EVENT SPEAKERS

Honourable Danielle Larivee Minister of Status of Women and Children’s Services

Honourable Danielle Larivee Minister of Status of Women and Children’s Services

Feature Guest of Honour

Danielle Larivee was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta as the Member for Lesser Slave Lake on May 5, 2015. She holds two portfolios: Children’s Services and Status of Women. She also serves as Deputy Government House Leader.
As Minister of Children’s Services, Minister Larivee has spearheaded A Stronger, Safer Tomorrow, a public action plan developed in collaboration with Indigenous leaders following recommendations of the Ministerial Panel on Child Intervention. She worked closely with survivors of the Sixties Scoop to set the stage for a meaningful public apology, which was delivered by Premier Rachel Notley in the Legislature on May 28, 2018. Minister Larivee has also overseen Alberta’s $25-a-day child care pilot program at 122 centres across Alberta.

Appointed to cabinet in October 2015, Ms. Larivee previously served as Minister of Municipal Affairs, leading recovery efforts following the Fort McMurray wildfire in 2016. She also helped modernize Alberta’s Municipal Government Act, Alberta’s second-largest piece of legislation, which affects how communities are governed, funded and developed. Previously, she co-chaired Alberta’s Mental Health Review Committee, helping provide a roadmap for strengthening services for Albertans with mental illness and addictions.
Together with her three children, Ms. Larivee resides in Slave Lake, her home for over 35 years. For over 17 years, she worked in the region as a registered nurse with Alberta Health Services, with stints in home care at Driftpile First Nation and as an instructor at Northern Lakes College. She holds a bachelor of science in nursing from the University of Alberta and a bachelor of midwifery from the Midwives College of Utah.

Joanna Osawe

Joanna Osawe

Keynote Speaker

WiRE Chair & Co-Founder

Joanna Osawe is the Global Business Development Manager – Major Projects at DMC Power Inc. and Chair & Co-Founder of Women in Renewable Energy (WiRE), a Canadian-based group which encourages and supports women to enter this dynamic field. WiRE is inclusive and educates on all renewable and emerging energy technologies with chapters in St. John’s, Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Mississauga, Windsor, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatchewan and British Columbia. WiRE is also expanding internationally with its first WiRE International Launch in Istanbul, Turkey. By carrying complex projects through many stages she has seen firsthand the vital role renewable energy and emerging technologies serve in moving the Canadian, American and Global energy mix forward.
Laura McGee

Laura McGee

keynote Speaker

Diversio, Owner & CEO

Laura is the founder and CEO of Diversio, a tech company that uses data analytics and machine learning to help companies become more inclusive. Her mission is to use technology to help create a world where no one feels excluded. In 2017, she was recognized as one of Canada’s Top 25 Women of Influence. Prior to Diversio, Laura was a consultant at McKinsey & Company, where she led some of the Firm’s highest profile diversity and economic growth work. She is a sought-after expert on diversity & inclusion who has co-authored multiple reports and articles, including seminal research with LeanIn and the Wall Street Journal. Laura is a serial social entrepreneur. She co-founded #GoSponsorHer, a viral social media campaign that led hundreds of CEOs to personally sponsor a high-potential women. She also founded Summit Leaders, a non-profit that coaches underprivileged high school students to start the next billion-dollar business. Prior to McKinsey, Laura completed a B.A. and M.A. in American Studies at the University of Western Ontario, where she was awarded the Gold Medal for top academic achievement. She completed a law degree at the University of Toronto, and briefly practiced at a leading corporate law firm.
Tina Varughese

Tina Varughese

Keynote Speaker 

t Works Inc., President

Described as energetic, engaging, knowledgeable, relevant and very humourous, Tina is often rated as ‘the best speaker of the conference’. Her interactive approach is insightful and her delivery is highly entertaining. She breaks down barriers to create a comfortable and fun space where people ask the questions they might otherwise be afraid to ask.
For fifteen years Tina Varughese, B.A.; B.Comm, worked with immigrants in her roles with the Province of Alberta’s immigration office as well as running her own successful relocation and settlement firm. She is a contributing writer for the Human Resource Institute of Alberta’s Network magazine, Calgary Real Estate News, Home to Home magazine and has been profiled in Alberta Venture Magazine. She is the President of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers (Calgary) chapter. Tina has been the face of diversity, literally, when she was chosen to be in Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty representing beauty in diversity. With two kids, five fish and one husband, she resides in Calgary where she recently began hip hop classes.
Joy Brown

