Our great lineup of speakers: Listen, Learn, Network & Grow!

Our speakers are industry leaders, market innovators and those passionate about creating success. We choose the best people from within and outside the ag industry to share their wisdom and knowledge with you.

Imagine the goals you could achieve with a little inspiration, and new and insightful skills from women who’ve “been there, done that” and are willing to share what they’ve learned along the way.

Meet the AWC EAST 2019 presenters that we have lined up to date:

Michael Bossy

President, Director of Marketing, Bossy Nagy Group Chartered Professional Accountants, Tillsonburg, Ontario

Workshop Facilitator

Workshop Presentation Title • The Most Important Word You Have Never Heard

Presentation overview: The Kolbe A Index identifies the striving instincts that drive your natural behaviors and the way you problem solve. It focuses on strengths and describes “MO”, or, your mode of operation if free to be yourself.

Profile:
Mike Bossy has been a trusted business advisor to clients for over 30 years. Mike is a strategic thinker, and combines his extensive experience as a Chartered Professional Accountant with his numerous other business designations to provide a spectrum of valued services including accounting, trust and estate planning, taxation and business consulting, with particular expertise in intergenerational business and farm transitions. Mike is a graduate of Western University, Ivey School of Business and is a Chartered Professional Accountant. He is also a Certified Financial Planner® (CFP), Trust and Estate Practitioner (TEP), Certified Agricultural Farm Advisor (CAFA) and Kolbe™ Certified Consultant (KCC). Part of Mike’s continuing education includes participation in The Strategic Coach® program.

In 2000, Mike was joined by Steve Nagy in forming Bossy Nagy Group Chartered Professional Accountants, a professional services firm that has grown to a team of over 50 members in three locations in South Western Ontario. Mike’s extensive community involvement has included posts as president and director of the Tillsonburg District Chamber of Commerce, director of Tillsonburg Hydro, Chairman of Tillsonburg’s Economic Development Committee, chair of the Reliving the Legacy capital campaign and mentor for Tillsonburg Junior Achievement. Currently, Mike is a national director for the Canadian Association of Farm Advisors. In 2011, he was selected Tillsonburg’s Citizen of the Year and in 2012 was selected recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal. Mike coached basketball for 20 years at Glendale High School and through the Ontario Basketball Association and is founder of Basketball Tillsonburg.

Tamara Carter

Co-founder, Carter Cattle Company Ltd., Lacadena, Saskatchewan

Plenary Speaker

Presentation Title • From Cowtown to cow patties, a city girl’s survival guide to country life

Presentation overview: Twenty-six years ago, Tamara met a charming cowboy during the Calgary Stampede. She fell in love with the man, with the farming and ranching lifestyle, and embraced it wholeheartedly. She will share some of the unique challenges that she faced as an “import” coming into a small agricultural community, as well as some of the challenges that are common to many women who choose a career in agriculture.

Profile:
Tamara Carter, her husband Russ and their three children run a mixed farming operation along the South Saskatchewan River near Lacadena, SK. They crop just under 6,000 acres and run 150 head of commercial Black Angus cattle on 6,000 acres of native prairie. A former Calgary resident and University of Calgary Alumni, Tamara was transplanted by marriage to Saskatchewan in 1993. She embraced rural life and the challenges of both farming and ranching with enthusiasm as she became part of an operation that has spanned three generations. After 25 years of constant learning within the agriculture industry, her perspective continues to be one of curiosity and excitement. Her interest in forages and research led her to the Saskatchewan Forage Council, which she is currently chairing for a second term. She also sits on the Strategic Advisory Board of the newly constructed Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence, in Clavet, Saskatchewan. An avid horticulturalist and Master Gardener, Tamara can often be found outside working cattle, patching fence or pulling weeds in her many gardens.

Michelle Cederberg

Health and Productivity Expert, Change Agent, Professional Coach, Calgary, Alberta

Plenary Speaker

Presentation Title • The Success-Energy Equation

Overview: Success is something we all want more of; career success, a successful relationship, success saving money or sticking to an exercise plan, success raising kids or retiring well, success with a business venture or physical pursuit … success in life. And, when you focus on your goals, habits, mindset and health as integrated variables for success, it improves your capacity in measurable ways, and can truly transform how you work and live. That’s Success-Energy, and it’s a formula worth calculating.

