A powerful, vibrant and growing national association of Independent Event Planner Entrepreneurs.

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The Hot Seat!


Conference Captain

Monique LaCoste
Host. Moderator. Podcaster.


About Monique - When you need to resonate with an audience, trust Canada’s premiere MC, Monique LaCoste – an engaging, polished, and fully bilingual Métis host.

With decades of experience as a radio and television broadcaster and IABC-accredited business communicator, Monique is passionate about helping organizations spark meaningful conversations.

Monique’s unapologetically bright personality, a journalist’s sensibility for offering the right observation or question at the right moment, and a producer’s exacting knowledge of timing, flow of show, and problem solving make her the perfect host to set others up for their best possible spotlight moment. 

Opening Keynote

Calvin Strachan


About Calvin - As a global facilitator and consultant, Calvin designs and presents corporate training tailored to each organization, exploring behaviours that improve leadership, sales, and business performance.

Additionally, Calvin is a sought after speaker and professional coach who brings a proven track record for helping clients close deals, pinpoint solutions, problem-solve, and establish powerful identities that catapult success.

What makes Calvin different is, he’s been tested, he will fight for you and he will not quit until you achieve the unthinkable. In front of crowds or working one on one as certified professional coach, Calvin has taught tens of thousands how to Find a Way to Win.

Find a Way to Win

- Discover how to Perform your Best under Pressure - 

After experiencing Find a Way to Win, participants will:

  • Overcome nerves and nail important presentations or interviews
  • Express themselves with confidence and poise during difficult conversations
  • Stop hiding from high-pressure goals and begin seeking them out
  • Stop losing opportunities because the competition is more bold
  • Learn to maintain their best abilities in the heat of the moment


Naqsh (Nick) Kochar


Strategist. Innovator. Dream-enabler. The energy source that fuels Refresh.

About Nick - Naqsh is many parts a great deal of energy, heart, and generosity, complimented by strategic street smarts, a triple letter business education, and over 2 decades of high level marketing, innovation and business strategy experience. If Naqsh can't do it, no one can. In fact, we're pretty sure the lights in our office are powered on Naqsh energy (sustainable, of course). Having Naqsh as a leader means full commitment, a great deal of drive, and a whole hearted effort in your Refresh experience and results.

Discovering Your Growth Engine: Profit Models

This session gives you the opportunity to pop the hood open on your business to examine what elements are driving success, and exploit or innovate upon them to generate profitability, sustainability, and growth. Profit models are plans that set your course with the goal of making your business viable and generating revenue. While there are many options out there (22 in fact), this session will have you well on your way in determining which profit model works best for you. You will walk away with the ability to implement and/or refine your strategic business design plan.


About Ryan - With years of industry experience under his belt, Ryan founded William Joseph Communications. He had a vision to create a marketing agency that relied on smart strategy and research to inform on-the-mark creative. From its humble beginnings, the agency has grown over the last 20 years into a place that dozens of diverse industry experts call home. Through it all, Ryan provides leadership and direction, guided by an unending passion for the industry and helping everyone who comes through the door.

As CEO, Ryan manages the key relationships of the agency in all its markets and helps provide long-term vision and insight for the company. Read more ...

The Art and Science of Marketing

Creating a Brand and Marketing Program that Drives Results

Does your brand stand out in the crowd? Do you know where to invest your time and money to maximize your marketing program? How do you know your marketing is working? All great questions and topis we will address in our session on the Art and Science of Marketing.


Lyndon J Linklater

About LyndonLyndon J Linklater is a traditional knowledge keeper and storyteller. He has an educational background in Indian Social Work, Indian Studies and some law.

He is a citizen of the Thunderchild First Nation (Plains Cree) in Treaty 6 and has roots in Couchiching First Nation (Fort Francis, Ontario) in Treaty 3.

Presently, Lyndon shares work with the Remai Modern Art Museum in Saskatoon as their Indigenous Relations Advisor providing advice to their board and staff and delivering cultural programming.

