2022 Conference Speakers
Plenary Session Speakers
For award winning entrepreneur and Canadian Aviation leader, CEO Teara Fraser, "the sky is no limit." As the first Indigenous woman to establish her own airline, Iskwew Air, Fraser is carving her own path through what has historically been a male-dominated industry. Named one of Canada’s Top 25 Most Influential Women and featured on the MacLean's 2021 Power List and chosen as one of 18 "real-world hereos" for DC's Comics Graphic Novel Wonderful Women of History. Teara is inspiring the next generation of women and applying her gifts to the empowerment of indigenous peoples around the globe.
Jesse is a futurist, speaker, consultant, and goatherd who brings an outsider's perspective and literal critical distance, operating from his farm in rural Eastern Ontario. Yet this is no ordinary farm. Wired up with high-speed fibre optic Internet, the Academy of the Impossible engages in a wide range of research regarding agriculture, media, technology, and culture. With almost 30 years of professional experience as a public speaker, facilitator, and broadcaster, Jesse can perform in any media environment, stage, office, or virtual world, though he strongly prefers virtual formats over travelling. His passion for media extends into the world of technology, and he is best known for his knack for translating the bleeding edge of tech into the practical world of business and civil society. Jesse has an infectious energy that lifts spirits and enables creative thinking. He’s always learning, sharing, and helping others to do the same.
Stephen is Deloitte’s National Leader for Workforce Strategy and Future of Work Advisory and has been a writer and speaker on the future of work since 2011. With 20 years’ experience in Consulting, Stephen leads transformations in workforce strategy to fundamentally get at changes in work, workforce and workplace to fuel business strategy. Stephen’s experience spans from strategy to design—he helps clients set workforce strategy to fuel business strategy, and then designs programs not simply to chase elusive ‘best-practice’ but to craft implementation solutions to meet the unique needs of clients and their employees.
Concurrent Session Speakers
Erwin Heuck P.Eng.
A lifelong energy sector enthusiast, I spent 28 years working for TransGas, a crown utility, where my department planned out and executed on roughly $750 million of customer growth and revenue related natural gas infrastructure. While at the utility, I helped create and deliver on the strategic planning sessions with SaskPower in support of their transition from coal to utility scale natural gas and renewable wind. The December 2018 rhime frost weather event, where over one third to nearly half of the province lost power service, was critical in understanding the economic and service risks associated the near absolute consumer reliance on the utility scale grid service. This critical event helped shape my view for the need for smaller scale, community based and resilient energy service through distributed energy services. In September of 2019, I founded the Distributed Energy Association of Saskatchewan to promote industry, utility and municipal collaboration in the energy transition to cleaner, smaller-scale and more resilient energy service and choice. The DEAS mission is to be a pathway to energy collaboration, a pathway to secure Federal funding for energy transition and a pathway to enabling public policy to create the space and opportunity for non-utility scale energy solutions. Whether it’s to save money, decarbonize their operations, achieve on community climate initiatives and sustainability goals or simply access federal funding to create secure energy solutions and local clean energy jobs and careers, the Distributed Energy Association of Saskatchewan is here to support businesses and communities that are looking to play a greater role in their own energy service. When I’m not working on our rental property business, or supporting Saskatchewan’s Energy Transition, I enjoy spending time with my family at our cottage at Eldora Beach on Last Mountain Lake.
Jeff Montgomery was born in 1954 in Saskatoon, SK. After graduating from the University of Saskatchewan with a B.Ed. in Industrial Arts/Vocational Education, Jeff pursued a life in contracting. In 1983 Jeff joined Blue Insurance Ltd., a family business, where he spent 25 years making a career in underwriting and claims management. He operated the business until his retirement in 2008. Jeff married his wife Judy in 1982. They have four children, Scott, Maja, Adrian, and Natasha, as well as four grandchildren, Freyja, Brennan, Tikken, and Isaac. Jeff and Judy live on an acreage near Beaver Creek in a passive solar home that they built in 2003. They have their own wind turbine and photovoltaic panels for electricity production. Jeff has always had an interest in energy efficiency and waste reduction in building and transportation. He has become involved with the Saskatchewan Environmental Society, volunteering on various projects with his wife Judy. Since 'retirement', Jeff has returned to building, constructing infill homes in Saskatoon.
