Speakers

Discover information about keynote speakers, presenters, panellists, and workshop facilitators.

Ravi Tangri
Ravi TangriConsultant, Speaker, Coach

Opening Keynote: Living through Change: How to support your team and yourself!

Thursday, May 23 | 9:00 am - 10:00 am | Nova Scotia Ballroom

Ravi Tangri is the Chief Rocket Scientist for Chrysalis Strategies Inc. and the author of 'Leading Authentically' and 'Stress Costs Stress-Cures'. The secret to working in complex and chaotic environments is not to get lost in the complexity, but rather to find the simple, often-hidden leverage points that, with very little effort, transform the whole system. Ravi mastered this skill in working with complex systems in his first career as a nuclear physicist and has used this 'lens' to help leaders navigate their complex worlds and generate solid results for over two decades. Whether he is growing co-creative leadership to transform the health care system, helping the largest liquid natural gas company in the Middle East grow its leadership, or working with Government and organizations to develop strategies to address today's fast-changing world, Ravi helps leaders navigate the complex challenges they face today.

Bailey Church
Bailey ChurchNational Leader of KPMG in Canada’s Public Sector Centre of Expertise on ESG

MFO Workshop – Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG)

Wednesday, May 22 | 12:00 pm - 3:30 pm | Northumberland Room

Bailey Church is the National Leader of KPMG in Canada’s Public Sector Centre of Expertise on ESG. Bailey has advised multiple public sector entities at all levels of government on sustainability initiatives. Bailey is presently working with public sector stakeholders around the world to advance ESG reporting. Bailey is the leader of the Global IPSAS Group at KPMG. Bailey serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Natural Assets Initiative, and is part of Canada’s TNFD Consultation Group

Sally Christie
Sally ChristieChief of Staff, HRM

PD 1: Municipal Staff Readiness for Council Orientation: Best Practices and Strategies

Wednesday, May 22 | 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm | Nova Scotia Ballroom

Sally Christie is the Chief of Staff in the Chief Administrative Office at Halifax Regional Municipality. With a tourism and communications background, Sally ran two private sector tourism associations in Colchester and Cumberland Counties and then in Bedford before beginning her career at HRM in 1997. Sally has had a breadth of experience while working at HRM. She started her career in municipal government in the tourism department and then as the first film liaison contact. Several years later she was a Marketing Advisor in Corporate Communications. Sally overhauled the taxi by-law and brought in ride share, such as Uber, to Halifax in her role as Supervisor of Licensing. Sally began her role in the CAO’s Office as Senior Advisor to CAO Jacques Dubé and is currently the Chief of Staff for the municipality with Diversity & Inclusion/African Nova Scotian Affairs, Corporate Communications and Government Relations and External Affairs as part of her portfolio.   

Natasha Jackson
Natasha JacksonDirector/Executive Lead, Community Engagement, DMAH

PD 2: Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (EDIA) Plans in Progress

Wednesday, May 22 | 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm | Wallace Room

Natasha has over twenty-five years of experience in the areas of community development, governance, equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI), and policy and program management.  

In October 2022, she began a two-year secondment with the Nova Scotia Department of Municipal Affairs & Housing as their first Executive Lead of Community Engagement.  In this role she collaborates with colleagues, communities, and across government to nurture welcoming and inclusive communities. 

Natasha was the first Director of the Communities Nova Scotia unit with the Department of Communities, Culture, Tourism and Heritage where she passionately led a lean but innovative team striving to enhance the province’s support of communities and non-profit organizations, particularly those traditionally marginalized or underserved. During her 12-year tenure, the unit created a suite of grant programs aimed at supporting safe, connected, healthy and inclusive communities; promoted and celebrated Nova Scotia’s rich diversity through investments and coordination of a variety of provincial awards and recognition initiatives; and collaborated with community and all governments to contribute to Nova Scotia being a place where everyone belongs. 

Liam MacSween
Liam MacSweenElections and Special Projects Manager Office of the Municipal Clerk, HRM

Concurrent A1: Swinging into Success: Teeing Up for Municipal Election Mastery

Thursday, May 23 | 10:20 am - 11:00 am | Nova Scotia Ballroom

Kristina Sheridan
Kristina SheridanRegistered Occupational Therapist in the Province of British Columbia and Nova Scotia

