Our annual program is designed to be informative and engaging and to help all attendees gain new insights into their businesses and careers.
We know you will find the speakers entertaining as well as shrewd, our events well run and welcoming and our members, advisors and sponsors always eager to hear from you, and help support your business and growth.
We look forward to seeing you at our next event.
Avvey Peters is Vice President, Partnerships with Communitech. She focuses on strategic communications, advocacy, and partnership development to advance the Waterloo Region tech sector. Avvey is also cross-appointed as Managing Director of the Canadian Digital Media Network – a group of 26 innovation hubs across Canada, which focus on supporting the growth and success of small and mid-sized digital companies across the country.
Before joining Communitech in 2007, Avvey spent several years working in external relations at the University of Waterloo, where she held various roles, including senior director of government relations, associate director of communications and public affairs, and speechwriter and strategic communications officer for the president of the University. She has also worked as a news writer for CTV Southwestern Ontario. Avvey is a former executive director of the Business & Education Partnership of Waterloo Region, a charitable organization that connects youth to careers, with particular emphasis on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. She is a member of the boards of directors of Waterloo Economic Development, Wavefront, and the Technology Councils of North America.
Avvey holds a Master of Journalism from Carleton University in Ottawa, and a degree in Rhetoric and Professional Writing from the University of Waterloo. She has also completed the Ivey Executive Program at the Richard Ivey School of Business.
Mega Health at Work, is a Waterloo, Ontario-based training consulting company. We offer a series of workshops that address mental health and wellness with a proactive approach. My background includes 15 years in various human resource roles, where I became an expert in implementing Return to Work plans for injured workers. I came to the realization that workplaces could benefit from training in prevention rather that treatment. That’s when Mega Health at Work was born and our tagline “Keeping Your Productivity Healthy” was created.
Robin Bender cares about people, about the way they think, the way they feel, and the way they work. It is this concern for people that has guided her education and her career.
In order to better understand people, Robin attended Wilfrid Laurier University where she received a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She combined that with a post-graduate diploma in Human Resources from Conestoga College. This equipped her to begin working in the HR field with various organizations, assisting people with health and wellness issues and disability claims, helping them to return to productive work.
Spending 15 years in HR-related positions, Robin realized that many organizations were trying—and failing—to balance the conflicting perspectives and priorities of employers, unions, and employees. She found organizations struggling with high rates of absenteeism, presenteeism (in which employees are present but unproductive), and various forms of mental illness. Too often, management didn’t understand what was happening or how to deal with it, and attributed these problems to work-related stress. But Robin understood that “stress” isn’t a diagnosis; there were deeper issues, often involving depression and anxiety.
Robin recognized the growing need for mental health first aid, particularly among first responders—firefighters, police, and paramedics—who are exposed to traumatic events almost every day. She saw that too many people in these fields were expected to help others through the worst days of their lives, yet the helpers were themselves often without help. They were given rigorous training in dealing with life-threatening emergencies, but were not trained how to cope with the consequences to their own emotional and psychological health, often with tragic consequences.
“Supporting someone with mental illness requires a lot of courage, requires a lot of confidence, and requires a lot of knowledge.”
In response, Robin founded Mega Health at Work Inc., dedicated to erasing the stigma of mental illness and providing the tools organizations need to foster improved mental health in the workplace.
Recently, Robin was one of 40 participants selected to attend the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s specialized training to study techniques of applying evidence-informed research in the fields of mental health, substance abuse, and addictions. In 2014 she was honoured with the KW Octoberfest Women of the Year Award for Health & Wellness and in 2003, Robin received the United Way Appreciation and Recognition Award.
“It’s very rewarding to be able to provide people with the tools and the education and the skills to be able to support someone who’s struggling with mental illness.”
Today, Robin continues demonstrating her concern for people through her work as a Mental Health First Aid Instructor to identify the signs and symptoms of mental health issues. Her work with Mega Health includes informal lunch-and-learn sessions, dynamic workshops, as well as speaking engagements before mental health workers, first responders, health and safety workers, HR professionals, and senior management.
As an independent HR consultant, Robin advises organizations of all types and sizes on human resource matters, workplace health, and leadership development, addressing such issues as disability management, legal compliance, and return to work programs. Robin recognizes that each organization is unique. Thus, through focused listening and analysis, she is able to provide customized programs that help organizations maximize productivity through improved worker health and wellness.
In all her activities, Robin demonstrates and encourages a proactive approach to fostering a psychologically healthy work environment that’s more likely to stave off mental illness before it begins.
John and Jo will take you on a journey, not unlike those family businesses travel each day, where you will work in groups to examine and hopefully help solve everyday issues we all face in family business. The interactive business case will draw on the intertwined aspects of strategy and leadership, conflict management, change management, ethics, and providing feedback.
