Schedule

April 9 & 10, 2025

TCU PLACE | SASKATOON, SK

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17

10:30 - 12:30 PM

REGISTRATION OPEN

11:45 - 12:30 PM

LUNCH

12:30 - 1:00 PM

WELCOME ADDRESS

1:00 - 2:30 PM

PANEL SESSION

UNDERSTANDING THE SASKATCHEWAN ECONOMIC LANDSCAPE, MODERATED BY JASON AEBIG, CEO OF THE GREATER SASKATOON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Amidst Saskatchewan’s thriving economy, it’s evident that our sectors face critical labour shortages now and in the future.  Collaboration among stakeholders will be pivotal for sustained growth and success. In this session, key stakeholders from education, government, and economic development will discuss Saskatchewan’s latest trends, expectations, and limitless opportunities.

2:30 - 3:00 PM

NETWORKING & NUTRITION BREAK

3:00 - 4:30 PM

KEYNOTE ADDRESS

BRICK BY BRICK: UNLOCKING INNOVATION THROUGH METAPHORS AND LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®

This interactive and creative session explores a unique approach to team collaboration and client work using metaphors and LEGO® Serious Play®. Get hands-on experience unlocking potential and uncovering expertise and new perspectives. Discover how this engaging method can help you tackle complex problems, recognize strengths, navigate career development, and ignite innovation. Immerse yourself in a dynamic session where tactile metaphors will broaden your thinking and reshape how you work within your organization and in support of your clients.

THURSDAY, APRIL 18

7:30 - 8:30 AM

BREAKFAST

8:30 - 9:00 AM

WELCOME & DAY 1 RECAP

9:00 - 10:00 AM

KEYNOTE ADDRESS

BUILDING BRIDGES OF UNDERSTANDING: FOSTERING RECONCILIATION AND ALLYSHIP

Dr. James Makokis and Anthony Johnson, the incredible Two-Spirit couple, come together to shed light on the importance of building bridges of understanding and fostering reconciliation and allyship. Drawing from their experiences and perspectives, they navigate the complexities and relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities and the journey towards healing and unity.

They delve into the historical context of colonization, addressing the deep-rooted impacts of systemic oppression and the ongoing challenges faced by Indigenous communities. They share personal stories of resilience, triumph, and cultural reclamation, highlighting the power of allyship in creating positive change.

Through open and honest conversations, Dr. Makokis and Anthony Johnson challenge participants to examine their biases, confront stereotypes, and actively work towards dismantling barriers perpetuating inequality and injustice. They provide practical strategies and tools for fostering meaningful connections, promoting cultural understanding, and becoming effective allies with Indigenous peoples.

With warmth, compassion, and a shared vision for a more inclusive society, Dr. Makokis and Anthony Johnson inspire individuals to embrace their roles as agents of change. They encourage participants to actively engage in the process of reconciliation, standing in solidarity with Indigenous communities and uplifting their voices.

In this empowering presentation, attendees will understand the importance of building bridges of understanding, fostering reconciliation, and becoming true allies. Their powerful message serves as a call to action, inviting individuals to join the journey toward healing, unity, and a future built on mutual respect, cultural celebration, and social justice.

10:00 - 10:30 AM

NETWORKING & NUTRITION BREAK

10:30 - 11:45 AM

BREAKOUT SESSIONS (5)

SESSION #1: GALLERY SUITE 1

EMPLOYER AND EMPLOYEE PERCEPTIONS OF MICRO-CREDENTIALS

Funded by Future Skills Centre and in partnership with SAIT, Bow Valley College and Saskatchewan Polytechnic, NAIT has conducted a research study of learners and employers’ perspectives on micro-credentials with an emphasis on the Information Technology, Renewable Energy and Project Management sectors. The research’s conceptual framework will help guide the future investment and development of micro-credentials and ensure programming addresses the demonstrated needs and expectations of learners and employers.

SESSION #2: GALLERY A

WAYFINDING: COACHING THE PERSON, NOT JUST THE PROBLEM

Hope-Action Theory offers a full range of career competencies that support personal “wayfinding” and problem-focused action. This session will outline a career coaching framework for self-reflection and navigating career uncertainties within a liminal space. Clients and career coaches often leap too quickly toward the solving of problems. These “quick fixes” can be ineffective and disheartening without a strong personal foundation. The presenters will be sharing a new practical career tool that values the “pause” as well as “taking action.”

SESSION #3: GALLERY B

HUMAN-CENTERED DESIGN IN THE AGE OF AI

Amid unprecedented changes in the labour market fueled by Artificial Intelligence (AI), Melcher Studios stands at the forefront, navigating the evolving landscape with innovative solutions.

Join Rene and Daniel as they delve into the challenges and boundless potential of integrating AI and Machine Learning into Melcher Studios’ solutions. In this session, the duo explores how AI enhances their offerings, particularly around the accelerating pace of career evolution. Together, they unravel the complexities of aligning technology with human aspirations, shaping a narrative that showcases the limitless possibilities emerging at the intersection of AI, VR, and human-centered solutions.

