Industry leaders unite to forge inclusive futures through ESG and IDEA.

H.E. Felipe Calderon

Former Mexico President

Dr. Makaziwe Mandela

Eldest Daughter of President Mandela

Dr. Hilda Fankah-Arthur

President/Founder - CeFIE Canada

Lt. Gov. Salma Lakhani

Lieutenant Governor of Alberta

H.E. Prosper Higoro

Rwandan Ambassador to Canada

Hon. Soraya Martinez Ferrada

Minister of Tourism of Canada

Hon. Minister Kamal Khera

Minister of Diversity, Inclusion and Persons with Disabilities

Meet Our Speakers

"The goal of effective communication should be for listeners to say 'Me too!"

Lorin MacDonald, OOnt, LSM, JD

Human Rights Lawyer

Lorin MacDonald has demonstrated leadership, passion, and commitment to accessibility and inclusion in her volunteer and professional activities, informed by her experience as a woman born with profound hearing loss. Recognized as one of Canada’s disability leaders and highly regarded by the human rights legal community, Lorin’s mission is to increase disability and accessibility awareness through professional speaking, training, writing, and consulting. She regularly contributes to Canadian Lawyer magazine, fostering an understanding of human rights and disability issues.

Courtney Johnson

Vice President, Business Development, Atlanta Life Insurance

Courtney, currently serving as the Vice President of Business Development at Atlanta Life Insurance Company, exemplifies unwavering dedication to the insurance industry and a profound commitment to honoring the legacy of Alonzo Herndon. Her pivotal role within this historic black-owned financial institution allows her to contribute significantly to the positive impact the company has on the lives of individuals and families, ensuring the continuation of its noble mission.

MaryAnne Howland

Director of Equity, Inclusion, and Justice, BSR

MaryAnne Howland is the Director of Equity, Inclusion, and Justice at BSR, working with leaders in corporate, governmental, and non-governmental organizations who are on the front lines of driving justice, equity, dignity, and inclusion (JEDI) at the intersection of sustainability in global markets. BSR is a sustainable business network and consultancy focused on creating a world in which all people can thrive on a healthy planet.

Maria Wu


Maria Wu is an advocate for gender equality, particularly in the realm of healthcare accessibility. Maria is the founder of the Maud Medical Clinic, a Calgary women's health centre which addresses vaginal, pelvic and sexual health concerns. “If we can embolden women to speak openly about vaginal health, we can move closer toward equitable healthcare - for all” Ms.Wu is also a partner in various prominent healthcare institutions such as Alberta Pediatric Consultant Clinics, Aroused, and Velocity Injury Medical Clinic in Calgary. The President of We Are Maud Foundation, offering free menstrual hygiene products, subsidized pelvic floor physiotherapy and laser hair removal for trans folk, HPV clinic to support WHO’s initiative to eliminate cervical cancer by 2030.

Wagner Denuzzo

Leadership Coach

Wagner is a transformational thought leader, author and professional speaker with expertise, breadth, and experience in all aspects of human capital management, leadership, and the future of work. He started his career as a licensed psychotherapist and transitioned to critical roles in Fortune 500 companies, leading successful transformations in leadership and management at IBM, as well as the development of Future of Work capabilities for Prudential Financial.


CEO of the Arc Thrift Stores

Lloyd Lewis is the CEO of the Arc Thrift Stores of Colorado, one of Colorado’s largest social enterprises. Arc Thrift is also one of Colorado’s largest nonprofits, employers of persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), recyclers, and relief organizations. Under Lewis’ tenure, Arc Thrift has funded over $250 million to nonprofit causes and charities since 2005. Since taking on the leadership role at Arc Thrift Stores, Lewis has become a passionate and uncompromising advocate for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. With 80% of people in the U.S. with disabilities being unemployed, a champion was indeed called for. Focusing on healthcare, housing, voting rights, and employment, Lewis is most definitely that champion and is on a crusade to promote a new way to think about inclusion and diversity.

