Program

Speakers

Americo Pinto

Americo Pinto has over 20 years of experience as a practitioner and consultant focused on PMOs, Portfolio and Project Management in Latin America, USA and Europe. He was the “PMI Distinguished Contribution Award” recipient in 2011.

Americo is the Research Director at PMO TOOLS Technologies, Executive Director at Noorden Group, and Chairman of the Board of Directors at PMO Global Alliance, a global community of PMO professionals.

For more than 12 years he has been a professor at Latin America’s most prestigious universities, teaching to MBA students. He is a PhD Candidate at ESC Rennes School of Business in France, researching on the topic “PMO Value”.

He has published four books about project management and PMOs, and he regularly speaks at the most important project management conferences in Europe, Americas and Asia.

Amit Varma

Amit Varma has 18 years of leadership and entrepreneurial experience in the banking, ITES, and engineering industry. He is an alumni of Indian School of Business and Kellogg School of Management.

Andy Pernal

CEO of Strad Energy Services

Andy holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree from the University of Manitoba and is a Chartered Professional Accountant with over 20 years of senior financial experience in private and public companies. He started with Strad in 2006 as the Chief Financial Officer until the spring of 2009 when he was promoted to the position of President of Strad Energy Services and became a member of the Strad board. In June 2012, while President, Andy also moved into the role of Chief Executive Officer.

Andy has also been involved with various community and charitable organizations in Calgary and Winnipeg. Currently, Andy is on the board and Finance Chair of Clearwater Academy in Calgary and has spent numerous winters and summers coaching and organizing teams at Trails West Hockey Association, Springbank Hockey Association, and Cal West Little League. In Winnipeg, Andy volunteered for numerous positions in coaching and organizing minor sports as well as board positions with Christ the King School, Western Canada Aviation Museum, and the Cerebral Palsy Association of Manitoba.

Antonio Parrottino

Antonio (Tony) Parrottino is a practicing Professional Engineer with mastery-level certification in training and application of Applied Behavior Analysis Science to Business or Performance Engineering and Organizational Change Management. He also achieved Management Certification from the Banff School of Management, the President’s Mastery Level Award in the area of performance management, and a Customer Service Excellence award with a Fortune 100 corporation to name just a few career accomplishments. Tony has successfully applied the scientifically rooted methodologies of Performance Engineering and Organizational Change Management to a variety of organizations and subsequent job roles ranging broadly from the oil and gas production and services to information technology industries, with substantial, measurable, and data-validated performance improvement results amounting to multiple millions of dollar values to these same organizations. Tony also holds a U.S. Patent in the areas of Technology, Demonstration and Education and currently has a second patent pending.

Mr. Parrottino currently resides in Calgary, Alberta, Canada and is self incorporated.

Carson Kotnyek

Carson Kotneyk began his career as a structural steel welder in the skilled trades prior to returning to the University of Alberta to study Civil Engineering. As a development and construction industry representative, Carson is a frequent guest lecturer at both the University of Calgary and SAIT, with a strong focus on mentorship and education. Prior to working on the New Central Library and LRT Encapsulation, Carson was involved with projects at Bow Valley College, Westmount Corporate Campus and Syncrude. Carson has been instrumental in developing Stuart Olson’s BIM and Virtual Design & Construction department, and is a strong advocate for the integration of technology in construction.

Chris Edwards

Chris is a Scrum Master with IHS Inc., the global source for critical information and insight. Chris has a diverse background, starting his career as a manufacturing test engineer, and eventually finding his passion for software development. Chris has had a variety of roles including developer, manager, Scrum Master and architect. Chris has spoken at several Agile conferences, include including Agile 2016, Agile India 2016, and co-authored an experience report for Agile 2015. He has a passion for how both technical excellence and transformational leadership can help drive agility.

Colum Cavilla

Detective Colum Cavilla is currently a homicide detective with the Calgary Police Service. He has been a police officer for the last 16 years, of which 11 has been as an investigator running major investigations. Over the last four years, in the homicide unit, Det. C. Cavilla has investigated over 100 homicide and suspicious deaths. Prior to the homicide unit, Det. Cavilla was assigned to organized crime and gang investigations for almost eight years. Colum has directed or managed a number of large-scale investigations; many of them requiring the coordination and direction of numerous teams of police officers, often simultaneously working across different geographic locations towards a common final objective.

Dan McGonigal

Dan McGonigal is a Quality Management, Project Management, and Continual Improvement professional with over 30 years of experience in the Engineering and Manufacturing Oil & Gas, High Technology, Aerospace and Defense industries. Accreditations include PMI certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and ASQ certified Six Sigma Black Belt (SSBB).

Dan has been using his Quality Management, Project Management and Continual Improvement expertise and experience for the past four years at Emerson Process Management to assist the Canada Engineering Centre to implement and maintain project management excellence practices that deliver successful projects for every one of its clients.

Dan was a co-presenter for Emerson’s 2016 PMI-SAC Award – Excellence by an Organization: Project Management.