Together, in a short 60-70 minutes we will examine the design, coaching, and strategic leadership factors that contribute to team performance in business. Discussion will include topics such as the impact of an organization’s performance measurement and incentive system on strategy implementation; management’s philosophy and leadership style and organizational structure and the assignment of authority and responsibility; it will touch on personnel policies and procedures and the external environment. In small groups we will help evaluate risk levels for the organization and proposes procedures for reducing risk, while analyzing human resource issues, including behavioural implications, related to the incentive structure. Then as a large group we will discuss and evaluate ethical issues and how to help encourage individual participation in the achievement of organizational goals.
We expect that by the end of the business case participants will be energized and motivated to look at their own businesses such that they may need to critically evaluate situations where actions may not be congruent with their strategy and objectives, or hopefully with the confidence that they are heading in the right direction. Either way, we look forward to an entertaining, fun and exciting morning.
John Rose. BA, MBA, CPA, CMA
John has led and motivated diverse teams and managed numerous businesses in a varied number of industries. As president of Oak Bridge Holdings Inc., he currently oversees a diverse portfolio of ventures, property and investment holdings. Prior to joining Oak Bridge Holdings, John has held senior level positions in management and operations with international companies, helping start, grow or redesign firms to achieve desired goals and objectives. Possessing a CPA CMA, an MBA (Strategy) and a BA (Economics), John has taught for the Society of Management Accountants of Ontario, the executive and part-time MBA programs for the Laurier Lazaridis School of Business, and Conestoga College’s School of Business. John has held numerous board and executive level positions with private SME’s as well as Not-for-Profit organizations and industry associations and has a long history of community involvement, having held executive level positions in junior hockey, while currently coaching softball and being a volunteer captain in his local community fire department in Wellesley.
Jo Taylor, CHRM
Jo has been a consultant, trainer and facilitator in the private, public and not-for-profit sector for many years. Educated in human resource management, change management and psychology, she is a skilled communicator, analyst and strategist — skills grown during over 35 years of leadership experience, more than 20 of which have been spent consulting both locally and nationally. Before her “semi” retirement, Jo ran her own consulting business and affiliated with other consulting organizations. She has designed and delivered a variety of services and programs, including leading people through change; employee relations; training and coaching in leadership, team building, communication skills, and customer service; recruitment and selection; compensation, benefits and pay equity; organization design. Jo served as a committee and board member of the Grand Valley Human Resources Professionals Association for ten years, for two years as both a member and as a chair of allocations committees for the K-W United Way, and for two years was a board member of Regional Addiction & Family Counselling, a local not-for-profit organization.
Did you miss this incredibly important workshop on Wills last time? Due to the shear importance of this, we are offering it again.
At this workshop, Jim and Tyler will talk to you about “The 5 Buckets of Estate Planning and Why Most Individuals (and all business owners) In Ontario Should Have Two Wills (rather than a single will).
Jim Kibble, Estate Planner
Jim Kibble is an independent fee for service estate planner (i.e. sells no insurance or investment products) and owner of Ontario Estate Consulting Solutions Inc. He holds credentials as a chartered accountant, trust and estate practitioner and certified executor advisor. Jim also has an ongoing relationship with the Henry Walser Funeral Home Ltd. in Kitchener where he holds estate planning workshops and assists families with estate planning and administration matters. Jim is husband to Penny and father to Scott and Julia. Jim’s community involvement includes the Rotary Club of Kitchener Westmount, Country Hills Church, Waterloo-Wellington Estate Planning Council, Waterloo-Wellington Advance Care Planning Task Force and the K-W Racquet Club. Jim also enjoys amateur winemaking, doubles squash, motorcycling, and camping.
Tyler Hortie, Lawyer
Tyler is a partner with Cohen Highley LLP, a full-service law firm with head office located in London, Ontario. Tyler manages the Kitchener office of Cohen Highley. His practice includes real estate and corporate transactions as well as estate planning and administration. Tyler is the incoming President of the Waterloo Wellington Estate Planning Council and sits on the Steering Committee for Advance Care Planning Waterloo Wellington. Tyler enjoys speaking at estate planning seminars and home buyer seminars. He is involved in the Optimist Club of Kitchener West and a member of the KW Racquet Club.
From the founder of CFFB. John returns to our Centre to share 20 years of best practices among Family Businesses across North America. Returning to the foundational principles that have proven to predict success for family business ownership – he will guide our members in a ‘Return to Family Business Basics’. Using a combination of story-telling and entertaining learning tools, John will share these basics that are our deepest sources of energy and power.
Boundary clarity: Determine where and how your family & business boundaries are bleeding.
Adult Development: The foundation for a healthy succession process. Navigating the journey from parenting to partnering.
Self Awareness: Management & leadership success still depends upon understanding and managing yourself.
Active Listening Techniques: Effective communication in the family and the business starts with emphatic listening. This is really, really difficult – we’ll have fun learning some new techniques.