2019 Breakout sessions at the Experience Your Life Expo
The break-out rooms are SOLD OUT a month in advance and you can no longer purpose tickets. There are still a few tickets left for the expo floor so if you have not done so already, Register NOW on eventbrite
If you missed the opportunity to get a break-room ticket this year, keep an eye out for our leaders on the expo floor as they will be visiting the halls.
If you have a confirmed ticket, please read this page very carefully. We are excited to share that these executives are flying in from around Canada and around the world which demonstrates their commitment to youth empowerment. We ask all attendees of the breakout room to come well researched on the leaders as it could be a life changing conversation. Our leaders are flying in from around the Canada and around the world to make a difference. The best way to connect is to come well researched on their profile so you can have a great conversation.
We are proud to be a forum that brings together role models that represent the upper echelons of the business and public sector organizations. More importantly, these are individuals who have achieved great success without losing sight of the important things in life such as giving back.
There are three breakout sessions at the Expo. The location of the breakout room is one floor below the main expo hall and reserved for those that have the breakout room ticket. Here are the breakout sessions taking place at the event:
- Breakout Session 1 is from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. : Real Leaders, Real Impact. This is the session that changes lives. The sessions is designed for a deep 1 hour conversation with a senior leader that makes this a truly empowering experience. Each leader will lead a table and you will get an opportunity to talk in a conversation style format (1 leader to 9 individuals) to really learn from their journey, ask them questions and be inspired. The leaders include:
- Major Alexia Hannam: Commanding Officer of the 417 Squadron of the Royal Canadian Airforce.
- Rob van der Ende: is Vice President for Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) at FireEye. He is joining us from Singapore.
- Khalil Alfar: Microsoft Canada General Manager for Azure Cloud and Enterprise Business Division
- Luc Lagrandeur: Professor in the Faculty of Management at Laurentian University
- Yvonne Osagie United Nations Association in Canada Project Officer for Building Young Entrepreneurs programme.
- Helen Dai is Senior Manager Finance at TD Bank
- Sharon Reeds Co-founder and CEO of Intuitive Shipping
- Sharon Babineau is a corporate wellness facilitator, decorated military soldier, inspirational speaker (inc TEDX), and author.
- Griffith Dias, Royal Bank of Canada lead Recruiter for CPA Pre-Approved Rotational Program and supports the Indigenous Peoples Talent Development Program.
- Christina Tachtampa Associate Director, Social Entrepreneurship Programs at WE Charity,
- Abigail Goodman, a senior in a High School in New Jersey who decided to build a library in Tajikistan
- Kristina Lopez Papic Living Well Manager and Volunteer Coordinator at Delmanor
- Breakout Session 2 is from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. : Anything is Possible Book Launch
- Fatima Sultan & Amna Sultan are 10 and 8-year-old founders of Two Sisters on a Mission and author of the book Anything is Possible. Here is the pre-launch video. You will see these young entrepreneurs on Dragons Den this fall! From facing the Dragons in Dragons’ Den to 40 keynotes in major conferences and business competitions, Canada’s Youngest Social Entrepreneurs are on a mission to make a real difference. They run an online art store (www.twosistersonamission.com) to bring the world together by bringing the stories, the struggles and the message of artists from remote parts of the world to life. The two sisters have won various awards for their impact and their customers include some of the biggest businesses, universities, conferences and events in Canada. In their own words, “Our story is not about our accomplishments as we are two very ordinary kids just doing something we love. By sharing our story we hope to inspire more people to do what they love and make a difference. All we want through our social business, through our speeches and through our book is to drive impact – nothing else really matters. We have so much still to learn but we have a message to share as well. A simple message that we all have the power and potential to make a difference. The time to take action is now. If what you dream of doing has not been done before then it is an opportunity to create a path that will empower millions one day”
- Breakout Session 3: Transformation for Success is from 2:15 to 3:00 The expo is designed to be a life changing experience. Youths connect with tremendous opportunities and inspiration role models. This last session is designed to help you go from inspiration to action. This session will be led by Sultan Akif who is a Transformation Expert with a passion to unlock potential of people and set change makers in motion! After delivering over a billion dollars of consulting revenue in his tech career, he followed a path of purpose to empower youths. He is now the of CEO of Experience Your Life Expo and founder of Library in a Week. He is on a mission to transform millions of lives around the world and has built 32 libraries in 9 countries. This session is a powerful set of 6 minute speeches by incredible role models on the topic of personal transformation and following your dreams. They will share personal stories and advice that comes from their heart to help youths take action. The leaders include:
- Sultan Akif is Author, CEO Experience Your Life Expo and Founder of Library in a Week
- Major Alexia Hannam is Commanding Officer of the 417 Squadron of the Royal Canadian Airforce.