Darrell Becker

Darrell Becker is an Engineering and Project Management professional with 25 years of experience in the areas of Power Generation, Oil & Gas, and Operations Management. Accreditations include registration as a Professional Engineer in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Darrell has been with Emerson Process Management for 20+ years contributing in various roles as an automation engineer, project engineer, project manager, and in operations management roles. As the Canada Engineering Center Manager of Projects, Darrell strives to guide his Project Management Teams to operational excellence to meet customer expectations and business commitments.

Darrell was a co-presenter for Emerson’s 2016 PMI-SAC Award – Excellence by an Organization: Project Management.

Debra deWaal

Debra has a vision that demands ongoing personal and professional development and an innovative approach to providing her professional services. A respected entrepreneur and self-starter, Debra is a skilled facilitator, speaker, and experiential trainer. Debra’s areas of experience are in safety training, conflict management, mental toughness, resiliency, performance coaching and organizational in-house workshops and sessions.

Her sojourn into safety, leadership training and people development began as a Police Officer in 1989. Debra started the journey by working as a Constable with the Calgary Police Service in numerous team environments. In 1998 Debra established Safe & Sound Safety Training & Consulting Ltd. Her Calgary based company provides innovative training, presentations and development for the general public as well as corporations throughout Canada.

Also, in 1996 while still a Police Officer, Debra simultaneously began her journey into management consulting, working with a variety of organizations and other consultants. In 1998, she left the Calgary Police Service and shifted her focus to full time operations of Safe & Sound. Debra has been a professional member of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers as well as the National Speaker Association since 2004 and is a Certified Performance Coach through Corporate Performance Coaching.

Diana Nada

Dr. Diana Nada is an independent project management consultant and instructor who has over 13 years of PM experience in capital projects with international asset owner companies and global PM consultancies. She has also worked in PMO environments, project controls, scheduling, and planning. Her expertise in project management emphasizes on aligning business requirements and client needs with deliverables based on an intent driven project delivery process – a more people focused approach.

She received her PhD in Project Management from the University of Calgary and her research addressed the dichotomy between strategic and project delivery. Her work is focused on project governance, project alignment, facilitation and process improvement related to the viability of the stage gate process and the decision making at project sanctioning and the front-end due-diligence stage. She is currently Director of Outreach for Professional Development for the current PMI-SAC board and been involved with PMI for more than 10 years and with PMI-SAC since 2008. She is also a sessional instructor at Mount Royal University for the Strategic Planning for Project Managers seminars.

Dr. Lucy Miller

CEO of the United Way Calgary & Area

Dr. Miller has been President and CEO of United Way of Calgary and Area since March 2012. She is known for her relational style and her commitment to shared responsibility for the success of the city of Calgary. She is especially relentless when it comes to tracking the impact of charitable investments, citing her own experience growing up in poverty for creating within her the moral imperative to invest strategically and to never apologize for rigor.

Lucy’s background is in education before joining United Way, serving as the Chief Superintendent for the Calgary Catholic School District.

She is very active in the broader community serving on the Boards of the Safe Communities Opportunity and Resource Centre (SORCe) and the Haskayne School of Business Management Advisory Council, and just completed her term on the Board of the Calgary Homeless Foundation and as a member of the Premier’s Council on Alberta’s Promise.

She has been recognized with the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence, the Women of Distinction Award, the Lieutenant Governor’s Leadership Award, the Papal Benemerenti Medal of Excellence, and has been named one of Alberta’s 50 Most Influential People and one of Canada’s 100 Most Powerful Women.

Erina Possak

Erina Possak works for The City of Calgary’s Corporate Project Management Centre helping teams across the corporation plan for and achieve project success. An experienced project manager, professional facilitator and award winner, she applies a unique blend of project management methodology and facilitation skills to guide projects and teams of all sizes and complexity. Erina is a 2015 recipient of the IAF Facilitation Impact Awards for her professional contribution to The City’s Flood Recovery Operations Committee. She looks forward to sharing her knowledge and insights.

Faith Wood

Faith Wood – author of six books, a communication and presentation specialist, and a Certified Professional Speaker – focuses on improving personal skills of navigating conflicts, expanding perspective and embracing our humanity.  She became interested in Behavior Psychology while she worked as a law-enforcement officer.  Since hanging up her handcuffs, she has globally helped thousands shift behaviors and create desirable relationships.

Glen Kathler

Glen Kathler has been with SAIT since 1997. Following 11 years as an instructor, SAIT’s Applied Research and Innovation Services (ARIS) department recruited him to lead the Centre for Innovative Information Technology Solutions (CIITS) research area. Since 2008, Glen and the CIITS research team have developed extensive expertise in radio frequency identification (RFID) application development, undertaking ground-breaking, wireless, applied-research projects.

In 2015, Glen received an ASTech Award for Innovation in Agricultural Science in recognition of his three-year, million-dollar research project with the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency. Ultimately, Glen and his team developed a fully functioning, prototype, ultra-high frequency (UHF) RFID-based cattle-tagging and -tracking system in consultation with ranchers, auction marts, feedlots, cattle-liner companies and food-packing plants. This research addresses a federal government mandate to improve animal traceability using new technologies and provide recommendations to industry.

The RFID expertise gained by CIITS researchers in the livestock industry is now being leveraged in applied-research projects with other sectors, including oil and gas service providers.

