2024 Speakers

Big Daddy Tazz,

Often described as “one of the most talented comics in the business”, Tazz has been delighting crowds at fundraisers, corporate events, festivals and on television for almost twenty five years. Known as the Bi-Polar Buddha, Tazz is equal part comedian, and motivational speaker, who likes to enlighten, educate and inspire audiences. With his newest endeavour “Stand Up Against Stigma”, Tazz shares why he believes that it is time to educate, embrace and empower mental illness so that we can all stand tall and give stigma a bad name!

Kira Berntson, Manager, Prevention Field Services, WorkSafeBC, Kelowna BC

Kira Berntson is a manager in Prevention Field Services with WorkSafeBC in the Okanagan and Kootenay regions. She has a Bachelors in Engineers and a Masters of Psychology, which she combines to support her passion of helping to make the world a safer place. Kira has worked as an engineer and as a health and safety professional in a variety of industries ranging from theater to manufacturing to utilities. Where ever she works, her core message and drive is the same: Safety first, and physical and psychological health and safety go hand in hand.

Provincially Kira is the PFS manager of interest for bullying and harassment prevention, and for psychological health and safety. She is privileged in this role to work with a highly skilled and passionate team of officers who share her belief in helping employers and workers achieve the highest levels of workplace health and safety.

John Beckett, MBA, CRSP, CPHR, ICD.D, Principle, JB Consulting, Vancouver, BC

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Dan Chow BA, MBA, Port Moody, BC

Dan is a Health, Safety, Emergency Management and Environmental Professional with over twenty-five years of experience in the consulting and energy industries.  He brings a unique outlook gained from his safety, environmental assessment, remediation and emergency response experience.  He has worked on the front lines of spill and emergency response and has also successfully managed numerous response projects to completion/closure.  He holds a technical diploma, a Bachelor of Science, and a Master of Business Administration.  He is currently the Executive Director of Lechow HSE Solutions Ltd. and is based in Port Moody, British Columbia.

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.

Phil Eastwood, Fiore Group Training Inc. Vancouver, BC

Phil Eastwood is a former London Bobby who brings a thirty-five year career in policing to his role as Senior Partner of Fiore Group Training. Phil is lead author of workplace training courses in respectful workplace training, workplace violence employee training, and leadership training seminars. He holds a Master of Arts in Leadership and Training and has delivered corporate training since 1998. Phil is also an accomplished keynote speaker and was awarded his Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation in 2018.

Michael Fears, BA, MA ABD PhD, CRSP

Michael Fears is a CRSP with 20 years of occupational health and safety experience across a wide range of industries, including construction, oil & gas, education, and healthcare. He is a seasoned TapRooT(c) investigator and COR® auditor across several provinces, including British Columbia. Michael is currently a senior safety management with a national engineering firm and sits on an examination committee for the Board of Canadian Registered Safety Professionals. Michael Fears has studied at universities in Calgary, Ottawa, and Moscow and has taught in Canada, Russia, and South Korea. Since 2010 he has been a contract instructor with the University of Calgary in the Occupational Health & Safety program.

Shannon Gander, Life Work Wellness, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Shannon Gander is a global speaker and recognized as a leading expert in mental health and resiliency. She has worked with hundreds of companies over the past 25 years where workplace culture and unhealthy stress has contributed to high rates of disability and staff turnover. Inspired to change this, Shannon founded Life Work Wellness to share leading best practices how to be strategic and invest in mental health actions that have the biggest impact on employee well-being.

Leveraging her dynamic background in mental health, conflict mediation and corporate wellness, Shannon inspires her audience to engage in daily behaviours that have immediate positive results on themselves, their workplace teams and the people they go home to at the end of the day. She also demonstrates how everyone can contribute to healthy organizational culture for better engagement and safety at work. When Shannon is not presenting or consulting in organizations, she works in her private counselling practice, in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Arunjit (Aaron) Gill Ph.D., CRSP, CPHR,  Employers Advisor, BC Employer’s Advisors Office, Vancouver, BC

Aaron works for the Employers’ Advisers Office (EAO) in the BC Ministry of Labour. The EAO provides advice, assistance, training, and representation to the employer community on WorkSafeBC claims, assessments and occupational health and safety matters. He has over 30 years of occupational health and Safety experience in industry: forestry, transportation, manufacturing, general retail, and government.

Aaron holds two graduate degrees and numerous certifications in the health and safety field. His specialty is curriculum design and implementation of safe systems of work (SSOW).  He is active in the community, volunteering his time and expertise teaching OH&S to various non-profit organizations in Surrey.  Aaron’s interests are researching and analyzing different modes of knowledge, its acquisition, construction,  and application in improving workplace health and safety.

Tom Hamann, Director of Training, Saskatchewan Safety Council

Tom Hamann is a seasoned professional in the field of safety training, with a wealth of experience in conducting seminars and developing programs across various industries. His focus on raising standards in injury prevention suggests a commitment to enhancing safety practices and protocols.

Given the evolving nature of our world and the increasing responsibilities placed on supervisors, Tom’s perspective highlights the need for continuous improvement in safety measures. The diverse market sectors he has worked in, including mining, petrochemical, construction, and agricultural, indicate a broad understanding of safety challenges across different environments.

Tom resides in Regina Saskatchewan where he is employed by the Saskatchewan Safety Council as Director of Training and Services.

Graeme A. Hooper, counsel, MLG Law Corporation, Vancouver, BC

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Bruce Jackson, PgCert, DipAEd, PID, CMIOSH, CRSP, CIT

Bruce has worked in the OH&S field for more than 26 years. He spent 20 years with WorkSafeBC working in a variety of capacities – as a prevention officer, instructor, and in prevention quality assurance. A safety consultant since late 2017 he provides safety training, COR auditing (manufacturing sector), and incident investigation services to industry.

