Keynote Speakers


Gerry Pond
Gerry Pond has over 45 years of in-depth experience in the ICT industry. Pond is the Chairman and Co-Founder of Mariner Partners Inc., and has co-founded a number of successful ICT start-ups, including iMagicTV, Q1 Labs, Brovada Technologies, Radian6, Shift Energy and Cirrus9. He is also the Co-Founder of Propel ICT, the Co-Founder of the Pond-Deshpande Centre at the University of New Brunswick, and the Co-Founder of East Valley Ventures. He is a Director of Upside Foundation, NB Business Council and MITACS. Among many awards and achievements, including the Queen's Golden Jubliee Medal and the Order of New Brunswick, Gerry was recently awarded the first-ever Business Development Bank of Canada Entrepreneurship Champion. July 2015.

Ayelet Baron
Ayelet Baron is a sought after futurist, author and speaker. She is passionate about showing a new path for business in the 21st century and her interactive keynotes engage you in a conversation around this question: are you a 21st century leader? Are you ready for the shifts that are coming in our lives and our work? In her new book, Our Journey to Business Common Sense (to be released in 2016), she shares relevant insights, ancient wisdom and real life stories from 21st century leaders who want to create a new path for business as a force of social good in the world. Ayelet had a successful career at Cisco working as a global executive in roles that took her from Africa to Latin America and Asia. She is the former Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer for Cisco Canada and was an Innovator in Residence at Roche/Genentech where she introduced new ways of working. View her presentation here.

Cathy Carmody
Cathy Carmody is a Social Activist, Conscious Aging Visionary, Thought Leader and published author, who has been researching the field of aging for 21+ years. Offering intensive workshops and promoting awareness about the emerging ‘New Life Stage’ that is changing everything we thought we knew about growing older, Cathy is also involved as the creator of a television documentary and series that will feature individuals from Canada and around the world, sharing their stories about building a meaningful and purposeful life after 55/60. Titled Fearless, it will explore how individuals find the courage to create a new life different from the old, within an ageist society. Cathy has a history of advisory & executive positions in Provincial & Federal governments, including advising on the repatriation of the Canadian Constitution, and representing Canada at international conferences in Europe & the US. She was at the forefront of the women’s movement in Canada, and has, over the past 20 years, created 2 consulting companies focused on leadership development. Cathy believes she is an example of someone growing older consciously, unwilling to accept the status quo thinking about aging. View her presentation here.

Session Speakers

Rok Krzisnik,
Rok Krisnik, Lawyer, was political and legal consultant for Slovenian Parliament, lawyer linguist at European Court of Justice and diplomat at the European Parliament.
He is currently the manager of Linkedage.com, a one-stop-shop for short, mid and long-term stay in senior resorts/care homes around the world. He was involved in the creation of the LinkedAge worldwide network of care-homes by doing the extensive economic diplomacy and consultancy.  He is now investigating the possibilities of using the LinkedAge platform as a tool for healthy ageing and a systemic public sector-backed solution for the social gap, caused by increasing costs of care and shortage in care-personnel in Europe and further. View his presentation here.
David Harrison
David Harrison has been a planning and development consultant for the past 15 years.  He is an urban planner and has been a member of the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) since 1986.  From 2009 to 2014 he chaired the Institute’s healthy communities initiative in partnership with National health organizations.
David has proven experience in urban planning, economic development, facility planning, strategic planning and urban revitalization projects.  Over the past 15 years he has been actively involved with seniors housing / care facilities and affordable housing projects for special needs populations.  He specializes in age friendly community planning, and has recently completed age friendly planning projects for the Municipality of the District of Chester and for the Town of New Glasgow and Municipality of Pictou County. 
