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Darby Allan, Fort McMurray Fire Chief (Retired) Courage Inside the Fire
During the catastrophic Alberta wildfires, fire chief Darby Allen shot to global acclaim for guiding the 88,000 residents of Fort McMurray to safety with no loss of life—the largest evacuation in Canadian history. Now, he offers guidance on how to be a stoic, quick-thinking leader in tough situations. We all face emergencies and crises—Allen shows us how to overcome them.
Known as the face of the Alberta wildfires—and widely celebrated as a national hero—Darby Allen is an exemplar of selfless courage and level-headedness under pressure. Allen was Regional Fire Chief of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, an area that encompasses the community of Fort McMurray. In spring 2016, he spearheaded the evacuation of the city’s entire population while the rest of the world watched. Throughout the ensuing weeks of operations, he worked tirelessly with first responders and volunteers, who came from across the nation (and globe) to assist. His updates to the media were not only a means of reliable information, but a source of optimism—Allen provided calm reassurance as the lead spokesperson throughout the rescue efforts.
A native of Birmingham, England, where he worked as a firefighter for the Hampshire Fire Brigade, Allen immigrated to Canada in 1990. He began work as a firefighter with the Calgary Fire Department in 1992, moving up in rank from Training Officer to Assistant Deputy Chief of Operations, before moving on to Fort McMurray Fire Service in 2009, where he became Regional Fire Chief in 2013.
Charan Bhullar, Regional Manager, OHS & Operations Administration, North West Pacific Region, Labour Program, Employment and Social Development Canada
Charan Bhullar is currently the Regional Manager OHS for the program delivery of Occupational Health and Safety at Labour Program, Employment Social Development Canada in the North West Pacific Region. The North West Pacific Region covers the geographic area of B.C, Alberta, Yukon, N.W.T and Nunavut. He leads a team officers and investigators to administer the Canada Labour Code and its accompanying regulations within federally regulated industries and workplaces. He has been employed with Labour Program for approximately 14 years in different regulatory enforcement capacities including being a Health and Safety Officer and Senior Investigator. As a Health and Safety Officer and Senior Investigator, he has conducted workplace regulatory inspections, investigations into fatalities and work refusals, provided education and assistance to workplaces in ensuring compliance within the federal legislative requirements and led a successful prosecution investigation. Academically, he has successfully completed a Bachelor’s Degree from University of British Columbia, has his OHS certification from BCIT, Conflict Resolution and Mediation certification from BCIT and will be completing his Executive Masters in Business Administration with specialty in Occupational Health and Safety Leadership by April, 2017. As a father of two kids and a loving husband, Charan is passionate about ensuring all workers safety, health, treated fairly and hence productive at their workplaces.
Gary Carleton, Community & Response Coordinator, Disaster Management, Canadian Red Cross
Helen Chandler, Industry Specialist, WorkSafeBC
Helen Chandler is an Industry Specialist with the Young/ New Workers and Small Business Program at WorkSafeBC. Industry specialists assist employers, workers and teachers develop short and long term occupational safety and health strategies to reduce workplace injuries.
Helen has been employed in the field of Occupational Health and Safety for over 25 years including working as the OHS Advisor for Vancouver General Hospital, Health and Safety Manager for BCIT and Safety Advisor for the Overwaitea Food Group. She also spent 11 years as an Ergonomics Consultant with the State Compensation Insurance Fund in California. She has a B.Sc in Kinesiology from the University of Waterloo and a Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety from BCIT
Dan Demers BSc, Senior Manager of Strategic Business Development, CannAmm Occupational Testing Services, North Bay, Ontario
Mr. Demers is recognized as an international speaker and authority on the Canadian and international landscape of marijuana. As Occupational Health Operations Manager, Mr. Demers leads the most complex and fastest growing department of CannAmm. Mr. Demers’ commitment to lifelong learning is rooted in science and supplemented through executive education. His international presence and commitment to best practices is accomplished by serving on the SAPAA International Committee and IFDAT Legal Committee. Mr. Demers’ dedication to his community and the pursuit of a safer workplace is demonstrated by serving on the board of directors, as a member of the executive committee, for the Substance Abuse Program Administrators Association (SAPAA) and his local community Food Bank. By providing trustworthy information, tools, and best practices for occupational testing, Dan seeks to achieve his personal mission of effectively and sustainably ensuring more workers make it home to their families.