Fidele Rutayisire


Fidele Rutayisire is founder and executive director of the Rwanda Men’s Resource Center (RWAMREC) a leading Rwandan NGO that aims to promote gender equality and prevent gender-based violence through promotion of positive forms of masculinities in Rwanda. He holds a Master’s Degree in Gender and Development and a post graduate degree in Peace building. He is also a Researcher and Master trainer on Gender, Sexual and Gender based violence at the International Conference on the Great Lakes region (ICGLR) which is an intergovernmental organization working on peace and governance in twelve countries of the Great Lakes region of Africa.

Maria Drueco


Maria Drueco is an immigrant and woman of color who specializes in the intersection of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), talent management, and intercultural competence. As a DEI expert, she provides insightful guidance to leaders across industries, drawing on her personal experiences and well-traveled background to understand the unique challenges faced by people of color. Maria leverages her extensive travel experiences to promote intercultural understanding and create safe work environments where diverse teams thrive.

Jason LeDuc


Jason LeDuc served twenty years in the United States Air Force and retired at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 2015. He started Jason LeDuc Leadership Consultants to bring the best leadership and strategy lessons from the military to the civilian world. Jason is also the host of The Leader’s Mindset podcast where he talks with people making an impact in their community and how they build teams to meet the challenges they face. He maintains his growth as a leader through learning the best practices of various industries as he trains government and corporate clients, non-profit organizations, and small business owners to be effective and dynamic leaders. Jason first got involved in the Las Vegas startup community as a student member of UNLV’s Rebel Venture Fund. He is a strong believer in continuing to educate ourselves and is an avid reader and practitioner of leadership, motivation, communication and human behavior.

Lena Thompson


After 15 years of experience in corporate IT, where Lena consulted to global clients (Microsoft, Anglo Irish Bank, Morgan Stanley, and many others), she left her successful career to to start a new chapter of her life. This took her on a journey of self-discovery, during which she immersed herself into studying human behaviour, NLP, and metaphysics. These learnings had a profound impact on her life and the people she worked with. Today, she leverages her diverse background and expertise to serve as a speaker, mentor, and consultant. Her mission is to empower individuals to navigate the complexities of life with emotional mastery, resilience, and a renewed sense of purpose.

Jonathan Moser


President Moser Public Affairs Ltd. With 30 years of practical experience, Jonathan is a well-regarded public affairs and ESG leader who positively transforms challenges facing clients in private, public, and not-for-profit sectors, leveraging collaboration and consultation to achieve success. A seasoned advisor, Jonathan has developed and implemented strategic external relations and communications plans designed to attain mutually beneficial and impactful outcomes.

Paula Calderon


Paula Calderon is a dedicated nonprofit executive with over 20 years of leadership experience in workforce development, education and socio-economic impact projects. An Immigrant from Colombia, Paula has lived experience that informs her work and fuels her passion in supporting the successful integration of newcomers to Canada. She boasts a distinguished career in nonprofit leadership spanning various sectors. As the Chief Executive Officer of the Calgary Immigrant Women's Association (CIWA) since June 2022, she continues to champion her commitment to empowerment and inclusivity.

Adam Schwartz


Adam is a Senior Consultant of Sustainability Reporting and ESG Disclosure at Delphi specializing in driving enterprise value creation through industry leading standards, frameworks, and initiatives. He works with clients to understand issues most material to a company’s sector and harnesses the power of data collection to drive corporate strategic decision making. Prior to working at Delphi, Adam worked in Agriculture, Environmental Conservation, Facility Management, and Academia. Adam completed his MBA at the Haskayne School of Business, specializing in Global Energy Management and Sustainable Development. He is also a Guest Lecturer in their Corporate Sustainability faculty. He holds certificates in Sustainability Accounting and Investment Fund Management.

