Gary Merasty is a proud member of the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation and CEO of the Peter Ballantyne Group of Companies (PBGOC) He was vice president at Cameco Corporation of Corporate Responsibility, Government Relations & Communications and also chief of staff to the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations. In politics, he was grand chief of the Prince Albert Grand Council from 1999 to 2005, and was a Liberal member of Parliament for Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, Saskatchewan. He played a key role in facilitating the Government of Canada’s apology to the Residential School survivors by lobbying Parliament with a motion in the House of Commons in 2007. He has held several board positions including as chair of West Wind Aviation, and was on the boards of the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority, the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies, the Canada West Foundation and the Prince Albert Development Corporation. He is well known for community support and received the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Medal, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and the 2005 Saskatchewan Centennial Commemorative Medal. The University of Saskatchewan named him in the Top 100 Alumni of Influence, and he received an honorary diploma in business from Saskatchewan PolyTechnic.
Lisa Helps works in spaces where big ideas can turn into reality, inspiring people to come together, find a common purpose, and take action on complex problems. Lisa is currently focused on helping communities with housing, climate action, reconciliation and low-carbon prosperity, knowing that addressing these key issues as overlapping and related will create empowerment and resilience and set communities and nations up for the dynamic and uncertain future that we are all facing. The former two-term mayor of Victoria, British Columbia is currently working as Housing Solutions Advisor to Premier Eby for the start-up of BC Builds. As mayor Lisa worked hard to create deep collaboration across the community to get Victoria ready for the future, and across the province as co-chair of the BC Urban Mayors Caucus to advance shared priorities for cities.
Sarah Calhoun has two decades of leadership experience in both the non-profit and small business sectors, working in the outdoor education industry before founding Red Ants Pants in 2006. Tired of wearing men’s work pants that didn’t fit, she designed pants that would fit, function, and flatter working women. Red Ants Pants is based out of White Sulphur Springs, Montana. In 2011, Calhoun created the first annual Red Ants Pants Music Festival, where 6,000 fans came to celebrate rural Montana in a cow pasture. The Festival is a program of the Red Ants Pants Foundation whose mission is to support of women’s leadership, working family farms and ranches, and rural communities. Calhoun’s grit has brought national recognition to her enterprises over the years. She was named the 2012 National Women in Business Champion for the Small Business Administration and the 2011 Entrepreneur of the Year for the State of Montana. In 2018, the Festival was named the Event of the Year by the Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development and Calhoun was inducted into the Montana Business Hall of Fame. In her spare time, Calhoun enjoys the outdoors, cutting firewood, hunting, and camping.
Concurrent Session Speakers
Now the CAO for the Town of Esterhazy, Tammy MacDonald previously spent five years as their Planning and Economic Development Director. She has a certificate in Local Government Authority with the University of Regina and obtained her Professional Community and Economic Developer of Saskatchewan certification at the last SEDA convention. Before working in a municipal office, Tammy was a business owner for 15 years and worked in the finance industry for another seven years. She believes community partnerships and collaboration help small communities stay strong and vibrant. Working together and combining everyone's strengths is how we can ensure that all areas of where we live stay relevant and active. Working with municipal leaders to help understand the needs in our community and find solutions is a large task but very rewarding when we achieve our goals together.
Cory plays an integral role in developing SaskPower’s long-term grid modernization strategy and roadmap. As the Portfolio Manager for Distribution Transformation, Cory leads the development of new and innovative initiatives that will enable SaskPower to accommodate the introduction of electric vehicles, customer generation and smart technologies. Cory has been with SaskPower for over 22 years and has worked with customers in all sectors including potash, oil and gas, municipalities, universities, schools, hospitals, farms, residential, and independent power producers.
Amber Weckworth is the Manager of Climate, Strategy, and Data with the Sustainability Department for the City of Saskatoon. She leads a team of environmental coordinators and project managers to implement Saskatoon’s climate action plans. Amber has been working for the City of Saskatoon since 2013 in climate action, energy efficiency, waste reduction, and environmental performance. She brought a background in community outreach, conservation management, and environmental consulting.
