2019 Talent Conference Speakers

Speaker Bios


Cybele Negris President CEO & Co-Founder of Webnames.ca

Cybele Negris is a serial entrepreneur, seasoned board member, speaker, mentor, and columnist.

Cybele is CEO & Co-Founder of Webnames.ca, Canada’s original .CA Registrar and provider of hundreds of domain extensions, webhosting, email, security products, and other online solutions. Webnames’ clients include some of the country’s largest corporations, government, law-firms, and global Fortune 500 brands. The multi-million dollar company has an impressive client list including many Fortune 500 companies. Webnames.ca's Corporate Services division specializes in premium concierge service for medium to large businesses and organizations with large domain portfolios requiring specialized tools and security.

Cybele serves on the board, audit, and HR committees of the Royal Canadian Mint, the board of BCAA, and Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. She is Vice-Chair of the Small Business Roundtable of BC, and is appointed by the Minister of Job, Trade, and Technology to the three-member Small Business Task Force of BC. She also serves on the Technical Advisory Board for the Riverview Lands Redevelopment in Coquitlam, the advisory council of Science World, SFU Innovates, and other organizations. She formerly served on the Board of Governors of Capilano University, as Vice-chair of Small Business BC, and on the boards of Forum for Women Entrepreneurs, Vancouver Economic Commission and Wired Women.

A Hall of Fame Inductee of Canada's Top 100 Most Powerful Women (winner in 2015, 2014, 2012, 2011) and nine-time winner of PROFIT W100, some of Cybele’s other recognitions include BC Business Most Influential Women in Business 2018, 2017, 2015, and Business In Vancouver’s Influential Women in Business 2010 and Top 40 Under 40 in 2003.

She is a columnist for Business in Vancouver and speaks at dozens of events each year including TEDx.

Breakfast Keynote: The Imposter Syndrome

Leonard Brody

Business and Technology Visionary

Recently named one of the top 30 up and coming management thinkers in the world, Leonard Brody is known as “a leader of the new world order”. He is an award-winning entrepreneur, venture capitalist, bestselling author, and a two-time Emmy-nominated media visionary. In his compelling, customized talks — for clients ranging from the United Nations to Visa and Pepsi — Leonard addresses the rapid pace of change, innovation, and disruption facing us all, and what to do about it.

Over his career, Leonard has helped in raising hundreds of millions in capital for startup companies, been through one of the largest internet IPOs in history taking a company to a six billion market cap, and has been involved in the founding and successful exit of numerous companies to date.

Leonard is currently the co-founder and executive chairman of Creative Labs, a joint venture with CAA (Creative Artists Agency in LA), the largest sports and entertainment agency in the world. Leonard oversees the building of new ventures for some of the most well-known celebrities and political leaders in the world. He was previously the president of the Innovation and Digital Group for the Anschutz Company, which he took after selling his company in 2009. Leonard is also one of the proud owners of the professional soccer team Coventry City in England

A highly sought-after public speaker, Leonard has lectured at institutions such as the G8 and the United Nations. His work has also been featured in such publications as Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, BBC and the New York Times. Leonard is currently writing a new book in partnership with Forbes, called The Great Re:Write, based on the successful documentary series Leonard and Forbes produced. It has already garnered of more than six million views in the last year.

Leonard holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts from Queens University, a law degree from Osgoode Hall and is a graduate of the Private Equity Program at the Harvard Business School. 

Lunch Keynote: The Great Rewrite 


Brianna Blaney

Founder + Managing Partner, Envol Strategies

Make your business human. Brianna launched Envol Strategies as the anti-recruitment agency, offering a fresh alternative to the outdated contingency model that we all know … and don’t love. Envol helps companies across North America build high performing teams through employer branding, recruiting and human resources solutions. Whether you’re a big brand like University of Ottawa or a startup just getting off the ground, Envol’s solutions were built to scale. Brianna’s newest venture DeepND Inc. is the technical evolution of Envol. DeepND helps companies predict better hiring outcomes using artificial intelligence.

In 2018, Brianna was awarded the prestigious 30 Under 30 Award in recognition of her fresh, business-focused hiring solutions. When she's not building people strategies and driving the future of work, Brianna advocates for local initiatives with organizations like BC Women’s Hospital Foundation, Vancouver Aquarium, Young Women in Business and her newly launched charitable platform, PHIL.gives.

Track: Competing for Talent

Hiring Successfully in a Candidate-Driven Market 


Michelle Moore

Global Practice Lead - Change and Transformation, Lee Hecht Harrison Knightsbridge

Michelle Moore is the Global Practice Lead – Change and Transformation for Lee Hecht Harrison.  Michelle has over 25 years of international experience working with (1) organizations to use human capital to solve complex business challenges, and (2) individuals to maximize personal effectiveness and career success.