Lauren Johnson is the Economic Development Officer for the Town of Shaunavon and acts as the Secretary/Treasurer for the Shaunavon Opportunity Fund Co-operative Ltd. Lauren grew up in Calgary, AB and completed her Bachelor of Business Administration at Mount Royal University. She moved to Shaunavon in 2018 and has been working as the Economic Development Officer for the Town since February of 2020. This role has been very rewarding and challenging, especially just starting shortly before the beginning of the COVID pandemic. It was over the course of the pandemic that the Shaunavon Economic Development Committee identified the need for further business support in the community, through direct funding. Some local small businesses struggled through these times and it was seen as a great opportunity create a co-operative to facilitate local investment and hopefully support a number of small businesses for years to come.
Seth works with communities across Alberta to understand and apply co-operative solutions. Since coming to the Alberta Community & Co-operative Association almost 10 years ago he has worked with local investors, promoted community ownership of renewable energy projects, and helped small business respond to COVID-19. He is a frequent guest lecturer at the Bissett School of Business at Mount Royal University, introducing co-operatives and credit unions to students and professors. Seth has a Masters of Development Economics from Dalhousie, and in 2016 completed a residency at the Banff Leadership Centre, Alt/Now program on Economic Inequality. He is currently a board member, and chair of the training committee, for Co-op Zone— the co-operative developers’ network.
Tina Rasmussen is from Green Lake, SK., and a proud member of the Flying Dust First Nation. Tina has always focused on her traditional homeland and economic development as a necessity to moving indigenous communities and individuals forward. Tina is the Chief Business Officer for MLTC Industrial Investments, the Economic Development arm of the Meadow Lake Tribal Council. She has a diverse background of experience. Having spent 15 years as a municipal Chief Operating Officer, 20 years involved in Saskatchewan’s Health Authority Board Keewatin Yatthe and 9 years with Northern Lights Board of Education. She continues as a Board Member with Beaver River Community Futures supporting small business development in her home region. Tina brings a wealth of experience in a variety of fields and many connections to the Indigenous communities of Northern Saskatchewan. In addition Tina holds a BA Advanced from the U of S, a Certificate in Local Government Authority from the U of R and is certified as a Professional Economic Developer for Saskatchewan. In her capacity as Chief Business Officer, Tina focuses on creating new partnerships and business opportunities for the MLTC membership in a variety of areas to ensure diversification and a strong MLTC presence. She believes strongly in developing the participation of Indigenous people and communities in the economic fabric of our province and our country and is working to advance this at every opportunity.
Branavan Tharmarajah is an alumnus of McGill and Acadia University with a background in business and nutrition. He is presently finishing his MBA in Community Economic Development at Cape Breton University. He has worked in both the private and nonprofit sectors and brings a unique perspective on promoting health and economic development using community-based approaches. At The Growcer, Branavan supports communities, businesses, and organizations all across Canada to grow food year-round commercially and sustainably from the idea stage to serving produce to the local community.
Accompanied by her passion for culture, education, environmental sustainability, and community development, Marina brings a diverse background to her work at Canadian Ecotourism Services (CES), a renowned Indigenous tourism development firm. Having taught for nearly five years in her home in Brazil, Marina values learning and teaching—she believes passing on knowledge can truly change lives, as it has changed hers. As Project Specialist with CES, Marina works across Canada to help develop Indigenous tourism projects ranging from individual grassroots efforts to large scale community developments. Marina is most in her element when engaging with community members in a space of compassion, understanding, and learning. Marina is passionate about fulfilling her dream to do meaningful work in helping communities to preserve their most valuable resources, culture, and traditions for future generations to treasure. Marina holds a bachelor’s degree in Languages and an Honours Diploma in Tourism Management.
