James Cowper (@Cowpernicus) has been an innovative elementary administrator for 17 years. “Am I In Trouble?” – Tales from the Principal’s Office – is his conversation on the work of building a culture of critical thinking in schools. Never afraid to speak his truth he inspires open and honest dialogue with students, teachers and parents. He is pursuing his Master’s degree, is a graduate of Learning Forward’s Academy Class and participates in the Reciprocal Learning Program with Chinese schools. “As a school leader I strive to push the limits and challenge the system of school creating positive change for kids and sometimes I get in trouble for it.”
Cassandra Aarssen (@clutterbug_me) is the creator of Clutterbug™, a home organizing business which provides education, inspiration and support to over 500,000 families worldwide through her YouTube channel, podcast and various other social media platforms. Cassandra is also the author three best selling organizing books, “Real Life Organizing”, “Cluttered Mess to Organized Success” and “The Clutter Connection”. As a recovering “super slob”, Cassandra has discovered through her own journey with clutter, that organization is not one-size-fits-all. She has identified four unique organizing styles and developed the Clutterbug Method™ to help individuals discover their style and implement customized solutions that will finally get them organized long term.
Cassandra has been featured on The OWN Network, CTV, NBC, CBC, The Huffington Post, The Marilyn Denis Show, Popular Science, Women’s World Magazine and has been interviewed by countless other news organizations and podcasts.
Dr. Gillian Mandich (@gillianmandich) uses the latest science to help people live happy, healthy lives. Dr. Mandich has a PhD from Western University in Health Science, specializing in Health Promotion and her primary areas of research are happiness and health. Her personal mission is to educate people about evidence-based health information, so they can lead a happy, healthy life.
Dr. Mandich is a top-rated keynote speaker and she appears regularly as the resident Happiness Expert on The Social and Breakfast Television. She gave the well-received TEDx talk in Toronto, “The Surprising Truth About Happiness”; appears on QVC and HSN in the United States, and writes for numerous print and online media.
Josh Leslie worked for over a decade in research ethics, a field most people have never heard of, helping oversight bodies most people don’t even know about, do important work most people are unaware of, faster and better. He yearned for exponential improvements rather than incremental improvements, which is why after working for over a decade within the research side of the healthcare system in Halifax, Nova Scotia and at SickKids and UHN in Toronto, Ontario, he turned his focus to entrepreneurship in 2013. Today he invests his time and energy in 3 businesses, which are the vehicles through which he believes he can bring the most value to the world. Through Stewardly, his social purpose software business, he is working to get better medicine to people who need it sooner, by reducing the time it takes to get new drugs and medical devices to the healthcare system. He serves as Chief Business Strategist for Poutination which he co-founded with Ravi Supaul, and together their joint mission is world peace through poutine: a delicious French Canadian dish turned global phenomenon; the love of which brings people of all different backgrounds and walks of life together. Lastly, through The ALLony, Josh helps tribe leaders, coaches, healers and other “lightworkers” find and deeply serve the 1000 people in the world that they can each impact the most.
Jess Critchlow (@lightupwork) has spent over a decade working in various Organizational Development, Training, HR and Management roles in various organizations across Canada and United Kingdom. She is now the Coach + Consultant at Light UP Work, a boutique consultancy that works with small and medium sized businesses to finally get their leadership and team dynamics working for them. She has a BA in Psychology from University of Guelph, a Post Graduate Diploma in HR Management from NSCC, ORSC Team Coaching Certificate and has completed the Coaches Training Institute Core Coaching Program. She is passionate about the REAL results businesses see when they enable their people to bring their whole self to their work.
Melanie Sodka @melaniesodka is the founder of Capacity Creator Corp., an education and consulting company that transforms high achieving individuals from over-commitment and overwhelm, to thriving in their current environments. As a an award winning Professor of Entrepreneurship and International Business, Melanie focuses first and foremost on self-awareness and strengthening a ‘goal oriented mindset’. She knows first hand how factors such as distraction and people-pleasing can derail one’s personal trajectory. Our personal capacity is one of our most precious commodities. Melanie is passionate about teaching others how to pace, preserve and optimize their own capacity. Because when we do, we are more free to be our best selves.
