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Check Out This Year's Change For Animals Line-Up

Michael Bach      Michael Bach, CCDP/AP- Founder and Chair of the Board of Directors
Michael Bach is nationally and internationally recognized as a thought leader and subject matter expert in the fields of diversity, inclusion and employment equity, bringing a vast knowledge of leading practices in a live setting to his work. He has deep experience in strategy development, stakeholder engagement, training and development, research, solution development and execution, employee engagement, data analytics, measurement and diversity scorecards, targeted recruiting strategies, marketing and communications, Employee Resource Groups, Diversity Councils, and diversity related legislation (Employment Equity Act, AODA, etc.) among other skills and experiences related to field of diversity and inclusion.

Under Michael’s leadership, CCDI has received numerous awards, including winning Canadian HR Reporter's Readers' Choice Award in the category of Diversity/Employment Equity Consultant in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.

Michael has a Post Graduate Certificate in Diversity Management from Cornell University and also holds the Cornell Certified Diversity Professional, Advanced Practitioner (CCDP/AP) designation.

Session: Diversity & Inclusion: Getting Started
Date: Wednesday, May 12th, 2021 11:30AM EST

Nandita          Nandita Bajaj, Administrator, University of Toronto Schools
Nandita Bajaj has been a high school teacher and administrator for the past 10 years in the Toronto District School Board and at University of Toronto Schools (UTS). She is currently pursuing her graduate degree in Humane Education with a focus on overpopulation and its impacts on humans, animals, and the environment. She runs the Animal Justice Committee at UTS to raise awareness about animal exploitation in education, including introducing dissection alternatives to the Science department. Nandita also led a food initiative at UTS that reduced the consumption of meat by 75% for all staff catering in just one year. She is a frequent conference presenter on animal protection, and is also the co-host of The Overpopulation Podcast.

Session: Exploring Our Relationship to Animals through K-12 Education
Date: Wednesday, May 12th, 2021 @ 2:30PM EST

Leslie      Lesli Bisgould
Lesli Bisgould has been practicing law in Ontario for almost 30 years. She spent 10 years in her own animal rights practice, the first of its kind in Canada. She wrote the Canadian legal text on the subject: Animals and the Law (Irwin Law, 2011) and she created Introduction to Animals and the Law, a course she taught at the law school at the University of Toronto for many years. Her views on the subject are condensed in a TedX talk recorded in 2014. While still pursuing her interest in justice for non-human animals, Lesli’s current full time work is as Barrister at Legal Aid Ontario’s Clinic Resource Office where she assists lawyers at legal clinics across the province with their appeals on behalf of some of Ontario’s most vulnerable humans.

Session: There is no such thing as animal rights...yet
Date: Wednesday, May 12th, 2021 @ 2:30PM EST

Alison Cross     Alison Cross, Senior Director, Marketing & Communications, Ontario SPCA and Humane Society, Provincial Office
Alison Cross loves community engagement. Having worked in marketing and communications for over 15 years, she specializes in marketing and communications leadership, crisis management, social good digital strategies and social media. She has a passion for helping nonprofits overcome their marketing and communications challenges and regularly provides training and consultations on social media engagement for the non-profit sector, crisis management and media relations management.

Session: It’s time to pivot; is your brand ready?
Date: Thursday, May 13th, 2021 @ 11:15AM EST

James Evans     James Evans, Founder and CEO of CARE, Companions and Animals for Reform and Equity
James is a multi-awarding winning creative strategist and leader with 25+ years of experience developing relationships between organizations and their constituents. His expertise has been utilized across a diverse group of brands, both non for profit, and for profit.

James has played an integral part in Animal Welfare projects like The Humane Society’s Pets for Life, Adopters Welcome, Outdoor Cats Research, Stop Puppy Mills. Spayathon, as well as Best Friends Animal Society’s Outreach Action Team, Maddie’s Fund, and SPCA of Texas’ Let’s Fix This Campaign.

James is currently the founder and CEO of CARE, Companions and Animals for Reform and Equity, a non-profit that is using unique tools to help change the animal welfare field by addressing biases. CARE is conducting research, producing narratives, and creating workforce development and leadership opportunities through CARE Centers, all in the effort to save more lives.

