Kurt BrowningKurt Browning is a 4-time Canadian figure skating champion and 4-time World Champion. He represented Canada in 3 Winter Olympics and carried the flag during the opening ceremonies of the ’94 games. Browning has also been awarded 3 Canadian Professional Championships, 3 World Professional Championships, a Lou Marsh Trophy, a Lionel Conacher Award, an American Skating World Professional Skater of the Year Award, a Gustav Lussi Award, and the Order of Canada.
In the ’88 World Championships, Browning landed the 1st quadruple jump ever in competition. He was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame and Figure Skating Hall of Fame. He appeared in the FOX series Skating with Celebrities, and has provided commentary for figure skating competitions on NBC and ABC. He co-hosted CBC’s Battle of the Blades with Ron Maclean for 3 seasons and was head judge for its final season. He is also Director/Choreographer for Stars on Ice, and has been in every show for the past 25 years.
Will RichardsonA parent of two teen-agers, Will Richardson has spent the last dozen years developing an international reputation as a leading thinker and writer about the intersection of social online learning networks and education. He was one of a handful of original education bloggers (willrichardson.com) and his work has appeared in numerous journals, newspapers, and magazines. He is an outspoken advocate for change in schools and classrooms in the context of the diverse new learning opportunities that the Web and other technologies now offer, and has worked with educators in over 20 countries to understand the opportunities and challenges of learning in the modern world.
Will has authored five books, most recently From Master Teacher to Master Learner (2015, Solution Tree Press). In total, his books have sold over 150,000 copies worldwide.
Will lives in rural New Jersey with his wife Wendy and his children Tess and Tucker.
Amanda LindhoutIn 2008, Amanda Lindhout traveled to Somalia as a freelance journalist to research a story on the millions of people affected by two decades of war, drought, and famine. Kidnapped by teenage criminals outside of the capital city, Mogadishu, Amanda spent 460 days enduring unimaginable hardships as a hostage in one of the world’s poorest countries.Following her release in November 2009, she became an unlikely and passionate advocate for the people of Somalia. Four months after returning home, Amanda founded the Global Enrichment Foundation (GEF) to ignite leadership in Somalia through education and economic initiatives. Since the GEF’s inception, Amanda has raised millions of dollars to support development and aid in the war-torn country reaching over 300,000 people. Amanda’s memoir, A House In The Sky, is a New York Times bestseller and is slated for development as a major motion picture with Annapurna Pictures. Oscar nominated actress Rooney Mara is set to produce and star in the film
Elizabeth SmartThe abduction of Elizabeth Smart was one of the most followed child abduction cases of our time. Elizabeth was abducted on June 5, 2002, and her captors controlled her by threatening to kill her and her family if she tried to escape. Fortunately, the police safely returned Elizabeth back to her family on March 12, 2003 after being held prisoner for 9 grueling months.
Through this traumatic experience Elizabeth has become an advocate for change related to child abduction, recovery programs and National legislation. Elizabeth triumphantly testified before her captor and the world about the very private nightmare she suffered during her abduction, which lead to conviction.
The Founder of the “Elizabeth Smart Foundation”, Elizabeth has also helped promote The National AMBER Alert, The Adam Walsh Child Protection & Safety Act and other safety legislation to help prevent abductions. Elizabeth’s abduction and recovery continues to motivate parents, law enforcement and leaders worldwide.
Sean McCannSober, Survivor & Great Big Singer. Séan McCann, widely known as a member of internationally renowned band, Great Big Sea, has spent the last 20 years sailing around the world enamouring audiences from Copenhagen to California. Today his mantra is ‘help your self’, breaking the silence on his past addiction, abuse and using Music to change lives for the better.
Julia CookWith over 2 million books in print in various languages and on several continents, Parenting Expert and Beloved "Kid-interpreter" Julia Cook's successful strategy is "Read a Book, Teach a Child a Life Lesson." Her books have won multiple accolades, including several AEP Distinguished Achievement Awards, Mom's Choice Awards and National Parenting Seals of Approval.
