2017 Leadership Conference Speakers





Tim Hague Sr. overcame the odds when he went from a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease to winning season #1 of The Amazing Race Canada. Now, as an highly sought after speaker, he shares with his audiences the lessons learned from having run and won this amazing race with Parkinson’s.  Tim’s unique history as a retired Nurse, Entrepreneur, Parkinson’s Advocate and Patient provides rich insight to his message of Live Your Best.

Tim was formally diagnosed with Parkinson’s in February 2011. Two years later he and his son, Tim Jr., were selected from over ten thousand applicants to be one of nine teams to run the race. After coming in last twice and nearly being eliminated The Tim’s not only survived but went on to produce an epic come from behind victory. Tim’s keynote draws on this experience while weaving a tale of failure and success that moves his audience.

The Power to Live Your Best  

A masterful story teller Tim interlaces humour and wit with sadness and despair.  He guides his listeners on a journey of discovery by unpacking what it means to Live Your Best.  His message empowers listeners to meet life's challenges and accomplish more than they ever thought they could.  Tim will explore the themes of:

  • Simplicity ~ the art of focusing your life in a chaotic world
  • Contentment ~ that often illusive gift of peacefully accepting what your best produces
  • Community ~ building that network of relationships who support you and your dreams
  • Perseverance ~ the iron will to continue on even when there is no evidence that you will ever be successful






Julie Straw has spent over thirty-five years in business helping trainers, coaches and consultants build successful businesses. For the last twenty-five years, she has worked with learning assessments focusing on improving workplace productivity. Julie is currently Vice President of Wiley Workplace Learning Solutions group, which specializes in publishing research-based self-assessments designed to help people improve performance, increase job satisfaction, and value differences.

Julie’s passion for leadership led to being co-author of The Work of Leaders, summarizing six years of research and development on leadership. She is also author of The 4-Dimensional Manager, published by Berrett-Koehler.

Julie spends her time speaking at events and conferences, and supporting Partner events around the world to promote their offerings in leadership, management, and employee engagement.

The Power of Teams

What if every team in your organization was high-performing? Research shows that productive, high-functioning teams make better, faster decisions; tap into the skills and opinions of all members; and avoid wasting time and energy on politics, confusion, and destructive conflict. Discover how developing cohesive teams can give your organization a competitive advantage!

In this session, you’ll:

·         Learn how to build vulnerability-based trust between team members

·         Explore how engaging in productive conflict allows team members to maximize their differences

·         Understand the importance of a team’s ability to commit to decisions and hold one another accountable

·         Focus on the ultimate goal of a cohesive team—the achievement of results





Tim Jr. is a blogger, entrepreneur and a national speaker. Together with his father Tim Sr., he won the inaugural Amazing Race Canada. An admittedly prototypical millennial, Tim Jr. takes the lessons learned from his business and non-profit background and shares his insights into how embracing who you are as an individual can help you thrive in your career.

Growing up a proud Manitoban, Tim Jr. has a business degree from the University of Winnipeg. An advocate for those fighting Parkinson’s Disease, Tim Jr’s passion for creating has led him to finding new and innovative ways to raise awareness. With these ventures surpassing 45 thousands dollars over three years, Tim Jr. hopes to inspire other young people to invest into causes bigger than themselves.

When not speaking, writing and looking after his daughter, Tim trains for and runs triathlons.

Purpose over Profession: Why your career does not define your purpose

Why is it that millennials jump from company to company? Why is it that we seem to have a new generation of workers who seem ill-prepared to deal with the realities of the work environment? Tim uses his story of getting fired(!) from a job to illustrate why it is vitally important that we separate our career from our purpose. Using humour and anecdotes from his time in the restaurant industry, Tim Jr. will flip your concept of purpose on its head.

Take Aways:

• Why it is vital to not confuse your purpose and your profession

• How to differentiate between purpose and profession

• How to use your purpose to enhance your profession






Brenda is a speaker, trainer, writer and consultant. She is the founder and president of The Robcan Group. Her Bachelor of Arts was earned at Brandon University and her Masters of Education at Simon Fraser University. She has been addressing groups for over thirty years about communications, humour, laughter, positive working skills and wellness in general. Her workshops and presentations are in high demand. She has authored four books and created an Audio CD set to help people to develop these skills.

Brenda grew up on a farm close to Minnedosa, Manitoba and continues to stay connected to her family there. She now lives in Sherwood Park, Alberta where she and her husband, Len have their training and development business. Brenda and Len have five children and nine grandchildren.

