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Keynote Speakers

The Hon. Catherine McKenna

Former Minister of the Environment and Climate Change

The Honourable Catherine McKenna is Canada's former Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister of Infrastructure. She is currently the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Climate and Nature Solutions, chair of the UN Secretary General’s High-Level Expert Group on Net-Zero Commitments of Non-State Entities, a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Columbia Climate School, and a Visiting Professor in Practice at the Grantham Research Institute at the London School of Economics.

As Minister of Environment and Climate Change, she was a lead negotiator of the Paris Agreement, negotiated Canada’s first comprehensive climate change plan including a coal phase out and price on carbon, brought in a new Impact Assessment Act for major projects, and doubled the amount of nature protected in Canada. Internationally, she helped establish the Powering Past Coal Coalition, the Ministerial on Climate Action, and the Nature Champions Summit. She was also co-chair of the World Bank’s Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition.

As Minister of Infrastructure, McKenna made historic investments in public transit and sustainable infrastructure including leveraging private sector investment through the Canada Infrastructure Bank. She also launched Canada’s first National Infrastructure Assessment to drive net-zero emissions by 2050.

Prior to entering politics, McKenna practiced corporate, trade and anti-trust law in Canada and Indonesia, was a lead negotiator with the UN Peacekeeping Mission to East Timor, and founded Level Justice. She is a mother to three kids and is an avid open water swimmer.

The Hon. Wanda Thomas Bernard, PhD, C.M., O.N.S.

Senator - Nova Scotia (East Preston)

In November 2016, Senator Wanda Thomas Bernard became the first African Nova Scotian woman to be appointed to the Senate of Canada. She proudly holds her position in the Red Chamber representing the province of Nova Scotia and her hometown of East Preston while championing issues impacting African Canadians nationally in her work. She is the liaison of the Progressive Senate Group.

Throughout her social work career, Senator Bernard has maintained a deep dedication to social justice and racial justice. Based on this work and perseverance she was awarded the Order of Canada in 2005, and the Order of Nova Scotia in 2014. After practicing frontline social work in Nova Scotia and founding the Association of Black Social Workers in 1979, Senator Bernard became a professor at the Dalhousie School of Social Work in 1990 where she subsequently held the position of Director for 10 years. During her time at Dalhousie, Senator Bernard developed a curriculum for the ‘Africentric Social Work’ course. In 2016, she was appointed Special Advisor on Diversity and Inclusiveness at Dalhousie University and is the first African Nova Scotian to hold a tenure track position. In 2017, Senator Bernard was the first African Canadian to be appointed Professor Emeritus in the School of Social Work (SSW) at Dalhousie University; the first woman within the SSW to achieve this appointment. In recognition of her work to advance diversity and inclusion through leadership, activism, research and community efforts, Senator Bernard was awarded the Frank McKenna Award for Leadership in Public Policy in 2021.

Senator Bernard has continued to enact social justice and fight for racial justice in the Senate. Senator Bernard is the Deputy Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights and she is a member of the Senate Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology. Senator Bernard is proud to be a member of the African Canadian Senate Group.

Session Presenters

Note: The speakers for the 2024 IAP2 NAC are arranged alphabetically. To locate the sessions associated with each speaker, please consult the session descriptions.

Anna Abraham

Anna Abraham (she/they) is a communications and public affairs specialist with over 6 years of experience in non-profit, private, and political sectors. As an integrated content strategist at H&K, Anna works with clients nationally to develop effective communication strategies. Prior to joining H&K, Anna led stakeholder engagement, digital communications, and DEI strategy for Fulbright Canada, focusing on expanding opportunities for Indigenous and 2SLGBTQIA+ youth. In 2022, Anna was appointed as a Canadian Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum for her leadership in addressing gender equity through multi-stakeholder partnerships across Canada and the US. Anna holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biophysics and Mathematics from McGill University.

Stacee Adams

Stacee Adams has over 17 years of experience in both the public and private sectors managing and implementing strategic communication, community relations, and public involvement. She is a trained facilitator and skilled in strategic planning and conflict resolution. Stacee is passionate about making a difference in communities and champions the importance of DEI in meaningful engagement.

