Speakers

Bill Carr
Bill CarrKeynote Speaker

Wednesday, November 6

Atlantic Ballroom i 9:15 a.m..

Keynote Address: Deep Service - A Call to a Higher Level

Bill Carr is known as a multi-medium artist, an actor, humorist, writer and motivational speaker. For over twenty-five years, Bill has been making people laugh at what’s trivial while helping them think deeply about what counts. Bill helps people see their world in new and exciting ways. Bill’s unique blend of humour and insight inspires laughter and consideration; offering his audience a fresh perspective on what they face everyday. Bill researches and studies his audience and takes on the themes of their event, helping everyone focus on those things that truly matter. His humour is always directed straight to the point of the event in order to help achieve the outcomes the organizers are working so hard to achieve. His thirty-year career has seen him perform on stages across the country and most notably here in Nova Scotia at Neptune Theatre, Mermaid Theatre and the Atlantic Theatre Festival. He has written and performed in numerous radio dramas for CBC and has made appearances on countless television programs, several movies and more advertisements than he’d care to think about. Bill studied philosophy, English and theatre at Acadia University, and theology at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, Indiana, and the Atlantic School of Theology in Halifax. Bill is a community activist and is a cofounder of a new company called ARC: The Atlantic Restorative Company, which works to integrate restorative practices into every aspect of family, business and community.

Alain D. Muise, CPA, CA
Alain D. Muise, CPA, CADistrict of Argyle

Wednesday, Nov 6 I Atlantic Ballroom I 10:45 a.m.

The Political-Administrative Dichotomy

Alain currently serves as Chief Administrative Officer for the Municipality of the District of Argyle, and has served his community since 2006.  Previously, he worked 12 years for Grant Thornton and predecessor public accounting firms, serving as a preferred advisor for many small to medium enterprises, and led assurance services in many government and non-profit sectors.  Alain is past president of AMANS, and has a passion for continuous improvement and modernized approaches in the delivery of municipal services.  Among other municipal projects, he has co-led the development of a governance model for the Western REN as the inaugural REN in the Province.  Alain loves the opportunity to teach courses to support future  municipal administrators and new councilors.

Deputy Mayor Emily Lutz
Deputy Mayor Emily LutzCounty of Kings

Wednesday, Nov 6 I Atlantic Ballroom I 10:45 a.m.

The Political-Administrative Dichotomy

Emily Lutz is a 7th generation family member of Lutz Family Farm, an apple and peach farm in Rockland, Kings County, where she lives with her husband and two young children. Elected Councillor and Deputy Mayor in 2016, she has enjoyed numerous local and provincial committee appointments, while also remaining an active volunteer in her community (from the nursery school to the nursing home!). Emily has a degree in Political Science and Great Books, and is currently finishing up her Master of Arts in Social and Political Thought at Acadia.  All that aside, she also is active in the theatre and dance community in the Annapolis Valley, a member of the South Berwick Women’s Institute, and enjoys engaging in political conversation everywhere she goes.  

Jennifer Duncan
Jennifer DuncanSenior Engineer, Dept of Municipal Affairs and Housing

Wednesday, Nov 6 I Harbour Suites I 10:45 a.m.

The Nova Scotia Asset Management Program & The Municipal Flood Line Mapping Project

Gordon Smith, LPP, FCSLA
Gordon Smith, LPP, FCSLADirector of Planning, Dept of Municipal Affairs and Housing

Wednesday, Nov 6 I Harbour Suites I 10:45 a.m.

The Nova Scotia Asset Management Program & The Municipal Flood Line Mapping Project

Gordon has worked in private and public practice for over 30 years in Manitoba, Ontario, Atlantic Canada, and internationally, including 8 years operating and owning his own practice in Botswana, Africa.  Gordon understands planning and design as a process to work within communities of interest to arrive at meaningful, practical, and elegant solutions.  Through the arc of his practice, he has worked at constantly increasing scales, starting his career with the construction of residential gardens and moving through the design of sites, campuses, and communities up to the large scale-policy work that he has been undertaking as the Director of Planning for the Province of Nova Scotia for the last 5 years.

Saeed El-Darahali
Saeed El-DarahaliPresident and CEO, SimplyCast

Wednesday, Nov 6 I Tradewinds I 10:45 a.m.