Profile:
Health and Productivity Expert Michelle Cederberg galvanizes people to blaze their own path and live a bigger life. An in-demand speaker, author, health expert, coach and consultant, she helps individuals and organizations break through the physical and emotional barriers that get in the way of high-performance – in business and in life.

She holds a Masters in Kinesiology, a BA in Psychology, a specialization in Health and Exercise Psychology, is a Certified Exercise Physiologist (CEP), a Certified Professional Co-Active Life Coach (CPCC) and an ORSC Trained Team Coach. She combines mind, body, and practicality to inspire change!

A natural storyteller, Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) Michelle transports delighted audiences on a journey of truth and laughter that will empower them to optimize health and energy habits, find better work-life balance and gain momentum toward the personal legacy they long to create. Michelle is the author of three books. Her newest book ‘It’s How We Work’ will be released early 2020.

Jennifer Cook

President/Financial Advisor, Jennifer Cook & Associates Inc. Co-operators Insurance, Kincardine, Ontario

Workshop Facilitator

Workshop Presentation Title • The 7 Secrets for Business Success

Presentation Overview: How to differentiate yourself from your competition and captivate clients/customers: 1- create a powerful brand, 2- build a champion team, 3- network for success, 4- craft a strategy for success, 5- maximize client/customer engagement, 6- keep the dream alive and growing, 7- build a legacy.

Profile:
Jennifer graduated from University of Guelph with a Bachelor of Science in Human Kinetics and a minor in Nutrition. She is currently working towards her CFP, CHS and has recently been awarded her EPC- Elder Planning Councilor designation. Before coming to Co-operators she was a Retirement Legacy Planner with a group benefits company out of Guelph where she specialized in retirement planning for large organizations. She is married to Darren and they have two children… Riley and Ivy.

Jennifer started with Co-operators Insurance in October of 2006 as a home/life associate. She went on to buy the Kincardine office as an SR4 advisor on December 15th 2011. During that time the office has achieved many company accolades including: region builder’s status seven times, executive builders three times, Financial Star and MDRT (million dollar round table) aspirant. Jennifer was named Business Person of the Year for Kincardine in 2015 and was also awarded the Co-operators community achievement award in 2013. She was also nominated for RBC Women of Influence in 2018.

Jennifer believes that community involvement is a mandatory element to success. She is the past president of the Kincardine and community health care foundation, member of the Kincardine Chamber of Commerce, a director for the BIA, co-chair for the Kincardine Reunion and serves on many other committees. She also attends numerous community events along with her staff.

Kelly Dobson

Chief Leadership Officer, LeaderShift Inc., Fairfax, Manitoba

Workshop Facilitator

Workshop Presentation Title • Achieve More of What Matters Most through Leader Effectiveness

Presentation overview: Developing high leader effectiveness allows us to create more of what matters most, professionally and personally.  Kelly Dobson of LeaderShift will highlight what the research says about leader effectiveness and its impact on business results, plus identify 6 ways to ensure people understand what we really want.  The session will include a video panel of women who have pursued leader development to become more successful.

Profile:
Kelly Dobson is a fourth-generation farmer from Manitoba who has turned a lifelong passion for leadership into LeaderShift Inc., a leader development firm focused on small and medium sized enterprises with an agriculture focus. LeaderShift offers individual and team coaching as well as a highly reviewed leader development program capable of serving a dispersed rural clientele in a variety of cohort configurations and work stage contexts. Kelly has served agriculture in a variety of roles both provincially and federally for over a decade.  Kelly has an MAL and a CEC designation from Royal Roads University and is a contributor to Country Guide Magazine.

Jinel Ference

Double F Farms, Kirriemuir, Alberta

Plenary Panel Speaker

Presentation Title • A Discussion with Two Outstanding Farmers

Presentation overview: Meet two Outstanding Young Farmer Winners, and hear their story about their operation and how they have set themselves up for success.

Profile:
Amazing things can happen by embracing new ideas and experiences and being committed to learning.

Jinel feels that her title or perhaps profile is continuously evolving as new opportunities come into her life and she has embraced them.  Spending years as an elementary teacher, marrying a farmer, being a stay at home mom and becoming more involved in their farming operation has brought her to where she is today. A passion for education, agriculture, family and community are all key focuses in her everyday life.

