Schedule         Speakers



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Dr. Lisa Bélanger

Behavioural Change Expert and Researcher

Award-winning CEO, behavioural change expert and high-performance specialist Dr. Lisa Bélanger shows leaders and their teams how to apply today’s leading-edge scientific research to maximize their mental capacity for optimal performance. She helps close the gap between intention and action, resulting in long-term change and a greater competitive advantage.

Bélanger holds a PhD in Behavioural Medicine, an Executive MBA and is a Certified Exercise Physiologist. She is the founder and CEO of ConsciousWorks, a consulting firm that leverages science to help leaders develop the skills, habits and work design for practical and sustainable behaviour change, team engagement and shifts in workplace culture.

Bélanger is the author of two books: Inspire Me Well: Finding Motivation to Take Control of Your Health and A Cup of Mindfulness for the Busy and Restless. She created and hosts the popular podcast, Work Less, Produce More and is also the founder of Knight’s Cabin, a national charity offering wellness programming to cancer survivors.



Rebecca Orr

Threads of Life

In 2009, a workplace tragedy profoundly affected Rebecca and her family’s lives when her husband was working as a rigger assisting the tower-crane operator with moving material on the 21st floor of a tower under construction. The ripple effects of that tragedy continue to this day. Rebecca has since become a family member of Threads of Life, and joined the speakers bureau to share her story and help others. She lives in Olds, Alberta with her mom and daughter and loves her work at a preschool.

Threads of Life helps families affected by a workplace fatality, life-altering injury or occupational disease along their journey of healing. It provides these families with referrals and a one-on-one peer support program delivered by trained volunteer family guides who have also experienced a workplace tragedy. Threads of Life is currently working with thousands of family members from across Canada who have been affected by a workplace tragedy.



Honourable Don McMorris

Minister for Labour Relations and Workplace Safety and the Saskatchewan Workers' Compensation Board

Throughout the years, Don has always focused on serving the people of our province. After many years with the Saskatchewan Safety Council, he was elected to the legislature as the MLA of Indian Head-Milestone in 1999. He was re-elected in the 2003, 2007, 2011, 2016, and 2020 provincial elections.

Don is Minister of Government Relations and Minister of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety. He is also Minister responsible for the Workers’ Compensation Board, Minister responsible for First Nations, Métis and Northern Affairs, and Minister responsible for the Provincial Capital Commission. He has previously served as Deputy Premier, Minister of Health, Minister of Highways and Infrastructure, Minister of Crown Investments, Minister Responsible for Saskatchewan Government Insurance, Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority, Public Service Commission, and the Lean Initiative.

Don remains very active in the community along with his wife Cindy and their two sons.



John Agioritis

Partner, MLT Aikins, Compliance, Risk & Crisis Response, Criminal Law & Regulatory Offences, Labour & Employment

John Agioritis provides trusted advice and counsel to corporate clients and individuals navigating their way through various types of emergencies, crises and incident response, including workplace safety incidents and environmental matters. John leads the firm’s Occupational Health and Safety Practice Group. He is an experienced litigator that represents corporations and entities of all sizes in sensitive, complex and high-stakes regulatory investigations, trials and appeals. He also provides pro-active advice on compliance programs and due diligence measures designed to meet and exceed regulatory obligations under a number of federal and provincial statutes. John is a frequent speaker and commentator on matters of occupational health and safety, labour law and policy.

John has appeared before many courts and tribunals in various jurisdictions, including the Saskatchewan Provincial Court, the Saskatchewan Court of King’s Bench, the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal and the Tax Court of Canada.



Jonathan Sherman

Director of Prevention, Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board

Jonathan has worked in health and safety for over 13 years, supporting operations in Saskatchewan and across North America in the construction, mining, manufacturing and post-secondary industries. He is a Canadian Registered Safety Professional and holds a bachelor of science in chemistry and a master’s in English literature from the University of Saskatchewan.

The prevention department at WCB is comprised of safety professionals and training experts dedicated to reducing serious injuries and fatalities in Saskatchewan. Prevention also works closely with employers, workers, provincially funded safety associations, and over fifty unique stakeholders from government, non-profits and the private sector to work toward Mission: Zero.



Ashley McConnell-Quesnel

President, Humboldt Electric

Ashley began her career at Humboldt Electric in 2014 as a Human Resource Coordinator. Over the last ten years, she has worked in various facets of the company, gaining experience and knowledge in the business operations of the company.

Ashley’s employee-first approach to business is the foundation of her leadership philosophy and style. She understands the importance and value of open, honest communication between team members as well as with partners, suppliers, and clients. Ashley carries on the McConnell legacy and sets the organization’s goals and strategic direction, working closely with the vice president, Ryan McConnell. As an advocate for local business, she brings fresh perspective and a commitment to the community as a director with the NSBA.



Leslie Doka

Director of Construction, Wright Construction

Leslie began as a Project Coordinator and has been Director of Construction at Wright since 2004. She quickly rose to manage some of the company's largest projects, becoming an integral part of its operations.

