Todd Hirsch

Todd Hirsch is the Vice President and Chief Economist for ATB Financial, an Alberta-based financial institution that provides banking services and investment management expertise to 770,000-plus customers in 247 Alberta communities.
He holds a BA Honours in Economics from UAlberta and an MA in Economics from UCalgary. For over 25 years, he has worked as an economist at numerous organizations including the Canadian Pacific Railway, the Canada West Foundation and the Bank of Canada. He also taught economics at the University of Calgary for nearly a decade, both in the Department of Economics as well as the Faculty of Continuing Education. He has also been an instructor at the University of Alberta School of Business in executive education.
Todd is also the author of three books. His latest, “Spiders in Space: Successfully Adapting to Unwanted Change,” was released in 2017.
As part of his role at ATB Financial, Todd speaks to hundreds of audiences across the country each year. He is a strong advocate in the arts and culture community, currently the board chair of the Calgary Arts Academy, and serves on the boards of the Glenbow Museum and the Alberta Ballet.
Todd has been recognized as one of Alberta’s most influential people. He’s received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, the University of Alberta’s Alumni Honour Award, and an honorary degree from Mount Royal University

Michael Kehoe

Michael Kehoe is a commercial real estate professional with forty-three years of experience in the retail real estate field. He has an international profile related to retail real estate, commercial real estate leasing, marketing and shopping centre management. Michael is the Broker / Owner of Fairfield commercial Real Estate based in Calgary Alberta, Canada. He worked for many years as a mall manager, marketing director and retail leasing executive and for the past 28 years, a real estate broker. He a member of the Middle East Council of shopping Centres and is the Co-lead Ambassador in Canada for the New York based International Council of Shopping Centres where he has been a member since 1982.” Mr. Kehoe founded Fairfield Commercial Real Estate in 1991 providing retail real estate consulting and leasing services to Canada`s leading building owners and retailers. Broker and owner, Mr. Kehoe, has a proven track record of success in the commercial real estate field and has more than 40 years of experience working as a commercial real estate professional.

He has specialized expertise in retail real estate leasing for shopping centres, and main street / urban business districts and is the creator of “The Retail Real Estate Leasing Program.”

Mr. Kehoe has an international reputation as an authority on retail real estate and is frequently quoted in the media such as the Globe and Mail, New York Times, and the Calgary Herald. He delivers expertise and decision making assistance to business, government, and investment leaders around the world.


Daniel Lerner

Transformative, forward-thinking and always striving to help others realize their full potential, Dan Lerner has become known for his exploration of how positive psychology can affect the pursuit of world-class development, particularly how to leverage the advantage that a healthy psychological state can bring to performance excellence both at work and at home.

As an in-demand speaker, author, strengths-based performance coach and instructor of one of the most popular undergraduate courses at New York University, Dan’s expertise in positive psychology helps people lead thriving, successful lives.

Employing cutting-edge research into positive psychology and peak performance, Dan works with students, established and high-potential performing artists, athletes and numerous Fortune 500 companies and executives around the world helping them manage stress and anxiety, achieve well-being, uncover their core strengths and define and realize their own brand of success.

With a deep passion for helping the next generation of talent achieve their utmost potential, Dan, along with his co-author and teaching partner Dr. Alan Schlechter, penned U Thrive: How to Succeed in College (and Life).  Filled with fascinating science, real-life stories and tips for building positive lifelong habits, U Thrive addresses the opportunities and challenges every undergraduate faces and helps students grow into the happy, successful alums they all strive to be.

Whether it is speaking, coaching, teaching or writing, Dan injects intellect with motivation, science with compassion and makes change both exciting and fun.  Dan engages a room like few can.


Alfredo Tan

Innovative global technology executive with a passion for building high performance cultures, leading teams that drive impact at the highest levels. General Manager with a background in engineering, product management, partner management, business development, marketing and sales at leading technology companies such as Bell Nexxia, MSN.ca and Yahoo!, Facebook/Instagram. Global experience working in Canada, United States, Colombia, Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Argentina, Mexico and Brazil.

