October 19, 2021 | 9:40am - 4:05 pm EST


5 CPD hours

9:40 - 9:50 am

Registration & Virtual Orientation

9:50 - 10:00 am

Opening remarks

Meghan Stettler

Director , O.C. Tanner Institute

10:00 - 10:30 am

Opening keynote – Hybrid work is here to stay: Best practices for your organization

The world of work has been transformed by the pandemic, and whether we like it or not, organizations must adapt. This session will explore strategies that successful businesses have put in place to create a flourishing, hybrid culture.

  • Opportunities and risks of a flexible workforce
  • Redesigning your meeting spaces to maximize engagement
  • Rethinking coffee chats and informal meetings
  • How to build resilience in your remote and in-person workforce

Carolyn Byer

Head of HR , Microsoft

10:35 - 11:05 am

Rebuilding your culture in a hybrid world

Brought to you by:

After an alarming year of disruption and fragmentation, employees are feeling more disconnected than ever. Organizations must intentionally reconnect their people amid the next great disruptor: the return to the office. Join Meghan Stettler of the O.C. Tanner Institute as she uncovers the vital connections people need to thrive and key strategies to make the hybrid model work for your organization.


  • Which aspects of culture matter most to employees—from their perspective
  • Why a personalized hybrid work model reinforces culture and retains talent
  • How organizations can build workplaces where trust, appreciation, and opportunity flourish

Meghan Stettler

Director , O.C. Tanner Institute

11:10 - 11:50 am

Panel: Mental and physical wellness in a remote-first world

Brought to you by:

The changes that have been forged through a chaotic year are not only here to stay, but they have had an impact on our wellbeing. Businesses must search for ways to support their employees’ overall wellness, while remaining productive in their work. This session will look at:

  • What strategies have companies put in place to respond to the mental and physical health challenges of an employee?
  • How to measure ROI on mental health programs and practices
  • Developing wellbeing tools for remote and in-person workers that enhance engagement and productivity
  • How are employers addressing mental, physical, and financial wellness challenges?

Dr. Jarik Conrad

VP, Human Insights, UKG , Executive Director, Equity at Work Council

Donna Burnett Vachon

Director, Change and Organization Development , Hydro Ottawa

Joanne St. Bernard-Honegan

AVP, Talent Development , Aviva Canada

11:55 - 12:15 pm

Morning coffee and networking break

12:15 - 12:45 pm

Case Study session – Simplifying your HR process & improving your employee experience – A case study from Colliers

It is easy to be pulled into different directions in HR, as this department has many important functions. Streamlined processes ensure that the HR department can hit KPI’s in every task more efficiently. This session will look at how to streamline HR processes to increase productivity and overall employee experience.

  • How can companies save time using automation?
  • HR tools that will improve the efficiency of everyday tasks and existing procedures
  • How do leaders improve the alignment of HR goals to company goals?
  • Increasing visibility of process status and performance

Kerris Hougardy

Vice President, People Services  , Colliers

12:50 - 1:35 pm

Panel: How can HR professionals support the CEO’s vision?

Brought to you by:

Over the last 18 months, CEOs around the world have transformed their corporate strategies and embraced workforce digitalization and flexibility. This session will explore how HR fits into the bigger picture of a firm’s vision and how best you can support this as a leader.

  • What are the top priorities of Canadian CEOs in 2021?
  • How can HR leaders help clarify an organization’s value, purpose and vision?
  • Embedding your CEO’s vision into your HR strategies
  • How can we identify key talent roles and use them to create value?

Karen Gleeson

Vice-President, Health Solutions , Aon

Nicki Sabapathy

Global HR Director , Shopify 

1:35 - 1:55 pm

Lunch and networking break

Breakout session: How a responsive and agile HR plan turns challenges into opportunities

Brought to you by:

When Rob Henderson took over as president and CEO of BioTalent Canada in 2011, the organization was at a crossroads. The organization had to find a new way to move forward or shut down operations. Rob faced this challenge head on and transformed BioTalent Canada into a customer focused sales organization, in-demand partner, policy influencer, and project leader that brings together the largest national bio-economy network in Canada.

  • Learn about the strategies Rob implemented to grow BioTalent Canada in both head count and national profile.
  • Ten years on, BioTalent Canada—in the face of a pandemic—adapted the way the organization operates to respond to, and support, the unique needs of its staff.
  • The result: a banner year for BioTalent Canada in terms of performance and growth. This is a true rags to riches Canadian business success story and the model for turning challenges into opportunity.

Rob Henderson

President / CEO , BioTalent

1:55 - 2:40 pm

Panel: Building up an all-inclusive and equitable leadership

Building inclusive leadership practices is essential for cultivating positive change in any organization. In our current climate, it’s imperative for leaders to bring people together and leverage the power of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Hear from our panel, as they share their perspectives and insights on promoting inclusion.

  • How can people analytics advance and drive DEI initiatives?
  • How can companies encourage and embrace inclusive leadership?
  • How are leaders adjusting to align with an inclusive leadership strategy?
  • Linking employee wellbeing to your DEI focus
  • Customizing your communication approach for different employee groups

Jamie Hoobanoff-Savage

Founder , The Leadership Agency

Sartaj Sarkaria

Chief Diversity Officer & Vice-President, Corporate Services , Canadian Marketing Association 

Jonathan Chang

Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer , WRKOUT Media

Carolyn Levy

Chief Diversity Officer , Randstad, Canada

Susan Uchida

Managing Director and Head of HR , RBC Royal Bank 

2:45 - 3:30 pm

Panel: Attracting, retaining, and engaging top talent

Employers face increasing competition for top talent, with highly skilled employees being headhunted by overseas employers for remote roles.

  • How do leaders conduct employee consultations to address dissatisfaction?
  • Successful development and progression opportunities
  • Best practices for recognizing employee achievements
  • How do you develop and promote strong leaders internally?

Susannah Crabtree

Partner , Mercer

Jodi Carradice

SVP & Chief People and Culture Officer , Wawanesa Insurance

3:35 - 4:05 pm

Closing Keynote – Leadership skills for the top HR leader

How can you stand out as an HR leader? There are qualities in a leader that might appear to come naturally but many necessary skills are developed over time with strategy and training. This session will highlight critical skills that will allow you to stand out as a HR leader right now, in a workspace that is rapidly changing.

  • Balancing competing leadership priorities
  • Resilience and its ability to radically impact your leadership
  • Building your change management abilities in evolving times

Bharath Jayaraman

Director, HR Business Partner , Netflix

4:05 pm

Closing remarks


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