Speakers

Barbara Annis

Barbara Annis, CEO of Gender Intelligence Group (GIG) is a world-renowned expert on Gender, Diversity and Inclusive Leadership, advocating the value and practice of this new type of leadership in organizations worldwide. Her insights and achievements have pioneered a transformational shift in mindsets for men and women across the globe on the importance of gender unity to organizational success.

Barbara began her career as the first woman in sales at Sony and became the first woman Sales Manager with 14 Outstanding Sales Achievement Awards and Sony’s MVP Award. Over the past 30 years, Barbara Annis and her 51 associates have partnered with organizations to transform cultures and leadership behavior, while creating greater gender balance at all levels. They have facilitated over 8,000 workshops and conducted thousands of leadership assessments and executive coaching sessions.

Barbara Annis is Chair Emeritus and current member of the Women’s Leadership Board at Harvard Kennedy School and was recently conferred the International Alliance for Women, Lifetime Achievement Award. She is the author of five books: Results at the Top: Using Gender Intelligence to Create Breakthrough Growth co-authored with Richard Nesbitt; Gender Intelligence: Breakthrough Strategies for Increasing Diversity and Improving Your Bottom Line co-authored with Dr. Keith Merron; Work with Me: The 8 Blind Spots between Men and Women in Business is written in conjunction with John Gray of Mars Venus renown; Same Words, Different Language: A Proven Guide for Creating Gender Intelligence at Work;and Leadership and the Sexes co-authored with Michael Gurian.


Nichol Bradford

Nichol Bradford is fascinated by human potential and technology. She is the CEO & Founder of the Willow Group and the Executive Director and co-founder of the Transformative Technology Lab, Conference, and TT200 List. Prior to becoming a leader in Transformative Technology, Bradford was a senior executive in video games with responsibility for strategy, operations and marketing for major brands that include: Activision Blizzard, Disney, and Vivendi Games — including operating World of Warcraft China.

Nichol is a graduate of Singularity University GSP15, has an MBA from Wharton School of Business in Strategy, and a BBA in Marketing from the University of Houston. She is a fellow of the British American Project, served on the board of the Brandon Marshall Foundation for Mental Health, and is a former term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

She speaks regularly on Transformation, Exponential Technology, and Culture at conferences like Singularity University’s Global Summit, Exponential Medicine, Katapult Future Fest, Wisdom 2.0 and more.


Verne Harnish

Verne Harnish is founder of the world-renowned Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), with over 14,000 members worldwide, and chaired for fifteen years EO’s premiere CEO program, the “Birthing of Giants” held at MIT, a program in which he still teaches today.

Founder and CEO of Scaling Up, a global executive education and coaching company with over 200 partners on six continents, Verne has spent the past three decades helping companies scaleup.

He’s the author of the bestseller Mastering the Rockefeller Habits which is translated into 9 languages; and along with the editors of Fortune, authored The Greatest Business Decisions of All Times,” for which Jim Collins wrote the foreword. His latest book Scaling Up (Rockefeller Habits 2.0) has won eight major international book awards including the prestigious International Book Award for Best General Business book.

Verne also chairs the annual ScaleUp Summit in collaboration with Bloomberg and serves on several boards including vice-chair of The Riordan Clinic and co-founder and chair of Geoversity. A private investor in many scaleups, Verne enjoys piano, tennis, and magic as a card-carrying member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians.


James Keirstead

James is responsible for managing the vision and growth of Levven Electronics, developing and executing long-term corporate strategies, and building relationships with partners, stakeholders and investors.

Levven has a vision of making intelligent buildings available to everyone. Focused on delivering technology and products to advantage new construction, Levven’s promise is mobile device access and control of building infrastructure that lowers building costs, speeds construction and conserves building materials.

He is a life-long entrepreneur with a commitment to innovation, excellence and enhancing people’s lives. Prior to founding Levven, James and his partners founded Blue Falls Manufacturing, maker’s of Arctic Spas and expanded it’s footprint to over 30 countries.

James is an active member and contributor to several entrepreneur organizations including Entrepreneurs’ Organization, the A100, Alberta Women Entrepreneurs, and Rainforest Alberta.

When he isn’t focused on the business, you can find him with his family in Edmonton.


Ronald Lovett

Ron knew from a young age he didn’t fit traditional structures. The more teachers tried to get him to adhere to the rules, the more he rebelled. With a knack for finding shortcuts and creative solutions along with zero fear of the unknown, Ron began carving his own path as an entrepreneur. From importing Thai sandals, opening restaurants to employing 1500 security guards across Canada, Ron discovered that in order to win in business, you must compete with the best – regardless of your industry. His wild and unorthodox entrepreneurial journey so far is defined by constant learning, fast action and outrageous empowerment – and inspired his first book Outrageous Empowerment in 2018.

He sold his security company to the largest provider in the US at a 24x multiple and now focuses on his 3 companies, CFO-for-hire services, HR training for recruitment and alignment of frontline staff, and a portfolio of residential rentals in Atlantic Canada set to revolutionize affordable housing.


Christoph Magnussen

Christoph has been an entrepreneur since high school. After graduating from St. Gallen University, he co-founded a mobile phone reCommerce company which grew from 1M to 31M revenue in less than 5 years. Christoph understands that scaling a business doesn’t just mean more manpower. Instead, he devotes himself to inspiring individual productivity and self-determined work, with the help of the latest online collaboration tools and ‘new work’ methods. This new digital setup has triggered many requests from fellow entrepreneurs and large corporations to support them in building the same environment in their companies.