Michelle has worked globally with leaders at all levels to help them improve business results by addressing common challenges like leadership development, succession planning, organizational development, change management and team effectiveness, but also has specific expertise and experience in the area of leading technology-led business transformation and innovation.

Michelle strongly believes that in today’s digitally disrupted world, leaders need a good understanding of technology and its impact on organizations, teams and people. She also believes that people are the real fuel driving transformation and innovation, and a new approach to leadership is required to succeed.

Track: Diversity & Innovation

Accelerate Transformation: What it Takes to Succeed 

Kathy Enros
VP Talent, Galvanize

Updated Bio coming soon.

Kathy Enros, has over 20 years of human resources experience in the software, consulting, alcohol beverage, and retail industries.

Kathy is currently the Vice President of Talent, overseeing the people initiative for ACL.  In her two+ years at ACL, her team has recruited over 200 new staff members, increased our employee satisfaction rate by over 100%, and has decreased turnover by 26%.  Prior to ACL, Kathy was the senior vice president at Vision Critical for more than eight years. In this role, she was a key leader in building Vision Critical from 60 to 700 employees across the globe, established all employee programs, and was key in creating the VC culture and making it a top employer in BC. Her other human resources experience includes performing as the director of HR for the Mark Anthony Group, the director of HR for Ipsos, and HR manager for Costco Canada.

She holds an Honors Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Wilfrid Laurier University and is an avid foodie and marathon runner.

Track: Engagement & Culture

Session Title: How To Integrate Culture After an Acquisition 


Tara Cree
PhD, Industrial / Organizational Psychology, Cree Leadership Consulting


Dr. Tara Cree is a leadership development specialist who partners with organizations to address strategic leadership issues and build leadership bench strength. She combines her PhD in Industrial/Organizational psychology with 20+ years of experience consulting in public and private sector client organizations. Her focus is on identifying and developing leadership talent at all levels through assessment, coaching, team development, and leadership program design and facilitation.

Tara holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Concordia University, and Master’s and Doctorate Degrees in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of Guelph (Ontario). Tara is passionate about living an authentic and wholehearted life. She is a Certified Dare to Lead™ Facilitator, and incorporates this highly experiential methodology based on the research of Dr. Brené Brown into her life and work.

Track: Self-leadership

Session Title: Courageous Leadership 

Shirley Andriesh

People Operations Leader

Shirley is a passionate People and Operations professional who takes pride in the fact that she is not a traditional HR practitioner. She has held a diverse set of roles within human resources, working in the high-tech industry, the public sector, wholesale, and health care.

During her time at DHX Media (formerly Nerd Corps Entertainment), Shirley established a flexible, efficient, and strategic HR and recruiting infrastructure which accounted for industry economics, organizational health, and immigration law policies and procedures. Using this infrastructure, she was able to implement best practices and foster a work environment that attracted and retained top-notch talent. This groundwork played an integral role when she helped the studio scale from 100 employees to 400+ employees within a period of ten months.

In her current role as People Operations Leader at 1QBit, Shirley champions her team’s specific needs, continual process improvements, and organizational development and helps brilliant minds find the perfect role for their unique skill sets within the organization. When she is not interpreting our latest analytics, you can find Shirley out and about exploring Vancity with her family.

Session Track: Competing for Talent

Session Title: How Quickly Can I Access International Talent? (Panel Discussion)

  Sarah MacKay
People & Culture Business Partner, Unbounce

Bio coming soon.

Track: Competing for Talent

Session Title: How Quickly Can I Access International Talent? (Panel Discussion)


Craig Natsuhara

Associate Partner, EY

Craig is an associate partner at EY Law LLP in Vancouver, where he manages the Canadian and cross-border NAFTA Immigration practice. He has practiced business immigration law since 2000, focusing primarily on assisting foreign businesses transfer employees and recruit new temporary foreign workers while establishing operations in Canada. Craig serves companies in a variety of industries, including technology (information and communications technology, digital media, clean tech, life sciences, and IT and engineering services), natural resources, construction and engineering, apparel, entertainment, and travel and tourism. He also assists a number of large Japanese companies.

Craig has acted as the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade’s Immigration Expert during the SIGGRAPH 2011 Conference, which was the largest conference ever held in Vancouver, and participated on the City of Vancouver’s London 2012 Economic Trade team during the Olympics, where he educated foreign companies about expanding to Canada and Vancouver, respectively. He also spoke on Canadian immigration for a liquefied natural gas conference held by the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo. Craig has helped industries negotiate changes to existing work-permit-related categories and create new ones.