SESSION #4: GALLERY C

EMPOWERING PATHWAYS: UPLIFTING INDIGENOUS CAREER EDUCATION

This presentation explores the transformative Indigenous Student Employment Readiness Program (ISERP), which empowers students by nurturing career competencies through self-discovery, land-based learning, hands-on experiences, and networking opportunities. ISERP supports Indigenous youth in their journey towards meaningful employment, intertwining cultural values and contemporary practices. ISERP fosters self-awareness and personal growth by engaging students in land-based activities, while hands-on learning equips them with practical skills. Furthermore, networking opportunities enable students to connect with industry professionals, enhancing their professional development. This program is a powerful vehicle for Indigenous students to cultivate career readiness and contribute to their communities’ sustainable development.

SESSION #5: GALLERY D

LIMITLESS PATHS: SASKATCHEWAN’S OPPORTUNITIES EXPLORED BY INDUSTRY

Moderated by Jaimie Malmgren from the Ministry of Immigration and Career Training, participants will connect with industry associations and organizations to learn about career opportunities and employment outlook information in these sectors.

11:45 - 12:30 PM

LUNCH BREAK & EXHIBITOR BOOTHS

12:30 - 1:30 pm

BREAKOUT SESSIONS (5)

SESSION #1: GALLERY SUITE 1

BEST PRACTICES FOR A BRAND NEW EMPLOYMENT RESOURCE

Laugh as you learn. Sherry and Bonnie will walk participants through SaskAbilities’ new, modernized, interactive employment training video series for individuals experiencing disabilities and/or barriers to employment across Saskatchewan (and beyond). The videos hilariously support the development of essential foundational and transferable job skills for success. This free training resource emphasizes the “What Not to Do’s” and “What to Do’s” skills and behaviours required for job seekers and/or employees to be successful in looking for, securing, and maintaining employment. The videos appeal to a variety of learning styles.

SESSION #2: GALLERY A

THRIVING NOT SURVIVING: BUILDING SUSTAINABLE HABITS FOR PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL WELLNESS

More than ever, mental health and wellness are essential to a healthy workplace culture and environment. When people are healthy and organizations focus on wellness, it leads to loyalty and engagement, higher productivity, reduced absenteeism and illness, and a better overall workplace.

In this workshop, participants will learn about Well By Design’s four pillars of wellness and complete their own personal wellness assessment. Based on their personalized results, participants will develop strategies to support their personal and professional wellness, including sustainable habits for wellness.

SESSION #3: GALLERY B

USING ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE TO IMPROVE PRODUCTIVITY

This session will provide practical examples of ways that Artificial intelligence (AI) can be used to improve productivity. This will be a general introduction to ChatGPT and how it can be used to assist in your planning and communication to save you time.

SESSION #4: GALLERY C

THE POWER OF COMING TOGETHER: FINDING SOLUTIONS TO SHARED CHALLENGES

Many career and employment professionals work day in and day out behind closed doors, with few opportunities to exchange with colleagues doing similar work who are likely facing similar challenges. CCDF has been keenly listening to CDPs from Saskatchewan, across Canada, and around the world to identify the issues, challenges and opportunities that we have in common. We’ll share some of the resources, tools, research, and initiatives we’ve been working on in response to what we’ve heard and offer space for exchange so that we can learn from each other. Let’s come together to celebrate the power of our shared experience and our collective capacity to help our sector and those we serve to thrive.

SESSION #5: GALLERY D

LIMITLESS PATHS: SASKATCHEWAN’S OPPORTUNITIES EXPLORED BY INDUSTRY

Moderated by Jaimie Malmgren from the Ministry of Immigration and Career Training, participants will connect with industry associations and organizations to learn about career opportunities and employment outlook information in these sectors.

1:30 - 1:45 PM

NETWORKING BREAK

1:45 - 2:45 PM

BREAKOUT SESSIONS (5)

SESSION #1: GALLERY SUITE 1

DEVELOPING SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL SKILLS FOR LIFE, LEARNING, AND WORK

Learn about the need for Social and Emotional Skill (SES) development in education and programming, principles for coaching SES, and the best practices identified by Futureworx for doing this work successfully. The use of the Employability Skills Assessment Tool (ESAT) to achieve these practices will be discussed.

SESSION #2: GALLERY A

EXPLORING SELF-EMPLOYMENT - SHARING SUCCESS STORIES OF ENTREPRENEURS WITH DISABILITIES

There are many reasons why individuals with disabilities choose self-employment, including an opportunity to have the flexibility to create their own work hours, follow their passion, provide a service or product that benefits the public, and take control of their destiny.

This moderated panel discussion will allow conference delegates to hear the success stories of three successful Saskatchewan entrepreneurs. They will hear why self-employment can be a good fit, what resources are available in Saskatchewan and how career development, employment, and education professionals can support people interested in exploring self-employment. There will be a Q&A period following the panel discussion.