Samantha Ecarnot is the Director of Child Care Operations with the Ministry of Education Early Years Branch where she is privileged to lead a dedicated team of more than 40 people. Samantha has been working in various capacities within the Early Learning and Child Care program in the ministries of Social Services and Education for 22 years. Prior to joining the Government of Saskatchewan, she spent 10 years as an Early Childhood Educator with Primary Daycare in Vibank; the first child care centre in Saskatchewan where a municipality held the licence. She is a proud mom of two children, and often finds the skills she uses most in her work with adults are those she learned raising kids! Samantha is excited to see the interest from so many communities who are recognizing the important benefits early learning and child care programs have for children and families as well community development.
Andrea Van Vliet is a program manager in provincial Child Care Operations for Saskatoon and area and has worked with Early Years since 2011. Andrea and her team support regulated child care homes and centres which are important contributors to a community’s social, educational and economic strength. Andrea grew up on an organic grain farm in the Southeast and is proud to be from the prairies. Andrea has a Master’s in Curriculum Studies from the University of Saskatchewan and enjoys applying her knowledge of child development and education on her two children, and less successfully, on their golden lab puppy.
Gillian works with the local business community providing support, overseeing property development and tourism, and marketing the community to potential residents, businesses, and visitors. Gillian sits on the board of directors of Maple Creek Childcare Cooperative, a new cooperative focused on bringing licensed daycare to Maple Creek. Childcare is one of the keys to retaining and attracting a workforce and business investment. Gillian has been working in the Community & Economic Development field since 2016 and holds the Professional Community and Economic Developer of Saskatchewan (PCED.SK) designation.
Sue Delanoy has spent 33 years as a community-based advocate for women, children and youth, tirelessly encouraging and supporting innovations in program delivery and advocacy for better, more, and high-quality services, especially for the early years. She has been involved specifically in varying capacities with the Early Childhood movement for over 32 years. Her previous position includes national director for Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada, Children's advocate for Communities for Children in Saskatoon, Executive Director for the Saskatchewa Early Childhood Association, the Executive Director for the Elizabeth Fry Society of Saskatchewan working within the Justice system, and most recently the Spokesperson and Chairperson for Child Care Now Saskatchewan. She has been on several boards, was named a children's champion by the Saskatoon Preschool Foundation and Child Friendly Saskatoon, was awarded an honorary diploma by Saskatchewan Polytechnic for her contribution to services for Children, Youth and Family, and was a recent recipient of the Queen Elizabeth 11 Platinum Jubilee Medal for her contributions to the province of Saskatchewan. While all of these achievements are noteworthy, Sue always states that her most important role is that of Mom and Grama to Jase, Jules, and Ava.
Born and raised in Ile-a-la Crosse, Tyler graduated from the Edwards School of Business in 2016, majoring in Accounting. Upon completion, he took a job as a Business Development Specialist with the Clarence Campeau Development Fund (CCDF) in Regina SK. Since 2019, Tyler has been the CEO of Sakitawak Development Corporation and Interim CEO of the Ile-a-la Crosse Fish Company. Tyler is also a board member of Flyer Electric LP, and is the Vice President of the Ile-a-la Crosse Cooperative.
Taylor is an economist with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and currently spokesperson on housing market trends in the Prairies. He has experience conducting analysis on both BC and Prairies housing markets and provides forecasts, analysis and commentary on developments in the resale, rental and new home markets. He has been conducting economic and housing market analysis with CMHC since 2015 and holds a Master of Arts, Applied Economics and Policy Analysis from the University of Regina.
Cathy is a serial entrepreneur from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Saskatchewan and a law degree from the University of Calgary. She has worked professionally in large corporate environments, clerked for the Courts of Queen's Bench and Appeal for the Province of Alberta, and practiced at notable law firms in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Cathy left private practice to pursue entrepreneurial ventures and hasn't looked back. She has a passion for start-ups and has successfully launched and managed several ventures, including a non-profit co-operative. She also supports start-ups at Co-operatives First with feasibility and business planning and joined the team as the part-time Entrepreneur-in-Residence in 2022. She was recently awarded the 2023 YWCA Woman of Distinction Award for Entrepreneurship.
