Connections Conference

2019 Speakers


Yvonne Chenier

Speaker: Adaptive Governance

Yvonne is a lawyer and philanthropy consultant, and Board Chair of IntegralOrg. Yvonne brings 35 years of experience helping those in the philanthropic, not-for-profit and social enterprise sectors, acting as general legal counsel and advising on planning, organizational, regulatory and governance matters. Yvonne is an active member of the executive of the Charities and Not-For-Profit Section of the Canadian Bar Association for many years and is a past Chair of the both the Alberta and National Sections. Yvonne is named in The Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory* for excellence in Charity Law and has been selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in Canada for her work in Charities/Non-Profit Law.


Jim Dewald

Moderator: Adaptive Leadership

Jim is Dean and Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship of the Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary. A business leader who can provide an effective bridge between strategy theory and on-the-ground practice, his research interests are related to the micro-foundations of strategy formulation and implementation. Specifically, his work has contributed to understanding of cognitive resilience, entrepreneurial thinking and strategic response to disruptive innovations, most specifically business model innovations. Jim was recognized as Calgary Citizen of the Year (1999) and is an honourary member of the Appraisal Institute of Canada. Jim serves on the boards of Boardwalk REIT and the West Campus Development Trust.

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Elizabeth Dozois

Speaker: Adaptive Learning

Elizabeth has been providing research, evaluation and strategic support to the nonprofit and public sectors in Calgary for over 20 years. The common thread in all her work is adaptive learning, a process that she has explored deeply through her work with the Human Venture Institute, where she teaches an introductory course on adaptive learning. Her understanding of adaptive learning informed the design of a two-year learning collaborative on Natural Supports, culminating in the development of a practice framework that is now widely used in the youth-serving sector. Currently, she is leading a three-year collaborative focused on supporting agencies to engage men in violence prevention and develop the sector’s capacity to move beyond the ‘programs for problems’ model and work in non-programmatic ways to reduce violence and promote gender equity.

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Juan Carlos Eichholz

Speaker: Adaptive Capacity

Juan Carlos is Professor of Management Practice at the Business School of Adolfo Ibáñez University and author of the acclaimed book Adaptive Capacity. He is also the founding director of the Adaptive Leadership Center and principal of CLA Consulting, an international management consulting firm specializing in leadership and organizational change. In addition to his work as an educator, international keynote speaker, and consultant, Juan Carlos has also been an active opinion leader as a columnist for El Mercurio newspaper in Chile and through his participation in television, radio, and newspaper debates. He is one of the founders of the Young Leaders initiative, which brings together the most influential Chileans under the age of thirty-five, and was appointed in 2006 as a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum. Eichholz studied law at Universidad Católica de Chile and holds a Master’s in Public Policy from Harvard University.


eva friesen

Moderator: Adaptive Economies

Widely respected, Eva has an extensive background of providing effective leadership in the not-for-profit sector. Since 2005, Eva has been the President and CEO of The Calgary Foundation, a community foundation established in 1955 to build an endowment for the long term benefit of the Calgary community.  The Calgary Foundation is one of the largest and fastest-growing community foundations in Canada with assets over $975 million. Eva was the CEO of Calgary Health Trust (2001-2005), taking on the challenge of building this health charity.  Prior to the Health Trust, Eva enjoyed a 22 year career with the YWCA spanning three cities, starting in Winnipeg (1979-1984), then Yellowknife where she was CEO for 5 years (1985-1989), and then Calgary where she was the CEO for 12 years (1989-2001).


Todd Hirsch

Speaker: Adaptive Economies

Todd is Vice President and Chief Economist for ATB Financial. For over 20 years, he’s worked as an economist at numerous organizations including the Canadian Pacific Railway and the Bank of Canada. He also taught economics at the University of Calgary for nearly a decade. Todd is the author of three books. His latest, “Spiders in Space: Successfully Adapting to Unwanted Change,” was released in 2017. Todd speaks to hundreds of audiences across the country each year and provides commentary to many Canadian and global media outlets. He has served on the University of Calgary Board of Governors, is the chair of the Calgary Arts Academy, and sits on the board of the Glenbow Museum.

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Adam Legge

Panelist: Adaptive Leadership

Adam works with executives, leaders and boards to help them achieve remarkability through organizational renewal and transformation.  He believes in the potential of leaders to make their organizations remarkable and do work that can change their communities and the world. His book on this subject, Making Remarkable, was released in June 2018. When not helping clients become remarkable organizations, Adam is also a Director at the Canadian Centre for Advanced Leadership in the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary.  Prior to his current roles, Adam was the 18th President and CEO of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce.

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Bruce Macdonald

Speaker: Adaptive Advocacy

Bruce is President & CEO of Imagine Canada. Who would have thought that operating carnival games and rides would lead to a career in social good? Nobody, really. Well – over 30 years later, Bruce is still at it. From having served as CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada for ten years and prior to that as the organization’s Vice-President of Marketing, Bruce has led major change initiatives and developed enduring and innovative partnerships with corporations and other charities. A wide and varied career, working with different parts of the sector has lead him to Imagine Canada – working with young people, older adults, sports and recreation and community service clubs.

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Allan Northcott

Moderator: Adaptive Policy

Allan is President of the Max Bell Foundation in Calgary. A private philanthropic foundation with a pan-Canadian mandate, Max Bell has made $90 million in grants to Canadian charities since 1972 to support the efforts of charities to inform public policy at all levels of government across Canada. Allan has a deep understanding of Canada’s charitable sector developed over more than 25 years in post-secondary, think tank, and Foundation settings. He has advised on strategy, communications, and program & project design for a range of organizations. He currently serves as Board Chair for Philanthropic Foundations Canada and as a Director for Imagine Canada, where he is a member of the public policy committee. He served as Board Chair of the Canadian Environmental Grantmakers Network from 2009-2012.


Cathy Taylor

Speaker: Adaptive Advocacy

Cathy is the Executive Director of the Ontario Nonprofit Network. Throughout her 20 years working in the nonprofit sector she has been passionate about collaboration and leadership in the sector. Cathy works with sector colleagues from across Ontario and Canada, as well as private sector and government officials, to create an enabling policy environment for nonprofit organizations. Cathy’s roots are in the environmental movement and she has been active in municipal politics. She holds a degree in political studies and history from Queen’s University and attended the Maytree-York University Executive Directors Leadership program.


See you at Connections Conference 2019!