SESSION #3: GALLERY B

JOURNEY TO LABOUR READY

The SIIT Career Centre adopts an “Indigenous lens” through its “Journey to Employment” model, aiming to create “Labour Ready clients” via individualized case management. This approach is grounded in Indigenous worldviews, emphasizing a sense of belonging, mastery, independence, and generosity. The Career Centre commits to both the client and the employer relationships, ensuring a smooth transition. The developed relationships mutually benefit both job seeker and employers.

SESSION #4 GALLERY C

"OOPS, I DID IT AGAIN!": MICROAGGRESSIONS IN THE WORKPLACE AND HOW TO DISRUPT THEM

Microaggressions are subtle, insidious comments and attitudes that maintain systems of oppression and superiority. Even those well-intentioned may be participating in microaggressions in unintentional ways. Building a culture of safety requires awareness of how our intention and behavior can impact others.

Objectives:

  • Define racial microaggressions in relation to other forms of racism.
  • Understand the impacts of microaggressions in the workplace.
  • Provide tools to identify and interrupt racial microaggressions.

SESSION #5: GALLERY D

HUMAN RESOURCE INSIGHTS: DISCUSSION ON EMPLOYEE ATTRACTION AND RETENTION STRATEGIES

Moderated by Nicole Nortson Scott from the Chartered Professionals in Human Resources (CPHR) Association of Saskatchewan, this panel discussion will provide invaluable insights and perspective on the crucial aspects of attracting and retaining employees.

2:45 - 3:00 PM

NETWORKING & NUTRITION BREAK

3:00 - 4:00 PM

KEYNOTE ADDRESS

RESILIENCY THROUGH ADVERSITY: PERSEVERANCE FROM PRE-WAR SYRIA TO THE UNITED NATION

Join Tareq on an emotional journey from Syria to Canada, with heartbreaking and perspective-shaping stops along the way.

From sunny days in Syria where the scent of roses filled the air to the beginning of conflict and war. Listen as Tareq shares the fear and confusion that came when violence and danger began to slowly surround his family. Understand what it is like to spend days hiding in your basement, praying for safety, food, and medicine. Learn how a family decided to leave everything behind in search of safety outside of their homeland, only to find more uncertainty and desperation as refugees in Lebanon. Witness the life-changing impact of being granted a family ticket to Canada. Watch as that country’s prime minister singles out the Hadhad family and their community for their perseverance and kindness.

Resiliency Through Adversity is an emotional rollercoaster for any audience, leaving them feeling inspired and resolved to make their impact on the world.

4:00 PM

CLOSING & THANK YOU

Richelle Bourgoin

Deputy Minister, Ministry of immigration and Career Training

Richelle Bourgoin is the Deputy Minister of Immigration and Career Training for Saskatchewan where she works with a team responsible for developing, attracting and retaining a skilled workforce that supports investment and economic growth for the province and helps citizens realize their full potential.


Throughout her career in the public service, Richelle has served as Assistant Deputy Minister of International Engagement at the Ministry of Trade and Export Development, Director of Strategic Communications with Labour Relations and Workplace Safety, and the Director of Mission Planning with the Ministry of the Economy (now Trade and Export Development). She has also filled Executive Director roles at the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Social Services.

Richelle also serves on the Board of Directors of the RCMP Heritage Centre.

Lisa Shingoose

Vice President, Employment Development & Career Services

Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies & Saskatchewan Indian Training Assessment Group Inc.

Lisa Shingoose, member of the Cote First Nation, is the Vice-President of Employment Development & Career Services at the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT). She has dedicated her career to furthering employment development opportunities for First Nation people in Saskatchewan. Her primary responsibility is overseeing Saskatchewan’s province-wide delivery of its First Nation Labour Market Strategy through a network of Tribal Council, First Nation and Urban employment agencies. Working with First Nation leaders and communities is at the heart of Lisa’s work and sets the foundation for responsive and successful delivery of employment programs & services in Saskatchewan communities. Her portfolio also includes SIIT’s 10 Career Centres and other community-based employment initiatives such as JobConnections and JobSeries, both of which are aimed to meet clients where they are at and provide a pathway forward. Lisa has participated in numerous national working groups alongside government partners at Employment & Social Development Canada, as well as the Assembly of First Nations to shape and co-develop the Indigenous Skills & Employment Training Program, related policy and operational processes.

Abdur Rehman Ahmad

University of Saskatchewan 

Abdur Rehman Ahmad is originally from Pakistan and Turtle Island, Treaty Six territory; Saskatoon has been his home since 2012.

Before migrating to Canada, Abdur had the privilege of working on public health and inclusive development projects in the global south, namely Pakistan, and with international development agencies based in Austria, Germany and The Netherlands.

Abdur worked in various leadership capacities with the Saskatchewan Intercultural Association (SIA) for six years and also served on the Saskatchewan Association of Immigrant Settlement and Integration Agencies (SAISIA) board as President and Vice-President.

In 2022, he joined the University of Saskatchewan as a Talent and EDI consultant and is thrilled every day to work for an institution that is an innovative, accessible, and welcoming place for students, educators, and researchers from around the world and serves the public good by promoting diversity, reconciliation and meaningful change and by preparing students for enriching careers and fulfilling lives as engaged global citizens.