Dave Smith is a leadership consultant and coach from Saskatoon who also has decades of experience leading organizations and large teams including multiple start-ups and one of Canada’s '50 Best Managed Companies'. He has served as CEO and a SME business owner. With his passion for ‘greenfield’ business launches, he was honored to be on the founding leadership teams of two Canadian financial services companies and on several Boards. Since 2009, he has served as a coach & mentor to over 300 leaders and their teams in large multi-national corporations, SMEs, private and family enterprises. He believes people want to contribute, learn and grow and that a trusted coach can help them realize enormous potential and satisfaction. In 2010 he founded Logia Consulting Inc. and then co-founded Virtual Leadership Matters Inc in 2020 as the pandemic began to settle in. He has studied leadership at Harvard Business School, University of Colorado, Banff Centre for Management and adult education though St. Francis Xavier University. Dave has spoken live at many regional and national conferences over the years, by Zoom in recent times. He takes special joy in being with his wife, children and grandchildren as they grow in the world, active at almost everything under the sun.
Growing up in rural Manitoba in the small town of Oakville, it was impressed on Chris the importance of community involvement. Shortly after moving to Waldheim, he joined the Fire & Rescue and was chief from 2006 until 2015. During this time, he developed a leadership team that helped update their apparatus, grow the department to 17 members, and broaden their ability to respond to more emergencies. In 2020, he was elected as a councilor with the Town of Waldheim; he currently serves as chair of the Waldheim Regional Park and is a member of the Health, Welfare & Protection committee. Over the past 20 years, Chris has worked in the insurance industry for two different mutuals. He currently serves as part of the leadership team and enjoys building into the company's culture and their teams. Chris believes that open communication around conflict and a creative approach to challenges can create the right environment for communities to grow and thrive.
Dwayne holds a diploma in 3D Animation and Design from New Media Campus in Regina and has acted as a Designer, Process Architect and Project Manager ever since his graduation in 2003. He established his own company and built the Melcher Studios team of talented designers and programmers with Mike and Jack. He has extensive experience in eLearning, VR/AR, game development and project management. Throughout his career, Dwayne has pioneered partnerships and relationships with over 250 companies locally and nationally.
Taunya Woods Richardson is a serial entrepreneur, financial strategist, and neuroeconomics expert who is applauded for her innovative and refreshingly pragmatic approach to inspiring money mastery among entrepreneurs. She's the creator and architect of the Cashflow Canvas and Money Mastery Matrix, and the founder and CEO of three fintech ventures, Epifany Financial Group, Nail the Numbers, and Champs of Change. Her 30+ years immersed in entrepreneurial finance has led her to work with federal banks, credit unions, NGOs, and universities to financially embolden thousands of entrepreneurs across North America.
Dave is CEO of Localintel Economic Development. His professional background includes senior roles in consulting and local government where he specialized in economic development and strategic planning. Dave's career also includes roles with Deutsche Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and the Australian military. He holds a Master of Public Administration, Master of Environmental Planning and Bachelor of Commerce.
Darcy is an Industry Development Consultant for Tourism Saskatchewan and is responsible for working with tourism industry operators and stakeholders in the implementation of the Destination Development Strategy for the province. Darcy has worked with Tourism Saskatchewan for 13 years and has spent the last three years working with destinations and tourism operators on building capacity, leadership and tourism product.
Gavin Conacher grew up on a farm near Mervin, Saskatchewan, worked closely with the agrifood industry his whole career as an lender, investor, head of an agricultural national trade association, as the Director of Investor Services for Saskatchewan, and as the coordinator of WTC Saskatoon activities in the region focusing on food processing where they invest in agrifood ventures. Gavin holds undergraduate, graduate degrees and executive leadership diploma from the University of Saskatchewan in business. Gavin has travelled to many countries, met with hundreds of entrepreneurs and business leaders, he has spearheaded important initiatives in the province from both the Provincial, Federal governments and the private sector. Gavin resides in Saskatoon with his wife Joanne.
Peter Gosselin owns and operates two businesses: Indigenous Food and Beverages Canada Inc. (IFBC) and Indigenous International Trading Group of Canada Corp. (IITGC) IFBC is focused on new food and beverage research and development, brand development, and both domestic and international food, and beverage sales. Red River Indigenous Brands, a division of IFBC, brokers sales for other Indigenous brands as well as sells its own brand of food and beverages, Salay Indigenous Foods. Peter grew up in Regina, attending the University of Regina and graduating with a degree in Economics. Up until the spring of 2019 Peter worked with the Governments of Saskatchewan and Canada (SK and BC) for 18 years. Both levels of government employed Peter to focus on First Nations and Métis community engagement, corporate engagement, business development and investment attraction. For 12 years, prior to his time with government, Peter owned, operated, and sold businesses in the construction, food service and IT sectors. Peter has wide-ranging knowledge and experience in developing, operating, and selling businesses with a specialization in First Nations and Métis business development and investment attraction. Peter is a proud Métis with family roots in the Willow Bunch area of Saskatchewan.