Mike Harnett, Vice President, Human Factors, SIX Safety System
Mike is the Vice President of Human Factors for SIX Safety Systems, a consulting firm that that offers Fit for Duty solutions with an emphasis on fitting the work to the worker. She has over twenty-five years of experience consulting with various Cdn and US government agencies including NASA and Nuclear Safety, as well as assisting aviation, rail, trucking, oil & gas, maritime, and emergency service industries. A world reknown subject matter expert helping to establish national and international safety standards, with a background in human factors and sleep neurobiology, Mike is recognized for her ability to take complex subjects and deliver their content in a simplified, innovative and humorous manner for all to understand, making her a sought after speaker throughout North America.
Brenda Henry is a CSRP with over 20 years’ experience in OHS Management Systems. She is currently a Manager of Environment Health and Safety Services at Fanshawe College responsible for the OHS Management Systems at one of the largest colleges in Ontario. She is a voting member on CSA standards technical committees for past 9 years including CSA Z1000 OHS Management Systems, CSA Z1001 OHS training, CSA Z1005 incident investigation, CSA’s Safety footwear/ over the shoe protection standard, Z460 control of hazardous energy, and Z94.1 safety headwear. She is also a member of the ISO Project committee 283 on ISO 45001 OHSMS. An Advisory committee member for Minerva and past co-chair of colleges of Ontario OHS administrators.
She is a candidate for executive MBA with Health and Safety leadership specialty completing in May 2018.
Allen Kehler, B.Ed, B.PhEd.
Allan Kehler is a highly sought-after speaker who aims to empower his audience to live opposed to exist. Among one of the more captivating Canadian keynote and workshop speakers, Allan’s dynamic style has allowed him to conduct hundreds of presentations while gaining recognition nationwide.
Allan spent a significant amount of his life persevering through mental health issues and addictions. On the outside, people saw the man who was president of his school, athlete of the year, and national scholarship winner. However, on the inside was a man who was in pain. A university professor saw beneath the mask, and changed Allan’s life through a simple process. Allan shares this approach in his message, and reassures his audience that nobody needs to be fixed. Rather, the value of being seen and heard is immeasurable.
Allan has spent years working as an addictions counsellor, clinical case manager, and instructor at several colleges. His genuine appreciation and passion for the First Nations culture led Allan to the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies where he continues to instruct the Mental Health & Wellness program. His first book Stepping Out from the Shadows: A Guide to Understanding & Healing from Addictions has been incorporated into college curricula. Allan’s writing has been published in countless national magazines, and he has also been featured on several television and radio programs. Allan currently lives in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan with his beautiful wife, four boys, two dogs, and cat ‘Hank the Tank’
Shaun Koopman, Protective Services Coordinator, Strathcona Regional District
Shaun is originally from Hope and still considers himself a small-town mountain boy at heart. His mother’s family was born and raised in Haiti. His interest in emergency management was spawned by the 2010 Port-au-Prince earthquake in Haiti. Shaun has over seven years of experience teaching first responder training programs and presenting information campaigns to the public as a Canadian Red Cross First Aid Instructor and National Lifesaving Society instructor Mentor. His additional volunteer responder experience stems from Hope Search and Rescue, the Canadian Red Cross Disaster Response Team, and B.C. Ambulance. Shaun is the Protective Services Coordinator for the Strathcona Regional District and also a Write and Editorial Assistant for HazNet magazine.
Isabel Krueger CRSP(NP), Safety Matters.
