Speakers

Aaron Brossoit

CEO at Golden Shovel

Aaron Brossoit is CEO at Golden Shovel Agency, specializing in marketing and communications for economic development. Aaron and his team have developed cutting-edge communications work for hundreds of communities across North America. In 2017, Golden Shovel pioneered virtual reality for economic development, changing the way ...
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Aasa Marshall

Community Engagement Coordinator at Cooperatives First

Aasa Marshall joined Co-operatives First in 2016, and has been promoting the co-operative business model ever since. A former journalist with a rural newspaper, this Communications and Engagement coordinator now tells stories about co-ops and the entrepreneurs who start them through the organization’s blog, podcast, ...
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Aireen Luney

A/Director, Strategic Investment Projects at Ministry of Jobs, Trade and Technology


Alissa Sklar

Vice President of Marketing at GIS Planning

Dr. Alissa Sklar is a recognized expert in economic development communication, marketing, and social media. As the vice president of marketing for GIS Planning, she works directly with clients to develop and fine-tune marketing campaigns to promote their use of online GIS data tools. Using ...
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Allison Larsen

Principal at TadZo LLC

Helping people to improve communication, innovation and teamwork is a calling for Allison. She's genuinely dedicated to helping others find their confidence to do great things. From growing up in rural Northern California to a national award-winning salesperson at a Fortune 100 “Most Admired” Company ...
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Amber Hunter

Vice President, Business Development - North America at Research Consultants International

Ms. Amber Hunter acts as Vice President, Business Development of North America at Research Consultants International. After completing her BA in Political Science from Concordia University, Amber began her career in economic development as a market research consultant and gained extensive experience in marketing, investment ...
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Amy Reid

Economic Development Officer at City of Quesnel

Amy has been the Economic Development Officer in Quesnel since 2013. Past projects have included rebranding the community, developing a successful healthcare recruitment program, and completing and now implementing a sub-regional trails master plan and sign strategy. Amy works closely with the forestry, mining, agriculture ...
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Barry Banford

Councillor at District of Clearwater

My name is Barry Banford and I have been a Councillor for the District of Clearwater since 2011. I have lived and worked in Clearwater since 1998, and with my family enjoy the natural beauty of our valley. I have been involved with the Community ...
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Ben Kennedy

Engagement Specialist; Design, Coordination & Outreach Branch at Ministry of Jobs, Trade and Technology

Ben Kennedy is part of the team delivering an interactive session, sharing a newly developed way to gauge where your community is currently at, and where you want to be in the future. Bring your big ideas! The team will be asking you to highlight ...
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Beth Veenkamp

EDO at City of Williams Lake

Beth Veenkamp grew up in Williams Lake, and after 15 years in the Okanagan, returned to the Lake City in 2017 to take on the role as the City of Williams Lake’s Economic Development Officer. With a background in fund development for non-profit organizations, Beth ...
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Bill Stainton

Ovation Consulting Group, Inc.

Bill Stainton is a multiple Emmy Award-winning TV producer, writer, and performer; an author; a business humorist; and an internationally-recognized Beatles expert. He blends the business smarts he learned from twenty years in corporate management with the show biz sparks he garnered from working with ...
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Branden Point

Musqueam Nation


Brian Coombes

President at Chilliwack Economic Partners Corp.


Cathy Robertson

General Manager at Community Futures Cowichan

Since 2008 Cathy has been the General Manager of Community Futures Cowichan. In this role she oversees a range of Community Economic Development projects and the Small Business lending program in addition to the day-to-day management of the organization. She has written proposals and lead ...
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Cecilia Point

Musqueam Nation


Cheryl Johnson

Executive Director at Community Futures BC

Cheryl joined CFBC as Executive Director in June, 2017. Ms. Johnson has an extensive background in non-profit management, event production and marketing communications. She brings over 20 years of senior management experience working with non-profit boards and industry associations to facilitate their strategic objectives, strengthen ...
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Chris Fair

President and CEO at Resonance Consultancy

As president of Resonance Consultancy, Chris leads a team that has completed more than 100 real estate, tourism and economic development strategies for cities and communities around the world. Chris holds a Masters degree in Studies of the Future, is an adjunct professor in placemaking ...
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Chris Knight

SVP North America at Financial Times

Chris Knight is the Chief Commercial Officer and Co-Founder of WAVTEQ, as well as SVP of North America for fDi Intelligence. Chris has been working in the field of foreign direct investment and advising governments for over a decade. Chris is an expert in: the ...
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Clark Grieve

