2012 QNET Excellence Conference

Breakout Session Speaker Bios - Alphabetically


Kathie Allardyce, PMP, Project Manager, Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba - is passionate about managing projects the right way - because there is a wrong way!

Kathie loves to shares her thoughts on what has worked and what hasn’t to help others achieve success in managing their own projects. She is also very passionate about giving back to the project management profession and has volunteered with the Project Management Institute (PMI) Manitoba Chapter for over 10 years, including the role of President in 2006.

Kathie is certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and co-managed WCB’s Emerge project that won the 2005 Manitoba Project of the Year Award. Kathie has led projects in both the IT and business environment for over 20 years.


Sandra Altner, MBA, FCMC, CEO, Women’s Enterprise Centre - has been instrumental in evolving the Centre’s mandate and building internal competencies to assist women entrepreneurs at the point of start-up, growth and expansion stages.

An experienced entrepreneur originally from New York City, she owned a fashion boutique in Winnipeg before launching The Management Exchange, a consulting firm that was the first in Winnipeg to offer the Self-Employment Program. In 2000, she was awarded the “Woman Entrepreneur of the Year” Award in the Contribution to Community category.

Sandra is the Secretary for the Canadian Council for Small Business and Entrepreneurship, a founding member of the Women’s Enterprise Organizations of Canada, and a participant in the Canadian Taskforce for Women’s Business Growth.


Vern Campbell, Consultant, Process Management LLC - assists organizations with strategy development, deployment and continuous process improvement systems.

From 2000 until 2011, Mr. Campbell was General Manager of Northern Blower a company that worked to integrate Lean Six Sigma methods, the Toyota Production System, ISO 9000:2000 and Strategy Management into an overall Enterprise Improvement System. He has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Master of Business Administration Degree. He was awarded a Gold Medal from the Canadian Society of Mechanical Engineers, and spent a number of years at Manitoba Hydro leading their Quality Improvement Initiative.

Mr. Campbell has a Six Sigma Black Belt and he guest lectures at the University of Miami, School of Business and the Stern School of Business, New York University.


Donna Castellano, PMP, Project Manager, Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba - is a seasoned project manager who inspires confidence in others and motivates project teams to perform at the required level to consistently meet customer and project expectations.

Over the past 20 years in the profession, Donna has successfully project managed a variety of projects of many types, sizes, in several countries and addressing multiple cultures. Donna is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and a Past President of the local Project Management Institute Manitoba Chapter. She continues to volunteer for the chapter and also gives back to the profession by instructing and mentoring students in project management at Red River College.


Carolyn Duhamel, Executive Director, Manitoba School Boards Association - is a former elementary school educator who served for eleven years as an elected school trustee in the St. Boniface School Division in Winnipeg. Her experience includes many years of board service with other education and community organisations as well.

Carolyn has served as Executive Director of the Manitoba School Boards Association since 2000 where governance education and board development services are among her major responsibilities.


Mike Fernandes, Owner and Principal Consultant, StrategyMakers Consulting Inc. and Chair, Winnipeg Entrepreneurs eXchange

Before starting his consulting practice, Mike spent almost 20 years developing and implementing environmental policy and programs, much of this time in a senior management position working directly with a multi-stakeholder board of directors. As an independent consultant, Mike now works with a growing list of organizations and businesses across Canada specializing in various facets of organizational strategy & leadership and environmental policy & programs. Mike holds an MBA from the Asper School of Business and a degree in Economics and Environmental Studies from the University of Winnipeg.


Maureen Grace, Mental Health Works Trainer, Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Manitoba Division - is a nurse with experience in Intensive Care, Cardiac Rehab, and Workplace Wellness. Her last position was Occupational Health Specialist with the Manitoba Federation of Labour Occupational Health Centre.

She is trained as a Mental Health Works trainer with CMHA, develops and delivers wellness presentations for Manitoba Blue Cross and has co-authored a book “Stress Management with an Attitude”.


Gary B. Hannaford, FCA, Chief Executive Officer, The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Manitoba - is a graduate of the Policy Governance Academy and a member of the International Policy Governance Association. He has served on a number of volunteer Boards throughout his career and is currently the Chair of the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre.

Gary is a strong believer in the importance of good governance to an effective organization and has spoken to a number of groups on this topic.  In addition, he has worked with a number of Boards to assist them in improving or revising their governance practices.


Melissa Coutu Harju, Senior Bilingual Search and Placement Consultant, The People Bank - specializes in providing recruitment solutions to her valued clients. Fluently bilingual, she has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Winnipeg and is currently pursuing her Certified Personnel Consultant (CPC) designation with ACSESS. Melissa is committed to adding long-term value to her clients through the successful recruitment of top talent.