Isabel is the owner of Safety Matters an occupational safety and health consulting firm. She is a well-known and experienced safety professional with many years of OSH experience. She has presented at the National Safety Congress in the USA, the Western Conference on Safety, The BC Municipal Occupational Health and Safety Conference and numerous other prominent safety events. She is a recipient of the National Safety Council’s Distinguished Service to Safety award (DSSA)
Christie Lavan. Leading Change Program Developer, Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters
Christie has a diversity of experience that she brings to her role as Leading Change Program Developer. She trained with the Canadian Military as a Radio Operator in the Communications Reserve, organized tape and called show timings in live television newsrooms, researched, wrote & produced dramatic and documentary television & film content in the independent television industry and most recently, served as a communications generalist at the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters for several years. She was the first Canadian to participate in Praxis International’s Advocacy Learning Centre and is passionate about supporting community development to end gender based violence.
Gord Lechner, Director, BC Fed Health & Safety Centre
Gord Lechner is the Director of the BCFED OH&S Centre. Run by the BC Federation of Labour and funded by WorkSafe B.C., the BCFED OH&S Centre is the largest provider of OH&S Committee, Supervisor and Young & New Worker education in B.C. Gord was the OH&S Council Chairperson and later local Business Agent for Unifor 2301 (Kitimat BC Rio Tinto Alcan Smelter) before joining the OH&S Centre nine years ago.
Linda Love, Policy Analyst, WorkSafeBC, Richmond BC
Linda works as a senior prevention advisor at WorkSafeBC, supporting the development and application of occupational health and safety policy, practice and regulations. Linda worked for several years in WorkSafeBC’s assessment department, gaining expertise in workers’ compensation insurance matters. Since joining WorkSafeBC’s Prevention division in 2013, Linda has contributed to WorkSafeBC’s initiative around the prevention of workplace bullying and harassment. In 2017, Linda participated in the development of regulations specific to workplace joint health and safety committees. An active member of WorkSafeBC’s joint health and safety committee, she believes everyone has a role in ensuring a healthy and safe workplace.
Jeff Lyth, QSP Leadership Inc. Vancouver BC
Since beginning his career in safety over 25 years ago, Jeff Lyth has become recognized as an expert and innovator in workplace safety and leadership.He obtained his Canadian Registered Safety Professional (CRSP) and Certified Health and Safety Consultant (CHSC) designations, and served as Director of Corporate Health and Safety for nearly a decade before leaving safety management to work entirely in the leadership development/safety differently space.
Throughout his career, Jeff has been involved in industry-leading innovation, such as the first Canadian use of computerized tower-crane anti-collision systems, the province-wide use of the ‘Safety Climate Tool’ survey from the Health and Safety Laboratory in the U.K., and the development of the BCCSA Silica Tool. Jeff has represented the Canadian Construction Association (CCA) on Health Canada’s transition to the Globally Harmonized System (GHS), and was accepted by the Department of Foreign Affairs as a Canadian Construction Occupational Health and Safety Specialist and participated in two missions to central China. He currently works in assisting organizations and safety departments to move beyond conventional views of health and safety and to break through the performance plateaus associated with those views.
Priya Malik, P.Eng, Project Manager, CSA Group
Priya Malik is a Project Manager at CSA Group in the Worker Public Safety Standards Development Program. Priya has a broad knowledge base in standards and is responsible for managing the personal protective equipment portfolio, including hard hats, eye protection, foot protection, and fall protection equipment, as well as standards for mining safety, agricultural safety, elevating work platforms. She is also responsible for management standards on Occupational health and safety training and Hazard identification and elimination and risk assessment and control. Priya has also led the development of the first international workshop agreement on the sharing economy, where important health and safety elements are reflected in the guiding principles for all platform operators and providers.
Prior to joining CSA, Priya worked in construction as a Project Engineer at the Bruce Nuclear Generating Station. She has also worked on a wide array of large-scale, global mining projects as a Design, Construction and Commissioning Engineer for Hatch, a major consulting engineering firm. Priya holds a mechanical engineering degree with a minor in environmental engineering, and is a licensed Professional Engineer. She is very passionate about standards and is here to provide an update on OHS Management system standard.
John McEwan, Divisional Emergency Disaster Services Director, Emergency Disaster Services, British Columbia Division, The Salvation Army
As Divisional Emergency Disaster Services Director for The Salvation Army in British Columbia for the past 15 years. In 2017, 12 mobile kitchen units were deployed throughout BC to serve over 54,000 meals to wildfire evacuees, while providing Emotional and Spiritual Care to over 10,000 people, and clothing and supplies to 1000’s of displaced people.
