The road to real leadership is rarely a straight one, and among Canada’s most successful entrepreneurs, few have traveled a route with more obstacles overcome than Zahra Al-Harazi. Sharing her no-holds-barred attitude and passion for success, Zahra discusses her unique approach to entrepreneurship and leadership, as well as her personal experience as a pioneering woman and immigrant in the business world.
Both a refugee born in Uganda and an immigrant to Canada, after the civil war in Yemen, she came to this country a young mother of 3, with no higher education or understanding of the business world. Today, Zahra build her company Foundry Communications into a market leader and is now in the process of launching a new company.
Zahra has received multiple accolades. She was named one of Calgary’s Top 40 Under 40; Business in Calgary’s “Leader of Tomorrow”; Canadian Woman Entrepreneur of the Year from Chatelaine magazine; one of Canada’s 100 most powerful women by WXN; and she has also received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal for contributions to Canada and the RBC Top 25 Immigrants to Canada Award. She is currently the Canadian Ambassador to UNICEF.
Zahra’s talks have influenced audiences at leading institutions across North America, and in India, Germany, Turkey, Australia and New Zealand.
Titled “There is no lock on the cage” Zahra’s talk will lead us to a path of experiences, joy, fulfillment and a meaningful life.
Evolution Of An Angler
Award winning Executive Producer and Director of What A Catch Productions.
When professional fisherman Kathryn Maroun fell ill with lyme disease and co-infections, she didn’t know if she was going to live, let alone go fishing again. Six years have passed and she is still battling to recover her health. The experience of confronting her own mortality transformed her views of the sport of fishing and of herself as an angler. In Evolution of an Angler, Maroun takes us on a thought-provoking journey as she struggles to balance her love for fishing with her concern for the fish.
Kathryn is a strong believer in conservation and has acted as a National Director of Trout Unlimited Canada – an organization that protects and restores Canada’s cold water resource. With an aim to bring awareness to the wonders of fly fishing and the physical and emotional benefits of the sport, Kathryn established “Whatacatch.net”, a specialized award winning production company that aired for the first time in April 2005 on the Outdoor Life Network to an audience of over 63 million North Americans.
The 52 show series highlights Kathryn’s fishing adventures from around the world. What A Catch was a huge success and went on to international distribution.
Kathryn is certified as a casting instructor by the international body of Federation of Fly Fishers and is one of only three Canadian women certified in the sport.
She competed on the World stage as a member of the Canadian World Fly Fishing team. Kathryn is featured in the collection of two prominent museums for her significant contribution to the sport of fly fishing. Kathryn is the designer of a stylish clothing line designed for women at work in the outdoors. Kathryn is a co-founder and Volunteer director for Casting for Recovery Canada (CFRC). A cause that utilizes fly fishing to aid people stricken with breast cancer.
Kathryn Maroun is a fly fishing expert with a mission: to promote and campaign for a more balanced playing field for women in the sport and a call to action for kinder treatment for the wellbeing of water breathers.
The distance between mother nature and my wheelchair
At the age of 23, Kuen’s car went over, an almost 1200m cliff on the Coquaholla highway, she wakes up in the hospital from a coma only to find her independence and future taken. In the midst of all the chaos and confusion, Kuen made a choice to embrace her new life. Now, at the age of 15 (new life years), she has experienced more misfortunes and mishaps than most people will experience in a life time, yet she still smiles everyday and feeling optimistic for the future at every turn…
Known as The Mighty Kuen, she is the first quadriplegic comic book letterer in the world to work for DC comics, first to receive a Bachlore of Education Degree with Elementary specialization from U of A, and many many more. Currently, she letterers for many interesting and independent projects including a few all women collaboration books, artistic poetry books, unlikely super heroes as well as motion comics. She enjoys working with her coworkers, as well as being a motivational speaker and graphic designer. On weekends, she turns into a Murderball player, adventure seeker and disability advocate. By night, she either letters comic book projects, or fights the evil villain called “Inaccessibility” by creating comic strips that deal with disability issues.
