Picture of Jay Campbell

Jay Campbell

Odyssey Trust Company President

“Utilizing RRSPs and TFSAs: Trustee, Tax, and Legal Compliance Panel”

Odyssey Trust Company is an independent transfer agent and corporate trustee incorporated under the Loan and Trust Act of Alberta. Odyssey’s business is providing corporate services to public and private companies, primarily based in Western Canada. Odyssey will fill an existing void in the market for local, independent, corporate services firms. Odyssey’s core competency is the strength and experience of its management team (past leadership teams from Olympia and Valiant Trust) and the ability to offer top-tier, flexible service to its clients as an independent, boutique firm. In addition to its core business as a corporate services provider, Odyssey is committed to developing new technology that will give it a competitive advantage against the multi-national firms that currently dominate the industry.

Jay is the President and co-founder of Odyssey Trust Company. Prior to Odyssey, Jay held senior executive and director positions in Insurance, Trust, Private Equity, Construction, and Banking industries. He is respected for his diverse financial services knowledge and proven track record in new business development, financing, mergers, acquisitions and corporate turnarounds. Jay has a Bachelor of Commerce, Finance with distinction from the University of Alberta.

Picture of Gord Lozeman, President (left); Shawn Birch, VP Finance & Projects (right, taking the ‘selfie’); Guys in the Middle, VP Ops and VP Sales & Mktg

Gord Lozeman and Shawn Birch

Banff Lodging Co. President & CEO and VP Finance & Projects

“Keeping Banff in Banff” – ESOP as a Succession Plan

Banff Lodging Co. is a division of Banff Caribou Properties Ltd., an innovative and progressive hospitality and real estate company with approximately 900 employees. The Employee Stock Ownership Program (ESOP) was launched in 2008, motivated in large part by the founding shareholder’s vision both to create a meaningful investment opportunity for employees, and to perpetuate local ownership and “keep Banff in Banff”. The company is now up to almost 200 employee owners who live in the community.

Gord Lozeman (left in picture) joined the company in 1999 as the Founding Owner’s “little helper” (his words). Since that time, he has guided the company from its entrepreneurial real-estate roots to a modern, diverse, professionally run hospitality company – and a leader in the tourism industry. When not looking after all things corporate, Gord can be found coaching minor hockey, or stopping to say ‘hello’ at one of Caribou’s many hotels and restaurants while out for a run.

Shawn Birch (right in picture) joined the company in 2002 as an Accounts Payable Clerk, and now oversees all things Finance. He also heads up the company’s Construction Division (“Caribou Contracting”), through which his in-house ‘Projects Team’ executes all of Caribou’s development and renovation projects (including the newly constructed Moose Hotel & Suites, which opened in 2016). Shawn is renowned for his ability to take on any challenge, work or play! (Guys in the middle of picture, VP Ops and VP Sales & Mktg)

Picture of Tom Redl

Tom Redl

CHANDOS Construction Ltd. CEO

“Building and Managing Boards in an ESOP Company”

Tom is CEO of CHANDOS Construction Ltd., a market leader in the provision of value-added construction solutions that has been recognized as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies, an Alberta Top Employer and is Certified as a B Corporation. Tom has held this position since 2001. During his time as CEO, CHANDOS has experienced significant growth and positive change.

An entrepreneur and strategic visionary, Tom is a highly collaborative leader and this is one reason behind his success at CHANDOS. Internally, his focus is on the continuous improvement of the company’s business model and ensuring that people come first. Externally, he is focused on developing long-term strategic relationships with key business partners. This dual focus serves a single purpose – to ensure value is constantly being created for CHANDOS’ clients.

Tom truly believes in giving back to the community. He is a dedicated volunteer and member of many Boards which serve the Edmonton community and is heavily involved with advancing Corporate Social Responsibility. In 2015, he personally created a scholarship fund at CHANDOS entitled the “Amisk Award.”

Tom holds an ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors and is an instructor in both the ICD Director Education program as well as the U of A Small and Medium Enterprise Governance program. He is a frequent speaker and panelist on the topics of governance, employee ownership and corporate social responsibility.

