Speakers

SNEAK PEEK OF OUR 2020

CONVENTION KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

** 2020 SPEAKER LIST** 

Subject to Change

A

 

Anna De Paoli

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February 1, 2020 at 10:30am
February 1, 2020 at 1:30pm
Anna De Paoli:
Certified Management Consultant

Anna De Paoli is President of De Paoli & Associates Inc., a company she founded in 2012. Her mission is to start, grow and support businesses in rural communities so that these communities become and remain viable. In doing so she will help preserve a rural lifestyle.
Anna is a Certified Management Consultant who specializes in commercial negotiation in the Agriculture sector. Her negotiation experience ranges from small business transactions to multi billion-dollar supply agreements. In addition to consulting, Anna teaches negotiation skills to MBA students at the Wharton Business School’s San Francisco campus.
Prior to her consulting career she spent 10 years working internationally for Shell in Canada, Germany, The Netherlands and the UK. She was involved in commodities trading and supply chain management for a wide range of refined products and biofuels. She has a BSc. Hons in Natural Sciences from the University of Durham, UK.
Anna is an active volunteer in the local community, she Chaired the Millarville Races, an event attracting over 5,000 visitors, for four years and she was previously a board member of the Millarville Racing & Agricultural Society. In 2017 Anna was awarded the Foothills 150 medal for service to the community by John Barlow MP.
Anna lives on an acreage in the rural community of Priddis and has two young children.

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Brett Gardiner

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Brett Gardiner:
Rodeo Announcer

Brett Gardiner has become one of the most recognizable voices in all of western sports. For nearly two decades he has educated and entertained audiences with his infectious energy and distinctive sound. Gardiner can be found working from coast to coast at many of Canada’s most prestigious events, including the Canadian Finals Rodeo, the Calgary Stampede and the PBR Canada National Finals.

Brett has been recognized for his talents and has been awarded the Canadian Professional Rodeo Associations Announcer of the Year award for the past 9 consecutive years. With that, he is the most decorated Announcer in Canadian Pro Rodeo history. In 2016 Gardiner would make his National TV debut as the on-air host for the PBR’s Monster Energy Tour on TSN.

When not on the road Brett resides in Sylvan Lake, AB with his wife Jaclyn, and their three children, Grady, Hadley and Blakely.
 

Brian Siddle

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February 1, 2020 at 10:30am
Brian Siddle:
Strong Coffee

Brian Siddle is the Director of Community and Content at Strong Coffee Marketing. Located in Edmonton, Alberta, Strong Coffee Marketing is an award-winning digital agency that focuses on the development and execution of online marketing strategies. Since its foundation in 2009, the agency has worked with a vast array of clients seeking to learn, develop, and implement marketing and communications strategies on the web.
Much of Brian’s time is spent speaking on digital marketing topics at engagements throughout North America. He has developed keynotes, workshops, and webinars for organizations such as Destination British Columbia, Tourism Yukon, Travel Alberta, PGA of Canada, Century 21, Giant Screen Cinema Association and Alberta Culture and Tourism. Brian has also taught digital marketing courses at Northern Lakes College and the University of Alberta.
Before founding Strong Coffee Marketing, Brian worked at Travel Alberta where he played a key role in the creation of their first social media strategy. He was also the first social media voice of the organization.
Brian holds a Bachelor of Management Degree from the University of Lethbridge and a Golf Operations Management Diploma from MacEwan University.

C

 

Chris McKenna

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Chris McKenna:
AARFP

Chris is the current President of ARRFP and has been an instructor there for 30 years. He has operated many different ice surfaces including in the NHL for the Edmonton Oilers and the Phoenix Coyotes. Chris is the Operations Manager for the Town of Ponoka and is the former General Manager of a farm team operated by the Toronto Blue Jays.

 

Colin Gosselin

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February 1, 2020 at 10:30am
Colin Gosselin:
Alberta Agriculture and Forestry

Colin Gosselin is the Acting Manager for the Rural Policy and Programming Section at Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (AF). As such he is the Director pursuant to the Agricultural Societies Act, and is responsible for the $11.5 million agricultural societies grant program. Colin has spent over ten years in various rural development related roles at AF, and has a Master of Public Administration degree from the School of Policy Studies at Queen’s University. He “keeps it rural” with his wife and two young children in Lac Ste. Anne County, and is based out of the Department’s Stony Plain field office.