AJ Bird


AJ is a climate solutions entrepreneur with experience in biogas development, modular clean water technology, IoT for energy measurement, carbon sequestration technologies, and nature based carbon projects with expertise in Indigenous partnerships and voluntary carbon offsets. She is a former Toronto Police officer who dovetailed her hostage negotiator training into formal executive business negotiation certificates along with a decisive manner to identify and harness the win-win for business opportunities and partnerships. AJ is a Treaty 8 Indian and a member of the Deninu K'ue First Nation from the Northwest Territories. AJ embraces her work as a Chief Hunter who secures business opportunities for the benefit and prosperity of Indigenous nations with a particular emphasis with the climate solutions sector and Indigenous Reconciliation.

Nicholas Marcus Thompson


Nicholas Marcus Thompson is a human rights advocate, labor union leader, and non-profit executive dedicated to eradicating systemic discrimination across Canada's civil services, labor unions, and society at large. His impactful presence on national and international platforms has garnered accolades for his transformative efforts. Nicholas has intervened with invaluable insights at esteemed institutions like Amnesty International, the Senate of Canada, and both the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, and New York. His expertise and impactful voice have proven instrumental in guiding crucial conversations on equality, social justice, and human rights.

Lianne Hannaway


Lianne Hannaway, CPA joined the Black Business and Professional Association (BBPA) as CEO on January 22, 2024. The BBPA is a non-profit organization with a 42-year legacy of supporting Black businesses and professionals from coast to coast to coast. In collaboration with the Board and Staff, she is responsible for articulating the organization’s strategy and delivering on its purpose of serving the Black community’s business, professional and economic development needs.

Pst. Deborah Ngezayo


President of Rwandese Association Edmonton

Donnovan Simon


Donnovan is the Founder of From Boyz to Men (FB2M), a mentorship program focused on young men. It takes them through a 12-month program focused on communication, conflict management, leadership, career development, and life skills. Donnovan is the consummate contributor to the community. Since moving to Calgary from Jamaica in 2001, he has been involved in numerous community organizations. He has served two stints as the President of the Jamaican Canadian Association Alberta (JCAA) – 2008 – 2010 and 2015 - 2021. He has served on the board of the Caribbean Community Council (the organizers of the annual Carifest parade), and the planning committee for Reggaefest as well as served on the executive of the Calgary and District Cricket League.

Dr. Khristine Carino


Dr. Khristine is a board member of Centre For Intellectual Excellence (CeFIE Canada), organizers of the World Diversity in Leadership Conference. Dr. Khristine G. Cariño is a community connector and change catalyst. Social justice, anti-racism and inclusion are the cornerstones of her leadership. She draws on lessons learned overcoming the challenges put in front of her as a leader and an immigrant. In everything she does, in every organization she works with, Dr. Cariño strives to increase the visibility of immigrants and amplify the voice of racialized women.

Dr. Khwezi Mbolekwa


Dr. Khwezi is a board member of Centre For Intellectual Excellence (CeFIE Canada), organizers of the World Diversity in Leadership Conference. Dr. Mbolekwa is the Lead Consultant, Anti-Racism Program, with the Calgary Police Service (CPS), where he is designing and delivering the Anti-Racism Training and Development for the Executive and Senior Leadership Teams and to the Calgary Police Commission.

Dr. Yvonne Kangong


Dr. Yvonne is a board member of Centre For Intellectual Excellence (CeFIE Canada), organizers of the World Diversity in Leadership Conference. Dr Yvonne Kangong, MD is a keynote Speaker , mentor , advocate and community builder .She is a board-certified Family and obesity Medicine Dr in Calgary, Canada and holds a Master’s degree in Public Health and a Culinary Coaching Certificate from the Harvard CHEF Program. She is also a transformational and lifestyle coach.