Concurrent A2: Workload Management

Thursday, May 23 | 10:20 am - 11:00 am | Northumberland

Kristina Sheridan is a Registered Occupational Therapist in the Province of British Columbia and Nova Scotia.   In 2009, Kristina Sheridan received from Memorial University a Bachelor of Science Degree with a Major in Kinesiology (Honors).  In 2013, Kristina Sheridan received her Master’s in Occupational Therapy. Since 2013, Kristina has been a registered member, in good standing, with the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists as well as the College of Occupational Therapists (BC) and (NS).   In 2014, Kristina was trained in CBI Health Group Functional Capacity Evaluations.  In 2014, Kristina completed the EPIC Lifting Capacity evaluator certification. In 2016, Kristina completed the Matheson Cognitive Functional Capacity Evaluator certification and Matheson Intro to Medical Legal work. In 2017, Kristina completed her Matheson Functional Capacity Certification. Kristina's focus at her clinic Atlantic Occupational Therapy is on cognitive assessment and treatment, ergonomic assessment, mental health, accessibility, return to work planning, equipment prescription and pediatric care.

Jeff Ainslie
Jeff AinslieManaging Partner, 2020 Consulting Inc.

Concurrent A3: Strategies for Implementing a Daily Management System: Improving Planning, Execution, and Workplace Organization for Enhanced Asset Reliability

Thursday, May 23 | 10:20 am - 11:00 am | Wallace Room

Jeff was in the manufacturing industry for over 20 years before starting his own Company in 2012. During this time he has held various management and leadership/advisory roles with companies ranging from 10 employees to over 12,000 with multiple business units internationally.

Jeff holds a Masters Lean Certificate through J.C. Savard and has an extensive background in Six Sigma methodology. He has successfully completed his Level 3 Certification in Adult Education through the Department of Labour, Skills and Immigration and teaches Productivity Skills courses throughout the year. His knowledge of applying Lean across all facets of business operations has provided him the opportunity to speak at numerous Consortiums such as EMC (Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium) and also at the PIA (Printing Industry of America) National Conferences. Jeff has provided over 10,000 hours of technical and applied training in various industries.

With 20 years of experience of Continuous Improvement completing over 2000 Kaizen improvement projects in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, Jeff has worked with many teams in different cultures. His knowledge of culture change and organizational behaviour focuses on the goal for your operation to become a low cost producer or provider through team based continuous improvement.

2020 Consulting is an Atlantic Canadian based company that specializes in facilitating LEAN transformations by applying effective team training, facilitation, and coaching services to improve your operations. The belief in engaging and motivating your workforce to continually improve not only better positions your organization as a low cost provider, but also provides agility in changing business environments.

Luke Power
Luke PowerDirector, Community Engagement and Evaluation Office of Equity and Anti-Racism Initiatives (OEA) Government of Nova Scotia
Mapfumo Chidzonga
Mapfumo ChidzongaSenior Engagement Strategist for the Office of Equity and Anti-Racism Initiatives (OEA)
Roxanne Pereira
Roxanne PereiraEngagement Intern and Program Coordinator with the Office of Equity and Anti-Racism Initiatives (OEA)

Advancing Equity and Anti-Racism in Nova Scotia Through Municipal Action Plans

 Thursday, May 23 | 11:10 am - 12:00 pm | Nova Scotia Ballroom

Luke Power is a Director with the Office of Equity and Anti-Racism. They work with a team that has responsibility for community engagement and evaluation activities, as well as supporting municipalities and villages as the first cohort of prescribed public sector bodies under the Dismantling Racism and Hate Act. Luke has worked in two provincial governments and in post-secondary settings with assignments that have involved community engagement, and policy and regulatory development and management.

 

Mapfumo Chidzonga, affectionately known as "Maps" in the community, is the Senior Engagement Strategist for the Office of Equity and Anti-Racism Initiatives (OEA) with the Government of Nova Scotia. Mapfumo helps to lead multiple online and in-person engagements to enhance efforts related to equity and anti-racism throughout the government. He is tasked with finding the most effective ways to connect in meaningful and measurable ways with all communities across Nova Scotia, particularly the underrepresented and underserved communities. To this highly collaborative role, he brings resourcefulness, assertive, yet diplomatic internal/external leadership, and a passion for addressing systemic inequity and racism, promoting diversity, accessibility, and inclusion, and achieving equitable and anti-racist outcomes that improve the social and economic well being of all Nova Scotians.

 

Roxanne Pereira currently works in The Office of Equity and Anti-Racism Initiatives as an Engagement Intern. In addition, Roxanne works part-time as a program coordinator for a research study that focuses on Preventing and Addressing Family Violence in rural parts of Atlantic Canada.

