Speakers

Each year at the Performance Excellence Summit & Canada Awards for Excellence, we line-up dynamic speakers and thought-leaders that deliver powerful messages that inspire.

Rahul Bhardwaj, LLB, ICD.D

President & Chief Executive Officer, Institute of Corporate Directors

Rahul Bhardwaj leads an organization of more than 12,000 members committed to improving national outcomes by growing the leadership and governance capacities within Canadian businesses, agencies and not-for-profits.

He began his career as a corporate lawyer at a leading Canadian law firm. He subsequently served as Vice-President for Toronto’s 2008 Olympic Bid, and was President & CEO of the Toronto Foundation for nine years. He also chaired the 2012 Ontario Summer Games and the Toronto Jazz Festival.

Dr. Lance Secretan’s bestselling books, inspirational talks and life-changing retreats have touched the hearts and minds of hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. He is ranked 17th in the world by Leadership Gurus and among the Top Five Leadership speakers by Speakers in America. He has authored 21 books about leadership, inspiration, corporate culture and entrepreneurship, the latest of which is The Bellwether Effect: Stop Following. Start Inspiring!

He coaches and advises leaders globally and guides leadership teams who wish to transform their culture into the most inspirational in their industries.

Lance is the recipient of many awards, including the International Caring Award, and is the former Chair of the Advisory Board of the Special Olympics World Winter Games. Currently he chairs the Pay it Forward Foundation.

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Radio Host

Dr. Benoit-Antoine Bacon

President and Vice-Chancellor, The University of British Columbia

Dr. Benoit-Antoine Bacon started a five-year term as the 17th President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of British Columbia in 2023.

Before joining UBC, Dr. Bacon served in several academic leadership roles, including as President and Vice-Chancellor of Carleton University in Ottawa, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) at Queen’s University in Kingston, and as Provost and Vice-President (Academic Affairs) at Concordia University in his hometown of Montreal.

Dr. Bacon holds a PhD in neuropsychology from the University of Montreal, after which he undertook a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Glasgow, Scotland. His research focuses on the neurophysiological and cognitive bases of visual and multisensory perception.

Sharing his own lived experience, he advocates nationally for open conversations about mental health and substance use.

Tony Chapman

Creator and Host of the Award Winning Podcast and Platform Chatter that Matters

Tony Chapman is an inductee into the Marketing Hall of Legends and the Canadian Advertising, PR and Branding Hall of Fame, cementing a legacy where he founded and built two internationally renowned advertising agencies and a research firm.  In 2010 Tony sold his remaining interests to freely speak his mind in the media, and on conference stages worldwide.
 
Tony is also the creator and host of the award winning podcast and platform Chatter that Matters which ranks in the top 0.5% most popular globally.  Each week Tony shares a story of someone who overcomes circumstances to chase their dreams and change their world and even ours for the better.  Tony’s guests have included Nobel Peace Prize Nominees, Gold Medalists, Oscar Nominees, Emmy and Grammy Award Winners, NY Times Best Selling Authors, Thought Leaders, and many more. 

Erin Davis

Broadcaster, Author, Sleep Enthusiast

Our MC has had the honour of waking up Torontonians for 30 years as host of the morning show on 98.1 CHFI and was recently inducted into the Canadian and Music and Broadcast Industry Hall of Fame. Erin now resides in Victoria, BC where she host the CREA podcast Real Time, a podcast for seniors’ residences called Elder Wisdom and her dream project: Drift with Erin Davis, sleep stories on Apple and Frequency. Erin loves to emcee and to share her keynote message of hope after tragedy, based on her Globe & Mail bestselling memoir Mourning Has Broken: Love, Loss and Reclaiming Joy (HarperCollins Canada). Erin is delighted to be sharing in this event celebrating Excellence in all its forms.

Allan N. Ebedes

President & CEO, Excellence Canada

Since 2005, Allan Ebedes has led Excellence Canada, formerly known as the National Quality Institute. Working with the Board of Directors, he is responsible for setting the strategic direction of Excellence Canada and delivering on its business plan and mission.

