Dr. Lara Boyd – Neuroscientist

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Dr. Lara Boyd is a Neuroscientist and Physical Therapist at the University of British Columbia. She is a professor and has held a Canada Research Chair, a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Career Scientist award and been a Peter Wall Scholar. Dr. Boyd directs the Brain Behaviour Lab at the University of British Columbia. Her work is centered on answering the question of what limits, and what facilitates, stroke recovery.  Dr. Boyd also serves as the Health Research Advisor to the Vice President for Research and is the university’s delegate to the Canadians Institutes of Health Research.

Shachi Kurl – #MeToo Moment or Movement?

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As Executive Director of the Angus Reid Institute, Shachi Kurl can be found offering analysis on CBC’s “At Issue,” Canada’s most-watched political panel, as well as in The Globe and Mail, the National Post, and other influential forums. At the Institute—one of North America’s premier nonpartisan, not-for-profit research and public opinion polling organizations—she works to further public knowledge, debunk myths, and contribute to debate and discussion in meaningful ways, enhancing the understanding of issues that matter to Canada and the world. She brings nearly two decades of public policy expertise to her role, spending the first part of her career as political reporter.

Kurl is a recipient of the prestigious Jack Webster Award for Best TV Reporting. Along with former Australian and UK Prime Ministers Julia Gillard and Margaret Thatcher, she is an Alumnus of the US State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program. Her expertise has been sought by policymakers who have invited her to testify before parliamentary committees at the House of Commons. She holds a degree in Journalism and Political Science from Carleton University.

Ron Rule – Near Death Experience

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Ron Rule is one of British Columbia’s leading residential garden designers. Over a long and notable career, which continues to thrive, he has created beautiful outdoor spaces for many of our region’s most influential people. Along the way, he found the energy to develop and direct a garden design certificate program at the University of British Columbia, lecture, write magazine articles, lead 16 international garden design history tours to Europe and serve on professional committees.

Fit and active with a weekly routine of working out, cycling and tennis, there was little about his lifestyle that would point to what took place on the afternoon of April 24, 2017 when, while taking a tennis lesson, he dropped dead of cardiac arrest.

This is his story about what happened next.

Michael Tippett – Internet Pioneer

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Michael has 20 years of experience building and growing technology startups in the US and Canada. He has founded and grown several technology companies. He is a two time Emmy Nominee and serves as an advisor, board member and mentor to entrepreneurs and innovators.

In 2005, Michael founded and later sold Nowpublic, named one of the top five most useful new websites The Guardian and Time magazine named it one of the Top 50 Websites for 2007. He managed Hootsuite Labs and was their Director, New Products. He was also the Executive Director of Growlab. He is currently the CEO and founder of wantoo and strategic advisor to a number of technology companies.

Donating his time, Michael also advises on the Provincial Steering Committee for Startup Canada and runs Vancouver’s Startup Weekend. He is a member of the University of British Columbia’s School of Journalism Advisory Board, Capilano University’s Bachelor of Professional Communication Advisory Committee and former board member of CABINET, a Vancouver-based arts organization.

Nejeed Kassam – Social Entrepreneur

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Nejeed Kassam is the CEO and founder of Keela – an impact technology company, dedicated to empowering small non-profits with accessible software. He was educated at McGill University (B.A.) and Osgoode Hall Law School (JD). Called to the Bar in Ontario in 2015 and in British Columbia in 2017, Nejeed is also the founder of the Better Canada Initiative. He is the former Executive Director of both End Poverty Now and Conversations for Change. Nejeed is a global innovator with experience working for the United Nations and the Senate of Canada. He is the author of the book ‘High on Life’ (foreword written by former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien) and the co-producer of the documentary, ‘Conversations for Change’. Nejeed sits on a number of start-up and non-profit advisory boards, has spoken at conferences around the world, and is currently a member of the Global Shapers Community (World Economic Forum) and a fellow at the Royal Society of the Arts in the UK.

Paul Pelletier – Workplace Bullying

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Paul Pelletier is a corporate lawyer, author, project management professional (PMP), and business executive with over twenty-five years of experience in government and industry.

On more than one occasion over the course of his career, Paul personally experienced disrespect and bullying in the workplace.  It profoundly impacted his perspective on business ethics and leadership, ultimately leading to the work he does today as an advocate, consultant and trainer in workplace bullying management, workplace respect and leadership.

Paul is a frequent presenter at regional, national and international conferences where he inspires people to take action against workplace bullying and disrespect. His work also involves consultation with a variety of academic and private sector companies and organizations. His wish is to ultimately motivate all of us to become active participants in the movement to eliminate workplace bullying.

 Any of us who work in organizations are well aware of the issue of harassment and bullying in the workplace. Paul Pelletier offers us a rich insight into both the individual and institutional practices that contribute and maintain such behaviour. Most importantly, he offers strategic approaches for dealing with these issues, as well as the toxicity they create.  —Blye Frank, Ph. D., Dean/Faculty of Education, UBC

Robert Silverman – Concert Pianist

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In a career spanning more than five decades, Robert Silverman has performed in concert halls throughout North America, Europe, the Far East and Australia. Under the batons renowned conductors such as Seiji Ozawa, John Eliot Gardiner, and the late Kiril Kondrashin, he has appeared with orchestras worldwide, including the Chicago Symphony, the Sydney Symphony, the BBC (London) Symphony, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestras, as well as every major orchestra in Canada.

Robert Silverman’s comprehensive discography ranks among the largest of any Canadian pianist in history. His recent album of late Chopin works (on Isomike) was named the Best Recording of the Month by Stereophile Magazine in February of this year. His recording of Liszt’s piano music received a Grand Prix du Disque from the Liszt Society of Budapest, while his widely-acclaimed 10-CD recording of all thirty-two Beethoven sonatas was short-listed for a Juno Award.  A more recent set of Beethoven sonatas, performed live, is available on-line,  and an integral recording of the Mozart sonatas was released in 2010, again on the Isomike label. 

In 2013 Silverman was appointed to the Order of Canada, an honour accorded about 150 Canadians annually. Earlier, Robert Silverman was the first winner of the Ontario Arts Council Foundation Career Achievement Award for Keyboard Artistry.

Robert Silverman was a faculty member at the University of British Columbia for thirty years, served a 5-year term as Director of the School of Music in the 1990s, and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters in 2004. A long-standing Steinway artist, he is frequently heard on the CBC and has recorded for EMI, Stereophile, Marquis Classics, OrpheumMasters and Isomike.

Silverman enjoys an enormous following on the internet, where a generous selection of his recordings can be heard. Many of his recordings are available for download on iTunes, Amazon, CDBaby and Audio High.

Dr. Jen Wladichuk – Environmental Acoustician

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Born and raised in Tsawwassen, BC, surrounded by water, Jen’s love of the ocean started at a young age. Her parents would take her and her siblings on their boat when they were still in diapers and her fascination with the marine world was ingrained. After completing high school, Jen went on to complete a BSc in Marine Biology at UBC. It was then, going into the last year of her degree, that she did a directed studies course studying grey whales along the central coast of BC. Due to her education and boating experience, she was asked to continue working as crew at the field station; so she traded in her summer job at a campground to drive boats and photograph whales. She became interested in how the whales accurately navigate and find food, which led her to doing a PhD on the underwater acoustics. After completing her doctorate at the University of Bath, UK, she returned home to the west coast and found a job at a local private environmental acoustics company, JASCO Applied Sciences, where she still works today. Jen has recently started a postdoctoral fellowship at UVic in collaboration with Fisheries and Oceans Canada to study the effects of noise on the echolocation of the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales.

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