Currently the Chief Marketing, Digital and Innovation Officer at WestJet Airlines, responsible for all guest-facing digital experiences, engineering, data analytics, product management, marketing, emerging technology and a $2B e-commerce channel.

A graduate of the University of Toronto, McMaster University, Harvard Business School and currently completing a Professional LL.M. in Innovation, Law & Technology at the University of Toronto Law School.


Janice Otremba

When others run from conflict, Janice tackles it head on; she asks the tough questions and reveals the difficult answers—the ones that are hard to face but that will empower change. As a certified coach, professional speaker, and trainer, Janice helps individuals hone in on their true values, extend communication in ways they never thought possible, and reveal undiscovered choices. Whether she is providing training to an organization so they can build stronger teams or coaching individuals one-on-one, she enhances communication, collaboration, and profits.

Nothing Janice does is cookie-cutter! Her dynamic personality and quick wit, along with an acute understanding of human behaviour, bring a lively and animated approach to her work. She speaks from personal experience and is pragmatic, cutting through the BS to navigate change.

Janice has more than twenty years of experience and education in holistic health care, counselling, and adult education. She provides her clients with a collaborative perspective in the areas of stress management, health and wellness, leadership, team development, and work-life harmony. She lives in Kamloops, British Columbia with her husband George.


Craig Elias

Recently chosen as Canada’s #1 B2B Sales Expert by LinkedIn, Craig Elias is an award-winning entrepreneur, author and a sought-after business advisor.

Craig’s first business, InnerSell, went from initial launch to being funded by a Tier 1 US-based Venture Capitalist in less than 12 months and was twice named by Dow Jones as one of the 50 most promising companies in North America.

Craig has been a National Growth Advisor for Goldman Sachs’ and Babson College’s 10,000 Small Business Program in Boston, is on the advisory board for Nudge.ai (an artificial intelligence company started by a founder of Eloqua, which was sold to Oracle for $957 Million US) in Toronto, is on an advisory board for SXSW, is a startup mentor for the Alchemist Accelerator , a scaleup mentor GrowthX Academy, a fellow for the Calgary Innovation Coalition, and the Entreprenuer-in-Residence at Bow Valley College.

He leverages a Community Based Entrepreneurship approach to create, capacity building, experiential learning programs, like WannaB Wednesdays, the Innovation Rodeo and 150 Startups.

His passion is ​helping students from colleges and universities across Alberta build entrepreneurial competence and confidence so they act like, not just think like, entrepreneurs and become an Entrepreneur at ​the age of ​23 instead of waiting until they are 43 – the North American average for a first-time entrepreneur.

In his spare time he leads a local scout troop that is sending a contingent to the upcoming World Scout Jamboree in West Virginia and when it’s -25, during Calgary’s outdoor ice season, odds are you’ll find him at the Wildwood Community Rink making or maintaining the ice.

For the past four years, Craig has been the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Bow Valley College in downtown Calgary and he currently runs three different student pitch competitions.


Kieron Hunt

Kieron has 20 years of experience in formulating implementable Market-Driven Land Planning, Market Analyses and Development Positioning Strategies across all asset classes as well as Downtown and Main Street Planning & Urban Design. Kieron’s portfolio of projects includes working for Municipalities, Developers and Retailers. Kieron is no stranger to Grande Prairie and Northern Alberta, having conducted numerous studies for communities throughout the region for the County of Grande Prairie, City of Grande Prairie, Mackenzie County, Municipal District of Fairview and Municipal District of Peace.

Kieron has completed projects around the world (Russia, Romania, Ukraine, Germany, South Korea, HongKong, UAE, Oman, Lebanon, Mexico, Brazil) providing clients with a diverse portfolio in Urban Planning and Economic Development. Kieron has a particular area of expertise in Retail and Commercial Gap Analyses and Retail Market Analysis, as well as Downtown and Main Street Revitalization Strategies, and the requisite public and stakeholder engagement that brings a community together in support of a vision.Kieron is a passionate advocate for smaller, rural towns and main streets and has completed numerous main street urban design and economic vitalization plans across the country including the Prairies and Atlantic Canada.Prior to joining FBM Architecture in August 2019, Kieron operated his own Planning firm, Key Planning Strategies, and previous to that he served as Director ofCanadian Operations for a multi-office NorthAmerican Architectural/Engineering Firm-Cushing Terrell/CTA. He is currently the National Co-Chair for ICSC’s P3 Retail program which promotes public-private partnerships and works to enhance communication between the public and private sector on emerging issues that impact the retail real estate industry and the quality of life in local communities, with an emphasis on small downtowns and main streets. He also sits on the Planning Committee for the ICSC WhistlerConference where he leads the programming for the Cities of Canada P3Retail Pavilion.

