Toronto, a Certified Human Resources and Compensation Committee Director and holds a CHRE designation.