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 WEST 2019 presenters that we have lined up to date!

Allison Ammeter

Plenary Speaker

Presentation Title • A Woman in Agriculture

Overview: Being a woman in leadership in agriculture.  How to get there, be effective, while keeping the rest of life in balance.

Profile:
Allison Ammeter, and her husband of 30 years, Michael, operate a third-generation grain farm near Sylvan Lake, Alberta. The Ammeters crop approximately 1600 acres in a rotation of canola, wheat, barley, fababeans and peas, practicing minimum tillage and using variable rate seeding technology. Due to the location close to the Rocky Mountains, the farm experiences an extremely short growing season every year by North American standards.

Allison is a director and past-chair of Alberta Pulse Growers, current chair of Pulse Canada. She served as Canadian Chair of the International Year of Pulses 2016, and is currently chair of the Plant Protein Alliance of Alberta. Her goal is to serve the pulse growers and food industry in as many ways as possible, encouraging farmers to GROW MORE PULSES, consumers to EAT MORE PULSES, and the food industry to USE MORE PULSES.

Dawn Betancourt

President, Thompsons Limited, Blenheim, Ontario

Panel Speaker

Title • The Essence of Leadership for Women in Agriculture

Overview: A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. A person does not set out to be a leader but becomes one by the quality of their actions and their integrity. Hear the stories of these leaders in our industry and their thoughts as to how women can achieve their goals.

Profile:
Dawn is a wife of 28 years, with two children ages 24, and 20. She is currently the President of Thompsons Limited, in Blenheim Ontario. In 2013 Thompsons was purchased on a 50/50 joint venture by The Andersons Inc, and Lansing Trade Group. She worked for The Andersons for 28 years prior to my arrival in Canada. Dawn started in 1987 for $6.38 an hour after graduating from Michigan State University. Within the Andersons, she started originating grain then managing other originators as well. By 1996, she was responsible for multiple grain elevator over many years. These elevators were throughout every state. The Andersons owned elevators in from Michigan to Nebraska. In 2007, Dawn became the Sales Director for the Grain Division, and in 2011, was named VP of the Western Region of the Grain Division. In 2013, she moved to Chatham Ontario to run Thompsons Limited. In her spare time she works out and tries to take care of herself both physically and mentally. She enjoys going to see her son in Wisconsin and loves going to country music concerts and being social. Her favorite thing to do is travel, in particular anywhere there is a water. Dawn can’t say she aspired to be a President of a company at any point in her career. But she wouldn’t change a thing. “The challenge of something new brought me here and that drive for challenge will take me to the next place, wherever that may be.”

Diane Bourassa

Country Manager, Vetoquinol  N.A. Inc., Lavaltrie, Quebec

Presentation Title • A Career Path Story

Overview: Diane will discuss her career path including the decisions she had to make, the risks she took and the opportunities she captured along the way. Her story will inspire you for creating success and will motivate you to pursue what you believe in.

Profile:
Born in Grand-Mère, in Mauricie, Québec, Diane Bourassa holds a bachelor degree of Administration, Accounting from l’Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières. She obtained her CPA-CA designation in 1990.

After 3 years working as an external auditor at ERNST & YOUNG, she worked in the retail industry at COSTCO and LOBLAWS. Diane spent four years as Director of Finance for a third party logistics service provider METRO CANADA LOGISTIQUE before she came to VETOQUINOL –  a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of Animal health products – in 2007. She first assumed the position of Director, Finance and Administration – where she had the opportunity to contribute her own expertise as a Chartered Accountant – responsible for all financial, IT and HR activities for Vetoquinol Commercial and Industrial Canadian Divisions.

In September 2011, she was appointed as the General Manager of Vetoquinol Canada. In 2015, she was designated to act as an Administrator of Vetoquiol N.A. inc., the first woman to ever hold such position within the Vetoquinol organisation.

Member of the Canadian Animal Health Institute Board of Directors since September 2012, she acted as Chair of the Board from September 2015 to September 2017 and is acting as Past Chair since September 2017.

Tamara Carter

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

Plenary Speaker

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

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.

Carrie Ann Crozier

Senior Director Supply Chain, CN, Edmonton, Alberta

Sponsor Panel Speaker

Profile:
Carrie started her career at CN as as summer student 18 years ago while attending Concordia University. Upon graduation, she participated in the University Recruitment and Operations Development Program where she was exposed to a variety of departments and roles within CN. Over the course of the last 18 years, Carrie has held various roles of increasing responsibility across the entire organization and CN system including Regional Operations, Network Operations as well as Marketing and Sales. Carrie has relocated coast-to-coast from Halifax, NS to Vancouver, BC as well as worked in major CN hubs including Montreal, Toronto, Chicago and Edmonton. In her current role, Carrie is responsible for the development, management, oversight and customer interactions of the full end-to-end supply chain delivery for all Automotive, Coal, Grain, Potash, Crude, Pet Coke, Ethanol and Frac Sand Business business units for CN’s entire North American Network. The portfolio represents close to $5 Billion in revenue for CN and has responsibility for the entire life cycle management of 70,000 rail cars. Carrie is processed minded and a champion of change and has been at the ground level establishing and developing various supply chain groups and initiatives alongside internal and external stakeholders. Carrie is based in Edmonton, Alberta.

Michelle Cederberg

Health and productivity Expert, Change Agent, Work-Life Energy Group, 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 in January 2019.

Anna De Paoli

President, De Paoli & Associates Inc., Foothills, Alberta

Workshop Facilitator

Workshop Presentation Title • Negotiation Techniques

Workshop Overview: This workshop has 4 phases: A mock negotiation between Melinda Park, a Partner in the Securities and Capital Markets Group at Borden Ladner Gervais and Anna De Paoli, a Professional Negotiator at De Paoli & Associates.  Following the mock negotiation, participants are invited to ask questions to the facilitators on their negotiation approach.  Participants will then be guided through the process of preparing for a negotiation, which they will then have the opportunity to practice with their fellow delegates.  The final phase is an interactive Q&A session for delegates to ask questions that will help them prepare for and succeed in their own negotiations.

Profile:
Anna De Paoli is a Certified Management Consultant specializing in commercial negotiation. She founded De Paoli & Associates to help start, grow and support businesses in rural communities, so that these communities become and remain viable. In doing so she helps preserve a rural lifestyle.

