Conference Agenda

Spring 2021

With a jam packed 3-days of interactive and engaging sessions, we Discovered, Learned and Networked with leaders, innovators and influencers who shaped the customer and employee experience. All sessions in yellow were Customer Experience related, sessions in red were Employee Experience and sessions in purple touched on both CX and EX.


Customer Experience (CX)

Employee Experience (EX)


07:45 – 08:30Registration & Breakfast
08:30 – 08:45Opening Remarks
08:45 – 09:15


The Power Of Trust: LifeLabs Journey to transform the Patient Experience

Great CX requires a organization-wide mindset, and a cross-functional commitment for continuous improvement. LIfeLabs embarked on a journey to elevate their patiente experience through product and service re-deisgn and employee empowerment and enablement. Charles shares his personal experience leading a cultural and organizational transformation to CX excellence.

Speaker: Charles Brown, President & Chief Executive Officer, LifeLabs

09:15 – 09:45

Session 1

Building Great Teams

How might we empower an organization to meet the diverse needs of almost 14 million people? Connect with Ontario’s first Chief Digital and Data Officer, Hillary Hartley, on unleashing internet-era culture inside government.

Presentation Outcome: Providing future leaders with the practical and tactical tools to show not tell employees you are listening, and you care about their wellbeing.

Speaker: Hillary Hartley, Chief Digital Officer & Deputy Minister For Digital Government, Ontario Public Service

09:50 – 10:50

Session 2

BigStorming® – Tapping Into Your Subconscious Wisdom and Creativity

Big and innovative ideas can come from anyone. Tapping into your own, your teams’, and your colleagues’ infinite knowledge and experience can make a substantial impact on your CX and EX. How do you tap into this infinite resource and leverage big ideas into actionable takeaways? This interactive, collaborative session is designed to generate divergent and convergent thinking to unlock your subconscious wisdom and creativity accumulated from a lifetime of learning.

Presentation Outcome: Spark creative thinking through a unique brainstorming methodology

Speaker: Marilyn Barefoot, Barefoot Brainstorming

10:50 – 11:05Break
11:10 – 11:40

Session 3A

Leveraging technology to secure customer engagement

According to a recent study done by Nielsen, it was determined that, since 2000, the attention span of humans has dropped from 12 seconds to eight seconds, putting us below the attention span of goldfish!

This downward trend presents a new challenge for organizations as they aim to stay relevant and make a lasting impression on their customers – not only do we need to compete for attention in a crowded digital landscape, we need to maintain it. In the energy sector, ideas for interesting content isn’t usually the problem as there are plenty of fascinating trends emerging all the time. So, what’s the answer? How can we evolve to produce content that both captures and captivates their audiences? From Twitter bots, APPs, voice technology, drones to marketing automation, we’ll explore how we maximize each platform.

In this session you will discover how Hydro Ottawa shapes content mediums to build brand personality, foster two-way engagement, and tell a story to ultimately enhance and secure engagement with the various audiences on the different platforms. These days, consumers want to know brands are real, human and relatable.


  • How to tailor content to different audiences and build brand personality
  • How to measure your content’s effectiveness and brand sentiment
  • Tips for embracing video, voice and podcasting trends to better reach audiences
  • Ways to embrace disruptions

Speaker: Daniel Seguin, Director of Communications, Hydro Ottawa

Session 3B

Coming Soon!

11:50 – 12:20

Session 4A

Employee Empathy Activation: Make Customers Switch to You in Droves by Delivering the Experience People Want at a Low-Cost and a High Speed to Market with Empathetic CX Employee Training

Speaker: Shawn Ashley, Manager, Customer Experience Consulting, CSPN

Session 4B

Customer Service in the Age of Perpetual Newness

Everything is changing faster today than it ever has, and it will never be this slow again. This era of Perpetual Newness requires a new framework to empower customer service organizations to adapt to the increasing pace of change.

Speaker: Nitin Badjatia, Senior Director, Product Strategy, ServiceNow

12:20 – 1:00Networking Lunch
01:05 – 02:00

Session 5A

Coming Soon!

