Keynote Speakers

Her Honour, the Honourable Janet Austin

Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia

The Honourable Janet Austin was sworn in as the 30th Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia on April 24, 2018. Prior to thisappointment, she spent 15 years as Chief Executive Officer of YWCA Metro Vancouver, one of the province’s largest and most diversified non-profits. There she oversaw operations delivering services to tens of thousands of people annually at more than 40 locations. Under Her Honour’s leadership, the reach and scope of services offered by the YWCA increased significantly and flourished under the social enterprise model she championed. Using solutions -oriented and collaborative advocacy, she positioned the YWCA as a leading voice on women’s equality. She fostered relationships with non-profits, business communities and all levels of government to contribute to policy changes at the federal and provincial levels to improve the lives of women, children and families. Her Honour has actively volunteered for many organizations in commitment to helping improve the lives of others. She has served on the boards of TransLink, the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, the Canadian Paediatric Society, the Council for Early Child Development, theWomen’s Health Research Institute, MOSAIC and the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation. She has been a long-time volunteer with United Way of the Lower Mainland and has served on the BC Provincial Advisory Council on Social Entrepreneurship, the City of Vancouver Healthy City for All Leadership Council and the Organizing Committee for the National Retreat for Women. Her Honour is Chancellor of the Order of British Columbia and was invested as a Member of the Order in 2016. She holds an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Raised in Calgary, Alberta, Her Honour is a graduate of English from the University of Calgary. She spent her early career in public sector roles in Calgary, working in regional planning and public consultation and communications for the Alberta government. She eventually moved to British Columbia, where she began working with BC Housing and discovered her passion and aptitude for public office. Prior to joining the YWCA, Janet served as Executive Director of Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland.

Darren Kahl

VP – Dam Site, Site C Clean Energy Project 

Darren Kahl is the Vice President, Dam Site for the Site C Clean Energy Project.   Darren has a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and is a Professional Engineer with over 25 years of experience in the hydro-electric industry. He is recognized for his strong leadership with a background in Design, Maintenance, Operations, Project Management and Construction

Libby Davies

Former Member of Parliament of Vancouver East, Author

Libby Davies has been a social activist for 40 plus years and began as a community organizer in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside in 1972. She was elected to Vancouver City Council for 5 consecutive terms, 1982-1993. As the Member of Parliament for Vancouver East for six consecutive terms, 1997-2015, she became NDP House Leader, (2003-2011) and Deputy Leader (2007-2015). Libby continues to be an outspoken advocate for human rights, housing, peace, and social justice. She was awarded the Order of Canada in 2016. She is the author of “Outside In: A Political Memoir” (May 2015, published by Between The Lines, Toronto) and is a frequent public speaker on progressive transformative change and its relationship to politics. She is currently writing a new book.  

Dr. Eamonn O'Laocha

The Power of Projects and the Power of the Possible

Dr. Eamonn O’Laocha’s is a project management practitioner and scholar.  His extensive practice career spans three continents, three decades and industry areas that include community healthcare and housing, banking, manufacturing engineering, information systems and organizational transformation. His research is based on project work as it is practiced - with all its contradictions, challenges and beauty! Eamonn is the principal investigator for Douglas College’s Applied Research and Education initiative. He also designs, develops and teaches courses on the innovative Post Graduate Diploma in Project Management at Douglas College. Eamonn has advised and acted as board director for numerous organizations, from small start ups to large non-profits. He is a firm believer in the Gaelic saying that there is no true strength without cooperation - “Ní neart go cur le chéile!”

Tom Sparrow, MSc, MBA, PMP

Chief Project Officer, Royal Columbian Hospital Redevelopment Project

Tom was the Chief Project Officer for the $1.4B Royal Columbian Hospital Redevelopment Project overseeing the Design and Construction of the Phase One Mental Health facility plus the final business planning and RFQ stages for Phase 2 and 3 of the quaternary level hospital facilities. Tom was also the Chief Project Officer for the $606M North Island Hospitals Project that was completed in March of this year. Mr. Sparrow has a long history of success and experience working as the project lead for many Canadian federal and provincial government infrastructure projects including Project Director for the $303M Fort St. John Hospital and Residential Care project, and Chief Project Officer for the $450M Iqaluit International Airport Improvement Project for Partnerships BC.   