Risa is a senior associate with Quantified Ventures and is passionate about working at the intersection of business, society and environment, creating sustainable, transformative and scalable solutions for a better tomorrow. Before joining Quantified Ventures, Risa was a founding board member of Buy-In Community Planning, a U.S-based, national nonprofit that supports the well-being of people whose homes and communities are threatened by natural hazards by assisting them in planning for and relocating to safer areas. Risa served as the Director of Strategy & Operations and Board Treasurer. Prior to the nonprofit, Risa formed a boutique consulting firm focused on providing business development and financial services for mission driven start-ups. Previously, Risa was a Program Manager at The Trust for Public Land where she advanced conservation funding mechanisms and policy frameworks, creating new public funding for parks, conservation, and climate resiliency across the country. She also led TPL’s programs in Detroit, including the creation and development of the city’s pilot neighborhood revitalization effort in Fitzgerald to implement a multi-benefit approach to housing revitalization, park creation, and revenue generating open space strategies for vacant land. Risa holds a BA in Geography from Syracuse University, a Certificate of Accounting from Southern New Hampshire University, and completed a rigorous business acceleration program at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. Outside of work, Risa loves exploring local parks with her dog, attending live concerts, and enjoying new restaurants.
Jason Mercredi (he/him) is the Director of Social Infrastructure with Metis Nation – Saskatchewan (MN-S). He oversees MN-S’s Ministry of Housing including administering the Reaching Home program for remote and rural Saskatchewan. He is the previous Executive Director of Prairie Harm Reduction (PHR) where he founded PHR’s Oski Kisikaw apartments, a semi-independent apartment complex for families facing active addictions, & Michael’s Place & Esther’s Home semi-independent homes for complex needs youth in active addictions.
Thomas Benjoe is an Indigenous Business Leader and Entrepreneur and is from Muscowpetung First Nation. Through his leadership, he has grown several multi-million dollar investments across multiple sectors using business models he has developed. Thomas also leads several strategies in Indigenous Engagement, Procurement, Indigenous HR, and Investments. Thomas currently serves as a Board of Director at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Board of Director of Economic Development Regina, SIIT Indigenous Innovation Advisory Council, Saskatchewan Roughriders Indigenous Task Group, and is a Member of Leaders Council at the Hill & Levene Schools of Business, University of Regina. He is a past Chair of the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce. Thomas recently received the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal for contributions to Business & Commerce, was a finalist for Economic Developer of the Year 2023 through CANDO, was recognized in The Globe and Mail’s Report on Business Magazine as a Top 50 Changemakers in Canada, and was recognized as one of the Top 10 Most Influential Economic Developers by Treaty 4 News.
A collaborator at heart, Nick is passionate about building lasting relationships, and communicating clearly and effectively. Nick brings seven years of experience in the non-profit sector to the Big Block team. He has expertise in government, community, and stakeholder relations and has worked in the housing industry since 2016. Nick works closely with community-minded non-profits to create a bridge of communication between the client and the team throughout the project journey. Nick was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal in 2023 for his significant contributions to society.
Steve leads sales and partnerships for Localintel, an award-winning technology company helping economic developers to promote their communities, share location intelligence and drive local business growth. Steve’s professional background has been within the information services sector, focusing on helping companies turn data into simple actionable insights. Steve has held senior roles within large media (Nielsen), financial (Thomson Reuters, ASX, RIMES Technologies) and professional service (Deloitte’s) organisations in key account, sales management and marketing roles. He holds an Honors Degree in Business and Law from the University of Plymouth, UK.
Alex is a passionate community builder with a personal investment total of more than $400 million in new construction housing development. He has a knack for leading and inspiring others to take efficient action for successful development journeys. He values trust, learning from best practices, and innovating through collaboration. Alex is also an active member of the community, serving on the Saskatchewan New Home Warranty and Canadian Home Builders’ Association boards. Alex will become President of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association in 2025.
