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WODIL 2023

 

 

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Most Important Figures in D&I

Alethia is a highly sought-after Speaker, Author, TV Host and Community Advocate who is passionate about Diversity Equity and inclusion initiatives and advancing the needs of her community.  She is the former Chair of the Anti-Black Racism, Racism and Discrimination Task Force for the Town of Shelburne which lead to a Blue Print with 34 recommendations to the Town on how to make the community more inclusive and equitable for all. 

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Dr. Wanda Costen began her term as Dean of Smith School of Business in July 2021. An academic leader who champions inclusive excellence, she brings a unique combination of experience in academia — as a Dean, senior administrator, researcher, and professor — as well as a private and public sector management career in sales, operations, and human resources. Leading with integrity, Dr. Costen eliminates barriers to sustainable change by reim

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Michele (she/her) is the Founder of The Live Fiercely Coach, a company focused on influencing a world so everyone feels valued and as though they belong. She works with senior leaders in organizations that are early in their diversity, equity and inclusion journey and those looking to level up. She holds a Master of Human Resource Management and is a Certified Leadership Empowerment Coach, and Public Speaker. Michele lives by and believes that sh

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Dr. Natoshia Anderson, is a reformed Mechanical Engineer-turned award-winning ​STEM educator and STEM gender equity/diversity and inclusion advocate​, STEM leadership consultant, and dynamic and informative, ​in-demand​ motivational speaker and podcast host (STEMming in Stilettos ™). Dr. Anderson loves to offer intensive professional and leadership development coaching and training for women of color in STEM, and STEM DEI keynote/motiva

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Betty Mutwiri, B.Ed. MA (Leadership), PCC, PhD Candidate, is a catalyst for learning, growth and change. She is a leadership facilitator, coach and mentor highly skilled at nurturing safe and collaborative spaces that unleash passion, purpose and potential. She is the founder of BIPOC Leadership Academy and the lead for a collaborative book project underway with other black women leaders to be released in Feb 2023. She empowers leaders to lead wi

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Laura Kilcrease is the Chief Executive Officer for Alberta Innovates, including its subsidiaries InnoTech Alberta and C-FER Technologies. Laura Kilcrease brings a track record and laser-focus to innovation ecosystem performance and design. Since her appointment in 2017, she has steered Alberta Innovates restructuring, spearheaded assessment of programs with an eye to the future, and launched Inventures, the flagship gathering of innovators, inve

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Nikki Lanier is the CEO of Harper Slade, a racial equity advisory firm focused on helping organizations and communities advance equity for some and equality for all.  An experienced leader with over 25 years of career achievements that span Banking, Labor and Employment Law, Collective Bargaining, Human Resources, and State Government.  A Private and Public Sector CHRO adept in a multitude of HR disciplines, Nikki is experienced in managing mul

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Candy is a strategic thinker, educator and a dynamic facilitator with over 20 years’ experience in EDI, workplace learning and human rights. She has expertise in leading corporate-wide diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, making system-wide improvements to workplace policies and practices, and working with senior leadership to break systemic barriers to inclusion. Her recommendations for change have resulted in large-scale transformati

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Donnovan Simon is the consummate contributor to the community. Since moving to Calgary from Jamaica in 2001, he has been involved in numerous community organizations. He is currently the President of the Jamaican Canadian Association Alberta (JCAA). He has been leading the association since 2015. Donnovan was also President of the JCAA from 2008-2010. He has served on the board of the Caribbean Community Council (the organizers of the annual Cari

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Abam Mambo is the Managing Director of workplace consultancy, BelongingIQ. An employment lawyer, global speaker, consultant, and Belonging Strategist, she advises organizations, brand, executives and management on corporate culture – specifically, employee engagement, diversity and inclusion,  speak up and risk management across the employee life cycle.

Juliet is VP of D&I at Randstad Canada. In this role, Juliet leads the provision of consultative services both internally and externally within Randstad Canada. Juliet’s unique background and 4+ years of experience leading and implementing D&I initiatives at Randstad Canada enables her to provide expertise in D&I best practices and thought leadership.

