Concurrent Sessions Speakers
Concurrent Sessions Speakers
Evelyn Akselrod is the Director of Strategic Development, Community and Corporate Relations at The Career Foundation. With over 18 years of experience in the employment and workforce development sector, Evelyn holds holds an MBA in Human Resources and is interested in designing solutions that help both employers and job seekers adapt to the evolution of work.
Mary Barroll is the President of TalentEgg, Canada’s No.1, award-winning job board and online career resource that connects top employers with top students and grads with highly targeted, engaging employer branding and recruitment services. Mary is a certified Employer Branding Professional recognized by Universum Global and the International Employer Branding Academy.
Troy Budhu is the Community Animator at Toronto Community Benefits Network, and is currently the Co-Chair for the Jane Finch Economic Opportunities Action Group. In addition, Troy is an Agency and Resident Partner for the Jane Finch Bridging Education to Employment program.
Trudy Button is a Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL) in workforce planning and talent development. With a career spanning Student Services, Human Resources and Government, Trudy is committed to providing students, new graduates and job seekers with the tools they need to be career-ready before entering the workforce. Through her most recent role with the Ontario Centre for Workforce Innovation (OCWI), she supported research projects in employment and training.
Brittany Clause is a Youth Service Officer for the Niagara Peninsula Area Aboriginal Management Board. She is enrolled Cayuga, Wolf clan, belonging to Upper Cayuga’s Sour Springs Longhouse on Six Nations Territory earned her Liberal Arts Diploma with a Provost List Honor from Onondaga Community College, in addition to earning her B.S in Halth Sciences from State University of New York College in Buffalo, graduating with Dean’s List Honour.
Cecilia Clapson is the Manager of Employment Services with the Employment + Education Centre in Brockville, ON. and she is also the Lead Facilitator for CareerLabsVR Training. Originally from Scotland, UK, Cecilia brings over 9 years of front line client service and has a passion for Career Exploration. She is certified to administer and interpret the Strong Interest Inventory Assessment which has been a key element in developing the implementation of the CareerLabsVR system.
Meaghan De Laurentis is the Program Director with NPower Canada, where she oversees people operations and quality assurance for all program delivery sites across the GTA. With a background in Education, Meaghan is passionate about developing programs that support youth, through development of future skills to support their long-term success.
Craig Desjardins is the Director of Strategy, Innovation & Partnerships at the City of Kingston. In addition to leading the implementation of the workforce development & in-migration strategy for Kingston, Craig is responsible for the development and integration of strategy and innovation activity across the corporation & community.
Dory, Christina, Morgan, Deanna, Justine, Samantha, Allie and Sarah: The facilitators representing the John Howard Society of Durham Region’s Employment & Training Services, serves their community with their combined 50+ years ofexperience. In addition to their current roles at the John Howard Society, this team possesses diverse skills and experience including recruiting, HR, record suspensions, facilitation, as well as entrepreneurship and social enterprise. They work collaboratively with 23+ staff within the Employment and Training Services team to deliver community responsive programming.
Justin Faulconer is the Senior Director at Workforce Windsor Essex, responsible for communications, branding, marketing, media relations, issues management, government relations and stakeholder relations. Justin also acts as the Lead for the Local Employment Planning Council (LEPC) project, managing expenditures and supervising the day-to-day workload of six staff working in communications, research and project management.
Karlie Fisher is the YES on Demand Program Manager, who brings over 8 years of experience of working in youth employment programming. Karlie began her career journey at YES as a summer student, and has worked in front-line and management roles for both corporate and government funded programs.
Denis Gravelle is the Chief Strategist at Devant, leading career and skills development projects in collaboration with industry and academia. Denis has led international workforce development projects focusing on unemployed and underemployed youth and women in Egypt. An experienced educator and trendsetter, his focus lies primarily on workforce development and skills training in the age of disruption. Denis has held previous leadership positions in adult learning and workforce development at Seneca, Humber and Fanshawe Colleges, and earned his BA from Western and MEd from OISE University of Toronto.
Tim Greenwood is an Employment Counselor with JVS Toronto, and has spent the last 18 years supporting youth with multiple barriers (including youth with criminal records), helping them to find work. Prior to this role, he worked for 10 years as an Institutional and Post-release Counselor with the John Howard Society in Kingston.
Teresa Gregorio is the Education Officer for the McMaster Museum of Art. She designs educational experiences that engage people with art and visual literacy. Teresa earned her Hons. B.A. in Art History from McMaster University and has been an art education professional for over 10 years.
Steve Haining is an award winning photographer and film director, whose claim to fame began in 2009 with a portrait series of musicians that spun him into the industry of celebrity photography. Steve also practices ‘art based social work’ or healing through the arts, spending his free time teaching art therapy workshops for youth living with extreme trauma. His programs have been offered across Canada: in remote First Nations and Inuit communities, youth prisons, the Carribbean and Africa. Locally, he has worked with groups including Syrian refugee youth, the YMCA, and Pathways to Education.
Maggie Huang is the Community Development & Research Assistant at Skills for Change, providing Administrative and Youth Research Support for the Jane Finch ‘Bridging Education to Employment’ program. Maggie is also a Training Mentee for Laidlaw Foundation’s Collective Impact Youth Leadership Council.
