Speakers, Panelists and Host

John C. Maxwell - Keynote Speaker

John C. Maxwell is a number one New York Times bestselling author, coach, and speaker who has sold more than 25 million books in 50 languages.


In 2014, he was identified as the #1 leader in business by the American Management Association® and the world’s most influential leadership expert by Business Insider and Inc. magazine. For six years, Maxwell has been voted the top leadership professional on LeadershipGurus.net.


Called America’s top leadership authority, Maxwell received the Mother Teresa Prize for Global Peace and Leadership from the Luminary Leadership Network in 2014.


As the founder of the John Maxwell Company, the John Maxwell Team, and EQUIP, he has trained more than 5 million leaders in nearly every country of the world. Each year, Maxwell speaks to Fortune 500 companies, presidents of nations, and many of the world’s top business leaders.”


For more information about him visit www.JohnMaxwell.com

Jeremy Gutsche - Keynote Speaker

Jeremy Gutsche is an award-winning innovation expert, "one of the most sought-after keynote speakers on the planet" and the CEO of Trend Hunter - the world's largest, most popular trends & innovation website, with over 2 billion total page views from 100,000,0000 people.


Prior to Trend Hunter, Jeremy grew a $1 billion portfolio for a bank, and today, over 400 brands, billionaires and CEOs seek him to reinvent their management, strategy, and culture of innovation to better adapt to time periods of rapid change. He's even helped NASA prototype the Journey to Mars!


Gutsche shows audiences how to use methodical innovation to generate ideas and kick-start creativity during times of change. He possesses a unique perspective on innovation in the business context, and draws on his background in corporate strategy to provide inspiration and tools to generate ideas, stimulate creativity and unlock potential.


He is the author of New York Times bestseller Better and Faster: The Proven Path to Unstoppable Ideas, #1 on Amazon and a CEO Read "Select" book for CEOs, entrepreneurs, and managers. His first business book, Exploiting Chaos, was named an Inc. Best Book for Business Owners, and was a #1 bestseller on the 800 CEO Read list. He holds an MBA from Queen's, is a CFA, and studied innovation at Stanford's Graduate School of Business.


Paul Alofs, President and CEO, The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation - Speaker

Paul Alofs is President and CEO of PMCF and author of the National Best Seller, "Passion Capital: The Worlds Most Valuable Asset". He is an award-winning senior executive who has achieved extraordinary success in the retail, entertainment, Internet, marketing services, and social enterprise sectors. As an innovative business leader, Paul ushers in a whole new way of thinking about the very definition of success.


Since joining The Foundation, Paul has helped raise over $1 Billion for The Princess Margaret. The Creed/ Belief of The Princess Margaret is To Conquer Cancer In Our Lifetime. The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre is ranked as one of the top 5 cancer centres in the world. His work experience includes General Manager of the 500 North American Disney stores, President of BMG Music Canada, and President of HMV Music Stores Canada. 


Through his extraordinary career in both the private sector and the social enterprise sector, Paul has earned a succession of accolades. He was named one of Canada's Top 40 Under 40TM business leaders, ‘Best of the Best’ by his fellow Top 40 alumni, received Outstanding Progress and Achievement Award from the Schulich School of Business, Innovative Retailer of the Year by the Retail Council of Canada, inductee into the Canadian Marketing Hall of Legends, received the Bryden Alumni Award, and many more awards and recognitions.


The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation was awarded “Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures” three times.


Gail A. Severini, VP Holt Renfrew - Panelist

Gail A. Severini is a seasoned execution executive, and has partnered with business leaders to deliver their strategies for more than 20 years. Gail is a Vice President at Holt Renfrew responsible for Change Management.


She has led teams launching products/services/startups, business model innovation, Customer Centricity, Operational Excellence and Health Care Reform (US). Gail also works with organizations to build transformation capability. This includes mindsets, structures, processes, methodologies and skills.


A graduate of Queen's University, Gail holds several certifications in Change Management. She has worked with many North American and global organizations, including: RSA Canada, Manulife Financial / John Hancock, Royal Bank of Canada, CIBC, Trillium Health Centre, Canadian Blood Services and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield.


Gail publishes periodically on her blog, Change Whisperer, and speaks often on strategy execution and change leadership.

