Phil Jewell
Phil JewellKeynote Speaker

Opening Keynote: Serve to Lead - A fresh perspective to leadership

Wednesday, October 18 | 9:30 am - 10:30 am | Digby Hall

Phil is a graduate of the British Army’s Royal Military Academy of Sandhurst, arguably the world’s best leadership school. He has served with the British, Canadian, and US Army. By his mid- twenties he was leading soldiers in overseas combat, going on to serve as a senior leader working alongside nations and cultures from around the world.

His subsequent journey led him to becoming an executive in both the provincial and federal governments, as well as an academic leadership instructor, before launching his own boutique leadership development business.

He is a certified executive coach, has held the project management professional (PMP), and has an MA in Disaster and Emergency Management. He is a lifelong learner trying to show up every day. A human, and self-proclaimed leadership expert and disrupter, with many flaws and failures that have made him who he is today.

Harriette Schumacher
Harriette SchumacherKeynote Speaker

Keynote: Leaders Shape the Future

Thursday, October 19 | 9:00 am - 10:00 am | Digby Hall

Harriette Schumacher is Atlantic Canada’s only Master Certified Executive Coach (MCC) and an internationally recognized leadership development and coaching authority.  For the past two decades, she has partnered with global brands and Fortune 500s to develop leadership as a competitive advantage. She believes that effective leadership is the cornerstone of business performance. The key to sustaining high levels of business performance is achieved through effective leadership practices applied with discipline over time.

Her specialty is supporting leaders who are vision holders and results drivers for their organizations. She has a strong track record coaching leaders seasoned in Executive positions to broaden their impact and supports those recently promoted to succeed in their new roles.

Harriette has coached and trained leaders at over 50 Fortune 500 organizations.  Her experience includes large organizational clients such as Nike, Amazon, Walmart, TJX/Winners, Ford, Estée Lauder and others.  A renowned presenter, she has spoken at corporate retreats and leadership conferences worldwide.

Harriette has been a passionate advocate for the ascension of women, and her programs have a 92% success rate at advancing and retaining female talent.

Karen Dean
Karen DeanKeynote Speakers

Closing Keynote: Raw. Real. Resilient.

Friday, October 20 | 10:15 am - 11:15 am | Digby Hall

Karen Dean is an incredible inspirational speaker, entrepreneur, and bestselling author who shares her own personal stories of resilience, in addition to proven tools for success, while inspiring audiences and clients with an amazing sense of positivity.

She has been featured on CBC, Global TV and CTV Atlantic, as well as numerous podcasts around the world, along with publications like the Chronicle Herald, Truro Daily News, and Hub Now.

Recognized by the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards as a Nominee four times, Karen has operated successful businesses in many different industries for over 25 years. She has been a mentor to many women in business throughout her career and has had the honour of being mentored by some incredibly accomplished businesswomen.   Among her many business accomplishments, one of her proudest moments was being one of only two women to ever be elected to the Farmer’s Dairy Board of Directors. 

Karen holds a Bachelor of Business Administration and a certificate in Small Business Development Training.  She is also a Certified Knowledge Broker and Mastermind.com Professional. 

Karen believes in paying it forward and, since 2018, she has raised over $130,000 for families in need in Nova Scotia. She was honoured to be chosen as the recipient of the QueenPin (Halifax) award in 2020 for her commitment to improving her community.

In November 2020, Karen self-published her first book, We Are Unbreakable: Raw, Real Stories of Resilience from Women in Nova Scotia in 2020. The book is a collection of authentic and inspiring stories about the unprecedented year of 2020 written by 22 incredible women who call Nova Scotia home.  We Are Unbreakable was an Amazon category best-seller for over 6 months and is also a Canadian bestseller.  A portion of the proceeds from this book will establish an education fund for women in rural Nova Scotia.

In 2022, she published Fierce & Fabulous: A Self-Love Journal which provides readers with a daily practice to reconnect to their inner self and become even more successful, both personally and professionally.

Karen is the proud solo parent to three amazing humans who she points to as not only a source of joy but as her greatest accomplishments. 

Karen’s messages spring from a mountain of lived experience, and she is passionate about her mission to help people live their best life, personally and professionally, a purpose she lives in her own life every day.