Susan Stevens
Susan Stevens is Senior Director, Continuing Care Nova Scotia Health Authority 
Social worker, policy maker, university professor, health systems leader. Susan is known for her ability to deliver innovative solutions in the complex and ever changing health and social service landscape.  She is an effective communicator noted for being able to inspire and engage audiences.  She has front-line service delivery, education, Board, procurement, project management, policy and planning experience.  She brings strong analytical skills, a commitment to continuous quality improvement and a passion for continuing care/health policy and leadership to every aspect of her work. Susan has 26 years experience in health and social services with over 19 years in government.  In April 2015 she became the Senior Director of Continuing Care for the new Nova Scotia Health Authority responsible for over 400 staff and the delivery of home care and long term care services exceeding $800M annually. She was for the past 11 years the director of policy and planning in the Continuing Care Branch, Department of Health & Wellness.  She is an adjunct professor in the Department of Family Studies and Gerontology at Mount Saint Vincent University, having taught part-time at MSVU since 1999.  Susan holds a Bachelor of Social Work and a Master of Education from Dalhousie University and is a licensed social worker.  She is also a motorcycle enthusiast, writer and amateur photographer. View her presentation here.
Lindsay Peach
Lindsay Peach is Vice-President, Integrated Health Services Community Support and Management 
A dynamic leader with experience spanning the continuum of care in British Columbia and Nova Scotia, Lindsay Peach has provided leadership in primary health care, public health, mental health and addictions, continuing care, and seniors and restorative care. Her focus on strategy, systems transformation, and performance excellence has been evident in her most recent role as vice-president of Integrated Health Services with Cape Breton District Health Authority. Lindsay holds a bachelor of Science from Acadia University and a master of Health Services Administration from Dalhousie University. She is also a certified health executive with the Canadian College of Health Leaders and has completed the Executive Training for Research Application Fellowship with the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement.
Joel Stoddart
Joel Stoddart is the Business Development Manager at Careforce Home Health Services in Kentville, Nova Scotia. A graduate of Acadia University’s Business Administration program, Joel worked for the University’s small business centre for seven years before joining Careforce in 2011. He is passionate about private-public cooperation in health care delivery, and will muse about it to anyone who will listen. In his spare time, Joel enjoys running and reading, and is an avid Toronto Blue Jays fan. He lives in New Minas, Nova Scotia with his wife Sacha and his son William. View his presentation here.
Janice Keefe, PHD
Dr. Keefe, is Professor of Family Studies and Gerontology, Mount Saint Vincent University, Lena Isabel Jodrey Chair in Gerontology and Director, Nova Scotia Centre on Aging. Selected as the Mount’s first Canada Research Chair in Aging and Caregiving Policy (2002-2012), her research areas are caregiving policy and practice, continuing care policy and projecting the needs of older Canadians. Dr. Keefe volunteers on provincial, national and international advisory committees - such as European Union’s More Years Better Lives, Statistics Canada Demographic AC, Health Council of Canada expert panel and Employer’s Panel for Caregivers, as well as with many community groups. View her presentation here.
Glen Hougan
Glen Hougan is a product and service designer. His research and work in the area of design for health and ageing has been covered by the Wall Street Journal, the PBS and  ABC's Good Morning America. His current research focuses around designing for dignity and ageism in design. In 2012 he was awarded a fellowship at the Mayo Clinics Centre for Innovation in Minnesota, and his work has been covered by the PBS and the Wall Street Journal. Currently he is co-lead of a NSCAD/Dalhousie design/engineering/business initiative in developing product development capacity in the province. He is also associate professor of Design at NSCAD University and principal of Wellspan Research and Design. This design consultancy focuses on healthcare issues. Recent clients include the Mayo Clinic, Herman Miller Corp, and Carex Brands (Uplift Technologies).
Gary Markle
Gary Markle, BFA, MFA, is an Associate Professor of Fashion at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD) in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He is currently the Chair of the Craft Division at NSCAD. In 2013 together with Professor Glen Hougan, Markle was awarded a two year Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CHIR) grant to investigate design for healthy ageing. Markle’s research was focused on garments for seniors. The aim was to design clothing that maintained dignity and balanced style and functionality, resulting in continued independence for the wearer. This research culminated in “Worn Well” a community based research project in partnership with Lunenburg based Buzz Holdings (fall of 2015).