Mr. Sparrow provides Advisory Services to the Auditor General of Canada in addition to providing guidance and support to other Canadian Provincial and Territorial Agencies and private sector healthcare related companies. Tom is a member of the Douglas College Project Management Advisory Committee.   


Mr. Sparrow is a Certified Project Manager (PMP), holds a MSc. Health Information Sciences from the University of Victoria and an MBA from Athabasca University.  Tom has also been actively involved with the Project Management Institute and lectures at the University of Victoria, Douglas College, and healthcare conferences throughout the world.

Nalini Vadivelan, BSc, BEd, MA Comp. Sc., PMP, Scrum Master, ITIL, Electronic Arts

Project Management Powered by Servant Leadership

Nalini Vadivelan has about eighteen years of experience in software development in the Hi-Tech industry, currently she works as a QA Manager at Electronic Arts, Canada. Prior to moving to Canada, she worked in the United States for about 10 years supporting clients such as GE, Lexis Nexis, Akibia, Citibank, and General Dynamics. She has master’s degree in Computer science, double bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and education, advanced diploma in Project management and Honors diploma in Systems Management. She also had the opportunity of attending emerging leadership program conducted by Harvard Business School. She is certified practitioner of PMP, Scrum Master, and ITIL Foundation Services. She is also an active member in the Women’s Ultimate Team, an Employee Resource Group (ERG) that drives Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) within Electronic Arts. She is a mom of two and live along with her husband and kids in the greater Vancouver area. 

Laurel Sim, PMP, Partner and VP Taleo Project Management Services

Building a Project Portfolio Road Map

Currently, Laurel is partner and Vice-President of Portfolio Management at Taleo, a small Project Management Services firm. Her relationships and logical approach to business demand has opened many doors for Taleo. In 2013, Taleo was awarded the Canadian Top Profit Business as well 2015 Top 50 Fastest growing Alberta Business award and has secured strong client relationships including some fortune 500 companies.

Her 20 years of experience as a management consultant has seen her evolve from a project manager to a program manager to an executive leader of portfolios. She has worked with KPMG and Fujitsu consulting, both of whom are recognized as industry leaders in management consulting. In addition, she served on the educational boards of Mount Royal University and the University of Calgary. During this time Laurel received the Premier’s award of Excellence from the Government of Alberta and E-Award Team Performance from Alberta Venture.

Laurel has focused on project leadership for a significant period of her career. In 2015, Laurel received project leader of the year by The Project Management Institute (PMI). She was asked by PMI to act as the North American advisor for the register education providers throughout the world. This distinction by her peers has afforded Laurel extensive quality project relationships around the world.


Dr. Adam Simpson, PhD, PMP, PRINCE2, MSP, P30, ProSci, UN Women

Advancing Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment through Projects at UN Women

Adam is an experienced advisor for development and peacebuilding initiatives. As Manager of Global Programmes for UN Women, he provides strategic guidance and oversight for the Programme Directorate's global portfolio. Adam was also an advisor to the High Level Panel for Women’s Economic Empowerment, which was established by the United Nations Secretary-General in 2016. The Panel brought together influential leaders from various fields to launch a shared global agenda that accelerates women’s economic empowerment in support of implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Adam previously worked for the United Nations Office for Project Services, overseeing projects in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. He also worked with the Aga Khan Foundation and NATO in Afghanistan, where he managed a suite of healthcare infrastructure projects in the northern provinces, designed to improve quality standards and access to care. Prior to working in development, he worked in the private sector as a management consultant, helping establish Canada’s first distributed medical learning education programme.

Adam is PMP, PRINCE2, MSP, P30 and ProSci certified. He holds a doctorate degree in social sciences and a masters degree in human security and peacebuilding from Royal Roads University, as well as organizational leadership and change management certificates from Harvard Business School and Cornell University.

Megan Johnston, BSc, PMP, PSM, Analyte Projects Ltd.