Bryan is a community-minded business leader who co-founded 3twenty Modular with a goal of redefining the construction process. Bryan has a decade of experience building collaborative teams with the goal of providing win-win relationships and fun projects for owners. Bryan appeared on CBC’s hit TV show Dragons’ Den, where 3twenty successfully slayed the dragons, gaining W. Brett Wilson as a partner. Since then, 3twenty has built over 900 buildings for educational, commercial, industrial, and residential market in all corners of Canada. 3twenty has built a reputation of innovation, trust, and collaboration. Bryan is a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan and is a CPA CMA. Bryan is married to Carmen, a high school teacher, and is a proud father to Foster, Lincoln, and Pearson.
Cathy Goulet is President of Killick Leadership Group, an integrated management consulting firm specializing in strategic and operational services for municipal, economic development and First Nations clients. Launched in 2014, Killick has clients throughout Alberta, across the Northwest Territories and into British Columbia. Since 1980 Cathy has lead economic development organizations and projects across Canada. Her experience spans small business development, municipal, provincial and federal governments and agencies, and regional development organizations. Cathy holds a Bachelor of Commerce, and a Master in Arts in Integrated Studies. Her research focus has been on how leaders create rural economy. Cathy’s current board appointments include the Alberta Motor Association Board of Governors and the Centre for Sustainable Rural Communities at the University of Alberta.
Colleen Christopherson-Cote has been working in community economic development for over 20 years in both urban and rural communities across Saskatchewan. She has extensive knowledge on the complexity of human service systems and the intricacies of how public policy and practice indirectly and directly impact community, particularly those who are most vulnerable, marginalized and oppressed. She specializes in building intersectoral collaboratives and currently works as the coordinator for Saskatoon Poverty Reduction Partnership. Over the past 15 years she has held contracts as the Director of Evaluation and Analysis with the Saskatoon Housing Initiatives Partnership, the community co-lead for the Evaluation and Analysis working group of the SSHRC-funded Community First: Impacts of Community Engagement (CFICE), co-coordinator of the Saskatoon Safe Community Action Alliance, coordinator for the Saskatoon Early Years Partnership and most recently as the Incident Command for the Saskatoon Interagency Response to COVID19 Vulnerable Sector Strategy. Colleen weaves webs of relationships that not only break through the confines of system silos but also disrupt the hierarchies within them that so often prevent timely, holistic action on critical issues. Colleen's colleagues celebrate her ability to find clarity in chaos, to pull diverse perspectives into a unified vision, and to carve collective paths forward, even when it’s not the path of least resistance. Colleen is committed to learning and embedding the discipline of anti-racism into her practice, including a deep understanding of how “whiteness,” privilege and colonial biases impact her work, ability to learn and capacities as a parent and community leader.
Kirsten Lindsay is the Director of Workforce and Economic Development at Francis Tuttle Technology Center. In this role, she leads a team of 20 professionals charged with designing and delivering training to employers and job seekers in Francis Tuttle’s district. She has been working in the Technology Center system for thirteen years, first as a workforce consultant, then as Assistant Director, and now in her current role. Kirsten is an officer for PACE (Post-Secondary Adult Career Education), the professional organization associated with the workforce branch of Oklahoma CareerTech. Other professional and non-profit organizations with which she is affiliated include the American Society for Public Administration, the UCO MPA Advisory Board, and board of directors for Harding Fine Arts Academy. Kirsten graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Oklahoma State University and an MBA with a Strategic Communications emphasis from Southern Oklahoma State University.
Raised in the heart of the prairies, Hazlet Saskatchewan has been home for Lindsay Alliban for nearly thirty years. After graduating highschool in Hazlet she attended University of Lethbridge, graduating with a Fine Arts Degree, with a major in New Media. Upon graduation, Lindsay moved back to her hometown where she found herself taking a position as the Economic Development Officer. This was a role Lindsay had unknowingly been training for her whole life; breathing life into the community while spurring enthusiasm and encouraging economic growth was a natural fit for a community minded small town girl. Lindsay has been working within the Economic and Community Development field ever since. Revitalizing a sense of community in rural villages and towns is a passion of Lindsay’s. Her work portrays the value she holds in the quality of life found in rural Saskatchewan and believes in the success of rural Saskatchewan people and businesses. She has dedicated countless hours working on unique community projects such as- Chinook International High School Program, Renewable Energy Community Projects, Youth Outreach and Heritage conservation. In recent years she has focused on collaboration and regional projects - leading to Three Points Economic Partnership.