- Rob van der Ende is Vice President for Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) at FireEye. He is joining us from Singapore.
- Sharon Babineau is a corporate wellness facilitator, decorated military soldier, inspirational speaker (inc TEDX), and author.
- Mike Shoreman: Founder of PaddleUp Movement has a remarkable story that will inspire you. He was recently featured on Global News.
- Jason Fobister, Incredible first nations artist who is fueling transformation through his art.
Please note the list of leaders may change at any time given the seniority of the audience and their commitments. Here are the profiles of the break-out session leaders:
Major Alexia Hannam is the Commanding Officer of the 417 Squadron of the Royal Canadian Airforce. Here is the video from the Air Force sharing the story of this incredible leader https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6w2lWrjtgyM . She was born and raised in Winnipeg, MB and joined the Royal Military College of Canada immediately after finishing high school. She graduated in 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology and a Minor in History.
After completing pilot training on the Slingsby Firefly, the Harvard II and the Jet Ranger, she spent seven years at 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron in Edmonton flying Griffon Helicopters.
Major Hannam has been posted to 417 Combat Support Squadron for the past three years and she has completed several rescue missions and deployed on OP LENTUS during the Fort McMurray and BC wildfires as the Detachment Commander responsible for all Griffon support.
At 417 Squadron she has been employed as the Operations Officer, Flight Commander, Unit Standards Officer, Training Officer, Unit Instrument Check Pilot, and Unit Flight Safety Officer. She was promoted to Major and took command of 417 Sqn in Aug 2018 as their Commanding Officer.
She is heavily involved in Elevate, a non-profit organization for Women in Aviation. She is a mentor to women looking to get involved in aviation or the military as well as a guest speaker. In her free time she coaches the competitive Cold Lake gymnastics team as a volunteer.
She is featured in the article here in the Helicopters Magazine. https://www.helicoptersmagazine.com/news/meeting-major-alexia-hannam-7675
Sharon Reeds is the co-founder and CEO of Intuitive Shipping, a Niagara-based, rapidly growing software startup dedicated to redefining eCommerce shipping and the burden it places on merchants and consumers across the world.
With a commitment to furthering others’ ambitions through personal mentoring and professional affiliations, she has secured some of Niagara’s best talent to join her growing team. Sharon believes in her community and actively seeks out ways to connect her successes back into the Niagara region. and firmly believes that by setting up the next generation for success we can create a tribe of changemakers that will shape the world.
Her advanced shipping calculation software has been recognized by Shopify as ‘New & Noteworthy’, ‘Featured’, and a two-time ‘Staff Pick’. Outside of her industry, she has been noted as a Fierce Founder, 2018 Science & Technology finalist at the Niagara Women in Business Awards, 2019 Ontario Centre of Excellence SmartStart Seed fund recipient, and most recently, a Young Entrepreneur finalist at the 2019 Ontario Business Achievement Awards which will be held in November.
Sharon loves talking ship, so be sure to say hello at the expo!
Helen Dai is Senior Manager Finance at TD Bank. Her extensive experience across 14 years includes all aspects of finance and accounting, management reporting, forecasting and planning, results analysis and business case evaluation. Her expertise is providing analysis and insights into business results, anticipate and solve problems, and develop ideas about how to grow the business.
Helen has a proven track record in managing complex projects, working effectively with many stakeholder’s cross functions and leading, motivating teams to deliver business results. She has participated in developing/implementing new financial models, business cases, product profitability models, methodologies and framework to support on-going reporting, audit and analysis for the business.
Helen volunteers actively in the community and has been a past president of TD Supreme Toastmasters Club.
Khalil Alfar, Microsoft Canada General Manager for Azure Cloud and Enterprise Business Division
Khalil leads the Azure Cloud and Enterprise Business for Microsoft Canada with an amazing group of talented individuals. He have a passion for business leadership & growth; connecting organizations with digital strategies through AI, Blockchain, IoT, Data and Cloud. He believes in achievements through building and collaborating with high performance teams; coaching/mentoring individuals and startups; connecting everything to value and impact. In this role Khalil has
- End-to-end accountability for the Azure Cloud and Enterprise business in Canada – Infrastructure,Application, Data, AI, Blockchain, Open Source, Developer Tools
- Leads the business strategy, Profit & Loss, scorecard metrics, and investments for the Cloud and Enterprise business.