Digital Engagement for Municipalities

Saeed El-Darahali, MBA, BSc, CHR, is the President and CEO of SimplyCast, a leading provider of, multi-channel, automated marketing services, which empower business of all sizes to create, manage, and track their own marketing campaigns. 
 
Saeed is the driving force behind SimplyCast, which has grown to serve clients in over 175 countries. He has led SimplyCast to consistently strong year-over-year growth and many awards and accomplishments. Saeed has also led the team in the development of the one-of-a-kind emergency communication platform EmergHub.  
 
Under his leadership, SimplyCast has been awarded the 2017 Consumer Choice Award for Digital Online Marketing, the Game Changer Award for Best Youth Employer (Medium Business) and two bronze 2016 Halifax Business Awards in the categories of Business of the Year, Innovative Business of the year, and Saeed himself was the 2016 bronze recipient of Business Person of the Year. 
Bill Karsten
Bill KarstenPresident, FCM

Thursday, Nov 7 I Atlantic Ballroom I 8:00 a.m.

What can FCM do for Your Municipality?

FCM President Bill Karsten is a councillor for the Halifax Regional Municipality, Nova Scotia. He was first elected to council in 2004, and has since been re-elected three times. He represents the residents of District 3 (Dartmouth South–Eastern Passage).

In 2016, Bill brought his commitment to community-building to the national stage, and was elected FCM Third Vice-President by municipal leaders across the country. He served FCM members diligently for three years before being acclaimed FCM President in June, 2019.

Bill firmly believes in the collective role all municipalities play in building better lives. He has dedicated his public life to ensuring our communities are left stronger for future generations—with modern infrastructure, a cleaner environment and the right fiscal tools to achieve more for Canadians.

Born in Holland, Bill has lived in Dartmouth, NS, for 40 years. He and his wife Muriel are proud parents of two daughters and three granddaughters. Before entering municipal politics, he enjoyed a 30-year business career in sales, marketing and management.

Councillor Tom Taggart
Councillor Tom TaggartCouncillor County of Colchester & Vice-Chair FCM Rural Forum

Thursday, Nov 7 I Atlantic Ballroom I 8:00 a.m..

What can FCM do for Your Municipality?

Tom Taggart is serving his third term as Councillor in District 10.

Tom is a lifetime resident of Bass River.  He and his wife of 38 years have three children - Thomas, Alysse and Megan.  Tom is employed as a Realtor. An active member of Council, Tom serves as Chair of the Planning Advisory Committee.  He is also a member of the Executive and Audit Committee, and Dangerous and Unsightly Premises Committee.  

Tom also represents Colchester County on the Northern Region Waste Management Board where he has been elected Chair.  In his capacity as Chair, he represents this Committee on the Provincial Chairs Committee as well as the Priorities Committee within that Board.

On a national level, Tom is one of four elected officials from Nova Scotia to sit on the Board of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM).  As an FCM Board member, he is Vice Chair of the Standing Committee on Social Economic Development, member of the Standing Committee on Community Safety and Crime Prevention, and Rural Forum and Conference Planning Committee. Also on a national level, Tom is a member of a Joint FCM, Corrections Canada, Public Safety Canada and Parole Board Canada Community Stakeholder Committee.

Jordi Morgan
Jordi MorganCFIB

Thursday, Nov 7 I Atlantic Ballroom I 1:35 p.m.

Municipal Government Needs a Good De-Cluttering

Jordi Morgan oversees all legislative activities and communications for the Atlantic region for Canada’s largest business association. CFIB represents 5,200 business owners in Nova Scotia. Jordi chairs HRM’s Joint Project for Regulatory Modernization (JPRM) Business Advisory Panel and, along with his colleagues at CFIB, provides strong advocacy for federal, provincial and municipal red tape reduction.

Mayor Cecil Clark
Mayor Cecil ClarkCape Breton Regional Municipality

Thursday, Nov 7 I Atlantic Ballroom I 3:30 p.m.

Successful Partnerships between Municipalities and First Nations

Cecil Clarke was elected Mayor of Cape Breton Regional Municipality in 2012 and re-elected in 2016.

Before being elected Mayor, Cecil served on the Executive Council of Nova Scotia. He was Speaker of the House of Assembly and Government House Leader. He served as Minister of Economic Development, Minister of Energy and Attorney General and Minister of Justice.