Charly Ondako is the Senior Investment Officer for the CanExport Community Investments program, federal funding which aims to enhance the capability and effectiveness of Canadian Communities and economic development organizations to attract foreign direct investment to Canada. Having had experience in export promotion as a trade commissioner and having contributed to Canadian SMEs' success in export markets, Charly now collaborates with various municipalities and economic development organizations to facilitate their access to economic development grants and contributions. Charly inspires to guide the communities who need it the most, access federal programs to enhance their capability and effectiveness to attract employment, encourage partnership and deal with FDI aftercare.
David Mark has been in Nokomis since 2004. Originally from Winnipeg Manitoba, David found his way to town via Regina moving to the Capital in 1999 after graduating from the University of Winnipeg. A lot has changed over the past 22 years in the province, moving away from Winnipeg with questions of “Why would you move to Saskatchewan?” to now living in a province with an enviable position leading the way in development and opportunities. David has no regrets in taking a chance on Saskatchewan and his home of 18 years in Nokomis. Starting with helping promote the Town and Province as a whole supporting Little Miss Higgins as a touring musician David saw attitudes towards the province slowly change over 8 years of touring across Canada. Changes took place and looking for employment locally, David worked with Railserve as a switchman and then took an opportunity to work closer to home with Richardson Pioneer in Nokomis in 2013. David put his name in the hat to be Mayor of Nokomis after being asked by 2 of his predecessors to run. Over the past 10 years of being Mayor of Nokomis, David has learned a great deal about his community and has faced a number of challenges as the community worked through renewing critical infrastructure. Today Nokomis finds itself is a good position to take advantages of regional opportunities like the BHP Jansen Project and to welcome new residents moving in from places like Ontario and British Columbia. In addition to renewing aging infrastructure, Nokomis has been lucky to see a recent million dollar investment by Redbird Communication and FlexNet in establishing a residential and commercial fibreoptic network throughout the town. The town once nicknamed Junction City now finds itself at the intersection of 3 Flexnet fibreoptic networks. In addition to bringing our core services in line with modern needs and regulations, we now welcome this era’s digital infrastructure keeping Nokomis well connected into the future.
Katlin Ducherer is the Economic Development Officer with the City of Lloydminster and is a certified Professional Community And Economic Developer of Saskatchewan. Katlin is passionate and enthusiastic, and always thrives to make her community a better place to live and work. She is an advocate for both the energy and agriculture sectors. On top of her professional commitments to actively market Lloydminster as destination for business, residence and leisure, Katlin is an active resident of the community., enjoying Lloydminster by volunteering and shopping local when ever possible. Katlin has lived and worked in Lloydminster for the last decade, and has had an active role in the attraction of many national events over the years, and in recent years has focused primary on industry attraction and business retention through the pandemic. Katlin also maintains active participation in her family’s cattle operation, marketing the sales of live animals as well as exporting genetics to four of the seven continents.
You’ve heard him on the radio, seen him on TV and read him in newspapers and magazines. Paul is a popular keynote speaker on topics ranging from the economy to tapping community potential. His unique blend of communication and business knowledge has made him a highly sought-after consultant. As the Chair of Martin Charlton Communications, Paul is MCC’s ‘go to’ guy for all things business in Saskatchewan. He is the chair of four Saskatchewan branches of TEC (The Executive Committee) which has more than 50 CEOs and senior executives among its Saskatchewan members. The long and short: Paul knows the province’s corporate community and business economy like few others. He is a potent conduit for anyone looking to do business in Saskatchewan, Canada’s fastest growing economy. His strategic advice is unrivalled.
