Chris Bashinelli, better known as “Bash”, was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York to Lebanese and Italian-American parents. After a decade-long acting career including an appearance on the HBO hit television show, The Sopranos, Bash decided to follow his real passion – using media to build bridges between cultures. He now traverses the globe from Uganda to Haiti as Host of Bridge the Gap, a television series featured on PBS and the National Geographic Channel, where he experience’s life in someone else’s shoes.
A celebrated Mindfulness and Diversity & Inclusion speaker, Bash has traveled the world for more than a decade sharing a message of connection and understanding everywhere from Fortune 500 Companies, to inside prison walls, to the United Nations General Assembly Hall.
Chantal Kreviazuk is a Canadian singer, songwriter, composer, and pianist. Born in Winnipeg, she played music from a young age before signing with Columbia Records in the 1990s. Her debut studio album, Under These Rocks and Stones, was first released in Canada in 1996 and saw commercial success before being issued in the United States the following year to critical praise. Kreviazuk is a three-time Juno Award winner and she has collaborated with several other musicians, including Drake, Pitbull, Christina Aguilera, Carrie Underwood, Kendrick Lamar and Pink. Chantal is one of the top selling Canadian acts in history and was bestowed The Order of Canada for her activism in 2015. She became a member of the order, along with her husband Raine Maida, lead singer of Our Lady Peace.
Ryan Holmes is a Canadian computer programmer and internet entrepreneur. He is best known as the founder and CEO of Hootsuite, a social media management tool for businesses with more than 18 million users and Holmes’ fifth start-up. He is also the founder of League of Innovators, a charity with a goal of building entrepreneurial acumen for youth, from discovery to acceleration. Holmes is a contributor to the LinkedIn Influencers Program, where he writes about entrepreneurship and technology. Holmes also contributes regularly to news publications including Forbes, Fast Company and Inc.com.
John Spence is widely recognized as one of the top business and leadership development experts in the world. At 26 years old, John was appointed as CEO of an international Rockefeller foundation, overseeing projects across 20 countries. Just two years later, Inc. Magazine named him one of America’s Up and Coming Young Business Leaders. John is also recognized as one of the Top 100 Business Thought Leaders in America, one of the Top 100 Small Business Influencers in America, one of the Top 50 Small BusinessExperts in America and one of the top 500 Leadership Development Experts in the World. The American Management Association named him one of America’s Top 50 Leaders to Watch along with Sergey Brin and Larry Page of Google as well as Jeff Bezos of Amazon. He is also recognized by the highly prestigious Thinkers50 as one of the top eight in the world for their Distinguished Achievement Award.
Louisa Jewell is a speaker, author, and Canada’s leading expert in positive psychology. She has taught thousands of people to flourish – both at work and in their personal lives – using positive psychology.
In 2012 Louisa founded the Canadian Positive Psychology Association, an organization that brings together leading-edge researchers and practitioners from across Canada to disseminate the knowledge of positive psychology and improve the psychological health of all Canadians.
Louisa is a graduate of the Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania, is a professor of positive psychology at the University of Texas and was an instructor at the University of Toronto and regularly delivers webinars and workshops to positive psychology practitioners around the world.
Her work has been featured in Forbes, The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Huffington Post, Canadian Living Magazine, Live Happy Magazine, Chatelaine, Psychology Today, Women’s Agenda, Toronto Sun, to name a few.
Dr. Claudia Smith
Claudia has been part of the Gustavson School of Business for over 15 years. She recently earned her PhD in Entrepreneurship and combines this with many years of work experience to deliver research and teaching on the leading edge of theory and practice. Claudia leverages her own entrepreneurial background to help students build their entrepreneurial mindsets and reimagine their futures.
Dr. Brock Smith
Brock joined UVic in 1991 as a founding member of Gustavson’s academic staff. He previously served as undergraduate program director and academic director of Gustavson’s Hospitality Management Program. Since 2007, Brock has championed Gustavson’s entrepreneurship team and specialization. Brock founded the Innovation Centre for Entrepreneurs (ICE), which now serves the university community as the Coast Capital Innovation Centre. Most recently, he developed Kidovate, a youth-focused entrepreneurship initiative that is aimed at developing entrepreneurial skill among middle-school and high-school students.