Atlantic Leadership
Forum Speakers


Robert Barnard
Co-Founder, YouthfulCities


Robert has spent 25+ years working with youth on projects all around the world. He’s the founder of three companies and one charity. Robert is also a clothing designer, author and speaker. YouthfulCities is on a mission to help cities and their youth create a strong youthful infrastructure and adopt a vibrant youthful attitude.


Kendra MacDonald
CEO, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster

Keynote: The Future of Work

Kendra MacDonald is the inaugural CEO of Canada’s Ocean Supercluster responsible for driving innovation and growth in the ocean economy. Kendra was previously a Partner in Deloitte's Risk Advisory practice and the Chief Audit Executive of Deloitte Global. Kendra has worked with a number of clients across multiple industries, small and large, public and private in the areas of governance, risk management, cyber security, internal and external audit. Kendra is a frequent speaker and facilitator on the topics of innovation, future of work and disruptive technologies and is currently the Chair of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Technology Industries.

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Harriette Schumacher
CEO, Big Leap Leadership


Learn about techniques to become a leader or team member that asks for and welcomes feedback and how to accept feedback that ensures you continue to receive it.

As CEO of Big Leap Leadership Inc and a Certified Executive Coach, Harriette brings a wealth of experience from working with diverse organizations. She has a strong focus on developing evidence-based and practical solutions that drive tangible organizational impact. She holds a Graduate Certificate in Executive Coaching from Royal Roads University, and a Graduate Certificate in Adult Education from the University of Victoria.


Ann Divine,
Founder and CEO, Ashanti Leadership and Development Services


Ann Divine is founder and CEO of Ashanti Leadership and Development Services, and provides career and professional guidance in leadership development. Ann has lived on three continents and worked in diverse organizations and communities in senior management positions in London, UK, and Canada. She has a Sociology (Hon) Degree; a Diploma in Social Work; a master’s degree in Human Resource Management, Human Rights; and a Coaching Federation Certificate, Adult Education and Leadership Development. In April 2018, Ann was nominated as one of RBC’s Top 25 Immigrants.


Clinton Wilkins
President and Senior Mortgage Advisor, Clinton Wilkins Mortgage Team

HUSTLE - Relationship Sales & Marketing

In this workshop Clinton walks through the importance of focusing on building relationships through your sales and marketing efforts. Clinton will discuss how to shift your focus from short term to longer term, and the impact relationship building can have on your referral network, and your business.

Clinton Wilkins is President and Senior Mortgage Advisor at Clinton Wilkins Mortgage Team. He started his brokerage in 2006 and has since won multiple Broker of the Year awards having worked on over 5,400 deals in Nova Scotia. He has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Saint Mary's University, currently sits on the board of the Nova Scotia Real Estate Commission and wrote the book on mortgage lending. Literally.

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Tisha Parker Kemp, MEd, CTDP, CPM
Founder and CEO, shiftED Academy Inc.

Taking Charge of Elevating Your Awesomeness

Are you ready to take your career to your next level? This interactive workshop will help you to leap over barriers and leverage meaningful mentor relationships to accelerate your career trajectory.  

Tisha Parker Kemp is a talent development executive and adult education professional with over 20 years’ experience in the end-to-end management of training programs, 16 in the online learning space. She inspires people to learn new skills using proven strategies and current and emerging research-based methodologies. Tisha is the founder and CEO of shiftED Academy Inc., a training and consulting organization helping subject matter experts elevate their awesomeness by sharing the secrets to promotions and powerful career shifts.


Karim George
Founder and CEO, InTouch Communications Inc. and Proptonics Video Production

Achieving your dreams and embracing risk

Success in business is rarely ever a result of consistency or luck; and yet so many people work in a job or run a business hoping someday soon it will simply take off, while never really doing anything to catapult that change. Success is about embracing risk - something that has lead Karim to achieve success and inspire others - and he's sharing it all with Fusion Halifax. 

With a Bachelor of Commerce and majors in accounting and marketing, Karim began his career in corporate banking; learning all he could about what makes a successful business. In 2013, he put that knowledge to work, starting his own business in video production and quickly growing to a full-service marketing agency. Karim’s determination, drive, and ability and to see opportunity where others don’t earned him a great deal of respect and recognition in Halifax. In 2016 he was an RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant, and in 2019 he was nominated by the Halifax Chamber of Commerce for Business Leader of the Year.