Jennifer Chapman
Jennifer Chapman is a planner with Halifax Regional Municipality. She started her planning career with the City of Toronto and has worked as a planner for over 10 years. She has worked on a broad range of development applications and policy projects, most recently working on a commercial development policy project, Plan Dutch Village Road, and the Centre Plan.
Elora Wilkinson
Elora Wilkinson is the newest addition to Halifax’s Urban Design Team, working previously with a local planning and design consulting firm. She has worked on a variety of design projects from large scale, regional growth strategies, to smaller projects, such as neighbourhood parks, and is excited about the transition to policy work which guides design in the city. Involved outside ofcreating engaging cities for all is something she is very passionate about. View her presentation here.
Bill VanGorder 
Bill VanGorder is Volunteer Chairman, CARP Nova Scotia Chapter.  CARP-A New Vision of Aging for Canada (formerly Canadian Association of Retired Persons); a member of the CARP National Board of Directors and immediate past Chair of the Province’s Advisory Committee and seniors’ Issues, The Group of IX.
Bill is the President of Nordic Walking Nova Scotia a division of his development and training company, MRC Associates Inc., the Atlantic distributors for Nordixx Pole Walking Canada. He is also Business Development Manager for FitFirst Technologies Inc. 
From 1991 to 2007, Bill was the President and CEO of The Lung Association of Nova Scotia. Prior to that he spent 28 years with the YMCA, for the final 12 years as the Atlantic Area Director for the YMCA.
Bill and his wife, Esther, launched MRC Associates Inc. Nordic Pole Walking when he attempted to retire in 2008. 
Bill is a graduate of Sir Wilfred Laurier University, Politics & Public Administration and holds both a CAE (Certified Association Executive) and CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Executive) designation.
Bill and his wife Esther live in Halifax Nova Scotia. They have two daughters and two grandchildren. (and two cats Calli and Skye who run the house.)
Bernie Miller
Bernie Miller is a Senior Executive Advisor on contract with the Executive Council Office. Until February 2016 he was Deputy Minister of Planning and Priorities and was closely connected to the development of We Choose Now: a playbook for Nova Scotians. Prior to becoming involved in public service , he was in the private sector for 26 years, serving for the last 7 of those years as Managing Partner and CEO of McInnes Cooper, a law firm with a workforce of over 400  people and offices throughout Atlantic Canada. View his presentation here.
Bernice Theriault
Bernice Theriault, of Theriault Consulting, has a background in hospitality management and adult education.  She combines the two to provide engaging, enlightening and stimulating learning experiences for a variety of audiences. Bernice can see connections easily and promotes what she is passionate about.  Bernice uses a philosophy of M.A.G.I.C.  - Mentoring, Advocacy, Grace, Integrity and Community care, when working with non-profit and social enterprise business to help the world she lives in become a better place to live, work and play!  Working on behalf of Flourish: Family Well Being Society, Bernice has partnered to prepare a unique mentor engaging community opportunity. View her presentation here.
Anne Bedard
Anne is the Director of Engagement & Accountability with the Public Service Commission, Province of Nova Scotia. Since joining the province four years ago, Anne has held the role of Director, Human Resources leading teams providing services to 7 government departments and has led special projects for the Commission. Joining the Engagement & Accountability team in November, 2015 she leads a team that focuses on supporting implementation of the Commission’s corporate engagement strategy, Pride in the Public Service. A seasoned organizational development executive, Anne’s career has included 25 years in the Canadian Credit Union industry, ensuring organizations attract and retain the right people, develop them effectively and engage them for mutual benefit and sustainable success. A change leader, Anne is committed to ensuring organizations support the physical and mental well-being of all employees and their families. View her presentation here.

