Annette Verschuren, Chair and Chief Executive Officer of NRStor Inc
Annette Verschuren, Chair and Chief Executive Officer of NRStor IncOpening Keynote Presenter

Wednesday September 21
Mariner Ballroom A&B

9:00 am

Bet On Me - Succeeding in Business and in Life

Annette Verschuren is Chair and Chief Executive Officer of NRStor Inc. The company develops and manages energy storage projects.

Prior to this, Ms. Verschuren was president of The Home Depot Canada. She oversaw the growth of the company’s Canadian operations from 19 to 179 stores from 1996-2011, increasing revenue from $600 million to $6 billion.

After Home Depot, she took a year off and went around the world. In her travels, she saw energy as a global issue, with enormous business potential, and many benefits to developing economies. Back in Canada, Ms. Verschuren founded NRStor in 2012 with an investment from Northwater Capital.

Her career began at the Cape Breton Development Corporation. She then worked with Canada Development Investment Corporation to help privatize crown corporations. Her next stop was as a Vice President of Corporate Development at Imasco Ltd., one of Canada’s largest holding companies. Ms. Verschuren then launched Michaels of Canada, a chain of arts and crafts stores before landing at the helm of Home Depot Canada.

Ms. Verschuren has been appointed to numerous government advisory roles. Among them: Economic Advisory Council, during the economic crisis in 2008, the Canada-U.S. Council for Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders and the Advisory Council for NAFTA. Recently, Ms Verschuren participated in our Government’s Roundtable on Decarbonization.

Ms. Verschuren sits on the corporate boards of Liberty Mutual, CNRL, Air Canada and Saputo.  Annette Verschuren is Chair of both the MaRS Discovery District Board and the Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) on behalf of the Federal Government.

Ms Verschuren is the Chancellor of Cape Breton University and is on the Board of the Verschuren Centre for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment, (VCSEE).

Annette Verschuren has received twelve Honourary Doctorates from Canadian universities including her alma mater, St Frances Xavier University. She supports many causes but focuses on mental health, education and indigenous programmes. She is a founding member of the Rideau Hall Foundation. She co-chairs the Smart Prosperity Initiative, which is mapping out a course to a stronger, cleaner economy for Canada.

Annette Verschuren is a Companion of the Canadian Business Hall of Fame. She champions volunteerism and was named to the Order of Canada for her contributions to the retail industry and corporate social responsibility.

Ms. Verschuren wrote the book Bet On Me, about succeeding in business and in life.  Annette Verschuren and her husband, Stan Shibinsky, often return to her home province of Nova Scotia and her family home.

Linden MacIntyre
Linden MacIntyreKeynote Session

Thursday, September 22 | Mariner Ballroom A&B 8:30 am

Fear, Lies, and Disappointment - The Roots of our Most Acute Social and Political Anxieties

Giller Prize & Gemini Award Winning Journalist and Author, Former Co-Host of CBC's Fifth Estate and The Journal

Linden MacIntyre is best known as the award-winning former host of Canada’s premiere investigative television show, CBC's fifth estate, as well as an internationally bestselling novelist. Speaking on topics ranging from mass media and democracy to justice and public policy, MacIntyre brings provocative points and impeccable analysis to every stage he graces.

MacIntyre was the host of the fifth estate for 24 years, ending his tenure in 2014. His work for the program garnered him an International Emmy, ten Gemini Awards, and the Gordon Sinclair Award for Best Overall Broadcast Journalist and Best Anchor or Interviewer.

His journalism career began in 1964 with The Halifax Chronicle-Herald as a parliamentary bureau reporter. He was also an Ottawa reporter for The Financial Times of Canada, and in 1976, he joined CBC Television Halifax as a current affairs story editor and journalist for Here Today. He soon hosted his own program, The MacIntyre File, which began in 1977 and ran for three seasons. He later worked at The Journal and hosted CBC Radio’s Sunday Morning before joining the fifth estate.

A documentary filmmaker, MacIntyre’s film Power and Profit won him ACTRA’s Gordon Sinclair Award for Outspoken Opinions and Integrity, while in 2003, he produced (with Neil Docherty) A Toxic Company in partnership with PBS Frontline and The New York Times Television. The documentary won many prestigious awards, including the Dupont/Columbia Silver Baton, the George Polk Award, the George Foster Peabody Award and the CBC’s Wilderness award. The accompanying New York Times series of articles won a Pulitzer Prize.

As a writer, MacIntyre’s bestselling first novel, The Long Stretch, was nominated for a CBA Libris Award and his boyhood memoir, Causeway: A Passage from Innocence, won both the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Nonfiction and the Evelyn Richardson Prize. His second novel, The Bishop’s Man, was a #1 national bestseller, won the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Dartmouth Book Award and the CBA Libris Fiction Book of the Year Award, among other honours. The third book in the loose-knit trilogy, Why Men Lie, was also a #1 national bestseller as well as a Globe and Mail“Can’t Miss” Book for 2012. He is currently working on a non-fiction story set in the Irish War of Independence, 1920-1922

Mark Black
Mark BlackKeynote Session

Friday, September 22 | Mariner Ballroom A&B 10:30 am

Breaking Through Your Limitations - Live Today

Mark Black is a Heart and Double-Lung Transplant Recipient – turned – 4-Time Marathon Runner, Author, Coach and Speaker.

Born with a life-threatening heart defect, Mark underwent two open-heart surgeries before the age of one. His parents were told to expect more surgeries before he started school. Mark was not expected to live a long life.

He battled his condition and it’s limitations successfully for twenty-two years before having to face the biggest challenge of his life.  Mark’s doctor informed him that his heart was failing badly and that without a rare and dangerous heart and double-lung transplant, he would not likely see his 25th birthday.

In October 2001, Mark moved thousands of kilometres from home and was put on the transplant waiting list. After just four months on the list, Mark’s condition grew worse and he was placed in the hospital where he lived on the precipice of life and death, for 6 months.

Finally, by the grace of God, on September 7th, 2002, after almost a year on the list, Mark received a second chance at life: a life-saving Heart & Double-Lung Transplant.

The average lifespan of someone with his transplant is 5-10 years. It’s been 16 years since Mark’s transplant. He is in his 40s. It is very unlikely Mark will live to see his 50’s. This is what makes his message so powerful. He lives the strategies and principles he teaches and he is filled with passion and purpose for his work precisely because he doesn’t know how much more time he’ll be afforded to do it.

Since receiving his second chance at life Mark hasn’t wasted a moment. After meeting the love of his life, Marise, the two married, and they have 3 healthy children. Mark has travelled the globe speaking to more than 150,000 people.

Mark lives in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada where he spends as much time as possible with the most important people in his life; his wife Marise and their three children Emma, Matteo, and Caleb.

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