Where will The Mighty Kuen head to next? Stay tuned and check out her website at www.kuentang.com
The Power of Human Nature
Jeff Couillard is an experienced leader in the nonprofit, education and community sectors. His vision is to help people (and organizations) change for the better, and believes that real change is only possible when it starts with individuals. For the past decade he’s been leading a multi-disciplinary team of professionals, building a world class addictions treatment program for youth and families a mere 10km from Canmore (as the crow flies) in the Ghost forest. In his spare time he runs an old diesel truck on vegetable oil, experiments with building social enterprises, manages a diabetes diagnosis with running shoes and high-fat, ketogenic diet…and helps raise three small children.
Entrepreneurship – a framework for mastery
“I live to explore and implement the wisdom of past and present so that Small Business owners and aspiring Entrepreneurs can live life more on their terms.”
Vince Fowler is a proud military veteran with operational experience in war torn Somalia, a championship rugby athlete and coach, and a 20-year background in business. Naturally, this makes for a very unique Executive and Business Coach.
Vince is the self appointed Chief Challenger of the Status Quo and co-founder of Vested Interest Group – a Calgary based business coaching practice with clients spanning across Canada in a variety industries.
Inspired by TED Talks almost five years ago, Vince Fowler founded The Measurable Difference – a bi-monthly, half day seminar series designed specifically to serve small business and aspiring entrepreneurs. If TED had a baby, it’s The Measurable Difference (TMD). “We have one core value – abundance – which is to share knowledge without expectation. In other words, nothing is for sale… except the ticket to attend.”
It’s the combination of military discipline, coaching success and business insight that makes Vince a triple-threat (in Rock-Paper-Scissors) and allowed him to recognize, create and facilitate his unique, yet simple, coaching methodology – the entrepreneur’s framework for mastery.
Vince is based in Calgary, AB, with his best friend and wife Donita, and their two children, Hayden & Hudson. His favourite number is 13. “Airborne!”
The Warrior Within (Expanding Your Comfort Zone)
Corey Poirier is an award-winning Keynote speaker (having presented to over 150,000 attendees), sought-after Leadership Expert, and host of the top rated Conversations With PASSION Radio Show which features the likes of Chicken Soup Co-Creator Jack Canfield, Rick Hansen, Olympic Gold Medalist Silken Laumann, Turbo Jam Creator Chalene Johnson and hundreds more.
Corey is also an International Best-Selling Author who has appeared on television specials on Eastlink and Tellie TV, and been seen on CBC, CTV, and Global. He is the Founder of a Business Publication, a 9-time acclaimed ‘and International best-selling’ author, and the CEO of a Seminar Company and Media Company who has interviewed more than 3500 Super-Achievers. He is also a seasoned Stand-up Comedian and a Rock Recording of the Year Nominee who has surfed in Tofino, B.C. despite being unable to swim and Skydiving in New Brunswick despite a fear of heights.
Return to Analog
Ernest Barbaric is a digital marketing strategist, keynote speaker, and writer. He has been featured in HubSpot, Forbes, Mashable, USA Today, and Canadian Business. In 2010, he developed the Social Media for Business certificate at Mount Royal University, and more recently the Digital Marketing Strategy certificate for the Canadian Marketing Association.
His love of collecting, analyzing and sharing knowledge has led Ernest to design and launch Analog Camp – a wilderness retreat for professionals, and host Art Of Meaningful Work – a weekly podcast where he interviews entrepreneurs, authors and thought leaders on doing work that matters.
Outside of business pants, you’ll find him pursuing a mix of interests that include urban sketching, restoring vintage straight razors, building motorcycles, and black and white photography.
In Ernest’s talk, we’ll shine a light on invisible forces that tame our ability to produce meaningful work, and how to break free by going analog.
Learning good judgment from bad experiences
For my whole adult life I’ve been a professional endurance athlete, traveling the world, pushing my physical limits in some of the most challenging events and alpine terrain in the world. All that changed on August 30th, 2016 when I, along with two friends were attempting a never before been done fast and light traverse of 14 peaks in Rogers Pass. We were moving along well, making great progress through the beautiful mountain terrain when disaster struck. A fridge sized block of rock pulled out on me, sending me tumbling over 200 feet down a “blockey” mountain face. I found myself lying at the bottom of the mountain in a pool of blood, happy to be alive, but knowing that my life of easy movement and mountain challenges would be changed forever. I broke my back, my pelvis, my ankle, I punctured a lung and suffered severe lacerations across my body. In the weeks and months that followed I examined my passions and pursuits, the impacts that my choices have had on my loved ones and have struggled with my new physical realities. My talk will explore the realizations that I have had in my recovery process and will examine my new relationship with my passion.
