Our Speakers

Stay tuned for our 2019 Speaker Roster! We look forward to delivering the best sessions available to the association sector!

Your Event Hosts:

Meagan Rockett
CEO, Greenfield Services

Meagan has made it her mission to help associations better engage their communities. She was the mastermind behind the Pulse Report (our study of Canadian associations’ membership marketing & engagement practices) and co-producer of the Engaging Associations Forum. Meagan is dedicated to increasing the viability of associations!

Meagan Rockett
CEO, Greenfield Services
Frank Rockett
Non-Profit Executive Consultant, Greenfield Services

With over 20 Years of Leadership Experience, Frank brings expertise in Fund Development, Grant Writing, Financial Management, Human Resources, Board & Committee Leadership to the team. He currently serves as Executive Director to a local humane society.

Frank Rockett
Non-Profit Executive Consultant, Greenfield Services
Mark Thompson
MC for Engaging Associations 2019

Mark is a nationally recognized speaker in leadership, teambuilding, motivation and human capital. Mark is also a sought after lead trainer for groups of all sizes from small leadership retreats to large groups of 500 plus, known for his high energy engaging passion style.

Mark leads active hands-on teams involved in training and development, project management and business development. His expertise is in the areas of team and leadership development, program facilitation, and innovative instructional design.

Mark Thompson
MC for Engaging Associations 2019

Speakers:

Chris Baylis
President & CEO, The Sponsorship Collective

Chris Baylis is the President and CEO of The Sponsorship Collective and a self-confessed sponsorship geek.

After several years as a sponsor (that’s right, the one investing the money!) Chris decided to cross over to the sponsorship sales side where he has personally closed tens of millions of dollars in sponsorship deals. Chris has been on the front lines of multi-million dollar sponsorship agreements and has built and coached teams to do the same.

Chris Baylis
President & CEO, The Sponsorship Collective
Gerald Bramm, CMRP
President, Bramm Research Inc.

Gerald Bramm has operated Bramm Research for more than 20 years. He has worked on hundreds of projects in Canada and the U.S. and has experience in all types of survey research, from large-scale online surveys to focus groups and individual interviews.

Gerald conducts studies within vertical/niche markets including members of various professional and business associations. Over the past few years he has conducted projects with architects, board directors, carpenters, farmers, insurance brokers, interior designers, lawyers, otolaryngologists, podiatrists, retirees and truckers.

Gerald is a member of the Canadian Society of Association Executives (CSAE) and is the research partner of the Trillium Chapter (Ontario) of the CSAE. He is also a member of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE).

Gerald has been a member of the MRIA (Marketing Research and Intelligence Association) for 26 years. He holds the CMRP designation (Certified Marketing Research Professional).

Gerald Bramm, CMRP
President, Bramm Research Inc.
David Coletto
CEO of Abacus Data

David Coletto is one of the founding partners and CEO of Abacus Data. He manages the day to day operations and leads Abacus Data's team of research consultants and strategists, delivering strategic advice and research design expertise to some of Canada's leading corporations, advocacy groups, and political leaders.

David Coletto
CEO of Abacus Data
Chris Cummins
Professional Speaker

Chris Cummins is a seasoned keynote speaker on sales, leadership, and personal development. He speaks to audiences of all shapes and sizes. Whether a senior leader or a seasonal hire, business professionals appreciate Chris’s unique ability to deliver highly-customized, educational content in a hilarious, approachable and real-world style.

He has delivered programs to over 20,000 business owners and 500 organizations across North America including the likes of BMW, FedEx, Philips, and Microsoft.

Chris Cummins
Professional Speaker
David E. Elliott
Social Learning and Innovation Facilitator

David loves to challenge the status quo and push boundaries. As an educator and facilitator he helps groups, help themselves. Using participatory methods, from several disciplines, David helps groups to reflect, share, co-create, innovate and experiment to seize opportunities and create more positive realities. Over the last 20 years he has worked and volunteered in Canada, Kenya, Tanzania, Cameroon, Italy and Vietnam, collaborating with organizations like Rotary, the United Nations, United Way, ORBIS, the Canadian higher education sector and most recently, CKX (Community Knowledge Exchange).