A featured speaker at numerous international RFID Journal LIVE! and Alien Global Conference and Exhibition events, Glen is active in a number of professional associations. Big on public education, his research has been featured in The Western Producer, Canadian Cattlemen Magazine, SAIT’s alumni publication – LINK Magazine, The Brooks Bulletin, Rural Roots Canada and Alberta Beef Magazine.

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Greg McIntyre

With 30 years of experience, Greg is the founder and Managing Director of Sound Management Consulting Inc. and is the current President of CMC Alberta. His in-depth expertise was developed through a balanced mix of public and private sector consulting. Greg’s approach is client-focused, forward-thinking and business-oriented. He has led as well as provided support on a large number of assignments in Business Transformation, Project Management and Risk.

Greg’s expertise includes Strategic Planning, Change Management, Project Management, Process Design and Documentation, Coaching, Training, Facilitation, Outcomes Planning, Governance and Perform surement. His consulting focus is aimed at assisting organizations improve performance, achieve business objectives, and manage opportunities and risk with an overarching goal of value creation.

Jamie Clarke

Over the last 20 years, Jamie Clarke has climbed the Seven Summits – including two treks up Mt. Everest – ridden camels across The Empty Quarter of Arabia and created two successful outdoor retail companies, firmly establishing himself as an authority in the business of adventure. With insights from the top of the world and the peaks of business success, companies and organizations including IBM, Audi, Kraft, and The Wall Street Journal seek out his expertise on perseverance, leadership, and teambuilding.

Raised in Canada, Clarke was inspired by the outdoors at an early age. He first attempted to summit Everest in 1991, but was thwarted just feet from the summit due to a deadly storm, which also deterred him on his second attempt in 1994. Determined and dedicated, he reached the summit for the first time in 1997 and again in 2010.

Self-defined as an ‘Adventrepreneur’, Clarke is the CEO and co-founder of The Out There Adventure Centre and LiveOutThere.com, an e-commerce company that was ranked by Profit Guide as one of Canada’s 50 fastest growing companies and nominated for a National Innovation Award by Canada Post.

Clarke recalls his fascinating journeys, complete with challenges and triumphs, as the co-producer of two documentary films, including Above All Else that was broadcast internationally by National Geographic, and in two bestselling books: Above All Else: The Everest Dream and From Everest to Arabia: The Making of an Adventuresome Life.

With high energy, humor, and palpable passion, Clarke inspires and informs audiences with lessons from his adventures and endeavors, challenging individuals to consider their own Everest and offering actionable strategies for successfully reaching one’s summit – whether in business, academia, or perhaps the most dynamic environment of all – life.

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Janelle Benson

Janelle Benson has been a consultant in the field of project management for over 15 years. Currently, she leads a PMO for business-facing transformation projects at Cenovus Energy. Her team has provided expertise and oversight for key strategic projects and programs in addition to providing change management to help embed and sustain the desired outcomes.

Janice Thomas

Dr. Janice Thomas is a world leading scholar and consultant on effective management and governance of large and complex organizational projects. She is Professor of Project Management and Director of the Project Management Research Institute in the Faculty of Business at Athabasca University, Canada. Janice has 30 years of management, consulting, planning, research, and academic experience in both the public and private sector. In addition, Janice is in demand as a speaker and teacher who enjoys sharing her experience and knowledge with practitioners and students at venues as disparate as PMI Research Conferences and professional symposiums in Canada, the United States, Europe, Asia and South America.

In 2006, Janice was identified by PMNetwork as one of the 25 most influential women in project management in the world. Janice co-led the $3M 48 academic strong, team in the PMI Sponsored Researching the Value of Project Management project completed in 2008. In 2010 she was recognized by the Project Management Institute for her research contributions to the project management body of knowledge. In 2014, she was recognized by the International Project Management Association for her PMI sponsored research exploring project management as management innovation.

Today her consulting assignments help organizations set up projects for success and develop the executive level competence to govern and oversee projects effectively. She has extensive experience in developing leadership development programs, including recent work helping a large Canadian engineering consulting company bridge the gap between a soon to retire management team and the young up-and-comers in the management streams. Most of her consulting effort in the last couple of years has been devoted to helping two large municipal governments (one in the United States and one in Canada) implement improved project management and sponsorship practices and training.

Jenelle Peterson

What does Oil and Gas, IT, Duct Tape or Dental Products have in common? Seemingly not much, but Jenelle’s diverse career path has led her to believe that a defined brand voice and strategic marketing planning will lead to measurable results – regardless of the industry or product portfolio. She brings an extensive background in developing strategic plans and executing marketing campaigns on both client and agency sides with well-known companies like EnCana (Cenovous), 3M Canada, and most recently Mount Royal University. Jenelle holds a B.Comm in Marketing from University of Calgary and an MBA from Queens University.

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Jenn Lofgren

Jenn Lofgren is a leadership and executive coach passionate about developing inspirational leaders and daring entrepreneurs worth following. She asks the right questions at the right time and inspires clients to own their potential, by taking action to fulfill their unique leadership purpose. Jenn is often described as a ‘thinking partner’ and empowers others’ possibilities and potential.