Erin Casey
Erin Casey

Professional communicator, writer, and editor

The Power of Plain Language in Municipal Communications

Erin Elaine Casey is a professional communicator, writer, and editor based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Her zone of genius includes disability and gender issues, literacy, education, academic success, health, and entrepreneurship and business. For eight years, Erin has owned and run a communication consulting business serving the higher education, business, not-for-profit, and government sectors. She has been a leader and key collaborator on many equity-focused projects throughout her career, as a non-profit leader, private consultant, and volunteer. Erin believes we all benefit from and are entitled to effective and clear communication so we can connect with the people, opportunities, services, products, and information we need. Her professional and personal mission is to spread the gospel of effective and clear communication as both an accessibility right and a decolonizing practice.

Peter Morin

Grant Thornton

Principal, National Cybersecurity Leader

Presenting Sponsor Presentation: Local threats in a global age – Municipal Responses to Cyberthreats

Wednesday, October 18 | 10:30 am - 10:50 am | Digby Hall

Concurrent A1: The Future of Recreation Facilities in Nova Scotia

Wednesday, October 18 | 11:15 am - 12:15 pm | Garden Room

Jennie Greencorn
Jennie Greencorn

Recreation Facility Association of Nova Scotia

Executive Director

Jennie Greencorn began her career as a nurse in acute and long-term care, then migrated to intervention and outreach programming for at risk youth.

In her capacity as the Administrator of a youth drop-in centre, she also acquired the position as manager of the local arena and community pool.

Jennie has been involved in many capacities within the Recreation Facility industry for over 17 years, gaining hands on experience in facility management, administration, and operations. Jennie sat on the board of Recreation Facilities Association of NS as Highland Regional Rep, Secretary, Vice President, and President up until 2021 when she took the role as Executive Director of RFANS. She understands the workings of small rural facilities and larger more urban multiplexes. She brings a unique and diverse skill set, strong leadership skills, an in-depth knowledge of the industry, a hands-on approach and a can-do attitude that supports and compliments the needs of the recreation facility industry.

Jennie also has over 25 years experience in grassroots event management and execution, particularly in her role with the Stan Rogers Folk Festival, one of the provinces signature festivals and in her employ as the Customer Engagement and Events Manager for the Pictou County Wellness Centre.  

Paul MacDonald
Paul MacDonald

Cape Breton Regional Municipality

Manager of Facilities

Carmen Stuart
Carmen Stuart

Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for Nova Scotia

Executive Director and Chief Privacy Officer

Concurrent A2: Access and Privacy Essentials Navigating the Process and Tools for Seamless Municipal Response

Wednesday, October 18 | 11:15 am - 12:15 pm | Salon C

Carmen has 24 years of experience in the access and privacy field. She got her start in British Columbia as an Administrator of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act with the Ministry of Children and Family Development.

In 2005, she moved to Nova Scotia and to the regulatory side of access and privacy, when she began working with the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner. She is currently the Executive Director and Chief Privacy Officer, but in her 18 years with the office, Carmen has held all of the positions, including acting as the Commissioner twice.

This range of experience has given her a unique understanding of access to information and protection of privacy laws.

Concurrent A3: Natural Disasters - Lessons Learned and the Road to Recovery

Wednesday, October 18 | 11:15 am - 12:15 pm | Digby Hall

Bruce MacDonald
Bruce MacDonald

Cape Breton Regional Municipality

Manager of Emergency Management

Bruce is the Manager of Emergency Management for the Cape Breton Regional Municipality. 

Prior to joining CBRM in September 2020, Bruce was the Manager of Emergency Preparedness for Nova Scotia Health’s Eastern Zone and a part-time instructor at Cape Breton University where he taught a course in Emergency Preparedness within CBU’s Public Health program.

In addition to Bruce’s role as Emergency Management Coordinator, he remains an active volunteer with over 25 years in the volunteer fire service.  Bruce is currently a Captain in the Grand Lake Road Volunteer Fire Department, is an instructor in the Cape Breton Regional Fire and Emergency Service Training Division, and recently retired as Chief of the Cape Breton Regional Hazardous Materials Response Team.

Dwyane Hunt
Dwyane Hunt

Municipality of Barrington

Fire Services Coordinator

Dwayne served as a volunteer firefighter for 37 years attaining the rank of chief and has the following professional qualifications board certifications.

Firefighter 1, Firefighter 2, Haz mat Awareness, Haz Mat Operations and Instructor 1.

Dwayne organizes and instructs the firefighter training programs in the Municipality of Barrington.