Kyla Bouvier is the owner and founder of Back2Nature Wellness & Adventures, an outdoor wellness adventure business in Saskatchewan. She created Back2Nature Wellness & Adventures from a love for the outdoors and personal development, encouraging her guests to connect more deeply with oneself while adventuring outdoors. Back2Nature Wellness & Adventures offers several outdoor wellness adventures including stand-up paddleboard experiences, sauna experiences, retreats, and corporate & group adventures. She resides in Clavet, Saskatchewan with her two boys who are also outdoor adventurers and avid sport enthusiasts!
With over 36 years experience in public engagement including 23 years as the President & CEO of Tourism Saskatoon, Todd is well versed in strategic planning for member-based organizations. Now a professional consultant with Destinate Group, Todd brings executive experience in driving the visitor economy through conventions, sporting events, destination innovation, leisure marketing, media, and trade to small and medium-sized destinations across Canada. Todd was recognized with the 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award by the Tourism Industry Association of Canada.
Geoff has been with Athabasca Basin Development since the company’s inception. As CEO, he is responsible for evaluating new opportunities and monitoring existing investments/operations, and under his leadership, the company has grown to include investments in 14 companies providing a wide range of services. ABD has won numerous awards, including SaskBusiness Magazine’s 2014 Business of the Year, #48 in SaskBusiness Magazine’s Top 100 companies, and the Prospector and Developers Association of Canada’s Skookum Jim award, and Geoff was named the Business Leader of the Year at the 2017 ABEX awards. In addition to his duties as CEO, Geoff sits on numerous boards and has also been an active member of the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce. Geoff has a Bachelor of Business Administration from St. Francis Xavier University with a major in Management and has his Directors Education Program (DEP) designation through the Institute of Chartered Directors (ICD).
Ashley Charles is currently the Executive Director for Muskoday Economic Development Authority LP (MEDA-LP). Her previous role was the CEO for Prince Albert Regional Economic Development Alliance. She has also served in various capacities revolving around Economic Development in areas of Tourism, Education and Training, Human Resource Management, Marketing and General Management in both For-Profit/ Non-for-Profit Capacities. Key areas her career has flourished in are with; Natural Resource, First Nations, City/Municipal, and the Retail sector. A key focus of her work has been social responsibility to improve relations with and for the benefit of the Indigenous communities. Ashley earned a Business Administration diploma through a joint partnership program between the U of S and U of R (now known as First Nations University of Canada). She than continued her education to obtain a Master of Business Administration (MBA) through Cape Breton University, specializing in Community Economic Development Ashley knows firsthand, the importance of community economic development as it paves a pathway for future generations in terms of jobs, opportunity and growth. Ashley is a proud Indigenous Woman from Treaty 6 territory and is a mother of two.
Duane is the founding director of Farmland Legacies. He left Farm Credit Canada (FCC) to pursue a dream by creating an alternative way of looking at land ownership and how humanity relates to mother earth. Duane grew up on the family farm near Radisson SK, obtained his degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Saskatchewan, and spent 12 years with FCC. That background prepared him to answer the call of the spirit and venture out into the reality which Farmland Legacies has become. When not busy with work, Duane enjoys curling, reading, nature and travelling—especially in the winter!
