Keynote Day 1: Cyrus Habib, Lieutenant Governor of Washington
Lieutenant Governor Habib was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and moved with his family to Washington state at the age of eight. He grew up in east King County and graduated from the Bellevue International School before attending Columbia University, Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, and Yale Law School.
After receiving his law degree, Lieutenant Governor Habib returned to Washington state to practice law at Perkins Coie, the region’s largest law firm, where he helped startup technology companies raise venture capital funds and license their software.
Before being elected as Washington state’s 16th Lieutenant Governor in 2016, Cyrus Habib represented east King County in the Washington state Senate, where he served as Democratic Whip and a member of the Democratic leadership team. Prior to that, he served as a member of the state House of Representatives. Passionate about the intersection of law, technology, and economic development, Lieutenant Governor Habib fought for innovative policy solutions to help small businesses gain access to capital, ensure companies like Uber and Lyft could operate in Washington with appropriate safety regulations, and expand access to government for Washington residents by allowing for the submission of prerecorded remote testimony on legislation. He has been recognized by Governing Magazine for his bipartisan approach to government.
A three-time cancer survivor, Lieutenant Governor Habib has been fully blind since age eight. His parents immigrated to the U.S. from Iran before he was born, and he is both the first and only Iranian-American official to hold statewide elected office in the United States. TheWashington Post has named him one of the top 40 rising political stars under the age of 40.
Lieutenant Governor Habib serves on the boards of a number of nonprofit organizations, including the historic 5th Avenue Theatre. Named Professor and Distinguished Lawmaker in Residence at Seattle University Law School in 2013, Lieutenant Governor Habib currently teaches courses on legislative procedure and intellectual property rights. A practicing Catholic, Lieutenant Governor Habib attends St. James Cathedral in Seattle, Washington.
Keynote Day 2: Mike Cooney, Lieutenant Governor of Montana
Mike Cooney became Montana’s 32nd Lieutenant Governor in January 2016 when appointed by Governor Steve Bullock. Mike is a long time public servant and elected official, having served in both houses of the Montana legislative branch and three terms as Secretary of State prior to being selected as Lieutenant Governor.
A committed public leader for Montana, Lieutenant Governor Mike Cooney is Governor Bullock’s trusted partner as they work to advance the administration’s agenda of better jobs, better education and a more effective government.
Over the course of his career, Mike has a proven track record of helping Montana’s small businesses grow and succeed while finding ways to increase wages. He is a strong champion of Montana’s public education system and continually seeks innovative ways to support educators and increase funding.
Mike was first elected in 1976 to the Montana House of Representatives and served through 1980. He then served three terms as Secretary of State, from 1989 through 2000. Mike was a state Senator from 2003-2010, and was elected as Senate President in 2007. From 2001 to 2006, Mike served as Director of Montana Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies. Prior to his appointment to the Office of Lieutenant Governor, he served as Deputy Commissioner for the Montana Department of Labor and Industry.
Mike has served on several boards and commissions over the course of his career, including the Federal Election Commission, Helena Area Habitat for Humanity, Young Men’s Christian Association, Montana American Legion Boy and Girls State and the State Capitol Restoration Commission.
As Lieutenant Governor, Mike chairs the Montana Governor's Drought and Water Supply Advisory Committee, a clearinghouse for the sharing of water supply and moisture conditions among state and local agency officials with responsibility to manage natural resources and support constituents most likely affected by drought, and the Labor-Management Advisory Council, which provides a structure for an organized discussion of workers' compensation public policy.
He graduated from Butte High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in 1979 from the University of Montana. Mike and his wife DeeAnn have three grown children Ryan, Colin and Adan.
Laura Dawson, Director, Canadian Institute
Named one of Canada’s Top 100 foreign policy influencers by the Hill Times in 2014, Dawson is a speaker, writer, and thought leader on Canada-U.S., NAFTA and international trade issues. Previously, she served as senior advisor on economic affairs at the United States Embassy in Ottawa and taught international trade and Canada-U.S. relations at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs. Dawson continues to serve as Emeritus Advisor at Dawson Strategic, which provides advice to business on cross-border trade, market access and regulatory issues.
