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Plenary Speakers

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Darby Allen
Fort McMurray’s Fire Chief (Ret.) 

Opening Keynote
Monday, September 24, 9:30 am–10:30 am 

During the catastrophic Alberta wildfires, fire chief DARBY ALLEN shot to global acclaim for guiding the 88,000 residents of Fort McMurray to safety with no loss of life—the largest evacuation in Canadian history. Now, he offers guidance on how to be a stoic, quick-thinking leader in tough situations. We all face emergencies and crises—Allen shows us how to overcome them.

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Zita Cobb
Founder and CEO, Shorefast | Innkeeper, Fogo Island Inn.

Plenary Presentation
Tuesday, September 25, 
9:00 am–10:00 am

A registered Canadian charity, Shorefast uses business-minded means to help secure economic and cultural resilience for Fogo Island, Newfoundland, one of Canada’s oldest settlements. Following a successful career in high-tech, Zita returned to her home of Fogo Island to help grow another leg on the economy of this singular rural place. Shorefast’s notable achievements to date comprise a holistic set of charitable initiatives, including the world-class artist-in-residence program Fogo Island Arts, and three innovative social businesses whose operating surpluses are returned to Shorefast for reinvestment in further community development work. Specifically, Shorefast is behind the award-winning, 29-suite Fogo Island Inn, the Fogo Island Shop and Fogo Island Fish. Shorefast has pioneered the innovative practice economic nutrition labelling for its social businesses, transparently demonstrating “where the money goes.”


Stephane Grenier​
Retired Lieutenant Colonel | Mental Health Innovator

Plenary Presentation
Tuesday, September 25, 1
:30 pm–2:30 pm

Stephane Grenier is a former member of the Canadian Military who retired as a Lieutenant Colonel after serving for just over 29 years. He participated in several Canadian missions overseas, most notably nine months in Rwanda in 1994/95 and six months in Kandahar, Afghanistan in 2007, as well as numerous shorter deployments to Cambodia, Kuwait, the Arabian Gulf, Lebanon, and Haiti, to name a few.

​In hopes of challenging society’s traditional outlook regarding mental health, Grenier has spent much of his career redefining how workplaces and individuals should care for and support those affected by mental health problems. By developing, implementing, and managing peer based programs aimed at reducing stigma, Grenier provides leaders and managers a firm understanding of how to deal with the fast growing realities hindering today’s brain based economy. His non clinical approach offers simple and pragmatic ways of giving purpose to the lived experience of members of workplaces and allows organizations to start down the path of systemic wellness and re-humanized workplaces where mental health stigma is no longer a barrier to recovery.

Allison X. 

Plenary Presentation
Wednesday, September 26, 8:30 am–9:30 am 

A long-serving employee of CSIS who will be talking about the Service and its mandate, threats to the security of Canada and the impact of these threats to today's corporations. When developing a risk management program, an effective risk manager will account for these external threats that may not become apparent when surveying a corporation's vulnerabilities.