Jennifer Krahn

Dr. Jennifer Krahn’s PhD research focused on the difference that project characteristics made to the necessary skills of the project manager. Her most recent work has focused on project managers’ leadership skills, multi-contract team alignment, the future of project management, and project risk management. She has presented at conferences in Europe, the United States, and Canada to academic and practitioner audiences and was an invited visiting lecturer at the Vienna School of Economics and Business Administration.

Dr. Krahn is an adjunct faculty member and the director of the Canadian Centre for Advanced Leadership in Business (CCAL) at the Haskayne School of Business. The Centre supports a multi-disciplinary team focused on advanced leadership principles in research, education, and community collaboration, including focus on valuing people and organizational performance. Jennifer is also part of teaching faculty for the MBA, EMBA, GeEMBA, and Executive Education programs in business as well as in the biomedical technology graduate program in the medical school.

Dr. Krahn also has extensive experience advising for effective project management. Her focus is on delivering business results through projects, organizational design for effective program and project management, team alignment, executive sponsorship and governance, partnering, and conflict resolution, and program planning. She has worked in industries such as construction, publishing, municipal government, shopping centre management, energy services, engineering, construction, transportation, education, and others.

Jenny volunteers with many not-for-profit organizations and is an alumnus of Calgary’s Top 40 Under 40 and has been recognized by awards from The University of Calgary and The Haskayne School of Business.

Joan Yee

Joan Yee is a versatile and results-oriented marketing, communications, and change management professional with over 20 years of broad experience spanning diverse industries including utilities, oil and gas, financial services, consumer packaged goods, and public education. She has successfully worked with cross-functional teams to lead major initiatives, product launches, and high-profile marketing campaigns across North America. When working with senior leaders, Joan often uses the concept of “telling the story to turn on light bulbs” in order to gain understanding and action. Joan has also served as a Director on the Events Committee with the ACMP Calgary chapter.

Kevin Ludbrook

CEO of Spira Data Corp.

With over 25 years of experience in developing and delivering technology based solutions for industry, Kevin brings a history of proven results to Spira. Kevin’s experience spans technology development, consulting and project delivery, sales and marketing, and executive management.

Kevin returned to Spira as President and CEO in May of 2014. As one of Spira’s founders, Kevin was involved in the early design and development of Spira’s technology. Kevin has been active behind the scenes over the years assisting with many aspects of Spira’s evolution and growth.

With a keen interest in what truly provides value, Kevin’s leadership of Spira is based on regular interaction with staff, clients, and industry – and the desire to continuously seek answers to a ridiculous number of questions. This curiosity sets the pace for the entire company and continues to build on Spira’s foundation of being a technology and market leader.

Kevin has a Bachelor of Management degree from the University of Lethbridge and is a Certified Management Consultant.

Laurel Benson

Laurel has worked in the area of change leadership for more than 20 years with a strong focus on engaging community leaders in social change initiatives. For the past six years, she has led the organizational change management function for a diverse range of projects within the energy sector and currently within the banking industry. In addition to promoting project success, she also supports the development of the change management capability at an enterprise-wide level. She is deeply interested in the role leaders play in impacting the success of change initiatives in their organizations and their communities. The name of her company, Phronesis Consulting, is inspired by her belief in the value of practical experience in contributing to good judgment and wise decision-making. As an active volunteer with her local chapter of ACMP in Calgary, Alberta, she has served on the local Events Committee and recently joined the board as Secretary. Laurel was a presenter at the PMI-SAC Professional Development Conference in 2014, has facilitated a day-long workshop on Change Management to the Human Resources Association of Alberta, and moderated a panel discussion on the Standard for Change Management with the Association of Change Management Professionals Alberta Chapter.

Laurel Sim

Laurel Sim is Partner and Vice-President of Portfolio Management at Taleo, a boutique Project Services firm. Laurel is dedicated to building strong relationships and bringing both a strategic and logical approach to business. Her meaningful and insightful approach has opened many doors for Taleo that include securing business with some Fortune 500 companies and being recognized in 2013 by Profit as a member of the top 50 fastest growing companies in Canada.

Laurel Sim’s success is built on a foundation of over 18 years as a management consultant. Her career has transcended from a project manager to an executive leader of portfolios. Laurel is a key contributor for industry leaders in management consulting, such as KPMG and Fujitsu. During this time, Laurel received the Premier’s Award of Excellence from the Government of Alberta and the E-Award Team Performance from Alberta Venture. She has also been an advisor on educational boards for both Mount Royal University and the University of Calgary.

Laval St.Germain

Laval St.Germain is a Calgary based outdoor athlete with an eclectic taste in outdoor pursuits and adventure travel. From the frontier rainforests of South America to ski mountaineering in Nunavut, Iran, Iraq, and being the only Canadian to summit Mount Everest without oxygen, Laval loves hard trips to hard places.

His most recent hard trip, just this past summer, was rowing a boat, alone, across the North Atlantic from Halifax to France, and breaking the record for the fastest solo crossing of the North Atlantic.

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Lisa “Longball” Vlooswyk

How can you stay at the top of your game and perform at the highest level, year after year? Seven-time Canadian Long Drive Champion Lisa “Longball” Vlooswyk went from being a high-handicap recreational golfer to a professional player who hits farther than most men. In her highly-customized presentation, Lisa shows audiences the keys to achieving peak performance. With valuable lessons drawn from her experiences, Lisa’s insights can be immediately implemented to create fast success.

