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Symposium Speakers

8:45 am – 9:30 am - nəc̓əʔmət ct (we are one/we are united)​

​​ Len Pierre

Len Pierre (He/Him) – CEO, Len Pierre Consulting 

Len Pierre is Coast Salish from Katzie (kate-zee) First Nation. 

Len is an educator, consultant, TEDx Speaker, social activist, change agent, & traditional knowledge keeper. He has a Master’s degree in Education from Simon Fraser University focusing on Indigenous curriculum and instructional design. His experience includes Indigenous education and program leadership from various organizations across colonial Canada. 

He specializes in the development of educational programs and services with decolonization and reconciliation as its core values. He comes to us with an open heart and open mind, and hopes to be received in the same way.

9:40 am – 10:40 am - Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion – Operationalizing EDI

Alden E. Habacon

Alden E. Habacon - Inclusive Excellence Strategy Solutions

Alden E. Habacon is one of Canada’s leading diversity and inclusion strategists and facilitators. He is well known in this field and highly regarded for his over sixteen years of impact, and his innovative work around inclusive leadership, unconscious bias and intercultural training. He works with leadership in a wide range of professions and sectors throughout Canada, including the legal community, social services, the public sector, municipalities, first responders, and large private corporations. Organizations that Alden has helped in developing diversity and inclusion strategies and training include Vancity, First West Credit Union, UBCP ACTRA, Technical Safety BC, WorkSafe BC, and YVR.

11:00 am – 12:00 pm - Breakout Session: Building Trust in the Workplace

Darryl Stickel

Darryl Stickel – Trust Unlimited

Darryl holds a PhD in Business from Duke University and wrote his doctoral thesis on building trust in hostile environments. After working at Mckinsey & Company as a consultant Darryl founded Trust Unlimited. Through his company he has worked with a broad range of organizations and individuals helping them understand what trust is, how it works, and how to build it. Darryl’s clients have included financial services, telecoms, tech, families, and the Canadian Military in its’ attempts to build trust with the locals in Afghanistan. Darryl has also spoken at some of the world’s leading academic institutions and regularly exchanges thoughts and ideas with other leading scholars.

Darryl has a rare blend of deep theoretical knowledge and practical applied experience. The experiences of working with clients on a broad range of topics have provided a remarkable learning experience which allows him to approach new settings with confidence and compassion.

Darryl’s position at the Luxembourg School of Business combined with his ongoing work with global clients has allowed him to apply his model across a broad range of cultures and settings. Consistently the response of participants is that the model used makes sense and allows people to make behavioural changes that have profound impacts on their relationships.

Darryl’s book Building Trust: Exceptional leadership in an uncertain world goes on sale June 2022. The book is a practical and applied guide based on his 20+ years of helping people solve trust-based problems. Trust Unlimited has also developed a set of virtual offerings intended to help people better apply the model to their lives. This virtual approach includes multiple learning modalities and represents a significant evolution of the training approach. Early responses from senior leaders have been extremely positive.​​

11:00 am – 12:00 pm - Breakout Session: Trauma Informed Investigations

Catalina Rodriguez

Catalina Rodriguez – Forte Law

Catalina has 18 years of experience as an employment lawyer. She has worked in private practice for large and small firms, as well as in-house counsel for a large retailer where she also held an HR leadership position. Prior to joining Forte Law, she was Head of Employee Relations for the Canada operations of a global bank. At Forte Law, Catalina has a mixed practice advising employers in all sectors, and employees. She is also a facilitator with StandUP Teams™ and is a trauma informed workplace investigator. Her investigation experience incudes conducting bullying, harassment, and sexual harassment investigations for municipalities, crown corporations, post secondary institutions and non-profit organizations. As a mediator, Catalina assists parties with resolving disputes related to the workplace, whether the dispute is arising from personal relationship issues, or the dispute is under active litigation. Catalina is a Certified Coach and holds a CPHR designation.

11:00 am – 12:00 pm – Breakout Session: Lou Poskitt & Jessica Forman

Lou Poskitt

Lou Poskitt – Principal Lawyer/ Director of Legal Talent, Workplace Law - Miller Titerle

Lou is a labour and employment lawyer and workplace investigator with over a decade of experience practicing in the area of workplace law, working with a variety of clients in both the public and private sectors.

Lou is experienced in working with both unionized and non-unionized environments. She brings a wealth of experience working with clients who operate large industrial plants down to working with small business owners and professional service firms. Lou regularly assists clients who are going through significant transformations and transitions, such as mergers and acquisitions or business reorganizations.

Lou advises on the integration of employees from newly acquired companies, reductions in force or plant closures, addition or elimination of positions, reclassification of workers, and provides risk assessments to achieve a smooth and successful business transition for our clients. Lou also advises and represents clients on issues that arise in the workplace, including drafting and interpreting employment contracts, workplace policies, and collective agreements.

Jessica Forman

Jessica Forman – Forte Law

The best compliments I get about my work are when clients refer their friends to me, saying they know they will be in good hands. Work is a central part of everyone’s life and through my practice as an employment lawyer, litigator and workplace investigator, I am able to make a positive impact. I practice exclusively in the areas of employment law, and workplace and human rights. I focus on assisting employers and employees to solve their workplace problems.

I am originally from Southern California where I attended law school and practiced as a commercial litigator in a large U.S firm for several years. I relocated to Richmond, B.C. over 10 years ago with my husband and three kids and worked for a large regional firm in Vancouver for several years before deciding to focus my practice on employment law. I have spent the past six years working with employees and employers to avoid workplace conflicts as well as assisting them with court actions when needed.

I love speaking about workplace issues and regularly conduct seminars on issues like harassment and workplace safety. I am a passionate facilitator of our firm’s StandUP Teams™ program and really enjoy getting to know participants in the workshop style of training we deliver.