Dwayne also has ICS 300 and various other emo-related training and is currently working through the ICS program to teach ICS courses.

Dwayne was hired by the Municipality of Barrington in 2019 as Fire Service Coordinator and EMO Coordinator for the Municipality of Barrington and the Town of Clarks Harbour.

Shane Strong
Shane Strong

Yarmouth County Regional Emergency Management Office

Regional Emergency Management Coordinator

Shane has an extensive career spanning 35 years as an Advanced Care Paramedic, with 15 of those years dedicated to Special Operations, where he responded to major incidents on behalf of the province. He possesses specialized training in CBRN, Hazmat, and bio pathogens. Shane has a wealth of experience in collaborating with Fire Services, Provincial Departments, and the RCMP. Additionally, he holds a Certificate in Emergency Health Services Management from Dalhousie University. This year, Shane retired from EHS, marking a significant milestone in his career.

Daniel Bryce

Nova Scotia Department of Municipal Affairs and Housing

Senior Planner

Prioritize Your Mental Health: Self-Care during High-Stress Situations

Wednesday, October 18 | 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm | Digby Hall

Kathryn Brooks
Kathryn Brooks

Mental Health Clinician, Mental Health Clinician, Nova Scotia Health; Member of NS Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM)

Response Team

Kathryn obtained her Bachelor of Forensic Psychology from Liberty University in 2018 and continued her graduate studies there. While completing her Master of Clinical mental health counselling, Kathryn worked in a high-level leadership position for the university, overseeing leadership and spiritual development of thousands of students. She completed her schooling and obtained licensure as a Registered Counselling Therapist Candidate in the province of NS in 2021 and federal certification and a Certified Canadian Counsellor. She has experience working as a counselling therapist in not-for-profit community organizations, inpatient psychiatric crisis hospitals, and now as an outpatient clinical therapist for mental health and addictions based in Digby. Her volunteer work includes roles as a Lieutenant for the Havelock Fire Department, Chaplain for the Clare Municipality Fire and Ground Search and Rescue Organizations, and CISM (critical incident stress management) team member for the Fire Service Association of Nova Scotia.

Livinus Numfor
Livinus Numfor

Health Promotion Specialist

Livinus obtained his undergraduate degree in Biochemistry in 2007 from the University of Buea, Cameroon. After that, he taught high school Biology and Chemistry for 5 years before immigrating to Canada in 2012 via the Quebec Skilled Workers Program. In 2013, he enrolled into Ryerson University, Toronto, to do a Certificate Program in Food Security and in 2015, was admitted into the University of Guelph, Ontario, to do a master’s in public health with a major in Health Promotion and minor in Epidemiology. Livinus graduated in in 2017 and did some volunteer work in mass immunization against Poliomyelitis in Cameroon and returned to Canada in 2018 where he worked part time as a health promoter in a Smoking Cessation Clinic.

In June 2019, Livinus accepted the position of a Health Promotion Specialist with Mental Health & Addictions with Nova Scotia Health Authority, currently working in Tri-County of Yarmouth, Digby, and Shelburne to promote positive mental health and reduce harms from substance use and gambling.

Concurrent B1: Empowering Inclusive Communities: Navigating Accessibility Plans for Municipalities

Thursday, October 19 | 11:15 am - 12:15 pm | Salon C

Elise Johnston
Elise Johnston

Region of Queens Municipality

Accessibility & Inclusion Coordinator

Sharon Bristol
Sharon Bristol

Town of Amherst

Director, Community Living

Hannah MacDougall
Hannah MacDougall

Nova Scotia Accessibility Directorate, Department of Justice

Accessibility Program Specialist

Concurrent B2: Unveiling Diverse Approaches in Municipal Strategic Planning

Thursday, October 19 | 11:15 am - 12:15 pm | Digby Hall

Angélique LeBlanc
Angélique LeBlanc

Western Regional Enterprise Network


Angélique has a natural ability to lead teams and develop partnerships. To strengthen this innate talent, Angélique has dedicated herself to gaining both education and experiences that provide great value to her regional economic development contribution, including an MBA through Université de Moncton and MIT’s Regional Entrepreneurship Accelerator Program certification.

Her economic and business development experience in Nova Scotia have equipped Angélique with an acute understanding of the challenges faced by local business communities. She has built a solid network of regional and provincial contacts and has worked with all levels of government in the process.