Alya Al-Shibli

Alya Al-Shibli is a professional with a wealth of experience in program management, stakeholder relations, and entrepreneurship. Her commitment to advancing mental health promotion led her to join the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) in 2018 as a Program Manager. In this capacity, Alya collaborates closely with MHCC’s core advisory committees to ensure that the voices of lived and living experience of mental health concerns are equitably integrated into the commission’s work throughout the MHCC, promoting cross-departmental inclusive engagement and impact. Recently, Alya developed a knowledge product with valuable information on effectively engaging with individuals who have lived and living experience of mental health concerns and/or substance use and addiction. Currently, she is developing a resource related to honorariums for people with lived and living experience and its implications.

Prior to this role, Alya worked as a Senior Program Officer at AlFaisal Without Borders Foundation in Doha, Qatar. During her time there, she oversaw multiple education programs, significantly enhancing local outreach, developing relationships with private schools, and orchestrating successful STEM-based workshops for youth nationwide.

In the realm of entrepreneurship, Alya co-founded and served as Product Manager at My Wooden Playroom, a Canada-based startup focused on children’s furniture manufacturing. Here, she spearheaded product development initiatives, conducted comprehensive market research, and continually refined product offerings based on user feedback.

Luke Anderson

Luke Anderson is Executive Director of StopGap Foundation and sits on the City of Toronto's Accessibility Advisory Committee. Luke thrives in connecting with people from different backgrounds and lived experiences. Luke loves aligning tasks with skill-sets and drawing on the energy of inspired individuals to work collaboratively on elevating our collective understanding about disability and barriers in our communities. Luke is driven to direct his time and energy towards a future where people get recognized for what they can do and not what they can’t do.

Nicole Armos

Nicole is the Manager of Knowledge and Practice at Simon Fraser University’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, where she works to advance innovative and equitable approaches to dialogue and democratic participation. Since 2013, Nicole has supported over a dozen local, provincial and federal public engagement projects. She is supporting the Renovate the Public Hearing process with evaluation, analysis and reporting.

Brooke Atkinson

Brooke Atkinson, Senior Engagement Specialist, Solid Waste Services, Metro Vancouver, has been engaging residents of the Metro Vancouver region for seven years on projects including air quality awareness programs, water infrastructure projects, and most recently the solid waste management plan update. Brooke’s work involves engaging with diverse audiences and tailoring communication strategies to different levels of engagement. She is particularly passionate about reaching individuals who might not typically participate in regional issues, including First Nations and underrepresented or equity-denied groups. In her spare time, Brooke enjoys walking, running, and hiking while exploring the trails in British Columbia.

Khatereh (Khat) Baharikhoob

Khatereh is a passionate urbanist and skilled facilitator who champions community engagement and participatory decision-making in all facets of her work. With expertise in urban design, sustainability, and social justice, she emphasizes inclusive and meaningful dialogue among stakeholders, prioritizing intentional listening. Holding a master's degree in Urban Design, her recent area of research is focused on the future of engagements, inspiring others to utilize technological advancements to enhance communication, promote inclusivity and empower communities.

Laura Biediger

Laura Biediger is the Senior Community Engagement Manager at the City of Durham. She is a strategic organizer with over 10 years of experience in the public sector, driven by a passion for equity, civic innovation and multi-sector partnerships. She co-authored the City’s Equitable Community Engagement Blueprint and has developed programs and systems to implement this work, including Community Partners contracts and North Carolina Central University’s Community Partners Development Certification Program.

Morgan Boyco, MCIP, RPP

Morgan Boyco, MCIP, RPP is a PhD Candidate in the School of Planning at the University of Waterloo. Morgan’s research focuses on public participation, contemporary planning and democracy theory, and the use of the latest digital civic engagement technologies to support local public participation processes. Morgan is also a professional planner and community engagement practitioner at Dillon Consulting working with municipalities across Canada to more effectively involve their community members in local decision-making processes.