Adam Campbell likes to “suffer in beautiful places” and loves exploring his backyard and challenging himself on foot, skis and on rock. He was raised on the beaches of Lagos, Nigeria to Canadian parents, but now calls the Canadian Rockies home. He has competed in, and regularly place on the podium at, some of the world’s most challenging and competitive mountain running races and trail ultramarathons. This includes podium finishes at the Ultra Trail Mount Fuji, Hardrock 100, UTMB, Squamish 50 and the Canadian mountain running championships. Adam is also a member of Canada’s ski mountaineering team and has the Fastest Known Time on many Canadian mountains and trails.
Adam is happiest exploring mountain terrain on foot, rope and skis and sharing those moments with close friends. When not running around the mountains, he’s an environmental and business lawyer. He is also a co-owner of Canada’s largest trail running series and is a vocal advocate for getting people, especially kids, to reconnect with nature and explore their own backyards, parks and neighbourhoods through human powered movement. These days Adam is most inspired by “alpinrunning” – taking his fitness and love of human powered movement and combining them with technical mountain skills to approach the mountains in a light and fast way, although a recent accident has caused him to reevaluate his approach to risk and mountain pursuits.
Release The WILD In Our Children
As a mother to three young children, Laurie knows firsthand the ups (and downs) of raising kids in a fast-paced world. This is an exciting time and today’s children will have access to more information and technology than any previous generation. Laurie cuts through the noise and reminds us that the foundation of self-awareness, self-care and self-empowerment remain fundamental – and makes these topics fun! Laurie’s background as an educator, her passion for children and mental-health and her engaging and warm personality have made her a sought after resource on mindfulness education and programming. She has developed numerous teaching tools for use at home and in schools and speaks to groups across the province, about how they can implement mindfulness programming into their classrooms, their homes and into their daily lives.
How I slayed addiction with Nature
Dax Justin is a Canadian explorer, adventure/landscape photographer and storyteller based in Calgary, Alberta. Dax partners with travel destinations, brands and agencies to expand social reach online through producing high-quality visual content and stories that are both engaging and rich in soul.
Dax lived a “normal” life for a decade after University. He worked from 9 to 5 in corporate positions; watching clocks and waiting for weekends. His creative vision was clouded and his feelings were surrounded by darkness. This was life: bored, distracted, stressed, tired, addicted, and doomed.
Then one morning at the end of 2013 everything changed. Dax woke up and had an out-of-body experience, forcing him into an unknown place: the Wilderness. He began documenting the experiences and emotions he felt in Nature that day: love, happiness and belonging. After that morning he quit his job and Nature not only brought tears to his eyes and saved him from death – it changed the course of his life forever.
Since that day he has immersed himself in wild places; skiing off the summit of Panorama Mountain at 8,000ft and paragliding to the base, and trekking the Berg Lake Trail after photo-documenting glaciers by helicopter. He has gone on to produce award-winning outdoor campaigns, has been a ‘Suggested User’ twice on Instagram, was the recipient of a ceremonious white-hat from the YYC Calgary International Airport and has been featured by national and international publications such as Canadian Geographic, Travel Channel, The Weather Network, CBC, Hootsuite, Shaw TV, HYPEBEAST and Instagram.
His talk “How I slayed addiction with Nature” boldly takes you on a journey from the darkest corner of the Universe to the most colorful horizons, speaking on conquering self-imposed mental blocks, finding your true self, and what rediscovering the vitality of life means to your future.
Tame the Wild Within
Ask him what’s up and the answer will include Kids, Outside and Explore!
Evan Weselake is a certified executive coach and workshop facilitator with a twist. For six years he was a sponsored ultra-endurance athlete and has appeared on CNN, National Geographic and the Discovery Channel. He has written for Yoga Journal, PRYMD.com and others.