Menna Riley
Ignite Event Management & Leading Ladies Networking

Know-Who Know-How: Top Strategies to Boost your Networking Game

Networking empowers individuals to build confidence and foster lasting, valuable connections. Learn the essential components of how to pitch you services/products in a variety of scenarios, with a focus on introducing and representing yourself to get results while networking. Empower yourself to build a network of 'business besties' and collaborate on creative 'dream-job' projects with other like-minded and powerful connections. Learn about the latest in free event technology to facilitate building connections while networking.

Menna’s 20 years of event management experience spans the financial industry, several world-class performance festivals and sport championships, including Tall Ships and the IIHF World Junior Hockey championships. She’s lent her talents to dozens of charitable organizations and has even managed two separate events with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. She also founded the Leading Ladies Networking event series for women in 2012. Menna commutes from her home in Lunenburg where she lives with her husband, Greg, and her three step-children, Adie, Willo and Wilder.


Andreas Robinson
Founder and President, Infinitus Academy

Embrace Your Limitless Potential

The reality is everyone is born with Limitless potential, yet no two people have the same foundation or circumstances. Institutional education places a heavy emphasis on structure, teaching theory, rather than how to take action. We must shift to an Infrastructure mindset, adapting as needed, to leverage our skills, experience and passions, to create a blueprint to Embrace our Limitless Potential.

With a background in experiential learning, Andreas Robinson is on a mission to empower youth, individuals and communities to embrace their limitless potential. Andreas is a former Boston Globe All Scholastic Athletic Award Winner, a Team Canada Football Gold medal winner, CIS East West National All Star Game Player, who experienced major injury and returned to play at a high level. He was the recipient of the DBDLI Business Entrepreneur Ancestral Roots Award, and the Student Leadership Recognition Award, and the Order of Entrepreneurship Award both from Saint Mary’s University. Over the past 5 years, Andreas and Infinitus Academy have engaged 2,800+ people through their work.


Darren Steeves
Owner, Vendura Wellness

Are you Living a Q-Life? How to sustain your resilience battery in a changing world

Do you know how to stay resilient? Do you know what resilience is? Darren will discuss and lead a workshop on his work and research in resilience in the workplace and beyond. Darren has lead 100s of workshops on the topic and has coached thousands of people on how to live a flourishing, productive life.

Darren is a professional Exercise Physiologist and has nearly 25 years experience consulting within corporations, top level executives, Olympic Medalists and World Champion athletes. Darren attended the Rio games with team Canada and recently completed a TEDx talk on his work in resilience. Darren has a weekly column on resilience, a new book “Stop Wishing It Was Friday” and has published peer reviewed research. Darren is also an adjunct professor at Dalhousie and currently leading a study in resilience.


Mel Hennigar and Kristi Strowbridge
NATIONAL Public Relations

The Art of Storytelling

This workshop will highlight three brands nailing storytelling in 2019 and what you can learn from them to build your personal or business brand.

Mel believes in the power of creativity to shift perceptions, inspire action, and create positive change and momentum in our region. Her ability to bring ideas and stories to life for a broad range of clients—including Nova Scotia Tourism, Divert NS, and Atlantic Credit Unions, to name a few—combined with her over 10 years of experience in the marketing and communications industry means she is adept at seeing the bigger picture for every project she works on. Mel likes to ask why. She likes to solve complex problems. And in the evenings, she likes to turn her amp up to 11 and play bass with her band.

Kristi wakes up every day thinking about how she can push her clients and projects harder. Believing any tactic must be rooted in strategy, she brings together tools, insights, and team members to uncover and reach the audiences that matter most. Known for providing sound counsel, bringing new thinking, and convening the right teams, Kristi has built and led integrated marketing strategies, crafted narratives, created content strategies, mapped audiences, and launched national brands for clients spanning the finance, hospitality and tourism, cannabis, economic development, and energy sectors. Her laser focus and relentless drive help her clients build awareness, generate valuable leads, and make a meaningful impact on their business and community.


Elsy Makhlouf
CEO, Lively Public Relations and Branding Inc.


Elsy Makhlouf is a forth year student at Mount Saint Vincent University working on her Bachelor's degree of Public Relations, with a double minor in Management and Marketing. Elsy received multiple scholarships, awards, and nominations. After achieving immediate recognition, Elsy decided to start her own business Lively Public Relations and Branding Inc. Elsy also has passion for music and languages; she is a singer and guitarist and has performed all around Nova Scotia and nationally. She is fluent in English, French, Arabic and a Spanish and Farsi beginner. Elsy is also an avid volunteer and was on the winning team for Youthful Cities' 30 Lab Project, which enabled her to start creating a new non-profit program that addresses housing insecurity. She was also the youngest TEDx Talk Halifax speaker this last April.