Anna works primarily in industrial Agriculture helping her clients in a variety of regulatory and commercial negotiations. She has 15 years international experience in the agricultural, biofuels, petroleum and energy industries and has held board positions in both privately held corporations and the nonprofit sector.

Anna has been a long time volunteer with the Millarville Racing and Agricultural Society and currently chairs the race committee, an event in its 114th year that attracts up to 5,000 people each year on July 1st. In 2017 she was awarded the Foothills 150 medal for service by John Barlow MP in recognition of her commitment to the community.

Anna has two young children and lives on an acreage in Priddis, Alberta.

Annemieke Farenhorst

Prairie NSERC Chair for Women in Science and Engineering, and Acting Associate Dean Research, Faculty of Agriculture and Food Science, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Workshop Facilitator

Workshop Presentation Title • An Open Discussion on Maternity Leave

Workshop Overview: Join the panel of women discussing both sides of maternity leave – how to plan for success for those planning a maternity leave and employers who have women leaving on maternity leave.

Profile:
Dr. Annemieke Farenhorst is the NSERC Chair for Women in Science and Engineering in the Prairie Region and a professor in the Department of Soil Science at the University of Manitoba. In July 2018, she was appointed Acting Associate Dean (Research) of the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences. Dr. Farenhorst conducts research on pesticides, natural steroid estrogens, and antibiotics in soil and water, and on drinking water quality in First Nations communities. She is the director of the NSERC CREATE H2O program for First Nations water and sanitation security, one of the first science-engineering research programs in Canada that combines technical water and wastewater management training with Indigenous theory, law, and methodological skills training. For the past 14 years, Dr. Farenhorst has also been contributing to the National Agri-Environmental Health Analysis and Reporting Program of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to develop and refine a pesticide indicator that consists of a stochastic model coupled to the Pesticide Root Zone Model. Through her work, she has contributed to over 300 articles, abstracts, and reports on chemical fate processes and water quality. As well, Dr. Farenhorst is on the Board of Directors of Canadian Centre for Women in Science, Engineering, Trades and Technology, and was named a WXN 2016 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award winner. She has served as a member of the Advisory Group Supporting the Advancement of Women in Agriculture, Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council, and in 2017 launched a Manitoba mentorship program for women in agriculture.

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.

Angie Fox

Owner, Steadfast Ranch, Ste Rose du Lac, Manitoba

Workshop Speaker

Presentation Title • Because I Love You

Overview: Could your farm keep operating if a key operator was dead or disabled? Angie Fox and Maggie Van Camp share with you what they experienced when their husbands died, leaving them to run their farms and raise their children alone. They’ll give you some practical tools, motivation and advice on how to prepare your farm and your family for the unexpected.

Profile:
Angie Fox is the sole owner/operator of Steadfast Ranch. The Manitoba Ranch is a cow-calf operation that currently runs 1100 pairs for summer grazing and winters 200 mother cows. Angie works at the local Ste Rose Auction mart as a sales clerk weekly and continues to be an active part of her local community. She has four children that are an integral part of the operation, Devon (21), Charlee (12), Porter (11) and Major (9).

Kellie Garrett, PCC, ICD.D, CDWF

CEO, Kellie Garrett Enterprises, Regina, Saskatchewan

Workshop Speaker

Workshop Presentation Title • Coaching: To Coach or Be Coached?

Workshop Overview: Coaching has been around in the business world for a long time. It’s now catching on in the world of agriculture and agri-business. From coaching your farm management team to dealing with succession planning issues, coaching can be invaluable. Coaching is all about  helping people to realize and achieve their business or personal goals so they can realize their potential. How do you know a coach is a good fit for your needs? How can you tell if someone is a good coach?  If you’ve ever wondered what coaching is all about or thought about becoming a coach yourself, this session is for you.  Join us for an insightful and fun session!

Profile:
Kellie Garrett is an executive coach and board director who speaks and consults on leadership, internal culture change, governance and business strategy. She coaches individuals, teams and boards on high performance, leadership, culture and many other topics. A professional certified coach, Kellie also is a Certified Board Director and Certified Daring Way Facillitator, qualified to teach the work of Brené Brown. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur in 2013, Kellie was a Senior VP at Farm Credit Canada, responsible for business strategy, enterprise risk management, the customer experience, and reputation management. She is a communication expert, named Master Communicator and Fellow by the International Association of Business Communicators. Kellie is also a graduate of Royal Roads University’s Master of Arts in Leadership program.

Kellie is passionate about helping others reach their potential. She was named one of Canada’s 100 Most Powerful Women in 2007 and Top 25 Women of Influence in 2012. An ardent volunteer, she also received the Red Cross Humanitarian Award (SK) in 2014, primarily for her work on autism advocacy and Dress for Success.

Merrill Green

Territory Representative, Global Ag Risk Solutions, Lethbridge, Alberta

Sponsor Panel Speaker

Profile:
Merrill Green of Lethbridge, Alberta, is currently a Territory Representative with Global Ag Risk Solutions and is excited to add value to producers to see them succeed. Merrill is extremely passionate about agriculture as a graduate of Olds College Ag Business, and a lengthy career in the banking industry as an AG Lender. Merrill grew up on a mixed farming operation south of Dunmore, Alberta where the family homesteaded and is now in the fourth generation. On the personal side, Merrill and her Husband are avid hockey fans and have been a billet family over the years. They have one son who currently is attending University in Phoenix, Arizona. Merrill enjoys travelling and regularly plays a round or two of golf in the summer months.

Allison Hakomaki

Senior Vice President & Head, Corporate Finance—Prairies, BMO Bank of Montreal, Calgary, Alberta

Profile:
As Head of the Prairies Region, Allison is accountable for the management of all Corporate Finance Division lines of business, products and services for the region (Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba).  Allison joined BMO in 1997 as a Commercial Account Manager trainee in Toronto and progressed through various roles in Commercial Banking, Headquarters and Corporate Finance.  Her first executive appointment was in May 2012 as District Vice President, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island and then became Regional Vice President, Commercial Banking, Atlantic Canada in August 2013. Allison holds an MBA from Queen’s University is a Chartered Professional Accountant and earned an undergraduate degree in business from Wilfrid Laurier University.

