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Speakers

Myke Agecoutay

Myke served as Chief of the Muscowpetung Saulteaux Nation from 2016 to 2018. Prior to serving as Chief, he was an elected Band Councillor/Headman for the nation from 2012 to 2014. From 2003 to 2010 he was the elected Tribal Vice Chief of the File Hills Qu’Appelle Tribal Council (FHQTC). Myke was also instrumental in the development and administration of the QBOW Child & Family Services. He is the former Board Chairman of the following significant organizations: Silver Sage Housing Corporation, Regina Treaty Status Indian Services, All Nation Healing Hospital, and the Leading Thunderbird Lodge. Myke now serves as the company’s first CEO.

Gina Alexander

Gina is the Executive Director of Community Safety and Well-Being, serving the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General. Her responsibilities cover province wide programs and initiatives including Victims Services, Restorative Justice Programs, Interpersonal Violence and Abuse, Hub Tables and the Northern Alcohol Strategy. Prior to this current assignment, she was the Executive Assistant to the Deputy Minister to the Premier of Saskatchewan where she was responsible for the co-ordination and implementation of various meetings, committees and government wide initiatives. Between 2007 and 2015 Gina was responsible for the delivery of province wide programs including court annexed civil and family mediation, fee for service mediation, facilitation and training. Gina’s extensive mediation and facilitation experience includes high conflict family mediation, civil mediation, organizational and multi-party facilitation. She has provided mediation, conflict resolution and leadership training to thousands of participants.

Charles Bighead

Charles has been involved with Saskatchewan First Nations eHealth systems since 2000 where he began as the Regional Network Administrator for Health Canada. In 2005 Charles joined the Northern Health Strategy for a two-year multi-jurisdictional project called “Shared Paths”. The purpose of the project was to address jurisdictional barriers (F/P/FN) and advance common eHealth solutions for northern Saskatchewan health organizations. In 2007 joined the Northern Inter-Tribal Health Authority (NITHA) where he is presently positioned as their eHealth Advisor. Charles’ main duties involve building First Nations capacity for eHealth systems. Charles is a member of the Beardy’s & Okemasis Cree Nation and resides in Prince Albert, SK. His background includes Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Computer Science (UBC) and Silviculture.

Lane Christiansen

Meet Lane Christiansen, the Manager of Agronomics and Market Development at Federated Co-op Limited. Hailing from Canwood, SK, Lane now resides there with his wife and daughter while actively contributing to the legacy and sustainability of the family farm and ranch, which has stood proudly for 112 years. Lane earned his stripes with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture, majoring in Agronomy from the University of Saskatchewan. His diverse experience spans research, retail, agronomy, and specialty crops, reflecting his comprehensive understanding of the agricultural landscape. In his current role, Lane plays a crucial part in supporting Co-op retails, collaborating closely with industry experts to champion best practices in agronomy, with a keen focus on sustainability. Lane is particularly enthusiastic about the Co-op Grown With Purpose program, and he looks forward to sharing insights and discussions about it today. Join Lane as he intertwines his passion for agriculture, and commitment to sustainable practices to help shape the farming future and Grown With Purpose program.

Elaine Ebenal

Mayor Ebenal is the proud Mayor of the Town of Davidson, home to a variety of attractions such as a Health center / hospital, K-12 school, reverse osmosis water system, vibrant library, new parks, 5 km walking trail, 9 hole grass green golf course, a new swimming pool, mature campground, a beautiful skating and curling rink, as well as our famous 24 foot tall coffee pot.

Chris Fields

Chris Fields is an informative, entertaining, and insightful strategic humorist with a serious message: dare to be different and reach highest aspiration or join the burgeoning ranks of the unnoticed. Chris’ 31 years of award-winning community economic development experience has been dedicated to reconnecting people to the power of community-building. His dry sense of humour and no nonsense, cut-through-clutter style challenges conventions and leaves people with inspiration to “make community-building personal.”training to thousands of participants.