He was deployed to the 1997 Winnipeg flood, 9/11 at Ground Zero, and Tampa’s TSA Command Centre during their hurricane season. As an Incident Commander, he led a Canadian TSA team deployed to Biloxi, Mississippi 20 days after Hurricane Katrina, and served 9 weeks in Haiti as an IC for TSA’s international response. As the initial IC responding to the 2013 Alberta floods, he led the first all Canadian TSA EDS team to assist the Alberta Division, and provided IC leadership for TSA’s response to the 2017 BC Wildfires. John holds an Emergency Management Certificate from the Justice Institute of BC. He is married to Annette and they have 5 children and 7 grandchildren. He has been involved with ESS on provincial, regional and municipal levels providing input, experience and TSA resources whenever required and looks forward to working with emergency agencies and faith based organizations to provide higher standards of excellence to emergency workers and the residents of BC.
Astrid Mitchell, Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters, Calgary, Alberta
Astrid Mitchell is an Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters, Domestic Violence and the Work Place Consultant as well as a Facilitator in the ACWS’ Leading Change: Inspired Communities Program. She is from Drayton Valley and works as an Occupational Health and Safety Consultant, primarily in the transportation industry. She has a diploma with distinction in Occupational Health and Safety from the University of Alberta Faculty of Extension and is an Alberta Motor Transport Association internal auditor. Astrid is a passionate advocate for work place health and safety and believes involving employers in the fight against domestic violence will truly effect change.
Sheila Moir, BC Fed Health & Safety Centre
Sheila Moir recently rejoined the BC Fed OHS Centre after 5 years as the OHS Officer with the British Columbia Government and Services Employees Union (BCGEU). Prior to moving to the BCGEU Sheila was the OHS Director at the BC Federation of Labour. A committed OHS activist Sheila has worked to improve the health and safety for workers in BC by lobbying government and the WCB for improved OHS legislation and enforcement. Sheila has a special interest in the OHS concerns for women and for immigrant workers. Through many years of providing education and advice to joint OHS committees Sheila has an excellent understanding of the OHS issues in both the industrial and public sectors. Sheila has seen first- hand, how the OHS education provided by the BC Fed OHS Centre assists committees to be more effective and strategic thus improving health and safety for themselves and for their co-workers.
Tim Page-Bottorff CSP, CET, Senior Safety Consultant, SafeStart, and ASSE Region II Vice President, Phoenix, Arizona
Tim Page-Bottorff is an inspirational presenter who brings his experiences from his over 20 years of Occupational Health, Safety and Environmental Management experience coupled with a Humanitarian Service Medal from the United States Marine Corps into his presentations. Tim is dedicated to on- and off-the-job injury prevention and environmental conservation. He is a Desert Storm/Desert Shield veteran, earned combat action, good conduct awards and an Honorable Discharge.
Tim’s industry accomplishments include certification as an OSHA instructor, Asbestos Inspector/Management Planner, Hazwoper Instructor, California Specialized Training Institute Instructor and California Fire Marshal Instructor. Tim has also received The Certified Environmental, Safety & Health Trainer (CET) certification from BCSP. Tim, Past President of the Arizona ASSE Chapter, has been recognized as the Safety Professional of the Year by Region II of the American Society of Safety Engineers and continues to be a valued member of the ASSE, NSC, AIHA and other safety associations
Tracy Porteous, Executive Director, Ending Violence Association of BC
Tracy is a Registered Clinical Counsellor who for 35 years has been actively involved in a leadership capacity developing resources, programs, policy, and training to many sectors related to sexual assault, intimate partner violence and child abuse. Tracy is a three time Governor General of Canada medal recipient, the most recent in 2014 where she was honored with the GG medal in recognition of the Persons Case for ‘exemplary contributions towards the equality of women in Canada’. Tracy was a member of BC’s 2010 and 2016 Domestic Violence Death Review Panels, has testified in front of federal Parliamentary committees related to violence against women, a Coroner Inquest into a BC murder/suicide tragedy and recently assisted the Canadian Chiefs of Police with the development of national best practices related to IPV. In 2012, Tracy attended the United Nation Commission on the Status of Women in New York as an official delegate from Canada and spoke at a global session about prevention of violence against women. Tracy is the Executive Director of the Ending Violence Association of BC, a Provincial Association that supports over 300 anti-violence programs and initiatives across BC that specialize in responding to and preventing sexual and domestic violence, child abuse and stalking. Tracy is also the Co-Chair of the Ending Violence Association of Canada, the national entity that is working with the CFL on it’s national Violence Against Women Policy. Tracy is regularly invited on local and national media as a subject matter expert on issues related to gender based violence.
