2019 Call for Speakers

Closing Date: September 24, 2018


Imagine Your Workplace Conference is a forum for open conversation. We have a long history of well-researched, credible content that is innovative, timely and accessible. We welcome speakers from across the globe. If your expertise is valued by professionals responsible for areas like OD, HR, employee engagement or workplace wellness; if you’re an engaging presenter who loves sharing current research through story; if you can measure the impact of your work or provide real-life examples and share tools that can be used by our community — then we want to hear from you!

In return, we offer you the opportunity to grow your network by connecting with our engaged community; build your reputation as a thought leader in your industry or field; obtain recognition and visibility through an extensive marketing campaign; and sell books and/or tools at the event.

Our conference participants are uncompromising in their pursuit of quality information that cuts through the crap, addresses real problems and stimulates useful conversation.

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2018 Speakers

Featured Speaker

Gary Gzik

CEO, BizXcel Inc.

TOPIC: HOW TO BUILD A KICK ASS COMPANY —Gary believes that a business is more than just plans, processes and technology — it is the people and culture that truly make it great. He is passionate about giving people the tools to build strong organizations that are not only profitable but are raved about by customers and loved by employees. Over the years, he’s brought these beliefs to thousands of individuals and hundreds of organizations, including RBC, Proctor & Gamble, Linamar, Mohawk Council of Akwesasne, Ferrero, Weston Forest and more. He is an international presenter and the author of two books.

Featured Speaker

Mark Franklin

Practice Leader, CareerCycles

TOPIC: THE ART AND SCIENCE OF LEADING EFFECTIVE CAREER CONVERSATIONS AT WORK — Mark is an award-winning practice leader at CareerCycles, a Toronto career management firm, and co-founder of One Life Tools. Mark holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Industrial Engineering and a P.Eng. license, a Master of Education in Counselling Psychology and earned the Career Management Fellow CMF) designation through the Institute of Career Certification International. In 2015, he received the Stu Conger Award for Leadership in Career Development. Mark teaches career management at the University of Toronto, applying system thinking and engineering problem solving to create scalable, gamified, evidence-based career management tools. Mark hosts the Career Buzz radio show where he’s interviewed hundreds of guests about insights and turning points in their career stories.

Adam Hare

VP, Insurance Jack

TOPIC: TRANSFORMING COMPANY CULTURE — Adam has devoted his career to being a passionate, creative leader who constantly challenges the status quo. His professional career spans from his experience as a young entrepreneur in the fashion industry with his own clothing line, to the glitz of managing a creative team for the world’s leading entertainment company, Universal Music, to reimagining his family’s business.

Anna Petosa

VP People and Culture, Pelmorex Corp / The Weather Network

PANEL TOPIC: NO TIME TO LEARN: HOW TO DEVELOP LEADERS IN THE AGE OF COLLABORATION — Anna is passionate about building values-driven cultures that drive high engagement and deliver strong results. Anna has more than 25 years of HR experience spanning both start-ups and established global players in diverse industries such as travel, consumer electronics, market research, music, book publishing and media. Her HR philosophy is to start with knowing and understanding the business, then layer on the HR strategy as it is difficult to drive results otherwise. She’s an advocate for partnering with business leaders to focus on the aspects of HR that drive culture, which drives engagement and ultimately drives results.

Carla Sharkey

Director, Enterprise Project Management Office, Pelmorex Corp

PANEL TOPIC: NO TIME TO LEARN: HOW TO DEVELOP LEADERS IN THE AGE OF COLLABORATION — Carla Sharkey is a high energy and passionate leader who inspires high performing teams. As a certified Project Management Professional, she led the first internal peer coaching Catalyst program in partnership with the Roundtable. She follows her passion for leadership and expands her coaching skills through the Royal Roads Graduate Certificate in Executive Coaching Program. Carla refuels herself on her mat in Moksha yoga.

Carlos Resendes

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

TOPIC: TRANSFORMING EMPLOYEES INTO LEADERS WITH "THE PEOPLE FACTOR" — Since joining PVSC in Nova Scotia, Carlos has been focused on finding process and procedure efficiencies and implementing valuation best practices and tools, helping the organization become the first and only North American assessment jurisdiction certified by the International Property Tax Institute (IPTI) for adherence to assessment best practices and industry quality standards.