This is also how the idea for BLACKBOAT was born. A tech-focused consulting company, designed to help leaders increase team efficiency and productivity. Through the implementation of cloud tools and by encouraging more transparent communication, Blackboat helps free companies from their 90ies habits and brings them into the 21st Century.


Todd McDonald

After 10 years of brand management in the international footwear industry, Todd shifted his career in 2001 to become an entrepreneur. Pivoting to the Oil and Gas sector, he helped a large public company start up a highly-profitable commodities trading division before founding his own trading firm, Energy Atlantica. Now in its 14th year, Energy Atlantica continues to thrive and has completed almost $1 billion in transactions. Todd is active on the trading floor but dedicates much of his time to strategic development, culture, and team leadership.

Todd is also a founder of GIVETOLIVE, a non-profit organization challenging people to live happy and healthy lives through generosity, fitness, and achievement of the extraordinary. Established within the walls of Energy Atlantica, and operated by its employees, GIVETOLIVE has inspired thousands of people to participate in their slightly crazy, but always epic, expeditions – and in doing so has raised over $3 million for charity. Todd has completed 15 GIVETOLIVE events , including swimming to PEI 3 times, running a snowshoe marathon, and cycling across North America , the Alps, and Iceland. He attributes a large portion of his professional success and personal happiness to those that make GIVETOLIVE happen.

Todd has a business degree from the University of South Carolina and an MBA from Johns Hopkins University. He lives in Halifax, NS with his wife and GIVETOLIVE co-founder, Ashley, and VP of Gas Production, Pickles the Goldendoodle.

Talk Description
What if the path to wealth and happiness is the opposite of what we were taught? What if your business could become an engine of profit and do good at the same time? Learn one company’s unconventional and surprising formula for success – for any business in any industry – that transcends hierarchy, taps into staff’s hidden potential and gives your company an absolute competitive advantage on the competition.

“We don’t have the funds, we don’t have the time, we’ve already allocated our charitable donations money for the year”. Most business owners feel like charity is a necessary evil, a tax. And no wonder, they’re approaching it all wrong.

What if your company’s charity work gave you an unbeatable competitive edge against competitors? As entrepreneurs we bring vision and purpose to our companies. We come up with unorthodox solutions to give our customers what they need, and our staff follow our lead. Don’t squander this opportunity to create a force for positive change within your company walls – oh and get rich trying.


John Risley

John Risley is President of CFFI Ventures Inc., a diversified holding company operating internationally. The company has majority or significant stakes in a portfolio of young companies ranging from financial services, renewable energy and the tech sector.

Mr. Risley is very active in community affairs, sitting on the Board of a number of charitable organizations. He is Chair of Futurpreneur Canada. He regularly engages in public policy debate, is Chairman of the Atlantic Institute of Market Studies, a member of the World President’s Organization, The Chief Executives Organization and the Business Council of Canada. He is also a graduate of Harvard University’s President’s Program in Leadership.

He was named an Officer of the Order of Canada. He is a member of the New York Yacht Club and the Royal Ocean Racing Club.

Topic: Thoughts and economic predictions from Atlantic Canada’s favourite straight-shooter billionaire.


Warren S. Rustand

The common thread that permeates Warren’s Rustand’s experience is one of vision, strategy, and executive leadership, and achievement. He has created, led, and grown many successful private, public, and not for profit entities. He has a passion for family, entrepreneurship, public policy, and community.

Warren is the former CEO of Providence Service Corporation (NASDAQ; PSC) a $2.1 Billion social services and healthcare company. He was previously Managing Director of SC Capital Partners an investment banking group. Warren was Chairman and CEO of Rural Metro Corporation, a $600 million, publicly traded emergency services company. He also served as Chairman and CEO of TLC Vision, the world’s largest Lasik eye surgery company. He has served as Chairman/CEO of 6 other companies.

He has served as a member of the Board of Directors for over 50 public, private, and not-for-profit organizations. The range of these organizations is from multibillion dollar public companies, to midsize, early stage, and startups. As CEO he has helped take three companies public, two of which are among the largest in their industry.

In 1973 Warren was selected as a White House Fellow through a nationally competitive process. He served as Special Assistant to the Secretary of Commerce and co-led the first ever Executive Level Trade Mission to the Soviet Union. He joined the staff of Vice President Ford on the day he was sworn-in. In August of 1974 when the Vice President became President, Warren was asked to serve as Appointments Secretary and Cabinet Secretary to the President.

In furthering his interest in community service and public policy, Warren created a seminar in Washington DC., titled “Public Policy and the Private Sector.” For 30 years Warren chaired this event which invited CEOs to meet with the highest level people in government, media, and lobbying. Over 4500 individuals have participated in the Seminar.

Warren has served as the Global Chairman, of the World Presidents Organization, a group of 10,000 CEO’s in 100 countries. He was also co-founder and global Chairman of L3, a worldwide leadership group, which is focused on one’s contribution during the second half of life.

Warren is the co-founder and Dean of Faculty at the Entrepreneurs’ Organization’s Leadership Academy in Washington DC. Warren is a frequent speaker on subjects of: leadership, business, families, and personal development.

Warren received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Arizona. He has been the recipient of many honors and awards including: The Visionary Leadership Award, the Distinguished Citizen Award, and the 25 Year Achievement Award, election to the Sports Hall of Fame, the Robshaw Award, named a White House Fellow and Father of the Year in his hometown.