- Manages a high-performing team, drives revenue and market share goals, and ensures operational excellence
Rob van der Ende is Vice President for Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) at Mandiant, a FireEye company. He is joining us from Singapore.
He sets strategic vision across the region, develops and drives revenue for new and existing service lines, provides leadership, development and support to the team of Incident Response and Forensics experts and Security Services consultants and has ultimate responsibility for customer engagements in the region.
Mr. Van der Ende holds seats in several executive committees and is a frequent speaker at industry events across the region. Prior to FireEye, Rob was Director for Cybersecurity & Public Sector across Asia within the Enterprise Services Business unit of Microsoft Corporation, where he successfully led the expansion of Microsoft’s Cybersecurity and Public Sector Solutions and Services across the geography. Before that, he held responsibilities as Vice President for Consulting (APAC) at Oracle Corporation and Executive Director at Electronic Data Systems in APAC and EMEA.
Rob was born, raised and educated in The Netherlands, then held IT management roles for several Dutch multinational organizations covering business across most European countries, before relocating to the Asia Pacific region in 1999. He currently lives in Singapore and thoroughly enjoys his exposure to the cultural and cybersecurity diversity during his travels across the Asia Pacific and Japan region.
Yvonne Osagie is currently the Project Officer for the United Nations Association in Canada Building Young Entrepreneurs programme.
Yvonne Osagie is a speaker, facilitator, and social entrepreneur passionate about economic and social advancement. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Neuroscience & Mental Health and a double minor in Business and American Sign Language from Carleton University. She was an active student who held many leadership roles including Founder and President of Terry Fox Carleton Chapter in which she has raised an accumulated value of over $600,000 for Cancer Research. In 2018-2019, she was elected as the first black female Student Governor on the Board of Carleton University, held positions in Carleton Academic Student Government and Carleton University Student Association Council.
Yvonne is currently the Project Officer for the United Nations Association in Canada Building Young Entrepreneurs programme. The programme has engaged over 300 youth across the country in developing multiple skills sets including soft, hard business development skills. Through her leadership and with the support of her team, she has organized local training workshops and provided youth with opportunities for professional development including internships, mentorships and job shadowing.
She is committed to empower others and ensuring a safer community, which is why she is launching The Meaningful Conversation (MC) podcasts on October 17th. MC is a solution driven podcasts, focusing on the many cultures, perspectives and countries in Africa and advocating for the needed change to uplift communities. MC is designed to be a light-hearted conversation that is multi-generational and highlights realistic solutions to our daily problems.
Her entrepreneurial journey is a continuous learning experience that she is grateful to further develop in the years to come.
Sharon Babineau is a corporate wellness facilitator, decorated military soldier, inspirational speaker (inc TEDX), and author. Sharon’s unique life experiences have taken her around the world and has formed the perspective and wisdom she shares with audiences today. Sharon served overseas in the first ever Canadian Military NATO trial of women in a combat service support unit, a role that previously was restricted to males. This trial opened the door of equity for women in the Canadian Forces today. She tragically lost both her husband and young daughter to lengthy illnesses, having dedicated over a decade to their personal care.
Sharon i s a motivational speaker and continues to find meaning in tragedy; she is the founder of Maddie’s Everlasting Wish, an organization dedicated to her daughter, that inspires youth to make a difference in the world. As a past Regional Manager of the ALS Society, she has successfully lobbied for better Caregiver rights. She has been recognized for the work she has done at home and in Africa. She is the recipient of many awards including – Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, YWCA Woman of Distinction Award, and the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers. Her inspiring life story has been featured in print, radio, TV and on CBC’s show “No Opportunity Wasted.” (Phil Keoghan – Amazing Race) Sharon is the contributing author of three “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books, including “Family Caregiver” and author of the award winning book –”The Girl Who Gave Her Wish Away” a dedicated memoir of her daughter Maddie.
Sharon is an affiliate with Mindfulness without Borders, and SMART in Education (Stress Management and Resilience Training)program for educators and support staff. Sharon facilitates at The Centre for Compassion and Wisdom. Sharon is a trained Facilitator in Transformative Mindfulness and the international program, “Finding your Happy” a framework for making everyday life better. A charismatic leader of “SHIFT your Mind, CHANGE your Life”, she has facilitated seminars, support groups and workshops for over a decade, and speaks from the heart as she shares personal life experiences and teaches effective self-help methods to create lasting positive changes, especially during times of uncertainty, increased stress, or loss.