Roxanne’s lived experience and exposure to systemic inequalities sparked a lifelong interest in understanding systemic racism and inequityand the importance of changing the narratives of under-served and underrepresented communities. Roxanne pursued her passion further by obtaining a master’s degree in international development studies at Dalhousie University. Her academic research focused on the rehabilitation and reintegration of sex workers in India, back into society.

 

Tammy Crowder
Tammy CrowderCAO, Town of Bridgewater
Peter McCracken
Peter McCrackenDeputy CAO, Municipality of the County of Cumberland

Concurrent B1: Alternative Work Arrangements Panel: Exploring Successes, Challenges, and Improvements

Thursday, May 23 | 1:20 pm - 2:00 pm | Nova Scotia Ballroom

Tammy Crowder has a 27 year plus career in municipal government. Upon obtaining a Graduate Degree in Urban and Rural Planning, her career started as a Planner in Moncton, New Brunswick and then migrated to South Shore of Nova Scotia. Tammy has spent the past 16 years in the role of Chief Administrative Officer, working for municipalities on the South Shore (District of Lunenburg, District of Chester), with the past five years in the position of Chief Administrative Officer for the Town of Bridgewater.  Tammy’s presently volunteers in her community with the Bridgewater Food Bank as Chair of the Board.

 

Peter is the Deputy CAO for the Municipality of Cumberland, which encompasses a variety of responsibilities including Human Resources. During his year and a half with Cumberland, they have implemented changes to make the Municipality a better place to work, including introducing a compressed work week policy in February 2024.  Prior to this position, he worked for the County of Colchester, and 16 years with the Province of Nova Scotia.  

Jenny Porter
Jenny PorterMunicipal Clerk, Municipality of Yarmouth
John MacKinnon
John MacKinnonDeputy CAO, CBRM

Concurrent B2: Recruitment of Public Members on Municipal Committees: Strategies for Effectively Engaging the Community

Thursday, May 23 | 1:20 pm - 2:00 pm | Northumberland Room

Jenny, originally from Cape Sable Island, the southernmost tip of Nova Scotia, has called rural Yarmouth home for the past two decades. Her journey into the municipal government workforce began just over four years ago. With a rich background in project administration, management, and human resources, Jenny embarked on her municipal career as an Administrative Assistant for the Development and Public Works departments. Demonstrating remarkable competence and dedication, she swiftly excelled to the position of Municipal Clerk.

Beyond her office duties, Jenny's life brims with activity. She dedicates her time outside of work to her 8-year-old son, shuttling him to various sporting activities, managing teams, and coaching little league. She also lends a hand to her husband in their family bee farming business. When leisure beckons, Jenny cherishes moments spent with her loved ones and friends, embracing the ocean air, along with wooded adventures, and rocking out at live music performances.

Chad West
Chad WestManager of Information Technology at the Municipality of the County of Kings

Concurrent B3: Cybersecurity: Sharing Experiences and Lessons Learned

Thursday, May 23 | 1:20 pm - 2:00 pm | Wallace Room

Chad West is the Manager of Information Technology for the Municipality of the County of Kings and also serves as Industry Faculty in the Master of Computing and Data Analytics program at Saint Mary’s University. Chad lives in Kentville with his wife, two children and two cats.

Julie Glaser
Julie GlaserManager of Accessibility, Equity, Anti-Racism Program, AMANS
Barb Shaw
Barb ShawManager of Communications and Strategic Initiatives, Town of Wolfville

Concurrent C1: Strategies for Effective Public Participation and Community Engagement

Thursday, May 23 | 2:15 pm - 3:00 pm | Nova Scotia Ballroom

Julie has made a career building relationships and leading programs in communities in Ontario and Nova Scotia that create positive social, economic, and cultural change. She often cross-pollinates sectors to address challenges and issues communities face, forging unique partnerships with lasting impact. Diversity, equity and inclusion have always been her driving forces, with the last few years developing a sharp focus on accessibility. Julie is also a published author, rural dweller, and works for the Association for Municipal Administrators of Nova Scotia as the Manager of the Accessibility, Equity, Anti-Racism Program.

 

 

Barb Shaw is a communications and engagement specialist who has spent her career flowing information and crafting stories to connect people and communities. As a journalist and as a communications consultant, Barb has always been drawn to municipal government. For the past three years she has enjoyed managing files and projects for the Town of Wolfville where she works as the Manager of Communications and Strategic Initiatives. She supports internal and external communications, runs engagement, acts as the accessibility lead, and manages the Town’s inclusion program. When she’s not busy at Town Hall, she balances work with an active yoga practice, her pack of rescue dogs and amethyst hunting along the Fundy shore where she lives.