Session: Real Social Justice: Reconciliation through Community Run Organizations
Date: Wednesday, May 12th, 2021 @ 11:30AM EST

Mike Farley     Mike Farley, Middle and High School Geography Teacher, University of Toronto Schools
Mike Farley has been teaching middle and high school Geography and Environmental Studies for 20 years in the Toronto District School Board and currently at University of Toronto Schools. Over the past decade he has explored animal protection with his students, including running virtual field trips to animal sanctuaries during the pandemic. Mike is a frequent presenter at conferences in Canada and the U.S. on topics such as human rights, environmental issues, and animal protection. He is currently finishing his graduate degree in Humane Education and working on curriculum projects for the Factory Farming Awareness Coalition.

Mike is also putting together a network of educators from across Canada who are incorporating animal protection into their teaching. In 2014, the Royal Canadian Geographical Society presented Mike with the 'Innovation in Geography Teaching' award, the highest honour for Geography teaching in Canada.

Session: Exploring Our Relationship to Animals through K-12 Education
Date: Wednesday, May 12th, 2021 @ 2:30PM EST

 Bonita     Bonita Eloise Ford, M.A., B.Sc.
Bonita is the author of Embers of Hope: Embracing Life in an Age of Ecological Destruction and Climate Chaos. She gives courses in permaculture (ecological design), Nonviolent Communication (collaborative communication), and Reiki (energy work), and has led workshops around the world for over 18 years. Bonita has a M.A. in Holistic Health Education from John F. Kennedy University in California, a B.Sc. in Biochemistry from Queen's University, and a diploma in Permaculture from l'Université Populaire de Permaculture in France. She co-presented at conferences at Harvard University and Trent University, was a guest teacher at the University of Toronto, and was a guest speaker at the University of Ottawa, Algonquin College, John F. Kennedy University, and Merritt College. She presented at international, continental, and regional Permaculture Convergences and has contributed several articles to the Permaculture Design Magazine. Bonita facilitates community design projects and offers life and business coaching. She grows a lot of her own food and medicine. The land she calls home is 1/5 of an acre in Perth, Ontario, which is unceded Algonquin-Anishinabe Territory on Turtle Island. At the heart of it, Bonita's work is about cultivating harmony with ourselves, our communities, and Mother Earth.

One Welfare and Self-Care: Global Perspectives and Personal Practices

Date: Wednesday, May 12th, 2021 @ 2:30PM EST

Louie      Louie Gravance, Former Institute Facilitator, Actor, Comedian. Focused on Creating the Happiest Workplace on Earth
Louie Gravance is changing the consciousness of business in America through his speaking and consulting skills. He helped the Bank of America navigate what he calls a “culture shift.” Money Magazine credits these efforts with “making the banking experience more pleasurable with changes that have improved customer satisfaction.”

Gravance learned and honed his skills during his 12-year tenure at The Walt Disney Company in Orlando, Florida. Beginning with the training and orientation program at The Disney University, Louie designed, developed, and delivered countless presentations for thousands of Disney World employees, and then for visiting corporate clients through the Disney Institute Professional Development Programs. He has also traveled North America , teaching “Showmanship in the Workplace” to large companies like Toys 'R Us and BMW of Canada, just to name a few.

Louie also spent two decades in show business, appearing in stage shows, sitcoms, motion pictures and over 35 national television commercials. While at Disney, he led, trained, and performed with the improvisational comedy show “Streetmosphere” at the Disney/MGM Studios from the first year of its inception in 1989. It is now the longest running show of its kind in theme park history.

Currently, Louie Gravance Creative Concepts provides consulting and motivational talks to companies and municipalities all over the world, and is based in Orlando, Florida.

Pre-Conference Workshop: The TEN Skills of the Service SUPERHERO
Date: Thursday, May 6th, 2021 @ 9:00AM EST
(Seperate registration is required for this session)

Tim - conference speaker      Tim Kachuriak, Founder, NextAfter
Tim Kachuriak is the founder and Chief Innovation and Optimization Officer for NextAfter, a fundraising research lab consultancy, and training institute that works with charities, nonprofits and NGOs to help them grow their resource capacity.