Economic Development Specialist at Venture Kamloops

Venture Kamloops is the economic development agency for the City of Kamloops. Venture Kamloops’ mission is to create economic growth to establish the city as the premiere location for business development. This is done by featuring the city’s resources and offering comprehensive information plus a ...
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Dale Wheeldon

President and CEO at BCEDA

Dale Wheeldon brings 30 years of knowledge and a varied background in economic development and local government. Dale has his Certificate in Economic Development from the University of Waterloo and has been the recipient of numerous awards for his contribution to communities and those involved ...
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Dana Wong

Public Policy Manager at FortisBC

Dana Wong has been working in energy and climate for 15 years in the private and non-profit sectors, as well as international development organizations in the U.S. and Canada. She currently engages FortisBC’s customers, Indigenous communities and other stakeholders in developing and implementing sustainable energy ...
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Dave Frank

Executive Director at BC Aviation Council

The British Columbia Aviation Council is a 340 member-driven organization supporting a visible, connected and thriving aviation and aerospace industry throughout the Province. Members include 41 BC airports, fixed and rotary wing operators, flight schools, other educational institutions, aerospace companies of all types, aviation enthusiasts ...
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Dave Parsell

CEO at Localintel

Dave is Co-founder and CEO of Localintel – an award winning technology company helping economic developers to promote their communities and drive local business growth. Dave’s professional background includes senior roles in consulting and local government where he specialized in economic development and strategic planning. ...
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David A. Bennett

Director, Communications and External Relations at FortisBC

He is responsible for all corporate and customer communications, government, municipal and aboriginal relations. David has been involved in the oil and gas industry for over 20 years, holding positions with Shell Canada, West coast Energy, Centra Gas BC and most recently, Fortis BC. During ...
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David Drohan

Senior Policy Analyst at Ministry of Jobs, Trade and Technology


David Munro

Manager Economic Development at City of Coquitlam


Deklan Corstanje

Economic Development Officer at Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine

Deklan Corstanje is the Economic Development Officer for the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine, managing economic development initiatives for the region and the Economic Development Commission service area. His portfolio for the Commission includes a broad spectrum of initiatives, from managing tourism marketing, resident and workforce ...
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Donna Wilchynski

Community Coordinator at Christina Gateway Community Development Association

Donna Wilchynski has been the Community Coordinator and is also responsible for all economic and community development services in Christina Lake, BC for the past two years. Donna is an administration and communications specialist and her love of community comes from over two decades of ...
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Elvezio (Elvy) Del Bianco

Cooperative Portfolio Manager Community Business & Investment at Vancity

As Vancity Credit Union’s Cooperative Portfolio Manager, Elvezio (“Elvy”) Del Bianco works internally on disseminating knowledge of the cooperative business model to increase Vancity’s capacity to support co-ops, and externally on building partnerships and developing projects with cooperatives and others to help realize a stronger ...
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Erik Collins

Director at Montgomery County Community and Economic Development


Frederique Murphy

M3 Strategist, Owner and Founder at Mountain Moving Mindset

Specialising in Inspirational Leadership, Frederique Murphy is a mindset strategist, who inspires and equips leaders to move through extraordinary change. With her Mountain Moving Mindset (M3) platform, she provides you with inspiration and scientifically-based strategies to drive powerful transformations and take your life, career and ...
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Geoff Millar

Principal at Millar & Associates


George Benson

Consultant - Green Building Market Acceleration at Vancouver Economic Commission


Gerry Gabinet

Director Economic Development and Tourism Strathcona County / President EDAC 2019 at Strathcona County

Gerry Gabinet is the Director of Economic Development and Tourism at Strathcona County, Alberta’s third-largest specialised municipality. He has worked with and led a committed economic development team of nine people for the past seventeen years. Prior to working as Director at Strathcona County, Gerry ...
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Hon. Bruce Ralston

Minister at Ministry of Jobs, Trade and Technology

Bruce Ralston was first elected MLA for Surrey-Whalley in 2005. He was re-elected in 2009, 2013 and 2017. He is the Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology. Bruce served as the Official Opposition spokesperson for Natural Gas Development, Trade, Immigration, and Multiculturalism, and also served ...
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Jason Lum

Councillor at City of Chilliwack


Jennifer Decker

Manager of Economic Development at City of Fort St. John

Jennifer has been with the City of Fort St. John for over 20 years, primarily working as a planner focusing on development related applications as well as contributing work on various community master plans including the Downtown Action Plan and Official Community Plan. New to ...
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Jennifer Vincent