Suzie Johnson-Smith is the Social Services Supervisor at City of Peterborough. Suzie has worked in Human Services since 1992, primarily supporting low-income people in need of financial and employment assistance. In 2012, she introduced and promoted the Bridges out of Poverty framework to the broader community, and has presented the Bridges out of Poverty model for teachers, employers, Social Services organizations, health agencies and interested citizens.
Lorraine Katanik holds a diploma in Career Counselling from George Brown College with 30 years of managerial experience in the not-for-profit and private sectors, Lorraine developed resources, tools and professional development opportunities that support the skill enhancement of staff and managers in the sector. She is a member of the Board of the Canadian Council of Career Development (3CD), as well as the Career Development Practitioners Certification Board of Ontario (CDPCBO) Advisory Committee.
Tinashe Mafukidze is the Executive Director for the Toronto Workforce Innovation Group (TWIG), a research organization focused on the future of workforce planning. Tinashe brings dynamic public policy, grassroots community development and entrepreneurial experience to this role. She also serves on a TELUS Board that provides grants towards innovative impact projects. Tinashe is a Masters of Design in Strategic Foresight & Innovation candidate at OCAD University.
Kate Martin-Bellon is the OYA:NA Program Coordinator at NPAAMB – an Indigenous Youth Employment & Training Organization. Kate is Ojibwe, from Garden River First Nation, and has been serving local Indigenous youth in her community for over 13 years. She has a strong passion for today’s Indigenous youth and seeing them reach their full potential.
Elisabeth Meyer is the program manager for the Career Labs Virtual Reality program at the Employment & Education Centre in Brockville.
Chad Noonan is the Corporate Engagement Specialist with Career Services in Brockville, specialising in employment for people with disabilities. Chad Works with community partners – and with a finger on the pulse of the local labour market – where his background in marketing and broadcasting lend to his Employment Engagement Strategy.
Danielle Olsen, a Metcalf Innovation Fellow, is a workforce development design and implementation specialist, with over 15 years of experience in the field. Danielle runs a consulting practice, working with businesses and workforce institutions to develop and implement strategies and practices that maximize human capital and support economic mobility. She develops programs and policy with a focus on workforce solutions that provide improved economic opportunities for low-income populations, while meeting the skills and labour needs of business.
Bailey Pakenham is an Employment Transitions Coach at the Employment & Education Centre in Brockville, working primarily with youth with barriers to ensure they are able to sustain employment and gain valuable work experience and life skills. Bailey has also worked as a Rehabilitation Crisis Worker, supporting Mental Health initiatives for clients and in community. Bailey has a University Degree in Psychology and College Diploma in Social Service Work.
Rosemarie Powell is the Executive Director of the Toronto Community Benefits Network (TCBN), a member-based community-labour coalition, which negotiates jobs and opportunities into major infrastructure and urban development projects for historically disadvantaged and equity-seeking groups.
Irena Radisevic is the creator of Amateur Art Exhibition, (Gallery of Graduate Arts) and Year of Creativity. Earning her M.A., from McMaster University, Irena teaches workshops on incorporating creativity and visual art into writing.
Andrew Reddin is the VP, Partnerships with NPower Canada, a charitable organization launching low-income young adults into digital careers. Andrew has more than 10 years of experience in the workforce development field.
Ray Rauth, MSW is the Program Manager of YJC Program at Job Skills. For the last five years Ray has been assisting individuals with criminal records find and maintain employment through Correctional Services of Canada. Ray has spent a total of 10 years assisting marginalised individuals with employment needs.
Rob Shepard is the Project Facilitator with the Simcoe Muskoka Workforce Development Board, whose background in media, communications and project management spans over forty years. As the project manager for the FAST project since it’s inception, Rob’s responsibilities at SMWDB cover a number of projects including employment-related online platform development and targeted sector development initiatives for both employers and job-seekers.
Luke Speers is the Learning Exchange platform lead for Accenture Canada, which developed, maintains and fully funds the cloud-based training platform for employment agencies across Canada to use freely. More than 70 partner organizations across Canada use the leaning exchange to enhance their employment training programs. The learning portal hosts more 100 online courses that have helped over 10,000 Canadians build the skills to gain employment or start a business in the past 3 years.
Gayle Takahashi is a Director at the Career Development Practitioners’ Certification Board of Ontario. As Co-ordinator of the Career and Work Counsellor Programme at George Brown College, Gayle has vast experience in career and employment services. Her previous roleincluded working in career and employment services with Human Resources and Skills Development Canada for over 33 years.
Cassandra Waldon is the Program Coordinator for Toronto Youth Job Corps, RBC and Manulife Initiatives. With experience in the education, employment and non-profit field, Cassandra leads mental health and wellness initiatives for YES youth, as well as anti-stigma initiatives for employers within the greater Toronto community.
Dan Walmsely is a facilitator, performer and coach. A gifted and engaging speaker from KEYS Job Centre in Kingston, his workshops have received rave reviews and some of the highest ratings Futures has ever received. Delegates attending his workshops leave feeling motivated, informed and engergized, with practical tools they can use immediately.
Brad Whitehorn is the communications and marketing specialist at CLSR. Thrown into the field of career development upon completing a degree in Communications in 2005, Brad has worked on the development and certification for various career assessments, including Personality Dimensions®, ensuring that Career Development Practitioners get the right tools to best serve their clients.