Having lived and worked across Canada and overseas in a variety of industries ranging from construction, oil and gas, government and education, Aaron Timoshyk brings diverse experience into his role as Program Manager with Build Up Saskatoon, a construction social enterprise that provides training and employment opportunities for people facing multiple barriers to employment. He has a background working closely with marginalized communities through his experience as a teacher and was drawn to the position by a desire to support community building, and economic development. Aaron is seeking to grow the Build Up program to create additional training and employment opportunities for members of Saskatoon’s core communities, as well as contributing to the affordable rehabilitation of Saskatoon’s aging inner city housing stock. Like many other social enterprises, Build Up is hoping to further demonstrate the value of actively engaging marginalized communities to promote positive economic and social change.
Registered Yoga Teacher—500hr Hatha Yoga—owner and operator of Skyriver Shala (2021), a rural Alberta full-time DONATION-BASED yoga studio in an old converted church. Having bought the building in early 2022, it has since been converted into a multi-business/residence with a unique range of services for the local community. The only yoga studio with the Great Yoga Wall in the area, it pulls people within a two-hour radius. A proud 2SLGBTQIA+ business with roots deep into community efforts and causes.
Crystal Malainey is currently the Manager Project Commercial for the BHP Canada Jansen Project located in Saskatoon, SK accountable for a portfolio focusing on rail, port, and corporate contracting services in addition to the oversight of project commercial systems, processes, governance, and assurance. Prior to BHP, Crystal spent a brief stint in the Alberta energy sector, before returning home to work for the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority. This is where she got her first exposure to the benefits of supporting and developing local and regional supply chains through active strategic priorities. In 2013, she joined BHP to support the Non-Process Infrastructure Construction, which was focused on crown corporations and rural municipalities. 2015 marked her transition into leadership when she accepted a Principal role which was responsible for the Shaft Sinking and Lining activities under N3SR which resulted into the oversight of the entire N3SR Commercial portfolio as the team Lead in 2017. Born and raised in Saskatchewan, outside of the office Crystal enjoys spending time in the great outdoors and embracing all seasons.
Owner/Operator of White Stone Essentials—After taking my first course back in 2018, I dove headfirst into the wellness sector. In 2021, I opened my store front establishing further confidence in my clients and customers. My products and practices are distinct which has allowed me to find a unique niche market. I infuse energy work into land-based natural products such as soaps and salts using ingredients found in the Neutral Hills nearby. I offer services that create space for transformation targeting issues such as Generational Patterning. I love what I do and I get to see change in people every day.
Rodger is a Métis/Cree born and raised in Saskatchewan, he is a proud member of George Gordon First Nation. He is an international award-winning film and video producer with more than 40 years' experience in the industry. He is the Owner/Operator of Creerunner Communications Ltd., a multimedia production company specializing in developing communication strategies, desktop publishing and producing broadcast standard film, video and multimedia productions. His formal training includes instruction in broadcast media, journalism, graphic arts and design, still photography, sound reproduction and the martial arts. Rodger is a traditional storyteller and motivational speaker, who has learned stories in the oral tradition by sitting with Elders from the Treaty Four Area and beyond. Presently Rodger is the Indigenous Cultural Liaison with the Regina Catholic School Board, he is a Certified Facilitator for the Kairos Blanket Exercise and also a Lead Facilitator of the Indigenous Leadership and Governance Program jointly administered by the First Nations University of Canada and Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Business, University of Regina and the University of Saskatchewan.
Miranda Blaber is the Community Development Manager with the Town of Carrot River. She has spent the past 12 years working for her community: building and fostering growth while working with various community members to help make Carrot River a wonderful place to live. She currently lives in Carrot River with her husband Roger, and you will often see her walking or biking around town. Miranda spent most of her free time volunteering on committees and as a youth coach. She thoroughly enjoyed sports and supporting her sons (Ryley & Kyle) as they participated. She now spends much of her free time embracing the outdoors and exploring nature with her husband as they enjoy kayaking, hiking and back country camping together. She loves living in Saskatchewan’s OUTBACK and is very proud to be a part of Carrot River.
Paul Mullen is the Chief Operations Officer of Draganfly Inc. (NASDAQ: DPRO; CSE: DPRO; FSE: 3U8). Paul has been an operational strategist for over 15 years with a scope that expands into mergers and acquisitions, product and organizational development, and go-to-market oversight for both enterprise-level and start-up organizations. Paul brings a willingness to nurture bold ideas and a track record of connecting and developing diverse teams. Highly motivated by innovation, Paul thrives in the development and pursuit of next-generation strategic objectives while rapidly iterating, and optimizing, existing processes and assets. Paul’s superpowers include supporting the development of growing companies by making the decisions necessary to frame effective strategy, building great teams, creating a space in which they can thrive, and ultimately delivering internal and external shareholder value.