Craig has continued to promote Vancouver and British Columbia as strategic locations for foreign companies to set up North American operations, supporting the development of the Global Skills Strategy and sitting on the Immigration sub-committee of the BC Labour Market Partners & Workforce Development for Technology initiative.

Track: Competing for Talent

Session Title: How Quickly Can I Access International Talent? (Panel Discussion)



Marco Pasqua
Entrepreneur, Accessibility Consultant and Inspirational Speaker

Marco Pasqua is an entrepreneur, Accessibility Consultant an Inspirational Speaker. Advocating for universal design and inclusion is among his passions. He went in pursuit of a career in technology and after graduating from the Art Institute of Vancouver, he spent 5 years in the video game industry. During the recession of 2010, he lost his job, which turned out to be the biggest blessing in disguise. Marco decided it was time to use his voice to make a positive impact on the world, so he built his own brand as a professional speaker and entrepreneur. Throughout his life, Marco has been involved with a number of organizations as a spokesperson, helping to spread advocacy for persons with disabilities across Canada.

As an entrepreneur, Marco has remained focused on social impact and has helped to build brands such as Reality Controls, Rick Hansen's online community, "Planat" and Hunky Haulers. Some of his most memorable talks include TEDxStanleyPark, The United Way as an impact speaker and The Duke of Edinburgh Awards. In 2013, he was named “Entrepreneur of the Year” by the Self-Employment and Entrepreneur Development Society and was recognized in 2016 as a “Paul Harris Fellow” by Rotary International. Over the past 2 years, he's brought his energy and enthusiasm to his role as an Accessibility and Inclusion Consultant supporting the Presidents Group - a network of change-driven BC business leaders who are champions for more accessible, inclusive workplaces. It's through these experiences that he is helping to pave the way for all Canadians to have universal access to the programs, services and places that they live, work and play.

Track: Diversity & Innovation
Session Title: Energy, Empathy and Diversity: How We All Contribute to an Inclusive Workplace

  Olivia McIvor
Author, Instructor, The Organizational Culture Group

Olivia McIvor helps leaders and their teams build workplaces where everyone feels respected, valued and heard. Her research impacts how we manage the complexity of the modern workplace and her strategies drive cultural transformation. Her background includes fast paced HR leadership in the financial and retail industries and now is an advisor to organizations, corporations and foundations globally. She helps leaders embrace their responsibility to provide workspaces that enable people to work at their very best. - workplaces that are safe, violence free, respectful and engaging. She is a master micro-learning expert a three-time best-selling author and an endless producer of learning tools to improve people’s experiences of life and work. Her Kindness Engagement Index – an online survey has been collecting social research for the past 5 years on actionable character traits that are necessary to cultivate positive culture change.

Ms. McIvor teaches in the Faculty of Business at the British Columbia Institute of Technology and is the author of three books: The Business of Kindness: Twelve Habits that Build Collaborative Cultures, Four Generations-One Workplace: Sharing in the Information Age and, I SEE YOU: Four Practices that Turn Compassion into Action. Ms. McIvor lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Track: Engagement & Culture

Session Title: Kindness... is the New Morale

  Katherine Lazaruk
Professional Presence Expert, Lazaruk Consulting

Katherine Lazaruk is a professional presence expert who helps leaders and their teams walk the walk, talk the talk and look the part. She is passionate about achieving gender parity in her lifetime and through her coaching, consulting and speaking she works with women and champions of women who are interested in getting more women into senior leadership faster. Recognizing that we are currently in a shifting paradigm, she works within the system to change the system for teams and individuals alike.

Katherine holds degrees in Voice Performance and Education, certificates in Image and Advanced Image Consulting and her second-level international designation of Certified Image Professional (CIP) with the Association of Image Consultants International (AICI). She recently completed her Certified Leadership Coach (CLC) with Essential Impact as well as her Associate Certified Coach (ACC) designation with the International Coach Federation (ICF). She also volunteers as a consultant trainer for Dress for Success, chairs the Recognition Subcommittee of the Women’s Leadership Circle Advisory Committee with the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade and recently completed her third term as the Secretary of the AICI Canada Chapter Board.

Track: Self-Leadership
Session Title: No One Sees Your Skills: Leveraging a Strong Professional Presence for Success

  John Hankins

John Hankins graduated from the University of South Wales and has an Executive MBA from the University of Bath.  John moved to Canada in 2000 from the UK and has extensive experience in both the private and public sector. He has led teams across different countries and led business development efforts. During his time in Canada, he devised and led the trade and investment for Calgary, Alberta. At the beginning of 2016, John moved to Vancouver Island and now promotes the benefits of the Mid-Island of Vancouver Island by supporting organizations who wish to learn more with a view to establishing a presence in the region. 

