Conference program speakers FAQ




Imagine Your Workplace Conference is designed to spark conversation and connection. This program is delivered in the spirit of “imagine your workplace” — what could you achieve if deliberate intention rather than unconscious reaction drove your work? This unique event is a convergence of the latest research with practical application to improve the quality of organizations.


The morning will focus on the science behind engagement, with succinct, highly polished five to 10 minute lightning talk sessions involving some of Canada’s most respected experts.


After the Imagine Your Workplace Conference’s signature networking lunch called Dare2Dine, you will hear a dynamic featured speaker to launch you into an interactive afternoon.


The practical application of the science will be covered in the afternoon by a compelling keynote and an engaging hands-on workshop.

The day's events will be followed by a post-conference reception from 4:30 - 7 pm, where attendees can discuss all they've learned and continue networking. During the reception we will announce the winner of the 2018 Thrive Awards!


Love the community, the great energy, the food and high quality programming!

Lisa Latorcai, Amadeus Consulting

Very professional and well thought out event. Enjoyed every minute.

Liz Pia, AFIMAC Global Investigations

What a unique approach! This conference exemplifies how to hold meetings while delivering great information and excellent networking opportunities.

Andrea Todd, Novus Health

The Lightening Talks were brilliant.

Kate Salmon, Learnography

Gigantic thank you!

Jill Scott, Watari Community Counselling Services

Program Details


      The Science

      7:45 am
      Registration Open
      Coffee Service

      8:15 am
      Conference Opens

      8:35 am
      Lightning Talks

      11:00 am
      Panel Discussion

      11:30 am
      Brain Share (Comfy walking shoes are advisable)

      The Practice

      12:30 pm
      Dare2Dine Lunch

      1:50 pm
      Featured Speakers

      4:30 pm
      Mosaic: closing reception and wrap-up

      5:00 pm
      Conference Close

      Why Financial Education isn’t Enough

      Lisa Callaghan, VP, Strategy, Marketing and Communications, Manulife Institutional Markets

      Manulife’s latest research with professional counsellors reveals that the impacts of emotional barriers to financial wellness are far-reaching: More than half the time when people seek support, financial challenges are an underlying layer within their life issues. 93% of counsellors also believe financial stress affects work and productivity. The stigma, shame and  embarrassment of being financially unwell often prevents people from taking action to address and overcome these issues. Innovative approaches are needed to help people overcome financial stigma so they can seek help with their finances. We need to shift the conversation – we all have a role to play.

      Questioning Workplace Wellness

      Dr. Jonas Eyford, Director, Fjord Wellness

      Brow-beating employees to eat better, exercise more and smoke less is expensive and only marginally effective. Learn a better way to spark a powerful and permanent wellness transformation in your organization. It’s easier (and cheaper) than you think! Dr. Jonas Eyford will share a strategy to “re-humanize” your approach to workplace wellness, helping you see human performance through three distinct physiological lenses. He will give you great questions to start asking and suggest practical guidelines to recharge your team.

      How to Blend Mindfulness into Your Workplace

      Trish Huston, Registered Yoga and Meditation Teacher

      More productive, less stressed, innovative, positive, creative, resilient and energized. Sounds good, right? This is your workplace on mindfulness. Trish will discuss the influence that mindfulness is having on the modern workplace and how you can build a mindful community of employees through simple yet effective practices. Could mindfulness be the tool that elevates your workplace from good to great?
      Caution: participants may leave this talk feeling more energized and focussed.

      Transforming Employees into Leaders with “The People Factor”

      Carlos Resendes, VP, Business and Innovation Services, Property Valuation Services Corporation (PVSC)

      At Nova Scotia-based, Property Valuation Services Corporation (PVSC), “The People Factor” is the foundation of our organization. We are shifting the mindset of our workforce from being task-focused to results-driven with a foundational philosophy that everyone is a leader. Carlos will share the experience of leading people in self-management, creating individual connections to the objectives and vision of the organization. Carlos has been instrumental in shifting the culture and mindset of assessment staff, who are often detail oriented and task driven, to never stop learning, challenging and inspiring each other to improve themselves and the product.

