Speakers

Carol Ann Fried

Session: Ice Breaker and Virtual Networking
Carol Ann Fried

Carol Ann Fried, Empress of Friedom Training Services, is passionate and committed to bringing playfulness and laughter into the workplace. Best known for helping people discover their “JoySpot”, she obtained her M.Ed. in Counselling Psychology from McGill with a B.A. (Honours) in Psychology, Sociology and Romance Languages from Dalhousie in Halifax. Carol Ann has been a professional speaker, facilitator and consultant with business, education, health, government, technology and the helping professions for over twenty-five years. A master trainer and motivational keynote speaker, she has enjoyed faculty appointments at McGill University and the University of British Columbia. Proud recipient of the coveted second prize in CBC Radio's world-famous answering machine contest, Carol Ann’s latest creative foray is into the world of improvisational theatre, where she performs with Vancouver Playback Theatre www.vancouverplaybacktheatre.com. Frequently seen eating jalapeno potato chips dipped in low-fat yoghurt, she absolutely adores Salt Spring Island, singing harmony and pets of any kind. Born and raised in Halifax, Carol Ann lived for fourteen years in Montreal, and has been in Vancouver since 1986. Carol Ann exudes a natural creativity of mind and spirit that stimulates a motivational learning experience. Her sessions are invariably hailed as practical, dynamic and fun.

Courtney Mclachlan

Session: HRLR Consultants Panel: Top Calls and Queries
Courtney Mclachlan

Courtney joined CSSEA in June 2017. She grew up in the seaside village of Lions Bay in Howe Sound and obtained a political science degree from Dalhousie University before moving to Australia to obtain her law degree. Prior to joining CSSEA, Courtney worked primarily in private sector employment law and civil litigation. Courtney is called to the bar in Ontario and British Columbia. When not working, Courtney enjoys chasing her Boston Terrier, Judge, as well as partaking in the Vancouver trifecta: hiking, biking and yoga. In 2016, Courtney completed a 30-day yoga challenge and hiked the West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island.

Drew Bird

Session: Education on Demand: Introducing New Training at CSSEA
Drew Bird

Drew Bird, founder of The EQ Development Group, and author of The Leader’s Guide to Emotional Intelligence, works with leaders at all levels to develop leadership capacity and effectiveness. Considered one of North America’s leading authorities on emotional intelligence and leadership, Drew supports leaders from a range of organizations, and at all organizational levels, coaching and mentoring on day-to-day business issues and long-term strategic challenges. His engaging style and depth of subject matter knowledge makes him a sought-after presenter and facilitator on a wide range of topics related to emotional intelligence, decision-making, workplace stress, change and transition, and effective communication. Drew holds an Master of Arts degree in Leadership from Royal Roads University in Victoria and an Master of Science degree in Organizational Psychology from the University of London, England. He is a member of the Canadian Psychology Association and the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (a division of the American Psychological Association).

Gentil Mateus

Session: The Founding and Future of the Community Social Services Health and Safety Council
Gentil Mateus

Gentil is the Chief Executive Officer of the Community Social Services Employers’ Association (CSSEA). Appointed in September 2011, Gentil came to CSSEA with over 20 years of multi-faceted experience in human resources, leadership, change management, collective bargaining and community engagement. Under Gentil’s leadership, CSSEA successfully negotiated its first ever five-year collective agreements, allowing for long-term labour stability in the community social services sector. Prior to joining CSSEA, Gentil was Vice-President, Corporate Services & System Innovation at the Health Employers Association of British Columbia. Gentil was the lead negotiator at the Community Health table in 2010, the architect of the BC Care Aide and Community Health Worker Registry. He possesses a long history of working closely with government, health authorities and unions, and led a number of provincial initiatives, including a $37 million Health and Safety in Action project. Gentil’s community contributions include serving on the Advisory Board for Okanagan College, membership in the Rotary Club of Kelowna and the Rotary Club of Trail and co-founder of the Friends of Children Foundation, a charitable organization committed to helping families with sick children in BC’s Kootenay region.

Jessie Sutherland

Session: Worldview Skills for Transforming Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Relations
Jessie Sutherland

An international speaker, trainer, and consultant, Jessie Sutherland works with organizations and communities to engage diversity, foster intercultural collaboration, and develop resident-led community change approaches that effectively address a wide range of complex social problems. Jessie holds an M.A. in Dispute Resolution, is the founder of Intercultural Strategies, and is the innovator of the award-winning Belonging Matters dialogue and capacity-building program. She is also a TEDx speaker and author of the best-selling book, Worldview Skills: Transforming Conflict from the Inside Out. Her work has been delivered in over 8 languages and taken Jessie across Canada and around the world to support communities in their efforts to address challenging issues including poverty, homelessness, the overdose crisis, elder abuse, reconciliation, youth engagement and more. Many of her clients go on to win innovation awards for their work in engaging diversity and igniting innovation to affect real change.