A nonprofit thought leader, Kachuriak is the author of the book Optimize Your Fundraising, lead researcher and co-author of the Online Fundraising Scorecard, Why Should I Give to You? (The Nonprofit Value Proposition Index Study), and The Midlevel Donor Crisis. Kachuriak has trained organizations in fundraising optimization around the world and is a frequent speaker at international nonprofit conferences. Kachuriak is also the co-founder and board member for the Human Coalition, a member of the board of directors for Open Doors USA, an Advisory Board Member for the SMU Digital Accelerator, and an Advisory Board Member for the Blackbaud Institute for Philanthropic Impact.

Kachuriak lives in Prosper, TX with his wife Rebecca, and their four children: Max (15), Charlie (14), Gracie (12), and Joe (6).

Session: Virtual Philanthropy: Optimizing Your Fundraising in a Post-COVID World
Date: Thursday, May 15, 2021 @ 3:15PM EST

 Kevin Mackenzie - Conference Speaker     Kevin MacKenzie, Senior Manager – Leadership Giving, Ontario SPCA and Humane Society
With over 21 years in the non-profit world, Kevin tries to bring a genuine positive attitude to everything he does. In addition to cultivating and managing major donor relationships over the past 8 years, Kevin’s other career highlights include having worked with bereaved families to establish memorial funds at children’s hospitals, and he spent a number of years running the largest fundraising radiothon in North America before running radiothons and media-related fundraising events across Canada. A graduate of radio and television broadcasting arts, Kevin also spent 5 years touring Canada and the United States as a professional wrestler in his misspent youth. The secret to his success, says Kevin, is “Being real. People can sense when you are reading bullet points or prepared notes. Believe in and have passion for what you do, and the rest will just fall into place.”

Session: Leading Through Crisis: Insights from the Non-Profit Animal Wellness Sector
Date: Thursday, May 13th, 2021 @ 10:00AM EST

Anthony McLean      Anthony Maclean
With a background in theatre, Anthony McLean delivers lively presentations on mental health, diversity, and inclusion. He has delivered hundreds of inspiring talks across Canada, the US, and Australia, and, as a respected voice in his field, appeared on CBC News, Global Toronto’s Morning Show, and Breakfast Television. Delivering research-backed tools and actionable strategies, McLean always leaves his audiences inspired to bring their best every day.

McLean is also an actor who has starred in television commercials for Ford, Milk, Tim Horton’s, Sprite, Verizon Wireless, and Bell. He also hosted the CBC Television show The X and was featured in the documentary films Colour Me, SOAR, and Rising Above. In his theatre career, McLean participated in the renowned Stratford Festival where he developed his passion for Shakespeare. He also loves to freestyle rap — give him any topic in the world and he’ll make up a rap on the spot about it.

McLean is currently writing his first book, Mental Health for High Performers.

Session: Diversity: The Secret Power Behind High Performing Teams
Date: Wednesday, May 12th, 2021 @ 10:20AM EST

Stephanie Miller     Stephanie Miller, CFRE, Senior Director, Community and Donor Development, Ontario SPCA and Humane Society
An accomplished senior fundraising professional, Stephanie brings over 24 years of fundraising experience in community engagement, special events, annual fund, leadership and legacy giving. In her current role as Senior Director, Community and Donor Development, Stephanie is responsible for the leadership, strategic direction and execution of the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society’s fundraising activities. Prior to joining the Ontario SPCA in 2017, Stephanie held various leadership positions with the Canadian Cancer Society and front-line fundraising roles with St. Andrew’s College and Markham Stouffville Hospital Foundation.