Joan Hardy

Vice-President, Sales & Marketing, Grain and Fertilizer, Canadian Pacific Railway, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Sponsor Panel Speaker

Profile:
Joan is responsible for the commercial customer relationships and product marketing related to CP’s bulk business, including grain, fertilizers, potash and coal.

Joan joined CP in spring 2018 after 12 years at Richardson International, Canada’s largest agri-business and a global leader in agriculture and food processing, where she served as Vice-President, Transportation. There she was responsible for rail, marine and truck transportation across Richardson’s North American network. Prior to joining Richardson International, Joan spent 21 years at Canadian National, where she held various roles, including Operations Superintendent, Assistant Vice-President, Sales and Senior Director in CN’s customer service centre.

Joan holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Manitoba. She is located in Winnipeg, the home of key grain shippers, where she is well positioned to further CP’s goal of sustainable, profitable growth.

Joan chairs the Board of Trustees for United Way Winnipeg.  She is also a volunteer and past board member with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra.

Arlen Hasenpflug

Director, Agriculture, BMO Bank of Montreal, Calgary, Alberta

Workshop Presenter

Workshop Part 1: Working With Your Banker

Workshop Overview: Access to capital is always top of mind for farm owners. Whether you’re thinking about expanding your business, or purchasing new equipment, we invite you to join our panel of experts to learn about which capital options are right for you and your farm. You will gain invaluable insight from our panel of Agriculture experts, who can share their combined experience about the farm business lifecycle.

Workshop Part 2: Wealth Management and Succession Planning for the Family Farm

Workshop Overview: You’ve worked hard to build your family farm, so it’s important to make succession plans proactively to maximize the potential benefits while reducing the stress. For business owners contemplating sale or transition, setting goals, visions and exit plans early is critical for success. Guest panelists will include a lawyer and accountant who specialize in agriculture.

Profile:
Arlen is a Director, Agriculture for the Prairies Canadian Commercial Banking team at BMO Bank of Montreal. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Agricultural Business from the University of Guelph and is a Chartered Professional Accountant.

Arlen started her career as a Commercial Account Manager managing an ag portfolio in South Western Ontario. Since then, she has held different roles within Business Banking including Mid-Market Credit Analyst, Commercial Community Manager and Senior Credit Manager in Enterprise Risk.

Arlen grew up in rural Ontario in a farming community. She recently moved to Alberta to further support the strong agriculture market in Western Canada.

Arlen is an advocate for women in business and has been involved in numerous Women in Ag initiatives.

Terri Holowath, CPA, CA

CEO & Partner, Catalyst – Assurance.Taxation.Advisory., Cayley, Alberta

Workshop Presenter

Workshop Presentation Title • Owning your Role as a Leader in Agriculture

Workshop Overview: Often times when we hear the word “leader” we think about formal roles like CEO’s and board members within the agriculture industry but what leadership in agriculture really means is knowing that each generation involved in a closely held operation is equipped with the skills they need to effectively communicate, be confident in their role and responsibilities and be able to work together as a functional unit. To be successful there cannot be one boss with many followers.

You don’t have to be at the top of an organization to be a leader within an organization, and we are all in very important roles in the industry. Join Terri in the session to help you better understand what leadership really looks like and how this applies to you in your role. We want you to leave this session with the confidence to own your role and start thinking, acting and communicating like a leader.

Profile:
Terri works within the Assurance & Accounting services group at Catalyst assisting clients with their business planning, growth and succession issues. As CEO of Catalyst Terri leads the firm in their “Smart Growth” strategy, which has included firm acquisitions, business development initiatives, the expansion of client services and mentoring young professionals.

With over 25 years’ experience in agriculture, she is a well-known industry expert with specialized expertise in the area of developing leadership and family operation transitions which has resulted in various speaking and consulting engagements to producers and industry groups. She also plays a leading role as a teacher and mentor in Catalyst’s Agriculture Leadership and Management Development program designed specifically for producers. This is her latest involvement sharing her expertise and influencing positive change in the industry by equipping people with the skills they need to lead their family’s agriculture operations.

Terri and her husband Bart live on a ranch outside of Cayley, Alberta. They are avid equine competitors and travel across North America competing in working cow horse competitions. Terri’s successes include winning the Calgary Stampede and she currently holds the title of NRCHA World Champion in the Non Pro Two Rein.

Tiffany Koberstein

Program Director, iDE Canada, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Presentation Title • Her Time to Grow: women farmers in developing countries

Overview: Farmers in developing countries face significant barriers to prosperity – access to affordable inputs, technology, credit, markets, and agronomic advice. Women farmers face yet further challenges related to cultural and social norms. Hear how one non-profit organization is working to empower women in this challenging context.

Profile:
A city kid who didn’t know the difference between straw and hay, Tiffany found herself in the unlikeliest of places – working in the agriculture industry. After seven years in the industry in marketing and communications, she took the leap to the non-profit sector after discovering iDE, an organization whose business approach to alleviating poverty was a perfect match to her head, heart and experience. With a drive to make a difference, and restless feet that take her around the globe, Tiffany now oversees the programs run out of iDE’s Canadian office.

Alanna Koch

Alanna Koch, Chair, Global Institute for Food Security, Edenwold, Saskatchewan

Presentation Title • Leadership – Both Art and Science

Overview: We often hear the expression of whether leaders are born or made. Experiences and opportunities have shaped Alanna into the leader she is today. She’ll share her views about leadership — that it’s not attributed to a title, certificate or position, but rather what is learned throughout many experiences and how that is used to impact others in a positive way.