Andrew Fraser

Since January 2024, Andrew has served as the acting Assistant Deputy Minister, leading the Saskatchewan Region for the department directly reporting to the President. His role involves spearheading regional economic development programs, representing Saskatchewan's interests in national decision-making, and providing leadership on economic development issues. Previously, he directed governmental affairs at PrairiesCan, focusing on Parliamentary relations and advancing the Prairie Provinces' priorities. Andrew also held positions at Western Economic Diversification Canada, Industry Canada, Natural Resources Canada, and Environment Canada, working on various policy areas. He holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration from the University of Victoria and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Relations from the University of British Columbia. Andrew, originally from Vancouver Island, resides with his wife and two teenage children.

Steve Johnston

With extensive experience in senior leadership roles within the non-profit and social enterprise sectors, Steve has actively contributed to addressing community challenges in Toronto’s Regent Park and Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Additionally, contributing to policy work with the City of Vancouver focused on community economic development. At CIRES, Steve’s role involves comprehensive leadership, encompassing organizational management, strategic planning, growth initiatives, government relations, and community stewardship. His commitment to community-oriented work is rooted in the belief that everyone deserves the opportunity to thrive. Steve advocates for inclusive, thriving communities that harness the untapped potential of their members. Social enterprises and employment programs empower individuals, allowing them to contribute their talents, participate in the broader economy, and secure a sustainable future for themselves and their families.

Peter Kenyon

Over the last four decades Peter Kenyon has worked with more than 2000 communities throughout Australia and overseas seeking to facilitate fresh and creative ways that stimulate community and local economic renewal. He is motivated by the desire to create healthy, caring, inclusive, connected, sustainable and enterprising communities and local economies. Peter has had a background as a youth worker, teacher, youth education officer, tertiary lecturer and senior public servant. His employment experiences have included Director of Employment in Western Australia, Manager of the Community Employment Development Unit in New Zealand and Coordinator of the Natal Kwazulu Job Creation and Enterprise Strategy in South Africa. Peter is convinced that one cannot develop communities from the top down or from the outside in. It requires communities to build from the inside out, and for their members to invest themselves, ideas, assets and resources in the process. Peter created the Bank of I.D.E.A.S. (Initiatives for the Development of Enterprising Action and Strategies) to promote such a paradigm shift and assist with the necessary facilitation, ideas and skills.

Erin Kinder

An entrepreneur and leader, Erin Kinder founded Kinder Surprises Antiques in 2014. Over the past few years, she has led Kinder Surprises Antiques through exponential growth, nominated for a 2023 WESK Women's Entrepreneur Award, a YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee and Winner of the 2018 Tourism Saskatchewan Awards of Excellence. Proud Mom of 3 teenagers, Farmers Wife and Volunteer. Erin's energy is infectious and she's so glad to have you follow along her journey.

Silvia L. Martini S.O.M., C.Dir, PSGov., EBAC, BAC

Silvia’s passion is within efficiently and effectively aligning strategy to successful outcomes. Her success is lauded by those with whom she has served. She is the President & CEO of Interlink Research Inc., and Principal of Martini Consulting. She specializes in serving a select group of clienteles to whom she dedicates her expertise in strategy, governance, entrepreneurial mentorship, and leadership. Among her many accomplishments over the years Silvia includes her sixth-year term of service with the Government of Saskatchewan for its Crown, SaskWater Corporation (2014-2020). She was reappointed in 2019 by Order in Council to her second term as Chair of the Board. This follows her one-year appointment as its Vice-Chair of the Board, her two-year Board appointed Chair position of its Governance Committee, her appointment as Chair of the Committee on Business Development Review, and Chair of ToR Committee Review and Update. She is currently serving as a Board of Director with Creative Saskatchewan, the economic development agency for Saskatchewan creative industries, and as a Public Representative for the Council of Dental Surgeons of Saskatchewan (CDSS).

Dave Parsell

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.