Floyd Marinescu (@FloydMarinescu) is CEO and co-founder of C4Media which provides software development news and learning events serving 1.2M online on InfoQ.com, and 8000 attendees annually via QCon conferences in SF, NY, London, Beijing, Shanghai, and Sao Paulo. Floyd is an angel investor in over a dozen startups, and has built teams and businesses in the US, Canada, China, Brazil, Europe. Floyd is also a CEO activist for universal basic income and led 120 Canadian CEOs to endorse basic income in Canada in Oct, 2018.
Elise is the founder of Rise CannaCoaching (@risecannacoaching) and has trained at the Medical Cannabis Institute, the Cannabis Coaching Institute, and is a member of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians. She started Rise to insure people receive sound, meaningful and evidence based information about how to use cannabis. In 2019 as cannabis becomes legal, it is just that more important for people to receive current and evidence based information on something that has been considered taboo for many decades. It is Elise’s passion to share the possibility of cannabis medicine and connect a people to a new understanding of whole health, and what it means to live a healthy lifestyle.
Hazen Jasey is an 11-year-old, grade 6, honour roll student at Academy 21. During Hazen’s educational career, he has been exposed to 3 distinct styles of teaching; Montessori learning, traditional teaching, and currently a positive education system which combines STEM business and athletics, all of which give him a very unique perspective on today’s education system as a young student.
As with many students, Hazen has struggled with his speech and social skills during his younger years. He has worked very hard to improve in these areas and he is eager to share his experience and struggles to help others. Hazen has gone on to achieve impressive accomplishments. These include, being an ambassador and volunteer for the Canadian Mental Health Association; earned 2 math awards including 2 certificates of distinction Gauss: University of Waterloo and the Caribou Math Award; received a gold medal this year at the Windsor chess challenge; and is also a published author, having had several of his original poems published in the Polar Express Book.
Ryan (@RMHildebrandt) is an engineering grad, cross-Canada cyclist, world traveller having visited 56 countries and lived in 3 of them, entrepreneur, and soon-to-be Ironman triathlete. He dabbles in creating wine tasting nights, apps, conferences, stand-up comedy & improv, podcasts, and writing, and is a connoisseur of design and the process of creating things for the world.
Cheryl Thompson (@cadia_academy) is the Founder and CEO of The Center for Automotive Diversity, Inclusion & Advancement (CADIA), the premier professional development organization focused on advancing equity in the automotive industry. She is also the Global Director of Prototype Operations at American Axle and Manufacturing. Before joining AAM in 2018, Cheryl spent 30 years with Ford Motor Company and held positions with increasing responsibility in powertrain and vehicle assembly ranging from skilled trades, operations, manufacturing engineering and prototype operations.
Cheryl’s vast knowledge and experience in her field sparked a passion for increased diversity and equality in the automotive industry. Her work through CADIA is preparing women and diverse talent for positions of REAL power, influence and impact. Her mission: to advance diverse talent and double the number of women leaders in the automotive industry by 2030 using the proven tools of community-building, mentorship and advocacy. In her spare time, Cheryl loves to expand her own limits and boundaries through traveling the globe. She is also a certified Black Belt, personal development ‘junkie’, podcast addict, and enjoys hanging out on the lake.
Dr. Valero ND (@doctorvalero) is the Founder and Clinical Director of Valero Wellness (@valerowellness). She is a naturopathic doctor with a special interest in adjunctive cancer care and chronic illness. Born and raised in Windsor, ON, she completed a Bachelor of Arts and Science degree with a major in Biochemistry and minor in Psychology. She worked as a cancer research assistant for Dr. Siyaram Pandey at the University of Windsor for five years and later graduated from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine where she completed her internship in Adjunctive Cancer Care in Toronto and became the first Oncology Research Resident in Ottawa. Her passion lies in developing individualized treatment protocols for those who wish to prevent cancer, those living with cancer, and those with a desire to learn the tools and necessary lifestyle changes to prevent a recurrence of a previously treated cancer.
She believes in an integrative and evidence based approach to supporting patients with cancer throughout conventional therapy. She utilizes a combination of techniques such as intravenous therapy, supplementation, dietary and lifestyle counselling, acupuncture, and botanical medicine. Dr. Valero is very open to establishing professional relationships with local oncologists in order to work together for the overall wellbeing and improved quality of life of the patient.