Economic Development Special Projects at City of Penticton

Jennifer Vincent is a passionate community-builder and cheerleader for Penticton, where she has been the Economic Development Specialist with the municipality since 2016. With a focus on empowering the business community to make smarter decisions through connection and access to data, Penticton has been shifting ...
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Joanne Norris

Interim Regional Director and ThriveNorth Project Manager at Futurpreneur Canada

With a career spanning cultures, disciplines and industries, Joanne is a specialist in leading and measuring impact of innovative collaborations among business, government, Indigenous and civil society organizations. She has developed programming and impact measurement models for initiatives that serve diverse profiles of entrepreneurs. Joanne ...
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John Perrott

Economic Development Officer at City of West Kelowna


Kate Mulligan

Economic Development Officer at District of Squamish

Kate Mulligan is the Economic Development Officer for the District of Squamish. Prior to joining the District, Kate held a variety of roles in research, communications, stakeholder relations, and marketing with Canada’s international tourism marketing organization, Destination Canada. During her time with Destination Canada, Kate ...
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Keenan Hopson

Economic Development Officer at City of Prince George

Keenan Hopson - Economic Development Officer In his role as the Economic Development Officer, Keenan is responsible for providing business attraction, retention, and expansion services for the City to meet the community's business and economic development needs. Keenan received a hockey scholarship to the University ...
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Kelly McTaggart

Advisor, Community Engagement at Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP)

Kelly McTaggart currently serves as the Advisor, Exploration & Production Engagement for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, the voice of Canada’s upstream oil and natural gas industry. In this capacity, Kelly executes CAPP’s stakeholder engagement efforts in communities impacted by oil and gas development ...
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Kevin Boothroyd

Director, Business Development and Corporate Communications at Pacific Coastal Airlines

18 years Radio, TV, and print journalist. Former President of the Vancouver Chapter of the Canadian Public Relations Society, 6 years on the National Board of CPRS, and a recipient of the prestigious Signature Award for Excellence in Communications from his peers at CPRS. Since ...
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Kevin Poole

Manager of Economic Development & Tourism at City of Vernon, BC, Canada

Kevin Poole is the Manager of Economic Development & Tourism for the City of Vernon, BC. Kevin began his career in Economic Development in 1998 in Kamloops. In 2003, he moved to Mission to become the communities first Economic Development Officer. In 2009, Kevin relocated ...
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Kimberley Branch

Program Manager, Entrepreneur Immigration at Ministry of Jobs, Trade and Technology

Kimberley Branch joined JTT as a program advisor with the BC Provincial Nominee Program in 2011, after moving to Vancouver from the Maritimes. In 2015, she was promoted to Program Manager of the Entrepreneur Immigration Unit. Kimholds a MBA and BA (Hons) from the University ...
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Laith Wardi

President at ExecutivePulse, Inc.

Laith Wardi, CEcD, is President and Founder of ExecutivePulse, Inc. He has worked in the economic development profession for 25 years. Laith has comprehensive experience in business retention & expansion that includes one-to-one outreach to hundreds of value-added client companies, work as a resource provider, ...
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Marissa Lawrence

Senior Program Officer, First Nation Municipal Community Economic Development Initiative (CEDI) at CANDO

Marissa works for Cando (the Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers) as the Senior Program Officer for the First Nation – Municipal Community Economic Development Initiative (CEDI). Her role includes working with First Nation – municipal partnerships across Canada to establish sustainable and ...
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Martin Sutherland

Director of Planning, Policy & External Relations at Western Economic Diversification

Martin spent five years in the mining industry in northern Manitoba before joining the federal government in 1992. He held a variety of positions at Industry Canada in Ottawa, including that of Executive Assistant to the Deputy Minister. Martin was appointed as Director, Aerospace, within ...
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Maureen Czirfusz

Executive Director/Economic Development Officer at Houston & District Chamber of Commerce


Michael Cameron

Director, Indigenous Initiatives at Industry Training Authority

Michael Cameron is the Director of Indigenous Initiatives. A Metis from Manitoba, Michael possesses extensive college leadership and management experience, most recently in the role of Dean, Students, Indigenous & Community Development at Assiniboine Community College (ACC). While at ACC, he led the development of ...
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Mina Haghighi

Business Development Manager at Futurpreneur

Futurpreneur Canada is the only national, non-profit organization that provides financing, mentoring and support tools to aspiring business owners aged 18-39. Our internationally recognized mentoring program hand matches young entrepreneurs with a business expert from a network of more than 3000 volunteer mentors. Mina works ...
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Morningstar Pinto

Director, Outreach and Engagement at Ministry of Jobs, Trade & Technology


Nicole Bruce

Economic Development Manager at Venture Kamloops

Nicole Bruce is the Economic Development Manager at Venture Kamloops. Nicole began her career in Economic Development in 2017 with Venture Kamloops after 12 years of entrepreneurship and a position as a Commercial Account Manager at RBC. Nicole enjoys promoting Kamloops as a business-friendly community ...
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Pat Deakin

Economic Development Manager at City of Port Alberni


Rob Beynon

President at Operations Economics Inc.