Track: Competing for Talent
Session Title: Move the Talent or Move to the Talent (Panel Discussion)


Victoria Brydon

VP, Human Resources, D-Wave Systems

Victoria is a seasoned business executive focused on organizational excellence through talent optimization. Currently the Vice President of Human Resources at D-Wave Systems Inc. she leads the development and execution of talent strategy for this dynamic and growing BC based organization. Prior HR experience includes Kasian Architecture, Sierra Systems, and PMC-Sierra. With a Master of Business Administration and Certificate in Executive Coaching from Royal Roads University, and a Bachelor of Commerce from Queen’s University, Victoria is on the Board Development Committee and Community Council of the BC SPCA and was formerly the chair of both the Executive Compensation and Human Resources committees on the board of Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver.

Track: Diversity & Innovation

Session Title: Bring Yourself to Work Day! Understanding and Fostering Psychological Safety in the Workplace


Megan Richardson

Sr. HR Generalist & Recruiter, D-Wave Systems

Megan Richardson is a Senior HR Generalist and Recruiter at D-Wave Systems, the quantum computing company. She is passionate about fostering diverse, inclusive, and psychologically safe work environments. In her role she partners with teams across the organization to attract, hire, and retain talented, passionate people. In addition to her work at D-Wave, Megan has also volunteered as a career specialist with Dress for Success, an organization which aims to empower women towards meaningful and sustainable careers as well as financial independence. Megan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Human Resources from Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

Session Track: Diversity & Innovation
Session Title: Bring Yourself to Work Day! Understanding and Fostering Psychological Safety in the Workplace

  Kandy Cantwell
Partner, Montridge Advisory Group 

Ms. Cantwell is a Partner at Montridge Advisory Group Ltd., a benefits, pension, and executive compensation advisory firm in Vancouver, British Columbia. She began her career in the employee benefits field in 1996 and held key positions with some of Canada’s largest insurers and consulting firms before joining Montridge in 2002. With both a strong technical and marketing background in employee benefits, Ms. Cantwell consults an impressive list of some of Canada’s most dynamic employers, as well as numerous US-based corporations for their Canadian benefits plan.

Ms. Cantwell is a past president of the British Columbia chapter of ISCEBS, and has chaired numerous committees for the Society. Kandy is a member of IFEBP, Chartered Professionals in Human Resources (CPHR – BC & YK), The Financial Advisors Association of Canada (ADVOCIS), and currently sits on committees for the Pacific Region of the Canadian Pension & Benefits Institute (CPBI). She earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Walla Walla University, obtained her CEBS designation in 2012, and is a current ISCEBS Fellow.

Track: Engagement & Culture

Session Title: Growing Up in Growth Mode - HR, Benefits & Legal Advice for the Next Phase (Panel Discussion)

  Christine Willow
Partner, Chemistry Consulting

Christine is a Partner/Owner with Chemistry Consulting Group and believes that the people who work for you drive your success. She is a Certified Management Consultant (CMC) and a Registered Professional Recruiter (RPR). 

As a consultant, Christine specializes in providing customized industry-specific recruitment, training and general consulting services related to operational and human resources issues. Additionally, she leads the company’s foreign worker recruitment program and has traveled to the Philippines, Mexico, Ireland and across Canada. As well as providing consulting services, Christine has managed employment and training programs in partnership with community service agencies and on behalf of various levels of government (Work BC) for the past 24 years.

Session Title: Growing Up in Growth Mode - HR, Benefits & Legal Advice for the Next Phase (Panel Discussion)

  Matthew Larsen
Lawyer, Fasken
Matthew Larsen is an associate at Fasken, a leading international business law and litigation firm, with nine offices around the world including Vancouver. Matthew practices in the firm’s Labour, Employment & Human Rights practice group where he advises union and non-union employers regarding all aspects of workplace law. 

With a focus on employment and human rights law, Matthew works on wrongful dismissal claims, independent contractor agreements, restrictive covenants, drafting of employment agreements, independent contractor agreements and advises regarding employment standards questions. Matthew counsels clients on responding to human rights complaints, and advising employers on the duty to accommodate, including accommodating disabilities and addictions. Matthew works extensively with start-up and growth stage companies to assist with employment, human rights and issues related to corporate transactions and financing.