Session 5B

Reimagining our Customer Experience

Walking through real examples of how we took a fresh look at our customers and their experience with us. Removing the blinkers from our vision, and actually looking at and listening to our customers, and not ourselves. Taking that information, and serving up the right information at the right time.

  • Find your inarguable truth
  • Embrace storytelling
  • Share successes (and failures)
  • Empower those closest to the customer
  • Demonstrate value

Speaker: Lyndon File, Director, Customer Experience, G Adventures

02:00 – 02:30

Session 6A

Wellness Workshop
How to incorporate wellness strategies at work and why it’s important

Session 6B

The importance of making Customer Success the centerpiece of your company

We are living in the Age of the Customer. The subscription-based revenue model of SaaS, gives customers more power and forces vendors take more risks. This new high-risk environment drives the need for Customer Success. By definition, Customer Success focuses on two key areas: the experience the customer gets and the outcomes they derive from our products. Katerina shares her story of building a company-wide customer-obsessed mindset at MarineTraffic, “the Google of the Sea”, while highlighting the importance of retaining customers as a key to growth in the SaaS world.

  • Building a customer-centric company-wide mindset
  • Transforming the Customer Success Team
  • Importance of customer retention in the SaaS world
  • How does the customer experience look in the digital world

Speaker: Katerina Sofrona, Head of Customer Success, MarineTraffic

02:30 – 02:50Break
02:50 – 03:35

Customer Experience Panel Session

Customer experience is at the top of every business priority list. Our panelists will discuss and provide proven insight on how organizations can strategically use changing consumer metrics and customer data to ensure your CX strategy is as powerful as possible in a competitive and digital landscape.

Moderator: Sara Schmidt, Senior Manager, Corporate Initiatives & Strategic Priorities, Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC)


  • Alma Arzate, Global Supply Chain Leader, Apotex Inc.
  • Sheri Spinks, Director, Global Supply Chain, NPS, Husky Injection Molding Systems
  • Nancy Omran, VP, Customer Experience, Empire Communities
  • Tara-Lee Ainsworth, National Customer Service Manager, Messer Americas
03:45 – 04:30Rapid Round Tables
04:30 – 04:45Day 1 Closing Remarks
04:45 – 05:45Complimentary Networking & Cocktail
07:45 – 08:30Registration & Breakfast
08:30 – 08:45Opening Remarks
08:45 – 09:15


Happiness at Work

Happiness can be a powerful catalyst to improve productivity, build resilience, and thrive when it is coupled with the right evidence-based information. Globally, two-thirds of people rate happiness as their top priority; however, research shows that happiness levels are at an all-time low. Further, workplaces are struggling to foster positive well-being among employees in the face of rapid change, challenges, and uncertainty. During this keynote Dr. Gillian Mandich will present from key findings from her “Canadian Happiness At Work Study”, a National study done in partnership with The Canadian Mental Health Association, and will share tools and strategies that cultivate happiness and build resilience to flourish both personally and professionally.

Speaker: Gillian Mandich, PHD, Happiness Researcher, Keynote Speaker, Media Personality

09:15 – 09:45

Session 7A

The Lifecycle of Effective Teams

Effective teams are the foundation of every successful organization. However, there is often a disconnect between the ideal psychological and behavioural attributes of people in organizations and what is happening in practice. In this interactive presentation we explore this disconnect and uncover what makes up effective teams and what makes them fail. By using evidence based best practices, we will explore and apply techniques to understand, create, nurture and motivate effective teams that drive consistency collaboration, and efficency.

Presentation Outcome: A tactcial summary of how to sustain high-performance teams throughout thier lifecycle.

Speaker: Kathryn Christie, Director of Talent, Georgian Partners

Session 7B

The New World of Performance & Growth

The face of professional growth and career development is changing as we know it. As we enter into a new decade, organizations across all industries need to adapt to the evolving ideologies around employee growth and development that are now focusing on the connection between performance, coaching, and mentorhsip. We’ve entered into the New World of Performance and Growth, how can your organization adapt?