Maturing the Project Capabilities in your Organization

With over 10 years of project management expertise, Megan has a diverse background in projects with budgets from a few thousand dollars to multi-million dollar projects in healthcare and technology. A specialist in best practice methodologies, Megan has managed projects using agile and traditional techniques with large and small teams. As a consultant, Megan specializes in working with small and mid-sized businesses looking to establish or refine their project management processes and tools.

Hailing from beautiful Kelowna BC, in her spare time Megan enjoys sailing, skiing, and cooking. She has a strong passion for innovation and design thinking and looks to bring an analytical angle to every new challenge.

Steve Armstrong, OStJ, CD1, MSc

The Project Manager’s Dilemma: Leading All The Responsibility In The World, But No Authority

Steve is a Calgary based speaker, educator & consultant and expert at developing followers into leaders and building dedicated, loyal, and remarkable teams.

Through the lessons learned from 35 years as a leader, soldier, and humanitarian Steve has honed his insights and leadership skills and his unique ability to inspire and teach others to lead.

Steve has master’s degree in Public Policy & Management and lives in Calgary with his patient and understanding wife Debra.

Vy Luu, PMP, Six Sigma, Prosci, Real Estate Webmasters

Why and How You Should Make Your Distributed Team Feel Loved Co-Presenter

Ms. Luu’s 20 years career in technology and business have been across small to large sized private and public corporations. She has held professional and leadership roles in technical support, quality assurance, business analysis, project management, operations and technology transformations. She established the QA and BA practice at Wunderman Consulting to reduce 40%+ error rates and achieve $200K incremental revenue, re-engineered the Indigo Books’ retail process to achieve 20% inventory readiness. At Rogers Communications, she successfully led the operational launch of the company’s new home automation line of business that have previously failed several times. At Marketwired (now acquired by NASDAQ), she turned around a struggling technology migration and surpassed targets migrating 5,100 enterprise clients to the SaaS next generation Press Release platform. Ms. Luu’s education background is in Commerce, Computer Science, project management, change management and process improvement. She is PMP, ADKAR, Six Sigma Black Belt certified and currently pursuing her MBA with a 2020 completion.

Mehran Jamshidi, MSc, PMP, PMI-RMP, PMI-ACP, CSPO, CSM, ITIL, Efficert Academy

The Agile Hammer - Agility or Chaos, that is the question!

Mehran is Principal Owner at EffiCert Academy. He is a Project Management Professional with 20 years' experience in different areas of academia, Information Technology, Business Transformation and Re-engineering, and Intelligent Transportation Systems project environments, now a Board Member of the Canadian West Coast Chapter of PMI as the Vice President of Education and the PMP Prep Course Instructor and Content Developer. Presently and on a full-time basis, he works as a Senior Project Manager in the Coaching and Learning PMO at TELUS Communications and is an instructor of Project Management at BCIT (British Columbia Institute of Technology) and the New York Institute of Technology. Mehran graduated with a Master’s degree in System Management and Productivity (Industrial Engineering) after he had earned a Bachelor’s in Computer Software Engineering. His experience as a Project Manager and Operations Manager as well as having a successful background in teaching and instructing at academic environments during the last 20 years, has made Mehran a leader in Education, IT, Telecommunications and Business areas.

Randy Meszaros, AScT, PMP, C.E.T., PwC - PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

Complex Project Analytics Co-Presenter

Randy Meszaros is a Director with PwC Vancouver’s Capital Projects & Infrastructure Advisory team and has a background is in Civil Engineering, Project Management and Industrial Operations. He has more than 30 years of consulting and direct industry experience identifying, assessing and addressing governance, project/program and contract management, controls and risks in operations and capital projects.

As an advisory consultant during the past 10 years Randy has been directly involved with C$40B+ of international projects. He has successfully led numerous public and private sector reviews and audits of international infrastructure, construction projects/programs and operations for clients in the Mining, Transportation, Energy, Power, Marine and Healthcare sectors.

Randy also has 20+ years of direct industry experience in operations, project management and controls with Suncor (Petro-Canada), Enbridge Pipelines, and began his career with TransAlta‘s mining and power generation facilities engaging in planning, project management, operations, and performance/asset management.