Eugene Beaulieu, Director, International Economics Program, The School of Public Policy, University of Calgary
Eugene is a Professor in the Department of Economics and the Director of the International Economics Program at the School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary. Eugene has been at the University of Calgary since 1997 after completing his PhD at Columbia University in New York City. Eugene has worked as an economist for the government of Kenya and the Bank of Canada.
Martha Hall Findlay, President & CEO, Canada West Foundation
Martha is a thought leader whose insight on issues such as pipelines, international trade, foreign investment and foreign affairs, energy and the environment, and supply management have framed the debate for decision-makers and everyday Canadians. Her career has been diverse, spanning law, technology, politics and public policy. As a lawyer, senior business executive and successful entrepreneur, Martha has more than 25 years of domestic and international experience with major multinationals and startups, primarily in telecommunications and technology.
Hugh Stephens, Executive Fellow, The School of Public Policy, University of Calgary
Hugh Stephens has more than 35 years of government and business experience in international trade and the Asia-Pacific region. He is also a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute and a Distinguished Fellow at the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, where he serves concurrently as Vice Chair of the Canadian National Committee on Pacific Economic Cooperation and teaches in the School of Business at Royal Roads University as an Associate Faculty member.
Karl Schamotta, Director of Global Market Strategy, Cambridge Global Payments
Karl Schamotta is Director of Global Market Strategy at Cambridge Global Payments, where he leads the firm’s currency research group - focused on analyzing shifts in the world economy and creating strategies that help businesses harness market volatility. He has built risk management and trading programmes for hundreds of major corporations, and has extensive experience in managing complex exposures across major, minor and exotic currencies. Karl is a regular contributor to a number of international finance publications, and is regularly quoted by the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Reuters, CNN and CNBC. You can follow him at @vsualst on Twitter.”
Dr. Ryan Comeau, co-founder of Kinetisense Incorporated
Dr. Ryan Comeau is the CEO and co-founder of Kinetisense Incorporated, a patented 3-D motion system that is revolutionizing the way that patient assessment is performed in health care and rehabilitation. Dr. Comeau is a board certified sports Chiropractor who practices in Medicine Hat, Alberta. During his post graduate studies at the Southern California University of Health Sciences, Dr. Comeau understood the need for a tool that could add objectivity and efficiency in biomechanical analysis. Soon after Kinetisense Incorporated was founded.
Dr. Comeau and his team have taken Kinetisense from a concept to an international product, with sales in over 15 countries, and to practitioners and researchers in over 12 medical and rehabilitation sub-disciplines. Over a two-year period, Kinetisense has garnered worldwide attention and has announced partnerships with Microsoft, Intel, and Buurtzorg international. In 2015, Kinetisense was named as the Grand Prize recipient of the Intel Developers Challenge. This contest had over 7000 submissions from developers from around the globe. Dr. Comeau was selected by the US Consulate to join the Canadian delegation and the US Ambassador Bruce Heyman to Washington for the Select USA investment Summit.
In addition to its current applications, Dr. Comeau and Kinetisense Co-founder Mr. David Schnare are applying the proprietary Kinetisense 3-D motion capture system to the assessment of brain injury, geriatric “risk of fall”, neuromuscular conditions, and dentistry.
Trevor Tombe, Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Calgary
Trevor is also a Research Fellow at The School of Public Policy with the University of Calgary (U of C), prior to joining the U of C in 2012, he was an Assistant Professor of Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario. He received his PhD and MA from the University of Toronto. His research focuses on the intersection of international trade and macroeconomics, with a particular focus on the factors influencing productivity within and between countries.
