John Horn 

MA, History
Learning and Leadership Manager, Vancity Credit Union
Editor in Chief, The Potentiality
Marketing, Communications and Web Services Committee Chair, CERIC

John Horn has always gravitated toward roles as a leader and a community builder, two things that intersect perfectly in his current position as Manager, Learning & Leadership at Vancity Credit Union. John is well known for his contagious enthusiasm that positively impacts organizational culture. He is an award winning blogger and a board member for CERIC, a charity that enhances career development in Canada. He volunteers with The Writers' Exchange to tutor East Van kids because he thinks that literacy is one of the most important things for unlocking peoples’ potential. John is most passionate about building healthy communities at work and in peoples’ neighbourhoods.

John has a diverse work experience, and has previously worked at UBC as the Graduate Student Career Development Program Director, and as an Associate for the Bold Career Project. 

Twitter: @hornjohnhorn
LinkedIn: John Horn
Website: The Potentiality | CERIC | Vancity Credit Union | The Writers' Exchange


Aaron Cruikshank


With an early career in the trades, Aaron began his white collar career in the public service in BC and Ontario before moving into management consulting in 2003. He is a frequent speaker on qualitative market research techniques, using them to tap into the hidden job market and bootstrapping research for new companies. 

Aaron has worked with many large organizations including BC Hydro, the Government of Canada, BC Lottery Corporation, the City of Surrey, Vancity Credit Union, Nintendo, and Shell Oil.

After many years as a freelance management consultant and market research, Aaron co-founded Crux Group as a co-operative with two other consultants. The co-op is focused on research, strategy and implementation for large organizations in the private and public sectors.

Aaron holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication and a Master of Public Policy from SFU.

Website: Crux Group | Cruikshank Consulting
LinkedIn: Aaron Cruikshank

Adrian Moise

PhD, Computing Science
Founder and CEO, Aequilibrium Software Inc.

With a track record for building and leading high performance Agile teams and delivering great software products with engaging user experiences on multiple platforms, Adrian’s focus has always been on delivery excellence. Michelin, Nintendo, Nike and Electronic Arts are just a few of the brands he has worked with in Canada, the U.S. and Europe.

Adrian founded and is the CEO of Aequilibrium—a Vancouver-based digital product development and design studio dedicated to creating winning web, mobile and IoT solutions. Aequilibrium is committed to helping clients get their product out to market quickly, efficiently and with zero waste.

Adrian completed a PhD in Computing Science at SFU in 2003. 

Website: Aequilibrium
LinkedIn: Adrian Moise 
Twitter: @cptmbl

Brendan Connors

PhD, Biology
Seniors Systems Ecologist, ESSA Technologies

Brendan has experience providing scientific advice to a diverse audience including industry, First Nations, government, and academics. Brendan’s research has been featured in both popular and scientific media including CBC news and radio, the Vancouver Sun and Science. He is a founding member of Salmon Coast Field Station and routinely gives seminars, guest lectures and public presentations on the ecology, management and conservation of salmonids.

In 2013, Brendan joined ESSA Technologies, a consulting firm in Vancouver. He was also an Adjunct Professor in the School of Resource and Environmental Management at SFU where, prior to joining ESSA, he was a postdoctoral fellow. 

Brendan completed his PhD in Biology at SFU in 2011.

Website: SFU profile | ESSA

Cindy Jiang


Cindy's passion is working with people to create community, whether this is in the field of health, migrant rights, or disability rights.  She has worked with various organizations, including the Simon Fraser University, Fraser Health Authority , the Provincial Health Services Authority, and Migrant Forum in Asia. She is interested in addressing the social inequities in health. Her research interests include mental health and sexual health.  Cindy is the Developer and Manager of the Threadworks Program at Craftworks, a non-profit organization that provides craft therapy and supplemental income to people with disabilities. She is also a Research Intervention Associate on the Strength in Unity project (Vancouver site), a national research study looking to reduce the stigma of mental illness among South, East, and Southeast Asian men. 

Cindy completed her Master's degree in Public Health at SFU in 2016. 

LinkedIn: Cindy Jiang
Website: Threadworks Program |  Strength in Unity Project

Darcie Bennett


Darcie first joined the Pivot Legal Society as a researcher in 2006. Since then, she has held several positions including Child Welfare Campaigner, Coordinator of the Jane Doe Legal Network, and Campaigns Director.

In 2014, Darcie moved to Ecojustice, Canada’s only national environmental law charity, to serve as the Director of Communications and Marketing.

She re-joined the Pivot team in January 2015 as Interim Executive Director, and is currently Pivot's Director of Strategy. 

Darcie holds a Master's degree in Sociology from SFU and a PhD from the University of British Columbia.

Website: Pivot Legal Society

Helen Kang

FREELANCE medical WRITER, researcher and writing consultant

Helen currently freelances as a medical writer, researcher, and writing consultant. She previously worked as a clinical educator at St. Paul's Hospital, where she developed and implemented HIV/AIDS educational programming and resources for health care professionals, including webinars, workshops, and clinical guidelines.