Chris Sicotte is a proud Cree/Métis and member of the Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation (formerly known as Nelson House First Nation), Treaty 5 territory, with family connections to the historic communities of Cumberland House and the Red River Métis Settlement. Chris is the Executive Director of the National Aboriginal Trust Officers Association (NATOA), a position he started in October 2022. Prior to this role Chris worked for 30 years in the financial services (banking and insurance) industry. Over the course of his career, he has worked in locations across Canada, including Winnipeg, Brandon, Norway House Cree Nation, Cree Nation of Chisasibi (James Bay Cree of northern Quebec) and Saskatoon. Since 2002 he has been focused on working directly with First Nations governments, Tribal Councils, Economic and Business Development Corporations, Métis governments and entrepreneurs in providing financial services and advice. Chris has and continues to serve on numerous Boards and committees. He is the current Board Chair of both the Kahkewistahaw Economic Management Corporation and Sparrow Hawk Developments (the economic development arm of Peepeekisis Cree Nation). In June 2022, through an Order in Council, Chris was appointed a Director of the Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation (CMHC) for a four-year term. He is also the former Board Chair of the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce, former Chair of the City of Saskatoon’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Advisory Committee, and former Board Chair of AFOA Canada. In May 2023 Chris participated in the AFOA Canada/Harvard University Leading People and Investing to Build Sustainable Communities course at Harvard Business School. As one of 83 participants from across Canada, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand he had the opportunity to live on campus for a one-week intensive course designed to empower and inspire Indigenous leaders. This was a unique learning experience and allowed him to network with Indigenous leaders from around the world. Chris is a speaker and presenter on Indigenous Economic Development, Indigenous Finance, and Urban Reserve development. He remains active as a community builder between the Indigenous and newcomer Canadian communities and the inter-faith community of Saskatoon. In recognition of his volunteer activities Chris was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal (Saskatchewan) in March 2023. Chris currently resides in Saskatoon (Treaty 6 territory) with his wife Darlene Okemaysim- Sicotte and is stepfather to four adult children. He is the proud grandfather of four grandsons: Albert (“AJ”), Dayshawn, Joseph, and Samuel, and one granddaughter, Desta. He also holds black belts in two martial arts (Traditional Japanese Jiu-Jitsu and the Filipino martial art of Kali) and is an advanced brown belt in the Filipino art of Sikaran.
Andrew is currently the executive director (acting) for the Smart Cities Office at City of Guelph. The office leads two circular economy initiatives: Our Food Future and Circular Opportunity Innovation Launchpad (COIL). Prior to Guelph, he was a vice-president leading responsibility files, such as health and wellness, responsible sourcing, animal welfare and sustainability, for the Retail Council of Canada. Andrew was the inaugural sustainability manager for Walmart’s market in Canada, where he planned and implemented environmental initiatives for both direct operations and supply chain. As a country lead, he was a member of the company’s Global Sustainability Leaders Team – working on issue identification and strategy. Also, he has held various positions for both Nielsen Company of Canada and General Mills Canada. Andrew is an accomplished public speaker on the topics of sustainability, circular economy & climate action, and how they intersect with business strategy. He is a proud honouree of Canada’s Clean50. Andrew holds a degree in geography from the University of British Columbia.
Carl is the Director of Contracting and Compliance for Kinetic GPO. Anyone who has ever interacted with Carl knows just how much of a positive influence he is for procurement. In addition to his work with Kinetic GPO, Carl has served two separate two-year terms on the Supply Chain Canada, Saskatchewan Institute and continues to be a strong supporter of Supply Chain Canada. Furthermore, Carl frequently advises MASH sector entities across Canada on compliance, trade agreements, and contracting requirements. This includes continuing to work with one of Kinetic GPO’s top partners, SUMA. Carl has over 30 years of experience in both the public and private sectors and although he was born and raised in Saskatchewan, his work history has taken him away from Saskatchewan to places such as Calgary, Vancouver and Quebec City.
Kevin has vast experience in the private, public, and not for profit sectors over the past 30 years. Kevin joined Prairie Sky Strategy in March of 2018 and enjoys working with a variety of clients. Prior to that, Kevin served as an MLA for Regina Northeast and served in Cabinet in several different capacities including Finance, Advanced Education, Parks, Culture and Sport and as Minister Responsible for SaskTel. Prior to public life, Kevin served as VP, Corporate Relations at SaskPower, and worked in senior management positions with Investors Group, Bayer Healthcare and GlaxoWelcome. Kevin also served as the Chief of Staff to both the Saskatchewan Minister of Finance and the Minister of Education between 1988 & 1991. Throughout his career, Kevin has served in several board positions including the University of Saskatchewan Board of Governors, Vice-Chair of the Hospitals of Regina Foundation, Member of the Regina Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and as President of Saskatchewan Special Olympics. Kevin has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Saskatchewan. Kevin currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors for the RCMP Heritage Center at Depot at the home of the RCMP in Regina and is a Member of the Canada West Foundation Board. In his spare time, Kevin likes to golf.