Jon Schallert

Jon is an internationally-recognized business consultant and speaker specializing in teaching businesses and communities on how to turn themselves into Consumer Destinations. Jon’s Destination Business strategy has been used extensively by businesses and communities large and small to help them capture more market share, even when larger, better-capitalized competitors seemingly have the advantage. Some of Schallert’s corporate consulting clients include Kellogg’s, KitchenAid, Bank of America, Denver International Airport, Jiffy Lube, Ace Hardware, Anheuser Busch, and Hunter Douglas, to name a few. His insights are frequently seen in national publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and Entrepreneur Magazine. He is the only consultant in the world to receive the “Top Motivator” Marketing Award from Potentials Magazine. He is a member of the National Speakers Association, the International Downtown Association, and the National Main Street Network.

Tischa Stefanowski

Tischa Stefanowski is the Executive Director of the Saskatchewan First Nations Family & Community Institute Inc. (SFNFCI) in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. SFNFCI is located on Treaty 6 Territory and the Homeland of the Metis. Tischa is a member of the Sturgeon Lake First Nation and grew up in Prince Albert, SK. She has a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of Saskatchewan and has dedicated her professional experience to working for Non-Profit and Educational Organizations over 25 years. Tischa has been the Executive Director of SFNFCI since 2013 and has seen the staff grow from 4 to 28 full-time employees in this time. Tischa’s values align with the mission of SFNFCI to support children, youth and families based on First Nations values with a strength-based approach.

Megan Anthony

Megan works for the Town of Outlook as the Director of Community Development. She has worked for the Town of Outlook in various positions over the last five years and is really finding her place within Community Development. Megan is passionate about creating a safe and welcoming environment for her community and is honored to serve the public.

Gordon More

Gordon More, Executive Director of the Southeast Techhub (SETH) Gordon cofounded a cloud based final mile, logistics and reverse logistic software company in 2006. He grew this company, IDS Internet Dispatch Services, from a small office based in North Vancouver, to a multinational company with offices in Australia and clients around the world. In 2022, Gordon moved to Estevan and retired, to then take on the roll of Executive Director of the SETH. He believes passionately that Southeast Saskatchewan has what it takes to be come a key player in energy technology and innovation sector. Gordon is currently enrolled in Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Technology and Innovation Acceleration Program and is already using many of his newly acquired lessons to engage with US based companies looking to move their operations to Southeast Saskatchewan.

Paul Salvatore, CLGM

Paul's background in economic development and government service stretches back before the internet was a thing. He has been fortunate to serve over 25 years combined at the Local Government, Provincial and Federal Government levels and now brings that experience to serving clients from across Canada. He is acutely aware of the processes and barriers that the average person can face when dealing with all orders of government and he has always been committed to making it as easy as possible to make great things happen. He is fiercely motivated to provide top level customer service while making sure that no matter how complicated, information that concerns everyday people can be provided in an easy to understand format. When he's not thinking about new ideas and partnerships that will enhance almost any organization, he spends his time in the saddle - cycling, or enjoying the outdoors cross-country skiing and fishing with great friends and family. This year he plans to complete a personal best in the Gran Fondo Badlands - a 160km cycling event in his home town and one of Canada's top 10 cycling events according to Canadian Cyclist magazine.

Natasha Steinback

Natasha is a dedicated systems thinker committed to enhancing community and organizational impact across the nonprofit, private, and public sectors. She approaches her work with the belief in the power of reframing how we think and talk about public policy to better equip individuals, communities, businesses, and governments with the language and tools necessary for transformative change. Natasha sees social innovation tools like social procurement as key to re-imagining and solving community challenges and creating more vibrant economies and communities.

Stephan Richard

With almost 14 years of senior management experience with government, Stephan has showcased exceptional expertise in advancing housing policies and cultivating strategic partnerships. He is a highly experienced relationships builder and accomplished communications professional with a proven ability to drive positive social outcomes. Prior to joining the Community Housing Transformation Centre, Stephan served as the Executive Director of housing solutions and development with the Nova Scotia Department of Municipal Affairs and Housing where he made significant contributions to the growth of provincial support to housing co-operatives and non-profit housing societies.

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