He is the longest serving member of the Office of the Treaty Commissioner’s Speakers’ Bureau, since he was appointed in 2000. Over the years, he has spoken to tens of thousands of people, delivering awareness and enlightenment on Treaty and First Nation worldview.

He is a powerful story teller that utilizes First Nation teachings that involve knowledge of ceremonies and mixes humour to deliver a poignant message.

Positive Race Relations: Race Relations and Diversity, Multi-Cultural inclusivity


Tracy Stuckrath, CSEP, CMM, CHC


About Tracy - Dietary Needs Expert. Meetings Industry Changemaker. Certified Special Events Professional. Tracy Stuckrath works with organizations and meeting planners worldwide to create safe, sustainable, and inclusive food and beverage events that deliver experiences where everyone feels valued. Every guest matters. Every meal matters.

Founder of thrive! meetings & events, and the Eating at a Meeting podcast, Tracy’s has had a 30+year career as an event professional. After being diagnosed with a food allergy, she changed the trajectory of her career in 2009 to help clients establish best practices, mitigate risk, improve experiences, and increase profit with food and beverage.

She has produced 140 podcast episodes, co-authored two books, published over 100 articles and is recognized as a meetings and event industry leader, including Top 25 Women in the Meetings Industry and a Top 500 Event Professionals in North America. She lives in North Carolina, drives a Mini Cooper and talks to strangers.


Food and beverage is our number expense with a meeting — even before COVID and inflation — yet it is often the last element focused on in the planning process.

The cost of food and beverage and the benefits it can provide our attendees — nourishment, health, wellness, employment, community — should propel us to think differently about when, where, how, how much, and what we are serving so that we can create dining experiences that provide justice, equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility (J-E-D-I-A) for all those involved.


Dr. Grant A. Wilson

About Dr. Grant - is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at the Hill and Levene Schools of Business, University of Regina. His research focuses on marketing, strategy, and innovation. Dr. Wilson has published over 20 peer-reviewed articles in top management journals such as Journal of Small Business Management, Research-Technology Management, and Journal of Business Strategy. His research has been featured in the National Post and by the World Economic Forum. In addition to Dr. Wilson's research and teaching, he is a professional strategy and management consultant, assisting over 20 clients on more than 50 projects.

Creating A Compelling Value Proposition
- Workshop -

Effective value propositions enhance customer understanding, engagement, and experience, leading to improved organizational and industry performance. In this interactive session, comprised of theory and exercises, participants will assist with the creation of industry and organizational value propositions. Specifically, at the end of this workshop, participants will define target market(s), describe core offering(s), articulate key benefits to customers, and strategically differentiate from competitors, leading to clear and compelling value propositions.

Closing Keynote

Janna Dutton


About Janna'A giving heart grows’ is the personal mantra of long-time entrepreneur and philanthropist Janna Dutton.

Proudly from Saskatoon, Janna is well known in her region as the owner of multiple locations of the famous Tim Hortons multinational quick-service restaurant chain.

She is also respected and known for her community spirit and how she strives to make a positive impact in everything she does.

Janna has set out on a personal mission to rebrand and re-make herself as Janna, not Janna from Tim Hortons. This voyage has been a transformational awakening to the power of the human spirit and the value of knowing yourself. 
Learn more ...

You Can Be So Much More

In this keynote you will experience these inspirational stories and more:

From Donuts to Dollars -- a full-circle climb from the dumpster to the board room.

Couples Only -- the triumph over odds as a solo-female entrepreneur during a time in a multinational company when the only partners were couples.

Can't Kill Me -- a voyage through the devastating effects of mental health and the breakthrough into recovery.

I Am More Than My Business -- the great re-make, how you lead your thoughts, will lead your life.


Email Us

Phone: 416-901-8341

47 Greenhalf Drive
Ajax, ON L1S 7N7

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