Ron Buliung

Ron Buliung is a Professor in the Department of Geography, Geomatics and Environment at the University of Toronto Mississauga, and the Graduate Chair of the University of Toronto’s tri-campus Graduate Programs in Geography and Planning. He holds a PhD in Urban Geography from McMaster University. Ron has dedicated his career to studying the experiences of children and youth in cities. Early on, his work centred on the journey to school, and how school travel connects with and impacts childhood health. During the past decade, however, he has re-oriented his research program to focus almost exclusively on the various ways in which disability and ableism are produced by and are embedded within the institutions that govern and make the places within cities where we live, work, play, and learn.

Jessica Delaney, CP3

Jessica Delaney is a licensed IAP2 trainer, CP3, certified professional facilitator and organizational coach. As the CEO of Engage Delaney, she and her team work with clients in all levels of government and the not-for-profit sector to plan, implement and report on meaningful and authentic engagement processes that result in better decisions. She lives in the beautiful Okanagan with her husband and two boys.

Candace Denison

Candace Denison's journey in the communications and engagement realm embodies innovation, resilience, and leadership spanning two decades. Presently immersed in her Masters of Arts in Leadership graduate studies, Candace is authoring a pivotal thesis on misinformation. This rigorous academic undertaking, coupled with her unwavering commitment to the PR industry's progression, positions Candace as an unparalleled beacon in the intricate maze of misinformation. With a distinct emphasis on adaptability and resonance, she bridges gaps of understanding, forging connections underpinned by authenticity and trust.

Avril Fisken

Avril, AECOM’s Practice Lead for Communication and Community Engagement, is a communication and consultation professional with 25 years’ experience. Avril has led communication, community/ stakeholder engagement and change for large projects including infrastructure development, planning exercises (EAs and TPAPs), mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, reorganizations and technical implementations. Of late, Avril has led communication, community engagement, public relations for Metrolinx (Lakeshore East Rail Corridor Expansion, Relief Line North), for TTC (various annual events) and for the City of Toronto (Scarborough Subway Extension and Eglinton West LRT). As a trained facilitator, Avril has designed and led numerous town halls, workshops, visioning sessions, focus groups, open houses and conferences. She has the experience and know-how to develop effective approaches to communicate with a variety of stakeholder/ community groups, and is experienced in both working with and responding to the media.

Alex Fortin

Alex Fortin a développé au cours de son parcours professionnel une expertise dans la consultation de diverses parties prenantes pour des projets de différentes envergures : aménagement de rues, parcs ou places publiques, piétonnisations, plans directeurs, visions stratégiques, programmes particuliers d’urbanisme, refontes réglementaires, projets immobiliers, entre autres. Alex adore organiser des exercices de participation publique adaptés au contexte et faciliter les discussions de groupes de toutes sortes. Chaque projet sur lequel il travaille représente un nouveau défi à relever. Détenteur d’une maîtrise en études urbaines et d’un baccalauréat en urbanisme, Alex compte également des expériences dans le milieu de la recherche et le monde municipal, ce qui lui donne une compréhension fine des divers aspects des projets urbains. Alex est reconnu et apprécié de ses collègues et clients pour ses qualités relationnelles et sa capacité à synthétiser des enjeux complexes pour en produire de l’information claire et accessible.

Terrie Foster

Terrie Foster is a specialist in facilitating safe and equity-centered engagement with queer and trans blood donors, especially those who have or might experience barriers to donating blood. Her method is to centre participants’ experiences, their safety and their voice. She led a three-year engagement process with queer and trans donors as part of our “men who have sex with men plasma donation pilot” in London and Calgary and was a community facilitator in a 2023 trans donor engagement project funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

Josh Fullan

Josh is the Founder / Executive Director of Maximum City. He has led over 70 projects for school districts, municipalities, nonprofits and government agencies in community engagement, participatory design, strategic planning, curriculum/policy development, and child rights. His writing / research has appeared in a number of forums and publications.

Christine Furtado

Christine Furtado co-leads a high performing national team of public engagement and facilitation specialists at WSP. She is a certified Project Management Professional and Planner. Christine is passionate about equity and strives to create a safe space for genuine and timely community and stakeholder engagement, a member of IAP2 and trained on the Foundations of IAP2. For 13 years, she has developed engagement strategies, facilitated public and stakeholder meetings and executed on digital communications for capital projects, planning and environmental assessment studies. Christine has developed and delivered training for the Ontario Aboriginal Lands Association Members and is a Course Director at York University teaching a bespoke master’s in planning course on the Theory and Practice of Public and Stakeholder Engagement.