Alice Peres da Silva, Senior Manager, CN Brokerage
Alice Peres da Silva joined CN in 2006 and is now the Senior Manager at CN Brokerage. She was charged with leading the startup of CN Customs Brokerage Services where she continues to develop innovative transportation/logistics solutions for CN’s partners and customers. Prior to that, she had been the Manager at VWR International since October 2003 where she also started up the brokerage division and won a President’s Award for her exemplary contribution to the Company.
Cesar G. Soriano, Chief of American Citizen Services, U.S. Consulate Calgary
A career Foreign Service Officer, Cesar has previously served in Manama, Bahrain and Seoul, South Korea. His areas of expertise include U.S. citizenship issues, Non-Immigrant Visas and Consular Fraud Prevention. Prior to joining the Foreign Service he was a journalist for many years for USA Today, Lonely Planet and other publications. As a USA TODAY foreign correspondent, he served as bureau chief in Baghdad, Kabul and London. He and his wife, Marsha, are both US Army veterans. A native of Washington DC, Cesar graduated from George Mason University. Cesar served in the U.S. Army for 9 years as a public affairs officer. He speaks fluent Spanish and basic Korean.
Thomas Palaia, Consul General for Alberta, Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories
Tom Palaia arrived in Calgary in August 2015 to take up his post as Consul General for Alberta, Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories. Tom is a career diplomat whose prior assignments include postings in U.S. Embassies in Poland, Guatemala, London and Panama. He also served in Washington, DC, more recently directing an office in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs. In his most recent assignment to what is now the U.S. Embassy in Havana, he was the Counselor for political and economic affairs.
Deborah Yedlin, Business Columnist, Calgary Herald
Herald Business columnist Deborah Yedlin began her career working as an investment banker in 1987, working in New York for Goldman Sachs. Upon completing her MBA in Finance, Deborah continued working in corporate finance, first in Toronto and then in Calgary. Deborah's career in business journalism began in 1996 and has included positions with the Financial Post and the Globe and Mail. Deborah has held her current position as business columnist for the Calgary Herald since April 2007. She is also a weekly business commentator for CBC radio.
In addition to her professional obligations, Deborah is active in the Calgary community, sitting as a director on a number of not-for-profit boards.
Deborah was born and raised in Edmonton, holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Alberta, an MBA from Queen's University and recently completed the Institute of Corporate Directors program through the Haskayne School of Business.
Michael Reeves, President, Port-to-Plains Alliance
Michael Reeves was appointed as president of the Ports-to-Plains Trade Corridor Coalition in the spring of 2004. Reeves has extensive knowledge of transportation issues and governmental affairs at local, state and federal levels.
During his time at Ports-to-Plains, Reeves has focused on strengthening relationships with state departments of transportation and building partnerships in Canada and Mexico. Under his leadership, the coalition is also working on decreasing America's dependence on Middle East oil by providing needed infrastructure to support the region's diverse energy production industry.
Prior to Ports-to-Plains, Reeves served as Vice President of Governmental Affairs for the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce. There he was involved with coordinating transportation initiatives, including delegation appearances before the Texas Transportation Commission, and serving as liaison between TxDOT and the business community. Mr. Reeves also led the Chamber's legislative programs and conducted communications efforts.
Reeves graduated from Texas Tech University in 1991 with a BA in Journalism. He is a lifelong Lubbock resident. He and his wife Christy have two daughters. He is active in his church, an avid hockey fan and die-hard Chicago Cubs fan.
Andrew Fisher, Government of Alberta
Andrew Fisher has been with the Government of Alberta for more than 5 years where he’s worked on international trade, intergovernmental relations, as well as science and innovation files. In his current role, he’s working with Alberta companies interested in exporting to international markets through the Alberta Export Expansion Package.
Bryan de Lottinville, Founder and CEO, Benevity Inc.
A self-described "recovering lawyer," Bryan followed a Bay Street law practice with senior leadership roles in several early stage companies that achieved international scale and success, including SMED International, iStockphoto and now Benevity. While each has been in diverse industry verticals, all of these dynamic growth companies have had innovation and constructive disruption as core common elements.