Randy lives in Pitt Meadows with his wife and two teenage daughters and is a regular West Coast Express commuter. He also serves as a Council Director and as a member of the Practice Review Board with the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of British Columbia.

Dr. Scott Hayward, PhD, MSc, BSc, PMI-ACP, SAFe SPC, ICAgile Coach

An Agile Approach to Distributing Power

Scott Hayward acted in development, architect and leadership roles across the software development cycle in over two decades at IBM. He holds PMI-ACP and SAFe SPC certifications, is actively pursuing an International Coaching Federation ACC certification and develops training material on leadership and public speaking for Toastmasters District 96. He completed a PhD in Physics from the University of British Columbia and lives in Coquitlam with his partner and their two sons.

Samad Aidane, MSc,PMP, Canterbury Christ Church University

Applying an Equity Lens to Project Stakeholder Management: A Case Study of Social Sustainability in Project Management

Mr. Samad Aidane, MSc. PMP, is a senior Project Manager and cross-cultural leadership development trainer. His industry experience spans telecom, finance, health care, and government technology implementation projects in the U.S., Germany, Austria, and Belgium, with organizations such as HP, Cap Gemini, Time Warner Telecom, and Telefonica.

Samad is an instructor at Oregon State University where he teaches two courses he developed on Emotional Intelligence and Cultural Intelligence for the Leadership Development Certificate Program. He holds a Master of Science Degree in the Neuroscience of Leadership from Middlesex University, U.K.

Samad’s current Ph.D. research investigates the factors that promote or hinder engaging culturally diverse communities as stakeholders in the context of local government projects and programs. He has provided training workshops for organizations such as Nike, Emirate Airlines, T-Mobile and various local PMI Chapters (Washington, Oregon, Utah, Virginia). He presented at international conferences such as Project Management Institute Global Congress, Dubai International Project Management Forum, and Oracle OpenWorld.

Owen Williams, M.Eng., P.Eng., PMP, BC Hydro

Developing a High Performing Owner/Contractor Team for Implementing Large Complex Projects

Owen Williams, is a Project Director at BC Hydro. He is currently responsible for the Site C Generating Station and Spillways work. (Site C is a large hydro-electric generating station being built on the Peace River in northern British Columbia.) Mr. Williams has extensive experience managing very technical system integration projects in the energy sector. Additionally, he has extensive experience with public consultation, first nations partnerships, environmental management, and regulatory management.

Gary Wagner, PMP, SAFe (SPC), B Com. (Acct.), BA Int. Business, TELUS

Unleashing the power of projects for Scaled Agility

Gary Wagner is an Agile change agent with project and program design and execution experience gained from a diverse International background. Having collaborated with teams and their leadership in the public and private sectors, Gary has rich cross cultural experience in implementing framework and business process change at all levels of the organization. His engagements have ranged from consulting for technology driven Organizational Redesign efforts, to project managing New Product and Service Introductions, to currently working full-time at TELUS on a multi-year cross-functional implementation of the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®) for cloud software development. For the last 14 years, Gary has lived and worked in Vancouver Canada having previously lived in Australia, New Zealand, and the United States.

John Rauser, Cisco Systems

Beyond the Bottleneck: A New Theory of Constraints for Complex Environments

John Rauser is a Software Engineering Manager at Cisco Cloud Security, where his team is building the next generation of network and security products in the cloud, inventing new ways of delivering security services as distributed systems. John has spent the last 10 years working in a variety of different roles across the spectrum of IT, from sysadmin to IT manager, network engineer to infosec lead, developer to head of development. John is passionate about new ways of working and putting theory into practice, speaking regularly at local and international conferences, and writing for online publications like and Infoworld.

Dr. Gavin Maxwell, DC

Why and How You Should Make Your Distributed Team Feel Loved Co-Presenter

Gavin Maxwell is a competitor in sports and life. One of his many gavinismsis “Don’t say it’s too hard, because someone else will do it and be proud of it.” This life leader is also a chiropractor, world-class dragon boat coach, avid paddler, and retired sprint canoe Olympian.