Rob Beynon is an Executive with over 25 years of senior management consulting experience in Western Canada, North America, and internationally. His work supports municipalities, governments, organizations, First Nations and companies with analysis and executive services to support operations, programs and infrastructure development. He has ...
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Robyn Cyr

EDO at Columbia Shuswap Regional District


Rose Klukas

Economic Development Officer at City of Campbell River

Rose Klukas is the Economic Development Officer for the City of Campbell River. Economic activity in Campbell River is flourishing. As EDO, Rose manages industrial and commercial inquiries, creates innovative initiatives that support existing businesses and promotes Campbell River as an investment friendly community. Recognizing ...
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Rudi-lee Canil

Futurpreneur

Rudi-Lee is a futurpreneur loan recipient and has just launched an online/mobile vintage and retro clothing store called Cosmic Heart! With a background in social work, she hopes to combine business, social work and environmental advocacy to build a sustainable business and to utilize vintage ...
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Sara Clark

VP Strategic Projects at Small Business BC


Shannon Baikie

Regional Manager, Community & Labour Market Services at North Island Employment

Shannon Baikie is currently the Regional Manager, Community and Labour Market Services for North Island Employment on Vancouver Island. Prior to joining North Island Employment in 2009, Shannon spent over 10 years working in the tech start-up space as a VP, Human Resources. She has ...
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Sheldon Louis

Councillor at Okanagan Indian Band

Sheldon Pierre Louis, a member of the Syilx Nation, is a multi disciplinary Syilx Artist. Sheldon's ancestral roots have influenced his works in painting, drawing, carving, and sculpting. Sheldon has sat on the board of directors for the Arts Council of the North Okanagan. His ...
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Shellie Gleave

Director, Eco Co-operative Community Service Centre at Eco Co-operative Community Service Centre

Shellie is from Fraser Lake, a small community in the heart of B.C., so she’s familiar with rural communities’ challenges and attributes. Passionate about innovation and sustainability, she is excited to be a part of generating community resiliency and economic prosperity through cooperative and creative ...
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Shelly Voth

Immigration Coordinator at City of Morden, Manitoba

Shelly Voth is the Immigration Coordinator for the City of Morden’s Community Driven Immigration Initiative, a program that was developed in partnership with the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program to assist Morden’s businesses in meeting their labour shortages. She also uses immigration planning to further Morden’s ...
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Stephanie Slaman

Business Development Officer at Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission

With over 10 years’ experience in government, non-profit, and the private sector Stephanie brings a multi-sectional perspective to community-building. Stephanie holds a Master of Business Administration in Community Economic Development from Cape Breton University with a focus on agritourism entrepreneurship, and a Bachelour of Art’s ...
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Stephen Morris

Team Lead with the Economic Development Resources Unit at Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Stephen Morris, is the Economic Development Team Lead with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs has lead the Ontario Business Retention and Expansion Program. He has been with the Ontario Government for over ten years and has lead or supported the development ...
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Stewart Anderson

Manager, Community Investment at Vancity

Stewart grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia and attended Dalhousie University, before travelling, doing a Masters degree in Global Management in Arizona, and relocating to Vancouver. He has worked in the financial services sector for over 25 years, and has a strong background in economic ...
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Sue Kenny

BCEDA Board Chair

In addition to her role as BCEDA Chair, Sue Kenny is currently the General Manager for Community Futures Peace Liard and Director for the Dawson Creek Chamber of Commerce. CFPL covers the northeast corner of BC including 8 municipalities, several first nations’ communities and surrounding ...
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Terry Van Horn

Executive Director at Lower Columbia Initiatives Corporation

Terry proudly grew up in Mackenzie BC. She went to BCIT where she became a chemical technologist and met her husband Jim. After graduation they moved to Prince George where she worked in the brewing and pulp and paper industries for 12 years as a ...
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Trevor Cootes

Elected Council at Huu-ay-aht First Nations


Victor Cumming

Mayor at City of Vernon