Joy Brown

Panelist Speaker

TAQA North, Senior Seismec Interpreter

Joy is a senior seismic interpreter at TAQA North, an oil and gas company in downtown Calgary.  Joy joined the oil and gas industry with Chevron Canada in 1990 after earning an undergraduate degree in engineering and a Master’s degree in geophysics from the University of Saskatchewan.  Most of her 28 years in the industry have been with Chevron and ConocoPhillips, focused on structural plays in western Canada with brief stints in international groups working plays in offshore Brazil and Africa and most recently, Kurdistan with her current company, TAQA.  Joy’s volunteering in support of women in SETT began in university and carried on throughout her career in Calgary.  Joy has been very active in women in SETT groups in Alberta and Canada serving a term as President of the Alberta Women’s Science Network (AWSN) as well as a term as President of CCWESTT.  The past four years, Joy has been a member of the Board of the WinSETT Centre while remaining active with local women in SETT groups in Calgary.
Mansur Bitar

Mansur Bitar

Panelist Speaker

EPCOR, Director of Technologies

Mansur is the Director of Technologies.  Through a team of 3 Senior Managers, Mansur provides leadership to EPCOR’s Technologies business including capital construction, operations, design and maintenance for the City of Edmonton transportation system and other clients.  This includes over 300 engineering and field employees working in design, construction, trades, and project management.  Mansur is a graduate of the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA).   Mansur joined EPCOR in 2009 as the Manager, LRT & Distribution at Technologies.  He has worked in various areas in EPCOR Technologies including light rail transit (LRT), street lighting, distribution design, and project management.  In 2011, Mansur assumed responsibility for all engineering at EPCOR Technologies, as well as field operations for LRT. In 2013, Mansur’s role was expanded to include all field operations for EPCOR Technologies as the Director, Engineering & Operations.
In 2014, Mansur transitioned to EDTI as the Director, HSE & Technical Training.  In 2015, Mansur held the Director, Distribution position in EDTI until May 2018.  In 2015, Mansur served as Chair of the EPCOR United Way campaign and he currently sits as on the Board for the Edmonton Boys & Girls Club Big Brothers Big Sisters (BGCBigs) organization.
Colleen Doylend

Colleen Doylend

Moderator 

Alberta Electric System Operator, Principal Knowledge Management and Organizational Effectiveness

Colleen Doylend, CHRP, is Principal Knowledge Management and Organizational Effectiveness for the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO). The key focus of Colleen’s work is on knowledge management, change and organizational effectiveness, with a keen eye on assessing, developing and delivering corporate initiatives that support the AESO’s complex responsibility in a time of deep change. Colleen has over 40 years of experience in community education and development, learning and development, human resources, change leadership and is currently studying for her Masters in Global Leadership.

 

 

Prior to working with the AESO, Ms. Nadeau held a variety of human resources positions with increasing responsibility in the Department of National Defence, the National Energy Board and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
 Jennifer Ladouceur

Jennifer Ladouceur

Panelist Speaker

Women Leadership Nation, President and Co-Founder

Jennifer is President and Co-Founder of Women Leadership Nation™; an organization committed to closing the Gender Gap and creating Unified Workplaces.  Jennifer is a serial entrepreneur and has held senior leadership positions in the private, public and government sectors where she herself has faced many obstacles and challenges.  Jennifer has dedicated the past 2 years to investigating why the Gender Gap is not closing and developing holistic solutions that help organizations attract, develop, engage and retain women leaders by creating more Unified Workplaces.
Michelle Johnston