Between 2007 and 2018 David actively participated as a member of a The Institute for Performance and Learning (I4PL), a professional association. From 2011 to 2017 he worked for the Canadian Association of University Business Officers, while there he participated in the Engaging Associations Forum in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Lastly, David has hosted two sessions as part of the Surge virtual conference series organized by Association Success in 2018.

David E. Elliott
Social Learning and Innovation Facilitator
Emily Hendershot
Nova Strategies

Emily Hendershot is a results-driven Community + Operations Strategist who partners with associations, user groups, and nonprofits to maximize their impact and achieve their missions. She enjoys helping volunteer-driven organizations create meaningful strategy, optimize operations, and facilitate volunteer leadership trainings.

Emily has a successful history creating and executing strategic initiatives to drive growth for global associations and technology user groups with membership targets of 5K – 100K people. Prior to her work with associations, she developed fundraising events and national volunteer training programs for the American Cancer Society and led a disaster relief program for a nonprofit in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

When she’s not traveling the globe, Emily enjoys photography, baking, and Detroit Red Wings hockey.

Emily Hendershot
Nova Strategies
Chris Larsen
Chris Larsen Consulting Inc.

Over more than a decade of leadership at the Human Resources Professionals Association, Chris and his teams grew membership by 70% and increased the annual rate of retention by over 20%; doubled student membership and member attendance at association and chapter events, in terms of percent of membership.

As former HRPA CEO Bill Greenhalgh says of Chris:

Chris was instrumental in creating and introducing new innovative programs that resulted in dramatic improvements in growth and retention…HRPA today is a fundamentally different and highly successful organization that delivers solid member value…He has a core understanding of how professional associations work and the ability to apply new approaches in effective ways that transform them.``

Prior to HRPA Chris was COO at a mid-size Toronto advertising agency. Today, Chris helps professional associations to be more efficient and effective in definition, design and delivery of member services.

Chris Larsen
Chris Larsen Consulting Inc.
Meredith Low
Principal, Meredith Low Consulting

Meredith Low is a strategist who helps associations create effective and evidence-driven plans for success. Her experience includes the not-for-profit sector, strategy consulting to Fortune 500 companies, and in-house strategic planning and strategy development at one of Canada’s largest banks. Meredith has presented at CSAE and PCMA conferences and has been published in Association magazine and elsewhere. She can be found at meredithlow.com and on twitter @LowMeredith.

Meredith Low
Principal, Meredith Low Consulting
Christine Nielsen
CEO, Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science

Christine Nielsen has been leading the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science as CEO since 2010. CSMLS is the national certifying body for medical laboratory technologists and medical laboratory assistants, and the national professional society for Canada’s medical laboratory professionals. CSMLS has been serving its members for 81 years. She has served on the Government of Canada’s expert panel, exploring challenges in the labour market for newcomers to Canada. She served six years as Chair of the Canadian Network of Agencies for Regulation (CNAR) and has served her Alumni Board since 1998.

Christine Nielsen
CEO, Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science
Kelly Nolan
Co-Founder, Talent Strategy

Kelly is the founder of TalentStrategy.org and is a seasoned expert in strategic affairs and gender equity. Kelly consults with executives and boards on diversity and equity strategies. Her clients include research and government institutions, corporations and global initiatives. Kelly develops targeted programs to improve gender equity and engage and retain diverse talent pools for a variety of industrial sectors. She specializes in organizational diversity frameworks, training, assessment, and business development for external and internal relations for complex evidence-based, multi-stakeholder STEM organizations. A regular conference presenter, Kelly has chaired diversity and workforce development streams for several technical and scientific conferences. Previously, she worked with the Networks of Centres of Excellence and Compute Canada where she led the strategy to secure commitments for more than $100 million in government funding. Before that, she led international public education campaigns for sexual reproductive health for the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada.