A personal injury that affected his performance at the 1996 Olympics competition influenced Dr. Maxwell to become a chiropractor. He combines his love of sports with a deep understanding of the intricate human body from his education in kinesiology and chiropractic to deliver personalize treatment solutions.


He is an inspiration to athletics and business because he reinvented himself from athlete to entrepreneur, head coach, and doctor. His most recent accomplishment is leading his New Dragons Racing Club to win the 2019 Canadian Dragon Boat Championship.

Mei Teh, Senior Associate in PwC's Capital Projects & Infrastructure

Complex Projects Analytics Co-Presenter

Mei Teh is a Senior Associate in PwC's Capital Projects & Infrastructure practice in Vancouver. She has a background in Civil Engineering and Finance, and therefore has the capability to add value to the technical, management and commercial aspects of projects and programs. Locally in Canada, she has worked with clients in the transportation, ports and aviation sectors.

Prior to relocating to Canada, Mei worked as a Project Manager for an engineering consultancy in Australia, where she worked both client-side and design-side on major public and private infrastructure projects within the transport, defence, and port industries.

On the weekend you might find Mei surfing on Vancouver Island, or hiking/skiing in the mountains, depending what time of the year it is!

Neil Kelly, BSc, MBA, CPA, PMP, BC Hydro

Risky Business Co-Presenter

Neil is currently the Director, Project Controls, Risk and Services for the Site C Project where he leads a team of approximately 85 people. Neil joined the Site C Project in May 2018 from the Project Delivery team at BC Hydro. Project Delivery won the PMI PMO of the Year Award in 2016. Neil has a BSc, MBA, Project Management Professional and is a Chartered Professional Accountant (Chartered Accountant).  

Jeff Acland, P.Eng, BC Hydro

Risky Business Co-Presenter

Jeff is a Professional Engineer with over 20 years of experience in the hydroelectric and heavy civil construction industries.   Jeff has estimated planned and scheduled numerous hydro electrical rehabilitation upgrade and expansion projects. 

Jeff has experience with turbine and generator emergency repair planning, dam safety upgrades and new facility construction.     

Robin Roscoe, BSc, PMP, BC Cancer Genome Sciences Centre

Panel: Adapting the project management approach to transform large-scale research

Robyn Roscoe is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) with over 20 years of experience in the management of large health research projects, and nearly 30 years experience in project management in the scientific and technical fields. She is currently Director of Management and Administration for the BC Cancer Genome Sciences Centre, responsible for project, finance and operations management. Since 2004, Robyn has been delivering training workshops and presentations throughout Canada, reaching more than 3,000 trainees and professionals looking to develop and expand their management and leadership skills. In 2016, Robyn received the Research Management Excellence Award from the Canadian Association of Research Administrators, and in 2017 she was awarded the CARA Innovation Award. Robyn is committed to expanding knowledge and interest in the field of research administration and contributing to excellence in research management in BC and Canada.

Kimberly Merin Sivak, MA, PMP, Simon Fraser University

Panel: Adapting the project management approach to transform large-scale research

Kimberly Merin Sivak is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) who has been managing projects throughout the last decade. While most recently she has focused on project management in the academic sector, Ms. Sivak also has extensive experience managing environmental projects for the public, private, and non-profit sectors. In her current capacity as a Research Project Manager at Simon Fraser University, Kim is part of an innovative, new team that provides extensive post-award management for the university’s largest and most complex grants, contracts, prizes, and awards. Ms. Sivak enjoys developing new projects and approaches to project management, putting the necessary structure in place to ensure efficient, collaborative, positive, and successful teams. She holds a BA from UC Berkeley and a MA in International Environmental Policy from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.

Peter Stovall, LL.B, MA, Fasken Law

Applying Change Management in Culturally Conservative Organizations

Peter is an Innovation Manager at Fasken designing and implementing innovative products, process improvements and business model changes. He oversees Fasken’s Legal Project Management initiative, introducing streamlined and technologically advanced budgeting and planning firmwide.  