Lisa entered the world of Long Drive in 2001, and has since won seven consecutive National Long Drive Championship titles and is currently ranked fifth in the world. She was the first woman to hit a golf ball over the length of three and a half NFL football fields, briefly holding a World Record—she currently holds the Canadian Women’s Long Drive Record at 350 yards, 2 feet, 2 inches. Lisa now runs her own golf schools in Canada and the United States.

When not teeing-up, Lisa is a golf and travel journalist who writes regularly for Inside Golf Magazine and The Traveling Golfer. She has also worked as a sports broadcaster for the Canadian Long Drive Series, and has had her own column in Golf Digest Canada, entitled “Ask Lisa Longball.”

As a speaker, Lisa’s clients have included Telus, IBM, Agrium, Bayer Crop Science, the Canadian Home Builders Association and many more.

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Luis Moura

Luis Moura is a Project Management Consultant working with the Corporate Project Management Centre (CPMC) at the City of Calgary since 2013. He has worked on the implementation of the Corporate Project Management Framework a recipient of the PMI-SAC Project Management Excellence award in 2014. He also joined the efforts to initiate a program to oversee repairs to infrastructure damaged by the Calgary flood in 2013. More recently, he has been focusing on leveraging his facilitation skills to assist project managers  across the City of Calgary in order to achieve better project performance. Luis holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Brazil and is completing his MBA program from the University of Bradford in the UK.

Manjit Minhas

Manjit Minhas is 34 years old and was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta. This Petroleum Engineer student turned beer baroness recently spoke at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto and at the Haskayne School of Business at The University of Calgary where she shared the secrets of her success with aspiring MBA students.

Manjit started Mountain Crest Liquors Inc. (MCLI) at the ripe age of 19 in Alberta. MCLI produces, develops and markets 90 brands of spirits and beers in Alberta. These products are manufactured by the Minhas Micro Distillery and The Minhas Craft Brewery, which are also owned by Manjit. In late 2002 she entered the beer market in Alberta with her brother and gave the big boys a run for their money with Mountain Crest Classic Lager and became the first successful beer company to enter Canada in decades.

She founded Minhas Creek Brewing Company and entered Manitoba and Saskatchewan in 2008 and now produces and markets 7 different brands in these provinces including her flagship beer, Minhas Creek Classic Lager. Manjit has single handedly caused a stir in the Manitoba and Saskatchewan beer industry by gaining huge market share in such a short amount of time with her aggressive marketing and advertising techniques and her pricing strategies. Many beer drinkers have welcomed her style of beer, as a tasty alternative to the higher priced domestic beers that presently dominate the market place. Manjit has also brought her premium beers to Ontario and BC.

Manjit Minhas is the first brewer in Canada to voluntarily put a Management Warning on all her beer cans. The Management Warning on the cans reads as ” MANAGEMENT WARNING: Please do not drink and drive – ever. Expectant mothers should avoid drinking alcoholic products. Enjoy this product responsibly – Respect yourself and others”. She recently put this on all her products because she believes as a responsible brewer and citizen of this country it is important she does her part to educate Canadians.

Manjit and Ravinder purchased the second oldest brewery in the United States in 2006 and renamed it The Minhas Craft Brewery, this officially made them the Youngest Brewery Owners in The World. Their brewery is now the tenth largest in the world. From this brewery, quality beers are shipped across the USA, to Canada and overseas to 16 different countries such as Japan and Korea.

Manjit and Ravinder opened a new brewery in Calgary in June 2012, The Minhas Micro Brewery, and from this facility they  make world class craft beers and specialty beers such as a gluten free beer.

In 2012 they also opened the Minhas Micro Distillery which distills and bottles premium spirits and liqueurs such as Maya Horchata and Platinum 10x distilled Vodka.

In late 2008 Manjit co-wrote a book on her remarkable story, business philosophies and the history of the brewery she bought. The hardcover 108 page glossy book is titled “Brewing Up a Damn Good Story”.

Manjit is a trailblazer in the beer industry and last year launched Uptown Girl, a beer that is marketed and made exclusively for women. It has unique packaging, no aftertaste, is  low calorie and low carb beer and has a unique successful marketing campaign.

Last year Manjit’s companies had revenues in excess of $155 million.

Manjit is born and raised in Calgary and still calls it home with her husband and two young daughters.

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Michael Barr

Michael Barr is Chief Information Officer (CIO) of Mount Royal University (MRU) and leads a team that supports over 12,000 credit students, 4,000 continuing education students, and 1,300 professors, instructors, and staff. Michael was previously Director of IT at the Calgary Catholic School District where he was responsible for transforming the department into a more customer service oriented and technically agile group capable of punching above its weight class. Michael started his career in the trenches doing code testing, client support, and process re-engineering before moving to project management, earning his PMP and moving into leadership. While Calgary is home, Michael spent years working in the US and across Canada and brings a unique perspective to IT leadership and strategy.