Griffith Dias joined RBC in 2017 with the Early Talent Acquisition team after experiencing a handful of industries: starting off in higher education; to briefly in event management; then to sponsorship marketing; and finally financial services. This exposure to HR & recruitment in various businesses has proven to give him a holistic approach to navigating the school-to-work transition. Now, Griffith recruits close to 200 students and new grads annually for all Finance, Audit, HR and Marketing roles across the bank. In addition, he is the lead Recruiter for the CPA Pre-Approved Rotational Program and supports the Indigenous Peoples Talent Development Program. It may seem that Griffith has always had a passion for the financial sector – however, that was not always the case. Upon graduation, even though the majority of his family was working in the Big Five banks, he wanted to go against the grain and not to dive into the corporate world.
Then one day, he stumbled upon an initiative called RBC Future Launch – where a commitment was made by Dave McKay (RBC, CEO & President) to invest $500 million dollars to co-create opportunities for young Canadian professionals and to empower them for the jobs of tomorrow. This broke down all the stigma and barriers he had experienced with the stuffy corporate world and made this multinational corporation human to him. Future Launch not only helps youth gain valuable work experience, but also helps grow their network and gain new skills: from the rotational Career Launch Program; to thought leadership papers such as Humans Wanted; to the UpSkill module.
This humanized the bank for him – RBC actually cares about the emerging workforce and are addressing issues before it becomes a crisis. He wants to drive this phenomenal initiative to help students and early talent to succeed and to truly unlock their potential to make a positive impact in our communities. When he is not recruiting top talent for RBC, he is delivering Personal Branding Workshops across Ontario so young professionals can improve on their soft skills, such as: active listening, communication, and critical thinking.
Luc Lagrandeur is a Professor in the Faculty of Management at Laurentian University (Sudbury, Ontario) teaching courses in marketing, case analysis and competitions, business venture creation, business launch and business consulting. Luc has 10 years of practical marketing experience; he held positions such as Strategic Account Manager, Marketing Manager and Manager of Customer Relations for one of Canada’s largest information technology outsourcing company based in Montreal. In December 2013, he completed an executive DBA (D3C) in e-business at Université de Sherbrooke. He is currently pursuing doctoral studies (PhD) at University of Lille in France. His interests focus in the fields of e-marketing for businesses & local governments. His current research projects are 1) on the implementation strategies of local government offering e-services using the virtual organization model; and 2) the impact of online municipal services at the organizational level (efficiency) and the relationship and interaction level with citizens (efficacy).
Luc is the Academic Advisor for the Enactus Laurentian team and is the Business Competition Coordinator for the Faculty of Management. In his quest to foster socially responsible leaders for a global world, he encourages his students to be innovative and guides them to become entrepreneurs. In the past 2 years, he has overseen the start-up of 8 student-run companies in Northern Ontario. He has mentored students, via Enactus, in the implementation of 1) a social project that empowers youths with Autism to become entrepreneurs and 2) create a fundraising competition to help send kids with cancer to a summer camp. Last March, his students won 2nd place in a Not-for-profit business competition in Edmonton and they donated the $3000 prize to the Sudbury Hospice Foundation.
Christina Tachtampa currently serves as the Associate Director, Social Entrepreneurship Programs at WE Charity, an international charity and educational partner that empowers young people to take action. She leads the research, design and execution of the social entrepreneurship programs for youth under 25 years old. Their mission is to empower and equip the next generation of young social entrepreneurs and innovators through skill building and hands-on-experiential service learning for the jobs of tomorrow in an ever changing innovation economy.
At the age of 21, Mrs. Tachtampa founded the White Elephant Project, an initiative aimed to increase cultural competence among university students partaking in short‐term volunteer projects. In partnership with the Faculty of Arts and Ryerson International, she designed and executed training workshops with an emphasis on ethical international engagement, intercultural communication, motivations and reciprocity, power and privilege, and sustainability (including through Ryerson’s Ashoka Changemakers). The initiative got admitted to the Social Venture Zone, at Ryerson University and graduated in 2015.
She is currently completing her Master of Management Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Smith School of Business, Queen’s University, Canada specializing in leading corporate innovation, the entrepreneur economy and social impact. She holds a BA in Arts and Contemporary studies with a focus in History from Ryerson University, Canada and a post graduate certificate in Social Innovation and Design from Jiangnan University, China with a focus on food security, community building and sustainable livelihoods.