Her expertise earned her recognition beyond Wright's borders. In 2017, she joined the Governance and Nomination Committee of the Canadian Construction Association (CCA), enhancing her reputation. In 2019, she was nominated to the CCA Board of Directors, showcasing her leadership. Leslie continues to drive change in these roles, shaping the future of the construction industry.



Clay Newby

Operations Manager, PCL Construction Management Inc.

Born and raised in Saskatoon, Clay graduated from the University of Saskatchewan in 2003 and holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Civil Engineering. Clay has experience in both the private and public sector and prefers the hands-on experience offered by the construction industry. He has had the opportunity to take a leadership role on several high-profile, large scale and complex projects ranging from industrial expansions, civil/infrastructure projects to major buildings projects, the most notable being the Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan.

As PCL Saskatoon’s Operations Manager, Clay provides technical and administrative expertise and support to project teams and ensures that each project has the people and resources to be successful. Clay believes success is best delivered as a team. He understands the importance of the relationships and history that come with being part of the local construction industry.



Keith Bird

SCSA Chairperson, Internal Operations Manager and Partner, RNF Ventures

Keith Bird is the internal operations manager and partner in RNF Ventures Ltd. Keith started in the construction industry in 2012 after 25 years of small business management and ownership in the retail sector. Keith began his time with RNF Ventures Ltd., a commercial general contractor located in Prince Albert, as the company safety officer. Keith’s responsibilities have expanded beyond the management of the company’s COR safety program, which RNF has maintained since 1997, to include labour scheduling on job sites, human resource management and business oversight. 

Keith sits on the boards for the Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association, Merit Saskatchewan and New Horizons. Keith has been a long-time resident of Prince Albert.



Drew Wilby

Deputy Minister, Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety Deputy Liaison, CAALL Occupational Health and Safety Standing Committee

Mr. Drew Wilby was born and raised in Saskatchewan and has continued to make helping people in this province the centre of his work and promotes the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion when engaging stakeholders. Having completed 17 years as a public servant with the Government of Saskatchewan, he has held a number of senior roles including adviser to the premier and cabinet and assistant deputy minister, Community Engagement with the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General and Ministry of Corrections, Policing and Public Safety. In May 2023, he was appointed as the deputy minister of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety.

The Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety promotes and enforces safe work practices and employment standards. It fosters a fair and balanced employment environment that respects the rights, duties and responsibilities of employees and employers to ensure healthy, safe and productive workplaces. As the deputy minister, Mr. Wilby is responsible for overseeing the work of the ministry and it’s four main program service areas: employment standards, labour relations and mediation, occupational health and safety and the Office of the Workers’ Advocate.



Shannon Friesen

CEO, Saskatchewan Construction Association

Shannon Friesen's career showcases a transition from the charitable sector to the construction industry, where she has made significant contributions to organizational leadership. As CEO of the Saskatoon Construction Association and co-CEO for all five SK construction associations, she has played a pivotal role in fostering collaboration and innovation within the sector.

Shannon’s leadership philosophy emphasizes the importance of respectful relationships and reciprocal communication, recognizing that effective leadership is built on trust and collaboration. She has held senior leadership positions in various associations, including the CEO of YWCA Saskatoon, Executive Director for the Saskatchewan Association of Fire Chiefs, and roles within Autism Services. Outside of her professional commitments, Shannon is actively engaged in her community, serving on the boards of YMCA Saskatoon and the Saskatoon Housing Authority.

Overall, Shannon exemplifies a dynamic leader who is dedicated to driving positive change, both within her organizations and the broader community. Her commitment to fostering relationships and communication underscores her belief in the transformative power of effective leadership.



Carolyn Bagnell

Executive Director, Mechanical Contractors Association of Saskatchewan

Carolyn Bagnell is an experienced executive with a proven track record of leadership in the non-profit sector. With a keen understanding of organizational dynamics and a commitment to advancing mission-driven initiatives, Carolyn brings over 12 years of experience to her role as Executive Director of the Mechanical Contractors Association of Saskatchewan.

Carolyn works closely with the board of directors to spearhead the strategic direction of MCAS and to define and finetune member value. She is adept at cultivating strong partnerships and fostering collaboration to ensure the organization succeeds in its mission to encourage, support and promote the advancement of the mechanical contracting industry.

Carolyn holds a bachelor’s degree in history, a diploma in applied computer technology and earned her Certified Association Executive designation in 2017.



Dion Malakoff

Executive Director, Saskatchewan Building Trades

Dion was appointed in 2017 as the executive director of the Sask Building Trades. Previous to this he was Assistant Business Manager for Boilermakers local 555 for five years. Dion holds a red seal in the boilermakering trade, along with his many pressure tickets as a pressure welder with the boilermakers. While working in the trade, he started as an apprentice working his way up to superintendent on the world's first large scale carbon capture project at Boundary Dam in Estevan.

Dion has two very active boys he chases around while they play their sports - he loves to coach his boys.