His background in Organizational Development, Strategic Human Resources and Sport Psychology create a unique perspective on team performance which earned him an invite to the Forbes Coaches Council®. After two decades of authoring professional development programs and 14,000 hours as a facilitator Evan has ‘breathed the air’ of numerous industries and he is constantly seeking to share learning across disciplines.
Described as insatiably curious, high-energy and a keen observer; he loves to explore the big ideas and reach for real world applications. As one client said, “You [Evan] have a unique ability to get outside the noise, and focus.”
After surviving a Class 3 avalanche that claimed seven lives he became fascinated with the human response to pressure and what we can learn from survival. His avalanche story appears in “The Best Adventure and Survival Stories 2003.”
Evans’ talk, “Taming the Wild within” will explore what pressure does and how we can not only survive but thrive,when it matters most!
What is your Wildself?
After a having a powerful vision on her first backpacking trip in the Canadian Rockies, Ronna pursued a career in wilderness guiding. For the past 25 years Ronna has been exploring ways of connecting people to themselves through time in wild places. This interest has led her to study a variety of practices including leadership development, meditation, storytelling, indigenous traditions, and most recently Shinrin Yoku (forest bathing).
Ronna is one of the first people in Canada to guide the simple yet powerful practice of Shinrin Yoku. She is an award winning guide, an ACMG Hiking Guide, a yoga & meditation teacher, and an accredited Master Interpreter with the Interpretive Guides Association.
As faculty with Leadership Development at the Banff Centre, Ronna has been working with professionals and executives using nature as the teacher to create powerful reflections and transformation.
After studying the many ways people can experience wild places she has discovered that it all comes down to connection. When people feel connected to nature they become connected to themselves, others and everything else in their life becomes clear. Ronna provides effective tools so people can listen to themselves and what nature has to tell them. With our increasingly busy technological world, research shows it is the nature wise who will have the advantage.
For more information on Ronna’s unique approach see www.walkwithronna.com.
Finding Power and Peace in Rhythm
In a world filled with distractions coming at us from every direction, it is a wonderful thing to be able to tune out the noise, and tune into our own inner rhythm. A drum circle brings us the opportunity to do just that.
Renée Werenka is a wellness educator and drum circle facilitator. Through years of experience in many facets of the world of music, she has connected to her passion to bring joy and healing together. Her background includes 18 years experience in teaching piano, a BMus with great distinction in piano performance, hosting a weekly open music jam and currently performs in a dynamic group (The Joko Band) with the vision of bringing together music and a positive message. Renée has honed in her skills and love of music and rhythm as key tools in the search for personal connection and community support.
A drum circle allows you to find peace in a time of potential inner or outer chaos. It allows you to turn off the outside world and really connect to what is going on in your own body. A drum circle holds the space that allows for flow, being fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus and enjoyment in the process of the activity.
Taking this idea to the next level, Renée marries the drum circle with holistic wellness. Using aspects of meditation, nutrition, organization, self care and more, the holistic wellness approach in drum circle is used to heal our life from the inside out. Using the power of rhythm as a grounding force as well as a sense of lightness and fun.
“I truly believe that music can change the world. All we need is a space for everyone to experience it for themselves. My mission is to be awesome and hold the space for those around me to be their own version of awesome. We can all find a place of being grounded in our authentic self and using that foundation as a springboard for us to jump forward into our full potential.”
Marcus is a presenter on the heart/soul/mind relationship and workshop leader in the realm of self-empowerment. He is the translator of the book “The Art of Listening to Life”, which is an insight into how to interpret the messages that life is constantly sending us in an effort to help us navigate a smoother life journey. His investigation started in ashrams in India in the early 80s’ and has evolved into developing courses for helping people understand the purpose of adversity in our lives. There are certain tricks to becoming conscious participants in the creative process of our lives. Life is a map, and we are the map makers.
Marcus is an entrepreneur with many successes in the business world and has been described as an agent of change. He is also a photographer, a recording artist, and the voice in the audio book “Adventure of the Soul.”
He is also the host of “Perceptions”, a radio program that investigates various aspects of the human experience through interviews with authors, specialist and luminaries in their respective fields.
Marcus is showing that heart and soul have much more to tell us about living a harmonious life than intellect and rational mind. The art of being is greatly enhanced through the art of listening to life.