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Recommended Leadership Speakers


Sarah Wells

In 2011, the year before the Olympics, Sarah was unfortunately diagnosed with a stress fracture in her left femur (thigh bone), which tragically sidelined her for 9 months. With the Olympic year fast approaching, Sarah was eager to get back on the track following a grueling recovery and rehabilitation program. When she was finally cleared to run, the London Olympics were only 8 months away and few people believed Sarah would be able to overcome such a devastating injury and ultimately compete in the Olympic Games. However, Sarah surrounded herself with an integrated team of physicians, coaches, family, and friends, which enabled her to train, perform and continue to remain realistic about a seemingly impossible dream.

Fortunately, through hard work, perseverance and an unwavering belief in herself, Sarah ran Olympic standard, won the Canadian championships, and was named to the 2012 Canadian Olympic team. At the games, Sarah made it through the heats to the Olympic semi-final round. She placed herself in the top 24 in the world and was one of the youngest competitors in the field.



Dillon Mendes

Dillon Mendes is an alumni of the Top 35 Under 35 Global Changemaker awards, social entrepreneur, TEDx & youth speaker as well as an analyst at Deloitte Canada.

Dillon co-founded the social enterprise, PickWaste (featured on CBC, CTV and CityNews) which has, and continues to have, a massive impact on the environment. Dillon is also a connector for the League of Innovators, a national charity aiming to bridge the gap between high school students and entrepreneurship. He was featured as a guest on one of the Top 100 podcasts in the world – Humans 2.0 and has consulted directly with the CEO of A&W Canada.



Mark Black

Mark’s life changed forever at 23 years old when a doctor told him that without a rare, life-saving transplant, he would be dead by 25. Heart and double-lung transplants are extremely rare, and Mark was told his odds of receiving one in time were virtually zero. Facing imminent death, and with no other options, Mark moved 1500km away from his home and family, waiting for a miracle.

On September 7, 2002, Mark was one of seven Canadians to receive a heart and double-lung transplant that year. Three years later, he became the only man in history to complete a marathon with someone else’s heart and lungs.


A few years after completing his first marathon, Mark accidentally discovered his love for speaking. Invited to address the graduates of a local high school, Mark shared some of the life lessons he learned while facing death and enduring tremendous challenges. The speech was so well received, a parent came up after the speech to hire him to speak at his company. And a career was born.


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Jeff Gerber

Jeff is a genuine motivator, always striving to learn more and do more.  He is excited to meet you and work alongside you to better your school, association, conference, or corporate community. He is an engaging keynote speaker and workshop presenter with experience at global, national, provincial, regional and local conferences, TEDx, school assemblies, and more.



Andy Thibodeau

Andy Thibodeau was called “Mr. School Spirit” by the alumni magazine of King’s College at Western  University (London, ON) when they named him alumni of the year in 2014. This passion for leadership and  school spirit started in late grade 7 when Andy successfully ran for student council Vice President. He won  because no one ran against him! From organizing dances in 8th grade, pep rallies in high school and  orientation week in University, Andy’s enthusiasm for leadership and community service led to his unique  career of inspiring students and staff across the continent.



Juan Bendana

Juan is on a mission to inspire students to confidently overcome challenges, become better leaders, and make an impact.

He integrates daily acts of impact that create an environment that makes both students and staff feel valued, driven, and engaged. Juan helps students step into more confidence so that they can excel in school and life.



Scott Hammell

Scott Hammell has been entertaining professionally since 1998. In the two decades since, the four-time Guinness World Record holder has hung upside down from a hot air balloon while locked in a straitjacket and chains at 7 200 feet (World’s Highest Suspension Straitjacket Escape), dangled by his ankles and juggled for over a minute and a half (Longest Inverted Juggling Duration), successfully completed a card trick while skydiving (World’s Fastest Moving Card Trick) and jumped from an airplane to skydive while blindfolded and handcuffed (Highest Blindfolded Skydive). He has performed Houdini’s famous Milk Can Escape, juggled live explosives and has been shot at with a sniper rifle and caught the bullet as it ricocheted off a steel plate that hung around Scott’s neck. Scott has traveled the world performing in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Africa and Australia. His audiences are as varied as his skill sets. Whether it’s a royal sheik in Abu Dhabi, a prime minister in Malaysia or a group of village elders who don’t speak English in Kenya, Scott always brings his passion for his art to entertain and inspire!


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Chris Gray

At the age of 5, Chris had one goal… to one day wrestle in the same ring as his childhood heroes and become a professional wrestler. Despite his smaller size, growing up in an extremely small rural town, and everyone telling him his dream was impossible, Chris went on to achieve his dream and become a professional wrestling champion.


Chris still wrestles all around the world as “Cody Deaner” for IMPACT Wrestling – a television show that is seen in 150 million homes in 120 countries worldwide.


Not only is Chris a professional wrestler and a professional speaker, he’s also a professional dad. He’s a father of four children and a husband to a beautiful and supportive wife. Oh… and while pursuing his dream to be a professional wrestler, he also got his English Language & Literature degree and teaching degree. And, is a high school teacher and librarian! He also did all this while starting a fundraising initiative that has raised over tens of thousands of dollars for various children’s charities across Canada.