      Cultivating Resilience

      Darren Steeves, CEO, Vendura Wellness

      Most of us require challenging goals and some degree of pressure to fulfil our potential — stress can be good for us. Too little of it and we experience decreased attention and interest. Too much negatively impacts our health and productivity. Resilience keeps our stress at a level that allows for optimal performance. Research shows that while some people come by resilience naturally, it can be learned by most anyone. During this session you will learn the three big links to resilience: sleep, physical activity, and your “gut” health, as well as how to include mindfulness in your workday and build optimism.

      The Impact of Legalized
      Cannabis at Work

      Jason Fleming, CHRL Director, Human Resources, MedReleaf

      Employers are highly preoccupied with the coming era of legalized marijuana — an issue requiring the right information and competent guidance. How do employers navigate legalized marijuana and develop comprehensive policy statements that do not erode the trust already established within your workplace? How do you effectively communicate your policies with employees?

      Transforming Company Culture

      Adam Hare, VP, Insurance Jack

      Sometimes businesses don’t change — they are exactly the same today as when they were started ages ago. This was the case when Adam Hare joined his family-owned brokerage. Adam, however, would not accept that. He made waves in the insurance industry when he began remodeling his family’s 100-year-old business. Adam will share his journey from his chosen life of cutting-edge creativity and design into the archaic work culture of the family insurance business. His grandfather founded the company with three employees, and his father grew it to 30. When Adam received the call to come home, he quickly learned he would either have to sink or swim. Five years later, the company has 50 employees and a new award-winning digital division. Adam will share how courage, failure and passion fueled this extraordinary culture transformation.

      How to Create a High-Performing Culture

      Masam Ali Malik, Consultant, CCM Consultancy

      What if you could increase the bottom line of an organization by 20% without having to commit significant additional resources? Sound too good to be true? This insightful session will provide you with practical takeaways to achieve this goal. You will gain a solid understanding of what a high-performing culture is, what prevents teams from getting there, and more importantly, an actionable plan to get there. Through interactive exercises and case studies, Masam will share global best practices from the world’s most renowned organizations to help you achieve that ever elusive high-performing culture.

      The Ins and Outs of Agile Workspaces

      Katrena Munsch, MSc., Senior Organizational Consultant, Integrated Health Solutions, Sun Life Financial

      With the advent of new technologies, non-traditional office design, and remote and flexible working, the very nature of work and employee expectations change. So too must the work environment. From collaboration to deep thinking, workspaces must now meet the needs of diverse workstyles and types of work. Learn what an agile workplace is, some common misperceptions, and why businesses are investing in this new approach. Whether you are looking to completely change your workspace or make some slight modifications, you will gain insight into why and how to approach this new style of workplace design.

      Changing the Way We Work (Not Just Where We Work)

      Gus Scaiano, VP Workplace Transformation, Scotiabank

      The Way We Work (W3) is Scotiabank’s approach for transforming not only where people work, but the way they work. Scotiabank has been incrementally evolving their approach to work. In 2017, we paused the evolution and took a decidedly non-incremental leap into activity-based working. It’s early days, but with about 1,000 employees working in a highly mobile way — in work environments designed to maximize employee choice and actively support both focus work and collaboration — the feedback is overwhelmingly positive. By embracing activity-based working and looking beyond the organizational chart, Scotiabank is driving an internal cultural revolution. This is the story of that change.

      How We Made a Bad Change Management Situation Worse

      Elizabeth Williams, President, Candler Chase Inc.

      From mergers to downsizings, 70% of corporate change initiatives fail. The culprit in most cases is terrible communication, which allows a combination of vivid imaginations and social media-fuelled rumours create a mess that may take years to fix. This entertaining, interactive session will look at the lessons to be learned from epic change failures, introducing simple techniques to get the right messages out to the right people at the right time. Learn the secret weapon that makes organizational communications successful; best practices to get the message out consistently; how to measure success; and when to call in the cavalry.