Through his vast project experience spanning Canada, the US as well as globally, Kieron has been tasked with countless community and public engagement projects comprising many formats and environments.He is sensitive to issues as well as open and transparent and able to convey resident, visitor and stakeholder issues and solutions clearly and concisely. His numerous public speaking opportunities has also allowed Kieron to hear a variety of perspectives and opinions pertaining to planning. Kieron is focused on listening and establishing relationships with communities, clients and stakeholders. His extensive professional portfolio and active industry volunteerism makes Kieron sought after for input on retail and commercial trends, and implementation strategies for a wide range of clients and project types.


Joy Agnew

Joy grew up on a grain farm near Prince Albert, Saskatchewan and earned her Ph.D. in Ag/Bio Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan. She spent 10 years at the Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute as a program manager for agricultural research services before joining Olds College in January 2019. At Olds College, Joy is overseeing the activities in crops, livestock production, turf grass, environment and wetlands applied research areas along with developing an applied research program for the new Smart Agriculture initiative.

The Smart Agriculture Applied Research Program will support projects to develop and validate technologies and practices to improve productivity and sustainability of food production with a focus on utilizing data for better management decisions. Joy also has a leadership role in the development of the College’s Smart Ag Ecosystem, bringing together the academic programming, applied research, strategic partnerships, smart farm operations, and extension & communication activities to help the College meet its goal to be a leader in Smart Agriculture.

Joy is also past president of the Canadian Society of Bioengineering and is an adjunct professor at the University of Saskatchewan.


Leann Hackman-Carty

Leann Hackman-Carty has spent over thirty years encouraging community economic development, business and economic recovery, and entrepreneurship. Her leadership was recognized early on when she was invited by the U.S. Consulate to participate in the International Visitors Leadership Program with delegates from nineteen other countries.
Leann has been the CEO of Economic Developers Alberta (EDA) since 2009. In 2014, she completed a project with 11 Alberta flood impacted communities. In 2016-17, she worked with the Fort McMurray region on business and economic recovery by setting up and operating the business hotline; validating businesses for Red Cross emergency relief; and leading a 10-member economic recovery assessment team to the region. In 2019 she updated the Community Toolkit for Economic Recovery and Resiliency (Canadian Version)’ to help communities prepare for and recover from economic disruptions, and brought the Economic Disaster Resilience & Recovery workshop to Canada which is now available online through the University of Calgary.
In addition to her work at EDA, she has her own company, which is focused on community capacity building, resilience, and recovery throughout Canada, the U.S. and beyond. As the author of the “MasterYour Disaster” series of guidebooks, Leann shares her practical and theoretical knowledge with individuals, businesses and communities on how to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters.In 2018, she received Public Safety Canada’s Emergency Management Exemplary Service Award-ResilientCommunities for her work.As the Canadian President of the Institute for Sustainable Development (www.isdus.org), she works with international experts on innovative long term community recovery and resiliency programs. At the end of 2019, she launched her MYD Global Youtube Channel where she talks“all things disaster” twice a week. More recently, with COVID, she partnered with colleagues in the U.K and Hong Kong to provide quality, factory direct PPE to customers around the world, including the development of two proprietary brands.
Hackman-Carty holds bachelor’s degrees in political science / sociology and social work and has earned certificates in both marketing and economic development. She has also received numerous awards for her work in economic development and recovery. She lives with her husband, two children, and dog inCalgary. In her free time, she enjoys traveling and learning about other cultures.