As Minister of Economic Development, he began the successful Small Business Loan Guarantee Program, which has led to the creation over 12,000 jobs in Nova Scotia.

As Energy Minister, he led the implementation of the $830 million Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Accord and the Deep Panuke development.

As Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mr. Clarke’s “Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act” helps citizens take back the streets from criminal activity;

Mayor Clarke served on the NSFM Board and was President in 2015-16.

Mayor Brenda Chisholm Beaton
Mayor Brenda Chisholm BeatonTown of Port Hawkesbury

Thursday, Nov 7 I Atlantic Ballroom I 3:30 p.m.

Successful Partnerships between Municipalities and First Nations

Brenda Chisholm-Beaton is Mayor of the Town of Port Hawkesbury. Brenda began municipal politics in 2012, and continues to own and operate Fleur de Lis restaurant since 2003 (she considers the business a long-standing experiment in community economic development). Brenda has a Masters degree in Anthropology and focused her studies in community and economic development in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Brenda’s family (husband Tom and daughters Candice and Alexis and son Finley) are very supportive of Brenda’s passion to grow Port Hawkesbury, the Strait region, and Cape Breton/Unama’ki.  Brenda believes our communities can be transformed and positioned for growth when boundaries are transcended and communities work together to grow regions.  

Laura Prosper
Laura ProsperEskasoni

Thursday, Nov 7 I Atlantic Ballroom I 3:30 p.m.

Successful Partnerships between Municipalities and First Nations

Karen Ann Bernard
Karen Ann BernardEskasoni

Thursday, Nov 7 I Atlantic Ballroom I 3:30 p.m.

Successful Partnerships between Municipalities and First Nations

Chief Terry Paul
Chief Terry PaulMembertou

Thursday, Nov 7 I Atlantic Ballroom I 3:30 p.m.

Successful Partnerships between Municipalities and First Nations

Chief Terrance Paul is the Chief and CEO of Membertou, a position he has held for 35 years. During this time, Paul has guided his community and administration into one of the most efficient and economically flourishing Indigenous communities in the country.

Chief Paul started his career with the Boston Indian Council where he received his background training in finance and management. He began as a job placement officer and was quickly promoted to director of finance. The final position that Chief Paul held with the Boston Indian Council was President. Returning home to Membertou, Chief Paul worked for the Mic Mac News in sales and advertising. He then joined the Membertou Band Council in the role of Economic Development Officer and progressed to the position of Band Manager before he was elected as Chief in 1984.

Chief Paul has achieved many notable accomplishments in his current role, as Chief and CEO of Membertou, including being named to one of Canada’s highest honours, in 2017, Chief Paul was appointed to the Order of Canada.

Chief Paul is the Co-Chair of the Nova Scotia Assembly of Mi’kmaq Chiefs, and holds significant portfolios, including fisheries and mining.

A recipient of the Frank McKenna Leadership Award, the Canadian Council of Aboriginal Business Leader in Economic Development Award, an inductee of the Nova Scotia Business Hall of Fame, an Honorary Doctorate from Cape Breton University, and recently, Membertou Development Corporation was named as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies with Chief Paul at the helm.

Rose Paul
Rose PaulCEO Bayside Development Corporation

Thursday, Nov 7 I Atlantic Ballroom I 3:30 p.m.

Successful Partnerships between Municipalities and First Nations

Michael Currie
Michael CurrieBusiness Development Manager - Atlantic Canada

Friday, Nov 8 I Harbour Suites I

8:00 a.m.

Are your Municipal Facilities Climate Ready?

Mike Currie has over 25 years’ extensive experience in sales, installation, and service management within the building systems industry. He is a highly committed individual with a strong focus on internal communication and employee development, investing in teams to continuously add organizational value and increase productivity through a positive work culture.  Mike manages the Ameresco Atlantic Canada Team and is particularly skilled at building coalitions and obtaining federal and provincial funding to ensure projects get implemented. 

Scott Vokey
Scott VokeyDirector Solutions Development - Canadian Municipal Sector

Friday, Nov 8 I Harbour Suites I

8:00 a.m.

Are your Municipal Facilities Climate Ready?