Together with the rest of Fasken’s Innovation Team, Peter is transforming firm operations by recognizing the opportunities for change. He is well-versed in process improvement, ideation, and change management - with a particular interest in legal technology.  


Peter has previously overseen and supported Agile software development projects and app development at one of the UK’s “magic circle” law firms. He enjoys establishing strong links between people (colleagues, clients and others) to ensure the creation of truly collaborative, human-centric solutions.  


A qualified lawyer, Peter previously practiced in the field of competition / antitrust and helped advise global corporate clients on complex merger control proceedings, investigations and general competition law issues in London (UK), Washington (DC) and Brussels (Belgium).  


Peter holds an MA degree in Law from the University of Cambridge and speaks fluent Danish. 

Scott Baker, UBC Advanced Research Computing

Panel: Adapting the Project Management Approach to Transform Large-Scale Research

Scott Baker is the Manager, Sensitive Reseacch at UBC Advanced Research Computing. He leads a group of privacy and security professionals focused on assisting researchers find solutions for their research data and compliance needs. After 15 years managing software development projects, he transitioned to large scale project management for research IT infrastructure and now has focused on information security. He is the leader of the CARA IT-SIG, represents WestGrid on the Compute Canada security council, and has over 20 years of experience managing people, projects, and systems.

Payal Sipahimalani, MSc, PMP, AbCellera

Panel: Adapting the Project Management Approach to Transform Large-Scale Research

Payal Sipahimalani (MSc, PMP) has over 10 years of experience in research, administration and management. After her MSc in Medical Genetics at UBC and a brief stint at the lab bench, she made the switch to project management, initially working at the BC Cancer Agency and more recently at AbCellera. The Vancouver-based biotechnology company integrates cutting-edge technologies in immunology, microfluidics, genomics, bioinformatics, and computation to accelerate the discovery and development of next-generation therapeutic antibodies. In addition to managing an ambitious project funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) aimed at developing a pandemic countermeasure in less than 60 days, Payal is currently building and implementing sound project management infrastructure, rooted firmly in common sense, to provide the best possible support for this rapidly growing team of visionaries and innovators

Shawn Herman Hawkins, BA, LL.B, CDR, PMP, Executive Director of PMV

Panel: From the Horses Mouth - Project Management in the Non-Profit World

Shawn has been Executive Director of PMV since February 2014 succeeding the organization’s founder Bob Prenovost. Over the course of a diverse career he practiced law; taught as an adjunct professor at UBC law school and Kwantlen Polytechnic University business school; served in Special Advisor and Chief of Staff positions with two federal cabinet ministers; was Project Officer at the Asia Pacific Initiative; and held multiple management positions at BC Hydro. Volunteerism has been a part of his lifestyle for many years. Shawn is an avid cyclist and welcomes ride companions.

Evan Zelikovitz, LL.B, BA, PMI Canada

The Future of Work and Project Management

Evan Zelikovitz is the Corporate and Government Relations Manager for PMI in Canada.  Evan is responsible for working and engaging with both government and private corporations in assisting them with their project, program and portfolio management practices and capabilities.  Mr. Zelikovitz helps organizations and their project management practitioners better understand and recognize the strategic value of project management with the objective of helping organizations and individuals realize project and business success.  

Located in Canada's capital of Ottawa, Mr. Zelikovitz holds a Bachelor of Social Science from the University of Western Ontario and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of New Brunswick. 

Dionne Phelan

The Case for Co-creating Projects: Exploring the Benefits for PM's and Communities

Dionne is a non-traditional educator with over 15 years’ experience teaching and leading digital literacy activities using effective adult education approaches.  She is constantly inspired by the resiliency and strength of the communities, in which she lives and works, having spent time on community boards, working with communities on a variety of large and small scale community projects from non-profit housing to community mural painting.  She takes an asset based approach to help cultivate relationships and build capacity between a diverse ranges of stakeholders.  