Stephanie is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) with a passionate commitment to the philanthropic sector. Forward thinking and focused on giving back, Stephanie takes pride in mentoring new fundraising professionals.
Session: Leading Through Crisis: Insights from the Non-Profit Animal Wellness Sector
Date: Thursday, May 13th, 2021 @ 10:00AM EST
Shawn Morey Conference 2021      Shawn Morey, Executive Director, Peterborough Humane Society
Shawn joined Peterborough Humane Society as their Executive Director in January 2018 and has brought the organization to new heights. Under his leadership the organization has seen significant growth in revenues through new program and service offerings, as well as extensively reducing operating expenses and has built a robust leadership team to contribute to further innovation in animal wellness. Shawn is also leading the Peterborough Humane Society's new Centre build. This $10 Million Dollar project will bring forward a new generation of animal wellness in Peterborough, and throughout the Province. Through these accomplishments, the Peterborough Humane Society has been the recipient of numerous awards including the 2020 Peterborough This Week & Peterborough Examiner Readers Choice Awards - Best Not For Profit - Diamond Award Winner, as well, Shawn was named the Top 4 under 40 in the 2020 Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards.

Prior to joining Peterborough Humane Society, Shawn managed a number of recreational facilities, and was a Golf Professional for over 16 years.

Session: Leading Through Crisis: Insights from the Non-Profit Animal Wellness Sector
Date: Thursday, May 13th, 2021 @ 10:00AM EST

Dan Pallotta      Dan Pallotta, Activist, Humanitarian, Author, and Builder of Movements
Dan Pallotta is a pioneer in the national effort to transform the way our culture evaluates the character and impact of non-profit organizations.

Dan is one of the 100 most-viewed TED speakers of all time, and is a founding thought partner for TED’s Audacious Project, which has raised nearly $1 billion for disruptive entrepreneurial social initiatives across a variety of issues.

A pioneer in the multi-day charitable event industry, he created the Breast Cancer 3-Day walks and the multi-day AIDS Rides long-distance cycling journeys, which raised in excess of half a billion dollars in nine years and were the subject of a Harvard Business School case study. The model and methods Dan created are now employed by dozens of charities and have raised in excess of $1.5 billion.

Dan has given over 400 talks on philanthropy and innovation in 38 states and 10 countries, and has written over 100 articles for the Harvard Business Review online. He is also the author of Uncharitable: How Restraints on Nonprofits Undermine Their Potential, the best-selling title in the history of Tufts University Press.

Session: Uncharitable: The Way We Think About Charity is Dead Wrong, a Fireside Chat
Date: Thursday, May 13th, 2021 @ 2:00PM EST

Enette conference speaker     Enette Pauzé, PhD, FEA 
Enette Pauzé is an expert in business partnerships who has worked globally with visionary leaders for more than 20 years. Her experience comes from leading provincial and national multi-stakeholder and cross-sector partnerships, training partnership leaders globally (Canada, USA, Mexico, South Africa, India, Europe, New Zealand and Australia), conducting primary partnership and collaboration research, and writing articles, books and educational resources on the topics of partnerships, leadership, collaboration and coaching. Her clients affectionately describe her as a cross between a university professor and camp counsellor.

Enette is the Founder and CEO of Level 8 Leadership Institute, an organization dedicated to inspiring world leaders who lead global legacies. She completed her PhD at the University of Toronto, specializing in organizational partnerships, and is a designated Family Enterprise Advisor (FEA). She serves as the Toronto 3 Chair for TIGER 21, Chapter Chair for the Women Presidents’ Organization in Toronto, and is an active member of the Family Enterprise Xchange (CA), the Purposeful Planning Institute (US), and the Global Speakers Federation.

Enette is busy raising three young boys where family life is filled with competitive gymnastics (or at least it was before this pandemic), cottaging in Muskoka (fingers crossed), and quality social distancing time spent with family and friends.

Session: Preparing for the Future: Developing a Partnership Strategy
Date: Wednesday, May 12th, 2021 @ 11:30AM EST

Sharon Quinn - Conference Speaker      Dr. Sharon Quinn, Veterinarian & Practice Owner, Chief Medical Officer (Smart.Vet) and Co-founder of the Canadian Veterinary Virtual Care Association (CVVCA)
Dr. Sharon Quinn graduated from the OVC at the University of Guelph in 2004, and spent her first two years in private practice as an associate veterinarian working with dogs, cats, and small exotic pets.