Janice Harper, Vice President Human Resources, New Flyer Industries - is responsible for the development and direction of Human Resource activities, as well as Safety, Environmental and Management systems. She is responsible for the New Flyer Institute, which provides training, education and ongoing development for employees.

Prior to joining New Flyer, she spent 10 years in recruitment & selection, disability management and Industrial relations in Manitoba and NW Ontario. Janice holds a Diploma in Creative Communications, a Certificate in Human Resources Management, is a Certified Human Resources Professional, has obtained the Human Resources and Compensation Committee Certified designation and is currently completing her BA in Communications.


Karen Hiebert, Director, Strategic Communications, Manitoba Lotteries Corporation - is a senior communications professional with 25 years experience in the private, public and non-profit sector. At Manitoba Lotteries, she leads a dynamic team of communications professionals who work to enhance stakeholder engagement efforts in alignment with the corporation’s strategic priorities.


Mike Kennedy, Vice President and National Lead for Health Strategies, Aon Hewitt - works with clients across Canada to map health interests against business priorities, and to establish efficient and effective programs. For 15 years Mike has been working with organizations to design, develop and deliver effective workplace health programs. He graduated with a degree specializing in Health Promotion.

Mike’s experience includes rolling out a North America-wide wellness program for a leading global automotive parts manufacturer. He was the co-founder of a firm providing disability management, occupational health, wellness and occupational medicine services, and has also worked for a leading EAP firm as a subject matter expert in health management.


Margaret Lewis, Vice President, Quality and Continuous Improvement, New Flyer Industries - joined New Flyer in 2009 where she is responsible for the Quality Assurance and Continuous Improvement functions. Prior to joining New Flyer, Margaret spent 15 years with Lear Corporation in Southfield, MI holding various positions in Quality, Plant Management and Operations including Vice President Quality and Vice President Operations. She began her career with the Motor Wheel Corporation in Akron, OH. Margaret holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Akron, in Akron, OH and an MBA from Michigan State University.


Daniel Lussier, Chief Executive Officer, Catholic Health Corporation of Manitoba - is also the CEO of Dorais Charities, both of which were created by the Grey Nuns in 2000 to transfer ownership of their health and social service organizations and to continue their 150-year legacy of compassion and hope here in Manitoba.

Today CHCM sponsors a blend of 15 distinctive health and social service agencies resulting in a network of organizations working across the continuum of care from hospitals and primary care services to housing and care services for seniors as well as services for people living with mental health issues, developmental disabilities and other services for those less fortunate. Communities of service sponsored by CHCM include St. Boniface General Hospital, St. Amant, St. Joseph’s Residence, Actionmarguerite, Marymound and Centre Flavie--Laurent.


Dr. Chuck Meltzer, President, Syntec Grou -an organizational development consulting firm which specializes in assisting organizations and its people create sustainable change. Dr. Meltzer is a certified trainer in the area of emotional intelligence and is certified to use the Clark Wilson 360° instruments which he employs as part of a large executive coaching practice.

He also holds the rare distinction of Master Trainer in Relationship Awareness Theory, the study of human motivation and behaviour. Dr. Meltzer has developed a distinguished record assisting leading corporations and companies in the areas of Strategic and Succession Planning, Individual and Team Performance Excellence, Leadership and Management Skill Development. His process orientation has enabled non-profits, crown corporations, professional firms and businesses to arrive at realistic and practical solutions.


Richard Neill, Vice President of Human Resources, Birchwood Automotive Group - was born and raised in Indian Head, Saskatchewan. He received his Bachelors of Commerce in Human Resources, with Distinction, from the University of Alberta. Richard started working for the Birchwood Automotive Group in 2001 and assumed the position of Human Resources Assistant in 2002. He was named the Director of Human Resources in 2007 and then Vice President Human Resources in 2010.

During Richard’s tenure at Birchwood Automotive Group, the organization has been named one of the “Best Small and Medium Employers in Canada” three years running. In 2011 due to Birchwood’s growth, the company moved up a category and was named one of the “Best Employers in Canada,” where it placed in the top 15 in the country.


Diane Panting, Vice President, Aon Hewitt  - provides Human Resources, compensation and total rewards consulting services to clients in Western Canada and the U.S. Diane has extensive knowledge and practical skills as a practitioner and consultant in HR management and business activities, including organizational realignment strategy, HR strategy and planning, leadership, innovative employee rewards and recognition programs, employee engagement, mentoring, performance management. Diane has a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree from the University of Manitoba


Dan Perron, Practice Leader, Business Performance Consulting, Protegra Inc. - is a strategic organizational transformation specialist with extensive experience in the design and implementation of customer-centric service streams and high performance business processes. His passion for people and results and his ability to establish strong relationships at all levels makes him an effective coach, change agent and advisor.