Scott Vokey is an energy and municipal government professional with extensive policy, program development, and management experience.  He worked at AMO for over 15 years where he helped advance a number of municipal policy directions and created a Joint Procurement Program recognized by the World Bank as a Best Practice.  Since joining Ameresco he has focused on helping municipalities develop comprehensive energy programs, reduce carbon and costs, and enhance resiliency. 

Mark Phillips
Mark PhillipsCEO, Region of Windsor/West Hants

Friday, Nov 8 I Atlantic Ballroom I

9:00 a.m.

Bulk Purchase of E-voting Services

A graduate of Acadia University, Mr. Phillips was Kentville’s CAO for eight years and also served as interim Public Works Director for the town. In addition to his kinesiology and sport management degree from Acadia, Mr. Phillips has completed and is engaged in both Provincial and National Advanced Certification in municipal government including Local Authority Administration from Dalhousie and a Masters Certificate in Municipal Leadership affiliated with York University. Mr. Phillips has experience in many aspects of municipal operations including emergency services, planning, parks and recreation, economic development, public infrastructure and strategic planning.

Prior to becoming CAO in Kentville, Mr. Phillips was for 12 years Director of Parks, Recreation and Community Services in Kentville. 2 He is a member of the Association of Municipal Administrators NS; Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators and member of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. He’s an executive member of the Valley Wildcats Hockey Club and a founding member of Devil’s Half Acre Motorcycle Rally.

Kevin Arjoon
Kevin ArjoonMunicipal Clerk, HRM

Friday, Nov 8 I Atlantic Ballroom I

9:00 a.m.

Bulk Purchase of E-voting Services

Warden JImmy MacAlpine
Warden JImmy MacAlpineDistrict of Digby - Chair, PVSC Board of Directors

Friday, Nov 8 I Commonwealth A I

9:00 a.m.

PVSC Strategic Update

A resident in the Digby area for over 50 years, Jimmy MacAlpine has worked in his family auto service business for the last 46 years in Digby Nova Scotia. In addition, Jimmy was elected to serve for the Municipality of the District of Digby Council in 2000 serving as Councillor, Deputy Warden and presently Warden. 

Throughout Jimmy’s municipal career, he served on the former Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities board from 2007-2013 and as President in 2011. Jimmy is an active member on the PVSC Board of Directors having served a number of terms, totaling 9 years and currently serves as the Chair. 

Jimmy holds a Certificate in Municipal Government from Henson College, affiliated with Dalhousie University. When Jimmy isn’t working at his family business or supporting Nova Scotia in a municipal capacity, he can be found in the hockey rink.

Kathy Gillis
Kathy GillisCEO, PVSC

Friday, Nov 8 I Commonwealth A I

9:00 a.m.

PVSC Strategic Update

Kathy Gillis has been the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Property Valuation Services Corporation (PVSC), the not-for-profit agency responsible for property assessment in Nova Scotia, since its inception in April 2008. She has been involved with property assessment for over thirty years. 
 
Prior to the PVSC, Kathy was appointed the Director of Assessment Services Division of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations Department of the Nova Scotia Government in November, 2005. Kathy’s previous history with property assessment included positions as the Director of Operations and Regional Manager and roles in policy, education and operations. She played a key role in the creation of the PVSC, from business case to gaining governmental approval. 
 
Kathy has a Bachelor of Arts from St. Francis Xavier (St. FX) University in Antigonish, NS and a Master’s in Public Administration from Dalhousie University in Halifax.  She has recently completed the ICD-Rotman Directors Education Program (ICD = Institute of Corporate Directors) 
 
 
Honourable Lena Metlege Diab
Honourable Lena Metlege DiabMinister of Immigration, Province of Nova Scotia

Friday, Nov 8 I Atlantic Ballroom I

10:10 a.m.

How Immigration is Helping Employers

The Honourable Lena Diab was first elected to the Nova Scotia House of Assembly as MLA for Halifax Armdale in 2013 and was re-elected in 2017.

She has served as Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Provincial Secretary, Minister responsible for the Nova Scotia Police Complaints Commissioner, Minister responsible for the Nova Scotia Police Review Board, and as minister responsible for various acts which normally fall under the purview of the justice portfolio.

She is a lawyer and a small business owner and a member of the Assembly Matters Committee.

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