Jerome F. Singleton, PhD, CTRS 
Dr. Singleton is a professor in the Recreation and Leisure studies department in the School of Health and Human Performance at Dalhousie University. Dr. Singleton’s research is focused in the area of Leisure and Aging.  He graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Recreation honours degree then completed his Masters of Science degree in Recreation at Pennsylvania State University and his PhD in Leisure Studies at the University of Maryland. He also completed the academic requirements for a Doctorate Certificate in Gerontology at the University of Maryland. He was made a Fellow of the World Demographic Association in 2006 and  a fellow of the Academy of Leisure Science by the Society of Parks and Recreation Educators in 2011. Dr. Singleton has published approximately 100 journal articles during his career and made presentations locally, nationally and internationally, related to the area of Leisure and Aging. 

Mary Jane MacKinnon
Mary Jane Mackinnon proudly serves as the Director of Stakeholder Engagement for the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration. She helps the Province deliver world-class immigration services by forming partnerships and consulting with various stakeholders to build a shared understanding of immigration.
Prior to joining the provincial government, Mary Jane worked for the Atlantic Opportunities Agency (ACOA), serving as the Ocean Technology lead and supporting small and medium sized businesses. She honed her professional skills working for various federal government departments and in private industry, for the past 17 years.  
Mary Jane holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Saint Mary’s University in Finance and Management. She spent most of her childhood on Prince Edward Island and currently makes her home in Halifax, where she lives with her husband and two young children.  View her presentation here.
Carol Ann Brown
Carol Ann Brown, Executive Director of Flourish: Family Well Being Society, brings over 20 years of front line and management experience, providing youth and family counseling, medication advocacy and crisis intervention services.  Carol Ann is responsible for the day to day operations of the organization in addition to providing peer supervision, leadership, training, case planning, program development and evaluation.  Carol Ann’s passion for her community allows her to find out of the box opportunities that unite generations and support the growth of those around her.  She spends her time working and volunteering within the community enabling others to live their best life.
apfyf@ns.sympatico.ca, 902 543 1727
Christine Hamblin
Christine Hamblin wants to live in a world filled with innovative businesses. Her current pursuits are: developing clothes that are impervious to dog hair, and creating force fields for electronics that repel her sticky-fingered children.
As the Program Manager of the Master of Technology Entrepreneurship and Innovation program at Saint Mary's University, Christine utilizes her strong business development and sales background to recruit students from around the world who want to make Nova Scotia their home. This year, Christine has grown the program to 72% international students originating from 12 different countries, with backgrounds in IT, Science, Engineering, Design, and Business.
As an alumnus of the MTEI program, Christine also mentors startups, leads innovation workshops, and is on the board of the Halifax chapter of Startup Canada. In her spare time, Christine likes darkroom photography and writing about herself in the third person.
John Hamblin
John Hamblin had a lengthy career with Clarke Inc. as well as with two of their subsidiaries.  John was President and CEO of Goede Technology (2013-2014), a late stage startup involved in mobile applications for vehicle/driver tracking and embedded systems which was located in New Brunswick.  
In 2014 John made the decision to move back to Nova Scotia and continue his passion and devote more time to his main interest, assisting startups and entrepreneurs in Nova Scotia. He founded Startup Canada’s Halifax Community as part of the Startup Canada organization. He and his committee members are now working to enhance the Nova Scotia startup eco system to support entrepreneurs in the region.  
John has both invested in and advised several startups and is a member of the First Angels Network, Atlantic Canada’s largest early stage investment group.  He continues to work as a mentor with Dalhousie University Lean Startup Program, Saint Mary’s University Master’s in Technology and Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program to name just a few.
Mr. Hamblin is fluently bilingual, has a Business Degree from the University of Montreal, also completed a post graduate Executive Development Program at McGill University and was recently awarded the Atlantic Canada Senior Entrepreneur of the Year Award. View his presentation here.
Richard Emberly
Rick is a 30 year veteran of the marketing communication and research industry.  He founded and managed the Bristol Group in Atlantic Canada for 25 years and now acts as Senior Counsel to the M5 Group a large marketing communications organization based in Atlantic Canada.  In 2012, as an avid serial entrepreneur, Rick founded Boomerswork.com; an online employment match making service that connect recent retirees to employers seeking part time and term employees.  The phenomenon that this demographic group is creating is the work force is sending ripple effects across society.  The Boomerswork.com concept is attempting to address some of this impact.
