Keynote Speakers

Chris Bart

World’s leading researcher on organizational mission statements



Dr. Bart demonstrates what great leaders in every organization, small or large, can do to immediately increase their ‘leadership capacity’ and bring their mission statement to life.  In so doing, he stimulates his audiences to transform their organization’s mission statement from murk into a masterpiece that inspires action and achievement.


  • Understanding why mission statements don’t work ~ the “mission mistakes”
  • The importance of employees understanding their role in attaining results
  • The 5 reasons WHY employees may not be aligned/engaged with the organization’s mission
  • The work of leaders on HOW to address and deal with these 5 reasons


Dr. Chris Bart is the world’s leading researcher on organizational mission statements (the most widely used management tool in the world) and how companies can use them more effectively to become a “mission driven” organization.  He is currently the CEO of Corporate Missions Inc. ~ an international consulting firm dedicated to helping organizations excel in the execution of their strategies.  Chris is also the Founder of The Directors College from its inception in 2003 to 2013, he served as its inaugural Principal and Lead Professor.  He now assists the College as its Lead Faculty and continues in his role as the Founder & Principal of the Not-For-Profit Governance Institute.

Platform Speaker

Sheri Fitts

International marketing expert



The expanding use of technology, the Internet and social media has shifted the way many individuals approach business development, marketing and networking. Just as people may search the web for information about companies, business connections use the same tools to research vendors, products and services. While relationships trump technology when it comes to retaining clients and creating sales opportunities, savvy professionals are moving online to supplement their face-to-face efforts.


  • Learn the impact social networking can have on your business relationships
  • Action items, hacks, tips, and tangible resources to launch an effective networking game plan―one that will help build credibility
  • Ideas to rock your business relationships and stay connected


Financial industry influencer. Popular social media speaker. A creative force in financial services marketing.  A natural-born communicator, Sheri also earned Toastmasters’ adult-level Speechcraft certificate in the 8th grade. Now she’s an award-winning speaker and has been named one of the 100 top influencers in the retirement planning(DC) industry.With 24 years of industry experience in her pocket, Sheri infuses ShoeFitts’ educational programs and speaking engagements with plenty of that early entrepreneurial flair. If all of that isn’t enough to pique your interest, Sheri was also named Paper Girl of the Year (1976). So you can be confident that when you work with Sheri Fitts, she delivers.

Eric Rajah

Co-Founder of the international organization A Better World  

Building intentional connections between those who can assist with those who need assistance


Eric Rajah’s dream is to see a world without poverty.  He is committed to tackling the root causes of poverty by investing in Education, Health, Water, Agriculture and Income generation activities.

In 1990, he Co-Founded the A Better World Canada with a handful of like-minded-people with $5000.  Today,  A Better World works in 14 countries and over 2600 people have traveled to see and work at project sites.  Since inception 28 million dollars have been raised for international work.  Over 300 students have travelled to Africa with Eric and 18 schools are presently involved in doing humanitarian projects around the world.

Donors can get directly involved in projects, helping to decide how their money is spent. They often visit projects and meet local people to see the returns on their investments.  Through long term involvement in communities A Better World provides sustainable solutions to improve lives. 

In 2011, Eric received the Alberta Order of Excellence, the highest honour bestowed on a citizen by the province.  Eric was also among the 50 Champions of Change finalists for CBC and Outpost magazine in 2010, named a Rotary Foundation Paul Harris Fellow in 2004, and has received several other local awards. In May 2014, he received an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from Andrews University in Michigan and was invited to give the commencement address. He is currently a member of the Alberta Order of Excellence Council.

   Eric is an immigrant to Canada from Sri Lanka, where Canadian missionaries helped his mother get an education, allowing his family to immigrate to Canada. Through reflections on his personal experiences, Eric motivates people to identify and follow their inspirations.

In addition to volunteering as A Better World’s executive director, Eric owns a business computer company, Advanced Systems, which he founded in 1986. He is married to Candi Schafer and has two adult sons, Brenden and Jaden. They make their home in Lacombe, Alberta, Canada.

