Ontario Branch – 78th Annual Educational Conference
Pearson Convention Center
Brampton, Ontario
October 1-4th, 2017




Exhibitors & Sponsorship

Exhibitors & Sponsorship

Activities & Adventures

Activities & Adventures



Keynote Speakers

Day 1 Courage to Lead

Stuart Knight

Founder and Owner, Stuart Knight Productions

Stuart Knight is an award winning entrepreneur, critically acclaimed author, and hit producer. He has written, produced and starred in live presentations that have been seen by over one million people and each year speaks internationally helping some of the world’s biggest companies reach new levels of success.

When he is not on the road speaking, you may have seen or heard him on some of Canada’s biggest TV and radio stations where he is often asked for his expert opinion on high level communication. He is the author of two profound books, You Should Have Asked – The Art of Powerful Conversation and The Madness of My Mind and writes a weekly blog that has over ten thousand followers. Stuart is also the founder of one Canada’s biggest speaking extravaganzas called The Top Ten Event, which has garnered over twenty million media impressions.

As a renegade visionary, Stuart Knight has taken gut wrenching risks and came out on top. Today, with hilarious stories and thought provoking insights, he shares the lessons he has learned helping people reach goals they never imagined they could attain.

Keynote Panel Courage through Humanity

Dr. Carys Massarella, MD FRCPC

Attending Emergency Physician, St. Joseph's Healthcare

Dr. Carys Massarella is an attending emergency physician at St. Joseph's Healthcare in Hamilton. She is also the lead physician for the Transgender Care Program at Quest Community Health Centre in St. Catharines. Dr. Massarella sees and treats transgender identified clients of all ages and is a leading expert in transgender care in Ontario.

Dr Massarella lectures widely on transgender health care and has also done a TEDx talk on The Depathologization of Trans Identity. Dr Massarella recently appeared in the CBC doc zone documentary Transforming Gender and was the first transgendered person to be a President of a large teaching hospital and was named one of the World's 50 Transgender icons by the Huffington Post. She has also been appointed to the Executive of the Hamilton Academy of Medicine, an organization of more than 700 physicians and recently was awarded the YWCA woman of distinction award for health in 2017.

Mike Allegretti

Mike Allegretti is the Inclusive Learning Consultant and Project Lead on the Hallman Mental Health Project at Conestoga College. In this role, he works closely with the Student Services Department, the Office of Organizational Development, faculty members and students to improve the structures and strategies that are used to support mental wellness. Prior to that, he ran Services for Students with Disabilities at King’s University College at Western University. He also has worked as an employment counsellor and consultant, implementing concepts of accessibility and workplace wellness into different types of workplaces and industries in very practical ways.

His passion for inclusivity and wellness has culminated in his completion a Doctorate in Educational Leadership at Western University in which he focuses on the organizational structures and leadership styles that contribute to resilience and mental wellness. His years of clinical, research, and management experience has provided him a unique understanding of resilience and mental wellness, and he is excited to share these experiences.

Seth Fletcher

Addictions Counsellor

A Certified Addiction Counsellor, Seth brings many years of professional experience working the frontlines of addiction in both the government and privatized sectors. In treatment centres, the Canadian classroom or the executive boardroom, Seth has worked alongside, in conjunction and sometimes in partnership with the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA), INSITE Vancouver, the RCMP, Health Canada and others helping those suffering from substance abuse.

Working at the Council On Drug Abuse in downtown Toronto, Seth developed and managed the national delivery of accredited Drug prevention and Youth Empowerment training workshops for Health Professionals. Seth has spoken on a number of addiction issues including The Toronto Sun, the International Business Times and has made television appearances on CTV, CBC, Global TV and CITY NEWS. Now at the Canadian Centre for Addictions, Seth is able to help provide families and their loved ones the help and guidance needed in their journeys towards authentic recovery.

Day 2 Courage to Connect

Trevor Smith Diggins & Ronald Brecher

Mr. Smith Diggins has been a communication specialist for more than 30 years, with a career that has covered print, broadcast and online media, as well as traditional public relations. His expertise in risk and crisis communication has taken him from Ottawa and Washington, to Pearl Harbor and Okinawa, Japan.

Trevor has delivered risk communication, crisis and media training for Health Canada, Indian & Northern Affairs, the Ontario Ministry of Environment, Department of National Defence, the Sudbury Soils Study, the U.S. Army, the U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine, NASA, the Nova Scotia Dept. of Health, BC Health, Dofasco, and numerous others.

In 2004, he provided risk response training to emergency responders at four US Navy Medical Hospitals around the world. Trevor was invited to the Pentagon by the Under Secretary of Defense to recognize the success of an installation restoration project in Memphis, where he provided communication support.

Dr. Brecher is recognized in Canada and internationally for his expertise in toxicology, risk assessment and risk communication. He obtained a B.Sc. (Hon.) in biochemistry from Carleton University and a Ph.D. in Medicinal Biochemistry from Sussex University. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology (DABT), and a Chartered Chemist (C.Chem.) in Ontario.

Dr. Brecher has more than 27 years of experience as a consultant in toxicology, with an emphasis on assessing and communicating about the human health impacts of chemicals. In addition to his technical consulting, Dr. Brecher also provides training in toxicology, risk assessment and risk communication for clients in the public and private sector. He is regularly called upon to provide his expertise at public meetings and as an expert witness in legal proceedings. He is an Adjunct Professor and Associate Graduate Faculty at the University of Guelph.

Paul Nadeau

Hostage Negotiations and Anti-Terrorism Consultant

Paul is a former Police detective who completed an exemplary 31 yr. police service career, specializing in hostage and crisis negotiation, international peace keeping, counter terrorism, sexual assault and child abuse investigations, domestic violence investigations training, professional interrogations and polygraph. He is an admired international instructor, lecturer, motivational and keynote speaker.

Paul has received the highest recommendations and praise from the International Peace Keeping Branch - United Nations, the Office of the Independent Police Review Director as well as having been awarded several other noteworthy recommendations and awards. In 2005, Paul successfully negotiated a suspected terrorist off a 747 in Paris France after the suspect made a threat to blow up the plane and 350 passengers on board. He successfully negotiated the arrest without incident or injury to any of the passengers & crew. He is now a regular consultant for CNN, CBC World News, The National, CP24 News, The Star and other media for his Hostage Negotiations and Terrorism expertise.

Paul has been described as a "thought leader".

Day 3 Courage to Innovate

Joanna Kerr

Executive Director, Greenpeace Canada

Joanna Kerr is the Executive Director of Greenpeace Canada, part of a global network working to stop climate change, protect precious biodiversity and advance Indigenous rights. A lifelong feminist and activist, Joanna previously served as the first female Chief Executive of ActionAid International, a global federation based in South Africa working in 45 countries directly with over 15 million people for a world free from poverty and injustice. There, she led an organization-wide strategy that put climate resilient sustainable agriculture and women’s rights at the core of its work. Before that, she led the Association for Women’s Rights in Development, transforming it into one of the most significant global conveners and women's advocacy voice, for which she was awarded a leadership prize from the Sigrid Rausing Trust.

Joanna has held senior positions with Oxfam Canada and the North-South Institute, where she wrote and edited numerous publications on women’s rights, development and globalization. She currently serves on the Board of CIVICUS and is the Chair for the MATCH International Women’s Fund.