Rick is a former President of the Halifax Chamber and the Neptune Theatre Foundation.  He has also served on the Boards of the Halifax Partnership, NSCAD University and YMCA.  He currently chairs the Board of the Discovery Centre in Halifax which is undergoing a $20 million upgrade.  He remains an active member of his profession and continues to consult in the areas of marketing and marketing research. View his presentation here.
Tom Emodi
Tom has practiced, researched and taught architecture since 1973 in Australia, Canada. Africa,China and The Middle East. Between 1983 and 2003 he was a Professor in Architecture at Dalhousie University and served seven years as Dean of Architecture and Planning (1997-2003). Tom’s urban and architectural projects emphasise environmentally responsible planning, urban design and architecture, focusing on sustainable systems integration. He has extensive successful experience in directing complex interdisciplinary teams to reach integrated results in tight time frames and budgets. He is appreciated by colleagues and clients for his strong capacity to communicate planning design ideas using evocative graphics that guide team strategies and actions.
In community oriented projects Tom works with a variety of sustainable planning and design approaches, including stakeholder workshops, and neighbourhood meetings. He collaborates with clients and teams to determine priorities for planning, urban design and architecture, including environmental, economic, and social criteria. Tom’s experience includes residential, mixed-use, commercial, education and recreation buildings as well as campuses and neighbourhood scale planning and urban design. Tom is fully supported by his firm TEAL Architects in a wide variety of mixed-use, residential and commercial projects. View his presentation here
Greg Fong
Greg Fong has had several careers throughout the years, working in both the public and private sector. Most recently, he is championing the transition from conventional energy sources to renewables, as president of LightSail Canada and co-founder of Unify Energy. His team is installing a demonstration site, in Liverpool, Nova Scotia, where wind power can be inexpensively stored and managed with compressed air as a transition medium. This will showcase the world’s first grid connected commercial scale wind/storage installation of a LightSail Regenerative Air Energy Storage (RAES) system, truly clean technology.
At the same time, he was a co-founder, and is now president of the Main Street Business Improvement District, in Dartmouth Nova Scotia. Using Form-based coding, Greg Fong is championing a community-wide urban renewal called the Village On Main. His property will be the site of the flagship development, a ‘complete community’ where older citizens, people facing other challenges, and a new generation will cohabit in a vertical village. Seniors will be able to ‘age in place’ and retain their ties to a community they have participated in for decades. The new development will make use of green technology and the most up-to-date renewable building systems, to build a community of the future. View his presentation here.
DR. Judy Lynn Richards
Dr. Richards is a gerontologist and a social demographer.  She completed her doctorate at UWO and joined UPEI in 2000, where she is Associate Professor. Dr. Richards teaches aging, demography, health, and research.  Her expertise is in the area of population aging and seniors’ issues, such as social support, end-of-life care, keeping seniors at home, housing, frailty, elder abuse, and social policy. More recently, her research focuses on knowledge translation and mobilization, and the salutogenic model of aging, in which seniors act to stay well and use their lifetime of resilience to complement or counter the effect of the social determinants of health in their lives.  Central to her work is research that engages seniors to bring about social change and positive aging. In 2013, Dr. Richards was named Chair of the Age-friendly Cities Initiative in Summerside, PEI, where they just completed Phase II of a 5-year WHO initiative.  She is a Board Member of the East Prince Seniors’ Initiative and PEI’s Centre on Health and Aging.  She is former Chair of UPEI’s Sociology and Anthropology Department, and past Board Member of the Canadian Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and UPEI’s Research Ethics Board. View her presentation here.