Michelle Johnston

Panelist Speaker

Society of United Professionals, Executive VP of Policy

Michelle Johnston is the Executive Vice President of Policy for the Society of United Professionals, IFPTE Local 160. The Society is the union of choice for more than 8,000 professional employees in Ontario, including engineers, scientists, supervisors and lawyers. Ms. Johnston also serves on the Board of Directors of the Electricity Human Resources Canada (EHRC), and actively participates on the Canadian Labour Congress’ Human Rights Advisory Committee and their Indigenous Rights Working Group as well as the Society of United Professionals’ Women’s Committee. Ms. Johnston has been involved in Ontario’s electricity industry for more than 30 years. Prior to her election, Ms. Johnston was a Senior Business Process Specialist at Hydro One.
Ms. Johnston holds an Honours BA from Laurentian University. In her spare time she dedicates her efforts to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada and the CIBC Run for the Cure.
 
Kathy Lerette

Kathy Lerette

Keynote Speaker 

Alectra, SVP Business Transformation

Kathy Lerette is 35-year engineering and operations professional of the energy industry. Kathy currently serves as Senior Vice President, Business Transformation at Alectra Utilities – the second largest municipally-owned electric utility in North America created through the merger of Enersource, Horizon Utilities, PowerStream and Hydro One Brampton. As a Senior VP, Kathy ensures the successful delivery of any merger integration plans.  Previously, Kathy served as VP Utility Operations for Horizon Utilities, where she oversaw all aspects of Engineering, Construction & Maintenance, and Supply Chain Management divisions.  She provided leadership for the continuous improvement culture and initiatives that drove increased levels of performance in Horizon Utilities’ operations.
Kathy is also the Vice-Chair of the Electricity Human Resources Canada Board of Directors, and is an influential and well-regarded voice for removing barriers that contribute to underrepresentation of women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). She works tirelessly as an advocate for the transformation of the energy sector, ensuring opportunities are created for young women seeking a career that may have otherwise be seen as unattainable.
Greg Retzer

Greg Retzer

Panelist

Alberta Electric System Operator, Vice-President, Operations

Greg Retzer was appointed Vice-President, Operations for the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) in February 2017. Prior to this Mr. Retzer held AESO executive roles focused on transmission development, corporate communications, stakeholder engagement and government relations.
As Vice-President, Operations, Mr. Retzer is responsible for ensuring the safe, reliable and economic operation of the Alberta Interconnected Electric System and multibillion dollar wholesale electricity market.
Before joining the AESO in 2010, Mr. Retzer was employed by Stantec, where he was responsible for major project delivery and key proposals in their Environmental Management practice. He has worked internationally with Apex CoVantage as President- Engineering Solutions and QC Data as Vice-President – North American Operations, where he successfully led initiatives in the telecommunications, electricity and data management industries. Mr. Retzer has broad leadership experience in commercial operations, business development, process improvement, customer relations and program management. He is a past board member of AltaLIS Ltd.
Mr. Retzer supports the community in a number of volunteer roles, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Calgary and Master of Business Administration degree from Georgia State University.
e received his ICD.D designation in 2014.
Devlin Fenton

Devlin Fenton

Panelist

Go99, President & CEO

The CEO of Go99 has had two decades of entrepreneurial experience in a variety of industries; from heavy equipment and industrial moving to heavy civil construction, from healthcare to information technology. Now happily resident in Vancouver Canada, he leads an exceptional team of technologists and business operators with the singular intent of building a Platform that Empowers Professional Truck Drivers and at the same time raises the quality of service and experience that Shippers demand in the gig-economy.
In spring of 2015 Mr Fenton conducted a Group-wide risk review with the goal of identifying hazards to sustainability of the entire operation into the next decade.  Supply-chain transparency was identified as the single greatest risk. With the owner’s support, Mr Fenton co-Founded Surespan Digital, a high-tech team of business-savvy intellectuals focussed on solving industrial problems. The Surespan Digital team spun off the Go99 freight platform in November 2016.
Elaina Eifler