E

 

Eileen Kotowich

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January 31, 2020 at 8:30am
Eileen Kotowich:
Alberta Agriculture and Forestry


Eileen Kotowich is the provincial farmers’ market specialist. She manages and administers the Alberta Approved Farmers’ Market Program for the ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. Her days are spent coaching and educating boards, managers and vendors on the ins and outs of farmers’ markets. Eileen’s passion is for local food and for the small producers and processors who choose to sell through farmers’ markets. In addition to her work with the Program, Eileen works with the Explore Local team to deliver training events for clients selling direct to consumers and was the lead for the Local Food team that developed Alberta’s first local food legislation, Supporting Alberta’s Local Food Sector Act.

K

 

Kate Whelpton

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February 1, 2020 at 10:30am
Kate Whelpton:
Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission

Kate has worked at the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission (AGLC) since 2008, and is the Manager, Liquor/Cannabis Licensing. Kate is responsible for licensing liquor licence premises, liquor agencies, special events, retail cannabis stores, and registered cannabis representatives. During her time with the AGLC, Kate has progressed in her career from being a Special Event Licensing Clerk to a Liquor Licensing Specialist to a Supervisor of the Liquor /Cannabis Licensing unit, and is currently the Manager, Liquor/Cannabis Licensing for Alberta.
 

Keith Bailey

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Keith Bailey

Keith grew up in the small town of Bowden Ab and rodeo has been a part of his life ever since he was a little kid. He rode bulls and bareback horses on a amature level from 1996 - 2007. Keith joined the Bowden Ag society in 2005 and has been President for 11 years and was an AAAS region 3 director from 2013 - 2019.

He has a strong passion for Ag Society's, the sport of rodeo, and the Western way of life. Keith wants his 3 kids to have a chance to share and enjoy the same things so he believes if we don't change our mind set, rodeo will turn into a distant memory. LETS NOT LET THAT HAPPEN .
 

Keleigh Cormier

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February 1, 2020 at 10:30am
February 1, 2020 at 1:30pm
Keleigh Cormier:
Clearthink Group
 

Kelleen Tait

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January 31, 2020 at 8am
February 1, 2020 at 10:30am
February 1, 2020 at 1:30pm
February 2, 2020 at 9am
Kelleen Tait:
CPA - MNP

Kelleen is a Partner and Business Advisor with MNP in Lethbridge. Drawing on significant experience working with the agriculture sector, Kelleen delivers a comprehensive suite of assurance and advisory services to agricultural producers, food processors and the Hutterian Brethren. She also works with high-net-worth individuals, private enterprises and non-profit organizations. Kelleen’s assistance includes audits and reviews, AgriStability and tax planning as well as advising on strategies for growth, benchmarking and achieving business goals. She works closely with clients to ensure they understand their financial situation and can plan for the future, providing suggestions for strengthening their businesses based on their unique situations and industry best practices. Her clients include groups of companies in the agriculture sector as well as feedlots and intensive livestock operations.
In 2008, Kelleen obtained her Bachelor of Business Administration degree from St. Francis Xavier University, where she majored in accounting and spent a semester each in Helsinki and London. She is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), qualifying as a Chartered Accountant (CA) in 2011. Kelleen is treasurer of the board for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lethbridge and District.
 

Klay Dyer

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February 1, 2020 at 1:30pm
Klay Dyer:
Business Consultant and Funding Specialist

Dr. Klay Dyer is business consultant and funding specialist with clients across northern Alberta. He specializes in working with not-for-profit organizations looking to reduce risk by diversifying funding streams, building a strong grant strategy, and finding resources off the beaten path.
 