Kelly Nolan
Co-Founder, Talent Strategy
Erin Roberts
Partner, Zzeem, Inc.

Erin Roberts is a Partner at Zzeem and an expert in the business of membership organizations. In over a decade of working with membership organizations, Erin has observed that the not-for-profit organization is a business and must be operated as a professionally-run and revenue-positive entity to be sustainable.

A Chartered Financial Analyst, Erin holds a master’s degree in Econometrics and a bachelor’s degree in Economics.

Erin Roberts
Partner, Zzeem, Inc.
Bettyanne Sherrer, CMP, CMM
Creative Mind & Lead EventPreneur, ProPlan Conferences & Events

Yes, Bettyanne is the Principal of ProPlan Conferences & Events - but people partner with ProPlan because she has been known for the last 25+ years for her creativity & strategic event design experience ensuring each conference is unique, interesting and maximizes profits!

Bettyanne has achieved her CMP (Certified Meeting Professional) and CMM (Certificate in Meetings Management) designations. In 2010, Bettyanne was the recipient of the Joy Fox Award for Innovation, the most prestigious award presented by CanSPEP (Canadian Society of Professional Event Planners).

In 2017, she was also awarded the inaugural CanSPEP President’s Award. A known industry innovator, Bettyanne has been honoured with Induction into the Meetings
Industry Hall of Fame in 2013 as Canada’s Top Event Planner. Most recently, she was the recipient of the 2018 President’s Award with PCMA (Professional Convention Management Association).

Bettyanne Sherrer, CMP, CMM
Creative Mind & Lead EventPreneur, ProPlan Conferences & Events
Jennifer Spear
President & Creative Strategist, Clean Slate Strategies

Jennifer is a recovering corporate executive who now helps organizations Do Things Differently and work UnScripted. Jennifer works with leaders, teams and organizations to help them Solve Problems, Plan Strategically and make innovation and creativity a reality in their workplace.

Prior to starting Clean Slate, Jennifer was Vice President of both Human Resources and Marketing for a national retailer and understands the importance of both the employee and customer experience. As a graduate of both Ivey’s Executive MBA program and Second City, Jennifer operates where the business and creative worlds collide. Jennifer has worked with diverse groups including Bank of Montreal, CMHC and NASA. Jennifer is a member of the CAPS, GSF, NSA, IAF, CSAE, HRPA, ATD, AIN, BAC and sits on the Board of Directors for MMBC, Meetings Mean Business Canada and on the National Board of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers. Jennifer is the Author of the upcoming book “UnScripted”.

Jennifer Spear
President & Creative Strategist, Clean Slate Strategies
Rachel Stephan
Owner, sensov/ event marketing

Rachel, an entrepreneur at heart and a creative at mind, jump-started her business in 2001. She holds a Master’s degree in Advertising and has accumulated over 18 years of experience in marketing, advertising and creative direction in the event space. Rachel lives for a challenge and whips up the cleverest of concepts in the blink of an eye for her event planning an association clients.

Rachel Stephan
Owner, sensov/ event marketing
Rose Timmerman Gitzi
Lead Event Designer, RTG Events

Rose is the founder and primary event designer for RTG Special Events. With more than ten years of experience in both the private and public sectors, Rose has successfully designed and managed corporate, government and gala functions.

Rose Timmerman Gitzi
Lead Event Designer, RTG Events
Mark Thompson
President & Chief Engagement Officer, McKinley Solutions

Mark is a nationally recognized speaker in leadership, teambuilding, motivation and human capital. Mark is also a sought after lead trainer for groups of all sizes from small leadership retreats to large groups of 500 plus, known for his high energy engaging passion style.

Mark leads active hands-on teams involved in training and development, project management and business development. His expertise is in the areas of team and leadership development, program facilitation, and innovative instructional design.

Mark Thompson
President & Chief Engagement Officer, McKinley Solutions
Perry Tsergas
Partner, President & CEO, Spark Advocacy Inc

At heart I am a storyteller. I’ve always loved a good story. The way they make you feel, hold your attention, linger in your mind long afterwards.