David Powers CRSP, Director, Health, Safety & Environment, Oxford Frozen Foods, Nova Scotia
David is the Director of Health, Safety and Environment for Oxford Frozen Foods Limited, located in Cumberland County, Nova Scotia. Oxford is the world’s largest processor of wild blueberries.
David received his CRSP designation in 2005, became a member of the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering in 2007and earned a master’s degree in occupational safety and health in 2015. He is currently the Program Coordinator for the Nova Scotia Chapter of the CSSE as well as Board Vice President of Farm Safety Nova Scotia.
David has also introduced the Progressive Agriculture Safety Day program to the organization where they host Safety Days for Grade 4 & 5 students totaling over 70 schools and 1500 students across Maine, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia!
Norm Ralph CHSC, CRSP, CDMP, CHSC President, Apex Abilities
Norm has over (30) years’ experience in Occupational Health & safety. He is currently semi-retired after working with several industry groups over his career. Norm got his start in Occupational Health & Safety in the early 80’s working for Western Canada Steel, a local steel manufacturing plant. When the plant closed, Norm found new employment as a Safety & Quality Assurance coordinator at CAPTIN, a wheel manufacturing division of Toyota. He remained in the roles for over 10 years before moving on to his next challenge as a Safety Consultant with the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority. Recognizing his desire to work in a more hands-on approach with workers, in 2003 Norm moved on to a new role as a Senior Safety Analyst with the SkyTrain Operation and in 2013 he was promoted to Manager of Occupational Health.
Norm is a member of the CSSE, Canadian Society of Safety Engineering. During his 24-year membership he has held numerous elected positions within the local Chapter; two consecutive terms as Chapter Chair, Vice Chair and Director. Norm has CRSP and CHSC designations, Canadian Registered Safety Professionals and Canadian Health & Safety Consultant. As well Norm is also a Certification Disability Management Professional CDMP.
Norm continues to work with companies to improve their Health & Safety performance by providing: Customized Health & Safety Education & Training, Disability Management Consulting Services, Occupational Wellness Programs, and Office Ergonomic Assessments
Travis Robertson, President Catalyst Safety Inc.
Travis Robertson is a well-respected Health & Safety Consultant and Instructor with over a decade of experience in the construction industry. He started his career as a carpenter and progressed into a Safety Manager position with Peter Kiewit Infrastructure on the Port Mann Bridge and Highway 1 Project, the largest transportation project in British Columbia. Travis has provided his expert safety advice for a variety of environments including large infrastructure construction, refineries, grain terminals, commercial and residential construction sites. He has a strong teaching background and has taught numerous courses over many years and continues to provide exceptional safety training and education to all levels.
Students and clients have commended Travis on his tremendous enthusiasm, passion and delivery during his courses. Travis was part of the pilot group for the NCSOTM designation in BC and was one of the first to receive the NCSOTM designation in BC. Travis has also maintained his Occupational Level 3 first aid for over 10 years He looks forward to continuing his career in occupational health and safety as a Regional Safety Advisor with the BCCSA and is working towards his CRSP designation. Travis has volunteered since 2007 with the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue as a Captain and trainer and was also a part of the Canadian Ski Patrol System for many years.