Sally is a strategic communications and issue management specialist. For more than a decade, she has worked across Canada, both in the public and private sectors, providing high-level communications and public relations advice to senior leadership. Prior to joining CSG, Sally served as Chief of Staff for the Official Opposition of Saskatchewan, Deputy Director of Communications for the Government of Manitoba, and as a press secretary for NDP leaders Rachel Notley and Jack Layton. In the private sector, Sally has provided her expertise to senior leadership in the oil and gas, renewable energy, tech, and cannabis sectors. She prides herself on providing clients with comprehensive approaches that incorporate communications, stakeholder relations, activation campaigns, and government relations to achieve the highest levels of success. Respected across party lines for her political insights, Sally is a frequent panelist on CBC’s Power and Politics and has provided commentary for print and radio across the country. Now calling Regina home, Sally takes great pride in her adoptive province and has sat on the Board of Directors for the Regina Chamber of Commerce and the Regina YMCA. She and her family are also involved in the local chapter of the Association of United Ukrainian Canadians and the Poltava school of Song, Music, and Dance.
Dale Richardson is a dynamic professional with extensive experience in politics and a passion for podcasting. As a political strategist, Dale served previously as Director of Digital Operations for Premier Scott Moe and as Director of Communications at the Saskatchewan Party. Since leaving provincial politics in 2018, Dale has hosted and produced a number of podcasts in Saskatchewan and across Canada, creating thought-provoking discussions on current affairs, politics, and societal issues. Bridging the worlds of politics and podcasting, Dale Richardson is a versatile communicator who sparks meaningful dialogues and empowers others to engage with the world of Saskatchewan politics. With a reputation for strategic advice and impactful conversations, Dale continues to make a lasting impact.
Colin is the Director, Growth & Investment, for Economic Development Regina (EDR). His professional background spans many industries, including financial services, technology and local government, and he has experience and expertise leading teams focused on business development, consulting, marketing, research and strategy for public and private sector entities worldwide. Colin leads EDR’s Growth & Investment and Economics and Data Analytics teams to support local and attract new businesses and talent as well as draw foreign direct and domestic investment to grow Regina’s economy. Over twenty years, Colin lived and completed successful market entry, product and service launch and strategic projects in worldwide before returning home to Regina in 2016. A lifelong learner, Colin holds two Bachelor of Arts degrees, a Master of Arts in Social Anthropology (SOAS, UK), a joint Master of Business Administration (Durham University – UK and Sun Yat-sen University – China) and many professional, association and language qualifications.
Dr. Boucher is a Faculty Lecturer at the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Saskatchewan. He leads the Executive Master of Public Administration (EMPA) and plays a key role in the Governance and Entrepreneurship in Northern and Indigenous Areas (GENI) program. His research focuses on Public Sector Entrepreneurship and Energy Transition Acceleration. Within this research area, he is interested in energy justice, comparative public policy, low-income energy efficacy, renewable energy cooperatives, northern entrepreneurship, and small modular reactors. Dr. Boucher holds a Ph.D. in Environment and Sustainability from the University of Saskatchewan. His dissertation focused on socio-technical pathways to clean energy in Canada, the United States, and Sweden. He has received several scholarships and fellowships, including the SENS Nexen Energy Graduate Scholarship and a Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada grant. Dr. Boucher has an MA from Athabasca University and a BSc (honours) in Natural Science from the University of Waterloo.