Kynan Vine

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Kynan Vine:
Calgary Stampede

Kynan is a rodeo industry expert and the manager of the Rodeo and Chuckwagons for the Calgary Stampede. Kynan grew up in the sport of rodeo and participated professionally as a rodeo bullfighter for 10 years. After completing his education with a major in marketing he decided to enter into the business side of the industry. Kynan worked as the Rodeo Administrator for Pro Rodeo Canada for 5 years where he also oversaw the production of the Canadian Finals Rodeo. Kynan is still involved with the production of the Canadian Finals Rodeo today as the event producer. As a leader in the industry Kynan spends a lot of his time working with groups on sustainability for the sport and event production. Kynan has a passion for the sport and sits on several boards within the industry including the Pro Rodeo Sports Medicine Association and the Association of Rodeo committees.

M

 

Mark Mayfield

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February 1, 2020 at 10:30am
February 1, 2020 at 1:30pm
February 2, 2020 at 9am – Entertainment Centre
Mark Mayfield:
Mark Mayfield CSP, CPAE

It’s pretty simple what Mark Mayfield does: he talks about very serious stuff in a very funny way. Mark is author of two joke books and several business books including his latest “Morph”, a guide to accepting and managing change, and has spoke to a “Who’s Who” list of corporations, conventions, and trade associations over the past four decades. He was raised on a farm, received two degrees magna cum laude from Kansas State University, and taught school before he began his lobbying, business, and speaking career. He has received the CSP designation from the National Speakers Association and been inducted into their Hall of Fame.
 

Max Fritz

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February 1, 2020 at 1:30pm
Max Fritz:
Non-Profit Advisor

Max Fritz is a not for profit advisor with a focus on leading and facilitating strategy and business planning. Fairs and exhibitions play an important role in continually strengthening communities - preparedness in an increasingly competitive landscape is becoming an important, if not a critical journey. Dedicating the time and sourcing the right experience and knowledge to assist your organization can be a challenge.

With over 30 years of experience in the fair and exhibition business, he currently dedicates his to time working with landowners in the pursuit of land conservation in Southern Alberta. Max Fritz provides a wealth of knowledge, offering unique perspectives as a facilitator for the not for profit sector in strategic planning, organizational effectiveness, park planning, facility design, programming and animal welfare.
 

Monika Warring

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February 1, 2020 at 10:30am
Monika Warring:
Alberta Agriculture and Forestry

I would like to introduce myself. My name is Monika Warring and I have been with the Government of Alberta for a little over 8 years. About 3 years ago I joined the Rural Policy and Programming Section as Grant Program Support. I process the Agricultural Societies Annual Grant and Annual Return applications and assist with the review of Bylaws. Those are just a few of the many ways I am available to assist agricultural societies. I can be found in the Stony Plain Office of Agriculture and Forestry.
An original Eastern transplant I have lived in Alberta for over 30 years and currently live in the Lac Ste Anne County.

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Nate Gardner

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Nate Gardner:
Rafter G Cattle Co.

Nate Gardner has been involved in every facet of the sport of rodeo for almost 40 years. As a competitor, he travelled North America and attended College in the US on a full ride rodeo scholarship. As a stock contractor, his company, Rafter G Cattle Co., has produced bucking bulls who have been awarded Canadian Professional Rodeo and PBR Canada Bull Of The Year honours. Rafter G Cattle Co. bulls have bucked at the PBR World Finals and National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. As an event producer, Nate has brought bull riding and rodeo events to locations throughout Southern Alberta and BC and always has an eye on breaking new ground as far as a production. Perhaps the most unique piece Nate brings to the discussion is by virtue of the fact he has kids in the sport of rodeo. Guiding and coaching them through the amateur ranks and now on the big stage of the CPRA has certainly given him some insight on how to grow the sport into the future.

P

 

Pierre Cormier

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February 1, 2020 at 10:30am
February 1, 2020 at 1:30pm
Pierre Cormier:
Clearthink Group

R

 

Randy Ritz

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January 31, 2020 at 9am
January 31, 2020 at 7:45pm – Entertainment Centre
Randy Ritz:
Professor of Drama and Professional Speaker

Dr Randy Ritz makes leaders more effective by changing the way they communicate. As a mentor he has energized speakers to walk into strategic planning sessions, community town-halls and volunteer events with confidence. These are the arenas where vision and passionate stories move audiences into action.