Michael Cavilla

Detective Michael Cavilla has over 21 years of policing experience with the Calgary Police Service in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Detective Cavilla currently holds the rank of Detective and Acting Staff Sergeant and has been a Detective for 14 years, with the last seven years assigned to the Homicide Unit of the Major Crimes Section of the Calgary Police Service. Det. Cavilla has run a number of major investigations over the past 11 years that utilized large numbers of police officers from independent agencies located across Canada and the United States, and has investigated over 300 homicides. The successful conclusion of those investigations required the coordination, direction and resourcing of these officers on an ongoing basis to accomplish the common objective.

Mike Benson

Mike is a Senior Program and Project Manager and is recognized as an innovative, results-oriented leader with a career history of visible achievements delivering large scale technological solutions, both IT and EPC. He is the Principal of Blackstone Project Management, with expertise in the areas of:

  • Program & Project Management
  • ERP implementations
  • Project Management Office (PMO)  Set-up or Review
  • Independent Project Reviews / Project Health Checks / Cold Eyes Reviews
  • Project Rescue Services

Mike has spoken previously at the PMI-SAC PDC, as well as the City of Calgary PM Network Event, ProjectWorld in Vancouver, CWCC PDC in Vancouver, PM Regional Conference in Kuala Lumpur, and the EcoSys User Conference in Anaheim.

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Nam Tang

Nam Tang is a PMP professional with over five years of experience specializing in projects, programs, and performance. Graduating from the University of Victoria with a Bachelor of Computer Science in 2000, Nam has used this knowledge to execute and successfully complete many Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) projects over a 10 year period at TransCanada. Nam is currently working as a Project Performance lead with oversight over $1B portfolio.

Nam has completed Master Certification in Project Management from Learning Performance Institute (LPI) in 2012, Program Management Certificate (2014) and Train-the-Trainer certificate at SAIT in 2016. He hopes to help, share, and train others in this exciting and dynamic area of projects, program, and performance.

Natalie Panek

Natalie is an intelligent, insightful, energetic speaker who infuses powerful storytelling with a down-to-earth personality. She brings an unrivaled passion for ideas that inspires audiences to embrace the learning process: demand the most of themselves, commit to a goal, and develop intellectual fortitude. Natalie is on a mission to inspire the next generation of female game-changers to dive head-first into challenges and pursue careers in engineering and technology. She shares a powerful narrative infused with valuable takeaways.

Natalie has had some extraordinary experiences that have shaped her dreams of becoming an astronaut, including internships at NASA’s Goddard Spaceflight Center and Ames Research Center, where she worked on a mission to Mars. At age 20, she was the first female driver of the University of Calgary’s inaugural solar powered vehicle which raced up from Texas to Calgary. With degrees in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Natalie has also co-authored papers on Microgravity Combustion and On-orbit Satellite Servicing. Her love of space and aviation led her to obtain a private pilot’s license to fly a single-engine aircraft.

The Financial Post described Natalie as “a vocal advocate for women in technology”. She was featured on the editorial site Women You Should Know as a STEM Rock Star who is revolutionizing how we think about women in tech. Natalie is also both a mentor and program adviser for Cybermentor through the University of Calgary.

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Paul Ghazar

Paul Ghazar is an IT project management consultant with over ten years’ experience serving the oil and gas, banking and retail sectors. His background in sales and the hospitality industry helps him balance the technical and soft skills of IT project management, effectively engaging and gaining commitment from project team members, who are the heart and soul of each project. Overcoming complex challenges through creativity, critical thinking, and tactical delivery energizes Paul in executing successful projects from complex application development to rollouts and infrastructure builds.

Paul earned his PMP designation in 2008. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the Haskayne School of Business, along with the Architectural Design certification from SAIT Polytechnic. Paul is active in the PMI Community and most recently was the past Committee Chairman of the 2016 PMI-SAC Awards.

Paulo Camargo

Paulo Camargo is currently a PMO and Project Manager for Managed Services at Nirico Systems Inc. in Calgary, Alberta. He has worked in PMO and Project Management for organizations such as ATCO Structures & Logistics, ATCO Power, TransAlta, City of Calgary, Siemens, Electrolux, Nortel Network, and BellSouth International. Paulo is a Past President of PMI-Southern Alberta Chapter and PMI Pernambuco Brazil Chapter. He is currently  responsible for training NGOs on Project Management and is an instructor at Mount Royal University. He has received his BSc in Electrical Engineering from Federal University of Parana / Brazil and is a PM Canvas certified trainer for Canada.

Peter Maidment

Peter has over 45 years of professional experience in all main aspects of project implementation in a diverse range of project types and industries, including oil and gas, chemical and mineral processing, pulp and paper, marine professional consulting.  His experience includes major industrial construction projects, operating facility upgrade projects, claims, business planning and technology development & management.  Peter can provide in depth knowledge of the full range of project management processes, as well as the latest project delivery strategies, tools and techniques.  His special interests include risk and quality management.  The evaluation of the root causes of project cost and schedule overruns on many projects totalling billions of dollars, has provided Peter with a unique insight into what practices enhance project certainty and which to avoid.

Peter has provided guest lectures at the University of Calgary in the Project Management Specialization and Construction Management Certificate programs as well as PMP training workshops at Mount Royal College.  Currently Peter presents training courses in Project Management. His background is mechanical engineering, piping design and equipment evaluation/testing.