Christine Poltrok

Director, Human Resources, PepsiCo Foods Canada

PANEL TOPIC: NO TIME TO LEARN: HOW TO DEVELOP LEADERS IN THE AGE OF COLLABORATION — Christine acts as a strategic business partner, HR consultant, change agent, coach, mentor and confidant for PepsiCo Foods Canada. As a self proclaimed talent agent, she specializes in talent identification and matching individuals with the right opportunities to develop, make an impact and grow both personally and professionally. Christine holds a BA in Industrial Relations from the University of Toronto along with a post graduate certificate in Human Resources Management and CHRL.

Darren Steeves

CEO, Vendura Wellness

TOPIC: CULTIVATING RESILIENCE — A professional Exercise Physiologist, who has worked in the health and performance field for nearly 25 years, Darren is passionate about improving the total health of Canadians. He is a wellness consultant in Halifax and owner of Steeves Training Systems since 2001. He has consulted with top level executives and world champion athletes and attended the Rio Olympics as a port scientist with Team Canada. He has a weekly column on total health in the Chronicle Herald and authored the recent book Are You Ready? Stop Wishing It Was Friday. Darren has conducted research in sport science, mindful hydration and resilience.

Elizabeth Williams

President, Candler Chase Inc.

TOPIC: HOW WE MADE A BAD CHANGE MANAGEMENT SITUATION WORSE — An award-winning brand and communications expert with a particular interest in the intersection of HR and marketing, Elizabeth Williams works with companies on employer branding, internal communications strategies, change communications and external brand initiatives. Prior to founding her consulting practice, she was the head of brand and communications for ADP Canada, and held senior roles at Rogers, Constellation Software, BMO, and other agencies and start-ups. Elizabeth started her career as a reporter. She has a degree in Journalism from Ryerson University and is finishing her Master’s in Communication at Royal Roads University.

Glain Robert-McCabe

President, The Roundtable

PANEL TOPIC: NO TIME TO LEARN: HOW TO DEVELOP LEADERS IN THE AGE OF COLLABORATION — Founder and President of The Roundtable, Glain Roberts-McCabe is on a personal mission to inspire great leadership. Through their innovative and award-winning Roundtable Peer-to-Peer Coaching Programs, The Roundtable is known as a place where leaders cultivate their leadership, together. She is a frequent guest columnist for the Globe and Mail and a former Leadership Guru for BizTV Canada. A life-long learner, she is currently completing her certificate in Group and Team Coaching and has completed advanced training from The Coaches Training Institute, The Centre For Right Relationships and The School of Shadow Coaching. An active volunteer, Glain lives in Toronto with her supportive husband and highly engaging daughter.

Gus Scaiano

VP, Workforce Transformation, Scotiabank

TOPIC: CHANGING THE WAY WE WORK (NOT JUST WHERE WE WORK) — Gus is leading a complete rethink of how head office environments function at Scotiabank. Under the Way We Work (W3) banner, Scotiabank is adopting an activity-based approach that brings staff together, drives choice and flexibility, while still enabling productivity. W3 flips the typical office design project by being primarily a behavioural change program, supported by technology and physical space changes. Gus is a P.Eng. and MBA and has spent nearly 20 years leading retail banking businesses, primarily in international locations.

Jason Fleming

Director, Human Resources, MedReleaf

TOPIC: THE IMPACT OF LEGALIZED CANNABIS AT WORK — Jason is a dynamic HR executive with a decade of varied HR experience. In 2017, he was recognized as one of the top 25 HR professionals in Canada by the Canadian HR Reporter. Prior to joining MedReleaf, Jason was the Director of Human Resources with the Seaboard Transport Group, Canada’s largest transporter of petroleum and chemical products. In addition, Jason has provided HR consulting services to a number of organizations in various sectors, including government, private sector and non-profit. He possesses a BA from the University of Guelph, a Post-Graduate Certificate in HR Management and a Certificate in HR Law and is a Certified Human Resources Leader with the Ontario Human Resources Professional Association.

