Imagine Your Workplace Conference is designed to spark conversation and connection. Imagine what you could achieve if deliberate intention rather than unconscious reaction drove your work.


Lightning Talks presented by researchers and industry experts on the emerging science of workplace excellence. A dozen experts on the four content streams of: Managing, Leading, Wellness and Work Culture.


Keynote Rocky Ozaki presents Embrace the Power of Culture. The future of technology can be scary but Ozaki will teach you three cutting-edge practices that can transform your business.


Workshop by Brady Wilson instructing Play “Oxygen Poker” to Learn the Driving Needs of Your Staff.
Wanna play? Join Wilson’s “Oxygen Poker” challenge and learn what dives your people and how to engage them in effective conversations.


Love the community, the great energy, the food and high quality programming!

Lisa Latorcai, Amadeus Consulting

Very professional and well thought out event. Enjoyed every minute.

Liz Pia, AFIMAC Global Investigations

What a unique approach! This conference exemplifies how to hold meetings while delivering great information and excellent networking opportunities.

Andrea Todd, Novus Health

The Lightening Talks were brilliant.

Kate Salmon, Learnography

Gigantic thank you!

Jill Scott, Watari Community Counselling Services

Program Details


      The Science

      7:30 am
      Registration Open
      Coffee Service with Showcasers

      8:15 am
      Conference Opens
      Lightning Talks
      Brainshare Outdoor Activity: Comfy walking shoes are advisable

      The Practice

      12:00 pm
      Dare2Dine Lunch
      Mosaic (includes autographed books)

      5:00 pm
      Conference Wrap-up

      Keynote: Rocky Ozaki

      Embrace the Power of Culture

      The future of work has arrived and your company culture must empower innovation and agility to survive in an exponentially changing world. Hear how forward-thinking technology companies are building these powerful cultures by embracing the connected generation, technology and a sharing economy. You’ll learn at least three cutting-edge practices that can transform your business!

      Rocky Ozaki is a self-professed evangelist on the future workplace. He believes that technology, a sharing economy and the connected generation are dramatically changing the way companies attract and engage their people, and is leveraging his 10 years of senior level operations and HR with four years of start-up tech experience to help organizations of all sizes and sectors thrive in the workplace of today.

      Ozaki is the Vice-President of Community for the B.C. Tech Association and is a co-founder of STARFiiSH, an engagement survey company for the tech industry.

      Cultivating Diversity to Maximize Innovation
      Natalie Richter
      The secret to better results is diversity. Why? Different perspectives lead to more innovative thinking and solutions. To create a culture that supports diversity, teams need to listen to and support each other so that they bring their best brains to the table. Yet creating a safe environment where innovative ideas can flourish is easier said than done. Learn about the Values Applied™ tool that brings out the best in your team by supporting a respectful and aligned culture.

      Quest for a Thriving Work Culture
      Celese Fletcher
      From workplace research discoveries in glacial basin mining camps, to the makers of entertainment, to architects and archeologists awakening ancient cities, learn how to make your work culture thrive by adopting a transparent and direct approach.

      Transformative Volunteering: Connecting employees increases engagement
      Corey Diamond
      This lightning talk will focus on how a well-designed and meaningful employee volunteer program can increase engagement, as well as loyalty between employees and their company. Get inspired by the transformative power of volunteering, and discover how to develop a meaningful program for your company.

      What Happens When We Treat Conflict as Normal
      Joie Quarton, Conflict Management Practitioner, Yukon Government; Respectful Workplace Office
      Imagine if we normalized workplace conflict. What would happen if all the stakeholders involved collaborated to address disrespectful behaviour and harassment? The Yukon Government is three years into a Respectful Workplace Policy that was developed collaboratively by HR, management, two unions and the Aboriginal Employees’ Forum. The approach is based on alternative dispute resolution practices. Its aim is to change the way we address the issues that arise in a diverse workforce. Learn about new ways to restore workplace relationships.

      Coaching for Performance
      Corry Robertson, Executive Coach
      We know that “old school” workplace rules are crushing people and driving companies into the ground; and it’s happening fast. We know what no longer works and we are now searching for what does. If you want to break free of outdated, exhausted ideas and routines, join us to learn about a new paradigm that is helping organizations reach the depth of their potential and bring performance to new heights.

      Mentoring (and Why it Didn’t Work!)
      Travis Dutka, Culture Curator, 360insights
      Do your mentoring efforts leave you feeling like that parent with the crying kid in the grocery store? You’re not alone. 360insights shares their experience of a failed mentoring pilot—what when wrong, what they learned and what you can do to create a more successful mentorship program. The demand for mentoring has never been higher. A 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey found that millennials intending to stay with their organization for more than five years are twice as likely to have a mentor (68%), than not (32%). Gain mentorship program insights and learn how to mentor more effectively.

      Chronic Disease: Focus on Prevention and Support
      Jennifer Elia, AVP Client Experience, Integrated Health Solutions, Sun Life Financial
      Sun Life’s latest bright paper “Chronic disease in the workplace focus on prevention and support” addresses the issue of chronic disease, its impact on the workplace and how employers can mitigate the risk to their organization and support the health and well-being of their employees.

      How to Help Employees Who Are Showing Signs of Distress
      Allan Kehler, Mental Health Expert, Out of the Shadows
      Too many people are smiling on the outside while they are crying on the inside. For years, this was Allan Kehler. Kehler provides specific strategies to identify and respectfully approach employees who are displaying signs of stress, mental illness or substance abuse in the workplace. He identifies key signs, reviews tools for intervention and discusses how one teacher changed his life during his own personal challenges.