Double F Farms is continuously expanding, making improvements and finding ways to be more efficient. Farming/Ag business is their career that they don’t always outline as such because it is their entire lives. It is exciting to be a “young” farmer and to have an inspiring partner. They are proud of their life in the Ag industry and to be raising three kids on the farm.

Dianne Finstad

Communications Specialist, Red Deer, Alberta

Master of Ceremonies

Profile:
Dianne Finstad is a communications specialist with a passion for all things agriculture. She spent over thirty years as a broadcaster and reporter, specializing in agriculture and rodeo coverage. Raised on a ranch in southern Alberta, she was able to combine her 4-H inspired interests in communication and ag into an interesting career, which now takes her to exciting places like Advancing Women in Agriculture conferences. Based in Red Deer, she began her career at CKRD-TV and radio. Her program ‘This Business of Farming’ was a staple in many rural households around the province. She also worked at KG Country Radio, providing daily farm reports and regular rodeo coverage. As well, Dianne has MC’d at events ranging from Farm Credit Canada Forums to national dairy shows. She works as both a show announcer and rodeo reporter at the Calgary Stampede. Her work has received numerous awards, and she is an honorary member of the Alberta Institute of Agrologists and the Alberta Human Ecology and Home Economics Association. Dianne is currently doing agriculture, rodeo, writing and speaking work across the country.

Debra Harrison

President, John Deere Canada, Deere and Company, Grimsby, Ontario

Plenary Speaker

Presentation Title • What Would I Tell My Younger Self?

Presentation overview: I would like to share my journey from a very humble beginning. Over my career, there have been many ups and downs, but regardless of the situation there has always been something to learn that allowed me to grow. In some cases however, it takes time to appreciate the learning opportunity.

Profile:
As president of John Deere Canada ULC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Deere & Company, Debra Harrison is responsible for directing the operations of the Canadian corporate office and providing strategic leadership for the company, working closely with the Board of Directors for John Deere Canada ULC, key management teams and functional area leads to establish long-range goals, strategic plans and policies. These functional areas include Corporate Compliance, Finance, Legal, Corporate Communications, Facilities Management, Human Resources, Citizenship, Business Analytics and Information Technology. Debra also serves as chairman of both the Board of Directors and the John Deere Foundation of Canada which provides funding to organizations that are focused on improving healthcare, empowering youth through education, and developing the communities in which John Deere is located. In her 39-year career with John Deere, Debra has worked in a variety of areas including Product Engineering, Enterprise Strategic Quality and Production Systems and in Factory-based operations. These roles have allowed her to work in both Canada and the United States and have taken her to locations in Europe, Asia and South America where she had had the opportunity to meet new people and learn about different cultures and practices from around the world. Debra holds a BSc in Engineering from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec and is a current member of the Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO). In her spare time, she enjoys cycling, travelling with her daughter and spending time with friends and family.

Kelty McKay

Willowtree Farm, Port Perry, Ontario

Plenary Panel Speaker

Presentation Title • A Discussion with Two Outstanding Farmers

Presentation overview: Meet two Outstanding Young Farmer Winners, and hear their story about their operation and how they have set themselves up for success.

Profile:
Kelty McKay grew up in London, Ontario. She attended Lakehead University in Thunder Bay and received an honours Bachelor of Science in Forestry. This is where she met Alex McKay. After graduation Alex and Kelty returned to his family farm in Port Perry. Kelty joined the McKay family in the running the daily operations of Willowtree Farm and growing their existing business. Kelty manages the kitchen/bakery/café, the CSA program, Healthy school fundraisers, school tours as well as helps to manage the farm production and labour.  Kelty and Alex have also enjoyed traveling in the winter. Since joining the family farm, Kelty received a Premiers award for her healthy food fundraiser program and last year the McKay family was honoured to be named one of Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers for 2018. Kelty enjoys sharing her family’s passion for farming with the students, visitors and her 2 young boys.

Mary Lynn McPherson

Senior Consultant, STRIVE!, Sparta, Ontario

Workshop Facilitator

Workshop Presentation Title • Networking Plus

Presentation overview: Arggh! (inside voice)  After the brief euphoria of having overcome the butterflies associated with approaching and engaging with a stranger, you’re now trapped.  How do you politely disengage in order to meet others in the room?  Does the conversation seem as stilted to them as it does to you? Whether you relish or resist networking, it is a business development tool that has the potential to significantly influence your success. Join us for a networking plus session the morning of Day 1.  The ‘plus’ part will be networking tips shared periodically during the session.  Tips: on presence… for introverts… on navigating the ‘extraction’… for follow-up.