Elaina Eifler

Moderator

TransAlta, Manager, Talent & Systems

Elaina is a energetic leader with a proven track record of applying expertise and hustle to foster growth and innovation. Elaina has 14 years of HR experience in the energy industry and holds a Bachelor of Administration degree from Mount Royal University with a major in Management and minor in Human Resources. During career in HR, she has held numerous positions focused on advancing talent management, leadership development, culture and technology programs. She is also part of numerous local networks focused on advancing the value HR professionals deliver within organizations.
The electricity industry is going through the largest transformation in history. The transformation has opened the door to reimagining how people and systems work. Elaina is taking an active role in driving this change demonstrated through her leadership of the Organizational Health transformation at TransAlta Corporation and through her role on the Electricity Human Resources Canada Board of Directors.
Ashley Mycholuk

Ashley Mycholuk

Panelist

Red Seal Journeyman Electrician

Ashley is a certified Red Seal Journeyman Electrician. In her 11 years in the Electrical field she has worked on a variety of projects with in Alberta. Ashley is an active member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, where she serves as both recording secretary and Co-Chair of the Women’s Committee of Local 424. As a volunteer mentor, Ashley works to engage young women to explore non-traditional career paths with in the trades.
Robert Millard

Robert Millard

Panelist

Acting VP, Legal – TransAlta Corporation

Robert Millard joined TransAlta Corporation in 2014 and is currently serving as Acting Vice President, Legal. As part of the leadership team, Robert is responsible for managing compliance, market regulation, and government and external relations, providing in-house legal counsel, and working closely with all business divisions. Robert has over 13 years of management experience in the power industry, having served as vice-president of a private renewable power developer prior to joining TransAlta. In that capacity, Robert successfully negotiated agreements with First Nations, ensured regulatory and legislative compliance for wind and hydro projects across Canada and the US, and led all government and media relations.
Prior to entering the power sector, Robert practised law with a leading Calgary firm in the areas of Aboriginal rights and title, Constitutional law, and energy matters. During that time, Robert appeared successfully before all levels of Court in Alberta, as well as the Federal Court and Court of Appeal. Robert is a member of the Law Society of Alberta and Calgary Bar Association.  He holds a Bachelor of Education (with Distinction) and a Bachelor of Laws (with Great Distinction) from the University of Saskatchewan.
Troy King

Troy King

Panelist

Vice-President, Finance & Business Performance and Chief Financial Officer – SaskPower

Troy King was appointed the Vice-president, Finance, and Chief Financial Officer in October 2017. Mr. King has worked at SaskPower since 1996 in a number of leadership roles that included financial reporting, budgeting and forecasting, risk management, taxes, strategic planning, information technology, load forecasting and rate design. Before moving into his present role, he was the Director of Corporate Planning and Controller. Mr. King is also the Chief Financial Officer for NorthPoint Energy Solutions, a wholly owned subsidiary of SaskPower.
Mr. King is a graduate of the University of Regina, with a degree in Business Administration. He is also a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CMA). Mr. King has served as a Board Member for the Saskatchewan Science Centre and volunteers with Hockey Regina and Baseball Regina.
Miranda Keating Erickson

Miranda Keating Erickson

Panelist

Vice-President, Markets – Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO)

Miranda Keating Erickson was appointed Vice-President, Markets for the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) in November 2017. Since joining the AESO in February 2010, Mrs. Keating Erickson has held several roles of increasing responsibility including her most recent role, Vice-President, Regulatory and External Affairs. She is part of the AESO’s leadership team, who are responsible for ensuring the reliable operation of the electricity grid and wholesale market in support of Alberta’s $300 billion economy. Mrs. Keating Erickson was previously at TransAlta in the role of Director, Commercial Management/Commercial Operations with accountability for all commercial aspects of TransAlta’s fleet of generating and transmission assets in Canada, the U.S. and Australia. In addition to having a breadth of knowledge of Alberta’s electricity sector, Mrs. Keating Erickson has a strong history of contributing to the community. She has been active for more than 15 years with the McGill Alumni Association,