He believes that everyone can make a difference in making this world a better place.

Laurette Woodward


Panel Member: discussing how to build intentional connections through messaging


Laurette Woodward is a freelance writer and communications consultant.  With a B.A. in Communications, Laurette began her career as a TV reporter / anchor in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan and Lethbridge Alberta.  During her years in the news industry she was privileged to interview many interesting people, and enjoyed telling their stories.

Laurette’s next career adventure took her to Chinook’s Edge School Division. In addition to working with media, Laurette worked with principals and other senior leaders to more effectively communicate with members of the school community.

For the last several years, she has operated a communications consulting business, providing professional development opportunities in communications, as well as assisting organizations with strategic communication planning, messaging, and writing.

Jessica Herzog


Panel Member: discussing how to build intentional connections through messaging


Jessica is an up and coming new media specialist who aspires to change the way people think about web design.  She supports a number of clients in all things digital, and is currently on a full-time contract at the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER), where she governs a 150-page intranet, designs web pages, curates engaging content, and uses web metrics as a catalyst for design improvements.

With a passion for simplicity and intuitive design, Jessica is working towards becoming a user experience (UX) guru in her field. With a UX Masterclass and online courses under her belt, she is working with the AER to implement design best-practices into its tools and processes.  

Jessica holds a bachelor of communication studies from the University of Calgary and a new media production and design diploma from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology.

When she is not writing or coding, Jessica can be found researching website trends and backpacking around the world.


Coping Skills & Connections During Personal Challenges


Pascal played professional hockey for over 12 years in countries around the world. 

His life forever changed in Croatia when he suffered a severe brain trauma which left him in critical condition.  Pascal overcame a lot throughout his career from depression, addictions and injuries, however, the side effects of his head injury were once unbearable. The need for change was inevitable.

He opened up and began to question more deeply the meaning of life. Pascal went on to study many powerful books and courses in psychology, spirituality and personal development. His curiosity has brought him to new discoveries, healing, understanding, inner peace and wisdom.

This "awakening" led him to become a Certified Professional World Life Coach - to help people identify their own purpose, passion, values, false limited beliefs and to help them create light in their darkness.

Roger & Bonita Bott

Importance of Community Connections


Roger, Bonita and their son Caleb lived through what most of us would call a nightmare.  Their daughters Dara and Jana, 11, and Catie, 13, were playing on a truck loaded with canola at a rural property 15 kilometres east of Rocky Mountain House October 13th, 2015 when the girls fell in and were buried by the seed.  Family and friends managed to pull the girls out of the grain and performed CPR until emergency crews arrived, but RCMP said two of the girls were pronounced dead at the scene. Dara died the next day in hospital.

Enduring this tragedy is beyond comprehension, yet the Bott’s acknowledge their faith, their family and community support as factors which helped them throughout this past year.

Listen to their story as they share the importance of personal connections for support day-to-day and especially during times of tragedy.

Darlene Wilson

Master of Arts Degree in Communication and Leadership, AND Community Facilitator

Panel Member: discussing how to build intentional connections through messaging


Darlene Wilson loves a good cup of coffee, an engaging conversation, and proper grammar. Through trial and error she has discovered (but not mastered) the impact of good communication practices and EQ in creating a life of harmony. Or just in better handling difficult situations and people. She has enjoyed instructing communication courses at the post-secondary level and Corporate Leadership and Management Training across Western Canada. Her Master of Arts Degree in Communication and Leadership from Gonzaga University in Spokane has both legitimized her fanaticism for the Zags each March Madness, and fueled her desire to learn more, and, most simply, do better. 


Darlene’s current work as a Community Facilitator with the City of Red Deer offers her the opportunity to tap into the incredible talent of the community. Before that she has spent valuable time in both private and public sectors, including experiences in education, business, marketing, writing, project management, and public relations. 


Darlene is married and has three daughters who lovingly refer to her as Gandhi. She coaches high school basketball and loves to sing, read, and travel when she gets the chance. She is currently in her fourth year on the Board of Directors of the Central Alberta United Way.