Fatima & Amna Sultan are 10 and 8-year-old founders of Two Sisters on a Mission and author of the book Anything is Possible. From facing the Dragons in Dragons’ Den to 40 keynotes in major conferences and business competitions, Canada’s Youngest Social Entrepreneurs are on a mission to make a real difference. They run an online art store (www.twosistersonamission.com) to bring the world together by bringing the stories, the struggles and the message of artists from remote parts of the world to life. The two sisters have won various awards for their impact and their customers include some of the biggest businesses, universities, conferences and events in Canada.
In their own words, “Our story is not about our accomplishments as we are two very ordinary kids just doing something we love. By sharing our story we hope to inspire more people to do what they love and make a difference. All we want through our social business, through our speeches and through our book is to drive impact – nothing else really matters. We have so much still to learn but we have a message to share as well. A simple message that we all have the power and potential to make a difference. The time to take action is now. If what you dream of doing has not been done before then it is an opportunity to create a path that will empower millions one day”
Jason Fobister is an incredible First Nations artist from the Grassy Narrows First Nations community, almost 2000 km away from Toronto. Jason is working hard to support their community and to make the world aware of the incredible culture of our first nations. They are also working hard in their own community to support youths through conversation, art, expression and being great role models. During a recent visit to Grassy Narrows First Nations, Sultan the CEO of Experience Your Life and his family met Jason. At the invitation of Sultan’s daughters, Jason graciously accepted to fly 2000 km and support the Expo through this presence. This is an incredible opportunity for youths in the GTA to gain a better understanding of First Nations culture and meet an amazing artist whose spiritually and soul will rock you.
Jason was the inspiration for Canada’s Youngest Social Entrepreneurs to start their journey and you can see their joint story at http://www.twosistersonamission.com
Hi! My name is Abigail Goodman, and I am a senior in High School in New Jersey. Since freshman year, I have loved indulging in language immersions and exchanges. I have taken Spanish lessons in Spain, Guatemala, and Panama, and volunteered with children in Mexico and Panama. I love challenging myself and wanted to push myself one step further.
In the summer of 2018, I embarked on a life changing 7-week trip to Tajikistan to learn Tajik (a dialect of Persian) on a US State Department language scholarship and lived with a host family who spoke no English. Looking for a way to give back to this meaningful1 but impoverished country, I started an initiative to build a library. I was very passionate; however, I had no clue what I was doing! Thankfully, Sultan Akif was my mentor, and I aimed to emulate his “library in a week” model. After 7 months of planning and fundraising and a week of hard work with the help of 50+ locals, a new library in Vahdat city now exists for Tajik students and afghan refugees.
Kristina Lopez Papic has over 15 years of experience in the senior living industry and is currently the Living Well Manager and Volunteer Coordinator at Delmanor Northtown, an independent retirement community located in the heart of North York.
Kristina discovered her true calling at the young age of 14, when a chance encounter on a bus with a robust 92 year old woman, marveled her and subsequently led her to understand the strength and resiliency of not only this woman, but of many of our elders. After completing her Gerontology and Activation Diploma at George Brown College, she further specialized in dementia care and therapeutic recreation.
Kristina is a committed and compassionate leader whose priority is empowering those around her and she strives towards standards of excellence in her professional and personal life.
Through her various roles, Kristina has had the opportunity to mentor and support the professional development of over 50 students who went on to work in careers in hospitality and healthcare.
Her passion for working with older adults has not only transformed her own life, but has allowed her to share her knowledge to enhance the lives of others. Her favorite quote is “When we align our thoughts, emotions, and actions with the highest part of ourselves, we are filled with enthusiasm, purpose, and meaning… When the personality comes fully to serve the energy of its soul, that is authentic empowerment.” – Gary Zukav
Mike Shoreman is a Paddle Canada certified paddle boarding instructor in Toronto. A water safety expert for the Canadian Safe boating council he educates the public on safe water practices and has been featured on CTV, Global News, CP 24.
In 2019 after being diagnosed with a rare neurological condition Mike competed at and won Speaker Slam, Canada’s largest inspirational public speaking competition on courage. His speech ‘say yes again’ received international attention, going viral, featured on The Power of Positivity and A+ causing the worldwide ‘Paddles Up Movement’ and is now known around the world as The Unbalanced Paddleboarder. He recently was featured on Susan Hay’s segment ‘Making a Difference’ on Global News.