      Demystifying Text Analysis
      Jared Valdron, Organizational Psychology Researcher, University of Waterloo
      No HR professional should ignore or “cherry-pick” from the open response comments they receive; employees put time and effort into communicating their concerns, and they deserve to be heard. Yet, HR professionals just don’t have the time to go through every comment, one-by-one. One solution is to use text analysis to quickly derive quantitative insights from the text-based comments received. However, this kind of technique can be intimidating. Learn the step-by-step process to demystify text analysis, and understand how your organization will benefit.

      5 Steps to Humanizing the New Digital Workplace
      Stephen Rahal, VP Product Strategy, Igloo Software
      With the rise of the digital workplace, trends like the widening generation gap, BYOA (Bring Your Own App), the war for talent and an increasingly remote workforce impact the way we work. An engaged and informed workforce is fundamental to staying ahead of the curve, but simply connecting people isn’t enough. Walk away armed with five tangible actions you can take to manage your digital transformation and re-wire your workplace.

      Go Digital or Be Disrupted
      Agnes Garaba, Head of HR, SAP Canada
      The digital transformation is impacting all industries and all lines of business. Human Resources is no exception. People practices must be reimagined by embracing the science, and balancing high tech with high touch. How will your organization embrace this inevitable transformation? Learn lessons from an early adopter, the leader of people practices at the company creating today’s leading-edge HR software. See how HR is done in the digital age.

      Go Digital or Be Disrupted
      Agnes Garaba
      The digital transformation is impacting all lines of business, and human resources is no exception. People practices must be reimagined by embracing the science, and balancing the high tech with the human touch. How will your organization embrace this inevitable transformation?

      Gain the inside scoop from an early adopter, Agnes Garaba, Head of HR for software giant, SAP Canada. Garaba works with Executive Leadership Teams across Canada to drive business execution through best in class human capital practices and employee engagement.

      Changing HR practices, like talent analytics, might leave you feeling lost. Digitizing your people practices can be confusing. This session will teach you how HR is done in the digital age.

      Brainshare Outdoor Activity
      What goes better with an insightful day of thought-leadership, discussions and inspiration? A great outdoor experience obviously! Brainshare is a structured, yet casual session that brings attendees together during a walk through the Botanical Garden. Why tolerate the sedentary style of traditional conferences held in the stuffy, lifeless interiors of mega facilities? In small teams, you will walk together making new connections with peers and finding solutions to the most pressing people challenges organizations face. Wear comfortable walking shoes and join us for a memorable experience.

      Workshop: Brady Wilson
      Play “Oxygen Poker” to Learn the Driving Needs of Your Staff
      There are driving needs so vital to people that they feel like our need for oxygen. When these needs are met, they generate energy that produces high performance, innovation and engagement. Yet when these same needs are unmet, depletion results. The impact of these unmet needs cuts deep and triggers the kind of negative behaviour that corrodes work culture. Join us for a fun and insightful team exercise. Called “Oxygen Poker,” this interactive game will teach you how to engage in conversation that will unlock deliberate intention and better business results within your organization.
      As the founder of Juice Inc., Wilson functions as a human energy architect working with leaders to build the conditions in which innovation, the creation of values and unforgettable customer experiences can flourish. He helps leaders step into life’s grittiest tensions, inspiring them to create a sustained approach to positive change and better business results.

Conference Venue

What goes better with an insightful day of thought-leadership, discussions and inspiration? A great outdoor experience obviously!



Reservations: Call the hotel directly at 416-493-7000, or call central reservations at 1-800-333-3333, or email

Conference Committee

The Imagine Your Workplace Conference advisory board provides non-binding merit-based recommendations to the host Your Workplace. Advisory board is composed of experts in the field of human resources and is chaired by Your Workplace President Vera Asanin.

Julie Einarson

Director, Culture & Communication, Benefits by Design (BBD)

Julie helps the BBD team to reach their full potential. The belief held by BBD that HR is about enhancing and supporting talent directly relates to Julie’s extensive work experience in higher and international education. An everyday adventurer, Julie operates on many channels. She enjoys hobbies that range from gardening and fitness pursuits to binge-reading and travel, and her sense of humour is matched by her ability to be enthusiastic about… just about everything.

Alistair Price

Vice President, Human Resources, Innotech-Execaire Aviation Group

Alistair Price is the VP of Human Resources at Innotech-Execaire Aviation Group.

Caterina Sanders

Senior Consultant, Habanero Consulting Group

Caterina Sanders has a diverse background. Her former role as Vice-President, People & Culture, combined dual responsibilities for operations and employee experience. Under her employee experience leadership Habanero received numerous awards and is now nationally recognized as a top Canadian workplace. She is also a skilled consultant with a background in interaction design and account management. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from the University of British Columbia.

Sean Slater

Vice President, Sales & Marketing at Homewood Health

Sean is an experienced general manager, sales executive and change leader. He has successfully grown organizations by driving transformational business, culture and service delivery change. He is a team builder who succeeds by building solid, productive internal and external relationships. He is a successful business development professional who thrives in a fast-paced, ever changing environment. Sean enjoys the challenges of building a brand and developing processes to support business growth. He has well over a decade of experience as a provider and partner to Canadian Group and P&C insurers.