Sara Gene

Sara Gene is a Principal at Strategic Earth Consulting. Sara is an empathic communicator, daring leader, and conscientious relationship builder. She facilitates West Coast Tribal, federal, and state governments working together to address coastal and marine resource management and decision-making. Sara teaches and models the importance of wholeheartedness to achieve more meaningful outcomes. With a PhD in Biological Oceanography, she is a trained scientist and skilled communicator who engages with the community in ocean issues.

Rowan Gentleman-Sylvester

Rowan Gentleman-Sylvester is the Executive Director of CityHive. An experienced facilitator, educator, and engagement practitioner, Rowan has led several key youth engagement consulting projects at CityHive including the Transport2050 Youth Advisory Council, civic education materials development for the Vancouver Plan, BC Hydro’s Clean Power 2040 youth engagement, and Vancouver Coastal Health’s Translation & Interpretation engagement, and the development of City of Surrey’s Public Engagement Strategy’s youth section.

Maral Hamayeli

Maral, a Senior Public Engagement Advisor with the City of Edmonton, has led various engagement projects across multiple city departments. With experience in public services, consulting, and the not-for-profit sector, she specializes in public participation. Maral earned a Master's in Digital Humanities from the University of Alberta, focusing her thesis on digital engagement. Committed to equitable public services and barrier-free engagement, she advocates for accessible digital initiatives.

Anne Harding

Anne is the Owner of Forum Community Relations, a Calgary based consulting company dedicated to catalyzing better communities through Indigenous relations and community engagement. In her 20 years of experience as a community and Indigenous engagement professional, she has engaged with over 85 Indigenous communities and organizations across Canada. Anne’s work and volunteer experiences have resulted in a distinctive and sought after ability to create and navigate ethical spaces between Indigenous and Western Ways of Knowing.

Eric Higbee

Eric Higbee is a landscape architect, community organizer, writer, researcher, and teacher residing at the intersection of placemaking and community building. His writings and research on community engagement, society, and place-based communities are published regularly on his blog, The Answer is Community. Eric practices as a principal landscape architect at Convene, He teaches courses on community engagement and other subjects as an Affiliate Faculty member at the University of Washington Department of Landscape Architecture.

Katlan Holman

Katlan Holman is a conflict specialist with over 15 years of experience in contentious negotiations and strategic relationship building. She has worked with over 85 Indigenous communities in Canada and the US, negotiating agreements, working together on community development, and providing consultation for resource development projects. Her research focuses on how to bring people together for a shared future in an environment of historical and often violent grievances where identities are more impactful than interests. Her practice is based in Interactive Conflict Resolution (Ronald Fisher, 2014), Polarization Theory (Peter Coleman, 2018), and Dynamic Systems Analysis (Gallo, 2021).

Olivia Howard

A community leader in mental health and wellness, Olivia is passionate about inclusivity and fostering a supportive community where everyone and anyone is valued. Her professional background is primarily within peer support, program management, and community education with organizations such as The Canadian Mental Health Association and Mental Health Recovery Partners. She has also planned and implemented many community engagement initiatives and is trained in IAP2 techniques.

Kim Hyshka

Kim has over a decade of experience as a leader in community engagement, specializing in high-stakes, high-impact conversations. She’s been a transformational figure for clientele ranging from governments to global conglomerates, Indigenous peoples and NGOs. Her work creating meaningful dialogue between stakeholders has paved the way for new public policy agendas and multi-million-dollar projects, all while ensuring diverse needs are considered. I'm a believer that just about anything is possible with a little dialogue. My mission (and I hope you’ll join me) is to chart a different course for public conversations, better conversations that open possibility, cultivate collaboration and spark change through dialogue.

Precious Ile, MA, PMP, CEC

Precious Ile is a Certified Executive Coach (CEC) and Co-Founder and Principal Consultant of Impact Plus Consulting, an award-winning consultancy that specializes in stakeholder engagement and leadership communication. As a Certified Project Management Professional (PMP), she facilitates high-stakes engagement and projects in an authentic, people-centered way, generating over 90% stakeholder buy-in with lasting results and impact in communities. She is also an Adjunct Faculty with the Justice Institute of British Columbia where she trains leaders and teams on leadership and collaborative conflict resolution.