Greg Klassen

A travel and tourism industry strategist with 25+ years of leadership experience with blue chip organizations, including CMO and CEO of Canada’s national tourism organization, Destination Canada(DC), Greg is an expert in the development and execution of tourism strategies and marketing in the age of tourism disruption.

At Twenty31, Greg advises destinations and tourism organizations on how to develop their unique competitive advantages. His recent projects include:

  • Developing a destination development strategy for Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • Developing a brand position for Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil;
  • Developing a global tourism marketing strategy for the Jordan Tourism Board;
  • Developing a tourism recovery strategy for Tourism Yukon; and
  • Working with The Pew Charitable Trusts Ocean Legacy Project to research options for Pacific island destinations to develop sustainable community-based tourism.

While serving as thePresident & CEO and Chief Marketing Officer at Destination Canada, Greg led the enhancement of Canada’s Future Brand ranking from 12th to 1st position, positioning Canada as the most recommended experiential destination in the world to visit according to Reputation Institute.Greg also created a comprehensive strategy to promote the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, developed a unique target market segmentation model to understand the underlying needs of global authentic-seeking travellers through the Explorer Quotient and spearheaded the Canadian Signature Experiences product development program, helping position Canada as a truly experiential destination. For his effortsGreg was recognized as one of the travel and tourism industry’s top marketers by Strategy Magazine andDestination Canada as one of the world’s top tourism marketing organizations.

He is a thought leader on disruption in destination marketing and the links between travel and tourism and economic development. He is a frequent keynote speaker at tourism conferences around the world, including Destinations International, ATTA Elevate, the PATA Summit and the TIAC Congress. Greg has been an Associate Faculty Member at the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management, Royal RoadsUniversity. He holds a MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University, and an undergraduate degree in Economics from the University of Victoria. He is a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society and a facilitator for the Boao International Tourism Communication Forum in China.


Dr. Robert (Bob) Murray

Dr. Murray has positioned GPRC has an innovative, student-centred and future-focused post-secondary institution since joining the college. In addition to his President and CEO role at GPRC, he serves as the Vice-Chair, Advocacy and Stakeholder relations for the Council of Post-Secondary Presidents of Alberta (COPPOA) and the Chair of the Alberta Colleges Economic Recovery Taskforce. In the spring of 2020, he was appointed to the Guiding Coalition overseeing the Government of Alberta’s Alberta 2030: Building Skills for Jobs system-wide review of Alberta’s post-secondary education sector. He also serves as the Chair of the Government of Manitoba’s Working Group for the Winnipeg Metro Region.

Prior to coming to GPRC, Dr. Murray was the managing director of the government practice group at Dentons Canada LLP, the world’s largest law firm. In that role, he counseled public-sector and private-sector organizations from a wide range of industries on strategic development and planning, organizational change, crisis and issues management, policy analysis and development, risk analysis and mitigation, governance and government affairs within Canada and globally.

Bob has held executive-level positions in the professional and business advisory services, economic development, think tank, and education sectors, and has advised extensively on municipal, provincial, federal and international policy issues. He consults on policy and political matters, both nationally and internationally, and has shared his extensive knowledge as a faculty member at the University of Alberta and Brock University.


Maggie Hanna, BSc PGeo

Currently working as Innovation and Technology Scout, Systems Thinker, Futurist and Communicator; with a special focus on World Energy Transformation to post-Carbon emission systems and Climate Change. Fellow at the Energy Futures Lab on the Decarbonization Team. Associate at CESAR. Keenly interested in Hydrogen Economy and Alberta’s/Canada’s contribution to it.


Jefferson Gardner

Jefferson is a Post Secondary Instructor and CEO of InBridge Inc. As a certified blockchain expert and researcher, Jefferson and his team explore the impacts of emerging technologies and the improvements these technologies will have to industry and our world. He has worked in eleven industries and seven countries, consulting with foreign governments and large corporations in the areas of operations, strategy, marketing, automation, concept development and technology. InBridge is a collaborative organization that works to use emerging technology to solve some of industries most pressing problems with focus in agriculture, manufacturing, supply chain and others.