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DECEMBER 2–4, 2014
OTTAWA
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Speaker Bios

 

Bruce Anderson

Chairman, Abacus Data and partner i2 Ideas and Issues Advertising

Bruce Anderson is one of Canada's most respected public opinion researchers and strategic communications advisors. He has done years of in-depth polling on politics and public policy preferences, including polling related to food products and GMO public policies. Anderson is a regular member of CBC’s At Issue panel and writes online columns for the Globe and Mail.

 

Dan Brodsky-Chenfeld

Skydiving world champion and author of Above all Else

Dan Brodsky-Chenfeld was 18 when he discovered his passion for skydiving. However, many obstacles stood in the way of Dan accomplishing his dream of being a world champion skydiver. The biggest obstacle was a plane crash which killed sixteen of the twenty-two people on board. Dan survived but was left critically injured and woke up from a six-week-long coma with a broken neck, cracked skull, severe head trauma, a collapsed lung and other serious internal injuries. Against all odds, Dan recovered and went on to lead his team to six World Skydiving Championship victories.

 

Tim Burrack

Vice-chairman of Truth About Trade & Technology and Iowa farmer

Tim Burrack is the president of Genesus Farms Inc., serves as vice-chairman of Truth About Trade & Technology and a director of Innovative Ag Services. He has been farming in Northeast Iowa since 1970 raising corn, seed corn, soybeans and hogs. 

 

Susan Delacourt

Senior political writer, The Toronto Star

Susan Delacourt has covered federal politics since the late 1980s, as a reporter, columnist and bureau chief with The Globe and Mail, the National Post and the Ottawa Citizen. She is a regular commentator on CBC and CTV and is the author of four books, the most recent, Shopping For Votes: How Politicians Choose Us and We Choose Them. She won the Hy Solomon Award for Excellence in Public Policy Reporting this year and the Charles Lynch Award for a career in Parliament Hill reporting in 2011.

 
   

Kate Hall

Managing director for the Council for Biotechnology Information U.S.

Kate Hall manages the GMO Answers team, developing content, and engaging through social media platforms.  In her roles at both the Biotechnology Industry Organization and the Council for Biotechnology Information, she works to build relationships with stakeholders throughout agriculture and in the environmental conservation, food security and agricultural development fields.  

 
 

Tasha Kheiriddin

Political commentator and columnist, National Post and iPolitics

Tasha Kheiriddin has an in-depth knowledge of the state of the Canadian government and the ability to predict what’s to come. She's a weekly columnist with the National Post and ipolitics.ca and a regular political commentator on CBC News Network’s the National and Power and Politics, CBC Radio's The House, and RadioCanada’s Le Telejournal and Grands Lacs Café. 

 

Sherry MacLauchlan

Director of government relations and sustainability, McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada

Sherry MacLauchlan has national responsibility for the management of McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada’s government relations function, specifically the identification of government policy and regulation affecting the McDonald’s system, and the development and implementation of strategies to address impacts on operations. She also oversees the development and implementation of the company’s mandate relative to sustainability. 

 

Brian Mulroney

Canada's 18th Prime Minister

Brian Mulroney led the Progressive Conservative party to the largest victory in Canadian history in September 1984, becoming Canada’s eighteenth Prime Minister. As Prime Minister, his government introduced bold new initiatives such as the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Mulroney's government also introduced a series of privatizations, a low inflation policy, historic tax reform, extensive deregulation and expenditure reduction policies that continue to be the basis of Canada's impressive economic performance today.

 

Dr. Sean Myles

Canada Research Chair in Agricultural Genetic Diversity

Dr. Myles is the Canada Research Chair in Agricultural Genetic Diversity at Dalhousie University. A New Brunswick native, he received his training at Oxford, the Max Planck Institute, Cornell and Stanford before settling in Nova Scotia's Annapolis valley.  He is deciphering the genetic codes of agricultural species in order to accelerate the breeding of improved food. His research focuses on apples. He established and manages the Apple Biodiversity Collection - an orchard with over 1000 different apple varieties. He aims to educate the public about genetics and food via videos and blogs on his website www.cultivatingdiversity.org.

 

Terry O'Reilly

Host, CBC Radio’s Under the Influence and author of The Age of Persuasion

Terry O’Reilly is an advertising veteran and provides insights into the impact of advertising on modern life. He has received three lifetime achievement awards from the advertising industry as well as awards for writing and directing. He hosts CBC Radio’s Under the Influence.

 

Lisa Prassack

Innovation expert & data strategy consultant

Lisa Prassack has over 20 years of experience working with big data analytics. She specializes in working in tandem with innovators by providing critical market understanding with data-intensive solutions. She previously worked as the Trimble Agriculture Strategic Marketing Director and was responsible for the precision farming strategy, planning and M&A as well as global strategic partnerships with a number of agricultural companies.

 

Althia Raj

Huffington Post Canada's Ottawa Bureau Chief

Althia Raj has covered Parliament Hill on and off since 2006, with Postmedia, QMI Agency, CTV and CBC. She is a frequent contributor to CBC's Power & Politics power panel and can be heard on radio stations from coast to coast discussing the federal political scene. She authored Contender in 2013, an e-book about Justin Trudeau which earned critics approval and topped the Apple's Bookstore chart in its category.

 

Paul Wells

Senior columnist, Maclean's magazine

Paul Wells is fresh, funny and authoritative when it comes to speaking about the inside scoop on what’s really happening inside the Parliament buildings. In addition to writing for Maclean’s, Wells has written for Time magazine, the National Post and La Presse. His book, The Longer I’m Prime Minister: Stephen Harper and Canada was a national bestseller. 

 

Thanks to our 2014 sponsors

                              
           
     
           
                   
           
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