Precious is a 2x IAP2 Canada Core Values Awards Winner for Creativity, Innovation, and Contribution to the field of public participation. She holds a master's degree in Community Development from the University of Victoria and Bachelor’s degree in Criminology from Simon Fraser University. She is dedicated to serving the community and advancing access to quality education for youth. Precious serves as a Director on several nonprofit boards including the IAP2 Canada and the Tamarack Institute for Community Engagement. She previously served on the CityHive Board and as Vice-President of the SFU Alumni Association Board of Directors.

Fae Johnstone

Fae Johnstone is a trailblazing trans woman and 2SLGBTQIA+ advocate. She is an organizer, speaker and consultant, and a leading advocate for queer and trans communities, rights, health and safety in Canada Fae has advocated with governments and other decision makers to advance systemic change for 2SLGBTQIA+ communities for 10+ years. She is the Executive Director of Wisdom2Action, and works with her team to champion 2SLGBTQIA+, feminist, and progressive causes across Canada.

Dalya Kablawi

Dalya Kablawi (she/her) serves as a community mental health engagement specialist, and program coordinator at the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC). As co-chair of the MHCC Youth Council, she advocated for equitable mental health care, emphasizing inclusive engagement practices. Currently, she facilitates the implementation and evaluation of the MHCC's Roots of Hope community-based suicide prevention model. Passionate about meaningful and equitable engagement of individuals with lived mental health experiences, she has led reforms of internal organizational engagement practices at the MHCC.

Amanda Krumins

An innovative and experienced communications leader, Amanda has spent over 17 years in public service, working with both municipal and provincial governments. As the City of Edmonton’s Director of Integrated Communications, Amanda is proud to lead a team of extraordinary professionals who pull together information, stories and insights from across the organization and leverage their communications, research, and engagement expertise to move the needle on priority work. Amanda has a B.A. (Hons) from the University of Alberta and a Master’s degree from York University, both in philosophy, specializing in applied ethics.

Caoimhe Laird

Caoimhe Laird is a human rights researcher from Thompson Rivers University who recently defended her Masters Thesis on how CSR is integrated into Canadian Resource Development. She currently writes for Resource Works as an expert on Indigenous integration into CSR and facilitates the Indigenous Partnership Success Showcase coming in June 2024 to Vancouver. Her studies in business, human resources and human rights makes her uniquely qualified to analyze and provide advice on the ability to provide mutually beneficial agreements with companies and Indigenous communities.

Miley Leong

Miley Leong is CityHive’s Engagement Consulting Manager and works with city shaping institutions to transform how young people are engaged. She has extensive experience working with multiply-marginalized youth through equitable community engagement. From mobilizing local and national youth engagement at Apathy is Boring, to leading provincial policy and public engagement with BC’s Office of the Human Rights Commissioner, Miley brings a depth of knowledge on how to bridge the gap between youth and institutions.

Kristin Lillyman

Kristin Lillyman is an Associate and Planner at Dillon Consulting Ltd with experience in community and stakeholder engagement, facilitation, policy and research, and communications. She has worked in both the private and public sector in a variety of fields including transit, mobility, housing and development. Kristin holds a certificate in Public Participation from the International Association of Public Participation (IAP2), and is also a Candidate Member of the Canadian Institute of Planners.

Wendy Lowe

Wendy Green Lowe provides public participation services for government organizations seeking input for decision-making processes. She facilitates collaborative processes to take full advantage of diverse perspectives, often on controversial public issues. She joined IAP2 in 1992 and has served on the US and International Boards. She was a licensed trainer for IAP2 for 23 years and has chaired the IAP2 Professional Certification Task Force since 2014. She is deeply committed to IAP2’s foundational principles.

Kristi Merilees

Kristi Merilees is a Director of Engagement and Communications with Engage Delaney. She works with clients to plan, implement and report on meaningful engagement. In her work as a coach, Kristi works with clients to help them reach their personal and professional goals in spaces that are open, warm and welcoming. She lives in North Vancouver and can often be found on the trails with her trusty companion Cargo, the chocolate lab.