Jamiah Adams


Jamiah Adams is the Diversity and Justice Senior Vice president at The Climate Reality Project. She previously served as the chief of diversity, equity, and inclusion at the Tom Steyer PAC. Before her DEI work, Jamiah held digital, communications, and campaign leadership roles at MoveOn.org, NextGen America, the Democratic National Committee, and the NAACP. She is most proud of developing an equitable hiring policy and practice that implemented the most diverse presidential staff in United States history and her work when she led the communications strategy for a 1,000-mile march for justice. Jamiah conceptualized a civil rights coalition website commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. Her civil society work spans environmental justice, criminal justice, immigrant rights, and racial justice campaigns, including serving as an inaugural fellow at the Center for American Progress Leadership Institute. She served abroad as a cultural ambassador for the U. S. State Department in Eastern Europe.

Dr. Chika Daniels


Dr. Chika C. Daniels, PhD., MRAIC, NOMA, RIBA has had an almost 2 decades long cross-sector career in Architecture, Investment Management, Private Equity, Business Advisory, Project Management, and Community Development. Chika holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Architecture, and Architecture and Planning respectively. Her Doctorate is in Housing and Public Policy. Chika is a member of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, Royal Institute of British Architects, and National Organization of Minority Architects. Chika is a passionate academic and is faculty at two of Canada’s most respected institutions: University of Calgary and Athabasca University. She has co-authored several papers in journals and proceedings and been invited to participate at numerous conferences on Architectural design, Innovation, and Housing policy globally.

Brad Krizan


Brad is a business and community leader based in Calgary. His background includes corporate or board roles in the private and public sectors across a variety of industries. His Board of Directors experience has included organizations involved in regulatory and policy-making activities with government Agencies, Boards and Commissions and experience working with First Nations. He has extensive Profit & Loss oversight, strategic planning and strategy execution experience in addition to overseeing numerous corporate initiatives and major projects with a variety of organizations.

Dr. Angie Redecopp


Dr. Angie Redecopp has over 10 years of legal experience working with two of Canada’s largest corporate law firms. Angie has worked with a range of clients, from start-ups to public companies, from oil & gas to tech companies. In addition, Angie has operated her own businesses, worked for an international human rights NGO (www.ijm.ca), and taught in an undergraduate business program. Her practical experience, combined with her law, MBA, and PhD degrees, gives her the ability to meaningfully engage and advise on a range of business topics. Angie returned to legal practice in 2021 and works with start-ups and small-medium sized businesses (SMEs), both directly through her own firm, Impact Business Law, and through the Goodlawyer platform. She provides traditional business legal services and services around environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices for SMEs. When not advising clients, Angie is on boards, giving webinars, speaking at events, and writing articles – mostly on business and human rights and all things social and ESG. Outside the office you can find Angie outdoors with her family – snowboarding and cross-country skiing in the winter and camping, hiking, climbing, and biking in the summer.

Shakti Ramkumar


Shakti Ramkumar is a climate action and clean energy advocate, passionate about collectively building a globally equitable energy system that operates within our planetary boundaries. Shakti is currently the Senior Director of Policy and Communications at Student Energy, a global youth-led organization working with 50,000 young people in 120+ countries to accelerate the transition to a just and sustainable energy future.

Desirée Amanda Bombenon


Awarded RBC’s Women’s Entrepreneur for 2020, Ernst & Young 2019 Entrepreneur of the year for the Prairies in Communication Technology, she is a bold innovator, futurist, and purpose driven leader. Her portfolio includes business strategy, social enterprise, and culture building. Desirée was inducted into the WXN Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women Hall of fame in 2022 after being recognized for the 4th time. She is an active member of several organizations including YPO and International Women’s Forum and has chaired several industry boards and focus groups. She sits on the Board of the UN Global Compact Network Canada and Chair’s the Programming Committee. She is the Chair of the YPO Sustainable Business Network, a cohort for Singularity University and a Harvard University Alumni for the Advanced Leadership Initiative. Desirée is involved in mentorship programs in her community and through Women’s Executive Network. Desirée is a CIAC Certified Strategic Leader and earned both an Executive MBA through Queen’s Smith School of Business and her Certificate of Social Impact from Queens University. She is the recipient of the 30% Club Scholarship for Queens.

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