Randy Black

In his role as senior program manager for Stantec Consulting Ltd. in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Randy Black leads a team of project management staff in a major program for an electrical energy client. Throughout his 38-year career, he has worked in a variety of industries including telecommunications, IT consulting, e-learning development and consulting, project management training and consulting, and PMO management. As a project management consultant and trainer, he has taught courses as part of executive education training offered through Alberta-based colleges and the University of Alberta.

Mr. Black has been a volunteer for most of his life. As a young man, he volunteered with the YMCA and with his local church. He has held office in such diverse organizations as his Church Servers Guild (head server), the University of Waterloo Alumni Association (vice president–events; chapter president) and the PMI Northern Alberta Chapter (vice president–education, president, past president). Within his 10 years of PMI volunteering, he was also a Region 1 Mentor and served on the Chapter Member Advisory Group (CMAG).

A vibrant and colorful speaker, he has presented at PMI® Leadership Institute Meetings, global conferences, regional meetings, and chapter meetings as well as international technical conferences on topics such as strategy, leadership, strategic telecommunications operations, process re-engineering, people and personality, and, of course, project management.

Mr. Black earned his B.A Sc. In Civil Engineering from the University of Waterloo. He also holds certificates in Engineering Economics from Duke University, and Insights Personal Discovery™ evaluation. Mr. Black holds a Professional Engineering (P. Eng.) designation registered in the Province of Alberta, and has held his PMP® designation since 2004.

Razina Visram

Razina Visram, MBA, PMP, CMA, CEC, is a Senior Organizational Change Management Professional with more than 20 years of Management Consulting experience attained in senior leadership roles at EDS, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, IBM and, since 2003, as the Founder and Principal of Cocentric Solutions. Her experiences as a Project/Program Manager for multi-million dollar initiatives enables her to understand the pressures of delivering results as a PM. She is a certified executive coach, who currently coaches and manages effective change at all levels, from executives to end users. Razina’s change management expertise has successfully impacted stakeholders in small to large groups ranging from 10 to as many as 90,000 on a single project initiative. She has also successfully led corporate Change Management training, workshops and seminars globally. Razina enjoys learning and sharing her passions.

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Rebecca Braun

Rebecca Braun, M.Fin, FCPA, FCGA, CEC, brings 30 years of business experience in accounting, finance, corporate governance, HR and coaching. She recently completed her Master of Finance (Management) at University of Alberta and the Graduate Certificate in Executive Coaching at Royal Roads University.

Past employment with Hopewell Residential as Vice President of Finance provided her the opportunity to develop team leadership and senior management skills as an employee, director, officer, and owner for 70 private entities in the development and management sectors. She oversaw accounting, finance, corporate governance, human resources, and privacy.

She is an ongoing volunteer with the Chartered Professional Accountants and recently served two terms as CGA Alberta chair during the national amalgamation.

Rebecca developed the curriculum for and instructed the Advanced Finance and Corporate Legal Structures course for the Real Estate Development Institute at the University of Calgary. The course contents included debt, equity and forecasting for residential and commercial projects.

Most recently, she has started a new business with partners in Toronto and Charlottetown focused on executive coaching, leading workshops and speaking. See www.surgeexecutivecoaches.com.

She is considered to be goal-oriented, enthusiastic and curious. Rebecca values developing strong independent teams who can problem-solve, self-manage workplace challenges, support each other, clearly communicate and have fun. Her goal is for people to solve their own issues by asking open-ended and thought-provoking questions. Rebecca is passionate about inspiring people to be their best both in personal and corporate settings. Her quick wit, graciousness, business acumen, idea-generation and critical thinking make her an ideal coach. Now, she is helping others make a difference through empathy for what they shoulder, enthusiasm for new possibilities and fresh perspectives as their sounding board and thinking partner.

Richard Venerus

Richard is the principal of RV & Associates (RVA) – a consultancy specialized in supporting and improving the performance of procurement and contracting functions working in both project and operations contexts for both private and public sector organizations. RVA’s practice relies on Richard’s 15 years of experience as a project manager, procurement expert, and contracts lawyer. In addition to his law degree, Richard is a PMP, holds a Master of Business Administration from the Schulich School of Business, as well as a B.Comm (Economics). He is also a certified Change Management expert. Richard instructs for the Supply Chain Management Association, delivering training on many related subjects, including Project Procurement, Construction Contract Strategy and Design, Supplier Relationship Management and Contract Management.

Scott Benesh

Scott Benesh has 27 years of project leadership experience including four mega projects in Alberta, Australia, Middle East, UK and France. He is an alumni of the University of Saskatchewan; Member PMI and a Professional Engineer in Alberta.

Scott Diehl

Scott Diehl is a past Board Member with PMI-SAC and has facilitated many of the previous EPC Roundtable sessions. He is currently an Executive Associate at Pathfinder with 32 years of experience in Industry. He has worked on large capital projects as part of both Owner teams and Engineering Consultants. Scott is committed to creating value through scope development, project cost and schedule control, and effective project team management. As a Project Manager, Scott has managed capital projects successfully in numerous industries such as Oil and Gas Production, Electric Generation, Oil and Gas transmission pipelines, and Water/Wastewater Treatment. Scott facilitates customized training programs in Project Controls, Project Management and Contracting. Scott delivers project management consulting services such as Independent Project Reviews for large major projects. He has facilitated many project team sessions for VIPs (Value Improving Practices) and PDRIs (Project Definition Rating Index).