Profile:
A farmer, long-time agriculture champion and former senior government executive, Alanna Koch is the Chair of the Board of the Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS) at the University of Saskatchewan. Founded in 2012, the mission of GIFS is to help feed the world through transformative innovations in agriculture and food production that will benefit Saskatchewan’s economic, social and environmental well-being and empower developing countries to achieve local food security. GIFS, founded in 2012, is focused on innovation in plant science, soil science and digital agriculture that leverages Saskatchewan’s natural resource strengths contributing to food security through sustainable agriculture here and in developing nations. She also works with farmers and the agriculture industry through her consulting company, KoHert Agri Inc. Prior to this, she served as Deputy Minister to Premier Brad Wall and Cabinet Secretary and was the Saskatchewan Deputy Minister of Agriculture for nine years. As one of the longest serving Agriculture Deputy Ministers in Saskatchewan and Canadian history, Alanna worked closely with farmers and industry and her priority was to build and maintain public trust in agriculture by focusing on science-based decision making and communicating the benefits of modern tools and technology. Her approach of values-based leadership provided her with the opportunity to meet and mentor young leaders. Alanna has been involved in the agriculture industry, both professionally and personally, for most of her life. Before joining government, she was President of the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance and was a Director with Agricore United (a predecessor of Viterra), and Executive Director of the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association. She was on the board of the Saskatchewan Trade and Export Partnership (STEP), Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation and Buffalo Plains School Division. The inaugural Extra Mile Award for Women in Agriculture was presented to her in 2018 for her contributions as a trailblazer and mentor. In 2015, she was recognized by the Regina YWCA with the Women of Distinction Award for excellence in Leadership and Management. In 2012, Alanna received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and in 2011, she was inducted into the Saskatchewan Agricultural Hall of Fame for her outstanding achievement in the sector. In 2005, her contributions to the agricultural industry and to her community were recognized when she received the Saskatchewan Centennial Medal. Alanna is a graduate of the Canadian Agriculture Lifetime Leadership program, holds a Chartered Designation from the Directors College and is an Honorary Life Member of the Saskatchewan Institute of Agrologists. Alanna and her husband, Gerry Hertz, farm at Edenwold. They have two grown daughters, Shayla and Keisha.

Melanie Lantz

Vice President Agriculture & Agribusiness, RBC Royal Bank, Abbotsford, British Columbia

Plenary Speaker

Presentation Title • Shifting Trends in Agriculture: What has been our role as women and how do we contribute for an impactful future in this industry?

Overview: Agriculture and the family farm have had to make significant adaptations to keep pace with the evolving trends in economics, politics, trade, and labour over the course of the past century. This presentation will focus on the role women have played in this evolution and what we need to do in current times to ensure Agriculture continues to thrive for generations to come.

Profile:
My professional career is a culmination of several years of agriculture focused study and work experience throughout BC’s Fraser Valley. I was one of the last to graduate with my BSc. Ag from the University of British Columbia’s dedicated Animal Science program in 2001. I went on to achieve my Professional Agrologist designation with the BC Institute of Agrologists in 2004 and spent the first 10 years of my career building experience in the Equine, large animal Veterinary, and Animal Health pharmaceutical industries. My first opportunity to work directly with the Dairy Industry came in 2009 when I went on to work with the BC Milk Marketing Board. In 2013 I joined RBC’s Commercial Financial Services Agriculture team. This career move has enabled me to continually build on my industry education and experience. I am encouraged to keep active in this industry of Agriculture, one with which I have always been so passionate about.

Roxane Lieverse

Director & Lead – Alberta Agricultural Banking, Scotiabank, Calgary, Alberta

Sponsor Panel Speaker

Profile:
Roxane Lieverse, a farm kid from Beaverlodge, Alberta. She completed her undergraduate degree from McMaster University in Hamilton and her masters from Dalhousie University in Halifax. Today she is the Director and Lead of Alberta Agricultural Banking at the Scotiabank. Her career has been spent in the financial industry, including roles within capital markets, wealth management, private banking and retail management. In addition to a successful career working with a team of passionate agricultural bankers, Roxane is a wife and mother of a set of 2.5 year old twins. Outside of work Roxane enjoys cycling and being active. However, her greatest pleasure is to be back on the farm with her large extended family.

Mary Manhas

Senior Credit Manager, Prairies & Northwest Territories Division, BMO Bank of Montreal, Calgary, Alberta

Workshop Presenter

Workshop Part 1: Working With Your Banker

Workshop Overview: Access to capital is always top of mind for farm owners. Whether you’re thinking about expanding your business, or purchasing new equipment, we invite you to join our panel of experts to learn about which capital options are right for you and your farm. You will gain invaluable insight from our panel of Agriculture experts, who can share their combined experience about the farm business lifecycle.

Workshop Part 2: Wealth Management and Succession Planning for the Family Farm

Workshop Overview: You’ve worked hard to build your family farm, so it’s important to make succession plans proactively to maximize the potential benefits while reducing the stress. For business owners contemplating sale or transition, setting goals, visions and exit plans early is critical for success. Guest panelists will include a lawyer and accountant who specialize in agriculture.

Profile:
Mary works in the Risk Department as a Senior Credit Manager for the Prairies & NWT Division at BMO Bank of Montreal. During her 17 year career with BMO, Mary has become known for the wealth of experience she has in both personal and business banking. Recently, Mary joined the risk team where she adjudicates business loans across all industries. This has proven to be invaluable experience in understanding risk as it relates to the bank, and our clients. Initiatives such as our Agriculture Relief Programs are implemented through feedback from risk teams. She is an advocate for women in business, and leads the #BMOforWomen strategy in Alberta.

Richelle Matthews

Program Manager, Calgary Technologies Inc., Calgary, Alberta

Panel Speaker

Title • Lessons and Learnings from Eight Years in Africa

Overview: Technology is changing the face of the agriculture industry in Africa. leading to improved efficencies, productivity and sustainabilty…sometimes with unexpected results.

Profile:
Richelle has 15 years of international marketing and busines development experience across Sub-Saharan Africa, Bangladesh and North America. Throughout her career, she has worked for organizations such as AdFarm, on projects funded by USAID and UKAID. Currently, Richelle is the Program Lead for the Telus Technology Accelerator on behalf of CTI. This role invovles working with tech startups to fast-track their growth and build channels to market with large industry. Working with startups goes beyond her day job as an accelerator lead. Richelle is also a social entrepreneur, and her African based startup was selected as one of the top six out of 12,000 to pitch for $1 million to former President Bill Clinton at the United Nations via The Hult Prize. She holds a Masters Degree in International and Intercultural Communication.

Melanie McDonald

Melanie McDonald, Vice-President & Regional Director (Western Canada), BMO Trust Company, Calgary, Alberta

Workshop Presenter

Workshop Part 1: Working With Your Banker

Workshop Overview: Access to capital is always top of mind for farm owners. Whether you’re thinking about expanding your business, or purchasing new equipment, we invite you to join our panel of experts to learn about which capital options are right for you and your farm. You will gain invaluable insight from our panel of Agriculture experts, who can share their combined experience about the farm business lifecycle.