Dr. Jonas Eyford

Director, Fjord Wellness

TOPIC: QUESTIONING WORKPLACE WELLNESS — Dr. Jonas Eyford is a chiropractor who enjoys digging into the complexities of human behavior and how they impact health. He’s worked on medical teams in clinics and on health policy with the World Health Organization. He now runs Fjord Wellness, setting up onsite Recharge Stations, which provide Canadian companies with weekly visits from talented doctors and therapists.

Katrena Munsch

MSc., Senior Organizational Consultant, Integrated Health Solutions

TOPIC: THE INS AND OUTS OF AGILE WORKSPACES — With more than 15 years of experience in disability case management and team management, Katrena holds a Master’s in Science from the School of Kinesiology and Health Sciences at York University. Her thesis focused on the associations between access to physical activity facilities in the workplace and physical activity. Katrena continues to stay active in the research field by participating in ongoing research through MITACS, a grant program that links professional and academic institutions to conduct meaningful and relevant research. With her extensive group disability experience and academic knowledge, Katrena contributes to Sun Life’s consulting model as a Senior Organizational Consultant in Absence and Disability.

Laura Ryan

Senior Director, Visitor Experience, Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) Group

PANEL TOPIC: NO TIME TO LEARN: HOW TO DEVELOP LEADERS IN THE AGE OF COLLABORATION — Laura manages all TIFF teams that curate the customer experience at every touchpoint including all venue teams, technical production, ticketing operations, retail and customer experience during the world-renowned Film Festival held in September. Prior to TIFF, Laura worked at American Express and Oracle leading groups responsible for sales and customer service globally. She is a champion of transformational change, has a passion for people management and a proven track record in leading high performing teams with a strong focus on goal achievement, development, and learning solutions.

Lisa Callaghan

VP, Strategy, Marketing and Communications, Manulife Institutional Markets

TOPIC: WHY FINANCIAL EDUCATION ISN'T ENOUGH — Lisa leads the teams responsible for developing institutional strategy, digital solutions, sales proposals, marketing and communications for Manulife’s Canadian group businesses. Before this role, she was the AVP of Group Benefit Products. Lisa has worked in the insurance industry for over a decade in both group benefits and group retirement as well as individual retail wealth, filling various leadership roles. Prior to her move to insurance, Lisa worked in the defense manufacturing industry. She holds undergraduate degrees from Queen’s University, an MSc from the University of Waterloo and an MBA from Wilfrid Laurier University.

Masam Ali Malik

Consultant, CCM Consultancy

TOPIC: HOW TO CREATE A HIGH-PERFORMING CULTURE — Masam is a senior facilitator who has delivered over a 150 workshops and speaking engagements around the North America and MENA regions covering diverse topics such as, Leadership, Motivational Leadership, Culture Change, Sales Management, Emotional Intelligence and Customer Experience. A Chartered Financial Analyst, he is a highly driven individual who believes in delivering excellent solutions to his clients that are true to the organizational values of customer-centricity and innovation.

Rob Howard

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

TOPIC: HOW TO CULTIVATE A CULT BRAND CULTURE — Over his 20-year marketing career, Rob has worked with super-brands like Nike, Molson, Zappos, Michaels, Harley-Davidson and The Home Depot. Today, he is Cult’s Chief Engagement Engineer, helping brands transform ordinary customers into devoted fans with irrational loyalty by forging meaningful, profitable connections with consumers in ways that traditional marketing can’t. Rob’s thought-leadership has been used in university curriculum, and he is the coauthor of the Amazon 5-star rated book, Fix: Break the Addictions That Are Killing Brands.

Trish Huston

Registered Yoga and Meditation Teacher

TOPIC: HOW TO BLEND MINDFULNESS INTO YOUR WORKPLACE — Trish is a Registered Yoga and Meditation Teacher, a graduate of theatre school and a lifelong student. She is curious about how we can continue to be conscious and aware amidst the distractions we constantly face. Her passion is sharing the transformative benefits of simple mindful practices with a wider audience: from being more efficient at work and kinder in our relationships to experiencing less stress and burnout on a daily basis.