Picture of Gordon Panas

Gordon Panas

PCL Construction Chief Financial Officer

“The PCL Story”

PCL is a group of independent construction companies owned by employee shareholders across the United States, Canada, and Australia.

As chief financial officer, Gordon is responsible for all the financial operations of the PCL family of companies. Gordon is a member of PCL’s Office of the CEO, a group that includes the top senior executive management and leadership of PCL. He began his PCL career in Edmonton as accounting manager, followed by stints as administration manager in Winnipeg and Toronto. He left PCL in 1997 to work as chief financial officer for another contractor, ultimately becoming that contractor’s chief executive officer in 2006 and taking the company public in 2007. That company was sold in 2009 and Gordon returned to PCL.

Gordon is a chartered accountant and holds a bachelor of commerce degree from the University of Alberta.

Picture of Ramy Taraboulsi

Ramy Taraboulsi

VeritableSoft Innovations Managing Director and CEO

“Improve Your Mental Abilities for Greater Success”

Ramy is responsible for all the day-to-day operations of VeritableSoft, in addition to setting up the strategic direction of the company as a board member.

Prior to working in VeritableSoft, Ramy held different executive positions including Chairman and CEO at SyncBASE, CIO at Insurance Bureau of Canada, VP – Internet Strategy and Development at Fidelity Investments, VP – Internet Strategy at Merill Lynch and Chief Systems Architect at Merill Lynch. Ramy has also held various directorship positions, and he is currently a director of CryptoMiles, AlphaOmega Reno Construction and ESOP Association Canada.

Ramy is a Professional Engineer who holds an M.Sc. in Computer Science, MBA and he is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).
Ramy has been practicing different forms of martial arts for 35 years, and is currently actively practicing Karate and Tai Chi. He also plays music and enjoys travelling around the world.

Picture of Stefan Wiesen

Stefan Wiesen

Intrigue Media Solutions Inc. Co-Owner

“Engaging Millennials: How to Attract ESOP Participants”

As a co-owner of the company, I wear many hats. As CFO, I look after our finances and accounting. As VP HR I look after the framework under which our team members work and assist our managers in handling all aspects of human resources.

At Intrigue Media, we help great organisations to get noticed and found. We are both a media company with hundreds of digital screens throughout many communities in Ontario, and a full service marketing organisation with a strong focus on online/web/social media tools. Most recently, we established a software development department to satisfy highly sophisticated website needs.

Intrigue’s purpose is empowering leaders to strengthen communities. Consequently, I am very engaged in Guelph’s community serving as Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Board Member of the Career Education Council.

Picture of Ramona Rodriguez-Brooks

Ramona Rodriguez-Brooks

National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO) Outreach and Membership Coordinator

“International Employee Ownership Panel” and “Celebrating Canadian Employee Ownership at Your Company”

The NCEO is a US-based non-profit membership organization devoted to providing practical resources and reliable information about employee ownership. As Outreach and Membership Coordinator, Ramona focuses on spreading the word about the benefits of employee ownership to companies, community groups, business leaders, and the public. She also works to ensure that the NCEO’s membership is supported and growing.

Ramona brings to her job diverse professional experiences from managing education and outreach programs at a small theater company, to line cooking at a large film studio, to running all the technical aspects of live performances.

Ramona has a BA in Sociology with an emphasis in social inequality and a BA Theatre from the University of California, San Diego and can often be found having detailed conversations comparing and contrasting Mexican culinary styles in Northern and Southern California.

Picture of Dean Psarras

Dean Psarras

Dale & Lessmann LLP Partner

“Utilizing RRSPs and TFSAs: Trustee, Tax, and Legal Compliance Panel”

Dean practices business law with a focus on Canadian and cross-border mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, and financing transactions. Dean also spends much of his time advising foreign and domestic clients with respect to the establishment and expansion of their businesses across Canada. He advises clients on business formations and wind-ups, immigration and employment matters, shareholder matters (including shareholder agreements, reorganizations and employee share offerings), financings, partnership and joint venture arrangements, corporate governance and regulatory matters and on-going commercial transactions.  Dean has particular expertise representing clients in the manufacturing, retail, distribution, private equity, insurance services, banking, renewable energy, agriculture and agrifood and not-for-profit sectors.