In today’s world the stories we tell are more important than ever. They need to be more compelling, more relevant, more frequent. They must compete with and cut through 24-hour news cycles with fast scrawling chyrons, too many social media platforms to keep up with, and a pace of life that only seems to get faster with each passing year.

I was lucky enough to work in Canadian politics for several years; for Ministers, Members of Parliament, on numerous election campaigns, and on a wide range of policy issues and initiatives. It gave me a wealth of experience and insight into communications and public policy, the people who shape it, and how people are shaped by it.

For the last 7 years I’ve worked in public affairs communications and advertising, helping a diversity of clients to tell their stories, in new and innovative ways. Sometimes to a niche audience, sometimes to millions of people across our country. I help clients figure out what success looks like, who can help them achieve it, and how to inform, educate, persuade, impress, and astonish in order to make it happen.

At spark*advocacy — an Ottawa-based, boutique advertising agency specializing in public affairs communications and campaigns — we work with associations, coalitions, charities, non-governmental organizations, corporations and brands to help them to figure out how to tell their stories, find their audiences, and work towards advancing their agendas.

Perry Tsergas
Partner, President & CEO, Spark Advocacy Inc
Paul Varian, MBA, C.Dir
President, Capitis Consulting Inc.

Paul Varian is the Principal at Capitis Consulting, a consultancy providing value-adding services and support in and around the Boardroom to dozens of Canadian associations at national provincial, district and community level, primarily in the sport and recreation industry. Recent work has included strategic planning, governance reviews, membership restructures, Board/executive coaching and program evaluations. Varian also regularly lectures on sport business matters at courses and conferences around the country.

Before opening Capitis Consulting in early 2013, Varian held various positions in the NFP sector, including Sport BC, Irish Hockey Association, KidSport Canada, and has served on various boards including the Canadian Soccer Association, Women’s European Hockey Championships, and was an official VANOC ambassador to the Games for the 2010 Olympics. He has also worked with the Oakville Soccer Club, expanding its revenues by 62% and aggregate player registration base by 28% to over 19,000.

Paul Varian, MBA, C.Dir
President, Capitis Consulting Inc.
Lori Wagner
Regional Director, Meeting Encore

Lori Wagner joined Meeting Encore as Regional Director in January 2018 and assists individuals from associations, not-for-profits, corporations and sporting organizations with their meeting, conference and team travel hotel and venue requirements. Prior to joining Meeting Encore, Lori implemented the Groups and Charters department at Porter Airlines in 2009 and represented and promoted the brand as the airline of choice for group travel in the meetings and sports sectors for close to nine years.
Lori was instrumental in developing the inaugural position of Regional Sales Manager for Travel Alberta and represented Alberta destinations, hotels and venues in the Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal meetings and incentive markets before moving to the airline. Her additional experience as a Hotel Corporate Sales Manager with Fairmont Hotels and Resorts and as a Director of Sales with Westmont Hospitality helped her gain a well-rounded understanding of the meetings industry from many different perspectives. In her current role, she is a resource for her clients in all three areas: hotels, tourism and airlines and is proud to be a strong advocate to ensure that they receive what they need for their programs.
Lori has been an active member of MPI for close to 20 years and is currently the VP Membership on the board of the MPI Ottawa Chapter. Her dedication to the chapter throughout her membership was recognized when she was awarded the MPI Ottawa Chapter Volunteer of the Year in 2010. Lori has volunteered as a guest speaker at Ottawa’s Algonquin College, Humber College’s Sports Management program, and was an active panelist at MPI Toronto’s GMID in 2013 where Porter received the Influence Award. Most recently she attended the MPI Global All Team Summit in Dallas as the only Canadian and spoke on the panel about the importance of MPI to the full global team.
She is the proud Mom of two amazing children who are both actively involved in sports and activities which keeps her busy! She graduated from the University of Waterloo with a degree in Social Work which she believes has helped her to have a better understanding of the hospitality and tourism industry over the years.

Lori Wagner
Regional Director, Meeting Encore