John Jennings

Session: Start as you Mean to Go
John Jennings

John Jennings co-leads Watson Advisors' board director and executive search practice, providing clients with tailored approaches and solutions to meet their particular need. John is adept at teasing out the unique attributes of each search assignment while working closely with stakeholders and the Watson recruitment team to identify the ideal candidate. An overt people person, John integrates his formal experience with a passion to serve clients and candidates on an individual basis, respectfully and effectively. John brings that uncommon trifecta of experience to Watson’s clients – senior executive, board member, and search executive. Having been a CEO, COO, and interim CFO, he is intimately aware of the key issues facing management teams as they execute their strategic plan. Equally comfortable in the boardroom of public companies and not-for-profit organizations, John offers 30+ years’ experience as Board Chair and Committee Chair, including CEO Selection, Audit & Finance, and People & Culture. Immediately prior to joining Watson, John was a Senior Client Partner with Korn Ferry, a global people and organizational advisory firm, leading director and executive search assignments for clients across a wide range of sectors and functions. John garnered a reputation amongst his clients for building a strong working relationship with them, keeping stakeholders engaged and informed throughout a robust recruitment process to find the right candidate for the organization or boardroom. His candor-infused approach resonates equally with candidates who appreciate John’s efforts to elevate them into challenging roles and ultimately, changing the arc of their personal careers. John is passionate about giving back to the community. He has chaired the boards of St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation, BC Cancer Foundation and Capilano Golf & Country Club. He currently serves as Chair of the Nominating and Governance Committee of the UBC Sauder School of Business Faculty Advisory Board and on the Council of the Sovereign Order of St. John, Knights Hospitaller. He was recognized for his community work with the BC Community Achievement Award. John holds a B.Sc (Chemistry) from Western University and an MBA from London Business School, and the designation of Chartered Financial Analyst. When not at WATSON, John can be found on the golf course; currently a 13 handicap, he is a few elusive strokes away from achieving his lifelong goal of posting a single-digit handicap.

Matthew Cooperwilliams

Session: Masks, Jabs and CERB...Oh My! - A Legal Year in Review
Matthew Cooperwilliams

Matthew Cooperwilliams has more than 30 years’ experience with difficult employment, labour and business problems, and representing employers, employees and businesses in courts, tribunals and arbitrations across Canada. He advises employers and employees about employment law problems and acts as counsel before courts, human rights tribunals and administrative adjudicators. Matthew also provides strategic advice to employers about a wide variety of issues in unionized workplaces and represents employers at the BC Labour Relations Board, the Canada Industrial Relations Board and before collective agreement arbitrators. He represents employers, employees and businesses in a wide variety of litigation matters before courts, tribunals and regulators. Matthew was called to the Bar of British Columbia in 1988. He served as Adjunct Professor in Employment Law at the University of British Columbia from 2010-2015 and continues to guest lecturer at the Peter A. Allard School of Law at UBC.

Mike Laverty

Session: HRLR Consultants Panel: Top Calls and Queries
Mike Laverty

Mike joined CSSEA in January 2021, coming from a three-decade career mainly in the public sector. He grew up in Vancouver and has lived in the Lower Mainland his entire life. Mike was educated at SFU, the Justice Institute of BC, has a Lean Green Belt and CHRP designation.

Rachel O'Connor

Session: Start as you Mean to Go
Rachel O'Connor

Rachel O’Connor leads Watson Advisors' Leadership and Performance practice, which focuses on the board’s oversight responsibilities with respect to people-related issues that are essential to effective organizational performance. When boards seek advice on executive leadership, performance, or people risk, culture, structure or strategy, Rachel provides trusted advice. Prior to joining Watson, Rachel worked for 10 years as a Senior Client Partner and team and business group leader at Hay Group and Korn Ferry. At Hay Group and Korn Ferry she advised a wide range of clients – from Fortune 500 companies to private and family businesses, Crown Corporations, First Nations, and others. Rachel enjoys partnering closely with clients to be part of their success – it’s about building trust, adding value, and delivering impact. Rachel’s clients appreciate her ability to drive results while building strong relationships. She is both a big-picture thinker and a detailed analyst and implementer. She supports boards on a broad range of human capital oversight issues including human capital strategy, CEO evaluation and succession, talent management and succession, and organizational culture and design. Her own experience as a leader adds to her impact. She brings experience as a P&L leader in both established and growing organizations, and experience as an operations, technology, and HR leader. Rachel holds a Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering, a Masters in Mechanical Engineering, and a Masters of Business Administration. She is a Chartered Professional in Human Resources (CPHR). Rachel has served on boards, advisory boards, and special committees for many organizations including the Vancouver East Cultural Centre, the United Nations Women’s Development Fund (UNIFEM), the Vancouver Aquarium, and two universities. She is a member of the CPHR Award of Excellence Committee, the Vancouver Board of Trade, and the Women’s Executive Network. She has served on the faculty of The Directors College, which credentials corporate directors.

Sara Grujin

Session: HRLR Consultants Panel: Top Calls and Queries
Sara Grujin

Sara joined CSSEA in 2017 as an HRLR Consultant. Prior to joining CSSEA, Sara practiced law in the areas of family law, criminal law and insurance defence. She is a member of the bar in Virginia, District of Columbia and BC. When not working, Sara enjoys traveling, yoga, and rowing at the Vancouver Rowing Club. One of Sara’s career highlights was working at the Hague, where she was fortunate enough to see international law in action. In addition to observing the court process, Sara worked with colleagues who spoke a myriad of different languages, including French, Italian, Danish and Serbian.

Satvinder Basran

Session: The Founding and Future of the Community Social Services Health and Safety Council
Satvinder Basran

Satvinder brings over 20 years of experience in community development and human resources in the community social services sector. He has held positions from frontline to management to directorships at various non-profit societies throughout the BC Lower Mainland. He has direct experience in working with accredited services being provided to youth, immigrants, agricultural workers, individuals with developmental disabilities and the homeless. Satvinder was recently the project manager of the Community Services Sector WorkSafeBC Pilot Project Initiative, and is now the Director of the Community Social Services Health & Safety Council.