Saskatchewan, known Canada wide for being a "boring, flat place," is anything but. I was born and raised on the endless great plains under living skies. Now, I am inspired to share the stories of my home and show the world the renaissance rising in the prairies! In 2011, I graduated from James Cook University in Townsville, Australia with a Bachelors of Business double majoring in HR and Management with honors and returned home to Saskatchewan to begin my career. I began in Economic Development, moved into Regional Park Management, then Director of Communications in the private sector. It was in this role that I realized I had a passion for storytelling and in 2016 I began marketing consulting independently. Since then, I have created everything from logos and marketing plans to apps and feature length films. I am an artist, entrepreneur, and environmentalist. More importantly I am a partner to a woman whom I love fiercely and most importantly a father to the son she gave me and the child she is currently giving her blood, flesh and bone to grow. I live my life breaking conformity and stewarding this planet so that one day, they may build sustainable and fulfilling lives for themselves.
Todd Bedore is the proud owner of Big Jim’s Brew Shop, a U-Brew / U-Vin store in Weyburn, SK. While relatively new to business ownership, Todd has been entrepreneurial his whole life with a successful career in supply chain management prior to purchasing Big Jim’s in 2022. Todd has applied his creative mindset and the Destination Creation concepts to pivot Big Jim’s into new frontiers. He aims to showcase the uniqueness of his 19-year-old business, branding it “Southeast Saskatchewan’s Largest Adult Grape Juice Store”.
Kari Kosier, owner of Kari’s Kloset in Moosomin, SK, has built a one-of-a-kind women’s clothing boutique. The store boasts more than 10,000 fashion pieces in 1,400 square feet, which Kari and her staff sell to customers in southeast Saskatchewan and all over Canada through e-commerce and social media. With a background in business management and retailing, it’s no wonder she fell in love with entrepreneurship. Kari’s big take-aways from the Destination Creation course included the importance of a unique positioning statement and the value of connecting with business supports offered by organizations such as Community Futures.
Mike grew up in Yorkton, SK and obtained a Civil Engineering degree at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon. He was a past Director nationally at the Flax Council of Canada, served as a Director on the Yorkton Chamber of Commerce board for a number of years and served as President of the Yorkton Chamber in 2018, and still currently serves on the City of Yorkton Planning & Infrastructure Committee and as a Director at STEP (Saskatchewan Trade & Export Partnership) since 2018. Mike is President and owner of Texas Tea Oil Ltd. which owns a Great Canadian Oil Change franchise in Yorkton, but spends most of his time as Vice President of TA Foods Ltd. which specializes in flax, hemp, and camelina seed processing (cleaning, milling, oil production, as well as co-packing retail packages (pouches and bottling). TA Foods exports products around the world with regular customers in the USA, Mexico, China, Japan, South Korea, Brazil, Columbia, Italy, Thailand, and more.
Clay brings to SCYAP over 17 years of experience working in a rehabilitative role for the Correctional Service of Canada. During his time with Corrections, he worked primarily with psychiatric patients, as a member of an interdisciplinary team, tasked with the responsibility of mental health stabilization with patients who displayed deteriorating mental health and challenging behaviour. Clay played a crucial role with national development and national standards for regional treatment centres within the Correctional system. With the Correctional service of Canada, Clay was involved in training staff, adult education and Emergency Response Team (ERT), leadership. Clay joined the SCYAP Team in 2016 as Operational Manager, and is involved in all aspects of operations of SCYAP, is he specifically involved with personal development for the purpose of redirection, self esteem building and mentoring with our Urban Canvas Project participants. Clay has also been a key member of SCYAPs new social enterprise called Pirate Signs. Pirate Signs is a division of Saskatoon Community Youth Arts Programming that uses graphics arts to print numerous projects for customers. All proceeds from the sign making goes back into programming for the community with at-risk youth through SCYAP.