Chris’ story proves that you can’t judge a book by its cover. Ultimately, Chris is a professional storyteller. Through his powerful stories, he shares with students that we should all dare to dream big. We can all be whatever we want to be if we’re willing to put in the work. And, in the end, we all have the power to be a positive influence in our classroom, schools, and community as a whole.



Nick Foley

Nick Foley lives by following two values: family and inclusion.


These have been his guiding compass and what he reflects on when making any decision.


Nick is the proud father of two, and an educator and coordinator in the Public Relations and Event Management program at Loyalist College.

In 2015, he cycled from Victoria BC to St. John’s NFLD to launch his non-profit organization, Move for Inclusion, and to raise awareness for inclusion and acceptance of all people without bias.

Nick is driven by the desire to perpetuate a world of inclusion, self-worth and empowerment. He demonstrates this through the lifestyle he leads and the social businesses he starts.

His latest project, Life of Cadence, is a 12-week program designed to help people live their best, most intentional life



Peter Katz

Peter Katz is a JUNO Award, Canadian Screen Award and 2-time Canadian Folk Music Award-nominated singer-songwriter who has spent the past 10+ years touring nationally and internationally to capacity crowds. He has sold out premiere venues from the National Arts Centre in Ottawa to the Harbourfront Centre Theatre in Toronto, to the legendary Paradiso in Amsterdam. CBC Radio 2’s Tom Power called his latest release We Are The Reckoning “one of the most heartfelt, beautiful and vulnerable records of the year… an astonishing record”. Peter has also shared the stage and studio with the likes of Academy Award Winner Glen Hansard (Once) and legendary icon Garth Hudson (from The Band) to name a few.



Sam Demma

Since 2017, Sam has delivered over 200 presentations.  His young age makes him extremely relatable to youth audiences and utterly inspiring for educators.  In a few short years, his inspiring and entertaining presentations have reached thousands of students across North America and his High Performing Student programs have made a difference for young people in 6 countries.  He’s delivered two TEDx talks and is the youngest board director of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers. There’s no limit to where small actions will take this big thinker.



Jeff A.D. Martin

Jeff A.D. Martin is a soul-stirring, thought-provoking, highly requested transformational speaker, who has been using his platform to inspire people from around the world.

Much of Jeff’s love for people can be attributed to his years of involvement as a community advocate, a mentor and also to his 15+ years of experience in Law Enforcement. Jeff has worked as a police officer and in various investigative roles. He is a youth communication specialist, with over 1000 forensic interviews with children.



Ian Tyson

Since his very first show in 1989, Ian Tyson has strived to entertain and inspire people across North America with his unique brand of “Comedy with a Message”. Ian’s passion is always on full display during his presentations, with high energy, humour and heart-warming relatable stories of overcoming obstacles and making a difference in the lives of others. 



Alison Springer

A Professional Speaker and Trainer, Alison knows how to captivate and inspire teen audiences, keeping them engaged with her use of memorable sayings, innovative exercises and her own creative flair. With 20 years of experience work- ing with youth; Alison brings a strong desire to do whatever it takes to keep students’ attention so that the main message gets through.



Fahd Alhattab

Fahd has built a reputable career in leadership development, motivational speaking, and creative fundraising. With a fun demeanour and a background in youth work, Fahd entertains and engages the audience, and leaves them feeling empowered to be the leaders of today – not tomorrow.


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Orlando Bowen

Orlando Bowen is a keynote speaker focused on equipping people to get off the sidelines and become difference-makers on their teams and in the lives of those around them. He is a highly sought after speaker and trainer who works with corporations, small businesses and non-profits. When it comes to building teams, creating momentum and employing winning strategies, Orlando is the real deal. He is also passionate about youth leadership.


As a result of that passion, he founded One Voice One Team Youth Leadership Organization to inspire and to teach resilience, leadership and teamwork to youth.



Alvin Law

There is an expression that says, “First impressions are everything”.  When people see Alvin Law, their first impression is usually negative.  Makes sense because he has no arms. He was born that way because his mother was given medication when she was pregnant and his arms never grew. Some people would see that as tragic, but not Alvin.


Today, he is married, is a Dad and he owns a speaking company that has taken him to five different continents around the world. In fact, he has spoken to over two million people and is even in the Canadian Professional Speakers Hall of Fame. 


He is proof that no matter what happens in life, our attitude really does make a difference.


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Ryan Straschnitzki

Ryan Straschnitzki is a former Humboldt Bronco from the 2017-18 season, current Team Alberta para-ice hockey member and a hopeful for the 2026 Team Canada’s para-ice hockey team. Currently he is attending physiotherapy for his dream of hopefully walking again someday, he is making strides each and every session thanks to the wonderful environment at Synaptic in Calgary.


Ryan’s journey has not been an easy one, he understands that each day is a battle not just physically but mentally as well. Although he’s received countless amounts of support from around the world he recently started a foundation called the Straz Strong Foundation with hopes of giving back to the disabled community, his dream is to one day live in a world where people with both mental and physical disabilities can have better qualities of life through adaptive sports, inexpensive rehabilitation needs and more social awareness for those who limit understanding of the life of someone with a disability.


While keeping busy he also enjoys public speaking to spread messages of positivity and motivation for those looking for ways to adapt and change their lives for the better. 


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