Cindy MacKinnon
Cindy MacKinnon has been Managing Director of Destination Eastern and Northumberland Shores (DEANS)  since its inception in 2011.  She has been a leader in the tourism industry for 16 years and is a key member of the Pictou County Cruise Committee which recently won the TIANS Tourism Champion Award.   DEANS is the destination marketing agency for both shores which consists of 12 municipalities  and four counties.  She played a major  role on the organizing committee for the highly successful 2015 Nova Scotia 55+ Games held in New Glasgow/Pictou County this past fall. She has also been a lead organizer in numerous provincial and national sporting events which brought significant economic impact and profile to Pictou County and Nova Scotia.  She is graduate of Mount Saint Vincent University and the Nova Scotia Community College.  Cindy is an active volunteer with numerous organizations throughout Pictou County and was the regional tourism industry associations representative  on the Nova Scotia Tourism Human Resource Council.
Tara Maguire
Tara Maguire is the Director of Community Development for the Municipality of Chester. She is also a Master of Planning candidate at Dalhousie University. Tara is currently serving on the board of directors for the Nova Scotia Planning Directors Association and the Association of Municipal Administrators of Nova Scotia.  
She has worked on a number of Age Friendly projects, both professionally and academically. Most recently Tara has worked on an Age Friendly Housing study for the Municipality of Chester. 
Mary Tulle
A proud, passionate and successful leader, Mary has been a pivotal player in Atlantic Canada’s tourism industry for more than 25 years. Her ability to identify opportunities, inspire action, embrace change, all while remaining one step ahead of the curve, are hallmarks of her career.  Mary has held many senior management, marketing and project management roles, including those requiring advice and recommendations on courses of action related to changes in the tourism landscape. She has led feasibility studies on various tourism projects that have impacted decision-makers within various levels of government and is also responsible for and the creation of the only Atlantic Canada lifestyle expo, a 400 booth consumer show highlighting the region’s tourism culinary and lifestyle products. 
Mary now serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Destination Cape Breton Association (DCBA) where she has been for the past six years. In this role, Mary’s responsibilities are all-encompassing; developing, facilitating and leading with industry and community influencers regionally, provincially and nationally to ensure that Cape Breton capitalizes on building and promoting the Island as one of the top tourism destinations in the world. The Island’s national and international travel awards and accolades are a testament to Mary’s business savvy and her ability to mobilize stakeholders at all levels, to build a strong and healthy economy, through the flourishing tourism industry on Cape Breton Island. View her presentation here.
Geralyn Mac Donald
Geralyn Mac Donald has been the Director of Community Economic Development for the Town of New Glasgow for the past seven years and has extensive experience in economic and community economic development, coupled with a background in teaching and project management. She is responsible for the development and implementation of a comprehensive community economic development plan for New Glasgow which includes a recreation master plan. Geralyn has certification in economic development from the University of Waterloo as well as leadership development from Saint Mary’s University. She has held positions such as Community Development Officer with the former Pictou Regional Development Agency and was also its Acting Executive Director. She is Co-Chair of the Pictou County Cruise Ship Committee, which recently won the TIANS Tourism Champion Award and was instrumental in attracting the first cruise ship to the niche Port of Pictou. She sits on the Atlantic Canada Cruise Association Board of Directors as the niche port representative. Geralyn was a key member of the committee that hosted the highly successful 2015 Nova Scotia 55+ Games in New Glasgow/Pictou County and is a lead on New Glasgow’s and the Municipality of the County of Pictou’s provincially recognized Age Friendly strategy. View her presentation here.
Paul McGinn
Paul McGinn, Project Manager, Silver Economy Engagement Network, Division of Continuing Education, Saint Mary’s University.
Paul received his BA in Psychology (1994) and BBA in Management (1996) from St. Francis Xavier University.  He was appointed to the Project Manager’s position at Saint Mary’s University, to develop and deliver the Silver Economy Engagement Network, in September 2012 following a career in community economic development and engagement spanning 16 years in Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia. View his presentation here.

Gordon Michael
Gordon Michael has been involved in the area of Lifelong Learning at the local, provincial, national and international levels. In many of the positions he has held, he has provided leadership in program development for a range of mature learners. In addition he has provided many professional development opportunities linking Lifelong Learning to social and economic development, for senior level administrators within government , business, community and not for profit organizations. Gordon is presently the Director of Continuing Education for Saint Mary’s University.