Presentation Outcome: Discover the link and relationship between employee professional growth & career development

Speaker: Natassa Zervopoulos, Director of Employee Experience, Venterra Living

09:45 – 10:00

Session 8A


Session 8B

Engaging Employees in Change

While change has been constant in the workplace for the past couple of decades, it is increasing at an exponential pace. It can be amongst the most challenging experience for any organization to navigate. To succeed over the long term, organizations and their employees must become adept at navigating and adopting change, which ultimately requires employee buy-in and commitment. So how do you get your employees curious about change? The key to successful change is to actively involve your employees in the journey and to support leaders in leading change. In this presentation, we will walk through the 6 keys steps of creating Commitment to Change, leading to the realization of business outcomes and results.

Presentation Outcome: Walkthrough of the Employee Change Commitment Curve

Speaker: Lisa Blanchet, Director of Change Management, Manulife

10:00 – 10:15Break
10:20 – 10:50

Session 9A

Navigating Roadblocks: Becoming Your Organization’s CX Champion

Roadblocks–everyone faces them in life and in work. You’ve got a vision and you are committed to transforming your organizations customer experience, but there it is…another roadblock. Whether it be budget, timelines, or if the organization is simply not ready, there are ways to navigate and eliminate roadblocks. Andrew shares his journey and expertise in navigating these barriers to drive overall CX excellence within organizations, creating linkages from what he has learned working at AMEX, TCHC, and the Four Seasons.

Presentation Outcome: How to navigate and eliminate roadblocks to work towards organizational goals

Speaker: Andrew McKenzie, Director Of Operations, Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association


Session 9B

Coming Soon!

11:00 – 11:30

Session 10A

Great Customer Experiences Start With Employees

In recent years, organizations all across the globe have drastically changed their approach to Customer Experience. Their key piece to the puzzle? Engaged employees. There is an undeniable link between customer experience and employee experience – and brands can’t improve one without improving the other. Research shows that companies with excellent CX have employees that are 1.5 times more engaged than employees at companies with less satisfactory CX; additionally, companies with highly engaged employees outperform their competitors by 147%. Angeline shares her expertise and knowledge in creating a culture of excellence at ADP that is focused on creating an open and nurturing environment for their employees first.

Presentation Outcome: The link between employee engagement and great customer experience and using great customer experience as way to partner with sales as selling feature and ultimately a competitive advantage.

Speaker: Angeline Singh, Director, Client Service Delivery – National & Enterprise Accounts, ADP Canada

Session 10B

2020 Economic & Financial Outlook

Douglas Porter will discuss the 2020 economic and financial outlook amid the many geopolitical cross-currents surrounding the global economy. Some key issues that will be addressed:

  • What are the recession odds in Canada and the U.S. over the next two years, and what are the biggest risks? Are there any major upside risks to growth?
  • What are the prospects for interest rates and the Canadian dollar
  • Where is the Canadian economy headed following last Fall’s federal election? Is the worst over for the housing market?
  • How will the U.S. economy fare in the lead-up to the November Presidential election?
  • How will Ontario job market fare in these cross currents and amid reduced trade uncertainty?

Speaker: Douglas Porter, Chief Economist, BMO Capital Markets

11:40 – 11:55

Session 11A


Session 11B

Empowering Agents for an Era of Perpetual Newness

The Era of Perpetual Newness requires a new type of customer service agent, a super-agent that can call upon the right resources, at the right time, in the right context to continually deliver value to your customers.

Speaker: Nitin Badjatia, Senior Director, Product Strategy, ServiceNow

12:00 – 1:00Network Lunch
02:15 – 02:30Wellness Exercise
01:45 – 02:15Technology Panel Session
01:00 – 01:45Employee Experience Fireside Chat
03:05 – 04:05Conference Awards
02:30 – 03:00Session 12
04:05 – 04:30Day 2 Closing Remarks & Door Prizes
08:00 – 08:30Registration & Breakfast
08:30 – 09:00Introductions by Don Romano, President, Hyundai Auto Canada Corp
09:00 – 12:00

Customer Experience & Technology Workshop with ServiceNow

Location: Hyundai Auto Canada Corp Head Office

12:00 – 12:45Lunch
01:00 – 02:00Workshop
02:00 – 02:30Closing

Ready to sign up? Reserve your spot!