Profile:
What ‘powers up’ Mary Lynn McPherson from STRIVE! is seeing individuals and teams operating collaboratively from their strengths.  Networking has been one of the techniques she’s employed over the last 17 years to build her governance consulting clientele with STRIVE! and before that, her book of agricultural and agri-business with Royal Bank.  Her networking style matches her facilitation and personal style. What’s your style? She’s interested in learning from your networking experiences in a way that will advance the personal effectiveness of those women in agriculture who attend this session. There will be lots of opportunity to connect in a ‘learn to do by doing’ way.

John Scott

Chair, Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute, Niagara on the Lake, Ontario

Plenary Speaker

Presentation Title • Consumer Mega Trends Setting the Pace for our Food Chain

Presentation Overview: An insightful glance at the trends which are driving significant change in the food supply chain from retail and food service to the farm gate. Included is a discussion on the implications the new reality holds for the industry.

Profile:
John F.T. Scott is an economist, consultant and speaker specializing in the Food Distribution and Retail sector.  He currently analyzes strategies and frequently writes and speaks on Canada’s food industry to various groups and companies.   He is renowned for weaving the preferences of the evolving consumer into the evolving dynamics of the industry.

John is Chair of both the Board of Directors of the Canadian Agri Food Policy Institute (CAPI) and the Board of Governors of Niagara College.  He is Past Chair of the acclaimed Vineland Research and Innovation Centre and a former Director of the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA).   He currently serves on the Board of Platform Genetics Inc. as well as the North American Advisory Board of Monaghan Mushrooms.

John is one of only three individuals who have received both of the highest recognitions in Canada’s retail food industry – the Golden Pencil (Hall of Fame) and the Spirit of the Independent Award (Inspiration to Entrepreneurs in the Sector).

Sue-Ann Staff

President / Winemaker, Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery Inc, Jordan, Ontario

Plenary Speaker

Presentation Title • Creating the Fancy Farm Girl; The Stories, Tales and Fables

Presentation overview: A great wine is really a story in a glass. And that story has a cast of characters from the people that make, to the land that grows it and to the experience of those that enjoy drinking it. Hear some of Sue-Ann’s tales that helped create the wines and form her winemaking philosophies.

Profile:
Winemaking has been a life-long ambition of Sue-Ann’s having stemmed from a family background in viticulture spanning five generations in the heart of the Niagara Peninsula encompassing two “Grape King” titles.

After her formal winemaking education from the renowned Roseworthy College, University of Adelaide, South Australia and several vintages abroad, Sue-Ann has become one of Canada’s top winemakers by winning over 450 national and international wine awards. She was the youngest and first female “Winemaker of the Year 2002” by the Ontario Wine Societyand one of four “Women in Wine” in the world by the International Wine and Spirits Awardsof London, England … twice. Most recently, Sue-Ann received the “ 2018 Tony Aspler OC Cuvée Award of Excellence” for her contributions to national and international awareness of Canadian wine.

Miss Staff is President/Winemaker of Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery is based on her family’s two-hundred-year-old estate in Jordan, Ontario producing high quality VQA wines from grapes grown on their Niagara Escarpment property. Sue-Ann’s wines are bold with a delicate touch. Look for exceptional Rieslings, opulent reds, delightful rosés, festive sparklings and seductive Icewines.

The launch of “Fancy Farm Girl” wines produced by Sue-Ann brings downhome-chic VQA wines that are effortlessly elegant and unpretentiously fabulous. A broad range has been launched with great success in the LCBO and are now exported to Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Quebec.

Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery Inc was awarded “2014 Niagara Entrepreneur of the Year” Emerging Business and the 2015 Shannon Passero “Women In Business” Award. The wine shop’s walls are adorned with dozens of awards from regional and international competitions continuing her tradition of fine winemaking in the Niagara Peninsula.