Julia's latest book is very timely and helps parents and teachers talk to children about racism and prejudice. With all the recent atrocities in our world and abroad, we need to embrace our differences and realize that, though we may look different or have different customs, the bottom line is the majority of us want peace and kindness - the Judgemental Flower was released September 1.
Julia Cook's gift is the ability to effectively translate important adult, behavioral and mental health information into kid language.
Gary ChapmanHe has degrees from some of the most respected colleges and seminaries. He's written some of the best-selling books of the past decade and appeared on thousands of radio and television programs across the country. But Dr. Gary Chapman knows more than just a lot of scholarly theories and practical advice—he knows people. He knows how to relate to people, how to have fun and how to make people laugh.
What does that mean for you? As a conference participant, you will have the benefit of one of the most experienced and educated biblical counselors teaching in a fun seminar setting where you'll laugh as much as you learn.
Chapman is a well-known marriage counselor and director of marriage seminars. He hosts a nationally syndicated radio program, A Love Language Minute, and a Saturday morning program, Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, that air on more than 400 stations. The 5 Love Languages, one of Chapman’s most popular titles, topped various bestseller charts for years.
Theo FleuryFormer NHL All-Star, Stanley Cup Winner
Theo’s mission statement is to help as many people get to where they want to go has taken shape in many forms, whether meeting people for a brief moment on the street or as a dynamic inspirational speaker with the intention of creating healing through conversation. He loves people,their stories and their journeys. He is committed to daily transformation through personal growth through self--reflection, mindfulness and new action. His compassionate spirit allows others to feel safe and whole through experiencing his vulnerability. Theo has been awarded the Canadian Humanitarian Award, The Queen’s Jubilee Medallion, he is an Honorary Chief and recipient of the Aboriginal Inspire Award. Most recently, Theo has been awarded with an honorary doctorate in Science from University of Guelph-Humber for outstanding contributions to the Mental Health of Canadians. Theo pursues excellence in all areas of his life
Clara Hughes“Being a champion is not just about winning,” says six-time Olympic medalist Clara Hughes. Believing that actions off the track define us as much as those on it, Hughes inspires people toward success in all areas of their lives. Her candid, personal talks range from how she believes sports can change lives to her struggle with depression—fully embodying the idea that each of us can overcome challenges to become the champions we’re meant to be.
Over the course of her distinguished career, Clara has won countless awards and accolades. She received the International Olympic Committee’s Sport and Community Trophy; and she was honoured with a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame.
Katie McKnightDr. McKnight is an author, educator, consultant and comedian. Her career in education began as a high school English teacher in the Chicago Public School system. She has earned her B.A. in American Civilization, her M.Ed. in Literacy Education and her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction: Reading, Writing and Literacy. She has spent more than 25 years in classrooms honing curricular and instructional strategies that simultaneously increase literacy skills, content knowledge, and student engagement. She currently serves as a Distinguished Professor of Research at National Louis University, and she travels worldwide as a professional development consultant and a sought after speaker.
Dr. McKnight customizes her sessions to each client’s specific goals. She facilitates a collaborative approach so that teachers are supported as they build schools for 21st century learning. She works sideby-side with educators to create classrooms where
Edmond DixonDr. Edmond J. Dixon, PhD is the author of Helping Boys Learn, in parent and teacher editions. Dr. Dixon is a human development specialist with 30+ years of experience as a teacher, administrator, writer, researcher–and parent of boys! He is a pioneer in the field of Cognitive-Kinesthetics for learning, is the founder of the KEEN Differentiated Learning Group, an organization dedicated to helping struggling learners. He has also created KEEN 5X, a series of strategies for classroom engagement and learning for kinesthetic learners. His previous books, KEEN For Learning and Literacy Through Drama have been used by educators to improve classroom learning. A dynamic and popular presenter, he has spoken throughout North America on education and human development topics.