Bryan’s entrepreneurial energy and pursuit of excellence have played a major role in transforming Benevity from an early stage startup in 2008 to the market leader in its space. Founded and headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Benevity and it’s 300 employees provide software solutions and passionate service to iconic Fortune 1000 brands such as Google, Apple, Microsoft, Nike, ADP, Oracle, RBC, SAP, Cargill, Coca-Cola, and many more. Benevity’s employee giving and volunteering software engages more than 2 million users in 15 languages and in more than 40 countries.
Bryan’s vision of Benevity as a ‘software social enterprise’ includes using the reach and wealth of corporations to drive positive cultural and behavioral change through innovative and scalable corporate Goodness programs. Today, he is a recognized thought leader in the field of corporate responsibility and employee engagement, and a frequent speaker and blogger on social-good topics.
Sean Stinson VP Sales & Product Management at Blackline Safety
Mr. Sean Stinson has more than 10 years of experience in the safety technology industry and is responsible for the market success of products designed, developed and manufactured by Blackline Safety for global industry. Prior to working at Blackline Safety, Mr. Stinson held the roles of Project Manager as well as Systems and Software Engineering at BW Technologies. He later took on the role of product marketing manager at Honeywell Analytics. Sean is an electrical engineer with a BSc from the University of Calgary.
Augustine (Gus) Faucher, Deputy Chief Economist, The PNC Financial Services Group
Augustine (Gus) Faucher is senior vice president and deputy chief economist of The PNC Financial Services Group. He is responsible for contributing to the preparation of PNC’s U.S. economic forecast and alternative economic scenarios. In addition, he contributes to PNC’s National Economic Outlook, Economic Releases, Market Expectations Survey, and Economic Outlook Survey of Small Business Owners reports. Faucher regularly presents on the economic outlook to PNC clients as well as business and civic groups. Prior to joining PNC as senior macroeconomist in December 2011, Faucher worked for 10 years at Moody’s Analytics (formerly Economy.com), where he was a director and senior economist. He was responsible for running the firm’s computer model of the U.S. economy, edited a monthly publication on the U.S. economic outlook, covered fiscal and monetary policy, and analyzed various regional economies. Previously, he worked for six years at the U.S. Treasury Department, and taught at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He was named senior vice president in March 2015 and deputy chief economist in February 2016. Faucher is frequently cited in international, national, and regional media outlets including The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. He has appeared on ABC World News, CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News and Nightly Business Report; and is regularly featured on CNBC, CNN and Fox Business. In addition, he appears regularly on CBS Radio, NPR and Marketplace. He serves on the board of directors of The Economic Club of Pittsburgh - the local chapter of National Association of Business Economics (NABE). Faucher earned a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Pennsylvania, with concentrations in labor economics and public economics. He also has a B. A. in economics from Cornell University
Stephen Davis, Consulate General of Canada, Denver Colorado
Stephen Davis is the Trade Commissioner responsible for the Cleantech / Renewable Energy and the Aerospace trade sectors for the Consulate General of Canada located in Denver Colorado. Stephen, along with his colleagues at the Consulate, is responsible for Canada – U.S. trade/commerce relations in the states of Colorado, Utah, Montana, Wyoming and Kansas.
Stephen joined the Consulate in March of 2005. Prior to that time he held international trade positions in several Colorado companies including Current, Inc., Gerry Baby Products, and NatureSmart, a nutraceutical manufacturer owned by Wholefoods Markets. These positions afforded Stephen the opportunity to travel extensively throughout Asia and to specialize in managing trade relations with manufacturers of raw materials and finished goods world-wide.
Stephen received a Bachelor of Science from Texas Wesleyan College, in Fort Worth, Texas and a Master of Science in International Business from the University of Colorado, in Denver, Colorado.
Stephen has lived in Colorado for the past 34 years with the exception of 16 months spent living in rural Cambodia, while volunteering with the International Human Rights Law Group and 3 months living at the Ichihara Elephant Kingdom in Ichihara, Japan.