Abdur’s WHY is to create healthy and anti-racist workplace ecosystems that are diverse, inclusive, safe and fun to work in. Where individuals are inspired and fulfilled by creating a positive impact in Saskatchewan and globally.

Jason Aebig

Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce

Jason Aebig is the CEO of the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce – Saskatoon’s voice for business and biggest business network.

Prior to leading the Chamber, he was a partner in Creative Fire, a full-service agency that provided communications and public relations service to a broad range of leading companies across Saskatchewan and western Canada.

An active member of the community, he is a former Board Chair for Remai Modern, Saskatoon’s United Way, University of Saskatchewan Alumni Association, and the Saskatchewan Arts Board and currently serves as Chair of the Board of Governors for St. Thomas More College. He has been recognized for his community service by Leadership Saskatoon and the awarding of a Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal.

Partha Roy

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT)

Partha has over 15 years of market research and consumer insights experience. A well-versed world traveller, Partha has conducted market research in locations that include Canada, Singapore, South Korea, China, South East Asia and Europe. Partha has worked in senior market research roles with numerous firms, including Kantar, Ipsos, Insightrix Research and Ericsson Global. Throughout his robust career, Partha has worked with an exciting and diverse group of clients, providing insight and strategy across projects, bridging almost every industry and continent. Most recently, within NAIT, he has been working closely to evaluate and develop new training programs for upskilling and reskilling, using labour market insights and engaging with Industry customers and Associations.

Andrea Fruhling is the Founder, Coach, and Director of Doubleknot Works. Doubleknot was created to help people tap into their creativity in order to have more effective conversations, increasing hope in the world around us. Through innovative and combined approaches to career conversations and team development processes, Andrea works across disciplines, delivering group coaching programs and developing easy-to-use resources for leaders and coaches to apply to their daily work. She enjoys helping people find engaging ways to support growth and increase individual and collective hopefulness, using the Hope-Action Theory as a foundational model in the work she does. Andrea is a Certified Organizational Coach, with the designation of Professional Certified Coach (PCC). She teaches and supervises learner coaches seeking certification, and is the lead instructor for the Career Coaching Masterclass at the University of British Columbia. Andrea is the developer and an instructor of the Certification in Hope-Action Theory & Practice course, and has taught and certified learners all over the world. She leads the International Coaching Federation’s Global Career Coaching Community of Practice, and is a Trained Facilitator in the LEGO® Serious Play® Method and Materials.Andrea has delivered numerous keynote presentations and workshops for national and international conferences, career development associations, and organizations. She works with a broad range of client groups from teams and large organizations, to youth, indigenous communities, and schools.  Her work is practical and engaging with a focus on creativity, strengths-based learning, team engagement, and hope.

Norman Amundson is a professor emeritus from the University of British Columbia, with a PhD from the University of Alberta and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Umea, Sweden. He has worked in the career development field for over 40 years. During this time he has been involved in a number of national and international career development projects, and published many books and articles, including Guiding Circles, Physics of Living, Hope-Filled Engagement (co-author) and more. Most recently (2018), an Anniversary Edition of his nationally award winning book “Active Engagement” was released. Norm is a co-founder of the Hope-Action Theory, and a lead instructor for the Career Coaching Masterclass at the University of British Columbia. In his work he emphasizes the importance of creativity, imagination, storytelling, dynamic action, metaphors and hope. Dr. Amundson has presented his work at many national and international conferences (in more than 30 countries). He has also been recognized by many national and international professional associations for his leadership and contributions in the career development field. His workshops and presentations are practical, engaging and interactive.

Daniel (he/him) is a seasoned Project Manager with a decade of experience driving transformative initiatives across diverse industries in Canada. His journey in project management has taken him through the dynamic landscapes of Construction to the cutting-edge realm of Technology.


In the last few years, Daniel has dedicated his skills and expertise to the non-profit sector, where he helped champion the use of Immersive Virtual Reality in Career Exploration. This approach aims to empower jobseekers by providing them with a unique tool to make informed decisions in their quest for a fulfilling career.
Daniel’s commitment to these innovative projects is fueled by a profound passion for facilitating positive change. He thrives on the challenges of collaborating with multi-disciplinary teams, recognizing that the true magic of project management lies in the diverse perspectives and skills each team member brings to the table.

Rene (he/him) is a mestizo programmer and technical artist with experience as a professional in the tech industry since 2009, developing AR and VR applications. Rene enjoys sharing digital creativity and a main calling of his is to bridge the digital divide for groups with socio-economic disadvantages. To that end, he has taught digital art and IT skills professionally and as a volunteer at numerous locations such as SIAST, the North Central Hacker Dojo, the Mackenzie Art Gallery, Indigenous Friends Association, Regina Public Library, the Neil Balkwill Civic Arts Centre, and Common Weal Community Arts where he has provided dozens of free workshops and courses for Indigenous youth and youth from other underrepresented groups in the IT sector.