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Minister Sawhney was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta on April 16, 2019, as the MLA for Calgary-North East. Born and raised in northeast Calgary, Sawhney is a mother of four, an activist, and an engaged community volunteer. Rajan attended the University of Calgary, earning a degree in Economics and Political Science as well as an MBA. Sawhney worked in the oil and gas industry for over twenty years in a variety of different roles

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Melisa Ellis is a leader, innovator, and advocate for change. A standout member of the tech industry in Canada, Melisa is the founder of Nobellum Enterprise, a STEM economic development program, cutting-edge app and social impact organization. Under her lead, Nobellum has partnered with the University of Toronto in a unique collaboration to accelerate and support the growth of a sustainable ecosystem that transforms the way business is conducted

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 and amplify the voice of racialized women.

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Kelsey is a published author whose career in public education spans 20+ years serving marginalized children and youth, primarily as a school counsellor and principal.  Most recently, she was seconded as a provincial Consultant with the Inclusion Support Branch of Manitoba’s Department of Education. Having professional experiences from a variety of vantage points has provided Kelsey with a unique perspective on our educational systems, which h

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Shahina Siddiqui,L.LD. is a freelance writer, author, spiritual counselor, speaker and educator. Shahina has been working for decades in build bridges between faith and cultural communities, to help preserve human rights, develop cultural competency and mutual understanding. Shahina is originally from Pakistan and has lived in Winnipeg since 1976. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in English hon. and Philosophy from St Joseph’s Col

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Christopher Salem is a CEO, Executive Coach, Corporate Trainer, and Professional Speaker who works with companies to create an interdependent work environment and thriving culture through a growth mindset foundation, effective communication, transparent leadership, and higher engagement. He also mentors C-Suite, business leaders, entrepreneurs, and sales professionals to build and protect their brands by raising their level of influence as truste

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Georges Laraque played 13 seasons for different National Hockey League (NHL) teams. He was known as “The Rock”, acting primarily as an enforcer on these teams. His best-selling biography, The Story of The NHL's Unlikeliest Tough Guy, goes well beyond the stereotype of the tough guy. It is the story of a true humanitarian, an engaged citizen not only in his immediate community, but on the global stage as well. The son of Haitian immigrants, Ge

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As the managing director for transportation at Hatch, Laura is responsible for the rail, highway, bridges, port and aviation business unit. Previously, she was the managing director of engineering delivery, responsible for successful engineering project outcomes for our global engineering services. Laura is a mechanical engineer with an undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Texas, USA and a master’s degree in engineering

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Mahfuz Chowdhury is a National Award-Winning Brand Manager of one of the fastest-growing companies in the country (ranked on Growth 500 for three years in a row). Over the last 12 years, he has been heavily involved with speaking at conferences and events to help brands, organizations, and changemakers engage their audience, build relationships, and grow their initiatives through the art and science of creative storytelling.

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Monica Barnett is the Founder and Chief Image Curator of Blueprint for Style, a Washington, DC-based wardrobe styling and personal branding company with global reach. Monica has over 14 years of styling and branding experience and has been featured on many stages around the world. The foundation of every presentation is the importance and power of the first impression, and how it shapes our next steps and interactions. Across Ms. Barnett’s

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Trinidad Hermida (she/her) is the Founder & CEO of The Hermida Company LLC, a company focused on "Building Equity through Empathy." She is also the Co-founder of Mr. Augmented, a mission-based startup that focuses on creating practical, immersive Augmented Reality experiences that enhance users' everyday lives. Trinidad believes that "by incorporating everyone's genius, we can change the game." She is passionate about expanding technology access

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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.

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Ezequiel Massa started his journey with SAP’s Finance team in 2011. His passion for equal opportunity led him to join the company’s Diversity & Inclusion initiatives in 2015 as the volunteer lead for the first [email protected] chapter in Hispanic America. In April 2020, he turned his passion into his job and has been working as Head of Diversity & Inclusion for Latin America & Caribbean since then.