She purchased Nelson Animal Hospital in Burlington in late 2006, a practice that has become a true family business as she has raised her four children with Nelson as their second home! In 2017 a good friend (and now business partner) came to her with the idea of starting a telehealth platform “by veterinarians, for veterinarians”, and following lots of thought and discussion, Smart.Vet was born in 2018. Since that time, Smart.Vet has become a proven leader in veterinary virtual care in Canada.

In 2020, Dr. Quinn founded the Canadian Veterinary Virtual Care Association (CVVCA), a non-profit sister organization to the global VVCA. The mission of this organization is to support the advancement of veterinary telemedicine and virtual care through the creation of standards of care & best practices, guidance on regulatory issues, and education of the veterinary community as well as promotion of public awareness.

Much of Dr. Quinn’s professional time these days is spent assisting veterinarians with the implementation of telehealth into their own practices, and helping to support the development of veterinary virtual care in all of it’s forms, throughout Canada.

Session: The Evolution of Virtual Veterinary Care in Canada - where are we, where are we headed, and what does it all mean?
Date: Thursday, May 13th, 2021  3:15PM EST

Sonya R Conference 2021      Sonya Reichel, Executive Director, Georgian Triangle Humane Society
Sonya Reichel has 15 years’ experience in the non-profit sector, specializing in strategic planning, non-profit leadership, fundraising, and donor relations. Currently, Sonya serves as the Executive Director for the Georgian Triangle Humane Society, leading a team of passionate staff and volunteers to enhance the wellbeing of both pets and people in the South Georgian Bay area. Under her visionary leadership, the GTHS has implemented programs and services that support financially limited and vulnerable people in the community, allowing pets and people to stay together during challenging times. In 2019, the GTHS opened the first companion community hospital in its history, performing 850 public surgeries to vulnerable pets. Sonya is passionate about creating humane and healthy communities through community education, empowerment, and collaboration. She is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and the Rotary Club of South Georgian Bay.

Session: Leading Through Crisis: Insights from the Non-Profit Animal Wellness Sector
Date: Thuesday, May 13th, 2021 @ 10:00AM EST

Gabrielle     Gabrielle Scrimshaw Sagalov, Storyteller, Strategist, Indigenous
Gabrielle Scrimshaw Sagalov is an Indigenous professional with a passion for creating social impact. She has an MBA from Stanford and is a Gleitsman Fellow at the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University.

Gabrielle is the founder of The Scrimshaw Group, a consultancy with a focus on diversity, inclusion, and Indigenous economic development. Based in San Francisco, Gabrielle is a sought after expert on Indigenous issues and inclusion by North America's largest national media outlets and corporations.

Growing up in a rural Indigenous town of 800 people, Gabrielle was raised in a single parent household and is a proud citizen of the Hatchet Lake Denesuline Nation. A first generation student, she has studied international business and policy across 6 continents. Gabrielle is the Co-Founder the Indigenous Professional Association of Canada, a non-profit considered a global thought leader in Indigenous leadership.

When not on the road, you can find Gabrielle in her garden or trying to bake the perfect sourdough loaf.

Session:  Indigenous Inclusion  |  Building an Inclusive Culture
Date: Wednesday, May 12th, 2021 @ 11:30AM EST

Murray Sinclair     The Honourable Murray Sinclair OM, IPC PhD (Hon) DCL (Hon)
The Honourable Murray Sinclair served the justice system in Manitoba for over 25 years. He was the first Aboriginal Judge appointed in Manitoba and Canada’s second.

He served as Co-Chair of the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry in Manitoba and as Chief Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). As head of the TRC, he participated in hundreds of hearings across Canada, culminating in the issuance of the TRC’s report in 2015. He also oversaw an active multi-million-dollar fundraising program to support various TRC events and activities, and to allow survivors to travel to attend TRC events.

His Honour has been invited to speak throughout Canada, the United States and internationally, including the Cambridge Lectures for members of the Judiciary of various Commonwealth Courts in England.

He served as an adjunct professor of law at the University of Manitoba. He was very active within his profession and his community and has won numerous awards, including the National Aboriginal Achievement Award (1994) and the Lifetime Achievement Award (2017) from Indspire, the Manitoba Bar Association’s Equality Award (2001) and its Distinguished Service Award (2016). He most recently received the President’s Award from the Canadian Bar Association (2018), the SSHRC Impact Award (2019), the Symons Medal (2019), Humane Canada Leadership and Innovation Award (2020) and the Adrienne Clarkson Prize for Global Citizenship (2020).