Workshop Part 2: Wealth Management and Succession Planning for the Family Farm

Workshop Overview: You’ve worked hard to build your family farm, so it’s important to make succession plans proactively to maximize the potential benefits while reducing the stress. For business owners contemplating sale or transition, setting goals, visions and exit plans early is critical for success. Guest panelists will include a lawyer and accountant who specialize in agriculture.

Profile:
Melanie is passionate about working with her team and assisting clients with some of the most challenging issues that the client and their family will face in their lifetime. Drawing on her legal experience, clients benefit from a depth of insight and unique foresight into a diverse range of situations, both those that were planned and all unforeseen consequences and events.

Melanie joined BMO Trust Company in 2016. Prior to this role she was a partner and lawyer with one of Canada’s largest law firms.  Melanie has over 15 years of experience with a wide variety of estate, trust, corporate and tax issues, including estate and trust planning, administration and litigation.  Melanie regularly assists families and business owners with cross-border and international planning and philanthropy issues.

Education & credentials    

  • Lawyer (LL.B) – Alberta and Ontario
  • Society of Estate and Trust Professionals (TEP)
  • Canadian Securities Course
  • University of Windsor Mediation Certificate

Lorri McLeod

Financial Advisor, Owner, McLeod Agencies Ltd., The Co-operators, Hanna, Alberta

Sponsor Panel Speaker

Profile:
Lorri started with the Co-operators in Hanna, AB in 1994 as part time help. She would help out the Co-operators offices in Stettler and Oyen if they needed someone to cover off holidays, etc. During this time, she also had on average 2 – 3 other jobs that she worked at in order to make ends meet. Sometime over the next couple of years she transitioned to a full time position with The Co-operators in Hanna, AB. She has been there ever since. They have recently added another office to their team: The Co-operators in Oyen, so Hanna & Oyen now operate as one entity.

Emily Murray

General Manager – McDonald’s Beef, Cargill, Wichita, Kansas

Sponsor Panel Speaker

Profile:
Currently based in Chicago, Emily is Cargill’s General Manager of McDonald’s Beef. She oversees Cargill’s beef patty sales to McDonald’s in the U.S. and Canada. Emily joined Cargill in 2010 as an in-house strategy and business development associate and has worked across several businesses in her time at Cargill, including Corn Milling and Oils. Before joining Cargill, Emily spent five years in general management at Enterprise Rent-A-Car. She has an undergraduate degree with Honors from Dartmouth College and an MBA from the Darden School at the University of Virginia. She grew up in St. Louis, Missouri.

Melinda Park

Partner, Borden Ladner Gervais, Calgary, Alberta

Workshop Facilitator

Workshop Presentation Title • Negotiation Techniques

Workshop Overview: This workshop has 4 phases: A mock negotiation between Melinda Park, a Partner in the Securities and Capital Markets Group at Borden Ladner Gervais and Anna De Paoli, a Professional Negotiator at De Paoli & Associates. Following the mock negotiation, participants are invited to ask questions to the facilitators on their negotiation approach. Participants will then be guided through the process of preparing for a negotiation, which they will then have the opportunity to practice with their fellow delegates. The final phase is an interactive Q&A session for delegates to ask questions that will help them prepare for and succeed in their own negotiations.

Profile:
Melinda Park is a partner in the Securities and Capital Markets Group in our Calgary office.

She is a senior member of firm management, having recently completed her term as Chair of the Partnership Board, the Firm’s highest governing body, becoming the first woman at BLG to hold the position. Melinda is Regional Group Manager for the Corporate & Capital Markets Group in Calgary, past Chair of the Firm’s Audit Committee, and was a member of the Partnership Board for six years.

Melinda has practised securities and corporate law for over 20 years, with a focus on securities, corporate finance and commercial transactions. She primarily represents corporate clients on securities and corporate matters, including mergers and acquisitions and reverse take-overs (RTOs); going public in Canada; and financings by way of prospectus and private placement offerings. She regularly advises boards of directors and committees of public and private companies. Melinda has extensive experience advising corporate clients and structuring business transactions. She regularly provides expertise on corporate governance and continuous disclosure for companies listed on both the TSX Venture Exchange and the TSX.

Meghan Pedros

Relationship Manager, Talent Acquisition Business Banking Programs, TD Bank Group, Toronto, Ontario

Workshop Presenter

Presentation Title • Build Your Brand, Achieve Success!

Workshop Overview: This interactive workshop will take you through a step-by-step process on how to effectively build and leverage your personal brand to achieve success! Whether you are a strong negotiator or looking to build confidence, this workshop will add tips and tricks to your personal development checklist.

Profile:
Meghan Pedros is a career oriented wife, mother, marathoner, mentor and brand ambassador with a passion for developing others through inspiration, mentorship and integrity.   Over her 14 year career with TD, she has held a series of progressive roles in Wealth Management, Retail, Direct Channels and Human Resources, to name a few.  In her most recent role, Meghan lead the Canadian Banking Management Associate & Graduate Leadership Programs; which focus on developing general management and leadership capabilities across the organization. In her current role as Relationship Manager; Talent Acquisition, Meghan leads the diversity sourcing and recruitment strategy for our Business Banking Associate Programs across Canada.  With a passion for personal development and growth, Meghan plays an active role in supporting Women in Leadership and Diversity initiatives both internally and externally; advocating TD as a career choice for new grads and a “Place to Be You”.

Erin Romeo

National Dekalb Marketing Lead,  Bayer Canada – Crop Science Division, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Workshop Presenter

Workshop Presentation Title • An Open Discussion on Maternity Leave

Workshop Overview: Join the panel of women discussing both sides of maternity leave – how to plan for success for those planning a maternity leave and employers who have women leaving on maternity leave.

Profile:
Growing up, if you had told me I would one day attend a conference for women in agriculture, I would have given you a blank stare. I’m a city kid. I had never set foot on a farm until a senior partner at my firm insisted I show up at his farm and learn to seed canola. After that unusual assignment, I’ve worked in agriculture for almost 15 years, either as a lawyer or more recently, in my newly discovered passion for marketing. During my career in agriculture I have enjoyed visiting places in Canada that are not often traveled and meeting many inspirational farm families. Family is the center of my universe; my husband Matt and I are the proud parents of Max, a four year old boy who is slowly bankrupting us with his excessive use of Spiderman Band-Aids. Since becoming a mother, my career success (and my sanity) result from the strong parenting partnership with my husband, the steadfast support of my parents and the flexible work environment at Monsanto Canada. I get the a chance to be a senior leader, to do interesting work I am passionate about and nobody bats an eye when I’m the last  one to show up in the morning after taking Max to Montessori.  My true passion is leading teams and developing the next generation of senior leaders. I’m looking forward to learning from the other conference attendees and sharing new insights with the women in my organization.