Lisa Miller

Lisa Miller is a Principal Planner with the Durham City-County Planning Department. In this role Lisa supports staff’s work across the department towards more equitable engagement. Lisa has worked for the department for 18 years and also has extensive planning policy experience. Lisa is committed to advocating for residents to have power in planning and development processes to ensure their priorities are reflected in their communities.

Hugo Mimee

Hugo Mimee est professionnel en participation citoyenne et consultation publique. Il amène les gens à collaborer dans différents types de projets et a animé des centaines de rencontres publiques, ateliers participatifs, groupes de travail et comités avec des parties prenantes très variées. À titre de président de Table ronde Participation publique, il s’intéresse particulièrement à l’intégration sociale des projets dans leurs communautés d’accueil. Hugo aide les gens à mieux communiquer, à bien se comprendre et à trouver ensemble des solutions!

Hugo Mimee is a professional in citizen participation and public consultation. He brings people to collaborate in different types of projects and has led hundreds of public meetings, participatory workshops, working groups and committees with a wide variety of stakeholders. As president of Table ronde Participation publique, he is particularly interested in the social integration of projects in their host communities. Hugo helps people communicate better, understand each other and find solutions together!

Najee Nunnally

Najee Nunnally (He/His) is a CE Specialist for MAPC and has been with the agency for the last 2 years. Prior to working for MAPC, he worked for Framingham Public Schools in their Office of Equity, Diversity & Community Development. He is passionate about Justice, Planning & Aquatics.

Sasha Parodi

Sasha is passionate about facilitating processes and spaces in which people can thrive as their full selves. In her work at MAPC Sasha has prioritized efforts to establish systems or practices that would better support members of the public in participating in public process, especially those historically excluded from those processes.

Christine C. Paulin

Christine C. Paulin est professeure agrégée à l’Université de Moncton et enseigne dans les programmes de 2e cycle en administration publique et en gestion des services de santé. Ses travaux abordent principalement la démocratie délibérative et ses instruments d’action publique. Elle étudie notamment l’influence des facteurs contextuels sur le design et mise en œuvre des instruments et des politiques publiques qui en découlent, de même que les effets de ceux-ci sur les politiques publiques.

Brenda Pichette

Brenda Pichette owns P2 Facilitators, a consulting firm with expertise in P2 planning, design and implementation. She has been developing, designing and delivering highly effective engagement, outreach and training programs for over 20 years. Brenda served on the IAP2 Canada Board, sits on the USA Certification Task Force, and has been an assessor with the IAP2 Canada Certification program since its inception.

Lauren Reaman

As an award-winning Community Engagement and Communication Professional with over fifteen years’ experience in both traditional and social media, Lauren has successfully implemented communication and public participation strategies that facilitate stakeholder engagement, build relationships and drive uptake. Lauren specializes in communication planning, strategic community engagement and consultation solutions. Her background includes leading corporate communication and relationship building strategies in the energy, mining, water, transit and transportation sectors. Specializing in complex infrastructure planning, public participation and construction liaison, Lauren has led strategies and collaborative plans for Metrolinx's Ontario Line, Scarborough Subway Extension, Dundas Bus Rapid Transit and Eglinton West Light Rail Transit, Waterloo's Light Rail Transit Project, and the Government of Canada's High Frequency Rail Project.

Duke Richardson

Duke has 10 years of professional experience working in various concentrations of communications and currently leads the Communications & Public Involvement team at Avenue Consultants. His unique background brings a fresh perspective to strategic communication and facilitation. Duke has served on the board of the Intermountain Chapter of IAP2 since 2018 and, as the current Chapter President, champions the importance and benefits of public participation.

Sue Richardson

Sue Richardson is a Coast Salish woman from the Squamish Nation who is deeply committed to promoting cultural inclusivity and representation within healthcare settings. With a passion for creating positive change and fostering a sense of belonging for Indigenous peoples, Sue collaborates with Host Nation representatives and Indigenous artists to design and implement culturally welcoming environments in healthcare facilities.