Janita Van de Velde

Director of Strategy and Corporate Social Responsibility, Farm Credit Canada, Regina, Saskatchewan

Plenary Speaker

Presentation Title • Life According to Me

Presentation overview: Life’s funny, isn’t it? We stumble through our days, exuding a quiet (and perhaps unfortunate) confidence that our time on this planet is infinite. We often dream of things we’d like to pursue, and gently dismiss them with statements like, “one day…” or “soon…” or “when I finish this, then maybe…

In this personal talk, Janita will remind us that a day will come for all of us when our time is up – that moment when it dawns on us, that this was it. That this was our one shot. If Janita could turn back the clock and find her younger self, there are things she would like her to know. These are life’s secrets, according to Janita. Bring a pen and paper.

Profile:
Janita Van de Velde is Director of Strategy and Corporate Social Responsibility at Farm Credit Canada located in Regina, Saskatchewan. She has worked at FCC for 25 years and began her career as a summer student with the organization. Janita is a former Grainews columnist and author of the award-winning travel memoir, Postcards Never Written. She is known among friends and colleagues for her candour, her sense of humour and her generosity – she donates a portion of all proceeds from the sale of her book to charity, most notably to World Vision and FCC’s annual Drive Away Hunger campaign. To date, those donations have exceeded $20,000. Janita lives in Regina with her husband and three children.

Kayla Veldman

Veldman Poultry Farm Ltd., St. Marys, Ontario

Plenary Speaker

Presentation Title • Farming with Family

Presentation Overview: Our experience growing up on an egg, pullet and cash crop farm, navigating post-secondary school in agriculture and working in the industry / continuing to farm with family.

Profile:
Kayla was raised on an egg, pullet and grain farm near Embro, Ontario. She followed her love of agriculture to the University of Guelph where she completed a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, graduating in 2017. She currently works full-time off farm as a private agronomist & seed sales representative. She also works part-time on her family’s farm. She recently became a Certified Crop Advisor in Ontario, with a specialization in Resistance Management. Kayla enjoys traveling and experiencing agriculture in different parts of the world. She also enjoys spending time as a 4H leader and private pilot.

Megan Veldman

Manager, Veldman Poultry Farm Ltd., St. Marys, Ontario

Plenary Speaker

Presentation Title • Farming with Family

Presentation Overview: Our experience growing up on an egg, pullet and cash crop farm, navigating post-secondary school in agriculture and working in the industry / continuing to farm with family.

Profile:
Megan Veldman is a third generation egg farmer, living in St. Marys, Ontario. She graduated from the University of Guelph with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture in 2013. She worked off farm for two years, as a customer service representative at a local feed mill, before returning home to work on the farm with her family. She learned the ropes of the business at the home farm, shadowing her mom and dad for a couple of years, before helping design their newest enriched layer barn. She now manages that barn on her own and is in charge of its daily operation, as well as managing all the books.

Dr. Brynn Winegard

Dr. Brynn Winegard, Business-Brain Expert, DrBrynn.com, Toronto, Ontario

Plenary Speaker

Presentation Title • Unleash Your Inner Superwoman with Insights from Brainscience

Presentation Overview: Learn Dr. Brynn’s 6 brain science secrets that will help you improve your leadership presence, become more influential, be more persuasive, and achieve your goals with greater confidence – this session is designed to help you unleash your inner superwoman! Using insights from cutting-edge brainscience, Dr. Brynn will give you better insight into how you can use your own brain more effectively to be collected, confident, and a stronger leader in all you do, at work and in life.

Profile:
Dr. Brynn Winegard is an award-winning professor, speaker, and writer. Brynn completed her formal education at the Schulich School of Business (MBA, PhD) in business and McMaster University in Neuroscience and Psychology. After over a decade in corporate marketing working for Pfizer Inc., Nestle Inc., and Johnson & Johnson Inc, Brynn has dedicated herself to speaking about ‘Building a Better Business Brain’ to groups, organizations and companies, stemming from her research, which combines neuroscience and management phenomena (‘neuromanagement’). Dr. Winegard retains positions as Faculty at Schulich School of Business’s Executive Education Centre, an Adjunct Professor at Ryerson University, and Executive Faculty in Guelph University’s College of Business and Economics.

Brynn combines real-world experience with frontier research to deliver impactful programming that will be sure to please your audiences and elevate their daily business. Clients include: IEEE, CIBC, BMO, Scotiabank, Kruger Paper Products, Deloitte, Coca-Cola, Club Coffee, InfraReady Foods, CuBe Plastics, MROO, OASBO, OMERS, USAA, Brystol Myers Squibb, Novartis, Toyota, Canadian Blood Services, among more than 50 notable others.