Stephanie Sackmann

Senior Client Solutions Manager, Scotiabank, Calgary, Alberta

Workshop Presenter

Workshop Presentation Title • Agriculture is BIG Business – Reading and Understanding Financial Statements for Everyone

Workshop Overview: What does your financial institution look for in a business and operating plan to increase the opportunity for success in financing a new or expanding business venture.

Profile:
Stephanie has been in the banking industry for over 10 years and worked in many departments. She started her banking career in the Okanagan with Valley First Credit Union as a teller, from there transitioned into investments and personal banking.  Stephanie moved to Calgary and joined Scotiabank in 2013 as a Personal banking Officer, after working in Retail banking for many years and decided to transition and try her hand at Commercial Banking as a service officer working in their local processing center. She learned the back end processing for commercial loans and deposits which created the foundation for her to further her career. In 2016 she moved into Agriculture banking in the capacity of an analyst and eventually to her current role as a Solutions Manager. The transition to Ag came with new learning and a diverse and everchanging industries. Stephanie enjoys everyday in her new career as it comes with new challenges and the ability to help hardworking clients.

Demetha Sanders

Global Talent and Inclusion Leader, Cargill, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Plenary Speaker

Presentation Title • Who Is Supporting You?

Overview:An engaging conversation that will provide useful tools and an action plan that women can follow as they prepare for the growing demand of women in leadership.

Profile:
Demetha Sanders is the Global Talent Management and Inclusion Leader responsible for driving the talent management, talent acquisition as well as the diversity and inclusion agenda for the more than 150,000 employees in 70 countries representing Cargill, one of the largest privately held companies in the world. She is responsible for bringing innovative solutions that solve new challenges in talent that are applied across the world including looking at new ways to solve for diversity, to revolutionize onboarding, to build sustainable succession pipelines and to assess capabilities in a place where the work truly matters.

Gail Schafer

Regional Sales Manager, Global Ag Risk Solutions, Olds, Alberta

Workshop Speaker

Workshop Presentation Title • A Seat at the Table

Workshop Overview: A workshop that will give you some simple but proven rules and concepts that will not only enhance your role and effectiveness within your family’s business but also help to transform that business in the long-term. We’ll talk about understanding your finances and our marketplace and current trends; how to figure out your farm or business’ place within the industry and how to go about objectively identifying and confidently bringing forward strategies to increase profitability and sustainability.

Profile:
Gail and her family farm East of Olds, AB.  She grew up in South Africa and worked in agriculture and government there. After immigrating to Canada in 2000 she has worked in leadership roles in the financial and employer services industries.  Gail represented AFSC in Central Alberta as a Relationship Manager; and recently joined Global Ag Risk Solutions in October 2016 as the Alberta Regional Sales Manager. Global Ag Risk Solutions is a progressive, client focused, innovative and rapidly expanding private Revenue Insurance Company.

Lisa Schouten

Continuous Improvement Process Lead, Cargill Limited, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Workshop Presenter

Workshop Presentation Title • An Open Discussion on Maternity Leave

Workshop Overview: Join the panel of women discussing both sides of maternity leave – how to plan for success for those planning a maternity leave and employers who have women leaving on maternity leave.

Profile:
Lisa Schouten grew up in the prairie town of Neepawa, Manitoba and completed undergraduate studies in Economics at the University of Winnipeg.  She has worked at Cargill for over 21 years in a variety of finance and accounting roles supporting the grain and crop input businesses in Canada.  After 16 years based in the Winnipeg office, Lisa had the opportunity to experience the ag industry in southern Saskatchewan as a Regional Finance Manager.  Since relocating back to Winnipeg in 2015 she has been supporting process improvement initiatives and leading projects for the North American supply chain businesses.  Lisa is also an active member on the leadership team for the Women’s Resource Group for the Cargill North American supply chain businesses, where one of her focus areas was to support a study of Cargill employee experience of parental leave.  With three maternity leaves while working at Cargill, Lisa has not only navigated through different stages and types of maternity leaves but has also managed a team of employees who have experienced the effects of maternity leave.

Jonathan Small

Chief Research Officer, Global Ag Risk Solutions, Delburne, Alberta

Workshop Speaker

Workshop Presentation Title • A Seat at the Table

Workshop Overview: A workshop that will give you some simple but proven rules and concepts that will not only enhance your role and effectiveness within your family’s business but also help to transform that business in the long-term. We’ll talk about understanding your finances and our marketplace and current trends; how to figure out your farm or business’ place within the industry and how to go about objectively identifying and confidently bringing forward strategies to increase profitability and sustainability.

Profile:
Jonathan’s career spans over thirty years and two continents. After graduating from London University in the UK with a bachelor’s degree in Agriculture Jonathan worked as a consultant to professional farmers and industry organizations. In that time, he has focused agrology and later specialized in Farm Management, Production Economics, Operational, Business and Succession Planning, Farm Finance and Analysis in the United Kingdom and, since 1999, in Canada.

Jonathan has advised a broad range of farm types ranging from grains to roots, orchard fruits and hops to name a few as well as a broad range of livestock types including beef cattle, dairy, sheep and feathers.

Jonathan’s length and breadth of experience has given him immense insight into what it takes to thrive in modern agriculture. His ability to convey that to his clients simply and effectively has allowed him to improve the lives and businesses of literally thousands of farm families. His fundamental approach to the analysis and understanding of farm business is at the very heart of Global Ag Risk Solution’s own Production Cost Insurance product. Prior to joining GLOBAL AG RISK SOLUTIONS as their Chief Research Officer Jonathan was a farm management partner with MNP for 18 years and was extensively involved in succession planning in the last ten years of that time.