There is no greater feeling than witnessing someone’s relief when they see a solution or pathway through difficulty. No matter how complex the goal, I stand passionately behind my belief that proper planning is the key to achieving it. I’ve spent more than 25 years creating spaces where genuine conversations thrive. Why? Because without honest communication – about goals and fears – it’s impossible to know the nuances of a person’s story to then deliver an empowering, actionable plan. From business owners looking to optimize and properly determine the value of their business to farmers wanting to successfully transition the family farm between generations, I help clients navigate the landscapes of personal wealth and family legacy to achieve their definition of success. As a Certified Financial Planner, Chartered Financial Consultant, Chartered Life Underwriter, Trust and Estate Practitioner, Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA) and Certified Business Advisor (CBA), I have earned the trust of my clients and the numerous top advisors I have worked with throughout my career. In addition to being a lifelong entrepreneur who has founded three successful businesses, I am a seasoned team leader and proven quarterback capable of uniting all necessary specialists under a common goal: the client’s best interest. Whether your team of advisors involves lawyers, accountants, bankers, business partners or simply you and your family, I have been successful in creating collaborative and holistic plans attuned to your needs. I’m frequently blessed with the privilege of internationally presenting my knowledge and experience to clients and advisors, alike and thrive in public-speaking and coaching environments. I’m happiest while travelling and making memories with family and friends but it’s an excellent day when I get to help families like mine achieve something worthwhile.
Lindsay has always been one to take the road less traveled. For example, in 2016 she decided to pursue her designation as a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant. Her colleagues, friends and family were very confused and maybe even a bit concerned. They wanted to know why she would consider this type of service as a consultant when she lived, well, in the middle of nowhere and limited clientele or so they assumed. As a community economic developer for over 25 years, she is used to having to think outside the box and consider strategies that others often would not, and immigration is a strategy not often thought of. Since obtaining her designation in 2017 she has assisted over 300 families to fulfill their goal of living and working in rural Canada. Furthermore, she expanded her services in 2021 to work with businesses and communities to train their staff in the areas of immigration and settlement as she believes immigration may very well be the “last frontier” in terms of growing community capacity and building a skilled workforce. Lindsay's favorite projects in community development have always been those involving education and training. She is looking forward to providing you insightful information and on how to build your own virtual settlement office without relying on or having to spend countless hours looking for outside funding.
Alicia Couto is the Venture Manager of Energy and Cleantech at Innovate Calgary. Alicia holds a Master’s of Sustainability in Energy Security from the University of Saskatchewan and a Diploma in Renewable Energy and Conservation from Lakeland College. Her thesis research focused on the funding mechanisms, policies, and regulations that enabled community energy projects throughout Canada and how to best support the energy transition in remote, northern, and Indigenous communities. Her previous work experience includes roles with Williams Engineering Canada, SkyFire Energy, and Decentralised Energy Canada and is a former board member of Solar Alberta. She is also a sessional instructor at Lakeland College’s Sustainable Energy Technology Program where she teaches about energy efficiency and sustainability in the built environment. Alicia is a self-proclaimed ecosystem builder who believes in the power of collaboration. She is a passionate advocate and her mission is to contribute to the energy transition by enabling technology acceleration and community energy development
Brian Cant is Vice President, Business Impact & Engagement with 4VI, a social enterprise created to ensure that travel is a force for good for Vancouver Island—forever. Cant has worked in communications and engagement for close to two decades. Inspired by his summer job guiding visitors through the underground mine at the Rossland Museum, Cant found his calling in the tourism industry. He previously held the role of Director, Communications & Engagement for the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority, a community-based not-for-profit that is committed to sustainable stewardship of Victoria’s working harbour. His career has also included roles with tartanbond, Destination British Columbia, and Destination Greater Victoria. Cant is a proud, three-time graduate of the University of Victoria, most recently gaining his MBA. He serves as a member of the university’s Board of Governors and is fulfilling his final year as Past President of the UVic Alumni Association Board of Directors. Growing up less than five minutes away from the ski lifts at Red Mountain Resort in Rossland, BC, he was first put on skis by his dad at the age of 18 months and barely looked back or slowed down. Cant managed to share his lifelong passion for the sport by having his own daughter on skis around the same time, to somewhat mixed results.