Allan began his business career as a Chartered Accountant (CA) at Coopers & Lybrand, now PWC. He then became a partner at a small furniture and appliance chain, which grew significantly during his ownership, and was subsequently sold to The Brick. In 1979, he started a private career college called the Toronto School of Business, a division of International Business Schools, which grew to become the largest career college in Canada, with 50 locations coast to coast which during his ownership, trained over 250,000 adult students for new and rewarding careers. Allan took the company public on the NASDAQ exchange.

In 2002, Allan founded Management Mentors International, a company dedicated to corporate training and development, coaching and mentoring. He was also appointed as President of the Academy of Learning, a chain of 100 computer learning centres across Canada.

Allan is a CA, CPA and earned an MBA from the University of Toronto (now Rotman School of Management) and an LLM law degree in Global Business through an evening program at the Faculty of Law. Allan is a Certified Director (ICD.D) with the Institute of Corporate Directors and is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO).

Caitlan Maggs

Speaker, Workshop Director, Author

A life-long Performing Arts expert, Caitlan Maggs graduated from London’s Royal Ballet School and performed with The National Ballet of Canada (where she danced with Baryshnikov and Nureyev), and then became a reputed teacher at École Supérieure de Ballet du Québec.

Halfway through her dance career, Caitlan ran away with the circus! As Artistic Expert at Cirque du Soleil for 22 years, she designed the Artistic Creativity Training for all the Cirque du Soleil Creations and Touring Shows, as well as mentoring dance coaches at CDS’ Michael Jackson One & the Beatles’ LOVE.

As Creative Director since 2017, Caitlan has directed workshops for Creatoyo, Toyo University, Japan; ArtIST, CNAM, Paris; La Factry; USA Gymnastic; Mosaic Creativity Management School @HEC University, Montréal, @Mosaic-Lithuania Academy of Music & Theatre and @Mosaic-Lille University, France; as well as being Guest Speaker at creativity forums and universities in Tokyo, Paris, Vilnius, Toronto, Sarasota, Lille & Montreal.

Published author with Acro-Artistic Creativity/Instructional Design Fieldbook in 2022, Caitlan Maggs is currently writing a book about the creative process at Cirque du Soleil.

 

Joe Roberts

The Skidrow CEO

Joe Roberts aka The Skidrow CEO is an expert on resilience and change. Having experienced
both catastrophic failure and extraordinary success Joe teaches how to overcome the roadblocks that get in the way of high performance.

He helps companies and individuals redefine what’s truly possible by confronting limiting
mindsets. Participants at Joes’ events leave inspired and moved to action.

What is most amazing about Joe is that in 1989 he was living on the streets of Vancouver as a
homeless skid row addict. Through perseverance, determination and his resilient human spirit, Joe pulled himself out of darkness and despair, to become a highly respected business and community leader.

Shirlee Sharkey

Chair of Excellence Canada
Former President & CEO, SE Health

Shirlee Sharkey, ICD.D, CHE, MHSc, BScN, BA, Reg.N. LLD (honoris causa)

Shirlee Sharkey is recognized as one of Canada’s foremost experts on home care and healthy aging. As a registered nurse and the longtime CEO of SE Health, a unique not-for-profit social enterprise, she has dedicated her career to empowering people, championing compassion, and advancing social innovation to forever impact how people live and age at home. In May 2022, Shirlee stepped down from SE Health following 30 years of breakthrough leadership.

Shirlee shares her passion and expertise as a thought leader, speaker, author, and mentor. In 2020, she collaborated with a range of experts to co-author The Future of Aging, a book that has been described as “a brilliant and powerful challenge to locked-in ageist mindsets, policies and service models.

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Each year, the ​Performance ​Excellence ​Summit ​& ​Canada ​Awards ​for ​Excellence ​attracts ​500+ ​leaders ​and ​decision-makers ​from ​all ​sectors ​and ​includes ​a ​line-up ​of ​high ​profile ​speakers, ​presentation ​of ​the ​Canada ​Awards ​for ​Excellence ​and ​Board ​of ​Governors’ ​Special ​Recognition ​of ​Achievement ​Award. Don’t miss out!

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