The Honourable Sinclair has received Honorary Doctorates from seventeen Canadian universities. He was appointed to the Senate on April 2, 2016.

Although he has now retired from the Senate, during his time he served on the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Peoples, the Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, as Vice-Chair of the Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and Rights of Parliament and as Chair of the Senate Ethics and Conflict of Interest for Senators Committee.

Session: Animal Rights in a Human World
Date: Wednesday, May 12th, 2021 @ 1:15PM EST

Magdalena - conference speaker     Dr. Magdalena Smrdelj DVM DACVPM, Chief Veterinary Officer, Ontario SPCA and Humane Society, Fellow, Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics
Dr. Magdalena Smrdelj (DVM DACVPM) is the Chief Veterinary Officer at the Ontario SPCA. Dr. Smrdelj is a keen advocate for animals with a long career in animal welfare and shelter medicine. She became involved with the Ontario SPCA in Canada’s first high-volume spay/neuter service in Newmarket, Ontario. She is a Diplomate with the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine.

As Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr. Smrdelj oversees Shelter Health & Wellness programs and initiatives and veterinary medical services for the Society. With her team members, Dr. Smrdelj focuses on preventive care and a high standard of care for all animals entering shelters that addresses both physical and emotional wellbeing while preparing them for their new home. She hopes to continue to support strong relationships and collaborative programs with partners in veterinary medicine, animal welfare, and other related industries.

Dr. Smrdelj’s professional interests and areas of focus include One Welfare, veterinary preventive medicine, emerging and zoonotic diseases and the human-animal bond.

Session: Leading Through Crisis: Insights from the Non-Profit Animal Wellness Sector
Date: Thursday, May 13th, 2021 @ 10:00AM EST

Josh V     Josh Vaisman, CCFP, MAPPCP
Josh believes all animal welfare professionals deserve to feel fulfilled by their work, each and every day. Through his company, Flourish Veterinary Consulting, he combines more than 20 years of veterinary experience, a post-graduate diploma in Applied Positive Psychology & Coaching Psychology, and education in Positive Leadership and Positive Organizational Scholarship to help them do just that.

Fun fact – Josh is also an avid beekeeper who teaches beginning beekeepers how to tend to their buzzing buddies.

Session: Safe to Soar: The Secret Ingredient to Fulfilled, High Performing Teams
Thursday, May 13th, 2021 @ 11:15AM EST

Faiza conference speaker      Faiza Venzant, CVA  Executive Director, Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration
From a young age, Faiza Venzant's parents instilled a strong sense of volunteerism in herself and her two older brothers. They, as immigrants to Canada from Uganda in the early 70s made a successful transition into Canadian life with the help of many generous volunteers. A volunteer herself from a very young age, she has been an advocate for volunteer engagement for the last 20 years speaking, facilitating and continually learning from others internationally.

She is currently Executive Director with the Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration and General Manager, Volunteer Development at the YMCA of Greater Toronto.

Faiza is an active member and volunteer of the Toronto Association for Volunteer Administrators (TAVA), Volunteer Management Professionals of Canada (VMPC) and Association for Leaders in Volunteer Engagement (ALIVE).

In 2020, Faiza was the recipient of TAVA’s Innovation Award. In 2019, she was the recipient of the inaugural IMPACT award in Canada for Exemplary Volunteer Leadership. From PAVR-O, she received the Linda Buchanan Award in 2013 and has twice received their President's Award.

Faiza is passionate about equity and access amongst volunteers and leaders of volunteers. She believes strongly that a community with a thriving volunteer base improves the overall quality of life and health of all its members.

In 2018, Faiza published her first children’s book entitled, My Mamma Wants to Eat Me Up! As a mother of two young boys, she has not actually eaten any of her children up. 

Session: Future Trends in Volunteerism
Thursday, May 13th, 2021 @ 3:15PM EST


 Check back often as more exciting speakers are announced! 



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