Rene works for Melcher studios as a designer, programmer and fabricator where he creates digital experiences and designs and 3D prints real world peripherals to be used to augment them.
Rene loves to create visual art using traditional methods as well as emerging technology and has published art in several art venues and exhibitions. He uses the mediums to explore how people and society change due to changes in technology and what that means to our essence as human beings.

Katelyn is the Indigenous Career Educator and oversees the Indigenous Student Employment Readiness Program (ISERP) at Career Services. Katelyn is a strong advocate for Indigenous education and the infusion of Indigenous knowledge. Katelyn also implements an anti-oppressive approach to her work and find ways to build that into developing skills that will translate into the workplace. Making connections, nurturing relationships, and building on professional skills through lived experiences are areas that Katelyn is passionate about.

Katelyn Morin is a proud member of Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation.

Peter Siarkos

Saskatchewan Trade & Export Partnership (STEP)

Peter Siarkos serves as Director of Manufacturing & Technology at Saskatchewan Trade & Export Partnership (STEP). Together with his team, he works diligently to support exporters in the Agriculture Equipment & Machinery, Aerospace & Defence, and Government Procurement sectors, contributing to their growth and success on a global scale.

Committed to preparing Saskatchewan’s exporters for future challenges, Peter and his team focus on providing skills and education tailored specifically to exporting. This strategic approach equips STEP members to effectively meet the needs of international buyers, reinforcing the province’s reputation as a leader in global trade.

Beyond his professional endeavors, Peter is actively involved as a member of the Board of Directors for Enactus at the University of Saskatchewan. His role in this capacity underscores his dedication to fostering a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship among students, contributing significantly to their development and the broader community.

Ryan Fredrickson

Construction Associations of Saskatchewan

Ryan Fredrickson serves as the Provincial Director of Advocacy and Procurement at the Construction Associations of Saskatchewan, representing the Prince Albert, Saskatoon, Regina, Moose Jaw, and Saskatchewan Construction Associations. Committed to enhancing the construction industry in Saskatchewan, Ryan collaborates closely with stakeholders to drive positive changes. With a tenure of 5 years at the Construction Association, Ryan brings a wealth of experience to his role. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Saskatchewan, specializing in Operations Management and Human Resources. Before joining the Association, Ryan spent a decade working in various capacities for an excavating company in Saskatoon, building on a legacy of three generations in the construction field.

Chandra Pratt

Director, HRBP, Potash at Nutrien

Chandra Pratt, B. Comm (Hon), currently works for Nutrien as their Director, HRBP, Potash, and has been the chairperson of the HR committee of the Saskatchewan Mining Association (SMA) for the past 2 years. She has worked in HR for more than 25 years with 18 of those years in the mining industry. Chandra has seen the peaks and valleys of the mining industry and has had to react in creative ways to meet the ever-changing HR landscape. During her time as the SMA HR committee chairperson, she had the opportunity to participate and advocate for the SMA to participate with the Mining Industry Human Resources Council (MiHR) in a Labour Market Study specific to the labour demands in the mining sector in Saskatchewan. This study will help the mining industry generate HR solutions to attract and retain the next generation of employees and continue to provide the products the world needs!

Evan Jamieson

Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission

Evan Jamieson is the Director of Program Development at the Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission. He has several years of experience working in Alberta and Saskatchewan as a Construction Electrician, and is a Red Seal Journeyperson in that trade. As Director of Program Development, he manages all of the curriculum, assessments and supporting documents for trades training in the province. His team works with training providers and industry advisory boards to help deliver Red Seal training and assessments that incorporate relevant knowledge and skills for industry in the province. Additionally, the Program Development team provides quality assurance for trades training in the province and provides valuable information and reports to apprentices on their path toward journeyperson certification.

Jaimie Malmgren

Ministry of Immigration and  Career Training 

Jaimie Malmgren is a seasoned professional serving as a Senior Account Executive with the Ministry of Immigration and Career Training. With a diverse background spanning over 12 years across the private, non-profit and public sectors, she has earned a reputation for her unwavering commitment to assisting businesses throughout Saskatchewan. She has a deep understanding of the business landscape, enabling her to provide tailored guidance and support to enterprises of all sizes and sectors. Her experience lies in cultivating strategic partnerships and facilitating collaborations that drive economic growth, innovation and workforce development across the province. Committed to excellence, she is dedicated to providing strategic guidance and steadfast support to organizations seeking to thrive in Saskatchewan’s dynamic business landscape.

Sherry Faris is the Program Manager at the Saskatoon Branch of SaskAbilities and oversees all Vocational, Recreation and Day Programming. She has over 15 years of experience in every aspect of supported employment. An innovative leader and thinker, Sherry leans on her background in psychology and philosophy to inform her person-centred approach. She is the program and creative lead of modernized, interactive employment training resource, We Sell Donuts, An employment comedy of errors, a video series designed to entertain while informing what not to do at work. In her spare time, Sherry enjoys spending time in the gym and enjoying time with her twin boys.