      How to Cultivate a Cult Brand Culture

      Rob Howard, Head of Ideation, Chief Engagement Engineer, Cult Collective Ltd.

      The trends impacting engaged employees are nearly identical to those influencing external consumer behaviour. Just like customers, employees are more promiscuous than ever, and are making decisions about where they spend their workdays with a whole host of factors that HR professionals are unprepared to address. The most successful brands treat employees more like customers and less like resources. In order to enjoy the benefits of a hyper-engaged workforce, companies need to stop paying lip service to employee engagement, and make investments in understanding what it is that is impeding it in the first place. Learn why cult brands invest in indoctrinating employees with their beliefs and values.

      No Time to Learn: How to Develop Leaders in the Age of Collaboration

      Glain Roberts-McCabe, President, The Roundtable

      Today’s leaders are time-starved, stretched thin and desperately trying to stay agile in an increasingly complex, ambiguous and volatile world. Each year billions of dollars are spent on leadership development and executive coaching, but still organizations are feeling the pain of weaker leadership bench strength. According to research by Deloitte, only 6% of senior executives feel that their leaders are “ready.” Where are we going wrong? Through a panel discussion with three senior line and HR leaders, we will explore:

      1. Why traditional leadership development and coaching approaches are falling short
      2. How group coaching and team coaching is changing the game
      3. What you can do to bring a group coaching approach to your leadership programming

Conference Venue

What goes better with an insightful day of thought-leadership, discussions and inspiration? A great outdoor experience obviously!



Reservations may be made by calling 416-444-2511 or through the worldwide reservations line at 1-888-627-8550. Refer to the “Your Workplace Room Block” when you book to receive the group rate. A limited number of rooms are available at the discounted rate.


Conference Committee

The Imagine Your Workplace Conference advisory board provides non-binding merit-based recommendations to the host Your Workplace. Advisory board is composed of experts in the field of human resources and is chaired by Your Workplace President Vera Asanin.

Julie Einarson

Director, Culture & Communication, Benefits by Design (BBD)

Julie helps the BBD team to reach their full potential. The belief held by BBD that HR is about enhancing and supporting talent directly relates to Julie’s extensive work experience in higher and international education. An everyday adventurer, Julie operates on many channels. She enjoys hobbies that range from gardening and fitness pursuits to binge-reading and travel, and her sense of humour is matched by her ability to be enthusiastic about… just about everything.

Alistair Price

Vice President, Human Resources, Innotech-Execaire Aviation Group

Alistair Price is the VP of Human Resources at Innotech-Execaire Aviation Group.

Caterina Sanders

Senior Consultant, Habanero Consulting Group

Caterina Sanders has a diverse background. Her former role as Vice-President, People & Culture, combined dual responsibilities for operations and employee experience. Under her employee experience leadership Habanero received numerous awards and is now nationally recognized as a top Canadian workplace. She is also a skilled consultant with a background in interaction design and account management. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from the University of British Columbia.

Travis Dutka

Culture Curator, 360insights

Travis is the Culture Curator at 360insights and an espresso enthusiast. He works with senior leadership, HR and the people leaders of 360insights to create the “360 Unbelievable Experience”. Since 2012 he has focused on talent acquisition, learning, growth and employee experience for this rapidly growing software company which grew from 59 employees in 2012 to over 260 today. 360insights is rated in the top five best places to work in Canada for four consecutive years!

Rocky Ozaki

VP of Community, BC Tech Association

Rocky Ozaki is a self-professed evangelist on the future workplace. He believes that technology, a sharing economy and the connected generation are dramatically changing the way companies attract and engage their people, and is leveraging his 10 years of senior level operations and HR with four years of start-up tech experience to help organizations of all sizes and sectors thrive in the workplace of today. Ozaki is the Vice-President of Community for the B.C. Tech Association and is a co-founder of STARFiiSH, an engagement survey company for the tech industry.