William Booth

The Case for Co-creating Projects. Exploring the benefits for PM's and Communities

William is a skilled educator, development consultant and evaluation specialist with professional experience in the non-governmental sector in more than sixty countries; innovative community organization specialist able to work effectively with a diverse range of partners and ideas addressing complex issues.   He is an innovative collaborator and participatory problem solver; strategic results-oriented planner.  Recently focused on digital literacy as an integral aspect of understanding literacy, not as a binary, but as basic life skill which allows one to participate more fully in their life. 

Helen Holroyd, PhD, MA, BA, UBC Learning Exchange

The Case for Co-creating Projects: Exploring the Benefits for PM's and Communities

Heather Holroyd is the Community-Based Research Coordinator at the UBC Learning Exchange with 10 years of research and evaluation experience in academia and the non-profit sector. She has experience in project management, qualitative and quantitative methods, and report writing. Her areas of expertise include the social and economic integration of newcomers, community engagement, and poverty reduction. Heather holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of British Columbia, an MA in Sociology from the University of Alberta, and a BA in Sociology from the University of British Columbia. 

Nick Wilkinson, Master of Applied Science, PMP , TTT Studios

Artificial Intelligence, Ethics, and Project Management: The Facts Behind the Hype

For over 15 years, Nick has managed projects in logistics, manufacturing, and software development with a vast variety of interdisciplinary teams and organizations such as NASA, the Canadian Armed Forces, MoMA, the UN Archives, and the World Bank. Nick obtained his MASc in MiningEngineering from UBC and is a PMP. Currently, he’s a project manager at TTT Studios, a digital innovation studio in Vancouver, and an instructor in the VR/AR program at Vancouver Film School.

Spencer Horn, MS, CTPC, Altium Leadership

Office Mythology: The Truth About Authentic Leadership

Businesses internationally look to Spencer as an enthusiastic, insightful source for counsel and advice on developing productive and focused corporate cultures. Spencer is able to draw upon his 27 years of executive experience to reenergize seasoned and emerging professionals and increase organizational effectiveness. He inspires change, to develop: a powerful culture, effective communication, high performing teams and engagement.

Spencer is the President of Altium Leadership. He has previously been CEO of leadership development company and Vice President of a NASDAQ company, which developed IMAX theaters in tourist destinations. There he worked with major organizations such as IMAX Corp., National Geographic Television, Radio City Productions, Disney Films and more. He has been speaking and presenting at PMI chapter development conferences since 2010 and has been a regular speaker at the PMI Leadership Institute Meeting (LIM) North America Conference, since 2014. He is consistently one of the highest rated speakers for the yearlong, PMI Leadership Institute Master Class (LIMC) since 2015.

He is a co-author of the 'Speakers on Life' anthology 'The Power of the Platform' along with Jack Canfield, Les Brown, Brian Tracy and more.

He holds a bachelor's degree in political science and a master's degree in economics from the University of Utah. He is a certified team coaching facilitator through Team Coaching International and a certified Professional Dynametric Programs trainer and administrator through PDP Global. Spencer has been married to his amazing wife, Jana, for more than 32 years. Together they have five beautiful children and five grandchildren.


Mike Knapp

The Evolution: Project Manager to Transformational Leader

Mike is passionate about helping people and businesses unlock their potential. He is a strategic planning and execution superhero with more than 20 years professional experiences helping more than a hundred small and medium businesses achieve their goals. His career started in technology, helping companies strategically leverage technology. His love for solving business problems and strategy led him on a journey through the worlds of process improvement and business transformations.  He is a life-long teacher, with a professional start at the age of 14. Since then, he’s taught dozens of programs and workshops spanning IT, project management, process improvement, leadership development, cyber-security, strategic planning, meditation (for more than a decade) and more. Mike is the co-founder of Incrementa(un) consulting, helping companies as a strategic planning facilitator, business growth coach and advisor. He is certified by Gravitas Impact Premium Business Coaches on the Four Decisions® framework (based on Scaling Up! and Mastering the Rockefeller Habits 2.0 by Verne Harnish).  “We had Mike present on Cyber-security–what should be a dry, heavy topic. Mike was engaging, approachable and maintained great energy through storytelling and humor. He managed our groups many questions with ease and provided a ton of practical take-aways.” Todd Millar, President and CEO and TEC Executive Chair, TEC Canada.