Randy is a master storyteller and speaker coach. He shared the stage with the likes of Tony Campolo (advisor to President Clinton) and George Merritt (nominee for best actor in a Broadway musical). Dr. Ritz coached Hollywood actor Nathan Fillion (Saving Private Ryan, Castle and The Rookie) as he began to build notoriety.

Randy is Professor Emeritus and the past chair of Concordia University of Edmonton Drama Department.

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Sandra Froehlich

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February 1, 2020 at 10:30am
Sandra Froehlich:
Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission

Sandra has worked at the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission (AGLC) since 2002, and is currently the Manager, Licensing with responsibility for charitable gaming licensing, use of gaming proceeds, liquor/cannabis licensing, and gaming worker registrations. She was previously a training manager with the AGLC responsible for developing and delivering the Gaming Information for Charitable Groups (GAIN) program. Prior to arriving at the AGLC, Sandra worked for several years in adult and correctional education as a coordinator and teacher. Sandra has a Bachelor of Arts (honours) degree and a Bachelor of Education degree specializing in adult education.
 

Sheila Carruthers

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February 1, 2020 at 10:30am
February 1, 2020 at 1:30pm
Sheila Carruthers:
Certified Management Consultant

Sheila leads CSR Strategies Inc. a Calgary-based management consulting firm. She earned an MBA majored in Communication Management from Royal Roads University, is a Fellow Certified Management Consultant (FCMC), and an accredited Strategic Communication Management Professional (SCMP). Sheila leverages her experiences gained from working in the U.K., U.S. and Canada to deliver effective, values-based, strategies and facilitate professional trainings that include management consulting and ethics courses. She is also a regular sessional instructor in the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Continuing Education; leading courses in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and in Strategic Public Relations.
A committed volunteer, Sheila has served on local, provincial, national and international boards. She was recognized as IABC/Calgary’s Long-time Volunteer of the Year 2012. In 2017, IABC/Calgary’s Board, when Sheila was Past President, was recognized by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) as both the Large Chapter of the Year and International Chapter of the Year. She currently serves on IABC’s International Executive Board, chairing its Audit and Risk committee.

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Tim Carson

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January 30, 2020 at 6:30pm
January 31, 2020 at 9am
Tim Carson:
Alberta Association of Agricultural Societies

Tim has spent most of his life living, working and playing in rural Alberta. Through the many twists and turns his career has taken, Tim has developed a deep passion for rural communities and the need for renewed success in the 21st century. For more than a decade now Tim has channeled his rural enthusiasm towards Agricultural Societies, recognizing that volunteers and their passion are the heart and soul of communities. He is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the Alberta Association of Agricultural Societies and has had the opportunity to meet tremendous people from across Alberta, Canada and the United States who are directly connected to the fair industry and rural. These connections and experiences have provided a unique perspective on the challenges facing rural communities. Tim and his wife Kim live on 80 acres outside a small community just north of Edmonton and along with their 2 sons are continuing to live, work and play in rural Alberta.
 

Trevor Tessier

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February 1, 2020 at 1:30pm
Trevor Tessier:
Strong Coffee

As a Managing Partner at Strong Coffee Marketing, Trevor develops digital marketing strategies and implements online marketing solutions. Eager to share his knowledge, Trevor provides a wide range of consultation and marketing training services. Trevor is Google Analytics certified under the Partner's program and has extensive experience in online advertising, website development, social media, search engine optimization, and analytics in a variety of industries.

Strong Coffee is a digital marketing company known for their education. Teaching is at the heart of their business. They love creating online marketing strategies, campaigns, and websites that stimulate senses and bring results.
 

Troy Deck

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January 31, 2020 at 8am
February 1, 2020 at 10:30am
February 1, 2020 at 1:30pm
February 1, 2020 at 1:30pm
Troy Deck:
MA, CPHR, CMC - MNP

Troy is a Senior Manager with MNP’s Consulting and Training Services Team. He has a master’s degree in International Relations, holds his Charted Professional Human Resources (CPHR), and Certified Management Consultant (CMC) designations and a certificate in Change Management. He also has over 12 years of experience consulting to First Nations, industry and small business owners. Troy’s areas of focus include, Training, Change and Project Management, Business and Strategic Planning, Human Resources, and Business Coaching.