Bonnie Grove is the Senior Supervisor at SaskAbilities, Partners in Employment and a certified Supported Employment Practitioner. Her 20 years of experience in the not-for-profit sector, combined with her background in counselling and psychology, inform every aspect of her approach. She is a best-selling author of fiction and non-fiction, including two novels and a forthcoming short story collection. Co-creating and co-writing an employment skills video series has been everything she never knew she always wanted. When she’s not working or writing, Bonnie likes to read, hang out with family, and force herself to go to the gym.

Steven has had an incredibly rich career, with over 15 years of experience in the public and private sectors as an educator, a leader and executive. He has demonstrated experience in leading teams, creating healthy workplace cultures, and supporting teams to thrive by empowering staff and building capacity.

As the Founder and CEO of Well By Design, the focus is on enhancing workplace wellness. Steven believes that healthy workplace cultures lead to better productivity, increased loyalty and engagement, improved employee retention, recruitment, and reputation.

A Master of Leadership, along with a degree in physical education and wellness, have supported the work he has done at all levels of organizations and supported his understanding of the unique needs of employees, executives, and organizations. With coursework in change management, organizational behaviour, executive human resource management, policy development, strategic planning and financial management, Steven brings a wealth of knowledge and lived experience to his role as a consultant.

As a father of two and husband, life at home is rich, fulfilling, and at times chaotic. Steven is incredibly fortunate to have the support of family and friends in his life. To build wellness into his own life, he enjoys connecting with nature through hikes and off leash visits with his dog, as well as tennis, golf, camping and sailing.

In his engagements, Steven aims to inspire and motivate individuals and organizations to prioritize their health and well-being. Each engagement is tailored to the specific needs and interests of the client, with the goal to move wellness knowledge the 30cm journey from the head to the heart, where it becomes an active and vibrant part of their lives.

Curtis Clements

Saskatoon Industry Education Council

Curtis Clements, BSc, B.Eng, B.Ed., worked in the Environmental Engineering industry before pursuing a career in teaching. Curtis began teaching high school in Calgary in a pre-engineering program where students learned problem-solving and communication skills in a unique hands-on learning environment. Curtis relocated to Saskatoon where he has taught high school within the Saskatoon Public School Division for 10 years. During this time, Curtis designed and implemented the Cameco Centre of Excellence at Bedford Road Collegiate with funding from a forward-thinking industry partner. Following this Curtis was seconded by the Saskatoon Industry Education Council (SIEC) to implement the Saskcode program which is a province-wide initiative to support teachers and students with computational thinking and robotics.

Sareena Hopkins

Canadian Career Development Foundation

As Executive Director of the Canadian Career Development Foundation (CCDF), Sareena works in Canada and internationally to strengthen the reach and impact of the career development sector by moving from ideas to action in areas of public policy, research and development, capacity building, and advocacy. Sareena Chairs the Board of the International Centre for Career Development and Public Policy and was awarded the International Gold Medal for Leadership in Career Development.

Annika Laale

Canadian Career Development Foundation

Annika Laale is a Project Director, PRIME lead and Master Trainer with CCDF. She is a Career and Organization Development consultant and Master trained facilitator in Change Management. Annika works with Career Development Practitioners all across Canada to build capacity and develop their skills in service to their clients. She has worked with frontline and leaders at the organization, provincial and national levels. As a consultant and facilitator, Annika’s work is characterized by high integrity and a dedication for providing exceptional client service paralleled with the attainment of project and program results.

Denise Hauta is the Director of Workforce Development at Tourism Saskatchewan.

The department delivers training programs to support growth and sustainability for tourism businesses, including occupation and skills-specific training for individuals interested in entering the tourism workforce or enhancing skills to support job progression in the sector. The Workforce Development department is the provincial training provider for tourism training.

Prior to joining Tourism Saskatchewan, Hauta was employed at the University of Saskatchewan as the Language Centre Director, where she was active in strategic enrollment management and English as a Second Language training development.

Hauta also worked at Saskatchewan Polytechnic, as a Donor and Alumni Coordinator, Business Marketing Instructor, Continuing Education Consultant for the School of Hospitality and Tourism and finally as Director of Continuing Education.

Darcy is a senior executive and project professional with a list of accomplishments and achievements with clients and helping them transform and collaborate. He has worked with clients in the Public and Private sectors and has worked with companies in communications, technology, engineering, agri-business, energy and resources, financial, insurance, health and provincial government ministries. He is a Chartered Project Manager from the Canadian Institute of Management. He graduated from the University of Regina with a Diploma in Business Administration, a Degree in Business Administration-Organizational Development, and a Certificate in Accounting and Management. Darcy also holds certification in ISO Standards (Security, Audit and Compliance) and Business and Process Analytics.

Darcy has a strong understanding of ethics and principles in his competencies and client delivery. He has a unique perspective of mandates and organizational development. Darcy has substantial fiduciary skills, reputation management, and responsibilities to the organizations that he serves. He is fluent in numerous Acts and Regulations as they relate to the attainment of public policy.