Leona Staples

Owner, Operator, The Jungle Farm, Red Deer County, Alberta

Plenary Speaker

Presentation Title • The Jungle Farm

Overview: I am passionate about growing food, educating the public and helping families create memories on a farm. I will be sharing how we have taken these passions and put them into our farm.

Profile:
Leona is a fourth generation farmer who has dedicated her life to sharing and teaching the community about the history of farming, growing foods in Central Alberta, and creating family memories with an authentic farm experience.  She and her husband Blaine, own and work The Jungle Farm as a legacy to preserve the history and practices of the family’s centennial farm.

She has become known locally and nationally as a successful businesswoman and agricultural innovator. She began influencing those in the agricultural industry when she was a teen as a very active 4-H member winning awards for public speaking, leadership, and parliamentary procedures. After graduating from the UofA with a BSc in Home Economics, she worked with Alberta Agriculture as an extension agent and taught many education programs to rural women. In 1996, Leona and Blaine moving to the family farm to raise their three boys; together they made changes to create what The Jungle Farm is today.

Leona strongly promotes the value of community; mentoring other farm families who are starting in agriculture by sharing information and giving them tours, by serving as an executive board member for the Innisfail Growers Cooperative, she was one of the founding board executive for the Calgary Farmer’s Market which continues to be the largest year round farmer’s market in Calgary, and by chairing the Olds College Board of Governors. She also travels across Canada and the USA as a keynote speaker for various agriculture conferences.

Leona has created the popular annual Strawberry Festival with up to 3000 people attending in one day. She has created educational school trips to the farm ranging from pre-school up to college students who learn about agriculture by touching, picking and tasting the vegetables and fruits on the farm.

Leona is a proud mother, wife, volunteer, community advocate and farmer.

Nicole Stelter

Vice President Agriculture Services Alberta, TD, Leduc, Alberta

Sponsor Panel Speaker

Profile:
Nicole Stelter, is the Vice President of Agriculture for Alberta.  Nicole has always had a passion for Agriculture; she was raised on a mixed grain and cattle farm in Nisku, Alberta; in 2018 her family celebrated 120 years of farming on the original homestead and is now the 4th generation.  Nicole and her husband Murray (3rd generation producer) also operate a 1,500 acre grain farm in South West Edmonton.  She continues to be very involved in the operation and during harvest you can usually find her driving the combine.

An Olds College Ag business graduate, Nicole wanted to combine her passion for Agriculture with her interest of finance.  Upon graduation, she was hired by TD Bank as an Agriculture Management trainee and over the last 22 years has been able to grow her career within the bank in Small Business, Commercial and Agriculture Lending.  For the past two years she has been the Associate Vice President for Agriculture Credit in Western Canada and in Jan 2019 took over as Vice President of TD Agriculture in Alberta.  She enjoys leading a team that shares her same passion and commitment to Agriculture along with the growth and sustainability of the industry.

Trish Tetz

Manager, Agriculture, Alberta South Business Banking Community, BMO Bank of Montreal – Red Deer, Alberta

Workshop Presenter

Workshop Part 1: Working With Your Banker

Workshop Overview: Access to capital is always top of mind for farm owners. Whether you’re thinking about expanding your business, or purchasing new equipment, we invite you to join our panel of experts to learn about which capital options are right for you and your farm. You will gain invaluable insight from our panel of Agriculture experts, who can share their combined experience about the farm business lifecycle.

Workshop Part 2: Wealth Management and Succession Planning for the Family Farm

Workshop Overview: You’ve worked hard to build your family farm, so it’s important to make succession plans proactively to maximize the potential benefits while reducing the stress. For business owners contemplating sale or transition, setting goals, visions and exit plans early is critical for success. Guest panelists will include a lawyer and accountant who specialize in agriculture.

Profile:
Trish is Manager, Agriculture in the Alberta South Business Banking Community with BMO Bank of Montreal. Trish received her Agriculture Technology Diploma from the University of the Fraser Valley and continues to pursue a designation in agrology. During her career with BMO so far, Trish has worked as a Mid-Market Commercial Account Manager in Abbotsford, BC, before transferring to Red Deer, Alberta to take on her current role. Trish has a passion for agriculture and enjoys both the production and business sides of the industry. As a woman in agriculture, Trish believes it’s important to participate in the industry and to be a mentor to other women who wish to break into the industry, as well.

Courtney Thevenot

Senior Credit Solutions Manager, Scotiabank, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Workshop Presenter

Workshop Presentation Title • Agriculture is BIG Business – Reading and Understanding Financial Statements for Everyone

Workshop Overview: What does your financial institution look for in a business and operating plan to increase the opportunity for success in financing a new or expanding business venture.

Profile:
Growing up on a Saskatchewan grain farm, Courtney always had an interest in numbers and business. After completing her B.Comm degree with a Finance Major from the University of Saskatchewan, she began her career in commercial banking. She has held many roles including Associate, Analyst, and Account Manager, where she developed her skills and love for credit.  Currently, as a Senior Credit Solutions Manager, Courtney is responsible for completing credit requests from $5-$15million for agricultural borrowers in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Alberta for the Bank of Nova Scotia. This entails full financial analysis, projections, and full credit underwriting for all deals, while keeping the customer focus front of mind and balancing the Bank’s risk appetite.

Patricia Thompson

VP Sales and Marketing, King Cole Ducks Ltd., Stouffville, Ontario

Plenary Speaker

Presentation Title: Ducked!

Overview: How does working with family, being women in a man’s world, adapting to the changing markets, trends and business “fly” with this family … just ducky!  We’ll share “a day in the life of a duck farmer” and how it takes us with confidence into markets here and around the world.

Profile:
Patti Thompson is  one of four sisters, now operating Canada’s largest duck producer, King Cole Ducks Ltd. This 66 year old family operated agri-business is a farm to fork operation with breeding, hatching, growing, processing, research and development, cook plant as well as a feather operation and composting operation. With over 180 staff, many second generation co-workers, the sisters value the skills, talent and dedication of an amazing team that is taking the business into the next decade. Comittment to continuous  improvement, the environment, a natural farming philosophy and marketing everything but the “quack”, makes this a unique company with a great story to share to customers in their own backyard and around the world. Patti’s education in public relations launched her career with CBC but her heart remained “at the farm”. Having done every job in the business from egg collection to plant management, she used her education and farm—life experience to build a sales and marketing program for the company. Today as VP of Sales/Marketing, she works with customers from tiny bistros to cruiseships, world-wide.  Patti  is sports enthusiast cycling “to the farm” in the summer, competing with Mid Ice Crisis, a synchronized skating team through the winter. As a volunteer, she is a “wish grantor” for Make a Wish Canada, participates in the 200 km Ride to conquer cancer and helps with a variety of community events. Most important in her life is family: sisters, parents, inlaws, outlaws and especially, her three children.