Scott graduated in Mechanical Engineering from University of Waterloo in 1984. He received a Masters of Engineering from University of Calgary in 1995 and completed his PMP certification in 2001. Scott is an active member of CHOA, COAA, AACEI and PMI.

Sean Dunn

Sean is an enterprise agile coach with IHS Inc., the global source for critical information and insight. Sean has extensive experience in the energy and defense industries as both a product manager and software developer, including working on the ground-control software for the US Army’s unmanned aerial vehicles. Sean has 14 years as an Officer in the Canadian Army Reserve, and is an Afghanistan veteran. Sean in an active speaker in the Agile community, and has spoken at the Global Scrum Gathering New Orleans, Agile India, and co-authored an experience report for Agile 2015. He has a strong interest in the relationship between Agile and leadership.

Shelley Pinder

Like you, education professional Shelley Pinder has seen the use of social media explode over the past few years. It has prompted her to explore and investigate the depths of this new culture paradigm. Is it simply various electronic tools accelerating marketing and one way communication? Is it just a platform for self-indulgence? Or is there a deeper story?

With over 15 years of designing, speaking, and more importantly, real-life teaching experience, her view is radically different. Shelley appreciates and shares with listeners that social media reaches beyond marketing tactics and electronic platforms. Social media offers the ability to tap into the need for connection and community which is deeply ingrained in our human psyche.

Shelley is known for her practical approach and dedication to making learning concepts stick! Shelley’s use of real life stories, thought provoking ideas, and mining the wisdom of the crowd connect her with her audience at an intimate and individual level.

Shelley has a Master’s Degree in Education with emphasis on technology in learning. She has a vibrant social media presence across various platforms. Shelley works with individuals and organizations to leverage social media to create connected networking communities and deepen learning applications.

Steve Lappin

CEO of Natural Gas Exchange Inc. (NGX)

Steve Lappin was recently appointed President and CEO, Natural Gas Exchange Inc. (NGX, a TMX Group company), Canada’s leading physical energy trading and clearinghouse. Steve joined NGX in 2009 and has held various roles in the company, most recently as Chief Risk Officer responsible for the clearing and risk operations. Prior to joining NGX, Steve was Vice President, Finance at the Canadian crude oil exchange, NetThruPut Inc. (an Enbridge Inc. affiliate) since 1998.  Prior to that he held various positions in commercial lending with TD Bank.  Steve, a Chartered Financial Analyst, holds an MBA from the University of Alberta and B.Mgt from the University of Lethbridge.

Susan Healy

Susan is the Executive Director of the Calgary Purpose Forum. She has also been consulting for Linkage Inc. over the past five years. Prior to joining Linkage, Susan held the position of Senior Vice President of Corporate Services at ARC Resources Ltd. Before this appointment, she was the Vice President of Land at ARC and was a founding member of the ARC team. Overall, Susan has over 30 years of oil and gas experience holding management positions in large and intermediate oil and gas companies. She has owned and managed various small businesses over time and currently owns the Healy Heritage Art Center in Vulcan, Alberta.

Susan Healy

Tanya Stevenson

Tanya Stevenson has provided powerful solutions to numerous organizations in various industries impacting thousands of individuals as a leader of change initiatives for the past 19 years. She is a recognized authority in Project & Change Management Consulting and has lectured on the subject at multiple universities and organizations. As people are the focus of Tanya’s craft she is also a multi-published author on the topics of career performance, Rock Your Review: 10 Tips to Prove Your Performance; and career transformation, Who Sunk My Yacht?. Tanya holds a degree in Sociology and Psychology. She earned the PMP certification in 2001.

Vincenzo Aliberti

Vincenzo Aliberti, Ph.D., is an Author, Speaker and Peak Performance Strategist with 20 years of experience in Marketing, Sales and Business Transformation Consulting. Leveraging on his years of experience on the soccer field (4 NCAA Championship Soccer Tournaments Appearances as a player, and 1 CCAA National Soccer Tournament Appearance as a coach) and in the Board Room with Senior Executives, he provides practical insights on the relevance, importance and impact of gaining “sales mastery” in the fast-past project management world.

Dr. Aliberti has the ability to look at highly complex problems and simplify them into manageable strategies. He is a highly experienced facilitator and negotiator with the ability to bring diverse issues to common and agreed upon resolutions. Always willing to give back to the community, he currently sits on the Board of Directors of Empowering Minds.

Wayne Rambow

Wayne Rambow has over 25 years of experience in engineering management and project management roles. He is very involved in PMI-SAC and is the current Past-President. Prior to the President role he served as VP of Programs, mentor in the mentorship program, and Fellow with the chapter. His broad experience includes telecommunications, IT, IT Infrastructure, and construction. He has been a PMP since 2005 and received an SCPM (Stanford Certified Project Manager) certification from Stanford University in 2004.