Dan's general management and leadership experience in private industry is well supported by a 19-year career as a Canadian Air Force officer. Dan possesses specialized skills and extensive experience in performance consulting, organizational behaviour, lean solutions, innovation, evaluation frameworks, operations research, statistics, business process simulation, quality planning, human resources and change management.


Roy Seidler, Executive Director, Manitoba Association of School Business Officials (MASBO) - is the retired superintendent of Seine River School Division, a position he held for 14 years. He is currently with MASBO and is a partner with ROAR Leadership Consultants, a company he co-founded in 2008. Mr. Seidler has conducted numerous workshops on the topic of leadership and Board & CEO relationship at the provincial and national levels. He is a former recipient of the F.K. Stewart Fellowship Award, served as the President of the Manitoba Association of School Superintendents and in 2003 received the Xerox National Award in recognition of his exemplary leadership in school administration. He has been an active participant in community based sports programs having coached numerous minor hockey and baseball teams.


Grant Shaw, Vice President Human Resources, Strategy and Culture, National Leasing - has over 20 years experience in Marketing, Communications, Strategic Planning and Change Management. He has spent the last 13 years leading various business units within National Leasing including marketing & corporate communications, strategic planning and currently in a combined role responsible for human resources & corporate development, strategic planning and organizational culture. Outside of National Leasing, Grant dedicates time to various organizations including the United Way of Winnipeg, FortWhyte Alive, Heart & Stroke Foundation of Manitoba, and numerous roles in youth hockey and soccer.


Darryl Stewart, Head of the Herd, IBEX Payroll - founded IBEX in 1996. He writes on organizational culture for two blogs, speaks all over Canada on employee engagement and engaged leadership and is currently writing a book on engaging people in organizations. The unique culture at IBEX has been the subject of many talks by Darryl and numerous magazine and newspaper articles.

Darryl believes that workplaces should be more than places where people earn a living; they should be places people choose because the values and culture they represent fit with them. Organizations should know what they stand for, live the values they believe in and actively build a herd of employees, customers and supporters that share a similar passion. Darryl speaks on diverse workplace issues including work life balance, employee recruitment and retention, positioning your organization and engaged leadership.


Bev Watson, Board Chair, Women’s Enterprise Centre - An Aboriginal marketing professional and entrepreneur, Bev was the Executive Director for the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business and interim CEO for the Aboriginal Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs. She has been a radio host with CBC’s Weekend Morning Show in Winnipeg and had a lengthy career with Manitoba Telecom Services.

Bev has many years of community service serving on the boards of the Women’s Enterprise Centre of Manitoba, the Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ. Bev has lent her skills to many organizations including Red River College Board of Governors, First Nation’s Governance Centre, National Aboriginal Women’s Association, Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, United Way and Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Winnipeg.


Breakout Session Speaker Bios - Chronologically

Click on name to view bio

10:15 AM Breakout Sessions

Management & Leadership

Communicating the Big Picture


Janice Harper New Flyer Industries


Margaret Lewis New Flyer Industries


Karen Hiebert Manitoba Lotteries Corporation


Quality & Effectiveness

Better Projects. Better Service.


Kathie Allardyce, Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba


Donna Castellano, Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba


Vern Campbell, Process Management LLC


Workplace Wellness

Employee Engagement for a Healthy Organization


Mike Kennedy, Aon Hewitt

Diane Panting, Aon Hewitt


Board Governance

Fake Not! How Strategic Boards Work

Sandra Altner, Women’s Enterprise Centre


Bev Watson, Women’s Enterprise Centre


Daniel Lussier, Catholic Health Corporation of Manitoba


Mike Fernandes, StrategyMakers Consulting


2:00 PM Breakout Sessions

Management & Leadership

Coaching for Success

Richard Neill, Birchwood Automotive Group

Dr. Chuck Meltzer, Syntec Group


Quality & Effectiveness

Enabling Strategy with the Balanced Scorecard

Dan Perron, Protegra Inc.


Workplace Wellness

Real-Life Employee Engagement

Grant Shaw, National Leasing

Darryl Stewart, IBEX Payroll

Maureen Grace, CMHA Manitoba

Melissa Coutu Harju, The People Bank


Board Governance

The Myth of the Policy Board

Roy Seidler, Manitoba Association of School Business Officials


Michael Fernandes, Winnipeg Entrepreneurs eXchange


Gary Hannaford, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Manitoba

Carolyn Duhamel, Manitoba School Boards Association