Picture of Perry Phillips of ESOP Builders. Inc.

Perry Phillips

ESOP Builders President

“ESOP Problems and Solutions Panel”

From helping Canada’s fastest growing companies implement engagement strategies to supporting business owners exiting on their terms, Perry Phillips is recognized as one of Canada’s leading experts on employee share ownership plans (ESOPs).

Perry is the Founder and President of ESOP Builders Inc. (the largest designer of ESOP plans in Canada for small and medium sized Canadian private companies) and also the Founder of the ESOP Association Canada (Canada’s only national not for profit organization promoting the ESOP concept in Canada) and primary author of ESOPs in Canada: How to Implement an Employee Share Ownership Plan to Grow and Exit Your Business with Your Legacy Intact (2015).

Picture of Robert Postlethwaite

Robert Postlethwaite

Postlethwaite Solicitors Managing Director

“International Employee Ownership Panel”

Robert is the Managing Director of Postlethwaite, an English law firm specialising in employee ownership. Robert founded the practice, itself employee-owned, after working as a partner in an international corporate law firm, and helps a diverse range of businesses create employee share ownership arrangements tailored to their needs. Since 2014 it has advised over twenty companies on succession through employee ownership trusts. The firm is ranked in both Chambers and Legal 500 as a leader in its field.

Picture of David Hildebrandt

David A. Hildebrandt

IAFP President

“International Employee Ownership Panel”

The IAFP is the international association of companies, academics, and individuals, which support financial participation for employees as a means of increasing productivity and fostering worker satisfaction. As President of the IAFP, David consults with the European Union on the harmonization of benefit program laws for EU Member States.

David is “of counsel” to the law firm of Kirton McConkie PC. He has more than 40 years of experience in the design, implementation, administration and government regulation of domestic and international ESOPs, employee benefit programs, qualified and non-qualified public and private retirement plans, deferred compensation programs, insurance programs, and other cash and stock based compensation and benefits programs. David spent over thirty years in Washington DC as a partner in major global law firms.

Picture of Dan Ohler of ESOP Builders Inc.

Dan Ohler

ESOP Builders Employee Ownership Specialist

“ESOPs 101: The Why’s and How’s” and “Celebrating Canadian Employee Ownership at Your Company”

Dan is an Employee Ownership Specialist with ESOP Builders Inc., Canada’s premier firm for designing, training and implementing Employee Share Ownership, and Stock Option Plans for small- and medium-sized privately held companies.

Dan is a certified coach with the International Coach Federation, a skilled communicator and facilitator, and is known for building high-trust relationships with business owners and employees. He is adept at meeting clients’ needs by designing tailored ESOP transition plans.

Picture of Andrew Day

Andrew Dey

Mowbrey Gil Business Advisory Services Inc. President

“A Practical Guide to Business Valuation: Debunking the Valuation Myth “It’s 5 Times EBITDA…………Right?””

Andrew is the president of Mowbrey Gil Business Advisory Services Inc., the advisory services arm of Mowbrey Gil LLP Chartered Professional Accountants. He leads the advisory practice in the areas of Business Valuation and Litigation Support, Corporate Finance and consulting to Government and Indigenous Organizations.

Andrew has over 30 years of public practice experience gained in the international marketplace working in the United Kingdom, the Falkland Islands, the province of Alberta, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

Andrew is a Chartered Professional Accountant and Chartered Business Valuator and has been qualified as an expert witness by the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta. In addition to providing valuation and litigation services to a wide range of clients in a diverse range of industries, the Indigenous Consulting Group focuses on Financial Management Assistance, Economic Development and Capacity Building Initiatives, and providing advice guidance on Board and Governance Structures.

Picture of Richard Gil

Richard Gil

Mowbrey Gil LLP Partner

“Tax Changes and Your ESOP”

Richard is certified as a Trusts and Estates Practitioner, Financial Planner, Fraud Examiner and has provided specialized litigation support as an expert witness.