Victoria Brooks
Victoria BrooksVictoria Brooks, CAO, Municipality of the District of Yarmouth

Concurrent C3: Management Skills for Small Units: Building Capacity and Planning for the Future

Thursday, May 23 | 2:15 pm - 3:00 pm | Northumberland

A resident of the GWA – greater Weymouth Area in Digby County, Victoria Brooks is the CAO for the District of Yarmouth.  She began her municipal career with the District of Digby in the 1990’s where she was Deputy CAO.  In the middle of her municipal assignments, she has worked in the light manufacturing, import/export and farming sectors as well as regional economic development in the Tri-Counties of SW Nova Scotia.  Victoria has been a member of the AMA NS her entire municipal career serving on the Education Committee, several conference committees and is the sitting Vice President of the AMANS.  She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration, Certificate in Local Government Administration and the National Advanced Certificate in Local Authority Administration II.  She and her husband of 30 years have three grown children – all living, working and volunteering in Digby County.  She is a project leader for Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child, Kids’ Church Leader and outreach volunteer in her local church.  Her professional mantra is “Democracy is not a spectator sport”.

Noella Martin
Noella MartinKC Partner, Burchell Wickwire Bryson Lawyers

Concurrent: D1: Legal Developments that Will Affect Your Workplace

Friday, May 24 | 9:15 am - 10:00 am | Nova Scotia Ballroom

Noella Martin is a partner in the law firm of Burchell Wickwire Bryson in Halifax, where she oversees the Labour and Employment Law Group and regularly provides advice on all aspects of labour and employment law. Noella has successfully represented her clients in human rights cases, in labour arbitration, and before all levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada. She has also been extensively involved in all aspects of collective bargaining. Additionally, Noella has published on labour and employment matters and speaks frequently at provincial and national conferences. Noella holds an LL.B. from the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University and a Masters in Industrial Relations from Queen’s University. She was called to the Nova Scotia Bar in 1991.

Laura Beth MacPherson
Laura Beth MacPhersonManager Nova Scotia Accessibility Directorate Department of Justice

Concurrent: D2: Updating your Municipal/Village Accessibility Plans

Friday, May 24 | 9:15 am - 10:00 am | Wallace Room

Laura Beth is a program and policy specialist who has a zest for community building. As a Manager with Nova Scotia’s Accessibility Directorate, Laura’s role is to manage partnerships and projects that help community partners build knowledge, skills and awareness around accessibility. She works closely with municipalities, villages and other prescribed bodies to help them meet requirements under Nova Scotia’s Accessibility Act. Laura holds a master's degree in Public Administration from Dalhousie and volunteers as a Director of Basketball Nova Scotia.  Outside of work, you can find her playing with her nephews or in the gym refereeing basketball.

Jesse Adams
Jesse AdamsPresident and Founder, Ember Experience

Closing Keynote: Fostering a Psychologically Safe Workplace Culture

Friday, May 24 | 11:00 am - 12:00 pm | Nova Scotia Ballroom

Jesse is a seasoned senior executive renowned for his profound insights into leadership behaviors, mental health, and workplace culture within the Canadian business landscape. He is passionate about cultivating thriving employee experiences and championing the development of inclusive cultures. With over a decade of expertise in corporate health and performance, strategic planning, and facilitation, Jesse has demonstrated exceptional leadership as the President and Founder of Ember, as well as in pivotal roles such as senior consultant and National Lead for Morneau Shepell's Total Health Index (THI) Analytics team, and as an acting Board Member for organizations in his community.

Throughout his career, Jesse has played a pivotal role in the transformation of organizational cultures. His contributions span leadership coaching, the development of training materials, and the adept handling of human challenges in the workplace. What sets him apart is his ability to seamlessly integrate data analytics with practical solutions, a skill honed through his extensive work in developing and implementing culture tools. Jesse's expertise extends to coaching leadership teams as they navigate the intricate landscape of culture change strategies.
Adding a unique dimension to his professional journey, Jesse draws on his background as an exercise physiologist and sports psychologist for athletes. This distinctive perspective informs his approach to well-being and performance, creating a holistic understanding of the intersection between physical and mental health in the workplace. Recognized as a respected author, Jesse has made significant contributions to publications such as the Globe and Mail and has authored whitepapers for esteemed organizations like the Mental Health Commission of Canada and The Conference Board of Canada.

Jesse's unwavering focus remains on elevating leadership, health, engagement, and productivity within organizations across the nation. His comprehensive skill set, backed by a wealth of experience, positions him as a dynamic force in shaping the future of workplace dynamics in Canada.

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