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Cynthia Owyoung is the author of "All Are Welcome: How to Build a Real Workplace Culture of Inclusion that Delivers Results," a playbook for driving progress in DEIB inside organizations. She is also Robinhood’s Vice President of Inclusion, Equity and Belonging, partnering with business leaders, employee resource groups and the people experience team to support Robinhood’s mission to democratize finance for all. 

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An  award  winning  international  speaker,  author,  corporate  trainer  and  diversity,  equality and inclusion executive, nationally recognized thought leader, expert, strategist  and advisor to some of the world’s most influential organizations in global professional  services,  health  care,  financial  services,  consumer  products  and  pharmaceutical  industries.  A  seasoned  leader  in  transforming  organiz

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Minda Harts is the CEO of The Memo LLC and an award- winning and best-selling author of The Memo: What Women of Color Need To Know To Secure A Seat At The Table. Minda is a Professor at NYU Wagner and hosts a live weekly podcast called Secure The Seat. In 2020, Minda was named the #1 Top Voice for Equity in the workplace by Linkedin. She is an Aspen Ideas Festival Scholar and has been featured on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Fast Company, The NY Times,

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Roth is a specialist in both trivia and good health—like how to get rid of hiccups. Or the trivia that she once worked as a volunteer firefighter. Or trivia in the form of statistics, like those times she worked with Alberta Health Services to reduce staff turnover by 91%, drive down union complaints by a third, and reduced medical mistakes by 12%. Maybe it’s not biting on a lemon, but those statistics represent a different kind of cure.

A strong implementer and facilitator of change, Pauline enjoys partnering with program leaders and project teams to capitalize on the full benefits of the organizational system design and resilience of employees in a project. Pauline knows change.  For leadership Pauline is a strong advocate for changing the behaviours, symbols and systems that create Respectful and Inclusive Workplaces and Teams.   She brings high energy, professionalism, pas

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Khwezi Mbolekwa PhD, MA, MHSA, CPHR, CHE, CDC is a passionate catalyst for transformational change who believes an inclusive, healthy, respectful, and safe workplace environment is crucial to unleash the creativity and innovation to drive performance and results. As a dynamic leader in organization development, transformational culture change, employee engagement, diversity, inclusion and anti-racism, Dr. Mbolekwa has had success using his operat

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Linda Kongnetiman (she/ her) is currently the City of Calgary Anti-Racism Program Manager. Prior to this Linda held the role of Provincial Manager in Addiction and Mental Health. She also worked as a Social Work Professional Practice Leader. She is an Adjunct Professor at the University. Her training and research interest focus on preparing professionals for working in global contexts. She is a committed social justice, anti-oppressive practice a

Dr. Zinaty is a strong advocate for leadership and inclusion within organizations. She founded and spearheaded an annual Leader-2-Leader conference to foster discussion on topics impacting the workforce. Dr. Zinaty’s research is unique having conducted noteworthy studies with that are quantitative and qualitative with significant datasets and novel findings in the area of women and leadership, diversity and inclusion. She has been recognized by

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Jennifer Lawson, PhD, is the originator and program editor of the Hands-On series, resources used by teachers across Canada. Her most recent book is entitled Teacher, Take Care: A Guide to Well-Being and Workplace Wellness for Educators. In addition to her writing, Jennifer teaches in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba, and is a local School Board Trustee. She is also one of the founders of Mission to Mexico, an organization t

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Jackie is a sought-after advisor. Prior to Teck, she was a senior manager with Deloitte’s human  capital and consulting practice and has held board positions with community not-for-profit  organizations, such as Pride at Work Canada. In 2021 Jackie was recognized with the CGLCC  Business Leader of the Year Award for her significant contributions to the LGBT+ community in  Canada. 

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Irfan Chaudhry is a hate crimes researcher and the Director of the Office of Human Rights, Diversity and Equity at MacEwan University. He was a former race relations specialist for the Racism Free Edmonton Project, and was also instrumental in creating the StopHateAB.ca website, a 3rd party hate incident reporting platform that documents hate incidents in Alberta. For the last eight years, Irfan has taught sociology and criminology at MacEwan.

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Resourceful, strategic and energetic business professional with over 22 years experience helping multinational organizations make better business decisions that drives sustainable growth and profitability. Versatile leader across multiple industries; broad experience building businesses, maximizing potential and leveraging technology to deliver results.