Brenda believes that we are on a life-long learning journey. It should be enriching, exciting, interesting and above all, it should be fun!

The Power of Intergenerational Workplaces

Leaders today are addressing the new diversity of an intergenerational workplace. Are the generation gaps and differences a challenge or a chore? Differences are only difficulties when they are not understood. In this session you can gain an understanding of how to make the intergenerational workplace effective and enhance outcomes as a result.
•    Understanding the different generations:
Baby boomers
Gen X
Gen “why”
•    Knowing the strengths of each generation
•    Meeting the leadership challenge
•    Getting the best from the most





Vincenzo (Vince) Aliberti, Ph.D. is Author, Speaker and Business Strategist at Veris Inc. with over 20 years of experience in marketing & sales, organizational effectiveness, and corporate strategy. Vince has a strong ability to create, communicate and lead a call to action. He is a results-oriented professional who embraces change and thrives on challenges! Vince is the author of three books: Canadian Domestic & International Mergers and Acquisitions, Achieve Your Greatness and 4 Truths. An accomplished public speaker having delivered keynote speeches at a variety of conferences, he holds a Ph.D. in Economic Geography from Western University specializing in Mergers & Acquisitions and Foreign Direct Investment. Always looking to give back to the community, he sits on the Board of two non-profit organizations.  He currently is the President & CEO of the Canadian-Italian Business & Professional Association – Calgary Chapter, and the Vice-Chair of a non-profit youth leadership organization, Empowering Minds.

Leading a life of purpose: The 4 Truths

Do you feel as if there is something missing in your life as a leader? Do you want to design your life to be a leader?  Do you want to make a change, but you don't know how, or where to start? Then perhaps leading your life on purpose is a good place to start.  In the session, audience members will: 

  • Learn a way to develop and foster your dreams as a leader,
  • Learn how to implement the P.C.A.R. model of leadership,
  • Learn a "practical process" on how to purposefully communicate their ideas to others - team members, project managers, business leaders and executives, and
  • Learn the 3 attributes around "value" that will inspire you to lead a more purposeful and fulfilling life.


Exclusive Leadercast video presentations will be part of the 2017 Leadership Conference. Below are the presenters that conference attendees will hear from.






Daniel Pink is an expert on behavioral science and motivation in the work-place. He is the author of five provocative books about business, work and management – including the long-running New York Times bestsellers A Whole New Mind, Drive, and To Sell is Human. Dan’s books have been translated into 34 languages and have sold more than 2 million copies worldwide. He is also host and co-executive producer of “Crowd Control,” a new TV series about human behavior that airs on the National Geographic Channel. Dan’s articles on business and technology have appeared in many publications, including The New York Times, Harvard Business Review, The Sunday Telegraph, Fast Company and Wired. He is often tapped to analyze business trends on CNN, CNBC, ABC, NPR, and other networks in the U.S. and abroad. He also advises Fortune 100 companies and start ups on recruiting, innovation, and work practices.  Dan resides in Washington, D.C. ,with his wife and their three children.


Daniel offers clarity on two motivators in the workplace: profit and purpose.  Profit motive often over shadows the purpose motive and so he explores the power of tapping into employees’ motivation through purposeful engagement.  He’ll walk us through a 2-2-2 presentation highlighting:

·         2 studies highlighting why people leave organizations

·         2 ways to look at purpose (the big “P” and the little “p”)

·         2 simple action steps to take to become more purposeful with yourself and with your team






Jess Ekstrom is the 25-year-old founder and CEO of Headbands of Hope, a company she started as a college junior in 2012. For every headband sold, a headband is given to a child with cancer. The company has been featured on the TODAY Show, Vanity Fair, Seventeen, Good Morning America and more. But more importantly, they’ve donated headbands to every children’s hospital in the United States.
Jess is also a speaker, author, and writer for Entrepreneur and The Huffington Post. She believes age should never stop anyone from going after their dreams and becoming leaders in their communities. By sharing her experiences, Jess inspires listeners to crush stereotypes, identify their purpose and create their own definition of success.


All work has meaning!  Do you look at the problems within your work and/or workplace OR do you look for the meaning?  We can’t always control our work environment but we can control how to value and look for the meaning around us.  Are you just making a living or living with purpose?