He’s a graduate of BCIT in both OH&S and operations management, holds two qualifications in adult education from Vancouver Community College, and a graduate degree in human factors & safety management systems from the University of South Australia. He is a Canadian Registered Safety Professional, a Chartered Member of IOSH and a Certified Instructional Trainer.

He’s currently a member of the Board of Directors of Health and Safety Professionals Canada (formerly the CSSE), the Chairperson of the Regional Screening Centre for the BC Lower Mainland for the Board of Canadian Registered Safety Professionals, and an OH&S programs assessor for the BCRSP. Bruce has also volunteered on safety certification projects for the Board of Certified Safety Professionals in the US.

Glyn Jones, M.A.Sc., P.Eng., CIH, CRSP, Calgary, Alberta

Glyn is a Partner in the firm EHS Partnerships Ltd.  He is a consulting occupational health and safety professional and leadership coach.  Glyn is a chemical engineer by training and is a Professional Engineer.  He completed a Master’s degree specializing in occupational health and safety.  He holds numerous professional certifications and is a CIH and a CRSP.

Mr. Jones has over thirty-five years of experience working as a consulting Occupational Health and Safety Professional.  He has completed work in all industries and for all levels of government in Canada and overseas.  He is a very involved conference speaker and teaches occupational and environmental health and safety at the University of New Brunswick. Connect with Glyn on LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/glyn-jones/) or follow him on Twitter @glynjones_ehsp.

 Kim J. Laing

Kim has been an active volunteer for many years with a variety of organizations including Nobleford Emergency Services, Victim Services, Hand to Heart Foundation, Hockey Canada, Alberta College of Paramedic, Canadian Red Cross, ICRC and St. John Ambulance. Over the years, Kim has responded to many emergencies and natural disasters domestically and internationally.  This includes floods, major fires, community evacuations, tornado and hurricane ERU response and community re-build projects. International volunteer response include 2008 to Kenya Africa, 2009 Kabul, Afghanistan, 2010 Port-au-Prince, Haiti,  2012 Kinshasa, DR Congo/Kigali, Rwanda and 2013 Cambodia.

Her education includes Public Relations, Communication, Business Administration, Firefighter / PCP and CHSC.  Kim recently retired from St. John Ambulance – Alberta Council as Vice Present, Business Development & Public Relations.  For the past 30 years, she has supported health, safety and wellness programs, COR auditing and training through her company Beneficent Ltd.

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.

Steven Mah, MSc, CRSP, CFIOSH, OHS Consultant,  Consultation & Education Services,  WorkSafeBC

Steven has been in the health and safety field for over 15 years, working for government and private organizations. Before joining WorkSafeBC in 2015, he worked as a Senior Advisor for a global, multi-billion-dollar organization, focusing on physical and psychological safety.

Steven has worn multiple hats at WorkSafeBC, including working as the Trainer for new prevention officers in Learning and Development Services, Officer in Prevention Field Services and currently as an OHS Consultant for Mental Health Injury Prevention.

Steven holds a Master of Science and is a chartered fellow, registered counsellor, and safety professional. He conducted original research in emotional and social intelligence, resulting in a 45% increase in job and life satisfaction for participants. Outside of WorkSafeBC, Steven works as a counselling therapist, specializing in solution-focused brief therapy.

Tim Page-Bottorff, CSP, CIT Senior Safety Consultant, SafeStart

Tim Page-Bottorff, CSP, CIT, Senior Safety Consultant SafeStart Tim is an inspirational certified safety professional who brings over 20 years of occupational health, safety and environmental experience. He has received the coveted ASSP Safety Professional of the Year award and currently serves as Director at-Large on their board. Tim also received the National Safety Council’s Distinguished Service to Safety Award and was a named a Top 10 Speaker by them. While a United States Marine, Tim earned the Humanitarian Service Medal and is a veteran of Operation Desert Shield/Storm where he started his safety career assisting contractors putting out oil fires and is very proud of his continued grassroots approach. Tim has been published in industry magazines and online, including in Safety Decisions, Coatings Pro Magazine, Professional Safety Magazine, the Journal of Environmental Management, and by the Water Environment Federation. He is also the author of The Core of Four: 4 Tools To Navigate Roadblocks To Great Human Performance. Participants in Tim’s training sessions benefit from his enthusiasm and unique ability to immediately put his audience at ease through humor and personal life experiences. Tim speaks all over North America and the world on occupational health and safety.

Randy Pokrant, Business Development Manager, Protelec, Winnipeg, Manitoba

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Angelique Prince, Senior Prevention Advisor, WorkSafeBC

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Don Schouten, Senior Manager, WorkSafeBC, Richmond BC

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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

Scott Wilkinson, E.C.F.O, B.P.E, P.C.P., Deputy Chief,
Fire Rescue Operations & Training. Fire Paramedic Service, City of Winnipeg

Scott Wilkinson is a 33-year veteran of the fire and paramedic service and serves as the Deputy Chief of Fire Rescue Operations & Training for the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service.  As Deputy Chief, he is responsible for over 900 operational staff and all accompanying response, policy and training.  Scott recently served as the Assistant Chief, Community Risk Reduction and previously as the Project Manager for Training and Safety Equipment.  Scott serves on the NFPA Fire Officer Professional Qualifications Technical Committee and is the developer of numerous programs including RPAS, PPE Maintenance/Hygiene and the Diversity and Equity Fire Training (DEFT) program.