Through her work, Sue aims to ensure that Indigenous clients, staff, family, and friends feel safe, respected, and represented in healthcare settings. By incorporating traditional art, symbols, and designs into the physical spaces of these facilities, Sue helps create a sense of cultural connection and understanding that can positively impact the experiences of Indigenous individuals accessing healthcare services.

Creating welcoming environments not only enhances the overall experience for Indigenous clients but also promotes cultural awareness and sensitivity among healthcare providers and staff. This is a powerful example of how cultural representation and inclusivity can make a significant difference in creating a more equitable and welcoming healthcare environment for all.

Gay Robinson, APR, CP3

Through engagement, communication, and facilitation, Gay serves clients ranging from school boards and local governments to energy companies, and regulators. Gay is an active member of IAP2 – as a licensed trainer since 2005 and in various leadership roles. She is an IAP2 Canada Certified Public Participation Professional (CP3) and is an assessor for this professional certification program. She recently retired from IAP2 Wild Rose Chapter Board after over a decade of service. Gay is also accredited by the Canadian Public Relations Society.

Dr. Pamela Robinson, MCIP, RPP

Dr. Pamela Robinson MCIP RPP is a professor at the School of Urban and Regional Planning at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson) and is Academic Director at City Building TMU. Throughout her career as a planner her research and practice have focused on complex, emergent challenges that Canadian communities face. Her current research asks: who is planning the Canadian smart city? In 2020 Pamela received the inaugural Canadian Institute of Planners President’s Award: Academic. She is an Advisor on the Toronto Public Library’s Innovation Council and serves on the Board of Directors for the Metcalf Foundation. Pamela writes for Spacing Magazine and recently published a co-edited book The Future of Open Data (2022).

Teresa Romero

Teresa Romero is the Director of Naive Nations at Strategic Earth Consulting and an enrolled member of the Coastal Band of Chumash Nation. Teresa has worked for more than 20 years assisting Tribal communities in acquiring lands for Tribes, managing Tribal initiatives, and preserving traditional cultural knowledge for her Chumash community. She brings experience and knowledge on how to build strong partnerships, collaboration, and relationships with Native Nations by leading with vulnerability and building trust.

Sophie Sayad

Sophie Sayad est une professionnelle de l’aménagement du territoire alliant son expérience en planification, participation publique, gestion de projet et recherche. Titulaire d’un baccalauréat en urbanisme et d’une maîtrise en gestion de l’environnement, elle a réalisé au cours des dernières années une diversité de mandats au sein de contextes territoriaux aux échelles et aux enjeux très variés. Elle s’intéresse notamment à l’apport de la participation publique dans les projets d’aménagement afin que les espaces qui en découlent soient inclusifs et rassembleurs. Sensible aux spécificités qui distinguent un territoire, elle oeuvre activement à la recherche de stratégies d’urbanisme créatives, simples et efficaces à préconiser afin de tendre vers un développement urbain durable. Sa polyvalence, ses aptitudes communicationnelles et analytiques et sa rigueur font d’elle une professionnelle apte à relever un éventail de défis.

Caroline Schindler

Lectrice passionnée, notamment de littérature jeunesse, Caroline Schindler œuvre dans le domaine de l’enfance depuis plus de 10 ans. Elle a d’abord travaillé comme animatrice et consultante dans le domaine de l’éveil à la lecture et à l'écriture, puis en tant que coordonnatrice de concertations locales et régionales en petite enfance. Dans son parcours, elle a collaboré étroitement avec de nombreux réseaux, tant au niveau local que régional (éducation, communautaire, santé, municipal, etc.). Au sein de CMTL, elle porte le dossier des consultations citoyennes auprès des enfants (4 à 12 ans). Elle contribue également au projet Constellation, qui vise à mieux rejoindre les familles isolées. Tous ces projets ont un point commun : faire valoir la voix des enfants et leur place dans la société, valeurs qui lui tiennent particulièrement à cœur.

Scott Simms

With over 17 years of experience as a Member of Parliament for Newfoundland and Labrador, Scott is known for his collegiality and ability to work across party lines. He also chaired parliamentary committees including the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage and the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans. Most recently, Scott served as President and CEO of the Pearson Centre for Progressive Policy, where he focused on fostering a healthy dialogue about a progressive vision for Canada.