When I am not working, I spend a great deal of my time on the soccer pitch watching all three of my children play in soccer in Richmond. I love traveling all over B.C. with my family, especially over to Tofino and all parts of Vancouver Island. I am also grateful to give back to our community on the Board of Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver. I am also privileged to volunteer with Mamas for Mamas, a local organization which supports mothers and families in need.

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm – Connecting Workplace Cultures Across Generations

Robert Barnard

Robert Barnard – Co-founder, Youthful Cities

In 2012, Robert co-founded YouthfulCities to amplify the power of urban youth globally, making cities better in the process. Using his three decades of experience in youth engagement and innovation, Youthful Cities focuses on the critical nexus of youth (15-29 yrs) and cities. After all, if cities are the world's progress engine, youth are the engineers.

Youthful Cities creates data-driven solutions to spur urban social innovation and positive change led by young people. It builds indexes that measure and rank cities, web apps to help young people use data to make better decisions about the cities they live in or want to live in, and it manages an open data hub called The Grid to make data accessible. Youthful Cities also hosts summits and runs labs to bring young people and other generations together to build connected, dynamic, open, inventive, curious, and playful cities…youthful cities. Youthful Cities is now on a quest to make 100 cities around the world truly youthful vibrant attractive and youth-engaged over the next decade.

Robert began his entrepreneurial career at age 19 with the launch of his own beachwear clothing line called Osprey Reef which attained Canada-wide distribution. At age 23 Robert founded Generation 2000, a Canadian NGO committed to informing and inspiring youth to take action. The high school program reached 1200 high schools and over 750,000 students in Canada between 1991-1995. And then in 1994, he co-founded Decode - a global innovation and insight firm focused on understanding and connecting with younger generations. For almost three decades Robert has led a passionate team of young and youthful people to discover and develop what’s next.

Along the way....and in no particular order... Robert has spoken to audiences around the world about younger generations, co-authored the best-selling book on Generation X - Chips and Pop: decoding the Nexus Generation, served on many NGO Boards of Directors such as Street Kids International, been a bank teller, tennis instructor, a recipient of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 Award, and pizza delivery guy.​

2:00 pm – 2:45 pm – Economic and Labour Update

Ken Peacock

Ken Peacock, Chief Economist and Vice President, BC Business Council

Ken Peacock is Chief Economist and Vice President at the Business Council of British Columbia, an association representing 260 large and mid-sized companies that together account for approximately one-quarter of all jobs in the province. In this capacity, Mr. Peacock contributes to the Council’s work on economic and policy issues of interest to the business community. He is the author of a number of regular Business Council publications dealing with the provincial economy and related policy matters.

Prior to joining the Business Council in 2002, he was an Economist with Central 1 Credit Union, an umbrella organization for the credit unions in the province. There he advised credit unions on the outlook for the provincial economy, housing markets, and interest and exchange rates.

Ken was born and raised in BC and attained his master’s degree in economics from Simon Fraser University and is past President of the Association of Professional Economists of BC. He is a member of the BC Economic Forecast Council.​

2:45 pm – 3:45 pm – Legal Update - Christopher Munroe and Sandra Guarascio

Christopher Munroe

Christopher Munroe, Partner – Roper Greyell LLP

Chris is a partner at Roper Greyell where he practices in all areas of labour, employment and human rights law.

Chris provides practical advice to employers on employment agreements, workplace policies, employment standards, termination of employment and human rights issues. In particular, he has extensive knowledge of executive employment agreements, employment issues in corporate transactions, and disputes between shareholder employees. He also speaks and writes on a wide range of employment and labour law topics and delivers seminars and training to clients on all workplace issues. He has been a panelist and contributor in the media, including the CBC, Business in Vancouver, and Canadian Lawyer Magazine.

When necessary, Chris has successfully represented clients before all levels of court in British Columbia, labour arbitrators, the Employment Standards Branch, the Human Rights Tribunal and the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal. Chris is known by his colleagues for his comprehensive legal knowledge, capable submissions, and practical and collegial approach to resolving disputes.

Outside of the office, Chris is a director of the First United Church Social Housing Society, volunteers with Access Pro Bono, and plays alto saxophone in The British Columbia Regiment (Duke of Connaught’s Own) Band.

Sandra Guarascio

Sandra Guarascio – Roper Greyell LLP

Sandra is a partner* at Roper Greyell and is a member of its management committee. She practices in all areas of employment and labour law, with a focus in human rights and respectful workplace issues.

Sandra is focused on the needs of her clients and works with public and private sector employers providing proactive and practical advice for unionized and non-unionized environments. Her particular interests include management-side representation, respectful workplace issues, investigations, hiring and termination issues, accommodation and disability management, collective agreement administration and disputes, workplace policy development and training.

A strong advocate for her clients, Sandra offers a balanced approach to their workplace issues through creative problem solving and strategic intervention. Her methodology to client challenges enables her to find strong and thoughtful solutions. She provides strategic advice to employers in handling complaints and addressing respectful workplace issues including workplace and employment discrimination, harassment, bullying and workplace conflict. She is a skilled investigator who has conducted numerous workplace investigations including those in highly sensitive circumstances and in complex environments. She also designs and conducts workplace audits for employers and handles formal complaints provincially and federally.

Sandra is an experienced facilitator and speaker, an instructor with the Pacific Coast University for Workplace Health Services, and a guest lecturer at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. She is also a volunteer with the BC Law Society and Continuing Legal Education, serving as co-chair of the award winning annual CLE Human Rights Conference.

Outside the office, Sandra recharges by connecting with nature. She can usually be found meandering on beaches and trails with her family and their three much loved Rhodesian Ridgebacks.

*Law corporation​


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