Session Title: Growing Up in Growth Mode - HR, Benefits & Legal Advice for the Next Phase (Panel Discussion)
  Tyler Wier
Senior Consultant, Kwela Leadership and Talent Management

In his role with Kwela, Tyler supports leaders to become stronger ‘influencers’, in part through Kwela’s Influencing Without Authority workshop.

Prior to Kwela, Tyler spent over a decade working with people at all organizational levels, consulting on organizational change projects, as well as managing an internal change management consulting function. Through these experiences, as well as specialized training, Tyler expanded his knowledge of and ability to apply the art and science of influence to help people like you succeed in increasingly complex business environments.

Track: Self-Leadership
Session Title: Influencing Without Authority

  Sarah Blackmore
Senior Director, People - Eventbase

Sarah has over 15 years experience the People space, scaling start-ups, developing high-performing teams and building best in-class People and Recruitment experiences.

She believes that "HR" isn't a dirty word and that meaningful business strategy starts with, and ends with, the People. Heralding the power of feedback, and how real people need to hear real things, Sarah is on a mission to make the world of People a starting point for building companies and not just an afterthought.

Track: Competing for Talent

Session Title: Getting Real with Recruitment Story-telling Can Help You Capture the Talent You are Looking For

  Scott Orth
Mindfulness Trainer, Coach and Speaker

Scott is a mindfulness trainer, coach and keynote speaker who gives busy professionals the tools they need to thrive in an often chaotic and stressful world. He has studied mindfulness under a variety of experts and brings 14 years of experience designing and delivering highly successful leadership development programs. Using a mix of clear metaphors, powerful experiences and simple practices, he provides people with the tools they need to become more resilient, more focused and more productive.

He was previously the National Leader of HR for one of Canada’s largest employee-owned engineering and science consulting organizations. Scott draws on his 27 years of corporate experience to connect the concepts of mindfulness with the world of corporate leaders and the analytical minds of busy managers and professionals.

He also walks the walk every day. As a business owner and entrepreneur, he uses these skills to manage his focus, his resilience and his reactivity to the world on a daily basis. He is also the parent of a 12-year old son, who while amazing on so many levels, deals with anxiety. Anxiety that can express itself at times as highly emotional, oppositional and stubbornly defiant behaviour. Mindfulness has become the most powerful tool he has as a parent in dealing with difficult parenting situations.

Scott has had the great fortune to share presentations with the brilliant people at SAP, EA, UBC, SFU, BCIT, Covenant House, Miller Titerle + Co. LLP, CPA BC, Miller Thomson LLP, Smythe LLP, BC Assessment, Dossier Creative, Coast Hotels, Centre Plate (Vancouver Convention Centre) plus numerous other organizations and leaders.

Track: Diversity & Innovation
Session Title: Innovation and Developing an Open Mindset

  Tim Reitsma
Co-Creator and Storyteller

Tim is the Co-Creator and Storyteller at Culture Assassins, a research and education team dedicated to preventing the destruction of healthy, high-performing organizational cultures and to providing people with the tools necessary to build them. He is also part of the Spark Creations family as a Culture Creator. An organization driven to inspire people and companies to create meaningful cultures and workplaces.

Tim’s life purpose is “Living with intention, igniting others unconditionally”. This is his purpose and why he loves what he does. Tim recently left his corporate leadership role at a Fortune 500 company to pursue his passion: partnering with leaders and teams to create the best possible workplace culture experience.

For over a decade, Tim has led various teams to building better business operations through his commitment to build real relationships with those around him. He believes in leading by example, mentoring and empowering those with whom he works. To compliment his professional experience, Tim is an active mentor, advisor and volunteer. He lives and leads from the core values of Faith, Family, Authenticity and Curiosity.

Track: Engagement & Culture
Session Title: Culture Assassins – How to Kill a Workplace Culture

Lisa Martin
Leadership Coach & Author

Lisa Martin coaches people to be high-impact, thriving leaders. In addition to having authored 5 leadership books, she writes a leadership blog, coaches leaders, offers online leadership courses, speaks on leadership topics, and licenses her Lead + Live Better™ leadership development programs to organizations around the world. She has made it her mission to cultivate leaders.

Lisa has given hundreds of presentations, including conference keynotes and breakouts on leadership. She’s spoken twice before at the HR Tech Group Talent Conference. She’s presented at many other conferences such as WNorth, WIT, and CPA Summit as well as at numerous organizations throughout North America.

Track: Self-Leadership

Session Title: Master the FLOURISH Success Path: How to go from stressed & striving to impactful & thriving










Super Early Bird pricing ends June 30th. Get your tickets and first choice of sessions - register today!