Sarah Simpson

Sarah Simpson has worked in communications and public engagement in Atlantic Canada for over ten years. In May 2023, she returned to NATIONAL, where she started her career, after gaining experience in the defence and energy sectors. Most recently, Sarah was the Senior Communications Advisor for the Mass Casualty Commission, where she managed engagement and media relations for the public inquiry into the April 2020 mass casualty in Nova Scotia, Canada’s largest mass shooting.

Shawn Smith

Shawn Smith is a leader in active transportation at WSP and recently completed important work with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind. As a professional civil engineer who is passionate about the environment; liveable cities; active transportation; transit; green/living infrastructure; roadway ecology and landscape design; transportation demand management; multi-modal transportation planning; context sensitive solutions; innovation; and global engineering Shawn brings different perspectives to working alongside engagement professionals.

Susan Smith

I am a creative and strategic thinker who has worked in the energy industry for over eleven years. Throughout my career, I have gained experience in various communication and outreach areas, including media, government and stakeholder relations, social media, community engagement management, and strategic and event planning.

Josh Speedie

Josh is a passionate mission-driven placemaker with over 10 years of professional experience cultivating skills in design, strategy, education, and planning capabilities in a wide range of contexts. He is a seasoned facilitator and loves to work at the intersection of strategy, data, and design to deliver impactful solutions for clients and communities.

Ethan Walker

Ethan Walker is a Programs and Partnerships Manager at Cortico, where he works with government partners to bring community voices into public decision-making processes. He is passionate about sharing tools and methods to support leaders in addressing their community’s needs. He is committed to public service, and has a background in implementing innovative nonprofit programs.

Lyndsay Ward

Lyndsay Ward has 18 years of experience working in municipal engagement and communications, nine and a half of those working with the City of Edmonton Engagement team. During that time she has worked with project teams from every department as well as contributed to building the practice of engagement throughout the City. Lyndsay has a Bachelors in Communications, Diploma in Public Relations, Certificate in Facilitative Mediation and various IAP2 training.

Amber Wells

Amber Wells is the Community Engagement Analyst at the City of Durham. She is a sociologist working at the intersection of research and practice, focusing on institutions' role in creating and perpetuating inequity. In addition to her professional expertise, she brings significant lived experience to her work. She has navigated higher education and other structures as a low-income, first-generation college student and biracial woman.

Ellis Westwood

Ellis is an award-winning stakeholder engagement practitioner who has spent 20 years working developing groundbreaking P2 processes. Since joining Canadian Blood Services in 2019, Ellis has transformed the organization’s engagement with 2SLGBTQIA+ communities. Working in partnership with Wisdom2Action, his approach has been to rebuild trust through dialogue and collaboration, most recently through the co-development of a public apology to 2SLGTQIA+ communities for the harms caused by past donor screening policies.

Peter Wilton

Peter is an accomplished public participation (P2) practitioner with over a decade of experience working across diverse sectors and industries. He has successfully led large clients in bridging the gap between decision makers and members of the public or stakeholder communities. Peter's expertise in P2 is widely recognized. Peter has published articles on effective P2 strategies and project evaluation.

Amina Yasin

Amina Yasin is the Director of Planning and Public Hearings for the Renovate the Public Hearing Initiative at Simon Fraser University’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, where she leads a dynamic team designing, researching, evaluating and reporting on alternatives to the British Columbia local government public hearing process, while piloting innovative approaches to deliberative democratic public participation in land use planning. Amina is also a Canadian Institute of Planning award winning urban planner, public engagement facilitator and a community advocate who has worked across Canada for ten years in land use, policy and affordable housing development and planning.

Sarah Young

Sarah Young became a partner in NATIONAL in December 2012 when the Firm acquired a majority interest in MT&L Public Relations, a firm she and her partners had owned for more than a decade. From 2020-2023, Sarah served as the Chief Engagement Officer for the Mass Casualty Commission, the public inquiry to examine the April 2020 mass casualty in Nova Scotia, Canada’s largest mass shooting. Sarah loves being surrounded by smart people.

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