Maggie Van Camp

National Agricultural Practice Development Leader, BDO Canada, Guelph, Ontario
CEO/Owner, Redcrest Farms and Loft 32, Blackstock, Ontario

Workshop Speaker

Presentation Title • Because I Love You

Overview: Could your farm keep operating if a key operator and decision-maker passed away? Angie Fox and Maggie Van Camp share with you what they experienced when their husbands died, leaving them to run their farms and raise their children alone. They’ll give you some practical tools, motivation and advice on how to prepare your farm and your family for the unexpected.

Profile:
Maggie Van Camp is the new National Agricultural Practice Development Leader for BDO Canada, based out of the Guelph, Ontario office. In addition, Maggie is CEO and owner of Redcrest Farms Ltd., a chicken farm near Blackstock, Ontario. She is a well-respected agricultural journalist including her long tenure as senior business editor with County Guide. Recently, Maggie wrote a book about transition/succession planning and started a communication and training company called Loft32. She has three children, 23, 22 and 18.

Candace Vinke

Sustainable Development Director, Viresco Solutions, Calgary, Alberta

Panel Speaker

Title • Women, Labour and Agriculture in Africa

Overview: A discussion on the role of women in agriculture in parts of Africa, the challenges they face and the risks they take.

Profile:
Candace has a Master of Arts degree in Geography from the University of Victoria and a Bachelor of Science degree in Geography from the University of Calgary. Prior to joining Viresco Solutions, Candace was the Manager of Agricultural and Social Projects with The Prasino Group. In this role she led a team of sustainability professionals working on consulting projects related to agricultural offset protocol development, greenhouse gas emission reduction quantification, environmental market policy and opportunity research and supply chain sustainability.

Previously, Candace has also worked in the non-profit sector, first as a Business Development Facilitator at Momentum, a community economic development organization offering business training and microloans to individuals living in poverty; and subsequently in Pucallpa, Peru as a Research Fellow with the World Agroforestry Centre / The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). During her master’s she also had the opportunity to work in the Small Island Development States Unit within the Division for Sustainable Development in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) at the United Nations Headquarters.

Common themes throughout Candace’s work have included climate change, environmental markets, poverty and inequality. In addition to her home country of Canada, Candace has worked and/or studied in Ethiopia, Egypt, Cameroon, Malawi, Kenya, Peru and Brazil. She can be contacted via e-mail at candace@virescosolutions.com.

Leah Weatherill

Managing Director & Team Lead, Corporate Finance, BMO Bank of Montreal, Calgary, Alberta

Sponsor Panel Speaker

Profile:
Leah Weatherill is a Managing Director and Team Lead in Canadian Commercial Banking, Prairies Region, with Bank of Montreal. She leads a team of people that assist BMO’s corporate customers with their lending and banking needs in a diverse range of industries across Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Leah started her career in commercial banking over 15 years ago managing a portfolio of small to medium sized businesses. Over the years, she grew her experience by managing client portfolios with larger and more complex borrowing needs, with time spent in Vancouver and the UK. Leah returned to her home town of Calgary and joined BMO in 2013. Prior to her current role, she was the Divisional Manger of Credit, Prairies leading a team of credit officers adjudicating mid market commercial loans. She prides herself on providing exceptional service to clients while also managing risk for the bank, and she strives to create a collaborative and supportive work environment for her team.

Leah holds a Bachelor of Science, Honours degree with a major in Mathematics from Queen’s University. In her spare time she can be found with her family exploring the outdoor beauty that the Prairies and Rocky Mountains have to offer.

Dr. Brynn Winegard

Dr. Brynn Winegard, DrBrynn.com, Toronto, Ontario

Plenary Speaker

Presentation Title • Brain Science Secrets for Persuasion & Influence

Presentation Overview: Human brains have natural ‘fault-lines’ that lead to easier persuasion, influence, and compliance. In order to be better at persuading or influencing others, we have to know where these fault-lines are, how the human brain really works, what the predominant domains of threat processing are, and how others are processing our interactions. Dispelling some of the common myths and exciting you with new and neat brain facts, Dr. Brynn excites and energizes audiences by delving into something we all have – a human brain. This keynote will leave you newly informed, inspired, ready to tackle your challenges and take on your aspirations with insights about the neuroscience of persuasion and influence.

You will experience:

  • 60-min Interactive, High-Energy Keynote
  • Learn the 6 Principles of Persuasion
  • Learn the 6 Brain Science Secrets for Influence
  • Gain insight for ensuring non-coercive compliance from anyone – the brain-based insights you need to know
  • Get new tools for better brain-based persuasion, influence, and compliance

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.

Jennifer Wood

Board Chair, Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC), Edmonton, Alberta

Panel Speaker

Title • The Essence of Leadership for Women in Agriculture

Overview: A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. A person does not set out to be a leader but becomes one by the quality of their actions and their integrity. Hear the stories of these leaders in our industry and their thoughts as to how women can achieve their goals.

Profile:
Ms. Wood is a professional  agrologist, holds a B.Sc. in Agriculture Business Management from the University of Alberta and holds an ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors. She is a partner in a private equity holding company that focuses on the Agribusiness sector and co-operates her family cattle ranch.

Ms. Wood entrepreneurial leadership has been recognized by various organizations. She is a recipient of the Women of Distinction Award; Report on Business, Top 40 under 40; Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Prairie Region; and the University of Alberta Alumni Horizon Award. Jennifer passions extends beyond Agriculture having been honoured with the Citizenship Award for commitment and contribution to improving the health and well-being of Canada’s children and youth.

Ms. Wood remains committed to sharing her talents and expertise by providing valuable insight, governance and leadership to a variety of private, public and not for profit  Boards. Currently Jennifer is Board Chair of Agriculture Financial Services Corporation, Board Chair of a Private Food Manufacturing Company and  Councilor of Waskesui Community Council working with Parks Canada.