Richard practices in the areas of income and commodity taxation (domestic and international) and has professional experience ranging from advising the local owner/manager with compliance issues to planning and executing complex international transactions for multinational clients. Prior to joining Mowbrey Gil, Richard was a partner with a national firm of Chartered Professional Accountants.

Richard has authored various magazine and newspaper articles on subjects of domestic and international taxation as well as a “Tips and Traps” course for the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants on the subject of commodity taxation. Richard has also lectured extensively for community colleges, the University of Alberta, the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, the Institutes of Chartered Accountants of Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia as well as the Canadian Bar Association, Alberta and British Columbia branches, and Royal Trust. The subject matters of these numerous lectures and seminars have included the life cycle of a business from inception through maturation to ultimate sale, personal financial planning, personal taxation, international taxation matters and a host of client service oriented subjects.

Picture of Edward Heakes

Ed Heakes

Dale & Lessmann LLP Partner

“Utilizing RRSPs and TFSAs: Trustee, Tax, and Legal Compliance Panel”

Ed’s practice includes most areas of tax planning including mergers and acquistions, cross-border taxation and estate and wealth planning. Ed has acted for clients large and small, in most industries, including the resource industries. He has been recognized for his leadership in the practice of tax law by his inclusion in Best Lawyers in Canada, 2013-2015 – Tax.

Ed provides corporate and international tax planning advice on a broad range of income tax issues including complex deal structuring, merger and acquisitions, corporate financings and reorganizations.

Prior to joining Dale & Lessmann in 2015, Ed was a Senior Partner of Norton Rose Fulbright LLP and was one of the founding partners of the Toronto Office of Macleod Dixon LLP, Calgary. In 2011, MD was merged into Norton Rose Fulbright. Prior to joining Macleod Dixon, Ed was a Tax Partner at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt.

Ed was called to the Bar of Ontario, is a graduate in law from the University of Western Ontario and has his Honours Bachelor of Mathematics (B. Math.) degree from the University of Waterloo.

In 2015, Ed completed the Independent Director course and received an ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors.

Picture of Patrick O'Brien

Patrick O’Brien

Metcalf Archaeological Consultants Senior Staff Archaeologist

“ESOP Problems and Solutions Panel”

Patrick is one of approximately 50 employee owners at Metcalf Archaeological Consultants. He has been a participant in the company’s ESOP since its inception in 2002, has served multiple terms on the ESOP Communication Committee, and was one of two co-trustees of the ESOP from 2008 through 2016. He also sits on Metcalf’s ESOP Administration Committee, which is responsible for tracking participation in, and distributions from, the Plan.

Picture of Dean Ell

Dean Ell

iQmetrix Corporate Controller & ESOP Administrator

“Engaging Millennials: How to Attract ESOP Participants” and “ESOP Problems and Solutions Panel”

Dean Ell is the Corporate Controller & ESOP Administrator at iQmetrix, a software company specializing in end-to-end retail solutions. iQmetrix has been on the Profit 500 list of Canada’s Fastest Growing Companies for 8 years in a row. Maintaining a fun and rewarding work culture is important to iQmetrix.

With over 25 years of Accounting/Financial Management experience, Dean has been with iQmetrix for more than 15 years and has been their ESOP Administrator since its inception in 2007. Their purpose at iQmetrix is to create great experiences for their employees, customers, and partners.

Picture of Vincent Cote

Vincent Côté

Hero’s Guide Inc. Director

“Exit Planning: The True Cost of Owner Dependence”

Vincent comes from a family of entrepreneurs and professionals all dedicated to making a living by serving others. He spent the last two decades toiling in the pit of Bay Street believing that he was doing something real. When he finally woke up from his soul-less fog, he realized that he needed to get back to his roots: small business, serving others. Now he leverages his corporate experience to help the true heroes in our economy succeed; entrepreneurs and small business owners just like his family, and just like you. With his soul renewed, he knows now that business doesn’t have to be without soul, or heart, and he brings both to the table. Small business owners are indeed everyday true heroes, and at certain times in their journey, every hero needs a guide.