Colby McClelland

Saskatchewan Health Authority 

Colby McClelland is a recruitment marketing specialist with the Saskatchewan Health Authority and has worked in healthcare, economic development and communications for 8 years. He is currently serving his second term with the Lakeview Community Association as Director of Communications and is a former board member of the Saskatchewan Economic Development Alliance (SEDA) where he obtained his Professional Economic Developer of Saskatchewan (PCED.SK) designation. Colby is passionate about supporting healthcare recruitment in Saskatchewan especially in rural areas as he was born and raised on a farm near a small community east of Saskatoon. He aspires to help build up rural and remote communities, help maintain and improve healthcare services in those areas and promote these communities as a great place to build a great life.

Jill Panahon is a seasoned professional with a proven track record of driving strategic talent acquisition initiatives across diverse industries. Jill holds a Certified Talent Management Practitioner (CTMP) certification and an Executive Certificate in Strategic Talent Acquisition.

As an Associate Member of CPHR Saskatchewan, Jill is dedicated to fostering excellence in human resources. Her academic foundation includes a B.A. in Philosophy with a cognate in Psychology from the University of the Philippines.

In her current position as Talent Acquisition Manager at the Government of Saskatchewan, Jill leads the corporate Talent Acquisition function, shaping and executing recruitment strategies that align with the organization’s objectives.

Prior to her current role, Jill held key positions at the City of Saskatoon and Lowe’s Companies, Inc., where she played instrumental roles in driving talent acquisition strategies and fostering employee engagement. Noteworthy achievements include expanding the Talent Acquisition Team at the City of Saskatoon from 2 specialists to a team of 7 and successfully launching commercial and installation services for Lowe’s in multiple locations.

Jill’s expertise extends beyond talent acquisition to encompass HR leadership, project management, and process improvement. Her tenure at Allegis Global Solutions and IBM Global Process Services equipped her with invaluable experience in building high-performing teams, implementing recruitment technologies, and driving operational excellence.

Paul Brinkhurst is the Innovations Developer at Futureworx and is responsible for the ongoing development and support of ESAT for users across the country and in Australia. He was part of the federal Skills for Success Working Group and continues to play a role in the development of skill frameworks and supports for organizations across Canada. Paul was also, until recently, a member of the CERIC Research Committee where he brought a focus on social-emotional skills.

Luke Bintner is from Cumberland House Cree Nation but grew up off the reserve with his adopted family on a large-scale bison ranch. He was heavily involved in the business’s day-to-day operations, such as feeding, loading semis, and handling/sorting the bison. He had a great upbringing with two loving parents and three older brothers. He attended and graduated from a small country school, which was K-12. He was also heavily involved in karate, where he obtained his black belt, travelled, and competed in various local, provincial, and national tournaments. Luke was also involved in the school orchestra, playing the violin for numerous years and then did a few years of fiddle music.

Throughout his career, he has held many management and leadership roles, where he has learned more about his disability and how it impacts his day-to-day life. Making these discoveries about his disability only made him want success even more, as he knew that he would have to work harder to achieve his goals. He knew that success wasn’t just celebrated from the efforts of one person’s work but from the success and resourcefulness of everyone who helped him along the way. As an entrepreneur, he has done a lot of self-help and motivational work studying books like The Secret, Rich Dad Poor Dad, and Success Principals. Being an entrepreneur to him means never letting rejection get the best of you, always being as resourceful as possible, and celebrating all the successes, big or small. Now, he has his own business in non-emergency medical transportation and helps by driving First Nations and non-First Nations clients from hospital to home. Some organizations that he works with are Non-Insured Health Benefits, Jordan’s Principal, and Social Services such as Welfare.

Brittany Boon-Marchand

Stone Massage Therapy

Brittany Boon-Marchand was born and raised here in Saskatchewan and has been a self-employed entrepreneur since she graduated high school in 2016. Regardless of her disability, she has completed 3 diplomas, 3 years of university and countless certificates and courses to further her passion, career and future over the last 8 years. She is a registered massage therapist, esthetician, and makeup artist, among all her other certifications. Brittany pushed herself even further in the beginning of 2023. She opened her own storefront here in Saskatoon known as Salt and Stone Massage Therapy – a Massage Therapy and Wellness clinic which has been the largest undertaking so far. She loves to travel, read, be around people and, most importantly, spend time with her 3 dogs at home. Healing is her #1 passion in life, which is why this career and being self-employed has been the most amazing accomplishment in her life.

Jessica Rorison

Metis Roots Outsourcing Inc.

Jessica Rorison owns and operates Métis Roots Outsourcing Inc. Jessica, a Métis woman originally from Calgary, Alberta, is an entrepreneur with a disability and has called Saskatchewan home for the last 17 years. Jessica has led a rich life full of opportunities and adventures. She has travelled and worked in many parts of the globe, including Taiwan, where she taught English as a second language, and Beijing, China, where she helped introduce Canadian and Chinese businesses. Before launching her company, Jessica worked in public outreach, program recruitment, marketing, event planning, project management and entrepreneurship development.