Mandana Salimian, Disaster Management Coordinator, Canadian Red Cross
Bio to follow
Mike Stortz, Pinnacle Strategies
Mike has over 34 years in health and safety, as well as, organizational behaviour and people development. Thirty of those years were with Save-On-Foods which is a large retail grocery company servicing Western Canada. He managed their corporate safety program and their claims department. Mike was also the senior facilitator for the company’s people development where he developed and instructed interpersonal and communication workshops for senior managers, executives and staff. In 2014, Mike joined the BC Construction Safety Alliance (BCCSA) where he helped redesign the Provincial Traffic Control Program and raised the facilitation skills of the instructors. He currently instructs injury management and leadership courses at the BCCSA.
As president of Pinnacle Strategies Inc, Mike works with organizations and industry groups to refocus their people development including strategies to raise employee morale, executive awareness, and organizational culture. He also helps facilitate master’s business classes at Simon Fraser University. He has a BSc Kinesiology (Hons) degree with a focus on ergonomics.
Tanya Steele CHSC, RCSO, NSCO, TR Steele Company
Tanya Steele has a vision to help Managers, Supervisors, and Safety Coordinators, influence workers through effective on-site training. Utilizing her 25 years of experience as a Safety Advisor, Auditor, Trainer and Company Owner, Tanya will give you practical skills on how to educate and train workers. Tanya is a well-respected and sought-after trainer. Words that have been used to describe Tanya’s instruction are passionate, energetic, relatable, practical and fun. Tanya has held several Provincial and National board positions either as a committee member, Chair or President. Some of these include the CSSE Outreach Committee, CSSE Hiring Guide, VRCA Educational Committee and the NAOSH Week Steering Committee and has received a “Professional Leadership Award for Women” and an “Educational Leadership Award
Mike Tasker CRSP, Occupational Safety Officer, WorkSafeBC, Prince George, BC
Mike works as an Occupational Safety Officers with WorkSafeBC. In his capacity as an officer he is charged with conducting health and safety inspections in a wide range of industries. Mike has been an officer of the Board for 19 years. Prior to joining WorkSafeBC, Mike spent many years working in a wide range of industry positions, including supervision and safety management. In 2004, he achieved national accreditation as a “Canadian Registered Safety Professional” through the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering.
Mike is co-creator of WorkSafeBC’s new online “Supervising for Safety” e-learning program. The Supervising for Safety program is an online adaptation of a two-day classroom based course that is a flexible, engaging approach to reviewing best practices in safety management with helpful, practical tips you can put to use right away. Since its inception the Supervising for Safety program has been completed by over 17,000 participants and was recognized the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering with the 2016 Outstanding Achievement Award.
Tina Varughese. 50 Shades of Beige: Communicate with Cross-Cultural Advantage
Tina, President of , is a professional speaker and trainer specializing in cross-cultural communication, work-life balance and inclusive leadership. Prior to , she worked with Alberta Employment and Immigration where she spearheaded international recruitment missions in response to Alberta’s labour shortage. She is a contributing writer for the Human Resource Institute of Alberta’s Network magazine, Calgary Real Estate News, and Home to Home magazine. She is the President of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers (Calgary Chapter). Tina has been the face of diversity, literally, when she was chosen to be in Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty representing beauty in diversity. With two kids, five fish and one husband, she resides in Calgary where she recently began hip hop classes.
Bob Vaughan, President, Bob Vaughan and Associates
Bob has more than twenty years’ experience in enhancing human performance, change management, and performance improvement in the private and public sectors in North and South America and Europe. Bob has held various positions with a focus on maximizing human performance and ensuring an environment that was conductive to innovation, flexibility and professional development. Prior to forming Bob Vaughan and Associates, Bob was the Quality Improvement Manager for Finning in charge of employee engagement, customer satisfaction and process improvement. Bob was a member of the B.C. Road Builders & Heavy Construction Association and facilitated strategic planning sessions for the BCRBHCA and BCCSA as well as the CCA, ARHCA and ACSA.
Bob has worked for clients such as, CN Rail, Finning, Suncor, Teck, CNRL, Rocky Mountain Equipment, SMS Equipment, Cervus Equipment, BC Ministry of Transportation, Fraser Surrey Docks, Mainroad Group, B & B Construction, Hall Constructors, Morgan Construction, Sun Rype, Emil Anderson Construction, Sureway Construction, Emcon Services, BC and Alberta Road Builders & Heavy Construction Associations.