Dan Renier, MHA, MCPM, MCTS, Milestone Consulting Group

YJTJ - A Professional and Powerful Approach to Microsoft Project

Dan Renier is a Partner at Milestone Consulting Group, a Microsoft Gold Project and Portfolio Management Partner specializing in the deployment of Microsoft's Enterprise Project and Portfolio Management solutions. Dan has over 25 years of experience in professional services, with a primary focus on Microsoft Project consulting and educational services dating back to version 3.0 in 1993. 

Dan is internationally known for leading the creation of Milestone Consulting Group’s YJTJ (Your Job Tool’s Job) process for Microsoft Project, and his ability to motivate and educate organizations on successfully using Microsoft Project. Dan has contributed to various publications and is a frequent guest speaker at project management and Microsoft Project conferences. 

Michelle Favero, Executive Director of Abbotsford Division of Family Practice

Innovations in Health Systems: A network of consensus

Michelle Favero translates vision to reality. As executive director of Abbotsford Division of Family Practice, Michelle and her team have been leaders in health system innovations. Partnerships with family physicians, universities, community and small businesses have created new health innovations and capacity building in the Abbotsford area. With experience in both community development and healthcare, Michelle believes getting outside of the box doesn’t mean being an outlier; it is about creating a network in complex adaptive systems.   

Arthur Fong, BMa, QA Manager, Electronic Arts

EA Panel: Gaming - The Road Ahead Driven By One Team

Arthur joined Electronic Arts in 2004 after completing his Math Major/Econ Minor at UBC.  After working on Need For Speed Underground 2, Most Wanted, Pro Street and NBA Street Volume 4, he relocated to EA Montreal.  In Montreal, he helped pioneer the One-Team mentality working with offsite partners, worked with other managers to grow a team of 16 temporary QA staff to 30 full time staff, led Bioware’s testing for their first multiplayer mode in Mass Effect 3, managing QA for Army of Two (Franchise), FIFA Wii, NHL Wii, and Bulletstorm’s multiplayer mode.  Arthur is now a QA Manager for EA Sports Mobile, responsible for advancing One Team philosophy, building healthy work-life balance and making improvements to Quality Practices to deliver the best possible experience for our users.   

Behnaz Mortazavi , M.Eng, PMP, Development Director, Electronic Arts

EA Panel: Gaming - The Road Ahead Driven By One Team

Behnaz has extensive experience in managing projects and leading teams in Agile and Waterfall frameworks in the software and hardware industries. Over the past two decades, she has worked in various industries, such as Clean Energy, Human Machine Interface, Data Acquisition, Print, Internet Video, and now Gaming. In her current role as Development Director at Electronic Arts, she is responsible for leadership of Agile teams and project management and delivery of software tools serving to ship the most played video game in the world, FIFA.  

She holds a Master’s of Engineering degree and a certificate in Project Management (PMP). 

Venu Panjakadi, MA, BMath, PMI ACP, IC Agile, Development Director, Electronic Arts

EA Panel: Gaming - The Road Ahead Driven By One Team

Venu Panjakadi’s career of over 20 years in manufacturing, corrections, gaming and non-profit organizations is characterized by successive roles in global management teams, strategy setting and delivering transformational initiatives. He is currently working as the Development Director at Electronic Arts Inc. Electronic Arts is a global leader in digital interactive entertainment. The Company develops and delivers games, content and online services for Internet-connected consoles, mobile devices and personal computers. Venu also Volunteers for the local chapter and the Board Member. He holds Master’s degree in Computer Science, Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics, PMI ACP® certification holder since 2014 and IC Agile certified coach. 

Michael Guercio, QA Manager at Electronic Arts

EA Panel: Gaming - The Road Ahead Driven By One Team

“Michael Guercio is a QA Manager on the FIFA Team at Electronic Arts Canada. During his 3 and half years at EA, he has been responsible for driving game releases and patches, and launch planning and management of FIFA 18, 19, and 20. Michael is a Project Management Professional with over 10 years’ experience in Gaming, Telecom, Finance, and Web Industries.”