Métis Roots Outsourcing Inc. is a contract management business in the realm of project management, marketing, public relations, networking, website management, social media management and event coordination located in Rosthern, Saskatchewan.

Métis Roots Outsourcing Inc. takes on meaningful contract work to facilitate and manage projects based on an employer’s need without their organization having to hire permanent staff. We fill the gap when there is an important project or task that needs managing but that is not comprehensive enough to justify a permanent employee.

Susan Bater is a changemaker and innovative professional with 30 years experience working with adults, youth, and children with disabilities. She is an active collaborator with stakeholder groups including nonprofit organizations, business, government, and people with disabilities.

Susan is the manager of the Community Futures Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Program in rural Manitoba and Saskatchewan. She assists 29 Community Futures offices support the success of rural entrepreneurs with health conditions or disabilities. Susan values rural living and feels fortunate to work, live and raise her family in rural Manitoba. Susan comes from a family of entrepreneurs and was previously self-employed for 10 years as a sign language interpreter and consultant.

Marc Okihcihtaw, a proud member of the Cree Nation from Sturgeon Lake First Nation, is currently making his home in Saskatoon. As a dedicated father, husband, relative, and friend, Marc is driven by a passion for leveraging his lived experiences to support others in achieving success. Marc holds a bachelor’s degree with a major in Indian Studies, earned from the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College. Beyond his academic pursuits, Marc finds joy in engaging in physical activities and cherishing quality moments with his family.

Deidre Lavallee-Tootoosis

SIIT Career Centres

Deidre Lavallee-Tootoosis grew up in northern Saskatchewan in a small community – Beauval, SK – before moving to Saskatoon in her teen years.  After university, she started out working in Restorative Justice for 10 years and then shifted to employment counselling.  She worked with the SIIT Career Centre in a Job Coach role since 2019 and has recently accepted the Operations Manager position.  Deidre enjoys helping people in their journey.  Seeing people achieve their goals is the best reward.  

Dr. Manuela Valle-Castro

Prairie Centre for Racial Justice

Dr. Manuela Valle Castro (PhD) is an anti-colonial feminist educator and activist of Mestiza background from Chile, who has been a guest to Turtle Island since 2005 and to Treaty 6 since 2015. With a background in Social Psychology, she holds a PhD in Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice from the University of British Columbia. For the past 10 years Manuela has been teaching anti-racist and feminist theories at different institutions. They are currently an anti-racist education and research consultant with the Prairie Centre for Racial Justice.

Rosalie Hughes, B.Comm., RPR, CPHR, is the dynamic Founder and CEO of Hughes Recruitment, a Saskatoon-based boutique firm specializing in recruitment, talent management, and HR consulting. With over 15 years of expertise in the field, Rosalie thrives off innovatively addressing the unique requirements of each Hughes client, utilizing the unique abilities of her talented team. Rosalie and her team of recruitment, marketing, compensation, HR, and talent management professionals are committed to delivering excellence in talent solutions, blending best practices and technology with creativity to meet the vision and unique talent needs of every Hughes client.  

Rosalie is a self-proclaimed recruitment process nerd and believes that recruitment and retention can be simple (and fun), companies just need to focus on them. Outside of work, Rosalie finds fulfillment in the joyful chaos of family life with her husband and their two young kids. In her spare moments, Rosalie also enjoys reading, cross country skiing, spending time outside, volunteering, and being an active community member.

Ory McClelland is a Chartered Professional in Human Resources with over a decade of experience leading HR initiatives.   He is currently employed as a Senior HR Manager at Star Produce, where he focuses on HR strategy, talent acquisition, training/development, and employee relations.   Ory is also involved in the community in his role on the Board of Directors of the Saskatoon SPCA.  

Viktoria Schuler

Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC)

Viktoria Schuler is a Manager HR Services with the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC). She is a driven HR professional with 15+ years of experience in recruitment, global mobility, and immigration. Prior to joining CAHRC, Viktoria managed specialized skills and high-volume recruitment projects, focusing on mobilizing international workers in technical, trades, and professional occupations to Western Canada. Viktoria holds a B.A. in Marketing and a diploma in Immigration Consulting; she is also a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) and a member of good standing of the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants (CICC). Viktoria enjoys a family life with her husband, two kids, and an orange cat. In her spare time, she enjoys bike rides along the Saskatchewan River, reading, baking, and exploring ethnic cuisine in Saskatoon.

Nicole Norton Scott, CPHR

Chartered Professionals in Human Resources (CPHR) Association of Saskatchewan

Nicole is CEO and Registrar for the Chartered Professionals in Human Resources (CPHR) Association of Saskatchewan. She joined the Association in 2011 after spending close to 10 years working in human resources both in the public sector with the Public Service Commission and the private sector with AECOM Engineering. Nicole holds a Bachelor of Business Administration with a specialization in Human Resource Management from the University or Regina and obtained her CPHR designation in 2006. Nicole led the Association to the achievement of Self-Regulation in Saskatchewan in 2021. She is passionate about the HR profession and the work the association does to protect the public and elevate the HR practice in the province of Saskatchewan.