Karl SubbanKARL SUBBAN is a former school principal in one of Toronto’s toughest neighbourhoods, and the father of five children, including three NHL players. He’s dedicated his life to helping others reach their potential—to be better at their careers and better as people. His gregarious, powerful talks explore teamwork and leadership, and offer a fresh take on what it means to succeed.
In his thirty years of coaching, teaching, parenting, and leading, Karl Subban has learned how to inspire people. “Your greatest gift is your potential,” he often says, “and your greatest gift to the world is the development of that potential.” Hailing from the Caribbean, where he never played hockey, Subban has nonetheless raised three NHL players, including the now-Nashville Predators defenceman P.K. Subban—one of the league's brightest stars and an Olympic Gold Medal winner.
Susan Leahy MA CSPSusan Leahy MA, CSP has been motivating, challenging and inspiring corporate & college audiences for over 15 years. Susan is a certified speaking professional. Leadership is the ability to take personal responsibility for how you choose to show up, communicate, lead and participate in your life! Leadership is not a title and it is essential more now then ever that people Empower the Leader Within!!!
Tazz Norris (Big Daddy Tazz)After 30 years of denying he had the mental illnesses that were controlling his life, Tazz realized that being a socially anxious, manic-depressive, attention deficit, dyslexic could either destroy or enhance his life… it was his choice. Today, audiences are happy to join him on his rapid cycle ride down the neverending road to recovery that has led him from comedy venues across North America to the Psych ward at the Calgary Foothills Hospital (held over).
Yong ZhaoYong Zhao is a Foundation Distinguished Professor in the School of Education at the University of Kansas. He is also a professorial fellow at the Mitchell Institute for Health and Education Policy, Victoria University in Australia. He previously served as the Presidential Chair and Director of the Institute for Global and Online Education in the College of Education, University of Oregon, where he was also a Professor in the Department of Educational Measurement, Policy, and Leadership. His works focus on the implications of globalization and technology on education. He has published over 100 articles and 30 books, including Counting What Counts: Reframing Education Outcomes(2016), Never Send a Human to Do a Machine’s Job: Correcting Top 5 Ed Tech Mistakes (2015), Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon: Why China has the Best (and Worst) Education System in the World (2014), Catching Up or Leading the Way: American Education in the Age of Globalization (2009).
Jon PearsonJON PEARSON is an internationally known speaker, learning skills consultant, and author. He has worked with more than one million students, teachers, parents, and administrators around the world. As a keynote speaker for business and schools he has addressed many state and national conferences. He received from the U.S. Patent Model Foundation’s national “Creativity Conference for Educators” the highest workshop ratings in its history. Jon was a winner of the Professional Artists in Schools Award and has been a keynote speaker on arts in education and gifted education for decades. He has presented staff workshops on creative learning techniques in Canada and in nearly every state in the United States. He has also been a keynote speaker at the Creative Problem Solving Institute in New York, the National Innovation Convergence, the National Humor Project, and many more. Jon firmly believes that for education to be meaningful and lasting it must be creative and personal.
Harris CooperHarris Cooper received his Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the University of Connecticut in 1975. From 1977 to 2003, he was on the faculty at the University of Missouri. In 2003, he moved to Duke University where he is Hugo L. Blomquist professor in the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience. Dr. Cooper has been a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University, the University of Oregon, and the Russell Sage Foundation in New York City.
Richard CashDr. Richard M. Cash is an award winning author and educator who has worked in the field of education for 30 years. Currently, he is an internationally recognized education consultant. His consulting work has taken him throughout the United States, as well as into Canada, The Czech Republic, China, England, Indonesia, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Poland, Qatar, Spain, South Korea, and Turkey.
His areas of expertise are educational programming, differentiated instruction, 21st century skills, gifted & talented education, and self-regulated learning. Dr. Cash authored the books Advancing Differentiation: Thinking and Learning for the 21st Century, (2011), a finalists for the Association for Educational Publishers Distinguished Achievement Award; and Differentiation for Gifted Learners: Going Beyond the Basics (2014) (co-author Diane Heacox). His newest book Self-Regulation in the Classroom: Helping Students Learn How to Learn was released in March 2016.