Angélique has taught Strategic Management at Université Sainte-Anne, and has been responsible for the oversight of strategy implementation for multiple organisations, including that of the Western Regional Enterprise Network, where she has been CEO since 2013. She is currently a Board member of the Congrès Mondial acadien 2024, and the NS Career Development Association.

A native, bilingual Nova Scotian, Angélique also spent 6 years teaching abroad, and acquired a global perspective along with the ability to thrive in challenging circumstances.

Keith MacDonald
Keith MacDonald

Municipality of the County of Inverness


Keith MacDonald has been working in the community and economic development field for over 25 years. He launched his career with a grassroots organization as the coordinator for the Mabou and Area Community Development Association. At the present time, he is the Chief Administration Officer for the Municipality of the County of Inverness. In this role, he oversees the day-to-day operations of the organization and reports to the Municipal Council. Previously, he was the President and CEO of the Cape Breton Partnership for 12 years. Keith has served as a volunteer on many boards and organizations including the Sydney Rotary Club, Sydney Area Chamber of Commerce, Strait Area Chamber of Commerce, the Sydney River Kinsmen Club, Arts Cape Breton, Junior Chamber International, Talbot House, the CBU Alumni Association, JA Nova Scotia, and St. John Ambulance. Currently is a member of the Cape Breton University Board of Governors. He continues to be passionate about providing opportunities for young professionals in Nova Scotia.

DeMario Dunkley
DeMario Dunkley

Town of Yarmouth

Town Engineer

Alain Muise
Alain Muise

Municipality of Argyle


Jeff Gushue
Jeff Gushue

Town of Yarmouth


Concurrent B3: Municipal Success Stories - The Journey in Accessing Funding Streams

Thursday, October 19 | 11:15 am - 12:15 pm | Garden Room


Max Chauvin
Max Chauvin

Halifax Regional Municipality

Director of Housing and Homelessness

Plenary: Housing and Homelessness

Thursday, October 19 | 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm | Digby Hall

Chris Morrill
Chris Morrill

Government Finance Officers Association

Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer

Concurrent C1: Local Government Budgeting with a Challenging Future in Mind

Thursday, October 19 | 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm | Garden Room

Chris Morrill is the Executive Director/CEO of the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) of the US & Canada, a 23,000+ member professional association that advances excellence in government finance to build thriving communities. He has extensive experience in local government, serving as city manager of the City of Roanoke, VA, and Assistant City Manager and Budget Director for the City of Savannah, GA.

Chris also served as Senior Municipal Finance Advisor to the South African National Treasury, assisting in the development of local government finance legislation, budget reforms, and capacity building programs. He was a member of the first group of Peace Corps volunteers to serve in the former Soviet Union where he assisted the City of Lviv, Ukraine with management reforms and housing privatization.

Chris is a recipient of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (Roanoke Chapter) Martin Luther King, Jr. Drum Major for Justice Award. In 2022, he was recognized by the Association for Budgeting and Financial Management with the S. Kenneth Howard Award honoring lifetime achievement by a practitioner in the field of budgeting and financial management. Chris is an International City/County Manager Association Credentialed Manager, a Kellogg Found National Leadership Fellow, and a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. He holds a BA from the College of the Holy Cross and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Rob Knoblauch
Rob Knoblauch

Scotia Bank

Deputy Chief Information Security Officer & Global Vice President, Security Services

Concurrent C2: Fraud and Cybersecurity - Keeping Your Business Safe

Thursday, October 19 | 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm | Salon C

Rob Knoblauch, Deputy CISO & VP, Business Information Security Office at Scotiabank is a cyber security professional with over 20 years of experience protecting financial institutions from a myriad of information security risks. He serves on a variety of customer advisory boards for leading cybersecurity companies and speaks at various conferences on Cyber Security, AI and Machine Learning. Rob has a passion for building strong teams and bringing new, innovative technologies to combat the growing complexities of cyber threats. Prior to Scotiabank, Rob worked in the Toronto Stock Exchange, Bank of Montreal and Bird on a Wire.


This session is sponsored by:

Kinetic GPO

Danny Graham
Danny Graham

Engage Nova Scotia

Chief Executive Officer

Concurrent C3: Putting Local Data at the Fingertips of Municipal Governments

Thursday, October 19 | 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm | Digby Hall


Jennifer Komar

Nova Scotia Health

Organizational Development Consultant

Plenary: Negotiations in an Imperfect World

Friday, October 20 | 9:00 am - 10:00 am | Digby Hall


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