Laura Fisher, VP RBC - Panelist

Laura Fisher, Vice President, Human Resources Shared Services, is responsible for the leadership and strategic direction Human Resource Shared Services globally. HR Shared Services provides essential employee services to RBC employees, retirees and contingent labour. The team consists of 400 HR Shared Service professionals who are located in North America, the British Isles, Luxembourg, the Caribbean, Hong Kong and Singapore. This team is responsible for the delivery and advice of critical employee services from recruitment offer letter/pre-employment screening to payroll, pension, benefits, relocations and employee donations.


Laura considers herself to be a “professional generalist”. She enjoys taking on new challenges, learning about different parts of the organization, pushing her comfort zone, and challenging the status quo. She has held roles and led teams across multiple domestic and international geographies and Laura has served clients across multiple channels including face-to-face, social media, Advice Centres and through third party vendors and channels. She has experience working in the retail branch banking network, regional offices, sales, operations, Advice Centres, insurance, credit adjudication and National Office.


Outside of work Laura is the proud mother of two boys, Justin and Ryan. They inspire her to be a better person and mother every day. She always refers to them as her "gentlemen in training."

Dr Steven Murphy, Dean Ted Rogers School of Management - Panelist

Dr. Steven Murphy is an award-winning professor, accomplished researcher and academic leader. A strong advocate for innovation and entrepreneurship as integral elements of business education, Dr. Murphy believes experiential and co-operative learning opportunities are fundamental training for the real world. Dr. Murphy encourages students to embrace a collaborative approach that champions diversity and strives to make society a better place.


Under Dr. Murphy’s leadership, TRSM’s reputation has grown nationally and internationally, and the Ted Rogers MBA program has been ranked among the top 10 programs in Canada by Canadian Business from 2013 to 2017.


As a nationally recognized expert in organizational behaviour and accomplished researcher and presenter, Dr. Murphy has published over 100 papers, book chapters and technical reports in his lengthy academic career. In addition to his role as Dean, he is a professor of Entrepreneurship & Strategy at the Ted Rogers School of Business Management and a board director with the Toronto Region Board of Trade.


Dr. Murphy holds an Honours Bachelor of Commerce in Human Resources Management, a Master of Management Studies with Distinction in the Management of Technology, and a PhD in Organizational Behaviour from Carleton University.

Helen Wang, VP Scotiabank- Panelist

Helen is a Change management executive with 18 years of experience in multiple and diverse aspects of banking. She is the Vice-President, IT Lean Program for the Information Technology & Service group of Scotiabank, and is responsible for the roll out and sustainment of strategic change program across IT with a focus on operating model redesign while leveraging Lean methodology.


Helen has also led a similar programs in Global Wholesale Operations group. Prior to that, Helen was the Deputy Head of Global Analytics and Financial Engineering group for Global Banking and Market where she has led numerous high complexity and high priority initiativeswhich included technology implementations, new business development initiatives, acquisition due diligence and integrations, as well as regulatory response.


Helen holds a MBA degree from the Richard Ivey School of Business in Canada as well as CFA and PMP designations.

Host: Yvonne Ruke Akpoveta, OliveBlue Inc.

Change Consultant, Leadership Coach, Speaker and Author. She is an Organisational Change Management Consultant, Certified PRINCE2 Project Manager and certified John C. Maxwell Coach, Speaker & Teacher on Leadership principles.


She holds a BSc honours in Business Information Technology & Marketing from London Guildhall University, and an MBA with Warwick Business School, England.


Yvonne is multifaceted, having worked with a variety of clients including JP Morgan Chase, Royal Bank Canada, Deloitte, Phillips Consulting, and General Motors to deliver strategic and business critical projects. During her time with these organisations, she led major projects, pioneered change, and gained invaluable experience in developing individuals and businesses to help them drive results.


Her international experience in Europe, Africa and North America has afforded her exposure to diverse business environments and a proficiency in thinking outside the box.


She is also a published author, and an Inspirational and 'Tell it like it is' speaker, who is passionate about helping individuals, entrepreneurs and organisations drive change and achieve their goals.


More information about Yvonne: www.yvonnerukeakpoveta.com

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