Speakers

Keynote Speakers

Founder | Coach | Director of Doubleknot Works

Entrepreneur | Speaker

LGBTQ2S+, Two-Spirit and Diversity Expert

Two Spirit Doctor – LGBTQ2S, Indigenous, Diversity & Inclusion Expert

Keynote Panelists

CEO

Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce 

Talent & EDI Consultant

University of Saskatchewan

Deputy Minister

Ministry of Immigration and Career Training

Vice President, Employment Development & Career Services
Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies
Saskatchewan Indian Training Assessment Group Inc.

Conference Emcees

Saskatchewan Intercultural Association

City of Saskatoon

Session Speakers

Doubleknot Works

Community Futures Saskatchewan

Entrepreneur

Stone Massage Therapy

Melcher Studios

SaskAbilities

Doubleknot Works

SaskAbilities

Canadian Career Development Foundation

Hughes Recruitment

Canadian Career Development Foundation

Well By Design

SIIT Career Centres 

The Star Group

University of Saskatchewan

CPHR Saskatchewan

SIIT Career Centres

Melcher Studios

Metis Roots Outsourcing Inc.

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT)

Prairie Centre for Racial Justice

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Prabha Ramaswamy

Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce

Prabha is a champion of Saskatchewan business, a passionate community leader and an organizational visionary.

With a Masters of Social Work in Community Development, Policy and Planning, Prabha has a diverse career spanning 28 years. Her career has included leading organizations through change for strategic growth, achievement of vision/mission and competitive positioning. Driven by the principle “begin with the end in mind,” Prabha is passionate about defining a vision and steering organizations in the right direction. Fuelled by the spirit of “doing the right thing,” Prabha embraces courage and integrity as a leader.

Prior to beginning her role with the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce, Prabha spent eight years as the CEO of Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan (WESK), launching several breakthrough programs designed to support the business community and close the gender entrepreneurship gap in Saskatchewan.

Prabha served as the first President of the Leaders Council of the Paul J. Hill and Kenneth Levene Schools of Business at the University of Regina; served as a member of the Paul J. Hill School of Business Advisory Board; served as a Director on the Saskatchewan Housing Corporation Board and the Saskatchewan Polytechnic Board amongst other community Boards.

Abdul 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.

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.

Ahmad Majid

HR & Employee Engagement Manager, SIA

Ahmad Majid is of Iraqi descent, and his family came to Canada from Kuwait to escape the unrest during the First Gulf War in 1990. Ahmad has worked and volunteered at various settlement organizations throughout Saskatoon such as the Saskatoon Open Door Society, SAISIA, and currently at Saskatchewan Intercultural Association. He has held many positions within the settlement sector including Youth Employment Counsellor, Team Lead, Executive Director, and currently as the HR and Employee Engagement Manager at SIA. He is extremely passionate about supporting newcomers to Canada, and has dedicated his personal purpose and professional career to contributing to successful newcomer settlement and integration. 

April Sora

Immigration, Diversity, and Inclusion Consultant, City of Saskatoon

April Sora has spent the better part of her career working and volunteering in the immigrant and refugee sector both in Toronto and Saskatoon. She has also worked for the federal government in various roles including Senior Development Officer, Human Resources Advisor and Employment Equity Consultant. She now works for the City of Saskatoon as the Immigration, Diversity and Inclusion Consultant.

Both April’s mother and father were sent to internment camps in BC during WW2, their possessions confiscated and sold to pay for their own internment.. After the war they were forced to move east or go ‘back’ to Japan even though they were born in Canada. All because of the colour of their skin. April is proud of her Japanese Canadian history and the legacy of the resilience and strength of her ancestors. This is the background that informs her work and her life.

On the fun side, every Sunday and Monday night you can find April practicing taiko (Japanese drumming) with the Saskatoon group, Living Sky Taiko.

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.

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.

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.

Jaylene Cousins is a Senior Manager with extensive experience in developing and implementing recruitment and retention strategies across Canada for multiple organizations. Jaylene has a proven track record of success, helping companies to attract and retain top talent through her innovative and effective programs. With her expertise and designations, Jaylene has helped many organizations strong and engaged workforce, driving business success and growth along with practical advice on recruitment and retention strategies.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Deidre Lavallee-Tootoosis

SIIT Career Centres

Deidre Lavallee 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.  

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.  

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.