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Camille Dundas is the Editor-in-Chief of Canada’s largest Black online magazine ByBlacks.com. She has led her team to win three national ethnic media awards and an exclusive interview with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Camille has also been named among the top 100 Black Canadian Accomplished Women. Over the last four years, Camille has become one of Canada’s most requested racial equity educators, having worked with the Government of Canada

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Bernard Asante, is a policy advisor , researcher and a  magistrate court judge  in the United Kingdom. He is also the author for the MANUAL FOR AFRICANS IN THE 21ST CENTURY. He has extensive  experience in trust fundraising and has worked with many non  governmental organizations.  He has a BA in global economics  and MA in diplomacy from the university of  Westminster, London.

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Denise Ledi is an Empowerment & Executive Leadership Coach based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada serving clients across North America. She has spent more than 20 years as a leader in addiction & mental health, forensics, and correctional healthcare and knows firsthand how complex and challenging it can be to lead in ever-changing environments. Denise integrates real-world leadership experience, experiences as a coaching client with expertise as a ce

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Rosalyn Taylor O’Neale has over 30+ years as a thought partner, advisor, and coach to global executives and leaders in over fifty countries. Rosalyn served as Principal Consultant at Cook Ross, Vice President, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer for Campbell Soup Company, Executive Vice President Diversity Initiatives MTV Network, and Barnes O’Neale & Associates CEO. An Internationally recognized speaker, she has been quoted in Black Enterpri

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Erika Sandoval (she/ella) is Partner with the Strategic Advisory Group at UKG and has  spent 15 years in the areas of people and organizational practice, specifically in DEI, L&D,  HR, organizational and professional development, and facilitation and consulting. Having  lived […]

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"Malaika Marable Serrano is the VP for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Guild Education and leads the integration of DEI principles and best practices across the organization. Most recently, she was the inaugural Head of DEI at WorldStrides and has served in a number of leadership and faculty roles in academic and non-profit spaces. Her collaborative approach centers around prioritizing relationships and leveraging data analytics, to effective

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Denise is a collaborator, connector and broker. She is passionate about making a difference in every organization and with every person she connects with. An empowering facilitator and business strategist, Denise is always looking for continuous improvement which provides cost-savings to organizations. With over 15 years in project management, facilitation and communications, Denise's multifaceted experience fuels her success as an internal and e

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Moy Fung is the Director of Strategic Partnerships at the Canadian Congress on Inclusive Diversity & Workplace Equity and the Founder/CEO, You Inspire Me Women Enterprise. For almost two decades, she has been creating social change through entrepreneurship, with a focus on the education and empowerment of women and minoritized and marginalized groups of people.

Graduated in history from one of the most prestigious colleges in India, Lady Shri Ram College for Women, New Delhi, and went over to attain an MBA in HR & Marketing. Post that, worked for over a decade in HR roles in top MNCs and some of the most agile organizations in the country. Worked across industries and enhanced productivity of teams by multiple folds. At different start-ups where I worked, I set up structures, processes and changed the w

Contessa Chameleon is a proud Indigenous Woman and Mother. Born and raised in Edmonton, Contessa has served others with advocacy and support as a Social worker for 12 years. Presently, working with amazing residents  in  Long Term Care.  Recently she […]

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Dr. Anya McLaren-Barnett is a medical doctor, award-winning researcher, educator and trailblazer. She is an intelligent, insightful and energetic speaker who uses powerful storytelling to present her thought leadership on ideas that make an impact. Dr. Anya entered medical school in a class of over 200 as one of two international and eight black students. Despite being initially told she would never make it to medical school and subspecialty trai

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Sydney McNeill (they/them) is a queer, multiply neurodivergent strategist, leader, educator and communicator. They are grateful to be a settler in amiskwacîwâskahikan (Edmonton) on Treaty 6 territory. Sydney merges social justice, thoughtful change and creative storytelling, taking a thoughtful, holistic and human approach to inclusive strategy, programs, communications and education. They served on the leadership team for the Northern Alber

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