·         Creating what you wish for, what could exist

·         The mix of talent, impact & quality of life

·         What’s your potential, what’s your first step?






As the CEO of Story Brand, Donald Miller helps businesses market their brand identities, and individuals live a better story and steward it well. Donald’s speaking topics come from his bestselling books, which have spent a combined total of more than a year on the New York Times Best Sellers list. These books include: Blue Like Jazz, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, and Scary Close.  Donald co-wrote the script for the 2012 major motion picture adaptation of Blue Like Jazz, which debuted at the SXSW Film Festival and was listed as one of the “Four Movies to Get You Through Freshman Year” by USA Today. Donald is widely considered one of the most entertaining and informative speakers in the world. His audiences are challenged to lean into their own story, creatively develop and execute the story of their team and under-stand the story of their customers so they can serve them with passion. Donald’s thoughts on story have deeply influenced leaders and teams everywhere including corporations such as Pantene, Ford/Lincoln, Zaxby’s, Steelcase, Intel, Prime Lending, and hundreds more.


Most companies waste a large amount of dollars on marketing and still are not able to communicate clearly to their potential clients.  People don’t buy products that are the best, but they buy the ones they can understand the best.  People buy because they hear the words that engage them ~ words that matter to them.

·         Communicating how to help your customers survive & thrive

·         Conserving calories ~ get to the point!

·         7 aspects of affective storytelling







Molly Fletcher helps organizations develop purposeful cultures and fearless growth. As a top sports agent, she was hailed as “the female Jerry Maguire” by CNN, representing many top athletes and negotiating more than $500 million in contracts in the high stakes world of professional sports. Molly has been featured in ESPN, Fast Company, Forbes, and Sports Illustrated.  She is the author of three books, most recently A Winner’s Guide to Negotiating: How Conversation Gets Deals Done, and is the founder of an e-learning platform that provides coaching for corporations and individuals. A graduate of  Michigan State University, Molly resides in Atlanta with her husband, Fred, and their three daughters.   


Most companies waste a large amount of dollars on marketing and still are not able to communicate clearly to their potential clients.  People don’t buy products that are the best, but they buy the ones they can understand the best.  People buy because they hear the words that engage them ~ words that matter to them.

·         Communicating how to help your customers survive & thrive

·         Conserving calories ~ get to the point!

·         7 aspects of affective storytelling

Diversity and Leadership

How Do Leaders Value Diversity?

We are competing to attract individuals and families to choose our businesses, our community, our country – to make this the place they want live and work. Do we have a strategy for this competition? Is diversity a part of the strategy? How do we show the value of diversity? What are the benefits of a diverse workplace and community? Our role, as leaders, is to understand the importance that placing a value on diversity has in attracting and retaining people in our places of work and community, and there is real power in working collectively in this competition.


Points of interest from Session:

  • What are tangible indicators that diversity is valued in businesses and community
  • How to utilize the talent pools that exist throughout the community to enhance your workplace, your boards and committees
  • What is my role as a leader, personally and professionally?
Duane Pic.jpg


panel moderator

Having lived in Canada for the past 11 years, and living in South Korea for 3 years prior, Duane has his own lived experiences of bridging the divide between cultures. As the coordinator of the Local Immigration Partnership he sees the role simply as Community Engagement. It is about connecting people and organizations, and establishing authentic relationships in order to collectively work towards the most Strong, Vibrant, Community Red Deer can be.



Naziha is an Engineer and a mother to three young kids. She comes originally from Libya.

After volunteering for years with Central Alberta Refugee Effort as translator, she decided to get more involved in community work that will result in bridging the gap between society and immigrants and create a positive and tolerant environment for all.





Abi Ogunjimi is an Engineer, originally from Nigeria. He is very passionate about building a strong Immigrants- Communities relationship in Central Alberta. He works at Nova Chemicals as a cost engineer, and lives in Red Deer, Alberta with his family.



Ekyoci was born and grew up in in a war zone in his native country of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

"My country is full of genocide, inhuman and cruel actions. That led me to flee my country to Namibia where the U.N.H.C.R. in collaboration with Canada Immigration office brought me to Canada for permanent residence. I worked as a community outreach counselor and facilitation in  demobilization for Kids militias. After that, I became a mathematics teacher. Also I was a youth leader in a Christian church. As I left my country D.R. Congo, I worked in construction Company in Namibia as bricklayer and plasterer and now I'm a clerk at Wholesale Club Red Deer."