Lindsay joined BHP Potash in 2021 is responsible for community engagement and government relations. Lindsay has more than 15 years of corporate affairs experience, in a wide range of sectors including agri-value, energy, international trade and transportation. Before joining BHP, Lindsay worked as Public Relations Manager for CN and prior to that was Government Relations Manager at Federated Cooperatives Limited. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Latin American Studies from the University of British Columbia and Master’s Diploma in International Management from Capilano University. Outside of the office, is an active volunteer, which has provided opportunities to represent Canada on the Joint Public Advisory Committee (JPAC) for the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC), the JPAC for the Canada-Chile Agreement on Environmental Cooperation, and as an election observer for eight elections in Latin America and one in Ukraine.
Jim’s passion for business and economic development, and helping individuals, organizations, communities, and businesses succeed, gives him the impetus to help lead change. Jim is currently employed with the City of Moose Jaw as their Economic Development Director and brings over 10 years as an economic development practitioner at the municipal and provincial levels.
Often referred to as the “Pride of Holdfast” (by his mom, mostly), Craig Hemingway is the Communications Manager for Canada’s Most Notorious City—Moose Jaw, SK. Craig relishes his role with Moose Jaw’s Economic Development team and believes the key to true happiness is found in those three little words: “Get a Life.”
Garth is the co-founder, majority owner and CEO of G-Mac’s AgTeam, a crop production company that strives to provide exceptional agronomic services while remaining focused on customers and communities. Being a father of three and grandfather of five, it has always been important to Garth that G-Mac’s AgTeam remains an extended family that live in, and contribute to, the communities in which they exist. G-Mac’s AgTeam was founded in 2000 and has grown significantly over the 22-year history. Originating with the locations of Kindersley, Plenty and Eatonia after the MacDonald’s bought out Phoenix Ag, G-Mac’s AgTeam was born and quickly expanded to include Marengo in 2002. Continuing with growth, G-Mac’s AgTeam purchased a location in Leader from the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool after it had been closed for about a year. As G-Mac’s AgTeam moved into it’s second decade of business, expansion continued towards the East. Next, they acquired the Elrose retail location quickly followed by Rosetown and Milden and finally Lucky Lake by 2016. Construction on the distribution facility at Brock began around this time and the plant was opened in 2019 to be able to better serve the trade area. More recently, G-Mac’s AgTeam acquired the locations of Meota, Medstead, Meadow Lake and Spiritwood as a result of a merger with Cavalier Agrow that was completed in 2021. This has further expanded G-Mac’s AgTeam’s trade area to the Northern part of Saskatchewan as the strengths of both companies were combined into one outstanding entity, the new G-Mac’s AgTeam. Finally, G-Mac’s AgTeam has recently announced and began construction on a full-scale retail and fertilizer distribution site located at Hamlin, SK outside of North Battleford and are looking forward to serving customers from this newest addition in the 2023 season. G-Mac’s AgTeam is focused on increasing productivity and profitability in a sustainable manner and as a result, supplies customers with leading edge service, emerging science and proven technology. They credit their success to being built on customer relationships that are based on knowledge and services including CrOptics, a year-round agronomy and crop production service; SoilConnect, a custom variable rate fertility prescription program that optimizes growing acres; and SprayConnect, a variable rate spray application prescription that treats only necessary acres. These are just a few of the services offered through the G-Mac’s AgTeam iFarm (Intelligent Farming) platform that allows G-Mac’s AgTeam to continually be committed to growth and improvement both in their knowledge and in practice on the farm.
Originally hailing from the town of Wadena, David attended university both in Saskatchewan and Carleton University where he was trained to become an industrial designer. After a career in industrial design David decided to come home to Saskatchewan and began a career in plastics design and manufacturing for agricultural and OEM equipment. From the years 1998-2004 the design and manufacturing team led by David was responsible for more than 75% of the world’s high horsepower 4WD roof, fender and hood designs out of North Corman Industrial park. His career in OEM manufacturing and design expanded to include ag short line and full line manufacturers, power generation equipment and the Vice President’s position within PAMI (Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute). He now heads a consultancy called Ratel Novus Consulting where he focuses on the development of agriculture and agri-food technology, the eco-system emerging around it and the stakeholders who participate within it.