Helen has found that her ability to write clearly and succinctly, synthesize large volumes of material, work well in a team, and understand different health care contexts are valued skills in the field.

She developed many of these skills directly and indirectly during her PhD, including observational research, literature review, and the sheer act of bringing a complex large-scale project to fruition.

Helen holds a Master of Science in Public Health from the University of Toronto and a PhD in Sociology from SFU.

Website: Helen Kang
LinkedIn: Helen Kang, PhD
Twitter: @HelenHKang

Joanne Hastie

MbA, Business Administration
Marketing, Sponsorship & Business Development Director, GranFondo Canada
Independent artist

Joanne is the Marketing & Sponsorship Director at GranFondo Canada, an organization that manages cycling events including North America's largest gran fondo the RBC GranFondo Whistler with 4500 participants in 2016. Joanne is also a professional artist and has been consistently painting and selling her art for the past 10 years. Joanne started her own business, Captured in Paint, to manage her own fine art painting business. She has done commission work for the City of Richmond and Simon Fraser University. 

Her Bachelor's degree was in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Waterloo and her Master's in Business Administration is from Simon Fraser University.

Website: JHastie
LinkedIn: Joanne Hastie 
Twitter: @JoanneHastieArt

Mike Damiani


Mike Damiani completed his BSc and PhD at Simon Fraser University. While completing his PhD thesis research, Mike also attended law school at the University of Alberta. Following graduation from law school and defence of his thesis, Mike was called to the British Columbia bar in 2013 and passed the Patent Agent exams in 2015.

Currently, Mike utilizes his science background working as a lawyer and patent agent in the Intellectual Property Group at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP.  His work involves obtaining, evaluating and advising on patent protection, negotiating patent licensing agreements, and advising technology startups.

LinkedIn: Michael Damiani
Twitter: @michaeljdamiani
Website: Borden Ladner Gervais LLP 

Nicole Read

MA, history
mayor, city of maple ridge
founder & president, the history group

Nicole Read is Mayor of Maple Ridge, BC, one of the top ten most populated cities in the Greater Vancouver Regional district. She is also the founder and president of The History Group, one of the country's largest providers of historical research for civil litigation processes. 

Read is the co-chair of the Regional Homelessness Task Force with Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson and the Vice-Chair of the Metro Housing Committee. As Mayor, she hopes to raise awareness of socially-relevant issues, and is using her over ten years of archival skills to help make that happen.

A relative newcomer to the field of politics, Read's move into politics was inspired by her work with the History Group, helping validate claims against the government by residential school survivors—in particular, her experience with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

She completed a Master’s Degree in History at SFU in 2003.

Website: Maple Ridge Council Profile | The History Group
LinkedIn: Nicole Read 
Twitter: @opencityhall

Parvind Grewal

Applications ANALYST, CST

Before she started her PhD program, Parvind wasn't sure what she wanted to do. With her extensive background in software and hardware design, she enjoyed working in the technical field but she also craved something more.

While working on her doctoral project designing a glove that would help doctors more accurately detect breast cancer, Grewal discovered a new and unexpected calling: Helping improve patient supports.

Parvind pursued that passion by approaching the BC Cancer Agency. There she learned to use her technical knowledge to find solutions on how to better meet patient needs. 

Parvind completed a PhD in Mechatronics Systems Engineering at SFU in 2014.

Website: Provincial Health Services Authority | CST Project
LinkedIn: Parvind Grewal

Robin Roff

PhD, Geography
Senior Membership Services Officer, UBC Faculty Association
Research Associate with Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

Robin Jane Roff is an experienced policy analyst and researcher with an extensive background in food, agriculture and labour issues. 

Her doctoral research explored the nuanced dance of industry, government and social movements, and focused on the political economy of agricultural biotechnology and alternative agrifood production.

She currently works as a conflict resolution specialist for the UBC Faculty Association and thinks daily about the impact that fair employment structures have on our ability to achieve our social and environmental goals.

Robin received a PhD in Geography from SFU in 2008.

Website: Policy Note | Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
LinkedIn: Robin Roff  

Steve Anderson

MA, Communication
Founder & Senior Strategist and Internet Governance Analyst, OpenMedia
Founder & Lead Strategist, New/Mode

Steve Anderson is the Founder and Senior Strategist at award winning civic engagement organization OpenMedia.

He is a digital policy analyst and open Internet advocate. Steve is also considered a leader in strategies for civic engagement and crowdsourcing. He co-founded New/Mode as a means to distribute OpenMedia’s innovative strategies and tools to other civic organizations.

In 2011 won the Canadian Internet Registration Authority’s (CIRA) Impact Awards for its work on protecting the open Internet and promoting innovation and free speech.  

Steve completed his MA in Communication at SFU in 2008. 

Website: New/Mode  |  OpenMedia 
LinkedIn: Steve Anderson
Twitter: @Steve_Media


Early Bird tickets: $12

Regular tickets: $15

If you purchase your ticket before February 13th, you will have the option of selecting your top 3 panelists for the round table sessions.

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Learn more about the panelists who will be sharing their experiences. 


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